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The Lockdown Across Europe
Ross McGuinness
Mon, March 15, 2021, 10:00 AM

Italy's lockdown comes as a number of countries suspend the rollouts of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine over fears the jab is linked to blood clots.  Infections in Italy increased by 10% last week, leading the country back into lockdown from Monday. Schools and shops are closed in more than half of the country, including Rome and Milan, while there will be a national shutdown over Easter from 3 to 5 April. Prime minister Mario Draghi announced on Friday that Italy would return to lockdown, meaning people must stay at home except for work, health or essential reasons.  Coronavirus cases have been rising for the past six weeks, reaching more than 25,000 a day.  Seven of the country’s 20 regions have been moved to its most severe tier of restrictions – red – including Lombardy and Lazio comprising Milan and Rome.

Three-quarters of Italians entered a strict lockdown as the government put in place restrictive measures to fight the rise of COVID-19 infections.  Italy went back into lockdown on Monday as Europe battles a third wave of coronavirus infections. It is one of the European countries that has been worst hit by coronavirus, with more than 100,000 deaths, a figure second only to the UK. 


At the start of this month, Angela Merkel announced plans to extend lockdown until 28 March at the earliest while, crucially, easing some restrictions at the same time.  As a result, some schools as well as businesses such as florists and hairdressers have been allowed to reopen. It was also announced that regions with low infection rates could unlock more quickly.  However, since then, infections have climbed with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases now warning that the number of daily reported cases could exceed 30,000 in the 14th week of the year starting April 12.  The death toll from the virus in Germany stands at 73,301, with a reported 2,558,455 infections. Frustration about the ongoing lockdown and the slow pace of vaccinations has also been denting support for Chancellor Angela Merkel. Leaders are due to meet again on March 22 to discuss whether any further relaxation of the rules is possible.


At the other end of the scale, Portugal has slowly emerged from a two-month lockdown that saw it, at one point, have the highest death rate on the continent. From today, nurseries, pre-schools and primary schools will reopen, as well as hair salons and book shops. Restaurants will only be allowed to open their doors in May. The measures to ease the lockdown will be revaluated every 15 days,


According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 1.4 million coronavirus cases and more than 23,300 deaths in the Czech Republic.  Last month, prime minister Andrej Babis warned of "hellish days ahead".  At the beginning of this month, its government announced a three-week lockdown until 21 March.  Residents have been told to remain at home except for essential travel and are banned from moving between districts, apart from for work.  The only shops that can open are supermarkets, pharmacies, opticians and florists.  The restrictions follow a state of emergency that has been declared for 30 days between 27 February and 28 March.


At the beginning of this month, French president Emmanuel Macron said a current nationwide curfew would remain in place for another four to six weeks.  Under the restriction, people in France must stay at home from 6pm to 6am. An 8pm curfew was brought in across the country on 15 December but was brought forward to 6pm a month later. An end date for the measure has not yet been set.   On Sunday, France reported more than 26,000 new daily cases of coronavirus, while the country has had more than 90,000 deaths. Prime minister Jean Castex said on Sunday the country must do everything it can to avoid another nationwide lockdown.


On Friday, the government announced that all schools would close nationwide. It also placed three more regions in Greece in its top red tier for COVID-19 restrictions.

Greece has a current average of about 2,100 new daily cases of coronavirus. A lockdown in Athens has been extended until 22 March. Non-essential shops are also closed and curfews have been in force in Athens and other red zones since February. Greece has had more than 221,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 7,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.  However, it has already started inviting Britons to book their summer holidays there.


A six-month state of alarm is currently in place and is set to run until 9 May.  It allows Spain’s regional governments to introduce their own restrictions, including curfews.

However, Spain’s health minister Carolina Darias said last Friday that the state of alarm could be extended. The state of alarm imposed a nationwide curfew between 11pm and 6am, although regions can alter these times by one hour.  Last week, Spain announced strict measures on travelling between regions over the Easter period from 26 March to 9 April.





