Monoclonal Antibody RX and Covid Variants

Most monoclonal antibody therapies that neutralized early variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are less effective or not effective against the BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 Omicron subvariants that currently make up almost 99% of infections in the United States, according to a report in Nature.

Evolving Omicron Subvariants Are More Resistant to Antibody Therapy — https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2795047

Oops.

Covid’s Persistent Pattern

The government is planning on rolling out updated Omicron-targeting booster shots this fall, specifically with a component of the BA.5 subvariant, which now accounts for 85% of U.S. infections. Even if some other Omicron sublineage becomes dominant by then, the shots could be a better match against what’s circulating than the original formulation — and could help bolster protection against infection, and in turn act as a drag on transmission. The updated shot will combine the BA.5 component with the original vaccines that targeted the virus’s spike protein from early 2020. Training the immune system on two variants can lead to a broader response generally, said Meagan Deming, a virologist and infectious diseases physician at the University of Maryland. 

Covid has settled into a persistent pattern — and remains damaging. — https://www.statnews.com/2022/08/04/covid-has-settled-into-a-persistent-pattern-and-remains-damaging-it-may-not-change-anytime-soon/

Got Kids? READ THIS

Beyond just online platforms, the new survey finds that the vast majority of teens have access to digital devices, such as smartphones (95%), desktop or laptop computers (90%) and gaming consoles (80%). And the study shows there has been an uptick in daily teen internet users, from 92% in 2014-15 to 97% today. In addition, the share of teens who say they are online almost constantly has roughly doubled since 2014-15 (46% now and 24% then).These are some of the findings from an online survey of 1,316 teens conducted by the Pew Research Center from April 14 to May 4, 2022

Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022 — https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-social-media-and-technology-2022/

Remember my earlier post I Thought I Told You To Put That Phone Down! This earlier post has additional links to other posts on the topic of social media addiction.

Technology addictions, also commonly known as digital addictions or internet addictions, are often overlooked due to the acceptance that society has placed on using digital devices. Technology addictions often go unnoticed by loved ones because the addicted individual may appear as though they are tending to something important such as work-related tasks on their digital device, when in reality hiding behind the screen is something extraneous. When a technological problem does develop and is noticed it is often not viewed as being an imminent risk akin to an addiction to alcohol or drugs because not only is it more acceptable, but it is also not viewed as being acute or deadly. Despite these beliefs, pathological technology use can indeed be pervasive and detrimental to one’s health and well being. In a growing digital age there is a rapid expansion of digital use and subsequent potential for problematic pathological technology use to ensue.

https://www.familyaddictionspecialist.com/blog/the-6-most-common-types-of-technology-addiction

The link provided above is neither an endorsement or evidence of a previous or existing patient-therapist relationship.

Although I will admit to a quasi-addiction to You Tube for new music.

Loneliness and Mortality

The discomfort of loneliness eases with time. You come to accept solitude like a cracked tile in a corner of the bathroom floor. Eventually, you just stop noticing the defect. For older people, however, one crack could easily, quietly, lead to more. Living in isolation, for people over 50, can spur a 50 percent increased risk of dementia, according to the CDC, and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke. Loneliness is also associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide. Prolonged isolation is the equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (And older members of marginalized communities are at an even higher risk for all of the above when they’re socially secluded.) In the years since my mom lost her husband and her friends in Florida, her health declined and her shine dimmed. The woman who owns more makeup than Dolly Parton — including Stila compacts from the early aughts she audaciously calls “my vintage cosmetics” — stopped putting on her face.

My Mom Has No Friends — https://www.thecut.com/2022/08/helping-my-mom-make-friends.html

A beautifully written article. I hope you choose to read the entire piece.

Covid-19: is omicron less lethal than delta?

This study provides the most conclusive evidence to date that infection with the omicron subvariant BA.1 was inherently less deadly than delta when controlling for a number of key covariates. Combining death certification records with molecular surveillance is the main advantage of this study, which avoids previous biases in covid-19 death designations. Accounting for a broad array of standardised covariates, including sociodemographic variables, pre-existing health conditions, and previous immunity, is another strength.

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o1806 (Published 02 August 2022)

Quote from the BMJ editorial. Here’s the link to the study:

Risk of covid-19 related deaths for SARS-CoV-2 omicron (B.1.1.529) compared with delta (B.1.617.2): retrospective cohort study — BMJ 2022; 378 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-070695

A Plan is Not a Strategy – Update 08.03.22

A few months ago I was thinking about retirement. The funny thing about life at “retirement age” and still working is you think about retirement a lot. See Thinking About Retirement (or just another fine Saturday Morning) While catching up on news I came across several articles on unretirement. I learned the word unretire is actually in the dictionary. See https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unretire. Rather than retire then unretire I decided I needed a plan. The more I thought about coming up with a plan the more I realized I needed a strategy instead.

So now I’m working on strategy only to realize I’ve had a strategy for many years. I’ve just never taken the time to write it down. It might be time to document my strategy. But it’s been too hot to write and Too Hot to Blog.

Take Home Message: A Plan is Not a Strategy.

Update 08.03.22

For an excellent example of strategy read this piece https://www.noceilingsnba.com/p/the-art-of-presti on how Sam Presti the General Manager of the OKC Thunder epitomizes this definition of strategy.