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                              Health Talk Blog


                                                      U.S.                                                              California

                                   CASES               DEATHS                                     CASES              DEATHS       

December 2020    19,111,443              341,149                              2,120,610               24,241


2021   Timeline

January                  26,185,362              441,319                              3,310,949               40,702

February                 28,602,101              513,137                              3,563,578              51,953

March                     30,459,874              552,072                              3,668,277              59,240

April                        32,225,012               574,280                              3,742,115              62,078

May                        33,261,284               594,468                              3,789,227              63,247

June                       33,624,871               603,966                              3,814,890              63,569

July                         34,434,136               610,859                              3,903,052              64,231 

August                   39,057,368*              638,700                              4,326,204              65,757 

September            43,471,906               698,149                              4,720,860              69,130

October                45,979,056               746,021                              4,915,796               71,950

November            48,214,360               776,586                              5,060,666               74,152

December            54,859,966               825,816                             5,515,250               76,520


UPDATED WEEKLY - Last updated on 23 January 2022, 9:30 am PST, John Hopkins Corona Virus Dashboard and Worldometer


Cases Worldwide

                       John Hopkins                                                    Worldometer

  • TOTAL CASES      -   349,681,392                      TOTAL CASES        -   350,711,117

Recovered       -                                               Recovered         -   279,119,379

  • TOTAL DEATHS    -      5,593,309                       TOTAL DEATHS      -       5,612,097


POPULATION - is 334,024,770 as of 23 January 2022, 9:30 am PST, based on Census U.S. and World Population Clock.


Cases in the U.S.

  • TOTAL CASES      -   70,521,942                      TOTAL CASES         -     71,728,557

Recovered       -                                            Recovered           -     44,329,200

  • TOTAL DEATHS    -        866,124                      TOTAL DEATHS       -         888,623


Cases in California

  • TOTAL CASES       -   7,664,368                       TOTAL CASES         -        7,420,876

Recovered        -                                            Recovered          -               N/A

  • TOTAL DEATHS     -        78,553                       TOTAL DEATHS       -             78,806


01/23/2022                      Cases (WHO)                    Deaths (WHO)                Recovered (WHO)

  • Texas                    -    5,919,216                             78,806                                N/A
  • Florida                  -    5,351,391                             63,576                           3,666,925
  • New York             -    4,813,820                             63,619                           2,597,185
  • Illinois                    -   2,773,362                             33,446                            1,924.335
  • Pennsylvania      -    2,560,167                             39,487                                 N/A
  • Ohio                    -    2,496,243                             31,987                            2,053,374
  • Georgia              -    2,229,675                             32,294                            1,592,077
  • N. Carolina         -    2,212,752                             20,193                            1,748,088
  • Tennessee          -    1,736,210                             22,033                                 N/A
  • Arizona               -    1,729,630                             25,557                            1,329,206



          **reporting information is limited, reduced testing and increased cases


 United States progress                                       Updated as of 23 January 2022, 9:30 am PST

  • Doses Distributed*                                               657,122,745
  • Doses Administered                                            532,850,229             81%
  • 1st dose administered                                        250,262,153             76%
  • 2nd dose administered                                      210,021,766             64%
  • Total population                                                 334,024,770

State Progress                                                       Updated as of 23 January 2022, 9:30 am PST

   .                                          1st dose               2nd dose           % fully Vaccinated      

  • California               33,921,811           26,976,994                    68
  • Vermont **                 571,336                492,857                    78
  • Maine                      1,183,879             1,037,285                    77
  • Connecticut           3,273,941             2,713,462                    76
  • Massachusetts        6,469,362            5,234,306                     75
  • New York               16,890,560          14,294,956                     73 
  • Pennsylvania        10,395,254            8,352,090                     65
  • Florida                   16,479,588          13,893,520                     64
  • Texas                     20,009,278          16,893,151                     58
  • Alaska                        493,878              425,012                      58       
  • West Virginia          1,133,953           1,001,978                      55
  • Georgia                 6,723,533            5,573,435                     52   
  • Tennessee             4,118,935            3,581,350                     52
  • Mississippi              1,718,238            1,479,889                     49
  • Wyoming                 328,971               286,846                     49
  • Alabama              2,969,685            2,401,094                     48
  • Idaho***                  965,803                850,716*                   47

