J. HARRIS: While Delta is washing out of our area — finally —  it’s not gone. Notice that we have only 15 ICU BEDS currently available in our area, and there are still 192 sick people on ventilators, mostly with Covid. However, even the NYT is relaxing a bit with a science article about A beet, of all things. (Milton sent it to me.)It would be especially tragic to get Clovid now, with plentiful vaccinations and some new treatments looming. Be Careful. Keep your mask handy.


”…Merck said an independent board of experts monitoring its study data had recommended that its trial be stopped early because the drug’s benefit to patients had proved so convincing. The company said that the Food and Drug Administration had agreed with that decision…The federal government has placed advance orders for 1.7 million courses of Merck’s drug, at a price of about $700 per patient. That is about one-third of the current cost of a monoclonal antibody treatment…It may be initially approved for the limited group of patients who are eligible to receive monoclonal antibody treatments: possibly older people and those with medical conditions that put them at high risk for bad outcomes from Covid. But experts said they expected that the drug might eventually be used more widely, in many people who test positive for the virus…If authorized, Merck’s drug would be the second antiviral treatment for Covid. The first, remdesivir, must be infused and has lost favor among clinicians as studies have suggested that it offers only modest benefit for Covid patients.

22 Pregnant Women Died From COVID-19 in August

”…The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Advisory on September 29, 2021, recommending urgent action to increase COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant women, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), women trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future…”

WHAT CAN AND SHOULD WE DO TO PREVENT ANOTHER PANDEMIC? READ THIS ARTICLE BY ED YONG (J.Harris: Mr Yong has consistently written the most complete and compelling articles about COVID-19 available. He will get a Pulitzer Prize for his body of work — of which this article might be the best. Click the above. Our health system can be fixed.)

”…Delta was [IS] an audition for the next pandemic, and one that America flubbed. How can a country hope to stay 10 steps ahead of tomorrow’s viruses when it can’t stay one step ahead of today’s?…With every new pathogen—cholera in the 1830s, HIV in the 1980s—Americans rediscover the weaknesses in the country’s health system, briefly attempt to address the problem, and then “let our interest lapse when the immediate crisis seems to be over,… The result is a Sisyphean cycle of panic and neglect that is now spinning in its third century. Progress is always undone; promise, always unfulfilled…More Americans have been killed by the new coronavirus than the influenza pandemic of 1918, despite a century of intervening medical advancement….the U.S. must also address its deep social weaknesses—a health-care system that millions can’t access, a public-health system that’s been rotting for decades, and extreme inequities that leave large swaths of society susceptible to a new virus…America’s historical modus operandi has been to “give responsibility to the local public-health department but no power, money, or infrastructure to make change,..When a doctor saves a patient, that person is grateful. When an epidemiologist prevents someone from catching a virus, that person never knows…It’s very hard to achieve effective containment when the people you’re working with don’t think you care about them…”




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