CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/13/2022

American Red Cross calls for blood donations amid nation’s worst blood shortage in over a decade

EAST TEXAS COVID COUNTS CONTINUE TO INCREASE AND SEVERAL SCHOOLS HAVE CLOSED. 

Our vaccination rate of 38 % of the county population is lower even than it is in South Africa! 

FROM JAMA:

1. Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2–Positive Youths Tested in Emergency Departments

”In this study, approximately 3% of SARS-CoV-2–positive youths tested in EDs experienced severe outcomes within 2 weeks of their ED visit. Among children discharged home from the ED, the risk was much lower. Risk factors such as age, underlying chronic illness, and symptom duration may be useful to consider when making clinical care decisions.” 

(J. Harris: 3% severe outcomes in youths isn’t that high — unless it’s my child or grandchild.)

2. Assessment of Functional Mobility After COVID-19 in Adults Aged 50 Years

”…Although there is a growing body of research showing that hospitalized patients with COVID-19 experience problems with physical functioning up to 6 months after discharge, there is still a dearth of literature on nonhospitalized patients with less severe illness…. Anecdotal reports, patient accounts on social media, and some preliminary research with convenience samples, have suggested that many patients who experience even mild COVID-19 have persistent and troublesome symptoms, including impaired physical function after their initial illness… There is an ongoing effort by both health professionals and patients alike to recognize long COVID as a long-term condition and to increase access to treatments and rehabilitative care…Our findings confirm that individuals with COVID-19 who did not require hospitalization were more likely than those without COVID-19 to experience worsening of overall mobility since the start of the pandemic and a deterioration in physical function …Conclusions and Relevance  This cohort study among older adults in Canada found that receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis was significantly associated with worse mobility and functioning outcomes even in the absence of hospitalization. These findings suggest that interventions may be needed for individuals with mild to moderate COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization. 

FROM THE NY TIMES:

There are early signs that Omicron has begun to peak.

”…A huge surge in cases that lasts for about one month, followed by a rapid decline, would be consistent with the experience in some places where Omicron arrived earlier than in the U.S. In South Africa, new daily cases have fallen by about 70 percent from the mid-December peak…In Boston, the amount of the Covid virus detected in wastewater, which has been a leading indicator of case trends in the past, has plunged by about 40 percent since its peak just after Jan. 1.


Chart shows a 7-day average. | Source: Johns Hopkins University 
With previous versions of Covid, like the Delta variant, the up-and-down cycles tended to last longer. Once an outbreak began, cases often rose for about two months before falling. The White House says it is considering offering ‘high-quality’ masks to Americans. (J. Harris: This should have been done 2 years ago. At present, the best masks I can find are KN95. They have more space in a little “tent” around your mouth and nose. They are tight and comfortable; they are made in South Korea under close scrutiny. )NOTES TODAY FROM THE WASHINGTON POST:1. ‘…t’s still not clear whether the current vaccines need to be tweaked for omicron. But Pfizer is already working on an omicron-specific vaccine. A Pfizer spokesman told The Washington Post that the company hopes “to have 50-100 million doses of the omicron specific vaccine available by late March/early April…”2. ”…The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are much more effective at preventing deaths than China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, according to new data out of Singapore…”

‘Killer’ immune cells still recognize Omicron variant

(J. Harris Immunization does stimulate “T” Cell immunity activity even if antibodies are not appreciably increased.)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

“Avoidable:” What a bullfighter tries to do.

“Subdued:” Like a guy, like works on one of those, like, submarines.

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P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/12/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/12/2022

You will notice below that Houston and East Texas are not “getting better”—TEXAS numbers continue to rise. ICU’s are filling up in our area. Stay well.

Elysian Fields ISD to close elementary campus due to COVID-19

”…The announcement Tuesday said the school will close beginning Wednesday, Jan. 12 and not re-open for classes through next Tuesday, Jan. 18. Classes will resume Wednesday, Jan. 19…”

From THE ATLANTIC  this morning:(with some editing by J. Harris)

Three Reasons to Avoid Getting COVID Right Now:

Omicron is everywhere, and people are tired. Nearly two years into this pandemic, the seemingly more transmissible and milder coronavirus variant is tempting some to throw in the towel on avoiding infection…Should you just accept that you’re going to get sick this winter? No,…Though you will [might] probably get COVID eventually, there are a few practical reasons to delay [or prevent?] an infection—and potentially passing it on to others—as long as possible.

