Tensions between India and China are rising over a long-standing Himalayan border dispute. 100,000 soldiers are reportedly on standby and military assets on both sides are moving toward the region.
Croatia is suffering after a 6.3 earthquake hit Petrinja. It was reportedly felt all the way in Italy. 7 or more have died, including multiple children. The town looks like a war zone.
The Christmas Day bombing in Nashville caused multi-state, cascading telecommunications failures and revealed the surprisingly broad impact of single point-of-failure vulnerabilities to our telecoms infrastructure.
There are over 82.2 million global COVID cases. The world has gained over 3.9 million cases since last week, which continues to trend down from the weeks before. There have been nearly 1.8 million deaths. There are over 19.9 million cases in the US—up by over 1.3 million in a week. There have been over 346,000 deaths in the US. Nearly 3,100 have died in the US since yesterday. The US gained over 167,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. India is second in the world in number of cases, with over 10.2 million. Brazil is still second in the world in number of deaths, with over 192,000.
Russia may have been cooking its COVID books:
Russia admits to world’s third-worst Covid-19 death toll: More than 186,000 Russians have died due to coronavirus, three times more than previously reported, authorities admit nowhttps://t.co/HpakmfTBqI
— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) December 28, 2020
Fauci rankles some by altering herd immunity vaccination goals to 75-80% or more. Although he admits to “guestimates,” what folks may not understand is that herd immunity thresholds are based on R, and R is not static. He is guilty of trying to explain complex decisions based on variable metrics in a way the average Joe would understand. And he is not totally undeserving of criticism. His early stance on masks was markedly ridiculous.
Previous infection with COVID should, generally, confer a decent immune response (as we would expect). Reinfection is very rare. We still don’t know how long this immune response lasts, and vaccines may actually produce a stronger protective effect.
The more transmissible COVID variant is showing up all over the world as was recently discovered in Colorado:
Colorado has reported the first case of a coronavirus mutation which was first found in the UK. It's a man in his 20s with no travel history
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) December 29, 2020
Spain plans to register folks who refuse COVID vaccination. Apparently there is no option for anonymity. Spain also plans to share this database with EU members to assist in controlling spread across borders.
Here’s a useful vaccination distribution and administration dashboard. Over 15 million doses have been allocated in the US and over 1.2 million have received a vaccine. This is based on publicly reported data—more may have been allocated/distributed/vaccinated than shown here. Although the numbers are probably slightly off, it’s one of the few sites to take a crack at the data as there’s no federal dashboard available to the public.
Psychosis and other serious neuropsychological sequela are known to occur secondary to COVID infection. World-wide case reports of psychosis in those with no known past psychiatric history are concerning, but rare.
Travelers to Los Angeles County are expected to quarantine for ten days, but there’s no tenable way for the County to enforce its recommendation. Considering the fact that local hospitals are having to put patients in gift shops, it’s probably a good recommendation and travelers to the County would be wise to heed it (or avoid traveling there in the first place—if anything goes wrong, there won’t be a hospital bed should folks need one):
LA Times: L.A. County hospitals turn away ambulances, put patients in gift shop: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’https://t.co/U6qirhrimV
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) December 29, 2020