Timeline 2020: Week 27

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Week 27

This week witnesses an important resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the US and India. Meanwhile, Europe which has more or less successfully managed the first wave, is holding its breath: will the economically all-important tourist season smoothly go ahead or will it be grounded by a second COVID wave? For now, smaller outbreaks (Gütersloh, Leicester, Lleida) are being kept under control. In this context, the opening of closed space where strangers can meet (bars, brothels and restaurants) may not be a good idea.

In the meantime, the EU opens its borders to 15 countries, car rental companies expect to lose up to 80%, Gilead imposes a price of about 350 euros per dose for its (weak) anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug, China starts testing a vaccine on military personnel, and asymptomatic spread continues – why shouldn’t it.

Astonishingly, the question of using face masks continues to be debated. While you can probably do without them in low-prevalence areas such as most parts of Southern Italy, you are well-advised to wear them in the US. A British journalist stated that not wearing face masks in epidemiological hotspots is like driving drunk. Imagine how people feel who are governed by drunkards.

Sunday, 28 June

Ten million official cases and 500,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Monday, 29 June

Chinese CanSino Biologics receives the green light to use a recombinant novel coronavirus vaccine (Ad5-nCoV) within the military.

Tuesday, 30 June

Anthony Fauci warns that a “general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling” is likely to thwart vaccination efforts (The Guardian).

India has more than 450,000 confirmed cases, making it the world’s fourth-worst-hit country. Major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are particularly badly affected (Nature).

China cuts off more than 400,000 people in Anxin county to tackle a small COVID-19 cluster (The Guardian).

The new poor in Italy? Only a small percentage of companies have received promised lockdown help (The Guardian).

The English city of Leicester is in local confinement again after 866 new cases are diagnosed in two weeks.

The pharmaceutical company Gilead imposes a price of about 350 euros per dose for its (weak) anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug.

The New England Journal and The Lancet publish three articles (one | two | three) and a comment about Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

Wednesday, 1 July

The New York Times publishes an update on super-spreaders.

Outbreak in Melbourne, Australia. The authorities confine 300,000 people in 30 neighborhoods for a month.

The EU publishes a list of 15 countries from where people should be allowed into the Union. Visitors from the US to remain banned from entering the EU because of the country’s rising infection rate.

We discover this YouTube video by Tang and al. visualizing airflow patterns associated with common, everyday respiratory activities. In this case, talking illustrates rapidly changing airflow patterns exchanged between talkers.

The US buys up the world stock of remdesivir.

Testing finds cases at US meat-processing plants but officials refuse to release the information (The Guardian).

According to an article by Science, only 50% of Americans plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Thursday, 2 July

California rolls back the reopening of bars, restaurants and indoor venues (The Guardian).

Anthony S. Fauci and H. Clifford Lane publish Four Decades of HIV/AIDS — Much Accomplished, Much to Do.

Nicholas Kristof publishes Refusing to Wear a Mask Is Like Driving Drunk.

Friday, 3 July

Cheng et al. publish How to Safely Reopen Colleges and Universities During COVID-19: Experiences From Taiwan.

The Guardian describes the new emergency in Los Angeles.

Saturday, 4 July

After SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in fruit companies, a nursing home, a neighborhood community and a hostel for homeless people, Catalonia imposes a lockdown on 200,000 people around Lleida.

The epidemic is taking off in the US:

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/


Adam Gabbatt publishes Fourth of July celebrations increase risk of ‘superspreader’ events.

Jesse Wegman publishes Seriously, Just Wear Your Mask.

Michelle Cottle publishes Florida, America’s Pandemic Playground.

Pubs reopen in England.