Marshall Unveils New Animal Shelter
GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK. CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.
PO Box 721
Scottsville TX 75688
Marshall Unveils New Animal Shelter
GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK. CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.
PO Box 721
Scottsville TX 75688
MNM LOCAL MAN PRODUCES ADVANCED COVID TEST KITS:
(J. Harris: Ranchers have this stuff if large tubes to worm cattle. I have heard that some people are trying it on humans. Don’t do that if you value your liver. If you do, at least you won’t be wormy when you die.)
”…In July, a virologist at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok said a study of people who had received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine showed that their level of antibodies, 70 percent, was “barely efficacious” against the Alpha variant of the coronavirus, first detected in Britain, or against the Delta variant, first detected in India….Few places benefited from China’s vaccine diplomacy as much as Southeast Asia, a region of more than 650 million that has struggled to secure doses from Western drugmakers. Several of these countries have recorded some of the fastest-growing number of cases in the world, underscoring the desperate need for inoculations….Half a year in, however, that campaign has lost some of its luster. Officials in several countries have raised doubts about the efficacy of Chinese vaccines, especially against the more transmissible Delta variant. Indonesia, which was early to accept Chinese shots, was recently the epicenter of the virus. Others have complained about the conditions that accompanied Chinese donations or sales…”
(J. Harris: Good simple stats help figure out where we are with Delta.)
(J. Harris: Washington Post Covid writers discuss this good question. Right now the answer is “no.”)
1. Early US Vaccine Efforts may have Prevented 140K COVID Deaths, 3 Million Cases (CIDRAP) The first push of the US COVID-19 vaccination campaign averted an estimated 140,000 deaths and more than 3 million infections by early May, saving $625 billion to $1.4 trillion, suggests an observational study yesterday in Health Affairs. In the first known study to evaluate the effects of state-level vaccination campaigns, a team led by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) researchers modeled the number of COVID-19 deaths that would have occurred from Dec 21, 2020, to May 9, 2021, had it not been for vaccines.
2. Kindergarten or ‘Russian Roulette’? To Some Parents, the Delta Variant and Lax Mask Rules Make Those One and the Same (STAT News) Just two weeks into the school year, 30 classrooms already had reports of exposure to Covid-positive students, district spokesperson Emily Shockley said. And three more classrooms were quarantined because they’d had at least three students in them test positive. Masks are still not required for all. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “universal indoor masking” in schools regardless of vaccination status, schools across the country are grappling with mask requirements, including for students under 12 who aren’t yet eligible to receive protective vaccines.
A buxom man or an ugly woman with a MASK message. Note that he/she is wearing the mask incorrectly:
I picked up a hitchhiker. He asked if I wasn’t afraid, he might be a serial killer? I told him the odds of two serial killers being in the same car were extremely unlikely.
Vaccine is available at multiple places and some don’t ask many questions. (Look up CVS on the net?)
Area G is swarming with Delta Virus which included many, many carriers without symptoms. So far, hospital beds are available. This situation will get tighter with school starting without masks.
NYT DAILY TRCKER 20 AUGUST: (NEW CASES DAILY/100,000 POPULATION)
J. Harris: Should I quit picking on SD? Despite Sturgis and the motorcycles, most counties in Texas have more Covid that the entire state of SD. Of course, the bikers have spread out and headed home. SD also have a very high vaccination rate.
1. Decades-old SARS Virus Infection Triggers Potent Response to COVID Vaccines (Nature) People who were infected almost two decades ago with the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) generate a powerful antibody response after being vaccinated against COVID-19. Their immune systems can fight off multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as related coronaviruses found in bats and pangolins. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the sarbecovirus group of coronaviruses, which includes the virus that caused SARS (called SARS-CoV), as well as closely related bat and pangolin coronaviruses. Sarbecoviruses can jump from animals to humans, as they did before in both the current pandemic and the 2002–04 outbreak of SARS, which spread to 29 countries.
Have a nice weekend. I won’t bother you with mailouts or with chit chat about Milton’s struggles.
I asked my wife if I was the only one she had ever been with. She said yes, all the others were nines and tens.
Do you ever get up in the morning, look in the mirror and think “That can’t be accurate?”
The Elephant In The Room
and why people won’t look at it
By Ron Munden © August 19, 2021
A friend and I have respectfully debated politics for several years. He recently sent me an email. He said that Biden had difficulty speaking in full sentences and had failed completely on crime, immigration and the virus.
