the fifth wave

One way I keep up with this pandemic is from 12 experts who share their insights on Twitter — my pandemic list. As we enter a fifth wave of the novel coronavirus, let me share some of these insights from the list and elsewhere.

Droplets

“The question of whether SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted by droplets or aerosols has been very controversial. We sought to explain this controversy through a historical analysis of transmission research in other disease … Resistance to the idea of airborne spread of a respiratory infection is not new. In fact, it has occurred repeatedly over much of the last century and greatly hampered understanding of how diseases transmit.”
—Echoes Through Time: The Historical Origins of the Droplet Dogma and its Role in the Misidentification of Airborne Respiratory Infection Transmission in SSRN 2021-09-21

Air Filters

“Research at a hospital swamped by people with COVID-19 has confirmed that portable air filters effectively remove SARS-CoV-2 particles from the air — the first such evidence in a real-world setting. The results suggest that air filters could be used to reduce the risk of patients and medical staff contracting SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals, the study’s authors say … And the scientists found that the filters don’t only protect against SARS-CoV-2. When the filters were switched off, the air in both wards contained detectable amounts of other pathogens that cause infections in hospitals, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pyogenes. The filters largely removed them. These organisms are not typically thought to spread through the air, but ‘this study suggests that these infections may also spread by aerosol’, [Dr.] Fisman says.”
Nature 2021-10-06

Trust in Institutions

“Trust remains critical to ending pandemics. Achieving it requires transparency, openness and willingness to embrace uncertainty. This may be the most critical challenge for post-Covid-19 societies, including in Denmark. Let’s hope we can trust one another enough to approach this challenge openly and honestly.”
—Denmark’s Hard Lessons About Trust and the Pandemic, NYT 2021-11-14

Transparency in Healthcare

“An investigation by The Intercept reveals that in the first months of the pandemic, only a small number of the more than 6,000 hospitals in the U.S. let journalists inside — and when access was permitted, it was usually limited to a short time span. The upshot is that most hospitals, citing safety and privacy concerns, turned themselves into vaults that hid the strongest evidence of the virus’s lethality. Doors were shut so firmly that an award-winning documentarian even gave up on his effort to film in the U.S. and instead made his documentary about a country where he could get access to Covid patients: China.”
The Intercept 2021-11-13

A Third Dose

“Evidence provided to the [UK] government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) found that the protection against symptomatic Covid offered by all vaccines began to wane 10 weeks after the second dose, falling significantly after four to six months.”
Financial Times 2021-11-15

third dose covid vaccine efficacy data

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