May 11, 2020

Northeast Texas case counts

The total of reported cases of COVID-19 by Saturday evening in Northeast Texas was at least 1,603, up from 1,594 a day earlier. Across the region, 56 total deaths had been reported Saturday, which was unchanged from Friday. Here’s a look at totals by county Saturday and changes from Friday:

Anderson: 46

Angelina: 107, 1 death

Bowie: 105, 10 deaths

Camp: 7

Cass: 20

Cherokee: 20, 1 death

Delta: 1

Franklin: 3

Gregg: 128 (+3), 2 deaths

Harrison: 188 (+4), 11 deaths

Henderson: 43 (+2)

Hopkins: 7

Lamar: 89, 4 deaths

Marion: 16

Morris: 9

Nacogdoches: 202, 11 deaths

Panola: 159, 6 deaths

Red River: 5

Rusk: 41, 1 death

Shelby: 149, 4 deaths

Smith: 174, 4 deaths

Titus: 35

Upshur: 17

Van Zandt: 18, 1 death

Wood: 14

Totals: 1,603 and 56 deaths

Sources: Texas Department of State Health Services, Northeast Texas Public Health District, local officials
The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients (Very Slight, but old people should be on Vit D anyway, especially when not often in sunlight–JH)
Combining COVID-19 patient data and prior work on Vit D and CRP levels, we show that the risk of severe COVID-19 cases among patients with severe Vit D deficiency is 17.3% while the equivalent figure for patients with normal Vit D levels is 14.6% (a reduction of 15.6%). Interpretation Given that CRP is a surrogate marker for severe COVID-19 and is associated with Vit D deficiency, our finding suggests that Vit D may reduce COVID-19 severity by suppressing cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients. Further research is needed to account for other factors through direct measurement of Vit D levels.

Don’t Be Fooled by America’s Flattening Curve
JHarris: Be sure to notice the Texas curve, which, with Houston removed, is climbing steadily.
Pandemics Leave Us Forever Altered What history can tell us about the long-term effects of the coronavirus
Mayor Audrey Kariel recommended this article. Boy, was she correct. This is a medically and historically accurate fabulous article that should be of interest to all age groups. What a nice read. JH
Texas A&M Forest Service urges citizens to prepare their communities for wildfire season

11 Secret Service employees infected with coronavirus, 60 in self-quarantine

Plaguing Prisons: inmates detail coronavirus outbreak at Beto Unit
JH: Excellently organized and written article out of Tyler. This one will win significant awards. It is not a happy story, however. 
Most of coronaviruses circulating in Houston are strain reported to be more contagious
Most of the novel coronaviruses circulating in the Houston area are a strain recently reported to have mutated to become more contagious, according to a Houston Methodist Hospital analysis of the genetic makeup of the first infections treated here.

The Methodist analysis, which has not yet been peer reviewed, found the virus that causes COVID-19 was introduced into the Houston area beginning in early March from a multitude of geographic regions, including Asia, Europe and South America. The seeding of the virus occurred independently on numerous occasions.
JHarris: I have not reviewed this data yet, but it will bear watching. 
Can the N.F.L. Really Return to Normal This Fall?
Ken Belson, the N.Y. Times sportswriter who has written several articles about Marshall sent this to us early for our interest.

Even as the coronavirus continued to ravage American communities, the N.F.L. last week released a full schedule of games that on the surface included no obvious backup plan in case the pandemic prevents the season from starting on Sept. 10.

But the odds that the league will be able to keep to its schedule are decreasing by the day. Before games can be played, teams must first open their offices and training facilities, which have been shut since mid-March, then hold training camps, which are to begin in mid-July.

To keep what they call “competitive equity,” league executives say teams can reopen their offices and training facilities only when it is safe for every team to do so. The N.F.L. is also requiring its teams, scattered across two dozen states, to follow local and state guidelines, including frequent testing and limits on the size of gatherings, to determine when it will be safe enough for coaches, staff and players to return.

California to Mail All Voters Ballots for November Election

How to Reopen the Economy by Exploiting the Coronavirus’s Weak Spot
ATTENTION BUSINESSMEN AND WOMEN–This article contains several good ideas. JH

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