COVID-19 Diary – Day 250

Black Market Negative COVID-19 Tests Surfacing

With more and more countries requiring negative COVID-19 tests for travel into them, it isn’t surprising that a new black market for negative COVID-19 tests is rising up internationally. In September, 7 people were arrested in Paris for selling falsified digital certificates intended to prove a recent negative result from a COVID-19 test.

Another group in the UK claimed to have modified the results of friends’ tests to travel. “You can simply get their negative test and change the name and birth date to your own. You also put a test date on which is within the time limit required.” It’s as simple as downloading an email, editing the details on it, and then printing it.

Needless to say, both the fact that people are producing and selling fake results, as well as the fact that security measures for this process are so inadequate, is extremely concerning!

Costco Sets Excellent Mask Policy Example

Costco has required masks to be worn inside their stores since May, but yesterday a new updated policy went into effect, and it sets a standard that one can only hope all similar businesses quickly emulate. The new updated policy can be seen here:

The notable updates include the clearly defined requirement that masks MUST cover both mouth and nose at all times, which addresses a common error of not covering the nose when wearing a mask. The policy also clearly defines how those who cannot wear a mask may gain entry into the business, by wearing a face shield instead.

With any luck, this clearly defined mask policy will become the norm among businesses requiring masks.

COVID-19 is Now 1 Year Old

While BC has been taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 for 250 days as of today, the virus itself has been transmitting between humans for at least 365 days now. The very first confirmed case in a human was diagnosed on November 17th, 2019.

Baby's First Birthday Cake (Smash Cake) - Super Healthy Kids
Please note: If you decide to celebrate this occasion, the blowing out of candles on a shared cake is not considered to be a COVID-19 safe activity.


COVID-19 May Have Spread Within Italy Back In September 2019

Almost 1,000 people enrolled in a prospective lung cancer screening trial set to take place between September 2019 and March 2020. The study was to track the date of onset, frequency, and temporal and geographic details for each patient. From the initial test group of participants, 14% (23) of the blood samples taken in September 2019 tested positive for COVID-19 specific antibodies. Italy’s first 2 official COVID-19 patients were diagnosed on January 30th.

These new findings could lead to a significant shakeup in the known timeline for COVID-19’s epidemiology.

The Flu Vaccine Does Not Make You More Susceptible to COVID-19

This is probably not something that would have crossed most people’s minds as even a possibility, but due to recent anti-vaxxer pushes suggesting that getting the seasonal flu vaccine could increase the chances of you contracting COVID-19, we wanted to let everyone know clearly and decisively, this is not true.

The BCCDC addressed this concern at the end of May this year and cited the findings of a study recently published at that time. The study goes into great detail analyzing several flu seasons across different years in the past decade, and ultimately comes to the following conclusion: “In conclusion, our findings provide reassurance that protective influenza vaccination does not negatively affect NIRV risk, including coronaviruses.”

The study also directly comments on a major methodological problem identified in a study frequently quoted by anti-vaxxers (written by Greg Wolff) when suggesting the flu vaccine puts you at greater risk of COVID-19. This study is so frequently used as a rallying point now, that the original author has even written a public letter denouncing the anti-vaxxer interpretations of his work, and explaining that his findings do not suggest greater risks of COVID-19 among recipients of the flu vaccine.

So once again we will say it: there is no truth to this conspiracy theory.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

One thought on “COVID-19 Diary – Day 250

  1. COVID-19 may have been in *Italy* up to two months before the earliest identified case in China? That’s down right mind boggling. 😮

    Where did it come from originally then? What is the connection between the people conducting and participating in the study in Italy and the people in the live market in Wuhan, China? Is there anywhere else that might have had it even earlier? Does the possible existence of an earlier version have anything to do with why Italy was hit so severely?

    It will be very interesting to see where this discovery leads.


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