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Posted 24 September 2021 - 07:57 AM
EDMONTON – As Alberta’s COVID hospitalisations hit a record high, Premier Jason Kenney has decried other provinces for not shouldering their fair share of the ICU load.
“This is a ‘have’ province,” Kenney said, in reference to having the country’s worst COVID rate. “And it’s time for the ‘have-not’ provinces to start pulling their weight.”
“Alberta has powered Canada’s COVID numbers throughout the entire pandemic, while other provinces have lazily coasted by with almost no contribution at all. Canadian Confederation simply cannot work if other provinces don’t match our incredible commitment to overloading morgues and triaging surgeries.”
Kenney went on to complain about Quebec receiving special treatment from Ottawa, arguing that Alberta is also a distinct society capable of producing COVID hotspots that require the military to intervene. He then demanded improved infrastructure and less inter-provincial red tape to create a proverbial pipeline for transferring COVID-riddled Albertans across the continent.
Premier Scott Moe backed Kenney’s argument, saying that Saskatchewan, a fellow ‘have’ province, cannot stand by and watch other parts of Canada enjoy empty ICUs at their expense. “I want to be clear that we are also making tremendous contributions to Canada’s COVID deaths,” Moe said, “and Eastern Canada is failing to appreciate our efforts.”
A “Get COVID” party in a Canadian town has sent several people to hospital, according to a local news report.
CityNews reported Thursday that guests at the party, which took place about two weeks ago in the town of Edson, Alberta, were trying to get infected with the virus to “build up natural immunity” rather than get vaccinated. Some party attendees ended up in the local hospital, while others wound up in the intensive care unit in Edmonton, about two hours east of Edson, according to CityNews.
On Twitter, Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara called the news “troubling.” He did not confirm the party happened but did confirm Edson residents are in Edmonton ICUs.
“While the Town of Edson was not aware of any such party occurring, these types of events would be highly dangerous and needlessly endanger lives,” he wrote.
“It is true that we have many residents in ICU in Edmonton and unfortunately 3 Edson area residents have lost their lives in recent days due to COVID.”
In a statement, Health Minister Jason Copping urged Albertans to get vaccinated and noted indoor gatherings are not allowed for those who are not vaccinated, due to higher transmission rates indoors.
“Holding or attending gatherings to intentionally be infected with COVID-19 is dangerous and irresponsible,” he said, adding the health care system is under “unprecedented pressure.”
“People who are hosting or attending these parties not only put themselves at risk of serious illness or death, but are adding stress to the health care system, which in turn may prevent other Albertans from getting the care they need.”
study of the day
Scientists have found three viruses in bats in Laos that are more similar to SARS-CoV-2 than any known viruses. Researchers say that parts of their genetic code bolster claims that the virus behind COVID-19 has a natural origin — but their discovery also raises fears that there are numerous coronaviruses with the potential to infect people.
David Robertson, a virologist at the University of Glasgow, UK, calls the find “fascinating, and quite terrifying”.
The results, which are not peer reviewed, have been posted on the preprint server Research Square. Particularly concerning is that the new viruses contain receptor binding domains that are almost identical to that of SARS-CoV-2, and can therefore infect human cells. The receptor binding domain allows SARS-CoV-2 to attach to a receptor called ACE2 on the surface of human cells to enter them.
To make the discovery, Marc Eloit, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and his colleagues in France and Laos, took saliva, faeces and urine samples from 645 bats in caves in northern Laos. In three horseshoe (Rhinolophus) bat species, they found viruses that are each more than 95% identical to SARS-CoV-2, which they named BANAL-52, BANAL-103 and BANAL-236.
“When SARS-CoV-2 was first sequenced, the receptor binding domain didn’t really look like anything we’d seen before,” says Edward Holmes, a virologist at the University of Sydney in Australia. This caused some people to speculate that the virus had been created in a laboratory. But the Laos coronaviruses confirm these parts of SARS-CoV-2 exist in nature, he says.
“I am more convinced than ever that SARS-CoV-2 has a natural origin,” agrees Linfa Wang, a virologist at Duke–NUS Medical School in Singapore.
Together with relatives of SARS-CoV-2 discovered in Thailand, Cambodia and Yunnan in southern China, the study demonstrates that southeast Asia is a “hotspot of diversity for SARS-CoV-2 related viruses”, says Alice Latinne, an evolutionary biologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society Vietnam in Hanoi.
New preliminary evidence suggests coronavirus jumped from animals to humans multiple times
A study shows the effectiveness of ozone as a disinfectant agent against SARS-CoV-2 in public transport
co-runner-up for study of the day
Scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) have published a detailed map of where human antibodies bind to SARS-CoV-2, a map that was generated by a global collaboration comparing nearly all leading clinical candidates. The new research, published in Science, will guide the development of more effective COVID-19 antibody therapies and help scientists develop effective vaccines to address emerging viral variants.
