Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This new virus is called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or Sars-CoV-2. The disease it causes is called Covid-19. Source: Wall Street Journal. This is a serious disease – “a potential pandemic.” They think it originated in a (animal/seafood) market in Wuhan, China, on December 1, 2019. As of March 3, 2020, the WHO reports that there are 92,315 confirmed cases – 3,131 deaths; 60 cases in the US and 6 deaths.

The WHO and the CDC are monitoring the disease very closely, and they are taking measures to minimize the spread of the disease – no thanks to President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, his appointed “White House coronavirus response coordinator.” Source: Politico.com

Countries like China (Wuhan specifically) have been shut down; affecting the global economy. Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, South Korean, Japan, and Iran have also been hit hard. There’s talk of a global recession if this goes on for too much longer. (President Trump says it will be over by April, because of the warmer weather.)

A big health concern is the massing of people: any place or event where people gather is considered dangerous. The Summer Olympics, scheduled to open in Tokyo, Japan, on July 24, are in danger of being cancelled – or at best delayed for months. “March Madness” basketball tournaments might be played without fans. The Major League Baseball Opening Day is scheduled for March 26; they’re monitoring the situation.

Update 3/15/2020

Last week the WHO declared COVID-19 is a pandemic. Things are getting worse in the United States. Tomorrow, we’re starting to work-from-home and shelter-in-place for at least 1 week and possibly up to 8 weeks. It is already affecting the US economy, and we are looking at a global recession. Mnuchin dropped the “we could reach 20% unemployment” bomb, and the Fed cut rates to 0.0%. Smaller restaurants and retail shops in my town – and every city and town – are closing; health departments are mandating bars & restaurants close dining rooms. Some restaurants are adjusting – drive through, curbside, delivery – some are not, opting to close instead.

Update 4/3/2020

Coronavirus map 4-2-2020
Coronavirus map April 3, 2020. Source: Johns Hopkins University.

As of now there have been 1,076,017 cases worldwide and 58,004 deaths (JHU map); 5,368 cases in Texas and 93 deaths (Texas DSHS). We’ve been ordered to continue to shelter-in-place until April 30.

Many States have postponed their Primaries until Summer. The 2020 Summer Olympics has been postponed until July 2021.

Update 4/15/2020

We are still stay-at-home/work-from-home, but there are signs that we will begin to “restart the economy” in phases in May.

Countries around the world are working to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus pandemic. Flattening the curve involves reducing the number of new COVID-19 cases from one day to the next.

Source: Johns Hopkins University.

To date there have been 2,006,513 cases and 128,886 deaths worldwide (JHU map); 14,624 cases in Texas and 318 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 5/6/2020

Beginning in May, the President and the states’ governors were looking for ways to jump-start the economy – with coronavirus cases still increasing – and risking more American lives.

President Donald Trump fixed his course on reopening the nation for business, acknowledging that the move would cause more illness and death from the pandemic but insisting it’s a cost he’s willing to pay to get the economy back on track.

Source: Bloomberg.com

As of today there have been 3,688,635 cases worldwide and 258,051 deaths (JHU map); 1,205,138 cases in the United States and 71,078 deaths; 33,369 cases in Texas and 906 deaths (Texas DSHS).

On April 27, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued additional Executive Orders (GA-18) to continue the process of reopening the state of Texas: easing restrictions on onsite dining in restaurants (still no bars) , retail shops, movie theaters, malls, museums and libraries, and one-man shops.

Texas A&M President Michael Young basically told everyone to continue to work-from-home until further notice (probably through May, maybe through June), but he – and Chancellor Sharp – want to have campus open for the Fall 2020 semester; all summer classes/activities will be online.

Update 5/19/2020

As of today there have been 4,829,232 cases worldwide and 319,031 deaths (JHU map); 1,508,957 cases in the United States and 90,369 deaths; 48,693 cases in Texas and 1,347 deaths (Texas DSHS).

