Deepti Gurdasani is speaking. Takeaways thus far: B117, the dominant strain in the US, is responsible for a huge wave in Europe, & many countries have locked down or are preparing to. This variant easily infects children. B117 is 50%-70% more transmissible, 60% more fatal.
Unlike the US, the UK is paying close attention to LongCovid. In the UK, 1.1M have LongCovid thus far, including 43,000 children. 473,000 had symptoms longer than 6 months. The majority are young, with no underlying health conditions.
The only way to prevent virus adaptation is to keep transmission low. Focusing on vaccines alone can be dangerous. Chile is ahead of the US/UK on vaccination. They rapidly reopened, & saw the same exponential rises in cases seen prior to vaccination, & hospitals are overwhelmed.
“What is the alternative? Getting cases down to near-zero levels where they can be contained with surveillance and rapid response *alongside* vaccination. Elimination is not eradication!” The goal is no community spread, while stamping out imported cases quickly.
ZeroCovid has been achieved! 30 countries have achieved Zero Covid and are living nearly normal lives. 15 countries are close to achieving it. (<500 cases/day) About 23% of the world’s population is living near Zero Covid/near Zero Covid regions. This is not a pipe dream.
Countries achieving ZeroCovid or Near Zero Covid—(less than 500 cases a day.)
There is strong evidence Zero Covid is better for the economy! Countries that favored strategies believed to protect the economy over public health have seen many more deaths and much larger GDP declines.
ZeroCovid is better for society! NZ achieved elimination in 65 days, with a 5wk lockdown in June of 2020 & school closures for 4wks. The UK is not ZeroCovid, in their 3rd lockdown, 5 total months of lockdown + a year of restrictions, 16wks of school closures. Then there’s US. 😑
How do we get there? Elimination doesn’t require indefinite lockdowns, it requires us to stick with restrictions for a bit longer to bring cases closer to zero. We’ve made the same mistake time and time again: easing up too early, with active community transmission still ongoing.
We need urgent mitigation measures in schools. It’s very clear schools are now driving the pandemic in many different parts of the world. And we need to create safe environments to prevent school closures when they do open. Vaccines are only PART of a multi-layer approach.
Ms. Gurdasani’s focus is childhood transmission in schools. She says basic school safety measures are being ignored or removed. Grassroots advocacy will help. UK parents w/LongCovid have successfully pressured the UK government to take action. Join us!
Pat Branham, Co-Coordinator of ZeroCovid Chattanooga, is speaking. She is a psychiatric nurse who lost her own mother to Covid. ZeroCovid needs name recognition, & more advocates to help get the word out. If you want to help end the suffering & eliminate Covid, join us!
Yaneer Bar-Yam is up. We can choose elimination & return to pre-pandemic life, or we can live with the virus returning in wave after wave. The vaccine can be used as a tool for elimination, or we can use it to reopen, prolong the pandemic, & create more vaccine-evading variants.
“The US used to be a “can-do” nation. In recent times, we just look for reasons why we CAN’T. There is no fundamental reason why the US can’t eliminate the virus. The idea some have about the horse leaving the barn is not a thing. Covid is like a fire, & we can put it out...”
Why isn’t the US taking a ZeroCovid approach? “For some unknown hypothetical reason having to do with other diseases, but not this one, it’s the belief that we can’t. The other is believing there’s a trade off between economics, the virus, & the disease.
“Somehow we need to balance even though it costs lives. This is a false trade off because elimination is possible. If we act strongly, we invest in elimination, we can open up safely and fully with a tremendous rebound of economic activity.”
“China is expecting 9% growth, Australia & NZ have rebounded dramatically..ZeroCovid is a goal we can achieve. We can do it now. The main issue is THE CHOICE. Recognizing we have this choice then we can set up plans & do things that are really targeted to it.”
“Instead of having halfway yo-yo lockdowns that are terrible for death, disease, LongCovid, & increasingly have new variants more transmissible, more lethal & vaccine evading. What we can do, is we can stop all that.”
“We can achieve elimination by focusing on shortening the time it takes to stop transmission. Really taking it seriously that what we most want to do is save lives, prevent cases, & put our energy into protecting and caring about people..”
“The GREEN ZONE EXIT STRATEGY is available to us & has been successfully used in other diseases where we combine social action w/vaccination in order to stop transmission..It will enable us to stop it & achieve what we really want, family gatherings..and full economic activity.”
C’pher Gresham, ZeroCovid Co-Creator: “Individuals have a CHOICE to affect their community positively, to ensure their neighbors, cities, friends, & family are protected, safe, & healthy..Each person, each community can stand up, advocate and be part of the solution.”
“You all have the agency to affect change in your community. You can call your on local business & politicians to advocate for ZeroCovid & Elimination policies. It takes us ALL to get to ZeroCovid so we don’t have more loss & we don’t have more suffering.”
Green Zones are defined as areas with 1) No new local transmission for 14 consecutive days, 2) Cases only in those who were isolated upon entering the zone, 3) No land-border with a red zone (otherwise green turns yellow)
The ZeroCovid plan would be extremely effective if we can’t get timely boosters. “For vaccine makers, it’s not clear when or how to begin prioritizing production of the revised shots..The question is who & how do you make the decision to pull the trigger?”…
We need #ZeroCovid in the US because this much air travel isn’t sustainable with so many variants & such rapid mutations. Maps from tonight, as seen on FlightRadar24z
Pairs nicely with the COVID maps from Johns Hopkins.
“The plan always should have been to drive community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 down close to zero.”

