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MisterNiceKitty

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Member since: Sun May 31, 2020, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 422

Journal Archives

Travelers are canceling trips with COVID numbers rising again: "It was really kind of heartbreaking"

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-delta-variant-spread-travelers-cancel-trips/

"After a rebound in travel this summer, people are once again canceling plans for trips because of the surging number of COVID cases. In a recent survey, 27% of respondents said they postponed a trip and more than 54% said the Delta variant has made them less interested in traveling right now.

It's an emotional balancing act so many people are struggling with at the moment. On one hand, we're desperate to reconnect with friends we haven't seen in person in ages for a big event. On the other hand, the pandemic is raging once again."

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"The highly transmissible strain of COVID is accounting for most new cases, which soared nationwide over the past two months.

"It wasn't just the rates in Atlanta. The rates are getting worse here in Colorado," Hoff said. "And who knows how many people you're going to pass in the airport."

Economist Adit Damodaran with the travel app Hopper says summer flight demand has flattened from pandemic highs, which is leading to lower prices.

"Airfare is on the downtrend," Damodaran said.

But his service is finding - since July - one aspect of travel is up. There's been a 33% increase in people buying cancelable tickets.

"People want to have that option to cancel if for any reason, you know, something happens, the situation develops in a way where they can't take that trip," Damodaran said.

Other potential passenger pitfalls are increased airline cancelations. In June and July, domestic air cancelations were above their 1% average, which translates to 10,000 cancelations in July alone."
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 07:37 PM (3 replies)

NYC was vastly unprepared for pandemic at outset of COVID: Comptroller Stringer

https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-nyc-covid-planning-failure-stringer-report-20210818-xkbfdoqhqvforlrdfjkcoohiji-story.html
Shant Shahrigian

"The de Blasio administration was woefully unprepared for a pandemic when COVID broke out last year and its response lagged as the risks became clear, according to a scathing new report from city Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office.

The city was caught so off guard that officials didn’t even know its supply of surgical-grade N95 masks had expired years earlier until it began looking for them in February 2020, stated the report released Wednesday.

“Our investigation shows weaknesses in planning and preparation and failures to promptly make decisions when time was of the essence and every minute counted,” Stringer said in a statement.

The report comes after Mayor de Blasio’s clashes with his own Health Department came to public light last year, leading to former Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot’s August 2020 resignation."


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At a Wednesday press conference, de Blasio rejected the criticism in the report.

“There’s no way to fully understand a global pandemic until you’re in it,” he said. “None us anticipated anything like this.”


Rejecting de Blasio’s statements that there was no way to foresee the COVID crisis, the report notes that as far back as 2006, the city outlined goals for how to respond to a pandemic.

But a key next step — detailing how the city’s massive government apparatus should achieve those goals — was never completed, Stringer’s office found.

By the start of the pandemic, “the City faced COVID-19 with only a plan to make a plan, instead of an updated citywide operational response guide,” the report stated.

Last year, Barbot accused the mayor of icing out health experts and ignoring her own warnings that COVID could cause a huge death toll, allegations Hizzoner rejected."

related: https://www.thecity.nyc/2020/11/12/21561854/new-york-city-covid-wrong-masks-missing-ventilators

Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 07:32 PM (4 replies)

Chicago officials who touted Lollapalooza a 'success' with just 203 COVID-19 cases may have

UNDERCOUNTED: Experts say it's impossible to identify an outbreak as Indian 'Delta' variant causes a surge

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9905917/Some-experts-say-203-cases-Lollapalooza-undercounted.html

Chicago's Lollapalooza was considered a COVID-19 success by health officials after only 203 of the nearly 400,000 attendees tested positive for the virus

Initial data from the weeks following the event made many hopeful that it was safe to hold large events with vaccine and testing requirements

But some experts are skeptical that the event was as successful as believed because contact tracers likely did not find every case
With 90% of the attendees vaccinated, it is likely that many caught the virus, and never got tested as they were asymptomatic


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'This work is not always completely accurate and often gives us undercounts,' Dr Mercedes Carnethon, vice-chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told USA Today.

Carnethon said the contact tracing used to track down cases post-Lollapalooza was imprecise because tracers often can not reach people.

Some people, especially the vaccinated, may have contracted the virus and just never have gotten tested because they were asymptomatic.

