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, May 7, 2020

The world has 3.9 million cases.  Cases have grown by about 600,000 for about three weeks running. The US has nearly 1.3 million cases. The US has had over 2,100 deaths since yesterday. Daily deaths in the US have generally hovered between 2-3 thousand for at least three weeks.

San Francisco keeps temporarily housed homeless individuals from making unnecessary trips out by offering harm reduction through distribution of cannabis, alcohol, and methadone. It’s controversial, for sure. No taxpayer money was spent on the program. It’s funded by private donations. Substance abuse treatment is also made available to those residents who want it.

Testing old drugs for novel treatments—some strong treatment leads are developing, and perhaps some leads on drugs to avoid as well:

It may be time to rethink the White House’s culture of refusing masks:

The UN warns of global boomerang of infection. Outbreaks in poorer countries may travel back around to wealthier countries. Funding and humanitarian relief to these countries can help prevent this. In the absence of this aid, the virus could persist for many years (perhaps even as long as a decade) in what is essentially a reservoir for new outbreaks.

Why are meat processing plants so badly impacted? Because they’re a perfect environment: cold, damp, and stuffed with people working shoulder-to-shoulder.  It doesn’t help that workers in some facilities were instructed not to wear masks so as not to scare the other workers.

Opening prematurely will certainly cause problems:

Some countries have managed to get it right:

If we want to get it right like Germany and South Korea have, then we need to do contact tracing. Korea relied heavily on technology. Would the US tolerate the kind of patent privacy invasions involved? Unlikely—we prefer our technological privacy invasions to be less obvious (Facebook and Google data, Cambrigde Analytica, broad NSA monitoring) and far less useful to, say… living.

Still looking for Clorox Wipes? Here’s why you’re having trouble:

A quick reminder—hydroxychloroquine does not help:


    • Ron Blank

      Governor of California outlined re-opening phases for the state yesterday and said there would be no concerts or sporting events with crowds until there is a vaccine.  That is huge blow to all professional leagues and to the music industry (not that I disagree with his position)

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    • Cia

      I looked at the study which said that hydroxychloroquine did not help. It said: Hydroxychloroquine-treated patients were more severely ill at baseline than those who did not receive hydroxychloroquine (median ratio of partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen, 223 vs. 360).

      It was already known that HCQ often doesn’t help once the disease is advanced, as it was here. But many other studies have shown that it is a very effective treatment when started in the first week of symptoms: the recent Braziluan study at Prevent Elders, Sao Paulo and the recent study by Dr. Didier Raoult in France. The recent American study on remdesivir, on the other hand, showed that it reduced length of hospitalization from fifteen to eleven days, but had no statistically important effect on mortality. A Chinese study on remdesivir published the same day in The Lancet showed no benefit to the drug (at a thousand dollars per dose) regarding either mortality or length of hospitalization. If I get CV, I will do everything possible to be treated with HCQ, zinc, azithromycin, and C by IV.

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