June 9 2020

We are confident we have eliminated transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now, but elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort,” she said at a news conference. “We almost certainly will see cases here again, and I do want to say that again, we will almost certainly see cases here again, and that is not a sign that we have failed, it is a reality of this virus. But if and when that occurs we have to make sure — and we are — that we are prepared.”
If you think you’ve been exposed to covid-19 at a protest — or anywhere else — it’s probably best to stay in quarantine for at least a few days before going out to get a test.

If the virus has entered your system and is starting to replicate, you do technically have the infection, but it won’t show up in the nasal or mouth swab test immediately, which means your result will come back as a false negative (and be a false sense of security).

“Since testing depends on having a certain amount of the coronavirus present in your nose (or nasopharynx), it can take several days from the time you’re exposed to when you will be able to be tested,” according to the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

False positives are rare, but false negatives can happen for a variety of reasons — mainly because there either isn’t enough of the virus in the mouth or nose to identify the infection, or the test was administered incorrectly and didn’t get a large enough sample.

“If you test negative for covid-19 by a viral test, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected,” the CDC says. “However, that does not mean you will not get sick. The test result only means that you did not have covid-19 at the time of testing.”

Even if you have caught the virus, symptoms might not show up for two weeks. You might never show symptoms at all — but in either case, experts say, you could still be contagious and could spread it to others.

All of this uncertainty is why health experts recommend social distancing while the virus is spreading, and why they strongly recommend that you self-isolate for 14 days if you think you’ve been exposed.

1. Shutdowns Prevented 60 million Coronavirus Infections in the U.S., Study Finds (Washington Post) Shutdown orders prevented about 60 million novel coronavirus infections in the United States and 285 million in China, according to a research study published Monday that examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of the contagion.
2. GENETIC VARIATIONS & COVID-19 A recent study (preprint, not yet peer reviewed) indicates that individuals with certain blood types and other genetic variations may be at elevated risk of respiratory failure due to COVID-19. The genome-wide association study (GWAS), included 1,980 participants experiencing respiratory failure due to COVID-19 in Italy and Spain were included in the genome-wide association analysis. One key finding suggested that individuals with Type A blood were at 50% higher risk of requiring oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation. Notably, genetic variations related to the ACE2 receptor, which is how the SARS-CoV-2 virus attaches to human cells, did not show any significant impact on infection. Results of this study could help clinicians to identify patients at higher risk of respiratory failure that may need aggressive, proactive measures. Considering the broad range of disease severity for COVID-19, from asymptomatic infection to severe disease and death, information regarding risk factors is important to characterizing the disease and pandemic and potentially identify targets for treatment or vaccine development.
J. Harris: Last week a The Woodlands internist told me that the number of hospital admissions for COVID was perhaps the most important number to follow as the Pandemic proceeds. He may be very right:
     1. From the Atlantic: If cases are rising and more people are going to the hospital with COVID-19, we’d expect that more people are getting seriously sick. And in Arizona, alas, cases and hospitalizations are both at all-time highs. Cases and hospitalizations are also rising in Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
“….we can ask a question of the data: How many people do you need to test to find a positive case? This metric—the number of tests per positive result—was first proposed by Tong Wang, a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania. In Arizona, through most of May, about one in 16 coronavirus tests came back positive. Today, Arizona is testing more people, but about 1 in 10 tests is coming back positive. This is also true across the South, the Southwest, and the West: Finding a positive coronavirus case is easier than it used to be.

These two signs make us worry that the pandemic is about to get worse in some parts of the U.S.

     2. NPR AND NYT: …Texas reported a record-breaking number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Monday as the governor plans to reopen more businesses and double capacity….But even in states where officials left stringent restrictions in place, the number of newly diagnosed cases are rising. About 20 states, including California and Arizona, have also reported a rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks…
J. Harris: The point is, of course, the number of positive tests will continue to rise with the spread of the virus and the abundance of more and better testing and with a more compliant public. In addition, the state is opening up businesses and there have been large, loud groups of people in many locals who did not keep proper spacing. So active cases and positive test numbers will go up.      HOWEVER, the most important number to follow is the number of Daily Hospital Admissions for COVID.  I’ll try and keep up with that number in Texas and in the U. S. I suspect it will rise. 
Yesterday, I failed to end with a Pun. So, today, we get two. Stay safe. 
A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane. The  stewardess looks at him and says,
‘I’m sorry, only one carrion allowed per pass.
What did the custodian say when he jumped out of the closet?    “Supplies!

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I’m writing to denounce the shameful spreading of misinformation by the Harrison County Republican Party Chairman, along with some of his fellow party chairs in our state, in posting the conspiracy theory that George Floyd’s brutal murder on Memorial Day in Minneapolis was a “staged event.” There is no evidence that the senseless, unjust killing of Mr. Floyd was staged. Normally, denunciation of such an irresponsible action should, as they say, “go without saying,” but, over the past few years, divisive, hateful, and untrue things have been said and spread with such frequency that they have become almost normalized. We must never allow the spreading of lies to become accepted or normalized. It tears at the very fabric of our civil society and democracy.

I write this from the perspective of someone who not only loves America and our founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice for all more than words could ever say, but also from the perspective of someone who has volunteered more time than I could ever calculate over the past 25 years to help bring progress and unity to a community and region I love. And when people spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories—and, I believe in this case, when they do it for partisan reasons—nothing but harm and hurt can result. It’s not only harmful to the grieving family who has lost a loved one, but also to a grieving nation who, for many of us, have hearts that break every day knowing the reality that racism, a scourge that has plagued our nation’s history from its beginning, still exists. The only way we’re going be able to end systemic racism is by working together, not by stoking division. As one of our nation’s mottos says: “E Pluribus Unum” Out of Many, One. That’s a very clear directive. We must do this together. We must do this with understanding, empathetic hearts, with steadfast intentionality, and with reality-based information.

In preparing a home-made sign to carry at one of the peaceful marches in Marshall this week, I thought to myself, “What would be a helpful and healing message to share?” I knew that the word “together” would need to be included and, as I wrote the words on the sign, I was filled with a deep sense of hope that maybe this time, finally, finally, we can bring about meaningful change—along with strong policies—to address this long-standing, profound injustice. Standing on the shoulders of the brave, resolute people who have gone before and for all who continue to work for the cause of justice today, I write these words of hope:  “Let’s end racism now together. Let’s end racism now forever.”  As the pandemic has taught us, we are indeed all in this together and I appreciate all people of good faith who are working to make much-needed changes successful so that our beloved America can be stronger and better now and in the future.

Christina Cocek Anderson

Marshall, Texas


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