Note: Barring another crisis, I’m gonna try dropping back to a once-a-week schedule for these updates. So my next Covid Update will be next Wednesday morning, March 1st.
Getting the updated booster is the best way to protect yourself against severe COVID-19 illness.
— nychealthy (@nycHealthy) January 30, 2023
"Underscores the pressing need to invest in health in the US"
Impact of US Covid through May 2022
—over 1 million deaths
—reduced life expectancy by 3.1 years
—economic welfare losses of $3.57 trillion
—untold number of people disabled w/ #LongCovid https://t.co/lLk28muofZ pic.twitter.com/JZFpzQa1Oz
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) February 23, 2023
Japan is considering a fresh coronavirus vaccine rollout from May, starting with the elderly and other vulnerable members of society. https://t.co/PRTfMT0DrO
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) February 24, 2023
A Japanese research institute says one in four people continued to experience suspected coronavirus aftereffects even 18 months after infection.https://t.co/GjYPpgX8vS
— NHK WORLD News (@NHKWORLD_News) February 22, 2023
A wave driven by XBB.1.5 "Kraken" is just starting here. The waves from that variant in the US and UK were quite severe. It has high ACE2 binding (similar to XBF), so good at attacking a wide range of organs in it's hosts.
So I expect a similar wave to what we just went through. pic.twitter.com/IeLjpVzCw1
— Mike Honey (@Mike_Honey_) February 22, 2023
Covid in the UK:
Another 1.2 million infected in week up to 7th feb.
Up 20% from previous week
rates highest among secondary school-age children.
The number of hospital patients in England who have tested positive is also continuing to rise.https://t.co/E5qixFecE3
— Dr Claire Taylor (@drclairetaylor) February 19, 2023
Worldwide we are now in a 100% #Omicron #COVID19 #pandemic . All prior forms of #SARSCoV2 are extinct, except in lab freezers. Dozens of Omicron subvariants are in circulation, some so genetically different that it seems time to use another Greek letter. https://t.co/ghNKq6d5eG pic.twitter.com/7jzvEVtJNl
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) February 22, 2023
Getting COVID-19 is known to increase a person's long-term risks of having a major cardiovascular event, but being fully or even partially vaccinated appears to bring that risk down, according to a new study.https://t.co/r3gmoI4hw3
— Ars Technica (@arstechnica) February 22, 2023
New study from Japan: Experimental oral antiviral shows promise in #Covid outpatients w/ mild-moderate disease. Symptom resolution was 24.3 hrs earlier for patients receiving 125mg of the drug ensitrelvir compared w/ placebo. Drug may also curb #LongCovid https://t.co/feckl3lwWL pic.twitter.com/mz9X7iknlx
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) February 23, 2023
I finally completed the step-by-step instructions for building a Mini Corsi-Rosenthal Box. Please let me know if you need it translated or adapted for materials available in your country. The PDF is available here: https://t.co/kbAZt7K8fz#CorsiRosenthalBox pic.twitter.com/48WGoTFc9u
— Shiven Taneja (@ShivenTaneja) February 24, 2023
New paper prototype of a DIY air purifying lamp!
Inspired by wood-veneer hanging lamps. Uses a Levoit 300s filter, two 140mms fans, warm white LED strip. Exterior frame made of embroidery hoops, paper, waxed canvas and wire, designed by @mbecica 1/ pic.twitter.com/e7wMbt8Vrs
— Kai Chang (@syntagmatic) February 23, 2023
yes, most annoying! presented in the N Y Times as if it were a serious consideration of a recent study when it was (yet another) anti-mask/ anti-public health mandate/ anti-Biden propaganda piece. how very easily misled a reader might be, urged to think "masks are useless." https://t.co/mWlfmGRv20
— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) February 22, 2023
Celebrity tweets swayed US public opinion toward pandemic efforts, study suggests
Tweets—especially those from vax-skeptic politicians & news anchors—likely influenced the increasingly negative US public attitudes toward efforts to combat #COVID19https://t.co/nWoShNaYCw pic.twitter.com/uo2ZMFWxjY
— CIDRAP (@CIDRAP) February 23, 2023
TIME magazine, so not really ‘reputable’, but the op-ed by Steven Phillips, M.D.,M.P.H., Vice President Science and Strategy, COVID Collaborative and Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, is every bit that bad:
When will the COVID-19 pandemic end in the U.S.? Is it over when the president says so, by scientific consensus, or when the public thinks so? Historians of pandemics think it’s mainly the latter. Although blunting the epidemic curve is a major measurement, the perception of when we can “return to normal” resides largely in the subjective individual human domain. But can we come up with a measurable definition to help track progress and serve as the basis for public policy and awareness of the pandemic’s endpoint? That seems an exercise that is vital in this moment of pandemic confusion. Here’s my proposed definition: the country will not fully emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic until most people in our diverse nation accept the risk and consequences of exposure to a ubiquitous SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19….
