Today’s Old are “Younger” (if you are a Finlander)

Hundreds of Finlanders aged 75-80 were given a battery of physical and cognitive tests 30 years ago. The same tests were recently repeated, in 2017-2018, with Finlanders aged 75-80. The modern group showed substantial differences:

walking speeds .2-.4 meters per second faster

grip strengths 5%-25% stronger

knee extension strengths 20%-47% higher

better verbal fluency, reasoning, and working memory

This means that the modern group moves and thinks “younger.” “Performance measurements reflect one’s functional age,” says lead author Taina Rantanen, professor of gerontology and public health at the University of Jyväskylä.

Today’s Older People Really are Younger — https://www.fastcompany.com/90554646/todays-older-people-really-are-younger-than-in-previous-generations

You can access the study abstract here: https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/gerona/glaa224/5901594?redirectedFrom=fulltext

And if you’re Covid obsessed like I am here you go:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:COVID-19_pandemic_data/Finland_medical_cases_chart

I would not extrapolate the older age study findings to the general population. Clearly there are cultural, societal, dietary, climate and other differences in Finland that do not exist elsewhere. But at my age I’ll take good news about getting older anywhere I can find it.

Finland is different. They developed a real interesting rapid Covid-19 test.

Four Covid-19 sniffer dogs have begun work at Helsinki airport in a state-funded pilot scheme that Finnish researchers hope will provide a cheap, fast and effective alternative method of testing people for the virus.

‘Close to 100% accuracy’: Helsinki airport uses sniffer dogs to detect Covid — https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/24/close-to-100-accuracy-airport-enlists-sniffer-dogs-to-test-for-covid-19

The State of Obesity 2020

Obesity rates vary considerably between states and regions of the country. Mississippi has the highest adult obesity rate in the country at 40.8 percent and Colorado has the lowest at 23.8 percent. Twelve states have adult rates above 35 percent, they are: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. As recently as 2012, no state had an adult obesity rate above 35 percent; in 2000 no state had an adult obesity rate above 25 percent.

The State of Obesity 2020: Better Policies for a Healthier America — https://www.tfah.org/report-details/state-of-obesity-2020/

Meanwhile in Oklahoma we are ranked #4 in the nation with an obesity rate of 36.8% — (SOURCE: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, CDC).

I seem to recall being ranked #5 in the nation in another report on Covid-19 — Meanwhile in Oklahoma – 09.17.20.

Interesting comparison don’t ya think?

People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:

Cancer

Chronic kidney disease

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant

Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)

Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies

Sickle cell disease

Type 2 diabetes mellitus

CDC website accessed 08.25.20 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html

Colleges’ Opening Fueled 3,000 COVID Cases a Day (College Clusterfuck Update)

The study, done jointly by researchers at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Indiana University, the University of Washington and Davidson College, tracked cellphone data and matched it to reopening schedules at 1,400 schools, along with county infection rates.

Colleges’ Opening Fueled 3,000 COVID Cases a Day, Researchers Say — https://khn.org/news/colleges-opening-fueled-3000-covid-cases-a-day-researchers-say/

Parosmia and Covid-19

Of more than 4,000 respondents to a multilingual, international study of people with recent smell loss published in Chemical Senses in June, 7 percent reported parosmia, or odor distortion. Facebook support groups dedicated to parosmia and phantosmia, the clinical names for specific smell disorders, have grown drastically in the past few months. Instead of a scentless world, an increasing number of people who lost their sense of smell because of Covid-19 are complaining that things just don’t smell right…

Smell loss, or anosmia, is such a prevalent symptom of Covid-19 it can be used for diagnosis. A May study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found 86 percent of the Covid-positive patients experienced smell loss. Most people who suffer from sudden onset anosmia from the SARS-CoV-2 infection recover their smell quickly, within four weeks for 89 percent of those in a recent study in JAMA Otolaryngology. But the remaining 10 percent continued to experience smell loss or distortions.

Why Covid-19 Patients Are Suffering From Distorted and Phantom Smells — https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-covid-19-patients-are-suffering-distorted-and-phantom-smells-180975826/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+smithsonianmag%2Fscience-nature+%28Science+%26+Nature+%7C+Smithsonian.com%29

Meanwhile From Iran… more Covid-19 Research!

In recent months, nearly all countries tried to decrease human-to-human contact as the principal mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. However, other modes of transmission also need to be clarified in more depth, especially, the foodborne transmission. We assessed the effect of animal origin foods consumption on the pandemic of COVID-19. For this purpose, we studied the relationship among 20 food supply as independent variables, and the parameter of Total Cases as dependent variable. Here we show a relationship between a group of animal origin foods and total cases. Regression, Bayes, and Lasso results showed that eggs and fresh water fish have positive coefficient. So, among the transmission ways of COVID_19, the role of foodborne transmission should be more significant than previously thought. The possibility of animal origin foodborne transmission should be taken into more consideration. The perspective is to expand the surveillance of SARS-Cov-2 during the food production chain. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that one important vehicle for SARS-Cov2 may be some of animal origin foods. It is recommended that virologists examine the possibility of freshwater fish and chickens eggs being as excellent vehicles/preservatives for SARS-Cov2.

