Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 6:24pm EDT
Dexamethasone, a cheap steroid, can reduce COVID-19 deaths by one-third and is the first drug proven to save lives; the World Health Organization has ‘welcomed’ the preliminary results. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the virus has slowly mutated, likely due to environmental conditions, to become more infectious, and the death rate has doubled. Studies show that a ‘bacterial predator’ could also help to reduce deaths. Remdesivir costs more than $3,100 for one course, and Gilead is testing an inhaled version. The U.S. has purchased 500,000 courses at $2,340 each. Some patients are reporting symptoms of psychosis, nightmares and hallucinations. COVID-19 might trigger diabetes in healthy people. “Super potent COVID-19 neutralizing antibodies“ which identify multiple targets of vulnerability have been successfully tested in animals, and an Italian study has shown that mosquitoes cannot transmit the virus. Face masks are critical in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and should be mandatory worldwide to prevent a resumption of the rapid rate of infection. Dr. Fauci warns that a vaccine may not lead to herd immunity but the threshold may not be as high as we originally thought. The CDC has recently reported a novel strain of antibiotic-resistant Meningitis, which could be fatal to someone who’s immune system has been shut off due to COVID-19. 23andME has also reported that people with type O blood are less likely to get COVID-19. COVID-19 has been shown to boost levels of brain injury biomarkers. Studies have found that maternal transmission of COVID-19 to babies during pregnancy is uncommon, and newborn triplets in Mexico have tested positive while the parents tested negative. Mild cases of COVID-19 may confer less immunity and studies have reported a rapid loss of COVID-19 antibodies. Scientists have discovered “two genetic variants associated with COVID-19 respiratory failure”, and that neurological symptoms are quite common, posing a threat to the entire nervous system. Common cancer treatments will not worsen a COVID-19 infection.
As expected, the number of infections in the U.S. is increasing due to restrictions being lifted, some U.S. cities are going back into lockdown. Arizona, Texas and Florida are seeing record high numbers, with the Texas Governor calling the outbreak ‘massive’. California has hit a ‘new high’ in hospitalizations. Oregon has paused their re-opening due to a rise in cases as well. More than 20% of residents in New York City know someone who has died from COVID-19. The army has selected vaccine candidates and have set human trials for this summer. Homeowners are missing mortgage payments due to the collapse of the economy. There are concerns that testing sites may be defunded amid the second wave although experts say we’re still in the first wave. The Canada-U.S. border remains closed. Beijing is conducting mass testing due to a potential second wave and has shut all schools again. President Nkurunziza of Burundi has died of COVID-19. Brazil’s cases are rising at rates seen in the U.S., and they have now surpassed 1,000,000 cases, approximately 10% of known cases worldwide. Numbers in India and South Korea continue to rise rapidly as well. Victoria, Australia, has been cordoned off from the rest of the country due to an outbreak.
A study found that COVID-19 could have been in Wuhan in the summer of 2019, and was in Europe as early as March 2019. Analysis of the reproduction rate shows that the world has largely been unsuccessful at containing the virus but widespread mask use could shrink it. A new strain of Swine Flu that is spreading to humans in China threatens to become an additional pandemic. Deutsche Bank thinks there is a one-in-three chance of a “massive disaster that could be worse than COVID-19”. Artificial intelligence may be able to predict who becomes sick. Far-UVC light can eliminate airborne coronaviruses. COVID-19 may cause a brain drain.
In Canada, Montreal has become the epicentre, and cases in Ontario are spiking amidst Stage 2 re-opening. Ontario has released guidance for workplaces and also for public transit. The federal government has also released a guidebook on the return of public servants to worksites. The Fitness Industry Council of Canada has also released guidelines for gyms. Temperature screening is now mandatory at Canadian airports. A model predicts that COVID-19 is here to stay and that we should all ‘get used to’ living with it, others are predicting apocalyptic scenarios. Ontario is also seeing a jump in migrant workers who are testing positive. Professional sports continue to see outbreaks as well. Some say the lockdown is now ‘harming health more than it is helping’. Some are calling for tax credits to incentivize innovation. Population demographics will be affected by the pandemic. The World Bank is predicting a recession worse than the 2009 financial crisis.
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