Covid-19 News Info https://covid-19newssite.com Latest Covid-19 Articles, Coronavirus News and Stats Tue, 24 Nov 2020 01:35:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 175596917 What do Nevada’s new COVID-19 restrictions mean for Las Vegas? Here’s what you need to know https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/24/what-do-nevadas-new-covid-19-restrictions-mean-for-las-vegas-heres-what-you-need-to-know/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/24/what-do-nevadas-new-covid-19-restrictions-mean-for-las-vegas-heres-what-you-need-to-know/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2020 01:34:53 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/24/what-do-nevadas-new-covid-19-restrictions-mean-for-las-vegas-heres-what-you-need-to-know/ LAS VEGAS – The surge of COVID-19 in Nevada is now at “wildfire levels,” and new statewide restrictions that start Tuesday will impact travelers visiting this gambling and entertainment destination.

“We are on a rapid trajectory that threatens to overwhelm our health care system, our frontline health workers, and your access to care,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Sunday. “So it’s time to act.”

What does the new “statewide pause” mean for vacationers visiting The Strip? The Reno Gazette Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, put together a handy guide for what travelers need to know about the new restrictions.

When do the new Nevada COVID-19 restrictions start?

They start at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

How long will they last?

The will be in place for three weeks, according to Sisolak.

Will they impact my plans at Las Vegas hotels and casinos?

They could. The biggest change tourists will experience inside resorts is a limit on the number of people allowed inside. The following places must reduce their capacity to 25%:

How will the restrictions be enforced at resorts?

The state is in constant contact with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Sisolak said.

“I had conversations with most of our gaming operators in the past 24 hours,” Sisolak said. “I can assure you that the full force of the Nevada Gaming Control Board will be behind the implementation and the enforcement of these 25% requirements, and if they don’t follow them, they will suffer the consequences as delineated but the gaming control board.”

Those capacity restrictions also apply to restaurants and bars.

Can I still walk into a Nevada restaurant?

Not without a reservation.

The statewide pause will affect all restaurants, fast food places and bars that serve food in the following ways:

Reservations are now required.

Capacity will be reduced from 50% to 25%.

No more than four customers can be at a table.

“I know the majority of our bars and restaurants are doing their best, but these settings are proven to be high risk because they allow the opportunity for people to remove their face coverings in indoor settings around people outside of their household,” Sisolak said. “That’s how the virus spreads.”

Story continues

Are there limitations on private gatherings, including Thanksgiving?

Starting Tuesday the following will apply to private gatherings – likely cutting into many Thanksgiving dinner party plans:

What about public gatherings?

The following limits will be in place for public gatherings:

Capacity must be reduced from 250 to 50 people, or 25% of fire code capacity, whichever is smaller. That includes at churches.

Are there any changes to the mask mandate?

Yes, the mandate has been expanded.

Masks are required at any time you are around someone not part of your immediate household, including during private gatherings inside and outside.

What isn’t affected by the new restrictions?

The three-week restrictions do not apply or change Nevada’s current health and safety protocols, such as capacity limitations for:

K-12 schools

community and recreation centers

retail stores

barbershops

hair and nail salons

body art or piercing establishments

massage and spa establishments

medicinal or recreational cannabis dispensaries

Contributing: Joe Jacquez, Reno Gazette Journal.

Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network.

This article originally appeared on Reno Gazette Journal: Las Vegas COVID-19 restrictions: What to know about Nevada’s new rules



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/24/what-do-nevadas-new-covid-19-restrictions-mean-for-las-vegas-heres-what-you-need-to-know/feed/ 0 14620
Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is at least 70 percent effective in late-stage trial https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/24/oxford-astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-is-at-least-70-percent-effective-in-late-stage-trial/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/24/oxford-astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-is-at-least-70-percent-effective-in-late-stage-trial/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2020 00:30:54 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/24/oxford-astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-is-at-least-70-percent-effective-in-late-stage-trial/ The Conversation

China beat the coronavirus with science and strong public health measures, not just with authoritarianism

I live in a democracy. But as Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself longing for the type of freedom I am seeing in China. People in China are able to move around freely right now. Many Americans may believe that the Chinese are able to enjoy this freedom because of China’s authoritarian regime. As a scholar of public health in China, I think the answers go beyond that.My research suggests that the control of the virus in China is not the result of authoritarian policy, but of a national prioritization of health. China learned a tough lesson with SARS, the first coronavirus pandemic of the 21st century. How China flattened its curveBarely less than a year ago, a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, with 80,000 cases identified within three months, killing 3,000 people. In late January 2020, the Chinese government decided to lock down this city of 11 million people. All transportation to and from the city was stopped. Officials further locked down several other cities in Hubei Province, eventually quarantining over 50 million people.By the beginning of April, the Chinese government limited the spread of the virus to the point where they felt comfortable opening up Wuhan once again. Seven months later, China has confirmed 9,100 additional cases and recorded 1,407 more deaths due to the coronavirus. People in China travel, eat in restaurants and go into theaters, and kids go to school without much concern for their health. Juxtapose that to what we are experiencing in the U.S. To date, we have confirmed over 11 million cases, with the last 1 million recorded in just the last one week alone. In September and October, friends from China sent me pictures of food from all over the country as they traveled around to visit friends and family for the mid-autumn festival and then the seven-day National Day vacation week. I envied them then and envy them even more now as Americans prepare and wonder how we will celebrate Thanksgiving this year. What China learned from SARSWe Americans are told that the freedoms Chinese now enjoy come at the expense of being subject to a set of draconian public health policies that can be instituted only by an authoritarian government. But they also have the experience of living through a similar epidemic.SARS broke out in November of 2002 and ended in May of 2003, and China was anything but prepared for its emergence. It didn’t have the public health infrastructure in place to detect or control such a disease, and initially decided to prioritize politics and economy over health by covering up the epidemic. This didn’t work with such a virulent disease that started spreading around the world. After being forced to come to terms with SARS, China’s leaders eventually did enforce quarantine in Beijing and canceled the week-long May Day holiday of 2003. This helped to end the pandemic within a few short months, with minimal impact. SARS infected approximately 8,000 worldwide and killed about 800, 65% of which occurred in China and Hong Kong. The Chinese government learned from SARS the important role public health plays in protecting the nation. Following SARS, the government improved training of public health professionals and developed one of the most sophisticated disease surveillance systems in the world. While caught off guard for this next big coronavirus outbreak in December 2019, the country quickly mobilized its resources to bring the epidemic almost to a halt inside its borders within three months. What can the US learn from China?Knowing that there were no safe or proven treatments or an effective vaccine, China relied on proven nonpharmaceutical interventions to conquer the epidemic. First and foremost was containing the virus through controlling the sources of infection and blocking transmission. This was accomplished through early detection (testing), isolation, treatment and tracing the close contacts of any infected individual. This strategy was aided by the three field hospitals (fancang) the government built to isolate patients with mild to moderate symptoms from their families. Strict quarantine measures were also central to preventing the spread of this epidemic, as it was with the SARS epidemic in 2003. This was paired with compulsory mask-wearing, promotion of personal hygiene (hand-washing, home disinfection, ventilation), self-monitoring of body temperature, universal compulsory stay-at-home orders for all residents, and universal symptom surveys conducted by community workers and volunteers. What else could the US have done to be prepared?SARS exposed serious weaknesses in China’s public health system and prompted its government to reinvent its public health system. COVID-19 has exposed similar shortcomings in the U.S. public health system. To date, however, the current administration has taken the exact opposite approach, devastating our public health system. The Trump administration made major cuts to the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The last budget submitted by the Trump administration in February 2020, as the pandemic was beginning, called for an additional reduction of US$693 million to the CDC budget. This affected our ability to prepare for a pandemic outbreak. In the past, this preparation included international partnerships to help detect disease before it reached our shores. For example, the CDC built up partnerships with China following the SARS epidemic, to help contain the emergence of infectious disease coming from the region. At one point the CDC had 10 American experts working on the ground in China and 40 local Chinese staff, who mostly concentrated on infectious disease. Trump started slashing these positions shortly after taking office, and by the time COVID-19 broke out, those programs were whittled down to a skeleton staff of one or two. [Research into coronavirus and other news from science Subscribe to The Conversation’s new science newsletter.]The Declaration of Alma Ata guaranteed health for all, and not just health for people governed under a specific type of bureaucratic system. The U.S. has been, and can be, just as dedicated to protecting the health of its people as China under its authoritarian government. We demonstrated this during the Ebola epidemic, with the launch of a whole government effort coordinated by Ron Klain, who has been appointed White House chief of staff under President-elect Biden.This effort, which included a coordinated response with both African nations and China, improved preparedness within the U.S. and ultimately helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. A reduction in funding for our public health infrastructure, under the Trump administration, was a divestment in the health of the American people and should not have happened. A new administration that places public health at the helm, once again, will I hope prove to us that health is not just something that can be protected under an authoritarian government, but is in fact a right for all.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Elanah Uretsky, Brandeis University.Read more: * Poor US pandemic response will reverberate in health care politics for years, health scholars warn * Experts agree that Trump’s coronavirus response was poor, but the US was ill-prepared in the first placeElanah Uretsky does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/24/oxford-astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-is-at-least-70-percent-effective-in-late-stage-trial/feed/ 0 14617
Confrontation at German coronavirus protest goes viral https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/confrontation-at-german-coronavirus-protest-goes-viral/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/confrontation-at-german-coronavirus-protest-goes-viral/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 23:30:25 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/confrontation-at-german-coronavirus-protest-goes-viral/ The Daily Beast

