CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/23/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/23/2022

A QUICK NOTE. NO LOCAL IMPROVEMENT YET.

EXCELLENT COVID VARIANT COMPARISON OF ILLNESSES AND RECOVERY

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J. Harris — A Remembrance:

    Having an infection probably builds more antibodies to that infection than does a vaccine — this is if the illness is survived. Should this “natural” immunization occur, hopefully, the victim won’t have any significant long-term dysfunctions due to the original illness. Additionally, should the original causative organism later mutate and render the old antibodies partially or completely worthless, reinfection might occur, and it does. Just like the Influenza vaccines, Covid Vaccines may require additions, subtractions, and repeat injections. 

     I’d rather have a Polio Vaccine than Polio, or a Measles Vaccine rather than Measles. I won’t mention Small Pox. Absolutely the “sickest” and one of the most tragic patients that I ever cared for was at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, just about the time we opened the first ICU there in an old pediatric diarrhea ward in the mid-1960s. A young boy, 18, a large, muscular, football player, caught Chicken Pox and it spread into his lungs. Fortunately, Parkland had a fabulous Pulmonary Department with several well-trained Pulmonologists (Internal Medicine trained plus 2 years of Pulmonary subspeciality). We even had several newfangled “Bird” IPPB Machines to help patients breathe.  

     Alas, the young man’s viral Pox Pneumonia spread to both lungs despite 24-hour care with physicians, med students, nurses, Pulmonary Tecs, nursing students, the chaplains — every who could add anything. The entire medical service was aware of his case and was pulling for him. There were no “antibiotics” for viruses at that time, (and not many even now). His lungs became so “stiff” that no amount of alternations (and repairs)  to the Bird IPPB Machines would force air into his lungs and after several miserable, agonizing days, he died. He had childhood immunity against Chicken Pox, and there was no vaccine for Chicken Pox until the 1990s. He must have been an only child; Chicken Pox is so contagious that it was hard not to catch it in childhood when it was a milder disease. Thankfully, the Chicken Pox Vaccine has saved millions of cases including some that would have developed pneumonia.  The pathology of our long-ago Parkland patient’s destroyed, gunk-filled, inelastic lungs is very similar to that seen in the lungs of severe Covid patients today.

TEARS AND TEARS: TARES

AND FROM THE DMN:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/22/2022

J. Harris: Don’t worry about reading all the references if they are of no interest to you. Despite my desire to “keep it simple,” I have a few specialized readers to whom some of the more complicated references are directed. Don’t make reading this stuff oppressive and depressing. When in doubt, delete it or never open it. Keep up with the general trends and keep you and your family safe. You are in charge. Oh, I do have some GREAT new jokes thanks to Tom Allin. 

F.D.A. expands approval of remdesivir to patients who are not hospitalized.

Do genetic differences make some people more susceptible to COVID-19?

”…Genetic variation plays a role in susceptibility to a number of diseases, from HIV to malaria to TB. Researchers know this because they hunt for variations of interest by comparing people’s entire DNA sequences – their genomes – to see whether certain variations coincide with certain disease outcomes. Such analyses are called genome-wide association studies….people with blood type A now seem to be more at risk than those with blood type O. More recent research suggests a lower risk of severe disease for blood type O, even going as far as to suggest that this blood group has a protective effect. Additional studies have postulated that blood type A increases the risk of infection (though some of these are pre-prints, meaning they have yet to be scrutinized by other scientists)….The picture is a bit clearer for chromosome 3. The genome-wide association study mentioned earlier, involving Spanish and Italian patients, also found an association between severe disease and variation in a small region on this chromosome called 3p21.31...One of the genes in this region, SLC6A20, contains the instructions for building a protein that interacts with ACE2, the molecule the virus uses to get inside cells…To date, 3p21.31 is the only genetic region significantly associated with severe COVID-19. Having certain genetic variations in this region can therefore be considered a risk factor.

