Intro and Disclaimer

QM would like to help you make sense of information being circulated by: 1. Translating data into digestible language, 2. Dispelling misconceptions and linking to evidence, and 3. Curating relevant data, and articles on a weekly basis. Our Round Up/ Mythbusting projects are intended to help our QM family make sense of information being circulated. Taking control of our health as a queer community includes making institutional knowledge accessible to the public. 

Disclaimer: Although this information has been evaluated and determined to be accurate by Queering Medicine (QM), we at QM do not want to give the impression that we are the sole gatekeepers of medical knowledge. As a collective, QM members bring professional and personal qualifications that allow us to research and share credible knowledge. Our goals for this weekly round up and myth busting is to translate data into digestible information, dispel misinformation, and curate relevant data for the Lansing queer community. We encourage the community to question knowledge found outside of reputable sources, however, Queering Medicine will gladly help facilitate this process. If evidence or recommendations change, or any inaccuracies are found, we will correct them and explain the changes. If you have any questions about our methodology and sources, or you would like to point out any inaccuracies, please let us know!

COVID-19 Cases Surging in Michigan

The number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan has risen sharply: On Saturday, over 3,000 new cases were reported, nearly double the prior record for the number of new cases in a single day in the state. As of today, Michigan has over 175,000 cases and over 7,500 deaths. COVID-19 cases were on the rise in nearly all parts of the state (70 out of 83 counties). Michigan’s case fatality rate, which represents disease severity, currently stands at 4.5%. Speaking on Wednesday, Governor Whitmer said "our numbers are not good...that is why we are sounding the alarm today," and cautioned against a "herd immunity" approach, recently espoused by Michigan Senate Minority Leader Mike Shirkey, which has been widely condemned by experts.

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Boo to You! COVID-19 Guide to Celebrating Halloween Safely

What do COVID-19 and vampires have in common? They can be a real pain in the neck! Halloween is a holiday celebrated by many as a way to kick off the fall season, connect with loved ones and neighbors, and, for some, find an excuse to consume lots of candy. COVID-19 has sucked the fun out of most of our activities this year, but it doesn’t mean we still can’t celebrate Halloween safely. 

Consider Safer Alternatives

Pass out candy, not COVID-19

Protect the little ghouls

As always, remember to always wear a cloth mask, wash hands often, and stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you. 

More information:

Surfaces May Be Low-Risk

Although SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been found to remain active on surfaces for up to a month, many experts do not believe that there is a significant risk of surface transmission from groceries, mail, or many other common surfaces. Research into COVID-19 surface transmission has primarily focused on how long the virus can remain infectious under highly controlled experimental conditions, which does not reflect real-world risk. Surfaces in crowded public places are still considered to be high-risk, due to the amount and frequency of contact. Most experts agree that these surfaces do require frequent cleaning and recommend that people should avoid contact with them, wash their hands after touching them, and avoid touching their faces. Doorknobs, faucets, and other high-touch surfaces may also be higher-risk, and should be frequently cleaned. Other, less-touched surfaces, such as groceries and mail, may be low-risk, and for most people, it may not be worth spending the effort to sanitize them. Simply put, the amount of viral particles that survive on those surfaces is likely to be too low to cause infections in most people. Washing your hands after touching surfaces that may be contaminated and avoiding touching your face may be sufficient for most people. People at higher risk, including those with weaker immune systems, may still want to continue sanitizing even low-risk surfaces if they are able to do so: “Low-risk” does not mean “no risk.”

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FDA Approves First Treatment for COVID-19: Remdesivir 

On October 22, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they had approved the first drug for the treatment of COVID-19: Remdesivir, also known as Veklury. Remdesivir was originally given emergency authorization for use in COVID-19 treatment back in May, and thus the drug has been able to clear other regulatory and safety measures before being formally approved.

Remdesivir’s approval was based on three strongly designed clinical trials. In the first clinical trial, Remdesivir was shown to reduce the time to recover compared to the standard of care. Recovery was defined as being discharged from the hospital or being hospitalized but no longer needing supplemental oxygen. In the second clinical trial, the group who had received a 5-day course of Remdesivir had a higher odds of COVID-19 symptoms improvement on Day 11 compared to those who did not receive Remdesivir. In the third clinical trial, it was demonstrated that there was no difference in outcomes in those who received a 5-day course of Remdesivir compared to those on a 10-day course.

