Community Impact

Stephen J. Williams, PhD and Irina Robu, PhD

  • Lead Curators – e–mail Contacts:

 irina.stefania@gmail.com and sjwilliamspa@comcast.net

UPDATED 11/07/2021

Epidemiological measurement on COVID-19 pandemic may have statistical biases which might affect next variant responses

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams Ph.D.

Epidemiologic measurement on COVID-19 pandemic may have statistical biases which might affect next variant responses


C.D.C. Reviewing Cases of Heart Problem in Youngsters After Getting Vaccinated and AHA Reassures that Benefits Overwhelm the Risks of Vaccination

Reporter: Amandeep Kaur, B.Sc. , M.Sc. 



Black doctors’ group creates panel to vet Covid-19 vaccines

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

Black doctors’ group creates panel to vet Covid-19 vaccines


Toaster Sized Machine Detects COVID-19

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

DnaNudge, a small UK-based DNA testing company designed a toaster sized machine that can detect COVID-19 in 90 min without lab analysis. The machine invented by Christofer Toumazou, professor at Imperial College was designed to aid people tailor their diet based on heredity, but changed the design due to the pandemic. The machine needs a nose swab or some saliva to detect traces of coronavirus. It can even spot other diseases such as the flu and a common virus infection called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). It will also notify the operator if a proper sample has been taken or if a test needs to be retaken.

Currently, the UK National Health Service ordered 5,000 of the machines, as well as cartridges to start testing coronavirus patients, as part of a $211 million contract. They are hoping that the machine designed by DNANudge states that can prove helpful in triaging potential COVID patients.

Source: https://futurism.com/neoscope/machine-covid-90-minutes?mc_eid=8eae667eea


Below is the Abstract of a recent Lancet paper reporting some encouraging news on the ability to reopen schools in the New Wales section of Australia.  For summary purposes, key points are highlighted and bullet point considerations below:

  • Australia had a good testing program in place when the pandemic hit and were able to effectively test during their first wave
  • Australia had a strong contact tracing program with quarantine programs in place during the first wave
  • Of 15 schools, 1,448 were monitored for COVID-19 after 12 children and 15 adults were symptomatic for the disease
  • close contacts quarantined for 14 days and monitored with antibody and nucleic acid testing
  • 18 secondary cases (1.8%) were identified with no secondary transmission among a third of contacts
  • However there was one outbreak which resulted in an attack rate of 35% (13 infected out of 37 contacts)
  • 28% of secondary infections were asymptomatic
  • it appears careful monitoring, a thorough contact tracing program, and proper hygiene can mitigate a substantial amount of risk during reopening of schools

Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2020 Aug 3;S2352-4642(20)30251-0.  doi: 10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30251-0. 

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Australian educational settings: a prospective cohort study

Kristine Macartney 1Helen E Quinn 2Alexis J Pillsbury 2Archana Koirala 3Lucy Deng 2Noni Winkler 4Anthea L Katelaris 5Matthew V N O’Sullivan 6Craig Dalton 7Nicholas Wood 2NSW COVID-19 Schools Study Team

Free PMC article


Background: School closures have occurred globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, empiric data on transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among children and in educational settings are scarce. In Australia, most schools have remained open during the first epidemic wave, albeit with reduced student physical attendance at the epidemic peak. We examined SARS-CoV-2 transmission among children and staff in schools and early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW).

Methods: Laboratory-confirmed paediatric (aged ≤18 years) and adult COVID-19 cases who attended a school or ECEC setting while considered infectious (defined as 24 h before symptom onset based on national guidelines during the study period) in NSW from Jan 25 to April 10, 2020, were investigated for onward transmission. All identified school and ECEC settings close contacts were required to home quarantine for 14 days, and were monitored and offered SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid testing if symptomatic. Enhanced investigations in selected educational settings included nucleic acid testing and SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing in symptomatic and asymptomatic contacts. Secondary attack rates were calculated and compared with state-wide COVID-19 rates.

Findings: 15 schools and ten ECEC settings had children (n=12) or adults (n=15) attend while infectious, with 1448 contacts monitored. Of these, 633 (43·7%) of 1448 had nucleic acid testing, or antibody testing, or both, with 18 secondary cases identified (attack rate 1·2%). Five secondary cases (three children; two adults) were identified (attack rate 0·5%; 5/914) in three schools. No secondary transmission occurred in nine of ten ECEC settings among 497 contacts. However, one outbreak in an ECEC setting involved transmission to six adults and seven children (attack rate 35·1%; 13/37). Across all settings, five (28·0%) of 18 secondary infections were asymptomatic (three infants [all aged 1 year], one adolescent [age 15 years], and one adult).

Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates were low in NSW educational settings during the first COVID-19 epidemic wave, consistent with mild infrequent disease in the 1·8 million child population. With effective case-contact testing and epidemic management strategies and associated small numbers of attendances while infected, children and teachers did not contribute significantly to COVID-19 transmission via attendance in educational settings. These findings could be used to inform modelling and public health policy regarding school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32758454/



Online Event: Vaccine matters: Can we cure coronavirus? An AAAS Webinar

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.



Recent Grim COVID-19 Statistics in U.S. and Explanation from Dr. John Campbell: Why We Need to be More Proactive

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.