This Gun Coffee Brand Was MAGA Royalty. Then It Turned on Kyle Rittenhouse.

The far right thought it had found the ideal breakfast beverage company. Then it took a big sip of Black Rifle Coffee and checked the news.For years, Black Rifle Coffee Company has been at the vanguard of an emerging conservative coffee movement. Customers can start their day with a “Thin Blue Line” Keurig cup, or wind down with a nice mug of “Combat Cocoa.” This isn’t coffee for WIMPS and CIVILIANS, the company’s branding implies; it’s TACTICAL CAFFEINATION for OPERATORS.But not even that branding has been enough to save BRCC from attacks by its far-right former fans, who accuse the company of being inadequately militant because it declined to sponsor a teenager accused of murdering Black Lives Matter protesters.‘All Combat Takes Place at Night’: Kyle Rittenhouse’s Lawyer Urges Trump Fans to ‘Dust Off’ Gun RightsBRCC’s trouble began shortly after accused murderer Kyle Rittenhouse was bailed out of jail last week. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three people (two of them fatally) at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin earlier this year. Rittenhouse, 17, became a hero of the militant far right, especially of groups like the Proud Boys that openly lust for violence against the left.Shortly after supporters posted Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail, the host of a conservative podcast that partners with BRCC tweeted a picture of Rittenhouse in a BRCC shirt. The picture, plus its caption (“Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America”) led viewers to believe BRCC was partnering with Rittenhouse.That wasn’t the case, BRCC clarified this weekend. In a video, the company’s CEO Evan Hafer stated that BRCC had not and would not sponsor Rittenhouse.“We’re not in the business of profiting from tragedy,” the CEO of the gun-themed coffee company said. “We’re not in the business of profiting from this event. We have zero interest in collecting one dollar from any of this. It is ethically inappropriate for us to do so, or even give the perception [of profiting].”That would be an uncontroversial statement from virtually any other CEO. But not, apparently, from a leader in the world of conservative coffee. Hafer’s statement prompted a hypercaffeinated meltdown from portions of the right, which castigated BRCC as traitors.> Lmfao, reactionaries are turning on Black Riffle Coffee because BRC doesn’t want their product associated with Kyle Rittenhouse pic.twitter.com/cNOBz70Flf> > — Rational Disconnect (@RationalDis) November 23, 2020Far-right internet personalities like blogger Cassandra Fairbanks formally “disavowed” BRCC—in doing so, taking a break from accusing the left of being censorious. Others accused BRCC of just exploiting the right for profit.“Civilians are just cash cows to you, so you and your veteran buddies can get rich,” one prominent white supremacist account railed at Hafer. The Proud Boys, a far-right paramilitary group that has championed Rittenhouse, accused BRCC of trying to market to “genderless college students,” and photoshopped the BRCC logo to look like it supported Black Lives Matter (which, in Proud Boys parlance, is intended as an insult).On Parler, a social media platform popular among the far right, supposed ex-BRCC fans flooded the company’s page with insults. “Boycott these liberals and every brand associated with them,” commented a user, whose profile picture was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg photoshopped to look like a Nazi.“Turns out Black Rifle Coffee Is deep state…🤣😂🤣,” another former fan wrote on BRCC’s Parler page. “My husband is pissed…he said his election was stolen away by Democrats, and then his coffee!”“And just like that you have to change your name to LGBTQ snowflake coffee,” a third wrote. “Never will drink your coffee.”Parler users became so incensed they started searching the Federal Election Commission site for Hafer’s political contributions, which revealed that he’d donated $500 to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat. (Gabbard, who has served in the military like Hafer, saw some support from a fringe of far-right personalities during her 2020 presidential campaign.)The accusations were a stunning reversal in fortune for BRCC, which, for years, has positioned itself as the go-to coffee for conservative gun fans. “I want people who voted for Trump to know that there is another option for you,” Hafer said in a 2017 interview. “[Starbucks’ then-CEO] Howard Schultz doesn’t want your business. I do. I’ll be proud to take it.”When Starbucks announced a plan to hire 10,000 refugees in 2017, BRCC shared a meme that photoshopped Starbucks cups onto ISIS fighters. “Starbucks vows to hire 10,000 refugees,” the meme read, followed by a picture of U.S. troops with the caption “Black Rifle Coffee Company vows to hire 10,000 veterans.”BRCC might have been the most popular conservative-aligned coffee brand–but it wasn’t the only one. Other right-wing coffee companies, including those with similar military branding, launched around the same time, many of them in response to the perceived liberalism of brands like Starbucks.At least two conservative coffee shops opened this February alone. One, Covfefe Coffee and Gifts in Maine, sells brews named after Trump. The other, Conservative Grounds in Florida, includes a makeshift Oval Office with cardboard cutouts of Donald and Melania Trump. Conservative Grounds’ owner told the Washington Post the shop was “a place for conservatives to feel welcome,” and noted that the store had a sign leading out to the dumpsters with a label “liberal safe space, enter here.”Why Does Starbucks Melt Conservative Brains?A third right-wing coffee brand is now gunning for BRCC’s customers, promoting stickers that advocate throwing communists to their deaths from helicopters, and patches mocking the corpse of a man Rittenhouse killed. The brand earned an endorsement from the Proud Boys after it released a statement lauding Rittenhouse on Sunday.When a Twitter user accused the company of revealing “fascist views,” the brand account replied, “We were never in hiding sweet cheeks.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/confrontation-at-german-coronavirus-protest-goes-viral/feed/ 0 14614
One of Belgium’s top virologists offered his family 4 tips for surviving the long COVID-19 winter — read the full letter he wrote them https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/one-of-belgiums-top-virologists-offered-his-family-4-tips-for-surviving-the-long-covid-19-winter-read-the-full-letter-he-wrote-them/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/one-of-belgiums-top-virologists-offered-his-family-4-tips-for-surviving-the-long-covid-19-winter-read-the-full-letter-he-wrote-them/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 19:19:40 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/one-of-belgiums-top-virologists-offered-his-family-4-tips-for-surviving-the-long-covid-19-winter-read-the-full-letter-he-wrote-them/
Guido Vanham and his son Peter Vanham. Peter Vanham

Guido Vanham is a virologist, a microbiologist who studies the rapid spreading of viruses, who’s been sending letters to his three children throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The text of his most recent letter is printed below with permission from his son, Peter Vanham.

In it, Guido Vanham writes that he’s optimistic about the latest major vaccine trial updates but warns that if history and previous viruses are any guide, the toughest time, winter, is still ahead of us. 

