Monday CoronaBuzz, August 30, 2021: 71 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

Split up more categories and still working on the workflow. Please stay safe. Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask when you’re inside with a bunch of people. Much love.


Farmington Daily News: ‘Really moving’: Digital collection chronicles COVID-19 response at San Juan Regional Medical Center. “The marketing department at the San Juan Regional Medical Center didn’t necessarily set out to create a comprehensive record of the hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic when it began chronicling the efforts of caregivers to battle the virus, president and CEO Jeff Bourgeois says. But a year and a half later, that seems to be what the hospital wound up with.”


Daily Press: How many vaccinated Virginians got COVID-19? The state has a tool so you can track it.. “Public health officials have updated a coronavirus web tool allowing Virginians to compare the rates of infections, hospitalizations and deaths among those of different vaccination statuses. Updated Monday, the statewide tool now allows for data comparisons for fully, partially and non-vaccinated people.”


AP: Experts on WHO team say search for COVID origins has stalled. ” The international scientists dispatched to China by the World Health Organization to find out where the coronavirus came from said Wednesday the search has stalled and warned that the window of opportunity for solving the mystery is ‘closing fast.’ Meanwhile, a U.S. intelligence review ordered up by President Joe Biden proved inconclusive about the virus’s origin, including whether it jumped from an animal to a human or escaped from a Chinese lab, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.”

Vox: How Florida’s massive Covid-19 spike got so bad. “…why is Florida is experiencing its worst surge now, 18 months into the pandemic, when the vaccines are widely available? In some ways, what’s happening in Florida is a microcosm of the current surge across America: A middling vaccination rate has collided with a more contagious version of the virus. And it’s doing so in a state where political leaders continue to insist people should act as though the pandemic is over — even as more people are dying every day than at any point in the past year.”

Mississippi Free Press: Mississippi Passes NY’s COVID Death Rate As Gov. Reeves Says Mississippians ‘A Little Less Scared’. “Mississippi has officially confirmed 8,279 deaths since the pandemic began, equaling about 278 deaths for every 100,000 residents. New York has confirmed almost 54,000 deaths since the pandemic began, with a per capita COVID death rate of 276 per 100,000; New Jersey’s per capita COVID death rate is 302 per 100,000. The Magnolia State may soon pass New Jersey to become the deadliest state of the pandemic era, though, if current trends continue.”

AP: COVID-19 surge pummels Hawaii and its native population. “Hawaii was once seen as a beacon of safety during the pandemic because of stringent travel and quarantine restrictions and overall vaccine acceptance that made it one of the most inoculated states in the country. But the highly contagious delta variant exploited weaknesses as residents let down their guard and attended family gatherings after months of restrictions and vaccine hesitancy lingered in some Hawaiian communities. On Friday, the state reported a record high 1,035 newly confirmed cases. There was a higher amount reported earlier this month, but it included cases from multiple days because of lab reporting delays.”


CBS News: Arkansas doctor who prescribed ivermectin to jail detainees for COVID now under investigation by medical board. “A doctor in Washington County, Arkansas who has been using the anti-parasite drug ivermectin to treat inmates who have COVID-19 is now under investigation by the state’s medical board. The drug, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has specifically warned against, is frequently used as a dewormer in animals, and is not an approved or recommended treatment for COVID-19.”

Washington Post: A group of moms on Facebook built an island of good-faith vaccine debate in a sea of misinformation. “Amid the online scare stories and anti-vaccine memes, an army of local influencers and everyday users is waging a grass-roots campaign on Facebook, Reddit and other platforms to gently win over the vaccine skeptical. They’re spending hours moderating forums, responding to comments, linking to research studies, and sharing tips on how to talk to fearful family members.”

New York Times: Calls Grow to Discipline Doctors Spreading Virus Misinformation. “The Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents the groups that license and discipline doctors, recommended last month that states consider action against doctors who share false medical claims, including suspending or revoking medical licenses. The American Medical Association says spreading misinformation violates the code of ethics that licensed doctors agree to follow.”

