In addition to respiratory distress, patients with COVID-19 can experience blood clotting disorders that can lead to strokes, and extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems. The virus can also cause neurological complications that range from headache, dizziness and loss of taste or smell to seizures and confusion.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... e=facebook
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is, this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.”
Scientists in China are reporting a strain of flu virus found in pigs has become more infectious to humans. In a new study, the scientists warn the virus has the potential to become a pandemic virus, but other scientists have downplayed the risk posed by the virus, which has been circulating for five years.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/30/dr-anth ... c-flu.html
"The window for making important decisions hasn't closed," he argues in a new Washington Post op-ed.
Gates also thinks we can get a vaccine in less than 18 months, which would be the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed.
https://www.businessinsider.com/bill-ga ... red-2020-4
COVID-19 has made clear what happens when even powerful, wealthy countries are inadequately prepared for rare but ruinous events. Months into the pandemic, international alliances are strained, resources are diminished, and experts are demoralized. The longer this fiasco drags on, the more vulnerable America becomes to further disasters: inbound hurricanes, wildfires, and many other viruses that lie in wait."
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... lu/614152/
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... hs/612679/
I wrote a new piece about the 9 errors of intuition that people keep making during the pandemic, trapping us in a spiral of bad decisions & policies. This is a guide to thinking about the crisis & breaking free from that endless loop.
Beating COVID-19 isn't just about more tests, masks, or things. Many of the problems that have tripped us up are conceptual. Magical thinking. False dichotomies. Conflating imperfect with useless. Blaming individuals over fixing systems. These errors of intuition cropped up in debates over masks, social-distancing, ventilation, and colleges. They’ll appear again when we have a vaccine. These errors aren’t unique to COVID-19. But they’ve been exacerbated by features of this particular pandemic, and by the people who are meant to lead the US out of it--but have instead made things much worse. Winter is coming. We must reset, and "adjust our thinking to match the problem before us," according to one sociologist I spoke to.
Throughout the year, I’ve tried to write pieces that help us make sense of this generation-defining crisis, deal with the constant gaslighting, see the bigger picture, and find structure amid uncertainty and complexity. I hope this new one helps.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... er/616204/
Medical supply chains that span oceans and continents are the fragile lifelines between raw materials and manufacturers overseas, and health care workers on COVID-19 front lines in the U.S. As link after link broke, the system fell apart.
This catastrophic collapse was one of the country’s most consequential failures to control the virus. And it wasn’t unexpected: For decades, politicians and corporate officials ignored warnings about the risks associated with America’s overdependence on foreign manufacturing, and a lack of adequate preparation at home, the AP and FRONTLINE found.
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/arti ... umvKoBhLAM
Last weekend, when Americans were reacting to election results, many doctors and nurses were working long ER shifts caring for COVID-19 patients. Many people have habituated to the horror of the pandemic. Health-care workers are still drowning in it. I wrote about what they are going through, how exhausted and scared they are, and what this third pandemic surge is doing to them. It’s not like the first two. It’s worse. It's wider. How much slack is left in the system? A nurse in Iowa told me: “There is none.”
The issue isn’t beds or ventilators. It’s people. In many states, there already aren’t enough nurses/docs to care for the incoming COVID-19 patients--who are among the sickest people they've ever had to treat. The good news is that death rates are lower now than March. But that’s partly because health-care workers are savvier and better at treating COVID-19. Those gains are not givens. They’re *contingent on people not burning out*. And people are. Some are working 36-hour shifts. Some have grown numb to how many bags they've zipped up. And the cavalry isn't coming. The first two surges were concentrated in specific areas, so hard-hit hospitals could call for help. The big difference this time: The third surge is everywhere. Reinforcements are scarce.
Biden’s win gave many health-care workers a second wind. Help is coming. A vaccine is coming. There is absolutely hope on the horizon. But it’s still *on the horizon* and everything from here to there is on fire. So here is the crux of it: The U.S. must flatten the curve again. In the next weeks, we will collectively decide how many Americans die before they can get a vaccine next year and how many health-care workers are broken in the process.
This applies not just to the U.S. but to many other countries.
Please read this piece. Please share it. Please save the people who save everyone else.
And now? “I don’t see how we avoid becoming overwhelmed,” one of their doctors told me this week.
In the past two weeks, the hospital had to convert an entire building into a COVID-19 tower, from the top down. It now has 10 COVID-19 units, each taking up an entire hospital floor. Three of the units provide intensive care to the very sickest people, several of whom die every day. One unit solely provides “comfort care” to COVID-19 patients who are certain to die. “We’ve never had to do anything like this,” Angela Hewlett, the infectious-disease specialist who directs the hospital’s COVID-19 team, told me. “We are on an absolutely catastrophic path.”
Hospitalizations lag behind cases by ~12 days. In the last 12 days, Nebraska’s cases have gone from 82,400 to 109,280. Even if no one else is infected, that surge WILL slam into already stretched hospitals over Thanksgiving. Then what?
This is happening throughout the Midwest, and in some other parts of the country. Not even the best-prepared hospital can compensate for an unchecked pandemic. UNMC’s preparations didn’t fail so much as the U.S. created a situation in which hospitals could not possibly succeed.
If you're in the U.S., please read this and understand the stakes of the next few days.