After three years of the imposition, followed by gradual easing, of lockdowns, quarantine, isolation, testing, vaccination and masking, how does the holdout one-third of the country move from the current obsolete but ingrained “avoid exposure” paradigm to an endemic “accept exposure” reality? This not only has significant medical, public and mental health implications; it will also accelerate a return to a fully-functioning and dynamic society.
There are three segments of society—policymakers, experts (scientists, biomedical and public health practitioners), and the media—that form an ecosystem that has played a major interactive role in shaping our current pandemic paradigm. This ecosystem is also the one that could help catalyze and speed a frame-shift.
The U.S. COVID ecosystem is largely playing catch-up with the public rather than leading this transformation. Separately and together it forms powerful networks to enable those with an understandable difficulty of letting go of three years of ingrained avoidance behaviors to cling to their practices.
This collective force still leaves some people suggestible to health alarms fearful, anxious, and confused about how to protect themselves and others in a time of rapid societal transformation.
The U.S. is now at a major pandemic crossroad. “Follow the science” has been a central policy guidepost in the pandemic. Science and public health knowledge and expertise is the conduit to both sound policy and public education through media channels. New courageous “accept exposure” policies, public education and behavior change strategies are needed to capture the benefits of the new paradigm. This could be a major step in bridging our national COVID divide.
I may not fully agree with the doomers, but I can see their perspective:
I think that the increased incidence of large-scale industrial accidents can't be divorced from both Long-COVID-related staffing shortages and Long-COVID-related cognitive issues.
So, probably prep for whatever happens when your local critical infrastructure thing fails badly.
— Naomi Wu 机械妖姬 (@RealSexyCyborg) February 23, 2023
A million kudos for your hard work.
Well deserved Anne.
@Baud: Can I get that in quatloos?
(But seriously: Thanks, y’all… )
@Anne Laurie: See if Cole will give you a raise. If not, go on strike.
@Anne Laurie: Thanks for the hard work on this.
Thanks indeed. I’ll be glad to have the ongoing updates. We got the vaccines a good deal more quickly (and more effectively) than I’d thought possible, and then made more of a mess of following up than I would have imagined. It’s instructive, and makes our response (or lack thereof) to climate change seem almost rational by comparison.
@Anne Laurie: It’s been a heroic effort and provided so much vital, helpful information! I’ve sent previous covid posts to multiple people to keep them informed, some of whom I know shared them further. And I know I’m not the only one, so thanks, thanks, thanks!
@Anne Laurie: You saved our lives. It’s that simple. Thank you.
Thank you, Anne, for the stellar effort these past two years and for continuing on a lighter scale.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Health reported 224 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, for a cumulative reported total of 5,041,811 cases. 223 of these new cases were local infections; one new case was imported. It also reported no deaths, for an adjusted cumulative total that remains at 36,957 deaths – 0.73% of the cumulative reported total, 0.73% of resolved cases.
16,205 Covid-19 tests were conducted yesterday, with a positivity rate of 1.4%.
There were 9,270 active cases yesterday, 54 fewer than the day before. 309 were in hospital. Nine confirmed cases were in ICU; of these patients, seven confirmed cases were on ventilators. Meanwhile, 278 patients recovered, for a cumulative total of 4,995,584 patients recovered – 99.1% of the cumulative reported total.
The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) administered 1,295 doses of vaccine on 23rd February: 159 first doses, 95 second doses, 372 first booster doses, and 669 second booster doses. The cumulative total is 72,789,607 doses administered: 28,129,632 first doses, 27,541,306 second doses, 16,311,851 first booster doses, and 806,818 second booster doses. 86.1% of the population have received their first dose, 84.3% their second dose, 49.9% their first booster dose, and 2.5% their second booster dose.
Thank you! You’ve provided an invaluable service and I look forward to whatever updates you provide.
Monroe County, NY:
47 new cases on 02/21/23.
95 new cases on 02/22/23.
83 new cases on 02/23/23.
Once a week updates is fine with me. Thanks AL!
I was earlier to take this seriously from the beginning due to these reports and comments from the jackalariat (esp early word from China).
I was better able to judge my risk tolerance and manage fear and uncertainty for myself and family.
What a mighty effort! Thank you
Thank you Anne. Your hard work has helped us all.
What I everyi else said about once a week, and also, how helpful this series has been. All my thanks and gratitude to you, Anne Laurie.
