Monday, February 08, 2021

In The News (17)

Workers in L.A.’s courts are dying of COVID-19 as in-person hearings, trials continue  “Judges are very strict with people not chewing gum, looking at cellphones, not wearing a hat,” De Salvo said. “But wearing a mask? That’s another story.” 

Virus Variant First Found in Britain Now Spreading Rapidly in U.S. A new study bolsters the prediction by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the so-called B.1.1.7 variant will dominate Covid-19 cases by March. .......... A more contagious variant of the coronavirus first found in Britain is spreading rapidly in the United States, doubling roughly every 10 days ........  “We should probably prepare for this being the predominant lineage in most places in the United States by March.” ............. The first case turned up on Dec. 29 in Colorado ........ B.1.1.7 contains a distinctive set of 23 mutations scattered in a genome that is 30,000 genetic letters long. ........ The variant was separately introduced into the country at least eight times, most likely as a result of people traveling to the United States from Britain between Thanksgiving and Christmas. ........... The contagiousness of B.1.1.7 makes it a threat to take seriously. Public health measures that work on other variants may not be enough to stop B.1.1.7. More cases in the United States would mean more hospitalizations ........... the risk of dying of B.1.1.7 is 35 percent higher than it is for other variants. ..........  wearing effective masks, avoiding large gatherings and making sure indoor spaces are well ventilated. .........  Driving down B.1.1.7 will also reduce the risk that the variant will evolve into something even worse. Already in Britain, researchers have found samples of B.1.1.7 that have gained a new mutation with the potential to make vaccines less effective. 

A Parallel Pandemic Hits Health Care Workers: Trauma and Exhaustion Vaccines may be on the way, but many on the front-lines are burned out. Has the government done enough to help alleviate their stress? ............ and the exasperating public disregard for mask-wearing and social distancing ............. and the realization that she needed to spend more time at home after her children, 10 and 11, switched to remote learning. ......... Now, a year into the pandemic, with emergency rooms packed again, vaccines in short supply and more contagious variants of the virus threatening to unleash a fresh wave of infections, the nation’s medical workers are feeling burned out and unappreciated. .............  the crushing sense of guilt for nurses who unknowingly infected patients or family members, and the struggles of medical personnel who survived Covid-19 but are still hobbled by the fatigue and brain fog that hamper their ability to work. ..............  many Americans had scant appreciation for the tribulations that she and her colleagues face day after day. ........ “It feels like we’re failing, when in actuality we’re working with what we’ve got and we don’t have enough,” she said. “We feel quite helpless, and it’s a real injury to our psyches.” ................. the pandemic’s effect on clinicians who serve in poor communities. Many of the 2,000 medical, dental and mental health professionals who have participated in the survey so far say they are disillusioned. ........... two-thirds of American doctors said they had grappled with intense burnout during the pandemic, with a similar percentage reporting a drop in income. A quarter of respondents said their experiences with Covid had led them to exit the medical field. ............ 8 percent of doctors in the United States had closed their offices during the pandemic ....... As more and more medical staff members fall ill or quit, those who remain on the job have to work harder, and the quality of care invariably suffers ..........  a “parallel pandemic” of psychological trauma among health workers. .............  “The day before I got sick, I could comfortably run eight to 10 miles,” said Dr. Bial, 45, who started a Facebook group memorializing doctors lost to Covid. “Now I go out for a brisk walk and my heart is pounding. I’m starting to wonder whether these effects could be permanent.”  

We Know Very Little About America’s Vaccine Debacle It’s hard to solve a problem when you barely know what’s going on. .......  owing to failures of planning and monitoring, the federal government has essentially lost track of some 20 million vaccine doses that were delivered to the states during the previous administration. ......... We know that the 32 million or so shots that have been administered so far have gone disproportionately to wealthier, whiter Americans. ......  a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s disease surveillance system, a massive upgrade of its data infrastructure and a reimagining of public health authority during a global crisis are all in order. ...... There’s a good chance that children will return to school come fall and that people across the country will be able to celebrate holidays in normal fashion by next winter. But the nation remains locked in a desperate contest, between its own ability to vaccinate people as quickly as possible and the virus’s ability to mutate and spread ever faster. Right now, the virus still has the lead.

What It Means to Be Black in America Six short films for Black History Month. ......... Ed Dwight Jr. was invited by his country to train to be the first African-American astronaut. But the United States never sent him to space. ...........  Founded in 1966 in Oakland, Calif., to combat police violence, the Black Panther Party and its story are a key part of our nation’s still-complicated racial narrative. 

No comments: