Coronavirus Special Coverage

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

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Key developments for Thursday, August 13, 2020

Welcome to the newly revamped Key Developments, now twice weekly and with non-COVID news. Right now, it’s actually still just COVID news, but we’ll be slowly morphing it into something broader as we go.

The world has over 21 million cases.  The world has added about 1.8 million cases since last week and this case growth continues to accelerate. There have been over 752,000 deaths. The US has over 5.4 million cases and has had over 170,000 deaths. The US has gained over 51,000 new cases since yesterday. Brazil remains second in daily case growth, followed by India and Russia. India is now leading the world in daily case growth. Mexico is third in the world for total deaths with over 54,000.

An antibody study in the UK shows that 6% of the population has been infected. Health care staff and care home workers suffered high rates of infection compares to others. Roughly one-third were asymptomatic. Although this survey was large, with more than 100,000 participants, a follow up study in the fall will be twice as large. If over 40,000 people have died in the UK with a seroprevalence of only 6%, then many hundreds of thousands may die before herd immunity is reached.

Iowa is having a really hard time. Derecho hit with winds of over 100 miles per hour and wiped out a third or more of Iowa’s crops. We’re talking 10 million acres of crops. This impacts food security beyond the borders of the state. Entire cities are devastated, like Cedar Rapids. COVID response was wanting to begin with, and will now be back burner for a time:

Food in cold storage blamed for virus spread:

And that’s not just in China—New Zealand authorities are investigating the same problem:

The pandemic is making food deserts worse. It’s more than that, as supply chain issues are still reverberating. Although shelves are not as bare as they were at the start of the pandemic, many items are still hard to find. There’s less supply and higher prices now. Manufacturing has not yet rebounded fully.

A University of Florida research team has isolated live, infectious virus from the air in a hospital—up to 17 feet away from the infected patient. We know concretely now that it’s not just spread by droplets that then fall on surfaces and the ground. This thing is airborne.

Herd immunity is not a panacea.

The US is having some of the worst COVID-19 outcomes in the world. Our test positivity is high, total deaths is high, case count is the highest in the world, and we’re not implementing any kind of coherent test-trace-isolate program at a national level.

California has 600,000 cases—a new milestone:

South Africa is improving, but many African countries are not:


  • 4 Comments

    • Rjudice

      Thank you, Stephanie, for continuing to provide a trustworthy source of curated news. Please keep up the good work.

      10 |
    • Ryan S

      thanks for your weekly reports. short and concise with links

      3 |