The Inequality and Health Disparity seen with the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Similar to Past Pandemics

Curator: Stephen J. Williams, PhD


Summary: It has become very evident, at least in during this pandemic within the United States, that African Americans and poorer communities have been disproportionately affected by the SARS-CoV2 outbreak.

In an article in Science by Lizzie Wade, these disparities separated on socioeconomic status, have occurred in many other pandemics throughout history, and is not unique to the current COVID19 outbreak.  The article, entitled “An Unequal Blow”, reveal how

in past pandemics, people on the margins suffered the most.



Shelter-in-place, other emergency COVID-19 measures prevented infections

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

Emergency health measures employed in six major countries have “significantly and substantially slowed” the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to research from a UC Berkeley group published in Nature. The conclusions come as leaders worldwide struggle to balance the massive and highly visible economic costs of emergency health measures against their public health benefits.

According to the first peer-reviewed analysis of local, regional and national policies, the scientists found that travel restrictions, business closures and shelter in place orders have prevented roughly 530 million COVID-19 infections across the six countries in the study period ending April 6. Of these infections, 62 million would likely have been “confirmed cases,” given limited testing in each country.

According to lead author Solomon Hsiang, continuation of these policies has avoided millions more infections. The costs to staying home and canceling events, have cost several people their livelihood.

The study observed at 1,717 policies implemented in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States in the period extending from the emergence of the virus in January to April 6, 2020. The analysis was carried out by Hsiang and an international, multi-disciplinary team at the Global Policy Laboratory.

Without complete data on policy interventions, it would not have been possible to measure how quickly it would have spread naturally. But according to the new study, infections were growing 38 percent per day on average before crisis policies slowed the spread.

Right now, global cases are over 7 million, with just over 400,000 dead. Yet, researchers at UC Berkeley propose that the toll would have been immeasurably worse without policy interventions.





National Cancer Institute Director Neil Sharpless says mortality from delays in cancer screenings due to COVID19 pandemic could result in tens of thousands of extra deaths in next decade

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, PhD.

at https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2020/06/25/national-cancer-institute-director-neil-sharpless-says-mortality-from-delays-in-cancer-screenings-due-to-covid19-pandemic-could-result-in-tens-of-thousands-of-extra-deaths-in-next-decade/


COVID Brain Invasion?

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

Magnetic resonance imaging is a young radiology technologist with COVID-19 and anosmia displayed a signal alteration in the brain compatible with viral brain invasion in a cortical region associated with olfaction. (JAMA Neurology)

Parkinson’s patients sleep is improved by bright light therapy by receiving dopamine therapies. (Scientific Reports)

Preventive medication and withdrawal are effective in treating medication overuse headache. (JAMA Neurology)

Transporting lysosomal enzyme and therapeutic proteins can sneak across the blood brain barrier. (Science Translational Medicine)

Stomach function is influenced when cortical areas are involved in action, interference and emotion. (PNAS)

Changes in mitochondrial proteins, which were strongly tied to cognitive function is associated with the APOE4 allele (genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease). (Neurology)





COVID-19’s seasonal cycle to be estimated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Algorithms: Will A Fall and Winter resurgence be Likely??

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN




Circles painted on the grass in San Francisco’s Delores Park encourage visitors to keep their distance and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. AP Photo by Noah Berger

As states in the U.S. start to relax restrictions intended to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it can feel like people are responding with an all-or-nothing approach: Either you stay locked in your house alone, or you’re at a party with a hundred maskless strangers. 

But those aren’t the only choices, says Neil Maniar, a professor of the practice and director of Northeastern’s Master of Public Health program. 

While the country is not ready to get back to normal, in places where the current outbreak is trending downward, public health officials are offering people ways to safely start going out.

“People have been quarantined for over two months and it’s just human nature to be itching to get out and start to do things,” Maniar says. But, he cautions, “we cannot underestimate how dangerous and how transmissible this virus is.” 

“Just because things are opening up, and just because it’s okay to engage in certain activities, does not mean that the risk has disappeared,” Maniar says. “People need to continue to be vigilant about this pandemic and about this virus.”

That means you should always wear a mask when you’re outside, make sure you maintain proper distance from others around you, and take other public health precautions such as washing your hands and avoiding touching your face. And listen to what your local health authorities are saying about the coronavirus.

“There are still a lot of hotspots around the country,” Maniar says. “People should really follow the guidance of their local and state public health departments, because this varies a lot from one state to the next.”

Do I really need to wear a mask everywhere? 

In short? Yes. 

“The mask is reducing the amount of virus particles that are emitted into the air,” Maniar says. “It’s more about reducing that amount, as opposed to protecting yourself.”

The virus spreads through tiny droplets in the air, expelled when you cough, sneeze, sing, laugh, or speak. If someone breathes in those droplets, or touches a surface where those droplets recently landed and then touches their nose or mouth, they can become infected.

Most homemade masks aren’t great at keeping virus particles away from the wearer, but they are good at catching those particles sprayed out as the wearer breathes and talks. 

The mask protects the people around you.

