July 4, 2022

Dr. Stuart Weiss: COVID-19 Update Monday 28-December-2020

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By Dr. Stuart Weiss, Intelligent Crowd Solutions

Rapid Test Center of New York
Dr. Stuart Weiss, FACEP, FAAP, CBCP

December 28, 2020

CoViD-19 News and Information you can trust.Welcome new readers from the Rapid Test Center.

Topics: Update on new coronavirus variant, some 2020 good news.(Remember, this week my columns will be short as we are busy helping to create a safe Times Square New Years Eve Ball Drop production environment.)

New data on new variants

Over the holiday weekend, there was news on the new U.K. variant as well as the slightly older South Africa variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As you may recall, last week there were reports of a new version of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is 56% – 70% more infectious than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. This variant was first reported in SE England. It is more infectious but doesn’t seem to cause more severe disease. Over the holiday weekend, over a dozen countries reported cases of the UK variant. Two days ago, Public Health Canada reported two cases of UK variant in people who hadn’t traveled outside of Canada. 14 other countries have it as well including France, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and Lebanon. I would be very surprised if it wasn’t already spreading through the US. Two countries, the UK and Finland also reported their first cases of the South Africa variant. There are many studies occurring now looking at the characteristics of these new variants. In the meantime, infection rates are soaring in the US, UK and South Africa.

Viral variants are a natural occurrence and this is the way that a virus mutates to survive. I would image at all four of the naturally occuring annual coronaviruses started out this way and eventually mutated into a form that allowed them to survive in the human population by easily spreading and not killing their hosts to fast before they could spread. I would expect that we will see other variants develop as well over time.

Some Good News

When thinking back over 2020, its hard to imagine a more challenging year. While there are many annual recaps of the year, I have some points to make as well.

In a year in which I can remember experiencing great satisfaction and joy upon finding toilet paper in a supermarket that I could buy and scouring Amazon to find more cans of beans, chicken, fruit cocktail and things I can’t even imagine ever eating, here are four tidbits of good news from 2020:

  1. As far as we can tell, no one has actually been killed by murder hornets. Although they are still nasty creatures that rip the heads off normal unsuspecting bees, they don’t seem to do the same thing to humans.
  2. Several near miss asteroids didn’t hit the planet. One several months ago and one just last week came scarily close but still managed to miss us. The one from Nov 13th flew past us at 30,014 miles per hour at a height of only 237 miles (are glad you didn’t actually know that at the time!)
  3. I’ve started to lose the CoViD-19 or is it the CoviD-25 and my pants fit better! I’ve gotten tired of baking and eating an endless supply of brownies, cookies, bread and anything else I could bake and apparently others are feeling the same thing. While it was nearly impossible to buy dried yeast a few months ago or flour, they are now back on the shelves in the supermarkets here in Manhattan. Its amazing what stress-baking and eating combined with not exercising due to the closure of gyms does to one’s body. I remember gaining the freshman 15 when I went to college and enjoyed the low-quality high-volume buffet at college. Who would have thought a Pandemic would do the same thing to me.
  4. There is so much great stuff to stream on TV now. Humanity has developed an almost endless array of streaming services and even my mother, who resisted the allure of the Internet for a long time, has embraced, albeit reluctantly, not only the internet but the intricacies of Zoom. I have managed to watch all of the Star Trek series and have a new appreciation for Deep Space Nine, which I didn’t love when it first came out. I just finished 6 seasons of Schitt’s Creek which was amazingly excellent. The 20 minute episodes were perfect prior to going to bed after long days.

So although this year was marked by constant reminders that we are all going to die unless we take Hydroxychloroquine or we don’t take Hydroxychloroquine; unless we take Vit. D, Vit C, Zinc, Cooper, fish oil, or not; unless we drink lysol or insert light into places light usually doesn’t shine or we don’t, unless we stay inside or stay outside while wearing a mask or not wearing a mask because at first masks didn’t work but then they did work but then neck gators didn’t work but then they actually did work; and most importantly, unless we buy our own body weight in spare emergency toilet paper; always remember that there was some good news scattered throughout 2020. Given that, I bid this year good riddance. Not since 1974 when i was forced to wear plaid bell bottom jeans and get my hair done in an Afro have I wished for something to be over as much as this year.

