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  1. Apr 2022
    1. In June, Taco Bell locations in California offered "a free seasoned beef Nacho Cheese Doritos® Locos Tacos" to anyone who provided proof of vaccination. The company said it was offering the promotion because there are "still plenty of young people who need to get vaccinated." The company said that it was important to "increase vaccinations" to keep everyone safe. But if you stop in for a Chalupa today, the odds are that your cashier still won't be vaccinated. A new study found that, as of November 2021, just 46% of Taco Bell workers have received a vaccine. The same study found low vaccination rates at many of the nation's most popular casual restaurants — including Subway (43%), IHOP (47%), Waffle House (50%), Burger King (51%), Domino's (51%), Chick-fil-A (53%), and Wendy's (54%). Frontline employees at these establishments are at high risk because they are exposed to large numbers of people in enclosed spaces. Yet their vaccination rates lag well behind the overall adult population (72%). 
    1. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected millions of people globally, yet how the human immune system responds to and influences COVID-19 severity remains unclear. Mathew et al. present a comprehensive atlas of immune modulation associated with COVID-19. They performed high-dimensional flow cytometry of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and found three prominent and distinct immunotypes that are related to disease severity and clinical parameters. Arunachalam et al. report a systems biology approach to assess the immune system of COVID-19 patients with mild-to-severe disease. These studies provide a compendium of immune cell information and roadmaps for potential therapeutic interventions.
    1. Throughout the pandemic, wearing a face mask has been one of the best ways that anyone can easily reduce their risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. Putting aside the often contentious debate over mask mandates, face masks remain a crucial and effective individual tool, which is why it continues to be frustrating that most people, two years in, are not wearing better masks.
    1. As part of the July 21, 2021 FeedbackASAP meeting, Ludo Waltman (CWTS, Leiden University), James Fraser (UCSF), Cooper Smout (Free Our Knowledge) organized a breakout session entitled “Posting journal reviews on preprints” to identity an evolutionary bridge between a system based around journal-organized peer review and referred preprints.
    1. In the last decade Open Science principles have been successfully advocated for and are being slowly adopted in different research communities. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic many publishers and researchers have sped up their adoption of Open Science practices, sometimes embracing them fully and sometimes partially or in a sub-optimal manner. In this article, we express concerns about the violation of some of the Open Science principles and its potential impact on the quality of research output. We provide evidence of the misuses of these principles at different stages of the scientific process. We call for a wider adoption of Open Science practices in the hope that this work will encourage a broader endorsement of Open Science principles and serve as a reminder that science should always be a rigorous process, reliable and transparent, especially in the context of a pandemic where research findings are being translated into practice even more rapidly. We provide all data and scripts at https://osf.io/renxy/.
    1. This article reviews the current state of knowledge and promising new directions concerning the psychology of pandemics. Pandemics are disease outbreaks that spread globally. Historically, psychological factors have been neglected by researchers and health authorities despite evidence that pandemics are, to a large extent, psychological phenomena whereby beliefs and behaviors influence the spreading versus containment of infection. Psychological factors are important in determining (a) adherence to pandemic mitigation methods (e.g., adherence to social distancing), (b) pandemic-related social disruption (e.g., panic buying, racism, antilockdown protests), and (c) pandemic-related distress and related problems (e.g., anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, prolonged grief disorder). The psychology of pandemics has emerged as an important field of research and practice during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As a scholarly discipline, the psychology of pandemics is fragmented and diverse, encompassing various psychological subspecialties and allied disciplines, but is vital for shaping clinical practice and public health guidelines for COVID-19 and future pandemics. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Volume 18 is May 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
    1. We really need follow-up effectiveness data on the J&J one shot vaccine, but not sure what this study tells us. A short epi 101 on case-control studies & why they’re hard to interpret.
    1. Now that the FDA has authorized the shots for a broad range of Americans, many people want to know if they need a booster dose. Here’s what we have learned so far
    1. Countries across the globe are currently experiencing a third or fourth wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections; therefore, the need for effective vaccination campaigns is higher than ever. However, effectiveness of these campaigns in disease reduction is highly dependent on vaccination uptake and coverage in susceptible populations. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis estimated the vaccination intention and identified determinants of willingness and hesitancy. This study updates the existing body of literature on vaccination willingness, and was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. PubMed was searched for publications, selecting only studies published between 20 October 2020 and 1 March 2021, in English, with participants aged >16 years of age. The search identified 411 articles, of which 63 surveys were included that accounted for more than 30 countries worldwide. The global COVID-19 vaccination willingness was estimated at 66.01% [95% CI: 60.76–70.89% I2 = 99.4% [99.3%; 99.4%]; τ2 = 0.83]. The vaccination willingness varied within as well as between countries. Age, gender, education, attitudes and perceptions about vaccines were most frequently observed to be significantly associated with vaccine acceptance or refusal. View Full-Text
    1. This week, YouTube joined Twitter and Facebook in banning misinformation about vaccines from social media. But many myths about the COVID-19 vaccines still persist.The Covid-19 vaccines are overwhelmingly effective, reducing the risk of hospitalization and death by 95%. They are also incredibly safe—severe side effects are exceptionally rare, occurring in just 0.002% of the 390 million doses that have been delivered. Compare that to the 1.6% mortality rate of Covid-19, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 700,000 Americans.
    1. Company documents show antivaccine activists undermined the CEO’s ambition to support the rollout by flooding the site and using Facebook’s own tools to sow doubt about the Covid-19 vaccine
    1. Thread On tests and the media It is almost universal that any piece discussing Rapid Ag tests says “PCR is more accurate but…” But even this isn’t true. It simply depends what you want to detect. If wanting to identify ppl who are contagious, PCR is much less accurate.
    1. To assess the effectiveness of vaccination in preventing severe forms of Covid-19, EPI-PHARE conducted two real-life studies in parallel using data from the SNDS (National Health Data System), one in 15, 4 million people aged 50 to 74 (7.7 million vaccinated compared to 7.7 million unvaccinated) the other in 7.2 million people aged 75 and over (3.6 million vaccinated compared to 3 .6 million unvaccinated). Both cohorts were followed until July 20, 2021.
    1. Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the United Kingdom to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. At this time, trial data were lacking, and we addressed this in a study of United Kingdom healthcare workers. The first vaccine dose induced protection from infection from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant over several weeks. In a substudy of 589 individuals, we show that this single dose induces severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses and a sustained B and T cell response to the spike protein. NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6–14 weeks) compared with the conventional 3- to 4-week regimen, accompanied by enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing interleukin-2 (IL-2). Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection amplified and accelerated the response. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective immunogenic protocol.