“If a person who is infectious is not wearing a mask, and the other person is wearing a mask, there is still a significant risk of transmission,” Maniar says. “If both people are wearing a mask, you have a dramatically lower risk of infection. It goes from somewhere around 70 percent down to about 5 percent. So it’s really significant.”





What will be the new normals after the coronavirus pandemic?
History shows the aftermath of plagues have brought about radical transformations for societies. So what changes could come in the aftermath of COVID-19?

This was a great 60 Minutes set of interviews by Jon Wertheim discussing how society was transformed from past pandemics like the bubonic plague with  Bill McKibbon, Frank Snowden, (Yale physician and author of Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present) and author Arundhati Roy.  The full interviews can be seen here at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-new-normal-society-effects-changes-60-minutes/.

Briefly, pandemics throughout history have forced a change of behavior and policy with respect to our views and practice of public health.  Many of these changes were very beneficial and practices to which we adhere to today.  Of specific note, Frank Snowden discusses how the first responses to bubonic plague are similar to the first responses we enacted in the current pandemic: namely social distancing, quarantine, and use of personal protective gear.

Some parts of the interview is shown below:

Jon Wertheim: You’ve seen the movie before?

Frank Snowden: I have seen parts of the movie; other parts have changed. The science is very different, but yes the plot is similar.

This semester, while on a research trip in Rome, the professor came into contact with his subject matter, quite literally. He contracted COVID-19 and was quarantined. He couldn’t help but notice that the methods used today to contain the virus were all too familiar. From the bubonic plague of the 1300s to the cholera pandemic of the 1800s.

Frank Snowden: Our public health methods were built on the plague precedents. And so they had quarantine. They had social distancing. They had lockdowns. Doctors actually wore PPE. And what they had was a mask. We know about that. Theirs was differently shaped. It had a long beak. And they put sweet-smelling herbs in it, to keep the foul odors away. But in addition, they carried a long rod or verger and the doctor would physically keep people at a distance.







Berkeley Conversations – How COVID-19 will shape the 2020 Election

Streamed live on May 8, 2020


71.9K subscribers

COVID-19 has already impacted on the election, from a battle over holding the Wisconsin Primary on April 7 to the postponement of the Democratic convention. This pandemic is already raising questions about the electoral process and influencing the debate about who will be our next president. A panel of UC Berkeley experts will address how COVID-19 is changing the conversation around the election, impacting voter enfranchisement, and raising troubling questions about election security.


Seasonality of COVID-19

Reporter: Irina Robu,Ph.D.




Black Americans face disproportionate share of disruption from coronavirus

McKinsey analysis shows that black Americans are almost twice as likely to live in the counties at highest risk of health and economic disruption, if or when the pandemic hits those counties. Nationally, black Americans are not only more likely to be at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 but also have lower access to testing. In addition, they are likely to experience more severe complications from the infection; black Americans are on average about 30 percent likelier to have health conditions that exacerbate the effects of COVID-19. We also found that 39 percent of all jobs held by black Americans—compared with 34 percent held by white Americans—are now threatened by reductions in hours or pay, temporary furloughs, or permanent layoffs, totaling 7 million jobs. To read the article, see “COVID-19: Investing in black lives and livelihoods,” April 2020.





COVID-19: ‘Lockdown 15’ Weight Gain Metabolic Implications and Risks

Prof Mamas Mamas


May 04, 2020



his transcript has been edited for clarity.

Hi, welcome to Medscape UK. My name is Mamas Mamas. I’m professor of Cardiology based at Keele University and today’s programme will focus around weight gain – weight gain during the lockdown.

This lockdown weight gain has been seen and reported in many countries. In Italy, for example, in the United States, in the United Kingdom, and it has been termed many names on social media such as the lockdown 15, the quarantine 15.

Fifteen relates to the weight gain in pounds gained. But is this phenomenon real or is it mainly a social media construct? Well, I ran a poll on CardioTwitter with over 270 participants, of which over 50% reported having gained weight.

In fact, 20% reported having gained over 5 pounds in weight. But there’s also other data, data from an electronic scale manufacturer in the United States. They obtained data from several hundred thousand participants, and they showed, importantly, that the average weight gain was rather more modest at 0.2 pounds. Nevertheless, over 20% of individuals reported a weight gain of over 1 pound.

But let’s not forget that the individuals that buy these electronic scales – that are state of the art – are very likely not to represent the general population. And so it is likely that the weight gain experienced by the general population is probably higher than this 1 pound.

So what are the causes of this weight gain? Well, they’re likely to be multifactorial. First and foremost, we’re exercising less, many of our gyms are closed, and we’re no longer going out for fear of catching COVID, particularly the elderly and co-morbid.

We’re also switching to very carbohydrate rich diets, and this will obviously have an impact on our weight gain.

Interestingly, it has been reported that one of the greatest increases in foodstuffs sold in the United Kingdom is in fact alcohol. The sales of alcohol have increased by 300%, and this will clearly impact on calorie intake and weight gain.

But let us also not underestimate the psychological impact of social isolation during this lockdown. And we know that psychology can have a major effect on both calorie intake and weight gain.

So for the next couple of speakers we’re going to focus around weight gain from a number of perspectives.

First and foremost, what are the metabolic implications of gaining weight?

And secondly, what are the future risks of cardiovascular events?

