The decision to open schools is more than a medical issue.

One of the most frequent requests from readers of this blog is my opinion on opening schools in the fall. I have been reluctant to do this because that decision is based less on medicine and science than on the social contracts education has made between governments, teachers, parents, and students. This dynamic sets upContinue reading “The decision to open schools is more than a medical issue.”

Do we start out half way to COVID-19 herd immunity?!

On July 16th I blogged about an article published in the journal Nature showing that cellular immunity to the coronavirus SARS was very long lived. Investigators looked at patients infected with SARS in 2003 and found T cells reactive to SARS present 17 years later in 2020. This was an important finding because it refuted the concept thatContinue reading “Do we start out half way to COVID-19 herd immunity?!”

Follow up on the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, and concerns about what federal committee is in charge of deciding who gets COVID-19 vaccines?

Two companies are beginning large scale clinical trials of their COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Moderna has begun their large Phase III trial using their mRNA vaccine. It is focused on two doses (shots) of 100 micrograms each. This was the middle dose from the first clinical trial, which produced stronger immunity then the lowest dose. The side effectsContinue reading “Follow up on the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, and concerns about what federal committee is in charge of deciding who gets COVID-19 vaccines?”

The New York Times explains why people think antibodies to COVID-19 are dropping, then buries the punchline!

Today I saw a valuable article in the New York Times print edition entitled “If Antibody Check Shows Negative, Blame the Test” by Apoorva Mandavilli, (July 27, 2020, Page A4). I looked for the article online and only found a longer version, curiously entitled “Your Coronavirus Antibodies Are Disappearing. Should You Care?”  Since the online title isContinue reading “The New York Times explains why people think antibodies to COVID-19 are dropping, then buries the punchline!”

Two new articles on herd immunity to COVID-19.

Two divergent articles on herd immunity happen to publish this week, but they could not be more different. One is from the Wall Street Journal and it includes a video that really does a good job of explaining herd immunity and how it can be achieved. It includes narration from a couple of different individuals including anContinue reading “Two new articles on herd immunity to COVID-19.”

Cellular immune problems are why young people can die from COVID-19

One of the most disturbing problems in COVID-19 medicine care has been that a few young people have become extremely ill with this infection. While these cases are rare, they unnerve physicians because the patients have not had the chronic Illnesses that predispose most people to serious COVID-19 infections. Many of us have thought thatContinue reading “Cellular immune problems are why young people can die from COVID-19”

More data on COVID-19 in Arizona, Texas and Florida, with comments on several other states.

In response to yesterday’s post, I received a few comments concerned that the drop in new coronavirus cases in Arizona was due to decreased numbers of COVID-19 tests being performed. State test reporting has been a problem, with many states having been inconsistent in how they are reporting their numbers. I have written before thatContinue reading “More data on COVID-19 in Arizona, Texas and Florida, with comments on several other states.”

COVID-19 infections are definitively falling in Florida, Texas and Arizona.

Today the trends are undeniable; infections are falling in three of the most severely affected states. It may be that people are social distancing, wearing masks, staying home due to fear, or simply that closing bars has had a significant impact. If this holds to the earlier scenario in NYC, Detroit, and other cities, theseContinue reading “COVID-19 infections are definitively falling in Florida, Texas and Arizona.”

Acknowledgement that the COVID-19 pandemic slowing in southern hotspots

My blog from two days ago that first identified the COVID-19 pandemic is moderating in several hard hit southern states has finally been acknowledged by a media source. Axios published the following lead today. While Axios usually is not the most positive source for pandemic news, it is interesting that none of the major mediaContinue reading “Acknowledgement that the COVID-19 pandemic slowing in southern hotspots”

Will the any of the vaccines under development for COVID-19 work?

Will the any of the vaccines under development for COVID-19 work to protect the population given a timeline of the next 12 months? This is a crucial question. I have thought quite a bit about handicapping the chances of success for many of the COVID-19 vaccines in development (but probably not all 250!). The stakes forContinue reading “Will the any of the vaccines under development for COVID-19 work?”