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  • S Landreth
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    • Coronavirus Deaths to Reach Nearly 210,000 by November, Model Projects

    Some 45,000 lives could be saved over the next four months if nearly everyone wore a mask in public, new modeling shows.

    NEW MODELING PROJECTS that the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. will exceed 200,000 by November, but more than 45,000 lives could be saved if the vast majority of people wore masks in public.

    The U.S. will see roughly 78,000 more coronavirus deaths from now until Nov. 1, bringing the death toll to 208,000, according to projections based on a respected model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. The current death toll sits at 131,000.

    News deaths would be reduced by nearly 60% and the overall death toll would be slashed to 163,000 if 95% of people wore masks while in public, the model projects. Mask use at that level would likely only occur through state or local mask mandates, Christopher Murray, the institute's director, told reporters Tuesday. Only a handful of states have instituted a mask mandate amid a recent surge in cases.

    The model has a wide range, and forecasts that, while the 208,000-death figure is most likely, the U.S. could see from 186,000 deaths up to 244,541 by November, assuming that universal mask use is not a reality.

    "We can now see the projected trajectory of the epidemic into the fall, and many states are expected to experience significant increases in cases and deaths in September and October," Murray said in a statement released with the new projections. "However, as we all have come to recognize, wearing masks can substantially reduce transmission of the virus. Mask mandates delay the need for re-imposing closures of businesses and have huge economic benefits. Moreover, those who refuse masks are putting their lives, their families, their friends, and their communities at risk."

    The model assumes that most schools reopen in the fall and also assumes the reimposition of social distancing restrictions and lockdown measures in states where deaths reach a level of 8 per 1 million people. According to the projections, both Florida and Massachusetts are expected to reach that death rate.

    In Florida alone, the total death toll is expected to reach nearly 17,500 by Nov. 1., but that figure drops to less than 10,000 if mask wearing becomes universal. The state's death toll currently sits at about 3,800, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have been surging nationwide in the last month, especially in the South and Southeast. The forecast shows deaths increasing in many states in September due to seasonality.

    Data shows that more cases are being detected in younger people, who are at a lower risk of death. But if the current surge in infections spreads to higher-risk populations, death toll projections could rise, the institute said.

    The model previously predicted about 175,000 deaths through Oct. 1. Tuesday's projections are the first to be extended to November.: https://www.usnews.com/news/national...model-projects



    Leadership or the lack of come to mind?

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    • Spanish Covid-19 antibody study suggests herd immunity infeasible

    Researchers in Spain, one of Europe's worst-hit countries, randomly selected more than 61,000 people, but found that even in places with high infection rates like Madrid, relatively few people tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

    Even in areas hard-hit by Covid-19, few people test positive for antibodies, meaning that hopes for herd immunity against the disease may be futile without a vaccine, according to a new Spanish study.

    Conducted by researchers at the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid and published in The Lancet Monday, the study included 61,075 people in 35,883 randomly selected households throughout the country. After completing a questionnaire between April 27 and May 11 on Covid-19 symptoms, participants received a point-of-care antibody test, followed by a blood draw for a laboratory immunoassay test if they agreed to it. Overall, the study found that only 5% of participants showed a positive result on the point-of-care test, while 4.6% showed a positive result on the lab test. Results varied considerably by region, with residents of Madrid showing a prevalence greater than 10%, while residents of coastal areas showed a prevalence of less than 3%.

    Among 195 participants who had received a positive RT-PCR test for Covid-19 more than two weeks prior, positive tests for antibodies ranged from around 88-92%. In 7,273 individuals who had lost their sense of smell or showed at least three symptoms, 15.3-19.3% tested positive for antibodies, while 21.9-35.8% of those who were asymptomatic did as well, meaning that about one-third of infected people did not show symptoms.

    “The relatively low seroprevalence observed in the context of an intense epidemic in Spain might serve as a reference to other countries,” the researchers wrote. “At present, herd immunity is difficult to achieve without accepting the collateral damage of many deaths in the susceptible population and overburdening of health systems.”

