Tuesday CoronaBuzz, January 10, 2022: 32 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

One of the first tags I started for CoronaBuzz was about vaccines. Here are three related tags:

vaccines – (RSS ) – ~1500 articles indexed

booster shots – (RSS ) – ~85 articles indexed

fourth shots (pretty new) – (RSS – 5 articles indexed

Please get a booster shot. Please wear a mask when you’re inside away from home. Much love.


CBC: 3 Ontario nurses disciplined for social media posts related to pandemic launch $1M libel suit. “Three Ontario nurses who have faced discipline for their stances on the pandemic are suing the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and a media outlet in British Columbia, with the libel suit seeking $1 million. Kristen Nagle of London, Kristal Pitter of Tillsonburg and Sara Choujounian of Toronto have been investigated by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) for sharing their controversial views about the pandemic on social media.”

Stuff New Zealand: Anti-vax ex-doctor in Canterbury looks set to continue new career as chocolatier. “An anti-vaccine former doctor is no longer able to practise medicine in her North Canterbury clinic any more, but her ‘guilt-free’ chocolate business still seems to be going strong. Kaiapoi GP and weight-loss clinic owner Jonie Girouard​​ was caught on camera giving out medical certificates as exemptions for the Pfizer vaccine in early December.”

PolitiFact: Social media posts try to connect Saget’s death to COVID-19 vaccine booster. “Bob Saget was found dead on Jan. 9 and the cause and manner of his death have not yet been released, but claims that he died as a result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine booster a month earlier are being made without evidence.”

The Daily Beast: Ivermectin Fans Are Back With Even Weirder Drugs for Your COVID. “Is your anti-worm medication failing to treat COVID-19? Not to worry, says one of the loudest organizations promoting anti-worm medication for COVID patients: Try adding a cocktail of anti-depressants and androgen inhibitors to your medical mix.”


Route Fifty: Kids Who Lost Parents to Coivd Deserve Help, Advocates Say. “Hundreds of thousands of kids have lost a parent or primary caregiver to COVID-19 and need support services, mental health experts say, with communities of color particularly devastated.”


Associated Press: Health officials let COVID-infected staff stay on the job. “Health authorities around the U.S. are increasingly taking the extraordinary step of allowing nurses and other workers infected with the coronavirus to stay on the job if they have mild symptoms or none at all. The move is a reaction to the severe hospital staffing shortages and crushing caseloads that the omicron variant is causing.”

CBS: Red Cross declares first-ever national blood crisis. “The nation’s blood supply is dangerously low, prompting the Red Cross to announce a national blood crisis for the first time. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a decline in donor turnout, the cancellation of blood drives and staffing challenges, leading to the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, the Red Cross said. Last year, the Red Cross saw a 34% decline in new donors.”

ABC News: Nursing homes struggle with low booster rates, staffing issues as omicron spreads. “As the omicron variant causes a surge in coronavirus cases, many long-term care facilities are facing challenges not seen in months, officials from around the country tell ABC News. Many nursing homes are struggling with low booster rates and a growing staffing crisis, said industry executives and health care advocates.”


Washington Post: U.S. breaks record with more than 145,000 covid-19 hospitalizations. “The United States surpassed its record for covid-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday, with no end in sight to skyrocketing case loads, falling staff levels and the struggles of a medical system trying to provide care amid an unprecedented surge of the coronavirus. Tuesday’s total of 145,982 people in U.S. hospitals with covid-19, which includes 4,462 children, passed the record of 142,273 set on Jan. 14, 2021, during the previous peak of the pandemic in this country.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Patients wait in ERs for days as COVID-19 patients overwhelm St. Louis-area hospitals. “People unsure of their illness leaving before they are seen by doctors. Sick patients waiting for hours, sometimes days, in an emergency room because there is nowhere for them to be admitted. Others dying in small-town hospitals unable to access the services they need in urban centers like St. Louis. Those are some of the scenarios Dr. Aamina Akhtar, chief medical officer for Mercy Hospital South, said are playing out in emergency departments across the region as the hyper-infectious omicron variant pushes COVID-19 hospitalizations to record levels and sickens health care staff.”


Bloomberg: Pfizer begins making shot that targets omicron, original COVID-19 virus. “Pfizer Inc. is developing a hybrid vaccine that combines its original shot with a formulation that shields against the highly transmissible omicron variant, the drug giant’s top executive said.”

Harvard Business Review: How to Get People to Speak Up in Virtual Meetings. ” How do you ask for ideas or feedback during a virtual meeting in a way that returns valuable answers (and not just from the usual extroverts)? Based on my experience leading meetings, working with meeting leaders, and exploring ways to improve virtual meeting effectiveness, below are eight tactics to get responses from even the most mute-happy meeting members.”

KnowTechie: Canon is encouraging printer owners to break DRM so they can use ink cartridges. “Printers that use DRM-locked ink cartridges are the worst. Many of the major brands use them, but things could be changing. Thanks to global chip shortages, Canon Germany is now offering guidance on how to break its own DRM system.”

KBTX: Center for Covid Control testing sites closed for unknown reasons Monday. “Questions continue about the operations of a local COVID-19 testing group. Center for Covid Control has been very popular in recent weeks with hundreds of people stopping by daily to receive tests. On Thursday KBTX reported they weren’t sharing their results with the Brazos County Health District, a violation of orders by Gov. Greg Abbott. On Friday their College Station location was closed for unknown reasons and on Monday their locations on Texas Avenue as well as Woodville Road in Bryan were closed, despite a sign saying they’d be open Monday.”

CNBC: Facebook delays return to office until March, Covid-19 boosters required. “Facebook parent Meta Platforms said on Monday it is delaying employees’ return to offices across the U.S. until March 28 — adding that proof of a booster shot will be required to protect against the surging omicron variant.”

