Covid-19 News

  • Medicinal cannabis may play a significant role during COVID-19…e-during-covid-19/103093/

    In analyses of COVID-19 there has been a significant degree of interest in the phenomenon of cytokine storm syndrome, wherein too many cytokine proteins are released in the body: these proteins can attack the lungs and overwhelm the immune system with hyperinflammation. Early evidence has tentatively indicated that CBD and THC may be beneficial in the treatment of patients whose bodies’ inflammatory response has become pathogenic.

    I like this, I'm checking on jack daniels next, slow news day

  • Take it on a case by case basis, state by state, country by country, or culture by culture, then I may be.

    All of the data shows a large difference between red and blue states, and red and blue districts. It is undeniable. Furthermore, the president, various governors, and members of Congress have made very clear statements, again and again, saying they are opposed to wearing masks, or mandating them, or social distancing, or closing businesses. The governor of Georgia forbid mandates and forced businesses and employees to reopen, or lose unemployment compensation. These policies were opposed by every major public health expert and organization.

    Public opinion polls show very clearly that many GOP voters oppose wearing masks, whereas nearly all Democrats support them. Photos of GOP gatherings all show many people not wearing masks. In one case, they showed a politician "body surfing" a week or so before the election! That would be inconceivable in any sort of Democratic gathering. Every member of the party would be outraged. There is a gigantic difference of opinion between the parties on this issue. As there is regarding many other issues, such as Obamacare and global warming. That is not to say no individual Republican supports Obamacare, but taken as a group, a large majority of Republicans oppose it, whereas most Democrats support it. That is a fact. It is not disputed or controversial.

    Hard to be objective when starting from a political bias.

    There is no bias. The GOP leaders themselves state emphatically that they are opposed to the recommendations made by public health experts. Trump tweeted we should "LIBERATE" states from public health measures, and Kushner bragged that Trump was taking the country "back from the doctors."…avirus-doctors/index.html

    If the GOP leaders themselves denied this, you might have a point. They don't deny anything. On the contrary, they brag about putting the economy ahead of public health recommendations. Some have said we may need to sacrifice old people to prop up the stock market. I think they are mistaken, because the economy will not recover unless the pandemic is first controlled, but there is no doubt they think we have to chose one or the other, and they choose the economy. (As I said, I think it is a false choice; you can only have both, not one or the other.)

  • “In Japan, more people died from suicide last month than from Covid in all of 2020. And women have been impacted most”

    This publication is the Bible of “Group Think Blue”, even Jed has to believe this.

    I believe it is bad statistics. An exaggeration based only one month of data. Yes, there has been an increase. Yes, there are mass media reports in Japan of suicides caused by COVID-19. People are taking the problem seriously, as they should. However, the effect is small. The number of suicides is still lower than it was 10 years ago, and much lower than it was decades ago. Public health efforts, government policies, and movements by churches and other private organization have reduced the suicide rate considerably. COVID has caused a setback, but it is not catastrophic.

    The fact that more people died of suicide than COVID means absolutely nothing. The comparison is absurd. More people in Japan died from automobile accidents than COVID this year, too. Does that mean there is a sudden crisis in automobile accidents? No, it means they need to continue to improve auto safety, reduce drunken driving, and continue developing self-driving cars.

  • An exaggeration based only one month of data.

    I still wonder where you are getting your claimed "facts". It is like you don't ever read what we point out and try to set your views up as "expert" and ignore the numbers.

    Suicides in Japan rose for the fourth month in a row, according to police data. After the four month run up to October, the number of suicides are now at the highest level in the country in over five years.…ated-economic-woes-342143

    It is almost like you only look at things that support your mind set and forget the facts and what the "experts" say.

    Experts say this alarming spike is being partially driven by women, who often work in industries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic…om-covid-in-2020/8359064/…ated-economic-woes-342143

    Suicide spike in Japan shows mental health toll of COVID-19

    Oh I guess I should give up.... it is like talking to a blue one-sided wall.

  • I still wonder where you are getting your claimed "facts". It is like you don't ever read what we point out and try to set your views up as "expert" and ignore the numbers.

