August 18, 2020

to Ron

Harrison County 5,
Gregg 19,
Tyer 89


(J. Harris: This must have been difficult for the Chamber to do, but I applaud their decision not to attract a crowd at this time. Maybe we can make it up to you before long).

1. Longitudinal Analyses Reveal Immunological Misfiring in Severe COVID-19 (Nature) Researchers serially analysed immune responses in 113 patients with moderate or severe COVID-19. Immune profiling revealed an overall increase in innate cell lineages, with a concomitant reduction in T cell number. An early elevation in cytokine levels was associated with worse disease outcomes. The immune profiles of patients who recovered from moderate COVID-19 were enriched in tissue reparative growth factor signature A, whereas the profiles of those with who developed severe disease had elevated levels of all four signatures. Thus, researchers have identified a maladapted immune response profile associated with severe COVID-19 and poor clinical outcome, as well as early immune signatures that correlate with divergent disease trajectories.
(J. Harris: This one is above my paygrade, but various immunological patterns are becoming apparent that should help direct types therapies to use and provide earlier warning about which patients are less likely to do well).

2. South Korea Faces New Spike In COVID-19 After Months Of Low Infection Rates (NPR) After keeping the coronavirus under control for roughly five months, South Korea finds itself on the verge of another major outbreak, as COVID-19 cases jump to their highest level since March and the capital region re-tightens social distancing guidelines. As of Monday, the country has seen four straight days of new cases in the triple digits, for a four-day total of 745 cases. That compares with a peak of about 900 cases per day in late February, after which South Korea managed to keep new daily cases to double digits.   (“…Authorities fear that the virus has been spreading undetected for some time and is only surfacing now. KCDC chief Jeong warned Monday that without swift government intervention, South Korea “may face a health system collapse.”)

3. FDA Clears Saliva Test for Covid-19, Opening Door to Wider Testing (STAT News) The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday authorized emergency use of a new and inexpensive saliva test for Covid-19 that could greatly expand testing capacity. The new test, which is called SalivaDirect and was developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health, allows saliva samples to be collected in any sterile container. It is a much less invasive process than the nasal swabs currently used to test for the virus that causes Covid-19, but one that has so far yielded highly sensitive and similar results.(This tiny Texas company is running most of the drive-thru Covid-19 testing in the U.S.) (J. Harris: I “know” there will be multiple opportunities to do rapid testing with rapid answers).

4. LASTING IMMUNITY The US CDC published clarifications on some recent guidance regarding quarantine, isolation, and the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection. On August 3, the CDC updated its isolation guidance to include new information which indicates that individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 can “continue to test positive for up to 3 months after diagnosis and not be infectious.” On Friday, the CDC clarified that this does not mean that individuals are immune to reinfection for 3 months. Investigation into lasting immunity and risk of reinfection are ongoing, and while there has not been documented evidence of reinfection within 3 months, the possibility or reinfection during this period has not yet been ruled out. The previous guidance stated that “People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again.” Some interpreted this statement as implying a 3-month period of immunity, so the CDC clarified that its intent was to state “that retesting someone in the 3 months following initial infection is not necessary” due to the possibility of continued positive tests, even after an individual has recovered and is no longer infectious. The CDC has included updated language about reinfection for multiple guidance pages, including for quarantine and self-isolation.Does a Beard Protect from COVID or Provide a Portal for Infection?(J.Harris: I don’t know and didn’t find anything definitive. Has anyone got any good references? If so, please show me).

“AN UNCONVENTIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION: 1964(J. Harris: This short first-hand piece features Walter Cronkite, Robert Kennedy, The Mississippi Freedom Delegation, Lady Bird Johnson, and other notables. I wrote it). The story is now posted on

America is the only country where a significant proportion of the
population believes that professional wrestling is real, but the
moon landing was faked.
~ David Letterman

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