COVID-19 Discussion (No Politics)

Good.

AstraZeneca AZN 1.24% PLC said Saturday clinical trials for its experimental coronavirus vaccine have resumed in the U.K. after regulators concluded it was safe to do so, following a pause in studies globally after a person who received the vaccine had an unexplained illness.

Trials in other countries, including the U.S., remain paused while AstraZeneca works with national health authorities, the company said.

AstraZeneca said Tuesday it paused trials globally of a vaccine it licensed from the University of Oxford after a vaccinated woman in the U.K. experienced the unexplained illness, which a U.S. official described as a spinal cord problem.

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Covid19 Update, the weekly wrap.

Here is a series of annotated charts that we have been seeing for months. You know the drill.

  1. What we think we know…

Late week increases in new daily infections ranged from 26,000 to 47,000 and daily reported deaths bumped up to over 1,000 to end the week. Note the huge weekend plus swing in the data reporting. Hard to say that both infections and mortality are in a determined decline. Not the weekend impact, that will come in two weeks, but more like back to school impacts in my opinion.

  1. What we think we know and a look forward

  1. Modeling details…

Labor Day Weekend messed with data collection. Notice the higher daily growth rates in infections, which impacts mortality rates too.

  1. Mortality

Sometime next week the US will have reported its 200,000 death from Covid19. Note the straight across mortality rate (MR) has remained 2.99% for the last four days and its decline is exceptionally slow now. The 6-day lagged MR is also in slow decline, now 3.08%.

You know what to do to help a brotha’ out. Be safe, stay safe.

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A couple of data points:

My 38 year old niece got Covid about 4 months ago, lost some weight - bonus! - and recovered. She started running again, and got to the point where she felt like she was really on top of things and has been pressing on with goals in her life.

This week she had a relapse - fever is back, chills, aches all over, dry cough, etc. Besides being about 25 lbs overweight, she had no health conditions. Hopefully this is a situation where it’s just taking time for the disease to be defeated, but I fear she may be dealing with a chronic situation.

On the “damn to the torpedoes” side of the ledger, Bountiful HS beat their rival Woods Cross at the last second last night, and there was a rush-the-field celebration that was pretty packed (though quite a bit smaller than when the Utes have had similar moments in years past). Hopefully there’s not going to be a related outbreak.

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More information about the positive potential impact of keeping our vitamin D levels high. It’s not hard. On my doctor‘s advice I take a daily multivitamin that provides 125% of the minimum daily requirement for vitamin D. Seems good enough to me.

I did a quick Google search on vitamin D. Here’s what I got:

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take For Optimal Health??

Great find, LA.

In my neck of the woods, researchers have found Vitamin D deficiency is fairly common among melanoma patients, which has led to a bit of a debate among dermatologists about whether we’ve been too aggressive in advising people to stay out of the sun.

Is there some “sweet spot” for getting just a little sun, enough to produce abundant Vit D levels?

Regardless of that debate, Vitamin D is a common deficiency that causes a lot of problems.

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This is maybe a stupid question but does sunblock impede vitamin D absorption (or whatever it is that happens in the sun). I’m not entirely sure how that process works.

I take a D3 supplement daily. Does that help?

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@RockerUte - Yes. Here’s a decent explanation: Could sunscreen cause Vitamin D deficiency? Short answer: Yes - CNN

I haven’t asked our Derms about this issue recently, but the debate is really interesting. I think the consensus is that while fair-skinned people can build up lots of Vit D with very modest amounts of sun exposure, getting any kind of a tan is DNA damage that will result in Basal cell & Squamous cell cancer, over time.

Ironically, it’s not uncommon for dark skinned people to develop Melanoma, even on the soles of their feet, it’s thought because of Vit D deficiency, because they have to be exposed to the sun much longer to produce sufficient levels of Vit D, resulting in immune system deficiency. There’s a variant of Melanoma called Occular Melanoma that gets started through the eyes. A lot of research going on with Melanoma, genetics, etc.

@Newbomb - D3 is definitely good. All three Vit D variants play important roles in bone development & the immune system, weight loss, sleep, etc. It’s kind of a recent “discovery” as a supplement. I think most of the debate is about what the minimum levels should be. It’s fat soluble, so we can store it for decent periods of time. I think Vitamin D is a big reason why winter gets to be so difficult, and life is good in the summer.

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Watching football this weekend, a thought occurred to me.

When the history of this pandemic is written 100 years from now, I imagine that future generations will be entirely baffled at how we were able to dedicate and allocate resources to ensure that sports continued in the midst of it, while simultaneously giving an indifferent shrug in regards to schools.

I have a hard time believing it myself, tbh.

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Going along with this, the way we’ve turned our back on education (access and cost), healthcare, housing, pay/benefits for employees with all the wealth this country has…I don’t think this era in history will be remembered as a good one. It will be more of a “how did people accept this way of life” type of deal.

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On a lighter note…

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It does seem like we’ve lost track of what made this country great. Will we ever get it back?

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Not that it will matter to a large segment of the US population, but…

It comes as increasing evidence suggests that the amount of virus someone is exposed to at the start of infection - the “infectious dose” - may determine the severity of their illness. Indeed, a large study published in the Lancet last month found that “viral load at diagnosis” was an “independent predictor of mortality” in hospital patients.

Wearing masks could therefore reduce the infectious dose that the wearer is exposed to and, subsequently, the impact of the disease, as masks filter out some virus-containing droplets.

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Well…Saturday afternoon I drove down South Temple and there was a pretty big crowd of people demonstrating in front of the governor’s mansion, demanding “no masks.”

Sigh.

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Excerpt:

Inconsistencies and problems with Covid-19 data collection in Texas have clouded the picture of the pandemic’s trajectory in the state, to the point that some residents and officials say they cannot rely on the numbers to tell them what is really going on.

The state has overlooked thousands of cases, only to report them weeks after infection. It has made major adjustments to its case and death counts, defining them one way and then another, suddenly reporting figures for some counties that were vastly different from those posted by the local health department.

“The changing of gears and data reporting at the state has a lot of public health departments feeling a significant case of whiplash,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio said.

The daunting task of reporting coronavirus cases and deaths in real time has strained public health departments across the country. But none have shown more repeated cracks than Texas.

I want to post here the graphic from that great and hopeful article…

Per @LAUte’s note about protestors over mask wearing…all I can say is, “Stupid is as stupid does.” You have got to “love the poorly educated” to quote our Illustrious one. And that is why I wear a N95 mask.

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The mask resistance continues to puzzle me. It’s been pretty interesting some of the studies out there now. Outdoor transmission seems to be pretty negligible, same with well-ventilated areas. See how it spread in a restaurant based off of ventilation was enlightening, and I believe it was mentioned here that an outsized portion of those who are eating in restaurants.

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What stinks about new findings is that people are unwilling to realize that this is all new and as we learn more, we may need to change how we act/think/respond.

This new news of the possible vaccine-like effects on mask wearers is awesome. BUT, if it doesn’t pan out, will people be flexible enough to roll with the punches? People say they want the truth, but when the truth is “I don’t know, let’s try this and adjust if needed” and then their response is “see! It didn’t work! You are FAKE NEWS!”

It just hurts everyone. When did we become so proud of our ignorance?

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It’s been around for a long time. But it really blossomed with the advent of social media. People could find others who would back up their ignorant ideas.

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