    The numbers are right there in the article! Right in front of you. It says:

    Reuters reported that preliminary police data showed that the total number of suicides had increased to 2,153 for October. This marks an increase of over 300 from the previous month. Additionally, it represents the highest number of suicides in the country since May 2015.

    That's bad, but on the other hand, May 2015 was lower than 2010, 2000, and much lower than 1980. The trend has been going down. There has been a setback. It is regrettable, perhaps inevitable, but it is not catastrophic.

    The trend is here:

  • silly for you to single out a single month and say it was all based on one month when I gave you a link and placed fourth month in bold. Try reading

    Suicides in Japan rose for the fourth month in a row, according to police data. After the four month run up to October, the number of suicides are now at the highest level in the country in over five years.…ated-economic-woes-342143

    You might even try reading articles by Japanese suicide help lines.

    But then there is no use trying to educate some that that will not listen.

  • Why COVID-19 is less prevalent in Africa than the US – Study…ca-than-the-us-study.html

    The study reveals that prior exposure to common human coronaviruses may be the reason behind the low susceptibility of sub-Saharan African populations to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    In contrast, a significantly lower prevalence of cross-reactive anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Americans indicates their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

  • Long Haulers: The Continuing Casualties of COVID-19…nuing-casualties-covid-19

    Insight can be drawn from studies on the SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, despite its impact being far smaller than its modern cousin’s. There were a little over 8,000 cases globally during the 2002–03 outbreak, 774 of which resulted in death.2 In one study Scheppke reviewed, nearly 27% of a group of 369 survivors of SARS-CoV-1 developed chronic fatigue syndrome, and 40% still exhibited other symptoms years after infection. It’s critical to educate the public so people understand catching this virus isn’t a way to get it over with, because even if it doesn’t kill you, it may leave you disabled, potentially for months, if not years, says Scheppke.

  • Re COVID death vs suicide death in Japan.

    it is interesting: I guess japan is an outlier where suicide is more of a societal norm than other countries - one might expect the increase in response to stress to be higher there.

    We do not know exactly how large are the mental health effects of lockdown - we should be concerned about that and factor it into political decisions.

    We do know what are the health effects of COVID: 0.5% die. Some percentage (not yet quantified) have life quality reduced by long-term disability.

    Anyway, with 6 months for many countries enough vaccine will have been administered that everyone at high risk (or who things they are at high risk) can have one. Then we are over this. I guess governments will use a different benchmark for when they unlock : they will ask when will their health systems be able to cope?

    Whether from a utilitarian point of view lockdown is good or bad, politically it is hospitals no longer working and people left to die in streets or homes that forces lockdown.

    I doubt myself that suicide swings that balance away from lockdown. However long-term effects on education and the economy might possibly do that. the pro-lockdown argument is that if you don't do it the infection rate increase and people become so scared the economy suffers anyway, and of course you lose 1% of your senior staff in productive industries.

    Of course if countries were wise and used the economic hit as a way to easily do some of the necessary economic transition needed as we go towards a low carbon future the economic effect is less. But I have no expectation that politicians are able to take such an enlightened long-term view, nor that a population used to instant gratification and regular sun&sand holidays in foreign countries would tolerate it alas.

  • Suicides in Japan rose for the fourth month in a row, according to police data. After the four month run up to October, the number of suicides are now at the highest level in the country in over five years.…ated-economic-woes-342143

    Okay, so the headline should be:

    Mild increase in suicides due to COVID-19

    Levels still much lower than historic norms

    Drowning in bathtubs kills 4 times more people than COVID-19

    That puts things in perspective. The articles you cite are alarmist. They say that more people have died from suicide than COVID-19. That's true, but COVID has killed very few people; suicides always kill more than COVID has killed so far; and drowning in bathtubs kills more than both. See:

  • It’s critical to educate the public so people understand catching this virus isn’t a way to get it over with, because even if it doesn’t kill you, it may leave you disabled, potentially for months, if not years, says Scheppke.

