Living in East Texas 101

I spent the first 16 years of life in the woods of northern Virginia. I loved the woods. Without fear I played in them, made teepees, went fishing and hand fed a skunk. I milked cows, fed the pigs and chopped the head off a chicken because mama said we didn’t have anything to eat and company was coming. You get the picture. I was a country girl.

Twenty years ago we moved to the country. Tall pines that seemed to touch the sky, spider wart growing wild in the meadow, the wild daffodils and narcissus  followed by the white iris. It was unbelievably beautiful.

And then one day I breached the first rule of East Texas 101. stuck my hand under a shrub to get some dead leaves. Company was coming and I was making a final inspection of the property. The next second I was facing a white, open mouth  attached to the body of a rather unattractive snake with a nasty attitude.

We know the rest of the story. I survived but almost got my head bit off by my loving husband. 

I learned about fire ants. I rescued an abandoned pointer that could smell a pit viper 50 feet away and destroy it in minutes.

I’ve learned so much and my performance has reflected my progress.But today was the last straw.

I have been around ticks, probably fleas too. We picked them off the dogs when they looked like a real, black, Tahitian pearls. Now we don’t worry about  pests such as those. We simply give our dogs meds. 

I spend a lot of time outside and walk my dogs thru the woods. I do a tick check on myself, otherwise the dogs would not let me get into our bed.

Yesterday evening my belly button started itching.  We have mosquitoes by the thousands so I assumed it was a mosquito bite. During the night I had to retrieve calamine lotion which didn’t help.

This morning I went to my official source of health care and asked, “why is my belly button red, itchy, hot and swollen.?” The possibilities ranged from bad to nauseating.

However much advice suggesting looking inside the belly button. With tweezers in hand I pried open my inny belly button looking for fluid, scabs, anything. And then a spotted a tiny thin brown piece of a scab. I pulled on it and the scab was bigger. I checked the scab under a magnifying glass and the scab had legs. It was a (bad word, bad word) dead tick.

Not covered in East Texas 101. I went to my husband’s office, told him it wasn’t covered in the class and pick out the moving company. Dead ticks in my belly button are not acceptable.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/17/2021

COVID IN CENTRAL EAST TEXAS IS STABLE AND DECREASING AT PRESENT. WE NEED TO CONCENTRATE OF GETTING FOLKS VACCINATED.

COMMENT FROM DR. VALARIE ALLMAN:

”I have spent multiple hours online to find a vaccine for my youngest granddaughter who is 13. FYI, I have discovered that only the Pfizer vaccine is indicated and that is only being given by Walgreens at this time. They are giving shots to kids in the age group and it is not hard to sign up online. Kids have to have a parent with them when they go.”

(J Harris: Dr. Allman is the lovely local Internist who retired last year. She was a treasured partner of Marshall Internal Medicine Associates, which also included doctors Gullian, Jones, and Harris.)

A COVID GUIDE FOR DIFFERENT FAMILY SITUATIONS

RELATED ARTICLE FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

CDC Says it’s OK to Get a Covid-19 Vaccine Alongside Other Vaccines (CNN Health) A US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expert said Wednesday that it’s OK to give the coronavirus vaccine alongside other vaccinations, a major boon for children and teenagers behind on their regular inoculations. Doctors and other clinicians were previously advised to avoid giving coronavirus vaccine within two weeks of any other vaccine. But Dr. Kate Woodworth of the CDC’s birth defects division said Wednesday that advice has now changed, saying there is substantial data on the safety of the vaccines.

WHY CDC RELAXED MASK USES: BECAUSE VACCINES ARE WORKING!

FROM BECKERS CITATIONS AND INCLUDES MOST OF THE GOOD RECENT VACCINATION RESULT ARTICLES. VERY READABLE. 

Serbia begins paying citizens to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

”It’s an empirical question whether payment will increase rates of vaccination. Maybe vaccination rates will rise without payment. Or perhaps vaccination rates will decline with payment. Or perhaps other methods would work as well, or better. The honest answer is we don’t know what the effects of payment would be.”