Did anyone blink and wonder if these paragraphs were taken out of a 2020 article?  But no, this is 2021.  

This is bad news, because the health information in Europe is generally better than the health information in the US.  That said, the information has to be considered in the understanding that health care is a political tool there, a tool to obtain power (and thereby indirectly obtain profit) where here it is a tool to obtain profit very directly.  So.  You have to keep the masses of the patients alive to wring money out of them either way.  They don't like this vaccine, and would rather shut down their countries than use it.  The US would rather use it than shut down.  Take from that what you will.

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Thanks for the report. I've been too busy with other things to notice what is going on in other parts of the world. It seems like we, as a whole, haven't progressed very much in a year. One step forward and two steps back. Nice to see we aren't the only ones leery of the vax.


I am wondering why florist shops and book shops are considered necessary to be open.

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Ambergris, thank you so much for your continued updates.  I'm not sure how you always manage to pull all this information together for us but I am grateful that you can.  Being able to look at this from a world wide view will give us all a chance to see the bigger picture and perhaps make better informed decisions for ourselves and our families.  


Jeepers, I'm wondering if perhaps the florist shops are opened because they are lumped together with nurseries and greenhouses and the governments believe people are going to need to garden because of the worsening economy.  And the book shops and libraries could serve the same purpose as education.  And truthfully, flowers and books are known soothers and could be considered part of the emotional and mental health treatments? :shrug:


This article (and many other similar ones I've read and seen) has me reassessing our preps and our actions once again. 

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2 hours ago, Mother said:

I'm wondering if perhaps the florist shops are opened because they are lumped together with nurseries and greenhouses and the governments believe people are going to need to garden because of the worsening economy. 


People also need the florist shops for funerals. I know it's dreadful, but when we can't have funerals, at least the family can receive flowers in time for the church services. 

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Good an answer as any ladies.


I watch funerals online from my hometown funeral home.  :sEm_blush:  I have noticed a few flowers or potted plants but they are usually purchased through the funeral home in the 'gift' shop area. And there has always been a spray. That funeral home always held funerals. They really space people out, except on the front row, and everyone wears a mask except the ones talking at the podium. Could be they are lumped florists with nurseries. 


I don't know about book stores. Libraries closed so maybe that is why. Libraries are free though. I really really miss Borders.



One other little tidbit I noticed is nearly all of the hymns played are by Alan Jackson. 


Edited by Jeepers
Added An FYI
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Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and West Virginia are reporting at least a 10% average increase in infection rates over the past month.  Of those, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and West Virginia report an increase of at least 25% over seven days.

Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming report about the same level of infection.

The other roughly one-third of states report falling infection rates.


New York City now has its own variant.  B.1.526 began showing up in samples collected in New York City in November (!) and is now also found in California.

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2/3 the same or higher, 1/3 falling infections.  So what are those states doing or not doing that has them with lower rates?  Perhaps we need to find out.  


Illinois is starting to open a little at a time with some schools beginning to open. Masks are still required in public places and at gatherings.  I follow the county infection rate and some are a lot lower than others.  Iowa just opened almost totally and parents are given choices about school.  Masks are not mandated but individual cities or localities, stores, and businesses can still require them. 

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Paris just changed course, will be in Lockdown as of Friday Midnight

article by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Richard Lough
Thu, March 18, 2021, 1:12 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - France imposed a month-long lockdown on Paris and parts of the north after a faltering vaccine rollout and spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants forced President Emmanuel Macron to shift course.

Since late January, when he defied the calls of scientists and some in his government to lock the country down, Macron has said he would do whatever it took to keep the euro zone's second largest economy as open as possible.  However, this week he ran out of options just as France and other European countries briefly suspended use of the AstraZenca vaccine.

His prime minister, Jean Castex, said France was in the grip of a third wave, with the virulent variant first detected in Britain now accounting for some 75% of cases. Intensive care wards are under severe strain, notably in Paris where the incidence rate surpasses 400 infections in every 100,000 inhabitants.  "The epidemic is getting worse. Our responsibility now is to not let it escape our control," Castex told a news conference.

