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Covid-19: Do many people have pre-existing immunity?
Sept. 17, 2020 · · Original resource · article · DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m3563

It seemed a truth universally acknowledged that the human population had no pre-existing immunity to SARS-CoV-2, but is that actually the case? Peter Doshi explores the emerging research on immunological responses
infectious disease
herd immunity
t cell
cell, antibody, immune, cov-2-specific, epitope
herd, immunity, far, hope, know
Vulnerable children will 'slip out of view', commissioner warns
Sept. 16, 2020 · · Original resource · article

Vulnerable children who require urgent support will "slip out of view" because of the impact of coronavirus, England's children's commissioner has warned.
mental health
school, bar, nhs, urge, reopen
minority, racial, violence, woman, capital
Trip duration modifies spatial spread of infectious diseases

the collation and sharing of high-quality data have pushed the field forward, identifying the importance of movement of individuals between discrete populations in the persistence and spread of infectious diseases
infectious disease
transmission, cov-2, secondary, china, household
mobility, crime, gdp, employment, restriction
Curing COVID-19

Whatever the reasons for apparent declining mortality, the impact of drug treatments on the COVID-19 pandemic is still limited. The massive research effort needs to bear fruit with a broader range of effective therapies.
case number
viral load
vaccine development
vaccine, trial, approve, drug, healthy
herd, immunity, far, hope, know
A tale of two island nations: Lessons for crisis knowledge management
June 1, 2020 · · Original resource · blog

When confronted with the Black Death in the middle ages, leading authorities resorted to analysis of the position of the planets —Jupiter’s hostility against Mars features prominently— to explain the plague. Today, authorities rely mainly on science to explain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of this is borne out in countries such as Germany and New Zealand, both of which have managed to control the pandemic. In particular, in New Zealand the virus is eradicated after causing 21 deaths altogether (4 fatalities per million people). But there is more to the story than science being a better reality-tracking device than astrology. In the United Kingdom, the number of deaths now exceeds 37,000 (544 fatalities per million), the second-highest toll in the world after the U.S., and considerably more than in Italy, Spain, and France, the three European countries that were hardest hit on the continent. The fact that the UK’s trajectory unfolded so differently from New Zealand presents a scientific conundrum. New Zealand and the U.K. are both island nations, which even in today’s connected world facilitates border control and quarantine measures. And just like in New Zealand, the U.K. government has been committed to “follow the science” in their policies. For example, on 16 March, when the toll stood at 34 deaths, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained his government’s stance to reject a lockdown by declaring “we are just being entirely science-led, we’re not doing the things that are happening elsewhere just because it seems like a popularist [sic] thing to do“. On the basis of currently available information, it is therefore inappropriate to believe that the U.K. government deliberately ignored scientific advice. It did not. It was advised by leading scientists in a group called SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies), some of whom appeared at press conferences together with politicians. There are many aspects to what has happened at the interface between science and policy in the U.K., and only the Mother of All Inquiries that some commentators have anticipated will reveal the full answer. Here, I focus on one issue that has become increasingly visible and that may set aside the U.K. from other countries, namely that scientific knowledge was available early on that questioned “the science” being followed by the government.
behavioral science
crisis management
new zealand
peer review
step, offline, fight, hardcover, horton
opinion, science, society, insight, economist
Risk stratification of patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol: development and validation of the 4C Mortality Score
Sept. 15, 2020 · · Original resource · article · DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m3339

We read with interest the paper in the BMJ by Knight et al.,[1] proposing a new risk prediction model for patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, which the Guardian indicate is expected to be rolled out in the NHS this week ( On the whole, the paper appears of higher quality than most other articles we have reviewed in our living review [2]. For example, the dataset was large enough;3 there was a very clear target population; missing data was handled using multiple imputation; multiple metrics of predictive performance were considered (including calibration and net benefit, which are often ignored); and reporting followed the TRIPOD guideline [4 5]. However, we have identified some concerns and issues, that we want to flag to BMJ readers.
bad science
bayesian, causal, measurement, replication, statistical
patient, hydroxychloroquine, cohort, mortality, observational
How COVID-19 can damage the brain

Some people who become ill with the coronavirus develop neurological symptoms. Scientists are struggling to understand why.
mental health
sars, respiratory, clinical, cov, syndrome
herd, immunity, far, hope, know
Coronavirus family tree reveals the virus is hardly mutating
Sept. 14, 2020 · · Original resource · article

Like any other biological entity, SARS-CoV-2 has a family tree. It isn’t a very old one – the virus has only been recognised since December – but it still has tales to tell.
step, offline, fight, hardcover, horton
herd, immunity, far, hope, know
WHO SAGE values framework for the allocation and prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination
Sept. 13, 2020 · · Original resource · article

The WHO SAGE values framework for the allocation and prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination is intended to offer guidance on the prioritization of groups for vaccination when vaccine supply is limited.  It provides a values foundation for the objectives of COVID-19 vaccination programmes and links those to target groups for vaccination.  This information is valuable to countries and globally while specific policies will be developed once vaccines become available.  
tackle, european, fund, database, indonesia
ethic, telehealth, psychology, practice, consideration
Physiological and Psychological Impact of Face Mask Usage during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In this commentary, we discuss the physiological effects of wearing masks for prolonged periods of time, including special considerations, such as mask wearing among those who engage in exercise training, and concerns for individuals with pre-existing chronic diseases. In healthy populations, wearing a mask does not appear to cause any harmful physiological alterations, and the potentially life-saving benefits of wearing face masks seem to outweigh the documented discomforts (e.g. headaches). However, there continues to be controversy over mask wearing in the United States, even though wearing a mask appears to have only minor physiological drawbacks. While there are minimal physiological impacts on wearing a mask, theoretical evidence suggests that there may be consequential psychological impacts of mask wearing on the basic psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. These psychological impacts may contribute to the controversy associated with wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. After we discuss the physiological impacts of mask wearing, we will discuss psychological effects associated with wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
longitudinal change
face mask
long-term impact
psychological impact
underlying health condition
mental, italy, india, bangladesh, professional
airborne, air, wear, mask, aerosol