Mediaite: ‘Pandemic’s Wrongest Man’ Alex Berenson Permanently Suspended From Twitter. “Alex Berenson, memorably dubbed ‘The Pandemic’s Wrongest Man,’ has been permanently suspended from Twitter after yet another anti-vaccine tweet. According to NBC senior reporter Ben Collins, a Twitter spokesperson told him that Berenson’s account was permanently suspended for ‘repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.'”

Texas Public Radio: Hundreds Of Texans Are Ingesting Livestock Dewormer To Prevent COVID-19 — Against FDA Advice. “The Texas Poison Center’s hotline is burning up with people concerned about overdosing on livestock dewormer used to prevent or treat a coronavirus infection. The medicine is ivermectin, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to ingest it. But despite the warning, the product is sold out at ranch and feed stores.”

Motherboard: Facebook’s Ivermectin Groups Are Unhinged and Out of Control. “Facebook’s detailed COVID-19 policy specifically proscribes ‘false claims about how to cure or prevent COVID-19,’ and claims it will ‘remove misinformation when public health authorities conclude that the information is false and likely to contribute to imminent violence or physical harm.’ None of this appears to have been applied to ivermectin, an anti-parasitic which is not scientifically proven to have any usefulness as a treatment or preventative measure for COVID. ”


Kansas City Star: ‘As they’re being intubated, they still don’t believe it.’ The COVID denial won’t die. “Our friends in health care have seen plenty to impale the heart in this COVID-19 pandemic, but nothing more tragic than this: the sight of guilt-ridden young children who believe they’ve killed an unvaccinated parent by bringing the virus home. ‘And as they’re dying, the kids are at the bedside apologizing,’ a hospital nurse tells me. ‘You’ve actually seen that?’ I ask her. ‘Multiple times,’ says the nurse.”

Los Angeles Times: Mortuaries fill, hospitals clog in rural California towns with low vaccination rates . “In Crescent City, the mortuary is filled beyond capacity and needs a refrigerated truck to hold bodies. The small hospital is so full that it is lining up helicopters to fly COVID-19 patients out of remote Del Norte County. So many employees are out with coronavirus infections that businesses have closed. Deaths in Del Norte County from COVID-19 have more than doubled in recent weeks, from 10 on Aug. 15 to 22 on Friday. Four people died in a single day, officials said.” The population of Del Norte County is just under 28,000.

NPR: When COVID Deaths Are Dismissed Or Stigmatized, Grief Is Mixed With Shame And Anger . “Months after Kyle Dixon died, his old house in Lanse, Pennsylvania is still full of reminders of a life cut short. His tent and hiking boots sit on the porch where he last put them down. The grass that he used to mow has grown tall in his absence. And on the kitchen counter, there are still bottles of the over-the-counter cough medicine he took to try to ease his symptoms at home, as COVID-19 began to destroy his lungs.”

Wired UK: The Great Resignation is here and no one is prepared. “Hard data is backing up this anecdotal evidence – workers are drafting up resignation emails, handing in their notices and heading for the exit door in their droves. The trend is worldwide. In the UK, job vacancies soared to an all-time high in July, with available posts surpassing one million for the first time. In the US, four million people quit their jobs in April – a 20-year high – followed by a record ten million jobs being available by the end of June. A Microsoft study has found that 41 per cent of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year.”


KSTP: Hundreds gather at Capitol to protest vaccine mandates. “Hundreds of people poured onto the lawn of the Minnesota State Capitol on Saturday to voice their opposition to vaccine and mask mandates. Some health care workers were joined by others at the ‘Medical Freedom Rally.’ The group was outside the Minnesota State Fairgrounds earlier in the morning before moving to the Capitol.”


AL: Alabama hospital out of ICU beds has chilling message: ‘You’re not going to get off the ventilator’. “Out of intensive care beds due to an influx of COVID patients, Decatur Morgan Hospital is setting up makeshift ICU spaces in its emergency room. ‘We have no ICU beds,’ CEO Kelli Powers said Monday, and nine people who would normally be in ICU rooms are being held in the emergency room.”

