Tulane Outbreak Daily – February 24, 2021

When Could the United States Reach Herd Immunity? It’s Complicated – New York Times

With the vaccine rollout underway and coronavirus cases declining after a dark winter surge, it may seem as though the end of the pandemic is in sight. In reality, how soon could we get there?

Serbian scientists set first Europe’s coronavirus death at February 5, 2020 – Reuters

COVID-19 caused the death of a man in Serbia last February, 10 days before the first fatality from the disease in Europe was reported by France, a study by researchers in Belgrade has found.

The Most Likely Timeline for Life to Return to Normal – The Atlantic

The end of the coronavirus pandemic is on the horizon at last, but the timeline for actually getting there feels like it shifts daily, with updates about viral variants, vaccine logistics, and other important variables seeming to push back the finish line or scoot it forward. When will we be able to finally live our lives again?

Researchers reveal genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19 – Eureka Alert

HSE University researchers have become the first in the world to discover genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19.

Fauci says he sees U.S. CDC relaxing some COVID-19 guidelines soon – Reuters

Top U.S. infectious disease official Anthony Fauci on Tuesday told CNN that he expects the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to soon relax some COVID-19 recommendations aimed at curbing its spread for people who have been vaccinated.

We’re Just Rediscovering a 19th-Century Pandemic Strategy – the Atlantic

A few years ago, when I still had confidence in our modern ability to fight viruses, I pored over a photo essay of the 1918 flu pandemic. How quaint, I remember thinking, as I looked at people bundled up for outdoor classes and court and church. How primitive their technology, those nurses in gauze masks. How little did I know.

Vaccine Headlines

Should I Get a Covid-19 Vaccine When Others Need It More? – NYT

Whatever rules we make for vaccination priority, there will be trade-offs. We want to minimize the total number of people who become severely or even fatally ill from the disease. We want to protect those whose necessary work puts them at risk of their exposure to the virus. And we want to be fair, treating similarly situated people alike. These desiderata don’t all pull in the same direction. Health care workers who are in their 20s and don’t have certain medical conditions aren’t at high risk if they contract Covid-19. Perhaps we could save more lives if we left them until later.

Maryland expands screening of variants; names next mass vaccination site in Southern Md. – WTOP

Maryland is increasing its screening and genetic sequencing of coronavirus test results to look for the presence of more-contagious variants that appear to already be circulating around the state.

Russia shows off new Covid-19 vaccine factory even as its people hesitate to get the shot – CNN

Decades ago, Soviet scientists researched biological weapons at a site in Volginsky, about 70 miles east of Moscow. Now, that site is being used to mass-produce a vaccine aimed at protecting people around the world from the coronavirus.

Does the Vaccine Stop Transmission? – NYT

How to understand the difference between vaccination to prevent Covid-19 and shots to halt infection. [Related study]

Pfizer And Moderna To Dramatically Increase Covid-19 Vaccine Production This Spring – Forbes

Covid-19 vaccine distribution rates in the U.S. are likely to accelerate in the coming months to potentially twice the amount now being administered, as vaccine manufacturers project substantial boosts in production and the White House increases the number of doses it sends out to states.

Bulgaria Begins Mass-Vaccination Effort; All Welcome To Line Up In ‘Green Corridors’ – NPR

In an effort to boost vaccination rates among a skeptical public, Bulgaria has opened up COVID-19 inoculations to all who want them. On Friday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov told the nation he was creating “green corridors” where any Bulgarian resident could line up for the vaccine.

Pfizer and FDA discuss clinical trial for boosters for Covid-19 variants – Financial Times

Pfizer says it is discussing a clinical trial for a booster for new Covid-19 variants with the Food and Drug Administration, after the US regulator urged vaccine makers to prepare to adapt their shots.

Clinical Considerations

Official Reporting for February 23, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update February 22, 2020

Confirmed Cases: 111 419 939

Deaths: 2 470 772

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 112,073,782
Deaths: 2,483,456

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 27,993,504 (+55,419 New Cases)
Total deaths: 498,993 (+1,578 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

Monoclonal antibodies against MERS coronavirus show promise in Phase 1 NIH-sponsored trial – NIH

A randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 1 clinical trial of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against the coronavirus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) found that they were well tolerated and generally safe when administered simultaneously to healthy adults. The experimental mAbs, REGN3048 and REGN3051, target the MERS coronavirus (MERS CoV) spike protein used by the virus to attach to and infect target cells. The mAbs were discovered and developed by scientists at the biopharmaceutical company Regeneron, located in Tarrytown, New York. The trial was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Giving Hope, and a Place to Mourn: Memorials to the Pandemic – NYT

How should we memorialize those who’ve died from Covid-19? In Italy and Britain, artists and architects are beginning to come up with answers.

A Year Of Coronavirus: Hanging Tough And Hopeful – Forbes

The first known case of coronavirus in the United States was confirmed on January 21, 2020, and the first known death on February 6. Within weeks of the news that Covid-19 was spreading globally, pollsters in the US and abroad began to examine Americans’ reactions to the outbreak. In the new issue of the AEI Polling Report, we review ten interesting public opinion trends we have followed closely for the past year.

Do ‘Tight’ Cultures Fare Better In The Pandemic Than ‘Loose’ Cultures? – NPR

The study looks at “loose” nations — those with relaxed social norms and fewer rules and restrictions — and “tight” nations, those with stricter rules and restrictions and harsher disciplinary measures. And it found that “loose” nations had five times more cases (7,132 cases per million people versus 1,428 per million) and over eight times more deaths from COVID-19 (183 deaths per million people versus 21 per million) than “tight” countries during the first ten months of the pandemic.

Published Research

Association of HLA Class I Genotypes With Severity of Coronavirus Disease-19 – Frontiers in Immunology

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

White House working with Facebook and Twitter to tackle anti-vaxxers – Reuters

The White House has been reaching out to social media companies including Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google about clamping down on COVID misinformation and getting their help to stop it from going viral, a senior administration official said.

Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)

Coronaangst ridden? Overzoomed? Covid inspires 1,200 new German words – The Guardian

Linguist who compiled list of words says they help tell story of life during pandemic

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