New Deal democrat
First of all, thanks for all of your hard work. I agree with your decision to reduce posting on covid to once a week. We’ve settled into endemic ranges – still far too high – since last March, and mitigation efforts have essentially all ended.
In terms of the present situation, Biobot last updated several days ago, showing a continued decline nationwide to the lowest levels in 10 months with the exception of November. Regionally the Northeast had the most pronounced decline, while cases were rising in the West, which nevertheless remained the best region.
Confirmed cases have risen slightly in the past week to 39,300. This remains close to the lowest level in 11 months. Hospitalizations have declined to 25,900, only 3,000 above their lowest levels since last May. Deaths are at 374, a little below average for the past 11 months.
In the past year since the end of the Omicron wave for infections and hospitalizations, and 11 months after its end in terms of deaths, here are the ranges for infections, hospitalizations, and deaths:
– Biobot has shown infections between the low rate of 124 copies per ml last spring, and a peak of 1,160 just after the Holidays, with a secondary peak of 1,142 last summer.
– Confirmed cases have varied between 25,000 last spring and 135,000 at the peak of the summer wave, with the Holiday wave peaking at 77,000.
– Hospitalizations have varied between 10,000 last spring (and 23,000 in October), and close to 50,000 at the peak of the summer and Holiday waves.
– Deaths per 7 day average have varied between 250 – 650 per day, 90% of the time being between 300 – 500. There were about 500,000 deaths per year during the first two years of the pandemic. Deaths are on track to be 150,000 for the third year ending March 31.
We’ll see if this spring is as relatively benign as last spring, but we can expect new variants every 2-3 months, with summer and Holiday peaks. Probably at least 90% of all people have been infected, with close to half asymptomatic. Vaccinations of any sort stalled out at about 70% of the population. Seniors, even fully vaccinated ones, are still at risk, and I recommend continued mask-wearing indoors at public spaces, and against eating indoors at restaurants. Covid is likely to remain a leading cause of death for seniors for years to come. I made a back of the envelope estimate a couple of weeks ago that as many as 1 in every 30 seniors will ultimately succumb to covid.
There aren’t the words to express my gratitude for your work, AL! I’ve read every one of them – always learned something, and (so far) my husband and I have survived without even a scare. Of course, we still wear masks whenever we go to a public place like the grocery store, and we still aren’t willing to go to big events, even if they’re outdoors. And we were among the first in line for shots and boosters.
But it’s your updates that have kept me convinced that there’s no harm in being cautious on an ongoing basis. Thank you again!!
I want to add my thanks for all your hard work on this for the past 3 years, Anne. I cannot imagine the hundreds of thousands of hours you spent looking through all of this information to keep us better informed than the average person. I know that for this whole time I’ve known more about Covid and what’s going on with it than anyone else I know, and it’s almost all because of your postings about it. You provided an invaluable service to the readers of this blog, a thousand thanks for it.
My thanks also, Anne Laurie. I haven’t utilized your series nearly as much as I should have, but fortunately I can work backwards through the threads, for which I’m grateful to you. I’ve been in & out of a local hospital facility for the past few months for checkups and whatnot, and was a little surprised last trip in, to see hospital personnel gamboling around with few or no masks at all (after having become accustomed to the hospital being extremely forceful about masking protocols since the advent of COVID). It seems that since around the 14th, masking is deemed voluntary, which has me asking myself “Did I miss something? Is the pandemic over?” (I got the bivalent booster last October 27, and got COVID last November 26, so I’m perhaps a little confused at all this.) I’ll look forward to your updates whenever they occur and hope you enjoy some rest, unquestionably earned.
My (generally fairly cautious) employer announced that they’re going to be phasing out the surveillance testing program in another few weeks. Close to 2.5 years of tests, first twice-weekly then weekly. I’ve ….gotten very practiced at spitting into little cups and then neatly pipetting the results into sample tubes.
Thanks for all you’ve done, Anne! I’ve been reading these updates since almost the beginning, and they’ve been invaluable. But I agree that once a week is more than sufficient at this point in the pandemic.
I have not seen any recent data dumps from the China CDC. So, for the 1st time, I’ve no data to report, reliable or otherwise.
Things appear to be completely normal right now in China. Domestic flights & seating rate have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels. Hotels are fully booked, & the rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels, too. Restaurants are full, shopping streets are packed, & so are parks, theme parks & tourist attracts. People are lining up to apply/renew their passports & apply for visas, so they can travel internationally again. Foreigners are coming back, too, for business, study & visiting family. No tourists, yet, though.