On May 18, 2020, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order (GA-23) to expand reopening the state of Texas: easing restrictions on onsite dining in restaurants (50% capacity), bars (25%), tattoo parlors, child-care, gyms (25%). At the end of May more restrictions will be lifted.

Update 6/4/2020

As of today there have been 6,542,851 cases worldwide and 386,581 deaths (JHU map); 1,852,561 cases in the United States and 107,191 deaths; 68,271 cases in Texas and 1,734 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 6/21/2020

As of today there have been 8,827,934 cases worldwide and 465,051 deaths (JHU map); 2,260,972 cases in the United States and 119,762 deaths; 107,735 cases in Texas and 2,165 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 7/5/2020

As of today there have been 11,304,534 cases worldwide and 531,659 deaths (JHU map); 2,841,124 cases in the United States and 129,689 deaths; 191,790 cases in Texas and 2,608 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Cases have been “spiking” in Arizona, Texas, and Florida, after these states began opening up in June. On Thursday (July 2) Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order (GA-29) requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions.

Update 7/8/2020

Texas has once again broken its single-day record for new coronavirus cases. The state reported 10,028 new cases Tuesday [July 7] as officials warned that hospitals are reaching capacity. … The state also set a new record for single-day deaths, with 60.

Source: CBS News

Meanwhile, we are still working from home (week 17), summer classes are 100% online, and we’re in limbo looking at current case numbers and trying to plan for the future. The current plan is to have 50% online and 50% face-to-face classes in the fall with classes starting earlier on August 19, and ending November 24. Class days will be longer too, 8 am – 8:35 pm, and conference rooms will be used as classrooms.

Update 7/18/2020

As of today there have been 14,106,753 cases worldwide and 602,657 deaths (JHU map); 3,647,715 cases in the United States and 139,266 deaths; 307,572 cases in Texas and 3,735 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 8/1/2020

As of today there have been 17,614,426 cases worldwide and 679,987 deaths (JHU map); 4,563,445 cases in the United States and 153,320 deaths; 438,293 cases in Texas and 6,576 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 8/15/2020

As of today there have been 21,394,639 cases worldwide and 770,112 deaths (JHU map); 5,360,277 cases in the United States and 169,475 deaths; 528,838 cases in Texas and 10,268 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Students are back in College Station – “locust” buying everything in stores and queuing up in restaurants – without masks – before the start of the semester on Wednesday (8/19). This is not going to go well.

Update 9/9/2020

As of today there have been 27,617,194 cases worldwide and 898,456 deaths (JHU map); 6,330,316 cases in the United States and 189,733 deaths; 662,575 cases in Texas and 13,792 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 9/24/2020

As of today there have been 31,920,652 cases worldwide and 977,311 deaths (JHU map); 6,935,414 cases in the United States and 201,920 deaths; 742,913 cases in Texas and 15,372 deaths (Texas DSHS).

In Brazos County there was a spike after school started almost a month ago, but the number of active cases has come down to 672 as of yesterday. Despite the numbers, Texas A&M plans to host Vanderbilt this weekend for the first of 10 football games this season. The SEC scheduled conference-only games for each of its 9 universities.

Update 10/2/2020

Breaking News: Just 32 days until the election, and 2 days after the first presidential debate of 2020, the President and the First Lady both test positive for COVID-19. The President tweeted the announcement late Thursday (10/1/2020) night.

