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  1. #2641
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    WHO's Situation Report for May 26, 2020. Basically, it's just more of the same.

    https://www.who.int/docs/default-sou...sitrep-127.pdf
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  2. #2642

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Brazil surpassed the USA for one day in new deaths. USA has now easily taken back the lead there, such that America is back to First in every way we can look at this virus. Sad days!! GH

  3. #2643

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine
    Embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response, experts say.

    By
    William Wan and
    Carolyn Y. Johnson
    May 27, 2020 at 3:15 p.m. EDT

    There’s a good chance the coronavirus will never go away.

    Even after a vaccine is discovered and deployed, the coronavirus will likely remain for decades to come, circulating among the world’s population.

    Experts call such diseases endemic — stubbornly resisting efforts to stamp them out. Think measles, HIV, chickenpox.

    It is a daunting proposition — a coronavirus-tinged world without a foreseeable end. But experts in epidemiology, disaster planning and vaccine development say embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response. The long-term nature of covid-19, they say, should serve as a call to arms for the public, a road map for the trillions of dollars Congress is spending and a fixed navigational point for the nation’s current, chaotic state-by-state patchwork strategy.

    With so much else uncertain, the persistence of the novel virus is one of the few things we can count on about the future. That doesn’t mean the situation will always be as dire. There are already four endemic coronaviruses that circulate continuously, causing the common cold. And many experts think this virus will become the fifth — its effects growing milder as immunity spreads and our bodies adapt to it over time.

    For now, though, most people have not been infected and remain susceptible. And the highly transmissible disease has surged in recent weeks even in countries that initially succeeded in suppressing it. Left alone, experts say, it will simply keep burning through the world’s population.

    “This virus is here to stay,” said Sarah Cobey, an epidemiologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. “The question is, how do we live with it safely?”

    Combating endemic diseases requires long-range thinking, sustained effort and international coordination. Stamping out the virus could take decades — if it happens at all. Such efforts take time, money and, most of all, political will.

    Americans have only started to wrap their heads around the idea, polls show. U.S. leaders and residents keep searching for a magic bullet to bring the pandemic to an abrupt end: Drugs that show even a hint of progress in the petri dish have sparked shortages. The White House continues to suggest summer’s heat will smother the virus or that it will mysteriously vanish. A vaccine — while crucial to our response — is not likely to eradicate the disease, experts say. Challenges to vaccination are already becoming clear, including limited supply, anti-vaccine opposition and significant logistical roadblocks.

    Meanwhile, some states are rushing headlong into reopening their economies. Even those moving more cautiously haven’t developed tools to measure what’s working and what isn’t — a crucial feature for any prolonged scientific experiment.


    “It’s like we have attention-deficit disorder right now. Everything we’re doing is just a knee-jerk response to the short-term,” said Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “People keep asking me, ‘What’s the one thing we have to do?’ The one thing we have to do is to understand that there is not one thing. We need a comprehensive battle strategy, meticulously implemented.”

    People keep talking of returning to normal, said Natalie Dean, a disease biostatistician at the University of Florida. But a future with an enduring coronavirus means that normal no longer exists. “As we find different ways to adapt and discover what works, that’s how we’re going to start reclaiming parts of our society and life,” she said.

    P1
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  4. #2644

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    P2 Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine
    Embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response, experts say.

    An urgent intermission


    Cities that reopen can serve as mini laboratories helping to chart the path forward. In San Francisco's Dolores Park, people sit in circles drawn to promote social distancing. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

    America now finds itself in a moment of transition. Infections are declining in some states, even as they rise in others with worrisome emerging hotspots.

    What’s missing in this interlude, experts say, is a sense of urgency.

    Arriving at this moment of transition required countrywide shutdowns, soaring unemployment and devastating blows to our economy and mental health. All that effort was supposed to buy us time to think, plan and prepare, said Irwin Redlener, director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness.

    “What’s concerning is that I don’t see any signs the federal government has learned any lessons and is doing anything differently to prepare for the next waves,” he said.

    Leaders desperately need to shift their response from short-term crisis management to long-term solutions, he and other experts say.

    Communities should be thinking about installing doors that don’t require grasping a handle, and re-engineering traffic signals so pedestrians don’t have to push crosswalk buttons, said Eleanor J. Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University.


    In coming years, robots and automated lines could become ubiquitous in meatpacking plants, which have experienced some of the country’s worst outbreaks. Families may have to make diagnostic tests routine ahead of visits to grandparents. Once-mocked work cubicles of a bygone era may become the rage again, replacing open-floor plans found in many offices. Paid sick time might become a necessity for jobs of all types. And heading to work while under the weather may no longer be seen as an act of admirable American can-do spirit but instead a threat to co-workers and the bottom line.

