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 Tuesday, August 4, 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.

There are over 18.7 million global cases.  Cases are growing globally by about 1.5 million per week. There have been over 700,000 deaths around the globe. There are almost 5 million cases in the US. There have been over 160,000 deaths in the US. The US, Brazil, and India continue to lead global case growth.

Let’s get real–kids are massive germ spewers. Apparently young kids harbor a ton of the pandemic virus in their nose, even if not particularly symptomatic. We’re not sure exactly what this means when it comes to transmission, but if I had to guess… I’d say they’re massive germ spewers. Here’s a link to a supporting study.

Summer camps are driving infection hot spots in the US. In other Nature news, vaccine candidates are helping monkeys, and there’s hope they’ll help us too. T cells in folks recently exposed to other coronaviruses are reacting to SARS-CoV-2 and that’s good news.

 Kushner wasn’t keen on a plan for Nation-wide testing when blue states were getting slammed. My only comment here is that viruses don’t care about your politics. We’re all susceptible to novel viruses.

There’s a heightened risk of contracting the virus for those tall in stature. It could be because of aerosolized transmission. It’s probably not because of some genetic susceptibility. It’s important to understand that the virus is frequently airborne.

Fauci thinks this thing is going to become endemic, and he’s at odds with the president and the president’s assertion that it will simply disappear. Here’s why Fauci thinks what he thinks.

The new Health and Human Services data system that hospitals are supposed to report to instead of the CDC is riddled with problems and delays. The data hub was promised to be faster and better than the CDC’s. It is not. Daily updates are missing and critical indicators have now been stripped from public view.

Lawmakers exempt from self-quarantine after Lewis funeral? It’s as outrageous as it sounds.

The White House opposes a federal mask mandate on planes, public transport, and trains. A federal mask mandate could really help bring cases down, but the Administration says it’s too restrictive. These milquetoast stances and policies are emblematic of the US’ abject failure to fight the pandemic. And some experts think we may be setting ourselves up for even more failure with the push to open schools.

It looks like rich nations will be the first to have vaccines at scale available to their people. Equitable access is important because viruses don’t care where you live. It’s not smart to leave huge reservoirs of infected populations without access to a vaccine.

Melbourne is going back into a hard lockdown after resurgence. Over 1 million people are being sent home from work.

More may have died in Iran than we thought:

California has surpassed New York in number of cases. The state also has a lot of people out of work, and the Employment Development Department can’t keep up with unemployment applications:

Things aren’t looking so great on a global scale. We have to act to prevent things from getting worse:

Social distancing didn’t completely tank Scandinavian economies. Much of the economic damage happened regardless of the social distancing laws, so laws which benefit public health shouldn’t be muzzled. The faster a county beats the pandemic, the faster it can rebound.

A seaweed extract might show promise as a therapeutic agent against COVID-19. It can bind to the spike protein of the virus, preventing entry into the host cell.

Cruises are still causing outbreaks and are a bad idea.

Tyson plans to test all employees. Over 10,000 Tyson employees have already tested positive.

Antibody cocktails are going into phase 3 testing.

Cases are rising in the Midwest:

I’m almost out of Clorox Wipes, but it looks like they won’t be around until 2021.

Things are going well for Novovax:


    • EzlyAmuzzed

      As always I appreciate your work put into this and I look forward to reading these each time they are published.

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    • Mary M

      Clorox wipes may be disappearing, but there are equally effective (and safer) alternatives.

      My own favorite is a 2.5% by weight citric acid solution such as that in Lysol toilet cleaner. It’s odorless, and non toxic, and you can make it yourself out of food grade citric acid powder (available on Amazon, among other places).

      Citric acid is also handy if you’re out of lemons. It’s actually an ingredient in traditional borscht recipes.

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      • Paulino Martin Mary M

        Never had borscht but I appreciate the citric acid solution tip. I thought wipes might be back by now but the shelves have stayed empty where I am. 

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    • Ryan

      Always love the work you put into this each week. I love coming here and reading what you have to say. Keep up the good work. 

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