My first guest is Dr Scott Murray. Dr Murray is a consultant cardiologist based at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and he is ex-president of the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. He will focus around the metabolic effects of this acute weight gain.

Dr Scott Murray

What I want to talk to you today is about the fact that we’re living in strange times. We’ve been taken out of our comfort zone and placed in a very difficult situation.

SEE SOURCE for Page 2 & 3





a16z Podcast: When Medicine Goes Virtual

We’re at a moment where we are now seeing medicine go virtual faster, and at a scale that it has never done before. In this conversation,  a16z bio general partners Vijay Pande and Julie Yoo, who come from the worlds of bio, technology and care delivery,  talk with a16z’s Hanne Tidnam all about what exactly virtual care and “telemedicine” is… and what it isn’t; what it works well for, what doesn’t (yet), and where there’s potential; and finally, the current pain points (including regulation)—and what we’ll learn from this current moment for the next generation of virtual medicine tools.





A series of articles on how oncologists from around the world are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as some curations of patient guidelines for cancer patients and transplant recipients.

Opinion Articles from the Lancet: COVID-19 and Cancer Care in China and Africa

Live Notes and Conference Coverage in Real Time. COVID19 And The Impact on Cancer Patients Town Hall with Leading Oncologists; April 4, 2020 

The Second in a Series of Virtual Town Halls with Leading Oncologist on Cancer Patient Care during COVID-19 Pandemic: What you need to know

Curation of Resources for High Risk People  to COVID-19 Infection: Guidances for Transplant Patients


WATCH VIDEO – Healthcare Delivery in COVID Era by Norwich University





Tyler E Miller, MD, PhD
Recently, our #COVID19 serology group


became aware that a disproportionate number of COVID19 cases were from Chelsea, a small town near Boston. We wanted to help public health & city officials understand the extent of the outbreak using serology assays we validated

Quote Tweet
MGH Community Health
Nearly a third of 200 blood samples taken in Chelsea show exposure to coronavirus bostonglobe.com/2020/04/17/bus via @BostonGlobe

People are mobilizing quickly. MGH has delivered 25,000 masks to Chelsea (town of 40,000), expanded testing to allow for anyone who has symptoms to be tested (not just MGH patients), and created special kits for those recovering in isolation. #MGHStrong

Tyler E Miller, MD, PhD

Area hotels have been turned into temporary isolation units for those positive for COVID-19 by PCR, need to isolate from family, but don’t need acute care in a hospital. Other plans are in the works to care for most vulnerable in this community.

Tyler E Miller, MD, PhD

We hope to publish full results very soon, and I’ll expand on many more details then, but I’m so proud of the MGH team for realizing something needed to be done and doing it. #MGHStrong #AllInThisTogether
Tyler E Miller, MD, PhD

A huge shout out to the crew that went into what is the hardest hit community in MA, risked their own exposure, to help. I’m in quarantine myself (COVID+), but


fellows &

residents & VICE-CHAIR were out there on the front line doing fingerpricks

Tyler E Miller, MD, PhD

Proud of the dedication of our team, MGH Chelsea staff, city leaders, volunteers, & MGH as a whole to mobilize in real time to identify & help Chelsea. This video from Chelsea high school saying Thank You & knowing we are helping makes it all worth it


Chelsea High student say “Thank you hospital workers!”
Students from Chelsea High School Honor Society in Chelsea, Massachusetts extend their thanks to the health care providers at Mass General and other hospital…

sean halleran

Replying to



2 were people excluded if they didn’t live in Chelsea (ie shopping next town over) and is the group shopping a reasonable representation of any given town. On one hand could under estimate if actively sick less likely to shop; could overestimate if disproportionate younger…
Concerned asshole

Replying to



This thread needs to mention the rampant number of illegals who cram into this city as a huge factor. 42k known residents I’d push it up to 50-55k with illegals. Any large 3 floor brick apartment building has multiple families living in one apartment. Not to mention basements.

sean halleran

Replying to



1 Great work. Would it be instructive to look at total fatalities, ventilators, ICU based on zip code to get a better estimate for things like IFR, critical care usage that can help other places predict their surge? Obv can’t sample that data from parking lot – questions would be

sean halleran

Replying to



3 well feeling women who may be more likely to have had mild disease.



April 16, 2002 – Report on the Ongoing SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic causing the COVID-19 Disease

Reporter and Curator: Mr. Srinjoy Chakraborty (Junior Research Fellow) and Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.




April 15, 2020

NIH study validates decontamination methods for re-use of N95 respirators

Three methods effectively sanitized masks for limited re-use.


N95 respirators can be decontaminated effectively and maintain functional integrity for up to three uses, according to National Institutes of Health scientists. N95 respirators are designed for single-use and are worn by healthcare providers to reduce exposure to airborne infectious agents, including the virus that causes COVID-19.  The study was conducted in a controlled laboratory setting, and the results were posted on a preprint server on today(link is external). The findings are not yet peer-reviewed but are being shared to assist the public health response to COVID-19. 

