Wednesday CoronaBuzz, November 03, 2021: 35 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.


Patch: New Website Lets Minnesota Parents Schedule Vaccine For Kids 5-11. ” The state of Minnesota Wednesday launched a new website that will allow parents to schedule a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appointment for 5- to 11-year-olds.”

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment: Facility vaccine dashboard now available on the state COVID-19 website. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment launched a new COVID-19 vaccination data dashboard with staff vaccination information for all licensed health care facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes and other long term care facilities. The data lists facility type and name, as well as the reporting period. The data is self-reported by the facility and is categorized by vaccinated, partially vaccinated, unvaccinated, medically exempt, and religiously exempt. Facilities that are not in compliance also are listed on the dashboard. This information allows the public to compare nursing home facilities to make informed, consumer-decisions based on vaccination compliance.”


Associated Press: COVID-19′s global death toll tops 5 million in under 2 years. “The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 5 million on Monday, less than two years into a crisis that has not only devastated poor countries but also humbled wealthy ones with first-rate health care systems. Together, the United States, the European Union, Britain and Brazil — all upper-middle- or high-income countries — account for one-eighth of the world’s population but nearly half of all reported deaths. The U.S. alone has recorded over 745,000 lives lost, more than any other nation.”

CBS: A potentially faster-spreading Delta variant, AY.4.2, has been spotted in 8 states. “A potentially faster-spreading ‘sub-lineage’ of the coronavirus Delta variant named AY.4.2 has been spotted by labs in at least 8 states, and health authorities in the United Kingdom say they are investigating a growing share of cases from this strain of the virus. Labs in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington state, plus the District of Columbia, have so far spotted at least one case of AY.4.2.”

BBC: Covid: Record German cases as WHO warns of Europe deaths. “Germany has recorded almost 34,000 daily Covid cases in the past 24 hours, its highest number so far, in what the health minister is calling a ‘massive pandemic of the unvaccinated’. Sixteen million Germans have not had a jab. However hospital intensive care cases are still lower than in spring.”


NBC News: Covid vaccines for children are coming. So is misinformation.. “Dr. Natasha Burgert is well aware of the concerns parents have about the Covid-19 vaccines. The Kansas pediatrician, who is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, said she’s already been counseling some parents about their fears. And she worries that they are entering a particularly sensitive time — one that anti-vaccination activists could exploit.”


NBC News: The new faces of Covid deaths. “An NBC News analysis of what changed from the first 100,000 Covid deaths in the U.S. to the most recent 100,000 deaths shows key geographic and demographic shifts in the evolution of the pandemic. Covid hot spots moved from densely populated cities concentrated in the Northeast and on the West Coast to Southern states and more rural regions. The disease also shifted from disproportionately affecting older adults and people with underlying conditions into a more indiscriminate killer among those who were unvaccinated. They are deaths that were largely preventable.”


Orlando Sentinel: Florida health-care groups warn of growing workforce crisis. “A broad coalition of health-care groups sought to ratchet up attention Monday to staffing and financial problems, saying the state needs to take steps to help address what industry officials describe as a crisis.”

Bluffton Today: Beaufort Memorial seeks ‘gently used adult crutches’ because of global supply shortage. “Beaufort Memorial Hospital said it is in need of crutches for patients because of a global aluminum shortage. Officials are asking members of the community to donate ‘gently used adult crutches’ if they can.”


BBC: Covid-19: Single case shuts down Shanghai Disneyland. “China hopes to reach zero infections before it hosts the Winter Olympics, which begin in February. The country where the virus was first discovered officially had 92 new cases on Monday. A person who visited the Disneyland theme park in Shanghai on Saturday tested positive for the virus after returning to a nearby region, Chinese state media report.”


CNET: Amazon won’t require masks for fully vaccinated warehouse workers. “Amazon’s warehouse workers can soon take off their masks if they’re fully vaccinated. The company will lift its mask requirement on Tuesday, unless the warehouse is in a state or region where masks are still legally required for vaccinated workers, as reported earlier by a report from CNBC.”

Route Fifty: Pandemic Prompts Officials to Relax Rules on Home Businesses. “The issue has galvanized politicians and advocates across the political spectrum, uniting progressives such as Song with pro-business conservatives and free-market libertarians. Since the start of 2020, at least a dozen cities and counties, including Seattle and Chicago, have considered bills designed to ease zoning and permitting rules for home businesses.”