    More immediately, states should be using this time to craft quick-response systems and protocols. With hundreds of cities and counties reopening, think of each as a mini laboratory yielding valuable data on what will work against the virus in coming years. But most still lack the tools to capture that data, said Cobey, the University of Chicago epidemiologist, whose models have been used by Illinois leaders.


    The metrics being employed by states remain crude: daily number of deaths, hospitalization rates and confirmations of cases long after people show symptoms. All lag behind the actual transmission of the coronavirus by at least one to three weeks.

    “We desperately need better data and fast. It blows my mind that we still don’t have it,” Cobey said.

    What’s needed are more sophisticated testing strategies, say experts, that could serve as canaries in the coal mine — increasing our speed and ability to detect surges in the virus. States could select certain populations or areas to test extensively. They could establish a handful of sites that test only patients who have developed symptoms in the last four days, to increase sensitivity to sudden increases in transmission.

    “You need testing strategies that allow you to put on brakes quickly enough to stop surges,” said Cobey, who has pleaded with state leaders to implement such strategies.


    Another idea researchers have proposed is universally testing pregnant women to measure the asymptomatic spread of the virus — among people who have been infected but don’t show symptoms. The women could be an ideal sample testing population because they already visit hospitals for delivery and maternity checkups.

    One hospital in New York tested every pregnant woman who came in to deliver and found 15 percent had the coronavirus. Most of those testing positive — 88 percent — showed no symptoms, a sign of how crucial such testing could be.

    Living long-term with the virus also means addressing the mental health effects. There’s an assumption among many leaders, experts say, that increases in depression and anxiety are a temporary problem that will eventually disappear along with the virus.

    But for some people, the trauma, fear and stress will accumulate and fester like a wound if left unaddressed, said Paul Gionfriddo, president of the advocacy group Mental Health America. “The psychological recovery is going to be as important as economic and logistical parts of this.”
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  5. #2645

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    P3 Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine
    Embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response, experts say.

    ‘Prevention always sounds easy’

    America’s yearning for a quick fix has turned in recent days toward a vaccine, now being portrayed as a solution that will quash the virus once and for all.

    But the world has achieved that only once, with smallpox — a measure of just how difficult it is for vaccines to wipe out diseases. And it took nearly two centuries after the discovery of a vaccine — and an unprecedented international effort — to vanquish smallpox, which stole hundreds of millions of lives.

    Eventually, many experts believe this coronavirus could become relatively benign, causing milder infections as our immune systems develop a memory of responses to it through previous infection or vaccination. But that process could take years, said Andrew Noymer, a University of California at Irvine epidemiologist.

    Barney Graham, deputy director of the federal government’s Vaccine Research Center, said emerging plans for vaccination are already stretching as far out as a decade.

    “I’m thinking about things in different stages or eras,” Graham said. “We had a discussion this morning about what can be ready before this winter of 2021, what could be ready for 2021-2022, and what kind of regimen or vaccine concepts would we want after this has settled into a more seasonal virus.”

    The success of those vaccines will hinge on distribution — a complicated, logistically fraught process.

    In the first few years of a vaccine, global demand will far outstrip what manufacturers are able to supply. Roughly 60 to 80 percent of the world’s population needs to be inoculated to reach herd immunity — that point when enough people have become resistant to a virus that it has difficulty spreading widely. Without international agreements worked out beforehand, the short supply could devolve into bidding wars, hoarding and ineffective vaccination campaigns.

    In the United States, the crucial job of distribution will depend on federal and local health departments, which have already shown signs of limited capacity and competence amid this pandemic. As a preview to the chaos that might ensue, the U.S. government’s rollout of the first and only treatment for covid-19, remdesivir, has been described by hospitals as confusing, unfair and lacking transparency.“We also assume that everyone will want the vaccine because of the devastation this virus has caused, but that’s a big assumption,” said Howard Koh, a top U.S. health official during the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. “Prevention always sounds easy, but it’s not.”

    America already has vaccines for measles and the seasonal flu, which can be deadly. And yet the health-care system struggles every year to convince people to get those shots.

    Looking further down the road, many top experts believe it’s critical that U.S. leaders start planning for the next pandemic now — even as they contend with this one — because of the short attention span and lack of political and public support for preparedness the country has shown in past decades.


    “We’ve seen this story so many times before,” Koh said. “As soon as the crisis is over, people will go back to whatever is the new normal and they will move on.”
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  6. #2646

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    P4 Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine
    Embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response, experts say.

    Our future selves

    The struggle to get people to think long-term, of course, is not new to public health.

    We know that smoking can kill us. Yet, it is still responsible for 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States.