The findings propel COVID-19 research in three key ways:
In fact, the researchers found three different groups of antibodies that are resistant to mutations in SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. These antibodies could target vulnerable sites on the Spike protein, even as it mutates.
- Hundreds of antibodies contributed by over 50 different organizations around the world were classified and mapped. This study shows exactly where each antibody binds on the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.
- The researchers describe the neutralizing strength, or potency, of each antibody and the likelihood that each antibody could offer protection against viral variants.
- Antibodies with similar footprints on Spike were grouped into "communities." The researchers show how antibodies from different communities could be combined in a powerful antibody "cocktail" to target the virus.
"We now have a framework for selecting durable antibody cocktails for COVID-19 treatment," says Saphire.
Japanese scientists created “elite” antibodies that defeat various coronavirus variants even at an extremely low dose through a new method that accelerated the months-long process of finding such extraordinary antibody candidates to just ten days.
Our bodies produce specific antibodies to thwart invading pathogens. Some of these antibodies are the neutralizing kind that latches onto the virus’ spike protein, preventing it from hijacking and reprogramming a cell into a virus-making factory. So-called “elite” antibodies, known as broadly neutralizing antibodies, are rare immune molecules capable of keeping up with disguises used by a virus’ different variants to mask its spike protein.
“Monoclonal antibodies that neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus are so far the most promising therapeutic intervention,” Hiroshima University Professor Tomoharu Yasuda, who leads the study, said.
“Mutant viruses resistant to current vaccines are a potential but realistic risk in the near future. To prepare to fight against such viruses and to save people from those infectious diseases, we need to hurry in developing effective drugs against broad SARS-CoV-2 mutant strains.”
But these life-saving molecules are laborious to locate. Researchers have to screen hundreds to hundreds of millions of B cells from patient blood samples to find the most potent candidates they can enhance and grow in laboratories as therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.
By clarifying the typical characteristics of patients likely to carry “elite” antibodies and optimizing the discovery process, Yasuda and his colleagues have dramatically cut down the number of cells needed to be screened and sped up the identification of winning antibody candidates.
Sweden's chief epidemiologist stood by the country's approach to the pandemic, even after facing fierce criticism from experts and the King of Sweden.
Anders Tegnell said Sweden had made some mistakes in its approach to the pandemic, but "did not fare very badly at all" overall.
He made the comments in an interview with Unherd, a UK website that focuses on contrarian reporting.
The country's chief epidemiologist hit the headlines as Sweden captured the attention of the world for resisting the imposition of strict lockdowns to control the spread of the virus, instead putting the onus on the residents to chose what to do.
"There was definitely a need of a much higher level of immunity in a population that can only really shift by vaccination to control this disease in any reasonable manner. That's definitely true — we didn't see that."
He also noted that "high vaccination level is the one way we can get out of this pandemic."
For the first time in almost a year and a half, Norway's Central Bank (Norges Bank) is raising the nation's key interest rate by 0.25 percent, becoming the first major western central bank to do so.
The key interest rate had been at a record-low zero-percent level since May 2020, when the Central Bank slashed interest rates by 1.5 percent in a matter of weeks to counter the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic that hamstrung economic activity.
Гинцбург: "Спутник V" сочетается с любой вакциной от коронавируса
Gunzburg: Sputnik V can be combined with any coronavirus vaccine
За минувшие сутки в РФ от последствий коронавируса погибли 828 человек, что стало новым рекордом по смертности от инфекции в стране. Предыдущий рекорд был поставлен сутки назад и составил 820 человек. Количество же заразившихся инфекцией за сутки выросло 21 379 человек.
Over the past day, 828 people died in the Russian Federation from the effects of the coronavirus, which became a new record for deaths from infection in the country. The previous record was set a day ago and amounted to 820 people. The number of people infected with the infection per day increased to 21,379 people.
Unvaccinated Americans abroad will need a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of flying home from November, rather than the current 3 days, the White House said
Flight attendants have been subject to unprecedented harassment over masks and more during the pandemic, and a U.S. House panel on Thursday heard the raw details of those “air rage" incidents.
While there are no hard data, the leader of the flight attendants' union said the most aggression appears to occur in Southern states where there's been pushback against mask mandates.
US public health workers leaving ‘in droves’ amid pandemic burnout
Many workers feel stonewalled by elected officials and scapegoated for the high US Covid death toll
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday backed a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older, some adults with underlying medical conditions, and some adults in high-risk working and institutional settings.
