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, December 1, 2020

Iran plans on ramping up its nuclear program in the wake of the assassination of the program’s leader:

Bird flu is causing grotesque presentations in swan in the UK. It’s not just the UK that’s affected with bird flu, it’s throughout Northwestern Europe. Let’s hope the spinning, bleeding swans are limited to the UK…

There are over 64.1 million global COVID cases.  The world has gained over 4.1 million cases since last week, as it did the week before. There have been nearly 1.5 million deaths. There are over 14.1 million cases in the US—up by almost 1.1 million in a week. There have been over 276,000 deaths in the US. Over 2,500 have died in the US since yesterday. The US gained over 177,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. India is second in the world in number of cases, with almost 9.5 million. Brazil is still second in the world in number of deaths, with over 173,000.

Vaccines have arrived in the US from Pfizer! Pfizer has applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA, and once it’s approved, doses will start to be meted out. It’s not entirely clear how the doses will be meted out, but it should get clearer in the next few weeks.

Small farms and food producers have lost a lot of business during the pandemic as staple clients like restaurants pulled back orders. Keeping field workers, food handlers, and meat processing workers safe while keeping food on America’s tables was at times mutually exclusive. US weather patterns have also stymied food producers’ efforts this past year. It’s been rough on the folks who feed us. Some farm aid might help.

The seafood industry is also suffering on a global scale:

More folks have died from suicide this year in Japan than from COVID. One thing you should know that many don’t: the suicide rate in the US has been very close to Japan’s for many years. In 2016, our rate was 13.7 suicides in 100,000 where Japan’s was 14.3 in 100,000. It’s possible that the stressors of the pandemic will push our rate above Japan’s. And we have the worst COVID death rate in the world to boot.

Moderna vaccine is reportedly 100% effective against severe COVID. Moderna will seek EUA as soon as its final data is ready to release.

Congress is thinking about rolling out another round of stimulus for the US. Maybe. They’re reconvening this week. We’ll see if they actually get it done.

The former chief of the FDA anticipates a 30% COVID attack rate by the end of December on average in the US. That’s a scary statistic to ponder.

California is anticipating packed-to-overwhelmed ICUs by the end of the year as well:

Novovax COVID vaccine studies are progressing.