May 29, 2020

In Harrison County, County Judge Chad Sims reported two more COVID-19 diagnoses on Thursday, bumping his county’s total to 242 cases. He said the county also saw nine more recoveries, raising that total to 80. 
The Gregg County Jail’s daily report for Thursday to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards shows the county’s number of inmates who have tested positive now totals 42. The report shows that two jailers have tested positive.
In Titus County, the 77 additional cases push that county’s total to 443, the state health department reported. The county has had two deaths from the virus.
But while those experiments show how germs can spread on surfaces, the microbe still has to survive long enough and in a large enough dose to make you sick. Eugene M. Chudnovsky, a professor at the City University of New York, notes that surfaces are not a particularly effective means of viral transmission. With the flu, for instance, it takes millions of copies of the influenza virus to infect a person through surface-to-hand-to-nose contact, but it may take only a few thousand copies to infect a person when the flu virus goes from the air directly into the lungs.
“I believe the C.D.C. is right when it says that surface transmission is not a dominant one,” said Dr. Chudnovsky. “Surfaces frequently touched by a large number of people, like door handles, elevator buttons, etc., may play a more significant role in spreading the infection than objects touched incidentally, like food packages delivered to homes.”
The bottom line is that the best way to protect ourselves from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing our hands, not touching our faces and wearing masks.
MORE GOOD NEWS FROM NYT: I may have some trouble doing this, but take out food, food in general, is safe if you can avoid crowds of people while you acquire it. Good reassuring article. J. Harris
JHH: Very good article with early reports about wearable monitoring devices that might give early warning of impending or incipient COVID.  However, I think I’ll use the oximeter and pulse detector that I already have purchased for about $60. I can watch my oxygen level as well as my pulse and not fiddle with a  bunch of new devices that I can’t read anyway. If my oxygen goes down and my pulse goes us, I’m in trouble. I tried to join the Duke study mentioned in the article, but I couldn’t sign the damn consent with a computer. 
On Thursday, researchers at WVU’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute reported that Oura ring data, combined with an app to measure cognition and other symptoms, can predict up to three days in advance when people will register a fever, coughing or shortness of breath. It can even predict someone’s exact temperature, like a weather forecast for the body.
There’s more: Researchers at Stanford University studying changes in heart rate from Fitbits tell me they’ve been able to detect the coronavirus before or at the time of diagnosis in 11 of 14 confirmed patients they’ve studied. In this initial analysis, they could see one patient’s heart rate jump nine days before the person reported symptoms. In other cases, they only saw evidence of infection in the data when patients noticed symptoms themselves.
(Apple watchers are also discussed)

In this cross-sectional study, 10 of 60 patients previously diagnosed with and treated for COVID-19 had RT-PCR test results positive for SARS-CoV-2 from 4 to 24 days after index hospital discharge. As discharged patients were provided with home isolation instructions and local cases were rare, their positive results were presumed to be persistent viral shedding rather than reinfection. Consistent with previous studies showing prolonged viral shedding in the feces of patients with COVID-19,4 our results indicated that 6 patients had persistent viral shedding in the gastrointestinal tract after hospital discharge, including 1 patient (patient 2) who had positive results in both samples and showed RT-PCR positivity on March 27, 2020, a viral shedding duration of 56 days from illness onset. Lower threshold cycle values with anal swabs than those with nasopharyngeal swabs were identified in this study; however, the infectivity remains unclear, as infectious viruses have not been isolated from stool samples, to our knowledge.5

This study was limited to a small number of discharged patients who had test results positive for SARS-CoV-2. Further studies using a larger cohort and isolation of the viable virus instead of RT-PCR testing are needed to define infectivity for continued disease management after hospital discharge.

Considering the RT-PCR positivity for SARS-CoV-2 among discharged patients with COVID-19 revealed by this and a previous study,2 appropriate personal protective equipment for medical staff might be important while collecting convalescent plasma, and the effects of convalescent plasma from clinically recovered patients with persistent viral shedding may need to be evaluated separately.

JHH: At the least,  the above small study indicates that people who have had Covid and have been treated or observed may remain contagious for a period of time yet to be determined; they might also become reinfected. 
COLLINS PUN FOR THE DAY:  Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.


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By George Smith

I have taught various management courses in adjunct positions for more than 25 years at various colleges and universities in three states.

I started researching and writing about politics in 1966 and for more than 50 years have seen and reported on the activities, actions and abominations of hundreds of politicians at all levels of the political  spectrum.

That does not mean I am an expert in business or politics, just that I have experience in research and writing about topics in those areas.

Look at this list:






Attacks perceived foes on personal level.

Makes wild accusations based on whims, not evidence

Lacks empathy.


Impatient to a fault.

Will not read important documents and reports.

Ignorant on many subjects directly connected to the job.

Believes “gut” over acclaimed experts.

There is no way that a person with this extensive list of faults could be selected as CEO of a major company or be elected to any public office. Yet, Donald J. Trump embraces all of these negative traits and was elected president.

Via frequent tweets, Trump brags about his prowess as a manager and leader even as he is daily giving historians ammunition to declare him the most divisive, abrasive m, corrosive and corrupt president in U.S. history.

Why do do many people follow this man with a cult-like fervor? 

To some, it boils down to a one-issue situation, i.e., abortion or immigration or the perceived need for religious freedom.

To others, Trump is seen as a leader in the white supremacy movement;m, the white-is-right believers that has abject racism as their core mantra.

And, a slice of his supporters sing his praises simply because he is seen as an outlier, someone from outside the political area whom they thought would hear their frustration and create change.

Trump has brought change: Regulations  that protected workers, the environment and the animal population have been gutted; public lands are being raped by big businesses who donate campaign funds to Trump; racist tension is back to the 1960’s level, with distrust between police and the people they are sworn to protect increasing exponentially and with protests and riots becoming along racial lines more commonplace.

This president has made sure to cut ties with longtime foreign allies, alienating friendly nations while cozying up to dictators, despots and third world strongmen.

He has not hidden the fact that he wants to dismantle any program from the Obama Administration, simply because he is piqued by the former president’s constant popularity and the fact Obama has more Twitter followers.

We are stuck with this petulant degenerate and will wake up every day wondering what new hell our president perpetuated via tweet overnight.

We are stuck through election day. Trump’s antics, incompetencies, malignant actions and benign neglect of traditional protocol will be a part of history. His supporters’ stated reasons for kowtowing to his bizarre and corrosive whims will also be examined by history’s prolific authors.

The final stories on leader and his cultish followers will be brutal. Count on it.


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