April 14, 2021

Fall is Upon Us: What Does this Mean for Covid-19?

Fall is Upon Us – What does this Mean for Covid-19 in the US and Abroad?

Officials had hoped that the number of coronavirus cases would decline over the summer; since case numbers did not drop, many health professionals are worried that case numbers will spike across the United States and in other nations. In fact, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that country could be facing “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had.”

There were more than 22,526,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide as of August 20, 2020, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 5,567,955 of those cases were in the United States. With vaccine still months away, a number of factors could affect whether the number of cases will increase or decrease into autumn.

On August 13, 2020, the CDC predicted that the number of new cases could decrease into early September. The CDC used several models to make this prediction; many of the models base their assumptions on whether current interventions, such as social distancing, will continue into the fall. The CDC has not yet offered a prediction for the number of COVID-19 cases for autumn, but the federal agency does offer a reminder that the second and more deadly wave of the 1918 pandemic occurred in the fall.

Factors that could affect COVID-19 cases in the US and abroad

The rise or fall of COVID-19 cases in autumn will depend on a number of factors, including the onset of flu season, the use of social distancing and facemasks, the proportion of students returning to in-person classes rather than distance learning, the return to amateur, college and professional sports, and the development of a vaccine.

Unless cases drop dramatically in the next few weeks, the coronavirus outbreak will likely coincide with the flu season, which means the number of sick people could overwhelm an already-stressed healthcare system. Flu season typically starts in October and worsens through January and February. While flu vaccinations could help reduce the burden on healthcare systems, only about 45 percent of American adults received a flu vaccine during last year’s during the 2018–19 flu season, according to the CDC.

Mask wearing is common and culturally acceptable in many parts of the world, particularly in East Asia, but not so in the United States. About 63 percent of people in Japan wore masks during the pandemic, for example, but a July Gallup poll found that only 44 percent of American adults said they “always” wear a mask when outside their homes.

Opening Schools During Covid-19 Pandemic

Opening schools poses a challenge in the US and abroad – while education is essential, in-person learning could cause a spike in infection rates. During the first few months of the pandemic, children seemed to have a much lower infection rate than did adults, but a recent collaborative report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association showed that there was a 24 percent increase in child cases between July 30th and August 13th.

Europe’s flattened curve and lower infections rates tempted officials to open schools, but it has not gone as planned. All of Germany’s northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s schools opened at the beginning of August, for example, but two schools shut down at the end of the first week infections; the use of masks in schools is preferred but not mandatory.

Schools never closed in Sweden and administrators never major adjustments to class size, lunch policies, or recess rules. This would have been a perfect opportunity to study schools’ role in the spread of the virus; unfortunately, officials never tracked infections among schoolchildren, even when outbreaks led to the closure of individual schools or when staff members died of coronavirus.

Fall Sports During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Fall sports provide ample opportunities for transmission, in that most sports involve close contact between players and the physical exertion associated with sports make mask-wearing difficult. To reduce the risk of transmission, many US high schools are canceling or rescheduling fall sports programs, but Florida and several other states intend to resume as planned. Guidance from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) may help inform decisions about reopening athletic activities in schools while keeping transmission rates low.

The NFL and a number of professional sports teams plan to start their regular seasons, but with some adjustments to lower risk of transmission, such as frequent testing and phased ramp-up to the regular season. The protocols put in place by the NFL, such as daily testing, banning fans at camp and canceling preseason games, seem to be holding for now – that may change as the season opens, however.

It will be difficult to predict the effects of reopening schools and resuming sports will have on the number of COVID-19 infections or deaths, especially in the absence of social distancing, masks, and a vaccine. In the next installment, we’ll take a look at how the number of COVID-19 cases changed over the fall season and predict what will happen with the approach of winter.

FRANK MAGLIOCHETTI

Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Last year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment. Frank is also CEO of ClickStream, ClickStream’s business operations are focused on the development and implementation of WinQuik™, a free to play synchronized mobile app and digital gaming platform. The platform is designed to enable WinQuik™ users to have fun, interact and compete against each other in order to win real money and prizes. Twitter at @ClickstreamC and @WinQuikApp.