He advises a combination of four “imperfect” measures that together lead to near perfection: wearing a mask, keeping distance, ventilating the airflow, and reducing your time of interaction. 

Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dear Nele, Johan, and Peter, 

It’s been a rollercoaster few weeks, hasn’t it? The bad news has been that we’ve been facing a severe second peak in infections here in Europe, and a similar evolution is underway elsewhere. But there’s good news too: Several vaccine candidates seem to be very effective and may arrive early next year.  

As we hunker down for the winter, and we unfortunately again can’t see each other anymore for the holidays — your mom and I are an at-risk group, because of our age — I wanted to remind you of a couple of measures we can take to reduce our risk of getting sick, or infecting others, until a safe vaccine is here. 

I do believe there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.

Two pharmaceutical companies said this week their vaccine candidates are very effective against the new coronavirus. The companies — Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna — announced that early trial results indicate an effectiveness of their vaccine of over 90%. And that is very positive indeed. 

But what does their statement mean in practice? 

What these companies announced is the preliminary results of the phase 3 human trials of their vaccines candidates. The phase 3 trials are the last test phase, and in it, many thousands of  people got either the vaccine (group A), or a placebo (group B), and were then screened for a couple of months as they returned to their regular lives, to see if they got COVID-19.  

Story continues

In both trials, about 100 of the people who participated got COVID-19. But what matters, for “effectiveness” evidence reasons, is that only a handful (5-10) of those who tested positive, belonged to the group A who was effectively vaccinated against the virus. The other 90 or so had had the placebo, and thus weren’t protected. From there, the companies conclude that their vaccines are 90-95% effective against COVID-19.  

Why can they make that conclusion? Well, think about it. 

Group B — the control group in the trial — effectively got no protection against the virus, because they got a placebo. If 90 people among them got the virus, you’d expect that a similar number of people in any other random group of similar size would also get the virus. But, of those in group A, only 5 to 10 got the virus. The (reasonable) assumption then is that the vaccine protected all others: 80-85 people out of 90 people didn’t catch the virus = approx. 90-95% effective protection thanks to the vaccine.   

Read more: COVID-19 threatens to create a ‘lockdown generation’ in Europe: Here’s why young people could be the ones paying for yet another crisis

You can of course ask yourself: If the vaccine works, why would anyone still get infected? 

That’s a fair question, and the answer is that not all humans have the same immune system. Vaccinology, just as most medical sciences, is not an exact science like mathematics. But what matters in this quest for a vaccine — what is crucial — is that they are well over 50% effective. The figures from Pfizer and Moderna, at first view, look better than for instance the flu vaccine (but still may be lower than the very effective “childhood vaccines” such as measles and tetanus).

So, is 90% effectiveness good or really good? I’d say it’s really good, because it helps us fight the virus in two important ways: One, it protects 90% of those injected, with either no or only minor negative side effects (because that was an important step in the vaccine tests too — that they’re safe and don’t make you sick). And two, the more people are vaccinated, the less the virus can circulate, and the less chances that someone without a vaccine can still get infected, too. 

In fact, vaccines are regarded by many virologists as the only ethical way — and the most effective way — to achieve the infamous “herd immunity.” 

If enough people get vaccinated, then we form effectively a human shield — or “herd” — for others. 

The other way to achieve herd immunity is where everyone gets the virus, some may get sick or die, and the rest then develops antibodies. But that’s seen as unethical because it leads to deaths and suffering, and overflowing hospitals. In addition, quite a few people who got infected in the first wave and developed antibodies, nevertheless got infected again during the second wave.  Unfortunately, coronaviruses in general are known to induce only temporary immunity.  

Whether any of the vaccines will induce long-lasting protection or regular “reminders” will be needed (like we have with the annual flu shot) also remains to be seen. So far, it looks as if we will have a good vaccine soon, but it’s not a “magic bullet” and we should not forget about the simple and cheap “non-pharmacological measures” that can protect us from getting COVID in the meantime as well.

So I also want to remind you, as you spend much more time inside now that the weather is getting cold, that there are “imperfect” ways to protect yourself before any vaccine is here. 

And that will be important, because if history and previous viruses are any guide, the toughest time is still ahead of us. With the Spanish Flu, and with many other viruses, most people got infected, and got sick or even died, during the winter season. For us, that highest risk season is now. 

So what can you do? Well, I’d advise a combination of four imperfect measures. Together, they lead to near perfection. They are wearing a mask, keeping distance, ventilating the airflow, and reducing your time of interaction.  

Many people may argue against any of these measures because they are only partially effective in stopping the spread of the virus. But what you should now is that even “half effective” measures exponentially get better when combined. Consider the case where two people meet in a room, one person is infected, and not taking any measures would lead to 100% chance of transmission. And consider that each individual measure taken reduces infection risk by 50%. Then

Not doing anything = 100% chance of infection 

Infected person wears mask = 50% chance of infection 

Non-infected person wears mask = 50% chance of infection 

Ventilation = 50% chance of infection 

Keeping distance = 50% chance of infection 

If you combine the measures, however, something interesting happens: 1 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 = 0.0625 or approximately 6% chance of infection is left! And consider now that many of these measures can protect by more than 50%. With for example 75% reduction in infection rate for each measure, the combined risk of infection drops to 1 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.75 = less than 0.1%. 

Read more: The steps to take if an employee contracts coronavirus, including the emails you should be sending to your team to calm concerns

There’s a similar logic at play in the length of time you meet someone, or the kinds of interactions you have with them. 

Peter, remember how I told you that it was OK to play football outdoors back in September, but that you needed to stay out of the locker room? That’s because in the outdoors, any kind of particles evaporate in seconds, whereas they’ll keep “hanging around” for hours in a small confined space with moreover many people in it.  

The Vanhams will not celebrate their holidays together this year. Courtesy of Peter Vanham

You can look at it another way too. Each time you breathe, you breathe out millions of particles, and when you’re infected, some of them will contain the virus. For you to infect another person, these virus particles have to travel quite a way: first, from the breath of one person through the air, then into the air you breathe, and then into your lungs, where they may or may not attach to your blood cells and then start to spread from there.  

If you’re infected, you’re a foot away from someone else, and you cough straight into their face, you can be quite sure the virus particles will manage to get to susceptible cells in their throat or lungs and infect them. In fact, Nele, when I got a cold a few weeks ago, I’m quite sure I got it from Miles, who had a cold, and sneezed in my face when we were playing. It scared me a bit at the time, and we again stopped seeing the grandchildren when cases went up, but fortunately it wasn’t COVID-19. 

But the situation is immediately very different when you’re further apart from someone, the person doesn’t sneeze or cough, or does so while wearing a mask, you too wear a mask, and you’re in a ventilated space, where air continuously refreshes. So that’s what I advise that you do in the coming months. Don’t stop your lives, but take many imperfect measures, because they can protect you and those around you. 

This is how we get through the winter, and then onto spring. 

I know the holiday season is coming, and we would all very much like to see you for it. But as you’ve gathered by now, as a scientist, I tend to favor rationality over sentimentality in these measures. A long holiday dinner, inside, and with many people, is about as risky of a situation I can imagine for us. The odds are good when we take many partial measures, but for many healthy holidays ahead spent together the odds are even better when we skip just one holiday spent all together now. 

Stay safe, and speak soon, 

Dad

 Peter Vanham is head of the International Media Council at the World Economic Forum, and a member of its COVID-19 Taskforce. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

Guido Vanham, MD, PhD, is the former head of virology at the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. 

Read the original article on Business Insider



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/one-of-belgiums-top-virologists-offered-his-family-4-tips-for-surviving-the-long-covid-19-winter-read-the-full-letter-he-wrote-them/feed/ 0 14610
G20 leaders pledge to fairly distribute COVID-19 vaccine globally https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/g20-leaders-pledge-to-fairly-distribute-covid-19-vaccine-globally/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/g20-leaders-pledge-to-fairly-distribute-covid-19-vaccine-globally/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 18:18:21 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/g20-leaders-pledge-to-fairly-distribute-covid-19-vaccine-globally/

G20 leaders vowed to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines would be fairly distributed worldwide, while declining to explain how they would do so amid funding shortfalls from the world’s poorest nations.

