The world has over 4.5 million cases. Cases have been growing linearly by about 600,000 for at least a month. The US has over 1.45 million cases and has had over 86,000 deaths. Daily deaths in the US are downtrending for now. Here’s a useful visual and explanation of the situation in the US:
Nationwide excluding New York region which had sustained declines in new covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths for weeks; nationally we were seeing steady increases. But trend over past two weeks is now declining. The national epidemic is slowing. Doubling time is now 45 days pic.twitter.com/2AN8rQwDC6
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) May 13, 2020
Our food distribution system is broken—there’s lots of food being produced, but no way to get it to hungry Americans. Monopolization and centralization of these systems is a big part of the problem. Centralization creates a supply chain riddled with massive points of failure. So many family-run farms have been put out of business that there are too few to fill the gaps as flexibly as they once could.
The White House tests are reported to be wildly inaccurate:
— The Hill (@thehill) May 14, 2020
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s entirely possible that SARS-CoV-2 escaped a lab. That doesn’t mean it was engineered or deliberately released. Many labs hold samples of viruses of zoonotic origin. It also could have jumped to humans from animals—no lab needed. Is it wise to make accusations against the much-maligned Wuhan lab? Wouldn’t that implicate the US as well, considering the US was purportedly supporting research into similar viruses in that lab? There are more questions than answers at this point.
Dogs and cats can get this virus, and cats in particular shed a lot of this virus as well. We don’t know if people can contract this disease from their pets, but we know the cats shed live virus. We’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth saying again: be cautious around animals if you are sick. You may want to consider quarantining yourself from your pets while you are sick, especially if you have tested positive. Preventing your animals from mingling with other neighborhood pets is also a good idea.
Delta is retiring its 777 fleet:
BREAK: Delta Air Lines is retiring it’s 777 fleet due to the coronavirus crisis. pic.twitter.com/FSlqP3ojHl
— Edward Russell (@e_russell) May 14, 2020
Normalcy bias extends beyond the current pandemic. What else will take us by surprise?
Large scale sewage testing? It’s a thing, and a lot of countries are doing it. Sewage monitoring can reveal new regional virus outbreaks. The concentration of virus particles can also be informative, revealing a large outbreak than testing levels are showing at the time.
Rates of kidney injury in hospitalized COVID-19 patients are extremely high. The pandemic virus can attack the parenchyma of the kidney directly. Kidney injury can also be a sequela of shock, muscle breakdown from immobility (while ventilated, perhaps), and from drug metabolism by already struggling kidneys. Although acute kidney injury can sometimes heal, it can also leave a person with decreased function from baseline. If too much damage occurs, it can result in needing dialysis or even kidney transplantation.
Lots of people at beaches means cases pick up a few weeks later. Surprise, surprise:
— Bill McBride (@calculatedrisk) May 14, 2020
If you look at excess deaths by comparing all current deaths to deaths this time last year, you find we’re likely underestimating our COVID-19 death count:
In Opinion@NickKristof writes, "These numbers are uncertain, but the implication is that somewhere around 25,000 more Americans died as a result of the pandemic than are recorded in the death tallies."https://t.co/IMZpWUulTH
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 14, 2020