The study investigators are with NIH’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana, part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). With collaborators from the University of California, Los Angeles, they tested the decontamination of small sections of N95 filter fabric that had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Decontamination methods tested included

  • vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP),
  • 70-degree Celsius dry heat,
  • ultraviolet light, and
  • 70% ethanol spray

All four methods eliminated detectable viable virus from the N95 fabric test samples. The investigators then treated fully intact, clean respirators with the same decontamination methods to test their reuse durability. Volunteer RML employees wore the masks for two hours to determine if they maintained a proper fit and seal over the face; decontamination was repeated three times with each mask using the same procedure.

The scientists found that ethanol spray damaged the integrity of the respirator’s fit and seal after two decontamination sessions and therefore do not recommend it for decontaminating N95 respirators.  UV and heat-treated respirators began showing fit and seal problems after three decontaminations — suggesting these respirators potentially could be re-used twice. The VHP-treated masks experienced no failures, suggesting they potentially could be re-used three times.

The authors concluded that VHP was the most effective decontamination method, because no virus could be detected after only a 10-minute treatment. UV and dry heat were acceptable decontamination procedures as long as the methods are applied for at least 60 minutes. The authors urge anyone decontaminating an N95 respirator to check the fit and seal over the face before each re-use.


R. Fischer, et alAssessment of N95 respirator decontamination and re-use for SARS-CoV-2(link is external).


Vincent Munster, Ph.D., and Marshall Bloom, M.D., from NIAID’s Laboratory of Virology are available to comment on this study.

NIAID conducts and supports research — at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide — to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.





Current COVID-19 antibody tests aren’t accurate enough for mass screening, say Oxford researchers

With over two dozen different molecular diagnostics now authorized by the FDA for COVID-19, the field is beginning to see the first of a new group of tests aimed at screening for people’s immune responses to the disease and cataloguing past infections instead of active ones.

While overall testing capacity of any kind remains far short of meeting demand, antibody blood tests would provide additional data on the spread of the novel coronavirus, and results showing immunity could be used to give people an all-clear to leave quarantine and return to work.

Their accuracy would, of course, have to be paramount—any false positives could send unprotected people back into harm’s way. But researchers at the University of Oxford tasked with evaluating these serological tests say they’re still weeks away from solid validation and that no versions to date have performed well.





Kinsa Thermometers and the Internet of Things Developing Fever Maps of the Coronivirus Outbreak: Data shows Social Distancing May Be Working

San Francisco company Kinsa Inc., manufacturer of internet-connected thermometers, have been tracking fevers across the United States throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  Using this data, adapting their software to measure non-influenza fevers, and correlating these observations with COVID-19 clinical data and local reports of adherence to CDC guidelines to minimize community spread, they show evidences that social distancing strategies may be working to limit the spread of the disease, as nationwide COVID related fevers appear to be on the decrease. The story is found below:

Source: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/maps-show-fevers-are-down-a-sign-coronavirus-is-slowing.html

Each day, 162,000 people use a Kinsa thermometer to take their temperature. Typically the company uses that data to track the spread of influenza. It recently adapted its software to monitor “atypical fever,” which doesn’t follow typical influenza patterns and is thought to correlate with the surge of COVID-19 cases.

map of the nation shows that as of Monday the number of fevers in nearly every corner of the country has fallen across the past seven days. Please go to https://healthweather.us/?mode=Atypical to see updated information.







The above map shows the 7 day trend (3/23/20- 3/30/20) with the blue decreasing fever incidence.


The map above shows how much influenza-like illness above the normal expected levels Kinsa have detected since March 1. Red>orange>yellow

The time series chart allows one to compare Kinsa’s observations of the influenza-like illness level in the U.S., in orange and red, against where the model expect them to be, in blue, and see how that relationship has changed over the past few weeks

Data is current as of: March 30, 2020



COVID-19: What should you be doing?

Posted on March 20, 2020

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Click this graphic for the latest CDC updates.

If you suspect that there is a case in your community consult your local health authorities.


Live Notes from Town Hall for Patients with Leading Oncologists on Lung Cancer and COVID19 3_28_20

at https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2020/03/28/live-notes-from-town-hall-for-patients-with-leading-oncologists-on-lung-cancer-and-covid19-3_28_20/

by Stephen J. Williams, PhD

This UPDATED post contains notes and tweets from the Online Town Hall with Leading thoracic oncologists on how they and their patients are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Special speaker include Marina Garassino MD, oncologist from Milan Italy and the ongoing situation there. There will be another update when the Zoom recording becomes available. Tweet feeds can be found using #LungCancerandCOVID19



The Corona Economy with John B. Taylor

interview with John B. Taylor via Uncommon Knowledge

Friday, March 27, 2020

In this first of a new series of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson conversations done via webcam, Peter Robinson talks to John B. Taylor, the Hoover Institution’s George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics.


Russ Roberts On Coronavirus: A Cost-Benefit Analysis Of The Economic Shutdown (15:02)

interview with Russell Roberts via Capital Isn’t

Friday, March 27, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Russ Roberts talks about the cost-benefit analysis of whether it would be better to keep the economy closed or opened during the coronavirus.

The Grumpy Economist

The Grumpy Economist: Coronavirus And The Road To Recovery

interview with John H. Cochranevia The Grumpy Economist | A Podcast with John H. Cochrane

Friday, March 27, 2020

How economic policy can help America bounce back — and how it can go wrong.





