The Key to Getting Better Health Insurance

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Transparency is the first step towards accountability and that is a key component of improvement. Otherwise, how can you tell when improvements are made?

Better Off Than Ever and yet Unhappier

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Like so many things, it strikes me that modern brain science is confirming what traditional and spiritual wisdom have long taught: moderation is wise. Fasting is a necessary complement to feasting. But we’re up against a culture and economy that tell us to indulge, to enjoy, and to feast all the time as we try to fill some deeper emptiness.

Long COVID: Slow Disaster-In-The-Making?

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Nearly all of the focus to date on COVID’s impacts has been about hospitalizations and deaths. We have assumed that if we can prevent those two outcomes, we’re past the worst of the crisis. But long COVID might be the third bad outcome, emerging from the shadows.

British Columbia Mandates Proof Of Vaccination for Most Indoor Activities

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“Vaccines are our ticket to putting this pandemic behind us. So I call on all eligible British Columbians to roll up their sleeves to stop the spread, and help protect themselves, people they love and the community,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan.

Everything You Need to Know About Schools, Students and COVID Right Now

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School Districts are scrambling, parents are frightened, and COVID is sending children to the hospital at rates far higher than before. Will the same happen here, or are we better prepared than they appear to be in Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, Alabama, and Missouri?

Are We Headed Back to the Dark-Alley Days for Abortions?

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I'm sharing a personal story. I'm hoping it will serve as a reminder of the risks that anti-choice activists would have us face.

France Compels Vaccines and Vaccination Rates Soar

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French president Emmanuel Macron’s edict spurred 160,000 protesters to take to the streets accusing him of dictatorial tactics. It also drove nearly 4 million others to book vaccinations.

New Threat: The Delta Variant

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Delta has expert COVID-watchers pacing uneasily. Here’s why: it appears to have done the best job yet of stitching together higher transmissibility and greater vaccine evasiveness.

British Columbia: A Sloooow Reopening (so slow you might not notice)

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There is no indication when the Canada-U.S. border will reopen to recreational and non-essential travel. The current closure lasts until June 21, But the crossing ban has been automatically renewed on the 21st of each month.

British Columbia Locks Down — COVID Variants Surge

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The Great White North has experienced little of the protest and defiance against COVID-19 measures experienced in “the States.” But that is starting to change.

A Really BFD: The First Next-gen Vaccine

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If this vaccine lives up to its potential, it will be a powerful tool to bring down the global pandemic.

Short-Circuited: BC Premier Declares “Circuit Breaker” COVID Lockdown

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Vaccination has had a relatively slow rollout, with just under 700,000 shots administered and just 87,000 B.C. residents fully immunized. Hence, a circuit breaker is now required until April 19 to break the chains of transmission.

Playing the Odds: Should You Send Your Kids Back to School?

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Few decisions are harder than those which involve increasing your chances of changing the odds that an unlikely bad event might happen. The decision is complicated here by the lack of data, because the virus is new and surprising.

COVID Update: Vaccines, Variants, and Endangered Kids

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Real world data remains to be gathered, but this result at least suggests that if we can in fact vaccinate the world fast enough, we still have a chance to clamp down hard on the virus.

Your COVID Forecast: Sunny with a Chance of Asteroid

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An asteroid variant could emerge wherever the case rate remains high, meaning either in the large part of the world that won’t get the vaccine for quite a while longer, or in a highly-vaccinated country that has lowered hospitalizations and deaths, but is still supporting a high rate of new infections.

Jumping the Line: Insidious Effects of Vaccine Favoritism

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Allocating vaccine according to professional, social or economic status only deepens the grievous race and class disparities we’ve already seen in deaths and other pandemic impacts.

The Variants & The Vaccines: What We Know so Far

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If Moderna’s preliminary results are correct, their vaccine will still suppress it, but if it becomes widespread around the world, it becomes a new jumping-off point for further mutations, and one of those might complete the jailbreak.

The New UK COVID Strain is in Snohomish – Here’s What to do

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Almost exactly a year after America's first confirmed case of the "novel Coronavirus" was detected in Snohomish County, two cases of the extra-contagious variant from the UK, dubbed B.1.1.7 (poets, these virologists) have been found in that self-same county, a first for the State of Washington, though hardly for the nation. You Rock, Snohomish County!

Vaccinatin’ Rhythm

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West Virginia currently leads the nation in vaccination rate (7.1% of population with first dose, compared to a national average of 3.4% and Washington's rate of 3.0%), and they're doing it by a conscious policy choice.

The Mutating COVID: What it Means for You

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Taken together, the new variant means that accelerating our herky-jerky vaccine rollout becomes even more important, our use of non-pharmaceutical protections needs to increase for at least the first half of 2021, and we need, together, to accept vaccination as soon as it is offered, and reach out to everyone who is hesitating to be vaccinated and persuade them to join us in the jab queue.

Three Hurdles to Herd Immunity

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What does the path to vaccine-enabled herd immunity look like for the United States? It will look like a track set up for hurdlers. If we clear them all, we can win full normalcy. If we clear most, we might be able to manage a more rickety normalcy.

How Strong? How Long? – Two Essential Vaccine Questions

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To me, one intriguing thing to emerge from these studies so far has to do with durability, our topic for today. Durability depends on two things

New COVID Death Projections: First Comes the Fire

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These are staggering numbers: 90,000 deaths in January alone.

Shots Felt Round the World: What to Make of the 90% Vaccine

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It appears that, of the 94 cases, about 8 were from vaccine recipients, and 86 were from placebo recipients. That’s a great ratio, but still very small numbers. The FDA wants to see the numbers after they’ve looked at 164 confirmed cases.

Why The New England Journal of Medicine’s COVID Leadership Editorial is so Extraordinary

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I found myself cheering the NEJM authors for further pointing out that instead of turning to experts in the field of infectious diseases, public health and policy administration government leaders had relied on “…uninformed ‘opinion leaders’ and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies.”

The Hard, and Hard-Earned, Truths About Abortion

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Abortion was legal for much of the nation’s early history. Under English common law, the cornerstone of American jurisprudence, abortions performed prior to “quickening” (the first perceptible fetal movement) were not criminal offenses. Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision of 1973, essentially restored English common law as adopted by our nation’s founders.

Want to end the Pandemic?

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In a a rationally governed world it could be done, thereby opening up the enormous range of coordinated actions available to policy makers ready to look at hard facts before making hard but firm choices.

COVID is Profoundly Changing Health Care

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Whether treating patients on the front lines or facing a dramatic reduction in patient volume, medical practices are struggling to survive.

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.