In a 10-page communique released following the conclusion of the G20 summit Sunday, leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies said they were “united in our conviction that coordinated global action, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation are more necessary today than ever to overcome the current challenges and realize opportunities of the 21st century for all by empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.”

The leaders went on to decry the recovery from the novel virus as “uneven, highly uncertain and subject to elevated downside risks, including those arising from renewed virus outbreaks in some economies, with some countries reintroducing restrictive health measures.

“We underscore the urgent need to bring the spread of the virus under control, which is key to supporting global economic recovery. We are determined to continue to use all available policy tools as long as required to safeguard people’s lives, jobs and incomes, support the global economic recovery, and enhance the resilience of the financial system, while safeguarding against downside risks.”

The world leaders also pledged to extend a debt-relief program that supported developing nations during the pandemic until June 2021, saying that 46 countries had successfully requested to put off $5.7 billion in debt service payments thus far.

The memo also calls for private creditors to join their debt relief efforts, though it is not clear if that would help the G20 countries lighten their load.

“There is a lack of participation from private creditors, and we strongly encourage them to participate on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries,” the draft said.

The statement came following a weekend of virtual events for the Group of 20 summit, hosted this year by Saudi Arabia from Riyadh.

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan acknowledged the financial shortfalls following the close of the summit, saying at a news conference Sunday, “There [are] obviously shortages but there is clear commitment…to ensure equitable distribution of vaccine to every country.”

“I think the key message that I would want to leave with you all today is that every single leader was supportive of the G20 initiatives to ensure that we provide enough resources to ensure that the vaccine and therapeutics [are] available to everyone,” he added.

During the summit, the leaders also pledged their commitment to addressing climate change, though they faced pushback from President Trump on the issue of the Paris Climate Accords.

The G20 statement said boldly that, “Preventing environmental degradation, conserving, sustainably using and restoring biodiversity, preserving our oceans, promoting clean air and clean water, responding to natural disasters and extreme weather events, and tackling climate change are among the most pressing challenges of our time.”

“As we recover from the pandemic, we are committed to safeguarding our planet and building a more environmentally sustainable and inclusive future for all people.”

The US commander-in-chief, however, decried the deal as “one-sided” during a virtual session of the leaders on the environment.

“The Paris [Climate] Accord was not designed to save the environment, it was designed to kill the American economy. I refuse to surrender millions of American jobs and send trillions of American dollars to the world’s worst polluters and environmental offenders, and that’s what would have happened,” Trump said, likely referencing China.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to rejoin the agreement on his first day in office.

With Post wires



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/g20-leaders-pledge-to-fairly-distribute-covid-19-vaccine-globally/feed/ 0 14607
We’re likely to need coronavirus booster shots after the initial vaccine https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/were-likely-to-need-coronavirus-booster-shots-after-the-initial-vaccine/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/were-likely-to-need-coronavirus-booster-shots-after-the-initial-vaccine/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 17:17:17 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/were-likely-to-need-coronavirus-booster-shots-after-the-initial-vaccine/
A volunteer receives an experimental coronavirus shot from a medical worker at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa, June 24, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

People may need to get booster shots after the initial coronavirus vaccine doses in order to stay protected, experts say.

Other vaccines, like the tetanus shot, also require periodic boosters. 

That adds further complication to the impending challenge of distributing coronavirus vaccines, which are likely to require two doses.

Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

We may still not know precisely how long immunity to the new coronavirus lasts, but researchers don’t think it’s forever.

“With human coronaviruses,  you can get repeatedly infected — you’re not immune for life, you’re immune for some time,” Florian Krammer, a vaccinologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told Business Insider.

“There’s no reason to think this coronavirus will behave differently,” he added.

That means that even after coronavirus vaccines become available and get widely distributed, we’ll likely need booster shots to stay protected over time.

“If immunity does turn out to be fleeting, we’ll need a plan of a vaccination plus a booster, or revaccination at periodic intervals,” Marm Kilpatrick, a disease ecologist, previously told Business Insider.

Two shots to start, then perhaps boosters, too

The two leading coronavirus vaccine candidates so far, from Moderna and Pfizer, both require two shots. Moderna’s two doses are administered a month apart, while Pfizer’s are given three weeks apart.

The more shots we need, however, the harder it is to ensure everyone gets them.

Plus, a two-dose vaccine regimen comes with supply-chain challenges: it requires twice as many vials, syringes, refrigerators, and clinic visits at a time when such resources are already limited.

An advertisement offering free flu shots in New York City on August 21, 2020. John Nacion/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

But even after all those problems are mostly solved, a new challenge will arise: the need to figure out when our immunity fades, and if — or when — a booster shot is needed. 

“Once we start seeing vaccine failures increasing, then we can consider booster doses,” Walt Orenstein, the former director of the US National Immunization Program, previously told Business Insider. He added, though, that “we don’t know at this stage whether that will be necessary.”

Story continues

Some viruses, like hepatitis A or measles, are a one-and-done deal: Once you’re infected (or inoculated), you’re immune for life. But with coronaviruses, reinfection is possible after a period of months or years, according to the Mayo Clinic. That only happens to a fraction of people, though, and their second illness is usually mild.

Indeed, limited evidence suggests people could get reinfected with the new coronavirus. Some research has found that coronavirus antibodies decline after a period of months, which could mean our immunity might be similarly transient. Given that the efficacy of a vaccine hinges on its ability to prompt the body to generate antibodies, it’s therefore unlikely coronavirus shots will be a one-time affair. 

But our immune systems do have more than just antibodies defending us from future infection, and a recent study suggests those other defenses stick around for at least six to eight months.

Time will tell if we’ll need boosters

It’s not a deal-breaker if people become susceptible to reinfection.

“This happens for a lot of vaccines,” Krammer said. “It’s not a problem. You can get revaccinated.”

That’s what booster shots are for. Your tetanus vaccine, for example, requires a booster every decade. The question is how frequently follow-up coronavirus shots might be needed, but experts won’t be able to answer that until vaccines are widely distributed.

Capped vials of the University of Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine candidate. VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images

For now, Orenstein said, public-health officials should start making a plan now to keep track of how well the shots work long-term:

“It’s critical, as the vaccine is rolled-out, to have continued evaluation,” he said, adding, “we need to measure vaccine effectiveness in observational studies to see whether it declines or not.”

That work, he said, should begin alongside the earliest vaccine rollouts.

“We don’t want to wait two, three, four years before doing so,” Orenstein added.

Read More: Meet Dr. Vivek Murthy, Biden’s front-runner for Health secretary and COVID wingman. His resume and past comments on guns are raising bipartisan concerns if he’s the right pick.

Monitoring will also be crucial to determine whether the vaccine efficacy that Moderna and Pfizer have found in their trials — 94.5% and 95%, respectively — hold up outside of clinical conditions in the first place.

For example, researchers could implement a surveillance system that looks at new COVID-19 cases and notes how many infections are diagnosed in vaccinated versus unvaccinated people, Orenstein said.

“If the rates are comparable, that’s a sign of waning immunity, he said. “That’s when we’d need to determine whether boosters are necessary, and if so, how often.”

A college student in Chicago, Illinois, gets tested for coronavirus. Youngrae Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

But if it turns out that people need to be revaccinated regularly, that decreases the likelihood that people will get the shots they need to stay protected.

“The more complicated the schedule, the more difficult it is to get people to come in,” Orenstein said.

Read the original article on Business Insider



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/were-likely-to-need-coronavirus-booster-shots-after-the-initial-vaccine/feed/ 0 14604
Singer Bad Bunny tests positive for COVID-19 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/singer-bad-bunny-tests-positive-for-covid-19/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/singer-bad-bunny-tests-positive-for-covid-19/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 16:15:13 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/singer-bad-bunny-tests-positive-for-covid-19/ SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A representative for Reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny said Monday that the singer has tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement comes a day after the musician won favorite male Latin artist and favorite Latin album for “YHLQMDLG” at the American Music Awards.

Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Martínez Ocasio, was scheduled to sing his hit, “Dákiti,” with Jhay Cortez at the event but canceled without explanation, leaving many fans disappointed. The singer, however, presented the award for favorite Latin female artist remotely.

It’s unclear if Bad Bunny was showing any symptoms. His publicist did not immediately return a message for comment.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

—AstraZeneca says late-stage trials show it s vaccine with Oxford University is “highly effective,” does not need the deep cold storage that rival vaccines do

— Cut off: School closings leave rural students isolated

— Jury duty? No thanks, say many, forcing trials to be delayed

— Inequality ‘baked into’ virus testing access as cases surge

— New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern offers virus know-how to Joe Biden

___

Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

LONDON — AstraZeneca says that late-stage trials showed its COVID-19 vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is easier to distribute than some of its rivals.

The results reported Monday are based on interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives,” said Oxford University Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the trial. “Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective.’’

Story continues

AstraZeneca is the third major drug company to report late stage results for its potential COVID-19 vaccine as public health officials around the world anxiously wait for vaccines that will end the pandemic that has killed almost 1.4 million people.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate doesn’t have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, making it easier to distribute, especially in developing countries. All three vaccines must be approved by regulators before they can be widely distributed.

___

HONOLULU — Officials say a group of Hawaii island organizations have distributed $7.5 million in federal funds to help more than 1,000 households pay rent and mortgages amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the organizations used their backgrounds in homeless assistance and disaster response to establish uniform applications, and coordinate to prevent duplication and delays in distribution of federal coronavirus recovery funds.

County officials issued an additional $1 million in federal funds Friday to help respond to the volume of Hawaii island renters and homeowners still seeking assistance. They plan to provide $1.4 million more this week.

___

ZAGREB, Croatia — Citizens of Croatia’s capital city have been lining up for free rapid antigen testing that has been introduced as part of efforts to curb a surge in coronavirus cases.

Authorities in Zagreb launched the testing Monday at twelve locations in the capital city, which has been hit hard in the latest wave of infections. Mayor Milan Bandic says 1,200 people have applied for the first two days of testing. He says 60,000 tests have been made available in the initial phase.

Croatia has been battling soaring virus infections for weeks. Authorities hope rapid testing will help contain the disease by speeding up potentially infected residents.

On Monday, authorities confirmed 1,973 new infections while 45 people have died in the past 24 hours in the country of 4.2 million.

___

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota health officials are rolling out free rapid COVID-19 testing for teachers, staff and school administrators this week as part of a pilot project designed to slow the virus’ spread by identifying and quickly isolating people who may be asymptomatic.

Testing of K-12 teachers will start in the Fargo and West Fargo school districts and will be expanded to other districts in coming days and weeks. Teachers, staff and administrators who work closely with students are being encouraged to get tested weekly through Dec. 31. Students will not be tested as part of the effort.

North Dakota ranks first in the U.S. in new COVID-19 cases per capita, with 2,418 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. One in every 86 people in North Dakota tested positive in the past week.

November is on track to become North Dakota’s deadliest month from COVID-19. More than half of the statewide deaths have occurred in the past few weeks.

___

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s foreign minister on Monday said the country is moving forward with testing on a Russian coronavirus vaccine after being the first in Europe to receive samples of the drug last week.

Peter Szijjarto says 10 initial doses of Sputnik V – the drug hailed in August by Russian President Vladimir Putin as the world’s first registered COVID-19 vaccine – would undergo testing in Hungary for safety and effectiveness. Szijjarto announced last week that negotiations are ongoing between a Hungarian drug manufacturer and Russian partners on possible domestic production of the drug.

Sputnik V has not completed advanced clinical trials and has not yet been assessed by the European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s medicines regulator. The vaccine has already been administered in Russia to healthcare workers and other high-risk groups.

Szijjarto says Hungary is also in negotiations with three Chinese vaccine makers, and purchased 2.8 million doses of a Chinese antiviral medication.

The central European country has also reserved 12 million doses of vaccine from manufacturers in Europe and the United States, including British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Belgium-based Janssen and the joint U.S.-German vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech.

___

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan will again close all educational institutions as of Thursday because of a steady and increasingly drastic increase in coronavirus cases.

Schools were opened in September as Pakistan appeared to have achieved a sustained flattening of the curve.

Daily cases had dropped to less than 300 a day, but few people wear masks and social distancing is mostly non-existent in the country of 220 million.

Pakistan recorded 2,756 new cases in the last 24 hours, one of the sharpest spikes since the outbreak began in March. The country has 376,929 confirmed cases, and 7,696 people have died from the virus.

The government announced Monday that schools will be closed through December and the possibility of re-opening will be discussed again in early January.

___

GENEVA — The U.N. weather agency says a slowdown in industrial activity linked to the coronavirus pandemic has cut emissions of pollutants and heat-trapping greenhouse gases, but hasn’t reduced their record levels in the atmosphere.

The World Meteorological Organization pointed to a record-setting surge of carbon dioxide emissions in recent years, and warned that any impact on greenhouse gas concentrations from the pullback in activity due to the COVID-19 outbreak will take years — and can best happen if countries are able to cut their emissions to zero.

“The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph. We need a sustained flattening of the curve,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, releasing the latest edition of the organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin on Monday. “The COVID-19 pandemic is not a solution for climate change.”

Carbon dioxide concentrations are the result of cumulative past and current emissions, and are no bigger than “the normal year-to-year fluctuations in the carbon cycle and the high natural variability in carbon sinks like vegetation,” WMO said.

___

MOSCOW — Daily new coronavirus infections in Russia hit a new high on Monday, with authorities reporting a record 25,173 new cases. The latest figure brings the country’s total to over 2.1 million. The government coronavirus task force also reported 361 deaths on Monday, raising the total since the start of the pandemic to over 36,500.

Russia, which currently has the world’s fifth largest number of confirmed cases, has been swept by a rapid coronavirus resurgence since September. Despite this, authorities insist there are no plans to impose a second lockdown or to shut businesses nationwide.

The Siberian republic of Buryatia, which is near the border with Mongolia, last Monday closed a wide range of non-essential businesses for two weeks to curb the spread of the virus, and is currently the only Russian region to have done that.

When asked why other hard-hit Russian regions aren’t following Buryatia’s example, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that regional governments decide on which restrictions to impose in their regions depending prevailing conditions there, like the number of available medical workers and hospital beds.

___

MADRID — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says a national COVID-19 vaccination plan will be launched in January.

Sánchez said the vaccine will be administered at 13,000 locations across Spain and “a very substantial part of the population” can be vaccinated in the first half of next year. Further details will be announced on Tuesday.

Sánchez said Spain’s 14-day cumulative rate of cases per 100,000 of population has fallen below 400.

Spain on Monday began demanding a negative PCR test for COVID-19 for most people arriving in Spain by air or by sea. The measure covers arrivals from 65 countries, including most of the European Union.

Meanwhile, the northeastern region of Catalonia on Monday eased some of the tight restrictions on bars and restaurants and cultural events introduced in mid-October. Although a 10 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew remains, Catalan bars and restaurants can have customers up to 30% capacity indoors and cultural venues can operate at 50% capacity.

___

JERUSALEM — The Palestinian Authority in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has announced a partial two-week lockdown to clamp down on the coronavirus’ spread as new cases have rapidly increased.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Monday that the West Bank will be under a full lockdown over the weekends, and a curfew will be imposed from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. on weekdays. All non-essential businesses will be closed during the periods of lockdown.

The Palestinian Health Ministry has recorded over 3,000 new cases of the coronavirus in the West Bank in the past week, and a total of more than 84,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. It says at least 714 Palestinians have died from the disease.

___

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who contracted the coronavirus earlier this month and was hospitalized, said his latest test for the virus came back negative.

Zelenskiy posted on his Facebook account on Monday that he’s glad to be back at work and working normally.

