Friday, January 29, 2021

CoVId-19: CA, UK, Brazil, South Africa Variants All Confirmed In California | "Rapid Testing Will Be The Way To Reopen The Economy" | Fight Over California Schools Escalates; Stagnates |

Rhinos at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 8/23/2021)

Lately I've been thinking about antigen (rapid) testing. It's believed that they're less accurate than PCR tests, but "you can't wait for the perfect" as Newsom always likes to say. They need to be massively produced and everyone should have access to them that wants them, and employers should be supplying them for their employees, especially in cases of grocery and drugstores with built in pharmacies. And while vaccinations ramp up, there shouldn't be any decline in testing and they need to make sure tests continue to be available to everyone free of charge. Then I watched Governor Cuomo today and he said the same thing; that reopening the economy will depend on the continuation of testing among workers, events, health care environments, schools, churches and more. 

Meanwhile there's massive back and forth about school reopenings in California, with the Governor trying to accelerate negotiations with teacher unions and the unions pushing back that they should get vaccine priority before returning to classrooms. Again, are we just all assuming that kids are going to walk into safe, distanced classrooms with powerful HEPA air filters and circulation, while also wearing masks and keeping distanced all day? It just seems crazy. Underneath all of that is whether or not COVID vaccines can even be mandated because they're currently only approved under Emergency Use Authorization. In the DOD press briefing on Thursday, they were very careful to repeat numerous times that vaccination among service people is completely voluntary. They also emphasized that while the DOD had established a plan for vaccination distribution among their military bases around the world, there was in fact, no federal plan for vaccine distribution to the general population, confirming the Biden administration's claims about 'non-existent' plans.

Besides all that, it was a beautiful cozy, rainy day in San Diego. It hailed briefly and it was cool to see some accumulation on our 'catio'. Unfortunately it leaves us in limbo on the trees and construction...not that I want them gone any sooner than they need to be, but because we've made arrangements for Nova to stay with my mom on Sunday so she doesn't have to try to do school when there's an excavator working next door. Other than that, we're doing family movie night with The Dig on Netflix and enjoying it. 

Continue to stay safe out there! If you get really bored, you should watch the San Diego Zoo Safari Park giraffe cams which often have the rhino babies running around and splashing in the mud. Can't wait to be there next week!! 

  • COVID-19:
    • Newsom: California schools won't reopen 'if we wait for the perfect' - Politico (1.28.2021)
      "If everybody has to be vaccinated, we might as well just tell people the truth: there will be no in-person instruction in the state of California. Just tell them the truth. Don't mislead people," Newsom said. "If vaccinations is the absolute, then maybe we should be having a different conversation with the people of the state of California and parents."
    • Meanwhile in New York... - Gov. Cuomo Media Briefing (1.29.2021) 
      • Starting March 15 Safe Wedding Receptions: Require testing for all guests, 50% capacity of venues, local health dept must sign off on wedding.
      • Facts change. 
      • Variants Of Interest could change situation dramatically in 6-12 weeks. 
      • If any hospital capacity hits 85%, capacity restrictions get reapplied
      • More people have died of COVID than WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam COMBINED
      • Governor Cuomo will lead national effort to repeal SALT
      • Times of extreme pressure show us who we are: cracks exposed/strength increases
      • Cuomo wants Defense Production Act to increase production of all vaccines and the supplies needed for distribution because he doesn't believe this is a one and done problem...6-9months from now we could be looking at more/worse variants, could be looking at a situation where people need repeated vaccines, boosters, new vaccines for mutations and that's why we need to stand up these additional manufacturing facilities now. 
      • Responding to reports of nursing home death undercounts: Dept of Health counts deaths of the facility where they occurred. Hospital deaths and deaths in nursing homes are different, but the bottom line deaths don't change. Federal government gave no guidance on death reporting.
      • Testing (rapid tests) will be the way to ramp up the economy. We can't wait for vaccines. "If you don't have it, you can't spread it."
    • The Pandejo Movement Destroyed California’s Pandemic Progress- A cautionary tale about what happens when municipalities lift restrictions too soon - The Atlantic (1.28.2021)
    • CDC chief Walensky: Treat each new coronavirus infection as if it’s a new variant - MarketWatch/AP News (1.29.2021)
    • SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines and the Growing Threat of Viral Variants - JAMA Network (1.28.2021)
      • Current Variants of Concern (All have now been sequenced in California)
        • UK Variant B1.1.7
        • Brazilian B 1.1.248 aka P.1
        • South African B 1.351
        • California L452R
      • "Immune response from the first infection isn't good enough to prevent a second infection." "Some form of normality by middle to late fall." Dr. Fauci on NBC Nightly News (1.29.2021)
    • From Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (1.29.2021): The WHO COVID-19 Dashboard reports 101.05 million cases and 2.18 million deaths as of 1pm EST on January 29. The global cumulative incidence surpassed 100 million cases on January 28.
      • 1 case to 20 million: 220 days
      • 20 to 40 million: 68 days
      • 40 to 60 million: 38 days
      • 60 to 80 million: 32 days
      • 80 to 100 million: 32 days
    • I'm posting this older article because as the debate of schools reopening rages on, the DOD news conference seemed to indicate that it isn't legal to mandate vaccines that are approved under Emergency Use Authorization, while this article seems to indicate otherwise though there haven't been any such mandates which as yet have come up in the courts to see if it can be mandated by employers as other fully-approved non-EUA vaccines are. 
      The COVID-19 Vaccine Is Here - Can Employers Mandate Immunization? - JD Supra (12.22.2020)
    • Mercury News is reporting that new sequencing by UCSF has shown cases of Brazilian and UK variant in the Bay Area. - Mercury News (1.29.2021)

