The Second Wave #74 Digest #74

The Second Wave

Editor: Christopher Brennan
It has been one of the dreaded outcomes since the coronavirus first appeared, though now more serious questions are being raised about the “second wave.” This week’s Digest tackles the subject, as well as the related topics of antibodies, reopening and whether the “first wave” ever really passed. The collection of in-depth articles comes from both from media outlets and scientific bodies, all gathered with the Deepnews Scoring Model and all trying to understand where we are and where we’re heading.
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Published every Friday

Washington Post

This coronavirus mutation has taken over the world. Scientists are trying to understand why.

At a glance, the mutation seemed trivial. About 1,300 amino acids serve as building blocks for a protein on the surface of the virus. In the mutant virus, the genetic instructions for just one of those amino acids — number 614 — switched in the new variant from a “D” (shorthand for aspartic acid) to a “G” (short for glycine).

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The Conversation

The US isn’t in a second wave of coronavirus – the first wave never ended

After sustained declines in the number of COVID-19 cases over recent months, restrictions are starting to ease across the United States. Numbers of new cases are falling or stable at low numbers in some states, but they are surging in many others. Overall, the U.S. is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of new cases a day, and by late June, had surpassed the peak rate of spread in early April.

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Editor’s Note:

While there is much talk of a “second wave,” the term may be less apt to certain places. Here public health professor Melissa Hawkins of American University looks at the curve in the US. – Christopher Brennan, editor


Why surviving the virus may be just the beginning

The first thing Simon Farrell can remember, after being woken from a medically induced coma, is trying to tear off his oxygen mask.

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India vulnerable to second wave of coronavirus: AIIMS director

NEW DELHI : India has jumped past 4.5 lakh coronavirus cases and 14,476 people have succumbed to the viral infection so far. In this backdrop, speaking to IANS in an exclusive interview, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said India is also vulnerable to second wave of coronavirus and people should continue to follow social distancing, wearing mask and other precautions, after cases begin to decline.

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How to find resilience during the pandemic

Coronavirus is still as big a threat as it ever was, and cases are surging in many states. But now that we’ve processed the first wave, we risk conceiving of the pandemic as a tolerable form of risk more akin to car accidents. “Even if we get a second wave we won’t be scared of it in the same way,” Brooks said. “You can’t stay ‘abnormal’ for very long.”

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Opinion | Israel’s future in a permanent coronavirus economy

About the only thing you can say with reasonable confidence about the coronavirus pandemic in Israel is that it’s not over. The future we face in terms of the economy is between the bleak and the even more bleak.

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The Telegraph (UK) ($)

Dr Tom Frieden: ‘Blaming CDC for US Covid failures is like blaming someone encased in concrete for failing to swim’

‘Public health is sometimes seen as having failed in this response, but the truth is that leaders failed to follow public health advice’

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Special Report: As world nears 10 million COVID-19 cases, doctors see hope in new treatments and lessons learned

Dr. Gopi Patel recalls how powerless she felt when New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital overflowed with COVID-19 patients in March.

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La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Even in the worst COVID-19 cases, the body launches immune cells to fight back

A new study from researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) and Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC) shows that even the sickest COVID-19 patients produce T cells that help fight the virus. The study offers further evidence that a COVID-19 vaccine will need to elicit T cells to work alongside antibodies.

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Editor’s Note:

Part of the long-term fight against coronavirus is bodies building up cells that can end and prevent sickness. Here researchers in San Diego discuss antibodies as well as T cells that may be important for a vaccine. – Christopher Brennan, editor

Scientific American

Hospitals Experiment with COVID-19 Treatments, Balancing Hope and Evidence

With little data on what works and what doesn’t, doctors trade tips and argue about risks

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The Hindu

Nightmare in Brazil

Jair Bolsonaro’s cavalier attitude towards the spread of COVID creates a serious health crisis in Brazil with the country emerging as one of the epicentres of the pandemic.