France reported 35,000 new cases on Thursday and there were more COVID patients in intensive care in Paris than at the peak of the second wave,

Now was the time to tighten restrictions, Castex said.  "Four weeks, the time required for the measures to generate a sufficient impact. (It is) the time we need to reach a threshold in the vaccination of the most vulnerable."

The lockdowns will kick in from Friday at midnight in France' 16 hardest-hit departments that, with the exception of one on the Mediterranean, form a corridor from the northern Channel port city of Calais to the capital.

Barbers, clothing stores and furniture shops will have to close, though bookstores and others selling essential goods can stay open. Schools will stay open and people will be allowed to exercise outdoors within a 10 km (6.2 miles) radius of their homes. Travel out of the worst-hit areas will not permitted without a compelling reason.

"Go outdoors, but not to party with friends," the prime minister said.


Castex said France would resume inoculations with the AstraZeneca vaccine now that the European Medicines Agency had confirmed it was safe.  (Emphasis by Ambergris... this is a 180 degree change in the course of a couple of days--and is one reason we write things down.) 

Seeking to shore up public confidence in the Anglo-Swedish vaccine, critical if France is to hit its targets, Castex said he would get the shot on Friday.  "I am confident public trust in the vaccine will be restored," he said, though he acknowledged it might take time.

Although Macron stopped short of ordering a nationwide lockdown, the lockdowns may be extended to other regions if needed and may yet slow the country's economic recovery.  The Paris region is home to nearly one fifth of the population and accounts for 30% of economic activity.  A nationwide nightly curfew in place since mid-December remains in place, though it will start an hour later, at 7 p.m.  The government had no regrets about not locking down earlier, Castex said.

"It was the right decision in January. We would have had an unbearable three-month lockdown. We did well not to do so."

Not everyone agrees. In the intensive care unit of a private hospital on the edge of Paris, doctors expressed resignation at having once again to deal with overloaded wards. "We're back here again," said ward chief Abdid Widad.  Health Minister Olivier Veran said some hospitals would start using monoclonal antibodies which are synthetically manufactured copies of infection-fighting proteins, on certain patients at high risk of progressing to severe illness.

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The US, Britain, Israel, and I think one or two other countries I would need to look up are down by more than 80% on reported infections (note I am using the phrase reported, because that means these are soft statistics) from the mid-January peak.  While these countries continue to do well, overall, the rest of the world has hit what they call the fourth wave.  India is reporting more than twice the cases it reported in mid-February, when the overall worldwide downturn ended --so far.  Italy is reporting almost twice the cases this week that it reported in mid-February (which is still less than mid-January).

Edited by Ambergris
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13 hours ago, Mt_Rider said:

Am I understanding correctly?  Some countries are going into lock-down BECAUSE of poor turnout of vaxx?




Is this a "Vaxx or we'll torture you with lockdown?"


MtRider  :shrug:   

That's what it sounds like.

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Quoting  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Israeli lawmakers have passed legislation that could see the government make it mandatory for all citizens entering the country to wear a tracking device.

The law says that Israelis returning to the country who have not had a vaccine can isolate at home so long as they accept a ‘freedom bracelet’, a GPS device that will track their every movement to ensure they do not break quarantine rules.

Anyone who hasn’t had a shot, or already had coronavirus and subsequently twice tested negative, and does not accept the tracking bracelet will be forced to undergo quarantine in a military manned facility.

End Quoting  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-





So....what are opinions on this?  Just during COVID quarantine upon reentering Israel......??


MtRider  :unsure:  

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On 3/18/2021 at 2:48 PM, Ambergris said:

Health Minister Olivier Veran said some hospitals would start using monoclonal antibodies which are synthetically manufactured copies of infection-fighting proteins, on certain patients at high risk of progressing to severe illness.

Why isn't anybody using the antibodies found in the blood of those who have had this disease - and recovered from it - to create a vaccine??? That is one that I could probably trust enough to take.