DCist: Some D.C. Trader Joe’s Workers Call The Company’s COVID Practices Into Question. “There are fewer health and safety protocols at Trader Joe’s now than at any point in the pandemic, according to multiple grocery store workers at the Union Market location — despite unprecedented COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. (Two of the four workers who agreed to speak with DCist/WAMU asked not to be named because they feared retribution at work or had privacy concerns.) Vaccination reduces their risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, but workers still hope to avoid exposure or infection, partly because quarantine could mean losing wages.”

Bloomberg: U.S. beef prices rise as Covid sickens slaughterhouse workers again. “U.S. beef prices jumped to the highest levels since November, threatening to worsen already raging food inflation. Production has slowed as the omicron virus variant sickens workers. Beef output last week fell 5.3% from a year ago, and wholesale prices on Monday climbed by 1.3%, the most since August, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

New York Times: United Airlines details Omicron’s toll: 3,000 workers have the coronavirus. “In a single day over the holidays, nearly one in three United Airlines employees called in sick at Newark Liberty International Airport, a major hub for the airline, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday. The revelation, which came in a memo to staff from the airline’s chief executive, Scott Kirby, helps explain why U.S. airlines have had to cancel more than more than 27,000 flights, or about 8 percent of all scheduled trips, over two weeks starting the day before Christmas, according to FlightAware, a data tracking service.”

BBC: Covid: Shoppers swap party clothes for loungewear. “Shoppers swapped party outfits for comfy clothes in the Christmas sales as the Omicron Covid variant saw festive parties cancelled and the return of working from home guidance.”


Washington Post: CDC weighs recommending better masks against omicron variant. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering updating its mask guidance to recommend that people opt for the highly protective N95 or KN95 masks worn by health-care personnel, if they can do so consistently, said an official close to the deliberations who was not authorized to speak publicly.”

Associated Press: Home COVID tests to be covered by insurers starting Saturday. “Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations.”


Associated Press: China locks down 3rd city, raising affected to 20 million. “A third Chinese city has locked down its residents because of a COVID-19 outbreak, raising the number confined to their homes in China to about 20 million people. The lockdown of Anyang, home to 5.5 million people, was announced late Monday after two cases of the omicron variant were reported. Residents are not allowed to go out and stores have been ordered shut except those selling necessities.”

Associated Press: China’s Tianjin on partial lockdown after omicron found. “State broadcaster CCTV said the government has divided Tianjin and its 14 million residents into three levels of restrictions, starting with lockdown areas where people are not allowed to leave their homes at all. In control areas, each household is allowed to have one family member leave to buy groceries every other day, while in prevention areas, people must remain inside their immediate neighborhoods.”

BBC: Covid: Half of Europe to be infected with Omicron within weeks – WHO. “The World Health Organization has warned that half of Europe will have been infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 within six to eight weeks. Dr Hans Kluge said a ‘west-to-east tidal wave’ of Omicron was sweeping across the region, on top of the surge of the Delta variant already present.”

BBC: Covid: Chile starts fourth vaccine dose amid rise in cases. “Chile has started administering fourth doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the first Latin American country to do so, as the Omicron variant fuels a surge in cases. People with weakened immune systems will be the first to receive the shots. The campaign will be extended to all those over the age of 55 in February.”


WALA: Special Alabama legislative session could be called for pandemic funds. “Alabama lawmakers say there may be a special session on how to spend the state’s remaining pandemic relief funds. According to several lawmakers, there are discussions with the governor’s office on calling a special session that would only focus on the relief money allocation during the upcoming session.”

Miami Herald: Florida sent scarce COVID-19 therapy to a private Broward clinic before Jackson Memorial. “In December, Florida’s health department shipped 264 doses of a drug called Evusheld to a limited liability company that was incorporated in March 2020 and advertises house calls and COVID-19 testing, vaccination and therapy on its website. But the state did not send a shipment to Jackson Memorial until January, when the hospital received a total of 192 doses, according to federal data. The private clinic, iCare Mobile Medicine, received more Evusheld in the state’s first shipment than any other hospital or medical provider in Florida.”


StarTribune: Mail, garbage delays in store as omicron wave builds across Minnesota. “As a crushing wave of omicron infections surges across Minnesota, mail carriers and garbage haulers say they’re struggling to keep things going. Some mail won’t go out on time, a union official said, and a handful of garbage routes will see delays, according to a private hauler. The delays are brought on by a record-setting surge of COVID-19 cases connected with the highly contagious omicron variant.”


The Guardian: Staff shortages, fear and confusion: Los Angeles schools grapple with Covid chaos. “For students across the US, the return from winter break has been marked by chaos and confusion as the Omicron variant has exacerbated staff shortages and sparked fierce debates about how to reopen classrooms safely.”

WBIR: How to combat child reading loss in a pandemic. “Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program scores from 2021 show that roughly 71% of kids grades 3 through 8 are below proficient reading levels. In 2018, it was around 60%. Reading is important for a child’s development, namely their language skills. The American Academy of Pediatrics said there are things you can do right now to help your child fall in love with reading early and ways to encourage more reading for your pre-teens and older kids.”


Axios: Axios-Ipsos poll: America retrenches on COVID . “36% of vaccinated survey respondents who have tested positive for the virus or think they’ve had it now say they were infected after being fully vaccinated. That compares with 22% in mid-December, and just 6% last summer.”


Esquire: I’ve Never Felt More Like a Failure as a Parent. “Here we go again. Again. Another winter, another Covid surge. Like clockwork, parents, their kids, and the teachers we rely on are all back where we were in spring 2020, fall 2020, winter 2020, and fall 2021: fucked. Instead of making plans, our leaders—from the White House on down to school districts—decided the best course of action is simply to lay down on the tracks.”

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