International flights are slowly resuming, but still only at 25% of pre-pandemic level. Flights to & from the US represent an outlier even so. In 2019, there were > 1200 weekly flights between China & the US; now the number is still just 48. Apparently the 2 governments are posturing over resuming flights, as they have been over everything else. It does not look like my parents will be able to make it to China in the 1st half of the year, since the multi-year multi entry visas previously issued by China are still not in effect, China is only issuing 3 mo. short term business & family visit visas. Flights are still scarce & expense, anyway. It does not look like I will be able to go to the US this year either, for the same reasons. Domestic & international business travel is now strictly limited, as part of wider corporate cost control. If I exit China, it might still be rather cumbersome to return.
Masking wearing outdoors have dropped to ~ 60% where I am in Wuhan, & other parts of the country I have visited for business recently (Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu), but indoor masking rate remain very high, likewise for public transportation. Many more people are wearing N95s/KN95s. XXB.1.5. has failed to take off in China to date, despite its immune-escape properties. So it appears recent infection (< 3 mo. for ~ 90% of the population) are pretty effective at stopping transmission.
I was struck by New Deal Dem.’s speculation in Tue.’s post that the US NE suffered the worst XBB.1.5 wave because it largely skipped the previous wave. China will be a very interesting case study, probably the only country where such a high percentage of the population were infected in such a compressed timeframe. Next wave in the summer?
Thank you A.L. for providing this space over the past 3 years to discuss COVID-19 & share information! Commenting & having exchanges here helped me through the 1st lockdown in Wuhan.
I feel that we, you & us commenters, have been partners through all of this!
1) Does the FTFNYT have editors, or are op-ed columnists free to present as factual whatever dishonest claptrap they want to push?
2) There are far more people out there capable of writing good (and honest!) op-eds two or three times a week than there are slots on the op-ed sections of the major papers. If the FTFNYT had any integrity, it would sack Stephens and replace him with one of those numerous people.
Anne, thank you so much. And thank you to the rest of you with whom I have started off many a morning.
Thank you for all your work to keep us safe and informed, Anne Laurie. Your heroic efforts to help us during this pandemic are so very appreciated. I’m grateful for a regular source of reliable info.
Thanks for all these articles and tweets for three years. Because of you I’m the best informed person I know regarding long COVID.
As to when the pandemic is over? It’s over when AL can’t find enough info for a post!
thank you so much Anne, for all your hard work over the years!!!!!!!!
And to all the Jackals, with their comments, links and updates.
Covid ain’t over.
So grateful for your posts, Anne.
Adding my thanks, Anne. Having a source of reliable curated information was especially valuable to me in the early days of the pandemic–living alone in NYC, eerily deserted streets, ambulance sirens 24 hours a day, people I knew dying. I’m still amazed that I came through relatively unscathed. (My stomach still lurches when I hear a siren.)
And having had what probably qualified as a mild case of Covid in December, that from my perspective was anything but “mild,” and still thanking my lucky stars that I’d had all the boosters and easy access to antivirals, I know very well that this is not over. All we can do is keep masking up and stay informed, and you make the second part very easy.
J R in WV
First, Thanks again to Annie Laurie for compiling all this data for us — we are better informed than any similar group in the world.
Next: India tells us they have had 169 new Coronavirus infections — in a county with 1,400,000,000 people !! There’s some great data for the people of India to use while making their decisions. While many counties in the US have more new infections than that.
And that guy writing for the NYTImes, Bret Stephens, telling us that masks don’t work, and we never needed those even when the air was thick with droplets of infected sneeze. No editor looking to fact check that fool!!! Could someone with a bad case of Covid sue the Times for misleading and false reporting on protecting oneself from the spread of a deadly disease?
Along with everyone else, Anne Laurie, I want to thank you for keeping us safe and informed for so long. You are the best.
Well so far I seem to have escaped the dreaded rebound. Sadly Mrs kalakal has not and is feeling thoroughly miserable.
Covid is not over and idiots like Stephens and that creature from time are complicit in trying to normalise 2,000 deaths a week
My friends often turned to me for Covid information because I was well informed, and that was only true because of reading your posts, so I tried to get them directed here so they could get it straight from the best source out there! Thanks for all your hard work and research, it has been incredibly valuable.
Coming late to the thread to also thank AL for all the great, essential work.
In order: yes, and yes. Op-Ed writers can wax poetic on the merits of baby-eating, genocide, and so on.
Adding my voice to the chorus. Thank you AL for this service over the last 3.25? years! We’ve followed these faithfully and have been among the best informed among our circle. Very grateful for all your hard work.
@Anne Laurie:Thank you, Anne. My world became a better place through your diligence. Sounds like you did the same for many others.