Monday CoronaBuzz, August 16, 2021: 84 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

I have been testing some new workflows and they’re working really well, as you can tell by today’s article count. ResearchBuzz Firehose will have indexed 10,000 articles about covid by mid-September. I know that it doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s just me doing it and I have to feel like I’m doing SOMETHING meaningful. I’ll do a little writeup on how to search/monitor it when we get to 10,000. Please stay safe. Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask when you’re inside with a bunch of people. Much love.


Johns Hopkins University: ‘Anytown, USA’ Tool Simulates Covid-19 Spread In Small Towns . “Interactive online platform allows users to simulate how different public health measures might affect COVID-19 infection outcomes in a typical Midwestern town of about 6,000 people.”


WUSF: How To Find The Latest On Florida COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, Vaccines, Testing Sites And More. “WUSF has created a guide to help you keep up to date on the latest information about the coronavirus and its impacts to Florida and the United States.”


Mashable: How to feel safe kissing as the Delta variant is on the rise . “In this latest, nebulous phase of the pandemic for some parts of the world, Kim doesn’t believe she’s on the same page as other daters. The 28-year-old UK resident isn’t yet vaccinated, and she isn’t ready to date again due to COVID fear. Kim isn’t alone. Amid COVID and the rising Delta variant, some singles are still afraid to physically connect with others — vaccinated or not.”


CNN: Florida reports record high number of new Covid-19 cases this week. “Data published Friday by the state health department showed 151,415 new Covid-19 cases over the past week, for an average of 21,630 cases each day. The previous record high was just a week ago — on August 6 — with 134,711 total cases reported over seven days, for an average of 19,244 cases each day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.”

Cal Matters: The Lambda COVID variant is in California: 5 things to know. “The emerging lambda variant has been popping up in the news as it spreads rapidly throughout South America. In California, at least 152 cases have been reported, the first as early as September 2020, according to state public health officials. Experts say lambda could be more infectious and resistant to vaccines than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. But there is no evidence, at least so far, that it’s as infectious as the delta variant that now dominates California.”

ABC News: Total vaccination numbers up as cities announce vaccine mandates. “White House chief of staff Ronald Klain said in a post on Twitter Friday that Covid vaccinations had reached their highest 24-hour total since before July 4, with 918,000 doses administered and 576,000 newly vaccinated, up from 821,000 and 565,000 respectively last Friday.”

Tampa Bay Times: Florida adds 151,415 coronavirus cases, 1,071 deaths in past week. “Florida officials reported 151,415 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Aug. 6-12, an average of more than 21,600 infections per day. This marks the third consecutive week that the state has set a new record for weekly infections. The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 2,877,214 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported 17 months ago on March 1, 2020.”

BBC: Australia: New South Wales ‘in worst ever Covid situation’. “The leader of New South Wales has warned this is “the worst situation Australia’s been in” since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said rules would be tightened in Sydney, the state capital, which is in lockdown. Covid fines will also go up to AU$5,000 (US$3,685; £2,656) from AU$1,000.”

CNN: US could soon hit more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases per day, NIH director warns. “The US could soon see more than 200,000 new cases of Covid-19 every day as the Delta variant spreads at a rapid pace, particularly among unvaccinated people, the director of the National Institutes of Health predicted.”

Washington Post: Iceland has been a vaccination success. Why is it seeing a coronavirus surge?. “Vaccine opponents have gleefully pointed to Iceland as proof that the shots are a ‘failure.’ But contrary to online misinformation and conspiratorial social media posts, infectious-disease experts say Iceland’s outbreak actually illustrates how effective the vaccines are at preventing the virus’s most severe impacts. Many of the country’s recent infections have occurred among vaccinated people, but they’ve been overwhelmingly mild. So even as new cases multiplied, Iceland’s rates of covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths have remained low. Of the 1,300 people currently infected, just 2 percent are in the hospital. The country hasn’t recorded a virus death since late May.”