The move comes after an advisory panel to the agency on Thursday did not recommend that people in high-risk jobs, such as health-care workers, teachers and risky living conditions should get boosters. The panel had recommended boosters for elderly and some people with underlying medical conditions.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said her agency had to make recommendations based on complex, often imperfect data.
"In a pandemic, even with uncertainty, we must take actions that we anticipate will do the greatest good," she said in a statement.
"I believe we can best serve the nation's public health needs by providing booster doses for the elderly, those in long-term care facilities, people with underlying medical conditions, and for adults at high risk of disease from occupational and institutional exposures to COVID-19. This aligns with the FDAs booster authorization and makes these groups eligible for a booster shot."
Edited by amor de cosmos, 24 September 2021 - 06:05 PM.
Posted 25 September 2021 - 08:00 AM
Infectious disease specialist and critical care physician Dr. David Forrest said there were a dozen COVID-19 patients in intensive-care unit beds at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on Thursday.
The public reports, however, would show eleven because the twelfth patient is recovering — even though that patient might occupy an ICU bed for several more weeks, he said.
“Many of us have complained that there is a disconnect,” said Forrest. “I don’t think that there’s intent to deceive … I think it’s just simply this misunderstanding of what’s important to know about.”
The Health Ministry attempted to explain that accounting and reporting in a news release on Friday.
“Once a patient in critical care is no longer infectious with COVID-19, the patient is removed from daily critical-care totals,” said the Health Ministry. “Some patients who entered hospital or critical care as a COVID-19 patient may no longer be counted as COVID-19 patients once they are no longer infectious, even though they remain in hospital.”
The Health Ministry said it looks at hospitalizations and critical-care beds to ensure the system is running efficiently at or near capacity but not over capacity. On the other hand, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s surveillance reports and the numbers in the daily report have a different function, said the ministry.
“They report the number of people with COVID-19 who require hospital or critical care,” said the ministry. “This gives an understanding of the severity of illness and only counts the individual once even if they are hospitalized more than once or have several stays in critical care.”
Robots with cat-like faces are pitching in at two Vancouver Island restaurants to deliver food and drinks to customers at a time when the hospitality sector is desperate for staff.
The anti-vaccine movement in Canada is becoming increasingly radicalized thanks to a bizarre legal theory spreading through its ranks, according to multiple experts.
Last week, protesters entered a school in Salmon Arm, B.C., to "serve" school officials with what lawyers say are bogus legal documents.
The documents are based on the ideology of the Freemen-on-the-land, an anti-government movement with links to white nationalism.
"This is very worrying," said Edwin Hodge, an expert on right-wing extremism at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria.
The pseudo-legal ideas of the Freemen have ebbed and flowed over the years, but the philosophy has typically been relegated to the fringes of society, according to experts.
Not anymore. The pandemic and its associated opposition to public health measures have vaulted these ideas into the public eye.
David Lindsay, a prominent anti-vaccine mandate protester in Kelowna, B.C., is also a well-known follower of the Freemen-on-the-land ideology, according to legal scholars, and has used rallies in the Okanagan to spread it. CBC News reached out to Lindsay for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.
The convoluted legal principles being spread by Lindsay and others arose in the white supremacist Posse Comitatus movement in the United States in the early 1970s, according to Helmut-Harry Loewen, a retired sociologist in Winnipeg and an expert on the Freemen.
Loewen says they espouse a radical interpretation of the relationship between citizens and government, claiming that explicit individual consent is required for every bureaucratic interaction — from speeding tickets, to taxes, to criminal charges, to public health measures.
When adherents encounter law enforcement, they exclaim "I do not consent," which they claim frees them from legal obligations. (It doesn't, according to lawyers.)
That line has been adopted by some anti-vaccine activists — appearing everywhere from protest signs to frames on Facebook profiles, though it isn't always clear whether those activists follow Freemen ideology or have, perhaps, just borrowed the phrase.
An inaccurate Canadian study suggesting an extremely high rate of heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccines has been retracted due to a major mathematical error — but not before it spread like wildfire on anti-vaccination websites and social media.
The preprint study, which was released by researchers at the Ottawa Heart Institute last week but has not been peer-reviewed, looked at the rate of myocarditis and pericarditis cases after Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations in Ottawa from June 1 to July 31.
The study identified 32 patients with the rare side effects out of a total of 32,379 doses of mRNA vaccines given in Ottawa in the two-month period, finding an inordinately high rate of close to 1 in 1,000 — significantly higher than other international data has shown.
But the researchers made a critical error that experts say caused the study to be "weaponized" by the anti-vaccination movement at a time when concern over COVID-19 vaccine side effects are top of mind for parents whose kids may soon get the shot.
The researchers mistakenly failed to record the accurate number of vaccinations given out during that two-month period, despite the data on total doses being publicly available, and the figure turned out to be astronomically higher than what was presented in the study.
