Clinical Characteristics and Transmission of COVID-19 in Children and Youths During 3 Waves of Outbreaks in Hong Kong

Question  What were the major sources of infection among children and youths with COVID-19 in Hong Kong in 2020?

Findings  In this cross-sectional study of 397 children and youths with COVID-19 in the first 3 waves of outbreaks in Hong Kong, in 2020, the largest group had no recent international travel, and nearly all individuals were reported to have other family members with COVID-19. Three students studying in the same school contracted COVID-19, and few children or youths with no recent international travel reported unknown contact histories.

Meaning  These findings suggest that households and not schools were the major route of transmission among children and youths with COVID-19 in Hong Kong.


Factors Associated With Access to and Timing of Coronavirus Testing Among US Adults After Onset of Febrile Illness

Question  How often do persons with new febrile illness access coronavirus testing and receive a test result within 7 days of illness onset?

Findings  In this cohort study, generally low rates of coronavirus testing were observed in 2679 participants reporting new onset of febrile illness. Although testing rates improved somewhat during the study period, timely coronavirus test results were sought and received by only 25.9% of newly febrile persons at the end of the study analysis period in late October 2020.

Meaning  Our results suggest systematic underuse of coronavirus testing in patients with febrile illness that may contribute to community transmission.

(J. Harris: Which is to say that we need to expand access to responsible Covid testing as we continue to immunize vulnerable folks, develop “herd immunity,” and re-immunize for mutants if and when it becomes necessary and possible to do so. We must test, trace, and track infectious cases. In our vast and diversified country, tracking will be a state and LOCAL responsibility, which means in backward or irresponsibly governed areas,  it won’t be done. We will survive, but I believe I’ll hang on to my masks.)


1. Fully Vaccinated Adults 65 and Older Are 94% Less Likely to Be Hospitalized with COVID-19 Both mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) authorized and recommended in the United States protect against COVID-19-related hospitalization among adults 65 years and older, according to a new CDC assessment that finds fully vaccinated adults 65 years and older were 94% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people of the same age who were not vaccinated. People 65 and older who were partially vaccinated were 64% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who were not vaccinated. People were considered “partially vaccinated” two weeks after their first dose of mRNA vaccine and “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose. These are the first real-world findings in the United States confirming clinical trial data showing mRNA vaccines prevent severe COVID-19 illness. (CDC, 4/28/2021)

2. PRESS RELEASE: CMS Proposes to Enhance the Medical Workforce in Rural and Underserved Communities to Support COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (CMS-1752-P) for inpatient and long-term care hospitals that builds on the Biden Administration’s key priorities to close health care equity gaps and provide greater accessibility to care. Major provisions in the proposed rule would fund medical residency positions in hospitals in rural and underserved communities to address workforce shortages, and require hospitals to report COVID-19 vac

3. RESEARCH: Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 Circulation and Diversity through Community Wastewater Sequencing, the Netherlands and Belgium Wastewater-based epidemiology has been proposed as an addition to disease-based surveillance because virus is shed in the feces of ≈40% of infected persons. Researchers used next-generation sequencing of sewage samples to evaluate the diversity of SARS-CoV-2 at the community level in the Netherlands and Belgium. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of the most prevalent clades (19A, 20A, and 20B) and clustering of sewage samples with clinical samples from the same region. They distinguished multiple clades within a single sewage sample by using low-frequency variant analysis. In addition, several novel mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome were detected. (CDC EID, May 2021)



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Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming

Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming

By George Smith

Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming.


Third ranking Republican in the House.

97 percent conservative voting rating.

98 percent of her votes backed President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Her party is turning on her for two “sins”:  She voted to impeach President Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection AND she has stated publicly the 2020 election was not stolen, that Joe Biden won fair and square, time to move on.

Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is showing her party a path — a wide, beautiful path — out of the suffocating quicksand that was the Trump’s presidency; her party leaders and party members are ignoring her gracious overtures and are prepared to toss her bodily into any handy briar patch B just to shut her up, to diminish her pulpit power.

Instead of saying “Thank God for Liz and her dose of common sense,” the party leaders and lead talkers, all irregulars in the Department of Truth, are treating her like Hester Prynne in the “Scarlet Letter.”.

In a word, this conservative woman who deeply believes in old-times Republican values and has followed the party line to the edge of her personal ethical abyss, is declared  “unclean” by her peers.

Cheney, Mitt Romney and a few other Republican House members, are putting their political futures on the line by simply telling the truth about The Big Lie of a “stolen election” that was not stolen.

This handful of Republicans clearly see three things: 1. Following the ideological whims of a disgraced, twice-impeached president is doing irreparable harm to the Republican Party and its brand; 2. Claiming the Jan. 6 insurrection was no big deal, that Russian influence in the 2016 election was a hoax and that The 2020 election was stolen is folly and party officials should move on and focus on more tangible issues; and, 3. History will paint the Trump era as a Cult of Personality and those that partook of his poisonous bare-assed charisma will forever be portrayed as mere mice following a felonious pied piper into the political wilderness.

If you are a Trumpster today, and you do not see the nakedness of your “emperor” in light of current events and judicial rulings, what outcome can you expect by sticking with a disgraced  charlatan and felonious, politician Neanderthal?

Your history and life-tags are being written as you read this: Willing victim or Stockholm Syndrome survivor: easily led patsy; duped rube; one-issue follower sand believer.

Regardless of tag you collect, you are on the wrong side of history and complicit in the unraveling of the core thread of decency that IS the United States.

Trump promised you a better America. What you got — what we all received —

was a divided nation of haves and have-nots, a racially split country in which civil rights took a huge step backwards and a nation in which winning became more important than being right or honest or ethical.

The Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney approach to saving the integrity, the very soul, of the GOP is the path out of the political wilderness that is Trump’s legacy.

How many party members will see that Cheney snd Romneybare right and that continuing to admire the manuacal misadventures of a displaced, tin-pot, woukd-be dictator, is sheer folly and guaranteed to relegate the party to the dust bin of history.

Bullmoose Party? Know Nothing? Whigs”? Federalists? Constitutional Union?

Et tu, Republican Party?


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GREAT! You can schedule or walk in. 


SARS-CoV-2 elimination, not mitigation, creates best outcomes for health, the economy, and civil liberties

“…The trade-off between different objectives is at the heart of political decision making. Public health, economic growth, democratic solidarity, and civil liberties are important factors when evaluating pandemic responses. There is mounting evidence that these objectives do not need to be in conflict in the COVID-19 response. Countries that consistently aim for elimination—ie, maximum action to control SARS-CoV-2 and stop community transmission as quickly as possible—have generally fared better than countries that opt for mitigation—ie, action increased in a stepwise, targeted way to reduce cases so as not to overwhelm health-care systems…Evidence suggests that countries that opt for rapid action to eliminate SARS-CoV-2—with the strong support of their inhabitants—also better protect their economies and minimise restrictions on civil liberties compared with those that strive for mitigation. Looking ahead, mass COVID-19 vaccination is key to returning to usual life, but relying solely on COVID-19 vaccines to control the pandemic is risky due to their uneven roll-out and uptake, time-limited immunity, and the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants…With the proliferation of new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, many scientists are calling for a coordinated international strategy to eliminate SARS-CoV-2….The uncertainty of lockdown timing, duration, and severity will stifle economic growth as businesses withhold investments and consumer confidence deteriorates. Global trade and travel will continue to be affected. Political indecisiveness and partisan policy decisions reduce trust in government. This does not bode well in those countries that have seen a retraction of democracy.17 Meanwhile, countries opting for elimination are likely to return to near normal: they can restart their economies, allow travel between green zones,18 and support other countries in their vaccination campaigns and beyond. The consequences of varying government COVID-19 responses will be long-lasting and extend beyond the end of the pandemic. Early economic and political gains made by countries aiming to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 will probably pay off in the long run…”

J. Harris: Good Lancet article that is worth keeping for future reassurance and support as we dig out of the trenches and fill them in. Let’s don’t ever let another Pandemic sneak upon us.


