COVID19 Tsunami in America



The United States, after conducting the most extraordinarily perfect democratic election process, perhaps against all odds, now suffers a huge spike in COVID-19 cases as is the rest of the world.

  1. The Mayo Clinic has just terminated elective surgery.
  2. 150,000 people were infected yesterday in America.
  3. 3,450 of that 150k will die based on today’s  current case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.3%

by Melissa Hemingway, Sharon Santiago and Rosa Yamamoto


This article last updated: 2020-11-14T01:05:53-05:00 to include 3M anti-price gouging data.

3M Has announced the following as of 8 April 8, 2020 rev2

3M Has announced the above prices for its respirators as of 8 April 8, 2020 rev2. Source: 3M

N95 Masks at Home Depot

Photo: Home Depot
Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag

How fast can America produce certified N-95 masks for all hospital workers and all adults going to work among other people each day? Why has that not happened?

Many Americans say that the death rate for COVID-19 has dropped. Not really true. Yes SARS2 has killed the most vulnerable immediately but it is killing today what the eventual Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is going to be. In other words, nobody knows. The IFR will not be known until the pandemic is over. It can be estimated but that is just a talking point. Nobody knows. If everyone wears a mask and follows public health guidelines to end the pandemic, IFR will be known sooner.

Some say the virus is going away. Not true.

“Actually that cannot possibly be known until the pandemic has ended; and America is using an inaccurate death count that is so far from reality that to make any assessment valid, only the excess death count functions,” explains Fred Harris who leads the Civil Society Partners for COVID-19 Pandemic Solidarity tracking team.


How much lockdown time could be averted by having seniors and the most vulnerable wear an N-95 respirator mask if and when going out of the home to anywhere around people?


That the United States is not able to manufacture sufficient quantities of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is more than worrisome—it is hard to believe.


The data for these projections, graphs and deductions comes from Civil Society Partners for COVID-19 Pandemic Solidarity, The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and a study conducted by published at The Lancet.


Findings on Mask Wearing by

“Our search identified 172 observational studies across 16 countries and six continents, with no randomised controlled trials and 44 relevant comparative studies in health-care and non-health-care settings (n=25 697 patients). Transmission of viruses was lower with physical distancing of 1 m or more, compared with a distance of less than 1 m (n=10 736, pooled adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0·18, 95% CI 0·09 to 0·38; risk difference [RD] −10·2%, 95% CI −11·5 to −7·5; moderate certainty); protection was increased as distance was lengthened (change in relative risk [RR] 2·02 per m; pinteraction=0·041; moderate certainty). Face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection (n=2647; aOR 0·15, 95% CI 0·07 to 0·34, RD −14·3%, −15·9 to −10·7; low certainty), with stronger associations with N95 or similar respirators compared with disposable surgical masks or similar (eg, reusable 12–16-layer cotton masks; pinteraction=0·090; posterior probability >95%, low certainty). Eye protection also was associated with less infection (n=3713; aOR 0·22, 95% CI 0·12 to 0·39, RD −10·6%, 95% CI −12·5 to −7·7; low certainty). Unadjusted studies and subgroup and sensitivity analyses showed similar findings.” Citing The Lancet

Interpretation of studies of existing data for mitigation measures

  1.  The risk for infection is highly dependent on distance to the individual infected and the type of face mask and eye protection worn.
  2. N95 respirators are more strongly associated with protection from viral transmission than surgical masks.
  3. Both N95 and surgical masks offer much more protection compared with single-layer cloth masks.
  4. Eye protection will also add substantial protection.
  5. For the general public, physical distancing of more than 1 meter is highly effective and that face masks are associated with protection, with either disposable surgical masks or reusable 12–16-layer cotton ones.
  6. Eye protection is typically under-considered and can be effective in community settings.
  7. No intervention, even when properly used, was associated with complete droplet protection from infection.
  8. Other basic measures (i.e.:, hand hygiene) are still needed in addition to physical distancing and use of face masks and eye protection.
  9. The studies did not look at aerosolized microscopic particles of SARS2 virus but others indicate a properly fitted and tested  N-95 mask will protect wearers from 95% of such particles.
  10. China’s success in fighting this pandemic virus is based on how China perfected the best CTTIO (Contact Tracing / Treatment / Isolation / Observation) system in the world; and its comprehension of how the virus is transmitted.
  11. The China department of health is 100% convinced of the danger of airborne transmission of SARS2-CoV-2 and has acted vigorously to protect its people. Today, life in China is normalized.

 

The cumulative cases paired to daily cases in the United States

The cumulative COVID-19 cases paired to daily cases in the United States. Source: Civil Society Partners for COVID-19 Pandemic Solidarity,

N-95 Associated with massive reductions in virus transmission

(Sidebar from: “…NGOs urge better PPE“)

According to Monique Deslaurier, the USA Executive Director of the The RINJ Foundation, RINJ officials heard from some very concerned and emotional members who work part time as volunteers for the organization and full time in hospitals in senior medical positions.