This is the response I sent to him:
I have thought about your email since the day you sent it.
One thing that we can agree on is that the country is broken.
I have been disappointed in Biden in many ways but I still would take him over Trump any day. At least we don’t have to worry about him trying to overthrow the democratic process in our country.
I too would like to see a STATESMAN enter the stage but I don’t see that ever happening. The Supreme Court ensured that by its rulings. First by allowing unlimited amounts of black money into the political system and ruling that corporations have all the rights of an individual. Those decisions ensured that all politicians will be brought and controlled by special interest groups.
Afghanistan has been a major screw up by Biden, Trump, Obama and George W. Bush. If you have to assign blame, Brush is the most responsible. First, Bush took his eye off Afghanistan and went to war with Iraq. Second Bush authorised mission creep in Afghanistan by promoting nation building. The next three Presidents followed this failed policy.
Military people recommend that we keep a small force of under 10,000 troops in Afghanistan indefinitely. I think this was the right approach. The US recorded no battlefield deaths in Afghanistan in the past 18 months. We have kept troops in other countries for the past 50 years. Why not a few in Afghanistan? Both Trump and Biden rejected that recommendation. By doing what the US did it ensures that Russia and China will increase their influence in that part of the world and the USA will lose its influence.
I agree that Biden has not done a good job on crime and immigration. But in my opinion those are minor problems compared to what will impact changes in the US and the world most in the next 30 years.
The United Nations report on climate change is very sobering. The report states, and other scientists have confirmed, that if we stopped all additional pollution tomorrow, the earth would continue to get warmer for the next 30 years. The earth is estimated to increase in temperature by another .4 degrees C by 2050. Fires, drought, sea rises and storms are all predicted to increase from the present levels.
The Colorado River Authority, for the first time in its history, imposed water restrictions on Nevada and Arizona. Starting in January 2022 there will be a 18% reduction in these two states’ water allotments. Now 80% of the western states are under extreme drought declarations.
Up to now climate change is something we have talked about happening in the future. The future is today. I think climate change will make immigration and the other issues you mentioned look like a small blip on the radar screen.
There are a few off-ramps left from the climate change disaster but I am confident the world will not take them and we will crash into a concrete barrier.
For that reason I have lost most of my concerns about politics in the US because what party is in charge will have no impact on where we are headed. Both parties have demonstrated they have no interest in addressing the biggest problem that faces this nation — it is too hard for politicians. They have to work on getting reelected.
For the first time in my life I am glad I have no grandchildren.
How can we pray to God for help when we are what caused the problem?
PO Box 721
Scottsville TX 75688
CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 08/19/2021
THE LAST TIME IN AREA G THAT LAB-CONFIRMED COVID HOSPITALIZATION AS A PERCENT OF TOTAL HOSPITAL CAPACITY WAS GREATER THAN 15% (NOV.25- JAN. 29), IT PERSISTED 65 DAYS. SHOULD THIS “SPELL” LAST 65 DAYS, IT WILL BE OCT. 13, 2021) BEFORE THE NUMBER GOES BELOW 15 %.
IF THIS DELTA MUTANT EPIDEMIC PERSISTS LOCALLY AT 6% AS LONG AS THE ORIGINAL COVID DID (243 DAYS) IT WILL BE MARCH 25, 2022 BEFORE WE ARE BELOW 6% AGAIN. FYI THE COVID % ON JULY 4, 2020 WAS 6. ON JULY 4, 2021, THE COVID % WAS 2 AND INCREASED RAPIDLY. SO INDEPENDENCE DAY IS A DEADY HOLIDAY AND DELTA MOVES QUICKER THAN THE ORIGINAL COVID VIRUS.
I WILL TRY TO ATTACH MY SPREADSHEET.
(J. Harris: This should open the door to several brief but important articles and updates.)
1. 3 knowns and unknowns in this ‘messy’ COVID-19 surge
FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:
1. Texas School District Adds Masks to Dress Code, Finding Possible Loophole in Abbott’s Ban (Washington Post) The Paris Independent School District of about 4,000 students announced it would include the masks in the dress code after its board of trustees said it was “concerned about the health and safety of its students and employees.” The district, located about 110 miles northeast of Dallas, noted that Abbott’s executive order last month did not suspend a chapter in the Texas Education Code that gives school districts power to oversee health and safety measures, thus allowing Paris ISD officials to elect to “amend its dress code consistent with its statutory authority.”