Frank was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Designer Genomics International, Inc. The Company has accumulated a growing body of evidence that highlights a link between alterations in the immune and inflammatory systems and the development of chronic human disease. The Company is visionary and has established itself as a leader in the field of inflammatory and immune genetic DNA and RNA biomarkers that play a causative role in debilitating conditions, such as atherosclerosis/heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and cancer.
A proprietary state-of-the art data mining bioinformatics program, called ‘cluster analysis’ will be used to measure disease development susceptibility with potential for earlier diagnosis and intervention. The company is developing a healthcare program based on its proprietary genetic panels that will allow people to be their own healthcare advocate and take an active role in their health status as well as longevity.

Mr. Frank Magliochetti MBA
Managing Partner
Parcae Capital

www.parcaecapitalcorp.com
www.frankmagliochetti.com

SOURCES:

https://www.webmd.com/coronavirus-in-context/video/robert-redfield

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/forecasts-cases.html

https://github.com/cdcepi/COVID-19-Forecasts/blob/master/COVID-19_Forecast_Model_Descriptions.md#JHU

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/three-waves.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/coverage-1819estimates.htm

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237691

https://news.gallup.com/poll/315590/americans-face-mask-usage-varies-greatly-demographics.aspx

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932e3.htm

https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/children-and-covid-19-state-level-data-report/

https://fortune.com/2020/08/10/covid-schools-reopening-class-children-coronavirus/

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/how-sweden-wasted-rare-opportunity-study-coronavirus-schools

https://www.maxpreps.com/news/qiL5GOXkFkyfJ9jwZ8wb-g/where-the-start-of-high-school-sports-stands-in-all-50-states-amid-pandemic.htm

https://www.nfhs.org/media/3812287/2020-nfhs-guidance-for-opening-up-high-school-athletics-and-activities-nfhs-smac-may-15_2020-final.pdf

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/29548681/2020-nfl-preseason-schedule-training-camp-other-key-dates

https://www.nfl.com/news/nfl-training-camp-amid-covid-19-pandemic-what-you-need-to-know

Covid-19: How Will It Affect Fall Sports

Covid-19 Pandemic Affecting Fall Sports

The coronavirus pandemic has changed how Americans do business – it has also affected how we play.

Many organized sports took a hiatus during the spring and summer as players, organizers, public health officials, and fans looked for ways to play safely, and are now trying to squeeze out a fall schedule. For example, soccer is a patchwork of canceled games, limited practices, and normal seasons… at least for now, as COVID-19 flare-ups may dash the dreams of players of all ages.

The decision to play has been especially difficult at the high school level. Most states have canceled high school basketball championships and spring seasons, for example, even before the start of school. Football was a different story, though. Football is a beloved fall tradition and, for pros and amateurs alike, marks the beginning of sports season. The decision whether to nix the fall season has been a controversial and often divisive one – nearly everyone wants football to return, but many wondered how to do it safely.

Twenty-five states had already kicked off their high school football season by September 17, and nine more planned to start their seasons in the fall. By then, a number of states and the District of Columbia said they would push their seasons back to 2021. Colorado had announced they would offer football in both fall and spring. Michigan had reversed their decision twice, moving football from fall to spring on August 14 then moving it back to fall on September 3,2020.

The pandemic has also tripped up recruiting efforts, particularly for high school seniors. High school sport seasons provide athletes with an opportunity to score scholarships that could change the course of their lives. In a typical year, young athletes have several chances to impress college scouts, but 2020 is anything but typical – the pandemic prevents coaches and prospects from traveling to meet in person, and it led to the cancelation of exposure camps normally held in late summer and early autumn.