Detroit News: ‘I feel lost’: Michigan loses more than 20,000 dead to COVID-19. “… about 1 in 504 Michiganians has died from the virus. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday 20,011 confirmed deaths as the state prepares for a projected new onslaught of infections caused by the highly transmissible delta variant that is sweeping the country. Michigan added 29 deaths over a two-day period to surpass the milestone and had 3,127 new infections to reach 919,133 confirmed cases.”


New York Times: Virus Misinformation Spikes as Delta Cases Surge. “Coronavirus misinformation has spiked online in recent weeks, misinformation experts say, as people who peddle in falsehoods have seized on the surge of cases from the Delta variant to spread new and recycled unsubstantiated narratives.”

CNET: Facebook pulls down fake accounts that spread COVID-19 vaccine disinformation. “Facebook said Tuesday that it pulled down 308 fake accounts, including from Instagram, that pushed disinformation about the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.”

New York Times: Twitter suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene for 7 days over vaccine misinformation.. “Twitter on Tuesday suspended Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, from its service for seven days after she posted that the Food and Drug Administration should not give the coronavirus vaccines full approval and that the vaccines were ‘failing.'”

Engadget: Why is Facebook so bad at countering vaccine misinformation?. “Last month, the Surgeon General issued an advisory warning of the dangers of health misinformation online. The accompanying 22-page report didn’t call out any platforms by name, but it highlighted algorithmic amplification and other issues commonly associated with Facebook. The following day, President Joe Biden made headlines when he said that misinformation on Facebook was ‘killing people.'”

New York Times: Inside the White House-Facebook Rift Over Vaccine Misinformation . “In March, Andy Slavitt, then a top pandemic adviser for President Biden, called Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs, and delivered an ominous warning. For many weeks, Mr. Slavitt and other White House officials had been meeting with Facebook to urge the company to stop the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus vaccines. Many Americans who refused to get vaccinated had cited false stories they read on Facebook, including theories that the shots could lead to infertility, stillborn babies and autism. Mr. Slavitt and other officials felt that executives were deflecting blame and resisting requests for information.”

AP: Misinformation at public forums vexes local boards, big tech. “There are plenty of places to turn for accurate information about COVID-19. Your physician. Local health departments. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control. But not, perhaps, your local government’s public comment session. During a meeting of the St. Louis County Council earlier this month, opponents of a possible mask mandate made so many misleading comments about masks, vaccines and COVID-19 that YouTube removed the video for violating its policies against false claims about the virus.”


ABC News: As evictions loom, rent is ‘out of reach’ for most low-wage workers across US, report shows. “When the pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020, Schantayln Sherman, a single mother of a daughter with special needs, faced a series of medical and financial setbacks that left her unable to pay her rent. As she received rental assistance, Sherman said she tried to look for more affordable housing but that it was the ‘hardest thing’ because stock is low, demand is high, waitlists are long and restrictions in terms of credit scores and income levels are limiting.”

Route Fifty: Evictions To Impact More Black, Latino Households. “Nationwide, about 58% of households headed by Black/African American adults rent their homes, as do nearly 52% of Hispanic/Latino adults, according to Pew’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. By contrast, 28% of white households and 40% of Asian households live in rental units. Sixty-six percent of U.S. residents age 35 or younger are more likely to rent than other age groups, according to Pew. About 42% of renters are 35 to 44 years old and 32% are 45 to 54 years old.”

Washington Post: Nearly a third of U.S. workers under 40 considered changing careers during the pandemic. “Nearly 1 in 3 American workers under 40 have thought about changing their occupation or field of work since the pandemic began, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, conducted July 6 to 21. About 1 in 5 workers overall have considered a professional shift, a signal that the pandemic has been a turning point for many, even those who did not contract the coronavirus.”


Vice: Anti-Vaxxers Tried to Storm the BBC. They Got the Wrong Building.. “While Television Centre was once the BBC HQ, it is now mainly used to make light entertainment TV shows and also includes flats, raising the question of why protesters targeted it.”