    1. he data tracking Australia’s COVID-19 developments are in the charts below, which provide a guide to how the country is faring in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.The figures are from a national dataset of every case confirmed by state and federal health authorities since January 25, 2020, when the country’s first four cases were reported. The dataset is supplemented with additional reporting by ABC News.The charts are updated daily, so bookmark this page to stay up-to-date.
    1. These one-hour webinars, held Saturdays at 3 p.m. ET, focus on timely issues of relevance to clinicians and feature case presentations by experts in the field, synthesis of new data, and an opportunity to engage with colleagues. Register for next week here.
    1. Polis is a real-time system for gathering, analyzing and understanding what large groups of people think in their own words, enabled by advanced statistics and machine learning.
    1. Summary What is already known about this topic? Ventilation systems can be supplemented with portable high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners to reduce the number of airborne infectious particles. What is added by this report? A simulated infected meeting participant who was exhaling aerosols was placed in a room with two simulated uninfected participants and a simulated uninfected speaker. Using two HEPA air cleaners close to the aerosol source reduced the aerosol exposure of the uninfected participants and speaker by up to 65%. A combination of HEPA air cleaners and universal masking reduced exposure by up to 90%. What are the implications for public health practice? Portable HEPA air cleaners can reduce exposure to simulated SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in indoor environments, especially when combined with universal masking.
    1. In January 2020, reports began to circulate internationally of a pneumonia-like illness spreading in China. Little was known about the novel pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, at that time. As scientists and public health experts worked to understand the virus, reporters worked to communicate to the public the state of the knowledge — an ever-shifting ground. From the transmission debate, to the origins investigation, to changes in mask guidance, to vaccine safety concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a particularly precarious nexus of science, politics, journalism, social media, and policy. This panel discussion reflected on this tenuous situation, potential areas of improvement in pandemic reporting, and lessons learned from recent experience. Panelists Introduction: Chloe Reichel, Editor-in-Chief, Bill of Health and Communications Associate, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School Kai Kupferschmidt, contributing correspondent, Science magazine Apoorva Mandavilli, health and science reporter, The New York Times Amy Maxmen, senior reporter, Nature Emily Woodruff, health reporter, The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate Moderator: Alexandra L. Phelan, Assistant Professor, Center for Global Health Science and Security, Georgetown University Sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. For more information, visit the website https://petrieflom.law.harvard.edu/ev....
    1. We tested whether COVID-19 incidence and hospitalization rates during the Delta variant-related surge were inversely related to vaccination coverage among the 112 most populous counties in the United States, together comprising 44 percent of the country’s total population. We measured vaccination coverage as the percent of the county population fully vaccinated as of July 15, 2021. We measured COVID-19 incidence as the number of confirmed cases per 100,000 population during the 14-day period ending August 12, 2021 and hospitalization rates as the number of confirmed COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population during the same 14-day period. In log-linear regression models, a 10-percentage-point increase in vaccination coverage was associated with a 28.3% decrease in COVID-19 incidence (95% confidence interval, 16.8 - 39.7%), a 44.9 percent decrease in the rate of COVID-19 hospitalization (95% CI, 28.8 - 61.0%), and a 16.6% decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100 cases (95% CI, 8.4 - 24.8%). Inclusion of demographic covariables, as well as county-specific diabetes prevalence, did not weaken the observed inverse relationship with vaccination coverage. A significant inverse relationship between vaccination coverage and COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 during August 20 – September 16 was also observed. The cumulative incidence of COVID-19 through June 30, 2021, a potential indicator of acquired immunity due to past infection, had no significant relation to subsequent case incidence or hospitalization rates in August. Higher vaccination coverage was associated not only with significantly lower COVID-19 incidence during the Delta surge, but also significantly less severe cases of the disease.
    1. Subramanian and Kumar (2021) found that COVID-19 vaccination rates were unrelated to infection rates across 68 countries and 2947 U.S. counties. We argue that their null effects resulted from 1) failure to attend to other variables related to infection rates that could obscure the ability to detect relationships between vaccination and infection rates and 2) unreliability of some of the data on vaccination and infection rates. We collected data on COVID-19 infection per million (IPM) and death per million (DPM) rates, as well as median age, in 120 countries for the week ending Oct. 22, 2021, and on IPM rates for U.S. states for nine weeks dispersed over a 3 ½ month period. In the global data, there were significant relationships between vaccination rates and COVID-19 IPM and DPM rates which became significantly stronger when median age was used as a covariate. Across U.S. states and European countries, which do not vary substantially in population age, these relationships were strong without using age as a covariate. We discuss Subramanian and Kumar (2021) in the context of methodological flaws that can obscure true relationships in terms of the disservice done to the vaccine-hesitant when invalid null findings regarding vaccine efficacy are sensationalized by the media, and in terms of unintentionally giving ammunition to anti-vax propagandists.
    1. Vaccines currently are the primary mitigation strategy to combat COVID-19 around the world. For instance, the narrative related to the ongoing surge of new cases in the United States (US) is argued to be driven by areas with low vaccination rates [1]. A similar narrative also has been observed in countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom [2]. At the same time, Israel that was hailed for its swift and high rates of vaccination has also seen a substantial resurgence in COVID-19 cases [3]. We investigate the relationship between the percentage of population  fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases across 68 countries and across 2947 counties in the US.
    1. The COVID-19 vaccine tracker and landscape compiles detailed information of each COVID-19 vaccine candidate in development by closely monitoring their progress through the pipeline.
    1. Slippery slope arguments (SSAs) have a bad philosophical reputation. They seem, however, to be widely used and frequently accepted in many legal, political, and ethical contexts. Hahn and Oaksford (2007) argued that distinguishing strong and weak SSAs may have a rational basis in Bayesian decision theory. In this paper three experiments investigated the mechanism of the slippery slope showing that they may have an objective basis in category boundary re-appraisal. When the beginning and the end of a slippery slope are more similar, the probability that they are perceived to belong in the same category is higher and the SSA is stronger. Experiment 1 established a robust effect of probability on SSA evaluation. Experiments 2 and 2A showed that when similar items are classified in the same category this leads to stronger SSAs. In Experiment 3, in a correlational analysis, it was shown that participants’ confidence in their categorisation judgements predicted the perceived strength of an SSA and that this relationship was moderated by similarity between the ends of the slippery slope. We conclude that an important aspect of many SSAs may have an objective basis in well-established and rational cognitive theories.
    1. On 26 November 2021, WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named Omicron, on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE).  This decision was based on the evidence presented to the TAG-VE that Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes. Here is a summary of what is currently known.  