St George News: COVID-19 hospitalizations in Southern Utah at second-highest point of entire pandemic. “According to Friday’s data from the health department, there are 72 residents of Southern Utah hospitalized for COVID-19. The only day higher was 75 on Jan. 5 at a time when only medical personnel and first responders were eligible for the vaccine in Utah.”

USA Today: ‘Don’t let me die’: Inside a COVID-19 unit in Florida’s capital city amid a surge in cases. “[Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare] has three levels of COVID-19 patients cared for in different areas of the hospital. Green-level patients have the least severe cases and should soon return home. Yellow-level patients have moderate cases and typically need some form of oxygen. Red level is for those most likely on ventilators and considered intensive care patients. Red level, most often, is where people die.”


New York Times: At a Children’s Hospital, a Wave of Young Patients Struggling to Breathe. “A federal ‘surge team’ is helping exhausted doctors and nurses through one of the most trying periods in the history of Children’s Hospital New Orleans.”

KXAN: Austin family says toddler was turned away from hospital due to lack of space in pediatric ICU. “Kevin Karaffa, whose 22-month-old daughter was recently diagnosed with a viral respiratory infection, claims he was turned away from an Austin-area hospital because there was no space. Luckily, he says his family received one of the last beds in the Dell Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Three hours later, Karaffa says a 10-month-old took the final PICU bed next door. He says a Dell Children’s nurse informed them that there were no more available PICU beds in the area.”


Click2Houston: Memorial Hermann closes 3 Houston area emergency rooms due to surge of COVID-19 cases. “Memorial Hermann has closed three of its Houston area emergency rooms due to the surge of COVID-19 cases and its impact on its system operations.”

CNN: National Guard will be deployed across Kentucky to help overwhelmed hospitals. Health care workers high-fived when they heard the news. “Kentucky hospital officials high-fived one another during a news conference Monday as they learned multiple National Guard teams would be deployed to hospitals across the state dealing with rising Covid-19 cases and hospital staffing shortages. Between 21 and 25 of the state’s regional hospitals are at a critical staffing shortage stage, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news conference Monday.”

WRAL (North Carolina): Triangle hospitals in crisis: UNC Rex has more patients than beds. “According to UNC Health spokesperson Phil Bridges, approximately 463 COVID-positive patients are being treated in 12 UNC hospitals statewide. More than 3,500 COVID patients are hospitalized across the state, the most since Jan. 21. The positive testing rate stands at 13.5 percent as of Wednesday, when there were 6,130 newly-reported cases.”

CNN: First, surges in Covid-19 infections led to shortages of hospital beds and staff. Now it’s oxygen. “Hospitals in parts of the South are running out of oxygen supply as Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue soaring, driven by the swaths of people who remain unvaccinated and a dangerous coronavirus variant that has infected millions of Americans. Several hospitals in Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana are struggling with oxygen scarcity. Some are at risk of having to use their reserve supply or risk running out of oxygen imminently, according to state health officials and hospital consultants.”


Orlando Sentinel: 14 portable morgues on way to Central Florida: ‘Number of deaths right now is unprecedented’. “Fourteen portable refrigerated morgues are headed to Central Florida to help beleaguered hospitals store bodies, officials said Friday. ‘The number of deaths right now is unprecedented,’ said Lynne Drawdy, executive director of the Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition, who ordered the units for health systems here. ‘What we’re hearing from the hospitals is that the death count right now is higher than it ever has been.'”


The Verge: Overwatch League cancels its in-person playoff events. “The 2021 Overwatch League playoffs have hit a slight snag. Yesterday, the League announced it will no longer host live playoff matches in Dallas and Los Angeles.”

BBC: Back to the mosh pit: What it means for super-fans. “To be a fan is often described as an obsessive thing, a bit unhealthy. Those types who think they are destiny-bound to befriend their idols. The people who hang around on doorsteps. Fans who sob on YouTube. For most, though, it’s about private passions, the thrill of the chase, the joy of collecting, connecting and a sense of belonging to a tribe. It’s about knowing everything about the thing you love and wearing that as a badge, but it’s also about creating little habits and structures that enhance the everyday.”