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More from @LauraMiers

6 Apr
“Chicago Police took two days to inform the mother of a 13-year-old child shot and killed by an officer that her son was dead..Only later was she informed how he died..In an initial statement on March 29, police referred to the boy as an ‘offender.’”…
“The attorney for the family of a 13-year-old boy who was shot dead by Chicago police last week said they ‘want to correct the hurtful and false mischaracterization of Adam as a lonely child of the street who had no one to turn to.’”…
“‘This is simply not true,’ the attorney said in a statement Monday. ‘Adam was a loved and supported 13-year-old boy. He lived with his mother, his 90-year-old grandfather, and two of his siblings. His father was in his life. They all loved him very much.”
Read 5 tweets
1 Apr
I live in hour from Ontario—in western New York—where, like the rest of the United States, the pandemic is evidently over and everyone is making summer plans. What are we doing? The lack of concern is frightening.…
The variants are so contagious, people are getting infected OUTSIDE in Alberta. The same variants are circulating in the United States, and have been for months.…
“‘As the new variants spread, you will see that Covid-19 is killing faster and younger,’ Adalsteinn Brown, a senior science advisor to the Ontario government said...’We cannot vaccinate quickly enough to break this third wave. This is the challenge of the new variants.’”
Read 9 tweets
1 Apr
Journalists were allowed inside “revealing a severely overcrowded tent structure where more than 4,000 migrants, including children and families, were crammed into pods and the youngest kept in a large playpen with mats on the floor for sleeping.”…
“The children were being housed by the hundreds in 8 pods about 3,200 square feet in size. Many of the pods had more than 500 children in them. Oscar Escamilla, acting executive officer of the BP in the Rio Grande Valley, said 250-300 children enter daily & far fewer leave.”
I am not okay with this and I don’t care who is in charge.

“Cuellar told Axios that children were being held under “terrible conditions” in Donna and said the facility consists of “pods” that can hold up to 260 people, but were holding more than that.”
Read 11 tweets
3 Mar
Here is a sample of the very dangerous conspiracy theories millions of Texans are consuming on Facebook. This makes my skin crawl. I found it posted, along with a bunch of other alarming disinformation, by a man who committed suicide in Tarrant County two days later.
*I’m not saying this is why he chose suicide, but one has to wonder if disinformation consumption warps reality & fear/anxiety exacerbates already existing stressors. Plus we’re in a pandemic, a suicide epidemic, & there’s a lot of suffering. People need FACTS. FB is a scourge.
*Also, I’m trying to move away from using the phrase “committed suicide” and use “chose suicide” instead. Using the term “committed” carries a lot of negative connotations and it’s hurtful to families. My apologies for using it in the first tweet.
Read 4 tweets
1 Mar
My 12-year old son was born with a mild congenital heart defect, but he’s always been asymptomatic. He had COVID in Feb 2020. Recently, he’s been having spells of severe chest/back pain. I took his BP during one & it was 135/110, HR110. The cardiologist can’t see him until June.
If anyone has been following my efforts in trying to obtain healthcare here in Rochester over the last year, you’ll know I’m utterly unsurprised. It’s fine for me, but this is my KID. We’ve been to UPMC Children’s in Pittsburgh, I may try to get him in there instead.
Considering heart damage and heart failure are potential pediatric COVID complications, it seems dangerous to make a pediatric heart patient who survived COVID wait three months for an appointment. I wish the local medical community would catch up.…
Read 8 tweets
2 Feb
We are about to discover in-person learning and variants don’t mix. Many cases of the U.K. variant have been discovered on this campus. “Cases of COVID have increased at the University of Michigan, now making up for 34% of total cases in Washtenaw County.”…
“Lead author Hannah Lu..says the incidence levels of 1,000 cases per 100,000 people per week—when compared to the 1st & 2nd waves of the pandemic w/peak incidences of 70 to 150–means colleges are at real risk of developing an extreme incidence of COVID.”…
We know how this turned out for U of Michigan. “A more transmissible variant of the coronavirus, first detected in the United Kingdom, has shown up in two UC Berkeley students, as the state announced at least 133 new cases of the variant statewide.”…
Read 38 tweets

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