THREE GOOD ARTICLES SELECTED AND  EDITED BY BECKER

1. Why don’t hospitals just pay full-time nurses more?

2. Texas healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated by March 21, per CMS mandate

3. Viewpoint: Many unvaccinated, critical COVID-19 patients still distrust those caring for them

Association of Major Depressive Symptoms With Endorsement of COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation Among US Adults

(J. Harris: Short, readable article that may be relevant?)

”…In this survey study using national data including more than 15 000 respondents, we found that presence of moderate or greater depressive symptoms was associated with greater likelihood of endorsing misinformation about vaccines..In this survey study using national data including more than 15 000 respondents, we found that presence of moderate or greater depressive symptoms was associated with greater likelihood of endorsing misinformation about vaccines…using a subset of participants from the first wave who returned for the second, we found that depressive symptoms preceded misinformation emergence, suggesting that misinformation was unlikely to cause depression per se…individuals with major depressive symptoms often exhibit a more pronounced negativity bias, a form of attentional bias in which thoughts with negative valence receive greater focus.13 Insofar as forms of misinformation that elicit negative affect may be more likely to spread,5 it follows that depression could facilitate uptake of misinformation at an individual level…Alternatively, it is possible that the association between depression and misinformation could be mediated by change in trust. Individuals with depression could exhibit less willingness to trust institutions attempting to combat misinformation…As anticipated, we also found that individuals who embraced health misinformation were less likely to be vaccinated or be willing to get the vaccine if available….If causation could be established, it might suggest strategies aimed at reducing the consequences of depression in terms of misinformation. To date, efforts to combat the impact of misinformation on public health predominantly emphasize reduction in supply. In parallel, it may be possible to develop interventions targeting negativity bias that reduce demand, or at least modulate the capacity of misinformation to impact health decision-making…”

Changes in COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Black and White Individuals in the US

Question  How has COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy changed among Black and White individuals in the US since vaccines became publicly available?

Findings  This survey study of 1200 US adults found that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy decreased more rapidly among Black individuals than among White individuals since December 2020. A key factor associated with this pattern seems to be the fact that Black individuals more rapidly came to believe that vaccines were necessary to protect themselves and their communities.

Meaning  This study suggests that ongoing efforts to increase vaccine uptake among Black individuals in the US should attend to a range of vaccination barriers beyond vaccine hesitancy.

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR FREE COVID EMAILS FROM JOHNS HOPKINS

FRIDAY HOPKINS NOTES:

1. How Does Omicron Spread so Fast? A High Viral Load Isn’t the Answer (Nature) In countries around the world, Omicron has rapidly surged past other variants to become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain. Now, two studies show that the variant has achieved success despite causing viral levels in the body that are similar to — or lower than — those of its main competitor, the Delta variant 1,2. The results suggest that Omicron’s hyper-transmissibility does not stem from the release of large amounts of virus from infected people. Instead, the best explanation for its lightning-fast spread is its ability to evade SARS-CoV-2 immunity caused by either vaccination or past infection, says Emily Bruce, a virologist at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

2. Generic Drug Makers Sign on to Make Merck COVID-19 Antiviral (CIDRAP) Following an initial licensing deal in October between the United Nations–based Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and Merck to allow pharmaceutical companies in other countries to make molnupiravir, an oral antiviral for treating COVID-19, the MPP today announced agreements with 27 generic makers.

Jan 22 Becker 

COVID-positive employees returning to work: 2 CEOs share their protocols

J. Harris: Att. Employers.

 AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/21/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/21/2022

THE BEST COVID TEST ARTICLE AND HOW TO DO IT I HAVE SEEN–KEEP

Comparison of mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2 Vaccines on Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Hospitalizations, and Death During the Delta-Predominant Period

”…The 60-day hospitalization risk was 12.7% (392/3078) for mRNA-1273 [MODEERNA]recipients and 13.3% (2489/18 737) for BNT162b2 [PFIZEER] recipients. The 60-day mortality was 1.14% (35/3078) and 1.10% (207/18 737) for mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2 recipients, respectively. Among the matched cohorts, mRNA-1273 recipients (n = 3054) had a lower risk of 60-day hospitalizations than BNT162b2 recipients (n = 3054) (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.70-0.91). No significant difference was observed for mortality (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.50-1.23).

