Friday, July 31, 2020

Covid-19 Infects Nuclear Plant Workers - Plan for Disruptions Now to Avoid Darkest Winter

Nuclear power plants at risk:
Hannah Baker (30 JUL 2020). Balfour Beatty confirms more workers test positive at Hinkley Point C supply site. BristoLive.

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURES must be bolstered and secured.

Worst case scenarios must be imagined and planned for as we potentially face the darkest winter.

Plan for “Darkest Winter” scenario - Dr. Rick Bright in testimony before House Energy and Commerce Committee, reported May 13, 2020.[i]

[i]              Ricardo Alonso Zaldivar Associated Press May 13, 2020Whistleblower: US could face virus rebound 'darkest winter’ Northwestern Georgia News.

Covid-19: A Global Threat to the Nervous System

Direct excerpt:
Koralnik, I.J. and Tyler, K.L. (2020), COVID ‐19: A Global Threat to the Nervous System. Ann Neurol, 88: 1-11. doi:10.1002/ana.25807

ABSTRACT: In less than 6 months, the severe acute respiratory syndrome‐coronavirus type 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) has spread worldwide infecting nearly 6 million people and killing over 350,000. 
Initially thought to be restricted to the respiratory system, we now understand that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) also involves multiple other organs, including the central and peripheral nervous system. 
The number of recognized neurologic manifestations of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection is rapidly accumulating. These may result from a variety of mechanisms, including virus‐induced hyperinflammatory and hypercoagulable states, direct virus infection of the central nervous system (CNS), and postinfectious immune mediated processes. 
Example of COVID‐19 CNS disease include encephalopathy, encephalitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, meningitis, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, venous sinus thrombosis, and endothelialitis. In the peripheral nervous system, COVID‐19 is associated with dysfunction of smell and taste, muscle injury, the Guillain‐Barre syndrome, and its variants. 
Due to its worldwide distribution and multifactorial pathogenic mechanisms, COVID‐19 poses a global threat to the entire nervous system. Although our understanding of SARS‐CoV‐2 neuropathogenesis is still incomplete and our knowledge is evolving rapidly, we hope that this review will provide a useful framework and help neurologists in understanding the many neurologic facets....

Covid-19 is the unexpected crisis that is crowning the triple-crown of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the 2010 BP oil spill, and the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Each of these disasters wrecked social, economic and ecological lives and livelihoods.

Now we are vulnerable and exposed to the crowning, novel coronavirus crisis: SARS-CoV-2.

Existing infrastructural vulnerabilities - such as the hurricanes ripping up the southeast US - are going to be amplified as congregated workers get sick.

Seat belt on.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Post-Viral Syndrome - Covid-19 Sequela

Direct Excerpt:
Louise Hall (2020, July 28). Women who survived coronavirus angry after persistent symptoms dismissed as ‘anxiety’ by doctors. The Independent

Dr Anthony Fauci, recognised the possibility that the disease could cause “a post-viral syndrome” in a news conference. 

“If you look anecdotally, there is no question that there are a considerable number of individuals who have a post-viral syndrome that in many respects incapacitates them for weeks and weeks following so-called recovery,” Dr Fauci said.
“So this is something we really need to seriously look at because it very well might be a post-viral syndrome associated with Covid-19,” he added.

And more support for this post-viral syndrome:
Perrin, R., Riste, L., Hann, M., Walther, A., Mukherjee, A., & Heald, A. (2020). Into the looking glass: Post-viral syndrome post COVID-19. Medical Hypotheses, 144, 110055.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Problem With Opening Schools

Mortality and morbidity are the two most common measures of disease impact ( Zylke & Bauchner, 2020).

Mortality is usually assessed as excess deaths attributed to the specified disease.

Morbidity concerns lasting health impacts, particularly with respect to newly acquired disease(s) and syndromes among survivors.

The disease, Covid-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 is still little understood but one issue is crystallizing:

The emphasis on mortality is distracting from morbidity generally and specially SEQUELAE.

What are sequelae? They are the pathological conditions caused by a disease or other hazard.

SARS-CoV-2 is able to invade cells lining blood vessels and colonize organs beyond lungs.

That colonization may not be evident until later.

The pathological conditions caused by this terrible virus include damage to the heart and central nervous system.

It is still not clear to me whether most people can even clear this virus entirely. I fear it lurks hidden and may only be revealed by down-regulated T cells and other immune anomalies that make individuals more susceptible to other insults (see Wang, et al, 2020).

Potential immunological susceptibilities to this virus have caused experts to worry we might get it over and over again as it mutates, particularly if it can persistently down-regulate T cells (see Kirkcaldy, 2020).

This aggressive virus is occurring in an existing context of environmental degradation and declining human reproductive health and longevity - see my discussion here.