To everyone, may 2021 bring us all peace and some tranquility until its your turn to get vaccinated.

Stay safe, we will all get through this together.

Be well,

Dr. Stu Weiss

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YouTube Channel
The Doctor Stu YouTube channel is up and running but we haven’t added new videos in a little while. I’ll get back to that after the New Year. Go to www.DoctorStu.org to submit questions.
DoctorStu YouTube channel
Coronavirus update for December 28, 2020

World Wide Updates
Novavax testing its vaccine against UK coronavirus variant
Cuba will impose new travel restrictions following rise in Covid-19 cases
Spain’s Covid-19 death toll surpasses 50,000
“Growing concern” over very high level of Covid-19 infection in England
Premier League match postponed between due to Covid-19 outbreak
Five cases of UK Covid-19 variant detected in southern Spain
Pfizer to supply Europe with 200 million coronavirus vaccine doses by September 2021
Mexican composer and singer Armando Manzanero dies at 85 after battle with Covid-19 
UK reports highest daily rise in Covid-19 cases since start of pandemic
Russia extends UK flight ban until January 12
Iceland receives first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine
Coronavirus variants from UK and South Africa detected in Finland
France’s health minister says country cannot rule out possibility of third national lockdown
Novavax announces start of Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial in the US and Mexico
Pfizer reschedules EU vaccine deliveries following “logistical issue”
Beijing cancels New Year’s Eve festivities amid Covid-19 cases
British tourists reported to have “fled” Swiss ski resort after quarantine measures imposed
London Ambulance Service is receiving as many emergency calls as it did in pandemic’s first wave
Germany tops 30,000 coronavirus deaths
Oman to lift travel ban imposed because of new Covid-19 variant
South Korea detects Covid-19 variant from UK travelers
Chinese city of Dalian finishes mass testing of 6.4 million people amid Covid-19 cluster
Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks will go ahead but waterfront viewing is banned
Japan reports nearly 3,000 new Covid-19 cases
Saudi Arabia extends entry ban because of Covid-19 variant concerns
Brazil’s vice president tests positive for coronavirus
Japan to introduce mobile tracking app for overseas travelers before Tokyo Olympics
Singapore will begin Covid-19 vaccinations from Dec. 30
South Africa tops 1 million Covid-19 cases
Former Japanese minister dies from coronavirus
Total Cases Worldwide: 81,581,970
Total Deaths Worldwide: 1,779,805
Total Recovered: 57,674,627

US Updates

New York governor will sign an executive order to combat potential vaccine fraud
$600 relief checks expected to start going out this week — but timing could slide, Trump official says
The US has administered 2.1 million vaccine doses, according to CDC
CEO of L.A. hospital says staff may have to ration care if number of coronavirus patients rises
New Jersey will vaccinate more than 30,000 long-term care residents and staff this week
New York is experiencing a “big increase” in positive Covid-19 tests, governor says
Top Democrat urges Trump to convince Republicans to act on $2,000 stimulus checks
Military personnel being deployed to California to combat coronavirus
US House may pass $2,000 stimulus check provision on Monday
Southwest Airlines will avoid furloughs thanks to stimulus bill
New York City’s key Covid-19 metrics exceed desired thresholds, mayor says
Number of ICU patients with Covid-19 in the US continues to grow, HHS data shows
US air travel on Sunday was the highest of the pandemic
For 26 consecutive days, more than 100,000 people have been hospitalized with coronavirus in the US
Police shut down illegal bar and gathering of more than 200 people at warehouse party in New Jersey
COVID-19 spreading faster in California than most states
Kroger Co.to hire 1,000 to administer COVID-19 vaccines
Seniors in Florida line up outdoors overnight for first-come, first-served vaccinations
New York is expected to pass anti-eviction law as thousands of residents struggle to pay rent
Total US cases: 19,723,298
Total US deaths: 342,721
Total Recovered: 11,610,555
Total Tested in US: 242,200,060
Total cases in CA: 2,180,551
Total deaths in CA: 24,409
Total cases in TX: 1,696,714
Total deaths in TX: 27,187
Total cases in FL: 1,280,177
Total deaths in FL: 21,309
Total cases in NY: 972,312
Total deaths in NY: 37,495
Total cases in IL: 942,362
Total deaths in IL: 17,470
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