Evidence over hysteria – COVID 7/14

Reopening and Lockdown Updates

Analysis: Trump makes school reopening a referendum on Trump

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/blog/meet-press-blog-latest-news-analysis-data-driving-political-discussion-n988541/ncrd1233123#blogHeader

The CDC says people are taking their school guidance way too literally. 

“Nothing would cause me greater sadness than to see any school district or school use our guidance as a reason not to reopen.” – CDC Director Robert Redfield.

Georgia Is Doing Fine, Thank You

https://www.city-journal.org/covid-19-georgia-reopening

“It appears that every chapter of the COVID story in the U.S. has been bent by the reality-distortion field of the presidential election in November… Georgia reopened first; its sky has not fallen. Let’s acknowledge this medical reality.”

United warns 36,000 employees of potential job cuts as pandemic roils travel demand

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/08/coronavirus-united-braces-36000-employees-for-job-cuts-as-pandemic-roils-travel-demand.html

“United said it is warning about 36,000 frontline employees — more than a third of its staff — about potential job cuts as the coronavirus pandemic continues to roil travel demand.”

Florida Orders Schools To Reopen In The Fall For In-Person Instruction

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/07/888320203/florida-orders-schools-to-reopen-in-the-fall-for-in-person-instruction

“Florida’s education commissioner says that when schools open in the fall, they’ll really open.”

How the Smallest State Engineered a Big Covid Comeback

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/07/08/gina-raimondo-interview-rhode-island-governor-covid-353799

“When Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo realized that Washington wasn’t going to be much help, she called CVS, Salesforce—and the bishop.” Rhode Island is becoming an example to the nation, as states struggle about reopening.

I’m an epidemiologist and a dad. Here’s why I think schools should reopen.

https://www.vox.com/2020/7/9/21318560/covid-19-coronavirus-us-testing-children-schools-reopening-questions

“Children are less likely than adults to be infected with Covid-19.”

N.Y.C. Schools, Nation’s Largest District, Will Not Fully Reopen in Fall

“Classroom attendance in September will be limited to only one to three days a week in an effort to continue to curb the outbreak, the mayor said.”

Museum Of The City Of New York Is Reopening This Month—Here’s What To Expect

https://gothamist.com/arts-entertainment/museum-of-the-city-of-new-york-is-reopening-this-monthheres-what-to-expect

“MCNY will reopen its doors to visitors on July 23rd, assuming the state continues reaching certain benchmarks and positive coronavirus rates don’t spike.”

NYC Malls Like Hudson Yards Can Reopen Soon, Minus Food Court Seating

https://ny.eater.com/2020/7/9/21318815/malls-cuomo-covid-hudson-yards-nyc-restaurants

“New York City shopping malls like the upscale ones at Columbus Circle and Hudson Yards could open as early as later this month, but the bars, restaurants, and food courts at those institutions could take longer to debut in any meaningful way.”

‘That’s Crazy’: Reopening Schools Is Possible, but We’re Doing It Wrong

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/07/09/reopening-schools-coronavirus-pandemic-expert-analysis-politics-2020-355466

“Economist Emily Oster weighs risks and benefits for a living. She thinks kids could go back to school with the pandemic, but we’re gambling with lives either way—and the political argument is making the whole problem much worse.”

California Pulls Back on Reopening Amid Surge in Coronavirus Cases

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-latest-news-07-13-2020-11594628843

“Governor orders halt to indoor activities in restaurants, bars, museums, movie theaters; students in two largest school districts won’t return to in-person schooling in the fall.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti now admits protests in the city DID lead to a spike in coronavirus cases after he previously insisted there was no link

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8485893/Los-Angeles-Mayor-Eric-Garcetti-admits-protests-led-spike-coronavirus-cases.html

“He [Garcetti] confirmed LA County health officials believe recent demonstrations have contributed to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the city.”

People WON’T obey lockdown again: SAGE files reveal scientists warned UK Government to prepare for ‘visible resistance’ to future rule changes and show a THIRD of the public still don’t know the symptoms of Covid-19

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8509931/Scientists-warn-UK-Government-prepare-visible-resistance-future-lockdowns.html

“People no longer fear the coronavirus as much and disagree with Government.”

New York Gov. Cuomo says he won’t use kids as ‘guinea pigs,’ outlines school reopening rules

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/new-york-gov-cuomo-outlines-guidelines-to-reopen-schools-where-coronavirus-is-under-control.html

“Schools in regions that are in phase four of New York’s reopening plan are eligible to hold in-person classes this fall.” 

Newsom orders statewide reclosure of indoor dining, limits on church services, salons

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-07-13/newsom-california-county-rollback-reopening-coronavirus?utm_source=morning_brew

“California is largely closing again amid a spike in COVID-19 cases across the state, as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced statewide restrictions Monday to again halt all indoor dining and close bars, zoos and museums.”

Los Angeles and San Diego public schools will be online only this fall

https://www.axios.com/los-angeles-san-diego-schools-reopen-9c8db4ef-7c3f-41b3-be3d-88859fc37829.html

“Public schools in Los Angeles and San Diego, the two largest public school districts in California, will not be sending children back to campuses next month and will instead administer online classes due to concerns over the ongoing threat of the coronavirus.”