As of today there have been 34,448,691 cases worldwide and 1,025,315 deaths (JHU map); 7,318,110 cases in the United States and 208,485 deaths; 777,255 cases in Texas and 16,142 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 10/17/2020

As of today there have been 39,405,715 cases worldwide and 1,105,505 deaths (JHU map); 8,050,506 cases in the United States and 218,602 deaths; 843,487 cases in Texas and 17,375 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 10/31/2020

As of today there have been 45,930,223 cases worldwide and 1,193,339 deaths (JHU map); 9,111,013 cases in the United States and 230,320 deaths; 931,098 cases in Texas and 18,464 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 11/16/2020

As of today there have been 54,518,771 cases worldwide and 1,319,342 deaths (JHU map); 11,048,174 cases in the United States and 246,255 deaths; 1,059,753 cases in Texas and 20,002 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 12/4/2020

As of today there have been 65,359,887 cases worldwide and 1,509,141 deaths (JHU map); 14,148,719 cases in the United States and 276,401 deaths; 1,286,369 cases in Texas and 22,573 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Update 12/19/2020

As of today there have been 75,883,142 cases worldwide and 1,678,339 deaths (JHU map); 17,485,578 cases in the United States and 313,942 deaths; 1,569,544 cases in Texas and 25,522 deaths (Texas DSHS).

The first vaccines from Pfizer were administered Monday (12/12/2020) to health care providers and nursing home staff.

First Americans Administered Pfizer’s Coronavirus Vaccine
…the same day the U.S. death toll from the virus is expected to surpass 300,000.

Source: U.S. News

In other news, Texas A&M is requiring all faculty, staff, and students who live/work on campus to get tested before they return to work/school in January; tests must be administered January 2 – 12 and reported by January 15, 2021. To add insult to injury, A&M’s insurance provider, Blue Cross, didn’t renew its contract with CHI St. Joseph (12/17/2020) – the major, local health care provider – so we have fewer options for testing.

2nd COVID-19 vaccine authorized in US preparing to ship out
Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.

Source: AP News

Update 1/1/2021

As of today there have been 83,718,625 cases worldwide and 1,823,154 deaths (JHU map); 20,007,149 cases in the United States and 346,408 deaths; 1,766,791 cases in Texas and 27,944 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Also as of today, local hospitals are at 104% capacity – mostly with COVID patients – and they fear the surge that will come from New Year’s parties.

Update 1/16/2021

As of today there have been 94,132,992 cases worldwide and 2,015,323 deaths (JHU map); 23,575,628 cases in the United States and 393,049 deaths; 2,069,286 cases in Texas and 31,693 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Locally, ICU bed occupancy is at 131%.

Update 2/3/2021

As of today there have been 104,221,874 cases worldwide and 2,262,923 deaths (JHU map); 26,522,785 cases in the United States and 449,663 deaths; 2,435,243 cases in Texas and 37,672 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Locally, hospital beds occupancy is at 89% and ICU bed occupancy is at 129%.

Update 2/9/2021

I received my first shot of (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine today. My second dose is scheduled for 3/8/2021.

Update 2/17/2021

As of today there have been 109,613,248 cases worldwide and 2,421,481 deaths (JHU map); 27,757,609 cases in the United States and 488,103 deaths; 2,229,008 confirmed cases in Texas and 40,645 deaths (Texas DSHS).

Texas’ numbers are lower because the JHU stopped reporting states’ data, and Texas separates ‘confirmed’ and ‘probable’ cases. As a result I will stop listing Texas DSHS as a source.

Locally, hospital beds occupancy is at 82% and ICU bed occupancy is at 113%.

Update 2/27/2021

As of today there have been 113,533,624 cases worldwide and 2,519,713 deaths (JHU map); 28,489,599 cases in the United States and 510,658 deaths; 2,643,874 cases in Texas and 43,376 deaths.

Locally, hospital beds occupancy is at 92% and ICU bed occupancy is at 112%.

Update 3/3/2021

Governor Greg Abbott announced yesterday that he will lift the mask mandate on Wednesday (3/10), and businesses can operate at 100% capacity.

Texas governor lifts mask mandate and allows businesses to open at 100% capacity, despite health officials’ warnings

Source: CNN

As of today there have been 114,896,149 cases worldwide and 2,552,091 deaths (JHU map); 28,724,165 cases in the United States and 517,000 deaths; 2,668,298 cases in Texas and 44,186 deaths.

Locally, hospital beds occupancy is at 85% and ICU bed occupancy is at 98%.