    1. reliminary laboratory studies demonstrate that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine neutralize the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529 lineage) while two doses show significantly reduced neutralization titers Data indicate that a third dose of BNT162b2 increases the neutralizing antibody titers by 25-fold compared to two doses against the Omicron variant; titers after the booster dose are comparable to titers observed after two doses against the wild-type virus which are associated with high levels of protectionAs 80% of epitopes in the spike protein recognized by CD8+ T cells are not affected by the mutations in the Omicron variant, two doses may still induce protection against severe diseaseThe companies continue to advance the development of a variant-specific vaccine for Omicron and expect to have it available by March in the event that an adaption is needed to further increase the level and duration of protection – with no change expected to the companies’ four billion dose capacity for 2022
    1. Most experts agree eradicating COVID-19 is now almost certainly out of the questionBut even in the absence of herd immunity, vaccines considerably reduce severe diseaseOver time COVID-19, like other infectious diseases such as the flu, will become endemic
    1. Design and analysis of COVID vaccine trials: the familiar and the strange Organized by the SnB2022 Conference (http://snb2022.paris/) powered by the french society
    1. Incoming government recommending unvaccinated citizens be banned from public transportIt will also bar the unvaccinated from going to work and recommend WFH for allComes amid soaring infections and sluggish vaccine rollout across countryStates are warning that their hospitals will hit capacity by early December 
    1. Few topics in health policy have generated as much debate—and frustration—among public health experts as the issue of vaccine safety. Misinformation around the science of vaccination continues to spread, and too often the media fails to report bad science for what it is.   Using science-informed analysis alongside original art and powerful essays, health science leader Timothy Caulfield debunks the myths and false assumptions about vaccination safety and effectiveness. Accessible, informative, and entertaining, The Vaccination Picture tells the true story of vaccines, their uses, and their positive effects for everyone.…
    1. LIVE NOW: With news of a new virus strain emerging, it is crucial to consider what the pandemic will look like for us long-term, years from now. With experts @ViolaPriesemann @EmilIftekhar & Prof.Knottnerus. Plus the latest numbers from @chrischirp.
    1. Im Corona-Hotspot Erzgebirgskreis haben sich zahlreiche Menschen versammelt, um unter anderem gegen die Impfpflicht zu protestieren. Vor allem Krankenhäuser waren das Ziel der Menge. Die Inzidenz liegt bei 2.000.
    1. Self-correction—a key feature distinguishing science from pseudoscience—requires that scientists update their beliefs in light of new evidence. However, people are often reluctant to change their beliefs. We examined belief updating in action by tracking research psychologists’ beliefs in psychological effects before and after the completion of four large-scale replication projects. We found that psychologists did update their beliefs; they updated as much as they predicted they would, but not as much as our Bayesian model suggests they should if they trust the results. We found no evidence that psychologists became more critical of replications when it would have preserved their pre-existing beliefs. We also found no evidence that personal investment or lack of expertise discouraged belief updating, but people higher on intellectual humility updated their beliefs slightly more. Overall, our results suggest that replication studies can contribute to self-correction within psychology, but psychologists may underweight their evidentiary value.
    1. Vaccines to protect young children from Covid-19 are likely soon on their way. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children ages 5 to 11. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signs off, vaccinations could begin next week.
    1. As the pandemic continues to recede, IHME will update its COVID-19 models and forecasts at the beginning of each month. In the meantime, our researchers will keep track of any developments that might require more frequent updates.
    1. Project N95 is a national non-profit working to provide equitable access for all to affordable, authentic respiratory protection and health products through education, advocacy and distribution of vetted goods and services.
    1. The recent emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is raising concerns because of its increased transmissibility and by its numerous spike mutations with potential to evade neutralizing antibodies elicited by COVID-19 vaccines. The Dominican Republic was among the first countries in recommending the administration of a third dose COVID-19 vaccine to address potential waning immunity and reduced effectiveness against variants. Here, we evaluated the effects of a heterologous BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine booster on the humoral immunity of participants that had received a two-dose regimen of CoronaVac, an inactivated vaccine used globally. We found that heterologous CoronaVac prime followed by BNT162b2 booster regimen induces elevated virus-specific antibody levels and potent neutralization activity against the ancestral virus and Delta variant, resembling the titers obtained after two doses of mRNA vaccines. While neutralization of Omicron was undetectable in participants that had received a two-dose regimen of CoronaVac vaccine, BNT162b2 booster resulted in a 1.4-fold increase in neutralization activity against Omicron, compared to two-dose mRNA vaccine. Despite this increase, neutralizing antibody titers were reduced by 6.3-fold and 2.7-fold for Omicron compared to ancestral and Delta variant, respectively. Surprisingly, previous SARS-CoV-2 infection did not affect the neutralizing titers for Omicron in participants that received the heterologous regimen. Our findings have immediate implications for multiples countries that previously used a two-dose regimen of CoronaVac and reinforce the notion that the Omicron variant is associated with immune escape from vaccines or infection-induced immunity, highlighting the global need for vaccine boosters to combat the impact of emerging variants.
    1. There is ample evidence that masking and social distancing are effective in reducing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. However, due to the complexity of airborne disease transmission, it is difficult to quantify their effectiveness, especially in the case of one-to-one exposure. Here, we introduce the concept of an upper bound for one-to-one exposure to infectious human respiratory particles and apply it to SARS-CoV-2. To calculate exposure and infection risk, we use a comprehensive database on respiratory particle size distribution; exhalation flow physics; leakage from face masks of various types and fits measured on human subjects; consideration of ambient particle shrinkage due to evaporation; and rehydration, inhalability, and deposition in the susceptible airways. We find, for a typical SARS-CoV-2 viral load and infectious dose, that social distancing alone, even at 3.0 m between two speaking individuals, leads to an upper bound of 90% for risk of infection after a few minutes. If only the susceptible wears a face mask with infectious speaking at a distance of 1.5 m, the upper bound drops very significantly; that is, with a surgical mask, the upper bound reaches 90% after 30 min, and, with an FFP2 mask, it remains at about 20% even after 1 h. When both wear a surgical mask, while the infectious is speaking, the very conservative upper bound remains below 30% after 1 h, but, when both wear a well-fitting FFP2 mask, it is 0.4%. We conclude that wearing appropriate masks in the community provides excellent protection for others and oneself, and makes social distancing less important.
    1. As a parent, it has become of increasing concern that the Government has not yet committed to funding increased ventilation in classrooms, in the form of approved HEPA air filter systems/air purifiers.This petition is to ask the Government to immediately fund these in schools/colleges/unis.