    “The problem is people putting the present ahead of the future,” said Frieden, who led the CDC from 2009 to 2017.

    To bridge the divide between present and future, the CDC launched an ad campaign during Frieden’s tenure with former smokers showing in graphic, intimate detail the consequences of lighting up: the removal of their jaw. Having to speak through an electronic voice box. The emotional devastation to their families.

    The campaign caused more than 16.4 million people to try to quit smoking between 2012 and 2018 and about 1 million to quit for good, the CDC estimates. “We found a way to show them their future selves,” Frieden said.


    The challenge in this pandemic is few such shortcuts remain to push U.S. leaders and the public into forward-thinking actions. The CDC has been sidelined by the White House and blocked from holding public briefings. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has made clear its priority is restarting the economy.

    Increasingly, leading experts believe many Americans won’t make the shift toward long-range thinking until the virus spreads more widely and affects someone they know.

    “It’s like people who drive too fast. They come upon the scene of an accident, and for a little while, they drive more carefully, but soon they’re back to speeding again,” said Michael T. Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

    “Contrast that with people who have lost someone to drunk driving,” he said. “It mobilizes them and becomes a cause for them. Eventually, everyone is going to know someone who got infected or died from this virus.

    “That’s what it may take.”
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  7. #2647

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    chris evans
    @notcapnamerica
    BREAKING: At least one Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representarives tested positive for #COVID19 and hid this information from their Democratic colleagues for a week or more. They were secretly quarantining but chose not to share the information publicly

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1265799731999113223

    Brian Sims
    @BrianSimsPA
    RESIGN: Today we learned that House Speaker
    @MikeTurzai
    has known that Republican Members have either tested positive, or been quarantined, and withheld this information from Democrats including those of us who serve on the committees with those members!

    These same Members were among those leading the daily shouts to reopen the state. They yelled and screamed about it being safe for others across the state to gather, while they were testing positive and notifying each other, but none of the Democrats that work with them!

    One particular Committee appears to be hardest hit, & it’s a Committee I serve on that has met more than any other in the State during the pandemic. Our Members lives, and the lives of their families, were put in grave risk to protect the LIE that people are safe to gather.

    Members in this room have small children, elderly family members that they care for, spouses with autoimmune diseases, and lives that constantly put us at risk of inter acting with others. For me, my story wasn’t supposed to be told, but here goes...

    In late January I secretly donated a kidney to a person who lives about 10 blocks from me in the City. He was dying of renal failure and I turned out to be a near perfect match. I spent several days in the hospital and several days with fifth a friend before returning home.

    My recipient began to improve almost immediately and his long term prognosis is strong, and none of this was ever supposed to be public. People are cynical, especially about politics. And so I decided to share the donation with only my friends, staff, and family.

    Now, months later, in the middle of a global pandemic, I’ve discovered that my Republican colleagues exposed me, and my Democratic colleagues to Covid-19! They covered that information up because they were simultaneously arguing that the risk was low, or non-existent. They lied.

    So here’s what needs to happen next:
    1) All positive tests in the Republican Party, and dates of those tests, be immediately made available to Members of the House.
    2) The House must direct the Capitol medical staff to immediately refer all Members and staff for testing.

    3) Republican Leadership must be investigated by the Attorney General to determine which laws and ethics codes have been violated, and
    4) House Speaker Mike Turzai and any Members of Republican Leadership that withheld information about positive tests for Covid-19 must resign
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  8. #2648

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    About the Pennsylvania situation: See my note in "A Chronicle of our Descent..." GH

  9. #2649

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Update from Switzerland: 559 active cases (population ca 9 million), averaging ca 15 new cases and 3-4 deaths per day over the last two weeks

    - Border with Austria, Germany and France to be open for professional and recreational visits from June 15th (Italy to follow at a later date)
    - Free movement over the entire Schengen area to be restored from July 6th (from Swiss point of view, other countries might have restrictions, quarantines etc)
    - Extraordinary situation to be abolished from June 6th with power going back to local municipalities
    - Private gatherings up to 30 people, public up to 300 from May 30th
    - Theatres, swimming pools, campsites to open from June 6th. Also relaxed rules regarding density in restaurants

    Limited social distancing and ban on very large events (music festivals, pro footbal matches with spectators etc) will likely remain till September at least.

