HELLO: Have a nice weekend.

Note MISD data from 1/24, which is the most recent available. FYI, the total for that date in Elysian Fields was 11, Hallsville 177, Harleton 46 on that date. This is difficult data to extract. J. Harris


A global study of nearly 44,000 found that the COVID-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is 66% effective in preventing moderate to severe disease….The study was conducted in the U.S., Latin America and South Africa. The vaccine did better at preventing disease in the U.S. – 72% — and less well in South Africa – 57% efficacy. The efficacy seen in Latin America was 66%.


1. Time to Double or Upgrade Masks As Coronavirus Variants Emerge, Experts Say (Washington Post) The discovery of highly transmissible coronavirus variants in the United States has public health experts urging Americans to upgrade the simple cloth masks that have become a staple shield during the pandemic. The change can be as simple as slapping a second mask over the one you already wear, or better yet, donning a fabric mask on top of a surgical mask. Some experts say it is time to buy the highest-quality KN95 or N95 masks that officials hoping to reserve supplies for health-care workers have long discouraged Americans from purchasing.

2. Biden Announces Purchase of 200M Vaccine Doses (CNN) President Joe Biden announced a series of measures on Tuesday aimed at ramping up coronavirus vaccine allocation and distribution, including the purchase of 200 million more vaccine doses and increased distribution to states by millions of doses next week. With those additional doses, Biden said there would be enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans — nearly the entire US population — by the end of summer or early fall.

3.  With All Eyes on Covid-19, Drug-Resistant Infections Crept In (New York Times) As Covid-19 took hold over the last year, hospitals and nursing homes used and reused scarce protective equipment — masks, gloves, gowns. This desperate frugality helped prevent the airborne transfer of the virus. But it also appears to have helped spread a different set of germs — drug-resistant bacteria and fungi — that have used the chaos of the pandemic to grow opportunistically in health care settings around the globe.

Homeroom: My Child Is Near Tears, Every Day—And So Am I

(J. Harris: This Atlantic article is part of an educator oriented series that I will try and send out. This magazine is (and has) providing a variety of good reads.)

Researchers found more evidence that the variant from South Africa can evade antibodies.

(J. Harris: Read this NYT version of this article; it’s easier to understand. Some troubles are occurring with some of the Mutants–this data changes daily and little of this information has been published yet–it is current.  Nevertheless, these Mutants are worrisome. We need some Zombies to emerge from the Black Lagoon to eat them)

Ultra-absorptive Nanofiber Swabs for Improved Collection and Test Sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 and other Biological Specimens (Nano Letters) In this study, we report a new class of nanofiber swabs tipped with hierarchical 3D nanofiber objects produced by expanding electrospun membranes with a solids-of-revolution-inspired gas foaming technique. Nanofiber swabs significantly improve absorption and release of proteins, cells, bacteria, DNA, and viruses from solutions and surfaces. Implementation of nanofiber swabs in SARS-CoV-2 detection reduces the false negative rates at two viral concentrations and identifies SARS-CoV-2 at a 10× lower viral concentration compared to flocked and cotton swabs. 


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