1. You can help reduce the burden on hospitals.

”…health-care workers are already burning out and quitting in droves. This latest surge could break our hospital systems. And broken hospitals affect not just COVID patients, but anyone seeking care.

2. Better treatments to help the most vulnerable are on the way.

“Pfizer’s very effective pill has just been authorized by the FDA, but supplies are short…“Only one monoclonal antibody, sotrovimab, currently works against Omicron, and supplies are also short.” The longer you’re able to stave off infection, the more time the system has to make these treatments available.

3. Getting it now doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get it again.

It’s not as simple as “getting it over with.” “No combinations of vaccines or viruses can confer invulnerability to future tussles with SARS-CoV-2,… “Whether acquired from an injection or an infection, immunity will always work in degrees, not absolutes.”

FROM HOPKINS

NOVAVAX Novavax expects its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to receive regulatory approval in multiple countries, including the US, over the next several months, the company’s CEO, Stanley Erck, said on January 10. As expected, Novavax completed its data submission on its protein-based vaccine to the US FDA on December 31, a prerequisite for emergency use authorization (EUA) application. The company expects to file a request for an FDA EUA at the end of this month, and it has recently applied for authorization in other nations, including Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the UK. Shipments of the vaccine have begun to the European Union, which authorized the vaccine last month. The WHO has issued emergency use listings for 2 versions of the vaccine (NVX-CoV2373): Nuvaxovid, which will be manufactured in Europe and is authorized for use by the European Medicines Agency; and Covovax, which will be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and is authorized for use by the Drugs Controller General of India. Some experts feel the vaccine’s 6-month stability under simple refrigeration storage will make it particularly useful in low-income countries.

FROM BECKER

CURRENT INCREASING FLU INFORMATION

(J. Harris: Short, readable, and very important)

”…The national flu, pneumonia and/or COVID-19 mortality rate is 19.9 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 6.9 percent. Among the 3,252 deaths reported for the week, 2,519 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate.”

Where people go wrong with ‘incidental’ COVID-19 hospitalizations

Mayo, Kaiser among companies investing $110M into ‘hospital-at-home’ venture

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

A commander walks into a bar and orders everyone around..   

 Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can prevent florist friars.

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P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/10/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/10/2022

Starting later this week, some at-risk Americans become eligible for a 4th shot.

”…In October, the agency said those immunocompromised people could receive a booster shot — a fourth dose of vaccine, six months after their third dose. These guidelines were consistent with its recommendation for other adults…Last week, hoping to stem the surge of infections with the highly contagious Omicron variant, the C.D.C. shortened that interval to five months for a booster shot for Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna recipients.

Can you get the flu and Covid at the same time?

Is ‘forever boosting’ in our future? And will that beat the coronavirus?

Coronavirus test misinformation rises along with the spread of Omicron.

J. Harris: Lately, the NEW YORK TIMES  is consistently the best source of news that I can find. A couple of years ago, I could beat the NYT and the JOHNS HOPKINS to new covid information by keeping up with several weekly and monthly medical jouranls. I can’t any more.  Local papers, area papers, and Texas Tribune have been helpful but the NYT beaths them all in my opinion. Papers in Washington, DC, Houston, Dallas, and LA are also helpful. I don’t know how to rate the East Texas papers, but they are probably semi-adequate in Covid coverage. NPR RADIO is also a fabulous source and not infrequently they beat the NYT to stories. 

You can subscribe to the NYT for $1.00 a week and stay well informed, including local county and state information. You don’t have to read the opinion pieces. I rarely do. Their sports coverage is also comprehensive. 

“Texas Covid Data” published daily by The Texas Health and Hunam Services Dept. and only about 2 days behind has great stats. The State of Tesas has also done a great job of publicizing Covid information as well as statistics as has Johns Hopkins University.  