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F.B.I. Investigating Whether Cuomo Aides Gave False Data on Nursing Homes
The inquiry has added to the legal pressure faced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his aides over the deaths of nursing home residents from Covid-19.
By J. David Goodman, Nicole Hong and Luis Ferré-Sadurní  March 19, 2021  Updated 3:33 p.m. ET
A federal investigation into Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic has focused in recent weeks on whether the governor and his senior aides provided false data on resident deaths to the Justice Department, according to four people with knowledge of the investigation.  Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have contacted lawyers for Mr. Cuomo’s aides, interviewed senior officials from the state Health Department and subpoenaed Mr. Cuomo’s office for documents related to the disclosure of data last year, the people said.

The interviews have included questions about information New York State submitted last year to the Justice Department, which had asked the state for data on Covid-19 cases and deaths in nursing homes, according to the people. False statements in such a submission could constitute a crime. In some cases, agents traveled to the homes of state health officials to interview them about the data. In others, they spoke to officials by phone, according to the people, who requested anonymity to discuss the active investigation.  The actions, which came in recent weeks, appeared to add to the legal pressure faced by Mr. Cuomo, as well as by his most senior aides, who may have played a role in withholding the true count of nursing home deaths from the public for months.
A spokesman for the Eastern District of New York, which is overseeing the investigation, declined to comment.  Elkan Abramowitz, an outside lawyer hired by the state to represent the governor’s office in the federal inquiry, said in a statement that “the submission in response to D.O.J.’s August request was truthful and accurate and any suggestion otherwise is demonstrably false.”

Mr. Cuomo has faced scrutiny for months over his policies related to nursing homes. The question of how many nursing home residents had died — both in the facilities and after being treated at hospitals — became a political issue for Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, as he came under criticism from both Democrats in Albany and from national Republicans, including former President Donald J. Trump.

The state initially publicized only the number of residents who died of Covid-19 inside nursing homes, even after it became aware that thousands more residents had died after being transferred to hospitals.  Aides to the governor said they had not revealed data on residents who died in hospitals because the information was incomplete and needed to be vetted.  The state revealed the full count — which added thousands of additional deaths — only in January, after a report by the state attorney general suggested an undercount, and after a state court ordered the data be made public in response to a lawsuit filed by the Empire Center, a conservative think tank. As of this month, New York has recorded the deaths of more than 15,000 nursing home residents with Covid-19.

Melissa DeRosa, Mr. Cuomo’s top aide, tried to explain why the administration had withheld the data last year to state lawmakers in a conference call, saying she and others “froze” because of the federal request for data, which came in late August as the governor faced criticism over nursing homes.  But more than two months earlier, in June, Ms. DeRosa and other aides removed such data from a report prepared by the Health Department, an investigation by The New York Times found.  A chart included in an early draft of the report, which was reviewed by The Times, showed that the number of total deaths of nursing home residents would have been roughly 9,200 at the time, or 50 percent higher than what Mr. Cuomo’s administration had publicly acknowledged.  The governor’s aides have denied altering the report to withhold the data, arguing that they did not release the figures until they could be properly audited.

In her conference call with legislators, which took place last month, Ms. DeRosa also said that the Cuomo administration had fully cooperated with the Justice Department investigation last year. “They sent a letter asking a number of questions and then we satisfied those questions,” she said, according to a transcript of the conversation released by the governor’s office.

Federal investigators also started questioning state officials this month about a provision in last year’s state budget that gave legal protections to hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic, one of the people said. Investigators’ questions about the nursing home provision were first reported by The City, a local nonprofit newsroom.

The change made it difficult for families of residents who died or were infected by the coronavirus to sue nursing home operators or hospitals. The provision had been lobbied for by industry representatives.
The Cuomo administration is also under fire for undercounting the number of nursing-home deaths caused by Covid-19 in the first half of 2020, a scandal that deepened after a recent Times investigation found that aides rewrote a health department report to hide the real number. Several senior health officials resigned recently in response to the governor’s overall handling of the pandemic, including the vaccine rollout.




