Tuesday CoronaBuzz, January 25, 2022: 35 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

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


New York Times: Omicron Cases Appear to Peak in U.S., but Deaths Continue to Rise. “More and more states have passed a peak in new cases in recent days, as glimmers of progress have spread from a handful of eastern cities to much of the country. Through Friday, the country was averaging about 720,000 new cases a day, down from about 807,000 last week. New coronavirus hospital admissions have leveled off. Even as hopeful data points emerge, the threat has by no means passed.”


Grand Forks Herald: Minnesota COVID patient transferred from Coon Rapids hospital dies in Texas. ” Scott Quiner, 55, of Buffalo, died Saturday morning in an unnamed hospital in Houston, Texas, according to media reports. Quiner’s illness generated news stories nationwide, after his wife Anne Quiner fought plans to remove a ventilator which she said was keeping him alive. The story was picked up by conservative news outlets, which said the Minnesota hospital deliberately mistreated Quiner to punish him for being unvaccinated.”

Oregon Live: No, Make-A-Wish did not take away a sick child’s wish because he was unvaccinated. “Social media users — and even some news reports — are misrepresenting precautions put in place by Make-A-Wish Foundation to protect the children and families they serve from coronavirus. Popular social media posts are falsely suggesting the Make-A-Wish Foundation refused to grant a wish to an unvaccinated cancer patient.”

Daily Beast: Urine-Drinking Anti-Vax Leader Now Claims He Needs No Driver’s License. “Anti-COVID-19 ‘Vaccine Police’ leader Christopher Key, who has set out on a cross-country road trip with the end goal of conducting citizen arrests of Democratic governors, says he doesn’t need a driver’s license, despite operating a motor vehicle.”

AFP: Neil Young demands Spotify remove his music over Joe Rogan ‘disinformation’. ” Neil Young demanded in an open letter to Spotify to remove his music from the platform he said is spreading vaccine disinformation via the popular podcaster Joe Rogan. ‘I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,’ wrote the legendary singer behind ‘Heart of Gold’ and ‘Harvest Moon.'”

Popsugar Fitness: How to Make Sure Your COVID Test Isn’t Fake. “While free at-home COVID tests from the government should be arriving soon, you may still need to buy tests more frequently due to the surge of the Omicron variant. Just like fake N95 masks exist, so too do fake at-home COVID tests. Here’s how to ensure what you’re buying is an actual (and reliable) COVID test.”


The Guardian: Life after death: how the pandemic has transformed our psychic landscape. “Modern society has largely exiled death to the outskirts of existence, but Covid-19 has forced us all to confront it. Our relationship to the planet, each other and time itself can never be the same again.”

ABC News: Food banks nationwide face staffing, supply shortages. “Local food banks nationwide are struggling to keep up with demand, due to staffing and food shortages as the omicron COVID-19 surge continues to ravage the country.”


France24: Clashes erupt in Brussels as tens of thousands protest Covid rules. “Police fired water cannon and tear gas Sunday at stone-throwing protesters after tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through Brussels against Covid-19 rules. Authorities estimated that around 50,000 people paraded through the Belgian capital — the largest in a spate of protests in the city over the past months.”


NPR: A medical ethicist weighs in on how to approach treating unvaccinated people. “Sarah McCammon speaks with doctor and ethicist Carla Keirns of the University of Kansas Medical Center about how best to treat unvaccinated people who fall ill with COVID-19.”

Washington Post: Low-wage workers prop up the nursing home industry. They’re quitting in droves.. “In the eight years she has worked at nursing homes, LaToya Francis, 34, has been yelled at, kicked at and had feces thrown at her for little more than the minimum wage. She endured it because she loved being a certified nursing assistant, she said. But she’s not sure she can hold out much longer.”

CBS News: Hospital refusing heart transplant for man who won’t get vaccinated. “A Boston hospital says it won’t consider performing a heart transplant on a patient who refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19, CBS Boston reports. DJ Ferguson, 31, is fighting for his life at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in desperate need of a heart transplant.”


New York Times: A Shrinking Band of Southern Nurses, Neck-Deep in Another Covid Wave. “Even as new cases peak and begin to decline in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, the nation’s hospitals are still confronting a crushing influx of patients. In Mississippi, the latest wave of infections has pushed nearly all of the state’s acute-care hospitals to capacity.”


