Friday CoronaBuzz, September 3, 2021: 52 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask when you’re inside with a bunch of people. Much love.


New York Times: How to Keep the Days From Blurring Together. “A couple of weeks ago I asked how you’re keeping one day from blurring into the next. Here are some more responses, edited for length and clarity.”


Alaska Public Media: Hospitals say a disaster declaration would help Alaska cope with record hospitalizations. “More Alaskans are now hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other time in the pandemic: 152. Hospitals in Southcentral Alaska are in crisis, and the head of the state hospital association wants Gov. Mike Dunleavy to issue a disaster declaration to help ease the pressure.”

CBS Local: Jacqueline Jackson, Wife Of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Is Now Able To Breathe On Her Own As She Battles COVID-19. “Jacqueline Jackson, the wife of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, has been able to breathe on her own for the past few days as she continues to battle COVID-19. The Jackson family reported Thursday that Ms. Jackson remains at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. After leaving the ICU earlier in the week and returning to her regular hospital room, she has been able to breathe on her own for a few days without any supplemental oxygen.” Rev. Jackson is also feeling better but remains in hospital.

BBC: Covid: Australia records 1,000th death from the pandemic. “A recent surge in infections in Sydney has challenged Australia’s response strategy and strained health resources. On Monday, New South Wales state – of which Sydney is capital – reported four new deaths and another daily record of 1,218 cases. Authorities warned that death and hospitalisation rates would increase into October, even as more people got vaccinated.”


CNET: Reddit bans COVID misinformation subreddit NoNewNormal. “Reddit on Wednesday banned an active COVID misinformation subreddit. The move comes after other subreddits called on the site’s administrators to take more action against the spread of false information about the pandemic and vaccines.”

The Guardian: Trump loyalists team up with anti-vax doctors for ‘health and freedom’ tour. “Top loyalists to Donald Trump, who frequently push lies about election fraud, have joined forces with conservative doctors touting unproven Covid curesand vaccine skepticism, and like-minded evangelical ministers at a series of events across the US this summer.”


American Medical Association: AMA, APhA, ASHP statement on ending use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19. ” The American Medical Association (AMA), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) strongly oppose the ordering, prescribing, or dispensing of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial.”

KFOR: Patients overdosing on ivermectin backing up rural Oklahoma hospitals, ambulances. “Dr. [Jason] McElyea said patients are packing his eastern and southeastern Oklahoma hospitals after taking ivermectin doses meant for a full-sized horse, because they believed false claims the horse de-wormer could fight COVID-19. ‘The ERs are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated,’ he said.”


CNET: How the pandemic and gardening startups fed our home-grown cravings. “When the pandemic hit, most of us watched as supply chain shortages — including imports that account for 15% of US food consumption — emptied grocery store shelves for the first time. Faced with such unprecedented stress, it’s no surprise that just over one in four Americans began growing food at home, according to a Packaged Facts National Online Consumer survey. These novice gardeners said their worries about the future, including food shortages, hunger and inability to go to the grocery store, were the main reasons for their newfound self-sufficiency. Locally grown meant more than just being within driving distance; it meant being in your backyard.”

BBC: Vietnam lockdown adds to global coffee supply concerns. “Vietnam has added to concerns over global supplies of coffee as the South East Asian country’s biggest city remains in lockdown. The exporting hub of Ho Chi Minh has been kept under tough travel restrictions after a surge in cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Vietnam is a major producer of robusta, the bitter tasting bean used in instant coffee and some espresso blends.”

New York Times: The World Is Still Short of Everything. Get Used to It.. “Pandemic-related product shortages — from computer chips to construction materials — were supposed to be resolved by now. Instead, the world has gained a lesson in the ripple effects of disruption.”


USA Today: Tennessee school district parents planning a ‘sickout’ to up the pressure on COVID-19 safety. “Eric Moore is a parent who is helping organize the ‘sickout’ to force administrators to follow guidance from the Knox County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and create a more robust virtual experience for students who are home sick or quarantined.”


AL: COVID-overwhelmed Alabama hospitals might have to decide ‘who gets to live and who dies’. “The numbers are grim. Until this month, more than 100 COVID cases in a single day among Morgan County residents had not been reported since Jan. 8. Over the last two weeks, the 100-per-day mark has been exceeded six times and over the last week an average of 98 Morgan residents have tested positive per day. An average of 58 Limestone County residents have tested positive per day over the last week, and an average of 16 per day in Lawrence County.”


Daily Beast: Inside a Florida Hospital Full of Dying, Unvaxxed Thirtysomethings. “Across much of America, frontline hospital workers are going through similar stress and fatigue as they grapple with a devastating coronavirus surge primarily fueled by the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy. But in Florida, experts and medical workers say, a uniquely stubborn and denialist Gov. Ron DeSantis has helped transform hot vaxx summer into a summer from hell. With skyrocketing numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths this summer, any optimism that the Sunshine State was rounding the corner on the pandemic has been laid to waste. And September may not offer any respite.”


