DAILY DOSE: China’s Zero-Covid policy – Who will win in the end, Beijing or the coronavirus?


China’s rigid zero-Covid policy is a fascinating experiment in public health disease prevention. While the overwhelming majority of nations have pretty much thrown up their hands, accepted infections, and simply hoped for a better day, Beijing has stuck to its guns. “China’s Xian tightened curbs on travel within the city on Monday as it started a new round of testing on the fifth day of a lockdown of its 13 million people. Xian reported 150 new local symptomatic coronavirus cases for Sunday, a slight drop from the previous day’s 155, and officials warned that people flouting rules on travel or testing could face detention and fines. Case numbers in Xian remain tiny compared with many clusters in other countries but officials have imposed tough curbs on travel within the city and on leaving it, in line with a government drive to immediately contain outbreaks.” Who will win this test of wills in China, a microscopic virus or the Communist Party? There must be a gambling site somewhere calculating the odds. Who you got? https://reut.rs/310Uvur


Even during normal times, schools are hotbeds of disease transmission. The Covid-19 pandemic significantly upped the ante in that department. That is why mitigation efforts have played such a prominent role. A recent study discussed in a Frontiers In blog post looked at the effectiveness of teachers wearing face masks in schools. According to the article, “Adults wearing masks may decrease Covid-19 outbreaks at schools and preschools, shows a new study published in Frontiers in Public Health. The study found that the first identified cases (index cases) in schools were predominantly children, but outbreak events were more severe when an adult was the index case. Wearing a mask significantly lowered secondary cases. The researchers recommend obligatory mask wearing for adults working at schools and preschools to help prevent outbreaks… The role of children and adolescents in the spread of Covid-19 remains unclear, yet closures of schools and preschools have become a common approach to try to prevent outbreaks.” If you haven’t already, grab that mask and put it on when necessary. https://bit.ly/32r7UN2


Failure is a part of life. It plays a particularly prominent role in the Arts and Sciences. A science professor at a liberal arts college reflected on the nature of failure in scientific research.  “I reflected on how we train future scientists. Should we talk more openly with students about failure? When I quietly left research, frustrated at what felt like my lack of accomplishment, was this a typical experience? How often do we inadvertently discourage students from persisting in science, simply by omitting honest descriptions of the failure inherent to the research process? Research is messy and full of failed attempts. Trying to protect students from that reality does them a disservice.” To paraphrase Samuel Becket – Fail. Fail again. Fail better. https://bit.ly/3JwCnu2

Thanks for reading. Le’ts be careful out there.

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