Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

CORONAVIRUS: “HOW WE CAN REACH HERD IMMUNITY”

Scientists are working at breakneck speed to develop an effective vaccine for the coronavirus. Their ultimate goal: to immunize enough of the world’s population to reach herd immunity. WSJ explains. 

Illustration: Jacob Reynolds

HEALTH: “MAKING SENSE OF CORONAVIRUS DATA” (VIDEO)

Public health organizations track the spread of coronavirus and use graphs and charts to visualize the data. WSJ’s Brianna Abbott explains what to look for in the data to understand how the virus is impacting your community.

Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann/WSJ

CORONAVIRUS: RESPIRATORY-DROPLET CONTACT IS MAJOR WAY COVID-19 SPREADS

From the Wall Street Journal (June 16, 2020):

Health agencies have so far identified respiratory-droplet contact as the major mode of Covid-19 transmission. These large fluid droplets can transfer virus from one person to another if they land on the eyes, nose or mouth. But they tend to fall to the ground or on other surfaces pretty quickly.

Some researchers say the new coronavirus can also be transmitted through aerosols, or minuscule droplets that float in the air longer than large droplets. These aerosols can be directly inhaled.

Illustration: Erik Brynildsen

Sufficient ventilation in the places people visit and work is very important, said Yuguo Li, one of the authors and an engineering professor at the University of Hong Kong. Proper ventilation—such as forcing air toward the ceiling and pumping it outside, or bringing fresh air into a room—dilutes the amount of virus in a space, lowering the risk of infection.

Another factor is prolonged exposure. That’s generally defined as 15 minutes or more of unprotected contact with someone less than 6 feet away, said John Brooks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s chief medical officer for the Covid-19 response. But that is only a rule of thumb, he cautioned. It could take much less time with a sneeze in the face or other intimate contact where a lot of respiratory droplets are emitted, he said.

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HEALTH: HOW SLEEP HAS CHANGED DURING COVID-19

From the Wall Street Journal (June 1, 2020):

The biggest problem has been staying asleep,” says Philip Muskin, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. “People aren’t exercising, their days have no structure at all.”

Preliminary results from a survey taken by around 1,600 people from 60 countries show that 46% reported poor sleep during the pandemic, while only 25% said they had slept poorly before it, according to Melinda Jackson, a senior lecturer at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University in Melbourne, who studies how stressful events affect people’s sleep. Forty percent also reported increased alcohol consumption.

The key is to prevent the sleep problem from becoming chronic, she says. It is important to avoid associating your bed or bedroom with a place where you are awake. Experts recommend that if you can’t fall asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to go back to sleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing.

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HEALTH: “HOW THE BODY CLEARS COVID-19” (VIDEO)

Understanding how the body clears the new coronavirus is becoming more important as the U.S. begins to reopen. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains how the body fights infection and why feeling better doesn’t equal being virus-free. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann

COMMENTARY

This excellent video is well worth watching and listening to. It revisits how the immune system, both innate and adaptive responds to SARS CoV and other viruses.

It shows graphically how long the body takes to clear the the Covid 19 virus.

And it makes me, a susceptible 88 year old, even more alert to infection. We should keep our guards up.

Even if an effective vaccine is found, it will probably take its place, incorporated into influenza vaccine as an annual immunization.

Dr. C.