Canadians isolating due to COVID-19 will be unable to vote on election day
A Vancouver nurse said she's embarrassed her union isn't supporting mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for health-care workers as B.C. faces a punishing fourth wave of the pandemic.
After the province announced Monday that anyone working in a health-care facility will need to be vaccinated for the novel coronavirus or will be placed on unpaid leave, the B.C. Nurses' Union (BCNU) announced that it couldn't support the move.
BCNU leaders have said they encourage everyone to get vaccinated, but they are concerned that a mandate could lead to staffing crunches in an already strained system.
Registered nurse Josanne Dubeau said she worries that stance will put patients at risk.
"We need to keep the focus on the patients and we cannot undermine the importance of being vaccinated," she told CBC News.
"I'm ... a little embarrassed that nurses would come out with that statement."
Royal B.C. Museum to require proof of COVID-19 vaccine for entry
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on Wednesday introduced strict and sweeping new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 as he apologized for his government's handling of the pandemic.
The measures include a new program that requires people to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain entry to participating businesses and social events.
A decision this spring to move from a pandemic-to-endemic approach — or learning to live with the virus — seemed like the right thing to do based on data from other jurisdictions with similar vaccination rates, Kenney told a news conference.
"It is now clear that we were wrong, and for that I apologize," Kenney said.
Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency and is taking immediate action to stave off the ongoing crisis in the health-care system, the premier said.
"To prevent an ongoing crisis, we must do three things urgently," he said.
"First, we must maximize our health-care capacity. Secondly, reduce transmission of the virus by reducing interaction with other people. And thirdly, we have to get as many people as possible vaccinated."
Without interventions, Kenney said, Alberta hospitals may run out of staff and intensive care beds within the next 10 days.
Previously healthy young adults with long COVID show vascular dysfunction in limbs, but not brain
study of the day
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could have spilled from animals to people multiple times, according to a preliminary analysis of viral genomes sampled from people infected in China and elsewhere early in the pandemic.
If confirmed by further analyses, the findings would add weight to the hypothesis that the pandemic originated in multiple markets in Wuhan, and make the hypothesis that SARS-COV-2 escaped from a laboratory less likely, say some researchers. But the data need to be verified, and the analysis has not yet been peer reviewed.
The earliest viral sequences, taken from people infected in late 2019 and early 2020, are split into two broad lineages, known as A and B, which have key genetic differences.
Lineage B has become the dominant lineage globally and includes samples taken from people who visited the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, which also sold wild animals. Lineage A spread within China, and includes samples from people linked to other markets in Wuhan.
A crucial question is how the two viral lineages are related. If viruses in lineage A evolved from those in lineage B, or vice versa, that would suggest that the progenitor of the virus jumped just once from animals to people. But if the two lineages have separate origins, then there might have been multiple spillover events.
If the virus did jump between animals and people on several occasions, the fact that lineages A and B are linked to people who visited different markets in Wuhan suggests that multiple individual animals, of one or more species, that were carrying a progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 could have been transported across Wuhan, infecting people in at least two locations.
A study published in June1 found that live animals susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, such as raccoon dogs and mink, were sold in numerous markets in Wuhan. Previous studies2 of the virus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have concluded that it, too, probably jumped multiple times from animals to people.
The latest study, if verified, would mean that the scenario of a researcher accidentally being infected in a lab, and then spreading the virus to the population at large, would have had to happen twice, says Garry. It’s much more likely that the pandemic has its origins in the wildlife trade, he says.
The National Institutes of Health awarded nearly $470 million to build a national study population of diverse research volunteers and support large-scale studies on the long-term effects of COVID-19. The NIH REsearching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative(link is external) made the parent award to New York University (NYU) Langone Health, New York City, which will make multiple sub-awards to more than 100 researchers at more than 30 institutions and serves as the RECOVER Clinical Science Core. This major new award to NYU Langone supports new studies of COVID-19 survivors and leverages existing long-running large cohort studies with an expansion of their research focus. This combined population of research participants from new and existing cohorts, called a meta-cohort, will comprise the RECOVER Cohort. This funding was supported by the American Rescue Plan.
NIH launched the RECOVER Initiative to learn why some people have prolonged symptoms (referred to as long COVID) or develop new or returning symptoms after the acute phase of infection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The most common symptoms include pain, headaches, fatigue, “brain fog,” shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, fever, chronic cough, and sleep problems.
“We know some people have had their lives completely upended by the major long-term effects of COVID-19,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “These studies will aim to determine the cause and find much needed answers to prevent this often-debilitating condition and help those who suffer move toward recovery.”
Data from the RECOVER Cohort will include clinical information, laboratory tests, and analyses of participants in various stages of recovery following SARS-CoV-2 infection. With immediate access to data from existing, diverse study populations, it is anticipated researchers will be able to accelerate the timeline for this important research.
“This scientifically rigorous approach puts into place a collaborative and multidisciplinary research community inclusive of diverse research participants that are critical to informing the treatment and prevention of the long-term effects of COVID-19,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and one of the co-chairs of the RECOVER Initiative.
Job search constraints caused by the pandemic were linked to job search distress and fewer job search activities, such as submitting job applications—but that relationship depended on feelings of "invulnerability" to COVID-19, said Yihao Liu, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois.
"We found that such a feeling of invulnerability helps seekers stay hopeful in their job search and focus on refining their job search strategies—such as analyzing interview skills and thinking about how to best present themselves to employers—when they are faced with job search constraints like extra financial burdens and increased child care or elder care responsibilities," Liu said. "In the end, such hope and strategizing increases seekers' chances of securing employment."