Click here to read this report


  1. The US CDC reported 32.2 million cumulative cases and 574,220 deaths. Both daily incidence and mortality continue to decrease. Daily incidence is down to 48,164 new cases per day, the lowest average since October 8, 2020. Daily mortality leveled off over the past several days, at approximately 625-650 deaths per day.

Biden announces a strategy change as the pace of vaccination slows

“…As the pace of U.S. vaccination slows, President Biden announced a shift in federal strategy on Tuesday afternoon away from mass vaccination sites to smaller, more local settings in an attempt to boost the campaign to get more shots in arms.

He said that he is directing tens of thousands of pharmacies to offer walk-in appointments for coronavirus vaccine shots, creating more pop-up and mobile clinics and shipping more doses to rural clinics, all aimed at vaccinating 70 percent of American adults at least partially by July 4.

Senior health officials have decided that herd immunity — the point at which the virus dies out for lack of hosts to transmit it — will likely remain elusive. But if 70 percent of the population is at least partially vaccinated, the nation can keep gradually removing restrictions that impede normal life, one senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity at a briefing for reporters.”

What researchers learned analyzing COVID-19 mortality rates at 107 hospitals

The death rate for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the U.S. fell 38 percent between March and May of 2020, but did not continue to significantly decrease through the fall, according to a study published May 3 in JAMA Network Open.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on 20,736 adults with COVID-19 admitted to 107 hospitals in 31 states between March and November of 2020. 

In March and April, the overall in-hospital mortality rate was 19.1 percent. This figure fell to 11.9 percent in May and June, before tapering off at 10.8 percent from September through November. 

While there were small changes in the patient population over the study period — including a slight decrease in age and a higher proportion of women — mortality rates decreased even after researchers adjusted for factors including age, sex, comorbodiidies and COVID-19 disease severity. 

“Our findings suggest that the decline in mortality could be due to overloaded hospitals and changes in treatment,” said lead author Gregory Roth, an associate professor of medicine at the  University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.

“Further analysis is needed to understand the drivers more precisely, but it speaks to a crucial need for information-sharing and identifying hospital best practices that can prevent mortality rates from increasing again, particularly during possible future waves of COVID-19 infections,” he added.

(J. Harris: So this disease that could largely be prevented by vaccines, kills 10-20% of those hospitalized with the infection!)

Olympics in Japan Where only 2% of Population is Vaccinated

J. Harris: Good read. They have closed borders, wear masks, avoid crowds, and test often. I would be willing to bet the Olympics brings them increased Covid despite their cooperative and intelligent population and ability to test and track Covid. 

Japan should cut its losses and tell the IOC to take its Olympic pillage elsewhere (An opinion piece from the Washington Post)

An Last but not Leased:

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with!


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J. Harris: Area active Covid cases are creeping up? More activities? Younger victims. There is plenty of Vaccine available locally.

The F.D.A. is set to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those 12-15 years old by early next week.

“The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorize use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years old by early next week, according to federal officials familiar with the agency’s plans, opening up the U.S. vaccination campaign to millions more people…”

COVID-19 Is a Vascular Disease: Coronavirus’ Spike Protein Attacks Vascular System on a Cellular Level

(J. Harris: Obviously Covid can have a deadly vascular component.)


1. Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe (New York Times) Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the

 virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.