Only 58 of the 203 cases detected were among Chicago residents as well, and it is harder for local contact tracers to reach people outside of the community.

'It was not a disaster,' Carnethon told USA Today.

'But I would fall short of using it as a model and strategy to hold these large events.'
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 07:25 PM (10 replies)

Many City Employees Still Unvaccinated Despite NYC Mayor's 'Vax-Or-Test' COVID Order

https://gothamist.com/news/many-city-employees-still-unvaccinated-despite-nyc-mayors-vax-or-test-covid-order
Elizabeth Kim

"A month after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that all municipal workers must get vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing, the rate of inoculation among this 367,000-member workforce has barely budged.

As of Monday, 58% of city workers—or 211,115 people—have received at least one dose of the vaccines, according to data provided by the mayor’s office. Nearly 13,000 of those city workers got their first shots in the weeks following the mayor's mandate for hospital employees on July 21st and the universal requirement on July 26th.

That’s an increase of just four percentage points in four weeks, a testament to the challenge facing New York City officials as they desperately try to ramp up vaccination rates in the fight against the more infectious delta variant."
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 08:12 PM (10 replies)

New Lab Study Claims Common Drug Can Reduce COVID-19 Infection By Up To 70%

https://texasbreaking.com/2021/08/new-lab-study-claims-common-drug-can-reduce-covid-19-infection-by-up-to-70/

"Covid-19 infections could be reduced by as much as 70% by the use of a drug that has been approved by most countries in the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), according to a new study.

The study conducted in the laboratory by an international collaboration of researchers said that results showed a 70% reduced chance of infection by SARS-CoV-2 could be possible by a licensed drug generally used for the treatment of ailments like high levels of cholesterol and lipids in human blood.

The research team led by the University of Birmingham and Keele University in the U.K. and the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Italy said that the use of fenofibrate and its active form, fenofibric acid, has the ability to significantly reduce SARS-COV-2 infection in human cells."
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 08:09 PM (5 replies)

MLC, City Working Out Who Will Pay For Employees to Get COVID Tests

https://thechiefleader.com/news/news_of_the_week/mlc-city-working-out-who-will-pay-for-employees-to-get-covid-tests/article_2a00aab8-fea4-11eb-a4ff-1febf5b98c57.html
By CRYSTAL LEWIS

"The Municipal Labor Committee and the city are ironing out the details of mandatory coronavirus testing for unvaccinated city workers, including determining whether employees will be compensated for the time it takes to get tested.

City workers will be required to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID or get tested on a weekly basis starting Sept. 13, which is the first day of school. But several union leaders have expressed concerns about the logistics of weekly testing, including where city employees should go to get tested."

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"While unions representing city workers have had mixed reactions to the vaccinate-or-test rules, a major concern posed by labor organizations was whether weekly testing would be on the city’s dime. The de Blasio administration did not provide an estimate of how much the mandatory testing would cost.

One public employer, the City University of New York, will be giving faculty and staff working in-person 30 minutes of paid time off if the testing site is on campus and 45 minutes if they need to travel for testing, according to an Aug. 9 letter sent to employees. CUNY also stated that it plans to open 20 testing sites, 18 of which will be on campuses."

Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 08:08 PM (9 replies)

With Hamilton, Lion King, Wicked ticket sales slow, Broadway isn't back

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/14/with-hamilton-disney-wicked-ticket-sales-slow-broadway-isnt-back.html
Ryan Waterman Aldana

"On September 14, three highly profitable mega musicals: “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” and “The Lion King,” will be among the first Broadway musicals to open at 100% capacity. Although tickets have been on sale for months, neither “Wicked” nor “The Lion King” – the top two highest-grossing musicals in history – sold out their first week of performances. “Hamilton,” which historically sold out months of performances within minutes, also has plenty of opening week availability. Between September 14, 2021, and June 5, 2022, only one performance of “Hamilton″ is sold out.

“Wicked” producers declined to comment. The producers of “Hamilton” did not respond to requests for comment."

