Still Not Convinced There’s A COVID-19 Crisis? LA Doctors Are Told To Have End Of Life Talk With Fragile Patients

Hospitals are already adding beds, moving ICU patients to other areas, and trying to retrain staff to backfill for highly trained ER doctors and ICU nurses.

But they’re losing the fight.

“There are very limited hospital and ICU beds available and emergency departments are strained to capacity,” reads the health alert from Dr. Sharon Balter, head of Public Health’s Division of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention.

The memo notes that, over the past two weeks, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has jumped by 90%.

As of Wednesday, a staggering 6,155 Angelenos were hospitalized in L.A. County with the virus, and 20% of them were in ICUs spread across the county’s acute-care hospitals.

“We are forecasting that in this current surge — between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31 — 8,700 people in Los Angeles County will die from COVID. That is nearly three times the number of people that died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” Ghaly said in a press call yesterday.

“The worst is yet to come,” she warned.

Source: Still Not Convinced There’s A COVID-19 Crisis? LA Doctors Are Told To Have End Of Life Talk With Fragile Patients

Texas health district delays giving COVID-19 vaccine doses until after Christmas | The Texas Tribune

The Williamson County and Cities Health District on Wednesday received 900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, then closed its offices for Christmas.

District officials said Thursday that the vaccine arrived earlier than scheduled and it was impossible to speed up plans to administer vaccines starting Saturday. But the move drew a sharp rebuke from local leaders, who felt that health officials shirked their duties by failing to promptly administer doses of the vaccine.

“We actually have the tool in our toolbox and we’re hanging onto it,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell. He criticized district officials for taking time off while first responders in the Central Texas suburban county, home to Round Rock, continued to work.

“I’m just profoundly disappointed,” he added.

Source: Texas health district delays giving COVID-19 vaccine doses until after Christmas | The Texas Tribune

Warnock says he’ll focus on Georgians after video of ex-wife surfaces

The Atlanta Police Department reported medical examiners requested the woman reveal her foot to check for injuries. Investigators said she was initially hesitant to show her foot, but when she did examiners found no signs her foot was run over.

Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is in a tight race in one of Georgia’s Senate runoff elections on Jan. 6, said Thursday he would “stay focused on the people of Georgia” after a video emerged of his ex-wife’s allegations that he…

The Brexit deal: What we know so far – BBC News

  • There will be no extra charges on goods (tariffs) or limits on the amount that can be traded (quotas) between the UK and the EU from 1 January
  • However, there will be extra checks at borders, such as safety checks and customs declarations, so businesses that rely on transporting goods to and from the EU will need to be ready
  • For services, including finance – which is very important to the UK economy – the situation is still slightly unclear. Services will lose their automatic right of access but the UK said the agreement “locks in market access across substantially all sectors”
  • There will no longer be automatic recognition of professional qualifications such as doctors, nurses and architects


  • UK nationals will need a visa for stays of longer than 90 days in the EU in a 180-day period
  • There will be extra border checks for UK travellers
  • EU pet passports will no longer be valid


  • The UK becomes an independent coastal state and can decide on access to its waters and fishing grounds
  • But EU boats will be able to fish in UK waters for some years to come at least
  • 25% of the value of their current catch will now become available for UK fishing boats
  • But there will be a transition period of five-and-a-half years where that is phased in
  • After the transition period the UK and EU will regularly negotiate on access to each other’s waters

European Court of Justice

  • The UK will no longer be bound by judgements made by the European Court of Justice, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said


  • The UK will no longer have automatic access to key databases, but should be able to gain access upon request
  • The UK will will not be a member of Europol – the EU’s law enforcement agency – but it will have a presence at its headquarters. This will be a similar to the arrangement the US currently has.


  • The UK will no longer participate in the Erasmus exchange programme – an EU scheme that helps students study in other countries.
  • In its place will be a new scheme named after the mathematician Alan Turing
  • Students at universities in Northern Ireland will continue to participate in Erasmus, as part of an arrangement with the Irish government.

Source: The Brexit deal: What we know so far – BBC News

Turkey to receive 3 million doses of the Chinese vaccine; Brazil increasingly skeptic about CoronaVac effectiveness.

50% effectiveness

What Now News 24

Image Credit: CFP

On Thursday, Dr. Serhat Unal, a health expert in the Turkish medical board announced that the Chinese experimental vaccine developed by the Sinovac Biotech has shown an efficacy of 91.25% in the initial results of the late-stage trials. Unlike Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, Sinovac vaccine is an inactivated vaccine. This means that unlike Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, a virus will be delivered to the vaccine receiver, but the virus is inactivated and therefore would not pose any danger of infection for the receiver. This type of vaccine is technically a historically proven approach as most vaccines use this approach.

On Monday, Turkey will receive the first shipment of three million doses of the Chinese vaccine, CoronaVac. Initially, the vaccine was planned to be received after December 11, but due to permit problems, the vaccine delivery was delayed. Turkey will receive a total of 50 million doses of the vaccine. The country…

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Carmen’s Fourth Christmas 1912 (reposting)

Once upon a time there lived in the little village of Saranac, New York a dear little girl named Carmen whose papa and mama were very poor but happy as Christmas time drew near.