J. Harris: As far as I can see, with the Delta Variant, there not much difference in which one of the mRNA vaccines one takes. I’m still looking for a good “Mix and Match” vaccine article.

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations by COVID-19 Vaccination Status and Previous COVID-19 Diagnosis — California and New York, May–November 2021

”…What is added by this report?

During May–November 2021, case and hospitalization rates were highest among persons who were unvaccinated without a previous diagnosis. Before Delta became the predominant variant in June, case rates were higher among persons who survived a previous infection than persons who were vaccinated alone. By early October, persons who survived a previous infection had lower case rates than persons who were vaccinated alone.’

FROM HOPKINS SUMMARY OF THE ABOVE STUDY:

COVID-19 IMMUNE LANDSCAPE With cases of COVID-19 continuing to surge worldwide due to the Omicron variant of concern (VOC), scientists are looking to recent experiences with the Delta variant to shed insight into what the immune landscape might look like for individuals who are unvaccinated and have recovered from previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, those who are vaccinated, and those who are both recovered and vaccinated. The world will be in a significantly different place after Omicron subsides, with millions of people having at least short-term immune memory of its distinct S-gene mutations. More people than ever before will have some form of natural immunity against SARS-CoV-2, but it is unclear the extent to which recent infection might protect against future infection or hospitalization. In a new report[ABOVE] published in the US CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), researchers examined case and hospitalization rates in New York and California during the surge of the Delta VOC. They describe a complex immune landscape through the beginning of Delta’s takeover to the time when it became the predominant global variant. 

Initially, in May 2021, vaccinated persons with no prior infection had the lowest rates of hospitalization, but as Delta began to infect more people and cause breakthrough cases, individuals with previous infection were less likely to be hospitalized compared to unvaccinated persons with no prior infection. From May 2021 to June 2021, vaccinated persons with no prior infection had the lowest hospitalization rates of any other group at 27.7-fold lower compared with unvaccinated persons with no prior infection. But from October 2021 to November 2021, hospitalization rates among vaccinated persons with prior infection were 57.5-fold lower and 55.3-fold lower among unvaccinated individuals with prior infection, compared with unvaccinated individuals with no prior infection. By comparison, hospitalization rates in vaccinated persons with no prior infection were 19.8-fold lower. These data suggest that natural immunity from prior infection can play an important role in preventing severe consequences of subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infections, even among those who have not been fully vaccinated. 

Some important context to these findings is that the shift in protection from vaccine-alone to vaccine-plus-prior infection occurred during a time of known waning immunity from initial rounds of vaccination. Additionally, people who were fully vaccinated with an additional booster dose were not evaluated as a separate group in this study. All of these data point to having high levels of antibodies—whether vaccine-induced, naturally acquired, or a combination—as vital in protecting against hospitalization and severe COVID-19 outcomes. It is still unclear whether these patterns will hold for the Omicron VOC, which has a greatly different viral profile compared with previous variants. Hospitals are still reporting that the unvaccinated have the highest risk of severe COVID-19, while the group with the lowest risk of severe COVID-19 are those who are fully vaccinated and boosted, underscoring the continuing need for vaccines and booster doses.  

A word of caution: Some might interpret these findings as a “green light” to ignore all COVID-19 precautions and take unnecessary risks for themselves and others. Even if natural immunity does confer protection for an extended time, the consequences of contracting and recovering from COVID-19 cannot be overstated; it is estimated that 15-80% of people recovering from illness will experience “long COVID,” or prolonged symptoms including brain fog, dizziness, loss of taste and smell, and other symptoms which can alter daily life for those affected. While those who might get COVID-19 twice do seem fortunate in that their bodies are better able to fight off the newest infection, it is still better never to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 because of the uncertainties of long-term sequelae. Vaccines, masks, and physical distancing are all still vital tools in bringing an end to the pandemic with as few deaths as possible.