FROM THE ATLANTIC:   More about masks and vaccinated people:

The key here…  is that what the CDC is now allowing—or perhaps even encouraging—fully vaccinated people to do, are options, not obligations. If anyone is uncomfortable with this rule, no one is going to take your mask off for you. You control those ear straps…There are certain subgroups of people who have gotten their shots who may still want to be extra careful, including vaccinated parents of really young kids who aren’t yet eligible for vaccinations, or people who are taking immunosuppressive drugs or who are otherwise immunocompromised and for whom vaccines might not work as well,” (And what about the NY Yankees? At least several of them had taken the J & J vaccine.)

Brian Cashman Stresses ‘The Vaccine is Working’ Amid Yankees’ Outbreak

All those who tested positive received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was “66.3% effective in clinical trials (efficacy) at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness,” per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Yankees have been tested multiple times since the first positive test on Sunday.” (J. Harris: Avoid yankees!)

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

1. What Has Covid-19 Taught Us about Strengthening the DOD’s Global Health Security Capacities? (CSIS) Government Affairs & National SecurityWhat Has Covid-19 Taught Us about Strengthening the DOD’s Global Health Security Capacities? (CSIS) The Covid-19 pandemic has led to millions of deaths and cases of enduring illness, destabilized economies, diminished U.S. international standing, and exposed the U.S. military to challenges not experienced in over a century. Since the pandemic began, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has been heavily involved in addressing challenges to the armed forces while supporting the overall national Covid-19 response.

2. A Toxic Cocktail:’ Panel Delivers Harsh Verdict on the World’s Failure to Prepare for Pandemic (Science) There was warning after warning after warning, and yet the world failed to do what was needed to prepare for a pandemic, the first comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 finds. This lack of preparation left countries short of essential supplies, burdened by under-resourced health systems, and scrambling to coordinate a response, while large vulnerable populations had few options to protect themselves.

J. Harris: I’ll be off the net for a few days. My Norwegian housekeeper is getting  a new hip. Perhaps she will be able to continue her ballet career? 

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the ability to

reach it

Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/14/2021

HELLO, 

I wish you a nice weekend. 

NYT TRACKER ALLOWS QUICK COMPARISON OF AREA OF INTEREST.

Your Second Vaccine Dose Is Crucial

”With new variants in the mix that are more contagious and likely deadlier, being fully vaccinated is even more essential. Although the vast majority of people who start vaccination get both doses, 8% of people who have received their first dose hadn’t yet received their second, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Gleyber Torres tests positive for COVID, is Yankees’ eighth ‘breakthrough’ case

”The Yankees added that all eight individuals who tested positive, including Torres, are vaccinated and, thus, are considered “breakthrough” positives. Third base coach Phil Nevin, first base coach Reggie Willits and pitching coach Matt Blake are among the seven members of the traveling party who tested positive, and manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday that six of the seven non-players were asymptomatic. ” 

(J. Harris: Torres is said also to have had Covid earlier as well as having been vaccinated — something doesn’t add up. Surely this Yankee situation will be studied in depth? For instance, which vaccine were the Yankees using?)

Finally, good news: 6 stats showing pandemic progress in US

ALL FROM BECKER’S CITATIONS:

”The good news we all need — after more than a year of difficult news, it appears that the U.S. pandemic may be turning a corner….Here are six stats revealing progress made:

1. Nationwide, new COVID-19 cases have fallen to the lowest levels since September, with about 38,000 new infections reported each day, reports The New York Times.

2. Michigan and New York, two states that have seen recent COVID-19 surges, each reported at least a 40 percent drop in new cases over the last two weeks, according to the Times.

3. Nearly half of Americans — 46.4 percent — have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 35.4 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, reports the CDC.

4. The CDC’s vaccine advisory panel voted May 12 to recommend using Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in children as young as 12. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, released a statement saying she has adopted the panel’s recommendation, making it an official CDC recommendation.

5. The national COVID-19 test positivity rate in the U.S. is 3.6 percent, according to a seven-day average from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University. “It was 15 percent in January,” White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt tweeted May 12. “This is an all-time low for the pandemic. This news is nothing but good.”

6. The nation is reporting an average of 600 COVID-19 deaths each day, the lowest average in 10 months, according to The Associated Press.

Vaccinated Americans now may go without masks in most places, the C.D.C. said.

(J. Harris: Good NYT summary article that is readable. I intend to remain cautious and when unmasked, will avoid crowds of people that I do no know as well as crowded indoor places — see Yankees article above.)

