The Fierce Urgency of Now
“ We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action. ”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Living with the virus” has failed. The wishful thinking, the regression to allowing biology to dominate society, the idea of normality of widespread disease has not worked. No way to justify the damage as health, economy and freedom are lost. Its advocates should reassess.
Let us stop justifying the failure by claiming nothing else was possible, that we couldn’t have known, that we couldn’t have succeeded anyway. It is not becoming of our identities, it is not respectful of our ancestors, it is not a way to build our futures.
Society, through medical systems, transportation systems, manufacturing, construction of homes, industries, cities, and scientific knowledge, links us in a shared destiny, MLK’s “inescapable network of mutuality.” Together, we transcend individual biological destiny.
If ever there was a time, now is the time to say “We have not yet begun to fight” (John Paul Jones). The future is for us to create.
The alternative? We can embrace a #zeroCovid strategy. Difficulties—cacophony, pessimism, self-doubt—can be repaired. Center our feelings in compassion, our will in defeating an enemy, our creativity in innovation, we can transform society for collective action and win.
The science behind safer indoor gatherings – why COVID is Airborne (WHN – in English, Filipino, Français, Deutsch, Español)
More than 1,000 Arizona HCWs sign letter to Arizona Governor warning of impending collapse, and that proactive COVID-19 mitigation measures are necessary.
AZ health care workers demand COVID-19 mitigation policy. (FOX 10 Phoenix)
Students across the US walk out of schools in organized protest against unsafe conditions. (Teen Vogue), and 106 petitions, 37k supporters. (change.org)
Childhood admissions rise, vaccine protection against Omicron transmission wanes from 68% to 48% in 10 weeks, preliminary HCW study indicates increased re-infection potential for Omicron. 14 January UK Health Security Agency Technical Briefing 34. (UK Health Security Agency)
“‘It feels, actually, worse than spring of 2020,’ says clinical professor of emergency medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.” Omicron-driven shortages puts U.S. hospitals in a bind. (STAT News)
Aggressive suppression and zero tolerance of COVID are crucial. (The Irish Times)
Raina MacIntyre: Endemicity will not work, as respiratory epidemic infections rapidly stress health systems unless infections are eliminated or mitigated.
Why Covid-19 will never become endemic. (The Saturday Paper)
Proposing solutions to the airborne spread of COVID-19 means confronting airborne denialism. With COVID-19, air is both the solution and the problem. (Mcgill OSS)
Protecting Yourself from COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission. (Marr, Miller, Prather, et al)
Read for recent developments, not future projections: Global Growth to Slow through 2023, Adding to Risk of ‘Hard Landing’ in Developing Economies. 2022 Global Economic Prospects. (World Bank)
Read for recent developments, not future projections: Economic recovery is challenged amid new waves of COVID-19 infections, persistent labour market challenges, lingering supply-chain challenges, and rising inflationary pressures. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2022. (UN)
Misuse of home antigen testing may provide false confidence: better understanding of risks and limitations is needed. (Note: Antigen test reliability is lower than indicated due to comparison with PCR that are also false negative) What Patients Can Learn From One Negative Rapid Test. (KHN)
New paper on brain damage:
How can a mild respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection lead to long term neurological symptoms? Elevated proinflammatory markers, white matter-selective microglial reactivity, impaired neurogenesis and myelin loss may underlie cognitive symptoms of long-COVID resembling cancer therapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI). Mild respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause multi-lineage cellular dysregulation. (Pre-print)
Evidence of altered immune function post-COVID-19 infection supports the clinical description of a long covid syndrome. Immunological dysfunction persists for 8 months following initial mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection. (Nature Immunology)
Study helps establish concrete mitigation practices to reduce indoor COVID-19 transmission and offer a method for comparative analyses of circumstance-dependent mitigation options for risk reduction.
Practical Indicators for Risk of Airborne Transmission in Shared Indoor Environments. (Environ. Sci. Technol.)