Posts Tagged ‘Coronavirus’

White-Tailed Deer Have COVID

February 8, 2022

White-Tailed Deer Have COVID

White-tailed deer are carrying COVID-19. They may have gotten it from human contact during food sharing or from eating trash infected with coronavirus:

“Humans have infected wild deer with Covid-19 in a handful of states, and there’s evidence that the coronavirus has been spreading among deer, according to recent studies that outline findings that could complicate the path out of the pandemic.”

“About one-third of the deer sampled had active or recent infections, the study says. Similar research in Iowa of tissue from roadkill and hunted deer found widespread evidence of the virus.”

— “Covid is rampant among deer, research shows,” Evan Bush, NBC News

More:

“There’s a Covid-19 epidemic in deer. It could come back to haunt us.” Brian Resnick, Vox

“Is the Coronavirus in Your Backyard?”, Emily Anthes and Sabrina Imbler, New York Times

“Are Deer In COVID’s Crosshairs?” Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M Today

“SARS-CoV-2 infection in free-ranging white-tailed deer,” Vanessa L. Hale, Patricia M. Dennis, Dillon S. McBride, et al., Nature [pdf]

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Image (“COVID-Infested Deer, after Atelier Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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GOP State Politicos Push Quack COVID Cures

January 31, 2022

GOP State Politicos Push Quack COVID Cures

Republican state lawmakers in Colorado, Florida, Idaho, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia have proposed legislation that allows quack doctors to prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to prevent and treat Covid-19 which, despite pronouncements on Fox News and right-wing podcasts, they do not do. North Dakota and Tennessee have already passed such laws, even though:

” … those treatments have not proven effective at preventing or treating Covid and infectious disease experts see the bills as examples of right-wing lawmakers politicizing medicine – a trend that is increasing as the pandemic wears on in America in to its third year amid an increasingly fraught political atmosphere.

And so it goes with the latest suspect Covid-19 treatment that has become about more than just a drug, but rather about whether to trust established public health organizations or doctors who stray from their guidelines, and podcast and cable news hosts.”

— “Concern as Republicans push to make dubious Covid cure prescriptions easier,” Eric Berger, The Guardian

More:

“Republicans Are Changing State Medical Board Rules So It’s Easier For Doctors To Prescribe Hydroxychloroquine And Ivermectin,” Kadia Goba, BuzzFeed News

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Florida Health Official Suspended for Urging Employee Vaccinations

January 20, 2022

Florida Health Official Suspended for Urging Employee Vaccinations

The Medical Director of Orange County, Florida, has been put on leave for encouraging his staff to get vaccinated. Dr. Raul Pino, an epidemiologist, emailed his staff on January 6th, noting that only 77 of 568 employees had been fully vaccinated and boosted, and another 219 had received two shots:

“I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated. We have been at this for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we have done more than 300,000 and we are not even at 50% pathetic. I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it.”

Orange County includes Orlando and Disney World, home to a famous cartoon mouse. Florida’s Department of Health includes cartoonishly anti-vax Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, appointed by infamous pro-virus Governor Ron DeSantis, a cartoonishly libertarian Republican.

Orange County has reported a large increase in COVID-19 cases, with 40% of residents testing positive. That doesn’t include tourists and travelers at busy Orlando International Airport.

More:

“Florida Department of Health confirms Dr. Raul Pino put on leave for encouraging Orange County Department of Health employees to get vaccinated,” Danielle Prieur, WMFE

“Florida health official placed on leave after encouraging employees to get vaccinated,” Timothy Bella, Washington Post

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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USPS is taking orders for COVID-19 test kits

January 19, 2022

Postal Service is taking orders for COVID-19 test kits

The U.S. Postal Service urges you to stick it up your nose, for free:

“The U.S. Postal Service has begun taking orders for at-home coronavirus test kits.

The website [is] COVIDtests.gov….  (Click here to see how many users are on the test kit site.)

Each household order will contain four rapid tests, which the Postal Service says will be shipped for free ‘in late January.’

Some on Twitter reported problems with orders from residents of apartment buildings with multiple units being told that someone from that household had already ordered the tests.”

“The White House says it will prioritize shipments to Americans from ZIP codes that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with the first 20% of each day’s orders going to those areas.”

“There will also be a phone number so those without access to computers or high-speed internet can place orders.”

— “The Postal Service is now taking orders for COVID-19 test kits,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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USPS to Deliver 500 Million Home COVID Test Kits

January 11, 2022

USPS to Deliver 500 Million Home COVID Test Kits

After White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pooh-poohed the idea of mailing COVID rapid test kits to all American households and a torrent of angry criticism followed, the Biden administration is doing just that. Thank you, Jen Psaki.