Instead of 32,379 mRNA vaccine doses administered in June and July, as the study suggests, there were actually more than 800,000 shots given out at that time, according to Ottawa Public Health.
That means the true rate of side effects is closer to 1 in 25,000 — not 1 in 1,000.
Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta who has studied the challenges with preprints in the pandemic, says the way in which the erroneous study has been shared widely online to promote an anti-vaccination agenda is "incredibly frustrating."
"First of all, the topic is so sensitive with parents, with young adults. When people are doing this risk-benefit calculus and they see a study like this, even if it just crosses their radar on social media, it can have an impact on their intentions," he said.
"So a mistake like this can do real, serious harm — and I think it probably already has, unfortunately."
Caulfield said that once an inaccurate preprint gets released, it can "take on a life of its own."
"And that's exactly what has happened here," he said. "I can guarantee that you are going to continue to see references to this version of the paper for a long time to come."
These so-called "zombie papers" are often intentionally shared within anti-vaccination circles long after they're retracted or corrected in order to disingenuously influence public opinion and fuel misinformation, said Caulfield.
"It's extreme cherry-picking," he said. "And the cherry is rotten."
80% of B.C. residents fully vaccinated, while most in hospital not fully immunized
Survivors of domestic violence and abuse more likely to contract COVID-19
The University of Kent's School of Biosciences and the Institute of Medical Virology at Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, have identified a protein that may critically contribute to severe forms of COVID-19.
Anti-vaccine Facebook groups have a new message for their community members: Don’t go to the emergency room, and get your loved ones out of intensive care units.
Consumed by conspiracy theories claiming that doctors are preventing unvaccinated patients from receiving miracle cures or are even killing them on purpose, some people in anti-vaccine and pro-ivermectin Facebook groups are telling those with Covid-19 to stay away from hospitals and instead try increasingly dangerous at-home treatments, according to posts seen by NBC News over the past few weeks.
While Covid misinformation has been a persistent problem since the start of the pandemic, the introduction of vaccines has invigorated the anti-vaccine community and sparked a renewed push to find and promote alternative treatments — some of which are potentially hazardous.
Others are turning away from hospitals altogether. In recent weeks, some anti-vaccine Facebook groups and conspiracy theory influencers on the encrypted messaging app Telegram have offered instructions on how to get family members released from the hospital, usually by insisting they be transferred into hospice care, and have recorded those they’ve successfully removed from hospitals for viral videos.
Some people in groups that formed recently to promote the false cure ivermectin, an anti-parasite treatment, have claimed extracting Covid patients from hospitals is pivotal so that they can self-medicate at home with ivermectin. But as the patients begin to realize that ivermectin by itself is not effective, the groups have begun recommending a series of increasingly hazardous at-home treatments, such as gargling with iodine, and nebulizing and inhaling hydrogen peroxide, calling it part of a “protocol.”
On Tuesday, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America put out a warning against nebulizing hydrogen peroxide.
Some gasoline stations in U.K. run out of fuel as pandemic supply chain crisis deepens
Shortage of truck drivers playing havoc on everything from gas pumps to store shelves
HONOLULU (AP) – An Illinois woman is wanted in Hawaii after she didn’t show up for a virtual court hearing on her arrest for an alleged fake COVID-19 vaccination card that misspelled Moderna as “Maderna.”
At a hearing on the case held via Zoom, Judge Karin Holma said she would issue a $500 warrant for 24-year-old Chloe Mrozak’s arrest.
Schools with universal masking were 3.5 times less likely to have a COVID-19 outbreak and saw rates of child COVID-19 cases 50 percent lower in their counties compared with schools without mask requirements. That's according to two new studies published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new data lands as masks continue to be a political and social flash point in the US. And children—many of whom are still ineligible for vaccination—have headed back into classrooms.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is among the leaders who have banned mask mandates in schools. And, although the ban is being challenged in court, DeSantis is withholding money from school boards that have issued mask mandates anyway.
On Thursday, the US Department of Education announced that it had granted the school board of Florida's Alachua County $147,719. The money is intended to "restore funding withheld by state leaders—such as salaries for school board members or superintendents who have had their pay cut—when a school district implemented strategies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools."
Posted 26 September 2021 - 06:28 AM
September 3, 2021:
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam released new COVID-19 modelling today that warns Canada could see up to 15,000 cases per day by the end of the month if the rate of vaccination does not increase and more restrictive public health measures are not introduced.
"This is a crucial moment," Tam said. "We have a window of opportunity to rapidly accelerate vaccine uptake and close the protection gap in younger age groups with the lowest vaccine coverage."
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 26 September 2021 - 06:41 AM.
Posted 26 September 2021 - 06:50 AM
Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.