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"Broadway’s biggest star is tourists

A big factor in Broadway’s ability to be financially successful, though, remains a major wildcard: tourists. With tourists accounting for 70% of Broadway ticket sales, show business is in trouble. According to the Office of the New York State Comptroller, tourism in New York City decreased from 66.6 million visitors in 2019 to 22.3 million visitors in 2020: a 67% reduction. The office projects 36.1 million visitors in 2021. To combat the substantial decrease in tourists, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $30 million promotional campaign funded by federal relief funds."
Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 08:04 PM (4 replies)

A New Antibody-Dependent Enhancement Hypothesis

https://www.journalofinfection.com/article/S0163-4453(21)00392-3/fulltext

The authors appear to have hyperlinked their email addresses for anyone wants to discuss the issues further or gain additional info/clarification.

tl; dr

Highlights

• Infection-enhancing antibodies have been detected in symptomatic Covid-19.
• Antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) is a potential concern for vaccines.
• Enhancing antibodies recognize both the Wuhan strain and delta variants.
• ADE of delta variants is a potential risk for current vaccines.
• Vaccine formulations lacking ADE epitope are suggested.


This paper is published in the Journal of Infection. Per Wikipedia:

The Journal of Infection is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal in the field of infectious disease, covering microbiology, epidemiology and clinical practice. Established in 1979, the journal was initially published quarterly by Academic Press. The first editor was Hillas Smith. The Journal of Infection is the official publication of the British Infection Association (formerly the British Infection Society and the British Society for the Study of Infection). Since 2006, the editor-in-chief has been Robert C. Read (University of Southampton, UK) and the publisher is Elsevier.

The journal's main portal: https://www.journalofinfection.com/

An abstract is also available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34384810/

Finally, there is an interesting take on this piece here: https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2021/08/16/a-new-antibody-dependent-enhancement-hypothesis

The comments section is sure attracting a lot of attention over the past couple of days.


Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Tue Aug 17, 2021, 06:43 PM (2 replies)

Assembly leaders dropping Cuomo impeachment probe

https://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/rochester/assembly-leaders-drop-impeachment-probe-of-cuomo/Content?oid=13537419

"The impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be dropped by the State Assembly after the three-term governor announced his resignation this week, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Friday.

Assembly Judiciary Chair Charles Lavine, with help from attorneys, determined that it wouldn’t be legal to impeach Cuomo after he leaves office, Heastie said.

“We have been advised by Chair Lavine — with the assistance of counsel - of the belief that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office,” Heastie said in a statement."


Not everyone's happy:

"While lawyers for Lavine argued that state law wouldn’t allow for the investigation to move forward, Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay said attorneys for his conference don’t share that opinion.

“We do have attorneys on staff, and they advised me that we could move forward,” Barclay said in an interview to air on New York NOW this weekend.

After Heastie’s announcement Friday, Barclay doubled down.

“Moving forward with the impeachment would have brought a necessary conclusion to an important endeavor and ensured Andrew Cuomo would never be permitted to hold statewide office,” Barcay said. “Instead, mountains of evidence and months of work will now be hidden from the public by this disappointing, tone-deaf decision.”

Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Fri Aug 13, 2021, 04:32 PM (0 replies)

Assembly leaders dropping Cuomo impeachment probe

https://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/rochester/assembly-leaders-drop-impeachment-probe-of-cuomo/Content?oid=13537419

"The impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be dropped by the State Assembly after the three-term governor announced his resignation this week, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Friday.

Assembly Judiciary Chair Charles Lavine, with help from attorneys, determined that it wouldn’t be legal to impeach Cuomo after he leaves office, Heastie said.

“We have been advised by Chair Lavine — with the assistance of counsel - of the belief that the constitution does not authorize the legislature to impeach and remove an elected official who is no longer in office,” Heastie said in a statement."


Not everyone's happy:

"While lawyers for Lavine argued that state law wouldn’t allow for the investigation to move forward, Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay said attorneys for his conference don’t share that opinion.

“We do have attorneys on staff, and they advised me that we could move forward,” Barclay said in an interview to air on New York NOW this weekend.

After Heastie’s announcement Friday, Barclay doubled down.

“Moving forward with the impeachment would have brought a necessary conclusion to an important endeavor and ensured Andrew Cuomo would never be permitted to hold statewide office,” Barcay said. “Instead, mountains of evidence and months of work will now be hidden from the public by this disappointing, tone-deaf decision.”

Posted by MisterNiceKitty | Fri Aug 13, 2021, 04:32 PM (0 replies)
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