Tag: Global Pandemic

Positive Coronavirus News from Harvard no less – #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

In the midst of the fear, worry, and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, each day seems to bring news that’s worse than the day before.

The cause for concern is justified. But, as in most major disasters, tragedies, and public health threats, there are reasons for hope, and even optimism. They may be hard to see, even if you’re a “cup-half-full” or “it could always be worse” type of person. But they are there. Here are a few.

The good news about the coronavirus pandemic

  • Most people with COVID-19 recover.Estimates now suggest that 99% of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 will recover. Some people have no symptoms at all. And while thousands of people have died, the overall death rate is about 1% (or perhaps even lower), far less than MERS (about 34%), SARS(about 11%), or Ebola (90%), though higher than the average seasonal flu(0.1%).The loss of life related to this illness is terrible and far more cases are expected, but based on the fatality rates alone, it could be far worse.
  • Children seem to be infected less often and have milder disease. According to the CDC, the vast majority of infections so far have afflicted adults. And when kids are infected, they tend to have milder disease. For kids and their parents, that’s good news. However, it’s important to note that children can develop infection. A recent study from China early in the outbreak demonstrated that a small number of kids, especially infants and toddlers, can develop serious infection. As is true generally, it’s likely that kids can spread infection in the absence of symptoms, though how often this happens is unclear. It’s perplexing, though fortunate, that this new coronavirus does not behave the way so many other illnesses do, in which the elderly and the young are particularly vulnerable.
  • The number of new cases is falling where the outbreak began. During his speech declaring the new coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the director-general of the WHO pointed out that “China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining epidemics.” In fact, Wuhan province (site of the very first cases) has just reported no new local cases for the first time since the outbreak began. The only new cases were “imported” from travelers arriving there. While actual numbers are hard to verify, and the methods these countries used to contain infection, such as aggressive diagnostic testing and strict isolation measures, are unlikely to be practical or acceptable everywhere, if the number of new cases in China is truly declining, that’s a good thing and suggests that efforts to contain the spread of this infection can be successful.
  • The internet exists. We currently have ways to practice social distancing that preserve at least some social and medical connections. People in isolation or quarantine can ask for help, visit friends, “see” family and doctors virtually, and provide updates on their condition.
  • Our response to future pandemics should improve. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed shortcomings in healthcare systems throughout the world that provide an opportunity to improve them. For example, a faster global response, better and quicker distribution of testing kits, and more coordinated and coherent public messaging should be expected the next time around. (No guarantees, of course.)
  • Many people and organizations have stepped up to improve the situation. In the US, for example:
    • Some major health insurers have promised to cover care and testingrelated to COVID-19.
    • A number of celebrities and professional athletes have donated significant resources to help those taking a financial hit by the pandemic, such as the workers at the stadiums where athletes play.
    • Newly approved legislation provides paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for some American workers, free testing for people without insurance, and added funding to states for Medicaid.
    • There are innumerable stories of people helping each other out — here’s one I particularly like.

The bottom line

Make no mistake: the new coronavirus epidemic is a big problem that’s expected to become bigger in the weeks and months to come. For those who are infected as well as those trying to avoid infection, these are trying times. But amid all the doom and gloom, there are some positive stories, positive messages and reasons to remain hopeful.

At a time when the citizenry of this country is so politically divided, we can also hope that this threat brings us together in ways that help us to better recognize commonalities: we’re all human, we get sick, and we worry about loved ones. As social creatures, we try to help one another when bad things happen. If that happens, it would be good news that could not have been foreseen before the pandemic.

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling

For more on this see the full Harvard Publication Here –

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-not-good-but-the-news-is-not-all-bad-2020031919247

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Positive Coronavirus News from Harvard no less – #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

In the midst of the fear, worry, and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, each day seems to bring news that’s worse than the day before.

The cause for concern is justified. But, as in most major disasters, tragedies, and public health threats, there are reasons for hope, and even optimism. They may be hard to see, even if you’re a “cup-half-full” or “it could always be worse” type of person. But they are there. Here are a few.