    1. Newsnodes and BNO News are working together to cover the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Statistics on cases, deaths, testing, and hospitalizations are updated daily for all states and territories. National statistics are updated daily between 6 and 9 p.m. ET.
    1. Multiple issues with @scotgov assessment of vaccine passports. 1. No evidence that passports will decrease cases at venues (just an infographic!). This is a complex modelling issue that must also account for waning immunity and possibility of more unvaxxed in other settings
    1. Doctors say Australia needs to better protect school children from coronavirus through measures including masks and vaccination, amid concerns about a sharp rise in case numbers in young people overseas.
    1. In August, one of us (CP) wrote about schools being the gaping hole in the English covid strategy. This was written in the face of the highly transmissible delta covid-19 variant.1 Three failings were identified: delayed vaccination of 12-15 year olds; lack of public health measures in schools such as masks and ventilation; and continued high community transmission leaving schools vulnerable. So what happened? And what needs to happen next?
    1. AbstractBACKGROUND Waning of COVID-19 vaccine protection and emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant have expedited efforts to scale up booster vaccination. This study compared protection afforded by booster doses of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines, compared to the primary series of only two doses in Qatar, during a large, rapidly growing Omicron wave.METHODS In a population of 2,232,224 vaccinated persons with at least two doses, two matched, retrospective cohort studies were implemented to investigate effectiveness of booster vaccination against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and against COVID-19 hospitalization and death, up to January 9, 2022. Association of booster status with infection was estimated using Cox proportional-hazards regression models.RESULTS For BNT162b2, cumulative symptomatic infection incidence was 2.9% (95% CI: 2.8-3.1%) in the booster-dose cohort and 5.5% (95% CI: 5.3-5.7%) in the primary-series cohort, after 49 days of follow-up. Adjusted hazard ratio for symptomatic infection was 0.50 (95% CI: 0.47-0.53). Booster effectiveness relative to primary series was 50.1% (95% CI: 47.3-52.8%). For mRNA-1273, cumulative symptomatic infection incidence was 1.9% (95% CI: 1.7-2.2%) in the booster-dose cohort and 3.5% (95% CI: 3.2-3.9%) in the primary-series cohort, after 35 days of follow-up. The adjusted hazard ratio for symptomatic infection was 0.49 (95% CI: 0.43-0.57). Booster effectiveness relative to primary series was 50.8% (95% CI: 43.4-57.3%). There were fewer cases of severe COVID-19 in booster-dose cohorts than in primary-series cohorts, but cases of severe COVID-19 were rare in all cohorts.CONCLUSIONS mRNA booster vaccination is associated with modest effectiveness against symptomatic infection with Omicron. The development of a new generation of vaccines targeting a broad range of variants may be warranted.
    1. THREAD on the new variant B.1.1.529 summarising what is known from the excellent South African Ministry of Health meeting earlier today TLDR: So much uncertain but what *is* known is extremely worrying & (in my opinion) we should revise red list immediately.
    1. We're getting immunity. The COVID-19 vaccine is free, voluntary, and available to everyone in New Zealand aged 12 and over. Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines: https://covid19.govt.nz/vaccines
    1. 3 studies today on antibodies & Omicron. There may be a large drop in neutralization of Omicron Antibodies stop Omicron well in hybrid immunity (infected+vax) Sotrovimab is active versus Omicron Take home: Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Immune system is clever.
    1. We read with interest the manuscript from Subramanian and Kumar [1] (the authors). We have serious concerns about the methodology employed in this study. We detail these below.
    1. Main points Percentage of people who had COVID-19 in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland Sub-national analysis of the number of people who had COVID-19 Age analysis of the number of people who had COVID-19 Number of new COVID-19 infections in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland Analysis of viral load and variants of COVID-19 Test sensitivity and specificity Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey data Collaboration Glossary Measuring the data Strengths and limitations Related Links
    1. AbstractObjectives To estimate occupation risk from COVID-19 among teachers and others working in schools using publicly available data on mortality in England and Wales.Design Analysis of national death registration data from the Office for National Statistics.Setting England and Wales, 8 March–28 December 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.Participants The total working age population in England and Wales plus those still working aged over 65 years.Primary and secondary outcomes Death with COVID-19 as a primary outcome and death from all causes as a secondary outcome.Results Across occupational groups, there was a strong correlation between COVID-19 mortality and both non-COVID-19 and all-cause mortality. The absolute mortality rates for deaths with COVID-19 were low among those working in schools (from 10 per 100 000 in female primary school teachers to 39 per 100 000 male secondary school teachers) relative to many other occupations (range: 9–50 per 100 000 in women; 10–143 per 100 000 in men). There was weak evidence that secondary school teachers had slightly higher risks of dying with COVID-19 compared with the average for all working-aged people, but stronger evidence of a higher risk compared with the average for all professionals; primary school teachers had a lower risk. All-cause mortality was also higher among all teachers compared with all professionals. Teaching and lunchtime assistants were not at higher risk of death from COVID-19 compared with all working-aged people.Conclusion There was weak evidence that COVID-19 mortality risk for secondary school teachers was above expectation, but in general school staff had COVID-19 mortality risks which were proportionate to their non-COVID-19 mortality risk.
    1. Primary and secondary school staff were not at greater risk of death from COVID-19 in 2020 compared to other professions in England and Wales, new research has found. The study, by researchers at the University of Bristol, analysed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) national death register for school staff and working adults aged between 20- to 64-years-old.
    1. On August 23, 2021, FDA announced the first approval of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty, for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older.
    1. Carey Business School expert Stacey Lee discusses the implications and possible outcomes of requiring employees to get COVID-19 vaccines By
    1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased its travel warning for cruise ships to the highest level.The CDC warned that the risk of catching Covid on cruise ships is very high regardless of vaccination status.The agency is currently investigating or observing dozens of cruise ships that have had Covid outbreaks.Cruise ships operating in U.S. waters reported about 5,000 Covid cases to the CDC between Dec. 15 - 29.
    1. Canberrans presided over a remarkable achievement this year.Even without children under the age of 12 receiving COVID-19 vaccines, the ACT became one of the most inoculated jurisdictions in the world.Current take-up rates suggest that about 93 per cent of Canberrans, of all ages, will be vaccinated by February — a level that may see the national capital become the world's most-vaccinated city.Yet many residents are wary as 2022 approaches, infections increase and more information about the Omicron variant emerges.
    1. Researchers are racing to determine whether a fast-spreading coronavirus variant poses a threat to COVID vaccines’ effectiveness.
    1. Table of contentsDevelopment Scientific evaluation and approvalMonitoring vaccine safety and use in real life The European Medicines Agency (EMA) plays an important role in enabling the development, scientific evaluation, approval and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines in the European Union (EU). Vaccines for COVID-19 are being developed, evaluated and approved according to current regulatory guidelines and legal requirements.