Zelenskiy was moved to a hospital in Kyiv several days after a Nov. 9 test showed that he was positive for the coronavirus. Even though he displayed mild symptoms, his spokeswoman said he was hospitalized because “there are better conditions for self-isolation and care for coronavirus patients.”

Ukraine has experienced a resurgence of the coronavirus since late September, when new infections shot up again. On Monday, health officials reported 10,945 new coronavirus cases. Ukraine has so far reported a total of 635,689 confirmed cases and 11,075 deaths.

This month Ukraine’s government ordered non-essential businesses to shut down on weekends in an effort to stem the rapid growth of the outbreak without further damaging the country’s weakened economy.

___

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed half a million as the government of the world’s fourth most populous nation scrambles to procure vaccines to help it win the fight against the pandemic.

The Health Ministry reported 4,442 new cases on Monday to bring the country’s total to 502,110, the highest toll in Southeast Asia and second in Asia only to India’s more than 9.1 million confirmed cases.

The ministry said that the death toll from the virus is 16,002, and that it has been adding 3,000-5,000 daily cases since mid-September.

President Joko Widodo said his administration is working on a mass vaccination program for the vast archipelago nation, home to more than 270 million people.

___

BEIJING — Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after multiple locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week.

As temperatures drop and people move actitivies indoors, large-scale measures are being enacted in the cities of Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, despite the low number of new cases compared to the United States or other countries that are seeing new waves of infections.

On Monday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Shanghai over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to seven since Friday. China has recorded 86,442 total cases and 4,634 deaths since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

In Tianjin, health workers have collected more than 2.2 million samples for testing from residents in the Binhai new district, after five locally transmitted cases were discovered.

In Manzhouli, a city of more than 200,000, health authorities are testing all residents after two cases were reported on Saturday. They also shut down all schools and public venues and banned public gatherings such as banquets.



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/singer-bad-bunny-tests-positive-for-covid-19/feed/ 0 14601
Holidays are worth the COVID-19 risk to one-third of parents: poll https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/holidays-are-worth-the-covid-19-risk-to-one-third-of-parents-poll/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/holidays-are-worth-the-covid-19-risk-to-one-third-of-parents-poll/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 15:11:15 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/holidays-are-worth-the-covid-19-risk-to-one-third-of-parents-poll/

More than one-third of parents believe celebrating Thanksgiving in-person is worth the risk of potentially infecting loved ones with COVID-19, a new poll found.

The survey, conducted in August, polled US parents of at least one child living in their home and found that 35 percent believe the benefits of breaking bread together over the holiday outweighs the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus, according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health released Sunday.

Sixty-one percent are still planning on an in-person gathering this year, with three-quarters of parents saying their children typically see their extended families, including grandparents, on Turkey Day.

That’s despite new holiday guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week warning Americans to stay home, saying that postponing travel plans is the best way to protect loved ones amid rising infection rates nationwide.

Sarah Clark, co-director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine, said the findings indicate parents “may have a hard time” skipping holidays like Thanksgiving in the face of ongoing COVID-19 risks, CNN reported.

“We all know that large public gatherings carry great risks of spreading COVID-19,” Clark said in a statement. “But small and casual social gatherings where people feel most ‘safe’ are also part of what has been fueling transmission.”

Just 18 percent of parents said their holiday plans this week involve people traveling from out of state, down from 40 percent who say their family usually treks elsewhere for Thanksgiving, the survey found.

To keep children and guests safe, 88 percent of parents said they intended to ask a relative to stay away if they’re showing any COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, while 64% percent said they plan to not invite those who haven’t taken virus precautions.

Social distancing will also be a key factor for 68 percent of those polled, and more than three-quarters said they’ll try to limit contact between kids and high-risk guests as much as possible, the survey found.

“In thinking about their Thanksgiving plans, parents appear to be balancing risks and benefits of having a traditional celebration,” a statement accompanying the poll read, adding that more than 9 in 10 said those gatherings usually involved grandparents. “ … Yet over half of parents indicated it was very important for their child to be with extended family and share in Thanksgiving traditions.”

Family time has changed under the pandemic — with 51 percent reporting significantly decreased quality time with extended family and nearly a quarter reporting a “slight decrease” in time spent with relatives.

Parents should “think carefully” about inviting those with increased risk or to simply forgo an in-person celebration holiday altogether, poll officials said.

“In this unique situation, children may be better served if parents are thoughtful about how to preserve family traditions without an in-person gathering,” the poll’s findings continued. “Parents may want to talk with children about their favorite Thanksgiving foods, decorations or activities, and then use that input to plan a virtual celebration that includes family members in different locations.”



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/holidays-are-worth-the-covid-19-risk-to-one-third-of-parents-poll/feed/ 0 14598
New COVID-19 restrictions going into effect in Delaware Monday morning https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/new-covid-19-restrictions-going-into-effect-in-delaware-monday-morning/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/new-covid-19-restrictions-going-into-effect-in-delaware-monday-morning/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 14:10:02 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/new-covid-19-restrictions-going-into-effect-in-delaware-monday-morning/ The Conversation

China beat the coronavirus with science and strong public health measures, not just with authoritarianism

