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La entidad del curandero Pàmies reúne a un millar de personas en un acto con besos y abrazos contra la Covid

La entidad Dulce Revolución reunió este martes a un millar de personas en Sant Pere de Ribes (Barcelona), la mayoría de ellas sin mascarillas y sin respetar las distancias de seguridad, para volver a denunciar la gestión que se hace desde las administraciones de la COVID-19. Según ha explicado a Efe el agricultor de Balaguer (Lleida), activista y líder de la entidad, Josep Pàmies, esta era la tercera reunión de estas características en lo que va de verano y, pese a ser una convocatoria pública, la policía no acudió para evitarla. «L as cosas están empezando a cambiar«, asegura el curandero, ya que en las anteriores convocatorias sí que acudió la policía para pedir que se cumplieran las medidas recomendadas por las autoridades sanitarias. Durante el encuentro, los convocantes explicaron los beneficios de hasta 40 plantas medicinales y los asistentes al acto se dieron besos y abrazos con el fin de demostrar que «no tienen miedo al virus». De hecho, el activista ha recordado que una veintena de simpatizantes de Dulce Revolución se han ofrecido para contagiarse voluntariamente por coronavirus y curarse solo con terapias alternativas como el MMS, un suplemento mineral considerado «un medicamento ilegal». No obstante, «no les interesa y solo quieren una vacuna», pese a haber remedios naturales «que podrían curar la enfermedad en pocos días», asegura Pàmies. «Preocupación» del Ayuntamiento El Ayuntamiento de Sant Pere de Ribes, por su parte, ha emitido un comunicado para explicar que el acto se realizó en una finca privada y que no recibieron ninguna petición de autorización ni tenían constancia del acto. Además, asegura que al tener conocimiento del evento los Mossos se presenciaron a la cita y levantaron acta por los hechos y que las diligencias, que podrían derivar en consecuencias penales, siguen abiertas. Igualmente, el consistorio ha mostrado su «preocupación» por este tipo de «actos de desafío a las normativas sanitarias» y piden a la Generalitat actuar contra esta situación, que es reincidente en el municipio.
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For weeks, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 had been about 3.5 percent of the number of cases reported a week earlier. But, he noticed, that relationship has broken down. A smaller and smaller proportion of cases is appearing in hospitalization totals.“This is a real thing. It’s not an artifact. It’s not data problems,” Jha told us.Why would this number change? As hospitals run out of beds, they could be forced to alter the standards for what kinds of patients are admitted with COVID-19. The average American admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 today is probably more acutely ill than someone admitted with COVID-19 in the late summer. This isn’t because doctors or nurses are acting out of cruelty or malice, but simply because they are running out of hospital beds and must tighten the criteria on who can be admitted.Many states have reported that their hospitals are running out of room and restricting which patients can be admitted. In South Dakota, a network of 37 hospitals reported sending more than 150 people home with oxygen tanks to keep beds open for even sicker patients. A hospital in Amarillo, Texas, reported that COVID-19 patients are waiting in the emergency room for beds to become available. Some patients in Laredo, Texas, were sent to hospitals in San Antonio—until that city stopped accepting transfers. Elsewhere in Texas, patients were sent to Oklahoma, but hospitals there have also tightened their admission criteria.The COVID Tracking Project has found the same phenomenon by looking at a different variable in the data produced by the Department of Health and Human Services: the number of people admitted to the hospital every week. (Jha was analyzing the number of people currently hospitalized.) In August and September, about 9.5 percent of COVID-19 cases were admitted to hospitals nationwide, according to federal data. As October began, this case-hospitalization proportion held for about a week. But then cases began to explode, especially in the Midwest and Great Plains, and hospitals suffered strain. In the last week of October, the average number of new COVID-19 cases surged past its all-time high of 66,000 new cases a day. Less than 8 percent of those cases made it into the hospital, a 16 percent drop in the proportion of sick people admitted versus September.As the pandemic intensified, the fall continued. On November 10, the U.S. recorded more virus hospitalizations than ever before, passing the previous high set during the spring and summer surges. More than 100,000 Americans were diagnosed with the virus every day last month, on average, and more than ever were hospitalized as well. But as facilities ran short on bed space, the fraction of admitted cases fell. Ultimately, only 7.4 percent of COVID-19 cases were hospitalized in November—the lowest percentage yet.This change may not seem ominous at first. You might expect to see such a divergence, for instance, if testing rapidly increased, so that states were suddenly detecting many more mild cases of COVID-19. But the data don’t show any evidence of this kind of “casedemic”—if anything, they