Poynter: How journalists report through the fog of long COVID. “Nearly 18 months after I first woke in the middle of the night, short of breath, with pounding palpitations and searing pain in my lungs, I’m not much closer to understanding the full scope of long COVID, which will affect nearly one in three people who contract COVID-19. Even among those with mild cases — which mine arguably was — recurring and fluctuating symptoms run the spectrum from persistent fatigue and breathlessness, headache, chest heaviness, muscle aches and palpitations. The long-term effects are largely still unknown but are wide-ranging and include severe cognitive issues and even organ damage.”


Fast Company: RIP cloth masks? Why airlines and governments are banning them. “As COVID-19 continues to surge, accelerated by the delta variant, several European governments and companies are banning cloth masks, arguing that they are not as effective as medical masks in the midst of the current outbreak. Instead, they are mandating medical-grade masks. It’s unclear yet whether American companies will follow suit, but it could be worth preparing for that eventuality by understanding the difference between cloth and medical masks, and figuring out where to buy medical masks.”


BBC: North Korea rejects offer of almost 3 million Covid-19 jabs. “North Korea has asked that almost three million Covid-19 jabs offered to it be redirected elsewhere, the UN says. A spokesperson said the country had asked that the shots be relocated to harder hit nations in view of global vaccine shortages. The Chinese-made Sinovac shots were offered under the Covax programme which aims to help poorer nations obtain vaccines.”

BBC: EU and AstraZeneca reach deal to end vaccine row. “The EU and UK-Swedish drug-maker AstraZeneca have settled a row over a shortfall in coronavirus vaccines that affected the European rollout earlier this year. AstraZeneca has agreed to deliver 200 million doses of its vaccine, which had been promised under a contract, to the EU by the end of March 2022.”


Alabama News Network: State of Alabama to Use Football, Gift Cards as New COVID-19 Vaccination Incentives. “With Alabama’s COVID-19 vaccination rates lagging at or near the bottom nationally, the state is turning to college football and gift cards as incentives to convince people to get the shots.”

Politico: States press forward on vax passports without Biden’s guidance. “The rise of the Delta variant and a surge of counterfeit vaccination cards have added urgency to an effort that could speed the reopening of the country but has been a flashpoint for critics on the right, who view use of the credentials for certain activities as government overreach with possible privacy concerns.”


WEAR: Ask for COVID vaccine proof, face a $5,000 fine in Florida. “Florida will start issuing $5,000 fines to businesses, schools and government agencies that require people to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier this year that banned vaccine passports. The fines will start Sept. 16 if people are asked to show proof of a vaccine.”

Orlando Sentinel: DeSantis pushes Regeneron treatment for COVID but hasn’t promoted vaccine the same way in months. “Gov. Ron DeSantis has crisscrossed the state almost every day over the past two weeks promoting a treatment for people who already have COVID-19. But the last time he held an event specifically to encourage getting vaccinated was four months ago. Instead, he’s downplayed the vaccines, citing the breakthrough infections the shots don’t prevent and the vaccines’ apparent failure to achieve herd immunity.”


Click Orlando: 2 Florida Highway Patrol members pass away from COVID-19. “The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Highway Patrol are mourning the losses of trooper Sean Hryc and compliance investigator Ernest Brown, who each passed away on Saturday due to COVID-19.”


Politico: Top U.S. diplomat during Kabul evacuation tests positive for Covid. “Ross Wilson, who was the chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, recently tested positive for Covid-19, according to three people familiar with the matter. He currently only has very mild, cold-like symptoms, one of the people said. Wilson was evacuated from the U.S. Embassy to the Kabul airport on Aug. 15 and spent the last couple weeks there helping in the rush to get American citizens, Afghan allies, and other vulnerable Afghans into the airport and onto planes to safety.”

CNN: Joe Rogan reports he has tested positive for COVID-19. “Joe Rogan, one of the world’s highest paid and most influential podcast hosts, announced Wednesday he has tested positive for Covid-19 and said he’d embarked on a fringe treatment regime.”

BBC: Prince Harry uses GQ awards show spot to make vaccine plea. “The Duke of Sussex has urged governments to tackle the ‘huge disparity’ in access to Covid vaccines worldwide, as he made a surprise virtual appearance at an awards show. Prince Harry was speaking at the GQ Men of the Year awards, where he presented a prize to the team behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.”

American Songwriter: Eric Clapton Releases New Apparent Anti-Mask Protest Song. “Many believe the track to be an ‘anti-mask’ or ‘anti-vax’ anthem. In 2020, Clapton and Van Morrison released an anti-mask and anti-lockdown single, ‘Stand and Deliver.’ The song likened the mandates to a ‘police state’ and slavery.”

