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Category Archives: Health Care

The Statistical Secrets of Covid-19 Vaccines

Wired – “…The key here, though, is that Absolute Risk Reduction does change according to how at-risk the groups of people were in the first place. And this pandemic has widely varying risks across populations, and those change over time. (For example, viral variants change how infectious Covid can be, and young people’s risk of severe illness and death has changed as social policies and infection rates have fluctuated. It’s a hard problem!) I’m suggesting that this confusion, and the conflation of these two ideas, might be at the heart of some hesitance. By not being clear about the different flavors of risk and benefit for different vaccines and different people, public health experts have let doubt and dodgy personal interpretations flourish. Someone who’s hesitant to get a vaccination against Covid—not a full-on anti-vaxxer—might be worried about their own risks (of getting Covid-19 or vaccines), and unclear how they weigh against the benefit of almost certainly not getting Covid-19. Efficacy, or relative risk reduction, paints with too broad a brush—and brushes aside their personal assessments. “As individuals, we think of risk as ‘my individual risk.’ But the risk is a statistical calculation,” Olliaro says. Absolute risk helps clarify the individual-risk part. It also helps with policymaking, because it allows people with calculators to figure out exactly how many lives they’re going to save. To really bring that into focus, the inverse of the absolute risk reduction—1/ARR, if you’re even fractionally interested—is called the Number Needed to Vaccinate, or NNV. Which is to say: How many people do you have to vaccinate to prevent just one case of Covid-19 (or one severe case, or one death—depends on the study’s endpoints)?…

Assessing the social and emotional costs of mass shootings with Twitter data

Brookings Blog – Assessing the social and emotional costs of mass shootings with Twitter data, Mary Blankenship and Carol Graham. May 5, 2021. “Mass shootings that result in mass casualties are almost a weekly occasion in the United States, which—not coincidentally—also has the most guns per capita in the world. Viewed from outside the U.S.,… Continue Reading

New NIH Alzheimer’s Portal

There’s a new website for information on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Find resources for people living with dementia and their caregivers. You can also read about new research. And find out how to participate in studies.” [h/t Pete Weiss] Visit the website: NEWS: Continue Reading

Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe

The New York Times – “Widely circulating coronavirus variants and persistent hesitancy about vaccines will keep the goal out of reach. The virus is here to stay, but vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough to restore normalcy…Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose… Continue Reading

US. Dept. of Education Launches Best Practices Clearinghouse to Highlight Innovative Practices for Reopening Schools and Campuses

“[On April 30, 2021], the U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse (the Clearinghouse), a website that highlights the innovative work underway nationwide in continuing to reopen K-12 schools, early childhood centers and postsecondary institutions. Through the Clearinghouse, the Department is providing examples of how schools and other educational… Continue Reading

How Long Can We Live?

The New York Times – New research is intensifying the debate — with profound implications for the future of the planet. “…Humans have never belonged to the select society of the everlasting. We most likely inherited fairly long life spans from our last common ancestor with chimpanzees, which may have been a large, intelligent, social… Continue Reading

Employers Eager for Return to Workplace, Survey Says Employees Disagree

limeade: “Bellevue, Wash., April 27, 2021 – Today, the Limeade Institute released a global study, Employee Care: Defining the New Normal. The study delves into the current state of the employee experience, the level of care employees feel at this critical time and employee sentiment around how companies are planning to transition into the workplace… Continue Reading

REALM Project – New research and resources on vaccines and variants

OCLC – “New research and resources on vaccines and variants – New toolkit resources: “Mask policies: While mask-wearing policies continue to vary regionally in the United States, libraries, archives, and museums are navigating how to message, enact, and enforce them. This roundup features articles on topics ranging from legal implications to staff training to disability… Continue Reading

Why garden? – Attitudes and the perceived health benefits of home gardening

Cities. Volume 112, May 2021, 103118. “Domestic (home) gardens provide opportunities for psychological and physical health benefits, yet these environments have received less attention in terms of their therapeutic value compared to other urban green spaces. This is despite their ubiquity and the popularity of gardening as a pastime. This research explored why residents engaged… Continue Reading

TIME 100 Most Influential Companies

TIME: “Which companies are shaping our future? That’s the question at the heart of our first ever TIME 100 Most Influential Companies, a new list—and an expansion of our iconic TIME100 franchise—that highlights businesses making an extraordinary impact around the world. To assemble it, TIME solicited nominations across sectors including health care, entertainment, transportation, technology… Continue Reading