show the opposite. Last month, the number of total COVID-19 tests increased by about a third compared with October, but the number of total cases discovered more than doubled. More people are getting sick.At the same time, the virus seems to be killing a slightly higher fraction of people diagnosed with it. Using a method that accounts for clinical- and data-reporting lags between cases and deaths, for most of October and November, about 1.7 percent of cases resulted in death. But in the middle of November, that number lurched to more than 1.8 percent. While this change may seem small, it represents hundreds of deaths, because many more people are getting sick every day.In other words, we’re observing exactly the opposite of what you’d expect from a rash of mild cases in the data. The virus seems to be killing more people. And that makes sense: As Yong and our colleague Sarah Zhang have both written, many of our medical triumphs over the virus have come from more attentive and knowledgeable hospital care for COVID-19 patients. (Very few, if any, people outside of a clinical trial have received the cocktail of antibody drugs that President Donald Trump claims is a “cure” for the disease.) Yet a smaller fraction of people are now receiving that expert and conscientious care.CTP / Ryan TibshiraniSince March, most of our writing about the pandemic has focused on the near-term future. We’ve described data as worrying or ominous, words implying that the worst is soon to arrive. There’s a good reason for this forward-looking approach: It gives people a sense of what’s coming, and it helps people make decisions to protect themselves or their family.But ominous no longer fits what we’re observing in the data, because calamity is no longer imminent; it is here. The bulk of evidence now suggests that one of the worst fears of the pandemic—that hospitals would become overwhelmed, leading to needless deaths—is happening now. Americans are dying of COVID-19 who, had they gotten sick a month earlier, would have lived. This is such a searingly ugly idea that it is worth repeating: Americans are likely dying of COVID-19 now who would have survived had they gotten September’s level of medical care.The first doses of vaccine will almost certainly go out by Christmas. Tens of millions of Americans could have protective immunity within eight weeks. 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On its worst days, Victoria saw about 700 new cases; Missouri, with (very roughly) a similar population and land mass, is currently averaging more than 3,000. Some of the Australian states also closed their borders to the others, which lowered the risk somebody might bring covid from one part of the country to another. But the Australian epidemic has also mirrored America’s in important ways. Once the coronavirus arrived in the spring, the country went into lockdown. When cases abated, some of those restrictions were eased — and, before too long, Covid-19 cases were spiking again. Each state was responsible for its own response, with the federal government playing an advisory role outside of obviously national issues like foreign travel. In the second wave, Victoria was by far the hardest hit state. Its case numbers were dwarfing those in every other state including New South Wales, home to the country’s other great metropolis, Sydney. Grattan Institute Policymakers dreaded an endless cycle of lockdown-reopening-lockdown — exactly the situation the US finds itself in. They realized that amorphous goals of “slowing the spread” or “flattening the curve” had been ineffective in mustering public support for the stringent mitigation measures that would be necessary to contain the virus. So they went big, following a policy proposal laid out in September by the Grattan Institute (a nonprofit think tank supported by the state and federal governments): “Go for zero.” The goal was not just to slow Covid-19 down. It was to eradicate the virus. The state had gone into a Stage 4 lockdown — most businesses closed, there was a nightly curfew, and residents were ordered to stay within five kilometers of their home — in August, and it was then extended in September, with the explicit goal of eventually reaching zero new cases. “Ideally, lockdowns are only done once and done well,” the proposal’s authors, Stephen Duckett and Will Mackey, explained. “The benefit of zero is to reduce the risk of ‘yo-yoing’ between virus flare-ups and further lockdowns to contain them.” They treated the threats to public health and the economy as intertwined, which most experts agree they are. The Australian states that contained Covid-19 best also saw the strongest economic recoveries. Victoria, with the worst outbreak among the states, was lagging behind in consumer spending and business revenue. People will stay home and spend less if they are worried about the virus. The Grattan authors cited a study comparing Denmark (which established a lockdown) and Sweden (which took the more relaxed “herd immunity” strategy) and found that their economies suffered about the same in the early months of the pandemic. But later in the year, when Denmark had its outbreak under control but Sweden did not, unemployment claims were almost back to pre-Covid levels in the former but remained elevated in the latter. “Without elimination, the third, fourth, or fifth wave is an inevitability. This