Coronavirus: Hamster Research shows Effectiveness of Masks

Coronavirus: hamster research shows effectiveness of masks ‘huge’

Hamsters placed in adjoining cages with infected subjects were infected at a 66.7 per cent rate; the introduction of a barrier saw the percentage drop to 16.7%.

The study, which the team called the first of its kind, found the rate of non-contact transmission – in which the virus was transmitted via respiratory droplets or airborne particles – dropped by as much as 75 per cent when masks were present.

“I know wearing masks will be difficult during the summer time. My advice is especially when you are in an indoor or closed environment where there’s no free air exchange, in crowded places or on public transport, you must wear a mask.”


Why I Follow Physicians on MedTwitter

I follow physicians on the front line so that I can understand the risks of our new normal better and to periodically adapt my behavior to minimize those risks to my health and well being.  An example follows:

The credentials from Emory University School of Medicine:

Dr. Milad Sharifpour is an anesthesiologist and intensivist at Emory University Hospital. His clinical expertise includes perioperative care of patients undergoing neurosurgical and vascular surgical procedures, as well as postoperative care of patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery in the intensive care unit. His clinical and research interests include perioperative stroke, perioperative fluid resuscitation, intraoperative mechanical ventilation, and postoperative pulmonary complications.

The May 15, 2020 tweet:

For those protesting social distancing (doubt they would read this) – a small group of my friends got together for lunch 10 days ago: 1 is on a vent, another admitted to a regular floor bed, 5 others are COVID + at home. You can be asymptomatic and have COVID19.

The state of Georgia started reopening a few weeks ago.



“We have a very large country and the dynamics of the outbreak are different, in different regions of the country.”

Anthony Fauci MD

We have better numbers in Oklahoma as the state enters Phase Two of our reopening and I still haven’t gone to a restaurant for a dine-in meal.

The YMCA has reopened and I’ve not gone for a work out yet.

My dentist called.  I haven’t called back yet.

I have been highly selective regarding which stores to shop at for essentials.

My barber has reopened and I have an appointment for May 31st.

It will be nice to get a real haircut.





Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome – (PIM-TS)

DFTB, T. Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, Don’t Forget the Bubbles, 2020. Available at:

There has clearly been a lot of media interest in PIMS-TS but it is still an extremely uncommon disease entity in the context of all children presenting to emergency and acute care services. The vast majority of children, including those who were critically ill, have made a good recovery.


The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 05.16.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  NO paywalls on any of the links in this article.

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending May 16

Meanwhile in Oklahoma…


A Muskogee County man accused of coughing on police and claiming he had COVID-19 is now facing felony charges.

Muskogee man accused of coughing on officers, claiming to have COVID-19



Density Matters

As coronavirus forces us to keep our distance, city density matters less than internal density

Elek Pafka is Lecturer in Urban Planning and Urban Design at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning – University of Melbourne. His research focuses on the relationship between material density, urban form and the intensity of urban life, as well as methods of mapping the ‘pulse’ of the city. He has participated in research on transit orientated development, functional mix and high-density living. He has co-edited the book Mapping Urbanities: Morphologies, Flows, Possibilities.

So what kind of density is relevant for the spread of coronavirus? It has become increasingly clear COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through extended close contact, particularly in enclosed spaces, where droplets and aerosols accumulate. The density that matters is internal population density – generally measured as square metres per person.  Thus, high-risk places can include dormitories, open-plan offices, churches, hospitals, public transport, planes and cruise ships. The evidence to date points to much less transmission through casual contacts in outdoor spaces such as streets or parks.

An interesting viewpoint from outside of the medical and political realms.

Where Have All the Briskets Gone?

The question now is how quickly the supply from the beef processors will stabilize to bring overall beef prices down and live cattle prices up. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced this week that he expected all the processing plants to be reopened soon. “I’d say probably a week to ten days we’ll be back up, fully back up,” Perdue said in a meeting with Trump and Iowa governor Kim Reynolds, but that may be overly optimistic. Even if the plants have reopened, they won’t likely be at full capacity. As David Anderson from Texas A&M says, “It doesn’t mean anybody’s going to show up,” referring to the workers. In an anonymous essay, an employee who says she works at a Tyson beef plant in Amarillo wrote: “I don’t feel critical. I don’t feel essential. I feel sacrificial.” Even if the workers are willing to return to the reopened plants, USDA inspectors are required for any plant to operate, and more than one hundred members of the already short-staffed inspector workforce have been infected.

Where Have All the Briskets Gone?

Texans are getting anxious about their BBQ.

Update 05.17.20

Meanwhile in Oklahoma…