New York Times: ‘This Is Broadway’ Campaign Aims to Attract Wary Theatergoers. “The trade association representing theater owners and producers gets an assist from Oprah Winfrey as it seeks to drive ticket sales beyond the buzzy September reopenings.”


Stars and Stripes: US military base in Tokyo strictly curtails movements, activities for unvaccinated troops. “Unvaccinated service members won’t be allowed off this U.S. installation in western Tokyo until Sept. 9, according to an order from the base commander that took effect Friday. The new policy also curtails activities by unvaccinated individuals on base, such as attendance at group events and use of the gym.”


AP: Japan further expands virus emergency areas as cases surge. “The government last week extended the state of emergency until Sept. 12 and expanded the areas covered to 13 prefectures from six including Tokyo. With four new prefectures added to a separate ‘quasi-emergency’ status, 33 of Japan’s 47 prefectures are now under some type of emergency measures.”


KSMU: Missouri Attorney General Files Suit Seeking To End Mask Mandates For Schools. “Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a reverse class-action lawsuit against school districts that have implemented mask mandates. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, is specifically against the Columbia Public School District but also against others that are ‘similarly situated.’ It calls mask mandates for school districts unreasonable and arbitrary.”


Miami Herald: Doctor who promoted ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment has advised Florida’s governor. “A California psychiatrist who has advised Gov. Ron DeSantis on the coronavirus pandemic recently promoted a drug for COVID-19 patients that federal disease experts have strongly warned against after a spike in calls to poison control centers.”

AP: Judge blocks Florida governor’s order banning mask mandates. “School districts in Florida may impose mask mandates, a judge said Friday, ruling that Gov. Ron DeSantis overstepped his authority by issuing an executive order banning the mandates. Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper agreed with a group of parents who claimed in a lawsuit that DeSantis’ order is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. The governor’s order gave parents the sole right to decide if their child wears a mask at school.”


Route Fifty: ‘Vaxfluencers’ Getting Residents to Get the Shot. “Public health agencies are paying local Instagram and TikTok celebrities to promote Covid-19 vaccines, a relatively new outreach strategy that, so far, seems to be working.”


9News: Colorado fitness coach regrets not getting COVID-19 vaccine after 2-month hospital stay. “He was once a fitness coach and the epitome of strength – now after two months in the hospital, Bill Phillips is a changed man. The 56-year-old didn’t think he needed the COVID-19 vaccine and that decision almost killed him. Phillips said he caught the virus the first time in January 2020. A test found he had antibodies so he decided to not get vaccinated. He caught COVID-19 again in June 2021. ”

New York Times: Texas anti-mask organizer clings to life in a battle with Covid-19.. “Caleb Wallace, a leader in the anti-mask movement in central Texas, became infected with the coronavirus and has been in an intensive care unit for the past three weeks, barely clinging to life, his wife, Jessica, said. Mrs. Wallace said that her husband’s condition was declining and that doctors have run out of treatment options. On Saturday he will be moved to a hospice at Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas, so that his family can say their goodbyes, she said.”

Asheville Citizen-Times: GOP senator to Asheville business group: COVID-19 unvaccinated the problem, not immigrants. “Sen. Thom Tillis told a conservative local business group that anti-pandemic measures should focus on getting North Carolinians vaccinated, not on migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Daytona Beach News-Journal: At Daytona stop, Charlie Crist promotes COVID-19 vaccines and criticizes Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Wearing a button spelling out the letters GOTV, Charlie Crist rallied a church sanctuary full of masked, socially distanced Democrats around one idea on Thursday: Getting more people vaccinated. With 47.5% of its residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Volusia County is slightly behind Florida (47.9%) and trailing the United States (51.7%) even further. And the county — as is the state — is experiencing a surge of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”


Red & Black: UGA professor resigns mid-class after student refuses to wear mask. “A University of Georgia retiree-rehire professor resigned on Tuesday after one of his students refused to properly wear a mask in an upper division psychology seminar class held at the psychology building. During Irwin Bernstein’s second class of the semester, the student, who was not present on the first day of class, arrived at the 25-person class unmasked and was asked by Bernstein to retrieve one from the advising office. The student was given a spare disposable mask from a peer but did not wear it over her nose.”