    1. 64.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.{"value":11256708780,"formattedValue":"11.26 billion doses","template":"%value","year":799,"unit":"","entityName":"World"}11.26 billion doses have been administered globally, and {"value":17982955,"formattedValue":"17.98 million","template":"%value","year":799,"unit":"","entityName":"World"}17.98 million are now administered each day. Only {"value":14.5,"formattedValue":"14.5%","template":"%value","year":796,"unit":"","entityName":"Low income"}14.5% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
    1. Covid admissions have already surpassed the peak of last winter’s wave in hospitals in Greater Manchester, north-west England, with health chiefs warning patient care is under threat as they struggle to cope with “severe” staff shortages.
    1. Background Widespread vaccination is an essential component of the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet vaccine hesitancy remains pervasive. This prospective survey investigation aimed to measure the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy in a patient cohort at two urban emergency departments (EDs) and characterize underlying factors contributing to hesitancy. Methods Adult ED patients with stable clinical status (Emergency Severity Index 3–5) and without active COVID-19 disease or altered mental status were considered for participation. Demographic elements were collected as well as reported barriers/concerns related to vaccination and trusted sources of health information. Data were collected in person via a survey instrument proctored by trained research assistants. Results A total of 1,555 patients were approached, and 1,068 patients completed surveys (completion rate = 68.7%). Mean (±SD) age was 44.1 (±15.5) years (range = 18–93 years), 61% were female, and 70% were Black. A total of 31.6% of ED patients reported vaccine hesitancy. Of note, 19.7% of the hesitant cohort were health care workers. In multivariable regression analysis, Black race (odds ratio [OR] = 4.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.62 to 6.85) and younger age (age 18–24 years—OR = 4.57, 95% CI = 2.66 to 7.86; age 25–35 years—OR = 5.71, 95% CI = 3.71 to 8.81) were independently associated with hesitancy, to a greater degree than level of education (high school education or less—OR = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.23 to 4.19). Hesitant patients were significantly less likely to trust governmental sources of vaccine information than nonhesitant patients (39.6% vs. 78.9%, p < 0.001); less difference was noted in the domain of trust toward friends/family (51.1% vs. 61.0%, p = 0.004). Hesitant patients also reported perceived vaccine safety concerns and perceived insufficient research. Conclusions Vaccine hesitancy is common among ED patients and more common among Black and younger patients, independent of education level. Hesitant patients report perceived safety concerns and low trust in government information sources but less so friends or family. This suggests that strategies to combat hesitancy may need tailoring to specific populations.
    1. T he COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of lives in communities across the world, including in the United States. COVID-19 is unique in many ways, including its global impact, its politicization, and the need for universal vaccination to combat the virus. When COVID-19 vaccines became available in the United States, millions of Americans eagerly sought out and received them. Many see vaccination as the key to a post-pandemic life, yet millions of Americans have still not been vaccinated despite eligibility and plentiful supply. Desire for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine among some minority populations, particularly Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino populations, is high though uptake is lagging12. This indicates barriers related to access and equity may be at play. For other populations, there is more hesitancy about getting vaccinated. Communities with vaccination rates much lower than the national average may need to further investigate and address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. People encounter barriers that can hinder or facilitate vaccinations. Barriers and facilitators range from logistical and access issues, to personal beliefs and risk perception, to community beliefs and social norms. Insights from behavioral health research can help determine strategies to help people get vaccinated and promote near-universal uptake. Health departments, community organizations, faith-based communities, and leaders from all sectors of public life are making great efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccination. No single approach will work for every community; in fact, as the research included here demonstrates, a combination of strategies is generally most effective and will increase chances for success. This field guide highlights several strategies derived from evidence-based practices that are being applied in communities across the country to promote vaccine confidence and uptake.
  2. Mar 2022
    1. Everyone living in British Columbia is eligible for vaccination. Find out how to register and what to expect when you get a COVID-19 vaccine.
    1. On this page Importance of vaccination Vaccination after being infected with COVID-19 Possible side effects How the vaccines are studied and tested for children and youth Have a positive vaccination experience Vaccines approved for children and youth Protect unvaccinated children
    1. Claims about the drug are based on shoddy science—but that science is entirely unremarkable in its shoddiness.
    1. Professor Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has called “living with the virus” a confusing phrase as it implies living with “profound uncertainty”.In this episode of the COVID-19 Series, we welcome Professor McKee to discuss the best way to reduce this uncertainty, and what measures and procedures should be in place to keep the virus under control, and the global population safe.Professor McKee will be interviewed by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London, and Past-President of the RSM.All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of The RSM. Please note this webinar will be recorded and stored by The RSM and may be used in the future on various internet channels.If you have been enjoying the COVID-19 webinar series, please help support us and our charitable mission to advance healthcare through education and innovation here: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/13047
    1. Many people don’t understand the long-term effects of COVID-19 and prefer to catch it and get it over with, yet a new small study gives the best reason to stay away from the virus.
    1. Approximately half of the profiles pushing the case for herd immunity are artificial accounts. These bot or bot-like accounts are generally characterized as engaging in abnormally high levels of retweets and low content diversity. The high level of bot-like behavior attributed to support for the Great Barrington Declaration on social media indicates the conversation is manipulated and inorganic in comparison to the scientific consensus-based conversation opposing herd immunity theories. A consequence of high frequency of inorganic activity is the creation of a majority illusion (when certain members within a social network give the appearance that an idea or opinion is more popular than it is).  