NBC News: Person stabbed as vaccination demonstrators clash outside Los Angeles City Hall. “One person was stabbed Saturday outside Los Angeles City Hall during dueling protests by pro- and anti-vaccination demonstrators. The victim, described by police as male, was treated by fire department personnel, the Los Angeles Police Department said on Instagram.”


CNBC: Texas deploys 2,500 out-of-state medical workers to fight Covid as younger patients crowd hospitals. “Hospitals in Texas are suspending elective procedures and turning to 2,500 medical workers from other states to help combat a surge in Covid cases as increasingly younger and healthier patients who didn’t get vaccinated against the virus crowd treatment floors.”

Washington Post: Hospitals struggle with staff shortages in coronavirus hot spots. “Just north of Miami, covid-19 patients are flooding into the six Broward County hospitals run by Memorial Healthcare System, as Florida is being slammed with the highest rate of coronavirus admissions in the country. Memorial has enough beds. Not so with nurses. The hospital system has scrambled to hire 439 travel nurses from as far away as Alaska, and it is offering some of its own nurses well-paid short-term contracts to compete with the appeal of working for lucrative outside agencies. It is beginning to pause some elective surgeries to shift staff members to patients sick with covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Even so, the large public health-care system has about 700 nursing vacancies.”

AL: Children’s of Alabama treating 22 COVID patients, highest ever since pandemic began. “Children’s of Alabama is treating 22 COVID-19 patients — including five who are on ventilators –, more children than at any other time during the pandemic, the Birmingham hospital said Thursday. Children’s reported a ‘significant increase’ in COVID-19 patients treated at the hospital in recent weeks.”

Washington Post: ‘This is real’: Fear and hope in an Arkansas pediatric ICU. “Today, as delta infections mount, some front line doctors suggest children are being hospitalized at higher rates and with more serious illnesses because of the new variant — a still-unproven hypothesis. What is indisputable is that in a swath of low-vaccination states stretching from Florida, South Carolina and Texas, up to Indiana and Missouri, the first large wave of pediatric cases is hitting hard — overwhelming hospitals, dominating political debates over mask and vaccine mandates and throwing school reopening plans into disarray.”

Texas Tribune: COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Texas nursing homes, and nearly half of workers are unvaccinated. “The number of nursing homes across the state with at least one active COVID-19 case has shot up nearly 800% in the past month — while nearly half of nursing home employees in Texas remain unvaccinated.”

CNN: ‘Your child will wait for another child to die.’ Amid Covid-19 surge, Dallas County has no pediatric ICU beds left, county judge says. “Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging and in Dallas County, Texas, there are ‘zero ICU beds left for children,’ county judge Clay Jenkins said in a news conference Friday morning. ‘That means if your child’s in a car wreck, if your child has a congenital heart defect or something and needs an ICU bed, or more likely if they have Covid and need an ICU bed, we don’t have one. Your child will wait for another child to die,’ Jenkins said.”

Nola: Feds send doctors, nurses to Children’s Hospital New Orleans to help amid COVID surge. “The federal government has sent a team of doctors, nurses and medical professionals to Children’s Hospital New Orleans to help the facility care for the surge of children hospitalized with COVID. The state requested the help from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to a statement from the hospital.”

BBC: ‘This was a race and we lost’: How US doctors really feel about Covid surge. “A rise in the number of Covid patients in hospital, a surge in deaths, and rampant misinformation about the disease have made some feel like it’s ‘summer 2020 all over again’. But has the vaccine changed anything? Do medical professionals have hope for the fall? We went back to several healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, and medical staff – who we spoke to last summer, to ask how they are faring nearly 18 months into the Covid pandemic.”

Newsweek: Man Shot 6 Times Waits 1 Week For Surgery at Hospital Overwhelmed by COVID. “A Texas man who was shot six times is still waiting for surgery in a Houston hospital about a week after the shooting as the facility struggles due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Joel Valdez is waiting for surgery at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, Texas and spoke to Fox 26 about the situation, advising people to do their best to keep healthy and not end up in the hospital right now.”

