My family stopped wiping down all our groceries to "disinfect" them a couple months ago, mostly because of hygiene exhaustion. Then in May, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention clarified its own Web page about how COVID-19 spreads to state that "based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads."
Even so, there is no shortage of "hygiene theater," activities that might make people feel better but, according to microbiologist Emanuel Goldman's article in medical journal The Lancet, don't have much to do with how COVID-19 is actually transmitted. (Wear a fucking mask.) Derek Thompson writes in The Atlantic:
Read the rest
All those studies that made COVID-19 seem likely to live for days on metal and paper bags were based on unrealistically strong concentrations of the virus. As he explained to me, as many as 100 people would need to sneeze on the same area of a table to mimic some of their experimental conditions. The studies “stacked the deck to get a result that bears no resemblance to the real world," Goldman said[...]
A good case study of how the coronavirus spreads, and does not spread, is the famous March outbreak in a mixed-use skyscraper in Seoul, South Korea.
Irish doctor Maitiu O Tuathail got so sick of people claiming that surgical masks cause oxygen deprivation that he put on half a dozen while hooked up to an oxygen meter. Guess what happened? Read the rest
Yahoo News reports that a team of doctors in Britain is warning that people with mild cases of COVID-19 could suffer from "potentially fatal complications in the brain including delirium, nerve damage, and stroke." The doctors examined 43 hospitalized patients and found that 10 suffered from temporary brain dysfunction, 12 had brain inflammation, 8 experienced strokes, and 8 had nerve damage.
"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," said Ross Paterson from UCL's Queen Square Institute of Neurology.
"Doctors need to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."
With more than 11 million confirmed infections worldwide, COVID-19 is known to cause a variety of health complications in addition to lung infection.
Image: Jumpstory / CC0 Read the rest
A few years back, my brother Rick Pescovitz came up with Under The Weather Pods, single-person pop-up shelters. (You may have caught Rick on Shark Tank.) Rick was sick of getting soaked at his kids' soccer games and was inspired by a portable toilet he saw by the field. Under The Weather Pods are designed for watching sports, fishing, and other outdoor events where it's raining, windy, or cold, but you are either obligated to watch or having so much fun you don't want to leave.
When the pandemic began, my brother quickly made two new designs for hospitals and healthcare workers: The IntubationPod is a pop-up shield for medical procedures involving the head and neck area. It's apparently much less expensive than the rigid plastic boxes that are commonly used during intubation. Meanwhile, the ShieldPod enhances protection for physicians and nurses as they move through medical facilities treating patients. Both devices are now in use at several hospitals around the country. I'm proud of my brother Rick and his wife Kelly who is president of Under the Weather!
Schools, businesses, and air travelers are now reaching out to Rick about the ShieldPod for use in classrooms, office settings, and on flights. Stay safe everyone.
ShieldPod (Under the Weather)
Read the rest
Because the cruelty is the point.
“Test counts inflated, death tolls deflated, metrics shifted.”
The U.S. death toll of those killed by Covid19 passed 100,000 today, according to The New York Times. Johns Hopkins' tracker, which does not include U.S. deaths aboard cruise ships, placed the death toll at 99,783 on Wednesday.
The toll is short of the true total, say experts, but the milestone, arbitrary as it is, is a reminder of the severity and persistence of the coronavirus pandemic even as lockdowns are lifted.
Read the rest
The toll exceeds the number of U.S. military combat fatalities in every conflict since the Korean War. It matches the toll in the United States of the 1968 flu pandemic, and it is approaching the 116,000 killed in another flu outbreak a decade before that. The pandemic is on track to be the country’s deadliest public health disaster since the 1918 flu pandemic, in which about 675,000 Americans died. Though the numbers of new cases and deaths have begun trending downward, health experts warn of a possible resurgence as lockdowns are lifted.
From designer Nate Shirley, a "personal hygiene product intended for cleaning your ears. It uses disposable spiral cleaning heads that spin at a constant speed."
I wish he would Kickstart it!
Image: Nate Shirley Read the rest
It's curious, isn't it. It's now 6 months after impeached President Donald Trump said he was starting his 2020 physical.
He hasn't completed the routine medical examination he said he started in November.
The White House won't say why.
I wonder why. Read the rest
Your concerns about the privacy and security risks of using state-run coronavirus contact tracing apps? They're reasonable concerns. Read the rest
Your heart will race and your skin perspire, of course, but the real magic happens in your kidneys. Dr. Bernard Hsu reports on B.B., a 21 year old man presenting to the emergency room unconscious, having been found collapsed while studying for his final exams. Unfortunately, his worst subject just happened to be chemistry. Read the rest
• The Lancet says Trump's letter contains 'factually incorrect' details. Read the rest
A joint advisory from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns that Chinese hackers are targeting U.S. based COVID-19 research entities. Read the rest
IMAGE: Health Insurance Coverage Before and After Job Loss Among People in a Family Experiencing Job Loss as of May 2, 2020, courtesy kff.org
An estimated 27 million Americans may have lost employer-based health insurance because of pandemic layoffs, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released Wednesday. Read the rest
Yet another medical study says hydroxychloroquine, the drug much hyped by Donald Trump, is not effective against COVID-19 and could also cause deadly heart problems. Read the rest
Elon Musk's electric car company plans to reopen its one and only factory in the United States as soon as Friday, for 'limited operations,' in a county where coronavirus lockdown is ongoing. Read the rest
“The notion that everyone needs to be tested for the coronavirus is nonsensical,” said Donald Trump's press secretary Kayleigh McEnany today. Her explanation: because COVID-19 tests would have to be given over and over again.
The stupid, it burns.
This is an obvious nonsensical lie, and contradicts what public health experts and the obvious basics of science and math tell us about COVID-19. Read the rest