“The status of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospitals in the United States, for example, is deplorable. Surgeons and nurses are having to do rounds wearing nothing but spit barrier masks because they do not have N95 respirators which is what is indicated,” says the US director about the digital video meeting.

Current knowledge on the effectiveness of face masks to prevent SARS2 virus transmission from COVID-19, SARS, MERS and H1N1 is mostly limited to studies of surgical masks and N95 respirators.

The majority of existing studies are conducted in health care settings and focus on protection of the mask wearer as opposed to wearing a mask for the protection of others.

This distinction is vital since mask wearing for the general public occurs in non-clinical situations (home, public transport, shops, restaurants) and involves both protection of oneself but also others.

N95 respirators were included in the most recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Lancet.

Based on 29 studies, the authors concluded that the use of N95 respirators were associated with massive reductions in virus transmission.

COVID-19 Infections around the world are rising furiously.

COVID-19 Infections around the world are rising furiously. Source: Civil Society Partners for COVID-19 Pandemic Solidarity,

Regardless, the problem needs to be fixed. FPMag did some checking and learned that huge quantities of KN-95 masks are available from China’s massive Health Department-inspected production and inventories. The standards are good, not much different from NIOSH N-95.

25 Countries with the most active cases.

25 Countries with the most numbers of active cases. These are the numbers of people who are infected right now. The capacity to spread the disease is worse now than it ever has been. Source: Civil Society Partners for COVID-19 Pandemic Solidarity,

Hard to wear a mask when there are none.

Most of the consumer fashion masks that one can buy in the United States are of little or no use. They might block large droplets containing SARS-CoV-2 particles from a sneeze, maybe. But watching the people wear these things under their noses or under their chins is alarming. Why bother.

Actual and forecast excess deaths caused by COVID-19.

This graph is no longer a worst case scenario. It is happening. Source: Civil Society Partners for Human Solidarity against COVID-19
There was a computer model that predicted 196 million COVID-19 Infections in the USA and & 8.2 million deaths over the coming years as a modest estimate. The infection death rate (IFR) will likely be worse than current estimates for the following reasons…Continue reading 

University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts 500,000 reported case fatalities (CFR) by February 2021

Identical thinking:University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts 500,000 reported case fatalities (CFR) by February 2021. Civil Society Partners predict 580,000 of excess deaths that are most likely caused by COVID-19 disease and closer to what will eventually be revealed as Infection Fatality Rate (IFR)

Americans must have noticed that the country has been doing something wrong?

“Wear a good mask that protects the wearer,” suggests Calais, Maine nurse Monique Deslauriers.

“The best is an N-95 (N-99s are too hard to breath through during exertion.) There are many sizes and types of NIOSH N-95s. The moniker is actually a reference to the standards that must be met. There are many brands and types and price points,” she explains.


“Instead of an N-95, a minimum of three layers or more of unique fabric is good—certainly better than a spit barrier mask (surgical mask).  Most families can make these themselves,” says nurse Monique. “People need to protect their own respiratory system and others by filtering what they inhale and what they exhale. Marry this to public health directives like hand hygiene; social distancing; stay-at-home-stay-safe guidelines for the vulnerable population; and general health habits, and  the virus will be denied any further hosts.”


“Some of the theories on transmission of SARS2 are from the brain dead zones,” suggests Harris.  “In Wuhan where the first and most studied cases evolved, much was learned about the transmission of COVID-19. The fact that people three floors up from the COVID-19 ward were contracting the disease tells a huge story about aerosolized spread of the disease in a closed quarters, distant contact, infection regime. HVAC is not COVID-proof,” he added with emphasis.

“An infected patient can fill a room with enough SARS-CoV-2 pathogens to make anyone breathing that air very sick. Those particles will float around for a very long time,” says Kathy Poon, a nurse practitioner currently working in Taipei, Taiwan but previously based in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Republic of China.

“In China, the public health system sprays streets, sidewalks and indoor rooms with liquid and aerosolized water / chlorine mixture. In the air the chlorine mixes molecularly the same way lysol spray kills airborne mold spores and the water slows dissipation of the chlorine on surfaces and destroys the outer membrane of the SARS2 virus,” says Sara Qin a Wuhan nurse.

Spit barriers do not block inhaled or exhaled aerosolized SARS2-CoV2

Spit barriers do not block inhaled or exhaled aerosolized SARS2-CoV2.  Photo Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag

“We have observed medical practitioners in hospitals working inside and traversing COVID-19 wards in the USA wearing spit barriers,” says nurse practitioner Monique Deslauriers.

“The doctors must feel naked without a respirator,” she added.


The data for these projections, graphs and deductions comes from Civil Society Partners for COVID-19 Pandemic Solidarity, The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and a study conducted by published at The Lancet.