KTVU: Battling cancer and unable to get vaccine, teacher dies from COVID-19 complications. “Unfortunately for Polk County teacher Kelly Peterson, whose doctor advised her not to get the shot because she was undergoing treatment for leukemia, wearing a mask wasn’t enough. She died from complications due to COVID-19. The teachers union says the 41-year-old contracted the virus in the classroom at Lake Shipp Elementary. Her family is heartbroken over the fact that she was put at risk in the school that she loved and wasn’t able to get the vaccine due to her doctor’s orders.”

Local 10: Mother, daughter, both unvaccinated Miami-Dade school employees, die of COVID-19. “A Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher and her daughter, a school cafeteria manager, died of complications with COVID-19 at Jackson South Medical Center. Two teenagers are grieving their mother, Lakisha Williams, and their grandmother, Lillian Smith, a first-grade teacher at Dr. William A. Chapman Elementary School in Miami-Dade County’s Naranja neighborhood.”

Daytona Beach News-Journal: After 3-week COVID-19 battle, Daytona Beach talk radio host Marc Bernier dies. “Marc Bernier, a talk radio host in Daytona Beach for 30 years, died after a three-week battle with COVID-19, WNDB and Southern Stone Communications announced on Twitter Saturday night.”

Daytona Beach News-Journal: Volusia County Circuit Judge Steven Henderson dies after battle with COVID. “Volusia County Circuit Judge Steven C. Henderson, who had been hospitalized with COVID-19, has died. He was 49. Henderson presided over family law cases at the Volusia County Courthouse Annex at City Island in Daytona Beach. ”

Vice: QAnon Anti-Vaxxer Called COVID a Hoax Even as His ‘Lungs Stopped Functioning’. “Robert David Steele, a former CIA officer turned conspiracy theorist who claimed to be the first person to call COVID-19 a hoax, has died from COVID-19. Steele, who was among the earliest QAnon promoters and helped the conspiracy theory move from the fringes of the internet into the mainstream, was hospitalized with symptoms of COVID-19 earlier this month. But he continued to spread anti-vaccine and COVID-denial conspiracy theories until the end.”


AP: US outbreaks force early reversals on in-person learning. “A few weeks into the new school year, growing numbers of U.S. districts have halted in-person learning or switched to hybrid models because of rapidly mounting coronavirus infections. More than 80 school districts or charter networks have closed or delayed in-person classes for at least one entire school in more than a dozen states. Others have sent home whole grade levels or asked half their students to stay home on hybrid schedules.”

AP: Students’ lack of routine vaccines muddies start of school. ” The vaccinations that U.S. schoolchildren are required to get to hold terrible diseases like polio, measles, tetanus and whooping cough in check are way behind schedule this year, threatening further complications to a school year already marred by COVID-19. The lag was caused by pandemic-related disruptions last year to routine doctor’s visits, summer and sports camps at which kids usually get their immunizations. Now, pediatricians and educators are scrambling to ensure that backlogs don’t keep kids from school or leave them vulnerable to contagious diseases.”

KABC: About 3,000 LAUSD students test positive for COVID-19 amid return to school. “About 3,000 Los Angeles Unified School District students had to go into isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 as they returned to school last week. In addition, 3,500 others had to go into quarantine for being in close contact with those who tested positive. The LAUSD has about 600,000 students in total.”

Dallas Morning News: North Texas charter school closes to stop COVID outbreak after 1 of every 10 students tests positive. “A North Texas charter school is temporarily closing its doors because of a COVID-19 outbreak, after nearly 1 in every 10 students reported a lab-confirmed case of the coronavirus. Trivium Academy, a 600-student K-11 public charter school in Carrollton (the school expects to have its first graduating class in 2023), announced its pending closure Wednesday.”

