Failing the Grade – EOH 9/8

It is concerning that after several weeks, universities have not updated their priors. It seems every day another university goes into lockdown because they did not predict that college students would…act like college students. Even worse, some schools like Northeastern have been adopting CCP style COVID-19 policies, such as expelling offenders and just keeping their tuition money. Can you believe people pay for this type of customer service?

There are some bright spots however in America’s fight against COVID-19. In both Europe and the United States, the “case-demic” phenomenon has occurred but it did not come with a concurrent rise in fatalities.

COVID News

A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression

Who could have predicted shutting down the economy would have consequences? 

“The coronavirus outbreak has pushed millions of Americans, especially young adults, to move in with family members. The share of 18- to 29-year-olds living with their parents has become a majority since U.S. coronavirus cases began spreading early this year, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression era. COVID-19 disruptions associated with a large increase in the share of young adults living with parent(s) In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions. Growth was sharpest for the youngest adults (ages 18 to 24) and for White young adults. The share of young adults living with their parents is higher than in any previous measurement (based on current surveys and decennial censuses). Before 2020, the highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents. The peak may have been higher during the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but there is no data for that period.”

The University of Arizona says it caught a dorm’s covid-19 outbreak before it started. Its secret weapon: Poop

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/08/28/arizona-coronavirus-wastewater-testing/

It takes unconventional methods to solve unconventional problems. 

“As 5,000 students prepared for move-in day at the University of Arizona this week, the school warned they would be tested periodically for the coronavirus. One test, though, doesn’t involve a nose swab. The university is regularly screening the sewage from each dorm, searching for traces of the virus. On Thursday, officials said the technique worked — and possibly prevented a sizable outbreak on campus. When a wastewater sample from one dorm came back positive this week, the school quickly tested all 311 people who live and work there and found two asymptomatic students who tested positive. They were quickly quarantined. “With this early detection, we jumped on it right away, tested those youngsters, and got them the appropriate isolation where they needed to be,” said Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general who is directing the school’s reentry task force, in a news conference. Researchers around the world have been studying whether wastewater testing can effectively catch cases early to prevent covid-19 clusters. There are programs in Singapore, China, Spain, Canada and New Zealand, while in the United States, more than 170 wastewater facilities across 37 states are being tested. Earlier this month, officials in Britain announced testing at 44 water treatment facilities. The Netherlands has been collecting samples at 300 sewage treatment plants. With colleges battling large outbreaks around the country, the University of Arizona — which is trying a mix of online and in-person courses — elected to test sewage from all 20 residence halls. Other schools are doing the same, including the University of California at San Diego and Syracuse University. On Tuesday at the University of Arizona, that screening process found signs of the virus in the wastewater from a dorm called Likins Hall. Although all students living in the dorm had to pass antigen tests before moving in, the second screening after the wastewater alert found the two positive cases.”

Northeastern dismisses 11 first-year students for partying. They won’t get their $36,500 tuition back

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/09/04/metro/northeastern-dismisses-11-first-year-students-partying/

Northeastern University decided to follow the CCP approach to stop COVID-19. 

Northeastern University has dismissed 11 first-year students after they were caught violating social distancing rules, the school announced Friday, the latest and most aggressive attempt to prevent the pandemic from disrupting plans to return to Boston’s campuses this fall. The students were caught at the Westin Hotel, which is being used as a temporary dormitory this semester, on Wednesday night without masks and not social distancing, according to university spokeswoman Renata Nyul. The dismissed students will not be allowed to take courses from home this semester but will be permitted to return in the spring, Nyul said. They were part of a special one-semester program for freshmen that was prepaid and cost $36,500. That money will not be refunded. The students were asked to move out immediately, be tested for COVID-19, enter quarantine if they test positive, and then leave. Their university housing payments will not be refunded, per university rules. Northeastern is one of several large universities in Boston that have brought students back to campus this semester, amid strict guidelines that aim to prevent an outbreak of the virus like the ones that have shut down schools elsewhere in the country like the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Mimi Chapman, faculty chair at UNC and dean for doctoral education in the School of Social Work, said the Northeastern gathering sounds different than the large parties and gatherings that they contended with, many of which originated in fraternities and sororities.

Indiana University sees ‘alarming’ spike in COVID-19 at frat, sorority houses

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa/indiana-university-sees-alarming-spike-in-covid-19-at-frat-sorority-houses-idUSKBN25U2SI

How could universities not predict that fraternities would party COVID rain or shine?