KUTV: Intermountain ICUs at 102% capacity as COVID-19 cases spike in Utah. ” Officials at Intermountain Healthcare reported that ICU and acute care units in its hospitals have jumped at or over 100 percent capacity as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state. The increase in spiking coronavirus cases is impacting the welfare of Utah caregivers while taking a toll on hospitals.”

HuffPost: COVID-19 Hospitalizations For Americans In Their 30s Hit All-Time High. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 170,852 hospital admissions of those age 30 to 39 from the beginning of August 2020 to last Wednesday. The number of daily admissions, based on a seven-day average, jumped from 908 the week beginning July 29 to 1,113 the week starting Aug. 5. That’s a 22.6% bounce — and still climbing.”

Fox 11 Los Angeles: Brevard residents warned to only call for ambulance or go to ER for true emergency. Yes, Brevard County is in Florida. This looks syndicated. “Brevard County’s Emergency Management Director and the Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief are pleading with the public to only to the emergency room or call an ambulance if you truly have an emergency. The two men are asking residents to consider other options before taxing ambulance services with non-emergency calls and showing up at the ER for a COVID test when tests are offered at local drug stores and many primary care physicians’ offices. ”


Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums and Libraries Join Forces to Boost Vaccine Confidence. “The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the American Library Association (ALA), and the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) today announced the launch of Communities for Immunity, an unprecedented partnership to boost COVID-19 vaccine confidence in communities across the United States.”

The Alabama Baptist: Church leaders faced with more decisions on how to handle masking, distancing as Delta variant spreads. “With the CDC’s latest recommendation that all people, vaccinated or not, wear masks indoors (see updated coronavirus-related guidelines released July 27), Alabama Baptist churches are again faced with decisions about how to handle masking and social distancing. And church leaders across the state are assessing the situation in their local communities to make decisions about how to proceed.”


CBC: Google employees who opt to work from home may earn less than they did before. “Google employees based in the same office before the pandemic could see changes in pay if they switch to working from home permanently, according to a company pay calculator seen by Reuters.”

Oregon Live: Chinook Winds casino closes for at least two weeks due to coronavirus. “One of the Oregon coast’s most popular attractions is temporarily shutting down, as a COVID-19 surge has led to record numbers of cases and hospitalizations in Oregon. The Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City announced Thursday that it had closed to the public with a goal to reopen two weeks later on Aug. 26.”

Tech Xplore: COVID variant causes Southwest to lower hopes for 3Q profit. “Southwest Airlines said Wednesday that it no longer expects to turn a profit in the third quarter as a surge in COVID-19 infections fueled by the highly contagious delta variant darkens the outlook for travel. The disclosure comes just three weeks after Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said the airline had passed a milestone by earning a profit in June.”

CNET: Facebook delays return to US offices to 2022. “With the surge of COVID-19 cases and the spread of the delta variant, Facebook told its US employees on Thursday that they won’t be required to come back into offices until January 2022. The company had initially planed to reopen its US offices at 50% capacity by September and implement a full return by October.”


Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Notably clever’: If Russia’s vaccine is so good, why isn’t it more widely used?. “… as questions linger over how closely Russia is monitoring for rare side effects and export supply fails to live up to the Kremlin’s big promises, Russia’s new tool of influence on the world stage is proving volatile. It’s already brought down the prime minister of Slovakia, spawned both propaganda and anti-vax misinformation campaigns and triggered a defamation suit between Russia and Brazil. So, what is the Sputnik V vaccine and does it live up to the scientific heights of the satellite it was named after?”

Mashable: President Biden enlists @dudewithsign to encourage vaccination. “The account @dudewithsign shared a photo of Seth Phillips, the man behind the account and Biden posing in front of the White House with cardboard signs promoting vaccination to his 7.5 million followers on Instagram. Biden also posted the photo to the @potus account as a Story, which has 18 million followers.”