    • Critical Vaccine Distribution, Supply Chain, Program Integrity, and Other Challenges Require Focused Federal Attention - GAO (1.28.2021)
      We remain deeply troubled by the lack of sufficient federal action on critical gaps identified and by the lack of clear plans to address these gaps. For example, a clear and comprehensive vaccine distribution plan remains a work in progress.
  • Politics:
Sign the petition here.
  • Pentagon Press Briefing/COVID Update (1.28.2021)
    • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
    • General Dr. Paul Friedrichs
    • Max Rose COVID Coordinator
    • 20,000 National Guardsman currently assisting 216 Vax Sites 36 States and Territories
    • 40 personnel from Army Corps of Engineers (to California for 02 Support)
    • 138,763 cases of COVID among military personnel
    • DOD gets their own vaccine allotments
      • Have already vaccinated almost all frontline workers, police, health care workers, and residents of two Army retirement homes
      • Next tier is 75+, personnel preparing to deploy overseas, personnel with strategic security roles, key frontline workers including teachers, etc. 
      • 769,000 vaccines received and distributed to 306 sites around the world
    • Confirms there was no singular national vaccination distribution plan 
      • Important distinction between DOD and national distribution 
      • OWS worked with states and territories who submitted plans to CDC
    • DOD labs are working with CDC to give samples for genetic sequencing of variants
  • News:
  • Other Reading/Watching:
  • Global COVID-19 Stats (JHU 1/29/2021 9:22pm):
    • 102,065,711 Known Cases
    • 2,206,336 Known Deaths
  • US COVID-19 Stats 
    • (JHU)
      • 25,929,282 Cases
      • 436,678 Deaths
    • (COVID Tracking Project):
      • 165,339 New Cases/25,551,231 Known Cases (4.4%+ Change over 7 Days)
      • 3,503 New Deaths/427,148  Known Deaths
      • 101,003 Current COVID-19 Hospitalizations
      • 19,609 Currently COVID-19 patients in ICU
      • 6,483 COVID-19 patients currently on ventilator
  • California COVID-19 Stats:
    • State of California Safe Schools For All Hub
    • Vaccination progress dashboard
    • Aggregate California ICU Bed Availability: 0%
    • 19,337 New Cases/3,205,947 Total Cases (+0.6% increase)
    • 617 New Deaths/39,578 Total Deaths (+1.6% increase)
    • 8.2% 14-day test positivity rate
    • 16,531 COVID-19 Hospitalizations (-562 patients, -3.4% from prior day)
    • 4,232 COVID-19 ICU hospitalized in CA (-51 patients, -1.2from prior day)
    • 1,187 ICU beds available (-12 from prior day)
  • San Diego County 
    • Free Testing Sites and Schedule in San Diego
    • County Opens New Vaccine Site at Tubman Chavez Community Center
    • VaccinationSuperstationSD
    • Vaccination Dashboard
    • State Data:
      • Southern California ICU Bed Availability: 0%
      • 1,489 New Cases/232,967 Total Cases
      • 69 Deaths/2,534 Total Deaths
      • 67.7 cases/100k population (Assessed on 1/26. Unadjusted Case Rate)
      • 12.6% Test Positivity (Assessed on 1/26)
      • 16.7% Health Equity Positivity (Assessed on 1/26)
      • 1,383 COVID-19 hospitalized patients (-21 patients, -1.5% from prior day)
      • 397 COVID-19 ICU hospitalized patients (-3 patients, -0.8% from prior day)
      • 159 ICU beds available (+3 from prior day)
    • County Data:
      • San Diego County Update - County News Center 
      • 1,670 New Cases/234,640 Total Cases 
      • 37 New Daily Deaths/2,571 Total Deaths
      • 6% Daily Test Positivity/11.1% (7-day avg after 7-day lag)/9% Test Positivity (14-day average)
      • 49.6 cases/100k population (Assessed on 1/26. Adjusted case rate per 100,000 excluding prisons.) 
      • 79% Case Investigation
      • -5.9% Day Over Day COVID-19 Hospitalizations (1,340 patients. -13% over 30 days)
      • 13% ICU Capacity (387 patients. +1% increase over 30 days)
      • 40 Staffed ICU beds available
      • 11 New/59 Community Outbreaks (7-day)
        • Business 29
        • Retail 1
        • Faith-based Setting 2
        • Government 5
        • Daycare/preschool 7
        • Healthcare 3
        • Emergency Services 1
        • Food/Bev Processing 5
        • tk-12 school 4
        • Warehouse/Distribution 1
        • Comm-Based Org 1

I wanted to include these two videos because this KUSI idiot kept asking Nathan Fletcher why police weren't the top priority and while he said all the right things, a similar argument was made today by Governor Cuomo, so I set them at the times to start and see how the KUSI reporter is just going for the low hanging fruit. Cuomo's response basically says, if you're going to tell me someone is higher priority, tell me who I should take the vaccine away from.  

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