A BRIEF LOOK AT PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE US (a short, easy, perplexing read)

click nejm pdf below. 

”Like any honeymoon, though, this one is necessarily transient. (And, to be clear, infections are still never something to be sought out.) No combinations of vaccines or viruses can confer invulnerability to future tussles with SARS-CoV-2. Whether acquired from an injection or an infection, immunity will always work in degrees, not absolutes. (AUDIO ALSO)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

WHAT DID ONE PICKLE SAY TO THE OTHER?

DILL WITH IT!!!!

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P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/8/2022

CASE COUNTS ARE UP,  BUT THE HOSPITALS IN AREA G ARE NOT FULL.

WHO SHALL WE BLAME IF THE HOSPITALS BECOME INUNDATED AGAIN?

A guide to COVID tests: When to test, what kind to use and what your results mean

(J. Harris: From NPR, this basic, simple, quick test article is very helpful.)

COVID TESTING NEAR HARRISON COUNTY

HOSPITAL OVERWHELMED (Washington Post)

The number of young children admitted to hospitals who test positive is rising fast, the C.D.C. reports.

”…More than four in 100,000 children aged 4 years or younger admitted to hospitals were infected with the coronavirus as of Jan. 1 — double the rate reported a month ago, and about three times the rate this time last year….By contrast, the rate of hospitalized children aged 5 through 11 years who were infected was 0.6 per 100,000, roughly the same rate seen over the past months…”

Coronavirus: Scientists Uncover Why Some People Lose Their Sense of Smell

J. Harris: This article is EXCELLENT and readable. 

West Virginia seeks permission to offer 4th vaccine dose

”…West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice sent a letter to the Biden administration requesting the FDA and CDC authorize the state to offer a second booster to people 50 and older and essential workers at least three months after receiving their first booster, according to Jan. 6 news release…right now, Israel is offering a fourth dose to an even bigger population — people who are four months out from their Pfizer or Moderna booster shots. became the first country to broadly roll out fourth doses for healthcare workers and people 60 and older Jan. 2.  Preliminary findings cited by Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during a Jan. 4 news conference indicate a fourth shot of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine sparked a fivefold increase in antibodies. 

FROM HOPKINS ON FRIDAY”

1. Doctors Have An Arsenal Of Covid-19 Treatments, But Setbacks And Shortages Are Undercutting Options (STAT News) On paper, the list of outpatient treatments for Covid-19 seems reassuring. Two oral antivirals have arrived, companies have churned out monoclonal antibody treatments, and all of them, to varying degrees, can help prevent patients from getting so sick they need to be hospitalized. But shortages and setbacks have undercut those options — at a time when more people than ever are getting sick. Supply of some of the treatments, particularly the prized new oral treatment Paxlovid, is extremely constrained. The ascendance of the Omicron variant has nullified the power of some of the monoclonal antibodies.

2. Doctors Have An Arsenal Of Covid-19 Treatments, But Setbacks And Shortages Are Undercutting Options (STAT News) On paper, the list of outpatient treatments for Covid-19 seems reassuring. Two oral antivirals have arrived, companies have churned out monoclonal antibody treatments, and all of them, to varying degrees, can help prevent patients from getting so sick they need to be hospitalized. But shortages and setbacks have undercut those options — at a time when more people than ever are getting sick. Supply of some of the treatments, particularly the prized new oral treatment Paxlovid, is extremely constrained. The ascendance of the Omicron variant has nullified the power of some of the monoclonal antibodies.

SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection Rate and Estimated Effectiveness of the Inactivated Whole Virion Vaccine BBV152 Against Reinfection Among Health Care Workers in New Delhi, India

”This study found an incidence density of reinfection of 7.3 per 100 person-years among HCWs. These cases occurred after a long follow-up period, of 8 months to 1 year, most notably during the second surge of COVID-19 cases, which was linked to the Delta variant. The inactivated vaccine BBV152 appears to offer a high protective effect of 86% in fully vaccinated HCWs against reinfection. The study generates evidence to vaccinate fully with both the doses, even in HCWs who were previously infected to combat the continuous threat of future surges of SARS-CoV-2 and related variants of concern.”