‘I’m going to keep pushing.’ Anthony Fauci tries to make the White House listen to facts of the pandemic

Anthony Fauci, who to many watching the now-regular White House press briefings on the pandemic has become the scientific voice of reason about how to respond to the new coronavirus, runs from place to place in normal times and works long hours. Now, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has even less time to sleep and travels at warp speed, typically racing daily from his office north of Washington, D.C., to his home in the capital, and then to the White House to gather with the Coronavirus Task Force in the Situation Room. He then usually flanks President Donald Trump addressing the media—and when he isn’t there, concerned tweets begin immediately. Shortly before he planned to head to the White House for a task force meeting today, he phoned ScienceInsider for a speedy chat. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Q: The first question everyone has is how are you?

A: Well, I’m sort of exhausted. But other than that, I’m good. I mean, I’m not, to my knowledge, coronavirus infected. To my knowledge, I haven’t been fired [laughs].




Here are the local Jewish organizations open and offering support

Millions of Bay Area residents have been following orders to limit all nonessential travel and stay in their homes through at least April 7 as public health officials work to slow down the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

While grocery stores, pharmacies and police and fire stations remain in operation, as well as media outlets including J.,  so do a number of Jewish organizations offering critical services to Bay Area residents who are in need of food, counseling or other forms of help.

Are we missing any organizations providing essential services? Email gabriel@jweekly.com.

The S.F.-based Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, which provides spiritual care to those living with illness or caring for the ill, will remain open.

San Francisco-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services, which also serves the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma counties, is offering delivery from its food bank, delivery of food and supplies to seniors, and counseling for families and adults. Click here for more information.

Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay is providing counseling and case management by phone or video conference, and meal delivery services to those in need. For delivery information, email kwinogura@jfcs-eastbay.org.

Shalom Bayit, a Berkeley-based center for domestic violence prevention, is still serving its clients. However, it is suspending public events and restricting nonessential people from its office.

Hebrew Free Loan in San Francisco is offering interest-free loans to those who are hurting financially in the crisis, whether from missing work, suffering small-business losses or dealing with health care costs. For more information, contact Aimee Gruber at (415) 546-9902.

Locations of Meals on Wheels in San FranciscoContra Costa and Alameda counties, as well as in Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Diablo Region, are requesting younger volunteers. Meals on Wheels is considered an essential service under the “shelter in place” order.

Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley is still offering phone appointments for therapy clients and emergency food assistance for Holocaust survivors and isolated seniors.





How is the 3D Printing Community Responding to COVID-19?

Irina Robu, PhD

As the new pandemic COVID-19 takes over the globe, several countries are implementing travel restrictions, social distancing and work from home policies. Healthcare systems are overloaded and fatigued by this new coronavirus (COVID-19). Since COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, patients require specialist respirators to take over the role of the lungs. These respirators are in short supply, however, along with medical personnel, hospital space and other personal safety equipment required to treat patients.

Professional AM providers, makers and designers in the 3D printing community have started to answer to the global crisis by volunteering their respective skills to ease the pressure on supply chains and governments. The additive manufacturing and 3D printing community has numerous members keen to support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A hospital in Brescia, Italy with 250 Coronavirus patients lacking breathing machines has recently run out of the respiratory valves needed to connect the patients to the machines. In response to the situation, the CEO of Isinnova, Cristian Fracassi used 3D bioprinting to produce 100 respirator valves in 24 hours, which are currently being put to use in the Brescian hospital.

At the same time, Materialise, has released files for a 3D printed hands-free door handle attachment to lessen Coronavirus transmission via one of the most common mediums. Door handles are exposed to a lot of physical contact over the course of a day, especially in public spaces such as offices and hospitals. The 3D printable add-on allows users to carry out the lever action required to pop open most modern doors using their elbows.

Protolabs, a leading on-demand manufacturer with 3D Printing is using rapid production methods to good use during the current Coronavirus outbreak by producing components for #COVID19 test kits and ventilators. California-based Airwolf3D volunteered their own fleet of 3D printers for the manufacturing of respirator valves and custom medical components. The company is also offering remote technical support for medical staff that would like to know more about 3D printing.

Volkswagen has started a task force that will adapt its car-making capacity and manufacturing facilities to the production of hospital ventilators and medical devices. Using their own 125 industrial 3D printers to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, Volkswagen is donating face masks to healthcare providers and local authorities as part of an agreement made with German Health Minister.

Stratasys has organized its global 3D printing resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by printing full-face shields to provide protection to healthcare workers. The company showed that the strength of 3D bioprinting can be adapted on the fly to address shortages of parts related to shields, masks, and ventilators, among other things.
Doctors, hospital technicians and 3D-printing specialists are also using Google Docs, WhatsApp groups and online databases to trade tips for building, fixing and modifying machines like ventilators to help treat the rising number of patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The efforts come as supply shortages loom in one of the biggest challenges for health care systems around the world.





America’s shamefully slow coronavirus testing threatens all of us

The US lags just about every developed country on testing for Covid-19 disease.

Test kits have been in short supply — though that’s changing.

