Watch this 90-second video about a family in Arlington, Texas that got together for a birthday party. All of them caught COVID-19.
“About 100 million Americans now have the ability to get pop-up notifications from local health authorities when they’ve personally spent time near someone who later tested positive for the coronavirus.”
Depending on where you live, you might be able to get notification if you have been exposed to someone at work, school or another public area–by an app on your smart phone. The information is anonymous–no one is tracking your location, unlike many other apps you may be using for social media. This app isn’t perfect, but could be of great help slowing the spread of COVID, particularly when more than 40% of people spreading the disease do so when not showing any symptoms.
“Exposure alerts worked for the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam. He and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus in September, and because they had it working on their phones, staff members exposed to them got notified. And they’re picking up steam: In its first few weeks, Colorado’s system was activated by a million residents, or 17 percent of its population.”
States currently using the system:
- Alabama: GuideSafe
- Colorado: CO Exposure Notifications
- Connecticut: Covid Alert CT
- Delaware: Covid Alert DE
- Guam: Guam Covid Alert App
- Maryland: MD Covid Alert
- Michigan: MI Covid Alert
- Nevada: Covid Trace
- New Jersey: Covid Alert NJ
- New York: Covid Alert NY
- North Carolina: SlowCovidNC
- North Dakota: Care19 Alert
- Pennsylvania: Covid Alert PA
- Virginia: Covidwise
- Washington, D.C.: DC Can
- Wyoming: Care19 Alert
And these states have either announced their intent to launch services or are running limited tests:
- Arizona: CovidWatch at the University of Arizona
- California: COVID Notify at University of California campuses
- Hawaii: AlohaSafe Alert
Nations around the world are also using similar Bluetooth technology for notifications, including Switzerland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.
For more information, read this article:
This is the best article I have read about the COVID-19 vaccines. Two of the vaccines that have completed Phase III trials will soon become available to those in the top priority groups–frontline healthcare workers and first responders, plus those who are at higher risk because of their age; and those who have underlying conditions that increase their risk for severe disease. This superb article explains how the vaccines are being produced, tested, how they actually protect against the disease and many other key issues.
Last spring, many of the folks living in rural America watched in horror as the pandemic raced through major urban areas–but thought they would be safe. That has now changed. Kathryn Jones tells her story in Texas Monthly.
“The pandemic felt so far away out here. My husband and I live eight miles south of Glen Rose—the nearest town of any size—barely over the Somervell-Bosque county line. Our house sits a mile and a half off Texas Highway 144, past two ranch gates and cattle guards, and at the end of a winding, up-and-down gravel road that leads to a ridgetop. There are no other houses in sight, just a wide western view of layered blue mesas.”
Kathryn and her husband followed the rules–even though many in her sparsely populated county did not. Katheryn rarely went to town, but when she did, she wore a mask and vinyl gloves at the grocery store and for a trip to the courthouse to vote. After a week of rationalizing the telltale symptoms (low fever, dull headache, sudden loss of smell and taste) she went in to the local hospital to be tested. She was positive.
Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation requiring Iowans over the age of 2 to wear masks in indoor public spaces starting Tuesday. “If Iowans don’t buy into this, we’ll lose,” she said. “Businesses will close once again, more schools will be forced to go online, and our health care system will fail.”
The concept of herd immunity can be confusing–particularly with the wide variety of “opinions” of TV talking heads. However, this article by Dr Gigi Kwik Gronvall and Rachel West provides a clear explanation of the facts–without political spin. This is what you need to know to protect your family.
A GOOD WAR
Edited & Hosted by Col Randy Larsen USAF (Ret).
We created A Good War to help inform you and your family during the epic battle against COVID-19. America’s top public health leaders will be among the contributors, along with heroes working on the frontlines.
I am Randy Larsen. For the past 25 years, I have held various executive positions, inside and outside of government, working with my fellow public health warriors to try and convince America’s leaders that public health preparedness is a critical element of national security.
I have been working with Jay Lavender since 2008. Jay is a writer and producer with a great passion for protecting America’s national security. For the past dozen years, we have been telling stories in film and print celebrating unsung heroes.
Jay and I are honored to be working with a world-class team to edit this site and produce the podcast, A Good War. Our mission is to help tell the inspiring stories of public health heroes—past and present—in the battles between the human race and infectious diseases.
Please reach out with ideas for posts or questions and share with everyone who wants to help play their part.
Thank you for spending your valuable time with us. We need each of you to help Win A Good War.
Flu season will soon begin, so it is important that all members of your family (6 months of age and older) get their flu shot within the next few weeks. Flu shots are most important for older adults since the age group generally accounts for 70% to 85% of flu-related deaths and 50% to 70% of flu-related hospitalizations each flu season.
Despite the “internet myths” you will not get the flu from the vaccine. Some people get a sore arm for a day or so, but that is about the only down side. The up sides are many, including avoiding hospitalization or death for you and your loved ones.
For more information on flu shots for the elderly members of your family, read this article.
Within the next few months, we expect to have one or more vaccines for COVID-19. Frontline medical personnel, first responders and the elderly (over 65) are at greatest risk from this disease. CDC states that 8 of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the US have been people 65 years of age or older. We need to focus efforts on protecting those people at the highest risk.
For more information, read this article.
Dr Amesh Adalja, a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Heath Security, talks about safety guidelines for gyms and workout classes.
This National Geographic article provides a comprehensive update on COVID-19 vaccine development–focusing on the progress of nine notable candidates. This unprecedented scientific effort is the equivalent of completing the Manhattan and Apollo programs in less than a year.
“More than 150 coronavirus vaccines are in development across the world—and hopes are high to bring one to market in record time to ease the global crisis. Several efforts are underway to help make that possible, including the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, which has pledged $10 billion and aims to develop and deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by January 2021.”
Read the full National Geographic article
Dr. Amesh Adalja explains the science behind the story on Hydroxychloroquine. Most importantly, he describes the difference between double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials (science) and the anecdotes you may have heard reported by physicians and various non-medically trained talking heads on several cable news channels and internet videos..
There are many things we do not know about the COVID-19 disease, but the role of Hydroxychloroquine is not one of them. The evidence is in. Hydroxychloroquine is not a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19.
Dr. Adalja is a board-certified physician in internal medicine, emergency medicine, infectious diseases, and critical care medicine. He has been treating COVID-19 patients for more than 6 months . Early on, he treated patients with Hydroxychloroquine, but based on the overwhelming evidence from double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials, Dr Adalja no longer prescribes Hydroxychloroquine, a position endorsed by professional medical organizations such as the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Several people have contacted me about the stories of physicians who have treated COVID-19 patients with Hydroxychloroquine and claimed it to be a “”miracle drug”, including Dr. Stella Immanuel . Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Immanuel was best known for her theories regarding the use of rituals to cleanse people of evil spirits or demons. She has said she also believes in alien DNA, and in 2013 she shared a video saying that certain women’s diseases are caused by sex with demons in dreams.
Bottom-line: If any of my family members contracted COVID-19, I will want them treated by Dr. Adalja, not Dr. Immanuel, Laura Ingram or Donald Trump.