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  1. Why you should avoid some cough syrups if you think you've got the coronavirus ... Coughing is one of the hallmark symptoms of being infected with the novel coronavirus. So it's no surprise that many are swigging dextromethorphan, a workhorse cough suppressant, to calm those bone-rattling expulsions of germs and air. It may be doing them more harm than good, new research suggests. As part of an ambitious project to identify drugs that could be repurposed to treat COVID-19, an international team of scientists reported Thursday they had happened upon a surprising finding: A common active ingredient in dozens of over-the-counter cough syrups, capsules and lozenges appeared to boost replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus when tested under laboratory conditions. That's a long way from concluding that cough medicines containing dextromethorphan will worsen the condition of people infected with the new coronavirus, or that it will make frightening outcomes more likely. But the researchers said the findings are concerning enough for them to advise cough sufferers who might be infected with coronavirus to avoid these medications. Given that cough suppressants are likely to be widely used by people with coronavirus infections — whether they've got an official diagnosis or not — the researchers called for more research on dextromethorphan's safety. Dextromethorphan stifles signals in the brain that set off the reflex to cough. It is a key ingredient of virtually all over-the-counter cough and cold formulations, including those sold as Robitussin, Benylyn, DayQuil/NyQuil, Delsym, Triaminic, and Theraflu. In tests conducted at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, researchers found that when dextromethorphan was introduced into the cells of African green monkeys growing in petri dishes, the subsequent addition of SARS-CoV-2 resulted in more prolific viral growth. ... But the group's discoveries raise hopes as well. The research team, led by scientists at the Pasteur Institute and UC San Francisco, had set out to find promising potential treatments for COVID-19 among compounds that were already known to scientists, physicians and consumers. The idea was to identify drug candidates that could be deployed quickly, either separately or in combinations, to short-circuit the coronavirus's ability to infect and sicken humans. Their search turned up an array of drugs that have long been in use, including the antihistamine clemastine (present in Tavist and Allerhist), the antipsychotic haloperidol (marketed as Haldol), the cough medication cloparastine (which is used widely in Japan, Hong Kong and Europe), and the hormone progesterone, abundantly present in females and used in hormone replacement regimens and in reproductive and sexual-health drugs. Other promising compounds turned up in their search are still being tested for a variety of cancers, including the experimental drug zotatifin from San Diego-based Effector Therapeutics Inc.; plitidepsin, a substance derived from a Mediterranean marine worm that's being tested in Spain as a treatment for multiple myeloma; and ternatin, a mushroom-derived compound in early testing for its anti-cancer properties. ... Some of the compounds the team identified are "many times more potent" than remdesivir, a failed Ebola drug that is finding new life as a COVID-19 treatment, said Krogan, senior author of the Nature study. Krogan and his colleagues noted that many of the compounds would probably work best in tandem with remdesivir rather than competing against it. "A treatment that will be successful will be combinatorial," said Krogan, a UCSF cellular molecular pharmacologist. If scientists use his team's insights about where and how the coronavirus might be disrupted, he added, it should help them create a potent cocktail of drugs that will attack and disrupt the virus at many points in its life cycle, he added.
  2. That's a great write-up and explanation. Anyone still attempting to persuade with arguments about general public masks not protecting the wearer is someone that is blindly pushing talking points.
  3. My 5 year old desktop just died (probably the HD)... so trying to decide between another desktop or a laptop.
  4. I've collected baseball cards off and on pretty much my entire life. The sports card market is pretty crazy right now - it reminds me of the 90's. Topps Project 2020 is the epitome of craziness.
  5. A couple of those are also illustrative of the likelihood of covid deaths being under-reported.
  6. I consider public/workplace bathrooms to be a higher than average risk area in terms of potential respiratory droplets; they're small rooms with minimal airflow that lots of people visit. ETA - I wasn't even factoring in the dreaded toilet flume.
  7. All good points, it is admittedly more complex than my original statement. I'm sure there's a significant % of people not wearing them because they are following the lead of the President, who refuses to wear one - so those can all loosely be classified as political. Kids who feel invincible (I did too at that age) can be lumped under ignorance. Some people are just selfish... they place their comfort over the potential well-being of others. Some believe masks aren't beneficial to the wearer or their neighbors - I'd lump this under ignorance as well. I saw this on Reddit recently - it addresses the people in the "masks aren't beneficial" category:
  8. 'It's pretty dire': Montgomery mayor says there are 'just a handful' of ICU beds left as Alabama reopens theaters, summer camps, and daycare ... "It's pretty dire," Reed, a first-term Democrat, said. "More people are coming in [to the hospitals] and they're coming in in worse shape." At a press conference on Wednesday, Reed warned of a hospital-bed shortage, saying his city's healthcare system had been "maxed out." He blamed the surge in new infections on the statewide loosening of social-distancing policies, and said his city's hospitals were seeing a significant influx of patients from neighboring rural areas, where healthcare systems are weaker. ... Alabama's Republican governor, Kay Ivey, ignored federal guidelines earlier this month when she ended her stay-home order after just four weeks. On May 11, salons and gyms reopened and restaurants resumed serving customers in their dining rooms. Ivey is quickly loosening other restrictions, including allowing groups of all sizes to gather, as long as people remain six feet apart. Theaters, music venues, daycare, and summer camps are all permitted to reopen starting on Friday, and schools are set to reopen next month. ... "I'm not sure cities and states, much less small businesses, are going to be able to adequately deal with a second wave, should one come at another point this year due to an outbreak or another surge in cases, if there's not a different approach to this virus," he told Insider. Reed says many in his city and state are "letting down their guard" and beginning to go about life as normal as the state reopens. He's urging his constituents to stay home as much as they can and is considering implementing new restrictions in the city. ...
  9. It's mostly political, with some ignorance thrown in.
  10. That's what happens when you keep your notebook in your head. And your brain scans for patterns. I remember now, it was @McGarnicle ETA I hope any elderly neighbors that you have are doing fine as well. This thing is a b**** for older people.
  11. How is your neighbor across the street doing? As I recall, she was a little older. I hope she is safe and sound!
  12. Why you need to wear the damn mask tldr: Being mildly inconvenienced for the greater good is not only right, it's a moral imperative. It's how we manage to live together in relative safety in our society.