I live in a democracy. But as Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself longing for the type of freedom I am seeing in China. People in China are able to move around freely right now. Many Americans may believe that the Chinese are able to enjoy this freedom because of China’s authoritarian regime. As a scholar of public health in China, I think the answers go beyond that.My research suggests that the control of the virus in China is not the result of authoritarian policy, but of a national prioritization of health. China learned a tough lesson with SARS, the first coronavirus pandemic of the 21st century. How China flattened its curveBarely less than a year ago, a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, with 80,000 cases identified within three months, killing 3,000 people. In late January 2020, the Chinese government decided to lock down this city of 11 million people. All transportation to and from the city was stopped. Officials further locked down several other cities in Hubei Province, eventually quarantining over 50 million people.By the beginning of April, the Chinese government limited the spread of the virus to the point where they felt comfortable opening up Wuhan once again. Seven months later, China has confirmed 9,100 additional cases and recorded 1,407 more deaths due to the coronavirus. People in China travel, eat in restaurants and go into theaters, and kids go to school without much concern for their health. Juxtapose that to what we are experiencing in the U.S. To date, we have confirmed over 11 million cases, with the last 1 million recorded in just the last one week alone. In September and October, friends from China sent me pictures of food from all over the country as they traveled around to visit friends and family for the mid-autumn festival and then the seven-day National Day vacation week. I envied them then and envy them even more now as Americans prepare and wonder how we will celebrate Thanksgiving this year. What China learned from SARSWe Americans are told that the freedoms Chinese now enjoy come at the expense of being subject to a set of draconian public health policies that can be instituted only by an authoritarian government. But they also have the experience of living through a similar epidemic.SARS broke out in November of 2002 and ended in May of 2003, and China was anything but prepared for its emergence. It didn’t have the public health infrastructure in place to detect or control such a disease, and initially decided to prioritize politics and economy over health by covering up the epidemic. This didn’t work with such a virulent disease that started spreading around the world. After being forced to come to terms with SARS, China’s leaders eventually did enforce quarantine in Beijing and canceled the week-long May Day holiday of 2003. This helped to end the pandemic within a few short months, with minimal impact. SARS infected approximately 8,000 worldwide and killed about 800, 65% of which occurred in China and Hong Kong. The Chinese government learned from SARS the important role public health plays in protecting the nation. Following SARS, the government improved training of public health professionals and developed one of the most sophisticated disease surveillance systems in the world. While caught off guard for this next big coronavirus outbreak in December 2019, the country quickly mobilized its resources to bring the epidemic almost to a halt inside its borders within three months. What can the US learn from China?Knowing that there were no safe or proven treatments or an effective vaccine, China relied on proven nonpharmaceutical interventions to conquer the epidemic. First and foremost was containing the virus through controlling the sources of infection and blocking transmission. This was accomplished through early detection (testing), isolation, treatment and tracing the close contacts of any infected individual. This strategy was aided by the three field hospitals (fancang) the government built to isolate patients with mild to moderate symptoms from their families. Strict quarantine measures were also central to preventing the spread of this epidemic, as it was with the SARS epidemic in 2003. This was paired with compulsory mask-wearing, promotion of personal hygiene (hand-washing, home disinfection, ventilation), self-monitoring of body temperature, universal compulsory stay-at-home orders for all residents, and universal symptom surveys conducted by community workers and volunteers. What else could the US have done to be prepared?SARS exposed serious weaknesses in China’s public health system and prompted its government to reinvent its public health system. COVID-19 has exposed similar shortcomings in the U.S. public health system. To date, however, the current administration has taken the exact opposite approach, devastating our public health system. The Trump administration made major cuts to the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The last budget submitted by the Trump administration in February 2020, as the pandemic was beginning, called for an additional reduction of US$693 million to the CDC budget. This affected our ability to prepare for a pandemic outbreak. In the past, this preparation included international partnerships to help detect disease before it reached our shores. For example, the CDC built up partnerships with China following the SARS epidemic, to help contain the emergence of infectious disease coming from the region. At one point the CDC had 10 American experts working on the ground in China and 40 local Chinese staff, who mostly concentrated on infectious disease. Trump started slashing these positions shortly after taking office, and by the time COVID-19 broke out, those programs were whittled down to a skeleton staff of one or two. [Research into coronavirus and other news from science Subscribe to The Conversation’s new science newsletter.]The Declaration of Alma Ata guaranteed health for all, and not just health for people governed under a specific type of bureaucratic system. The U.S. has been, and can be, just as dedicated to protecting the health of its people as China under its authoritarian government. We demonstrated this during the Ebola epidemic, with the launch of a whole government effort coordinated by Ron Klain, who has been appointed White House chief of staff under President-elect Biden.This effort, which included a coordinated response with both African nations and China, improved preparedness within the U.S. and ultimately helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. A reduction in funding for our public health infrastructure, under the Trump administration, was a divestment in the health of the American people and should not have happened. A new administration that places public health at the helm, once again, will I hope prove to us that health is not just something that can be protected under an authoritarian government, but is in fact a right for all.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Elanah Uretsky, Brandeis University.Read more: * Poor US pandemic response will reverberate in health care politics for years, health scholars warn * Experts agree that Trump’s coronavirus response was poor, but the US was ill-prepared in the first placeElanah Uretsky does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/new-covid-19-restrictions-going-into-effect-in-delaware-monday-morning/feed/ 0 14595
Coronavirus vaccine czar said Moderna will seek an emergency use authorization for its vaccine by the end of November https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/coronavirus-vaccine-czar-said-moderna-will-seek-an-emergency-use-authorization-for-its-vaccine-by-the-end-of-november/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/coronavirus-vaccine-czar-said-moderna-will-seek-an-emergency-use-authorization-for-its-vaccine-by-the-end-of-november/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 13:06:26 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/coronavirus-vaccine-czar-said-moderna-will-seek-an-emergency-use-authorization-for-its-vaccine-by-the-end-of-november/ The Week

I was wrong about Mitt Romney

The Donald Trump phenomenon is purported to have divided friendships, families, and even marriages. I can attest to this fact in my own suburban Washington household, for this perhaps peculiar professional reason: It has occasioned my wife, the longtime sufferer of all my hot takes, to ask approximately one-thousand times whether I finally feel bad about all the mean things I said about Mitt Romney.The short answer is, yes!Romney, now the junior senator of Utah, has displayed rare courage and integrity throughout this hell-year. Alone among Republican senators (indeed, alone among any senator in history), he crossed party lines to vote to convict President Trump on the charge of abusing his power by pressuring a foreign government to interfere in our election. And — not alone, exactly, but hardly in plentiful company — he has forthrightly condemned the president for stonewalling the Biden transition and undermining our democracy.These actions have taken real guts. If I were wearing a cap, I would doff it; if I were to meet Romney in person, I would thank him. With this virtual pen in hand, I am applauding him.However: The long answer to the above question is … Heck no!Let me explain why I’m torn.First, it’s essential to remember how radically different our political landscape looked in the Before Times. The outright bigotry and racism of the 2016 Trump campaign had not yet been contemplated, let alone assimilated; for decades, those things were hinted at, dog-whistled, wink-winked — but they were not, in any overt sense, options on the menu given to Republican primary voters. Consequently, it needs to be said that it’s silly to retroactively credit figures in the party for not behaving that badly.So, what was it that bugged me so badly about mainstream, milquetoast Mitt?In 2007 and 2008, Romney, then the moderate one-term governor of Massachusetts (as well as the son of a famously moderate governor of Michigan) ran a primary campaign that was, I still maintain, preposterous. It was predicated on the notion that frontrunner John McCain (who, after a tumultuous summer in ’07, eventually won the GOP nomination) was too moderate. He compromised too often with Democrats (with Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; with Ted Kennedy on immigration; with Joe Lieberman on climate change).I understand the imperatives of strategy in winning a primary, when you must appeal to the base before pivoting to the center. But — as I said then and will say again now — I refuse to listen to such an appeal from mainstream milquetoast Mitt. He did not play the Mr. Conservative act lightly; he played it, as he plays everything, stiffly. The act failed. It deserved to fail.Then came 2012. Romney was now something of a frontrunner. He had lost the 2008 primary — but so had McCain, badly, in the general election against President Obama. It was now, in the sequential custom of Republican politics, “Mitt Romney’s turn.” So now he was the one who had to beat back attempts to protect his right flank. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee (am I forgetting anyone? It feels like I’m forgetting someone!) — they all took their shots at Romney; they all exposed weaknesses or wounded him; and they all, one after the other, failed as he had four years before.Without aid of Google, I remember calling Romney a “rancid imposter” (yikes!). With aid of Google, I see that I called his 2012 campaign “breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic” (I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet!). I haven’t forgotten about the catastrophic 47 percent video. And I sure haven’t forgotten about the way Romney comported himself in the first innings of the Benghazi fiasco (reminder: He really was breathtakingly cynical).But, with the benefit of both hindsight and five years of Donald Trump, here’s what I’ve come to appreciate about Mitt Romney, a man of obvious high character and basic decency, that wasn’t clear to me then, but should have been: He was trying to hold together a party that was morally coming apart at the seams. Indeed, Romney could see for himself that it was thirsting for a demagogue very like Trump (whose endorsement, it must be noted, Romney accepted). “It’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments,” he said in February 2012. “We’ve seen throughout the campaign that if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama that you’re going to jump up in the polls. You know, I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am.”It took guts to say that then. I didn’t acknowledge it at the time. I should have.When the notional threat of Trump became a reality in 2016, Romney, again, took a stand. In March of that fateful year, Romney warned against nominating a “con man, a fake.” Every word of the speech was born out by the reality of the Trump administration. Not just the bits about Trump’s warped character — but the red flags over Trump’s desire for a trade war and his embrace of prodigious debt.Of course, Romney being Romney, he sullied his righteous stand by agreeing to dine with Trump during the transition, under the guise of possibly being nominated for secretary of state. Predictably, Romney was humiliated. But that was the last time.Very much on his own shingle, Romney won a Senate seat in Utah. From there, he has become one of the bravest and most constructive voices in Republican politics. And while I may regret the excessive tone of some of my criticisms of Mitt Romney’s past, I can say that I look forward to applauding him more often in the future.“Sorry, Mitt”? Not quite.Instead: Go, Mitt, go!More stories from theweek.com Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who ‘repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump’ 5 bruisingly funny cartoons about Rudy Giuliani’s dubious legal strategy America is buckling



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/coronavirus-vaccine-czar-said-moderna-will-seek-an-emergency-use-authorization-for-its-vaccine-by-the-end-of-november/feed/ 0 14592
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine up to 90% effective, results show https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-up-to-90-effective-results-show/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-up-to-90-effective-results-show/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 12:04:51 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-up-to-90-effective-results-show/

Britain’s AstraZeneca and Oxford University said Monday that its coronavirus vaccine has proven to be up to 90 percent effective — and can be easily distributed because it does not need to be frozen.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives,” said Oxford University Professor Andrew Pollard, the chief investigator for the drug’s trial.