The good news about the coronavirus pandemic

  • Most people with COVID-19 recover.Estimates now suggest that 99% of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 will recover. Some people have no symptoms at all. And while thousands of people have died, the overall death rate is about 1% (or perhaps even lower), far less than MERS (about 34%), SARS(about 11%), or Ebola (90%), though higher than the average seasonal flu(0.1%).The loss of life related to this illness is terrible and far more cases are expected, but based on the fatality rates alone, it could be far worse.
  • Children seem to be infected less often and have milder disease. According to the CDC, the vast majority of infections so far have afflicted adults. And when kids are infected, they tend to have milder disease. For kids and their parents, that’s good news. However, it’s important to note that children can develop infection. A recent study from China early in the outbreak demonstrated that a small number of kids, especially infants and toddlers, can develop serious infection. As is true generally, it’s likely that kids can spread infection in the absence of symptoms, though how often this happens is unclear. It’s perplexing, though fortunate, that this new coronavirus does not behave the way so many other illnesses do, in which the elderly and the young are particularly vulnerable.
  • The number of new cases is falling where the outbreak began. During his speech declaring the new coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the director-general of the WHO pointed out that “China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining epidemics.” In fact, Wuhan province (site of the very first cases) has just reported no new local cases for the first time since the outbreak began. The only new cases were “imported” from travelers arriving there. While actual numbers are hard to verify, and the methods these countries used to contain infection, such as aggressive diagnostic testing and strict isolation measures, are unlikely to be practical or acceptable everywhere, if the number of new cases in China is truly declining, that’s a good thing and suggests that efforts to contain the spread of this infection can be successful.
  • The internet exists. We currently have ways to practice social distancing that preserve at least some social and medical connections. People in isolation or quarantine can ask for help, visit friends, “see” family and doctors virtually, and provide updates on their condition.
  • Our response to future pandemics should improve. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed shortcomings in healthcare systems throughout the world that provide an opportunity to improve them. For example, a faster global response, better and quicker distribution of testing kits, and more coordinated and coherent public messaging should be expected the next time around. (No guarantees, of course.)
  • Many people and organizations have stepped up to improve the situation. In the US, for example:
    • Some major health insurers have promised to cover care and testingrelated to COVID-19.
    • A number of celebrities and professional athletes have donated significant resources to help those taking a financial hit by the pandemic, such as the workers at the stadiums where athletes play.
    • Newly approved legislation provides paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for some American workers, free testing for people without insurance, and added funding to states for Medicaid.
    • There are innumerable stories of people helping each other out — here’s one I particularly like.

The bottom line

Make no mistake: the new coronavirus epidemic is a big problem that’s expected to become bigger in the weeks and months to come. For those who are infected as well as those trying to avoid infection, these are trying times. But amid all the doom and gloom, there are some positive stories, positive messages and reasons to remain hopeful.

At a time when the citizenry of this country is so politically divided, we can also hope that this threat brings us together in ways that help us to better recognize commonalities: we’re all human, we get sick, and we worry about loved ones. As social creatures, we try to help one another when bad things happen. If that happens, it would be good news that could not have been foreseen before the pandemic.

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling

For more on this see the full Harvard Publication Here –

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-not-good-but-the-news-is-not-all-bad-2020031919247

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

All the latest Coronavirus News from the BBC – UK & Global News…

 

 
 

It seems self-employed people are about to get some of the help they have been demanding since the government agreed to pay 80% of the salary of staff kept on by employers during the coronavirus outbreak. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to reveal what’s in the package at a press conference later. It comes as MPs criticise banks for asking business owners to put up personal assets such as property – other than their family home – to secure loans. This is despite government promises to cover 80% of losses if the money is not repaid, up to £5m. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered a “special thank you” to those who have volunteered to help the NHS during the outbreak. More than half a million – including 11,000 former medics and 24,000 final-year students – have answered the call. That’s more than double the government’s recruitment target. Meanwhile, the Royal College of General Practitioners has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to ask whether family doctors should wear protective equipment to examine all patients, rather than just those showing coronavirus symptoms.


