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, September 15, 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 nearly 29.7 million global cases.  Cases have grown around the world by almost 2 million since last week; global cases continue to accelerate. There have been over 938,000 total deaths. There will be 1 million dead by the end of the month. There are nearly 6.8 million cases in the US. There have been over 200,000 deaths in the US. Over 1,000 have died in the US since yesterday. India gained over 90,000 new cases in the last 24 hours.

About 1% of patients with COVID-19 develop a pneumothorax, which is a collapsed lung. In the case of COVID, it’s because tissue is so damaged by the virus that it perforates and leaks air into the chest cavity. Older patients with pneumothorax suffer higher mortality rates.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs like ibuprofen are not linked to worsened disease in COVID-19 patients according to a large cohort study:

Thousands of students have tested positive at the University of South Carolina and have been asked to isolate in a defunct dorm building. The University of Alabama system also has over 1,000 positive students. There are tens of thousands of cases in US colleges and universities:

Cases and hospitalizations are declining in the US:

Before we get excited by the decline in cases and hospitalizations, note that we’ve got an R > 1 in more than 30 states in the US—this means cases are going to trend up again shortly.

An HHS official with no medical or science background (he was formerly a radio host) interfered with COVID-19 reports. After an uproar he apologized, signaled a desire to take medical leave, and told HHS staff to listen to some Grateful Dead music:

An intra-nasal vaccine is moving forward to human trials in China.

AstraZenica vaccine trials have resumed.

Peeps has halted production of its fall and winter holiday-themed treats. The company has reduced its production to protect its workforce and is planning to ramp production back up for spring:

Paper towels might be tough to find again.

Folks who forego mask-wearing in Indonesia can be forced to dig graves.

Things are going (not so) great all around:

Pfizer might win the race to approval in the US, but that doesn’t guarantee we’ll have a vaccine ready by the end of the year. There should be multiple vaccines available in 2021.

A serostudy done by Amgen and published in the NEJM shows that antibodies stick around for at least 4 months.