Written by Steven Hansen
The U.S. new cases 7-day rolling average are 6.0 % lower than the 7-day rolling average one week ago. U.S. deaths due to coronavirus are worse and are now 3.3 % above the rolling average one week ago. At the end of this post is a set of interactive graphs and tables for the world and individual states – as well as today’s headlines which include;
- Empty apartments in Manhattan reach record high, topping 13,000
- U.S. Bankruptcies at 10-Year High As Pandemic Takes Its Toll
- ‘Con Air’ Is Spreading COVID-19 All Over the U.S. Prison System
- COVID-19 Was Worse Than the Flu in NYC… the 1918 Flu
- Updated phase I/II results with Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s RNA vaccine
- Emails from Sweden’s Fauci Reveal Discussions About Now-Failed Plan to Reach ‘Herd Immunity’
- Young people have reported higher levels of anxiety and depression during the pandemic
- COVID-19 pandemic costs the global economy $375 billion a month
My continuing advice is to continue to wash your hands, wear masks, and maintain social distancing. No handwashing, mask, or social distancing will guarantee you do not get infected – but it sure as hell lowers the risk in all situations. In addition, certain activities are believed to carry higher risk – like being inside in air conditioning and removing your mask (such as restaurants, around your children/grandchildren, bars, and gyms). It is all about viral load.
The daily number of new cases in the U.S. is remaining stubbornly and embarrassedly high.
The following graphs show the 7-day rolling average for new coronavirus cases and deaths have been updated through 13 August 2020:
Coronavirus Statistics For 13 August 2020
|U.S. Only||Global||U.S Percentage of Total|
|New Confirmed Cases|
total COVID-19 Tests per 1,000 people
* as of 11 Aug 2020
** evidently several states included “probable” deaths today in the number
*** red color indicates record number
Coronavirus News You May Have Missed
- The number of apartments for rent, or listing inventory, more than doubled over last year and set a record for the 14 years since data started being collected, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.
- While hundreds of thousands of residents left the city in March and April in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, brokers and landlords hoped many would start returning in July and August.
- July’s weakness, and what brokers say is already a slow August, suggests that Manhattan’s real estate and economic troubles could extend well into the fall or beyond.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy, bankruptcies are on track to hit the highest level in at least 10 years according to figures compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
According to the analysis, which only includes public companies and private companies with public debt and/or assets/liabilities over $2 million or $10 million, respectively, 424 companies announced their bankruptcy through August 9 this year, up 22 percent from the same period last year and the highest level since 2010.
Consumer-focused companies were most affected by the pandemic, with more than 100 of them filing for bankruptcy this year. Due to the lockdown, the already battered retail sector was hit by a wave of bankruptcies that swept away household names such as J.Crew, Ascena Retail and J.C. Penney.
You will find more infographics at Statista
The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for moving people into, out of, and among far-flung federal prisons, handling most long-distance transfers and newly sentenced prisoners. It doesn’t put people in quarantine or give them virus tests before transporting them around the country. As a result, federal prisoners in Marshals custody are being shipped around the U.S. by plane, van, and bus with no way to know if they are carrying the virus, exposing other prisoners, staff, and possibly the public along the way.
According to whistleblower complaints obtained by VICE News and The Marshall Project, federal prisoners infected with the coronavirus have been shipped as far as Puerto Rico in recent weeks, and to federal lock-ups in Alabama and Florida. Bureau of Prisons employees say prisoners have also tested positive after being shuffled around to facilities in Colorado, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana.
The Marshals say they aren’t required to do any testing because “an agreement was made” that the Bureau of Prisons would handle tests and quarantines once prisoners are transferred into its lock-ups. The BOP did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for the Justice Department, which oversees both agencies, said they “have taken, and will continue to take, aggressive steps to protect the safety and security of all staff, inmates, visitors, and members of the public.”
The True Coronavirus Toll in the U.S. Has Already Surpassed 200,000 – New York Times
Across the United States, at least 200,000 more people have died than usual since March, according to a New York Times analysis of estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is about 60,000 higher than the number of deaths that have been directly linked to the coronavirus.
As the pandemic has moved south and west from its epicenter in New York City, so have the unusual patterns in deaths from all causes. That suggests that the official death counts may be substantially underestimating the overall effects of the virus, as people die from the virus as well as by other causes linked to the pandemic.
Jumps in New York City’s overall mortality during its COVID-19 peak were even higher than in the 1918 flu pandemic there, researchers found.
From March 11 to May 11, COVID-19 was associated with four times as many expected deaths versus corresponding periods from 2017-2019 (incident rate ratio for all-cause mortality 4.15, 95% CI 4.05-4.24, whereas the 1918 flu pandemic was associated with almost three times as many expected New York City deaths versus corresponding periods in 1914-1917 (IRR 2.80, 95% CI 2.74-2.86), reported Jeremy Faust, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues in a research letter in JAMA Network Open.
While the absolute increase in per-capita all-cause mortality was higher in 1918 than this year, the modern baseline was “less than half” of that in 1914-1917, due to improvements in hygiene, medicine treatment, and safety.
GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL SCHOOLS:
- Ensure all students, teachers, and staff understand the symptoms of COVID-19 and its risk factors.
- Require all students, teachers, and staff to self-assess their health every morning before coming to school; if they are symptomatic they should consult their physician.
- Encourage frequent handwashing or hand sanitizing during the school day, beginning upon entrance to the school, by ensuring that handwashing facilities are widely available throughout the school.