    1. BackgroundIn the 6 months following our estimates from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, the proliferation of new coronavirus variants, updated mortality data, and disparities in vaccine access increased the amount of children experiencing COVID-19-associated orphanhood. To inform responses, we aimed to model the increases in numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, as well as the cumulative orphanhood age-group distribution and circumstance (maternal or paternal orphanhood).MethodsWe used updated excess mortality and fertility data to model increases in minimum estimates of COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver deaths from our original study period of March 1, 2020–April 30, 2021, to include the new period of May 1–Oct 31, 2021, for 21 countries. Orphanhood was defined as the death of one or both parents; primary caregiver loss included parental death or the death of one or both custodial grandparents; and secondary caregiver loss included co-residing grandparents or kin. We used logistic regression and further incorporated a fixed effect for western European countries into our previous model to avoid over-predicting caregiver loss in that region. For the entire 20-month period, we grouped children by age (0–4 years, 5–9 years, and 10–17 years) and maternal or paternal orphanhood, using fertility contributions, and we modelled global and regional extrapolations of numbers of orphans. 95% credible intervals (CrIs) are given for all estimates.FindingsThe number of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death is estimated to have increased by 90·0% (95% CrI 89·7–90·4) from April 30 to Oct 31, 2021, from 2 737 300 (95% CrI 1 976 100–2 987 000) to 5 200 300 (3 619 400–5 731 400). Between March 1, 2020, and Oct 31, 2021, 491 300 (95% CrI 485 100–497 900) children aged 0–4 years, 736 800 (726 900–746 500) children aged 5–9 years, and 2 146 700 (2 120 900–2 174 200) children aged 10–17 years are estimated to have experienced COVID-19-associated orphanhood. Globally, 76·5% (95% CrI 76·3–76·7) of children were paternal orphans, whereas 23·5% (23·3–23·7) were maternal orphans. In each age group and region, the prevalence of paternal orphanhood exceeded that of maternal orphanhood.InterpretationOur findings show that numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death almost doubled in 6 months compared with the amount after the first 14 months of the pandemic. Over the entire 20-month period, 5·0 million COVID-19 deaths meant that 5·2 million children lost a parent or caregiver. Our data on children's ages and circumstances should support pandemic response planning for children globally.FundingUK Research and Innovation (Global Challenges Research Fund, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Medical Research Council), Oak Foundation, UK National Institute for Health Research, US National Institutes of Health, and Imperial College London.
    1. A low count of CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes is a hallmark laboratory finding in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using flow cytometry, we observed significantly higher CD95 (Fas) and PD-1 expression on both CD4+ T and CD8+ T cells in 42 COVID-19 patients when compared to controls. Higher CD95 expression in CD4+ cells correlated with lower CD4+ counts. A higher expression of CD95 in CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes correlated with a lower percentage of naive events. Our results might suggest a shift to antigen-activated T cells, expressing molecules increasing their propensity to apoptosis and exhaustion during COVID-19 infection.
    1. BackgroundSome patients with COVID-19 who have recovered from the acute infection after experiencing only mild symptoms continue to exhibit persistent exertional limitation that often is unexplained by conventional investigative studies.Research QuestionWhat is the pathophysiologic mechanism of exercise intolerance that underlies the post-COVID-19 long-haul syndrome in patients without cardiopulmonary disease?Study Design and MethodsThis study examined the systemic and pulmonary hemodynamics, ventilation, and gas exchange in 10 patients who recovered from COVID-19 and were without cardiopulmonary disease during invasive cardiopulmonary exercise testing (iCPET) and compared the results with those from 10 age- and sex-matched control participants. These data then were used to define potential reasons for exertional limitation in the cohort of patients who had recovered from COVID-19.ResultsThe patients who had recovered from COVID-19 exhibited markedly reduced peak exercise aerobic capacity (oxygen consumption [VO2]) compared with control participants (70 ± 11% predicted vs 131 ± 45% predicted; P < .0001). This reduction in peak VO2 was associated with impaired systemic oxygen extraction (ie, narrow arterial-mixed venous oxygen content difference to arterial oxygen content ratio) compared with control participants (0.49 ± 0.1 vs 0.78 ± 0.1; P < .0001), despite a preserved peak cardiac index (7.8 ± 3.1 L/min vs 8.4±2.3 L/min; P > .05). Additionally, patients who had recovered from COVID-19 demonstrated greater ventilatory inefficiency (ie, abnormal ventilatory efficiency [VE/VCO2] slope: 35 ± 5 vs 27 ± 5; P = .01) compared with control participants without an increase in dead space ventilation.InterpretationPatients who have recovered from COVID-19 without cardiopulmonary disease demonstrate a marked reduction in peak VO2 from a peripheral rather than a central cardiac limit, along with an exaggerated hyperventilatory response during exercise.
    1. The World Health Organization declared COVID a pandemic on March 11 2020. In the two years since, countries have diverged on their containment strategies, introducing many different ways of mitigating the virus, to varying effect. Here, four health experts look at what has worked well, what mistakes scientists and policymakers made, and what needs to be done to protect human health from here on.
    1. Modelling suggests that by the end of 2021, some 18 million people had died because of the pandemic.
    1. COVID-19 Vaccines and Children Impact of COVID-19 on children Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe for children? Informing parents and children about COVID-19 vaccines Attitudes towards vaccinating children
    1. With Canadians nearing two full years in the pandemic, persuasive public-health messaging has become increasingly difficult. How do you convince people to remain vigilant this long into a crisis?
    1. Born to help reopen international travel routes, digital COVID certificates are now required in several countries to enter premises such as bars, restaurants, gyms, pools, and museums, and to attend large public events. But do they work — and what for, precisely? More fundamentally, is it even possible to have an evidence-based debate about them at all? Tracing The Tracers looked at the lessons we should learn from the available literature, with the help of a stellar group of researchers.
    1. We provide the first systematic investigation of trends in the incivility of American politicians on Twitter, a dominant platform for political communication in the U.S. Applying a validated artificial intelligence classifier to all 1.3 million tweets made by members of Congress since 2009, we observe a 23% increase in incivility over a decade on Twitter. Further analyses suggest that the rise was partly driven by reinforcement learning in which politicians engaged in greater incivility following positive feedback. Uncivil tweets tended to receive more approval and attention, publicly indexed by large quantities of “likes” and “retweets” on the platform. Mediational and longitudinal analyses show that the greater this feedback for uncivil tweets, the more uncivil tweets were thereafter. We conclude by discussing how the structure of social media platforms might facilitate this incivility-reinforcing dynamic between politicians and their followers.
    1. Given the increasing number of patients suffering severe physical symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection for which there is no conclusive organic explanation, it is important to remember a phenomenon well known in medicine: the authenticity and significance of symptoms does not necessarily depend on organic impairment. Rather, the same symptoms and their intensity can occur when structure is intact, but body signals are misinterpreted and incorrectly processed in the brain. For breathlessness, fatigue and dizziness there are already established experimental paradigms to measure such dysfunctions in the absence of organic impairment. Here, we describe these paradigms and explain how they could help to better understand persistent and debilitating symptoms after COVID-19.
    1. Political ideology reflects the way people conduct themselves in the social world, affecting their decisions and actions, including those pertaining to health care. The current study aimed to understand whether district-level partisanship affects mobility during COVID-19 in India, a pluralistic and multi-party country. The study used secondary data from the 2019 Indian general elections and the COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports (2020, 2021) by Google. Results indicate that during the first COVID-19 wave in India (May-October, 2020), there was a greater change in the amount of time spent at the places of residence in districts based on the partisanship of its representative. Further, during the peak of the second wave (April-June, 2021), partisanship predicted a higher change in mobility to groceries and pharmacies. Gender of the district-level representative also played a role in the relationship between partisanship and mobility during the pandemic.
