November 22, 2020

Current Doubling Time for the Number of COVID 19 Deaths in the United States is Decreasing.

The graph below is based on confirmed COVID19 death data reported from the CDC. 

These numbers may lag slightly behind other US reporting sources and will underestimate the actual current death total from COVID19. For that reason, I have calculated and plotted the doubling time in days averaged over a moving seven day period. Doubling time based on the previous seven days average as of 11/16/2020 was 142 days, passing through 246,000 deaths. As of 11/22/2020 this has rapidly dropped to 119 days doubling time passing through 255,000 deaths from COVID10. A graph of the doubling time is shown here. 

November 11, 2020

November 2020: The Rule of 70 and Why Your Hospitals are Feeling the COVID Tsunami Second Wave

Math helps us understand disease spread in populations. A historical view of the rise in cases of COVID19 as the first wave hit in March 2020. The apparent and surprising rise in cases after a long period of just a few cases is typical of the exponential nature of pandemic disease spread in populations. US data seems to have an instant-looking start because there was no significant amount of patient testing, then testing is being increased. Back in March, the actual cases in a population spreading COVID19 were increasing at 12% a day, which the Rule of 70 tells us is a doubling every 6 days. (Graph by KPMitton from CSSEGIS COVID19 data )

1/11/2020 UPDATE: 

This is an update of a posting I wrote back in March 2020 in the first wave of COVID19 just rising mostly in states where COVID19 first arrived. We are in danger again of having local hot spot states now like North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, where the percent daily increases in cases exceed 5% per day. Early in 2020, we were up to a national average of 12% per day in the first wave. Rates one month ago had dropped well below 1% but now the average US daily increase in cases over last week had risen to 1.5 % per day, but that is the average of all 50 states. In hot states now we are having community locations with over 5% daily increases, and the experience in March will now happen again in November and December 2020. When you have a constant percent daily increase in case number, this percentage factor leads to an acceleration in numbers that can easily and suddenly fill a hospital. Here is the reason, the simple math behind it all. The Rule of 70.

October 23, 2020

In search of reliable mobile fast tests for COVID-19 Antibodies.

 

While all research labs were shut down for a few months, late March to mid-June 2020, for all but COVID19 related research, I turned my biochemical skills to a project to help evaluate one version of a serum COVID-19 antibody test that can use a single droplet (10 microliters) of blood from a finger-poke and which gives a reliable result in 15 minutes. Also without using any powered equipment. Cheap, mobile reliable tests like this can be used in almost any location. The problem in January to March 2020 was that many unreliable kits for such tests were rolled out mostly by firms looking to cash in, even selling online to the public. The main problem with those test kits was that they either 1) fail to detect antibodies to COVID19 when people have them, or 2) they say you are positive for antibodies to COVID19 BUT you are not.

Using finger-tip blood for tests of this type is very possible, and in fact, there are FDA and European Union approved tests that use this format "lateral flow test" for AIDS and Legionnaires Disease. However, those tests have been around for some time and were of course tested to confirm their reliability. So I approached a particular manufacturer of antibody-based research reagents when I heard they were turning their expertise to making a reliable family of tests for COVID19 antibodies in blood. 

September 1, 2020

No Longer Up to Date under White House suppression: (United States Interactive Map Coronavirus Cases, Deaths.)

This CDC data release is far behind actual numbers under the Trump White House and I have removed this map and its table data on 11/11/2020 due to its delayed and suppressed reporting. KP Mitton




August 20, 2020

Interactive Graphs: COVID19 Cases, Deaths. (updated daily)

Here are graphs that you can adjust to look at different timelines for cases of illness and deaths for any country. I have embedded iFrame code in this posting to give you graphs that you can control. Table and MAP views are also available. You can return here as the data updates automatically. 

June 22, 2020

How the Family of a Bioscientist Shops and Cleans Groceries in the Midst of The American Pandemic of 2020.

I know you have anxiety about shopping for food for you and your family. I know you are scared. You can be afraid. Fear is normal when there is danger, but stop thinking about it and prepare to get your groceries. You can do this. You can order them for delivery, but it is true that delivery is not smooth in all parts of the United States. If you can find a grocery store that is using staff to control traffic of shoppers: distance control, limited numbers of people in stores, a system for sterilizing wagons for you, separation in check out lines, procedures for protecting you and the cashiers, then you can shop yourself as well. This too may vary around the country. In either case, what do we do when we get our food at our door? Well, in our household we wash them, in warm water with regular dish soap. NOT surface cleaners. DISH SOAP. The CDC does not recommending washing food packaging or foods with household surface cleaners because those would be toxic chemicals if they contaminate your food. 

I know that viruses are actually very susceptible to soap, detergents, and their main molecular components dissolve nicely in soapy water. Make sure you have enough dish soap to make suds, bubbles. Of course, any food you cook will destroy the virus too, but you can still wash your veggies for your salads and for safe handing in your own home doing food preparation. Make sure you rinse off all your dish soapy water well, but just use dish soap and do not use surface cleaners on your food.

You should be able to also use tap water washing without any soap at all, but I have heard from persons who have lots of anxiety about shopping for fresh food, and dish soap in water may help you feel less of that anxiety. 

Again, just use dish soap made for washing food dishes, and just use the dish soap in lots of water. Rinse the wash water off. Let your produce drip dry a few minutes before you try to place them in the fridge. 

Here is a little video on how. It's easy. 

You can do this. You can :).




Here are some updated guidelines from the US CDC regarding COVID-19 and food. So far there is no evidence that the spread of COVID-19 happens from food or the risk is extremely low. 
US CDC Food Guide for COVID-19