Key developments for Thursday, November 5, 2020

The world has over 49 million cases.  The world has added over 4 million cases since last Thursday. Case growth is climbing precipitously. There have been over 1.2 million deaths in total. The US has nearly 10 million cases. Over 240,000 Americans have died—over 1,000 in the last 24 hours. The US has gained over 113,000 new cases since yesterday, which is staggering. The US leads the world in case growth. Trends in the US are not looking great:

Bird flu is always bad news, but a mink-variant of SARS-CoV-2 could be really bad news. The mink variant reportedly has jumped back into the human population, infecting 12. Why does this matter? Because our vaccines aren’t for the mink variant. Denmark has activated its army to cull 17 million mink. This may be serious, and it’s something to keep an eye on. One caveat—this information is all from press releases. We’re waiting on the actual science/data. But I am concerned:

Denmark is taking the situation quite seriously:

I don’t envy public health workers the task of building trust with American antivaxxers. But a serious public health campaign is going to have to push forward if we want our vaccine programs to work:

Greece may be going back into lockdown:

Alberta’s got a few dozen cases of a rare swine flu variant, so that’s great (read: absolute sarcasm).

Nobody in the world beats our 6-figure daily COVID case growth:

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out will be pushed back a bit, and the initial lot of doses will be smaller than originally anticipated. Production is not yet available at scale, but manufacturing is expected to scale to hundreds of millions of doses by summer of 2021.

Gracious folks are delivering meals to El Paso’s tent hospitals:

The Swedish PM is isolating after a potential exposure:

School openings cause a small but not insignificant increase in R (by about ¼). If R is 0.5, then school openings are probably manageable, but when R>1 in most of the US, it’s probably not a great idea.

More case studies of Parkinsonism in former COVID patients:

The CIDRAP Scan usually has a few well-explained articles, case studies, or COVID topics to review. Today’s describes a 70-day virus shedding event in a cancer patient. What’s interesting is that the patient was asymptomatic for COVID.


    • JustMe

      My state is exploding. Yesterday was a record high of new infections (nearly 5,000!) and the day before that was a record high. Percentage of those testing positive is steadily climbing, too, and currently at 8.9% 7 day average. And it’s barely November! Winter is going to be bad. We are keeping our butts home regardless of the holidays. I don’t particularly want to spread disease to those I love, so we will visit virtually and look forward to next year being better. 

      Good luck to all of us…

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor JustMe

        I haven’t seen family outside of my household in a year, and probably won’t see family until vaccines roll out. Can’t risk it. It’s been a little lonely, but everyone is trying to stay busy and communicating frequently. 

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