      Coming tomorrow, a Chicken Pox story

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/20/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/20/2022

For Jan. 19, the Covid Counts are essentially unchanged in Area G. I hope to see lower counts by about Wed???(Weekend cases should be accounted for by then.)

EDUCATION UPDATE FROM THE NYT

(J. Harris: The NYT invites educators to subscribe to this weekly article (s).

Information for parents of school children is also included and seems helpful.)

FROM HOPKINS:

The Pandemic’s True Death Toll: Millions More Than Official Counts (Nature) Demographers, data scientists and public-health experts are striving to narrow the uncertainties for a global estimate of pandemic deaths. These efforts, from both academics and journalists, use methods ranging from satellite images of cemeteries to door-to-door surveys and machine-learning computer models that try to extrapolate global estimates from available data. Among these models, the World Health Organization (WHO) is still working on its first global estimate, but the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington, offers daily updates of its own modeled results, as well as projections of how quickly the global toll might rise. And one of the highest-profile attempts to model a global estimate has come from the news media. The Economist magazine in London has used a machine-learning approach to produce an estimate of 12 million to 22 million excess deaths — or between 2 and 4 times the pandemic’s official toll so far.

IN THE ABOVE COVID DEATH MODELS, THE NUMBERS ARE IN MILLIONS OF DEATHS

Vaccine Passports Help Boost Lagging Vaccination Rates

Sewage studies offer clues to when Omicron might fade.

”…According to Biobot Analytics, a company tracking the coronavirus in wastewater in 183 communities across 25 states, viral levels have already begun to decline in many big cities but are still rising in smaller communities…“Wastewater surveillance is a really powerful tool, and we’re seeing really a good example of that with Omicron, It’s not just an early warning sign, but it’s also helpful to monitor the full trajectory of a surge.”

The effect of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection timing on birth outcomes: a retrospective multicentre cohort study

”…The results suggest that additional monitoring of birth outcomes following first or second trimester maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection is warranted. The pregnant people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in this study were unvaccinated against COVID-19; therefore, it would be interesting to examine in future studies whether vaccination helps to prevent negative birth outcomes in breakthrough cases….”

(J. Harris: A long, comprehensive piece.)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

What do you say to comfort a friend who’s struggling with grammar? There, their, they’re.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/19/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/19/2022

Covid (Omicron) cases are falling slightly in the US, but not in the South, not in Harrison County where our vaccination rate is only 38%. As far as the magic ”15’%” Covid Capacity in Area G hospitals: we were at 3.4% at Christmas; we are at 16.8% now.  It should start down in a few more days.  J. Harris

ORDER FREE COVID TESTS VIA EMAIL, QUICK AND EASY

 YOU CAN ALSO ORDER THE TESTS AT   USPS.com®.

(You will need to know your name and mailing address and email address.)

400 million nonsurgical N95 masks available, free of charge, at community health centers and retail pharmacies across the United States.

”…The White House said in a statement on Wednesday that the government would begin shipping N95 masks to pharmacies and health centers at the end of this week, and that the masks were expected to be available at the end of next week. The program would be in full gear by early February…”

Types of Masks and Respirators

81% of ICU beds in use nationwide: How each state stacks up

How Soon After Having a COVID Breakthrough Infection Should You Get a Booster Shot?

(J. Harris: Good, readable article. Don’t wait long. )

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

 Sometimes, someone unexpected comes into your life out of nowhere, makes your heart race, and changes you forever. We call those people cops.

I’m trying to organize a hide-and-seek tournament, but good players are really hard to find.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/18/2022

From MNM: Last weeks New Covid Cases:

FROM THE NYT: Death rates are likely to go up in the next two weeks.

