Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Associated with a Local Bar Opening Event — Illinois, February 2021

(J. Harris: From Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)-which is a no-nonsense, universally trusted publication that most good doctors read weekly. This type of event could STILL happen here, and smaller local events have had the same disastrous results here in Marshall during the Pandemic — they just were not publicized. Close, indoor public gatherings of young, non-vaccinated people are not safe, and may never be again. These infected people spread disease to others, of course. This is a good, short article to read:)

Summary: Forty-six cases of COVID-19 were linked to an indoor bar opening event that occurred during February 2021 in a rural Illinois county. Event patrons were linked to secondary cases among household, long-term care facility, and school contacts, resulting in one hospitalization and one school closure affecting 650 students….Opening up settings such as bars, where mask wearing and physical distancing are challenging, can affect the community. As community businesses reopen, prevention measures should be emphasized, including limiting building occupancy, improving ventilation, prioritizing outdoor seating, enforcing correct mask wearing and physical distancing, staying home when ill, and encouraging COVID-19 vaccination to reduce transmission on site and within the community.

Researchers Are Hatching a Low-Cost Coronavirus Vaccine

J. Harris: (Exciting NYT examination of ADVANCES IN VACCINES, many of which are based on the research of a scientist at the University of Texas. Better designs and modifications might make Covid vaccines as cheap and easy to make as Influenza Vaccines, which are manufactured cheaply around the world.)

 Hopkins Cited:

1. Former Biden, Trump Advisers Renew Push to Delay Second Covid Vaccine (STAT News) As Covid-19 cases spike and coronavirus variants continue to spread, the Biden administration is facing renewed calls to delay second vaccine doses and blanket more of the U.S. population with an initial shot. Advocates of a strategy focused on first doses include Democratic and Republican senators, Trump administration surgeon general Jerome Adams, and at least four physicians or epidemiologists who advised President Biden on pandemic response issues prior to his inauguration, including the prominent surgeon and author Atul Gawande. Despite the new advocacy, and its own warnings of “impending doom,” the Biden administration has given no indication it will budge. But the shift in opinion underscores the growing alarm at a possible fourth wave of U.S. Covid-19 cases — and frustration with the federal government’s lack of flexibility.

(J. Harris: Due to the increase in Mutants, unless there is a 4th wave, I like two injections  (or one J&J). We should know in the next two weeks what damage Spring Break and Easter might have caused.)

2. HHS Initiates COVID-19 Mask Design Contest (Homeland Preparedness News) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has initiated a COVID-19 mask design competition, with officials touting a total award of $500,000 available to winning entries. Up to 10 winning ideas will be selected to split $100,000 while the contest’s second phase involves participants submitting prototypes leveraging research on the filtration efficiency of materials and meeting criteria including filtration, fit, comfort, and how easily the design can be manufactured on a large scale. Up to five winning prototypes will split $400,000.(J. Harris: What took them so long?)

Walgreens wasn’t following U.S. guidance on spacing Pfizer doses, but, following complaints, will do so.

The interplay between COVID-19 restrictions and vaccination

An intervention is only as effective as the extent to which people are willing to adopt recommended measures….However, the staunch opposition to non-pharmaceutical interventions among a substantial proportion of some populations has hampered control of the outbreak. Only 65% of Americans report consistently wearing a mask in public.2,  3 The willingness to wear a mask in public was also found to be heterogeneous among different regions in the USA and across time.,… 

 For example, willingness to wear a mask regularly varied from 57% in the midwest region to 87% in the northeast region.3…Risk perceptions are fundamental drivers of behavioural shifts.5 Consequently, the adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions is likely to wane as vaccination becomes more widespread and prevalence falls. Even before the effects of vaccination campaigns are fully realised, their initiation could boost optimism which might, in turn, lead to the relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions….

[IN ISRAEL] Rapid vaccination was facilitated by extensive education campaigns regarding vaccine safety and efficacy, establishment of vaccination sites throughout the country, including remote areas, and efficient centralisation of funding and coordination through their national health-care system.8 6 weeks into the vaccination campaign, 34·9% of Israel’s population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, in contrast to 9·4% in the UK, 7·2% in the USA, 2·8% in France, and 2·4% in Italy.


The Governor of SD would have been included in this picture, but her head got in the way. 

I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges?

A day without sunshine is like, night.


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