High and Rising Working-Age Mortality in the US

”The recent increase in mortality among working-age adults shows no signs of receding. Obesity rates are unrelenting, drug- and alcohol-related deaths and suicide rates, already high among working-age adults, increased during the COVID-19 pandemic,8 and the latter has made socioeconomically and racially marginalized groups even more vulnerable. This report discusses the need to revitalize communities that have experienced rising premature mortality by addressing the economic and social strains that made those communities vulnerable in the first place and to dismantle structural racism and discriminatory policies of exclusion that negatively affect communities of color. Although more research is needed to understand causal mechanisms, not acting to address mortality among working-age adults threatens the future well-being of families and communities.”

Hopkins cited:

1. One of the World’s Best Covid-19 Success Stories is Inching Closer to a Lockdown (Quartz) Taiwan is a global leader in shutting down Covid-19, and successfully flattened the curve well before most countries even understood the damage the coronavirus could cause. Now, with new clusters of untraceable infections recorded in the island’s biggest cities, the threat of Taiwan’s first-ever lockdown looms large.

(J. Harris: Unfortunately, the citizens rarely got vaccinated. They had access to the AstraZeneka vaccines, and, in addition, they were trying to develop a vaccine of their own. This whole unfortunate saga will turn into a commercial in favor of vaccinations — unless a proposed shutdown works now. However, the population will still be vulnerable for the next invasion or mutant. Vaccines work!)

2. BNT162b2-Elicited Neutralization against New SARS-CoV-2 Spike Variants (NEJM) Because these data show that the newly emerged B.1.526, B.1.429, and B.1.1.7+E484K variants remain susceptible to an important vaccine-elicited immune effector (neutralizing antibody), they confirm the importance of mass immunization with current, highly effective, authorized vaccines as a central strategy to end the Covid-19 pandemic. 

DEFINITELY NOT FUNNY: THE REASON MY LIGHTS WENT OUT WEDNESDAY. Thank you SWEPCO for restoring power in less than 12 hours!

 AND REMEMBER: Whatever you do, always give 100% unless you’re donating blood.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/13/2021

From the NYT Tracker:

Global Incidence of Neurological Manifestations Among Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19

”Question  What are the incidence of and outcomes associated with neurologic manifestations in patients with COVID-19?

”Findings  In this cohort study of 3744 patients in 2 large consortia, neurological manifestations were found in approximately 80% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19; the most common self-reported symptoms included headache (37%) and anosmia or ageusia (26%), whereas the most common neurological signs and/or syndromes were acute encephalopathy (49%), coma (17%), and stroke (6%). Presence of clinically captured neurologic signs and/or syndromes was associated with increased risk of in-hospital death.

”Meaning  These findings suggest that neurological manifestations are prevalent among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and are associated with higher in-hospital mortality.”

(J. Harris: Neurological events in 80% of these Covid patients demanddemands vaccination for all of our population, 12 Y/O and up.)

HOPKINS CITED:

1. The Myriad Ways Sewage Surveillance Is Helping Fight COVID Around the World (Nature) From the subarctic community of Yellowknife, Canada, to the subtropical city of Brisbane, Australia, scientists in more than 50 nations are now monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage. The number of sewage-surveillance programmes tracking COVID-19 has exploded during the past year from a dozen or so research projects to more than 200, following the discovery that whole virus particles and viral fragments are shed in faeces.  

2. America’s Mask Makers Face Post-pandemic Meltdown (Reuters) The small U.S. manufacturers that rushed to produce face masks over the past year are now stuck with hundreds of millions of unsold face coverings because China is flooding the market with below-cost masks, and most may not survive the end of the pandemic.

3. WHO Names B1617 Fourth COVID-19 Variant of Concern (CIDRAP) Top World Health Organization (WHO) officials today said the agency now classifies the B1617 SARS-CoV-2 variant first detected in India as a variant of concern, following a detailed analysis of early findings by its genetics working group, which said the variant is more transmissible. In other key global developments, during a Global Citizen’s Vax Live concert over the weekend, countries, corporations, and charities raised more than $60 million for the COVAX program to ensure more equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine, while India’s massive surge remained at record high levels.