    Needless to say, when it causes strokes or amputations, the effects last a lifetime. No one knows yet whether the other effects will last for years or for a lifetime with some patients.

  • COVID-19 outpatients: early risk-stratified treatment with zinc plus low-dose hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin: a retrospective case series study…cle/pii/S0924857920304258


    First COVID-19 outpatient study based on risk stratification and early antiviral treatment at the beginning of the disease.

    Low-dose hydroxychloroquine combined with zinc and azithromycin was an effective therapeutic approach against COVID-19.

    Significantly reduced hospitalisation rates in the treatment group.

    Reduced mortality rates in the treatment group

    • Official Post

    A new study of a UK government-backed antibody test that establishes whether a person has ever had Covid-19 doesn’t perform as well as its developer’s claim, a study has found. The government now faces legal proceedings for failing to evaluate evidence of the test’s accuracy, as well as for awarding a £75 million contract without open tender.

    The AbC-19 test detects IgG antibodies to Sars-CoV-2 spike proteins from a drop of blood. Based on lateral flow detection technology, it takes around 20 minutes to get a result. The York-based company behind the test is Abingdon Health, part of the UK Rapid Testing Consortium (UK RTC) that was assembled in April.

    Abingdon says an ‘extensive validation study’ found the test to have 97.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Sensitivity is a measure, in this case, of the test’s ability to correctly identify those with the antibody of interest, while specificity is the correct identification of those without the antibody. The Ulster University study is a preprint, meaning it has not been peer reviewed yet, and was funded by RTC members. It involved tests on around 1000 samples with a known infection status.

    However, the new Public Health England (PHE) study used larger sample numbers taken from key workers, where it was mostly unknown whether they had been infected or not. When using known positive and negative samples, the study found the test to have 92.5% sensitivity and 97.9% specificity. These rates fell when unknown samples were tested. ‘If one million key workers were tested with AbC-19 and 10% had been previously infected, the probability that a positive result was correct would be 81.7%,’ the authors write. So in a typical real-world setting, it would miss around one in five cases.

    ‘One reason why the researchers in the new study got lower estimates of sensitivity and specificity than those in the previous study is “spectrum bias”,’ explains Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics, The Open University. ‘In this particular context, it seems to have arisen because the researchers on the previous study perhaps didn’t test enough borderline cases – that is, people in which the level of the substance measured in the test is close to the cut-off value that distinguishes the positive test results from the negative ones.’ This could make the test appear more accurate than it actually is.

    According to leaked emails seen by the Good Law Project, a non-profit legal organisation, and the British Medical Journal, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) knew about the PHE findings in October, when it confirmed a £75 million contract to Abingdon for one million tests for surveillance studies. But the DHSC decided not to reveal the findings even though PHE staff warned of the ‘significant risks’ of not publishing the results.

    The Good Law Project claims the government acted unlawfully. ‘The £75 million contract was awarded without competition and on the basis of profoundly flawed research,’ the organisation said. ‘When confronted with evidence of the flaws, the government blocked PHE from publishing the findings until after they could make the announcement that they had purchased one million antibody tests.’

    The DHSC denies blocking publication. ‘This robust evaluation was carried out by PHE at the department’s request before any purchase was made, and PHE approved the test for use in surveillance studies,’ the DHSC said in a statement ‘Due to the urgency of the situation there was no time to run an accelerated procurement under the open, restricted or competitive procedures as there was an urgent requirement to ensure provision of diagnostic equipment.’

    ‘At a time when reliable, effective testing is vital, and the government is proposing to spend millions on novel tests, it is hugely important that independent assessment is available prior to purchasing,’ comments Sylvia Richardson, Royal Statistical Society president-elect. ‘More transparency would help the government implement a cost-effective testing strategy.’

    Conway is also concerned about the potential of false positives in a community setting when hundreds of thousands of people are tested. ‘The implications could be serious if someone is going to consider people who tested positive as being, temporarily at least, immune from further infections.’


    R Mulchandani et al, BMJ, 2020, 371, m4262 (DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m4262)…nity-test/4012797.article

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