Saturday Stories: The End Of Year One, The End Of Hygiene Theatre, And The End Of The Whole Thing

Stephen Maher, in Macleans, with the comprehensive story of Canada’s first year with the pandemic.

Emily Anthes, in The New York Times, on the end of overzealous cleaning.
Gregg Gonsalves, in The Nation, on what comes after the end of this stage of the pandemic. 
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Saturday Stories: Anti-Science, The Pandemic’s Wrongest Man, And The Not Great Indoors


Dangerous numpty. If you see, ignore.

Peter Hotez, in Scientific American, on the anti-science movement and the danger it poses to global public health. 

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Saturday Stories: Vaccine Passports, Canadian Vaccine Manufacturing, and Not Delaying Vaccine Boosters For The Vulnerable

Saskia Popescu and Alexandra Phelan, in The New York Times, discuss the unwieldy realities that vaccine passports might face. 

Leslie Boehm and Gregory P. Marchildon, in Policy Options covers the past realities and future needs of Canadian vaccine manufacturing. 

Isaac Bogoch and David Naylor, in The Globe and Mail, present the case for not delaying second shot vaccinations for Canada’s most vulnerable. 

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Saturday Stories: Africa’s Incredible COVID Supply Chain, On AstraZeneca’s Vaccine, And Asymptomatic Transmission


Javed Anees, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Reid Wilson, in The Hill, on the world leading way in which Africa approached COVID treatment and prevention supplies. 

Angie. Rasmussen and Saskia Popescu, in Science, with everything we know about asymptomatic COVID infections and transmission.
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Saturday Stories: Vaccines For Longhaulers, EMT Reflections, And Societal Reopening

Akiko Iwasaki, in Medium, on how vaccination might help COVID longhaulers.

Jennifer Murphy, in The New York Times, reflects on her experiences as a NYC EMT during the worst of their pandemic.
Jane Philpott and David Walker, in The Ottawa Citizen, discuss the equitable reopening of society.
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Saturday Stories: Windows, Mindestabstandsregelung, And Anti-Racist COVID Responses

Sarah Zhang, in The Atlantic, on the forgotten power of windows in a pandemic.

Luisa Beck, in The Washington Post, on the 1,200 new German words coined for the pandemic.
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Saturday Stories: Vaccines Will Work, The Vaccine Whisperer Hilda Bastian, And The Secret Life of SARs-CoV2

Angela L. Rasmussen, in the New York Times, explains how yes, the vaccines will work to stop the spread.

Carl Zimmer, in The New York Times, on the secret life of a coronavirus.
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Saturday Stories: Which Vaccine Should You Get, And Summertime

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, in The Guardian, discusses which vaccine you should get.

James Hamblin, in The Atlantic, on what summer might look like (in the US mind you, here in Canada, given our exceedingly slow pace of vaccination, this might not apply)

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Setting up an Obesity Centre: Standards and Procedures

No matter how large or how specialised your centre, it will serve you well to establish clear standards and procedures. Topics that need to be defined and agreed upon would include not only what patients get accepted into the clinic but also treatment pathways, standards of care, sequencing of care, measuring outcomes, and ensuring on-going quality improvement.  The particulars of these topics will of course vary according to the nature, scope, and funding of the clinic, but certain aspects will be common to any kind of centre. Thus, ideally, any respectable obesity centre would likely need to adhere to the accepted obesity treatment guidelines in that country. Where there are no clear standards set up by a national professional organization, you may have to look to other countries for guidance. Obviously, some of the guidance found in such guidelines may not translate directly to the situation in your own country or region (e.g. access to medications, surgery, psychological interventions, etc.), but adhering to them as closely as possible is probably a good idea. In any case, disregarding evidence-based standards would require clear acknowledgement and justification. Most obesity guidelines provide at least an outline of an assessment and treatment pathway or algorithm. Virtually all recommend a multi-disciplinary multi-modal approach that covers the five elements of obesity management: nutrition, physical activity, psychological intervention, medications, and surgery. Although most guidelines recommend a hierarchical approach to using these interventions (if one “fails”, move to the next), this may not be the most efficient or even most cost-effective approach.  Thus, for example, spending a lot of time and effort on trying to help someone with Class III EOSS Stage 2 obesity to try to “conquer” their obesity with diet and exercise alone, when overwhelming evidence points to the general futility of such an approach (anecdotal exceptions are just that, anecdotal exceptions!), can eat up a lot of staff time (never mind the patient’s efforts), and lead absolutely nowhere. In fact, it can make things a lot worse, as in the long run this will only lead to demotivation and learned helplessness (never mind any detrimental effects on metabolism).  In practice it may be better to think of these five approaches as complementary rather than as distinct therapeutic pathways. Patients start at different stages of motivation, knowledge, past experience, expectations, and socioeconomic circumstances. Furthermore, patients present with varying levels of complications and impairments, necessitating varying intensity… Read More »

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Saturday Stories: No Herd Immunity Without Vaccines, Hygiene Theatre, And Sleepwalking Into Disaster

Michaeleen Doucleff, in NPR, explains how a small town in Brazil has tragically shown us that without vaccines, herd immunity is impossible.

Derek Thompson, in The Atlantic, on the waste of resources and the disinformation that is hygiene theatre

Brooks Fallis, in The Globe and Mail, on how Canada is sleepwalking into our next disastrous surge.

Photo by By Jesus Solana from Madrid, Spain – Black sheep . Do u also feel different? // la Oveja negra. Tambien te sientes diferente?, CC BY 2.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5050231

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