*      Correction

**    First on vaccine tracker

***  Last on vaccine tracker




                                                         JANUARY  BLOG




OMICROM VARIANT UPDATE.  What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron.  Fri, January 14, 2022.  The Omicron variant the way health care professionals and doctors differentiate between "mild" and "severe" illness may not align with a layperson's understanding.  According to health care professionals

  • 'Mild' means you're not getting hospitalized," said Megan Ranney, academic dean at the Brown University School of Public Health.  But,  "Omicron symptoms can range from
  • absolutely no symptoms
  • to a really mild cold to
  • to in bed with shakes and chills
  • a horrible cough
  • fatigued
  • headachy for weeks
  • “Severe," means symptoms such as
  • very low oxygen levels
  • kidney damage
  • heart impairment

So many people have gotten infected in such a short time, it's leaving schools, airlines, and other businesses — including, critically, hospitals — with large numbers of workers out sick simultaneously. 


Then there's the matter of long COVID.   A study published in Nature Immunology found ongoing, sustained inflammatory responses following even mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases.


Omicron variant:   What we know.  

  • Neutralization of Omicron below the limit of detection for most individuals who received two doses of mRNA or one dose of the Janssen vaccines
  • Neutralization of Omicron above the limit of detection in many vaccinated people who received a booster or who were previously infected
  • Given limits of detection of assays, difficult to evaluate with laboratory tests whether people have the level of antibodies needed to protect against severe disease

Omicron surge is 'unlike anything we've ever seen,' expert says.  Updated 1:42 PM ET, Thurs., December 30, 2021.  "It's unlike anything we've ever seen, even at the peak of the prior surges of Covid," indicated Dr. James Phillips.   The nation hit a new pandemic high of 300,886 average new daily cases over the prior week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.   The Omicron variant "is extraordinarily contagious and being in a crowds now and unvaccinated, you are at great risk of contracting this virus," said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University. 


Many patients are unvaccinated, they often have more severe illness with pneumonia and need to be intubated or need high-flow oxygen.  Others who haven't had a booster or partially vaccinated suffer a kind of flu-like illness and are considered "fragile."   Those older experience heart failure or have COPD and can't handle Covid, even when vaccinated.   Most recover after a couple days and going home, which is a good thing.


The unvaccinated are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.  Nearly 62% of the total US population is fully vaccinated, and 33% of those have gotten a booster shot, data from the CDC shows.


Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast.  As the United States enters its third year of the pandemic, forecasters predict another ugly winter, but children as well as adults are being affected.  Pediatric hospitalizations for covid are surging in many parts of the country, alongside the arrival of omicron. 


Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York have been hit particularly hard.  1,987 confirmed or suspected pediatric covid-19 patients were hospitalized nationally, a 31% jump in 10 days, according to a Washington Post analysis.  7.4 million children and adolescents have been infected, with 170,000 added to that total in one week alone, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.


MMWR: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant — United States, December 1–8, 2021.

  • As of December 8th, 43 cases with full details, identified in 22 states
  • 33% with international travel history – Also domestic travel, large public events, household transmission
  • 79% fully vaccinated; 32% with booster dose
  • Five of the 14 persons received additional dose<14 days before symptom onset
  • Persons with recent international travel or participation in large public events
  • might be more likely to vaccinated
  • 14% previously infected

A ‘very strange’ omicron variant symptom has emerged.  Expert identifies a new but strange omicron variant symptom.  Dec 30, 2021, 8:30pm MST.   An omicron variant symptom has emerged

as COVID-19 has continued to spread across the country.  NBC News senior medical correspondent, Dr. John Torres, told the “Today” show that the common COVID-19 symptom, loss of taste and smell, is not common among omicron patients.

  • “People are reporting night sweats, along with muscle aches, fatigue and scratchy throats.  The night sweats are “the kind of drenching sweats where you might have to get up and change your clothes.”
  • Many people are reporting cold-like symptoms, particularly among the vaccinated or boosted. This may be the sniffles or a scratchy throat, some mild fatigue, fever, aches. "Even with a mild case of the illness, you can transfer it to somebody, putting their life at risk," said US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.
  • There are other risks, like “Long ‘haul’ COVID - lasting symptoms that may never go away. Even if less severe, those people being hospitalized with Omicron tend to be unvaccinated.

