In the last six months the world has learned that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, more commonly known as COVID-19, is contagious, can be deadly, and has become a global pandemic. As of today, more than 8.2 million people have tested positive and more than 445,000 have died worldwide from COVID-19. There is still much we don’t know about this virus. What we do know is that the elderly are disproportionately affected, as are ethnic minorities and those with underlying health conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, obesity, and chronic lung disease.
In much of Beijing, life had returned to something like normal weeks ago. Restaurants welcomed diners, people went back to work, schools reopened. The pandemic seemed like something that was happening to the rest of the world, not China.
Texas has again reported a higher number of hospitalizations for coronavirus than at any point since the pandemic began, as a coronavirus rise continues in the nation’s second largest state, while a spike in Arizona keeps getting more significant—that state again set a record for hospitalizations Wednesday as the number of hospital beds in use has now risen to 85%.
A surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in states including Arizona, Texas and Florida is showing signs of straining health systems and increasing concern about how officials will respond to a new wave of infections after loosening lockdowns.
41 Min Podcast at Link – Across the country, states are loosening the restrictions that had been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 — with varying results. New cases are decreasing in some states, including New York, Michigan and Colorado, while case numbers and hospitalizations have swelled recently in several states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.
Americans were quick to stock up on packaged foods during the first wave of the coronavirus, and some major producers felt a ripple effect in the supply chain due to the heightened demand.
Oxygenation improved in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 with severe hypoxemic respiratory failure when they were placed in the prone position, a small study in New York City found. One hour after initiation, oxyhemoglobin saturation increased by a median 7 percentage points (95% CI 4.6-9.4; range 1-34) from baseline in awake, spontaneously breathing patients with at least one awake session of the prone position, reported Sanja Jelic, MD, of Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and colleagues. [Related JAMA Paper]
Transplant for COVID-Ravaged Lungs: Caution Ahead – MedPageToday
The first lung transplant for a COVID-19 patient in the U.S. made headlines last week, but such cases are likely to be uncommon and have poorer outcomes than typical for lung transplant, one specialist cautioned.
Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are more commonly older, male, of black race, and have underlying conditions. Less is known about factors increasing risk for hospitalization.
Treatment of COVID-19 has been a medical puzzle for front-line doctors largely learning about the disease in real-time without proven protocols. During the first crush of COVID-19, physicians in the U.S. relied heavily on mechanical ventilation to rescue oxygen-starved patients.
Official Reporting for June 18, 2020
|WHO SITREP #149||ECDC||Johns Hopkins|
Total deaths: 116,862
Where U.S. coronavirus cases are on the rise – Reuters
Florida: Coronavirus cases are spiking across the country and experts say Florida has the makings of the next epicenter – CNN
Texas: Texas bars and restaurants were eager to reopen. Now some are closing their doors again as coronavirus cases rise. – Texas Tribune
Colorado: Boulder Warns Of Growing Coronavirus Cases As Outbreaks Continue Statewide – Colorado News
Southern California: Orange and Ventura counties see uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations amid reopening – Los Angeles Times
Utah: New Utah coronavirus data gives us insights into hospital capacity, outbreaks and more – Salt Lake Tribune
Alabama: Neglected Black communities in Alabama see coronavirus surge – NBC
Wyoming: Wyoming sees statewide spike in COVID-19 cases – Wyoming News
South Texas/Mexico: South Texas leaders worry about reopening, Mexico’s numbers as coronavirus cases spike – Border Report
Europe reopens many borders but not to Americans, Asians – AP
Germany: Coronavirus outbreak at German slaughterhouse is untenable, officials say – MarketWatch
China: Beijing ramps up coronavirus restrictions as cases spread to nearby provinces – NBC
African countries are struggling to keep track of covid-19 – Economist
Honduras’ president hospitalized with COVID-19 as Latin America becomes virus ‘epicenter’ – NBC
Science and Tech
With news yesterday out of the UK that the inexpensive and widely available steroid dexamethasone significantly reduced deaths in coronavirus patients who are intubated and those requiring oxygen, following published evidence last month that the antiviral Remdesivir shortened time to recovery, the search for a breakthrough drug or approach that improves survival before approval of a viable vaccine remains illusive.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has signed an agreement worth up to $16 million over the next year with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University to identify and test FDA-approved drugs that could be repurposed to prevent or treat COVID-19.
The European Commission is in advanced talks with pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) to reserve or make an up-front purchase of its COVID-19 vaccine under development, two officials familiar with the talks told Reuters.
We might be through with the pandemic, but the pandemic isn’t through with us. Trends are showing it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. A resurgence of COVID-19 is occurring in record-setting numbers in several states. This isn’t a second wave. We’re still in the first wave. If you’re starting to crack, hold on. Think of the actions you can take to deal with uncertainty fears. First and foremost, keep practicing the basics that your local and state authorities have established. For most businesses that means the three W’s: wear a mask, wash your hands, and wait at least 6 feet apart. And it looks as if some form of self-isolation, social distancing and a new normal summer is ahead of us.
Prone Positioning in Awake, Nonintubated Patients With COVID-19 Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure – JAMA
Dual function of sialic acid in gastrointestinal SARS-CoV-2 infection – Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Genomewide Association Study of Severe Covid-19 with Respiratory Failure – NEJM
Pre-Pub (not yet peer reviewed, should not be regarded as conclusive)
Coping in Quarantine
After three months of lockdowns, many people in the U.S. and around the world are turning to quarantine bubbles, pandemic pods or quaranteams in an effort to balance the risks of the pandemic with the emotional and social needs of life.