will either involve more lockdowns or the government will lose the social license to do lockdowns and the virus will spread indiscriminately,” Duckett told me over email, perhaps unwittingly describing the very challenge before the United States during this winter surge. “A hard lockdown in the early stages of the virus gives a chance for elimination, and that gives the chance for business certainty and a full recovery.” Melburnians are now enjoying the benefits of their sacrifices. Duckett said he had just gone to lunch with a few friends before responding to my email. The US probably cannot achieve zero Covid-19 cases anytime soon. But it could embrace the spirit of the Victorian model: a clear goal, support for the proven mitigation strategies, and a commitment from the public. There is no secret sauce to Covid-19 containment. It just takes commitment. There was nothing particularly novel about Victoria’s containment strategy. They just dedicated themselves to what works. They expanded testing, including random pooled testing and testing for workers in essential industries and of people attending schools or other indoor events. They achieved 24-hour turnarounds for test results, so if a person tested positive, they could quickly isolate. Once cases reached zero, the state was planning to start testing sewage for Covid-19 to get a head start on any resurgence. The Grattan Institute also recommended ramping up contact tracing, another established part of an effective Covid response, and mandatory isolation. Australia had problems earlier in the year with international travelers breaking their quarantines and introducing the virus into the community. The experts advised having people scan QR codes if they entered any public venues, so they could be contacted if a related case was detected. They also noted that other Australian states had police do spot checks of people who were supposed to be in isolation. “A system that relies on self-isolation in which people are unable or refuse to self-isolate cannot succeed,” Duckett and Mackey wrote. That probably sounds draconian to Americans. Certainly the harshest lockdown measures taken in Victoria — requiring people to stay within a few miles of their house and stay inside completely at night — would be politically challenging in the US. But Australians took it in stride because they knew the goal they were working toward. “I think being obedient is definitely part of the Australian psyche,” Eloise Shepherd, who lives in the Melbourne suburbs (and whom I met for our feature on Australian health care published earlier this year), told me over text. “It was really hard, but I’m so grateful we did it.” The government there made it easier for businesses and workers by providing subsidies to businesses to keep people employed and by increasing their unemployment benefits — the same policies that the US has let lapse and is now struggling to reinstitute even during this devastating winter wave. As cases dwindled, the lockdown measures were relaxed in a clear, tiered fashion. The extreme travel restrictions were the first to go. Schools and businesses could reopen with spacing. Masks continued to be required indoors and on public transportation. Eventually, all restrictions except for international quarantine could be lifted. Things could still go wrong for Victoria and the rest of Australia. The state is now prioritizing having “normal” conditions for the Christmas shopping season over maintaining zero new cases. But it is easier to focus on reopening when community spread is eliminated — rather than pushing forward with reopening in spite of sustained spread, as the US has done. “We know that we going to basically have a much easier life now that the pandemic is under control,” Duckett said. “We still celebrate the fact that we’ve had so many days with no new infections and no deaths. The community is very proud of itself.” Australia is much more homogenous than the US is. That must make it easier to build solidarity for these extraordinary measures. America is deeply polarized, and that has been reflected in our scattered policy responses and in the differing attitudes of Democrats and Republicans toward mask-wearing and other restrictions. But I don’t believe it was impossible for America to execute a similar strategy to the one that has succeeded in Victoria. Polls showed most Americans did support wearing masks and other mitigation measures, even if there was some divide among partisans. They worried that social distancing would be relaxed too quickly, not too slowly, much like the Australians did. The problem, or one of them, is that the US just never set a clear goal for Covid-19 suppression. It was understandably hard to ask people in Wisconsin to abide by social distancing restrictions back when they thought the coronavirus was just a New York City problem — and when they didn’t know what the plan was. Today, of course, the pandemic is a very real problem for every American. So as we try to bring the winter wave under control, we might benefit from taking a lesson from the Aussies and coming up with a specific objective that all of us, together, can work toward.
vox.com
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latimes.com
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foxnews.com
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slate.com