Indiana University at Bloomington on Thursday urged students living in fraternity and sorority houses to move out, citing an “alarming” rate of positive COVID-19 tests that marked the latest outbreak in the U.S. Midwest and at a college campus.The university said on Twitter that positive tests for coronavirus were exceeding 50% in some Greek houses, higher than in dorms, and told fraternity and sorority members to “re-evaluate their current living situation.” “Based on an increasingly alarming rate of positive test results from continued COVID-19 mitigation testing, IU Bloomington and its public health experts believe Greek houses are not safe given the pandemic conditions,” the school tweeted. Indiana University, a campus of some 40,000 students, said it lacked the authority to manage the privately owned houses, but hoped Greek organizations and landlords would work with students to help them make new arrangements. Some students responding on social media accused the school of unfairly blaming the Greek system. Others said administrators should have expected outbreaks where a number of people were living in close quarters.

Research

Population-based seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 is more than halfway through the herd immunity threshold in the State of Maranhão, Brazil

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.28.20180463v1.full.pdf

Masks & social distancing proved marginally protective in a case study of COVID-19 cases in Maranhão, Brazil however; the infection fatality rate was 0.17% 

“Few population-based studies on the prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been performed to date, and most of them have used lateral flow immunoassays with finger-prick, which may yield false-negative results and thus underestimate the true infection rate. A population-based household survey was performed in the State of Maranhão, Brazil, from 27 July 2020 to 8 August 2020 to estimate the seroprevalence of SARSCoV-2 using a serum testing electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. A three-stage cluster sampling stratified by four state regions was used. The estimates took clustering, stratification, and non-response into account. Qualitative detection of IgM and IgG antibodies was performed in a fully-automated Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 electrochemiluminescence immunoassay on the Cobas® e601 analyser (Roche Diagnostics). A total of 3156 individuals were interviewed. Seroprevalence of total antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 was 40·4% (95%CI 35·6-45·3). Population adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions was higher at the beginning of the pandemic than in the last month. SARS-CoV-2 infection rates were significantly lower among mask wearers and among those who maintained social and physical distancing in the last month compared to their counterparts. Among the infected, 62·2% had more than three symptoms, 11·1% had one or two symptoms, and 26·0% were asymptomatic. The infection fatality rate was 0·17%, higher for males and advanced age groups. The ratio of estimated infections to reported cases was 22·2.”

Factors contributing to healthcare professional burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid turnaround global survey

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0238217&type=printable

A paper explaining why healthcare workers suffer from burnout while fighting COVID-19. 

More than 200 countries worldwide are impacted by the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2), the pathogen responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Their healthcare systems are frantically maximizing efforts to deploy resources in order to mitigate spread and reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. Large numbers of healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the frontlines face high adversity, workloads, and stress, making them vulnerable to burnout. Burnout, defined by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment, is known to detract from optimal working capacities, and has been previously shown to be similarly prevalent among HCPs in HICs (High-Income Countries) and LMICs (Low-to-Middle-Income Countries). Burnout has been found to be driven by high job stress, high time pressure and workload, and poor organizational support. These factors are common between HICs and LMICs despite their differences in healthcare and socioeconomic structures. Researchers have begun exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HCPs’ mental health. Barello et al. assessed 376 Italian HCPs who interacted with COVID-19 infected patients for their reported burnout, psychosomatic symptoms and self-perceived general health, finding in their study population high emotional burnout, physical symptoms, and work-related pressure.. The Society of Critical Care Medicine surveyed 9492 intensive care unit clinicians in the U.S. and found that median self-reported stress, measured on a scale from 0 to 10, increased from 3 to 8 during the pandemic. The principal stressors included concern for lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and work impacting household activities and interactions.

Charts and Graphics

Infections Spike in College Communities

University’s COVID-19 preparation  was so bad that the US recent spike is mostly in college counties!

Age and Gender Distributions of COVID-19 Cases Reported in TESSy at Different Levels of Severity, January – May 2020 I9) and June – July 2020 (ii), EU/EEA and the UK

Despite the increase in cases among young people in Europe this Summer, an increase in deaths did not occur for the same age group. 

Age and Gender Distributions of COVID-19 Cases Reported at Different Levels of Severity, January – May 2020 I9) and June – August 2020 (ii), USA

The same trend exists in the CDC’s statistics as well. 

A “Case-demic” vs a Epidemic 

A comparison between a “case-demic” versus a true  epidemic. 

Comparison of Outcomes Among Patients With COVID-19, Influenza A, and Influenza B

A cohort study from JAMA Network showed that kids with COVID-19 had outcomes similar to kids with seasonal influenza. 