Can You Reuse a KN95 or N95 Mask? Experts Say Yes, but Follow These Steps

Case Series of Thrombosis With Thrombocytopenia Syndrome After COVID-19 Vaccination—United States, December 2020 to August 2021

J. Harris: There were a few cases of vaccine induced clotting due to J&J Vaccine (3.8/million doses given,  but probably none due to Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

From MNM:

“We’re about to catch on fire”: Inside a Texas hospital battling omicron and staffing shortages

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough.

  When I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps, he gave me a blank stare.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/17/2022

HELLO, HOW ‘BOUT ‘DEM COWBOYS MAVERICKS!

Apparently, daily counts from the state will not always be available for new cases. Rather, they will be “dumped” every few days. I hope to continue compiling data that helps me, like the number of cases admitted in area G in 24 hours and ICC Beds available and the like. Note that we are nearing Gov. Abbot’s magic “15%”of hospital capacity filled by Covid patients. I don’t believe it is nearly as important as ICU numbers and available ventilators. “Daily Cases per 100,000 Population” continues to give perspective. Right now, Omicron is not overwhelming those functions — while it is overrunning other hospital beds and functions and normal medical care. Tomorrow’s numbers should be more helpful.

How to spot a fake N95, KN95, or KF94 mask

(J. Harris: Quick read with pictures.)

”…On N95s

The NIOSH mark is missing. NIOSH—spelled correctly—should be in block letters and easily detectable…There’s no approval number. This alphanumeric designation starts with the letters “TC-84A,” followed by four additional digits, and can be found on the mask or the bands. If there is one, check for it on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List. (Sometimes, crafty counterfeiters make one up, says the FBI. It’s also possible, though, that some might just steal one from a legitimate mask, whether or not they co-opted the branding as well.)..The mask has ear loops. Legitimate N95 masks never have ear loops; instead they have a pair of elastic bands that go around the back of the head. This typically creates a tighter seal than the ear loops characteristic of KN95s and KF94s.

It’s labeled for children. There are no kid-size N95 masks. Only adult-size masks undergo the NIOSH approval process and can be designated as N95s. So anything labeled as a “Kids N95” is, by definition, a phony. However, there are legitimate children’s-size KN95 and KF94 masks, including those we recommend in our guide to the best masks for kids and toddlers…

On KN95s

There’s no GB marking. The KN95 standard requires that masks made after July 1, 2021, be stamped with GB2626-2019, which provides reassurance that the manufacturer constructed the mask according to current Chinese respirator standards, Miller said. A mask with a GB number ending in 2006 was made according to the previous standard and is still legitimate if the expiration date hasn’t passed.

The origin of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

I run like the winded (or THE COWBOYS).

My luck is like a bald guy who just won a comb.

How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced?      A buccaneer

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/15/2022

Today, the numbers from the state are not functional. So,  I have used Harrison County numbers from the NYT. What is apparent is that things are WORSE in East Texas.  The Gregg and Smith County numbers are released every three or four days. 

TODAY’S MNM:

COVID IN MARSHALL

FROM BECKER

83% of ICU beds in use nationwide: How each state stacks up

17% of US hospitals critically understaffed, 23% anticipate shortages: Numbers by state

FROM HOPKINS:

1. WHO Recommends Two New Drugs to Treat Patients with COVID-19 (WHO) The drug baricitinib (a type of drug known as a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor, also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis) is strongly recommended for patients with severe or critical covid-19 in combination with corticosteroids, says a WHO Guideline Development Group of international experts in The BMJ today. Their strong recommendation is based on moderate certainty evidence that it improves survival and reduces the need for ventilation, with no observed increase in adverse effects.

2. COVID-19 Therapeutics for Nonhospitalized Patients (JAMA) Substantial progress has been made in therapeutics for nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19, but supply of and access to treatment remain limited. This Viewpoint summarizes currently available therapeutics for nonhospitalized patients in the setting of the Omicron variant including principles for equitable allocation. Patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 are those who have respiratory and systemic symptoms but not hypoxia, tachypnea, or other complications that necessitate hospitalization.1 During this early phase of illness, viral replication is occurring and antiviral therapies are used to prevent disease progression, hospitalization, and death.