It is important to note that this is for the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms and that it has not been shown to be a cure or for prevention, and has not been shown to prevent deaths. Patients in all of these studies were given standard treatments alongside Remdesivir as well, and the variation in groups in the trials was isolated to whether they received Remdesivir or not. While an approved treatment in the US is promising, many factors can play into how likely somebody is to survive a COVID-19 infection, such as when they begin treatment, whether they have pre-existing conditions, etc. Also, there are still the long-term, irreversible effects of COVID-19 that many have had to and will continue to face. In addition, a recent trial sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently showed that Remdesivir failed to prevent COVID-19 deaths. Many scientists, however, have noted that based on the data collection of this study, conclusions are not definitive.

Progress is being made in the treatment front of managing COVID-19, however continuing to follow public health guidelines such as wearing masks, washing hands, and staying at least 6-feet apart is how we will best protect each other and ourselves.    

More information:

Thanksgiving in the Time of COVID-19

Along with Halloween, Thanksgiving is also fast approaching! While the pandemic continues, it is important to rethink how to go about these holidays. It is clear that the safest thing to do would be to continue to social distance and to stay home, however, there are some tips and guidelines to consider if you do partake in a gathering with family or friends:

Before a Holiday Gathering:

During a Holiday Gathering:

After a Holiday Gathering:

Consider Safer Alternatives to Gatherings:

Avoid the Following:

Again, staying at home would be the safest option, but there are definitely ways to still celebrate responsibly!

More information:

Domestic Violence Programs Face Backlash from Police for Supporting Black Lives Matter

Law enforcement agencies in rural Wisconsin reportedly stopped referring survivors to a domestic violence shelter after it put up a Black Lives Matter sign. The shelter, Embrace, also lost significant funding and other community partnerships. Similar stories have come from organizations serving sexual assault and domestic violence survivors Idaho, Nebraska, and other states. Law enforcement and community members who have spoken out against the groups have indicated that they are opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement because they believe it is an anti-police movement and they are against any group that is allied with such a movement. The actions put survivors at risk by making it more difficult for them to access critical resources, and survivors of color are at particular risk, as anti-racist work is critical to building trust and providing services equitably.

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Cleaning and Disinfecting for COVID-19

Disinfecting surfaces is an important step to minimizing exposure. It can also be very confusing when we hear chemical names used interchangeably with product names. We have had several conversations with members of our QM community regarding disinfection practices being circulated and have compiled some information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Overall, we should think about cleaning and disinfection practices in two different ways: 1. Practices at home and 2. Practices at places of business or where groups gather. The guidance for how you clean and disinfect your home differs from the practices and protocols an organization or business should implement when operating. 

Follow this link if you have any kind of business or organization that has a physical space where people work or gather to learn how to regularly clean and disinfect your space:   

Cleaning with Bleach (sodium hypochlorite/chemical formula NaOCl):

Commonly used products reported to disinfect SARS-COV-2:

Taken from the EPA tool at Disclaimer: we are not advertising these products, but are instead sharing commonly used items approved by the EPA.

NOTE: The EPA tool can be confusing: If something doesn’t make sense, reach out. Most helpful headings include active ingredients, product name, pathogen covered, contact time, surface type, and use setting.  Products listed as “Healthcare” use are not necessary for your home to be disinfected appropriately. 

6 Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use (from the EPA):


Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home (CDC guidance):,bleach%20per%20quart%20of%20water 

NOTE: Please read product instructions carefully. Cleaning products can be harmful if not used as directed. When cleaning, make sure there is good ventilation (open windows when possible, keep doors open). Use disposable gloves. Do not mix products; this can lead to unintended chemical reactions that can be life-threatening. 

U.S. Reaches Nearly 300,000 Excess Deaths

On Tuesday, the CDC released an updated report regarding the “excess deaths” that have occurred so far this year as compared to the same time frame last year. Below are some key summary points from the CDC:

What is already known about this topic?

What is added by this report?

What are the implications for public health practice?

Hitting the 300,000 mark in excess deaths in the U.S. is a difficult landmark to think about, and there are other estimates that put excess deaths at around 400,000 by the end of the year. While there are many factors that contributed to about one-third of the excess deaths, two-thirds were directly attributed to COVID-19, emphasizing the impact COVID-19 has had thus far. With cases, hospitalizations, and deaths rising significantly again, it is more important than ever to do what we can by wearing masks, social distancing, and following public health guidelines to curb the pandemic and protect each other. 

More information:

QM Public Health Crisis Round-Up Team (in no particular order):