Romano Law Nurse Corner COVID-19 #48
Vaccinations & Updates This week 2/15/21
Another week in the COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the virus has slowed significantly. The current rate of vaccine distribution is approximately 1.66 million doses a day. During our volunteer time last week, we saw more and more scheduled days, times and places for people to get the vaccine. There are more and more vaccines getting into arms and this is good news. We will see this trend continue.
Since President Biden took office, he has repeatedly talked about getting scientifically based guidance out on the safest way to reopen schools. He said we have sacrificed so much in the last year… science tells us that if we support our children, educators, and communities with the resources they need, we can get kids back to school safely in more parts of the country sooner.
As a result of this effort, last week, the CDC released a report about COVID-19 transmission in schools. Essentially this report showed that COVID-19 transmission in schools is associated with community transmission. When community rates are high there is an increased likelihood that the virus will be introduced and possibly transmitted in the school setting. Community support and safe behavior helps get schools back to opening.
They also found that spread within schools was significantly limited with strict implementation of layered mitigation strategies. These mitigation strategies are not only necessary in the community but also within the school. You have and will continue to hear us preach them- masks, social distance, handwashing and cleaning as well as isolation of any known infections, and testing programs.
Let us not forget that kids are resilient and will follow adult behavior. Mitigation efforts, on all levels will help us continue the downward trend in numbers. Almost all scientists agree, this is not time to let up. Schools need to open and it can be done safely.
For a more detailed look at the CDC specific recommendations for opening schools: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html
While the news is good, there is still concern about variant strains of the virus. As researchers learn more, the concern seems to grow. The British government has studied the variant that most recently broke out there (B.1.1.7) and found that it is likely to be more deadly than earlier versions of the virus. This same variant is currently spreading in the United States at a rapid rate.
In fact, one study predicted that by March the variant could become the main source of the virus in the United States, potentially causing a surge of new cases. Scientists have estimated that this variant spreads at a pace of 35-45% more easily than other variants that we have seen in the United States. It has spread to 82 countries and there is some evidence that people infected with this variant may have higher viral loads, not only making it more contagious but also could make some effective treatments much less useful. As a result, the virus is potentially more deadly. This is concerning, but once again, less so if we are all steadfast in our efforts- again wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing - did we mention wearing masks?
Bill Hanage an epidemiologist at Harvard University says it’s pretty clear we have something which is both more transmissible and is more worrying if people become infected. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Georgetown University further said relaxing restrictions now would be courting disaster…we must be extra vigilant with mask wearing, distancing and avoiding enclosed spaces.
There is also a variant from South Africa that has scientists concerned, including Dr. Anthony Fauci who said this variant (the South Africa variant) evades the protection from some of the monoclonal antibodies, and it diminishes somewhat the capability and the effectiveness of the vaccine to block it…doesn’t eliminate it, but it diminishes it by multiple fold. This is scary to think about, however Dr. Fauci did say that the current vaccines do provide some protection against it.
Easing Restrictions and Mask Mandates
These and other variants, ever growing in number, are the reason that experts continue to warn against easing many of the current basic restrictions that are in place. This virus is “smart” and we need to be smarter.
Many states have loosened gathering restrictions and ended mask wearing mandates. Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at George Mason University says now more than ever, with novel variants, we need to be strategic with these reopening efforts and be slow and not rush things. We understand the desire to get everything back up and running as normally as possible. Our economy needs it, however following the scientific recommendations is our choice, we encourage you to do the same.
Scientists agree that we have decreasing numbers because of all ways we are fighting this virus, mitigation efforts (masks, distance, limited gatherings, handwashing, etc.) and vaccination in arms. We cannot stop any one of these parts of the fight. Numbers look better but that can change at any time. It is a multipronged approach to beating this virus.
We can do this. We must do this. We continue to wear our masks and socially distance to protect our fellow human beings and ourselves. We ask that everyone do the same.
PLEASE STAY SAFE!
We are Susan Ramsey and Amie Goldberg, both practicing attorneys and nurses here at the Romano Law Group. Here is a little more about each of us:
Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts. She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional negligence, product liability and medical negligence.
Amie Goldberg is both an attorney and a certified APRN. After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Whittier College, Ms. Goldberg attended nursing school at Emory University. Ms. Goldberg’s professional experience started as a Registered Nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital taking care of children with congenital heart disease. After a few years, she continued working in all areas of the hospital while attending Kennesaw State University on weekends in order to get her Master’s Degree in Nursing with a specialty of Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner. During her time as an APRN, Ms. Goldberg decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Since graduating, she has mainly practiced in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation, fighting for the rights of injured people. Since joining the Romano Law Group, Ms. Goldberg has been the Director of the Opioid Litigation Project. Ms. Goldberg also practices in the area of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, bringing an inside perspective and knowledge to help get justice for our clients.