2. CVS and Walgreens Have Wasted More Vaccine Doses Than Most States Combined (Kaiser Health News) Two national pharmacy chains that the federal government entrusted to inoculate people against covid-19 account for the lion’s share of wasted vaccine doses, according to government data obtained by KHN. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 182,874 wasted doses as of late March, three months into the country’s effort to vaccinate the masses against the coronavirus. Of those, CVS was responsible for nearly half, and Walgreens for 21%, or nearly 128,500 wasted shots combined. CDC data suggests that the companies have wasted more doses than states, U.S. territories and federal agencies combined. Pfizer’s vaccine, which in December was the first to be deployed and initially required storage at ultracold temperatures, represented nearly 60% of tossed doses.


J. Harris: Quick read, LA Times summary . 


(Aggie joke from NYT but probably too complicated for most Aggies)

How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand…


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“WOKENESS”  noun [ U ] mainly US informal

US/ˈwoʊk.nəs/ UK  /ˈwəʊk.nəs/

“a state of being aware, especially of social problems such as racism and inequality”

I finally looked up this stupid word that people are throwing around like a warmup ball at a baseball game; I thought I knew what it meant, but wanted the clinical definition.

Sen. Ted Cruz lambasted the proponents of “wokeness” on a weekend interview, saying it was a condition foisted upon the nation by professors in liberal colleges and universities.

No, cease and desist, that’s not right. That was Democrat consultant and self-promotimg, anything-GOP-is-bad manta spewmaster James Carville who made that pronouncement; Cruz urged folks to stand up to “wokeness” in corporate America.

To further stir the pot full of “woken”, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders said Carville opined Carville had ceased to be relevant on any issue of national importance.

Wake up on the woke issue! Why in Dick’s hat band woujd anyone be AGAINST more folks becoming aware of the extent of apparent meat-fisted societal ills like inequality and racism?

Both exist in this country, in our individual communities: That is a fact.

Every single American should be cognizant of that fact and pledge as individuals to work to bring segments of the country together rather than spout balderdashisn BS that only serve to further divide us.

The only element wrong with “wokeness”?  It is those officials and their minions who do not want the nation’s  growing abyss between political power players and their followers to shrink. An expanding division between parties, between people, positively impacts their personal  political power so they use their opposition to “wokeness” as a rallying cry and stump-speech bludgeon.

“… one nation…with liberty and justice for all.”€

Wake up to the potential of “wokeness”.

The definition of the word says it all. Tune out those that use the word as a negative cudgel to further their personal political agenda.

€ if you are wondering why I omitted “under God” from the phrase above, the nation’s founders made it clear that “separation of church snd state” was a key component to the freedoms they thought paramount in this new nation. And “under God” was only added to the pledge of allegiance in 1954.

Just another “woke” issue.


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Designing an Independent Public Health Agency

“The pandemic has revealed the importance of having trustworthy and competent institutions to protect public health. The Constitution also permits the creation of long-standing, stable institutions that serve the public interest outside the political branches. Just as the United States has independent commissions in other important domains such as monetary policy, we believe it deserves independent public health institutions.”

(J. Harris: A readable editorial from NEJM that has several workable suggestions that likely would improve American public health institutions and policies. Obviously, we have a lot of such agencies and scientists, but they need reasonable academic and professional protection from interference by the military, special interest groups, and politicians.)

Click here to read the article

TSA extends public transportation mask mandate until September

“The Transportation Security Administration has extended a federal mandate that requires people to wear masks on public transportation through Sept. 13.”


“Harrison County is at a high risk level for Covid-19 infections. The seven-day average has not changed. Zero cases were reported yesterday, the same as the week before. Since January of last year, at least 1 in 14 people who live in Harrison County have been infected, and at least 1 in 622 have died.



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Amtrak’s 50th Anniversary

Amtrak’s 50th Anniversary

In tribute to Amtrak’s 50th Anniversary, Marshall Depot Board of Directors announces year-long commemoration to honor Amtrak’s 50 years of connecting America

May 1, 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of Amtrak. In honor of this important milestone for our nation, the Marshall Depot Board of Directors is announcing a year-long commemoration and celebration of Amtrak.