So this is what was going on with those NY counts that kept changing.

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Finally got that picture to paste.  This is the US reported infections. That single highest day is at January 11, but I call it mid-January.  You could more accurately say right past the one-third mark of January, but not too many people mentally break months into thirds. Besides, see the after-peaks?


Where would we be if we were in India's shoes?  Picture the last bit of the line swinging up to December levels.  If this doesn't happen in the next couple of months, it will be because we have better medicine (including more vaccines per capita) and less crowding than India.  

Edited by Ambergris
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42 minutes ago, Ambergris said:

Mr. Cuomo has faced scrutiny for months over his policies related to nursing homes. The question of how many nursing home residents had died — both in the facilities and after being treated at hospitals — became a political issue for Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, as he came under criticism from both Democrats in Albany and from national Republicans, including former President Donald J. Trump.

And, according to CNN, The USNS Comfort was deployed to New York, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the United States, to free up capacity in the city's civilian hospitals so that they can focus on treating coronavirus patients. They had 22 patients with a capacity of 1,000 on the military ship.    <_<

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The ship was finally sent where it would be more widely used.  182 patients overall, with 22 Covid patients being in ICU and 10 or so Covid patients being hospitalized onboard but not in ICU when the president pulled the ship out.  The ship was crewed for trauma work, not plague work, and it showed.  Part of the problem with Covid is that care of patients is universally reported by nurses to be utterly exhausting--much, much worse than care of flu patients and even worse than dying cancer patients.


Okay, last year New England got it in the spring, which is repeating now.  The south got it in the summer, which might happen again, and the midwest and west took their turn in the fall.  That's talking about infections.  But talking about infections is talking about soft data, reliant on how much testing happens and when the governors decide to do waves of testing.  We need to look at deaths.  A person is dead or not dead, although the question remains as to why.  We need also to look at hospitalizations, because it's pretty clear why people are hospitalized.  As of yesterday, the running average of the prior seven days' figures show just under 41,000 people per day being admitted to the hospital in the US for Covid.


(By the way, if you saw any scary news, think of this: Missouri didn't have a huge number of deaths in the week ending March 8.  They just used antigens to officially classify a lot of deaths, some months previously, that had been suspected to be Rona.  Expect a lot of those spikes as other states test their storage banks of blood samples.)


CDC | Updated: Mar 19 2021 8:27PM
Place    Deaths in Last 7 Days
Texas          971
California    904
Kentucky    583
Florida         558
New York City*    401
Georgia       303
Ohio             289
New Jersey    262
West Virginia    232
Pennsylvania    216
Massachusetts    208
Arizona           181
Illinois              165
New York*       165
North Carolina 161
Louisiana        146
Virginia           130
Michigan    121
Alabama    117
Arkansas   105
Indiana       105
Maryland   102
Nevada      77
Oklahoma  66
Mississippi    62
Connecticut  61
Missouri        61
Washington  61
Tennessee   58
Iowa    51
Wisconsin    48
Colorado      39
Minnesota    38
Oregon         37
Idaho    32
New Mexico     32
Rhode Island    31
South Carolina 30
Utah            26
Delaware    23
New Hampshire    16
Puerto Rico           16
Montana    15
South Dakota        14
Nebraska    9
District of Columbia    8
Vermont    6
Alaska       5
Maine        5
North Dakota    5
Hawaii               3
Wyoming           2
Guam                1




Edited by Ambergris
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The Comfort was never intended to take care of covid patients.  They were supposed to take on the other traumas so the main hospitals would free up for covid.  The problem is that NO ONE will treat you for anything other than covid because you 'might have covid.'  People are dying and hurting over more mundane things because they cannot get treatment.  I'm experiencing this.  Littlesister experienced this.  