BBC: Covid: New Zealand PM Ardern cancels wedding amid Omicron wave. “New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has cancelled her wedding after announcing new Covid restrictions. The entire country is set to be placed under the highest level of Covid restrictions after an outbreak of the Omicron variant.”

The Malaysian Reserve: Thailand Rolls Out Fourth Covid Shot in Popular Tourist Spots. “Authorities are offering AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi and seven other provinces to those who have received their third dose at least three months ago, the health ministry said. The Southeast Asian nation has already administered more than 800,000 fourth doses, mostly to healthcare workers and those in high-risk groups, official data showed.”

BBC: Police to investigate Downing Street lockdown parties. “The Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into parties held in No 10 during the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Cressida Dick said they were looking into ‘potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations’ in Downing Street and Whitehall since 2020.”

Bloomberg: China warns foreign envoys attending Beijing Olympics opening of 21 days of possible quarantine. “China warned foreign diplomats attending the Winter Olympics opening ceremony they could face 21 days in quarantine if they are deemed close contacts of positive cases in the audience.”


Washington Post: FDA ends for now use of two monoclonal antibodies, spurring a halt in federal shipments of the covid-19 treatments. “The Food and Drug Administration on Monday took two monoclonal antibody therapies off the list of covid-19 treatments for now, saying the medications should not be used anywhere in the United States because they are ineffective against the dominant omicron variant.”

HuffPost: 2 Years After Closing Offices, Social Security Schedules Tentative Reopening. “The Social Security Administration shuttered its 1,230 field offices at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, saying the closure “protects the population we serve — older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions” as well as the agency’s employees. This month, the agency announced it had reached a reopening agreement with the three unions that represent most of its workforce, though it didn’t specify when. The earliest possible date is the end of March.”


Chronicle Live: Up to a third of North East fire appliances out of action due to Covid says union. “As many as a third of fire appliances have been out of action in parts of the North East in recent weeks as the service deals with staff shortages due to the spread of the Covid variant Omicron, a union has said. In Cleveland there should be 18 fire engines available for use at any one time, but at the moment there are generally levels of only 12 to 15 due to Covid and other staffing issues, it says.”

New York Times: For Small Towns With Small Work Forces, Omicron Means Small Margins for Error. “The virus has ripped through big cities like Los Angeles and New York, sidelining thousands of police officers and transit operators. In many, leaders have rushed to reassure residents that firefighters and paramedics will show up when they call amid record absences. But in small communities, the people responsible for keeping crucial public services up and running say the strain is acute: With bare-bones workforces already stretched thin, there is no margin for error when multiple workers have to call in sick.”


HuffPost: Leonard Peltier Pleads For Help Amid Constant COVID Lockdowns In Prison. “Leonard Peltier, the Native American rights activist whom the FBI put behind bars decades ago without any evidence that he committed a crime, tells HuffPost that his facility’s prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns and failure to provide at least some inmates with booster shots has left him ― and likely others ― unbearably isolated and preparing for death. ‘I’m in hell,’ Peltier said in a Friday statement, ‘and there is no way to deal with it but to take it as long as you can.'”

Washington Post: Monks in New Mexico desert dedicated to hospitality reflect on two years without guests. “For more than 50 years, a small community of Benedictine monks has quietly lived, worked and worshiped here in a cluster of off-grid adobe buildings along the banks of northern New Mexico’s Chama River. Considered the most remote Catholic monastery in the hemisphere, it can be reached only by a 13-mile single-lane earthen road that winds through the canyon. Abiquiú, the closest village — population 151 — is 25 miles away. Groves of cottonwood and willows line the river where bald eagles hunt for rainbow trout. Black bears, coyotes and cougars prowl the pinyon- and sage-scented Santa Fe National Forest, which surrounds the monastery. Despite the difficult journey, outsiders have flocked to this serene abbey for decades in search of spiritual renewal.”