There are logistical hurdles to sending out test kits besides the expense of purchasing and delivering them, however. Instead of simply mailing kits to every U.S. houshold identified by the 2020 Census or making them availible at local pharmacies or public locations, the administration is setting up a website where people must request the kits. That didn’t work so well at the beginning of Obamacare, and there’s no reason to think the rollout will be any less rocky this time.

More:

“Anger at Jen Psaki Helped Americans Get Free Covid Rapid Tests,” Robert Mackey, The Intercept

“White House making final touches for plan to mail 500 million COVID test kits: report,” Mike Murphy, MarketWatch

“White House, USPS finalizing plans to begin shipping coronavirus test kits to U.S. households,” Jacob Bogage and Dan Diamond, Washington Post

Update:

“At-home COVID tests will be covered by insurance starting Saturday: Coronavirus Updates,” Jonathan Franklin, NPR

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Lethal Libertarianism in the Ozarks

January 7, 2022

Alexander Stockton visited Mountain Home, Arkansas, in the Ozarks, and found residents “Dying in the Name of Vaccine Freedom,” and taking their neighbors with them. A New York Times OpEd video.

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The Hidden Pandemic: COVID Orphans

December 1, 2021

The 780,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States have left more than 140,000 children without primary caregivers. Over 5.2 million children worldwide have lost parents to the coronavirus. Maybe some of today’s demonstrators here in Washington professing their concern for children could adopt some of these kids.

More:

“COVID deaths leave thousands of U.S. kids grieving parents or primary caregivers,” Rhitu Chatterjee and Carmel Wroth, NPR News

“A crisis of childhood grief,” Anna North, Vox

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7 Doctors at Florida Anti-Vax Summit Get COVID

November 24, 2021

7 Doctors at Florida Anti-Vax Summit Get COVID

Days after anti-vax doctors met in Florida, seven of them came down with COVID-19. The fringe medicos met on November 6th at Ocala’s World Equestrian Center, so naturally they pushed ivermectin horse de-wormer as a coronavirus cure. As the Daily Beast points out, the Equestrian Center requires all participating ponies to be vaccinated against Equine Herpes Virus and Equine Influenza. Florida law prevents vaccine mandates for two-legged participants.

“Florida Summit on Covid” participants listened to the 9 panel “experts” and lunched together, and $250 VIP admission tickets included a private reception and photo opportunity, a likely virus incubator.

More:

“Seven doctors contract Covid after attending Florida anti-vaccine summit,” Maya Yang, The Guardian

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Mask-Wearing Cuts Covid by 53%

November 23, 2021
Mask-Wearing Cuts Covid by 53%

Florence Nightingale, masked, after H. M. Bonham-Carter

A global research study published in BMJ shows that wearing facemasks is the most effective non-pharmaceutical measure reducing COVID-19 incidence and fatalities:

“Mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure at tackling Covid, reducing incidence by 53%, the first global study of its kind shows.

Vaccines … do not confer 100% protection, most countries have not vaccinated everyone, and it is not yet known if jabs will prevent future transmission of emerging coronavirus variants.”

“Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, showing a statistically significant 53% reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing and a 25% reduction with physical distancing.”

— “Mask-wearing cuts Covid incidence by 53%, says global study,” Andrew Gregory, The Guardian

Related:

“As GOP Fights Mask and Vaccine Mandates, Florida Takes the Lead,” Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, via Yahoo News

“Mixed feelings as D.C. lifts mask mandate,” Chelsea Cirruzzo, Paige Hopkins, Cuneyt Dil, Axios

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Image (“Florence Nightingale masked, after a lithograph by H. M. Bonham-Carter”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Pro-COVID Republicans Help USA Stay Viral

November 9, 2021

Pro-COVID Republicans Help USA Stay Viral

North Dakota Republican State Representative Jeff Hoverson organized an anti-vaccine mandate rally in Bismarck, but couldn’t attend it. He’s got COVID. He’s treating it with horse de-wormer. Of course.

Ten Republican state attorneys general are suing to overturn Biden administration COVID vaccine mandates for federal contractors. GOP AGs from Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi and Utah have also sued to prevent the administration’s OSHA-enforced vaccine-or-test mandate for large companies. They claim that getting a deadly infection on the job isn’t a work-related injury. A 5th Circut federal court has issued a stay in the last matter.

More Republican AGs are suing to block the OSHA madate in the 11th Circuit and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saying it’s a states’ rights issue, and GOP governors are jumping on board. Claiming “states’ rights” in order to deprive citizens of human rights — or in this case, human life — is cruel, cynical, and politically-motivated.

America has a long history of vaccination mandates, and they have been highly effective in stemming epidemics. Refusing COVID vaccination means claiming the right to infect your family, co-workers, and neighbors. Unvaccinated people are 20 times more likely to infect others. 1,200 Americans are dying daily from COVID-19, most of them unvaccinated. COVID-19 has killed over 750,000 people in the United States. Expect many more if the GOP has its way.

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