US CDC COVID-19 message
Posted in COVID19publichealthresearch Paradoxes

US COVID-19 pandemic: Cases vs deaths paradox

The US CDC data reveals an interesting age-specific case versus deaths paradox.

Look at the following graph. I created the graph using data available at the US CDC website.

US COVID-19 cases versus deaths paradox
(Data source: US CDC)
  • Of all the COVID-19 cases, 85.6 percent occurred among those aged equal and below 64 years.
  • In contrast, of all the COVID-19 deaths, 80.6 percent occurred among those aged 65 and above.

Now, my message is clear and straightforward based on this graph: Minimize the contact between these two age groups.

How can we minimize the contacts between these two age groups?

My suggestions are;

  • Provide financial and other incentives to those aged 65 and above to stay at home.
  • Mobilize all regional and local community organizations and all faith groups to create supportive environments to separate the two groups.
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Posted in COVID19publichealthresearch

Face mask compliance: A simple study design

This face mask compliance observational study attracted my attention because of its simplistic nature and reader-friendly presentation. I must thank Assistant Professor Susan Parham and Dr. Matthew Hardy for publishing the study on The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine website.

About the location

Researchers have chosen a small tourist city in Paris for this face mask compliance study. Their reason for choosing this place is because of its popularity among both tourists and the local population. Wearing of face coverings became mandatory in this place by the time they conducted the observation.

Location selection

Professor Susan Parham and Dr. Matthew Hardy have chosen their place for observation off the main street. They cite two reasons for the selection: 1) It was a busy place so that they can count people and observe accurately gather more information; 2) They expected people to behave more naturally due to less expectation of official surveillance of face covering.

The observation method

They have observed the people for 30 minutes at lunchtime on two separate days at the same place: One weekday and one weekend day. On the first day, they have observed adults and children and on the second day, they have observed adult men and women separately.

Day 1mask wearing behavior of adults and children
Day 2mask-wearing behavior of male and female

Data collection tool

What attracted me about their presentation of this study was that they have pictured their actual data documentation tool as follows;

Source: The Center for Evidence-based Medicine, University of Oxford

How they tabulated findings:

Data tabulations

I created two blank tables that mimic their actual tables. Those interested can read their actual data through the link I have cited at the end of this post.

Day 1 data tabulation table

maskedunmaskedsemi-maskedmasked childunmasked child
total (273)
%
% of adults
Adapted from The Center for Evidence-based Medicine, University of Oxford

Data 2 data tabulation table

masked male masked femaleunmasked maleunmasked male semi-masked malesemi-asked female
Total
%of all adults
% of each sex

Findings

Day 1:
  • Of the total of 272 adults observed, 82 percent were adhering to face mask compliance as recommended.
  • Of the rest who were not complying, 12.5 percent were unmasked 8.5 percent were semi-masked (mask-wearing under the nose).
Day 2:
  • Of the 218 adults observed, 74.3 percent were wearing masks with 26.7 percent were either unmasked (16 percent) or semi-masked (9.7 percent).
  • Of them, 76.9 percent of women and 71.3 percent of men were wearing masks.

The authors of this face mask compliance observational study bring forward an interesting discussion about social norms conformity using the findings that were really critical in creating messages and social marketing campaigns.

Those interested can read the full paper through this link; https://www.cebm.net/2020/10/face-coverings-self-surveillance-and-social-conformity-in-a-time-of-covid-19/?unapproved=319632&moderation-hash=ea7fb58dd08238c803648b8afee163c2#comment-319632

COVID 19 virus coming out to the surface cell in large numbers
Posted in Corona virus COVID19publichealthresearch

Is COVID 19 virus a living thing?

An electron microscopic view of the COVID 19 viruses coming out to the surface of a cell in a laboratory (photo credit: NIAID; the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license;https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/49557785797

COVID 19 is a virus; is it a living thing?

For the first time, in 1935, Wendell Stanley, a chemist, isolated some proteins from a plant virus; it was later recognized as RNA. He and others knew at that time its ability to multiply once inside a living cell but not by itself. (He shared the Nobel prize in 1946 for the achievement).

This entity – called virus – when lands on a living cell, sheds its covering, injects the RNA into the cell. The cell nucleus misreads the RNA as its own one and begins to multiply.

In a way, a virus owns only a blueprint. It has to depend on others for materials to multiply; that means it essentially needs a host whether the host likes it or not. Once it lands on the cell wall, it tricks the cell to get the wall opened and sends the RNA or DNA inside the host cell. That is it. It robs all the host’s material, tricks again the host’s nucleus to misread, and ultimately the helpless host begins cloning the virus. And, it goes on and on.

Back to square one: Is a virus a living thing? not really; then is it a dead thing? not really. Then, what is it? something in-between.

There are many informational YouTube videos that describes how the virus tricks our cells to get into. This is one of such a video clip.