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New Republican Lie About SARS-COV-2: It’s the Democrat’s Fault for Impeaching [redacted]

2020-03-31

(image courtesy of pixabay.com and Ri_Ya)

Das Coronavirus Update– if you speak German, this is where to hear the newest information from Christian Drosten, virologist. On Nord-Deutsche Radio.

2020-03-31

(image courtesy of pixabay.com and Ri_Ya)

Officials in US considering advising face masks to all people who go out in public– where will they get these items of apparel? I am in favor of this “innovation”.

2020-03-31

(photo/image courtesy of pixabay.com and Ri_Ya)

The need is apparent for all people, not just those who are ill, to wear facemasks in public.  The only question is where they will come from.  I have seen news accounts of home-made masks being produced by, dare I say it, entrepreneurs.  These would appear to be ideal for the general public rather than medical providers, since they don’t look standard and may not be particularly effective.

The original purpose of facemasks, as I see it, was to prevent a surgeon and his (in the old days, they were almost all male) assistants from contaminating the surgical incision and the patient’s insides with bacteria-laden spittle, beard hairs, and the like.  They seem to have been highly effective as the surgical infection rate has been very low for many years.  So why won’t they work for the general public?

The authorities may be fearful of people de-identifying themselves.  Just a thought.

This (wearing masks) has been done in Asia for years already and doesn’t provoke any second glances in places like Hong Kong and Tokyo.  They are doing it in Europe.  It is time we started doing it too.

What will happen to the newspapers? Why are some hospitals threatening their employees if they speak out? And other questions.

2020-03-31

(Cat (Olive Oyl) looking in window.  Wants to know when is dinnertime?)

A few questions I have after reading news reports on my iPhone ($30 a month, is it worth it to spend 4 hr a day reading the news?)…

First, what will happen to the newspapers?  Advertising revenue has dried out, leaving those with subscription services like NYT as the only ones with any money coming in.  Free newspapers are dead; no ventilators available to these once frequented hard copy sources.  Local newspapers have been dying for years because of the shifts in revenue and aging out of those who like to read the paper with their morning coffee.

Second, where do some hospitals and those who own them come off telling employees that they can’t talk to reporters or make posts on Faceplant?  Haven’t they heard of the First Amendment or are they just closet fascists?  What is the difference between a capitalist and a closet fascist?  Don’t they know that healthcare employees are much in demand right now, and if someone gets fired they can sue (someone has already)?  Raising privacy issues is a non-starter– these people are not identifying or discussing individual patients.  Their real objection is that they don’t want people to know that the medical system is under extreme stress and that personal protective equipment is in such short supply, there are none available for the general public.

I know you already have the answers to these questions.  So do I, that is, I mean, these questions are rhetorical.  Enough speculation, time to gather more data.

Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone” (Thanks to Michael Gerson of WaPo for this quote)

2020-03-31

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com and Ri_Ya)

Science magazine: studies to determine which patients are most genetically susceptible to the novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2 are rushing ahead

2020-03-31

(image courtesy of pixabay.com and TheDigitalArtist)

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that an article in Science magazine (paywall, sorry) details current efforts to find out which people are most genetically susceptible to severe infections with the novel coronavirus.

Research efforts include looking at variations in gene coding for the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), an enzyme on the outer surface of cells, that could affect how easily the coronavirus can enter targeted cells, as well as differences in the human leucocyte [sic] antigen genes that influence how the immune system responds to viruses, according to a report in Science magazine.

Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the University of Helsinki’s Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, has led the International Covid-19 Host Genetics Initiative to gather genetic data from patients. The team compares patients with mild infections to those with severe cases. He said he expected the first susceptibility genes to be identified within a few months.

So far, we have found that those with Type A blood are more susceptible than those with Type O, according to another SCMP article.  Type O is found in an average of 33% of people in the world, with type A at 25% and B at 27%.  Only 6.5% have type AB.  Chile, with type O at 86%, and Peru with 70%, are outliers in the world spectrum.  Japan has about 40% type A.  (Figures from babymed.com)

The fact that almost a third of infections are asymptomatic is surely a coincidence, despite the nearly identical 1/3 prevalence of type O across the world.

A rumor has been floating around that the high use of chloroquine for malaria prophylaxis in Africa has conferred protection from the pandemic there.  This is dubious because the virus simply hasn’t found its way to Africa yet.  Don’t believe anything you read that has not been adequately evaluated with a skeptical eye.

Pangolins are not the immediate source of the SARS-COV-2, but harbor closely related viruses: Nature

2020-03-31

(image courtesy of pixabay.com and TheDigitalArtist)

A report in the March 26 issue of Nature argues that pangolin viruses are not the immediate predecessors of the novel coronavirus currently sweeping the world.  Pangolins confiscated as part of a sweep of illegal smuggling in southern China were found to harbor several closely related viruses, but not the one we are facing now.  Particularly closely related forms of the spike protein that the virus uses to attach to and enter human respiratory epithelial cells (those lining the surface in the nose, throat, and bronchi) were found, but none that are an exact match.  Bats remain the animals with the most closely related viruses to SARS-COV-2.