    With 250,545 confirmed cases and 28,385 deaths as of Monday, Spain has the third-highest prevalence of Covid-19 cases in Europe, after Russia and the U.K. The U.S. leads by far, with 2.9 million of the world’s 11.5 million cases and 130,007 of its 535,185 deaths. Spain issued new lockdown orders in its Galicia and Catalonia regions amid renewed outbreaks of Covid-19 in those areas, though Europe in general has managed to get the outbreak largely under control. By contrast, the U.S. has seen record spikes in states that reopened prematurely, and it is among those countries whose failure to control the outbreak has resulted in its citizens being mostly barred from traveling to the European Union.

    Absent a vaccine being proven safe and effective – which may not become available until next year – there was some hope early on among some experts that herd immunity could provide protection against the disease. However, it remains unclear how protective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are or for how long. Moreover, countries that attempted to use herd immunity, such as the U.K. and Sweden, have been among those experiencing the most difficulty getting the outbreak under control.: https://medcitynews.com/2020/07/span...t-be-possible/ - https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...483-5/fulltext
    • Brazil’s President Bolsonaro tests positive for Covid-19/Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters in Brasilia.

    Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for Covid-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity.

    Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters in capital Brasilia.

    “I’m well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations,” Bolsonaro said.: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/0...ovid-19-350516
    • Coronavirus Cases: 11,779,975

    Deaths: 541,755

    Underreported US death count: 133,041

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    • Thailand - Economists predict further economic contraction from Covid-19 fallout

    Up to 30 per cent of total bank loans may be restructured under the government’s scheme, while local corporates may need up to Bt1.7 trillion liquidity injection to survive the Covid-19 fallout, economists warned, predicting that it will take a while for the economy to fully recover.

    The Thai economy this year is expected to contract even deeper than it did during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, said Charl Kengchon, executive chairman at Kasikorn Research Centre.

    The Bank of Thailand recently projected that the GDP will contract 8.1 per cent, though there is a risk that it will drop even further due to the threat of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, he said at an exclusive roundtable hosted by the Nation Group and Nation TV on July 2.

    This crisis is different from the one in 1997-1998, because banks now are far stronger, he said.

    “The most important thing to focus on now is the asset quality, as restructured debts were estimated to be 21 per cent of Bt15 trillion of total bank loans in the first quarter, and it might spike to 29.9 per cent in the second quarter,” he said.

    Though the government has implemented financial aid to support corporates, these measures wrap up in October. If by then the economy rebounds and businesses survive, then banks will not have much trouble with the quality of assets, but if it doesn’t, then banks will have huge problems with a large number of debts needing restructuring. This is when we will see if the government implements extra support measures, he said.

    “Everyone is like a Covid-19 patient, surviving with the help of ventilators, but what happens after that is still not clear. Nobody knows if businesses will be able to come back,” he said.

    Another key issue is the rate of unemployment, Charl said, adding that businesses need large sums of money to keep their employees, so the government may need to provide more support via the national budget.

    It is also the government’s job to boost confidence in the economy, so banks are willing to lend and affluent consumers are willing to spend. Thus, changes to the tax policy may be necessary, he added.

    Somprawin Manprasert, head of Krungsri Research and chief economist at Krungsri Bank, said the government has been successful in controlling the spread of the virus, but it was at the cost of an economic downturn.

    “How long can we continue to live like this?” he asked. “According to stress-test trials, we found that corporates need an injection of Bt1.7 trillion to survive the crisis. As many as 90,000 companies are suffering from liquidity squeeze,” he said, adding that the government’s repeated stimulus packages may not answer the problem – an injection of cash would be better.

    “If government policies fail to address economic woes, the recovery will be L-shaped, and it may take more than three years for the economy to recover,” he warned.

    The Krungsri Research team has predicted that the economy will contract 10.3 per cent this year, only growing 2.9 per cent next year, before expanding 4 per cent in 2022. The economy is only expected to return to pre-crisis levels in 2023.

    Despite Thailand having large international reserves, economic policies have not yet been effective in using available resources, he added.

    Burin Adulwattana, chief economist at Bangkok Bank, said the impact the virus has had on the economy is possibly the worst in 120 years.