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New Delhi (CNN)India on Thursday recorded 53,476 new Covid-19 cases, marking the highest single-day rise in cases since October 23, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health.  The country has been reporting more than 35,000 new cases daily for over a week in a recent surge in cases after they fell in January and February this year.  Randeep Guleria, director at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told CNN on Wednesday that "it is the beginning of a second wave."
The rise in cases comes as the country's top researchers announced that there are nearly 800 variants of concern present in the country.  The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics -- which has been carrying out genome sequencing and analysis of coronavirus strains since December -- says 771 cases of variants of concern have been detected in India. Most of the cases are the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK, according to a statement from the Indian Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
While the Health Ministry has not correlated these to the recent rise in cases, these variants have been primarily detected in states such as Punjab and Maharashtra, two states that the health ministry has called states of "grave concern," given that they are contributing to most of the nation's case load.  Guleria said the emergence of the more infectious UK variant in some states may be one of the factors contributing to the recent surge in case numbers.
The Health Ministry has said "such mutations confer immune escape and increased infectivity," while adding that further analysis is being conducted.  The country's first wave of infections started climbing last summer and peaked in September, with numbers slowly declining since then. By February, the number of daily cases had fallen by nearly 90%, to about 10,000 a day.  But by the start of March, it became clear that cases were slowly on the increase again -- and they have exploded in the past few weeks.
India has now reported a total of more than 11.7 million cases and 160,000 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Guleria said the second wave "is something that has already been seen in many European countries; we seem to be following them."  A number of factors are contributing to that rise, Guleria explained.  "One of the factors is that today it's been one year since India had the lockdown and there are people who seem to have gone into Covid fatigue," he said, adding that "you see that in the community, when you go out, wearing a mask has become less and less.  "We see crowds developing, partying, a lot of marriage ceremonies are happening in India," he added.
Variants and mutations
All viruses evolve over time, and sometimes make changes when they replicate, causing mutations. Some mutations have little effect -- but others could make the variant more easily transmissible, or cause infections with more severe symptoms.  From around 10,787 samples analyzed by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics from 18 states, 771 cases of variants of concern were detected, the majority of which were the UK strain, according to the Ministry of Health. Thirty-four were the variant first identified in South Africa and one was variant P.1 from Brazil.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also said it has found a variant with mutations that don't match previously identified variants of concern.
It's not unusual to see multiple mutations in one variant. "All of these viruses (variants) which we are dealing with are already mutants," said virologist T Jacob John. The strain that became globally prevalent was already different from the first strain that originated in Wuhan, China, he added.  The strain first found in the UK, the B.1.1.7 variant, has 23 mutations compared to the original strain found in Wuhan, according to the American Society of Microbiology.
The Brazil variant known as P.1 has 17 mutations, and the South Africa variant known as B.1.351 also has multiple mutations, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How dangerous a mutation is depends on where in the virus it's happening. For instance, the South Africa variant has mutations that change the structure of the spike protein, which appear to affect the receptor binding domain -- the part of the spike protein most important for attaching to and infecting cells. Researchers are now investigating whether it could help the virus partly escape the effects of vaccines.
Guleria cautioned that a new variant was not necessarily cause for alarm, since researchers are still investigating the effect of the mutations.  "They are not clear as to what is the significance of this," he said. "Does it have clinical significance or is it just an observation? And that has to be linked to epidemiological data, which is what is being done."
One question is which variants -- and which mutations -- might be able to evade the effects of our existing vaccines. "If somebody was infected with coronavirus six months ago, that person is immune to the non-mutated coronavirus," John said. "But is the person still immune against the variants? (That has to be) studied."
India's vaccination drive
In the meantime, Indian authorities are working to control the spike by implementing new restrictions and stepping up the country's vaccine program.  India is administering two vaccines domestically. One is Covishield, a vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and produced by the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine maker. The other is India's first homegrown coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, developed jointly by Bharat Biotech and the government-run Indian Council of Medical Research.
So far, India has administered more than 50 million doses of vaccines, with more than 8.1 million people fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The Serum Institute of India not only produces most of the vaccines for India -- it is also responsible for many of the vaccines distributed to the rest of the world. In September last year, SII pledged to manufacture and deliver 200 million doses for COVAX -- a WHO vaccine alliance set up to ensure fair access to Covid-19 vaccines.
But SII has had to halt or delay its exports several times in recent months as global and domestic demand surged.  India embarks on one of the world&#39;s most ambitious vaccine rollouts after emergency use approval
India embarks on one of the world's most ambitious vaccine rollouts after emergency use approval  On January 4, India restricted the export of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by SII until at least March. "We were given a restricted license only to give it and provide it to the government of India because they want to prioritize for the most vulnerable and needy segments first," SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said at the time. "The only condition is that we can only supply to the government of India, we can't sell it in the private market, and we can't export it."
Thursday, Reuters reported that India would likely delay deliveries of AstraZeneca vaccines to COVAX, citing UNICEF. India had put a temporary hold on all major exports of AstraZeneca shots made by SII to meet domestic demand, according to Reuters. CNN has reached out to SII, UNICEF and the Ministry of External Affairs for comment, but has not yet received a response. The Ministry of Home Affairs also introduced new infection control guidelines Tuesday that will be in place until the end of April. Some of the measures include quickly isolating positive cases and tracing their contacts within 72 hours.  Several cities and states including Mumbai, Delhi and Odisha have banned gatherings during Holi, the upcoming festival of colors, on March 28.