AstraZeneca is the third major drug company to report glowing late-stage results for its potential COVID-19 vaccine, joining Pfizer and Moderna whose vaccines were shown to be almost 95 percent effective in trials.

But unlike those candidates, the UK drug only needs to be refrigerated rather than frozen, making it a “more practical solution for use worldwide,” according to Peter Horby, professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health at Oxford.

“Importantly, from what we have heard the vaccine seems to prevent infection not just disease,” Horby also stressed.

“This is important as the vaccine could reduce the spread of the virus as well as protect the vulnerable from severe disease.”

AstraZeneca said it will have 200 million doses by the end of 2020, with 700 million doses ready globally by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the “incredibly exciting news.”

Employees processing serum at the laboratories of Oxford University to produce a coronavirus vaccine.EPA

All three vaccines must be approved by regulators before they can be widely distributed.

“My suspicion is that by the time we are a year down the line, we’ll be using all three vaccines with about 90 percent protection — and we’ll be a lot happier,” said Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London.

Late-stage trials in the UK and Brazil showed the vaccine’s effectiveness depended on the dosing — with the cheaper option proving more effective.

With two doses, the effectiveness appeared to be just 62 percent — but was 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart.

There were no hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 reported in those receiving the vaccine.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives,” Oxford University Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the trial, said in a statement.

With Post wires



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-up-to-90-effective-results-show/feed/ 0 14589
Indonesia’s confirmed coronavirus cases exceed half million https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/indonesias-confirmed-coronavirus-cases-exceed-half-million/ https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/indonesias-confirmed-coronavirus-cases-exceed-half-million/#respond Mon, 23 Nov 2020 11:04:13 +0000 https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/indonesias-confirmed-coronavirus-cases-exceed-half-million/ National Review

Judge Finds the Fatal Flaw in Trump Campaign’s Pennsylvania Case

A    federal court has thrown out the Trump campaign’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania, which challenged presumptive President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the commonwealth. In so doing, district judge Matthew Brann refused the campaign’s eleventh-hour attempt to file a new complaint that would have reinstated election fraud claims the Trump campaign had abandoned a few days earlier. (I outlined the lawsuit here, and explained the Trump campaign’s last-ditch effort to amend it here.)Judge Brann’s 37-page opinion sets forth a variety of reasons for dismissing the case. Most of them are directed toward the complaints of two individual plaintiffs — voters who claimed that their ballots had been improperly discounted. By contrast, the court found that the Trump campaign had no standing to sue, having posited no evidence that President Trump was harmed in any cognizable way by the manner in which the election was conducted in Pennsylvania.At bottom, though, the court found that the fatal flaw in the case is the one that we have repeatedly stressed: The mismatch between the harm alleged and the remedy sought.As the judge explained, even if one accepted the dubious premise that the two voters in question were improperly denied the right to vote while others similarly situated were not, the commensurate relief would be for their votes to be counted.That, however, was not the remedy they sought. Instead, supported by the Trump campaign, the two voters petitioned the court to stop Pennsylvania from certifying — on Monday as state law requires — the commonwealth’s election result, which had Biden winning by 83,000 votes. Brann countered:> Prohibiting certification of the election results would not reinstate the Individual Plaintiffs’ right to vote. It would simply deny more than 6.8 million [Pennsylvanians] their right to vote. “Standing is measured based on the theory of harm and the specific relief requested.” It is not “dispensed in gross: A plaintiff’s remedy must be tailored to redress the plaintiff’s particular injury.” Here, the answer to invalidated ballots is not to invalidate millions more. [Footnotes omitted.]As we detailed on Friday, the case was in a strange posture.In filing its original complaint on November 9, the Trump campaign claimed extensive vote fraud, relying mainly on the allegation that Republican poll-watchers had been denied a meaningful opportunity to observe the canvassing of ballots. But, as Brann notes (and we discussed here), on November 13, the federal appeals court for the Third Circuit (which has binding effect on Brann’s district court) issued its opinion in Bognet v. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Though not directly connected to the campaign’s case, Bognet’s reasoning substantially undercut its claims.The campaign reacted by amending its complaint, reducing the case to the narrow claim that Trump voters’ equal-protection rights (and, derivatively, the campaign’s rights) had been violated by an allegedly skewed procedure: Mail-in voters in Biden-friendly counties had been permitted to cure defects in the ballots they’d submitted, while voters in Trump-friendly counties were not. Brann rejected this claim, accepting Pennsylvania’s argument that Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar had encouraged ballot curing all over the state. Thus the state government was not at fault if not all counties availed themselves of this opportunity.That is largely beside the point, though. Even if there had been a violation of the voters’ rights, the remedy would be to count their votes. Instead, as the court observed,> Plaintiffs seek to remedy the denial of their votes by invalidating the votes of millions of others. Rather than requesting that their votes be counted, they seek to discredit scores of other votes, but only for one race [i.e., the presidential race, not the other contests down-ballot]. This is simply not how the Constitution works. [Emphasis added.]Moreover:> Granting Paintiffs’ requested relief would necessarily require invalidating the ballots of every person who voted in Pennsylvania. Because this Court has no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let along millions of citizens, it cannot grant Plaintiffs’ requested relief.Brann concluded that the Trump campaign had no standing to sue based, derivatively, on the harm alleged by the two voters, particularly after the Bognet ruling. He specifically rejected both of the campaign’s main equal-protection complaints: (1) that its poll-watchers were discriminatorily excluded from observing the canvass, and (2) that the opportunity for voters to cure defective ballots was deliberately done in counties the state knew to favor Biden.On the former, Brann held that this was not, as the Trump campaign maintained, an equal-protection issue. The campaign was not claiming that Trump observers were treated differently from Biden observers. On the latter, Brann concluded that the campaign was misinterpreting Bush v. Gore, and, in any event, was not claiming that Boockvar’s guidance on curing ballots differed from county to county.Most significantly, Brann denied the Trump campaign’s dilatory attempt to amend its complaint yet again late this past week, in order to reinstate claims from their original complaint, which they’d withdrawn last weekend. The court reasoned that this would “unduly delay resolution of the issues” in light of the fact that Monday, November 23, is the deadline for Pennsylvania counties to certify their election results to the state government — a necessary prelude to appointing the slate of electors who will cast the commonwealth’s Electoral College votes.In reaction to the ruling, the Trump campaign lawyers issued a statement asserting that, though they disagreed with the decision by “the Obama-appointed judge,” it was actually a boon to “our strategy to get expeditiously to the U.S. Supreme Court.”It is true that Brann was appointed by former President Barack Obama, but he is a Republican and Federalist Society member who was sponsored by the state’s Republican senator Pat Toomey — a common situation when a state’s two senators are from different parties, and an administration has to horse-trade on appointments.Trump lawyers added that the ruling denied them “the opportunity to present our evidence at a hearing.” They described that as “censorship” of “50 witnesses” who would have testified that state election officials denied the “independent review” required by Pennsylvania law. This is an apparent reference to the campaign’s claim that its poll-watchers were not given a meaningful opportunity to observe the canvass, which the lawyers say, “resulted in 682,777 ballots being cast illegally.” The campaign did not mention that it had dropped this charge from its original complaint. Nor did it allude to Brann’s conclusion that the allegation was not a cognizable equal-protection claim under federal law.The campaign says it will seek an expedited appeal to the Third Circuit — the tribunal that just decided the Bognet case, the precedent that appears to have induced the campaign to withdraw the claims it is now seeking to revive. In any event, it is anything but clear that the Supreme Court, which has thus far declined to act on Pennsylvania election-law claims relevant to the 2020 election, would agree to hear the campaign’s case — even assuming that the Third Circuit grants expedited appeal and, as even the campaign plainly expects, rules against the campaign.



Source link

]]>
https://covid-19newssite.com/2020/11/23/indonesias-confirmed-coronavirus-cases-exceed-half-million/feed/ 0 14586