Carmen talked of Santa Claus and wondered if he would visit her. She had a dear good Auntie who was always thoughtful for her comfort and did many things for her that her mamma was unable to do because she was an invalid.

So when Auntie made her presents, she gave nice big gingham aprons or dresses, or stockings which made mama’s heart glad, for she knew they were the very things her girlie needed.

A short time before Christmas papa hired a pony and carriage and took Carmen and went to the stores to do their Saturday shopping. In one store, where they went, were beautiful dollies of all kinds and many pretty toys. Carmen selected a little cradle, a little white high chair for dollie and a cute little dollie in pink dress and bonnet. Mama got her candy also and some necessary articles of clothing.

Now these things were meant for her Christmas gifts but she had them so long before time that she forgot they were Christmas gifts.

One day a letter came from dear Auntie saying a box was on the way full of Christmas cheer – and when it was opened, the dear baby was delighted with the nice new aprons, bibs, slippers, etc. But she knew they were from Auntie – not Santa and her toys she knew were from papa and mama. And when anyone asked her what Santa brought her, she would say, “He didn’t bring me neny sing.” This made mama feel badly for she couldn’t do any more for her baby but would tell her that she had been well rewarded by others – but still she could not forget that Santa had forgotten her.

As mama was setting the table for tea on Christmas night, she took down a small glass dish for pickles – one she had not used for a long time and Carmen had forgotten she had. So she asked where it came from. Mama told her she found it one time in her stocking on Christmas morning. “Well, couldn’t I hang up my stocking?” asked Carmen. “It is too late my dear,” said Mama. Santa filled stockings last night. “Well… but maybe he would remember that he forgot me and will come tonight,” said Carmen. Mama told her to run along and not bother her – for she was nervous and sometimes a little cross, and Carmen annoyed her with so many questions.

When bedtime came, she got ready for bed and mama told her she might get into her own bed down stairs till papa went up – then she wouldn’t be up there all alone. No one noticed her undressing but a long time after she was asleep papa said, “I guess I’ll shave.”

He got things ready and as the fire was low, he went out to get wood – so thought he would prepare the kindling for the morning fire at the same time. While he was out, Mama happened to notice that on one the two posts of a chair were hung two little stockings – all baggy at the knee where some little girl had romped and played, and a tiny hole, which the garter made at the top.

The big tears started in mama’s eyes and a big stinging in her nose made more big tears. When papa came in she said, “Look! What faith the child has.” Papa’s eyes were a little misty too. He said, “Haven’t you any thing you could put in there?” But she had nothing that Carmen had not seen.
Money was scarce – for the farmers papa chopped wood for did not always have ready money to pay him. But by hunting around, they scared up forty cents and papa said, “I’ll not shave but will hurry down and the drug store will likely be open and I may be able to get something.” It was nine o’clock then – and it being Christmas – the drug store was closed but he found another store open and so did the best he could there.

He got mixed candy and peanuts, an orange and 2 picture books. Mama had some net candy bags, which she filled with candy and put in then the nuts and lastly the books rolled up and sticking out of the top.

When papa got ready for bed he picked Carmen up and carried her up the stairs and when she got up there she awoke and began to ask if he left the door unlocked for Santa, and if he left a light on for him, etc. She could hardly get to sleep again. She was so excited and mama and papa were glad they had discovered the little stockings.

When morning came, papa came down first to build the fire and Carmen called down, “Daddy! Is there neny sing in my stockings?” Daddy said, “Come and see” and there was a very happy little girl that morning.
She was more pleased with those few things than all the other things she got – for “Santa” had brought them. So mama resolved that next year – what ever came for her, something should be reserved and put in the stocking and it would be of greater value.

These are the facts as they happened on the Christmas of 1912.
Maude Wright
* *
Postscript: Maude Wright, my grandmother, was not able to directly keep her promise. She died a few months later from the effects of chronic TB and the birth of her second child.

Maude Wright mailed this story – handwritten in pencil – with a letter to her sister and Carmen’s auntie passed this story to her.

I did not see the story, or even know it existed, until one year after after my mother had died at age 86 on December 7, 1994.

A week before Christmas of 1995, my brother sent me a package of photos and papers my mother had kept. This story was folded up with no special appearance and included with the photos and other papers. I actually put it aside and looked through the photos first.

When I finally looked at the neatly folded sheet of paper of the type that is used by first grader’s to practice their “letters,” I discovered in the carefully written and penciled story why at each Christmas morning my brother and I would find under the Christmas tree a stocking with our name on it filled by Santa with mixed candy and peanuts in net candy bags, an orange and 2 picture books rolled up and sticking out of the top. My grandmother could not keep her vow but her daughter, my mother, kept it for her. Thanks, Grandma and Merry Christmas to all. Ned Hamson

Maude Wright – my grandmother – in 1912. Last photo of her.