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JennyD

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About JennyD

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. Daily new cases ticking back up in Israel, 6 weeks after gradual reopening began and 2 weeks after the school system fully reopened. 36 new cases yesterday, the highest number since early May. It looks like most of the new cases are linked to school outbreaks. Not great. The schools -- and everything else -- were supposed to reopen in a very slow, careful, limited process, but that all got more or less thrown out the window. Part of it was due to the changeover to a new government, but there was also a tremendous rush back to 'normal.' We're heading into a holiday weekend when testing will surely be down and lots of people will be gathering. I guess we'll see what happens.
  2. Good summary of various vaccine candidates.
  3. I agree. Israel also knocked down the daily new case rate to single digits with a lockdown that was much stricter than anything in the US but still not as draconian as what was done in Wuhan. And China did (does?) mandatory centralized quarantine, which by all reports dramatically reduces family transmission rates. (In Israel hotel-based quarantine was optional and AFAIK only available for some cases in especially crowded living situations.) It seems entirely plausible to me that Wuhan had days or weeks of no new cases. Which is why I am so concerned about this apparent discovery of a reservoir of 200+ previously undetected cases. While obviously the Chinese government is not a reliable source of information, I also think that it is very dangerous to decide that we simply cannot learn anything useful about this virus from the news coming out of China.
  4. This doesn't strike me as obviously a lie at all. I'm horrified that this number is so high, actually, considering how strongly they have been trying to stomp the virus out in that city and for how long. This suggests that there are a *lot* of undetected cases even in places that seem to have the epidemic under control right now. Pooled testing is also being used elsewhere and it is supposed to reduce the false positive rate when testing low-incidence populations. These are very worrisome results. I have been somewhat skeptical of Paul Romer's call for mass testing but am starting to think that perhaps he might be right after all.
  5. I posted a link to a news article about this study the other day, but here is an Israeli study that found that 80% of the country's infections were likely caused by 1-10% of infected people, and here is another study finding that 80% of Hong Kong's infections were likely caused by 20% of infected people. Israel update; No deaths since Wednesday, daily new cases have been averaging abut 15 for a while Today was 5. Schools have been gradually opening since mid-April and as of last week they were all up and running again. Kids over 2nd grade have to wear masks and grades are kept separate but classrooms are not socially distanced. There have been a couple of cases of kindergarten teachers or aides testing positive and then a whole class needing to quarantine/get tested, but so far there have not been significant clusters in schools (knock wood). Most other things -- with the major exception of restaurants -- are open again, under limitations. The general mask requirement remains, although people are definitely getting laxer about wearing them. And staying 2 meters away from one another was always a very heavy lift for Israelis, so now that the worst of the crisis is past everyone is reverting to the no-personal-space norm. The weirdest thing to me, immersed as I am in news from the US, is that coronavirus is no longer the leading news story. It has been pushed off by other crises, most notably the PM's corruption trial. Mask-wearing has no political significance here, but from news photos it does appear that somewhere in Israel it is possible to acquire a face mask that says "CRIME MINISTER."
  6. Back in early April or whenever Donald Trump went on television to talk about hydroxychloroquine, the Israeli government immediately purchased an enormous amount of the stuff. Doctors here had been experimenting with malaria drugs on the first seriously ill patients, but the fear was that now that the US president was talking about it all of a sudden there would be a shortage. However, over the last two months Israeli doctors have reportedly moved away from using hydroxychloroquine and apparently millions of doses remain in warehouses. This is a tiny country and for both structural and cultural reasons it's almost impossible to keep a secret here -- if Israeli doctors or researchers believed that any drug was genuinely effective as either prophylaxis or treatment, the whole country would know about it and there would be ferocious pressure to both import said drug and manufacture it domestically. (This is exactly what happened with testing reagents, btw.) Of course, the fact that at the moment Israeli doctors mostly don't believe that hyroxychloroquine is especially useful doesn't mean that it isn't -- they could be completely wrong. But there is just no way that they are lying to the rest of Israel about what they believe. And FWIW, medical care here is very sophisticated and Israel's coronavirus death rate has been one of the lowest in the world. OTOH. there seems to be a fair amount of enthusiasm for remedesvir, placenta-based cell therapy, and (especially) antibody treatments.
  7. I have seen this news reported elsewhere but from the same source. I guess we will learn more in the fullness of time but from what I have read scientists working on therapeutics and vaccines are concluding quite the opposite, that the virus is actually fairly stable. I must say that I am wondering why China is still imposing large-scale lockdowns. Surely by this point they have the capacity to test/trace/isolate more narrowly?
  8. In an alternate universe, one could imagine that a discovery that the virus had escaped from a laboratory might prompt a US-led international effort to cooperate on improved safety standards and procedures in these sorts of laboratories. Much more narrowly, one could also imagine an alternate US administration deciding to re-establish the federal position that -- before it was eliminated last July -- had an American epidemiologist embedded with the Chinese CDC for the purpose of detecting disease outbreaks in China.
  9. Small, preliminary but reassuring study about the spread of the virus (or lack thereof) via surfaces. (Xposted to main thread, and will I update whenever the second set of results is released.)
  10. Small, preliminary but reassuring study about the spread of the virus (or lack thereof) via surfaces. (I will x-post to the scientific research thread and will update whenever the second set of results is released.)
  11. Exposed or actually sick? If exposed, we would do light social distancing in the apartment for two weeks. Exposed person would get their own room, eat separately, use a separate bathroom, and we'd all wear masks inside for the duration. If anyone in the house ever shows any symptoms of Covid, that person goes into isolation in the master bedroom and we'll seek medical help right away. The death rate where we are (not the US) is very low so whatever they are doing seems to be working. They are doing contact tracing here so our contacts would be notified but I would certainly do that myself right away, too, just to make sure. I saw an interview with an emergency room doctor here who strongly recommended lying on your stomach and trying to shift position frequently. I see that hydroxychloroquine is still in the US news a lot but AFAIK it's not being used much here any more. They are experimenting with other therapeutics.
  12. Interesting article about the origins of coronavirus in Israel. Genomic sequencing suggests that (1) the US was by far the main source of infections despite accounting for only 30% of arrivals during the crisis, and (2) a small number of superspreaders were responsible for most infections.
  13. IME this works great. I ripped up a large scarf I had to make several of these but you could use any piece of fabric of the approximate size.
  14. Good grief, Carrie, that's a terrible list. I am so sorry about your grandmother. I have two friends who were confirmed to have it, both have recovered. A friend of a friend is also positive but is so far doing OK. My son's friend's grandfather died as did the grandfather of one of DH's students. A good friend of DH's has symptoms and is awaiting a test.
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