The cyberattack was serious, and it has serious implications for future attacks. Romney is warning that the next attack could cut off the grid and/or affect food supplies, so we need to get our act together.
China institutes rolling blackouts amidst shortage of Australian coal. These are major industrial areas, so supply chains will be affected:
— Chris Derps (@ChrisDerps) December 20, 2020
The UK is in emergency talks to prevent Christmas food shortages due to recent border closures.
Teachers are leaving the US workforce by the droves. Some are retiring, some are quarantining, and some fall into the dreaded category of non-retirement turnover, AKA quitting:
So many teachers are quitting and quarantining across the country that “It’s, ‘If you want to be a teacher tomorrow, I’ll hook you up. If you have a degree in accounting or whatever, you can be a teacher tomorrow. I’m not kidding.” https://t.co/CR7OOorPCA
— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) December 18, 2020
There are over 78.3 million global COVID cases. The world has gained over 4.6 million cases since last week, which is down from over 5 million the week before. There have been over 1.7 million deaths. There are over 18.6 million cases in the US—up by over 1.5 million in a week. There have been over 330,000 deaths in the US. Over 3,100 have died in the US since yesterday. The US gained over 186,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. India is second in the world in number of cases, with over 10 million. Brazil is still second in the world in number of deaths, with over 188,000.
Stanford prioritized non-patient-facing clinicians over those in the trenches when it began doling out COVID vaccine doses and the clinicians risking their lives weren’t having that. Stanford administrators blame a faulty algorithm:
There is an enormous demonstration going on at @Stanford Hospital right now carried out by staff, who are protesting the decision by higher ups to give vaccines to some administrators and physicians who are at home and not in contact with patients INSTEAD of frontline workers. pic.twitter.com/WXVkPR46eU
— rat king (@MikeIsaac) December 18, 2020
South Africa joins Europe in identifying a more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 strain. Neither appear to be more lethal:
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 18, 2020
The UK is taking the variant very seriously. Folks have jokingly announced that Boris has cancelled Christmas. Unfortunately, other countries are taking it seriously too and this is causing freight and shipping woes that could prevent food from hitting the shelves in the UK.
Travel bans are also pouring in:
JUST IN—Austria, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands announced bans on travel to UK 🇬🇧—France, Germany & Ireland likely soon to follow, because of new UK #SARSCoV2 mutation of the virus appears to speed its transmission. Will
US🇺🇸 travel ban to UK be next? https://t.co/e0FE30Xmp8
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) December 20, 2020
BREAKING: Saudi Arabia closes all of its borders due to coronavirus mutation found in several countries
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) December 20, 2020
There’s some controversy over whether the new variants are actually more transmissible or if the growth in cases we’re seeing in countries where the variants have been identified is actually due to human behavior. Here’s a cogent argument for increased transmissibility:
One of the key questions about the new variant (B.1.1.7) is whether there is conclusive evidence that it is more transmissible. I don't think we are absolutely certain yet, but I am pretty confident that it is more transmissible. (1/N)
— Jeffrey Barrett (@jcbarret) December 20, 2020
Well-informed experts are expecting the vaccines to continue working against the new variants:
1) The biggest worry for vaccines about the new UK variant is the N501Y mutation in the receptor binding domain. This is also a mutation that appears when SARS-CoV-2 is mouse adapted. A paper looking at that found….
— Florian Krammer (@florian_krammer) December 22, 2020
Cases are surging in California, and particularly Southern California. You know it’s serious when Apple shuts its doors.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) might be the culprit causing allergic reactions to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. It’s also used as an osmotic laxative and is sold over the counter in the US. Allergic reactions to PEG are relatively rare. If it’s PEG, the reactions are likely to be seen with the Moderna vaccine as well.
I’ve spent considerable time doing bedside care in ICUs in the past few months as an advance practice psychiatric clinical liaison nurse. Here’s my happiest moment of 2020—brought to you by Pfizer/BioNTech:
So happy. I caught the moment she saves my life pic.twitter.com/wIyO8eGTod
— Weird Soup (@Cosmicpixle) December 21, 2020