The Register: Cisco requires COVID-19 shots for all US staff – even remote workers. “Cisco has updated its COVID-19 vaccination policy for US staff to make the jabs mandatory – even for those who work remotely. The new policy, a copy of which was obtained by The Register, requires ‘all US-based employees (including US Territories), regardless of whether you work remotely or in a Cisco facility, be fully vaccinated … or have an approved medical or religious accommodation, by December 8, 2021.'”


Government Accountability Office: How the Pandemic is Changing the IRS. “At the onset of the pandemic, IRS had to temporarily shut down its onsite operations, including its mail processing facilities. The impact could be felt by taxpayers, who waited longer for returns to be processed or to receive COVID-related economic relief checks. But the pandemic also disrupted IRS’s tax enforcement programs used to check that information provided by taxpayers is verified, and that the correct amount of tax is paid to the federal government. Today’s WatchBlog post looks at our new work on how IRS was impacted by COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, as well as the long-term changes the pandemic may have on its operations.”

CNET: Biden administration sets Jan. 4 COVID vaccine deadline for workers. “The Biden administration on Thursday said employees at large companies will have until Jan. 4 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as the government puts into place sweeping new vaccination policies that will impact millions of workers in the US.”


BBC: First pill to treat Covid gets approval in UK. “The first pill designed to treat symptomatic Covid has been approved by the UK medicines regulator. The tablet – molnupiravir – will be given twice a day to vulnerable patients recently diagnosed with the disease. In clinical trials the pill, originally developed to treat flu, cut the risk of hospitalisation or death by about half.”


Route Fifty: Some States Are Cloaking Prison Covid Data. “Texas is not the only state that has failed to consistently report COVID-19 cases and deaths in state prisons, local jails and juvenile detention facilities. While most corrections systems have never provided a great deal of information about the spread of the virus in their institutions, lately it has gotten worse, researchers say. At least a half-dozen states, including Florida and Georgia as well as Texas, provide even less information than they once did, according to researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles’ COVID Behind Bars Data Project, which collects and analyzes data on the pandemic in corrections settings.”

WPVI: State employees who get vaccinated to get 5 paid days off. “Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration told more than 70,000 state employees on Monday that it is offering five days of paid leave for getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year.”

CNN: New York state health care workers will no longer have religious exemption to Covid-19 vaccine mandate, court rules. “New York State health care workers will no longer have a religious exemption to the state’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate after a federal appeals court vacated a temporary injunction Friday. The three-judge panel in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit also sent the two court cases back to the lower courts to continue.”


Washington Post: Boosted by the pandemic, ‘constitutional sheriffs’ are a political force. “As Mark Lomax campaigns for the top law enforcement position in Bucks County, Pa., there’s one question some voters keep asking: Will he be a ‘constitutional sheriff’? The 62-year-old former state trooper has largely avoided the polarizing label, which refers to a movement of sheriffs who argue that their power to interpret the law is above any state or federal authority — even the president.”

Gothamist: 9,000 NYC Workers Now On Unpaid Leave As COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Starts Enforcement. “New York City has placed 9,000 government employees on unpaid leave, while granting temporary exceptions to another 12,000 workers who applied for medical or religious exemptions rather than comply with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.” Context: NYC has about 378,000 workers total.

Baltimore Sun: More than 10% of Baltimore City Schools workers who refused to get vaccinated by deadline now face termination. “As a Monday deadline passed for Baltimore City Public Schools employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, more than 10% of its workforce has yet to comply. Baltimore city schools, the region’s first school system to institute a vaccination mandate, will begin enforcing the mandate, including terminating employees who don’t get the inoculations or request and receive an exemption by early December, according to Andre Riley, a spokesman for the system.”

Route Fifty: The ‘Great Resignation’ is an Opportunity for Local Government to Create Purpose for Employees. “The ‘Great Resignation’ has led to discussions amongst local government leaders about why workers are leaving and how to keep them. Recent data has shown that the pandemic has caused the nature of work to change. According to a survey from McKinsey in April, nearly two-thirds of U.S.-based employees said that Covid-19 has caused them to reflect on their purpose in life. Nearly half said they are reconsidering the kind of work they do.”


WRAL: Wake County election official removed from voting site after refusing to wear a mask. “Carl McCloskey, from Apex, told WRAL News that he was forced to leave the voting site at Midway Baptist Church. Election officials said the judge was first asked to leave the church, and when he refused, they had to call the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.”


HuffPost: Actor Kristy Swanson, Who Spread Virus Misinformation, Is Hospitalized With COVID-19. “Actor Kristy Swanson, the original ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ said Monday she has been hospitalized in New Jersey after contracting COVID-19.”