3/ Even Poorly Matched Flu Vaccines Protect Children from Serious Illness, Study Shows (Healio) A new study reinforced that influenza vaccination protects children from serious illness even when vaccines are a poor match for circulating viruses. The study’s authors found that vaccination during the 2019-2020 season was 63% effective overall against critical influenza among children. Vaccination reduced the risk for severe influenza among children by 78% against influenza A viruses that matched the vaccine viruses, by 47% against mismatched influenza A viruses, and by 75% against mismatched influenza B-Victoria viruses, they reported.

The study comprised 291 patients in 17 U.S. hospitals — 159 children who were critically ill with influenza and 132 controls.

Some experts call for a switch from nasal swabs to saliva-based tests, to better detect Omicron (some of which are manufactured in Marshall.)

NYT ON BURNOUT CRISIS

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

I don’t mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things and get really excited.

Prison is just one word to you, but for some people, it’s a whole sentence.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/14/2022

Area schools continue to close and more and more numbers of Covid patients are being seen in the hospitals.

However, death rates are not climbing — that will take about 3 weeks but should be less than with Delta.

Personal Note:

     I’m not planning on catching Covid now — not after dodging it for two years.  No…I’m not going to become careless with my personal vigilance. I also realize that ultimately, I am the only person whose health I can control. After this long, nope, I’m not going to start cutting corners.

     Within weeks or a few months, we’ll be in harmony with Covid-19 and its variants. We’ll have much more preventive and therapeutic control.  We’ll have appropriate updated vaccines, antibody type medications for IV acute treatment, available oral medications to take with exposure or first symptoms, accessible and accurate testing, and functional masks freely available — worn as needed or as mandated. Our experienced and reorganized surviving physicians, hospital and health care workers, scientists, researchers will be rested, and active, and new recruits will be welcomed, educated, and well-compensated.  Hopefully, our governmental and medical experts will be working more closely together for the common good. It might even happen that the unvaccinated in our country and the world will become vaccinated. It is almost certain that less frightening, cheaper, and easily administered vaccines will become ubiquitous and updated as needed.  Ultimately, surely our leadership will modernize and intensify our acute attentiveness to world health events, diseases, and experimental laboratories as well as to our preparedness to combat and conquer each “Bat Out of Hell” type of disease as soon as they attack — and they will as we crowd the lands.

     It might even happen that the fear, ignorance, hesitancy, distrust, and selfishness that grips us all to some degree will be quietened. God, I sure hope so. Don’t you?

Jim Harris, MD

BITS FROM NYT TODAY: CHILDREN AND PARTISANSHIP

1. ”… Over the past week, about 870 children were admitted to hospitals with Covid, according to the C.D.C. By comparison, more than 5,000 children visit emergency rooms each week for sports injuries. More than 1,000 are hospitalized for bronchiolitis during a typical January week…Vaccinated elderly people are at much more risk of severe Covid illness than unvaccinated children…Last week’s Supreme Court session was striking because it highlighted both halves of the country’s partisan-based self-deceptions. Many conservatives are refusing to wear masks — or, even worse, refusing to be vaccinated — out of a misplaced belief that Covid is harmless. Many liberals are sensationalizing Covid’s risks out of a misplaced belief that it presents a bigger threat to most children and vaccinated adults than continued isolation and disruption do…”

2.  U.S. college enrollment has dropped by about 6 percent since the fall of 2019.

3. How to Think About Covid Data Right Now

(J. Harris: This is a short, concise, excellent predictive summary — helpful!)

Paxlovid vs. Molnupiravir for COVID-19 from GoodRX Health. 

(J. Harris: Easy to read and worth the effort.)

Key takeaways:

Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) and molnupiravir are two oral antiviral treatments that are authorized to treat mild to moderate COVID-19. These COVID-19 pills are only recommended for people with a high risk of developing severe illness.