(J. Harris: Could we do this? Should we? Probably.)
2. US SUPREME COURT VACCINE MANDATE CHALLENGE The US Supreme Court last week refused to block Indiana University’s requirement that all students, faculty, and staff have a SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, unless they qualify for one of several exemptions. The decision to turn down a group of students’ request for emergency relief was issued independently by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who handles emergency requests from Indiana, without explanation, without dissents from other justices, and without asking the university for a response. All of these moves could signal the request does not stand on solid legal ground. Both a federal district judge and an unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit previously rejected requests for emergency relief while the issue moved through the courts. This was the first case involving mandatory SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations to reach the Supreme Court.
3. Association of Age and Pediatric Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (JAMA Pediatrics) In this cohort study of 6280 households with pediatric index cases, the adjusted odds of household transmission by children aged 0 to 3 years was 1.43 compared with children aged 14 to 17 years. This study suggests that younger children may be more likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with older children, and the highest odds of transmission was observed for children aged 0 to 3 years.
”.. A possible explanation for this finding is that younger children are not able to self-isolate from their caregivers when they are sick, irrespective of the timing of testing….As the number of pediatric cases increases worldwide, the role of children in household transmission will continue to grow. We found that younger children may be more likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with older children, and the highest odds of transmission were observed for children aged 0 to 3 years. Differential infectivity of pediatric age groups has implications for infection prevention controls within households and schools/childcare to minimize risk of household secondary transmission. Although children do not appear to transmit infection as frequently as adults, caregivers should be aware of the risk of transmission while caring for sick children in the household setting. As it is challenging and often impossible to socially isolate from sick children, caregivers should apply other infection control measures where feasible, such as use of masks, increased hand washing, and separation from siblings.
(J. Harris:This reports a very large Canadian study, which was carefully done. I would have guessed that older children caused more infections at home.)
Don’t irritate old people. The older we get, the less “Life in prison” is a deterrent.
Aliens probably fly by earth and lock their doors.
By Deloris Munden © August 17, 2021
Recently, on a Friday night, we decided to visit McGarity’s Restaurant located off the lobby of the Clarion Pointe Hotel in Marshall, Texas. Ron asked me to make reservations and I rolled my eyes. I thought, a new restaurant, and early reservations. HA! But I did.
Unfortunately there was a mixup with our reservation but we were quickly seated in an area off the lobby and a waitress took our drink order. As we sat waiting for our table I noticed a line of people forming and I’m very glad we had reservations.
If you are looking for a quiet, intimate place to have a drink, this isn’t it. There is nothing in the area to absorb the noise. However, lots of people enjoy a lively bar atmosphere and if you are checking out or in, you would never notice. We did not have long to wait for our table.
When I asked for the wine list, our waitress said she would bring the menus. She meant menus. One for beer, one for cocktails and one for wine. I ordered a Chardonnay from New Zealand made by Oyster Bay. Ron chose an Ecco Domani Merlot. The restaurant has such a large variety they might consider serving flights of wine or beer to pair with their Charcuterie board.
The appetizer menu was tantalizing as was the dessert menu. However we both ordered the same thing…seared ahi tuna, asparagus and a salad. All were perfect.
The service was polite, timely and attentive.
As you can see my review is quite limited because both of us ordered the same item. On our next trip we will share an appetizer, order different entrees and share a dessert.
Check this site out for results of our next trip to McGarity’s.
PO Box 721
Scottsville TX 75688
CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 08/18/2021
NUMBERS OF NEW CASES CLIMBING BUT AREA G HOSPITALS NOT FULL, YET.
J. Harris: I don’t know the author, but his readable speculative article quotes several good medical folks. I plan to keep my copy of this article around to review again from time to time.
PFIZER-BIONTECH THIRD DOSE Pfizer-BioNTech submitted early-stage clinical trial data to the US FDA on August 16 to seek emergency use authorization for a third SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dose for all people aged 16 years and older. The companies claim the trial data show a third dose administered 6 to 12 months after the second dose generates higher levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2. The companies state that late-stage trial data will be submitted to the FDA and additional worldwide regulatory authorities once available.
The US government is not yet officially recommending third doses of mRNA-based vaccines for the general public despite the recent guidance for booster vaccinations for people with moderate-to-severely compromised immune systems. However, officials are reportedly developing plans to start offering third doses of vaccines to more of the general public as early as the fall. Initial doses given under the plan likely would be reserved for healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents who are at increased risk of severe disease. The FDA must first review the data submitted by Pfizer-BioNTech before an emergency use authorization can be approved and before the US CDC can make an official recommendation.