These conditions remind me of bee and bat colony collapse. Entire colonies collapse when weakened by pesticides, fungus, mites, etc and then exposed to opportunist pathogens - such as a virus. The pathogen destroys enough of the population that the colony ceases to exist.


Several months ago I set up a search alert for news coverage of "Covid-19 and sick workers." Everyday I get notifications from mostly local news sites on hundreds of workers at a particular site testing positive after several had developed symptoms.

Most people think that if you're asymptomatic you are good to go but that may be very deceptive if the virus is hiding out, colonizing your cells. Although not necessarily contagious, asymptomatic carriers are likely to have significant and imminent health problems.

Every type of congregated workplace is getting hit - from oil refineries to agricultural workers, from grocery store workers to Amazon distribution centers. Masks aren't the golden ticket to disease freedom. They may help but they are not alone sufficient, based on the skyrocketing cases among health care workers in the most advanced economies, such as the US.

Requiring students to return to classrooms will test my hypothesis that this virus has the capacity to produce rippling disease eruptions that worsen across time, endangering social networks as the virus and other pathogens are shared in primary sites and subsequently circulate to vulnerable populations.

Vectors of contagion are clear: Toilets in most US schools that I've seen do not have lids. Many school bathrooms have blowers that have been proven empirically to simply spread bacteria around bathrooms.

Bathrooms will be a primary site of transmission unless all sorts of extreme measures are put into place.

PLEASE: Let's make sure that SARS-CoV-2 is not capable of producing human colony collapse BEFORE we open classrooms and further endanger our critical workers and most vulnerable populations.

Never before has the importance of the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE been so obvious.


Kirkcaldy RD, King BA, Brooks JT. COVID-19 and Postinfection Immunity: Limited Evidence, Many Remaining Questions. JAMA. Published online May 11, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7869

Román, G. C., P.S. Spencer, J. Reis, et al. (2020), The neurology of COVID-19 revisited: A proposal from the Environmental Neurology Specialty Group of the World Federation of Neurology to implement international neurological registries, Journal of the Neurological Sciences (2020),

Varga, S., Andreas J Flammer, Peter Steiger, Martina Haberecker, Rea Andermatt, Annelies S Zinkernagel, et al. (April 20, 2020). Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19. Nature Correspondence, 395(10234), P1417-1418.

Wang, X., Xu, W., Hu, G. et al. SARS-CoV-2 infects T lymphocytes through its spike protein-mediated membrane fusion. Cell Mol Immunol (2020).

Zheng, M., Gao, Y., Wang, G. et al. Functional exhaustion of antiviral lymphocytes in COVID-19 patients. Cell Mol Immunol 17, 533–535 (2020).

Zylke JW, Bauchner H. Mortality and Morbidity: The Measure of a Pandemic. JAMA. Published online July 01, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.11761

Friday, July 24, 2020

Curtain Drawing Between China and the US

Yesterday I linked an article to an interview with a Hong Kong virologist, who defected to the US and is now working with US intelligence agencies:
Barnini Chakraborty, Alex Diaz (2020, July 10). Chinese virologist accuses Beijing of coronavirus cover-up, flees Hong Kong: 'I know how they treat whistleblowers.’ Fox News.
She claims that China and WHO health officials suppressed information that would have helped stop spread of virus.

Examples of her scholarship include:
Sia, S.F., Yan, L., Chin, A.W.H. et al. Pathogenesis and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in golden hamsters. Nature (2020).
Li-Meng Yan

Yang Liu, Li-Meng Yan, Lagen Wan, Tian-Xin Xiang, Aiping Le, Jia-Ming Liu (2020) Viral dynamics in mild and severe cases of COVID-19Correspondence| Volume 20, ISSUE 6, P656-657, June 01, 2020 et al. :
Although Dr.  Ming-Li Yuan seems very sincere and authentic, I have no way of assessing the validity of her claims made in the interview segment released, which does not yield new understanding, but rather suggests she may have been an early undetected whistleblower sharing information about transmission.

The interview was with Fox, which has taken a more hawk-like approach to China. I am eagerly awaiting release of more segments of this interview.

Meanwhile in China, The South China Morning Post is reporting that there has been a mass resignation of researchers from China's Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST):
Viola Zhou (22 Jul, 2020). Vice-premier demands answers on brain drain from Chinese nuclear institute after over 90 researchers quit. South China Morning Post,

...China’s Vice-Premier Liu He is demanding an investigation into the exodus of scientists at a key state-run nuclear energy research institute.

Liu, a top leader in charge of China’s economic and trade policies, has ordered a special team to be sent to the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science to look into the mass resignation of researchers.

Chinese media have reported that more than 90 researchers, most of them PhD holders, had recently resigned from the Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST) in the eastern city of Hefei....
The reason given for mass resignation was control over offices.

Scientists fleeing and resigning, consulates closing, sabres rattling....