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, July 9, 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 12.3 million cases.  Cases have grown globally by over 1.4 million in the last week. The US has over 3.2 million cases and has had over 135,000 deaths. The US has gained over 56,000 new cases since yesterday and has been gaining at this rate since last week. Brazil is second in daily case growth.

87% of recovered Italian COVID-19 patients show symptoms two months after symptom onset. This is a questionnaire-based study of 143 participants. Fatigue and dyspnea were the most common persistent complaints.

The pandemic is really taking off in Africa. Africa has surpassed the half-million case mark. Under six million tests have been done on a population of 1.3 billion.

Death tolls are rising in states with rebounding cases. Arizona, Texas, Florida, and California are experiencing highs in 7-day rolling averages or one-day highs. Hospitalization rates continue to increase. Projected deaths are expected to reach new peaks in Florida.

Do surgical masks do anything? Yes, they do. They’re more efficacious in preventing transmission of droplet-borne pathogens v. totally airborne pathogens, but when it comes to COVID-19 they are absolutely worth using.

There are ways to open schools and deal with school-related outbreaks. We know this because other countries have some shared strategies: small student groups, obligatory mask-wearing, some social distancing. Temporary closured may be necessary when outbreaks occur. Contact tracing is critical. The US has performed miserably at using “test-trace-isolate,” and if we can’t get a grip on that strategy before schools open, we’re likely to fail where others have succeeded.

Bankruptcies are surging. Over 110 companies have filed for bankruptcy this year because of COVID-19-related financial stressors. Travel, lodging, and leisure firms have been among the hardest hit.

200,000 are still stranded at sea:

Over 1/3 of clinical trials of drug re-purposing for COVID-19 treatment are focusing on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. This particular line of inquiry is choking out research on other drugs which may be more beneficial.

Americans are going hungry by the millions. The pandemic has doubled food insecurity in this country. The increased demand for use of food banks is difficult to meet while supply chain disruptions continue to ripple. 40% of families with children under 13 are experiencing food insecurity. With unemployment benefits running out and evictions starting, things will be getting much worse.

Cities are experiencing a surge in violence. Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Los Angeles have seen murders rise.

The CDC says kids aren’t the drivers of COVID-19 spread, but we’re not testing them. So far there is no wide-reaching requirements that students be tested before returning to school, either.

The US added 60,000 cases yesterday:

For your entertainment and a little bit of COVID-19 levity:

Supplies of personal protective equipment are running low again. There is still no national strategy for obtaining and distributing needed supplies to healthcare workers and frontline workers.

  • 1 Comment

    • Cia

      In 93 studies:

      there were no bad outcomes when HCQ was used before hospitalization, and few bad outcomes when it was used after hospitalization. Yes, the earlier it is used, the better, but it often saves lives even when given to already critically-ill patients. HCQ prevents viral replication in itself, has anti-coagulation properties, and is a powerful ionophore which forces life-saving zinc into infected cells. The addition of azithromycin helps and also one dose of Ivermectin. The Henry Ford study just showed that even without zinc HCQ halved the death rate in already-hospitalized patients.

      There is also the MATH+ protocol which includes IV methylprednisone to reduce inflammation and an anti-coagulation drug. Also IV vitamin C. I think we have enough effective treatments already at our disposal that we should use available funds to educate patients and health care providers in their use and make them available world-wide. We’re going to need every available penny to get through the pandemic and then continue the very long trail toward economic recovery.

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