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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

What It Was Like Being A Volunteer For A Coronavirus Test-Vaccine

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During the month after each shot I recorded information about my reactions and every week walked the two miles to the research office and had copious quantities of blood extracted for research. I experienced three periods of side effects (muscle aches, mild temperature spikes, etc.).

Everything You Need to Know about How a COVID Vaccine will Happen

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Despite this monumental effort, there’s a lot we don’t know yet about these potential vaccines, which means there’s a lot we don’t know about just how much benefit we’ll get from them. Our ignorance can be usefully organized into four categories: efficacy, durability, safety, and scalability.

Your Health Care Providers Compared [UPDATED]

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They say you can’t improve what you don’t measure and along that line, we’re proud to announce that the Alliance’s 14th Community Checkup report is being released today, with results for 1,978 clinics, 327 medical groups, 106 hospitals, and 16 health plans for claims from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

COVID Update: Study Finds Longterm Health Effects; Many More Deaths and No Silver Bullet

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The results were unsettling, to say the least: “Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients (60%), which was independent of preexisting conditions, severity and overall course of the acute illness, and the time from the original diagnosis.”

Bucking the Crowd: Herd Immunity and the Risks to your Kids

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We know more about herd immunity in these pandemic days, but as the nation struggles with how or whether to reopen its schools, the notion of inducing it by deliberately exposing children to the corona virus is trending on social media.

It’s Back: The Virus That Never Went Away

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Weary people and businesses, who have been leaning forward in anticipation of the restored freedoms of the next phase, are sagging in their saddles, realizing that we’ve been set back.

Masks: Now more than Ever

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Given that lots of people are, at this very moment, eager to be mask-free, how can we persuade them to do an about face about their face and re-mask it?

Our State Was Too Slow In Reacting To COVID-19

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Clearly there was a new disease striking people in China, and there were subtle attempts to suppress this information. Certainly, there was sufficient warning to be vigilant about a repetition of SARS, or worse.

Should The Morrison Hotel Homeless Shelter Be Closed For Good?

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In the Covid-19 era, can the traditional model of large shelters such as the Morrison Hotel survive?

The Coronavirus Pandemic Adds New Twists to ‘The Good Death’

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Everything is being affected in wrenching ways -- telemedicine, volunteers for hospice, family conversations, overwhelmed professional services, palliative care, death-with-dignity options.

The Vaccine Optimist

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There’s never been a human vaccine created in less than about 5 years, according to Bill Gates, yet he’s confident we’ll have one this time in less than two years, and as soon as 9 months! What’s that optimism based on?

Timeline: What We Know so far about the Virus… and it’s Scary

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With each new story, the SARS CoV-2 virus is revealed to be a more enigmatic and dangerous adversary.

Sweden Sees Alarming Rise in Covid-19 Death Rate After Relying on Public “Common Sense”...

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Sweden’s percentage of confirmed cases leading to death is dramatically higher than its neighbors, with 12% of patients in Sweden succumbing to the virus, 2.6% in Norway, 4% in Finland, 4.7% in Denmark and 3.6% in Germany.

As Virus Invades Rural America, the Politics are Beginning to Scramble

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It's one thing to close restaurants, bars, and concerts; we pampered urbanites can switch to take-out, Zoom happy hours, and endless cultural and entertainment online. It's another to ban a rural community's essential rituals. “Our funerals are not one or two days,” Tulalip Tribes chairwoman Teri Gobin told me two weeks ago.

New Poll: Washington State Residents Support State, Local Efforts to Contain Virus

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Washington State voters see stark differences between the response of state and local government to the pandemic compared to the federal government’s response.

Chernobyl and Coronavirus: Eerie, Shameless Parallels

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The Chernobyl and Covid-19 emergencies are egregious examples of the failure of leadership. Russian bureaucrats blamed low-level operators at the nuclear plant. America, Russia, and China all tried to shift the blame by firing whistleblower troublemakers.

The Calculus Of Optimism/Pessimism

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It seems we are hard wired to focus on the negative. Pessimists avoid humiliation and, at the same time, enjoy the possibility of the ultimate reward: being the lone voice for sanity amidst the irrational exuberance of the masses. Stay pessimistic long enough and you may have your “Big Short” moment.

After COVID: What Will Be The New Normal?

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Is it possible that this world-wide disaster, which is far from over, has put on vivid display the disastrous consequences of denialism?

The Story Behind The Story Of Trump’s Failed Attempt To Buy A German Vaccine

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When the president reportedly offered $1 billion for a possible Covid-19 vaccine from a German biotech, all hell broke lose. History helps explain why.

Testing… Testing… (and our anxiety grows)

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It is not a sin to be anxious. It comes with the territory. But when we’re too anxious, when our anxiety takes over, we are more likely to do bad things.

CoronaNumbers: Turning in our Favor?

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“What we need to control is the panic. In the long term, we’re going to be fine”.

Frontlines: A Harborview Doc Reports from the ER

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Every time I see a new patient, the first question I ask myself, regardless of why they come in, is: “Could this be COVID-19?”

Dialing Back the Apocalypse: The Scientific Debate

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The predictive model currently dominating public discourse is the one produced a little over a week ago by the UK’s Imperial College. As it happens, a critique has just been published by seriously qualified people. It argues that the virus can be much more fully contained after the first wave than the model predicts.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Notes From The Last Pandemic

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I didn’t know the girl on my street who got sick with what people said was the worst kind of polio, bulbar, which either killed or crippled you. She was 5, somebody’s little sister, and when she left the hospital in an iron lung, her family moved away.

Handwashing, Handwringing and Singing Along

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Except for my my closest friends and family, very few others are aware of my handwashing mania. I married someone who is such a germaphobe that even I think he’s a little bit crazy, so that’s never been a problem.

Seven Stages Of COVID Coping

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The weekend of March 14-15 was probably our own “tipping point.” By March 16 no more contact with our grandchildren, except via Face Time, etc.

Field Notes in the Time of Corona: Touchy Retail Businesses

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Businesses are falling over themselves to tout their prevention measures, but it can take awhile for new rules to trickle down to the checkout counter.

Dying… In Perspective…

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A lot of people will die of COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands at least in the US, many millions worldwide. Though it may sound callous to say it, remember that 2.8 million people die annually in the US, 56 million globally. Even in that context, this is will be a very substantial and disruptive tragedy.

Tracking viral loads: why COVID-19 spreads so fast

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What does this suggest? That response must be rapid and cast a wide net. Any hope of containment means isolating and, if possible, testing those showing mild symptoms immediately.