(J. Harris: Another study proves that complete vaccinations with booster works. Interesting., in this study, older reinfected folks did better that the younger.)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes, we arson.

 If you’re sitting in public and a stranger takes the seat next to you, just stare straight ahead and say, “Did you bring the money?”

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P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/7/2022

J. Harris: A large number of people in area G have tested positive for Covid (Omicron mostly). Likely, even more are sick but untested — some completely without symptoms. However, our area hospitals are not overwhelmed. 

We can all help the situation by playing it safe. Don’t get sick. Don’t take chances. 

Some health advisers to Biden’s transition team call on the administration to change its Covid strategy.

(J. Harris: Important summary article which is easy to read. I agree with most of these proposals. )

Study raises doubts about rapid Covid tests’ reliability in early days after infection

(J. Harris: Short, readable article about false-negative Covid tests.)

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST:

”…Doctors are having a hard time getting their hands on the new antiviral pills for treating covid-19. Since their approval late last month, demand for Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’s molnupiravir and Pfizer’s paxlovid has far outpaced supply. The drugs are a promising tool in the fight against omicron, reducing the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk patients if given early. But until production ramps up they’re unlikely to alleviate strain on hospitals and their staff…”

BETADINE/IODINE NASAL SPRAY REVISITED

CLICK PDF

Should I Just Get Omicron Over With?

”…Like any honeymoon, though, this one is necessarily transient. (And, to be clear, infections are still never something to be sought out.) No combinations of vaccines or viruses can confer invulnerability to future tussles with SARS-CoV-2. Whether acquired from an injection or an infection, immunity will always work in degrees, not absolutes…Immunity is, in many ways, a game of repetition. The more frequently, and more intensely, immune cells are exposed to a threat, the more resolutely they’ll commit to fighting it, and the longer they’ll store away any microbial information they glean. Time and viral mutations pare down those protections; vaccines and sickness build them back up. That’s part of why we almost always dose people with vaccines multiple times…”

Here’s When We Expect Omicron to Peak

(J. Harris: A good read.)

”…there are clear indications this wave will differ substantially from previous ones…The record number of cases in the United States and globally is largely because Omicron is more contagious than other variants and has a greater ability to evade immunity to infection. At the same time, early evidence indicates that it’s less common for people infected with Omicron to experience severe disease and end up in the hospital….Our models project that the United States is likely to document more Covid-19 cases in January than in any previous month of the pandemic, but a smaller fraction of those cases will require hospitalization. Whether hospitals experience more or less strain than they did in January 2021 will depend on case numbers and how severe they are. For example, if twice as many people become infected but these people are half as likely to be hospitalized, the demand for hospital beds would be the same. This calculus also applies to estimated deaths from the virus, as well as expected disruptions to the work force…”

When Do I Need to Go to the ER for COVID-19?

(J. Harris: A nice readable layman’s type article. Remember, you can check your temperature and oxygen saturation at home with a couple of inexpensive gadgets.)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

When I say, “The other day,” I could be referring to any time between yesterday and 15 years ago.

Age 60 might be the new 40, but 9:00 pm is the new midnight.

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P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/6/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/6/2022

J. Harris: Area data shows continued escalation of area Covid (Omecron most likely) but we still have ICU/Ventillator capacity. The Shreveport area shows more infestation, but they likely are testing more people. Prudence is indicated as is concern for our health care workers. 

Macron pledges to infuriate France’s unvaccinated by tightening restrictions amid omicron surge

“I am not for pissing off the French … however, the unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off,” he said in an interview published Tuesday in the French newspaper Le Parisien. “I’m not going to throw [the unvaccinated] in prison. I’m not going to get them vaccinated by force. … We put pressure on the unvaccinated by limiting their access to social activities as much as possible….Over 73 percent of the French population has been fully immunized against the virus…That is higher than the European Union average of just under 70 percent.”

(J. Harris: Good for Macron.)

 Our Relationship With COVID Vaccines Is Just Getting Started

(J. Harris: This is a thoughtful and helpful article that is easily read.)

FROM SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MORE ABOUT HOUSTON’S DR. HOTEZ’S CORBEVAX VACCINE: A COVID Vaccine for All

”…This new COVID vaccine has several distinct features that make it particularly suitable for use in resource-poor settings: it is safe, effective and can be locally produced at very high quantities. CORBEVAX is easy to store and inexpensive. We hope it will be used in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where vaccine availability has generally been abysmal…When compared with doses of the AstraZeneca–University of Oxford vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, CORBEVAX also produced a higher amount of neutralizing antibodies against the Delta and Beta variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID (We expect to have Omicron data soon.) And it provided more durable and lasting protection. The vaccine neutralized variants of concern in laboratory animal studies and was highly protective in two nonhuman primate challenge trials. The trial results are being prepared for submission to a peer-reviewed journal….During this next year, we hope to partner with the World Health Organization and other United Nations agencies to finally vaccinate the world. We believe that, with our low-cost yet highly effective, safe, and easy to store and distribute recombinant protein vaccine, we might finally achieve global vaccine equity and overcome vaccine hesitancy and refusal. This is a critical next step to vaccinate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic….”

CURRENT HOPKINS CITED ARTICLES:

1. A Variant Found in France is Not a Concern, the W.H.O. Says (New York Times) The World Health Organization says that it is monitoring a coronavirus variant detected in a small number of patients in France, but that, for now, there is little reason to worry about its spread. The B.1.640.2 variant was first identified in October and uploaded to Gisaid, a database for disease variants, on Nov. 4. Only about 20 samples have been sequenced so far, experts said this week, and only one since early December.

2. Covid Deaths in the United States Surpass 800,000 (New York Times) Coronavirus deaths in the United States surpassed 800,000 on Wednesday, according to a New York Times database, as the pandemic neared the end of a second year and as known virus cases in this country rose above 50 million.

3. Receipt of COVID-19 Vaccine During Pregnancy and Preterm or Small-for-Gestational Age at Birth – Eight Integrated Health Care Organizations, United States, December 15, 2020, – July 22, 2021 (CDC MMWR) In a retrospective cohort of >40,000 pregnant women, COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with preterm birth or small-for-gestational-age at birth overall, stratified by trimester of vaccination, or number of vaccine doses received during pregnancy, compared with unvaccinated pregnant women.

4. Early Israeli Findings Show Fivefold Boost from Fourth COVID Vaccine Dose (CIDRAP) Researchers from Israel reported promising preliminary findings from a study on fourth COVID-19 vaccine shots, which suggest the second booster produces a fivefold increase in antibody levels.

5. J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Boosts Protection Against Hospitalization 85 Percent, Even Around Omicron (Homeland Preparedness News) Johnson & Johnson (J&J) released news from the South African Phase 3b Sisonke study of its COVID-19 booster vaccine, which demonstrated 85 percent effectiveness against COVID-19 induced hospitalization, even in a region dominated by the omicron variant. 

Health What is ‘flurona’? Coronavirus and influenza co-infections reported as omicron surges.

”… flurona is not a distinct disease but refers to when a person has been infected with both viruses. Flurona instances have been detected in countries including the United States, Israel, Brazil, the Philippines and Hungary, some even before the term was coined…”

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

To me, “drink responsibly” means don’t spill it.

The older I get, the earlier it gets late.

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P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/5/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/5/2022

Our Area “G” and area doctors are seeing lots of Omicron but the hospitals are not yet filled. 

From the Texas Tribune today:

”COVID-19 trends: With the omicron surge in full swing in the state, here’s the latest on what we know about COVID-19 trends.

Texas is reporting that 1 in 3 COVID-19 tests are coming back positive, a record high. The share of positive cases reported is called the positivity rate. A rate over 10% puts states in the “red zone,” according to federal guidelines. We are far past that threshold: Texas is at 34.4%.

