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, October 13, 2020

There are over 38.3 million global cases.  2.3 million cases have been added to the tally over the last week as growth accelerates. There have been nearly 1.1 million deaths. There are over 8 million cases in the US. There have been over 220,000 deaths in the US. Over 750 have died in the US since yesterday. The US gained over 45,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. India continues to lead the world in case growth, gaining over 63,000 new cases since yesterday.

US debt is eclipsing the economy. A recession is no time to worsen a constriction, and another stimulus round is badly needed, so the debt-to-GPD ratio is going to get even worse in the near future. The prospect of facing austerity measures after a pandemic finally ends is not appetizing. I wonder just how far down the road US debt will be kicked.

Survival communities exist, and some are activating during these turbulent times.

Large outbreaks in K-12 schools have not materialized the way they have in universities—mask-wearing and hand hygiene in schools just might be the ticket. There might be an argument for reopening schools if the pros of reopening them outweigh the risk of a trickle of infections. Many of the largest school districts in the country are still keeping instruction remote.

Guns and ammo are in short supply in the US. The shortages are due to customer hoarding, an influx of new buyers, and manufacturing closured caused by the pandemic.

Mason jars and canning lids are also in short supply, caused almost entirely from a rapid increase in demand.

Cases are rising again in the US, and some states are hitting new records. It’s clear that a third wave/phase is cresting, and you can see it here:

It’s not just the US. The fall/winter rise has begun for the Northern Hemisphere, and cases are also rising across the globe:

Be careful handling cash—the virus stays infectious on cash longer than you’d think (think weeks).

Smart phone screens are also persistently germy and can harbor infectious COVID for weeks.

Brain fog, confusion, trouble with word-finding, and other concerning cognitive symptoms persist for many COVID survivors.

So, a death from COVID reinfection has been documented:

COVID deaths are absolutely underreported, as excess deaths over the spring and summer now tally over 75,000 (on top of the 150,000 or so who had been recorded as dying from COVID during that same time period). This means that the true number of dead in the US is closer to 300,000 right now.

Johnson and Johnson has halted their COVID vaccine trial after a participant suffered an unexplained illness. The nature of the illness has not been revealed, nor which treatment group the participant was in (placebo v. actual vaccine). The pause is temporary as the cause of the illness gets reviewed.

Some good news: case rates go down when people acquiesce to masks and social distancing measures, and as these increasingly accepted practices are coupled with pharmacological strategies, the pandemic could be defeated. Winter might be rough, but things might start looking up next spring/summer.