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From Reuters, mostly:


Brazil leads the world in the daily average number of new deaths reported, accounting for one in every 4 deaths reported worldwide each day
COVID-19 infections in Brazil are at their peak — the highest daily average reported — now at 77,049 new infections reported each day.

There have been 12,320,169 infections and 303,462 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began.


There have been at least 24,160,000 reported infections and 758,000 reported deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in Latin America and the Caribbean so far.  

Countries reporting the most deaths each day over the last seven days, averaged:

BRAZIL    2,280

MEXICO      515

PERU           161

COLOMBIA     126



Countries reporting the most new infections over the last seven days, averaged:

BRAZIL     77,050

PERU            8,135


CHILE            6,185

COLOMBIA    5,807


This region accounts for 27% of the world's reported infections in the last 7 days and is currently reporting about a million infections every eight days.  Remember that death surges run about two weeks behind infection surges, if testing is evenly applied.  Big if.  Also, the death graph is flatter than the infection graph.  When reports of infection spike, death becomes a less common reported effect of it.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the BBC reported on March 17 that almost half the people tested in Papua New Guinea had Covid, and that there was a crisis brewing.  They asked for a million Astra Zenica (British) vaccine doses (for nine million people, if I recall correctly).  A week later, it's 70% per the Times, and the crisis is boiled over.    They are now relying more on Covax, which if I recall correctly is produced in India and is much cheaper and still can't get enough.  They have the field hospital in the stadium, so the medical people in their protective gear are drenched in sweat trying to work out there.  Meanwhile, the stupid memes on social media are have kept and are still keeping a lot of people from getting vaccinated, which is making the situation worse.  Before you click the button, think of keeping a team of miserable people out there sweating in the stadium because something you transferred, directly or indirectly, made the difference to someone who could have been immunized.  Also, this is tuberculosis territory, and ... guess what that means?


Following information per the CDC:

CDC | Updated: Mar 25 2021 1:47PM
State/Territory Deaths in Last 7 Days
California 1,273
Texas 857
Kentucky 807
New York City* 390
Florida 346
Georgia 301
Ohio 274
Arizona 256
New Jersey 247
Massachusetts 233
Pennsylvania 187
New York* 161
Illinois 153
Michigan 140
North Carolina 137
Tennessee 134
Alabama 124
Louisiana 101
Maryland 101
Oklahoma 90
Indiana 82
Missouri 71
Wisconsin 62
Nevada 56
West Virginia 54
Arkansas 53
Mississippi 49
Connecticut 45
Utah 45
Kansas 44
Washington 44
Minnesota 42
New Mexico 37
Montana 35
Nebraska 35
South Carolina 35
Colorado 28
New Hampshire 26
Iowa 23
Delaware 19
Oregon 19
Puerto Rico 18
Rhode Island 18
Idaho 17
District of Columbia 9
South Dakota 9
Hawaii 6
North Dakota 6
Alaska 5
Vermont 5
Maine 4
Wyoming 2
American Samoa 0
Federated States of Micronesia 0
Guam 0
Northern Mariana Islands 0
Palau 0
Republic of Marshall Islands 0
Virginia 0
Virgin Islands 0

Look at Virginia, down there with the territories! Go Virginia, go! 

I hope that's not just someone's failure to send in the statistics.


CDC | Updated: Mar 25 2021 1:47PM
State/Territory 7-Day Death Rate per 100,000
Kentucky 18.1
New York City* 4.6
Arizona 3.5
Massachusetts 3.4
Montana 3.3
California 3.2
Texas 3
West Virginia 3
Georgia 2.8
New Jersey 2.8
Alabama 2.5
Ohio 2.3
Oklahoma 2.3
Louisiana 2.2
Delaware 2
Tennessee 2
New Hampshire 1.9
Arkansas 1.8
Nebraska 1.8
New Mexico 1.8
Nevada 1.8
Maryland 1.7
Mississippi 1.7
Rhode Island 1.7
Florida 1.6
Kansas 1.5
New York* 1.5
Pennsylvania 1.5
Michigan 1.4
Utah 1.4
Connecticut 1.3
District of Columbia 1.3
North Carolina 1.3
Illinois 1.2
Indiana 1.2
Missouri 1.2
Wisconsin 1.1
Idaho 1
South Dakota 1
North Dakota 0.8
Vermont 0.8
Alaska 0.7
Iowa 0.7
Minnesota 0.7
South Carolina 0.7
Puerto Rico 0.6
Washington 0.6
Colorado 0.5
Oregon 0.5
Hawaii 0.4
Wyoming 0.4
Maine 0.3


New hospital admissions on March 23, 5165.  7 day average March 17-23: 4707.

Per the CDC, that's up 1% from the prior seven day average.

I would like to see myself, preferably on a simple chart, but it's really difficult to keep up with.  As best I can tell, we're just about where we were in August.



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34 minutes ago, Ambergris said:

Meanwhile, the stupid memes on social media are have kept and are still keeping a lot of people from getting vaccinated, which is making the situation worse.  Before you click the button, think of keeping a team of miserable people out there sweating in the stadium because something you transferred, directly or indirectly, made the difference to someone who could have been immunized.


Or it could be that people don't always trust modern medicine and the government to have their best interests at heart, especially if they've seen the results from earlier mRNA vaccines. 


If you honestly think that memes are the thing keeping people from getting vaccinated, you have a very low opinion of other people.

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The final straw is alive and well.

Dangerous information that is demonstrably false should not be thrown around even if it is amazingly funny.  Perhaps especially if it is amazingly funny, because that guarantees it will go further and be seen by more people, some of whom will believe it. 

Information that is demonstrably false, dangerous or not, should not be thrown around without good reason even if it is funny.  And I would want to know the reason.

Dangerous information of questionable veracity should be scrutinized and treated with respect.  Memes and jokes are not the way to convey this, because people will not understand that it needs to be chewed over and scrutinized.

I believe in spreading dangerous information when it is true.  


The safety of the vaccines appears to fall into the category of dangerous information of questionable veracity.  It is being withheld from children and from women of childbearing age so far.  I strongly question the wisdom of releasing it next month to young women, but that has been seen as a political necessity.  I hope the US will rethink that.  The US is being flooded with information that is demonstrably false but is dangerous if only because people are suggestible enough to raise the chance of adverse effects by ... was it 25%?  Something substantial.  There is no need to slather the demonstrably false stuff on top of the questionable information, which is itself circulating in conjunction with the dangerous but true information.


And we are talking about a different part of the world, a place where tuberculosis is endemic.  Tuberculosis will already kill you.  It is barely held in check in American prisons and homeless camps now because people who take the medication for a while and then don't for a while have bred resistant strains inside their bodies.  They have done the same all over New Guinea.  They will do the same with with this Covid.

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