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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 44,957

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With recovery of last case, New Zealand has eradicated virus

Source: Associated Press

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was confident New Zealand had halted the spread of the virus but it still must be prepared for more.

Experts say a number of factors have helped New Zealand wipe out the disease. Its isolated location in the South Pacific gave it vital time to see the devastating spread of the virus in other countries. Ardern also acted decisively by imposing a strict lockdown early in the outbreak.

She said her government’s focus will be on the country’s borders, where isolation and quarantine will continue.

Just over 1,500 people contracted the virus in New Zealand, including 22 who died.

Read more: https://apnews.com/9503e13b40d8815e107e9891da1bfdcb

New Zealand has a competent leader.

Researchers warn covid-19 could cause debilitating long-term illness in some patients

The long-term illnesses that can follow viral infections can be devastating — and are devastatingly common. In 2015, the nation’s top medical advisory body, the Institute of Medicine, estimated that between 800,000 and 2.5 million U.S. residents live with the illness or illnesses awkwardly named myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). An estimated three-quarters of these cases were triggered by viral or bacterial infections.
In addition to emerging reports of damage to lungs, kidneys and hearts, covid-19 patients are complaining of ongoing crushing fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems and other symptoms that anyone with ME/CFS is very familiar with.
But patients who have experienced post-viral fatigue syndrome advise the newly ill to rest, rest and rest some more, as returning to normal activities can trigger relapses. If symptoms continue for six months or longer, post-viral fatigue syndrome can convert to a diagnosis of ME/CFS, which is usually lifelong and often devastating. Up to 25 percent of ME/CFS patients are housebound or bedbound for years. There are no treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The personal and societal costs of ME/CFS are devastating. In 2015, the Institute of Medicine estimated a $24 billion annual U.S. burden in medical costs and lost productivity. For Beth, who was working as a product manager for a software company in San Francisco with a computer science degree from MIT, her lost earnings potential over the past decade can likely be measured in the millions of dollars. Instead of paying taxes on those lost wages, she is drawing monthly Social Security Disability Insurance. For Brian, the week before he became suddenly ill, he wrote a front-page story for The Washington Post, where he was a science writer, on a major advance in theoretical physics, the discovery of the Higgs boson. Six months later, his undiagnosed post-viral illness had gotten so bad he could not remember a four-digit number long enough to tap it into his phone.


Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases may be more common than suspected

The problem? Even without symptoms, people can still spread the virus.New estimates of the number of asymptomatic people with the coronavirus suggest that "silent" COVID-19 is much more prevalent than once thought, according to two studies published Wednesday.

The first study, published in JAMA Network Open, found that 42 percent of cases from a group of people in Wuhan, China, were asymptomatic. The second study, published in Thorax, found much higher rates of asymptomatic individuals: 81 percent of cases on a cruise to Antarctica. The study from Wuhan looked at 78 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, and found that 33 of the individuals had no symptoms of the illness. These patients were more likely to be women, and more likely to be younger, in their 20s, 30s and early 40s."

Many people still haven't grasped the notion that asymptomatic people can be so common, and they wonder why it is they have to wear the mask when they're feeling well, or why they have to keep doing this social distancing stuff," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said.

"Simply exhaling can send out viral particles," said Schaffner, who wasn't involved with either study.


Trump's coronavirus failures have caused the 'American carnage' he promised to end

In his inaugural address Jan. 20, 2017, President Donald Trump painted an unrecognizably dark picture of our country culminating with the bizarre declaration, "This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."

Just over three years later, almost 100,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus outbreak and almost 39 million have had to file for unemployment, all on Trump's watch. Trump's incompetence and failure of leadership have ushered in an unprecedented public health crisis that continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of countless Americans and has disproportionately impacted vulnerable communities.

Trump's dark inaugural assertion of "American carnage," it seems, was less an evidence-free indictment of his predecessor than a portentous claim about his own presidency. We are only now experiencing the American carnage Trump once grimly accused former President Barack Obama of overseeing — and it could have been avoided with preparation and leadership.

As a senior policy adviser to an Obama administration Cabinet member, I attended part of the Jan. 13, 2017, transition exercise in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building — which included a session focused on preparing the incoming Trump administration for how to respond as a government (rather than as a re-election campaign) to a pandemic. The meeting included at least 30 members of the incoming Cabinet and staff, alongside their Obama administration counterparts.


Biden leads Trump by 7 points in Arizona

Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump among voters in Arizona, according to a new survey that has consistently shown the former vice president ahead in a state that hasn't chosen a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton.

An OH Predictive Insights poll found that Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is leading Trump by 7 points in Arizona, which Clinton last secured for Democrats in a three-way contest in 1996.

The latest poll shows support for Biden at 50% compared to Trump's 43%, a lead for the former vice president in the organization's third straight survey, which polls 600 likely general election voters in Arizona and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

The Democratic candidate has repeatedly led Trump in state polling since February 2019, with just one exception in December that saw support for Trump at 46% compared to Biden's 44%.


