Vinay Prasad MD MPH is a Very Smart Person

For most people, once you get 14 days out of your second dose of vaccine, I believe you can ease up on masking or another restriction, such as visiting a loved one for lunch or having more than one person visit a nursing home at the same time, or a small gathering of vaccinated people for dinner without masks.

Op-Ed: Throw Away Your Mask After COVID Vaccination? — Op-Ed: Throw Away Your Mask After COVID Vaccination?

Dr. Prasad’s Op-Ed article is worth reading. Or if you’re a watch, listen and learn type check out the video.

BUT if you have an hour to spare the following podcast is downright entertaining.

The Boy Who Drew Cats — BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

By Jesse Lee Kercheval Outside there is a pandemic and I am in lockdown in Montevideo, Uruguay, far from my daughter and son also locked down, but in Kanazawa, in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, and I am inside drawing, drawing, drawing, filling sheets of paper, pages drifting to the floor, as if I were the boy […]

The Boy Who Drew Cats — BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

The Pandemic Life through the eyes and words of a writer.

Why Lockdowns Worked in March and Why Lockdowns No Longer Work

The researchers found that after one day of total isolation, the sight of people having fun together activates the same brain region that lights up when someone who hasn’t eaten all day sees a picture of a plate of cheesy pasta.

“People who are forced to be isolated crave social interactions similarly to the way a hungry person craves food. Our finding fits the intuitive idea that positive social interactions are a basic human need, and acute loneliness is an aversive state that motivates people to repair what is lacking, similar to hunger,” says Rebecca Saxe, the John W. Jarve Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the senior author of the study.

The research team collected the data for this study in 2018 and 2019, long before the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns. Their new findings, described today in Nature Neuroscience, are part of a larger research program focusing on how social stress affects people’s behavior and motivation.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “A hunger for social contact: Neuroscientists find that isolation provokes brain activity similar to that seen during hunger cravings.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201123120724.htm (accessed November 23, 2020).

Lockdown sceptics vs zero-Covid: who’s got it right? — Tim Harford

Covid in the UK hasn’t been quite as polarised as Brexit or the political landscape of the United States. But it is polarised enough. At one extreme are the zero-Covid advocates; at the other, the lockdown sceptics. Who is right? Some lockdown sceptics have advanced a variety of dishonest or deluded views over the course…

Lockdown sceptics vs zero-Covid: who’s got it right? — Tim Harford

Quote for Today – 08.28.20

A vocal minority argues that Covid-19 is not much worse than the influenza we ignore every winter, so both mandatory lockdowns and voluntary precautions have been unnecessary.

A glance at the data gives that argument a veneer of plausibility. The UK has suffered about 65,000 excess deaths during the first wave of the pandemic, and 25,000-30,000 excess deaths are attributed to flu in England alone during bad flu seasons. Is the disparity so great that the country needed to grind to a halt?

The flaw in the argument is clear: Covid was “only” twice as bad as a bad flu season because we took extreme measures to contain it. The effectiveness of the lockdown is being used as an argument that the lockdown was unnecessary. It is frustrating, but that is the nature of a self-defeating prophecy in a politicised environment.

Rats, mazes, and the power of self-fulfilling prophecies https://timharford.com/2020/08/rats-mazes-and-the-power-of-self-fulfilling-prophecies/