Fall Sports at the Collegiate Level

On September 22, 2020, the NCAA announced that a number of college sports would hold their 2020 fall championships in the spring of 2021. Sports included are men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross-country, women’s volleyball, field hockey, and men’s water polo. They will cap bracket sizes at 75 percent of normal capacity, predetermine championship sites, and reduce the number of preliminary-round sites to support health and safety. While the NCAA has halted most college sports for the fall season, college football goes on. Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced their return on September 25, 2020, which means all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences are now competing in the fall. They committed to playing a 6-game conference-only schedule running from November 4th through December 18 or 19, with the MAC championship game. To keep players safe, MAC implemented COVID-19 testing protocols that call for four COVID tests per week, starting October 5. MAC is not allowing general public attendance or tailgating; Conference protocols will guide participation of any Marching Bands, Dance, Cheer and Spirit Squads at football games according to institutional discretion and public health guidance. MAC’s announcement cited the availability of COVID-19 tests and the quick turnaround time of test results across the Conference as leading to the decision to play.

Big Ten recently announced it would start its season on October 24, 2020, prompting 90 teams to attempt playing a full schedule this fall. The ACC, Big 12 and SEC as the Power 5 conferences will also try to play this fall, as will the American, Conference USA and Sun Belt.

Pro Sports During the Pandemic

Professional football is on in full force this fall, with the NFL planning to play a complete schedule. Just one year after celebrating the NFL’s 100th season in grand fashion, this year will feature mostly empty stadiums and canned cheers, officials and coaches in masks, the wearing of tracking devices for contact tracing, daily testing, socially distant meetings, and other protocols to keep fans and players safe. Players who test positive are placed on the reserve/COVID list. On September 26, Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell became the first player to be sidelined after a positive COVID-19 test.

It is hard to know how the pandemic will affect athletes and fans as we move from autumn to winter, but rest assured, the world of sports may never be the same.

FRANK MAGLIOCHETTI

Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Last year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment. Frank is also CEO of ClickStream, ClickStream’s business operations are focused on the development and implementation of WinQuik™, a free to play synchronized mobile app and digital gaming platform. The platform is designed to enable WinQuik™ users to have fun, interact and compete against each other in order to win real money and prizes. Twitter at @ClickstreamC and @WinQuikApp.

Frank was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Designer Genomics International, Inc. The Company has accumulated a growing body of evidence that highlights a link between alterations in the immune and inflammatory systems and the development of chronic human disease. The Company is visionary and has established itself as a leader in the field of inflammatory and immune genetic DNA and RNA biomarkers that play a causative role in debilitating conditions, such as atherosclerosis/heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and cancer.
A proprietary state-of-the art data mining bioinformatics program, called ‘cluster analysis’ will be used to measure disease development susceptibility with potential for earlier diagnosis and intervention. The company is developing a healthcare program based on its proprietary genetic panels that will allow people to be their own healthcare advocate and take an active role in their health status as well as longevity.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is frankmagliochetti_FrankMagliochettiNews.jpg
Mr. Frank Magliochetti MBA
Managing Partner
Parcae Capital

www.parcaecapitalcorp.com
www.frankmagliochetti.com

Sources

https://www.maxpreps.com/news/qiL5GOXkFkyfJ9jwZ8wb-g/where-the-start-of-high-school-sports-stands-in-all-50-states-amid-pandemic.htm

https://www.maxpreps.com/news/ha3S_dWexUOaekUFjBMfkA/high-school-football-kickoff-dates-in-all-50-states.htm

https://www.ncaa.com/live-updates/ncaa/ncaa-sports-news-schedule-changes-coronavirus-updates-all-sports

https://getsomemaction.com/news/2020/9/25/football-maction-is-back.aspx

https://www.nfl.com/news/falcons-cb-a-j-terrell-tests-positive-for-covid-19-placed-on-reserve-list

Covid-19: The Race for a Vaccine Continues

Covid-19: The Race for a Vaccine

The race to save lives has begun. Scientists around the world are speeding to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, a disease that has claimed the lives of more than half a million lives worldwide, and sickened millions of others. Vaccine development usually takes 10 to 15 years, and the long, involved process takes a tremendous amount of public and private involvement. At the current rate of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections that cause COVID-19 disease, though, the world does not have 10 to 15 years to wait.

COVID-19 Race for a vaccine

On July 18, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed 23 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation. Many were still in Phase 1 to establish their safety and dosage at the time of the WHO review, while others were in Phase 2 to establish their performance under ideal and controlled performance. As of that mid-July WHO review, three clinical trials had entered Phase 3 for testing on large numbers of people, although one vaccine trial had not yet recruited candidates.