Both Paxlovid and molnupiravir are taken by mouth twice daily for 5 days. They should both be started within 5 days of first feeling symptoms.

Studies suggest that Paxlovid can lower the risk of severe COVID-19 for high-risk people by almost 90%. Studies suggest molnupiravir can lower this risk by about 30%.

BITS AND PIECES FROM HOPKINS:

”…EPI UPDATE The WHO COVID-19 Dashboard reports 312 million cumulative cases and 5.5 million deaths worldwide as of January 12…The increase continues to largely be due to surges in the Americas (+78.8%) and Europe (+37%), but nearly all WHO regions reported increases last week. Notably, the WHO reported a decrease in the Africa region (-11%), potentially signaling the Omicron surge there has peaked. The Omicron surge in the UK also appears to have peaked, with government data showing the weekly average number of cases down 19% over the previous week…UNITED STATES

The US CDC is currently reporting 62.5 million cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 840,286 deaths. The US is averaging 761,535 new cases and 1,656 deaths per day.* Notably, the US reported 1.35 million new COVID-19 cases on January 10…”

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

Don’t bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Spend 30 seconds in my head. That’ll freak you right out.

When someone asks what I did over the weekend, I squint and ask, “Why, what did you hear?”

 What do you say to comfort a friend who’s struggling with grammar?      There, their, they’re.

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75688

Guaranteed Income Experiment

Changing Times – January 13, 2022

from  Time Magazine

Inside the Nation’s Largest Guaranteed Income Experiment

Editor’s note:  Ten years ago I would have thought this is a really dumb ideal.  Today I am not so sure.  Robotics is why I have changed my mind.  For example, within 10 year autonomous drive trucks will be in common use. Experts say as many as 800,000 truck drivers could be impacted.  The country could be running out of jobs.  

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One evening in early June, Leo and his family were able to enjoy a treat they hadn’t experienced in months: a sit-down meal at a restaurant.

At a fried chicken chain in a Compton, California strip mall, they splurged on a few plates of fried rice, each costing under $13.99. The money Leo, 39, makes as a mechanic never seems to satisfy the deluge of bills that pile up on his kitchen counter each month, so the modest meal felt like a luxury. “It made me very happy,” Leo says in Spanish through an interpreter.

The family was only able to afford the meal because Leo is part of a groundbreaking guaranteed income experiment in his city called the Compton Pledge. In regular installments between late 2020 and the end of 2022, Leo and 799 other individuals are receiving up to $7,200 annually to spend however they like. Leo, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who TIME has agreed to refer to by a pseudonym to protect his identity, receives quarterly payments of $900.

The organization running Compton Pledge, called the Fund for Guaranteed Income, is building the technological infrastructure necessary to distribute cash payments on a broad scale and has partnered with an independent research group to study the extent to which a minimum income floor can lift families like Leo’s out of poverty. The pilot, which distributes money derived from private donors, is not just about giving people the ability to buy small indulgences. It’s testing whether giving poor families a financial cushion can have a demonstrable impact on their physical and psychological health, job prospects and communities. And perhaps the biggest question of all: Can these cash infusions transcend their status as a small research project in progressive Los Angeles and someday work as a nationwide program funded by taxpayers?

The theory is gaining momentum in the U.S. Six years ago, there were no programs distributing and studying the effects of providing swaths of Americans no-strings-attached cash, according to Stanford’s Basic Income Lab, an academic hub tracking such programs. But now, pilot programs are taking place in roughly 20 cities around the country, from St. Paul, Minnesota to Paterson, New Jersey, with Compton’s exercise serving as the nation’s largest city-based experiment in terms of number of people served. Most of the programs are philanthropically funded—including Compton’s—and distribute different amounts of money to targeted populations, from Black pregnant women to former foster children to single parents. These laboratories for wealth redistribution all have one thing in common: they give some of society’s poorest and most marginalized people cold-hard cash, and then let them spend it however they want.

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75688