“Autopsy studies have revealed a range of recurrent neuropathological features in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”
by Katarina Zimmer
“When epidemics and pandemics washed over humanity through the ages, watchful doctors noticed that in addition to the usual, mostly respiratory ailments, the illnesses also seemed to trigger neurological symptoms. One British throat specialist observed in the late 1800s that influenza appeared to ‘run up and down the nervous keyboard stirring up disorder and pain in different parts of the body with what almost seems malicious caprice.’ Indeed, some patients during the 1889–92 influenza pandemic reportedly became afflicted with psychoses, paranoia, stabbing pains, and nerve damage. Similarly, scholars have linked the 1918 flu pandemic to parkinsonism, neuropsychiatric disorders, and a broadly coinciding outbreak of the “sleeping sickness” encephalitis lethargica, which would often arrest patients in a coma-like state—although researchers still debate whether the two are causally connected.
“That SARS-CoV-2, the culprit of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also associated with neurological symptoms isn’t entirely surprising, given some evidence that its close relatives, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-1, have been associated with neurological symptoms too. But the proportion of patients …
Continue reading this article at The Scientist, click here.
“Dr. Viktoria Mahnych, walks on country road to attend to her patient near Iltsi village, Ivano-Frankivsk region of Western Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)“
by Mstyslav Chernov and Yuras Karmanau
“VERKHOVYNA, Ukraine (AP) — Riding a horse-drawn cart, Dr. Viktoria Mahnych trots along country roads to attend to her patients in several villages nestled in the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine.
“The country of 42 million has recorded more than 1.1 million confirmed COVID-19 infections and nearly 20,000 deaths. Mahnych, 30, now fears that the long holidays, during which Ukrainians frequented restaurants and other entertainment venues, attended festive parties and crowded church services, will trigger a surge in new coronavirus infections and make her job even more difficult.
“Starting Friday, Ukraine imposed a broad lockdown aimed at containing a surge in infections, but many medical workers say that the move came too late.
“The streets of Ukrainian cities swarmed with festive crowds during the holidays and thousands flocked to churches to attend Christmas services Thursday in the mostly Orthodox country without worrying about social distancing or wearing masks.”
From top to bottom: “A medical worker talks with coronavirus patients in a hospital organized in the medical college in Lviv, Western Ukraine, on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. A medical worker treats Mykhailo Kaldarar, patient with COVID-19 as his wife Oleksandra Kaldarar, left, looks at him in a hospital in Rudky, Western Ukraine, on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)”
“LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — A medical college in western Ukraine has been transformed into a temporary hospital as the coronavirus inundates the Eastern European country.
“The foyer of the college in the city of Lviv holds 50 beds for COVID-19 patients, and 300 more are placed in lecture halls and auditoriums to accommodate the overflow of people seeking care at a packed emergency hospital nearby.
“The head of the hospital’s therapy division, Marta Sayko, said the college space has doubled treatment capacity. She hopes a broad lockdown ordered Friday will reduce the burden on the Ukrainian health care system.
“’Considering that now the number of cases is growing, more patients arrive in a grave condition with signs of respiratory failure,’ Sayko said.”
“The illness has affected nearly every aspect of life.”
by Rachael Rettne
“The year 2020 was defined by the coronavirus pandemic, arguably the worst pandemic the world has seen in 100 years. COVID-19 has caused more than 75 million cases and 1.6 million deaths worldwide as of mid-December. The illness has affected nearly every aspect of life, from work and school to everyday activities like getting groceries, and even our wardrobes.
“Here are just some of the ways COVID-19 changed the world in 2020.
“A number of new words and phrases entered the general lexicon in 2020. We were told we need to “social distance,” or stay six feet apart, so that we could “flatten the curve,” or slow the disease’s spread in order to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. People even became familiar with relatively obscure epidemiological terms like the “basic reproduction number” (R0, pronounced R-nought), or the average number of people who catch the virus from a single infected person.”
To read this article at Live Science in its entirety, click here.
