CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 10/30/2020

October 30, 2020

MNM REPORTS ONLY 2 NEW CASES IN HARRISON COUNTY. THERE ARE 33 NEW CASES IN GREGG AND 59 IN SMITH COUNTIES

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

From today’s JAMA:Peripheral Oxygen Saturation in Older Persons Wearing Nonmedical Face Masks in Community Settings

OXYGEN MASKS DON’T CAUSE LOW OXYGEN LEVEL
(J. Harris: Masks are safe and should be worn.)

WHY RESTAURANTS ARE DANGEROUS DURING PANDEMICS
1. Why, exactly, are restaurants so risky? First off, they tend to be noisy spaces. People talk loudly, expelling more air than usual—and thus more potentially virus-laden aerosols

2. Then there’s the lack of mask-wearing inside restaurants. Diners tend to take them off, because you can’t eat or drink while wearing one.

3.Inadequate ventilation allows tiny virus particles to hang in the air for long periods of time, just waiting to be breathed in.

4.Virtually every documented case of super-spreading has taken place in a crowded,  noisy, poorly ventilated room—many of them restaurants.

JOHNS HOPKINS SELECTIONS

1. Medicare and Medicaid to Cover Early Covid Vaccine (Politico) The Trump administration this week will announce a plan to cover the out-of-pocket costs of Covid-19 vaccines for millions of Americans who receive Medicare or Medicaid, said four people with knowledge of the pending announcement. Under the planned rule, Medicare and Medicaid will now cover vaccines that receive emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, the people said, which is a change from current policy.

2.EPI UPDATE The WHO COVID-19 Dashboard reports 43.5 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1.16 million COVID-19 deaths as of 8:30am EDT on October 28…The US CDC reported 8.68 million total cases, 225,084 total deaths, and 492,026 new cases in the past 7 days. The daily COVID-19 incidence continues to increase, now up to 63,589 new cases per day, compared to 59,699 new cases reported last Wednesday and almost as high as the peak incidence in late July.

3. COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIESColleges and universities across the country have experienced substantial financial and logistical challenges as a result of the pandemic, with some schools eliminating programs, furloughing faculty, and implementing austerity measures. The financial strain preceded the pandemic, but has been exacerbated by reduced enrollment and revenue, paired with substantial expenditures to support expansive testing, contact tracing, and quarantining of students. The American Council on Education published a letter last week stating that the pandemic would cost higher education institutions $120 billion. As part of response efforts, some universities are implementing studies to test wastewater and sewage for COVID-19. Testing wastewater is much cheaper than testing individual students, and implementation is more feasible in a dorm environment. The testing approach cannot identify which individuals are infected with SARS-CoV-2, nor how many infections there are. However, the data can indicate potential trends or the occurrence of an outbreak in a setting.

4. Some Covid Survivors Have Antibodies That Attack the Body, Not Virus (New York Times) Some survivors of Covid-19 carry worrying signs that their immune system has turned on the body, reminiscent of potentially debilitating diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, a new study has found.

5. Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Studies Showing Waning Coronavirus Antibodies(New York TImes) The portion of people in Britain with detectable antibodies to the coronavirus fell by roughly 27 percent over a period of three months this summer, researchers reported Monday, prompting fears that immunity to the virus is short-lived. But several experts said these worries were overblown. It is normal for levels of antibodies to drop after the body clears an infection, but immune cells carry a memory of the virus and can churn out fresh antibodies when needed.(J. Harris: Some of the time)

The Difference Between Feeling Safe and Being Safe
(J. Harris: A good article for non kool-aid drinkers. It’s very readable and compelling.)”People’s dependence on group affiliation for safety and support can be so strong… that it sometimes overrides more logical assessments of fear and safety…People’s dependence on group affiliation for safety and support can be so strong…that it sometimes overrides more logical assessments of fear and safety…the best way to get lots of people to adopt new safety precautions is to be explicit and consistent about what they (precautions) are and why they’re important, and then demonstrate examples of people adhering to them repeatedly over time…the biggest problem we have right now is mixed messages….many people presented with a barrage of contradictory instructions just grow tired and give up. Others become hypervigilant, their behavior calcifying against new information that might let them ease up and enjoy life a little more. Still others simply choose optimism, no matter how dangerously misguided—such as the belief that “herd immunity” is near, or the assumption that catching the virus will have no long-term consequences for them. “People will gravitate to the positive message because it’s convenient, and it’s not scary, it’s not fearful…Americans have no common conception of the pandemic, which means you can’t assume that someone you’ve trusted for years isn’t about to expose you to a deadly disease,…People feel bad about enforcing their boundaries, or they simply grow tired of constant vigilance. Occasionally, they just forget.’

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