Coronavirus Chronicles — Domestic and Foreign

Something strange is going on, where people believe the laws of nature or science do not apply to them. Assuming for some reason that their family or particular in-group is exempt, they refuse to be prudently cautious. Some are still claiming that the virus is not airborne. Meanwhile, reports come in confirming that not only is the virus airborne, but it can hang around as part of the indoor atmosphere much longer than was previously suspected.

In Washington, D.C. tours of the White House have been suspended. A June 18 backyard party reportedly transferred one case to several people. In America’s federal immigrant detention centers, almost 1,000 employees have tested positive for coronavirus.

In Syracuse, New York, a child was brought to daycare who should not have been, and at least 16 children and adults contracted COVID-19. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, someone threw a party and 43 people got sick. A mask rule (with a fine for noncompliance) was passed for indoor gathering places and crowded outdoor events.

In Rockland County, New York, more than 13,000 people have caught COVID-19, and more than 600 have died. In one county. Nevertheless, a coronavirus-positive host decided it was a good idea to have a party and expose over 100 people to the disease. Some guests, described as “all in their early 20s,” caught it, and refused to cooperate with contact-tracing authorities until subpoenas were issued.

The great state of Texas continues to produce news. A grown man went to a COVID party to prove the disease was a hoax, caught it, and died. Somebody threw a surprise party where 18 family members caught the virus.

An Intensive Care Unit nurse who came up negative according to both the viral test (doesn’t have it now) and the antibody test (never had it) was hospitalized with coronavirus. Much as we would like to believe otherwise, testing is far from infallible.

In Florida, a teenage girl died after being taken to a church-sponsored COVID party, and then treated by her mother with some kind of weird drug.

It never pays to be too self-confident. In California’s San Francisco Bay Area, the school superintendent insisted on an in-person meeting of school principals, where supposedly no one tested positive. Except as it turned out, someone did test positive, and consequently more than 40 school administrators had to self-quarantine for two weeks.

There is a Coronavirus in Kids (COVKID) Tracking and Education Project, headquartered at the University of South Florida. One of its founders is Jason Salemi, professor of epidemiology, who warns that the incoming data upon which the project’s conclusions are based, is not all that it might be. It is, in fact, in a “pretty woeful state,” with a “level of misinformation makes it extremely hard for people do the right thing.” Journalist Yasmin Tayag says, “COVKID fills out a ‘report card’ for the quality of each state’s data, in part to urge states to do better.”

Wider stage

In Bayonne, France, a bus driver asked four passengers to comply with the law and wear masks, and they beat him to death.

The World Health Organization has attracted criticism for not realizing early enough that matters like airflow are crucial, and for being slow to adapt to the need for face coverings, and reluctant to admit that asymptomatic transmission is very real. Apoorva Mandavilli wrote that, on the other hand…

Many experts said the W.H.O. should embrace […] the idea that even without definitive evidence, the agency should assume the worst of the virus, apply common sense and recommend the best protection possible.

When it comes to protection, better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Do antibodies protect a person from a second infection? Nobody can say for sure, but the public demands answers, so scientists give in and say some cautious words bracketed by caveats. If those words are not 100% correct in all times and places, critics feel justified in making savage attacks agains the authorities they baited into committing themselves to an opinion.

Worldwide, almost one-fourth of all coronavirus cases are American, because many Americans have what can only be called a bad attitude, confusing their personal “daddy issues” with the need to keep themselves and their neighbors disease-free. We have to wear shoes in public buildings and businesses, and nobody even remembers why any more — the point being, we have somehow managed to adjust.

“No shirt, no shoes — no service” is a trope with which free Americans have somehow learned to coexist. Wearing face coverings is not such a difficult concept to grasp, or such an outrageous demand. But some people are, as the expression has it, choosing some very strange hills to die on.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “ICU nurse is hospitalized with Covid-19 after testing negative,”, 07/14/20
Source: “Over 40 Bay Area principals in quarantine after in-person meeting,”, 07/02/20
Source: “How to Make Sense of Cases Spiking Among Young Kids,”, 07/07/20
Source: “239 Experts With 1 Big Claim: The Coronavirus Is Airborne,”, 07/04/20
Image: Internet meme/Fair Use

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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