Cumulative Deaths Attributed to COVID-19 in United States and Sengal

Narrative Violation

International News

Lockdown Becomes an Australian Nightmare

https://www.wsj.com/articles/lockdown-becomes-an-australian-nightmare-11597705402?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/VlVfBQRukI

After a streak of historic good luck with lockdown V1, Australia fails at managing COVID-19 and now enters lockdown V2. Maybe lockdowns don’t work? 

Australia’s coronavirus response was, until recently, the envy of the world. Like its economy, which had gone nearly 30 years without a recession, Australia seemed to have cracked the Covid code. Community transmission had been all but eliminated, deaths kept low—a little over 100—and life in the population centers of Sydney and Melbourne was getting back to normal. At the same time, economists and business leaders had their fingers crossed for a V-shaped recovery, with hopes that the federal government would wind up its expensive stimulus and support programs before the end of the year. No longer. Australia is discovering what much of the world has already learned: Like holding a beach ball underwater, you can keep your infection rate down only for so long before it pops up again. And there’s only so much you can do to stop a virus from spreading without resort to petty totalitarianism. The details of how the Australian state of Victoria got caught in a second wave, wrecking its hopes for a quick recovery while enlisting the citizenry as an army of snitches, tell a tawdry tale of political incompetence. The trouble began in Melbourne, where far-left Labor Premier Daniel Andrews leads the state government. Mr. Andrews has genuflected before every woke cause from radical sex education in classrooms to the failed attempt to send Catholic Cardinal George Pell down as a pedophile. Early in the pandemic, the center-right national government of Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the decision to quarantine returning international travelers in hotels for 14 days. While this was managed well in most of the country, the Andrews government put private security contractors in charge of the hotels in Victoria. Scandal erupted when the hotels became infection hot spots. Australian media reported that the private contractors had recruited inexperienced guards via WhatsApp chat groups. Some were caught sleeping on the job and may have had sex with the returned travelers they were supposed to be guarding. Authorities have opened a judicial inquiry into the debacle.

UK government’s reusable gown project fails to produce any PPE

https://www.ft.com/content/ff3319d6-09c4-48a4-a36b-688e41ef3fd2

The public sector bungles a private-sector job. 

“A UK government initiative to make reusable gowns for health workers in Britain and reduce reliance on a fiercely competitive global market dominated by China has not produced a single approved garment after almost six months. Trade bodies involved in the state-sponsored project say they no longer believe a domestic supply chain for reusable gowns will be established, although the Department of Health and Social Care says the scheme is on track. The government initiative aims to prepare a stockpile of reusable gowns ahead of a possible rise in Covid-19 cases this winter. However, the bodies involved in the talks with the government, which began in March, said the lack of progress meant that many NHS trusts had instead bought personal protective equipment overseas. The DHSC said an unnamed NHS trust in London was trialling a UK-made gown and orders would be placed once tests were completed — although it declined to say when this would be. The department added that it would reveal who made the gowns “in due course”. However, Adam Mansell, chief executive of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, which represents most textile manufacturers, said the government had ignored businesses with a record of gown production. Mr Mansell said he sent the government a comprehensive plan for making reusable gowns in Britain in mid-July, but it had “done nothing with it at all”.”

Has the post-Covid future already been decided?

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/08/17/has-the-post-covid-future-already-been-decided/

And the Davos Set is always eager to manage our lives. Elites do what elites do.

Have you heard about the ‘Great Reset’? It’s the World Economic Forum’s new plan to reshape the post-Covid world. It’s top of the agenda at the next conference in Davos. You might not like some of the ideas in it, but they are presented as if they have been decided on your behalf. On the Great Reset website, you are blasted with visions of the apocalypse. Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF, shares his views: ‘Covid-19 has shown us that our old systems are not fit anymore for the 21st century. It has laid bare the fundamental lack of social cohesion, fairness, inclusion and equality. Now is the historical moment, the time, not only to fight the virus but to shape the system for the post-corona era.’ Among those involved are Prince Charles, the secretary general of the United Nations, the managing director of the IMF, the CEOs of Mastercard, BP, the president of Microsoft, an official from the People’s Bank of China, and other global players. And recent UK attendees of Davos are a diverse group. Tony Blair, Sir David Attenborough and Prince William, for example. Greenpeace, the WWF and trade unions regularly cosy up with big oil, bankers and officials from some of the most brutal regimes on the planet. The Great Reset calls on a vast global network – thousands of world leaders from business, politics and civil society. They all share variants of the Davos worldview. And they are supported by a vast income from corporate membership fees. Davos also has a youth wing – the Global Shapers Community. Over 9,655 ‘shapers’ work from 428 ‘hubs’ in 148 different countries.

Analyzing Stay-At-Home Orders 

At Rational Ground we recently released an analysis of stay-at-home orders. Take a look!