The Covid-19 Infodemic — Applying the Epidemiologic Model to Counter Misinformation

(J. Harris: NEJM readable article on correcting misinformation.)

LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/12/2021

FROM MY COVID TRACKER IN NYT:

VARIANTS (AKA DAMN MUTATIONS) MADE SIMPLE

B.1.1.7.   U. K.

B.1.351 SOUTH AFRICA

P.1. BRAZIL

B.1.427 AND .429 CALIFORNIA

B.1617 INDIA—NEW MAY 12,2021, MORE EASILY TRANSMITTED

Coordinated Strategy for a Model-Based Decision Support Tool for Coronavirus Disease, Utah, USA

Abstract

The coronavirus disease pandemic has highlighted the key role epidemiologic models play in supporting public health decision-making. In particular, these models provide estimates of outbreak potential when data are scarce and decision-making is critical and urgent. We document the integrated modeling response used in the US state of Utah early in the coronavirus disease pandemic, which brought together a diverse set of technical experts and public health and healthcare officials and led to an evidence-based response to the pandemic. We describe how we adapted a standard epidemiologic model; harmonized the outputs across modeling groups; and maintained a constant dialogue with policymakers at multiple levels of government to produce timely, evidence-based, and coordinated public health recommendations and interventions during the first wave of the pandemic. This framework continues to support the state’s response to ongoing outbreaks and can be applied in other settings to address unique public health challenges.

(J. Harris: This study in a state with a small, uniform, compliant population seems to show a useful model for pandemic control.)

Hopkins Cited:

1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and outcomes of COVID-19 in the ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK cohort: a matched, prospective cohort study (ASPIRIN, MOTRIN, ALLEVE, ETC)

“NSAID use is NOT associated with higher mortality or increased severity of COVID-19. Policy makers should consider reviewing issued advice around NSAID prescribing and COVID-19 severity.”

2. Mucormycosis: The ‘Black Fungus’ Maiming Covid Patients in India (BBC) Even as a deadly second wave of Covid-19 ravages India, doctors are now reporting a rash of cases involving a rare infection – also called the “black fungus” – among recovering and recovered Covid-19 patients. Mucormycosis is a very rare infection. It is caused by exposure to mucor mould which is commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables. It affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS. Doctors believe mucormycosis, which has an overall mortality rate of 50%, may be being triggered by the use of steroids, a life-saving treatment for severe and critically ill Covid-19 patients.

3. Neutralizing Antibody Vaccine for Pandemic and Pre-emergent Coronaviruses (Nature) Here, we show that macaque immunization with a multimeric SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) nanoparticle adjuvanted with 3M-052/Alum elicited cross-neutralizing antibody (cross-nAb) responses against batCoVs, SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2, and SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7, P.1, and B.1.351. Nanoparticle vaccination resulted in a SARS-CoV-2 reciprocal geometric mean neutralization ID50 titer of 47,216, and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in macaque upper and lower respiratory tracts. Importantly, nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a stabilized transmembrane spike or monomeric RBD also induced SARS-CoV-1 and batCoV cross-nAbs, albeit at lower titers. These results demonstrate current mRNA vaccines may provide some protection from future zoonotic betaCoV outbreaks, and provide a platform for further development of pan-betaCoV vaccines.

PRESS RELEASE

HHS Announces $250 Million from American Rescue Plan to Develop and Support a Community-Based Workforce to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations in Underserved Communities The US Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the availability of approximately $250 million to develop and support a community-based workforce who will serve as trusted voices sharing information about vaccines, increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence, and address any barriers to vaccination for individuals living in vulnerable and medically underserved communities. This funding will help community-based organizations to hire and mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists and others to conduct on-the-ground outreach to educate and assist individuals in getting the information they need about vaccination, help make vaccine appointments, and assist with transportation and other needs to get to individuals to each of their vaccination appointments. (HHS, 5/4/2021)

LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/11/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/11/2021

HELLO, 

J. Harris: Cases are up in Harrison County, perhaps due to increased testing (finally) and more frequent and crowded indoor “get-togethers.” Notice that area cases must largely be mild, or at least mild enough not to require hospitalization. Now 12-15-year-old adolescents can receive a Pfizer vaccine, but mask use in MISD has been made voluntary. I don’t know what the schools will do about spacing and ventilation. Masks, generally, are no required for most outdoor activities. Vaccinated folks can have a good bit of reassurance about their protected status, but protection is not 100%  and the mutants are and will continue to be dangerous. “The Fat Lady ain’t sung yet.” Prudent folks, especially the elderly and fragile, need to be wary. 

