New coronavirus variant found in Texas (A&M)

Will you need a COVID-19 booster before the holidays? It’s possible.

“Dr. Anthony Fauci …said that most vaccine recipients should expect a booster shot in the next six to 12 months. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are working on booster shots and expect their vaccines will require annual re-vaccinations…[Various experts say] “One of two things can happen: We may lose protection against all COVID-19 symptoms, the mild and the severe, which would be a problem…Or it might be that we only lose protection against the mild symptoms, but retain protection against the severe symptoms…Researchers are still studying how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is similar to other respiratory illnesses. While the disease has drawn some comparisons to influenza strains, the vaccines may work differently than flu shots, which require new vaccines every year to fend off emerging strains.”

(J. Harris: We in the US are used to taking vaccination boosters. For underdeveloped populations, Covid will be more problematic. Despite the horrors of the last two years, Americans are fortunate patients.)

Were pregnant women more affected by COVID-19 in the second wave of the pandemic?

“…early data suggest that pregnant and peripartum women are experiencing more severe illness in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic than was observed in the first wave. However, the true cause of this change is currently unclear. Further studies are urgently required to define whether the emergence of new variants could be related to this trend and whether public health policies should be modified to enhance protection of pregnant women.”

The Covid-19 Plasma Boom Is Over. What Did We Learn From It?

A year ago, when Americans were dying of Covid at an alarming rate, the federal government made a big bet on plasma. No one knew if the treatment would work, but it seemed biologically plausible and safe, and there wasn’t much else to try. All told, more than 722,000 units of plasma were distributed to hospitals thanks to the federal program, which ends this month.

Because the government gave plasma to so many patients outside of a controlled clinical trial, it took a long time to measure its effectiveness. Eventually, studies did emerge to suggest that under the right conditions, plasma might help. But enough evidence has now accumulated to show that the country’s broad, costly plasma campaign had little effect, especially in people whose disease was advanced enough to land them in the hospital.

(J. Harris: Covid treatment using plasma from previously infected survivors works in some ailments, and it was worth trying in the pandemic. Like broke down old cowboys used to say when feeding low-quality hay, “It beats the hell out of a snowball.” It may have helped some and will likely continue to be used in less advanced medical settings, but we now have better therapy. We’re getting there!)

Can the Covid Vaccine Protect Me Against Virus Variants? 

“…Viruses are constantly changing, and new variants have been emerging and circulating around the world throughout the pandemic. Some mutations don’t matter, but others can make things much worse by creating a variant that spreads faster or makes people sicker…the available vaccines have worked remarkably well so far, not just at preventing infection but, most important, at preventing serious illness and hospitalization, even as new variants circulate around the globe….But breakthrough cases of vaccinated people are very rare, even as variants are fueling a surge in case counts. And the vaccines prevent severe illness and hospitalization in the vast majority of the vaccinated patients who do get infected….So what’s the risk of getting infected after vaccination? Nobody knows for sure, but we have some clues. During the Moderna trial, for instance, only 11 patients out of 15,210 who were vaccinated got infected..Early Evidence of the Effect of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine at One Medical Center…four out of 8,121 fully vaccinated employees at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas became infected…[another study found] that only seven out of 14,990 workers at UC San Diego Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, tested positive two or more weeks after receiving a second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine…A recent study of 149 people in Israel who became infected after vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine suggested that B.1.351 (the variant first identified in South Africa) was more likely to cause breakthrough infections. However, those eight infections occurred between days seven and 13 following the second dose. “We didn’t see any South Africa variant 14 days after the second dose…It was a small sample size, but it’s very possible that two weeks after the second dose, maybe the protection level goes up and that blocks the South Africa variant… completely. It gives us more room for optimism.”


Click here to read the notes



Many, many of you are probably wondering just how long Pinto Beans remain edible after packaging and storage. Well, my Norweigan Housekeeper can provide that answer: AT LEAST 22 YEARS UNOPENDED. She recently unpacked some edible supplies which she had packed and stored for Y2K. ( She is now relaxes about and finally satisfied that we have survived that terrible event that never happened.) A 2o pound sack of rice was dust. The beans, however, despite being a little dark in color and harder in consistency than fresh beans, cooked up real nicely using the usual recipe. Using a pressure cooker probably helped tenderness later on when it was utilized. Unfortunately, someone must have sneaked in during the night and discarded the remaining 22 year-old beans. The meticulous Norwegian cannot find them anywhere! Luckily, Pinto Beans are still affordable and her budget won’t be despoiled. I, of course, will continue diligently to search for the missing mature beans.

Nothing is fool-proof to a talented fool.

If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving isn’t for you.


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE