Wednesday CoronaBuzz, October 13, 2021: 33 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.


Johns Hopkins: New data shows COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on American Indian, Alaska Native tribes. “The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center today launched new data and maps tracking the pandemic’s impact across American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Developed in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and Indian Country Today, the map provides one of the most comprehensive views of how the pandemic has unfolded across more than 100 Tribal Nations.”


New York Times: Boosters Are Complicating Efforts to Persuade the Unvaccinated to Get Shots. ” The overwhelming majority of eligible adults who remain unvaccinated in the United States are hard-core refusers, and the arrival of boosters is making efforts to coax them as well as those who are still hesitating even more difficult. In the September vaccine monitor survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71 percent of unvaccinated respondents said the need for boosters indicated that the vaccines were not working.”


BuzzFeed News: Southwest Airlines And The Pilots Union Say Vaccine Mandates Had Nothing To Do With The Massive Flight Cancellations. “Conservative figures and politicians opposing vaccine and mask mandates have blamed more than 2,000 recent flight cancellations by Southwest Airlines on vaccine mandates, but both the airline and pilots union have said the massive number of flight disruptions had nothing to do with it. That didn’t stop some politicians, like former president Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and Rep. Andy Biggs from Arizona, from trying to link the cancellations to federal vaccine mandates even though they offered no evidence of it.”

Poynter: Bill Gates didn’t say he wanted to use vaccines to reduce the population. “Over the years, many claims have misrepresented Bill Gates’ views on how expanding access to health care — including vaccines — will lead people to have smaller families. An Oct. 6 article published on the website Tech Startups added a new claim to the list by alleging that 11 years ago, Bill Gates talked about reducing the global population by 10% to 15% ‘using new vaccines for population control.'”


Idaho Capital Sun: ‘It should be stopped’: Idaho medical group files complaint against Dr. Ryan Cole. “The Idaho Medical Association on Thursday filed a complaint with the Idaho Board of Medicine against Dr. Ryan Cole, a local pathologist who owns Cole Diagnostics and this year was appointed to the lone physician seat on the board of Central District Health, the state’s largest regional public health agency. ‘Our primary concern is that he says he has treated patients ‘from Florida to California’ by refusing to use accepted and documented medical practices and vaccination and instead prescribing ivermectin,’ the complaint said. ”


BBC: Nations must be ‘absolutely vigilant’ about inflation, says IMF. “The economic recovery has weakened in most rich nations due to the impact of the Delta variant of coronavirus, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.”

NBC News: What would a Covid memorial look like? Designers share ideas for ‘unprecedented’ tribute. “Many now intend to make sure this pandemic doesn’t get lost to history like the last one. While it will most likely be years before anyone builds a Covid memorial in Washington, architects, artists and people touched by the pandemic from around the world are already thinking about ways to remember it, which might require reinventing the idea of memorials.”


Reuters: Italian police arrest far-right party leaders after anti-vaccination riot. “Italian police said on Sunday they had arrested 12 people including the leaders of the extreme right-wing party Forza Nuova, after clashes in Rome a day earlier over a government drive to make the COVID-19 ‘Green Pass’ mandatory for all workers.”


BBC: Covid-19 in Brazil: ‘My mum was used as a guinea pig’. “A Brazilian healthcare provider is accused of giving unproven drugs to Covid-19 patients and conducting experiments on elderly people without their relatives’ consent. The allegations have been linked to deaths that, families say, could have been prevented.”


CNN: Amazon will let individual teams decide how much time they spend in the office. “Amazon is shifting its approach to remote work again, giving its workers more control over how much time they spend in the office and opening the door for more corporate workers to continue working from home.”

TechRepublic: Survey: COVID-19 continues to impact digital transformation plans. “For many years paper—albeit, eliminating paper—was a top digital transformation priority. However, in the wake of the past year’s global COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises began to reallocate budget dollars and resources away from digitizing paper and toward communication and collaboration tools needed for employees working remotely. One year later, COVID-19 is still here, and it’s continuing to impact businesses’ digital transformation initiatives.”

KDFW: Southwest, American Airlines will comply with federal vaccine mandate despite Texas governor’s order. “Both Southwest and American Airlines say they it will go against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest executive order and instead comply with President Joe Biden’s mandate requiring employees to be vaccinated. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines made the announcement Tuesday in response the order Abbott issued Monday.”


New York Times: The U.S. will open the Canada and Mexico borders for fully vaccinated travelers in November.. “The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions at the borders with Canada and Mexico starting in November for fully vaccinated travelers, reopening the door of the United States to tourists and separated family members who had been sealed out of the country during the pandemic.”

Association of the United States Army: Army Moves Closer To Fully Vaccinating The Force. “The active Army is close to being fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, but less than half of the soldiers in the Army Reserve have been vaccinated because of the logistical challenges of reaching people who are ‘spread all over the country,’ Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said.”


BBC: Indonesia Covid: Slow start as Bali re-opens to foreign tourists. “The much anticipated re-opening of Indonesia’s famed tourist island Bali has seen a slow start, with no international flights scheduled. As of Thursday, fully vaccinated travellers from 19 countries including China, India, and France can enter Bali. The UK is not on the list. But visitors must first serve a five-day quarantine in a hotel.”

BBC: Covid: New WHO group may be last chance to find virus origins. “The World Health Organization (WHO) says a new taskforce may be the last chance to find the origins of Covid-19. It has nominated 26 experts to join the body, the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (Sago).”


BBC: Texas Governor Greg Abbott bans mandatory vaccination in state. “Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order banning all organisations, including private companies, from enforcing vaccinations in the state. Mr Abbott, a Republican, has been one of the most vocal US leaders opposed to making coronavirus vaccines mandatory.”

State of New York: New York State Department of Health Study Shows Continued Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines. “The New York State Department of Health today announced the release of a new study addressing one of the most critical questions regarding COVID-19 – the extent to which vaccine effectiveness is declining and whether these changes are due to waning immunity or other factors such as the predominance of the Delta variant. The study, which expands upon the work of the Department’s first-in-the-nation vaccine effectiveness study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in August, concluded that declines in vaccine effectiveness (VE) for cases may have been driven primarily by the Delta variant or factors other than immunological waning, such as reduced use of masks. In contrast, VE for hospitalizations remained high, with modest declines limited to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna recipients 65 years of age and older. This finding supports targeted booster dosing recommendations.”

Idaho Capital Sun: Only 2 states refuse to track this health care data. Idaho is one of them.. “Health officials knew that at least 749 adults and 15 children were in Idaho hospitals with COVID-19 last Saturday. What they didn’t know — and have never known — is how many Idahoans were hospitalized in other states for COVID-19 or any other reason. It’s not because they don’t want that information. It’s because they can’t get it.”

Orlando Sentinel: Florida fines Leon County $3.57 million for violating ‘vaccine passport’ law. “Florida fined Leon County $3.57 million Tuesday for violating the disputed ‘vaccine passport’ law by mandating COVID shots for its employees, the first such penalty issued by the state. The move by the Florida Department of Health comes a day after the Orlando Sentinel published the list of agencies and businesses being investigated by the state for violating the law, signed earlier this year by Gov. Ron DeSantis.”

WINS: Hochul apologizes to families of nursing home COVID-19 victims. “Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday met with family members of those who died in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic to apologize for the Andrew Cuomo administration’s handling of their care, Hochul’s office confirmed.”


New York Times: Hundreds of Police Officers Have Died From Covid. Vaccines Remain a Hard Sell.. “More than 460 American law enforcement officers have died from Covid-19 infections tied to their work since the start of the pandemic, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, making the coronavirus by far the most common cause of duty-related deaths in 2020 and 2021. More than four times as many officers have died from Covid-19 as from gunfire in that period.”


Yahoo Entertainment: Blac Chyna goes on expletive-filled rant at airport over COVID-19 vaccine: ‘Get the shot!’. “Rob Kardashian’s former fiancé went on an expletive-filled tirade at Miami International Airport on Sunday, yelling at people to ‘go get the shot!’ It’s unclear what set Chyna off, who happened to be maskless. Multiple clips from the rant have been posted online.”


Washington Post: By boat, by motorbike, by foot: The journey to vaccinate Colombia’s remotest communities. “Across the Andes, a region that has reported some of the world’s highest covid-19 death rates, teams are traversing deserts, mountains, rainforests and rivers to vaccinate isolated communities. Such teams are particularly active in Colombia, a country of more than 48 million people, where about 16 percent of the population lives in rural areas that were often neglected by the government during more than five decades of armed conflict.”


WRAL: Fayetteville police lieutenant with COVID-19 dies weeks before wedding. “The Fayetteville Observer reports Lt. Eric Dow, 50, was supposed to marry his fiancée, Kim Burns, on Oct. 19, but on Oct. 1, everything changed when he died of a suspected blood clot while recovering from COVID-19.”

New York Daily News: Former Brooklyn public school teacher and Daily News Hometown Hero Tricia Moses lost to COVID-19: ‘She’s helping us even in her death’. “Moses’s extraordinary career as an award-winning Brooklyn public school teacher and her journey through a crippling illness and a successful double lung transplant were testament to both her iron will and the powers of modern medicine. Neither could protect her from COVID-19, which claimed her life last month at age 46 — despite the fact that she was fully vaccinated and diligently wore a mask.”


ABC 4: Utah schools face rising COVID-19 student cases, parents react. “COVID-19 cases are on the rise in some Utah schools and data shows several of them are more than halfway to meeting COVID-19 Test to Stay requirements. Two months into a new school year, a handful of schools have met the threshold of cases, which by state law, requires students to Test to Stay in the classroom.”

WKRN: More than 20 Tennessee school staff members have died from COVID-19. “Student learning is being impacted more than ever, but it’s not what’s happening in the classroom that is causing some concern. It’s the number of educators who are getting sick with the COVID-19 virus, and later dying. According to the Tennessee Education Association, there is currently no organization or department keeping track of the total number of staff inside schools, who have died from COVID-19. The association has tracked more than 20 people during the fall semester.”


The Guardian: One in six most critically ill NHS patients are unvaccinated pregnant women with Covid. “Twenty of the 118 patients with Covid who received extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (Ecmo) between July and September were mothers-to-be, NHS England said. Of these, 19 had not had a jab and the other had only had one dose of a vaccine.”

NBC News: The Covid vaccine doesn’t cause infertility, but the disease might. “Worries that the Covid-19 vaccine could cause infertility are among the reasons people give for avoiding vaccination. While there’s no evidence any of the Covid vaccines cause problems with fertility, becoming severely ill from the disease has the potential to do so, reproduction experts say, making vaccination all the more important. ”


New York Times: What the Future May Hold for the Coronavirus and Us. “To date, more than 237 million people have been infected with the virus, and 4.8 million have died — 700,000 in the United States alone. With every infection come new opportunities for the virus to mutate. Now, nearly two years into the pandemic, we are working our way through an alphabet of new viral variants: fast-spreading Alpha, immune-evading Beta, and on through Gamma, Delta, Lambda and, most recently, Mu.”


Toronto Star: The End of History? Why we must reopen the archives. “Many Canadian public archives have closed during the pandemic for reasons that are neither surprising nor frivolous. Like other parts of the public sector, archives were shuttered for the greater public good. No one wants archivists or patrons to work in unsafe conditions. But schools and libraries are figuring out how to open safely and have been open for well over a month. Why have some of Canada’s major archives been so slow to reopen?”

Brookings Institution: Worsening global digital divide as the US and China continue zero-sum competitions. “At this critical juncture, it has become even more essential to examine the urgent challenges that the world confronts and to engage in global cooperation instead of devolving into constant contention and confrontation. One of the most urgent tasks for the international community is to overcome growing digital divides.”

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