Sunday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 83. Sunrise is 5:33 AM and sunset 8:28 PM, for 14h 54m 57s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 63.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
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Sharon LaFraniere reports In Undervaccinated Arkansas, Covid Upends Life All Over Again:
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — When the boat factory in this leafy Ozark Mountains city offered free coronavirus vaccinations this spring, Susan Johnson, 62, a receptionist there, declined the offer, figuring she was protected as long as she never left her house without a mask.
Linda Marion, 68, a widow with chronic pulmonary disease, worried that a vaccination might actually trigger Covid-19 and kill her. Barbara Billigmeier, 74, an avid golfer who retired here from California, believed she did not need it because “I never get sick.”
Last week, all three were patients on 2 West, an overflow ward that is now largely devoted to treating Covid-19 at Baxter Regional Medical Center, the largest hospital in north-central Arkansas. Mrs. Billigmeier said the scariest part was that “you can’t breathe.” For 10 days, Ms. Johnson had relied on supplemental oxygen being fed to her lungs through nasal tubes.
Ms. Marion said that at one point, she felt so sick and frightened that she wanted to give up. “It was just terrible,” she said. “I felt like I couldn’t take it.”
A recent paper that suggested masks may be dangerous for kids to wear has now been retracted. It’s the second pandemic-related study written by the lead author to be pulled from publication in less than a month, following the retraction of another paper claiming to show that covid-19 vaccines would kill almost as many people as they would save.
The study was published June 30 in JAMA Pediatrics as a research letter titled: “Experimental Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Content in Inhaled Air With or Without Face Masks in Healthy Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Its lead author was Harald Walach, a clinical psychologist in Germany.
Walach and his colleagues claimed to show that children who wore face masks for only minutes experienced higher than safe levels of carbon dioxide in their bloodstream as a result, presumably because the masks trapped exhaled air in the mask that the children then breathed back in. Based on their and others’ research, they further argued that “children should not be forced to wear face masks.”
The study was quickly criticized for various reasons, including the use of a possibly improper measuring device to gauge carbon dioxide levels near the mask and the lack of other relevant data, like the children’s actual blood oxygen levels. What’s worse, the JAMA study was published literally the same week that Walach’s earlier paper on vaccine safety was retracted for similar data sloppiness, though only after fierce criticism from other scientists, including editors at the very journal where it was published. Just two weeks later, Walach’s second paper would meet the same fate.
Walach had earned a reputation as an unscientific crank long before the pandemic, having once been crowned the Pseudoscientist of the Year in 2012 by the Austrian Society for Critical Thinking over his research into alternative medicine and telepathy. So it’s worth wondering how Walach, who also seems to have no relevant experience in studying vaccines or face masks, was able to publish these terrible studies in two separate journals without any red flags popping up.