This commemoration will focus on providing information and events that highlight the important role that Amtrak has played and continues to play in providing an essential transportation option for the people of America and our community. It will also underscore benefits Amtrak provides to urban as well as rural communities, such as Marshall, in connecting cities throughout America through its vast National Network.

“On behalf of the volunteer Board of Directors of the Marshall Depot Inc., we ask people of our community and our region to join us in wishing Amtrak a happy 50th birthday.”  said Cathy Wright, current president of the Marshall Depot Board. “We appreciate all that Amtrak does for the people of Marshall and our community.”

Out of the approximately 20,000 cities in America, only about 525 cities are fortunate to have an Amtrak stop and Marshall, Texas is fortunate to be one of those cities.  Marshall, Texas is a stop on the Texas Eagle long-distance route. The Texas Eagle connects San Antonio to Chicago, with stops that include Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, Little Rock and St. Louis, in addition to Marshall.

Christina Anderson, who serves as the chairman of the 2021 community fundraising campaign which is currently underway for the non-profit Marshall Depot, shared the following:

“We thought Amtrak’s 50th anniversary would also provide an excellent opportunity to continue to raise awareness in our community about the remarkable benefits that Amtrak and our historic Marshall Depot bring to our community with regard to transportation, tourism, economic development, quality of life, not to mention just a fun way to travel.”

Ms. Anderson also pointed out a benefit distinctive to Marshall that many community members might not be aware of which brings in tens of thousands of dollars of revenue to our local economy each year. That is, Marshall is one of only a few stops on the Texas Eagle route that is a crew change stop.

Ms. Anderson explained: “That means that not only do tourists and visitors spend dollars when they travel here by train, but six Amtrak crew members who stay in Marshall each night provide ‘heads on beds’ in a local hotel. This results in at least 2,190 hotel stays in Marshall each year, not counting any visitors or tourists who may travel here by Amtrak and may add additional hotel nights.”

She further explained that these six crew members also spend dollars at local restaurants, stores, and with a local van service. In fact, over the past 19 years of Marshall serving as a crew change stop, the total revenue to our local economy for Amtrak’s spending for these crews has been approximately $4.1 million.

“So, in addition to being a transportation hub which connects us to the National Network right in the heart of historic downtown Marshall,” Ms. Anderson shared, “the Marshall Depot and Amtrak are also very valuable assets with regard to generating revenue for our community.”

The Marshall Depot is one of only a few depots on the Texas Eagle route that is not maintained and operated by the city it serves. The Marshall Depot is instead maintained by a volunteer board of directors for the non-profit entity Marshall Depot Inc, which was established in 1990 to assist the City with the Depot. This volunteer board raises funds, through grants and donations, to maintain the funding needed each year for the operational costs, insurance, maintenance, and ongoing preservation of the Depot and the Texas & Pacific Railway Museum. In the past, the City had assisted with these annual costs.

For those wishing to make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit Marshall Depot Inc. in the 2021 fundraising campaign, which began in late March, please make a request to receive materials in the mail about this by calling or leaving a message at (903) 938-8373. Or you can make a tax-deductible donation by sending a check to:  Marshall Depot Inc., 800 North Washington Avenue, Suite 1, Marshall, Texas 75670.

Alan Loudermilk, who serves on the Marshall Depot Board and is owner of the popular Ginocchio Restaurant which is located adjacent to the Marshall Depot, has graciously offered to have a small display at the restaurant with information, donation cards, and envelopes so that customers who wish to make a donation to the Depot can pick up materials while they’re dining at the restaurant.

Cathy Wright also shared that the Marshall Depot Board is making plans and putting in place the necessary health-related precautions to re-open the T & P Railway Museum which is located at the Marshall Depot soon. The Museum has been closed during the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, Amtrak recently announced that, on May 24, it would restore daily service to long-distance trains, including the Texas Eagle. In 2020, because of the pandemic, Amtrak reduced daily service to three days a week.

