Coronavirus Special Coverage

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COVID-19: key developments for Wednesday, June 10, 2020

There are over 7.44 million global cases.  The US has over 2 million of those cases. There have been over 418,000 deaths around the world from the pandemic virus. Brazil and Russia tally just behind the US in numbers of new cases.

Brazil might not be reporting its actual numbers anymore, but Bolsonaro isn’t fooling anyone. The trend for Brazil is very visible:

This thread is a really excellent breakdown of why things aren’t looking so hopeful for hydroxychloroquine:

Nepal is seeing a conspicuous rise in cases. India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are also on the case uptrend:

After Tesla opened its factory against county orders, multiple workers tested positive for COVID-19. Workers say social distancing is not always maintained, but mask use is common.

If we want to avoid a second wave, compulsory mask-wearing could help us get there. Compulsory mask-wearing can help drive down the R value low enough that cases trend down instead of up. Even if only half of people wear masks, it could be enough to fight the pandemic and drive the numbers down.

LA County is opening up various large, public facilities this Friday. Considering that LA County is still driving over half of the case gains in the state of CA, I’m not optimistic that this is going to go well:

Seafood processing plant workers are now getting slammed by COVID-19. Crews from fishing vessels are getting sick and large numbers of crew members are testing positive. Alaska is particularly hard hit, but other seafood plants are impacted as well. Washington, Oregon, and California plants also have cases.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is appealing to the Federal Government to make COVID-19 testing more available to truck drivers who haul a supply chain that puts them at risk.

Women in the UK complain that they are being forced out of work illegally during the pandemic. Of over 3,400 women who responded to A Trades Union Congress survey, over one-quarter reported singled-out due to pregnancy, being forced out, or being forced to use sick leave when they weren’t sick.

Nearly 60% of the residents in the Bergamo region of Italy have antibodies to the pandemic virus. Nearly 10,000 residents were randomly sampled. Bergamo was the heaviest-hit region in Italy, and it looks like its approaching herd-immunity. This region also experienced a very heavy death toll and its ICUs and hospital systems were utterly overwhelmed. Having been in regular communications with Bergamo residents, I can tell you that reaching this seroprevalence level through a fast-burn through the population was horrific for its residents.


    • squidvicious

      Thank you. As always, appreciate the updates.  On the mask-wearing…I don’t want to dump on them or get too out of my depth, but wtf was up with CDC and WHO not suggesting masks sooner??  If 50% of the people wearing masks reduces the R < 1, that alone seems like it would’ve been a significant enough benefit to at least not discourage it.  Feels like ages ago, but early April, the CDC guidance seemed to come after people were already wearing masks voluntarily.

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      • woodrow squidvicious

        I think several things were going on here.  At first, there was anxiety that a public rush to consume disposable masks would prevent healthcare workers from having enough, or any at all. So, to diminish ‘panic’ (which I define as ‘taking care of yourself’), public pronouncements were made that masks were not necessary or desired.  Later, the New England Journal of Medicine came out and said that mask wearing in public was just plain silly.  So, I think that put CDC in a bit of a bind. Now that aerosol transmission is at least being considered as possible, folks in those quarters may be rethinking their stance.  Personally, I wonder about an as-yet-undiscovered mode of transmission.

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      • Cia woodrow

        They think there are three: droplet-borne in sneezes, coughs, talking, singing, or even just breathing from as far as fifty feet away (not six); aerosol transmission by the above floating in the air around the source, which could be some distance away; and fomites, surfaces and objects which had the virus land on them, which can be transmitted if someone touches them and then touches his nose, mouth, or eyes. Those would cover a wide variety of sources of transmission.

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      • Hardened squidvicious

        Fauci said in an interview that the early guidance about not wearing masks came from wanting to make sure there were enough available for health care workers.

        I think it took awhile for them to come around because wearing common masks doesn’t protect people from getting infected.  They protect other people from those who are sick but in western countries the sick don’t wear them unless everyone’s wearing them.  You have to go through a couple of logical hoops to get to this conclusion.

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      • Cia Hardened

        Any kind of mask provides a lot of protection. Even homemade masks made of cotton are 50-75% effective. For the most part, germs expelled by other people are in droplets and stop at the outer surface of your mask. Your own germs stop at the inside surface of your mask. Some aerosolized virus might get through, but in most cases that tiny amount would immunize you the natural way.

        What our public health authorities did by saying masks didn’t protect non-medical personnel was shameful, to try to cover up for their own negligence in failing to manufacture and distribute masks when they should have. Millions of Americans have been making and donating masks to medical and others for months. Rather than try to keep all of them for themselves, they should have promoted homemade mask-making initiatives until they could manufacture enough, and shared and cooperated rather than lied and tried to hog them.

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      • Hardened Cia

        Agreed, Cynthia.  It was handled very badly.

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