Our model also correctly predicts higher infection rates among disadvantaged racial and socioeconomic groups2–8 solely from differences in mobility: we find that disadvantaged groups have not been able to reduce mobility as sharply, and that the POIs they visit are more crowded and therefore higher-risk.
— Read on www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2923-3
they found it was able to pick up patterns in the four biomarkers — vocal cord strength, sentiment, lung and respiratory performance, and muscular degradation — that are specific to Covid-19. The model identified 98.5 percent of coughs from people confirmed with Covid-19, and of those, it accurately detected all of the asymptomatic coughs.
“We think this shows that the way you produce sound, changes when you have Covid, even if you’re asymptomatic,” Subirana says.
— Read on news.mit.edu/2020/covid-19-cough-cellphone-detection-1029
Birx seemed fixated on applying the lessons of HIV/AIDS in a small African nation to COVID-19 in the United States, says a CDC official who was present. “Birx was able to get data from every hospital on every case” in Malawi, the official says. “She couldn’t understand why that wasn’t happening in the United States” with COVID-19. Birx didn’t seem to see the difference between a slow-moving HIV outbreak and a raging respiratory pandemic. “[CDC Principal Deputy Director] Anne Schuchat had to say, ‘Debbi, this is not HIV.’ Birx got unhappy with that.”
— Read on www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/10/inside-story-how-trumps-covid-19-coordinator-undermined-cdc
The aim of this collection is to ensure immediate access to systematic reviews most directly relevant to remote health care through telehealth. The measures adopted internationally to curb the spread of COVID-19 have led to significant changes in how health care is accessed and provided. As face-to-face consultations between healthcare workers and patients pose a potential risk to both parties, remote care and telehealth offer alternatives.
Useful for people looking at telehealh interventions, or scaling up telehealth activity for specific conditions.
Well before the impacts of the 2020 pandemic, large numbers of lower income Australian households were struggling to find affordable housing and there were long wait lists for social housing. AHURI research estimated that in 2016, there was a shortfall of around 431,000 social housing dwellings, and that this deficit would grow to 727,300 dwellings by 2036. The research concluded that 36,000 new social housing dwellings per year were required to meet this need.
With high unemployment and increased incidence of homelessness a likely outcome of the economic downturn, new social housing will be essential to ensure housing outcomes do not worsen. Industry and community organisations and peak bodies are calling for a social housing building program as part of the economic stimulus response. For example, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), in a recent report, proposes building 30,000 social housing dwellings as a way to reduce homelessness and to boost employment.
The mental health effects of COVID-19 on the general population might be profound and long-lasting, and deserve serious attention; but they cannot be the exclusive focus of conversation. Those who wish to build fairer societies and health systems after the pandemic ends must learn about and prioritise the needs of people living with severe mental illness as a matter of urgency.
American University of Beirut webinar recording on smoking cessation and water pipe use during COVID-19:
The Institute for Public Policy Research in the UK has released a report based on IPPR/YouGov polling of healthcare workers called Care Fit for Carers.
It shows high degrees of dissatisfaction with the UK government’s response, and that many health care workers are considering leaving their professions .
The report also raises the prospect of the longer term-impacts on health care workers, which are likely to include physical health impacts, as well as PTSD and other mental health conditions. These impacts are not abstract and hypothetical, as shown in a BBC article on the impacts of SARS ten years after the 2003 outbreak:
Bruce England was a paramedic on duty in Toronto during the early days of the Sars outbreak and, having attended a patient with a chest infection, found himself falling ill.
For him, and many others affected by the Sars outbreak in Toronto, the effects of that experience are still being felt today. Ten years on Bruce still experiences weakness and difficulty with his breathing.
“I had Sars. It’s left a lasting impact on me and my life. So did I survive it? Maybe not, it’s still there for me,” he says.SARS: The people who risked their lives to stop the virus, Kevin Fong, BBC, 2013.
An important from David Gunnell and colleagues in Lancet Psychiatry:
These are unprecedented times. The pandemic will cause distress and leave many people vulnerable to mental health problems and suicidal behaviour. Mental health consequences are likely to be present for longer and peak later than the actual pandemic.
They present a range of potential public health responses, including targeted and universal interventions.
I was wondering about the Australia 2020 Summit tonight, prompted by seeing former Prime Minister Rudd on television talking about the Ruby Princess. For those who don’t remember, it was a sort of festival of ideas convened by the still-new Gillard-Rudd government in 2008. It was supposed to shape a long-term strategy for Australia’s future, one that was sadly never realised.
If I’m honest I imagined that the report would be full of naïve assumptions and misguided aspirations (much like Mr Rudd’s comments this evening). The horrors of the summer bushfires and the global COVID-19 pandemic mean we’re living in a world I didn’t imagine even a year ago, even though I’ve been worried about climate change, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity for a while. It must have been inconceivable twelve years ago.
Instead I was surprised by how many of the ideas remain relevant and, by and large, unaddressed. The topics in the table of contents should be part of any long-term strategy we’d develop today, albeit with much greater urgency about climate change.
There are even some of my pet topics in the report, like health impact assessments, which I’d entirely forgotten.
I won’t attempt to summarise the report. It’s 399 pages, and quite densely packed with ideas. It’s definitely worth reading if you have a chance.
Mostly, I’m left with a sense of sadness about how we’ve wasted the last twelve years. I hope the crisis we face due to COVID-19 forces us to reconsider our direction as a society, and the renewed urgency for a long-term strategy for Australia’s future.