    I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be able to fly to Latvia in August without any stupid quarantines (Latvian virus situation fine as well).
    Roger forever

  10. #2650

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    At the other side of the spectrum: Sweden's policy seems not to be working well. Highest rate of deaths/1MM people in the world.
    Still early and certainly if they turn around it would be a complete waste, but well, not looking good.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  11. #2651
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I did not receive a WHO Situation Report today. Not sure what's up with that. Does anyone else subscribe?
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  12. #2652

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    At the other side of the spectrum: Sweden's policy seems not to be working well. Highest rate of deaths/1MM people in the world.
    Still early and certainly if they turn around it would be a complete waste, but well, not looking good.
    Yes, albeit it is because situation in Sweden is holding steady (see in the link below) there as elsewhere in Europe it is improving.

    https://www.worldometers.info/corona...ountry/sweden/
    Roger forever

  13. #2653

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    White House and CDC remove coronavirus warnings about choirs in faith guidance

    By
    Lena H. Sun and
    Josh Dawsey
    May 28, 2020 at 8:07 p.m. EDT

    The Trump administration with no advance notice removed warnings contained in guidance for the reopening of houses of worship that singing in choirs can spread the coronavirus.

    Last Friday, the administration released pandemic guidance for faith communities after weeks of debate flared between the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those guidelines posted on the CDC website included recommendations that religious communities “consider suspending or at least decreasing use of choir/musical ensembles and congregant singing, chanting, or reciting during services or other programming, if appropriate within the faith tradition.”

    It added: “The act of singing may contribute to transmission of Covid-19, possibly through emission of aerosols.”

    By Saturday, that version was replaced by updated guidance that no longer includes any reference to choirs or congregant singing and the risk for spreading virus. The altered guidance also deleted a reference to “shared cups” among items, including hymnals and worship rugs, that should not be shared. The updated guidelines also added language that said the guidance “is not intended to infringe on rights protected by the First Amendment.”

    Two White House officials said the first version posted by the CDC was not approved by the White House. Once West Wing officials saw it, they asked the CDC to post a different cleared document without the choir references and other parts.


    The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk about policy discussions, said there have long been concerns within the White House that there were too many restrictions on choirs. A CDC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the guideline change also said the updated Saturday guidance was approved by the White House.

    Earlier this month, the CDC issued a report warning about “superspreader” events where the coronavirus might be “highly transmissible in certain settings, including group singing events.” That report described a choir practice in Washington state in March at which one person ended up infecting 52 other people, including two who died.

    “Members had an intense and prolonged exposure, singing while sitting 6-10 inches from one another, possibly emitting aerosols,” the report said. The infections probably took place during a 2½ -hour choir practice attended by 61 members.

    White House officials battled for weeks with CDC aides about the scope of reopening guidelines. Officials in Vice President Pence’s office, the domestic policy council and other members on the president’s coronavirus task force were resistant to establishing limits on religious institutions even as the CDC issued detailed road maps for reopening other settings, including schools and restaurants, and as the agency warned of the dangers of significant virus transmission rates at religious events.


    Some officials in the White House and on the coronavirus task force did not want to alienate the evangelical community and believed that some of the proposals, such as limits on hymnals, the size of choirs or the passing of collection plates, were too restrictive, according to two administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss policy decisions.

    Some restrictions imposed by state governments have become a point of contention for conservative religious leaders, an important constituency in President Trump’s political base.

    Even as states have begun reopening, public health officials continue to warn against mass gatherings or settings in which people will be in close quarters, and note that religious gatherings have been the source of several outbreaks.

    An outbreak at an Arkansas church killed three and infected dozens, according to a CDC report. The outbreak began after a pastor at the church and his wife attended church events during six days in early March and spread the virus. At least 35 of 92 attendees at church events became infected, including the three who died, all over the age of 65. An additional 26 infections and one death in the community were probably linked to contact with people infected at the church events, according to the report.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/healt...d59_story.html
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  14. #2654

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I've been following the music recommendations very closely. Choral singing should be a thing of the past until we have an effective vaccine and an effective treatment for the virus. By saying that, I am agreeing with a consensus statement posted by the leader of NATS (the National Association of Teachers of Singing). The co-signers of the statement included many other prominent people in choral music. A friend of mine is involved in the Barbershop Hormonies Society, whose leader was one of those. This statement suggested that choirs should anticipate no rehearsing or performing for "18-24 months".

    The Washington State event really got everyone's attention. And other events have supported those findings.

    I summarized that info to point out how incredibly irresponsible it was for the White House to remove the recommendations about choirs and church singing. That experiment has been done and we know the outcome. So if churches start choral or congregational singing in earnest, we are going to see super-spreaders and cases galore. And we know there are many types of churches that will go with what Tiny says, not what the experts in singing and choral music are saying.

    GH

  15. #2655

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennHarman View Post
    I've been following the music recommendations very closely. Choral singing should be a thing of the past until we have an effective vaccine and an effective treatment for the virus.
    Says who? A friend in Zurich is restarting her choir practice next week already.
    Roger forever

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