    “A stronger baht is also making exports worse, while other economies are also weakening, and the Thai tourism and auto industries are contracting sharply,” Burin said.

    The expected number of foreign arrivals is only expected to hit 9 million, compared to more than 30 million yearly normally, he said.

    The economy has also been constrained by the dwindling labour force, while the country becomes an ageing society, he said.

    Planned investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) may not be enough to upgrade the economy into a 4.0 economy that is driven by information technology.

    While 30 per cent of the labour force is in the agriculture sector, which accounts for just 8 per cent of GDP, the challenge is to boost their productivity or help them migrate to the industrial sector.

    The high tax environment does not encourage highly-skilled foreign workers to move to Thailand either, he said, adding that they prefer to work in Hong Kong or Singapore where the tax rate is much lower.

    Yunyong Thaicharoen, first executive vice president of Economic Intelligence Centre (EIC) at Siam Commercial Bank, said the ongoing crisis is worse because it affects both demand and supply sides. Though the government has started relaxing lockdown restrictions, debts and fragility of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remain issues of concern.

    “Recovery will be U-shaped because Thailand depends too much on the global market, while every country is affected now. We have revised our projection of the GDP to contract 7.3 per cent from the previous projection of a 5.6 per cent shrinking,” he said.

    Though the government has responded quickly in supporting the economy, its next step should be to support targeted groups that need immediate help, he said. While further lowering interest rates may not help much, the most important thing is to help banks gain more confidence and give liquidity support to SMEs, he said.

    “Covid-19 has exposed the Thai economy’s weak point, which is our limited technology capacity. China, for instance, successfully upgraded its technology and so it was able to restore consumer confidence quickly. Now Thailand’s biggest challenge is to have a clear roadmap and strong cooperation between public and private sectors,” he added.: https://www.nationthailand.com/busin...ernal_referral

    Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
    Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.


    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    • Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations

    Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that the novel coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people and are calling for the World Health Organization to revise recommendations, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

    The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks.

    In an open letter to the agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the NYT said nyti.ms/2VIxp67.

    “We are aware of the article and are reviewing its contents with our technical experts,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said in an email reply to a Reuters request for comment.

    Whether carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room, the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled, the scientists said, according to the NYT.

    However, the health agency said the evidence for the virus being airborne was not convincing, according to the NYT.

    “Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence,” Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead of infection prevention and control, was quoted as saying by the NYT.: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN2460O7
    • Early update

    Coronavirus Cases: 11,579,773

    Deaths: 537,173

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    ‘No evidence’ that vitamin D can prevent or treat COVID-19

    A review from health experts in the United Kingdom has found no evidence that vitamin D deficiency is an independent risk factor for COVID-19. However, the country’s National Health Service recommend taking a daily vitamin D supplement to compensate for any lack of sunlight exposure during lockdown.

    Vitamin D is vital for maintaining healthy bones and muscles. There is also some evidence that it may help protect against viral respiratory infections and play a regulatory role in the body’s immune response.

    This has led to a proposal that taking vitamin D supplements could help prevent or even treat COVID-19, the primarily respiratory disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2.

    Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

    While no clinical trials have tested the vitamin’s efficacy as a treatment or a preventive measure, several studies have found an association between low levels of vitamin D and COVID-19.

    However, a review of five of these studies by the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which compiles guidelines on best practices, concludes that the studies provide no evidence that vitamin D levels influence the risk of getting COVID-19 or dying as a result.

    None of the five studies had been designed to investigate the effects of the supplements on the risk of the infection or as a treatment for the disease, the authors point out. Either investigation would have required an intervention study, such as a randomized controlled trial.

    The existing studies, therefore, provide no insights into the vitamin’s efficacy, appropriate doses, or possible adverse effects as a means of treating or preventing COVID-19.

    Confounding factors
    Moreover, only one study in the review accounted for confounding factors, which may provide alternative explanations for the observed associations between vitamin D status and COVID-19.

    Higher body mass index (BMI), older age, and socioeconomic deprivation, for example, are all factors that could affect both the risk of COVID-19 and levels of the vitamin.