CBC: Federal government to require vaccinations for all federal public servants, air and train passengers. “Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced today that the federal government will soon require that all public servants be vaccinated — a mandate that he said will also be implemented by Crown corporations and other federally regulated businesses in the coming weeks. While Canada’s vaccination rate is among the highest in the world — 81 per cent of all eligible Canadians have had at least one dose — Alghabra said the country ‘must do better.'”


State of Washington: Inslee announces vaccination requirement for most state employees, private health care and long-term care workers. “Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a requirement for most state workers, and on-site contractors and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. State employees and workers in private health care and long-term care settings will have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated.”

Click2Houston: Harris County granted temporary restraining order pausing Gov. Abbott’s order on banning mask mandates. “On Friday, a Travis County District Court judge granted Harris County’s request for an order preventing the state from enforcing Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest executive order regarding mask mandates. Abbott’s executive order prohibits local officials from mandating masks as a means to prevent COVID-19 transmission.”

AL: Gov. Kay Ivey issues ‘limited’ COVID-19 emergency order; ‘No statewide mandates, closures’. “Gov. Kay Ivey issued today what the governor’s office called a ‘limited, narrowly-focused’ state of emergency declaration that she said was intended to help hospitals and health care workers respond to the surging COVID-19 pandemic.”

AP: COVID-stricken Oregon deploys National Guard to hospitals. “Oregon’s governor said Friday she will send up to 1,500 National Guard troops to hospitals around the state to assist healthcare workers who are being pushed to the brink by a surge of COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant.”

Route Fifty: One State’s Covid-19 Vaccine Lottery Prompted More Than 100,000 People To Get Vaccinated. “Research from Harvard University found that Ohio’s Vax-a-Million promotion, which offered money and scholarships, was an effective way to persuade hesitant residents to get the shots.”

Politico: Inside America’s Covid-reporting breakdown. “Oklahoma’s struggle is America’s. The CDC relies on states to identify and monitor viral outbreaks that, if uncontrolled, can kill thousands of people. But the coronavirus exposed a patchwork system in which state officials struggled to control the spread of Covid-19 because their outdated surveillance systems did not allow them to collect and analyze data in real-time, according to a six-month POLITICO investigation that included interviews with four dozen health officials in 25 states and more than a dozen current and former officials at the CDC and other federal health agencies.”


Washington Post: As Gov. Ron DeSantis consolidates his power in Florida, some local officials rebuke his leadership style. “[St. Petersburg Mayor Rick] Kriseman’s distance from Florida’s chief executive — a concern echoed by other mayors and county officials — highlights the tensions that have polarized the Sunshine State throughout DeSantis’s tenure as he has steadily expanded the powers of his office while using it to blunt that of local officials. The problem now, some say, is that his focus on concentrating control in the executive mansion is hurting their efforts to combat the biggest health crisis the state has faced in generations.”

San Francisco Chronicle: With more people hooking up, S.F. health officials push to get people back on PrEP. “Year after year, San Francisco has seen the number of new HIV diagnoses fall, with the stated goal of becoming the first jurisdiction in the United States to reach zero new infections. Part of the progress — down to 166 diagnoses in 2019 — is owed to pre-exposure prophylaxis, a set of drugs commonly known as PrEP, which must be taken with some regularity when an individual is sexually active. During the height of the pandemic, however, when people were sticking close to home, many LGBTQ patients fell off the daily pill and new enrollments dropped considerably.”


Daily Beast: This Tennessee Republican Nearly Died From COVID. Now He’s Fighting Masks.. “On Wednesday night, [David] Byrd joined all 73 members of the House Republican caucus in petitioning Gov. Bill Lee to call a special session of the legislature to prohibit local mask mandates and keep businesses from barring the unvaccinated. At a time when virus infections were breaking records set back when he got sick, Byrd’s signature on the letter made him part of a deadly double speak.”