Read the following article that I found after writing the above note:

Modeling of Future COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths, by Vaccination Rates and Nonpharmaceutical Intervention Scenarios — United States, April–September 2021.

J. Harris: Remember the term “NPI.” This article spells out what the best US models predict likely will happen in the next 6 months. (I kept a copy of this article.)

Special edition of the newsletter on a misleading C.D.C. statistic–NYT

J. Harris: Excellent readable and reassuring NYT summary article. 

Sign Up for CDC.gov Email Updates

(J. Harris: Excellent, readable Covid information.)

HUMOR? A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Get a new car for your spouse- it’ll be a great trade!
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
    
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
    
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/10/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/10/2021

J. HARRIS: Since the current LOCAL Covid situation seems to be static at this time,  I plan to cut back on the frequency of my Mailouts and try to help my Norwegian house keeper who won’t hoe the garden or Bush Hog the pastures. At least she did discard the 20-year-old Y-2-K pinto beans. 

NYT COVID TRACKER with LOCAL AREAS OF INTEREST:

VACCINATION HUB SHEET: ALL OF THE SOURCES IN TX—KEEP

J. Harris: Scroll down and click on the BLUE WRITING that says “Click Here To Download  Accessibility Spreadsheets of Vaccine Providers.” An Excel spreadsheet will appear. (You can then select the spreadsheet for any county you wish.)

HOPKINS CITED:

1. Public & Global Health 

The 100th Anniversary Of A Vaccine Against A Deadly Disease: Not A Cause For Celebration (Health Affairs Blog) Vaccines have been at the core of incredible global public health accomplishments, including the eradication of deadly diseases such as smallpox and polio, in most of the world’s regions. Last month, we marked World Immunization Week—a time to celebrate vaccines and the extraordinary progress that they have made possible in the fight against infectious diseases. Although it is important to reflect on vaccine success stories, we should also highlight where urgent vaccine gaps remain. One such gap is the continued lack of an effective vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), an infectious disease that killed more people per year than any other prior to COVID-19. The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, the only TB vaccine available today, turns 100 years old this year. But given the limited effectiveness of BCG, and the continued burden of TB in the world, the vaccine’s 100th anniversary is less a cause for celebration than an appalling testament to the neglect of diseases that predominantly affect the poor.

 2.. WHO, Germany Launch New Global Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence (WHO) The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federal Republic of Germany will establish a new global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence, data, surveillance and analytics innovation. The Hub, based in Berlin and working with partners around the world, will lead innovations in data analytics across the largest network of global data to predict, prevent, detect, prepare for and respond to pandemic and epidemic risks worldwide. The WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence is part of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme and will be a new collaboration of countries and partners worldwide, driving innovations to increase availability and linkage of diverse data; develop tools and predictive models for risk analysis; and to monitor disease control measures, community acceptance and infodemics. Critically, the WHO Hub will support the work of public health experts and policy-makers in all countries with insights so they can take rapid decisions to prevent and respond to future public health emergencies.

Covid-19 Live Updates: W.H.O. Approves China’s Sinopharm Vaccine

Effect of High-Dose Zinc and Ascorbic Acid Supplementation vs Usual Care on Symptom Length and Reduction Among Ambulatory Patients With SARS-CoV-2 Infection

(J. Harris: ZN and Vit C don’t help Covid.)

LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/7/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/7/2021

HELLO,

THE VACCINES ARE WORKING. HAVE A NICE WEEKEND. 

NYT AREA TRACKER:

J. Harris: Note that Cases /100,000 population in East Texas remains relatively low. 

Baltimore Vaccine Plant’s Troubles Ripple Across 3 Continents

HOPKINS CITED: GREAT VACCINE NEWS! 