New York Times: Sarah Palin, who is unvaccinated, recently dined indoors in New York City before testing positive.. “Sarah Palin, who is not vaccinated against the coronavirus, dined indoors Saturday night at Elio’s, an Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that regularly draws celebrities, despite New York City’s requirement that all indoor guests show proof of vaccination. She tested positive for the virus on Monday.”

Business Insider: I’ve suffered from ‘long COVID’ for 2 years. It’s wrecked my life.. “This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Karyn Bishof, a former firefighter paramedic. She’s also a long COVID patient and advocate in Boca Raton, Florida, who has been sick for nearly two years. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.”

Associated Press: David Perdue tests positive for COVID-19 after campaign stop. “Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. Campaign spokesperson Jenni Sweat said Perdue, a former U.S. senator, recorded a positive result ‘during routine COVID-19 testing.’ Sweat said Perdue is vaccinated and boosted against the respiratory virus. She said Perdue did not have a fever and wasn’t experiencing symptoms as of Monday evening.”


USA Today: Elton John tests positive for COVID-19, postpones his Dallas concerts. “Elton John’s recently revived Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is hitting pause this week as the singer has tested positive for COVID-19. John, who turns 75 in March, canceled his goodbye shows Tuesday and Wednesday at Dallas’ American Airlines Center and will reschedule the dates. The shows were originally scheduled for June 2020, but postponed during the first wave of the pandemic.”


Daily Beast: ‘NCIS’ Actor Who Decried Vaccine Dies of COVID Complications. “Vachik Mangassarian, a veteran character actor known for his roles on NCIS, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has died at the age of 78 from COVID-19 complications. Representatives for Mangassarian confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he passed away in Burbank, California.”


Washington Post: Youngkin’s mask-optional order divides Virginia schools and parents, threatening chaos. “A level of statewide chaos unprecedented in recent memory is looming for Virginia schools, as a new Republican governor prepares to enforce a mask-optional mandate on Monday that many superintendents and parents have vowed to fight, or to uphold, with all the ammunition they can muster.”

Washington Post: Seven school boards sue to stop Gov. Youngkin’s mask-optional order on the day it takes effect. “The school boards, led by Fairfax County Public Schools, whose 180,000 students make it Virginia’s biggest system, filed suit Monday morning in Arlington Circuit Court. The suit asks for an immediate injunction barring enforcement of Youngkin’s order, which sought to leave masking decisions to parents, contravening federal health guidance and the masking mandates that the vast majority of Virginia school districts have maintained throughout the pandemic.”

WJRT: University of Michigan study shows mask mandates at schools show lower COVID transmission rates. “New data from the University of Michigan and the state health department shows Michigan students who attended schools with mask requirements at the beginning of the school year, had lower rates of coronavirus transmission than those at schools without mandates. The rate of infection reached an average of about 45 cases per 100 thousand students by late September in school districts with mask mandates. Virus spread was 62% higher in school districts without mask rules- where the infection rate averaged 73 cases per 100 thousand students by late September.”

Killeen Daily Herald: Killeen ISD teachers: “We’re drowning” … “The house is on fire”. “Halfway through the second school year upended by COVID-19, some Killeen Independent School District teachers say they are desperate for help — and on the verge of giving up — as the virus continues to sicken co-workers and students amid a worsening staff shortage that has persisted all school year.”


National Geographic: Rates of sexually transmitted infections likely rose during the pandemic. “Stay-at-home orders, coupled with a fear of exposure to COVID-19, seemingly kept many people confined at home and out of the arms of unknown partners throughout much of 2020. But in a counterintuitive twist, experts are warning of a probable—and alarming—increase in cases of sexually transmitted infections in the United States. The main concern is that the pandemic hampered testing efforts for diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis during the past two years.”


Psychology Today: During COVID-19, Your Social Media Bubble May Be Helping. “Recent studies show that, overall, those involved in social media bubbles reported lower loneliness and psychological distress during COVID-19.”


Washington Post: Lab study shows omicron-blocking antibodies persist four months after a Pfizer-BioNTech booster. “Virus-fighting antibodies capable of blocking the omicron variant persist four months after a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, according to a new study. The study, which was published on a preprint server Saturday, gives a first hint about the durability of coronavirus vaccine protection, with a key line of immune defense remaining intact. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed and will need to be replicated and extended to a longer period.”

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