NME: Kid Rock says “over half” of his band have tested positive for COVID. “Kid Rock has said that several members of his band have tested positive for coronavirus, forcing him to cancel a handful of upcoming live dates. While Rock – real name Bob Ritchie – reported that ‘over half’ of the band had tested positive, the rap-rock artist confirmed that his tests had come back negative – and that “many of them” within the group had been vaccinated, including himself.”


Associated Press: US Open players don’t need COVID shots; about half have them. “When Andy Murray sat in the U.S. Open’s main interview room for a pre-tournament news conference Saturday, the moderator informed the 2012 champion he was allowed to remove the sort of light blue medical mask that has become so ubiquitous during the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike the nine players who met with the media in that spot a day earlier, Murray chose to keep his mask on. And unlike roughly half the other men and women who will be taking the court when the year’s last Grand Slam tournament begins Monday, Murray has been vaccinated against COVID-19.”


New York Times: Arizona Banned School Mask Mandates. Now Some Kids Are Sick and Parents Are Angry.. “Only weeks after Arizona’s students went back to school, coronavirus infections are forcing thousands of children and teachers into quarantine. Outbreaks around Phoenix are surging. In one suburban district, so many drivers are sick that school buses are running 90 minutes late. All this in a state that ignored C.D.C. recommendations and banned school mask mandates weeks before classes resumed.”

WRAL (North Carolina): Wake schools with COVID-19 clusters asked to track mask compliance. “Nearly a dozen clusters have been reported this school year in the district. Holly Grove Elementary in Holly Springs is the latest school to report a cluster. More than 140 cases were reported in the first two days in the distirct since traditional calendar students returned to classrooms.”

Big Horn Radio Network (Wyoming): Thermopolis Schools In Immediate Lockdown Until September 13th. “Hot Springs County Schools are in lockdown until distance learning is completed at least until September 13th. The decision was made by the Hot Springs County School District and Dustin Hunt. Hot Springs County recorded it’s highest student and staff absent percentage of 30%.”


Miami Herald: Miami school district tells state it’s standing by mask mandate despite funding threats. “Miami-Dade public schools officials told the Florida Department of Education in a letter Wednesday that the DeSantis administration is violating the state constitution by trying to prevent the district from carrying on with its mask mandate for students and staff in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Business Insider: A Florida teacher in a school district where 3 educators died in a single day slams Gov. DeSantis’ mask war: ‘I haven’t had kids in 41 years ever act that immature’. “Jim Gard loves teaching – he’s taught math in Florida for 40 years. But he’s tired of seeing students and teachers die. One week before school started back up, three Broward County educators died of COVID-19, according to local union officials. All three were unvaccinated. This wasn’t the first time Gard experienced the sudden deaths of colleagues.”

Tampa Bay Times: Tampa Bay schools see 10,000 COVID cases three weeks into the new year . “The surge of COVID-19 cases that ushered in the new school year has quickened dramatically. Public school systems in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties reported 5,334 cases of the virus this past week among students and staff — far outpacing the 2,153 cases they reported the previous week.”


New York Times: When Will the Delta Surge End?. “In the United States, the variant’s pace has slowed, and new infections are falling in some states, like Missouri, that Delta struck hard. The number of infections over the last week is now 14 percent higher than it was two weeks ago, a fraction of the rate during much of July and early August. Is the Delta surge beginning to slow in the United States? Or is the variant putting the country on course for months of bumps and valleys?”

Washington Post: They’re called mild cases. But people with breakthrough covid can still feel pretty sick.. “[Andrew] Kinsey and other vaccinated people who develop breakthrough cases of covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, are learning a mild case may not seem so mild to the person enduring the infection. Those cases can be as modest as a few days of sniffles, but, in other circumstances, can spawn debilitating headaches and fatigue. Symptoms can persist longer than the usual cold. But public health authorities and scientists stress that research overwhelmingly shows that coronavirus vaccines are keeping people out of the hospital and that most breakthrough cases are mild or moderate.”

CNET: Long COVID can lead to kidney damage or failure, even in milder cases, new research suggests. “COVID-19 has confused health and medical experts since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020. Caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, the disease has killed at least 4.5 million people worldwide, and more than 600,000 people just in the US. Although most people who are infected will develop mild or moderate symptoms — or none at all — scientists are continuing to research symptoms of the coronavirus that linger with potentially damaging effects.”

Miami Herald: Stop using these N95 masks, FDA says. There are ‘serious concerns’ with their quality. (Important to note that this is about a specific brand of N95 masks, and not N95 masks in general.) “All approvals for N95s produced by Shanghai Dasheng have been revoked as of Aug. 13, meaning they are no longer authorized for emergency use and ‘may no longer be manufactured, assembled, sold or distributed’ in the U.S.”

