health

Lift Every Voice Oregon
If you're in Oregon this is something simple you can do to help put gun safety on the November ballot.
Your Local Epidemiologist
"During the 1960s, for example, it seemed impossible to change tobacco use. The tobacco industry had one of the strongest lobbies in history, smoking was part of our every day lives, and people were addicted. But it needed to change. We were getting more and more evidence that tobacco causes lung cancer, and we started unpacking the dangers of second-hand smoking. So we treated it like a public health issue. And we did this not by banning tobacco, but through a consistent and coordinated effort of approaching the public health problem from multiple angles."
Such a great point. We should address gun violence as a public health problem.

Roe v. Wade Links

This is grim. I'm finding it hard to share articles here on the weekends like I have been lately. It looks like the Republican project to criminalize reproductive health care and deny body autonomy to women by overturning 50 years of settled law is going to happen.

The Atlantic: Alito’s Plan to Repeal Roe—and Other 20th Century Civil Rights
In the Court’s religious-freedom decisions related to the coronavirus pandemic, and in its choice last year to allow Texas to nullify the right to an abortion, you can see the outlines of this new legal regime: On the grounds that it constitutes a form of religious discrimination, conservatives will be able to claim an exemption from any generally applicable rule they do not wish to follow, while imposing their own religious and ideological views on those who do not share them.
Even if you have sympathy for their religious views, the consequences of this change to the daily lives of women are monsterous.

The Atlantic: Liberty No More
None of us can claim to understand with certainty the mysteries of human life. As medicine and science have advanced, the moral questions about abortion that we must contemplate have only grown more complicated. But none of that changes the fact that government control of women’s bodies—interference from the state that obliterates women’s freedom and in some cases ends their lives—represents a monumental blow to human rights.
Right now—before this decision is final—states are criminalizing the distribution of necessary medecine because they could potentially be used for abortion.

NPR: In Texas, abortion laws inhibit care for miscarriages
"The challenge is that the treatment for an abortion and the treatment for a miscarriage are exactly the same," said Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington in Seattle and an expert in early pregnancy loss.
We should be using the power of the federal government to ensure women everywhere have access to the care they need in spite of states that want to hurt their citizens.

Charlie Warzel: Anti-Abortion Republicans Won. Why Are They Still Mad?
“Winning” appears to be less engaging than the threat of danger lurking behind every corner. And when the right does win, what seems to animate its adherents even more than the win is their opponents’ response to it.
This is just one reason we see more stories in the media denouncing peaceful protests than stories enumerating the consequences of this supreme court decision to people's daily lives. The way the media covers this ensures a constant state of feeling aggrieved among the people who are winning at every level of government.

Popular Information: These 13 corporations have spent $15 million supporting anti-abortion politicians since 2016
But the figure makes clear the central role of corporate money in the imminent reversal of Roe — including money from many corporations that claim to be champions for women's rights and equality.
Politicians who support criminalizing women's health do not lose financial support from institutions. Our power as consumers is weak, but at least we can be aware of which companies say one thing and do another.

All of this is just grim and unfortunately it feels like a beginning instead of an end.
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.
The Atlantic
"Already, this surge is pushing their hospitals to the edge. And this is just the beginning. Hospitalizations always lag behind cases by about two weeks, so we’re only starting to see the effects of daily case counts that have tripled in the past 14 days (and are almost certainly underestimates)."
Another important update from Ed Yong. It's worth changing our behavior again to limit covid spread so we can keep our health care system working.
New York Times
"But for much of the arguments, Justice Barrett did seem ready to reverse Roe. For instance, she repeatedly suggested that pregnant people had no need for abortion because they could simply put their children up for adoption."
The supreme court is taking away health rights and personal autonomy and framing it as neutrality. This stolen majority is doing the job it was put there to do. Where are Democrats?

Update: oh, here they are. Tweeting.
apnews.com
"Republican legislators in more than half of U.S. states, spurred on by voters angry about lockdowns and mask mandates, are taking away the powers that state and local officials use to protect the public against infectious diseases."
Republicans want people to die. If they didn't want to maximize deaths from the pandemic, how would their actions be different? The Republican party sure looks like a death cult from the outside.
STAT
"At the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC said that a close contact was somebody that you’re indoors with unmasked for 15 minutes or more. The equivalent of that with the Delta variant is not 15 minutes, it’s one second."
Grimacing emoji.
Your Local Epidemiologist
Can I (a vaccinated parent) transmit the virus to my (unvaccinated) kids?

Yes. During pre-Delta, vaccines reduced transmission by a lot (85-90%), but they’re not perfect (100%). So, yes you can give the virus to your kids, although it’s much less probable than an unvaccinated person. We do not know how Delta changes the game. Delta is stickier with a higher viral load, so Delta has the potential to transmit from vaccinated to unvaccinated higher than before. But we just don’t know yet.
An epidemiologist looks at the Delta variant's impact on kids who can't get vaccinated yet.
The Atlantic
"As bad as the winter surge was, Springfield’s health-care workers shared a common purpose of serving their community, Steve Edwards, the president and CEO of CoxHealth, told me. But now they’re “putting themselves in harm’s way for people who’ve chosen not to protect themselves,” he said."
Places with high vaccine hesitancy like Missouri are still struggling with covid.
Bloomberg
"Even mild cases of Covid led to loss of volume in certain areas of the brain, specifically those involved in processing smell and taste. But they also found statistically significant brain volume loss in the gray matter — the thin layer on the surface of the brain that contains most of the neurons — in other areas involved with memory formation."
Covid impacts more than just killing people and I hope that starts to factor into people's decision to get a vaccine. We're fortunate to have the ability in the US to keep this from happening to people.
New York Times
"Everyone always focuses on the virus evolving — this is showing that the B cells are doing the same thing," said Marion Pepper, an immunologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. "And it’s going to be protective against ongoing evolution of the virus, which is really encouraging."
A++ would vaccinate again.
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