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... ed/617156/
Stay safe. Keep everyone else safe."- Ed Jong
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... ys/617122/
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... ge/617150/
No public-health scheme is perfect, and we will need to layer as many of them as we can in order to survive the pandemic. But with pods, the country hasn’t even settled on a shared definition. If we do not reach a consensus on best bubbling practices soon, we risk blasting a hole in one layer of our armor and opening ourselves up as a nation to even more unnecessary sickness and death.
https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A ... qzzl7Q&s=1
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... DK6KV_JzZo
“When a public-health approach isn’t producing the desired outcome, it’s time to try something different,” Marcus writes. “Instead of yelling even louder about Christmas than about Thanksgiving, government officials, health professionals, and ordinary Americans alike might try this: Stop all the chastising. Remember that the public is fraying. And consider the possibility that when huge numbers of people indicate through their actions that seeing loved ones in person is nonnegotiable, they need practical ways to reduce risk that go beyond ‘Just say no.’”
Solutions-oriented thinking might help. Montreal has set up “appealing public spaces”; Calgary has made fire pits in parks; officials could encourage gift exchanges by mail, for instance. “Rather than imposing rules that neglect the realities of human behavior and then reprimanding people for breaking them,” Marcus writes, “the message could be a more pragmatic and compassionate one: We understand that this is hard and that social connection is important for health, so we will support you in gathering more safely.”
The answer to that question is inextricably tied up with another question floating around: Once you get the vaccine, can you just go back to your normal life full of hugging people and not wearing a mask?
If only we knew for sure. And we don’t know because there are some things that got skipped over when scientists went and made a vaccine faster than anyone thought possible. Nice-to-know details were pushed to the back burner in a rush to make sure the new vaccines would be safe and effective. And one of those details is whether the vaccines keep people from spreading COVID-19 or whether they just keep those who do contract it from getting sick."
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/on ... 0ZtcqOZePw
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... JzXwQAFTDg
At the time, The Atlantic did not cover it. In the immediate aftermath, “it really disappeared from the public consciousness,” says Scott Knowles, a disaster historian at Drexel University. “It was swamped by World War I and then the Great Depression. All of that got crushed into one era.” An immense crisis can be lost amid the rush of history, and Knowles wonders if the fracturing of democratic norms or the economic woes that COVID-19 set off might not subsume the current pandemic. “I think we’re in this liminal moment of collectively deciding what we’re going to remember and what we’re going to forget,” says Martha Lincoln, a medical anthropologist at San Francisco State University.
The coronavirus pandemic ignited at the end of 2019 and blazed across 2020. Many countries repeatedly contained it. The United States did not. At least 19 million Americans have been infected. At least 326,000 have died. The first two surges, in the spring and summer, plateaued but never significantly subsided. The third and worst is still ongoing. In December, an average of 2,379 Americans have died every day of COVID-19—comparable to the 2,403 who died in Pearl Harbor and the 2,977 who died in the 9/11 attacks. The virus now has so much momentum that more infection and death are inevitable as the second full year of the pandemic begins. “There will be a whole lot of pain in the first quarter” of 2021, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told me.“
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... Yn5ysjZ3fE
Imagine it this way: There is a tsunami heading our way, and we are ferrying people to a high point. Everyone we transport up to the top is safe, but even better, they can also help other people get to safety (the exponential desirable effect of the vaccine). The reverse is also true, however: Everyone we leave behind also pulls down more people (the exponential unwanted effect of increased transmissibility). And the whole process is very sensitive to when we start; it’s much easier in the beginning but gets nearly impossible as the wave grows higher and gets closer. With this variant, at least in the United States, we are likely at the beginning, or near the beginning.
All this means that the speed of the vaccine rollout is of enormous importance. There are already worrisome indicators of slow rollout. Vaccination of a broad population, not vaccines in and of themselves, saves lives, and epidemics are fought with logistics and infrastructure. We should put every bit of energy, funding, and relentlessness into vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... ohf4bAHnAI
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/u ... chetu3nQwU
https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-COR ... index.html
The microscopic organisms living in our intestines may influence the severity of COVID-19 and the body's immune response to it, and could account for lingering symptoms, researchers reported on Monday in the journal Gut. They found that the gut microorganisms in COVID-19 patients were very different from those in uninfected individuals. "COVID patients lack certain good bacteria known to regulate our immune system," said Dr. Siew Ng of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The presence of an abnormal assortment of gut bacteria, or "dysbiosis," persists after the virus is gone and could play a role in the long-lasting symptoms that plague some patients, she said. Her team has developed an oral formula of live bacteria known as probiotics and a special capsule to protect the organisms until they reach the gut. "Compared with patients on standard care, our pilot clinical study showed that more COVID patients who received our microbiome immunity formula achieved complete symptom resolution," Ng said, adding that those who got it had significantly reduced markers for inflammation in their blood, increased favorable bacteria in their stool and they developed neutralizing antibodies to the virus.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... 7xzn2R4d18
I know there’s a lot going on. We have insurrectionists in our midst, the president is getting impeached today for an unprecedented second time, the Republican Party is splintering. It’s fascinating and dangerous and infuriating all at once. But we are in a race, a very deadly race, to get the coronavirus under control before a fire of cases engulf us, even more than they are now.
The more transmissible variant is in America, albeit at very low levels. But that won’t last for long; after all, it’s more transmissible. If and when it becomes common, it will be a much bigger problem than if the virus simply mutated to become more deadly.
https://billmoyers.com/story/unsanitize ... bQE8sio-F4
https://www.cbsnews.com/live/video/2021 ... ree-weeks/