AND FROM THE NYT: U.S. to Advise Boosters for Most Americans 8 Months After Vaccination (New York Times) The Biden administration has decided that most Americans should get a coronavirus booster vaccination eight months after they received their second shot, and could begin offering third shots as early as mid-September, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.
OTHER RECENT HOPKINS CITED ARTICLES:
1. Scientists Unlock Clues to Determining how Safe Vaccinated People are from Covid-19 (STAT News) A year and a half into the pandemic, researchers are starting to flesh out exactly what “correlates of protection” look like, a step that could help track the durability of immunity and speed the development of additional vaccines. In a preprint paper last week, a group of researchers from both academia and U.S. health agencies reported their findings of the immune correlates for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. The study demonstrated the link between the level of antibodies in a person’s system and how protected they are against Covid-19, validating the hypothesis that antibodies could be used as a measure that signifies overall protection. The team is working on similar studies for the other vaccines that received support from Operation Warp Speed, including Johnson & Johnson’s and AstraZeneca’s, while other research groups are investigating other vaccines used around the world. Additional recent studies have also pointed to using antibody levels as correlates of protection.
2. Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines in Preventing Hospitalization Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — COVID-NET, 13 States, February–April 2021 Among adults aged 65–74 years, effectiveness of full vaccination for preventing hospitalization was 96% for Pfizer-BioNTech, 96% for Moderna, and 84% for Janssen COVID-19 vaccines; among adults aged ≥75 years, effectiveness of full vaccination for preventing hospitalization was 91% for Pfizer-BioNTech, 96% for Moderna, and 85% for Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. Efforts to increase vaccination coverage are critical to reducing the risk for COVID-19–related hospitalization, particularly in older adults. (CDC MMWR, 8/13/2021)
3. Iran’s Health System ‘Beyond Disastrous’ from Covid Surge (NYT) Iran is under assault from the most cataclysmic wave yet of the coronavirus, according to interviews with physicians and health workers, social media postings from angry citizens, and even some unusually frank reporting in state media. The aggressive Delta variant has led to record numbers of deaths and infections, and appears to be overwhelming the health system of a country that has been reeling from Covid-19 since the scourge began. The official virus death toll is 500 to 600 people a day, but even these record-high figures are disputed as low by some government media. Iran’s state television has said that one Iranian dies every two minutes — at least 720 a day. Frontline doctors in Tehran, Isfahan, Ahvaz and Mashhad told The New York Times that the real death toll was closer to 1,000 a day. Doctors also say that the true rate of infections is likely much higher than the official rate of about 40,000 a day because of insufficient testing and lack of access to care.
3.B. Iran Announces 6-day Lockdown Amid Surge in COVID Cases (Al Jazeera) As Iranians are angry and frustrated with the country’s COVID-19 response, the government has announced a six-day country-wide shutdown to curb an alarming rise in deaths and infections. The national anti-coronavirus task force, led by President Ebrahim Raisi, said on Saturday the nationwide shutdown will begin on Monday and last through Saturday. All offices, banks and non-essential businesses will be shut down. An intra-city travel ban will also be instated from Sunday morning and last through Saturday night.
FROM THE NYT TODAY AREA CASE COUNTS PER 100,000 POPULATION:
THINGS THAT TELL THE TRUTH:
IF YOU ARE IN IT UP TO YOUR EARS
KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT
AND WEAR YOUR MASK
CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 08/17/2021
From MNM and Judge Sims: Harrison County Cases have doubled: 52 new cases daily.
From USA Today:
”…Biden administration officials are expected to recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received the second shot, a source confirmed to USA TODAY late Monday. The news, which will be announced as soon as this week, comes as the delta variant rages across the country. It also comes amid anxieties about the Pfizer vaccine’s waning immunity and the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of booster vaccines for immunocompromised people. Data published by Israel’s Ministry of Health shows protection from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine dropped off after six months. “It gets down to the 40 to 50% effectiveness range, whereas it used to be 95%,” said Dr. Eric Topol, an expert on the use of data in medical research. Booster shots will begin as early as mid-September once the FDA formally approves vaccines.”
FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:
1. Durability of mRNA-1273 Vaccine–induced Antibodies Against SARS-CoV-2 Variants (Science) Here, we assess the impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), B.1.429 (Epsilon), B.1.526 (Iota), and B.1.617.2 (Delta) on binding, neutralizing, and ACE2-competing antibodies elicited by the vaccine mRNA-1273 over seven months. Cross-reactive neutralizing responses were rare after a single dose. At the peak of response to the second vaccine dose, all individuals had responses to all variants. Binding and functional antibodies against variants persisted in most subjects, albeit at low levels, for 6-months after the primary series of the mRNA-1273 vaccine. Across all assays, B.1.351 [S. AFRICA] had the lowest antibody recognition. These data complement ongoing studies to inform the potential need for additional boost vaccinations.
(J. Harris: A mostly immunized, isolated population has a Delta outbreak, but only 2% of the infected are in the hospital, and nobody who is immunized dies. THIS PROVES THE IMMUNIZATION PROTECTS.)
3. Change in Saliva RT-PCR Sensitivity Over the Course of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (JAMA) We tested 889 paired nasopharyngeal swab-saliva samples from 404 participants, of which SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 524 nasopharyngeal (58.9%) and 318 saliva (35.7%) specimens. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in both specimens in 258 pairs (29.0%). Saliva was sensitive for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in symptomatic individuals during initial weeks of infection, but sensitivity in asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers was less than 60% at all time points. As COVID-19 testing strategies in workplaces, schools, and other shared spaces are optimized, low saliva sensitivity in asymptomatic infections must be considered.5 This study suggests saliva-based RT-PCR should not be used for asymptomatic COVID-19 screening.
Thank You Adm. Rickover For Saving Me From Myself
By Ron Munden — 8/15/2021
The years between 1970 and 1975 were the most enjoyable working years of my life. I had completed my masters degree at UC, Berkeley and returned to Mare Island Naval Ship. I was putting my education to use.
On my first day back at the shipyard, I scheduled an appointment with the new Chief Design Engineer. I asked him to transfer me from the Scientific Section to the Engineering Computer Applications Section. I told him I had heard they had an opening in the group and I thought I would be more useful to the shipyard in that position. He agreed and I was in a new office the next day.
I loved this job. I had the opportunity to write computer software to solve many engineering and engineering management problems. There was a lot of demand for this service and by 1973 my customer base had expanded from the Design Division to several other departments.
At some point that year I got a call from one of the nuclear managers on the shipyard. He asked me to come to his office. I met with a group of five managers. They explained the shipyard had a problem. They said that the shipyard had difficulty maintaining the proper levels of special purpose handling gear (SPHG) and the problem had come to the attention of the Naval Reactors Office (NRO).
SPHG are clamps, cables, etc. used during the refueling of the nuclear reactors on submarines in overhaul. Since there is no room for error on a nuclear lift every piece of SPHG has to be recertified on a periodic schedule.
These nuclear managers wanted a computer program that could determine the proper inventory level for each type of SPHG and manage the recertification schedules. What could I recommend?
I had recently returned to the shipyard from two weeks of numerical analysis training at the University of Michigan. The instructor had spent 4-hours on computer simulation.
Without much thought I told them that I recommended an inventory control program to manage the recertification process. To determine the proper inventory levels I recommended a simulation program to simulate all of the nuclear lifts scheduled for the shipyard during the next year. To address overhaul slips and other factors I said that a random number generator could be used. I suggest making multiple simulation runs and collecting the detailed results from each run. Finally using statistical analysis techniques to establish an inventory level range for each type of SPHG.
The managers liked the solution. They asked if I could write the software and how long would it take?
I said “yes” and “3 months to complete.”
They said “start work tomorrow with unlimited overtime available.”
I was sure I could do it even though I had never written software to do more than 50% of what I had promised.
The next day I started my 12+hr day, 7 day a week schedule. Most of those 12 hour days were close to 16 hour but I was 30 years old and never got tired.
By the end of week three the inventory control system was complete and working as advertised. It was put into production.
I next started on the simulation software. By week 8, I was confident the project was going to be a success. I thought I was making good progress.
Then I got a call from one of the nuclear managers. He said that the Mare Island’s NRO representative had briefed Adm. Rickover on the project. He then said that when Rickover learned that the solution to the problem included using a computer simulation the “shit hit the fan.” Rickover told the NRO representative to tell Mare Island to kill the project immediately.
The nuclear manager told me to stop work that day. He said not to bother saving any of the software because it would ever be used as long as Rickover was around.