1. Clinical Practice 

Impact and Effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 Vaccine Against SARS-CoV-2 Infections and COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalisations, and Deaths Following a Nationwide Vaccination Campaign in Israel: An Observational Study Using National Surveillance Data (Lancet) Following the emergency use authorisation of the Pfizer–BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in Israel, the Ministry of Health launched a campaign to immunise the 6·5 million residents of Israel aged 16 years and older. We estimated the real-world effectiveness of two doses of BNT162b2 against a range of SARS-CoV-2 outcomes and to evaluate the nationwide public-health impact following the widespread introduction of the vaccine.Two doses of vaccine are highly effective across all age groups in preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospitalizations, severe disease, and death, including those caused by the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant.

[JAMA ARTICLE ALSO SHOWING GREAT RESULTS WITH PRIZER VAC IN ISRAEL—Association Between Vaccination With BNT162b2 and Incidence of Symptomatic and Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among Health Care Workers]

2. Moderna Booster Shot Bolsters Antibodies Against Variant Strains (Bloomberg) Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 booster shots gave positive results against immune system-evading strains that emerged in South Africa and Brazil, according to early results from a mid-stage trial. Moderna submitted a manuscript detailing the early results to the preprint site bioRxiv, the company said. It plans to submit trial data for formal publication once it has results from the third arm of the study.

3. Pfizer To Vaccinate Olympic Athletes As Japan Mulls Extending Pandemic Restrictions (NPR) Pfizer and its partner, Germany’s BioNTech, announced Thursday that they have agreed to donate vaccines to competitors and staff at the Tokyo Games, set to be held this summer despite ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, the pharmaceutical companies said that they had signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Olympic Committee outlining the delivery of initial vaccine doses “expected to begin at the end of May where possible with the aim to ensure participating delegations receive second doses ahead of arrivals in Tokyo.”.  

4. New Analysis Finds Global Covid Death Toll is Double Official Estimates (STAT News) A new analysis suggests 6.9 million people worldwide have died from the disease, more than twice as many people as has been officially reported. In the United States, the analysis estimates, 905,000 people have died of Covid since the start of the pandemic. That is about 38% higher than the current death estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 561,594. The analysis was conducted by scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

HUMOR?

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/6/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 05/6/2021

HELLO,

REMEMBER, FREE COVID VACCINE, WILEY GYM, 10-4 TODAY!

FROM NYT DAILY TRACKER:

Clinical Characteristics and Transmission of COVID-19 in Children and Youths During 3 Waves of Outbreaks in Hong Kong

Question  What were the major sources of infection among children and youths with COVID-19 in Hong Kong in 2020?

Findings  In this cross-sectional study of 397 children and youths with COVID-19 in the first 3 waves of outbreaks in Hong Kong, in 2020, the largest group had no recent international travel, and nearly all individuals were reported to have other family members with COVID-19. Three students studying in the same school contracted COVID-19, and few children or youths with no recent international travel reported unknown contact histories.

Meaning  These findings suggest that households and not schools were the major route of transmission among children and youths with COVID-19 in Hong Kong.

*****

Factors Associated With Access to and Timing of Coronavirus Testing Among US Adults After Onset of Febrile Illness

Question  How often do persons with new febrile illness access coronavirus testing and receive a test result within 7 days of illness onset?

Findings  In this cohort study, generally low rates of coronavirus testing were observed in 2679 participants reporting new onset of febrile illness. Although testing rates improved somewhat during the study period, timely coronavirus test results were sought and received by only 25.9% of newly febrile persons at the end of the study analysis period in late October 2020.

Meaning  Our results suggest systematic underuse of coronavirus testing in patients with febrile illness that may contribute to community transmission.

(J. Harris: Which is to say that we need to expand access to responsible Covid testing as we continue to immunize vulnerable folks, develop “herd immunity,” and re-immunize for mutants if and when it becomes necessary and possible to do so. We must test, trace, and track infectious cases. In our vast and diversified country, tracking will be a state and LOCAL responsibility, which means in backward or irresponsibly governed areas,  it won’t be done. We will survive, but I believe I’ll hang on to my masks.)