Wired: The Delta Variant Is Making Covid a Pandemic of the Young. “There’s little evidence so far to suggest the Delta variant is more harmful to children than adults. According to the CDC, there’s some evidence of greater severity in Delta infections across all age groups, but the agency has yet to offer a specific breakdown for children.”


Eurogamer: Xbox uses its social media reach to encourage players to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. “Xbox has teamed with the US’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to encourage more young people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Tech Xplore: Artificial intelligence answers COVID questions. “A chatbot that is based on an artificial neural network that can carry out natural language processing (NLP) is being developed by researchers in India. The team describes how the chatbot can be programmed to answer questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details are to be found in the International Journal of Intelligent Engineering Informatics.”

Wired: Zoom Dysmorphia Is Following People Into the Real World. “In the age of Zoom, people became inordinately preoccupied with sagging skin around their neck and jowls; with the size and shape of their nose; with the pallor of their skin. They wanted cosmetic interventions, ranging from Botox and fillers to facelifts and nose jobs.”


BBC: Long Covid in children ‘nowhere near scale feared’. “After the world’s biggest study into the issue, the researchers, led by University College London, said they were ‘reassured’. They surveyed 11- to 17-year-olds testing positive for coronavirus in England between September and March. The research suggests somewhere between 2% and 14% still had symptoms caused by Covid 15 weeks later.”

Slashgear: Researchers say putting masks on instruments reduces COVID risk. “Putting a mask on certain instruments can effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 similar to wearing a face mask, according to a new study from the University of Colorado at Boulder. The researchers focused on three different possible ways to mitigate COVID-19 spread when playing brass, woodwind, and reed instruments, including putting masks on them.”

Northern Arizona University: Who’s to blame for COVID-19? Mixed methods study examines politicized fear and health behaviors. “Lisa Hardy, associate professor in Northern Arizona University’s Department of Anthropology and director of the Social Science Community Engagement Lab, is the lead author on a study that looked at sociocultural responses to the virus and identified differences and similarities in anxiety, fear, blame and perceptions of the country across political divides. This week, ‘Who is to blame for COVID-19? Examining politicized fear and health behavior through a mixed methods study in the United States’ was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One.”

Drexel Now: Report: Autistic Individuals Have Increased Risk of COVID-19. “Autistic adults, adults with intellectual disability, and adults with mental health diagnoses have multiple risk factors for infection with COVID-19 and for experiencing more severe disease if they contract COVID-19, according to research from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University.”

PennState: Staying home, having access to primary care, and limiting contagion hubs may curb COVID-19 deaths. “Staying home and limiting local travel, supporting access to primary care, and limiting contacts in contagion hubs—including hospitals, schools, and workplaces—are strategies that might help reduce COVID-19–related deaths, according to new research. The research team, by statisticians at Penn State, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy, and Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, used novel statistical approaches to compare the first wave of the epidemic across 20 regions in Italy and identify factors that contributed to mortality.”


NPR: The Share Of U.S. Adults Willing To Get Vaccinated Ticks Up, A New Poll Finds. “The share of adults saying ‘no’ to getting the COVID-19 vaccine dropped 5 percentage points in a month, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer’s vaccine. The survey, which was in the field from Aug. 26 through Tuesday, found 19% of U.S. adults now say they do not intend to be vaccinated. That’s down from 24% in a Marist poll from the end of July.”



Law & Crime: Man Peed in Middle of a Dairy Queen Because Employees Told Him to Put on Mask (VIDEO). “A would-be Dairy Queen customer in Canada whipped out his ‘Dilly Bar’ and peed on the counter of the fast-food establishment because employees told him to put on a mask. Now cops are trying to track him down.”

NBC News: Authorities in Hawaii arrest woman with alleged fake ‘Maderna’ vax card . “An Illinois woman was charged Monday with two misdemeanors in Hawaii and accused of using a fake vaccination card to bypass the state’s coronavirus testing and quarantine requirements. The woman, Chloe Mrozak, 24, of Oak Lawn, Illinois, was arrested Saturday at the Honolulu airport as she tried to board a flight to the U.S. mainland after a five-day stay in Hawaii.”


The Conversation: At my hospital, over 95% of COVID-19 patients share one thing in common: They’re unvaccinated. “As an emergency medicine and critical care doctor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, I’ve lost count of the number of COVID-19 surges since the U.S. pandemic began in Seattle in February 2020. But this one feels different. The patients are younger. They have fewer preexisting medical conditions. And at my hospital, over 95% of these hospitalized patients share one common feature: They’re unvaccinated.”

CoronaBuzz is brought to you by ResearchBuzz. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you.

Categories: coronabuzz

Tagged as: ,

Leave a Reply