Posted 26 September 2021 - 07:35 AM
A volunteer organization that helped raise funds at the Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson, B.C. for over 90 years has been forced to stop operating because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kootenay Lake Hospital Auxiliary has been in operation since 1931, with volunteers raising an average of $40,000 per year doing tasks like running the hospital gift shop and gardens, conducting bake sales and raffles, and servicing the hospital ATM and televisions.
Despite surviving the Great Depression and the Second World War, the auxiliary was unable to outlast the pandemic after part of Kootenay Lake Hospital was converted to a COVID testing clinic, immediately shutting down the gift shop.
It was also becoming much more difficult for volunteers, most of whom were seniors, to spend their time at the hospital, according to Marla Olson, president of the auxiliary.
TikTok user "drakapuffdaddy" expressed admiration for the term in a video of his own. "Man, are you pureblood? Yeah, I'm pureblood," he said in the video. "No more 'unvaxxed'—pureblood!"
In the Potter “wizarding” universe, the forces of proto-fascist evil led by the genocidal Lord Voldemort identify themselves as “purebloods,” wizards descended only from other wizards—apparently an expression of the belief that magical powers can only originate through genetics. Rowling’s fantasy is a clear reference to the Nazi preoccupation with genetic bloodlines and “pure Aryan blood” that provided the ideological fodder for the Holocaust.
Some of the #pureblood hashtag users have incorporated zombie-like filters on their videos. Others add a blood-droplet emoji to embellish their captions. One user demonstrated the fantasy-fueled break from reality by taking the analogy a step further.
“In like five, ten years, maybe less, all the people who are unvaccinated—we’re gonna be hunted,” she warned. “It’s gonna be like Resident Evil. We’re gonna be the antidote, because everyone else is ****ed, and we’re gonna be the only ones with pure blood.”
The term is also gaining momentum as a localized or regional phenomenon. “Pureblood Patriots. Listen to me. The Great State of Mississippi will fight this discrimination. We welcome you all,” announced one self-appointed state spokesperson.
Fictitious or not, the anti-vaxxers promoting the eugenicist idea of nonvaccination equaling “pure blood” are making real-life decisions based on it. “I will not date or have a child with someone who had the shot,” a TikTok user named mike marcellin commented. On Twitter, one user insisted that they if they needed a transfusion, they would only accept blood from an unvaccinated person and would request tests and paperwork to prove it.
Several others speculated that sperm from people with “pure” unvaccinated blood would be “worth a fortune” in the future. One woman went so far as to ask her husband to become a full-time sperm donor “so we can become rich [and] escape the UK. He doesn’t know how he feels about this.”
In little more than a year from the onset of COVID-19, scientists successfully developed vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus for world-wide use.
Three main factors contributed to this extraordinary feat.
One, unprecedented collaboration between international scientists. Two, scientists were able to obtain exquisitely detailed images of the virus proteins and the human proteins that they interact with – right down to the positions of the atoms.
Three, expertise and infrastructure, developed over many years, involving tens of thousands of scientists supported by national governments and substantial private investment. Developing this skilled workforce was only possible because societies agreed to sponsor their best researchers to solve acute problems by providing appropriate tools and resources.
The African contribution to this massive achievement proved quite small. African researchers remain challenged by the lack of sustainable and accessible funding, infrastructure and expertise.
In late May President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa was “developing a local vaccine manufacturing plan to produce vaccines locally through strategic partnerships and technology transfer”. The goal, he said, was to cover the entire vaccine production value chain. He said Africa wants to do things for itself and that
we must also look at how vaccine manufacturing capacity developed during COVID-19 can be repurposed for the future production of other vaccines and related technologies.
In this article we unpack how the three-year START programme (Synchrotron Techniques for African Research and Technology) – funded with a grant from the UK Research and Innovations’ Science and Technology Facilities Council – substantially prepared South Africa’s capacity to do this type of work. It trained students and postdoctoral research assistants at eight South African universities and the country’s National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD). It also allowed access to the UK’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source. Funded through a £3.7 million (about US$5million) Global Challenges Research Fund grant, the initiative provided an exceptional combination of expertise and experimental resources.
中新社北京9月26日电 (记者 阮煜琳)中国国际发展知识中心26日在北京举行的2021年可持续发展论坛上发布《中国落实2030年可持续发展议程进展报告(2021)》指出，面对新冠肺炎疫情冲击，中国实施了新中国成立以来规模最大的全球人道主义行动。
China News Service, Beijing, September 26 (Reporter Ruan Yulin) China International Development Knowledge Center released the "China's Progress Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2021)" at the 2021 Sustainable Development Forum held in Beijing on the 26th. In response to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, China has implemented the largest global humanitarian operation since the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The report pointed out that facing the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, China has implemented the largest global humanitarian operation since the founding of New China, providing more than 290 billion masks, more than 3.5 billion protective clothing, and more than 4.5 billion test kits. China fulfills its commitment to make Chinese vaccines as a global public product, giving priority to developing countries, joins the WHO "Coronavirus Vaccine Implementation Plan", and successively provides vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organizations, making China's contribution to the global fight against the epidemic .