Hospitalizations have more than doubled compared to two weeks ago. Keep in mind that hospitalizations are still far below the pandemic peak of 14,218 on Jan. 11, 2021.

Five of the state’s 22 hospital regions are reporting that more than 15% of local hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Earlier in the pandemic, a threshold of 15% was one factor Texas Gov. Greg Abbott used to define a region as a “danger zone” that led to business closures. Abbott has taken a largely hands-off approach to the omicron variant.

At least 45 Texas hospitals reported that their ICU beds were filled to capacity last week. That is a rising number — but one that is still far below earlier pandemic peaks.

Meanwhile, many Texas K-12 schools are pushing through with plans for in-person classes despite a surge in COVID-19 cases as officials try to reassure parents and students they are prepared to open safely this week.”

[The Washington Post] Opinion | Omicron is bad. But we don’t need to resort to lockdowns. (recommended by the NYT)

”…where we are: The risk to individuals is low, while the risk to society is high. Policy solutions that demand substantial individual sacrifice will not work; instead, we need to acknowledge the public’s very real weariness and come up with practical strategies that keep society functioning…..

”Research is increasingly pointing to omicron causing less severe disease compared with previous variants. In addition, vaccination — especially with a booster — appears highly protective against hospitalization and death. The tsunami of viral transmission means that many vaccinated people will have breakthrough infections, but the vast majority will have symptoms somewhere between a mild cold and the flu….The United States has three options for dealing with this surge. First, we could reimpose lockdowns. While some European and Asian countries have chosen this path, I believe it’s a nonstarter here. Even if lockdowns could more quickly bring omicron under control, there is no political appetite or public backing for this level of collective sacrifice.

”Second, we could let omicron run its course. There’s a school of thought that omicron is so contagious it will infect nearly everyone anyway, and it’s better to get this variant and develop additional immunity. Instead of trying to stop it, we could treat omicron as we do a common cold: We don’t isolate people with colds, and getting rid of isolation and quarantine would alleviate staffing shortages and keep the economy going. However, this path of uncontrolled spread would almost assuredly push many hospitals over the edge, and patients could die because they can’t access timely care.

”There is a third path that aims to save our hospitals while also minimizing disruption. We don’t need to ask people to stay home, but we should require that they wear high-quality masks in all indoor public spaces. We don’t need to cancel gatherings, but we should mandate proof of vaccination — and boosters — for all indoor dining, gyms, movie theaters, and sporting events….The United States has three options for dealing with this surge. First, we could reimpose lockdowns. While some European and Asian countries have chosen this path, I believe it’s a nonstarter here. Even if lockdowns could more quickly bring omicron under control, there is no political appetite or public backing for this level of collective sacrifice.

There is a third path that aims to save our hospitals while also minimizing disruption. We don’t need to ask people to stay home, but we should require that they wear high-quality masks in all indoor public spaces. We don’t need to cancel gatherings, but we should mandate proof of vaccination — and boosters — for all indoor dining, gyms, movie theaters, and sporting events…

Initial results of a 4th-dose study in Israel show an expected rise in antibodies.

”…Israel is facing a surge in coronavirus cases, driven by the Omicron variant. In an effort to protect the most vulnerable parts of the population, Israel has already begun offering fourth vaccine doses to people 60 and over, to people with weakened immune systems, and to medical and nursing home workers…”

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

  1. If you might have been exposed to COVID-19, you should stay home. This is called quarantine.
  2. Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.
  3. You should isolate if you have COVID-19, whether or not you have symptoms.
  4. Isolation separates people who are infected with viruse from others, even in their home. 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE COVID?

1. Talk to your doctor if you have one.

2. Carefully Study this Texas website:

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)

(J. Harris: In my opinion, our Texas website is now GREAT.  If you take your time and check out the subcategories in which you have an interest, you will know t what to do if you are exposed, or get sick, want a vaccination, or want to go to the opera. The answers to most all questions will be on this site. In addition, our local Health Dept. can be reached at 903 938-8338.)

Quarantine and Isolation (In detail)

FROM  THE ATLANTIC: Several articles on testing.

