COVID-19 Update

Coronavirus info and quantification:

ADDED 3/15/22: COVID-19 cases may surge again in the United States if wastewater testing proves to be a reliable predictor. ABC News reported that 37% of wastewater sites monitored by the CDC from Feb. 24-March 10 have seen an increase of 100% or more in COVID-19 viral levels found in the wastewater. About 30% of those sites showed an increase of 1,000% or more. “It is likely we will see a new rise in cases across the United States as our wastewater data is showing a concerning signal,” Rebecca Weintraub, assistant professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, told ABC News.

ADDED 12/19/21: Most of the World’s Vaccines Likely Won’t Prevent Infection From Omicron.” “All vaccines still seem to provide a significant degree of protection against serious illness from Omicron, which is the most crucial goal. But only the Pfizer and Moderna shots, when reinforced by a booster, appear to have initial success at stopping infections, and these vaccines are unavailable in most of the world.”

ADDED 12/2/21: “Population-level evidence suggests that the Omicron variant is associated with substantial ability to evade immunity from prior infection.” South Africa has the world’s fastest-growing caseload, though the figures are small compared to those in many other countries. In the first half of November, it was averaging about 260 reported new cases a day. On Tuesday, the figure was over 4,300, the highest in months. It jumped to more than 8,600 on Wednesday, and to more than 11,500 on Thursday.

ADDED 11/26/21: “Scientists in South Africa on Thursday identified a concerning new coronavirus variant with mutations that one scientist said marked a ‘big jump in evolution,’ prompting several countries to quickly limit travel from the region.”

ADDED 11/18/21: The journal Science has published an analysis suggesting that the Wuhan market and infected animals seem to be the likely source of COVID-19, as was originally suspected. They have, however, identified a likely new zoological culprit – not bats or pangolins, but “raccoon dogs.”

“Most early symptomatic cases were linked to Hunan Market — specifically to the western section (1) where raccoon dogs were caged (2) provides strong evidence of a live-animal market origin of the pandemic.”

ADDED 11/13/21: COVID-19 is widespread and asymptomatic in non-human species. Preliminary evidence suggests that transmission from some non-human species to human, with intervening mutations, is possible. That means the disease could circulate and mutate among the animals, then get passed back to humans in another previously unseen variant.

ADDED 11/9/21: The partisan gap in Covid’s death toll has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point.”

ADDED 11/4/21: Pfizer says its Covid pill with HIV drug cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%.”

ADDED 10/6/21: Idaho did a systematic study of the relationship between vaccines and COVID. 89% of cases, 90% of hospitalizations and 88% of deaths were not fully vaccinated.

ADDED 7/23/21: Variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are now responsible for all cases in the United States. The original strain is no longer detected among variants circulating throughout the country.”

ADDED 7/12/21: 97% of all Covid-19 hospitalizations in the United States, and 99% of deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.

ADDED 7/11/21: Delta spreads 225% faster than original virus

ADDED 5/31/21: COVID-19 cases and deaths are way down from the December-February peak, but the rate of infection is the same as it was in December for the unvaccinated.

ADDED 3/25/21: India reports novel COVID-19 variant, daily deaths at year’s high. “New ‘double mutant variant’ detected, says health ministry amid concerns over highest single-day tally of new infections and deaths.”

ADDED 3/20/21: Europe has fallen far behind the USA and UK in vaccinations. Where did they go wrong? This is something President Trump’s administration got right. “The bloc shopped for vaccines like a customer. The United States basically went into business with the drugmakers, spending much more heavily to accelerate vaccine development, testing and production.”

ADDED 1/27/21: The new strain in Brazil is not only more transmissible than the original strain, but it is also more severe. Worse still, people who have had the first strain don’t seem to be immune to the new one!

ADDED 12/11: FDA authorizes the first coronavirus vaccine

ADDED 11/15/20: Doctors Are Calling It Quits Under Stress of the Pandemic. Another horrible irony of the pandemic – as we need more doctors, we have fewer. “About 8 percent of the doctors reported closing their offices in recent months, which the foundation estimated could equal some 16,000 practices. Another 4 percent said they planned to shutter within the next year.”

ADDED 10/19/20: China becomes the first major economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

ADDED 10/14/20: Proposal to let coronavirus spread naturally through US population interests White House and alarms medical establishment.” The math surrounding that strategy is terrifying. Scientists say that herd immunity requires about 2/3 of the population to have the antibodies. That’s 220 million people. In the USA in recent months, about 1.4% of the people who get the virus do not survive it. In other words, achieving herd immunity without a vaccine will require about three million Americans to die … and that’s IF IT WORKS!

ADDED 10/8/20: Infections fell 75% after mask mandates and bar closures in Arizona, study shows

ADDED 7/15/20: President Trump says the U.S. would have half the number of coronavirus cases if it did half the testing.

UPDATED 6/19/20: This can’t be good: “The antibodies our bodies develop against COVID-19 can fade away in just two to three months.”

ADDED 5/21/20: Black Americans are dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people

UPDATED 5/9/20: In a bizarre irony, hospitals are making mass lay-offs in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The institutions are suffering financially because they have had to eliminate all the most profitable parts of their business in order to treat corona victims. In all, 1.4 million health care workers lost their jobs in April, 135,000 of those in hospitals.

ADDED 3/28/20: The data reveal that covid-19 is much more dangerous for men. The data are consistent from country to country.

March 9, 2020:

The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant. Surgeon General, “The risk is low to the average American.”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

March 4, 2020: A lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild. They will get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor.”

Feb 26, 2020: “We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, even going to work. Some of them go to work, but they get better.”

Feb 26, 2020: We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time..”

Feb 26, 2020: We’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up..”

Feb 26, 2020: The 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

Feb 25, 2020:

Feb 24, 2020:

The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

The Dow was at 27,960 that day. One month later it was at 18,592.

Jan 24, 2020:

China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Jan 22, 2020: We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”