"Job seekers' sense of invulnerability toward COVID-19—do they have an optimistic perception about how at-risk they are to catching COVID-19 and getting sick, or do they feel especially vulnerable to it? – is likely a resource-protecting cognition that individuals may adopt under an extraordinary environment, such as this pandemic," said Jaclyn Koopmann of Auburn University, a co-author of the study. "When job seekers feel less invulnerable, or more at risk to COVID-19, they are psychologically taxed, spending more of their internal energies or resources on worrying about their risk. So, they don't have the capability to overcome any challenges they face on the job search, whereas the more invulnerable can be adaptive. How invulnerable job seekers perceive themselves to be thus plays a big role in their employment situation."
We found that during the pandemic, teachers became less certain that they would work in the classroom until retirement. In March 2020, 74% of teachers said they expected to work as a teacher until retirement, but the figure fell to 69% in March 2021. The proportion of teachers answering “I don’t know” to this question increased by a similar amount, rising from 16% to 22%.
In addition, teachers reported that their chances of leaving their current state of residence or the profession within the next five years rose from 24% to 30%, on average.
More than 40% of the teachers surveyed said they considered leaving or retiring, and over half of those said it was because of the pandemic. We found that approaching retirement age – that is, being over 55 years old – having to change instruction modes during the year and health concerns were important predictors of whether teachers had considered leaving or retiring.
New Covid wave hits embattled northwest Syria as health supplies run out
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- In Africa, only 4% of people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Leaders had once hoped to have 60% of people living on the continent vaccinated this year.
That now appears unlikely.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners said they do hope to provide African countries with 30% of the vaccines the continent needs by February, the Associated Press reported.
Most of the 5.7 billion vaccine doses administered globally so far have been in just 10 wealthy countries, as the U.N.-backed COVAX initiative has missed all of its targets. COVAX is now begging rich countries to share their vaccine doses, the AP said.
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of vaccine alliance Gavi, told the AP that COVAX expects to have 1.4 billion doses ready for delivery by the end of 2021, about one-quarter fewer than its original goal.
Thousands of COVID-19 infections and at least 12 deaths among infants, small children and adolescents in Cuba prompted authorities to start vaccinating children as young as age 2 this week, relying on limited clinical data on the efficacy of a local product tested on 350 minors.
"Cases of the coronavirus were detected in my inner circle. Not just one or two but several dozen people," Putin said, speaking via video link at a meeting of a Moscow-led security alliance.
More than 1 billion people in China had completed their vaccination against COVID-19 as of Wednesday, showed official figures unveiled Thursday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Nearly seven in ten Americans believe the recent rise in deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic was preventable, a new Quinnipaic University poll revealed on Wednesday.
"With the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States now topping 650,000, an overwhelmingly majority of Americans say 68-24 percent that the recent rise in COVID-19 deaths in the US was preventable, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll of adults released today," the organization said in a release explaining the poll.
Democrats believed by 89% to 7% that the rise was preventable, independents felt the same way by 69% to 22% and only among Republicans was the margin of different views quite narrow with 48% agreeing the death toll was preventable and 43% saying it was not, the release said.
Scientists continue to say there isn’t enough evidence to support giving COVID-19 boosters to all Americans
The U.S. is days away from President Joe Biden’s target date to begin rolling out COVID-19 booster shots to Americans. Experts still say there isn’t a scientific case for boosting the entire population
Restaurant chains are going through another round of dining room closures, but this time it's not directly because of COVID-19 infections. Chains are having to adjust hours or only operate drive-thrus as they face a lack of staff to keep restaurants running.
Nicki Minaj Was Just Invited To The White House After Voicing Unproven Concerns About The COVID Vaccine And Said It's A "Step In The Right Direction"
"I’ll be dressed in all pink like Legally Blonde so they know I mean business."
US hospitals buckling under delta surge: 25% of ICUs are over 95% full
The burden on hospital ICUs has more than doubled since June.
Atlanta zoo deals with COVID-19 outbreak as nearly all its gorillas test positive
Officials say there is no evidence the gorillas can pass the virus back to humans
DeSantis is wrong. And so is Texas governor Greg Abbott, who banned schools in his state from requiring masks and is suing some school districts for mandating them. There are multiple lines of evidence from a variety of disciplines—including materials science, infectious diseases, pediatrics and epidemiology—showing that masks can help protect children and teachers from getting COVID in schools.
For starters, laboratory experiments show that masks block the respiratory droplets and aerosols that transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID. In one test, mechanical engineer David Rothamer and his team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison used a machine in a classroom to pump out particles of the same size as those that carry the virus. The researchers placed several CPR dummies wearing masks around the room and measured the degree to which the aerosols penetrated the masks. A surgical mask paired with a soft frame to ensure a snug fit reduced the chances of penetration and infection by 382 times when compared with going maskless, according to a statistical probability model. Even if real-world situations produce lower numbers, Rothamer says, masks significantly reduce viral transmission.
In that real world, several epidemiological studies also indicate that masks in schools work. Researchers at the ABC Science Collaborative have collected data from more than a million K–12 students and staff members in North Carolina, which mandated masking in schools from August 2020 until July 2021. The scientists reported little in-school transmission over the fall, winter or summer months. Incidents remained low even as, in communities outside the schools, levels of COVID cases fluctuated and mitigation strategies shifted. “The presence of masking in schools seems to be the unifying theme across all of those periods,” says Ibukun Kalu, a member of the group and medical director of pediatric infection prevention at Duke University. “When we look at cases that have masking in place—so masking students, staff, everyone that’s within that K–12 setting—we see rates of within-school spread as low as one percent.”