1. The Atlantic Daily: What Rapid Tests Miss

2. Don’t Be Surprised When You Get Omicron

3. Stop Wasting COVID Tests, People

”We don’t want our limited testing supply “tied up by people who just want to know so they can visit their friends or go to the opera…But other types of COVID screening—before and after family gatherings, for instance, or while visiting nearby vacation destinations—are optional. It might seem reckless to suggest that people undergo less surveillance; indeed, the standard expert’s take has been the opposite, that we all should screen ourselves as often as possible in order to help reduce community spread. But even with increased testing, we stand little chance of controlling Omicron this winter at the population level. And testing is, for now, a zero-sum game. Each unnecessary swab that you consume means one fewer is available for more important purposes—such as diagnosing asymptomatic infection….We should also try to allocate tests based on underlying risks. The unvaccinated are, overall, most in danger of being hospitalized and dying from the virus, so they are also, overall, the people who benefit the most from having those around them screened for infection. Social bubbles being what they are, I suspect that many people with arsenals of at-home tests spend much of their personal time around other vaccinated and relatively low-risk individuals, making the public-health benefits of their personal screening programs marginal at best.”

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED: 

NEW JOKES FROM MAYOR AUDREY KARIEL:

I had my patience tested. I’m negative.

 When one door closes and another door opens, you are probably in prison.

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P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/4/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/4/2022

Notice the “COVID PERCENT OF HOSP CAPACITY ” above. Last year, Gov. Abbot ordered a shut down when it reached “15” %. We remain well below that number (which reached about 26%). Area G admissions are up, but not spectacularly so. Thus, I am reasonably sure that we are mostly seeing the Omicron variant rather than Delta. Last year we had a max of 266 patients in G on ventilators. Currently, we have 39. Additionally, in most areas, unvaccinated people, often younger folks, make up most of the hospitalized patients. For a lot of us “mature” folks, it’s time for a 4th jab. The Harrison Cty Health Clinic has Pfizer vaccine.  903 938-8338. Many locals have recently been exposed to Covid, including me and my family — so we are hiding out at present. 

Global Percentage of Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among the Tested Population and Individuals With Confirmed COVID-19 Diagnosis (FROM JAMA)

Key Points

Question  What is the percentage of asymptomatic individuals with positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 among tested individuals and those with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis?

Findings  In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 95 unique studies with 29 776 306 individuals undergoing testing, the pooled percentage of asymptomatic infections was 0.25% among the tested population and 40.50% among the population with confirmed COVID-19.

Meaning  The high percentage of asymptomatic infections from this study highlights the potential transmission risk of asymptomatic infections in communities.

”…In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we found that the pooled percentage of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections among the tested population was 0.25%. Among the confirmed population, 40.50% of individuals had asymptomatic infections. The high percentage of asymptomatic infections highlights the potential transmission risk of asymptomatic infections in communities. Screening for asymptomatic infection is required, especially for countries and regions that have successfully controlled SARS-CoV-2. Asymptomatic infections should be under management similar to that for confirmed infections, including isolating and contact tracing….”

ALSO FROM CURRENT JAMA:

Analysis of COVID-19 Vaccine Type and Adverse Effects Following Vaccination

Conclusions

In this real-world cohort, serious COVID-19 vaccine adverse effects were rare, and overall adverse effects were similar to industry and government reports. This independent evaluation enabled the comparison of adverse effects between vaccine manufacturers, noting that adverse effects were more common with mRNA-1273 compared with BNT162b2. Large digital cohort studies may provide a mechanism for independent postmarket surveillance of drugs and devices.

(J. Harris: Reassuring  article wih good graphics and readable conclusions.)

FROM BECKER:

19 healthcare organizations suspending COVID-19 vaccination mandates

2. Michael Dowling: A call for civility and decency

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P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/3/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/3/2022

The state Covid numbers are still not updated. Here’s a quick look. Tomorrow should be helpful. Wear your masks. 