L.A. teachers union says schools can’t reopen unless charter schools get shut down, police defunded

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/education/la-teachers-union-says-schools-cant-reopen-unless-charter-schools-get

“The union outlined numerous major provisions it says will be necessary to reopen schools again, including sequestering students in small groups throughout the school day, providing students with masks and other forms of protective equipment, and re-designing school layouts in order to facilitate “social distancing.” 


Recent Academic Research

The Coronavirus Can Be Airborne Indoors, W.H.O. Says

“In an updated scientific brief, the agency also asserted more directly than it had in the past that the virus may be spread by people who do not have symptoms: “Infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms,” the agency said.”

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions

https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-implications-for-infection-prevention-precautions

“Evidence suggests that most transmission occurs from symptomatic people through close contact with others…. asymptomatically infected individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus than those who develop symptoms.”

Global socio-economic losses and environmental gains from the Coronavirus pandemic

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0235654

“We capture direct and indirect spillover effects in terms of social and economic losses [of COVID lockdowns]. We show that global consumption losses amount to $3.8 trillion, triggering 147 million job losses and $2.1 trillion income losses.”

COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/07/08/peds.2020-004879

“Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) presents arguably the greatest public health crisis in living memory. One surprising aspect of this pandemic is that children appear to be infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, far less frequently than adults and, when infected, typically have mild symptoms,13 although emerging reports of a novel Kawasaki disease–like multisystem inflammatory syndrome necessitate continued surveillance in pediatric patients.”


Charts and graphs

currently at 83 ICU beds needed due to #covid19 as of today in all of Sweden


International News

German court orders end to coronavirus lockdown around meat plant

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/07/german-court-orders-end-to-coronavirus-lockdown-around-meat-plant

“The top administrative court in North Rhine-Westphalia state ruled that the lockdown…wasn’t justified anymore. It found that the lockdown placed an unfair burden on citizens and could be more targeted.”

Sweden’s coronavirus death rate is now falling FASTER than the UK’s despite never having a lockdown

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8505699/Swedens-coronavirus-death-rate-falling-faster-UKs.html

“Sweden’s coronavirus death rate is now falling faster than the UK’s even though the country avoided having a lockdown.”

France rules out ‘total lockdown’ in case of Covid-19 second wave

https://www.france24.com/en/20200708-france-rules-out-total-lockdown-in-case-of-covid-19-surge

“My aim is to prepare France for a possible second wave while preserving our daily life. But we’re not going to impose a lockdown like the one we did, because we’ve learned… that the economic and human consequences from a total lockdown are disastrous.”

How Japan Beat Coronavirus Without Lockdowns

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-japan-beat-coronavirus-without-lockdowns-11594163172

“By following the science developed by world-renowned experts, Japan has been able to avoid the worst effects of the pandemic without mandatory lockdowns. How have we done it?”

Hong Kong Disneyland will close again after a surge in coronavirus cases

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/13/media/hong-kong-disneyland-closing/index.html?utm_source=morning_brew

“The resort, which reopened on June 18, is shutting down after Hong Kong tightened its social-distancing measures following a rise of 52 new coronavirus cases in the city.”

T-cell immunity and the truth about Covid-19 in Sweden

“Intensive care units are getting empty, the wards are getting empty, we are really seeing a decrease — and that despite that people are really loosening up. The beaches are crowded, social distancing is not kept very well … but still the numbers are really decreasing. That means that something else is happening – we are actually getting closer to herd immunity. I can’t really see another reason.”

If there is a second wave of Covid, the Swedish approach will have been right all along 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/11/second-wave-covid-swedish-approach-will-have-right-along/

“Not going into lockdown was described as “a mad experiment” at the time, but Sweden can look to the winter with less trepidation than most.”


Fatality and hospitalization information

COVID-19 Cases Are Rising, So Why Are Deaths Flatlining?

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/why-covid-death-rate-down/613945/

“The gap between soaring cases and falling deaths is being weaponized by the right to claim a hollow victory in the face of shameless failure. What’s really going on?” The number of COVID 19 cases is soaring however, it does not reflect in the number of deaths. 

‘Worse Than New York’: How Coronavirus Exploded in South Carolina

https://www.thedailybeast.com/south-carolinas-coronavirus-outbreak-is-worse-than-most-countries

“At one hospital in Charleston, emergency-room nurses are recycling used N95 masks as doctors in other departments pitch in to staff COVID-19 units.”

Coronavirus Cases Climb in U.S. South, West

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-latest-news-07-11-2020-11594460096

“U.S. coronavirus infections set another daily record with continued surges in Southern and Western states as officials weighed further restrictions to slow the spread.”

Data suggest Florida’s record-breaking coronavirus days may have been inflated by as much as 30%

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/data-suggest-floridas-record-breaking-coronavirus-days-may-have-been-0

“Florida health officials appear to have inflated recent record coronavirus case numbers there by as much as 30%, according to an analysis of data released by the state’s Department of Health.”

Death By Policy

https://www.city-journal.org/deadly-cost-of-lockdown-policies

“Mortality statistics show that many people have died from lockdown-related causes, not from Covid-19.”