Keen relationship between COVID_19 and food supply suggest some animal origin foods as excellent vehicle of SARS-Cov-2 — https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.16.20132464 This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer reviewhttps://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.16.20132464v5

Seriously people I don’t want you to get the idea I sit around on a Sunday afternoon reading research studies on the preprint server.

OK, maybe this Sunday…

DALE FISHER, SINGAPORE-BASED DISEASE EXPERT AND CHAIR OF THE GLOBAL OUTBREAK ALERT AND RESPONSE NETWORK COORDINATED BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION:

If we want to store virus, we freeze it. So if virus is packed with frozen product then it would survive. We normally talk about less than a week, but we know that the colder it is, the longer it will last

Can frozen or chilled food spread coronavirus? — https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-food-factbox/factbox-can-frozen-or-chilled-food-spread-coronavirus-idUSKBN23N1JL

Hmm…

The first person in the cluster to test positive was a woman in her 50s who had been symptomatic for five days. Of the woman’s six family contacts, three also tested positive Tuesday: a baby boy, a woman in her 20s, and her husband, who is thought to be the first to become infected and developed symptoms approximately July 31, according to the The New Zealand Herald. One of the family members works at the lending company Finance Now, and the man works at a facility operated by Americold, an Atlanta, Georgia-based company that transports and stores goods at controlled temperatures. Americold operates in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina, as well as New Zealand.

The infected Americold employee’s job involved handling frozen foods destined for grocery stores and food service companies. He had been on sick leave for nine days at the time that he tested positive, according to Americold NZ Managing Director Richard Winnall, who spoke to the Herald.

New Zealand baffled by new COVID-19 cases, eyes frozen-food packaging — https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/08/new-zealand-baffled-by-new-covid-19-cases-eyes-frozen-food-packaging/

I don’t know why I love connecting the dots so much.

Nearly 39,000 Meat Packers Have COVID-19

As of Sept. 18, there have been at least 39,000 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 419 plants in 40 states, and at least 185 reported worker deaths in at least 51 plants in 27 states.

Tracking Covid-19’s impact on meatpacking workers and industry — https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/04/16/tracking-covid-19s-impact-on-meatpacking-workers-and-industry/

And in case you missed this interesting hypothesis…

Our laboratory work has shown that SARS-CoV-2 can survive the time and temperatures associated with transportation and storage conditions associated with international food trade. When adding SARS-CoV-2 to chicken, salmon and pork pieces there was no decline in infectious virus after 21 days at 4°C (standard refrigeration) and –20°C (standard freezing).

Seeding of outbreaks of COVID-19 by contaminated fresh and frozen food — https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.17.255166 (This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review) — https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.17.255166v1.full#disqus_thread

I will keep an eye open for other studies that either confirm or dismiss the findings of this study.

Quote for Today – 09.19.20

Higher education committed suicide with its dual racketeering model. First was the college loan racket, in which schools colluded with the federal government to jam too many “customers” through the pipeline who didn’t belong there, and who buried themselves under a lifetime debt obligation they could never escape. The second was the intellectual racket of creating sham fields of study that contaminated all the other “humanities” with poisonous bullshit theory, and eventually even invaded the STEM disciplines. Covid-19 screwed the pooch on all that, scotching the four-year party-hearty in-residence part of the deal. For now, who needs an online class in Contemporary Sexual Transgression ($2000-a-credit) when you can just click on Porn-hub for free? Hundreds of colleges and universities will be going out of business in the years ahead.

James Howard Kunstler — https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/things-going-by/#more-‘

Covid-19 in Uruguay

The swift action of the government slowed the spread of the virus and bought the country vital time to prepare its hospitals and testing system, says the team of scientists advising it. It also meant they could stop the virus’s spread before it became exponential as it did in the hardest hit nations.

“By acting really fast we were able to completely identify and stop the transmission chain of the disease in every [outbreak],” says Rafael Radi, a biochemist at Montevideo’s University de la Republica leading the government’s advisory group.

Epidemiologists traced the first outbreak to a wedding, where all attendees were tested and suspected infections isolated within 24 hours. The same approach was employed at the three subsequent outbreaks: a mental health care hospital, a care home for the elderly, and the city of Rivera, bordering Brazil. The result was that most local transmission chains have been controlled at the second or third ration of contacts,4 before their spread accelerated

https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3575 (Published 18 September 2020) BMJ 2020;370:m3575

Meanwhile in Oklahoma – 09.17.20

Oklahoma ranks No. 5 in the U.S. for new COVID-19 cases and test positivity, according to the latest White House Coronavirus Task Force weekly report released Wednesday afternoon. The state’s rate of new weekly cases was 142 per 100,000 people, nearly doubling the U.S. average of 74 per 100,000 people. Its test positivity rate was at 10%, which is more than double the national average of 4.8%.

Oklahoma ranks No. 5 in new COVID-19 cases and test positivity in latest White House report — https://tulsaworld.com/news/state-and-regional/oklahoma-ranks-no-5-in-new-covid-19-cases-and-test-positivity-in-latest-white/article_ad2cdb24-f82d-11ea-bf1c-eb13a26cabba.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1