We look at how well prepared the health service is for the anticipated surge in cases. That includes a race to acquire ventilators, with the government ordering 10,000 from Dyson. Insiders at the firm, best known for vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, says it has a prototype “ready to go”, provided it passes stringent medical tests. Find out which companies are desperately seeking staff as they ramp up their roles in helping the country cope.

 
 

 

 
 

You can keep up with all the global developments via our live page, which has been reporting how the number of deaths in the US has topped 1,000.

The number of cases in the US had increased by more than 10,000 in 24 hours. One retired physician, 69-year-old Claudia Bahorik, who documented the frustrations in her quest to get tested for the virus, says her case is an example of Washington’s failure to implement the “trace, test and treat” mantra of global health bodies. Meanwhile, the US Senate has passed a $2tn (£1.7tn) aid bill, including direct payments of $1,200 to most adults and help for small businesses to pay workers. 

Closer to home, our correspondents gauge the mood in Europe’s locked-down capitals. The death toll in Spainhas risen to 3,434 – surpassing that of China. And coronavirus has triggered the downfall of the government in Kosovo .

 
 

 

 
 

As many countries grow accustomed to increasingly stringent lockdowns, personal stories are emerging that demonstrate how dramatically life has changed. For example, the world of dating has got a lot more complicated. One dad tells us how he’s told his daughter he’s gone to Africa when, in reality, he’s self-isolating in a campervan parked in the field next door. And we hear from young gay people forced into isolation with homophobic parents.

 
 
 
 

 

Continuing pictures of empty shelves at UK supermarkets have sparked ongoing worries about food shortages. The supermarkets are confident that they can cope, not least because there is a limit to how much people can sensibly stockpile. So they believe that shopping patterns should return to normal eventually.

But the coronavirus pandemic has awakened wider fears about the security and strength of the hugely complicated supply chains, or logistics systems, that modern societies depend on. The Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu wrote that “the line between disorder and order lies in logistics”. To test that idea, you only have to look in your kitchen cupboard or fridge. Almost certainly nearly everything in there came from a shop that was stocked by a lorry or van.

 
 
 

Jonty Bloom

Business reporter, BBC News

 
 

 

 
 

The Coronavirus Newscast hears from reporters patrolling the country’s parks to find out whether people are following the government’s rules on social distancing. And the Inquiry, on the BBC World Service, asks what lessons can be learned from South Korea, which quickly got to grips with the outbreak and kept mortality rates low.

 
 
 

 
 

There is much praise for the more than 500,000 people who have volunteered to help the NHS deal with the coronavirus outbreak. They make up an “army of kindness”, according to the Daily Express, while they are “kindhearts” in the Daily Mirror’s front-page headline. For the Daily Mail it shows the UK to be “a nation of heroes”. Meanwhile, in a thinly veiled dig at the Prince of Wales, who has tested positive, the Daily Star suggests NHS workers are “not amused” by celebrities and royalty “jumping the queue” to be tested ahead of them. The Financial Times says the government is under pressure to test front-line health workers. The Times and Daily Telegraph say testing kits could be available on a mass scale within weeks, while the Guardian and i suggest the government is to announce financial support for self-employed people.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

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Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Europe & Global Coronavirus Update…

The European Union will ban travellers from outside from the bloc for 30 days in an unprecedented move to seal its borders amid the coronavirus crisis.

The measure is expected to apply to 26 EU states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. UK citizens will be unaffected.

The ban came as deaths continued to soar in Italy and Spain, and France began a strict lockdown.

Europe has been badly hit by the virus, which has killed 7,500 globally.

Meanwhile, the Euro 2020 football competition has been postponed by a year.

The virus has infected more than 185,000 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

What are the EU measures?

The travel ban will affect all non-EU nationals from visiting the bloc, except long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods.

Free travel is a cherished principle within the European border-free Schengen area. But in recent days many countries have unilaterally imposed full or partial border shutdowns in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

This prompted the commission to propose that the bloc act in a more unified fashion and restrict entry to the union as a whole, at the urging of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The measures were agreed in a video-summit between EU leaders on Tuesday afternoon and will now have to be implemented by member states.