“Like 1968, 1945, 1918 and so many other landmark years, we won’t have to work hard to remember, in the decades to come, what year COVID-19 struck. It was in 2020 — a year to remember, whether you like it or not.“
“Protesters gathered July 25 in Springfield to complain about (Illinois) Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 restrictions.” The State Journal-Register, distributed by the Associated Press
by Neil Steinberg
“An Easter like no other.
“A summer like no other.
“A World Series like no other.
“A year like no other.
“The description ‘a _____ like no other’ wasn’t invented in 2020. It has been used for more than a century: ‘It has been a year like no other,’ wrote R.M. Squires, summing up the world of dentistry in 1919.
“But the phrase was worn to a nubbin over the past nine months by journalists lunging to convey in a handy three-word code the baked-in strangeness and continuous turmoil we’ve been enduring. A branded logo to rubber-stamp this slow-motion train wreck: COVID-19 pandemic meets civic unrest meets economic disruption. Our locked-down society of shuttered schools and struggling restaurants, all playing out against a political clown show that veers from farcical to frightening, sometimes within the same hour.
“A presidential election like no other.
“A Thanksgiving like no other.
“So often was ‘like no other’ flung, at times I wanted to scream, ‘EVERY year is a year like no other!’ Years are unique, like snowflakes. And besides, 2020 is like other years. It’s like 1968, 1945, 1918 … all the way back to 1066, landmark years where you won’t have to purse your lips and ponder, trying to dredge up a single event. We all know what happened in 2001. Nobody is going to snap their fingers and try to recall what year COVID struck: 2020, a year to remember, whether you like it or not.”
Want to read more about the year like no other? Click here to read the entire article at The Chicago Sun-Times.
VOX: Are we doomed? An investigation
At the conclusion of a dystopian year, we look to historians, preppers, and even the heavens in search of answers: What exactly was 2020, and what happens now? Click to read opposite opinions.
by Angela Fritz
“Symptoms of covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, can range from mild to severe. The most common include fever, a dry cough or shortness of breath, but there are other indications you could need to be tested or have a conversation with your doctor.
“Although this list is not inclusive of every possible symptom, it includes what physicians and health experts have determined are the most common. Some of these symptoms will coincide with one another. Symptoms of a coronavirus infection can emerge anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
To see the symptoms and watch a short ()minute and a half) video explaining “Coronavirus or covid-19 symptoms range from mild to severe. They’re most likely to be similar to a regular cold, the flu or seasonal allergies,” click here.
“What Seniors Can Expect When COVID Vaccines Begin to Roll Out” / “People Are Dying. Whom Do We Save First With the Vaccine?”
by Judith Graham
“Vaccines that protect against COVID-19 are on the way. What should older adults expect?
“The first candidates, from Pfizer and Moderna, could arrive before Christmas, according to Alex Azar, who heads the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Both vaccines are notably effective in preventing illness due to the coronavirus, according to information released by the companies, although much of the data from clinical trials is still to come. Both have been tested in adults age 65 and older, who mounted a strong immune response.
“Seniors in nursing homes and assisted living centers will be among the first Americans vaccinated, following recommendations last week by a federal advisory panel. Older adults living at home will need to wait a while longer.”
Continue reading this article at Kaiser Health News, click here.
Photo illustration by Tyler Comrie
“In mid-December, before a key vote by an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a public debate flared up over what might well be the most momentous policy decision of 2021: how to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine. This particular fight centered on how to balance the vaccination of seniors (who die from the coronavirus at much higher rates than younger people) against that of essential workers (who, because they come into contact with many people over the course of any given day, risk getting sick themselves and becoming superspreaders).
“That debate was just the first of what will be many contentious ones in the months to come, when supplies of Covid vaccine will surely be among the world’s most precious, scarce resources. The calculation of how to prioritize various groups inevitably touches on all the fault lines that divide American society — race, class, age, geography, occupation and more — and ultimately bleeds into the question of our ethical obligations to the poorer nations of the world, which risk being forced to wait for lifesaving vaccine supplies while the wealthy save themselves first.”
Read this article in its entirety at The New York Times, click here.
