Category Archives: healthcare

COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data | CIDRAP

Sweeping mask recommendations—as many have proposed—will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China, before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.  Surgical masks likely have some utility as source control (meaning the wearer limits virus dispersal to another person) from a symptomatic patient in a healthcare setting to stop the spread of large cough particles and limit the lateral dispersion of cough particles. They may also have very limited utility as source control or PPE in households. Respirators, though, are the only option that can ensure protection for frontline workers dealing with COVID-19 cases, once all of the strategies for optimizing respirator supply have been implemented.

Source: COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data | CIDRAP

Coronavirus: Hong Kong may turn sports and expo centres into temporary hospitals, sources say | South China Morning Post

Coliseum in Hung Hom is one option being considered as public hospitals begin to run out of isolation space. Contingency plan comes as city reports 41 new infections, most of them from overseas.
— Read on

Florida governor: sick passengers on cruise ship cannot be ‘dumped’ here | US news | The Guardian

Four people have died on coronavirus-stricken Zaandam liner and health of passengers and crew has worsened in past week

Source: Florida governor: sick passengers on cruise ship cannot be ‘dumped’ here | US news | The Guardian

June 4, 1939:  Jewish refugee ship turned away from Florida coast—jewish-refugee-ship-turned-away-from-florida-coast.html

So on June 4, 1939, the MS St. Louis anchored four miles off Miami Beach and was sighted by the Coast Guard, which immediately dispatched boats to the ship, as recounted in the Miami Daily News.

“Soon after the arrival of the coast guard craft the St. Louis hoisted anchor and put to sea, accompanied by the guard detail,” the story said. “The coast guard patrol boat C-244, out of Fort Lauderdale, stood by the ship as it slanted down the coast, barely making way, to prevent any possibility of attempts of refugees to jump off and swim ashore.”

A Coast Guard crewman told of running in close to the ship. “‘It doesn’t seem possible that so many people could crowd aboard one ship,'” he said.

Two days later, the St. Louis was heading north — and back to Europe. It did not return to Germany. Jewish organizations negotiated with four European nations to accept the passengers. Great Britain took 288, but the other 620 were taken by France, Belgium and the Netherlands

Opinion | Covid-19 Brings Out All the Usual Zombies – The New York Times

The bottom line is that as with so many things Trump, the awfulness of the man in the White House isn’t the whole story behind terrible policy. Yes, he’s ignorant, incompetent, vindictive and utterly lacking in empathy. But his failures on pandemic policy owe as much to the nature of the movement he serves as they do to his personal inadequacies.

Trump’s narcissism has taken a new twist. And now he has American blood on his hands | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian

The US president always was capricious and vengeful, but now that character flaw is a matter of life and death. State governors are crying out for federal help, not for themselves but for the people they represent: the nurses and doctors who need protective equipment and testing kits, the patients who need ventilators. But instead of leaping to their aid, Trump tells the governors it’s their responsibility, even though they have a fraction of the procurement power of the US government – adding that if they want help, they’d better grovel. “It’s a two-way street,” Trump said this week. “They have to treat us well.” Even when lives are on the line, his ego with its paper-thin skin comes first. Americans are paying the price for his lack of foresight, his closure of a pandemic task force for no better reason than it was established by Barack Obama – he hates anything with his predecessor’s name on it – and his failure to heed the warnings of a pandemic preparedness exercise, codenamed Crimson Contagion, that identified glaring gaps as recently as last October.

Source: Trump’s narcissism has taken a new twist. And now he has American blood on his hands | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian

Opinion | An Open Letter to President Trump – The New York Times

The nation craves a plan, not hunches.

Step 1: First, you need to call for a 50-state sheltering-in-place/social-distancing program. While the experts differ on how long that national lockdown should be — two weeks, four weeks, eight weeks, whatever the C.D.C. recommends, I say — they virtually all agree that it is needed to manifestly slow the spread of the coronavirus, to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed and to buy us the critical time we need to collect the data required to inform all future decision-making.

Step 2: We use this period of lockdown to gather as much data as possible about who has the coronavirus, where they live, what their ages and degrees of illness are, what the mortality rate is at what ages, and what other ailments or immune deficiencies they may have.

Step 3: This data can then be the foundation of what Katz calls “the pivot.” Once we have slowed the transmission of the coronavirus nationally — and developed a stratified national risk map — we can then, on the basis of that data, said Katz, begin phasing people back into the workplace to get the economy humming again.