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A tale of two colleges
COVID-19 at the University of Wisconsin this fall has been pretty much a non-issue. While we are wearing masks, full in-person teaching is happening on campus. Bars, restaurants, and all other busine…
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Get your Vitamin D to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
This sounds like another hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin hoax, but the science is peer-reviewed. Getting enough vitamin D in your diet is an excellent way to protect yourself from severe COVID-19. E…
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About 35,000 people die from drug-resistant infection in the US. What are we going to do?
When antibiotics first achieved widescale use in the middle of the 20th century, they had a tremendous impact. For example, the mortality rate in England from infectious disease dropped from 25% in 1…
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Nasal nanoSTING vaccines may Provide Lasting Protection Against SARS-CoV-2
All successful vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have used the spike protein as the target and delivered the vaccine by intramuscular injection, typically a shot in the left or right shoulder. The vaccines…
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Probiotic Bacterium can prevent antibiotic use side effects
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine demonstrate the power of probiotics. A test group was given Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12 as they took a course of amoxicillin clavula…
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How to beat COVID-19


 

It was not on purpose, but Dane County did a good experiment that shows how simple public health measures can have profound effects. In late May, early June, Wisconsin moved into phase 3 of its reopening plan allowing gyms, bars, and restaurants to have some indoor activity. Unfortunately, many young people went back to the bars and ignored social distancing rules. This caused a rapid increase in cases starting on June 16th. Cases peaked on June 30th and began declining. Did COVID-19 run its course? Of course not. So why did they start going down?

First, several State Street bars closed on their own because they could see what was happening. Then local health officials closed all bars ahead of the July 4th holiday. Then Dane County health officials issued a mandatory mask mandate beginning July 14th that requires all citizens to wear a mask when in any enclosed building beyond their homes. Cases began seriously dropping 10 days after the bars closed and accelerated in the last week. We are nearly down to the baseline level of the March-April period. Clearly social distancing and wearing masks can stop this epidemic. Will we stop the epidemic of stupid in this country and start doing what we need to do?

This has important implications for this fall when many of the students come back. We can keep almost everyone healthy if we are willing to follow guidelines and carefully monitor the population. I think the UW as a good plan going forward. One of the keystones of it is testing the dorm population every two weeks. The UW has the ability to test 6,000 people a week. They have also set aside facilities for those who test positive to quarantine.