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Taipei Times

Nation’s COVID-19 testing capacity sufficient: CECC

COVERAGE: Conducting COVID-19 tests on all arriving passengers instead of placing them in quarantine could expose the nation, the minister of health said

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Universite de Geneve

Specific Antibody Targets on SARS-CoV-2 Identified

Serological tests can be used to ascertain whether an individual has developed antibodies against the coronavirus responsible for COVID- 19. These tests, however, do not provide information about the precise part of the virus that the antibodies bind onto – an essential piece of information that determines the ability of the human immune system to neutralise the pathogen and stamp out the infection.

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The Daily Beast

The Worst of Corona Trauma Is Still Ahead of Us

Disaster psychologists say that emergencies have emotional phases. First comes shock, then the “we’re all in this together” honeymoon, followed by disillusionment, and ultimately recovery.

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CBS Chicago

CBS 2 Investigators: Hundreds Of COVID-19 Antibody Tests On The Market, But Are They Accurate?

CHICAGO — With cases of COVID-19 spiking again in several states, a lot of people want to know if they could be immune to the coronavirus, so they are paying for antibody tests. Hundreds of these have hit the market in just months. But are they accurate?

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Editor’s Note:

Speaking of antibodies, one of the lingering issues has been the effectiveness of testing. Here a team in Chicago took tests based off of a producer’s sickness and used the results to discuss with experts.- Christopher Brennan, editor


Wearable Tech May Detect COVID-19 Infection Before Symptoms

There are others that use ring technology. Ours uses a smartwatch or fitness band. It’s called DETECT. What we already have is interesting. In the first 30,000 people, we saw a signal correlating not just with symptoms, but positive tests, based on an increase in resting heart rate, more sleep, and fewer steps.

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South China Morning Post

Chinese scientists engineer protein in coronavirus vaccine quest

In a peer-reviewed paper published in the scientific journal Cell on Sunday, the researchers said the approach triggered a strong antibody response in mice and monkey trials to Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) and the Covid-19 coronavirus.

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Review finds major weaknesses in evidence base for COVID-19 antibody tests

Evidence does not support continued use of existing point-of-care tests for COVID-19, warn researchers

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The Star (Malaysia)

Preventing the second wave of Covid-19

This is indeed a huge issue that Malaysia must face now.

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Cell Press

How that preprint about a ‘more contagious strain’ of coronavirus changed in peer review

But in the days that followed, criticisms of these assertions surfaced. On July 2, the journal Cell published a revised and peer-reviewed version of the paper that offers additional experimental and clinical data about the D614G variant suggesting that it may be more infectious, but concludes that we still cannot be certain about whether the variant makes SARS-CoV-2 more transmissible or leads to more severe disease.

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Agence France-Presse

Iran says still in 1st wave of virus outbreak

Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari says Iran would only have a second wave if there is another rise in cases in provinces that ‘had a significant peak’ when the first cases were declared

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Editor’s Note:

In the spring, Iran was one of the early countries with an alarming impact from coronavirus. Here AFP digs into the geography behind the current rise in cases, which authorities say is not a “second wave.” – Christopher Brennan, editor

Japan Times

As Tokyo coronavirus cases spike, experts dismiss second wave fears — for now

Discerning the progression of outbreaks might only be possible in retrospect

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Australian Financial Review ($)

Bracing for COVID-19’s second wave: the global shift to a ‘new normal’

London | In the British Midlands town of Leicester, publican Stephen Ward had been preparing to reopen the Harrow Inn for “Super Saturday” on July 4: the longed-for day when lonely, thirsty, shaggy-haired Brits could once again visit pubs, hairdressers, and each other’s houses.

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Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Self-Flattening, or Will It Grind Relentlessly on?

Stanford epidemiological model predicts self-flattening while MIT forecasts continued epidemic growth.

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Creating ‘Social Bubbles’ With Clear Rules Can Help People Socialize

It’s actually a very clever idea. People are trying to take the national guidelines and adjust them to their own personal lives. Now we’re opening up, but you want to open up carefully, right? You would like to get out with your family and interact with friends. The question is, how do you do that safely? And that’s the notion of the bubble.

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