Saturday, May 16, 2020


Here are some random items and thoughts that should bring a smile to even the most disgruntled robe wearer's face.

The Humpback Whales are making a comeback! A study of humpback whales that breed off the coast of Brazil shows that before commercial hunting began in the early 1800's the population was around 27,000. After heavy hunting, by the mid 1950's only 450 remained. In 1986 commercial hunting of the whales was banned, and today the population is close to 25,000. Now the good news: each whale stores about 32 tons of CO2 which means the total population now stores around twice the CO2 yearly emissions of a small country like Belize. When the whale passes on it's body decomposes on the deep ocean floor which absorbs the CO2. Increasing the whale population is a win-win proposition. 

The US is conducting 300K virus tests a day. We need to get to 500K and we are getting close. The average positive rate is 8%- and experts say anything under 10% reflects an accurate snapshot of the disease. 

According to Dr. David Agus (author of the great book A short Guide to a Long Life) only 1 outbreak has been traced to an outdoor setting. We can safely take walks and runs and bike outdoors without much risk. 

There are 171 days until the Presidential election, if you are counting. 

Under the Constitutional line of succession, if the President and Vice President are disabled and unable to perform their duties, then the speaker of the House- Nancy Pelosi becomes President. If the speaker is not available, then the president pro tempore of the Senate- Senator Chuck Grassley from Illinois takes over.  It's not entirely clear, but at some point an assistant city council member of Hialeah is in the mix.  No matter what, POTUS refuses to wear a mask and we call that tempting fate. The first time he sneezes during a debate he will be finished. 

L'Academie Francaise, the organization that sets rules for the French Language has decided that Covid-19 is feminine. Therefore it will be referred to as La Covid and not Le Covid.  Let the bad jokes begin. 

Prince Charles has revealed that he does not like garlic but that he loves cheese and egg and cheese dishes are his comfort food in troubling times as these. 

Broward is not conducting Arthur Hearings during the court closure. Whoops. We promised only good news, not expected news.


Anonymous said...

There is a great Bill Maher video on the Corona Disease. You can find it on Real Clear Politics on May 2, 2020 https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/05/02/maher_the_key_to_beating_covid_is_your_immune_system_you_cant_keep_all_the_pathogens_out.html

Anonymous said...

Grassley is from Iowa

Anonymous said...

There is a very common misconception that Sweden is not doing very well with COVID-19. Their having hit 3,000 deaths is being presented as some great catastrophe, but this couldn't be further from the truth.

Let's consider a wide range of data and evidence.

First, Sweden has fared better than many nations that locked down and only marginally worse than others in terms of deaths as a percentage of the population. Second, although they have hit 3,000 deaths, Sweden's deaths peaked almost exactly one month ago and have been plummeting recently, even when considering reporting lag. Third, Sweden's health officials have always acknowledged that they would expect to see higher death totals earlier on but would see similar or even fewer numbers in the long run. They have said we should look at the totals a year from now and see how they compare.

This view is one that has been echoed by other notable epidemiologists who have commented on the question. One reason is that Sweden will have higher levels of population immunity and so expects to see a less severe second wave. The other is that lockdowns were never intended or expected to reduce the number of deaths overall. Even the original information that was given in other countries about flattening the curve acknowledged that flattening the curve would not reduce overall death numbers. Rather, curve flattening was to prevent excess deaths due to hospital overcrowding. However, Fourth, Sweden's hospitals have never been overcrowded. According to Sweden's health chief Dr. Anders Tegnell, their ICUs have always been at least 20% free. Fifth, Sweden considered their response to the illness more comprehensively than lockdown countries and will unquestionably see fewer death rates from second and third order effects of the lockdowns such as suicides, overdoses, missed medical care, missed screenings, etc. For example, in the UK an estimate done for the National Health Service said that Britain had, as of two weeks ago, already seen 10,000 "collateral damage" deaths caused by their lockdown and were adding them on at about 2,000 per week. A study from University College London predicted 33,000 excess US cancer deaths in the next year, and then there will be the number we will later see from people who are not getting their cancer detected because of screenings being unavailable.

Some pediatricians in the US estimate that as many as 80% of 4 month olds are not up to date on vaccines now. Measles vaccinations in the US have fallen 60% due to lockdowns.

Anonymous said...

Broward residents dying at home because they are afraid to go to a hospital, new reports show. (Sun Sentinnel)

Fort Lauderdale and Broward fire-rescues’ newly released numbers confirm what many have suspected: More people are afraid to go to the hospital and, as a result, are dying at home.

Records released Monday from Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue and Broward County Fire and Rescue found twice as many people were already dead when responders arrived at their home in April than a year earlier, and the pattern appears to be continuing in May.

In addition, 911 calls have dropped, and the number of people the Fort Lauderdale paramedics have transported to the emergency room fell by nearly 1,000 in April compared to the same month in 2019.

“It is taking a toll on our paramedics who go there to save lives,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan. “They are calling so late in the game they are not able to help them. They are already so far gone they are not able to recover.”

Multiple reasons may be behind the fear of going to the hospital, Gollan said. “They may be afraid of getting the virus, or they may be afraid of not being able to communicate or talk with loved ones once they get to the hospital.”

Gollan said an 80-year-old man fell on Friday and initially refused to allow paramedics to take him to the hospital. Tuesday morning, he finally called the paramedics back and agreed to go. "He was in pain and he developed a urinary tract infection. He suffered in pain for days because of fear of going to the hospital when he could have been treated within hours of his injury and been back home,” Gollan said.

Broward Health wants to eliminate that fear and convince county residents that hospitals are clean, safe and taking extra precautions. The health system found its ER visits have dropped by 50% in April and May as have the number of people coming to the hospital for heart attacks.

Dr. Joshua Lenchus, chief medical officer of Broward Health, said people are hesitating to call 911 or go to the emergency room, or even schedule appointments for cancer detection procedures — and doing so could have dire consequences on their health.

South Florida hospitals say their levels of coronavirus patients have dropped significantly, and they have contained those patients in one section.

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted a ban on elective surgeries and hospitals began planning their reopenings. Many doctors began performing surgeries and medical screenings at facilities on Monday.

“Everyone who comes gets screened, is given a mask, gets tested for COVID, and we have designated areas for positive patients away from those who are negative,” Lenchus said. “We have appropriate protective gear and everything is done in a safe manner. We are doing everything we can do to make sure we can provide the best care.” “Patients at home who are suffering are depriving us of the opportunity to help them,” Lenchus said. “This is the place that can provide the medical care they need. The longer you wait at home, something minor could escalate into something much bigger."

Memorial Healthcare CEO Aurelio Fernandez said his hospitals have seen their emergency room visits drop 57% from a year ago. The fear to get emergency treatment, or any medical care, at a hospital is unfounded, he said. “We think it may take months before folks start getting comfortable going to a hospital,” he said. “But we are ready, and we don’t want people to delay care.” Fernandez said imaging resumed Monday as did certain surgeries. “We are being careful not to overload the recovery room. We are not in a hurry. We want to do it right.”