The numbers here are a bit confusing, too. As of March 7, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the CDC has sent out enough test kits to test 75,000 people (far fewer than the million promised by the Trump administration). But those are just the tests sent to public health labs. An additional 1.1 million tests (produced by private industry) have been sent out to non-public commercial and academic labs, according to Hahn. In all, he estimated 850,000 Americans are able to be tested.

But capacity to test is still lagging. Part of that is due to a shortage of key chemicals needed to run the tests. Currently, according to the American Enterprise Institute, 16,030 Covid-19 tests can be processed in the US a day, up from 7,840 a few days ago. (South Korea has been able to run 10,000 tests per day since February.)

Some labs have much higher capacity than others. Even the corporate diagnostic companies like Quest and LabCorp only have the capacity to run 1,000 and 1,500 tests a day, respectively. Your ability to get tested may depend on where you live, the lab your physician uses, and the judgment of your doctor.

An adaptation of a chart by Skye Gould for Business InsiderChristina Animashaun/Vox






Levels of air pollutants and warming gases over some cities and regions are showing significant drops as coronavirus impacts work and travel.

Researchers in New York told the BBC their early results showed carbon monoxide mainly from cars had been reduced by nearly 50% compared with last year.

Emissions of the planet-heating gas CO2 have also fallen sharply.

But there are warnings levels could rise rapidly after the pandemic.

With global economic activity ramping down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is hardly surprising that emissions of a variety of gases related to energy and transport would be reduced.

Scientists say that by May, when CO2 emissions are at their peak thanks to the decomposition of leaves, the levels recorded might be the lowest since the financial crisis over a decade ago.

A map released by Nasa shows how air pollution levels have reduced in China this yearImage copyrightNASA

While it is early days, data collected in New York this week suggests that instructions to curb unnecessary travel are having a significant impact.

Traffic levels in the city were estimated to be down 35% compared with a year ago. Emissions of carbon monoxide, mainly due to cars and trucks, have fallen by around 50% for a couple of days this week according to researchers at Columbia University.

They have also found that there was a 5-10% drop in CO2 over New York and a solid drop in methane as well.

“New York has had exceptionally high carbon monoxide numbers for the last year and a half,” said Prof Róisín Commane, from Columbia University, who carried out the New York air monitoring work.

“And this is the cleanest I have ever seen it. It’s is less than half of what we normally see in March.”





From: “Ofer Markman (I/O) Enterprises)” <oferm2015@gmail.com>

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 3:48 AM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Cc: “Dr. Jason Zielonka, MD” <Jasonz.mit@gmail.com>, Justin MDMEPhD <jdpmdphd@gmail.com>, “Dr. Larry Bernstein” <larry.bernstein@gmail.com>, Adam Sonnenberg <Adamsonnenberg@hotmail.com>, “Dr. Joel Shertok” <jshertok@processindconsultants.com>, Rick Mandahl <rmandahl@gmail.com>, Gail Thornton <gailsthornton@yahoo.com>, “Irina Robu, PhD” <irina.stefania@gmail.com>, “Dr. Sudipta Saha” <sudiptasaha1977@gmail.com>

Subject: #LPBI: from academia IL background on interdisciplinary aspect of corona and pandemics in general

From: Magen Inon <mageninon@gmail.com>

Date: 11 March 2020 at 17:21:09 GMT+2


Cc: Academia IL <academia-il@listserver.cc.huji.ac.il>

Subject:Re: [Academia-IL-Bashaar] וירוס הקורונה ואנחנו: מה יש למדעי החברה ללמדנו על השלכות המגיפה העולמית?

non academic resources the the interdisciplanary understanding of the corona pandemic

Mathematics (and computer science):

Mathematical modelling of diseases:



AI predicting the spread of coronavirus:


China uses AI to combat the outbreak:


Human Sciences:

Online updated statistics:


a 17 year old in the states has built one of the best website which aggregates global coronavirus info:


Economic effects:



The most dangerous thing about coronavirus is the hysteria:


Misinformation on social media https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/04/fake-coronavirus-tweets-spread-as-other-sites-take-harder-stance

Coronavirus: How a misleading map went global:


‘Don’t touch your face!’: website watches you to help you avoid Covid-19




GIS Real-time Data Map – Disease Diffusion


The dystopian trilogy by Margaret Atwood: Oryx & Crake; Year of the Flood; MadAddam (Can be found at Conway Library)

Fever dreams: did author Dean Koontz really predict coronavirus?


The Plague / Camus: https://www.france24.com/en/20200304-coronavirus-sees-sales-of-camus-the-plague-soar


Dream of Ding Village / Yan Lianke

Blindness / Saramago

The Decameron / Boccacio

Outbreak (1995)

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration


Edvard Munch (1863-1944). Self-Portrait After the Spanish Flu (1919-20) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2958553/

How metaphors influence our reasoning:



Closed borders and ‘black weddings’: what the 1918 flu teaches us about coronavirus:


Why the 1918 Spanish flu defied both memory and imagination: https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/W7TfGRAAAP5F0eKS

Plague and long-term development: the lasting effects of the 1629-30 epidemic on the Italian cities


Disease crash course:


John Snow Cholera Map + Data Journalism


King Henry VI bans kissing to stop the plague (1439):