Why Must We Wait So Long?

Most vaccines in development never make it to licensing – in fact, many vaccine candidates never make to clinical evaluation on real humans because they fail to produce the desired immune response in the pre-clinical stages of testing in cell cultures and lab animals.

Regulators set a high bar for vaccination approval and often require years’ worth of safety data because, unlike medicines that treat diseases, vaccines are administered to healthy people to prevent illness. Releasing a vaccine could potentially do more harm than good, so many regulatory bodies set stiff guidelines for approval.

covid-19-race for A CURE

It is not yet clear what data federal regulators would accept as proof that a vaccine is safe and successful in the middle of the pandemic. On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said a vaccine must prevent COVID-19 or decrease the severity of illness in at least 50 percent of people who receive the vaccine. The FDA may consider some vaccine candidates for its Accelerated Approval pathway, but that the vaccine candidate must demonstrate an identifiable immune response or other measure that shows it is reasonably likely that the vaccine would provide clinical benefit. Regulators in other nations have not yet announced what they would consider acceptable criteria for approval, which creates a challenge for vaccine makers trying to gain approval.

More Challenges for Vaccine Makers

Vaccine makers also face challenges determining the best way to trigger the immune response. Vaccines typically work by exposing the body to the antigens of a particular pathogen to activate the immune system without causing disease. Made with weakened or inactivated form of the pathogen, these vaccines are often difficult to develop and produce quickly. Because of the urgent nature of the pandemic, researchers are looking for innovating ways to introduce antigens and otherwise activate an immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Four of the 23 vaccine candidates in clinical testing use an approach that involves engineering messenger RNA (mRNA) that tells human cells how to create the antigens themselves.

RACE FOR A VACCINE COVID-19

Moderna is one of those four companies. On July 15, 2020, the biotech company published data from an early-stage trial that shows its vaccine caused patients to generate an immune response by developing antibodies, although it caused some side effects. Supported by the National Institutes of Health, the study showed volunteers who receive the vaccine produced substantially more neutralizing antibodies than do most patients who have recovered from COVID-19. A second injection administered four weeks after the initial vaccination was necessary to produce a dramatic immune response. Vaccine experts were not impressed, however, concerned that the data was long on text and short on proof.

Other research teams, such as University of Oxford/AstraZeneca are using viral vector vaccines to speed up the process. Viral vector vaccines use a harmless virus as a kind of Trojan horse that carries the pathogen’s genetic material into cells in order to trigger an immune response. The team released more information about its coronavirus vaccine candidate, AZD1222, on July 20, 2020.

Developing a COVID-19 vaccine will be one of the most exciting and important events in human history, with the potential to save millions of lives around the world. Join us next month when we review the next leg of the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.

To View Frank Magliochetti Press Releases Please CLICK HERE

Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Last year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment. Most recently; Frank was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Designer Genomics International, Inc. The Company has accumulated a growing body of evidence that highlights a link between alterations in the immune and inflammatory systems and the development of chronic human disease. The Company is visionary and has established itself as a leader in the field of inflammatory and immune genetic DNA and RNA biomarkers that play a causative role in debilitating conditions, such as atherosclerosis/heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and cancer.
A proprietary state-of-the art data mining bioinformatics program, called ‘cluster analysis’ will be used to measure disease development susceptibility with potential for earlier diagnosis and intervention. The company is developing a healthcare program based on its proprietary genetic panels that will allow people to be their own healthcare advocate and take an active role in their health status as well as longevity.

Mr. Frank Magliochetti MBA
Managing Partner
Parcae Capital

www.parcaecapitalcorp.com
www.frankmagliochetti.com

Sources

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-development-testing-and-regulation

https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/draft-landscape-of-covid-19-candidate-vaccines

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-takes-action-help-facilitate-timely-development-safe-effective-covid

https://www.fda.gov/patients/fast-track-breakthrough-therapy-accelerated-approval-priority-review/accelerated-approval

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2022483

https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/press-releases/2020/astrazeneca-and-oxford-university-announce-landmark-agreement-for-covid-19-vaccine.html