New York Times: A Return to Freedom, After Nearly a Year Trapped Indoors Under Lockdown. “‘This is more fun than I’ve had in a year.’ In June, a long-term-care home resident experienced the joy of the outside world after nearly a year locked indoors because of coronavirus restrictions.”

ABC News: Family speaks out after boy, 12, hospitalized with COVID-19. “An Alabama family’s life was turned upside down when their 12-year-old son, a healthy, strong athlete, caught COVID-19 and landed in the hospital struggling to breathe. Brody Barnett, a seventh grader from Chilton County, and his family are speaking out to warn the public of the dangers of the delta variant.”

WNCT: NC Rep. Keith Kidwell, wife in hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19. “NC Rep. Keith Kidwell, who serves District 79 and Beaufort County, announced on Friday that he is in the hospital after his wife was diagnosed with COVID-19. It has since been learned both have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.”

Religion News Service: Cardinal Burke is placed on ventilator days after testing positive for COVID-19. “A message from the Twitter account of Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a conservative prelate and outspoken skeptic of the COVID-19 vaccine, confirmed Saturday (Aug. 14) via Twitter that he had been placed on a ventilator after testing positive for the virus.”


EurekAlert: Football without the fans: new study reveals effect of empty stadiums during pandemic. “Playing professional football games in empty stadiums had a hugely negative effect on the success of home teams, with home advantage almost halved, new research shows. Home advantage describes the benefit a sports team playing at their own venue is said to enjoy over the visiting team. This could be attributed to the effect of fans on the players or referee; playing in familiar surroundings and the effects of travel on the visiting team.”

BBC: Tokyo Paralympics: Spectators will not be allowed at the Games. “Spectators will not be allowed at the Tokyo Paralympic Games because of the city’s ongoing struggle with coronavirus, organisers have confirmed. The Japanese government has proposed expanding and extending the country’s state of emergency, with the Paralympics beginning on 24 August.”


News4Jax: Ware County closes all 11 schools after ‘sharp increase’ in COVID-19 cases. “After just over a week in session, Ware County Schools made the decision Friday to put the school year on hold following a ‘sharp increase’ in the number of positive COVID-19 cases reported among students and staff. The Southeast Georgia school system said in an email to parents it will temporarily cease daily operations for traditional and digital students and most staff members in all 11 schools through Aug. 27 and students won’t return to school until Sept. 7.”

BuzzFeed News: School Is Back And Thousands Of Students Are Already In Quarantine After Being Exposed To COVID-19. “Thousands of students who have returned to schools across the US are already in quarantine after having been exposed to COVID-19 as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to wreak havoc on reopening plans.”

PsyPost: High school students who attended school remotely during the pandemic report worse social, emotional, and academic well-being. “A recent study published in Educational Researcher sheds light on how students were impacted by the transition to remote schooling during the COVID-19 crisis. A survey of high school students revealed that those who attended school remotely during the pandemic fared worse emotionally, academically, and socially than those who attended in person.”


Duke Today: Two Clusters Of Covid Cases Identified Among Students. “Duke and Durham County Department of Public Health have identified two clusters of COVID-19 cases related to gatherings of two groups of students over the last week. A ‘cluster’ is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more related cases that are deemed to be in close proximity of time and location, such as a residential hall or apartment complex. ”

WRAL: Duke, UNC see unexpected COVID-19 clusters among vaccinated students. “The school year is off to a rocky start for at least two Triangle universities. Both have reported large COVID-19 clusters among vaccinated students before classes have even begun – and one even originated at an outdoor event.”


KCAL: Exclusive: 14-Year-Old Orange County Boy Hospitalized For COVID-19 Psychosis. “After 15 members of one Orange County family came down with COVID-19 in mid-June — contracted they believe at an indoor birthday party — the youngest of the group is still suffering aftereffects, even after recovering from the virus itself.”