Christina Anderson concluded by saying: “Marshall, Texas is blessed to have a long and strong history as a ‘railroad town.’  The I-20 Corridor Council and the Texas Eagle Marketing and Performance Organization (TEMPO) join the members of the Marshall Depot Board in wishing all current and past members of the Amtrak family a happy, prosperous 50th Anniversary and a strong and prosperous 50 years to come. As one of the new Amtrak taglines says: “The Future Rides With Us.”


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U.S. Will Impose New Ban On Travel From India, As Coronavirus Rages


“…Experts say the exact reason behind this trend is unclear, but could include the rise of variants, relaxed attitudes towards distancing and other mitigation measures, a younger population that is not yet fully vaccinated and vaccine hesitancy. It could also be merely more younger people getting the disease…There is a very sharp increase…in younger adults… these are largely people who think that their age is protecting them from getting very sick from COVID-19, that is not happening…40% of our cases were under the age of 40, which is mind-boggling…Hospitals are seeing more and more younger adults, those in their 30s and 40s, admitted with severe disease,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky reported during a press briefing earlier this month.

Colorado sees rapid spread of cases among middle and high school students.

Half‐year follow‐up of patients recovering from severe COVID‐19: Analysis of symptoms and their risk factors

(J. Harris: Excellent article for Long Haulers and their families detailing the frequency of various long term health problems after Covid).


1. Merck Announces Voluntary Licensing Agreements With Five Indian Generics Manufacturers to Boost Access to COVID-19 Therapeutic (Homeland Preparedness News) Merck has reached voluntary licensing agreements with five Indian generics manufacturers to produce molnupiravir for the COVID-stricken nation, granting it another oral therapeutic to aid the COVID-19 pandemic. While molnupiravir is currently being studied in a phase three trial to treat non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19, these agreements will allow Merck to accelerate the availability of the therapeutic in India and other low and middle-income countries following approvals or emergency authorization by regulatory agencies. Some vaccinated people are still getting covid. Here’s why you shouldn’t worry. (MIT Tech Review) Tens of millions of people in the United States have now been fully vaccinated against covid-19. These people are seeing friends, eating out, and—in rare cases—getting infected.

J. Harris: What I like about this NYT Tracker Chart is that it comes daily and compares the disease incidences in area counties as well as the state, US, and world with “Daily Cases Per 100,000 [population].” There are fewer man-made distortions in the numbers. They are also a tremendous time-saver. You can also make your own tracker and keep up with areas of personal interest. 



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So-are-we-never-going-to-learn headline of the day

So-are-we-never-going-to-learn headline of the day

By George Smith

“Chris Christie Gives One-Term, Twice-Impeached Trump An ‘A’ For His Presidency”

This is the same former New Jersey governor who said Trump was double-dog-dead-ass wrong in contesting the 2020 election. This is the same guy who called the president’s legal team a “national embarrassment”.

Chris Christie has already set his sights on running for president, even if Trump decides to run; he is sacrificing his soul by trying to buddy-up to the Trumpuppet Clan.

The most prominent Republicans, those that think they can lead the party out of its self-ordained quagmire, are four-square pitiful and are embarrassing themselves by constantly rubbing Trump’s belly for luck.

Trump ain’t Buddha. He’s Trump. And it should be clear by now that all those around him, all those that rush to bask in his aura, all who will do whatever it takes to win support from his Clan of Cultish  Clowns…are doomed to be sucked into history’s vacuum and forever labeled as pathetic, corrupt, unAmerican losers.

The story of the era of Trump is already written. And more indictments of this era of political tomfoolery and folderol are being immortalized by today’s vaunted historians right now.

Doris Ketns Goodwin, Jon Meacham, Michael Beschloss and Robert McDonald will dissect Trump’s president “seven ways to Sunday,” as my grandfather used to say.