Update 3/19/2021

As of today there have been 121,920,491 cases worldwide and 2,693,410 deaths (JHU map); 29,668,173 cases in the United States and 539,703 deaths; 2,745,817 cases in Texas and 47,025 deaths.

Locally, hospital beds occupancy is at 81% and ICU bed occupancy is at 88%. I got my second vaccine shot on 3/11/2021; rescheduled from 3/8.

Since the Governor’s “No More Masks” Executive Action last week there has been a small surge locally in younger (18-24) people testing positive.

Update 4/2/2021

As of today there have been 129,761,773 cases worldwide and 2,830,059 deaths (JHU map); 30,541,004 cases in the United States and 553,140 deaths; 2,797,171 cases in Texas and 48,495 deaths.

In Brazos county the number of new cases is dropping (30s to 40s per day), and hospital bed occupancy has been steady at 81% while ICU bed occupancy is at 88%.

Also in Brazos County, 28,295 out of 186,843 people have been fully vaccinated.

Update 4/16/2021

As of today there have been 139,264,407 cases worldwide and 2,989,432 deaths (JHU map); 31,499,477 cases in the United States and 565,318 deaths; 2,844,069 cases in Texas and 49,441 deaths.

Locally, they’ve stopped reporting hospital bed occupancy. In Brazos County, 40,881 (22%) people have been fully vaccinated.

Update 5/7/2021

As of today there have been 155,650,258 cases worldwide and 3,251,960 deaths (JHU map); 32,603,943 cases in the United States and 580,054 deaths; 2,909,076 cases in Texas and 50,527 deaths.

India has begun to report 300k and 400k+ new cases per day in their 3rd surge.

Just this week, Texas A&M, under new leadership, announced an 100% return to work June 1; same day Dr. M. Katherine Banks will assume the presidency of the university.

Update 5/21/2021

As of today there have been 165,879,428 cases worldwide and 3,438,678 deaths (JHU map); 33,084,800 cases in the United States and 589,222 deaths; 2,939,697 cases in Texas and 51,170 deaths.

Update 6/7/2021

As of today there have been 173,374,931 cases worldwide and 3,730,699 deaths (JHU map); 33,363,403 cases in the United States and 597,631 deaths; 2,962,952 cases in Texas and 51,719 deaths.

Update 6/19/2021

As of today there have been 177,913,499 cases worldwide and 3,853,341 deaths (JHU map); 33,517,055 cases in the United States and 601,579 deaths; 2,983,657 cases in Texas and 52,083 deaths.

We were ordered to returned to the office full time starting Monday (6/14). Me and a few other people are wearing masks in public areas.

There is a “delta” variant that came from India which is 60% more transmissible than “alpha” and more likely to put people in the hospital. Symptoms of delta are more flu like: fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

Update 7/2/2021

As of today there have been 182,763,721 cases worldwide and 3,957,898 deaths and 3,122,658,861 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 33,681,328 cases in the United States and 605,062 deaths; 3,001,758 cases in Texas and 52,412 deaths.

The B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant is spreading in Texas.

Wastewater sampling shows the [Delta] strain has been detected in five times as many facilities recently as it was at the start of May….At the same time the Delta variant appears to be spreading, the presence of the U.K. [Alpha] variant is slowly diminishing.

Source: KHOU 11 published July 1, 2021.

Update 7/23/2021

As of today there have been 193,090,087 cases worldwide and 4,142,810 deaths and 3,779,720,363 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 34,325,902 cases in the United States and 610,431 deaths; 3,070,903 cases in Texas and 52,982 deaths.

On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott said he would not impose a new mask mandate despite increasing COVID-19 cases.

It would be “inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask,” Abbott said.

Source: Texas Tribune

Also this week, the Lambda variant popped up in a Houston hospital.

This week, Houston Methodist also reported its first case of the Lambda variant, which was first identified in Peru.