    1. A paradigm shift is taking place in our field, with psychology researchers increasingly conducting their studies on the world-wide web. The transition to online experimentation, although promising in myriad ways, entails many new concerns. Researchers want to ensure that the quality from online collected data is comparable to what they typically achieve in the lab. Our study yields a novel contribution to this issue, by being the first to distinguish the impact of online testing from the impact of using different sources of participants. We presented a standard working-memory task to 196 MTurk participants, 300 Prolific participants, and 255 students from the University of Geneva, allowing to compare data quality across different participant pools. Within the group of university students, 215 were tested online, and 40 were tested in typical in-person lab conditions, allowing to compare testing modalities while keeping participant pool constant. Data quality was measured by distribution parameters and by the presence of benchmark effects. Our results reveal that who you test (participant pool) is more important than how you test (testing modality). Concerning the latter, our results perhaps unsurprisingly show that online testing incurs a small but acceptable loss of data quality compared to in-person testing. Concerning the former, online Prolific data were almost indistinguishable from Students online data, but MTurk data differed drastically. Therefore, overall, our results encourage the use of remote testing for psychological research, even with complex paradigms, but also strongly suggest using Prolific (rather than MTurk) if data quality is of particular concern.
    1. Despite benefits for reducing disease spread, masks obscure facial expressions, impairing nonverbal communication of emotion. We assessed the impact of lower (masks) and upper (sunglasses) facial coverings on valence judgments of clearly valenced (fearful, happy) and ambiguously valenced (surprised) facial expressions, the latter of which have valid positive and negative meaning. Results from an online sample (n = 146) showed that masks, but not sunglasses, impaired judgments of clearly valenced expressions compared to expressions without coverings (ps < .001). Sunglasses, but not masks, affected judgments of the ambiguous surprised expressions (p = .08). Drift diffusion models revealed that face coverings impacted the judgment process in an expression-specific manner: Masks increased the amount of evidence required to reach a judgment boundary for both fearful and surprised faces (ps < .001) by eliminating starting point bias, whereas masks slowed evidence accumulation for happy faces (p < .001). Political ideology interacted with these effects, such that we observed stronger negativity bias towards masked expressions for Republican- than Democrat-leaning participants, particularly for happy faces (p < .001). In short, our results replicate interference effects of face coverings in the decoding of emotional expressions and suggest that political beliefs alter the degree of this interference. The findings have implications for nonverbal communication of emotion and intergroup communication.
    1. In March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced the first global pandemic officially caused by a coronavirus. Public health measures (e.g., increased handwashing, reducing social contacts) were introduced to reduce the rate of transmission, including the closure of spaces and events that would encourage high levels of social interaction along with ‘lockdowns' confining people to the vicinity of their homes. The scale of the disruption caused by the considerable number of cases, and the implementation of lockdowns led to widespread social and emotional disruption. Uncertainty, and financial insecurity arising from these measures cascaded into widespread increases in stress, fear, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, anger, and sleep disorders. This created a unique situation where music-related behaviours and music therapy played an important role. The current chapter reviews how music was used in a range of contexts and settings to support the social, emotional, and physical needs that developed because of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns. We aim to highlight the rapid changes that occurred in relation to music use in the general population and music therapy practices as the world adjusted to the new challenges posed by the unprecedented circumstances.
    1. Travellers arriving in England from several southern African countries will have to quarantine amid warnings over a new coronavirus variant.
    1. I’m concerned about the new #BA2 sub variant of #Omicron. In the left panel, you see it is surging (light green) to almost half of all Danish #Omicron cases—surpassing the old Omicron BA1 variant by a lot. Either it’s much faster transmission or it evades immunity even more.
    1. pg. 6 "Among the 3,582 swab-positive individuals reporting whether or not they had had previous COVID-19, 2,315 (64.6%) reported confirmed previous COVID-19 and 267 (7.5%) reported suspected previous COVID-19"
    2. Can someone help me with something that is probably obvious? This BBC story is on REACT reporting an incredible-sounding 66% claimed reinfection rate. I can't find any figures for this in their latest release https://imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/institute-of-global-health-innovation/R17_final.pdf…. Where should look?
    1. This is the first in a series on the Omicron variant, specifically discussing its derivative lineages: BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3. We have previously speculated on the potential origin of Omicron in an earlier article.
    1. One consequence of the Omicron epidemic moving from.older people into children is dropping hospital admissions. Fewer admissions is good thing but obv is prefer cases falling in *all* age groups
    1. TV report also says Health Ministry DG may not endorse panel’s recommendation to offer additional booster shots if further data suggests hospitalizations lower from new variant
    1. The mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been significant, with many regions across the globe reporting significant increases in anxiety, depression, trauma, and insomnia This study aims to validate a potential cognitive model of maintenance factors of COVID-19 related distress by examining psychological predictors of distress, and their goodness-of-fit as a coherent model. Participants from the general population (n=555) were recruited using a cross-sectional on-line survey design, assessing Demographic factors, Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness, COVID-19 related distress, Trauma Cognitions related to COVID-19, Rumination, Safety Behaviours, Personality Factors, and Mental Effort related to COVID-19. A series of stepwise linear regressions found that components of the model were significant and accounted for a large percentage of variance when examining Covid-19 related distress (R2=0.447 Covid Stress Scale), Anxiety (R2=0.536 DASS-Anxiety Subscale) and Depression (R2=0.596 Depression DASS-subscale). In a confirmatory factor analysis, Loneliness, Post-Traumatic Cognitions about Self, Post-Traumatic Cognitions about the World, Emotional Stability, and Mental Effort related to COVID-19 loaded onto a single factor. The final model showed adequate fit (CFI=0.990, TLI=0.983, RMSEA=0.053(.027-.080), GFI=0.986, SRMR=0.0216), χ2=23.087, p=0.006). The results highlight the importance of cognitive factors, such as post-traumatic cognitions, rumination, and mental effort in maintaining COVID-19 related distress.
    1. The COVID-19-pandemic offers a unique, if tragic, opportunity to assess the impact of a world-wide crisis on religion. Theories from various disciplines including the psychology of religion and cultural evolution suggest that crises cause higher levels of religiosity. However, such theories also predict that levels of religiosity should remain stable in the context of well-functioning governments, secular institutions and norms that might address social, epistemic, and material needs in a crisis. While the relationship between crisis and religion have been examined in countries with higher levels of religiosity, it has yet to be extensively empirically tested in countries with lower levels of religiosity. Here, on the basis of explicit causal assumptions and using Bayesian multilevel modeling, we analyze quasi-representative longitudinal data from Denmark collected over the course of the pandemic from May 2020 to March 2021. Our analysis show that self-reported religiosity did not increase as a result of the pandemic, an inference that is robust to a range of model specifications, including full Bayesian imputation of missing covariates and post-stratification. We discuss possible interpretations of this finding and argue for an emphasis on cultural context going forward in theories of crises and religion.
