‘Staring Down the Barrel of This Gun’: What We Heard This Week

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Covid-19, News

“We’re still staring down the barrel of this gun because its hypertransmissibility is causing more pediatric infections than earlier versions did.” — David Kimberlin, MD, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases, offering his take on how the Delta variant altered the course of the pandemic.

“Mandatory models are like castor oil — they’re shoved down your throat.” — Ted Okon, MBA, executive director of the Community Oncology Alliance, discussing his group’s concerns over Medicare’s radiation oncology payment model, slated to take effect next year.

“The result, though, is that for telehealth in particular, it’s opened a Pandora’s box.” — Kim Brandt, a partner at Tarplin, Downs & Young and formerly of CMS, discussing changes to federal healthcare rulemaking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The jury’s still out on how robust the anxiolytic effects of CBD actually are.” — Mallory Loflin, PhD, of the University of California San Diego, on a study that showed that cannabidiol helped reduce emotional distress among frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic.

“Every withdrawal, every dropped class, every grade below a C has a story behind it.” — Ebony Hailey, a nurse care coordinator at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers in New Jersey, discussing the barriers to getting into a nursing program and how this can lead to a lack of diversity in the workforce.

“It’s just like wearing a seat belt in the car. It reduces your chance of dying, but if you crash into a wall, the risk is still there.” — Graham Medley, PhD, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, on how COVID infection and death rates remain linked, despite the protection of vaccines.

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