Other COVID News

Dealing with COVID-19: A Balanced Response

http://balancedresponse.ca/open-letter/

The current approach to dealing with COVID-19 carries significant risks to overall population health and threatens to increase inequities across the country.  Aiming to prevent or contain every case of COVID-19 is simply no longer sustainable at this stage in the pandemic.  We need to accept that COVID-19 will be with us for some time and to find ways to deal with it. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crash have caused the greatest health insurance losses in American history

Because of job losses between February and May of this year, 5.4 million laid-off workers became uninsured. These recent increases in the number of uninsured adults are 39% higher than any annual increase ever recorded. The highest previous increase took place over the one-year period from 2008 to 2009, when 3.9 million nonelderly adults became uninsured.

A Christian Summer Camp Shut Down After 82 Kids And Staff Got The Coronavirus

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/davidmack/summer-camp-coronavirus-outbreak-covid-kanakuk-missouri

“The Kanakuk camp in Lampe, Missouri, had promised kids ages 13–18 fun activities and Bible studies, but campers were sent home last week due to a coronavirus outbreak.”

Herd Immunity May Be Closer Than You Think

https://www.wsj.com/articles/herd-immunity-may-be-closer-than-you-think-11594076237

“Some early assumptions about COVID no longer add up—and that could be good news. There are reasons to think the novel coronavirus began spreading earlier than previously understood, raising the possibility that herd immunity is closer than we think.”

How risky is dining out during the COVID-19 pandemic?

https://apnews.com/ab7c92bcaa55ccbf4ff01b69daf0204e

There is some risk, but health officials say there are precautions you can take to minimize the chances you’ll be exposed to the virus.

Almost 90% of U.S. Meat Plant Workers With Virus Are Minorities

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/coronavirus/virus-killed-86-u-s-meat-plant-workers-through-may-cdc-says

“The outbreaks at meat-processing plants across America that sickened thousands and led to beef shortages have gotten worse — and minority workers have been the hardest hit.”

CDC says 9% of meatpacking plant workers have been diagnosed with Covid-19

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/07/cdc-says-9percent-of-meatpacking-plant-workers-have-been-diagnosed-with-covid-19.html

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 9% of workers at meat and poultry processing facilities across 14 states have been diagnosed with Covid-19.”

US testing official: ‘Dr. Fauci is not 100 percent right’

https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/506951-us-testing-official-dr-fauci-is-not-100-percent-right

“The U.S.’s top coronavirus testing official, Adm. Brett Giroir, said Sunday that infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci is “not 100 percent right” because he looks at the coronavirus pandemic from “a very narrow public health point of view.”

Some New York neighbourhoods may have 68% coronavirus immunity

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/new-york-coronavirus-antibodies-neighbourhoods-second-wave-a9612166.html

New data from clinics in New York City shows that some neighbourhoods may have already achieved remarkably high levels of immunity to the coronavirus, with as many as two-thirds of antibody tests coming back positive.

Coronavirus: could it be burning out after 20% of a population is infected?

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-could-it-be-burning-out-after-20-of-a-population-is-infected-141584

“More than half a million people have died from COVID-19 globally. It is a major tragedy, but perhaps not on the scale some initially feared. And there are finally signs that the pandemic is shuddering in places, as if its engine is running out of fuel. This has encouraged many governments to relinquish lockdowns and allow everyday life to restart, albeit gingerly.”

76% of Americans have gained up to 16 pounds during the quarantine, according to Nutrisystem

“Americans have lost hope in getting a summer body this year apparently because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Why Isn’t California Criticized Like Florida on Covid-19?

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-07-10/why-isn-t-california-criticized-like-florida-on-covid-19

It’s pretty obvious why California and Newsom haven’t been pummeled the way Florida, Texas and Arizona have. California is a Democratic state. Newsom is a Democratic governor. Bringing up California’s pandemic woes punctures the critics’ narrative that Republican mismanagement is the reason for the scary surge in infections. 

Texas government lacks timely data for 90% of coronavirus cases there

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/texas-government-has-no-illness-onset-data-90-coronavirus-cases-there

“Alarming reports of surging coronavirus infections in Texas are muddied by opaque gaps in state-reported data there, leaving the true status of the virus’s progression in that state uncertain — and possibly less dire than many are making it out to seem.”

Fauci: Partisanship in US has made it harder to suppress coronavirus

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/506611-fauci-partisanship-in-us-has-made-it-harder-to-suppress-coronavirus

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Thursday that hyperpartisanship in the U.S. has made it difficult to suppress the coronavirus.”

A lack of child care is keeping women on unemployment rolls

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/25/child-care-women-unemployment-339012

“Women’s participation in the workforce — which is closely tied to access to child care — has dropped at a faster clip than men’s since the early spring.”

Los Angeles mayor begs parents: ‘Keep your children away from their friends.’

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/los-angeles-mayor-begs-parents-keep-your-children-away-their-friends

“Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pleaded with parents this week to “keep your children away from their friends,” a desperate entreaty made as coronavirus cases continue to rise in spite of months of strict mitigation measures there.”