Minneapolis StarTribune: COVID-19 outbreak in Albert Lea schools leads to mask mandate. “Albert Lea Area Schools had 36 cases of COVID-19 and 290 students in quarantine just five days after classes started on Aug. 19, far outpacing infections at the start of the last school year. The district did not have a mask requirement, but one will start on Monday in grades six-12, where most of the cases originated.”

Washington Post: A Calif. elementary school teacher took off her mask for a read-aloud. Within days, half her class was positive for delta.. “The Marin County, Calif., elementary school had been conscientious about following covid-19 protocols. Masks were required indoors, desks were spaced six feet apart, and the students kept socially distant. But the delta variant found an opening anyway. On May 19, one teacher, who was not vaccinated against the coronavirus, began feeling fatigued and had some nasal congestion. She dismissed it as allergies and powered through. While she was usually masked, she made an exception for story time so she could read to the class. By the time she learned she was positive for the coronavirus two days later, half her class of 24 had been infected — nearly all of them in the two rows closest to her desk — and the outbreak had spread to other classes, siblings and parents, including some who were fully vaccinated.”

The Guardian: ‘It’s only going to get worse’: mask war in Arizona schools ramps up as Covid cases soar. “The Miami school district mask mandate follows CDC guidelines for schools that say both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated should wear masks indoors amid the pandemic’s current surge. And it’s in line with the thinking of most Americans, who in recent polling supported mask mandates in schools. Yet in Arizona, any school district with a mask mandate draws the ire of the Republican governor, Doug Ducey, and his allies in the Republican-dominated statehouse who are ramping up a showdown at the very time Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have worsened.”


Daily Journal: IHL board votes against requiring COVID-19 vaccine for Mississippi universities. “Vaccinations won’t be required of students, teachers and faculty at Mississippi’s public universities. During an emergency meeting on Friday, the State Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees voted against mandating COVID-19 vaccines for students and employees at the state’s public universities.”


BBC: Covid: Delta variant patients twice as likely to need hospital care. “People are twice as likely to need hospital care if they are sick with the Delta Covid variant, rather than the Alpha variant that was once prevalent in the UK, data from England suggests. Experts say the big study, published in The Lancet, reinforces why it is important that people get fully jabbed.”

WLWT: Wild white-tailed deer in Ohio first to test positive for COVID-19 in the world. “Wild white-tailed deer in Ohio have tested positive for COVID-19 and they’re the first deer confirmed with the virus worldwide, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories. The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine collected samples from deer between January and March 2021.”

AP: 100,000 more COVID deaths seen unless US changes its ways. “The U.S. is projected to see nearly 100,000 more COVID-19 deaths between now and Dec. 1, according to the nation’s most closely watched forecasting model. But health experts say that toll could be cut in half if nearly everyone wore a mask in public spaces.”


Ubergizmo: Researchers Create A Mask That Can Apparently Neutralize COVID-19. “… researchers in Mexico claim to have created a new type of face mask that they say has the ability to neutralize COVID-19. This is achieved by using silver and copper nanolayers weaved into the mask, where if the virus were to make its way into the mask or land on it, it should be neutralized. The researchers tested the mask by taking drops with the virus from COVID-19 positive patients and placed them onto the silver-copper film deposited into polypropylene.”

University of Georgia: Symptomatic COVID patients are more contagious. “Individuals with COVID-19 are most likely to spread the virus to close contacts two days before the onset of symptoms to three days after symptoms appear, and the risk of transmission is highest when patients had mild or moderate disease severity, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Georgia. The study, which was published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine, supports the idea that if a person with COVID-19 is sicker, they are more contagious compared to asymptomatic cases.”

PsyPost: COVID-19 rule breakers characterized by extraversion, amorality and uninformed information-gathering strategies. “Scientists have uncovered a cluster of psychological characteristics associated with people who refuse to comply with COVID-19 safety regulations. Their new findings, published in the journal PLOS One, shed light on the individual factors and attitudes underlying deviant behavior during the pandemic.”