FROM NPR THIS AM

FDA authorizes a Pfizer booster shot for children ages 12 to 15

FROM THE NYT:

‘1. The virus is spreading faster than ever, but new data offer hope.The virus is spreading faster than ever, but new data offer hope.

2. Israel will offer a 4th Covid shot to people 60 and over.

LASTLY:

Headline of the day:

City unsure why the sewer smells

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iExposed Us 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/2/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –1/2/2022

Editor’s Comment:
Please wish our aging Doctor a Happy Birthday!

OCTOGENARIAN ISSUE:

[Marshall News Messenger] Local Walmart pharmacies to dispense authorized COVID-19 antiviral medication

Prescription-only, drive in pick-up. I am unsure about which locations are stocked. J. Harris

NO ONE IS COUNTING COVID CASES DURING THE HOLIDAY. GOOD COUNTS WILL LIKELY BE OUT MONDAY AFTERNOON AND TUESDAY. I EXPECT THEM TO BE ELEVATED AS TO NUMBERS ILL, BUT I EXPECT THAT THE HOSPITAL COUNTS WON’T BE AS CROWDED AS LAST YEAR? THE NYT CHART BELOW HASN’T CHANGED MUCH IN 3 DAYS. 

The Doctor’s Oldest Tool by Elvin H. Geng, M.D., M.P.H.

(J. Harris: A nice article written by a working doctor regarding Trust. I took the liberty of slight rearrangement.)

“…I can independently evaluate and confirm the science. I am part of a “chain of trust” in a social system that has treated me fairly and generously…I believe what my [research] colleagues say because of my proximity to their experience: I work with people like the scientists who conducted the earliest studies, and I know them to be generally honorable and credible…public health and medicine have struggled with public dissent over social distancing, masking, and now vaccination. Covid denialism, like AIDS denialism, reveals that many of doctors’ assumptions are incorrect. We overestimate the value of reasoning and facts. We believe in our clinical authority. We expect patients to behave rationally. But we all develop our beliefs through interactions with other people — what you believe depends on whom you trust…But if acceptance of Covid vaccines and other evidence-based interventions depends on trust, then doctors have one important card to play. Primary care doctors in particular can know our patients as people, their needs and wants, their preferences and idiosyncrasies, sometimes their fears and hopes. But even hospitalists who round on a patient for several days form a bond. No disembodied message (even if crafted by marketing experts) can compete with someone you know who will pull up a chair. Even though the pandemic has pushed those in our profession to our emotional and professional limits, one of our oldest tools may turn out to be one of our best: talking with patients. By getting to know patients’ stories, and perhaps letting them know ours, we might be able to add a link to the chain of trust, even if it is a single one, and collectively these conversations may be one potential remedy for the afflicted social fabric of our times…”

Effect of Colchicine vs Usual Care Alone on Intubation and 28-Day Mortality in Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19

This randomized clinical trial found that colchicine did not significantly reduce the need for mechanical ventilation or 28-day mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia.This randomized clinical trial found that colchicine did not significantly reduce the need for mechanical ventilation or 28-day mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Questions Remain About Who Will Get Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19 Preexposure Prophylaxis

”…The FDA authorized AZD7442, which is administered in 2 intramuscular injections, 1 of tixagevimab and 1 of cilgavimab, for 2 groups of people:

Those whose medical condition or immunosuppressive therapy has left them with a moderate to severely compromised immune system that might not adequately respond to COVID-19 vaccination. They might be receiving treatment for solid tumor or blood cancers, immunosuppressive therapy to prevent rejection of a solid organ transplant, or chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)–T cell therapy, according to the FDA’s AZD7442 fact sheet for clinicians….Individuals who’ve had severe reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine or its components and, therefore, can’t get fully vaccinated.

DAN REEVES DIES OF DEMENTIA

Lest anyone think I have lost interest in brain damage due to tackle football, I include an almost unbelievable list of former players, both living and dead, who had, probably had, or think they have dementia due to tackle football. Show it to your grandson when he’s trying to decide if he wants to play tackle. It is more likely than not that most of these players played tackle football when they were very young. 

List of NFL players with chronic traumatic encephalopathy

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iExposed Us 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688