“They said they will immediately do that,” said EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference. “This is good, so that we have a unanimous and united approach [where] the external borders are concerned.”

The UK and the Republic of Ireland – which is part of the EU but not Schengen – will be invited to join the measure.

It was also crucial that the EU “unblocks the situation” with regards to closed internal borders, Mrs Von der Leyen said, because “too many people are stranded”.

What are the latest updates in Europe?

In France , citizens who leave home must now carry a document detailing the reasons why, with fines for transgressors to be set at €135 ($150; £123).

It comes after President Macron put the country on a war-footing, ordering the population to stay at home and only go out for essential trips.

The number of confirmed cases in France grew by more than 16% on Tuesday, reaching 7,730, The death toll rose to 175, with 7% of the dead aged under 65.

More than 2,500 people are being treated in hospital, including 699 in intensive care.

Boris Johnson:

In Britain , where the death toll is 71, people have been told to avoid social contact, work from home if they can and avoid all non-essential foreign travel. 

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has unveiled a financial package worth £330bn ($400bn) to ease the burden caused by the virus , after Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday urged people to avoid pubs, clubs and cafes.

Meanwhile, the government’s chief scientific adviser said it would be a “good outcome” if 20,000 or fewer people died of the virus in the UK.

The latest set of Brexit talks has also been delayed.

The number of confirmed cases in Spainhas soared by 2,000 to 11,178. Authorities there are maintaining a partial lockdown on 47 million people.

It is now the European country worst-affected after Italy.

At midnight Spain began stopping cars crossing its borders from France and Portugal. Only Spanish nationals, residents and cross-border workers were being allowed to the country.

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus – explained in one minute by the BBC's Laura Foster

Italy , which has registered the most cases outside China at more than 26,000, announced another surge in deaths on Tuesday, from 2,150 to 2,503. The country remains in lockdown.

The government meanwhile is set to renationalise flag carrier airline Alitalia with a rescue package worth $670m (£550m).

Germany , which has had more than 6,000 cases and 13 deaths, banned religious services and told people to cancel any domestic or foreign holiday travel. 

Venues including clubs, bars, leisure facilities, zoos and playgrounds will be closed. Schools are already shut.

Elsewhere in Europe:

  • Belgium’s death toll doubled from five to 10 on on Tuesday
  • Sweden is to close all high schools and universities from Wednesday
  • Orthodox priests in Georgia have started blessing the streets of the capital Tbilisi with holy water

What is the latest elsewhere?

Iran remains the world’s third-worst-affected nation, after China and Italy.

More than 16,000 people are confirmed as infected and 988 have died, although some analysts believe the figures are far higher than officially reported.

A spokesman for the judiciary said on Tuesday that 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, had been temporarily released to try to combat the spread.

Gholamhossein Esmaili did not say when or how those freed would be returned to prison, but stressed that only prisoners serving five years or less had been released.

Most shops and restaurants remain open but the health ministry has urged people to stay at home.

In the US , the White House is working on a economic stimulus package reported to be worth some $850bn, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin saying the administration was “looking at sending cheques to Americans immediately”.

The total number of cases has risen to above 4,200, with 75 deaths, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most cases are in the states of New York (669), Washington (708) and California (369),

The pandemic has disrupted the Democratic primary election season .

In other developments:

  • China reported just one new domestic infection on Tuesday – but 20 more from people arriving from abroad. It also said it “strongly opposed” Mr Trump’s reference in a tweet to the “Chinese virus”
  • The Philippines became the first nation to shut its stock exchange indefinitely
  • Malaysia is barring people crossing the border with Singapore from Wednesday, sparking a rush on food stores in the city state, which depends on Malaysia for supplies
  • India’s iconic Taj Mahal monument has shut down
  • Scientists in Australia say they have identified how the body’s immune system fights the Covid-19 virus

For more on this BBC article or other News please follow the link.

For more European News, Global News or Coronavirus News please click the links.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me