CNN: Smoke and soot from wildfires may be causing more Covid-19 cases and deaths, study finds. “As the coronavirus surges again in the United States, scientists have found another disaster is playing a key role in the number of people who contract severe Covid-19 cases and how many die: wildfires. A new study published in the journal Science Advances found that increases in fine particulate matter from wildfire smoke in 2020 led to a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths in California, Oregon and Washington.”

News-Medical: Study reports the prevalence of different types of shock in COVID-19 patients. “A new database analysis of critically ill patients with pneumonia related to COVID-19, published in the American Journal of Cardiology and conducted at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC), is the first study to report the prevalence of different types of shock in patients with COVID-19. The definition of these subgroups may allow therapy to be tailored to the underlying causes of the hemodynamic abnormalities.”

Route Fifty: How the Pandemic Now Ends. “Many Americans began to hope that the country had enough escape velocity to exit its cycle of missteps and sickness. And though experts looked anxiously to the fall, few predicted that the Delta variant would begin its ascent at the start of July. Now the fourth surge is under way and the U.S. is once again looping through the pandemic spiral. Arguably, it never stopped.”

Plus: Survey: 92% of LGBTQ+ People Have Received One COVID Vaccine Dose. “Ninety-two percent of respondents to a new survey by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation have received at least COVID-19 vaccine dose. The research, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, surveyed more than 15,000 adults through the Community Marketing & Insights 15th annual LGBTQ Community Survey, according to a press release by the HRC Foundation.”

New York Times: Can the Vaccinated Develop Long Covid After a Breakthrough Infection?. “While some breakthrough cases among those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are inevitable, they are unlikely to result in hospitalization or death. But one important question about breakthrough infection that remains unanswered is: Can the vaccinated develop so-called long Covid?”


PsyPost: A fear of medical procedures and injections accounts for about 10% of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the UK. “According to a study published in Psychological Medicine, a fear of blood, injections, and other medical procedures can explain about 10% of cases of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United Kingdom. The researchers call for initiatives to make the vaccination process less anxiety-provoking, given that the success of immunization programs relies on vaccinating as many people as possible — even those with fears of injection.”

Science News: What science tells us about reducing coronavirus spread from wind instruments. “Though restrictions are now easing, we still face questions about how our instruments play into infection risk. Wind instruments — brasses as well as woodwinds like my clarinet — produce sound through human breath. And human breath spreads COVID-19. So how can we perform while keeping ourselves and our audiences safe, during the pandemic and beyond? To find answers, wind musicians, including myself, turned to science.”

The Register: Scientists reckon eliminating COVID-19 will be easier than polio, harder than smallpox – just buckle in for a wait. “In what is good news to everyone except possibly the most introverted masochists out there, boffins have decided that it is possible to rid the earth of COVID. In fact, it’s probably easier to do than polio, but harder than smallpox, said researchers in the online journal BMJ Global Health. The team of New Zealand public health physicians, epidemiologists, and catastrophic risk researchers compared polio, smallpox, and COVID-19 on technical, sociopolitical, and economic factors.”

Newswise: More than one in ten COVID-19 patients infected in hospital in first pandemic wave. “The researchers examined records of COVID-19 patients in UK hospitals enrolled in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study, who became ill before 1st August 2020. They found that at least 11.1% of COVID-19 patients in 314 UK hospitals were infected after admission. The proportion of COVID-19 patients infected in hospital also rose to between 16% and 20% in mid-May 2020, long after the peak of admissions in the first wave.”

The Verge: Kidney transplant patients will test a COVID-19 booster shot in new trial. “Many transplant patients, who have to take immunosuppressant drugs to keep their bodies from rejecting a new organ, don’t produce enough antibodies — or don’t produce antibodies at all — after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The study will check to see if a third shot of an mRNA vaccine, given on top of the normal two-shot regimen, will generate antibodies closer to the levels seen in healthy people.”