    This makes it impossible to draw any firm conclusion about whether having a lack of the vitamin increases the risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 or dying as a result of the disease.

    One of the studies, reported by Medical News Today, found an association between average levels of vitamin D and numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths by country. But the research had limitations — it did not, for example, account for the proportions of older people in these populations.

    The only study reviewed by NICE that had adjusted for potential confounding factors — including preexisting illnesses, sociodemographic factors, ethnicity, and BMI — found no independent association between COVID-19 and vitamin D levels.

    As the authors of the review observe:

    “There is no evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to specifically prevent or treat COVID-19. However, all people should continue to follow U.K. government advice on daily vitamin D supplementation to maintain bone and muscle health during the COVID-19 pandemic.”: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/art...unding-factors



    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    • COVID-19 triggers mental health crisis in teens, new study finds

    The global coronavirus pandemic has triggered a rise in mental health issues across the country, especially among teens.

    In a new survey commissioned by the National 4-H Council and conducted by the Harris Poll, researchers found seven in 10 teens are dealing with depression, anxiety or increased stress, or a combination of the three.

    These figures alone are alarming, but what’s most concerning, researchers say, is the number of teens who report they need to suffer in silence. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said they feel more pressure to keep their feelings to themselves than to do drugs. Similarly, 67% pretend to feel fine when they’re really not because they don’t want to worry anyone. Over half of respondents indicated increased feelings of loneliness.

    News 8 spoke with Ann Lagges, PhD and child psychologist with Riley Children’s Health. She talked about the short and long-term effects of poor teen mental health, the dangers of suppressing feelings and what parents/caregivers can do should they suspect their teen is suffering.

    What’s the difference between anxious, stressed and depressed? I imagine these feelings don’t exist in isolation.

    These are all words that can be used to describe distress. They are sometimes used interchangeably, but for others they can mean different things. Anxious generally means fearing something bad is going to happen. Stressed can mean a range of things for different people such as anxious, overwhelmed, frustrated, etc. Depressed generally means feeling down and perhaps experiencing little enjoyment. All of these emotions are part of the human condition, and just experiencing an emotion does not mean someone has a disorder. People can experience strong feelings and actually be quite healthy if the emotion fits the situation.

    What are some possible reasons teens are feeling lonely? And why would a teen want to spend more time alone…when they are already feeling lonely…to deal with their feelings?

    Teens, like adults, have been feeling more lonely during the pandemic because social interaction has been so markedly restricted. Their activities have been cancelled, and video chatting is not the same as getting together in person. Given that no one knows when it will truly be possible to resume normal interactions, it’s harder to cope than if there were a known end point.

    Sometimes teens are just sick of video chatting and even though they are lonely, will decline another video chat to just be alone. Some say it’s a reminder of how things are not normal and others just feel the same “Zoom fatigue” that adults who are working from home are experiencing.

    Much more: https://www.wishtv.com/news/coronavi...w-study-finds/
    • Coronavirus Cases: 11,404,116

    Deaths: 533,970

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    • Early trial results keep Pfizer vaccine development on track for possible 2020 distribution

    As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S. and abroad, new hope may be emerging in the race to develop a vaccine.

    Pfizer, one of a handful of companies racing to develop a vaccine, reported promising new data Wednesday from its early stages of trials.

    Phil Dormitzer, a vaccine developer at Pfizer, spoke to ABC News about the new data from the company's vaccine, which he called "tremendously exciting," and shared more about a potential release timeline and the vaccine's efficacy.

    "What we're presenting today is preliminary interim data from the United States trial for the first of those vaccine candidates," he said in an interview with "World News Tonight." "Our first vaccine candidate is eliciting antibody levels to neutralize the virus that is equivalent to or better than what you see in people who have had COVID-19."

    "It's been a tremendous amount of work and there's now a lot of pride to see the results start to come forward," he added. "The potential is there to actually change a lot of people's lives."

    "In this program, we're going fast. But that does not mean that we're cutting corners or having any lowering of the safety standards," he explained, adding that Pfizer is doing what is necessary to make sure the vaccine candidates are safe.