A task force of scientists investigating the origins of COVID-19 has been disbanded by Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs.
The Wall Street Journal reported that it was due to the task force's links with US non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, which worked with Wuhan Institute of Virology. Sachs said this risked the perception of bias, according to the outlet.
New York-based EcoHealth Alliance focuses on research and has been subjected to intense scrutiny since the onset of the pandemic. This is due to its long-time alliance with the institute.
Before the spread of the virus, both had reportedly been collecting and engineering bat viruses in order to explore the threat to humans.
Sachs told the Wall Street Journal of his motivation behind dissolving the task force.
"I just didn't want a task force that was so clearly involved with one of the main issues of this whole search for the origins, which was EcoHealth Alliance," he said.
It is unclear why the demonstrators directed their anger at the president as it was New York Mayor Bill de Blasio who introduced the policy requiring citizens to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to participate in indoor activities.
Dozens of people have staged an anti-vaccine protest in New York City, according to footage posted on social media. The demonstrators stormed into a food court at a mall on Staten Island, where only inoculated individuals are allowed to enter.
Videos show around 50 people flooding the area without meeting resistance from security. Some individuals carried American flags or dressed in clothes featuring stars and stripes. A man and a woman, the purported leaders of the protest, called on demonstrators to grab some food and sit at the court "as long as we like".
The video then cuts to the moment where protesters are sitting at the tables and chanting "USA" before yelling "F**k Joe Biden". The demonstrators also chanted "my body, my rules", "freedom", and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Edited by amor de cosmos, 26 September 2021 - 07:46 AM.
Posted 27 September 2021 - 06:34 AM
Ontario is reporting 613 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and no additional virus-related deaths. The provincial case total now stands at 584,541.
Of the 613 new cases recorded, the data showed 350 were unvaccinated people, 35 were partially vaccinated people, 159 were fully vaccinated people and for 69 people the vaccination status was unknown.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 27 September 2021 - 06:44 AM.
Posted 27 September 2021 - 07:54 AM
The province has seen a record number of COVID-19 tests being administered in the last week alone, with this Wednesday's record-breaking 18,007 tests exceeding Tuesday's previous record of 15,890 tests, according to the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard.
But the spike in COVID-19 testing does not necessarily mean an increase in coronavirus transmission, doctors say.
"I think it is expected ... The increased [social] interactions are undoubtedly leading to dissemination of just common respiratory viruses for sure," said Dr. Bradley Quon, a respirologist at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver and associate professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia.
This time last year, around 5,000 COVID-19 tests were being administered.
The research team analyzed the brain imaging data and then brought back those who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 for additional brain scans. They compared people who had experienced COVID-19 to participants who had not, carefully matching the groups based on age, sex, baseline test date and study location, as well as common risk factors for disease, such as health variables and socioeconomic status.
The team found marked differences in gray matter – which is made up of the cell bodies of neurons that process information in the brain – between those who had been infected with COVID-19 and those who had not. Specifically, the thickness of the gray matter tissue in brain regions known as the frontal and temporal lobes was reduced in the COVID-19 group, differing from the typical patterns seen in the group that hadn’t experienced COVID-19.
In the general population, it is normal to see some change in gray matter volume or thickness over time as people age, but the changes were larger than normal in those who had been infected with COVID-19.
Interestingly, when the researchers separated the individuals who had severe enough illness to require hospitalization, the results were the same as for those who had experienced milder COVID-19. That is, people who had been infected with COVID-19 showed a loss of brain volume even when the disease was not severe enough to require hospitalization.
Finally, researchers also investigated changes in performance on cognitive tasks and found that those who had contracted COVID-19 were slower in processing information, relative to those who had not.
While we have to be careful interpreting these findings as they await formal peer review, the large sample, pre- and post-illness data in the same people and careful matching with people who had not had COVID-19 have made this preliminary work particularly valuable.
American men lost 2.2 years of life expectancy last year because of Covid-19, the biggest decline among 29 nations in a study of the pandemic’s impact on longevity.
Deaths among working-age men contributed the most to declining lifespans in the U.S., according to research led by demographers at the U.K.’s University of Oxford. Only Denmark and Norway, who have excelled at controlling their outbreaks, avoided drops in life expectancy across both sexes, the study published Sunday in the International Journal of Epidemiology found.
