North Dakota looks poised to become the No. 1 state in the nation by cumulative Covid-19 cases per capita, having surged past Florida and Mississippi with Louisiana just ahead. South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Montana are also quickly adding cases.
One of China’s leading vaccine developers is working on a plan to inoculate students going overseas with Covid-19 shots that are yet to get regulatory approval, according to people familiar with the matter, as the country pushes scientific boundaries in the race for a viable immunization.
It is a strategy of herd immunity for the COVID-19 issued on Oct. 4. The declaration states,”Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” and argues that keeping lockdown measures in place “until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.” On a press call, the White House noted that the declaration — which says it was issued in “Great Barrington, United States” (presumably Great Barrington, Massachusetts) — was signed by “over 8,000 public health officials all over the world as well as thousands of doctors and 300,000 citizens” including some notable public health professionals, as well as “Dr. Person Fakename” and “Dr. Johnny Fartpants.” The website is here.
A case in Nevada has spurred new concerns that people who have recovered from the infection may still be vulnerable. That’s unlikely, experts say.
Administrators at Brigham Young University’s campus in southeastern Idaho say they are “deeply troubled” by reports that students may have intentionally tried to contract COVID-19, lured by blood donation centers that are paying a premium for plasma with COVID-19 antibodies.
Eli Lilly said it is reviewing safety data that caused federal researchers to pause a trial of the company’s Covid-19 antibody in hospitalized patients. In the meantime, other trials using lower doses of the drug outside the hospital will continue.
From March to June 2020, I led a palliative care team embedded in our hospital’s Covid ICU. We spoke to countless families over the phone and by Zoom calls to tell them their loved ones were critically ill, getting sicker, and eventually, dying. When the prognosis seemed dire, we recommended transitioning to comfort-focused care. And in patients’ final hours and days, we held iPads at their bedsides so that family members around the world could say goodbye.
Official Reporting for October 14, 2020
World Health Organization
Cumulative Cases: 38,002,699
Cumulative Deaths: 1,083,234
Confirmed Cases: 37 875 422
Deaths: 1 081 632
Confirmed Cases: 38,411,907
Total cases: 7,835,007
Total deaths: 359,835
A Canadian spin studio followed public health guidelines. But 61 people still caught the coronavirus. – Washington Post
New Jersey: As NJ COVID-19 cases spike, some residents shun hospitals – NJ Local News
New York: Sweet 16 ‘super-spreader’ party in New York leads to 37 coronavirus cases, $12,000 fine – NBC News
Iran: Reported new highs: 4,830 infections and 279 fatalities over the past 24 hours – Washington Post
France: Declares public health state of emergency over COVID-19 – Reuters
Ireland:Tightens COVID-19 curbs in counties bordering Northern Ireland – Reuters
Italy: Hits highest number of new infections: 7,332, with 43 fatalities, over the previous 24 hours – Washington Post
Germany: Reported over 5,000 new infections in 24 hours for the first time since mid-April. – Washington Post
Russia: Hospital bed occupancy almost at 90 percent as coronavirus cases grow – Washington Post
Science and Tech
The monoclonal antibodies made by the New York-based company Regeneron, designed to target SARS-CoV-2, are currently the most talked about antibodies in the world. Not only because they are a lead COVID-19 drug candidate, but also because they were the first treatment that President Trump received upon receiving his COVID-19 diagnosis.
A Japanese supercomputer showed that humidity can have a large effect on the dispersion of virus particles, pointing to heightened coronavirus contagion risks in dry, indoor conditions during the winter months. The finding suggests that the use of humidifiers may help limit infections during times when window ventilation is not possible, according to a study released on Tuesday by research giant Riken and Kobe University.
The continuing spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. What physicians need to know about transmission, diagnosis, and treatment of Covid-19 is the subject of ongoing updates from infectious disease experts at the Journal.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have largely accepted that returning to life pre-2020 is not likely to happen any time soon. But that hasn’t stopped many from trying to reestablish a sense of normalcy by maintaining social connections while still being mindful of the public health guidelines intended to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is a collective stressor unfolding over time; yet, rigorous empirical studies addressing its mental health consequences among large probability-based national samples are rare. Between 18 March and 18 April 2020, as illness and death escalated in the United States, we assessed acute stress, depressive symptoms, and direct, community, and media-based exposures to COVID-19 in three consecutive representative samples from the U.S. probability-based nationally representative NORC AmeriSpeak panel across three 10-day periods (total N = 6514). Acute stress and depressive symptoms increased significantly over time as COVID-19 deaths increased across the United States.
Drug overdose deaths rose in the first three months of this year, according to preliminary numbers released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SARS-CoV-2 immunity: review and applications to phase 3 – The Lancet
Antibody-like proteins that capture and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 – Science Magazine
Safety and Immunogenicity of Two RNA-Based Covid-19 Vaccine Candidates – NEJM
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
The confluence of misinformation and infectious disease isn’t unique to COVID-19. Misinformation contributed to the spread of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and it plagues efforts to educate the public on the importance of vaccinating against measles. But when it comes to COVID-19, the pandemic has come to be defined by a tsunami of persistent misinformation to the public on everything from the utility of masks and the efficacy of school closures, to the wisdom behind social distancing, and even the promise of untested remedies. According to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, areas of the country exposed to television programming that downplayed the severity of the pandemic saw greater numbers of cases and deaths—because people didn’t follow public health precautions.