I WAS RIGHT!  OMICRON – IS A TRANSFORMER.   COVID-19: What is the Omicron variant?   30/11/2021.  The World Health Organization, WHO, declared the Omicron, B.1.1.529, reported November 24 in South Africa, “a variant of concern.”  Stating the likelihood of further global spread of this variant is “very high” due to its many mutations.  


Omicron appears to get its spreading advantage over Delta because it is circulating among people who’ve been vaccinated or had previous Covid-19 cases and intrinsically more effective at transmitting.


Early studies suggest that people who’ve had Covid-19 or fully vaccinated become widely susceptible to infection from Omicron, but most remain protected from serious outcomes. It appears that having been infected and then vaccinated, or receiving a booster shot on top of the primary vaccination series, can restore much of the protection that’s lost in the face of Omicron.


“The emergence of the highly mutated Omicron variant underscores how dangerous and precarious our situation is,” indicated aid WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, recalling a “new wave of cases and deaths is sweeping across Europe” where the Delta variant is overwhelmingly prevalent.


What is the difference with the other variants?   It’s all in the genetic profile!  The Delta variant has 9 mutations on the spike protein, which has an essential role in infection.  The Omicron variant has 32 mutations on this protein, about 50 combinations in all – making it potentially more transmissible and more dangerous due to the mutations. 


The WHO reiterates that vaccination remains essential to reduce severe disease and death, especially the dominant Delta variant and urges accelerated vaccination for high-priority groups.  PCR tests continue to detect infection, including Omicron.


The organization also encourages states to share their genomic sequence data and research on the variant.  “It is critical countries are transparent with supported data, the only way to ensure we receive important data in a timely manner,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti.  States should continue implementing public health measures, to reduce the overall circulation of COVID-19.


It is imperative that everyone continues to respect sanitary measures: 

  • physical distancing
  • wearing a mask
  • ventilating indoor spaces
  • washing hands
  • coughing or sneezing into one’s elbow
  • avoiding closed and/or crowded places.

CDC director shares update on spread of omicron variant, now in 33 states.  Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shared new data regarding the rate of spread of the omicron variant, which has been detected in 33 states across the country and 77 nations around the world.  "New data out of the CDC today will demonstrate we are now detecting in our genomic surveillance, a rate of about 3% across the nation and about 13% in New Jersey and New York."



US children hospitalized with COVID in record numbers.  During the week of Dec. 22-28, an average of 378 children, 17 and under, were admitted per day to hospitals with the coronavirus, a 66% increase from the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.  Two months after vaccinations were approved for 5- to 11-year-olds, 14% are fully protected, the rate was higher for 12- to 17-year-olds, at about 53%, CDC data shows.


Professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, Dr. Albert Ko, noted the low vaccination rate in part is a matter of timing, as younger children were not approved for the vaccine until November, with many only now getting their second dose.


F.D.A. Plans to Allow 12- to 15-Year-Olds to Receive Pfizer Boosters.  WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2021.  Regulators are also expected to allow younger children with immune deficiencies to get an extra shot.  The Food and Drug Administration is planning to broaden eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine booster shots, allowing 12- to 15-year-olds to receive third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine. 


Regulators are also expected to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for both adolescents and adults five months after receiving a second dose, instead of the current interval of six months.  Younger children, ages 5 to 11, with immune deficiencies would be able to receive booster shots as well.


Studies show two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had provided strong protection, as Delta swarmed the country, but Omicron can evade the defenses of fully vaccinated people, heightening fears about the risks for young people.


70 percent of people 12 and older in the United States are fully vaccinated, with a quarter of children between 5 and 11, receiving at least one dose.  Children under 5 are still not eligible for a vaccine according to the C.D.C.  The latest surge has caused a concerning rise in hospitalizations among children.  But early data suggests that Omicron appears to be causing milder illness for children, similar to findings for adults.


PFIZER  - PAXLOVID(nirmatrelvir tablets; ritonavir tablets).  Now Authorized for Emergency Use, has not been approved, but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an EUA, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients, 12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg, with positive results of direct SARS CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.


Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, indicated in a news release a clinical trial of its new oral COVID-19 pill called Paxlovid found that it was 89% effective at preventing high-risk people from being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.  "Another great tool in our toolbox, but the best way to protect yourself against COVID is to not get it in the first place and that is to get vaccinated and boosted," Walensky said.


MERCK - MOLNUPIRAVIR.  Merck and Ridgeback's Molnupiravir Receives U.S. FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the Treatment of High-Risk Adults With Mild to Moderate COVID-19.  Tue, December 28, 2021, 5:47 AM.  Those at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate.


Molnupiravir is not authorized for use in patients who are less than 18 years of age, for initiation of treatment in patients hospitalized due to COVID-19, for use for longer than five consecutive days or for pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis for prevention of COVID-19.


Molnupiravir, administered as soon as possible after a diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.  The recommended dose is 800 mg, four 200 mg capsules, taken orally every 12 hours for five days, with or without food.  Completion of the full five-day treatment course is important to maximize viral clearance and minimize transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


New study suggests most monoclonal antibody treatments are ineffective against Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant.  Monoclonal antibody treatments from Regeneron, Lilly and Celltrion completely lost neutralizing activity when faced with the Omicron variant.  Monoclonal antibody treatments offered by AstraZeneca and Vir Biotechnology retained partial activity.  There continues to be an absence of neutralizing activity when researchers tested antibodies at the highest concentration.


COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy gets even harder to find in Michigan.   Thu, December 30, 2021, 3:29 PM  The supply of monoclonal antibodies has grown increasingly tight in Michigan as the omicron coronavirus variant spreads, pushing health care systems to further restrict eligibility for treatment that reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.


President and CEO of the Henry Ford Health System Physician Network, Dr. Bruce Muma indicated "the demand dramatically outpaces the supply."  The monoclonal antibody product made by Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline, Sotrovimab is the only antibody therapy in the U.S. that's shown to be effective against the omicron variant.  The treatment must be given by infusion within seven to 10 days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms for it to work.


Both Henry Ford and Michigan Medicine have stopped using monoclonal antibodies made by Eli Lilly and Regeneron because evidence suggests that while they were effective in treating the delta variant of the virus, they are less potent against omicron.


Impact on vaccines.  South African scientist’s preliminary study regarding omicron’s effect on vaccine effectiveness, found the variant significantly reduces antibody protection generated by Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine.  However, the scientists noted those who recovered from the virus and had received a booster shot will likely have more protection from severe disease.


“The greater Omicron’s growth advantage over the Delta variant and the greater its circulation in the EU/EEA, the shorter the expected time until the Omicron variant causes the majority of all SARS-CoV-2 infections,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention said in a statement.


Should countries close their borders?  The WHO is advising states against imposing travel restrictions related to the new variant that could be considered “an attack on global solidarity.”  Covid-19 is continuously taking advantage of our differences emphasizing the importance of addressing inequities in access to vaccines and treatments around the world.  “80% of the world’s vaccines went to G20 countries.  Developing countries, most located in Africa, received only 0.6% of all vaccines.”   “We will only get the upper hand on the virus if we work together on solutions.  The world cannot put an end to this pandemic if it cannot solve the vaccine crisis,” warned Dr. Moeti.


The WHO stated certain features of omicron, including its global spread and large number of mutations, suggest it could have a major impact on the course of the pandemic.  Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid, indicated preliminary South African evidence suggests omicron is milder than the delta strain, but it is “too early to conclude” that fact. 


New cases “plateaued” worldwide the WHO indicated.  More than 4 million new confirmed cases were reported across the world, similar to the figures from the previous week.  Deaths worldwide, however, increased by 10%, and over 52,500 new deaths reported.


How to Protect Yourself?  Getting vaccinated is your best bet!




Stay safe.  Mask.  Social distance.  Frequent hand washing.  Avoid crowds





Write a comment


  • Barbra Rose Meyer (Tuesday, January 10 17 06:52 pm EST)

    Great blog! I left my position in brilliant hands! Very Informational!

  • Joe Felix (Sunday, December 03 17 07:06 pm EST)

    I found your COPD comments interesting. Would you consider doing a leaky gut syndrome segment?

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