EScAPE Newsletter, Issue #43

Reports that are of interest for the week

COVID cases are spiking two years since the first reported case. Has science failed?
COVID-19 cases all over the world have been rising since November 9th. People globally are feeling defeated and have questions about what kind of challenges have been faced by scientists over the past two years, what the current situation means, and what should be expected going forward. 

Your top COVID-19 questions, answered by White House Chief Science Officer David Kessler
Ralph Green, a professor at UC Davis School of Medicine, interviewed the chief science officer of COVID-19 at the US Department of Health and Human Services, David Kessler. In this interview, Kessler talked about antivirals, vaccines for young people, booster shots, and many other topics. 

Why does Covid-19 make things smell disgusting?
This podcast received information from Linda Gedds and chemist Dr Jane Parker about the scientific thoughts behind people’s smell being changed from the virus and goes into detail about specific smells like coffee.

Coronavirus in China: Tolerance wanes for Chengdu’s track and test regime
This article describes a situation in which a couple went to a movie in Chengdu and ended up having to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days because contact tracing confirmed a COVID-19 case at the movie. Contact tracing also caused 30 other teachers, 90 pupils, and their parents to quarantine as well because one of the partners in the couple was a teacher. People are beginning to become upset with contact tracing preventative measures and how much it interrupts their day-to-day lives

US appeals court affirms hold on Biden COVID-19 vaccine mandate
Even though the Biden administration believes that halting the implementation of the vaccine mandate could lead to dozens or hundreds of deaths, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed its ruling to halt the implementation. They believe it is “overbroad” and a “one-size-fits-all sledgehammer” that doesn’t account for all workers. 

Europe and Russia battle a new wave of COVID-19
Daily infection records in Germany, Netherlands, and Austria have risen significantly and due to the last two-month surge of cases, Russia now leads the world in total coronavirus deaths. Studies have found the countries with high vaccines rates and strict mandates have done better during the pandemic, and countries that are struggling to get their citizens vaccinated are contributing to the new wave. 

‘It’s becoming quite heated!’ Fears are mounting, according to Van-Tam, as England’s Covid case rates skyrocket
The UK has seen the highest number of daily Covid deaths since late February and scientists are concerned about how high infection rates are this early in the winter. 

Isolated in Uganda: How Covid-19 evacuations highlight unfairness of global health partnerships
While watching COVID-19 reign from afar in March 2020, Ugandan healthcare workers felt thankful to have healthcare workers from Europe and the US already stationed in their hospitals to help when the virus came. However, instead of staying to help or sending more resources, these healthcare workers were ordered to return to their respective countries, leaving the Uganda healthcare system to fend for themselves. This article talks more about the effect this had in the country.