Source: Houston Public Media

Update 8/6/2021

As of today there have been 201,106,458 cases worldwide and 4,271,616 deaths and 4,339,419,428 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 35,444,963 cases in the United States and 615,347 deaths; 3,201,586 cases in Texas and 53,538 deaths.

Over the past 30 days, there has been a growing trend in the number of cases (blamed on the Delta variant), but deaths are not following the trend. The number of vaccinations have slowed; curve flattening.

Update 8/21/2021

On Tuesday, August 17, Governor Greg Abbott tested positive for COVID-19.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced on Tuesday. Abbott is fully vaccinated and so far is experiencing no symptoms.

…Abbott is being treated with Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies,…

Source: CBSnews.com

As of today there have been 211,079,317 cases worldwide and 4,418,363 deaths and 4,894,593,991 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 37,622,230 cases in the United States and 627,911 deaths; 3,442,257 cases in Texas and 55,055 deaths.

Update 9/1/2021

Monday was the first day of classes at Texas A&M University (and near by Blinn College). Every student, faculty, and staff member is required to get a COVID-19 test by September 10.

As of today there have been 217,848,001 cases worldwide and 4,522,230 deaths and 5,316,611,253 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 39,200,751 cases in the United States and 640,121 deaths and 369,116,950 vaccinations; 3,612,246 cases in Texas and 57,044 deaths.

Update 9/15/2021

As of today there have been 226,013,637 cases worldwide and 4,653,053 deaths and 5,770,816,340 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 41,389,308 cases in the United States and 664,346 deaths and 380,120,723 vaccinations; 3,871,122 cases in Texas and 60,423 deaths.

The delta variant is currently the dominant strain, but the WHO and CDC are also watching the mu variant which was first detected in Columbia in January 2021.

The World Health Organization last month listed it as a “variant of interest” because of concerns it may make vaccines and treatments less effective, though more evidence is needed.

So far, the mu variant doesn’t seem to be spreading quickly: It accounts for fewer than 1% of COVID-19 cases globally.

Source: APnews.com

Update 9/25/2021

In the last several weeks we’ve seen a sharp rise in cases in Brazos County. Texas surged ahead of Florida and California with the most number of cases in the past 30 days; Florida has more deaths than Texas or California in the past 30 days.

As of today there have been 231,421,601 cases worldwide and 4,741,914 deaths and 6,072,113,586 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 42,893,199 cases in the United States and 687,670 deaths and 387,927,801 vaccinations; 4,016,181 cases in Texas and 63,934 deaths.

Update 10/8/2021

As of today there have been 236,882,426 cases worldwide and 4,836,832 deaths and 6,416,502,153 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 44,160,455 cases in the United States and 710,185 deaths and 398,057,328 vaccinations; 4,124,391 cases in Texas and 66,933 deaths.

Update 10/22/2021

As of today there have been 242,636,642 cases worldwide and 4,932,452 deaths and 6,755,224,197 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 45,302,004 cases in the United States and 733,226 deaths and 409,314,310 vaccinations; 4,202,418 cases in Texas and 69,795 deaths.

Update 11/5/2021

As of today there have been 248,992,129 cases worldwide and 5,035,520 deaths and 7,186,767,687 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 46,392,432 cases in the United States and 752,721 deaths and 425,122,096 vaccinations; 4,256,845 cases in Texas and 71,802 deaths.

Update 11/29/2021

As of today there have been 261,728,666 cases worldwide and 5,203,401 deaths and 7,636,440,130 vaccinations administered (JHU map); 48,246,621 cases in the United States and 776,713 deaths and 454,504,703 vaccinations; 4,321,134 cases in Texas and 73,605 deaths.

The omicron variant (B.1.1.529) that was discovered in Botswana and South Africa earlier this month has begun to spread quickly around the world.

The WHO warned Monday that the global risk from the omicron variant is “very high” based on the early evidence, saying the mutated coronavirus could lead to surges with “severe consequences.”

Source: APnews.com

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