    1. Cuteness in the young has long been theorized to elicit care and protection (Lorenz, 1943). Most research on this has focused on human infants, despite theories suggesting that cuteness may elicit broader social interest that could support development beyond infancy (Kringelbach et al., 2016; Sherman & Haidt, 2011). In four experiments (N=531 adults, 98 children), we tested whether ‘kindchenschema’—facial proportions associated with cuteness—and perceived cuteness elicit interest in playing with and caring for children, and whether masks disrupt these processes. Participants viewed images of children’s faces, masked or unmasked. Kindchenschema correlated with perceived cuteness and age, and these variables predicted adults’ interest in playing with and caring for children. Masks did not reduce cuteness ratings or interest in children, although they weakened relations between perceived cuteness and interest, and between perceived age and interest. Cuteness and related signals may shape adults’ interactions with children, and, consequently, children’s development.
    1. The political rise of Donald Trump and the ideology of Trumpism has had a major impact on American politics, culture, and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We began the process of validating a psychometric model of Trumpism using three waves (~1000 participants per wave) of data from national online surveys of adults conducted in the United States from June 2020 to February 2021 as part of the COVID-19 Adjustment and Behaviors Survey. We found that the covariance among measures of Trump approval and attitudes about race, immigration, policing, guns, and media bias were best accounted for by a single Trumpism factor, and that this factor was strongly related to attitudes about a rigged 2020 Presidential election, the Insurrection of January 6, 2021, and Trump idolatry. Trumpism was also associated with Republican party affiliation and White race, but had only small associations with age, sex, income, and education. Trumpism was associated with increased odds of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, skepticism about the seriousness of COVID-19, lack of support for government restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, less adherence to social distancing and mask wearing guidelines, anti-vax attitudes, and hesitancy to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Results indicate these measures provide a valid assessment of Trumpism which is likely to continue to play a major role in American political and cultural life for the foreseeable future.
    1. What are the underlying cognitive mechanisms that support belief in conspiracies? Common dual-process perspectives suggest that deliberation helps people make more accurate decisions and decreases belief in conspiracy theories that have been proven wrong (therefore, bringing people closer to objective accuracy). However, evidence for this stance is i) mostly correlational and ii) existing causal evidence might be influenced by experimental demand effects and/or a lack of suitable control conditions. Furthermore, recent work has found that analytic thinking tends to increase the coherence between prior beliefs and new information, which may not always lead to accurate conclusions. In two studies, participants were asked to evaluate the strength of conspiratorial (or non-conspiratorial) explanations of events. In the first study, which used well-known conspiracy theories, deliberation had no effect. In the second study, which used relatively unknown conspiracy theories, we found that experimentally manipulating deliberation did increase belief accuracy - but only among people with a strong ‘anti-conspiracy’ or strong ‘pro-conspiracy’ mindset from the outset, and not among those with an intermediate conspiratorial mindset. Although these results generally support the idea that encouraging people to deliberate can help to counter the growth of novel conspiracy theories, they also indicate that the effect of deliberation on conspiratorial beliefs is more complicated than previously thought.
    1. Despite the prominence of emotion disturbance in bipolar disorder, few studies have assessed emotion differentiation. The present investigation used an experience-sampling approach to test the utility of emotion differentiation in predicting bipolar mood-related difficulties. Across two studies, emerging adults participated during a normative first year of college (Spring 2019; Study 1; n=136) or during their first year of college marked by a naturalistic global pandemic stressor (Spring 2020; Study 2; n=136). Study 1 results suggested that emotion differentiation was not associated with trait bipolar risk. Study 2 suggested that global emotion differentiation was associated with increased trait bipolar risk, but not current mood symptom severity. These results suggest that relationships between emotion differentiation and dimensions of bipolar risk may vary by context. Discussion focuses on the implications for translational interventions.
    1. Smittetallene forventes at stige yderligere i de kommende uger. Men hvornår smitten vil toppe, afhænger af udviklingen i omikronvarianten BA.2. Det er nogle af konklusionerne i en ny risikovurdering fra Statens Serum Institut.
    1. In host–pathogen arms races, increases in host resistance prompt counteradaptation by pathogens, but the nature of that counteradaptation is seldom directly observed outside of laboratory models. The best-documented field example is the coevolution of myxoma virus (MYXV) in European rabbits. To understand how MYXV in Australia has continued to evolve in wild rabbits under intense selection for genetic resistance to myxomatosis, we compared the phenotypes of the progenitor MYXV and viral isolates from the 1950s and the 1990s in laboratory rabbits with no resistance. Strikingly, and unlike their 1950s counterparts, most virus isolates from the 1990s induced a highly lethal immune collapse syndrome similar to septic shock. Thus, the next step in this canonical case of coevolution after a species jump has been further escalation by the virus in the face of widespread host resistance.
    1. Last summer, I pulled together the occasional vaccination rate scatter plot graphs I'd been compiling for months into a single animated GIF image to show how both the correlation (R^2) and steepness (slope) of the partisan COVID vaccination divide grew from almost nothing at all to a gaping chasm over a six month period, from February 2021 through August 2021. Today, I'm presenting an updated version of this animation which not only includes the following six months as well (September 2021 - February 2022), but also cleans up & standardizes the layout of each graph as much as possible. This includes making sure the thru date is in the upper right-hand corner on all of them, moving the population key to the lower-right corner, removing the (naive in retrospect) "herd immunity target" line, and moving the R^2 stamp immediately below the thru date to make the graph itself as clean as possible.
    1. So it’s Groundhog Day for Covid, no BA.2 and we get an early Covid spring; if BA.2 accelerates we get 6 more weeks of Covid winter
    2. The big unknown is BA.2, it’s here now in the US but uncertain whether it will be a major player as in UK or Denmark or not. But we’ll know this in the next couple of weeks. So for now de mask target dates should be considered aspirational
    3. Many thanks ⁦@AlisynCamerota⁩ ⁦@VictorBlackwell⁩ for hosting me as I explain considerations for lifting mask mandates, which will depend on a few stars aligning: 1. That omicron continues to decelerate, 2. it doesn’t get stuck due to BA.2, and 3. BA.2 doesn’t take off
  3. twitter.com