PsyPost: Individuals prone to boredom are more likely to break lockdown and social distancing rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Boredom might be a more important element of the pandemic than previously thought. This is the conclusion of one study published in Personality and Individual Differences, in which researchers from the University of Waterloo and Duke University compared levels of ‘boredom proneness’ (a relatively stable personality trait) in individuals with their adherence to quarantine and social distancing measures.”

CNN: Delta is ‘optimized for infecting humans’ but vaccines are the way out. “New variants of the coronavirus are opening up a worrying new front in the pandemic, but one expert says vaccines still offer our best chance at beating the ever-changing threat.”

Claremont Graduate University: New Paper Identifies ‘Citizen Vaccinators’ As The Solution to Pandemic Challenges in Many Nations. “When doctors and nurses are in short supply, who’s qualified to administer the COVID-19 vaccines? That’s not a question you might often hear in the U.S. or other developed nations. Still, in many parts of Asia and Africa, that question is as common as someone asking when batches of vaccine doses will arrive in their community.”


Ars Technica: US settles with Trump admin whistleblower who exposed botched COVID response. “The US government has reached a financial settlement with whistleblower Rick Bright, a former health official who detailed the Trump administration’s botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bright is an immunology expert who led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) until he says he was forced out of his position in April 2020. We wrote a detailed summary of the whistleblower complaint he filed shortly after.”

Mashable: Black market for fake vaccine cards thrives on Telegram. “The research arm of security firm Check Point has a new report on the proliferation of fake vaccine card black markets on Telegram. It estimates that there are now over 2,500 active groups and channels selling fake vaccination records from countries all over the globe, a 257 percent increase from its last report in March.”

Denver Post: Lamborn dismissed pandemic as hoax meant to derail Trump’s reelection, ex-staffer says in sworn statement. “Allegations that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, fired a staffer in retaliation after the staffer sought to protect himself and others during the pandemic are true, another former staffer said in sworn statements filed Friday. Those sworn statements come from Joshua Hosler, former chair of the El Paso County Republican Party and former district director for Lamborn. Attorney Les Alderman filed them in federal court as part of Brandon Pope’s lawsuit against the eight-term congressman.”

OCCRP: Police in Europe Arrests Online Fraudsters Selling Face Masks. “Police in Ireland, the Netherlands and Romania detained 10 and charged 23 people in a joint operation targeting an online scam that involved the sale of masks and other protective materials against COVID-19 that were never delivered.”


AdAge: Delta Air Lines Sent A Care Package To Cheer Up A Little Girl Named Delta. “The relationship began last week when [Delta’s mother] Kellie tweeted her annoyance at the term ‘Delta Plus’ for the new COVID variant. She wrote: ‘Petition not to call it “Delta Plus” and instead move on to the next letter in this cursed variant alphabet. Sincerely, the mother of a very sweet little Delta who once thought the airline would be the most annoying namesake joke.'”


New York Times: The Vaccine Refusers Are Testing My Love of the South. “I love this place. Out of all the places in the world, I feel most comfortable in the South. I even like that as a Democrat, I cannot assume that everyone thinks the same way I do. I appreciate the diversity of thought and the spectrum of political views here. But as I told a friend a few weeks ago, I didn’t know that moving here would mean I would be at a disadvantage in future pandemics. As I write this, just 34 percent of eligible adults here in Lee County, Ala., are vaccinated against Covid. When I went into Ace Hardware last week, my 6-year-old son and I were the only people in the entire store wearing masks.”


Washington Post: Republicans risk becoming face of delta surge as key GOP governors oppose anti-covid measures. “In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has banned local governments from implementing mask requirements even as he pleads for emergency medical help in combating a surge in coronavirus cases from the delta variant. In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi L. Noem welcomed hundreds of thousands of revelers to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that last year bore characteristics of a superspreader event for the virus. And in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is waging war on school districts seeking to defy his executive order prohibiting mask mandates for students — while the state sees its rates of hospitalization from covid surge past the worst levels of 2020.”

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