- Minimize large indoor group gatherings; hold large gatherings outdoors whenever possible.
- Maintain high standards of hygiene and ventilation within all classrooms, including keeping windows and doors open and running fans and AC units whenever possible.
- Require students, teachers, and staff to socially distance around high-risk individuals.
- Encourage the use of masks when social distancing is not possible.
- Liberally post instructions regarding hygiene and social distancing around the school.
GUIDANCE TO PROTECT HIGH-RISK TEACHERS AND HIGH-RISK STUDENTS:
- Students, their families, teachers, and staff should consult with their medical providers to determine if they are at high-risk from COVID-19.
- Provide high-risk teachers the choice to stay home and engage in distance teaching.
- Provide high-risk students, or students who have high-risk family members, the choice to stay home and engage in distance learning.
- Provide high-risk staff options to modify their work routines.
- Strongly encourage high-risk students, teachers, and staff to maintain social distance, avoid crowded gatherings, and wear masks when social distancing is not possible.
- Train school medical personnel regarding the symptoms of COVID-19; maintain isolation areas for those who become symptomatic to use while they await transportation away from school.
Updated phase I/II results with Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s RNA vaccine – Nature
In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)1. With rapidly accumulating cases and deaths reported globally2, a vaccine is urgently needed. We report the available safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity data from an ongoing placebo-controlled, observer-blinded dose escalation study among 45 healthy adults, 18 to 55 years of age, randomized to receive 2 doses, separated by 21 days, of 10 µg, 30 µg, or 100 µg of BNT162b1, a lipid nanoparticle-formulated, nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine that encodes trimerized SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein receptor-binding domain (RBD). Local reactions and systemic events were dose-dependent, generally mild to moderate, and transient. A second vaccination with 100 µg was not administered due to increased reactogenicity and a lack of meaningfully increased immunogenicity after a single dose compared to the 30 μg dose. RBD-binding IgG concentrations and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing titers in sera increased with dose level and after a second dose. Geometric mean neutralizing titers reached 1.9- to 4.6-fold that of a panel of COVID-19 convalescent human sera at least 14 days after a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR. These results support further evaluation of this mRNA vaccine candidate. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04368728).
Newly-released emails show Sweden’s top epidemiologist brainstorming ways “herd immunity” could be achieved to limit the spread of COVID-19, an approach that was this week branded a failure by one academic study.
While governments around the world have used a variety of tactics in their attempts to stop the novel coronavirus from ravaging populations, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, favored a “common sense” strategy over forced lockdowns.
Swedish citizens were asked to voluntarily comply with social distancing and work from home rules, a tactic that reportedly led to higher rates of infection, hospitalization and death than some of its neighbors—including Norway, Denmark and Finland.[editor’s note: this post goes on to discuss some of the emails Anders Tegnell sent]
The collateral damage from the pandemic continues: Young adults and Black and Latino people in particular describe rising levels of anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts, and increased substance abuse, according to findings reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a survey, U.S. residents reported signs of eroding mental health, in reaction to the toll of coronavirus illnesses and deaths and to the life-altering restrictions imposed by lockdowns.
The researchers argue that the results point to an urgent need for expanded and culturally sensitive services for mental health and substance abuse. The online survey was completed by 5,470 people in late June. The prevalence of anxiety symptoms was three times as high as those reported in the second quarter of 2019, and depression was four times as high.
The impact was felt most keenly by young adults ages 18 to 24. According to Mark Czeisler, a researcher at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, nearly 63 percent had symptoms of anxiety or depression that they attributed to the pandemic and nearly a quarter had started or increased their uses of substances to cope with their emotions.
The World Health Organization said Thursday there is “no evidence” the coronavirus is being transmitted through food.
Researchers in China are studying the issue, and the international agency is tracking their findings, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said during a press conference at the agency’s Geneva headquarters. But right now “there is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in the transmission of this virus,” he said.
“People should not fear food, or food packaging or processing or delivery of food. Food is very important. And I would hate to think that we would create an impression that there’s a problem with our food or there’s a problem with our food chain. We’re under enough pressure as it is,” he said.
Three cities in China have reported finding the virus on the surface of imported frozen food over the last four days, raising concerns that the virus could be passed through food and lead to new outbreaks, according to NBC News.
WHO officials said Chinese health authorities have tested a “few hundred thousand” samples of frozen food and found “very, very few” tests come back positive. The officials said they have issued guidance with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization on how food handlers can work with food safely.
Even if the virus did transmit through food, which evidence does not suggest, it can be killed before eating it, Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said.
The COVID-19 pandemic costs an estimated $375 billion a month globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, based on information from the International Monetary Fund.
During a Thursday news conference, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-deneral, said, “IMF estimates the pandemic costs the global economy 375 billion US dollars a month, and predicts a cumulative loss to the global economy over two years of over 12 trillion US dollars.”
“The world has already spent trillions dealing with the short term consequences of the pandemic,” Tedros added.
“G20 countries alone have mobilized more than 10 trillion US dollars in fiscal stimulus to treat and mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. That’s already more than three and a half times as much as the world spent in the entire response to the global financial crisis,” he said.
Tedros said that funding the WHO’s ACT Accelerator is “the best economic stimulus the world can invest” in.
The following are foreign headlines with hyperlinks to the posts
The following are additional national and state headlines with hyperlinks to the posts
Today’s Posts On Econintersect Showing Impact Of The Pandemic With Hyperlinks
Coronavirus INTERACTIVE Charts