Department Of Health Provides Update On COVID-19: 6,209 Patients Hospitalized And 1,246 Patients In The Intensive Care Unit
– news release –
9,320 Additional Positive Cases Of COVID-19, Hospitalizations Remain At Double Peak In The Spring
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., December 18, that there were 9,320 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 538,655.
There are 6,209 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, double the peak in the spring. Of that number, 1,246 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.
The trend in the 14-day moving average of number of hospitalized patients per day has increased by nearly 5,300 since the end of September.
“Covid’s strange moment: Joy over vaccines coincides with new levels of deaths and hospitalizations in U.S.” – STATnews
“GO NAKAMURA/GETTY IMAGES
by Andrew Joseph
“The vaccines — the elixirs that will help drag this pandemic to a close — had finally arrived. There they were on Monday, being readied for health care workers in New York, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, and beyond, each rolled-up sleeve marking an initial step in curbing Covid-19.
“And yet, even as the images of trucks, planes and unpacked boxes offered a triumphant respite for a public desperate for hope, the bad news kept knocking. The country crossed 300,000 official deaths from the coronavirus on Monday. It hit a record number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized — more than 110,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project. For the week that ended Monday, the average daily toll included more than 2,300 deaths and more than 210,000 infections, according to STAT’s Covid-19 Tracker.
“It would have been a jarring split screen, if not for the fact that so much of the suffering from Covid-19 has seen people dying or mourning alone. While doctors and nurses administered vaccines in front of cameras as governors kept watch, the 1,300 people who died from the virus Monday largely did so isolated in hospital rooms.”
Here’s how to self-isolate, what quarantine guidance means for your household, and which symptoms signal you need emergency care.
by Kristen Kendrick/NPR
“As the cooler weather takes hold, a viral pandemic is blanketing the U.S. with infection rates like we’ve never seen.
“As of early December, there are more than 200,000 new U.S. cases reported and more than 1,800 deaths from COVID-19 on average every day. And although we know this illness is dangerous, the hospitalization rate is about 243 hospital stays per 100,000 infections, which means masses of people are having to manage less severe cases at home, too.
“Patients are facing time alone with a notoriously unpredictable virus — and that can feel scary, confusing and overwhelming. Those are all sentiments I’ve heard a lot in my own practice as a family doctor lately.
“If you’ve gotten a positive test result, here’s advice from doctors about how to handle a mild to moderate, or even asymptomatic, case on your own — and when you need to seek emergency help.”
Continue reading this article at WITF, click here.
Consider, too, tuning in to this FREE interactive Q&A Webinar:
When: Dec 21, 2020 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: My family tested positive for COVID-19!
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
“The coronavirus at 1: A year into the pandemic, what scientists know about how it spreads, infects, and sickens” – STATnews
MIKE REDDY FOR STAT
by Andrew Joseph
“The coronavirus behind the pandemic presents some vexing dualities.
“It’s dangerous enough that it dispatches patients to hospitals in droves and has killed more than 1.6 million people, but mild enough that most people shrug it off. It blocks one arm of the immune system from responding as it takes hold, but lures other parts into dangerous hyperdrive. It homes in on cells high up in the airway — think the nose and throat — but also burrows deeper into the lungs, maximizing infectiousness without ceding how sick it can make people.
“’It’s sort of right in that sweet spot,’ said Kristian Andersen, an infectious disease expert at Scripps Research Institute.
“A year into the pandemic, STAT is outlining a portrait of SARS-CoV-2 based on what scientists learned as the virus raced around the world, crippling some economies, societies, and health systems in its wake.
“How the virus cracks open cells and wards off the body’s first-line attack. How it can spread before people start feeling sick. How it’s changed since the dawn of the pandemic, and what, if anything, that means. How the omnivorousness of the disease it causes, called Covid-19, reaches not just the lungs but into the heart, brain, gut, and beyond.
“How this virus has caused the damage it has, unlike other respiratory viruses that also prey on our impulses to get together — to pack into crowds, to laugh, to sing — and use them as stepping stones in their mission to infect cells and make copies of themselves.”