WXOW: Aaron Rodgers won’t play Sunday due to COVID protocol. “Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol and will miss Sunday’s game at Kansas City. Coach Matt LaFleur has confirmed that Rodgers is in the protocol but would not say if he had tested positive. The reigning NFL MVP is the latest Green Bay player to deal with the coronavirus. Wide receivers Davante Adams, a 2020 All-Pro, and Allen Lazard missed last week’s victory at Arizona because of COVID-19 protocols. Green Bay’s backup quarterback is 2020 first-round draft pick Jordan Love, who has thrown seven passes in his short career.”


Poynter: Here’s what we really know about COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness. “If you don’t read any further, know this: No vaccine is 100% effective against any disease. The COVID shots are no exception. Effectiveness in preventing infection — defined as a positive test result — appears in some studies to wane sharply the more time that goes by after completing the one- or two-shot regimen. But on key measures — prevention of serious illness, hospitalization and death — real-world studies from the U.S. and abroad generally show protection weakening slightly, particularly in older or sicker people, but remaining strong overall, even with the rise of the more infectious delta variant of the COVID virus.


PsyPost: Memes can help people psychologically cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. “New research provides evidence that internet memes can help people cope with the stress of a global pandemic by boosting positive emotions. The findings, published in Psychology of Popular Media, indicate that viewing memes can have psychologically beneficial effects.”

The Register: The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever. “Welcome to the latest Register Debate in which writers discuss technology topics, and you the reader choose the winning argument. The format is simple: we propose a motion, the arguments for the motion will run this Monday and Wednesday, and the arguments against on Tuesday and Thursday. During the week you can cast your vote on which side you support using the poll embedded below, choosing whether you’re in favour or against the motion. The final score will be announced on Friday, revealing whether the for or against argument was most popular. It’s up to our writers to convince you to vote for their side. This week’s motion is: The pandemic improved the status of IT workers … forever.”


PsyPost: New study links COVID-19 lockdown to reduced brain metabolism. “The social isolation and reduction in physical activity caused by COVID-19 lockdowns appear to have negatively impacted brain metabolism, according to new neuroimaging research from France. The study has been published in the scientific journal Human Brain Mapping.”

PsyPost: People with psychopathic tendencies are more likely to gamble with other people’s lives during a pandemic. “New research provides evidence that individuals who scored higher in non-clinical psychopathy were more willing to take risks with other people’s lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, which was conducted during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, also found that the effectiveness of health-related messaging is dependent on how such messages are framed.”


CNET: Fired for refusing to get vaccinated? You might not be able to collect unemployment benefits. “At the outset, we’ll note that this is an evolving legal issue that’s likely to play out in the courts. As a general rule, employees who resign or are fired for refusing a COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Some legal experts believe that resisting a vaccine mandate could be treated as equivalent to a voluntary resignation, which would disqualify an employee from receiving benefits. But the rules vary by region and employer. Despite a few federally recognized exceptions, most states have not yet officially weighed in on the matter.”


World Economic Forum: COVID-19 has damaged public trust in science. Here’s how to repair it. “Traditionally, new scientific findings were published in academic journals, which are not aimed at the general public, and were not accessible to non-scientists. During the pandemic, however, new findings were seized on immediately by politicians, the media and social media. While this undoubtedly made them more accessible than ever before, it also meant that they were often miscommunicated, with messages and data simplified or warped to fit political or media agendas. This so-called ‘infodemic’ has eroded the credibility and funding of scientific research, and had a negative impact on the already vulnerable careers of early career researchers. What went wrong?”

New York Times: Not Everyone in New York Wanted the Coronavirus to Lose. “The misinformation reports — the vast majority of which concern public social media posts — also offer a fascinating historical accounting: a glimpse into what New Yorkers were reading, watching and at times misunderstanding about the disease that upended their city. Overall, the effort is a case study in what effective city government can do and what public health demands in 2021.”

The Atlantic: It’s Time to Contemplate the End of the Crisis. “By now, Americans should realize that there isn’t a magic solution that will make COVID go away. Many restrictions, such as indoor mask mandates, remain in place to protect the vulnerable and unvaccinated in states following updated CDC COVID-prevention guidance. But within two or three months of introducing vaccines for 5-to-11-year-olds, the U.S. should be able to begin winding down most of the formal and informal limits to which Americans have become accustomed—office closures, masking mandates, educational interruptions, six-foot distancing, and more.”

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