Plague and Lethal Epidemics in the Pre-Industrial World https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-economic-history/article/plague-and-lethal-epidemics-in-the-preindustrial-world/1D2D564AD8560ABACAF9D81A65F27CED/core-reader


Radio debate about the moral questions involved (starts with the sentence ‘Utilitarianism vs. deontology’ i.e. consequences vs. obligations:


Privacy vs surveillance



Coronavirus and the ethics of quarantine:


Religious studies:


Is It Time for the Virtual Scientific Conference?: Coronavirus, Travel Restrictions, Conferences Cancelled Curator: Stephen J. Williams, PhDhttps://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2020/03/06/is-it-time-for-the-virtual-scientific-conference-coronavirus-travel-restrictions-conferences-cancelled/



Researchers forge a new weapon to fight parasites and other infections | University of California https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/researchers-forge-new-weapon-fight-parasites-and-other-infections?utm_source=fiat-lux
NYT – The coronavirus charts that Trump needs to see https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?uri=nyt://newsletter/60050661-f0b9-4951-a762-ea3491082f3c
A Week at the Epicenter of America’s Coronavirus CrisisBy James Ross Gardner



March 13,

From: “Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels”<ravbensam@shaarei.org>



Date: March 13, 2020 at 12:03:27 AM EDT

To: avivalev-ari@alum.berkeley.edu

Subject: Very Important Message

from the Leadership of Shaarei Tefillah

Community Building – The Jewish Perspective



We write to you once again this erev Shabbat with ahavat Yisrael (the love and concern for every individual Jew in our community), kavod haberiyot (the dignity of every human being), and an aspiration toward responsible leadership. Our incredibly interconnected world faces a serious threat of pandemic (novel coronavirus, COVID-19), and we all need to work together to be part of a local, regional, national, and global response. One of the most important principles of Jewish law and ethics is the mitzvah: “וְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם מְאֹד לְנַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם – And you shall very much guard your lives” (Devarim 4:15). We have a fundamental religious duty to protect our own health and safety, as well as that of others. This mandate overrides every other mitzvat aseh (affirmative Torah and Rabbinic obligations). Keeping safe and not causing harm are Biblical Mitzvot of the highest proportions, while praying with the congregation and hearing the layning is a Rabbinic Mitzvah and of lesser significance. Our Sages say (TB Sanhedrin 74a) that it is better to minimize one Shabbos in order to have the health to celebrate future Shabbatot; “וחי בהם – and you shall live by them (Vayikra 18:5),” and not imperil yourselves through the mitzvot. We have continued to be in contact with medical and public health professionals, as well as poskim, and Jewish leaders nationwide, to develop ongoing guidelines during this public health crisis that honor this call to action.


From @Harvardmed Center for Bioethics: The Medical Ethics of the Corona Virus Crisis

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

The full article can be found at https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2020/03/27/from-harvardmed-center-for-bioethics-the-medical-ethics-of-the-corona-virus-crisis/

Article Summary:  Harvard Medical School Center for BioEthics Executive Director Christine Mitchell spoke with the New Yorker’s Isaac Chotiner about the decisions that may need to be made on limiting movement and, potentially, rationing supplies and hospital space.

In the interview the New Yorker asked Christine Mitchell about ethical issues surrounding this pandemic including:

What coronavirus-related issue has most occupied your mental space over the past weeks?

Is there anything specifically about a pandemic or something like coronavirus that makes these issues especially acute?

Just to take a step back, and I want to get back to coronavirus stuff, but what got you interested in medical ethics?

When you looked at the response of our government, in a place like Washington State or in New York City, what things, from a medical-ethics perspective, are you noticing that are either good or maybe not so good?

In her own words, the main ethical issues revolve around who gets treated given these limited resources.

So, in the debate about allocating resources in a pandemic, we have to work with our colleagues around what kind of space is going to be made available—which means that other people and other services have to be dislocated—what kind of supplies we’re going to have, whether we’re going to reuse them, how we will reallocate staff, whether we can have staff who are not specialists take care of patients because we have way more patients than the number of specialized staff,” says Mitchell.

See the full interview at https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2020/03/27/from-harvardmed-center-for-bioethics-the-medical-ethics-of-the-corona-virus-crisis/


SID ISRAEL Panel 31 March 2020 Covid 19 outbreak in the Developing world

Ofer Markman

While Europe has suffered dramatically, and Spain, Italy and France are at the heat of the pandemics Europe has not come to it as a unified community/country and the outcome of which are already staggering, The “brutal fight” for protective gear and all kind of panic based measures taken by countries such as Germany, have caused havoc in countries in Europe that are mostly dependent on neighbor countries for their supplies in what looked like the open borders of Europe.

The evidence for this is not in cries from these countries but in the numbers: San Marino is the country with the highest death and illness rates (per Million) in Europe, 5-20 times the numbers of surrounding Italy, and So is Andorra, Luxembourg, Gibraltar, Monaco and even Liechtenstein, be it masks, tests or other measures that where missing, be it sanitation, disinfection or missing food essentials that depended on neighboring countries the outcomes are still outrageous.


SID ISRAEL Panel 31 March 2020 Covid 19 outbreak in the Developing world

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