Before the pandemic, life expectancy at birth had continuously increased in most countries for generations. Covid-19, though, “triggered a global mortality crisis,” the magnitude of which hasn’t been witnessed since World War II in Western Europe or the breakup of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe, the researchers said.
Putting it All Together
Infertility is scary and devastating and the reasons it happens are often unknown, facts that the anti-vaccine forces exploit. But let’s summarize the truths:
And these, my friends, are the actual scientifically based facts that explain how we can be really sure that the COVID-19 vaccine won’t cause infertility.
- There were decades of work on the lipid particles before vaccine trials even started.
- No component of either mRNA vaccine is cytotoxic (has the ability to damage the immature eggs in the ovary) or is an endocrine disruptor, meaning there is no mechanism to cause infertility.
- If there were a hint of fertility concerns, damage to the ovaries and/or brain would have been seen in the animal studies and that didn’t happen.
- None of the vaccine ingredients are associated with infertility, and many are important chemicals we need for our body to function or are already in widespread use.
- No one creating fear about the vaccines has ever proposed a real mechanism by which the vaccine could cause infertility.
- If the vaccine caused ovarian failure we’d know given the hundreds of millions of people of reproductive age who have been vaccinated! There are enough people who were vaccinated 9 months ago that we’d been seeing valid reports of infertility now, and those have not materialized.
- No medication is tested for 10 years or longer in clinical trials to determine long term effects on fertility before it becomes available for people to use, so why are people who raise concerns only worried about the COVID-19 vaccine? And supplements aren’t tested at all! So why does no one raise concerns about the long term impact on fertility of these chemicals? Because it’s not about vaccine safety or even drug safety or fertility. It is about fear mongering as well as financial and often political gain.
- If we had a drug that in an injection of just 0.5 ml or less could cause infertility there would be a pharmaceutical arms race to develop that into a contraceptive to replace tubal ligations. It would be revolutionary!
Giant rats the “size of cats” have been invading UK homes with some even entering via the toilet, a pest expert has claimed.
Andrew Dellbridge, the boss of Ace Pest Control, said that rodents in Norwich had become “bigger and braver” after lockdown and even forced one couple to leave their home.
During one of his jobs, he said a customer had been left shocked after finding a rat swimming in her toilet bowl.
“She’d been using the bathroom and heard a noise. She looked down and it was in the toilet bowl. And this is happening more and more frequently,” he told the Norwich Evening News.
“They used to work around us but now they’re gaining access they wouldn’t have attempted before.”
Japan to lift COVID-19 state of emergency in all regions at end of month: Report
Russian health ministry approves clinical trials of Betuvax-CoV-2 COVID-19 vaccine
The clinical trials are expected to involve 116 volunteers aged from 18 to 60 without chronic diseases
Another 4 million doses of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Myanmar
Over 2.2 bln COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in China
As vaccine mandates begin to take effect, thousands of Americans are scrambling to get religion. For those who oppose vaccination, a “sincerely held religious belief” might be the only way to avoid getting the shot—or losing their job. Online, one can find dozens of official-looking forms, letter templates, and tips on how to explain why your anti-vaccination beliefs are both sincere and religious. Some people are even attempting to turn the exemption business into a lucrative side hustle. Leaders of many major religious organizations and denominations have released statements supporting vaccination and clarifying that their teachings, official and unofficial, do not oppose vaccination. But some are offering “exemption letters” to parishioners who want a minister’s religious authority backing them up.
Soon enough, the courts likely will have to start sorting out this chaotic mess. But whether or not an opponent of vaccination has a letter from a pastor or can cite long-standing religious doctrine to back up their claim won’t necessarily matter. While an endorsement from a religious group or a commitment to religious orthodoxy certainly can help someone get recognized as sincere and religious, as far as the legal system is concerned, those factors are not necessary. Religious beliefs are for individuals to hold—sincerely.
It is a strange standard. To be a sincere believer in the United States—that is, to be recognized by the law as truly religious and thus deserving exemption and accommodation and protection—one does not have to be “traditionally” religious. You don’t have to belong to a church. And if you do, you don’t have to agree with that church’s leaders or its official teachings or the person sitting next to you. You don’t even have to believe in a god.
An interview with former President Donald Trump's FDA Commissioner revealed that the administration was dismissive of any efforts to fight COVID-19 because they assumed "everyone" was going to get it anyway, and they essentially wanted to get it over with.
Speaking to CNN's Pamela Brown, Dr. Scott Gottlieb explained that he thinks the government should militarize viruses like this because it's a national security threat and existing structures aren't made to handle such a massive pathogen.
"I remember one White House official cavalierly saying to me, and this was around the time that then-President Trump was pushing for schools to reopen," Brown recalled. "They said, 'Well, we just need to get kids back in the class because everybody is going to get this virus at some point or another, and it's going to spread wildly, and there's no way to contain it.' It stuck with me how casual they were about that, as you just pointed out as one of the issues you didn't believe was actually true."
