Friends of TVD,
I hope you all had a wonderful, delicious, and socially distanced, Thanksgiving. As I reflect on this year, and its myriad challenges, I am still struck that I have much to be THANKFUL for, including my relationship with all of you.
In addition, I am thankful for all of the good news regarding a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. That said, cases are again surging in the Bay Area, and across our state and country, at rates not seen even back in the early days (see graph). The combination of #covidfatigue, colder weather, and the desire to get (physically) together with family and loved ones is not serving us well. The prospect of a difficult next few weeks for our front line healthcare providers looms.
In an effort to reduce risk where we can, and in the spirit of keeping YOU, and US, healthy, The Village Doctor has decided to again postpone all non-urgent office visits through the end of the year. This means we will be reaching out to our patients to reschedule most existing routine visits at the office for blood draws or ECGs for a date early in the new year when HOPEFULLY the risk landscape will be much more favorable.
This is all a reminder of the power of personal choice, and the importance of “sheltering in place” to the health of our community. Please remember, “hands, face, space”!
Eric Weiss, MD, Nov 30, 2020
NOTE: CV🦠News is a labor of love. If you enjoy reading this, please share widely! Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Please subscribe here.
Relief is insight in the form of a vaccine for COVID-19. Two potential coronavirus vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, could be available in December. Two more, from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, are barreling through final hurdles before Food and Drug Administration review. The federal government’s vaccine accelerator, Operation Warp Speed, has said that 40 million doses of vaccine could be available next month, assuming that regulators greenlight both the Pfizer and Moderna shots.
How will the vaccine be distributed? According to the CDC, manufacturers and the federal government will likely distribute doses based on state conditions and population size. Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary said on Tuesday: “California should get a significant and even the highest amount of vaccination based on those distribution plans.”… Read more
Prerana Sangani, MD, November 30, 2020
A study published online by King’s College London July 9th, showed that antibody levels to SARS-CoV-2 virus may not last very long at all, allowing for reinfection even within the same year. Antibody levels peak sharply after two weeks, but then decline, generally disappearing entirely somewhere between four months and one year. This quickly waning immunity is consistent with our understanding of the four coronavirus OG’s, the “traditional” four members of the coronavirus family for which we have 60 years of research, and which generally only cause colds. They can come back year after year, and reinfect the same people. Even without mutating from year to year like influenza viruses. This raises concern about the potential for herd immunity from natural infections, and raises issues about the immunity conferred from vaccines… Read more
Sky Pittson, MD, Updated December 2, 2020
As of late October, Remdesivir (made by Gilead) became the first and only fully FDA approved treatment for COVID-19 in the US. Remdesivir is a medication that must be given through an IV and thus is only used on patients 12 years and older who require hospitalization.
Since May, it has been in use for the treatment of COVID under an emergency use authorization and has helped to shorten the recovery time of some hospitalized patients, typically those requiring oxygen support. A randomized and controlled study of 1,060 hospitalized patients done by Gilead, “found that Remdesivir contributed to significantly-reduced mortality among those in the early stages of receiving oxygen support. However, it did not find a statistically significant reduction in death rates across the entirety of patients treated in the trial.”… Read more
Jackie Phillips, MD, December 1, 2020
The cycle threshold is a property of the PCR test that indicates how much virus an infected person harbors. Standard PCR tests identify SARS-CoV-2 infection by identifying and amplifying viral RNA using a procedure known as polymerase chain reaction, which relies on multiple cycles of amplification to produce a detectable amount of RNA. The best-in-class PCR tests can reliably detect as few as 100 copies of viral RNA in a milliliter of spit or snot.
The CT value, or cycle threshold, is the number of cycles necessary to detect a virus. If a positive signal isn’t seen after 37 to 40 cycles, the test is negative. CT values correlate inversely with the amount of viral RNA present in the sample – for example, a test that results positive after 12 rounds (CT value = 12) starts out with more than 10 million times as much viral genetic material as a sample with a CT value of 35… Read more
Jennifer Abrams, MD, December 1 2020
If you have made it this far, time for a reward, something to lighten your day, and acknowledge the human spirit. Find some escape, or perhaps even inspiration, in this ever growing collection of works and perspectives gathered from around the world. Please contact me directly if you have come across something that has lifted your heart today. Dr. Eric Weiss
“The Show Must Go On”
Another emotional yet uplifting watch, Amazon’s Christmas 2020 advert.
The story follows a young ballet dancer whose ballet performance is cancelled due to Coronavirus, but with help from her family and community, her show still went on.
No cash please, just good deeds
Linda Tutt High School in Sanger, Texas, has opened a grocery store for students, staff and their families. But it doesn’t accept money, just good deeds.
The store is entirely student-run and operates on a point system, where students can earn points for positive office referrals, cleaning around the school building and other good deeds.
“A lot of our students come from low socioeconomic families,” said principal Anthony Love. “It’s a way for students to earn the ability to shop for their families.”
A reminder of our beautiful planet
A collection of award-winning photos that showcase how lucky we are to live on such a beautiful planet
Take a look at the winning entries in the 2020 Siena International Photo Awards by clicking here!
Again, CV🦠News is a labor of love. If you enjoy reading this, please share widely! Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Please subscribe here.
Yours, in health and resilience,
Eric and the TVD MD team…