And those that supported the man, his vitriolic mission, his cartoon-car of idiotic ideas, his racist agenda, his tarnishing of the title he had, the prestige he enjoyed by his election…they are complicit in the corruption that ensued and the division that resulted from his and his party’s actions.

As a country, we will survive and thrive again. And every American should pray that we learned a valuable lesson over the last four years and pledge never to put our faith in a corrupt, ignorant, bumbling heretic again.


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Association of Maternal SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Pregnancy With Neonatal Outcomes

“Conclusions and Relevance  In a nationwide cohort of infants in Sweden, maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy was significantly associated with small increases in some neonatal morbidities. Given the small numbers of events for many of the outcomes and the large number of statistical comparisons, the findings should be interpreted as exploratory.”

FROM The Lancet:

Hospital admissions due to COVID-19 in Scotland after one dose of vaccine

“….The analysis includes 1 331 993 individuals vaccinated between Dec 8, 2020, and Feb 22, 2021. The authors constructed this comprehensive cohort by linking vaccination, primary care, laboratory testing, hospital admission, and mortality datasets covering 5·4 million people in Scotland…Focusing on 28–34 days after a single dose, the authors report an estimated vaccine effect of 91% (95% CI 85–94) for COVID-19 hospital admissions for BNT162b2 [Pfizer}, and an estimated 88% (75–94) vaccine effect during the same period for ChAdOx1[AstraZeneca].

J. Harris: This is reassuring information and other data showed pretty good prevention starting about a week after receiving the first injection. I must say I feel a little braver after having the second jab, too. 


“I’ve read this bit every day for the past year. Now I read about people happily resuming pre-Covid activities, like meeting up with friends and family, socializing, or getting excited to attend concerts and dine out. I can’t at all relate. Pandemic isolation and introspection have been my sanctuary and bliss. After 47 years of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and making lame excuses for missing social and work networking events, 2020 permitted me to lean into my true introvert. I felt braver and more creative than ever in my remote work. I relished the relief of masks, of not being judged for my appearance, of getting a break from scrutiny about not smiling enough. I loved attending Zoom programs hosted by public libraries and nonprofits nationwide. I mourn the loss of all of this. I dread having to feign sociability again to be accepted in life and at work, acting my way through re-acclimating to the majority’s version of normal.”

— Tara Chhabra, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

(J. Harris: Unpleasant people in the grocery store might still think and say hateful things like “Old fat men shouldn’t wear shorts and T-shirts when out and about,” but masks do provide a comfortable “so what” anonymity.)



Airport Traveler Testing Program for SARS-CoV-2 — Alaska, June–November 2020 SARS-CoV-2 testing on arrival in Alaska airports identified 951 SARS-CoV-2 infections, or one per 406 arriving travelers, and might have contributed to Alaska’s low incidence during the summer by reducing opportunities for community transmission at travelers’ destination locations. Posttravel self-quarantine and testing programs might reduce travel-associated SARS-CoV-2 transmission and importation, even without enforcement. Traveler education and community and industry partnerships might help ensure success. (CDC MMWR, 4/23/2021)


COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a SARS-CoV-2 R.1 Lineage Variant in a Skilled Nursing Facility After Vaccination Program — Kentucky, March 2021 In a COVID-19 outbreak at a Kentucky SNF involving a newly introduced variant to the region, unvaccinated residents and health care personnel (HCP) had 3.0 and 4.1 times the risk of infection as did vaccinated residents and HCP. Vaccine was 86.5% protective against symptomatic illness among residents and 87.1% protective among HCP. (CDC MMWR, 4/21/2021)

J. Harris: It is dangerous and careless and illogical not to prevent Covid with the good vaccines that we have. Fortunately, scientists had been working on the various types of vaccines for similar viruses for many years before this Covid Pandemic, so the vaccine response was fairly quick — thank God.



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