The 'Swedish Model' Is a Failure, Not a Panacea

When looking at death statistics, it may seem obvious, but it is imperative to bear in mind what they refer to. Each number is a human being, whose death can bring crushing pain to many others, including relatives and friends. At this writing, Sweden has reported 3,460 deaths. That’s 343 deaths per million people, one of the highest mortality rates from COVID-19 in the world.

What is most attractive about Sweden’s approach to observers around the world is its impact on the economy. But there too, Stockholm’s decision to avoid a shutdown also looks less effective than its fans have hoped.

Riksbank, the Swedish central bank, has offered two economic projections for this year, both dismal. The brighter one predicts a GDP contraction of 6.9 percent; the other, with different assumptions, predicts a 9.7 percent drop of GDP. In either case, it’s a major recession.

Those numbers are no better than Sweden’s neighbors. Norway is projecting a 5.5 percent drop in GDP, Finland and Denmark about 6 to 6.5 percent. However lively the restaurant scene looks in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden’s economy will still suffer from disrupted manufacturing supply chains and a collapse in exports.


"Pro-life" Republicans: Grandma's had a good run.


The United States is a country to be pitied

By Eugene Robinson 
Washington Post Columnist
May 14, 2020 at 2:37 p.m. PDT

Only a handful of nations on Earth have arguably done a worse job of handling the coronavirus pandemic than the United States. What has happened to us? How did we become so dysfunctional? When did we become so incompetent?

The shocking and deadly failures by President Trump and his administration have been well documented — we didn’t isolate, we didn’t test, we didn’t contact trace, we waited too long to lock down. But Trump’s gross unfitness is only part of the problem. The phrase “American exceptionalism” has always meant different things to different people — that this nation should be admired, or perhaps that it should be feared. Not until now, at least in my lifetime, has it suggested that the United States should be pitied.

Thanks to Trump, we have no coherent national plan to survive the pandemic. But also thanks to the federal government — and I include Congress as well as the president — we lack the kind of sturdy economic safety net that protects unemployed workers and shut-down business owners in some of the hardest-hit European countries — nations that once looked up to the United States as a model. In the Netherlands, for example, the government is granting employers up to 90 percent of their payroll costs so they can keep paying their workers rather than resort to furloughs or layoffs. That kind of continuity ought to speed recovery when reopening becomes safe.

Here, nearly 40 million workers have filed for unemployment.


The Covid-19 Spread Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them

A long read, but super interesting and informative. Lots of numbers and facts, no opinion or politics, just practical information and advice on how to avoid infection. It was hard to pick just 4 key paragraphs, but here they are:

In order to get infected you need to get exposed to an infectious dose of the virus; the estimate is that you need about ~1000 SARS-CoV2 viral particles for an infection to take hold, but this still needs to be determined experimentally. That could be 1000 viral particles you receive in one breath or from one eye-rub, or 100 viral particles inhaled with each breath over 10 breaths, or 10 viral particles with 100 breaths. Each of these situations can lead to an infection.How much Virus is released into the environment?

A Toilet flush: Without a seat to close, a single flush releases ~8000 droplets into the air. If the person using the restroom before you was infected, you have a chance of contracting the virus via breathing the air in the bathroom. While the paper in question did not look for live virus, it is clear that infected people are releasing, at a minimum, viral RNA, in bowel movements. Until further experiments are done to determine whether is is just viral fragments, or infectious material, I would avoid public bathrooms or wait a few minutes before entering so gravity can bring the droplets to the floor.

A Cough: A single cough releases about 3,000 droplets and droplets travels at 50 miles per hour. Most droplets are large, and fall quickly (gravity), but many do stay in the air and can travel across a room in a few seconds.

Restaurants: Some really great shoe-leather epidemiology demonstrated clearly the effect of a single asymptomatic carrier in a restaurant environment (see below). The infected person (A1) sat at a table and had dinner with 9 friends. Dinner took about 1 to 1.5 hours. During this meal, the asymptomatic carrier released low-levels of virus into the air from their breathing. Airflow (from the restaurant's various airflow vents) was from right to left. Approximately 50% of the people at the infected person's table became sick over the next 7 days. 75% of the people on the adjacent downwind table became infected. And even 2 of the 7 people on the upwind table were infected (believed to happen by turbulent airflow). No one at tables E or F became infected, they were out of the main airflow from the air conditioner on the right to the exhaust fan on the left of the room.

More happy talk today in the Rose Garden. No promised delivery dates.

It's a reprise of his Rose Gorden dog and pony show from over a month ago, when we were promised a Google site we can go to for testing locations available to us. They're not even promising to do that this time. But one thing they're not doing this time that is good: they're not shaking hands with Needy Amin.

And as usual, the Q&A with the reporters is his nonresponsive whining, insults and lying.
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