    "If this is successful and is rolled out in the scale that we hope it is, we could prevent a tremendous amount of harm from occurring," he said about the possible vaccine for the virus that has killed over 512,000 people worldwide. "This is very much in line with the overall mission of Pfizer and the vaccine's division, where this is not the only major pathogen against which we either have or are developing vaccines. But it's hard to imagine another pathogen that has been as disruptive to society that is causing as much fear today as this virus is."

    While the manufacturer has not given a specific release date, Dormitzer assured ABC News Pfizer is "currently on track" to meet the goal of producing 100 million doses by the end of the year and another 1.2 billion doses in 2021.: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/early-...ry?id=71564008



    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

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  • S Landreth
    replied
    • Tourism in Thailand to lose up to $47bn from Covid-19: UN study

    GENEVA: Global tourism revenues are expected to fall by up to US$3.3 trillion due to Covid-19 restrictions, with Thailand standing to lose $47 billion, according to a UN study published on Wednesday.

    The 'Covid-19 and Tourism' report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) is based on three scenarios for the industry, with lockdown measures lasting 4 months, 8 months and 12 months.

    In those scenarios, revenues would fall $1.17 trillion, $2.22 trillion and $3.3 trillion respectively or between 1.5-4.2% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP).

    The report did not say which scenario was most likely, although an Unctad official said the middle scenario "could be a realistic one".

    "International tourism has been almost totally suspended, and domestic tourism curtailed by lockdown conditions imposed in many countries," the report said.

    "Although some destinations have started slowly to open up, many are afraid of international travel or cannot afford it due to the economic crisis."

    Thailand and France stand to lose approximately $47 billion each, according to the reprot.

    The United States incurs the highest losses in all three scenarios, with a $187 billion drop in the one lasting just four months, followed by China with $105 billion.

    Small island states such as Jamaica stand to suffer big losses in proportion to their economies, facing an 11% fall in GDP or $1.68 billion.

    The US loss in the "pessimistic" scenario is $538 billion, or 3% of GDP.

    The Unctad report covers 65 individual countries and regions. It calls for governments to boost social protection for affected workers in badly-hit nations.

    Some of the estimates are comparable to those in a previous UN report by its World Tourism Organization in May, which found that tourism numbers could fall by 60-80% compared with 66% in Unctad's intermediate scenario.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business...id-19-un-study

    Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
    Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.
    • Pizza Hut, Wendy's franchisee expected to file for bankruptcy/The franchisee owns more than 1,200 Pizza Hut restaurants and 385 Wendy's

    NPC International Inc., one of the largest restaurant franchisees in the U.S., is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection despite its brands reporting a bump in sales since the coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the matter said.

    The owner of more than 1,200 Pizza Hut restaurants and 385 Wendy's Co. stores could file for chapter 11 protection as soon as Tuesday, according to people familiar with the company's finances.

    The franchisee missed interest payments on its nearly $800 million in loans on Jan. 31, prompting S&P Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service to lower their views on the company's debt. NPC was in conversations with its lenders for a possible bankruptcy filing at that time, people familiar with the matter said.

    A number of franchised restaurant companies have declared bankruptcy since the pandemic hit, including the parent company to Chuck E. Cheese and the U.S. division of bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien. Franchised chains largely depend on customers coming into their dining rooms and have had to navigate a plunge in sales due to mandated restaurant closures.

    Pizza Hut was struggling before the pandemic in the U.S., but has proven to be one of the winners from changing consumer behavior during the virus. Quarantined diners have turned to delivery and carryout to eat safely, with a number of pizza chains reporting growth.

    In early May, Pizza Hut had its highest average sales in delivery and carryout in the U.S. in the past eight years, according to parent company Yum Brands Inc. Same-store sales were up in the low teens from the end of April through the end of May, the company said.

    Kansas-based NPC, which opened its first Pizza Hut restaurant in 1962, employs more than 37,000 people.: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/...for-bankruptcy


    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied


    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    Coronavirus Cases: 10,789,643

    Deaths: 517,974

    Underreported US death count: 130,767

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied


    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Leave a comment:

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