At the start of the pandemic, many of the state’s roughly 105,000 state employees shifted to remote work, with some, such as those in the unemployment and child welfare agencies, facing unprecedented demand from applicants seeking aid. Agencies under DeSantis’ control began ordering employees back to their offices last October. Masks and social distancing were optional.
Since then, state agencies have disclosed little publicly about how their employees have fared. But there are signs that some agencies have struggled. One of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offices was closed this summer because of an outbreak. Employees at the departments of State, Economic Opportunity and Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles have complained to their union that they don’t learn about colleagues testing positive for COVID-19 until 14 days after the person was sent home.
“Management is not taking it seriously,” Hall said.
On Facebook, Department of Revenue employees have publicly complained last month of not knowing when their coworkers fall ill.
“They don’t tell us when people have been in the building sick,” one Department of Revenue employee wrote. “We have to hear through the grapevine that someone is in the hospital or dead. If we complain, we are offered demotions.”
Department of Revenue spokesperson Will Butler told the Times/Herald that the department has over 4,000 employees, “and like the community at large, has lost team members to this terrible illness. We feel that loss greatly.”
Butler said wearing masks is encouraged, and supervisors have tracked potential exposures to the virus. He did not respond when asked how many employees have been quarantined or fallen ill from the virus.
Ben Garrison, a right-wing cartoonist known for his opposition to vaccines and his extremely flattering drawings of former President Donald Trump, told Gizmodo late Sunday that he contracted covid-19 and has been sick for about two weeks. But allegedly getting covid hasn’t changed Garrison’s mind about modern medical science.
Garrison, who lives in Montana, believes that he got covid-19 while dining out at a restaurant a couple of weeks ago. Montana has seen a disturbing rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with about 900 new cases each day.
“Yes, it’s definitely Covid and we’ve had all the symptoms. My wife and [i] went out with a couple to a restaurant and the next day all four of us were sick. One of us went to see a doctor and was told she had Covid, and that was the clincher,” Garrison told Gizmodo via email. (Garrison has been banned from Twitter for supporting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.)
“We’re taking Ivermectin and various vitamins including a lot of Zinc,” Garrison continued, explaining what he’s doing to treat the disease. The cartoonist also notes he’s taking beet root juice. None of this has been proven to treat or prevent covid-19, with monoclonal antibodies and vaccines being the only real ways to fight this pandemic, which is still raging in many parts of the world.
Posted 27 September 2021 - 08:51 AM
just a reminder that only 2.4% of the deaths are people under 50. if you are under 50 you have a much higher chance of dying in a vehicle crash in Canada, than of COVID. 3-4x more chance.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 27 September 2021 - 08:55 AM.
Posted 27 September 2021 - 07:10 PM
Posted 28 September 2021 - 03:05 AM
“Fraser Health suspends New Westminster pharmacy from COVID-19 vaccine program after syringes reused“
“..told that the pharmacy had reused syringes and that she could be at risk for contracting illnesses such as Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV as a result...”:
Fraser Health did not name the pharmacy it had suspended or how many patients were given a COVID-19 vaccine with a reused syringe.
It said the pharmacy was part of a provincial pilot program in which residents use a provincial booking system to be vaccinated at the pharmacy.
Corinn Jockisch said she went for her second COVID-19 vaccine dose at the Ultracare Guardian Pharmacy in New Westminster, east of Vancouver, on Aug. 25. This week, she received a letter from Fraser Health asking her to call a public health nurse.
Jockisch, 35, was then told that the pharmacy had reused syringes and that she could be at risk of contracting illnesses such as Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV as a result.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 28 September 2021 - 03:05 AM.
Posted 28 September 2021 - 04:57 AM
Listen to the podcast attached for full, fascinating context. (First infection Nov. 2019, first infection discovered Dec. 2019).
A Different Kind of Lab Leak
Edited by VIResident, 28 September 2021 - 05:02 AM.
Posted 28 September 2021 - 05:07 AM
The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, is considering using the national guard and out-of-state medical workers to fill hospital staffing shortages, as tens of thousands of workers are unlikely to meet a Monday deadline for mandated Covid-19 vaccination.
The plan, outlined in a statement, would allow the governor to declare a state of emergency and thereby increase the supply of healthcare workers to include licensed professionals from other states and countries as well as retired nurses.
Hochul said the state was also looking at using national guard officers with medical training to keep hospitals and other medical facilities adequately staffed.
Some 16% of the state’s 450,000 hospital staff, or roughly 70,000 workers, have not been fully vaccinated, the governor’s office said.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 28 September 2021 - 05:07 AM.
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