Stat: Covid-19 vaccines flirted with perfection at first. Reality is more complicated. “When Covid-19 vaccines were reported last fall to be roughly 95% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 infections, the world rejoiced — and even veteran scientists were blown away. Very few vaccines are that protective. Those made to fend off viruses like SARS-CoV-2 — viruses that invade the nose and throat, like flu — typically aren’t at the high end of the efficacy scale. That was the good news. Now, however, our soaring expectations for Covid-19 vaccines are in the process of sinking back to earth.”

Newswise: Despite concerns, pandemic did not increase suicidal thoughts in veterans. “Many public health experts feared the COVID-19 pandemic would cause an increase in suicidal behavior among U.S. military veterans, a group that already has high rates of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder and which experienced a 30% surge in suicides between 2010 and 2018. New evidence, however, suggests that during the first eight months of the pandemic that did not happen.”

PsyPost: Study finds coronavirus-related polarization is stronger among people higher in cognitive ability. “New psychology research indicates that cognitive ability exacerbates political polarization in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, published in Intelligence, found that people with greater verbal ability tended to have more polarized responses, which may be related to their selective consumption of partisan media.”

The Mandarin: New tool forecasts number of COVID-19 infections on international flights. “More than 48,000 COVID-19 cases would have entered Australia between January and May last year had the federal government not implemented travel bans, according to new research by CSIRO and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The research has shown that Australia successfully lowered the number of imported COVID-19 cases by 88% over that same period, to around 6,000 cases.”


BBC: Covid: Cornwall tourists urged to ‘stay away’ as cases rise. “Tourists have been urged to stay away from Cornwall unless they have pre-booked a trip because of a huge spike in Covid cases. The latest figures show Cornwall has 770 cases per 100,000 people, double the previous week’s figure. The UK also recorded 174 new Covid-related deaths on Tuesday – the highest figure since March.”

NBC News: South Dakota Covid cases quintuple after Sturgis motorcycle rally. “Two weeks after the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, reported Covid infections in the state have risen nearly sixfold. South Dakota counted 3,819 new cases in the past two weeks, including seven deaths, up from 644 cases in the 14 days preceding it. That makes it the state with the largest percent increase in Covid cases in the past two weeks.”


Miami Herald: In bizarre baptism, infant found unresponsive in tub by mom who feared COVID, sources say. “A Northwest Miami-Dade woman accused of stabbing her husband and teenage child also submerged her infant daughter in a bathtub during a bizarre baptism while screaming about Jesus and worrying that COVID-19 was coming to kill her family, according to multiple law enforcement sources.”

NPR: The Supreme Court Will Allow Evictions To Resume. It Could Affect Millions Of Tenants.”The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the Biden administration’s order extending the federal eviction moratorium to a large swath of the country, in a decision expected by both legal scholars and the White House.”

Ohio Capital Journal: Judge orders Cinci hospital to treat COVID-19 patient with Ivermectin, despite CDC warnings. “A Butler County judge ruled in favor of a woman last week who sought to force a hospital to administer Ivermectin — an animal dewormer that federal regulators have warned against using in COVID-19 patients — to her husband after several weeks in the ICU with the disease.”

Caller Times: Texas mom whose child got a heart transplant as a newborn joins mask-mandate ban lawsuit. “The lawsuit, which also names the Texas Education Agency and Education Commissioner Mike Morath as defendants, was filed in Austin by the advocacy group Disability Rights on behalf of 14 children with immunocompromised conditions ranging from asthma to cerebral palsy and asserts that Abbott’s order violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because the students are being denied the opportunity to learn in a safe environment.”


Washington Post: Free rapid at-home coronavirus tests could make pandemic life easier. “Imagine if once a week, each student, teacher and staff member at your local school took a rapid test, with positive results meaning quick quarantines, isolation and more robust testing to identify and lock down infections before they spread wildly. Throughout the pandemic, one of the big problems has been the way the virus spreads before symptoms manifest and that it spreads in the delay between the desire to get tested, the actual test and the reporting of results. Rapid tests can help mitigate that risk. And even at a more local, personal level, they might help limit the spread of the virus, as they surely did when they kept me from exposing my bandmates to possible infection on the planned second night of our reunion gig.”

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