  1. 3M Respirator_mask_comparisons
  2. 3M N95_Respirator_Pricing_revB
  3. 3M April 2020 Price List Rev. 2

“Wearing a mask and a face shield to go shopping helps protect masks that are to be reused which is necessary despite not being the original intent. The shield and mask combination is very effective. Some countries require this combination.  Again it enables greater reusability of the mask,” notes nurses Qin.

Wear a face shield. This type is best because it blocks a throughput of air from top to bottom.

Wearing a mask and a face shield to go shopping helps protect your mask and enables greater reusability of the mask. Photo, Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag

COVID-19 is in the air

COVID-19 Is In The Air — Iranian firefighters have been trained to double up as disinfection teams spraying and fogging chlorine-based disinfectant. Photo: Source supplied

This is one of our favourite heavy fluid resistant masks with goggles.

Vulnerable patients need extra protection. Shown here is one of The Nurses Without Borders favourite heavy fluid resistant masks, with goggles. They are great for Urgent Care Units and COVID-19 wards.  It is manufactured by Kimberly Clark. For routine wear, they can be cleaned with sunlight and reused for a long time. Photo Credit: Melissa Hemingway.  Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag


The Nurses Without Borders Assembled A Video for Family Members who (heaven-forbid) must care for a COVID-19 Patient at Home.

Training Video for People Who Must Care for a COVID-19-sick family member at home. If you do not have an isolation gown, any similar clothing item that can be dumped into the wash after leaving the patient room will suffice. Gloves and masks plus eyewear are all important. For what you don’t have, “Be Wise—Improvise” but above all, protect yourself and the other members of your family that you could otherwise infect. Good luck.


Masks with breathing valves are dangerous

Masks with valves to make breathing easier are dangerous. They only protect the wearer but if the wearer is infected, even large particles are exhaled into the air around the wearer.

Most masks with three or more layers of unique weave fabric work very well.

Considerable testing has been done over the years on three-layered unique-weave masks because of the need for a protective shield against pollution in many parts of the world. The results are somewhat random and depend on the quality and weave pattern of the three layers.

The three unique layered masks work because of random criss-cross match of the weaved layers. The mask must be washed daily. Soap and water is enough. They can be washed many times in the washing machine with the other laundry.

Very small particles get trapped between the layers so cleaning the masks carefully and often is essential. Only touch the strings and not the mask itself when removing.

“Under a powerful microscope, viewing what is collected in between the mask layers would terrify most people,” says Qin. “We have seen bacteria, virus particles, mold, and living parasites.”

“A genuine Chinese KN-95 is very good. But there may be as many fakes as genuine masks in circulation,” worries nurse Sara.

“KN-95 standards are pretty much the same as the American N-95 standard except the masks are a little easier to breathe through. One must be careful to buy from a reliable source.  US Pharmacy chains and department stores have good buyers who know what to look for. It’s critical because there are many non-functional knock offs. What’s needed is for the US government to cancel the trade embargos—especially the ones killing Americans,” notes the Wuhan nurse.

Conclude that Every vulnerable American needs to wear an N-95 mask if they must go out. Others can wear an N95 or a three-layered unique weave mask.

N-95 masks that protect the wearer from most SARS2 particles are the same masks people wear while sanding, grinding, sweeping sawdust, painting, etceteras. Hardware stores sell them. But the USA government needs to address this problem and stop hording the 3M N95 masks.

 


Editor’s notes:


Full statement of  Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council & The Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees

Editor’s Introduction:
America should be congratulated for its 2020 major election in the midst of a pandemic wherein nearly 150 million voters cast secure ballots in the safest, most secure election balloting and counting in the most difficult times in all human history. Voters availed themselves of an excellent and secure mail-in balloting system plus plenty of early voting poll station openings for in person votes. Voters maintained social distancing; wore masks; and exhibited both pride and commitment to democratic processes. This is what several US officials have told FPMag and is confirmed in numerous reports.

In the context of the large numbers and the horrid pandemic, the accomplishment is extraordinary.

A division of the US Homeland Security department said, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”


The members of Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC)  released the following statement:

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.

“When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary. This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.

“Other security measures like pre-election testing, state certification of voting equipment, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) certification of voting equipment help to build additional confidence in the voting systems used in 2020.

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

The statement is signed by: The members of Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Assistant Director Bob Kolasky, U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chair Benjamin Hovland, National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) President Maggie Toulouse Oliver, National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) President Lori Augino, and Escambia County (Florida) Supervisor of Elections David Stafford – and the members of the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) – Chair Brian Hancock (Unisyn Voting Solutions), Vice Chair Sam Derheimer (Hart InterCivic), Chris Wlaschin (Election Systems & Software), Ericka Haas (Electronic Registration Information Center), and Maria Bianchi (Democracy Works).