It’s Wednesday — the inevitable mid-way. Let’s return our days to the planets they were named for. Say, “I’m sorry but I’m booked full up on Saturn, how about Venus at 3?” “I’ll talk to you Moon at 2, can’t wait!” “Yeah, brunch is cool for Sun, but I’m out of pocket on Mars.” Today is Mercury, that god of thievery, commerce and travel. So maybe don’t steal anything or exchange money with anyone, but a walk around the block constitutes as travel these days. So, have a great Mercury, readers. Enjoy(ish) the news.
Today’s Coronavirus Briefing is 1,017 words and will take you five minutes to read.
- As of today, all 50 U.S. states have begun to reopen. What restrictions are lifted, and what’s being kept in place, vary from state to state.
- Italy will allow European travelers to enter the country without quarantining beginning next month. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte acknowledged that easing border controls, combined with other steps to return to normalcy, could spark a surge in cases of the virus, but said it was necessary for the economy.
- Hong Kong has recorded only three locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and four deaths in the last 30 days. The government has loosened social-distancing restrictions, allowing civil servants to return to work, and restaurants, to operate at full capacity.
- New York, California and Texas governors are working together to help professional sports leagues resume operations.
“Full capacity” sounds like a disaster film.
How’s it going?
Testing updates and a rogue movement.
- In Cardiology Advisor, Gary Rothbard, M.D., M.S. digs into a study published in JAMA Cardiology that shows patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone, or in combination with azithromycin, for pneumonia associated with coronavirus had an increased risk of prolonged QTc (a heart rhythm condition that can cause chaotic heartbeats) and cardiac dysrhythmias (changes in your heart’s electrical impulses).
- Monthly Prescribing Reference’s Diana Ernst reports the Abbott ID Now™ COVID-19 test, which was given emergency use authorization by the FDA and touted for delivering results within minutes outside the traditional four walls of a hospital, has been receiving adverse event reports related to the test. This suggests users have received inaccurate results — specifically, false negatives.
- David C. Helfgott, M.D. guides readers of Infectious Disease Advisor through remdesivir’s history as a promising treatment for COVID-19. From the antiviral drug’s emergency use authorization by the FDA, through fast-tracked clinical trials of monkeys before various trials with humans, to the conclusion that while it isn’t the cure we’d hoped for, it may help speed clinical recovery.
- It’s D.I.Y.-bio’s time. The movement, which emerged in the early 2000s with scientists going rogue, combines aspects of startup culture and skepticism about gatekeeping. Looking for their own answer to the American healthcare system, scientists began creating hardware and software at home and, more recently, wetware — software that belongs to a living organism such as instructions contained within DNA. “We have this whole culture of hustle and grind, in which you’re supposed to find your own individual solutions… well, that’s what they’re doing,” said John Wilbanks, a health technologist at the research nonprofit Sage Bionetworks, who compared D.I.Y. medicine, for all its radical aspects, as a quintessentially American project.
Groups of scientists sharing open-source information so they can collectively find a cure for COVID-19 and other future ailments, to which the public has access to see what’s transpiring behind the scenes? Yes, please.
The loosening of lockdowns means we don’t, or very soon won’t, have to be entirely trapped inside.
- Since the global lockdowns, we’ve seen photos of wildlife sallying through cities and strolling through towns, sea lions waddling through the streets of Mar del Plata in Argentina and kangaroos hopping down the empty streets of Adelaide, Australia. Now ENDS Report has produced a fascinating interactive map of what’s been seen, where.
- New York governor Andrew Cuomo put out a call challenging people to submit a 30-second ad explaining why wearing facemasks is essential amid this pandemic. The submissions, shared on Campaign U.S., are as awesomely New York as New York gets.
- If you’re the kind of person who loves white sneakers and spongy greens… If you drink Sprite in a skort and live near one of the 33 Urban Green Newcastle parks in the U.K., you’ll be thrilled to hear they’re reopening their tennis courts, courtesy of Horticulture Week.
Go outside, but safely — it’s a beautiful day!
Come on in, the
water office is fine may be OK!
- “Times of crisis are never pleasant to endure, but necessity is the mother of invention and experiences forged during tough times will inform careers moving forward,” said Steve Barrett, editorial director of PRWeek U.S. In this think piece for PRWeek U.S., Barrett doesn’t shy away from the harrowing pain of what we’re living through, but finds rays of light in resilience, humor and determination.
- Although numerous governmental guidelines for the U.K. have been revealed based on the type of workplace, businesses should ensure they have their own robust, company-specific plans in place. In People Management, Julian Cox, a partner and head of employment at the insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM, explains the steps employers should take before bringing employees back into the workplace.
- McKnight’s Senior Living reports that while some states have been issued orders for universal COVID-19 testing, the process needs to be part of a broader strategy, including defining “universal testing,” frequency of testing, identifying who should be tested and what type of test to use. AMDA (The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine) has issued a policy calling for a number of issues to be addressed before mandates are implemented and legal actions against any entity not complying are taken.
Just like there’s no one way to reopen our countries, there’s no cookie-cutter approach to getting back to business.
Today, music about going outside and to outer space.
Nanoo nanoo. See you tomorrow.