covid-19

Ground Truths
"The real number of cases is likely at least 500,000 per day, far greater than any of the US prior waves except Omicron. The bunk that cases are not important is preposterous. They are infections that beget more cases, they beget Long Covid, they beget sickness, hospitalizations and deaths. They are also the underpinning of new variants."
The pandemic is not over.
New York Times
It is the result of many factors, including elected officials who played down the threat posed by the coronavirus and resisted safety measures; a decentralized, overburdened health care system that struggled with testing, tracing and treatment; and lower vaccination and booster rates than other rich countries, partly the result of widespread mistrust and resistance fanned by right-wing media and politicians.
Excellent combination of reporting and presentation. Sobering statistics.
CNN
"The main actions include creating a clean indoor air action plan, optimizing fresh air ventilation, enhancing air filtration and cleaning, and engaging the building community by communicating with occupants to increase awareness, commitment and participation."
I hope this conversation filters down (sorry) to our local schools and university. This must be a difficult problem to solve in older buildings—or it's a difficult problem to add to a budget. I haven't seen any signs of this conversation here yet. Also, check out this article in Science from last August: The air investigator.
The Atlantic
"This week, Congress nixed $15 billion in coronavirus funding from a $1.5 trillion spending bill, which President Joe Biden then signed on Tuesday. The decision is catastrophic, and as the White House has noted, its consequences will unfurl quickly."
Republicans are trying to maximize deaths as they always have.
The Atlantic
"At the same time, as researchers look deeper and deeper into the bodies of infected people, they’re only seeing more damage. With each passing month, more studies emerge documenting how the coronavirus alters the function of vital organs such as the heart and the brain. The public has been cultured to think that most SARS-CoV-2 infections are trivial, and the repercussions brief, especially for the young, healthy, and privileged. But long COVID breaks the binary of severe and mild."
I think it's absolutely worth continuing to spend time and effort on covid prevention. It feels like we've collectively given up.
latimes.com
"Not surprisingly, then, after Goldman Sachs demanded employees return full-time to the office, the company announced it would raise its starting pay for first-year analysts by nearly 30%. In this new era, if you want employees in the office full time, you have to pay for it."
This is a positive development in work life especially with covid variant uncertainty. Being more distributed can also make an organization more resilient.
The Atlantic
"The agency also updated its risk guidelines to focus primarily on hospital burden rather than local transmission alone. By the old metrics, nearly all American counties should be masking; under the new standards, that recommendation applies to only about 37 percent, designated orange on the agency’s map, at a “high” COVID-19 community level."
Pinning community action to a lagging indicator like hospitalizations is a recipe for creating hot spots. This is a terrible move by the CDC that doesn’t seem based on science.
CBS News
"Based on her research on how many long COVID patients stop working or scale back their hours, Bach estimated that about 1.1 million workers have dropped out of full-time work due to long COVID at any given time, while about 2.1 million may have cut their hours due to their symptoms. All together, that equates to about 1.6 million full-time workers who are missing from the economy, according to Bach. "
Astonishing numbers.
Steady
Nevertheless, I am left today primarily thinking of all who have died, as well as those suffering from long covid, and those who may suffer in the years ahead in ways we cannot predict. This could have been a moment when we decided to step outside of our divided camps and come together. That the blame for this not happening is so asymmetric along the political divide does make me very angry, but it doesn’t make me any less sad.
Dan Rather on the lack of grieving for the people the pandemic has hurt or killed.
NBC
“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” the letter said.
Starting to feel like there are no good media companies. Once you get to a certain size you have to get with the misinformation program to make enough money to sustain things.
BBC
"'This year, what's happening is off the scale,' he said. 'There's been a new billionaire created almost every day during this pandemic, meanwhile 99% of the world's population are worse off because of lockdowns, lower international trade, less international tourism, and as a result of that, 160 million more people have been pushed into poverty.'"
Awful dynamic alert: the pandemic has been very positive for a select group of individuals who have enormous influence over how our society works.
adhoc.team
"Simple, dependable architectures such as the one covidtests.gov seems to employ are proven at scale. This affords agencies the space to focus on improved user experience and service delivery, rather than consuming large resources keeping sites up and running. This takes operational experience and know-how, though; even with the use of managed services, composing a full, end-to-end digital service experience takes skill."
The free covid tests site is powered by standard AWS components. And it seemed to hold up well under pressure, nice work USPS.
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