Coronavirus Special Coverage

A collection of news posted throughout the week for those that want signal, not noise.

  • Previous coverage - all of our posts in this ongoing series.
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Key developments for Tuesday, June 30, 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 10.5 million global cases.  Cases have grown by more than a million in the last week for multiple weeks in a row. There have been over 513,000 deaths around the globe. There are over 2.7 million cases in the US. There have been over 130,000 deaths in the US. The US, Brazil, and Russia continue to lead global case growth. India’s case numbers are not far behind Russia’s.

The US has gobbled up supplies of remdesivir, meaning other countries won’t be able to use it at scale to help treat their patients. I worry that in retaliation, other countries may withhold lifesaving treatments or vaccines from the US in the future.

Global trials of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are set to resume. It’s important to understand if these drugs could be used preventatively. It’s clear that they do little for those who are already infected.

A national mask mandate could save the US huge money. A mandate would also increase mask-wearing and cut case growth and deaths. Ubiquitous mask-wearing in place of lockdowns spares the GDP a 5% hit.

A wedding in India spread COVID misery far and wide. The groom died, and 95 guests are positive.  We know that large gatherings are risky, but so are small ones.

Contact tracers in Seattle find that 80% of people are still not isolating on the day they develop symptoms.

Don’t make any plans to visit the EU any time soon:

Also, if you plan on going to NY you might need to quarantine for a while:

The Director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management has a message for you:

Fauci says we’re on pace to hit 100,000 cases per day if things keep up:

A study published in Nature done in Italy found that many people were asymptomatic, and they had a significant viral load. This means they were likely as infectious as those who became ill.

With a quick calculation, it’s easy to determine that with an R of 2.5, we need seroprevalence of at least 60% to reach herd immunity:

The CDC is acknowledging that the pandemic is out of control in America. It’s probably going to get much, much worse. We’re not doing any kind of coherent contact tracing—there’s no national “test, trace, isolate” program.

China is essentially doing mass human testing of the CanSino vaccine on its military. They skipped phase three testing altogether, and haven’t made the read out of the phase 2 studies public. I worry for the safety of the soldiers. If China is successful, they’ll be the first (or among the first) to get a vaccine out there. If unsuccessful, many soldiers could pay a price for the rush.

So do we develop a stable immunity or not? Do we get robust T cell immunity even with mild cases? The scientists who wrote this preprint seem to think so.

Cases in CA are exploding:

LA County health officials worry that hospital capacity will be impacted soon:

Texas, Florida, Arizona, and California are backtracking on reopening, and bars are closing again in some counties. Some states/counties are restricting indoor dining, and others are mandating masks.