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

1. Fully Vaccinated Adults 65 and Older Are 94% Less Likely to Be Hospitalized with COVID-19 Both mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) authorized and recommended in the United States protect against COVID-19-related hospitalization among adults 65 years and older, according to a new CDC assessment that finds fully vaccinated adults 65 years and older were 94% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people of the same age who were not vaccinated. People 65 and older who were partially vaccinated were 64% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who were not vaccinated. People were considered “partially vaccinated” two weeks after their first dose of mRNA vaccine and “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose. These are the first real-world findings in the United States confirming clinical trial data showing mRNA vaccines prevent severe COVID-19 illness. (CDC, 4/28/2021)

2. PRESS RELEASE: CMS Proposes to Enhance the Medical Workforce in Rural and Underserved Communities to Support COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (CMS-1752-P) for inpatient and long-term care hospitals that builds on the Biden Administration’s key priorities to close health care equity gaps and provide greater accessibility to care. Major provisions in the proposed rule would fund medical residency positions in hospitals in rural and underserved communities to address workforce shortages, and require hospitals to report COVID-19 vac

3. RESEARCH: Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 Circulation and Diversity through Community Wastewater Sequencing, the Netherlands and Belgium Wastewater-based epidemiology has been proposed as an addition to disease-based surveillance because virus is shed in the feces of ≈40% of infected persons. Researchers used next-generation sequencing of sewage samples to evaluate the diversity of SARS-CoV-2 at the community level in the Netherlands and Belgium. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of the most prevalent clades (19A, 20A, and 20B) and clustering of sewage samples with clinical samples from the same region. They distinguished multiple clades within a single sewage sample by using low-frequency variant analysis. In addition, several novel mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome were detected. (CDC EID, May 2021)

LAST BUT NOT LEASED GROANERS:

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Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming

Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming

By George Smith

Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming.

Representative.

Third ranking Republican in the House.

97 percent conservative voting rating.

98 percent of her votes backed President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Her party is turning on her for two “sins”:  She voted to impeach President Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection AND she has stated publicly the 2020 election was not stolen, that Joe Biden won fair and square, time to move on.

Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is showing her party a path — a wide, beautiful path — out of the suffocating quicksand that was the Trump’s presidency; her party leaders and party members are ignoring her gracious overtures and are prepared to toss her bodily into any handy briar patch B just to shut her up, to diminish her pulpit power.

Instead of saying “Thank God for Liz and her dose of common sense,” the party leaders and lead talkers, all irregulars in the Department of Truth, are treating her like Hester Prynne in the “Scarlet Letter.”.

In a word, this conservative woman who deeply believes in old-times Republican values and has followed the party line to the edge of her personal ethical abyss, is declared  “unclean” by her peers.

Cheney, Mitt Romney and a few other Republican House members, are putting their political futures on the line by simply telling the truth about The Big Lie of a “stolen election” that was not stolen.

This handful of Republicans clearly see three things: 1. Following the ideological whims of a disgraced, twice-impeached president is doing irreparable harm to the Republican Party and its brand; 2. Claiming the Jan. 6 insurrection was no big deal, that Russian influence in the 2016 election was a hoax and that The 2020 election was stolen is folly and party officials should move on and focus on more tangible issues; and, 3. History will paint the Trump era as a Cult of Personality and those that partook of his poisonous bare-assed charisma will forever be portrayed as mere mice following a felonious pied piper into the political wilderness.

If you are a Trumpster today, and you do not see the nakedness of your “emperor” in light of current events and judicial rulings, what outcome can you expect by sticking with a disgraced  charlatan and felonious, politician Neanderthal?

Your history and life-tags are being written as you read this: Willing victim or Stockholm Syndrome survivor: easily led patsy; duped rube; one-issue follower sand believer.

Regardless of tag you collect, you are on the wrong side of history and complicit in the unraveling of the core thread of decency that IS the United States.

Trump promised you a better America. What you got — what we all received —

was a divided nation of haves and have-nots, a racially split country in which civil rights took a huge step backwards and a nation in which winning became more important than being right or honest or ethical.

The Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney approach to saving the integrity, the very soul, of the GOP is the path out of the political wilderness that is Trump’s legacy.

How many party members will see that Cheney snd Romneybare right and that continuing to admire the manuacal misadventures of a displaced, tin-pot, woukd-be dictator, is sheer folly and guaranteed to relegate the party to the dust bin of history.

Bullmoose Party? Know Nothing? Whigs”? Federalists? Constitutional Union?

Et tu, Republican Party?

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