I was disappointed but not particularly surprised. Rickover was widely known to distrust computers and often threw temper tantrums when hearing something he did not like.
As the years have gone by I have thought about my solution to this problem many times. Today, I want to publicly thank Adm. Rickover for killing this project. He may have saved my career.
Over time I began to question if I could have successfully written all the simulation software. I am even less sure about the statistical analysis software.
If the shipyard managers had told Rickover they had a solution and spent thousands of dollars working on the solution and failed, heads would have rolled. The first head to reach the bottom of the hill would justifiably have been Ron Munden’s.
Since the project was killed after the inventory control software was put into production, everyone, including me, assumed that the rest would go as smoothly. Everyone in the Shipyard thought my solution would have solved the problem if Richover had not killed the project. By phone, several of the nuclear managers thanked me for my work. Of course there was nothing in writing.
I walked away with my reputation intact and lived to program another day. Thank you Adm. Rickover for saving me from myself.
PO Box 721
Scottsville TX 75688
SPECIAL EDITION INCLUDING “THE MOVIE”
(You must be 21 years old and be prepared for some very, very strong expletives — which is to say some really bad cussing if you watch the 5 min. video at the conclusion of the mailout).
FROM WEBB MD
1. Opinion: Covid-19 Cases Will Likely Rise Again in the Fall. Here’s How to Keep Schools Open (New York Times) Let’s make one thing clear: Covid-19 cases in the United States will likely rise in the fall and early winter. Coronaviruses are seasonal; this virus is no different. As a result, the United States may be tempted to close schools in response, as recently happened in Britain and Singapore. That would be a mistake. Here’s what we can do to ensure it doesn’t happen.
FROM HOPKINS: (J. Harris: A very good and readable summary of pediatric Covid.)
COVID-19 AMONG CHILDREN Public health experts, state officials, and healthcare providers are warning about a surge in COVID-19-related hospitalizations among children and cautioning that the Delta variant could be more dangerous for younger individuals. As of August 10, US hospitals admitted an average of 246 children with COVID-19 every day over the previous week, representing a 27.3% increase over the week ending August 3, according to CDC data. While children ages 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, rates of vaccination in that age group remain below the national average, around 31% fully vaccinated.
States experiencing the largest increases in overall COVID-19 cases, such as Louisiana and Florida, also are seeing the greatest increases in hospitalizations among children. Dr. Mark Kline of Children’s Hospital in New Orleans said children with COVID-19 account for about 20% of the facility’s hospitalized patients, with most of them under age 10 and too young to be vaccinated. In Texas, more children are being treated in hospitals for COVID-19 than ever before, and many also are infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). One physician, warning of dwindling hospital capacity, said the 2 viruses are “spreading like wildfire” among younger children, particularly those under age 2. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 94,000 cases among children were recorded in the week ending August 5, continuing a “substantial increase” in the number of new cases since the beginning of July.
Although children continue to account for a small percentage of total COVID-19 hospitalizations—between 1.5% and 3.5%—the disease impacts kids of different ages differently, and even those who have asymptomatic or mild infections could experience so-called “long COVID,” or post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). Experts are still learning about the condition, which is characterized by a variety of symptoms including memory or concentration difficulties (ie, “brain fog”), trouble sleeping, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, or changes to smell or taste. The impacts of these long-lasting symptoms could be “huge,” according to some pediatric experts, with the symptoms disrupting school and extracurricular activities especially among those in their formative teen years. Concern over the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among younger populations, and the potential for long-term impacts, is amplified by anecdotal evidence the Delta variant might cause more severe disease among children and that many are returning to in-person learning. These factors, and the fact that about 50 million children remain ineligible for vaccination, places even more importance on utilizing other risk reduction methods, including vaccination among those who are eligible, mask wearing, and physical distancing.
AND LAST BUT NEITHER LEECHED NOR LEACHED:
THIS SHORT UTUBE HAS SEVERAl PROFANE WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS, BUT I LIKED THE ULTIMATE MESSAGE AND FORCED MYSELF TO WATCH ALL 5 MIN. OF IT (X3). NORWEIGAN HOUSEKEEPERS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO WATCH IT. I APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE IN ADVANCE. YOU SHOULD NOT WATCH THIS UTUBE UNLESS YOU ARE AN INSENSITIVE OLD BUZZARD WITH A SENSE OF HUMOR BUT WHO IS TIRED OF UNVACCINATED AMERICANS