Coronavirus Special Coverage

A collection of news posted throughout the week for those that want signal, not noise.

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COVID-19: key developments for Thursday, March 26, 2020

The US now has the most cases in the world: 81,846.  Over 50,000 cases were added to the global total overnight. Worldwide cases surpass 500,000.

Close to 150 nursing homes in the US are impacted by COVID-19. CDC and CMS aren’t disclosing the locations of these facilities to the public. 19 nursing homes are in Florida, but Florida officials are also refusing to disclose the locations of the facilities. Privacy is the touted reason for the lack of disclosure. But what about the public’s need to know? Doesn’t the public have the right to this information? Are these facilities still accepting admissions?

Antibody treatment for critically ill patients to begin in NY this week. Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients was found helpful in neutralizing the infection in ill patients in China and hospitals are eager to try it here. Hospitals in NY and throughout the US will need to identify more patients who have recovered in order to procure the much-needed plasma. Serological (blood) tests created by Dr. Florian Krammer and others can be used to identify those who have already recovered.

SARS-CoV-2 seems to be relatively slow to mutate. This is good news from the vaccine-efficacy perspective. Hopefully the vaccines that are produced will be effective for years.

A randomized, controlled trial (RCT) shows chloroquine is not efficacious against COVID-19. 15 subjects received the drug and 15 got treatment as usual. There were no significant differences in outcome. The number of subjects is still small, but the subject numbers have been small in all of the studies and the RCT is the strongest study design so far. An RCT of Lopinavir-Ritonavir also showed no significant difference in outcome. Now what?

Spin a COVID globe!

The Mayor of Walton, Kentucky completely loses his mind:

Economic woes continue. 3.3 million jobless claims. Let that sink in:

In the Pacific, a COVID-19 outbreak sidelines deployed aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt

Coronavirus: Britons saying final goodbyes to dying relatives by videolink

Five Ways COVID-19 Is Changing Global Migration

To show just how insane this week’s unemployment numbers are, I animated initial unemployment insurance claims from 1967 until now. These numbers are just astonishing.

Did I already have coronavirus? Experts say maybe, but it doesn’t mean you’re immune

Virus Outbreak: Rice cookers effective mask sterilizers, study says

County jails in Metro Detroit begin releasing some inmates in attempt to slow coronavirus (COVID-19) spread



    • DC Rick

      Not sure if you’ve seen this yet, and I’m struggling to find/verify their data sources, but I found this interesting (there is a state based drop down and national summary) – would love a second opinion from someone with a critical eye:
      https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections

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      • Stephanie Arnold DC Rick

        This is really cool, thanks for sharing it. It looks like it’s by folks at the University of Washington. The quality of the data coming out is only as good as the quality of the data going in, and although I cannot attest to that quality, it is certainly worth playing with the scenarios. Scary but fascinating!

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      • Isabel DC Rick

        Thanks for posting this! I read some details on their site, and it sounds like they are calculating it using number of deaths as their starting point.

        My understanding is that it works something like this =  e.g. 1st death on March 24th (I’m using Alameda County in Bay Area) as an example. So calculating backwards that means that about 100 people had it (1% death rate), about 17 days earlier (approx. days until death, I think). So therefore we can calculate that about 100 cases existed in Alameda County around Mar 6th. Then if it doubles every 3 days, calculate forward from there to get projections. That is my rough understanding based on this article too: https://coronadotimes.com/news/2020/03/18/the-sober-math-everyone-must-understand-about-the-pandemic/

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