Store shelves from coast to coast are increasingly bare. Biden says shelves being 11% empty is not much different than before the pandemic. It looks pretty different to me, folks:
😅 This seems fine and normal pic.twitter.com/4tYPkCGi54
— Zach Graves 🍞🎪 (@ZacharyGraves) January 18, 2022
The plume from the Tonga volcanic eruption is impressive, and there’s some risk of acid rain:
The eruption plume from #HungaTongaHungaHaapai continues to drift west across Australia. This is primarily an SO2 plume.
Image via ADAM platform pic.twitter.com/Mhx5Kzwvl3
— Jess Phoenix is your Volcano Friend 🌋 (@jessphoenix2018) January 18, 2022
The damage in Tonga is extensive. Environmental damage to marine life, fisheries, coastlines, and local coral reefs could last for years:
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 20, 2022
The US is going to let teens drive semis in a pilot program designed to address our trucker labor shortage.
Texas is going to go from hot to cold almost overnight—get ready for it. The chill could extend all the way to Maine.
The world has 342.6 million COVID cases. The world has gained 22.1 million cases in the last week. There have been nearly 5.6 million deaths in total. The US has had a cumulative 70.3 million cases—about 5.2 million cases were added in the last week. Over 883,000 Americans have died—about 15,000 in the last week. The US is still leading global daily case gain followed by India, Brazil, the UK, and France. The US added over 710,000 new cases Wednesday and over 509,000 by late afternoon Thursday. This case counts are lower than the previous week, but the holiday on Monday may be impacting count accuracy. The fact that we are losing 2,000 people per day in the US is not escaping me:
We likely hit 850,000 US Covid deaths today, at roughly now 2,000 deaths per day, we could hit 900,000 deaths in early February. Most of the last 250,000 American 🇺🇸 deaths were among those who refused or defiant of vaccines despite their wide availability. Death by antiscience
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) January 17, 2022
The decision tree for selecting COVID therapeutics is super complicated. Here’s a thread that links to a table of which therapeutics (and vaccines) are best for which variants:
If you or a loved one are hospitalized with #COVID19 the treatment options can be very complicated, and drugs are scarce. The @NIH regularly updates tracking of #SARSCoV2 variants vs treatments, so you can see what works. Here you go:https://t.co/lKdPU8J4D9
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) January 18, 2022
In case you missed it, you can get free COVID tests shipped right to you. The ordering process is pretty fast. Shipping might take a while. If you live in a complex you might need to switch up your unit number to address line 1 versus address line 2 so the system doesn’t think you’re ordering multiple sets to the same location:
PSA: The @USPS is offering free antigen COVID-19 tests to U.S. households, to be shipped in late January. Four per household.
— Laura J. Nelson 🦅 (@laura_nelson) January 18, 2022
The White House will soon make available up to three, high-quality N95 masks to each adult for free. The masks will be available at pharmacies and community health centers:
White House to distribute 400 million free N95 masks starting next week. Adults will be able to get up to three masks each; additional high-quality masks for children ‘in the near future,’ administration officials say https://t.co/W3AbHatGa3 pic.twitter.com/tvjNuGKh3I
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) January 19, 2022
Boosters DO help against Omicron:
It seems the people who write the vaccines w/ a booster aren’t working against Omicron are completely out of touch with the data
I’d consider ~90% effectiveness vs hospitalization pretty, pretty damn goodhttps://t.co/sYt4ygsl7f
Especially compared with 44% without a booster pic.twitter.com/y8ixbmG8uH
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) January 18, 2022
The WHO says kids don’t need 3rd/booster doses. Hard to know what goes into WHO’s internal deliberations on these decisions. For what it’s worth, vaccines in kids also significantly reduce the risk of MIS-C:
Parents, please take note of this important finding on 90% vaccine protection vs MIS-C below.
And good to see new data that the recovery of heart function for MIS-C is fairly rapid in most children when this dreaded outcome occurshttps://t.co/Jm6vBukm5Z https://t.co/XNJDnpALl9 pic.twitter.com/Op4ITae7dr
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) January 19, 2022
Some good COVID news: the vast majority of vaccine side effects are produced by the nocebo effect. Also, a joint, seasonal flu-COVID vaccine might be coming next year. I’m excited for that because it will reduce the number of shots I have to get.
England is relaxing COVID mitigation measures while Omicron still rages around the globe; Europe is also considering capitulating to the virus:
Covid live: face masks and working from home advice to be scrapped in England; Germany reports record cases https://t.co/erKzInS24s
— Crawford Kilian (@Crof) January 19, 2022
Hamsters and some other small animals are being culled in Hong Kong because of COVID. Hamsters are susceptible to the common cold as well, so this is not too surprising. The animals being culled were infected by an employee prior to being sold. It’s not necessary to cull animals already in households:
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) January 20, 2022
Omicron is SUPER infectious. Will it lead (eventually) to endemicity? Is that why countries are capitulating and planning on endemicity now?
Having ~40% of the population infected by a single pathogen in the span of 8 weeks is remarkable and I can’t think of an obvious modern precedent. Flu seasons generally have perhaps 10% infected in the span of 16 weeks. 8/9
— Trevor Bedford (@trvrb) January 20, 2022