Different attitudes: US Covid Response was a failure; Can one believe China’s Covid statistics?
Different attitudes: US Covid Response was a failure;  Can one believe China’s Covid statistics?

Different attitudes: US Covid Response was a failure; Can one believe China’s Covid statistics?

Opinion writers examine these covid and covid-related issues.

Los Angeles Times: We should not get anywhere near 1 million COVID deaths in the United States, so we did

At the beginning of the pandemic, in late March 2020, President Trump held a briefing in the White House in which his top advisers presented their official COVID-19 death predictions. In gloomy tones, they predicted that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans would die of the disease if we followed reasonable guidelines for social distancing and other mitigating guidelines. Two hundred and forty thousand! It was an unimaginable number of deaths. Four times the number of Americans who died in Vietnam. Eighty times the number who died in the 9/11 attacks. (Nicholas Goldberg, 4/18)

Washington Post: Pandemic statistics from China are too good to be true

Judging by the numbers, China seems to be experiencing a very different pandemic than the rest of the world. In the recent rise in Shanghai, its largest city with a population of 25 million, China has reported more than 300,000 cases since early March and no deaths. In contrast, the world as a whole experienced around 195 deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants in November last year. Can one believe China’s statistics? (4/16)

Bloomberg: China’s Coronavirus Outbreak: Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero Fails

W. Somerset Maugham’s novel “The Painted Veil” from 1925 contains a shocking description of a cholera outbreak in a Chinese provincial town. “The great city was in terror; and death, suddenly and ruthlessly, hastened through its winding streets… The people died at a rate of one hundred a day, and almost none of those attacked by the disease recovered from it; the gods had been brought out of the abandoned temples and placed in the streets; Sacrifices were laid before them and sacrificed, but they did not restrain the plague. “(Niall Ferguson, 4/17)

State: Research should take into account gender differences in vaccine responses

Two days after receiving my second dose of the Moderna mRNA vaccine as part of a clinical trial, my body was still undergoing a robust immune response when I frantically called from the floor of my son’s bathroom to the clinical research site at the University of Illinois. The region of my brain that controls the thermoregulation, the hypothalamus, has probably detected the flood of vaccine-induced copies of viral proteins in my bloodstream and screwed my internal thermostat up to 104.7 degrees F, a fever high enough to get me to feel wild. The lead investigator of the trial called for a prescription for a medicine for nausea and two bags of IV fluid that a mobile service gave me at home to stabilize me. (Dawn Sinclair Shapiro, 4/18)

Boston Globe: COVID is not on its way back – it never disappeared

As many people have largely moved on, a new concern has moved in. Following a marked drop in COVID cases, BA.2, a subvariant of Omicron that is said to be even more transmissible than its predecessor, is causing an increase in the number of new infections. In Boston, the percentage of COVID tests that came back positive exceeded 6 percent last week, in addition to what Boston Public Health Commission officials considered the “concern limit,” 5 percent. At the beginning of March, the city’s rate was 2.2 percent. (Renee Graham, 4/17)

Also –

Scientific American: New cases of childhood diabetes rose during the pandemic

The little girl was feeling bad, but both she and her mother thought they knew the cause. Aliyah Davis, just nine years old, fought against COVID. Tired, repeatedly bad in the stomach, with no sense of smell or taste and a certain shortness of breath, she seemed to have an almost textbook case of the virus. Aliyah had a history of asthma, so her mother, Christina Ortiz, took her to the emergency room, where she was told the symptoms were likely COVID-related. But two and a half weeks later, Aliyah became ill again in the middle of the night, and Christina noted that her daughter had experienced insatiable thirst and frequent urination ever since the first ED visit. This time, a urine dip tested positive for ketones. Further investigation revealed the problem: Aliyah had newly emerged diabetes. (Carolyn Barber, 4/15)

The CT mirror: History tells us that the pandemic mental health crisis is far from over

In 1918, when the world collapsed under the weight of another pandemic, simultaneous mental health rose from below. While the flu pandemic of that era infected 500 million people – killing 50 million globally and 675,000 in the United States – many survivors suffered a “post-influenza depression.” Historians noted how their lives became “unbearable, even after the infection had passed.” Today, we see similar trends among COVID survivors. As pandemic influenza took hold, a new clinical entity called “encephalitis lethargica” also rose. Despite unclear evidence, doctors linked it to the flu. The syndrome’s constellation of vague neuropsychiatric symptoms sounds eerily similar to the long COVID. (Sandhira Wijayaratne, 4/18)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for one e-mail subscription.

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