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Thread: ☣ Coronavirus ☣

  1. #3726
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Well it might, but it also might not.
    Depends on who the scientists are and exactly what they said really.
    Difficult to judge out of context.

  2. #3727
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    I remember scientists saying the virus might get weaker over time as it mutated and spread, eventually becoming nothing more than another cold.
    That didn't age well
    Over 50/100 years.....but not "the virus", the infection because of 1) the virus mutations 2) the induced selection over human population

  3. #3728
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    @Azaran, that's because milder strains tend to spread faster since there are more asymptomatic carriers. Weaker strains act as proto-vaccinations for the deadlier strains. Natural selection is random, but it favors variants that spread faster, not ones that hurt you more. So, *in the long run* the deadlier strains aren't competitive.

    Lowenz is right that this takes years. For example, we never contained any of the bird flu or swine flu outbreaks, but death rates for them did decline back toward typical flu-death levels. Those strains are still out there, but not wreaking the havoc they first did.

    This is also the reason Covid-19 was so nasty in the first place. Asymptomatic spread allows it to travel far. See how SARS and MERS were contained quickly, but are much deadlier.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 13th Nov 2021 at 03:31.

  4. #3729
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Alternatives to treatments, more like...

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...us-bruce-boros

    Seven anti-vaccine doctors fell sick after gathering earlier this month for a Florida “summit” at which alternative treatments for Covid-19 were discussed.

    “I have been on ivermectin for 16 months, my wife and I,” Dr Bruce Boros told the audience at the event held at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, adding: “I have never felt healthier in my life.”

    The 71-year-old cardiologist and staunch anti-vaccine advocate contracted Covid-19 two days later, according to the head event organizer, Dr John Littell.
    [...]

  5. #3730
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Here we go again


    More countries are tightening their travel restrictions after a new coronavirus variant was identified in southern Africa earlier this week.

    The UK and Singapore are among those rushing in stricter quarantine measures or banning flights from South Africa and neighbouring countries.

    The EU is proposing to ban flights from the region across the whole bloc.

    Scientists still have much to learn about the variant, but say they are very worried about it.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it will take a few weeks to understand the impact of the new variant, as scientists work to determine how transmissible it is.

    The variant is very different to the others that have emerged so far. Scientists have said it is the most heavily mutated version yet, which means vaccines, which were designed using the original strain from Wuhan, may not be as effective.
    The WHO says so far fewer than 100 sample sequences have been reported. Cases have mainly been confirmed in South Africa, but have also been detected in Hong Kong, Israel, Botswana and Belgium.

    UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Friday that it is "highly likely" to have spread to other countries.

    Most of the cases in South Africa have been from its most populated province, Gauteng, of which Johannesburg is the capital city.

    Only about 24% of South Africa's population is fully vaccinated, which could see a rapid spread of cases there, Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M), told the BBC on Friday.

    In Hong Kong, the variant spread during hotel quarantine between a person who had arrived from South Africa and another hotel guest who tested positive a few days later, the Department of Health revealed. Both were fully vaccinated.

    Shares hit as new Covid variant rattles investors
    Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Friday it is "on the verge of a state of emergency" regarding the new variant, and that he would "act fast, strong and now".

    One case was detected in a person who returned from Malawi, according to Israeli media reports quoting the country's health ministry. Another two suspected infections were yet to be confirmed with test results. All three are said to have been fully vaccinated.

  6. #3731
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Scientists still have much to learn about the variant, but say they are very worried about it.
    I've been listening to a virology podcast and the scientists there weren't worried about it at all and said that there's no indication the amino acid changes are of any importance.

  7. #3732
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    I've been listening to a virology podcast and the scientists there weren't worried about it at all and said that there's no indication the amino acid changes are of any importance.
    Hopefully that's true. Delta turned out to not be as bad, and the original vaccines still work, so there's hope

  8. #3733
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    There's no reason to fear otherwise in this case. New variants are going to be coming all the time, because that's how viruses work -- they always mutate and change and produce new variants, even within the same person. And our immune systems are used to that and, once primed by a vaccine or an infection, produce different variations of antibodies to predict variants of the virus that they have even never seen. Rather than being concerned about the number of changes to the spike protein, like all the newspaper articles are, for some reason, it's far more important where the mutations occur.

    Also, if there is going to be a new variant that the vaccines can't handle all that well, now that we have a vaccine, we can account for these changes and get an updated vaccine ready in record speed. Not to mention there are finally antivirals coming -- potentially a big help in countries which have healthcare systems working well enough, so that people can get rapidly tested and treatments prescribed in time.

    There's still a lot of work to be done, but I'd say things are finally starting to look up.

  9. #3734
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Third grave from left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    Hopefully that's true. Delta turned out to not be as bad, and the original vaccines still work, so there's hope
    On the other hand ...

    So far there is grounds for concern.

    The new (Omicron) variant seems (unverified, probably false pet theory that is floating around, but whatever - not terribly relevant whether it is true or not) to have been traced back to an immune-compromised person where the virus was essentially forced to find a form that works while the stunted immune system continued its half-assed-but-correct antibody production. Lots of changes in spike protein. Currently not known which of the changes and to what extent are affecting the resulting protein. Reminder: the spike is the primary thing the immune system can detect and target (as far as i know the virus does not add anything else to the infected/virus cell surface that is not present in normal cells also).

    The new variant:
    * Seems to out-compete Delta variant and does that faster than Delta did (it took months for Delta to essentially eradicate all other variants). However, the numbers are still low and there is a small chance it is not as effective as it seems currently.
    * No idea how much it escapes immunization (vaccines and otherwise). This is worrying and is being focused on since this one messed with the spike protein a lot (Delta did not).
    * No idea whether it makes people more sick. There is hope that it might not - there is selection pressure towards milder variants. And if the pet theory is correct then mildness would have been quite beneficial to not kill off the lab (literally or figuratively) before it can comfortably spread.

    In short: we just do not know yet, but there are some grounds for worry and closing the borders to slow it down till we do might be warranted.

    Best case scenario: severity of the disease is much milder - essentially turning the virus into involuntary administered mass vaccination.

  10. #3735
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    You got to check the OTHER proteins to worry or not about lethality and how they can push into an overdrive the inflammatory component of the immune response (still the spike protein itselft - well, the complete virus external surface - can do it or at least participate to it).

  11. #3736
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Omicron seems kinda wacky compared to previous strains. I'm hopeful that this one is mutated enough that it's lost some of the bite

    https://www.news.com.au/world/corona...4efaf76c1ff2d4

    Dr Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who issued an alert about the Omicron variant B.1.1.529, said from her observations the symptoms are usually “mild” in healthy people.
    ...
    “Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,”
    ...
    While one common symptom of Covid-19 has always been a loss of taste and smell, none of Dr Coetzee’s patients experienced this.

    “It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two [and] not feeling well,” Dr Coetzee said.
    ...
    “We had one very interesting case, a kid, about six years old, with a temperature and a very high pulse rate, and I wondered if I should admit her,” Dr Coetzee said.

    “But when I followed up two days later, she was so much better.”
    So far all these symptoms are normal for general virus exposure or even vaccine exposure. Which is promising that this is actually a weakened strain which is going to out-compete the previous lethal strains. I'm hopeful here.

    Part of the explanation of *why* milder strains win out is because of natural selection. A virus wants to get in, infect just the *right* tissues that allow it to spread, then send out the maximum amount of viral particles before the immune system has time to respond.

    If the virus infects other tissues that don't facilitate spread, then that's less optimal - it provokes more of an immune response and the virus isn't focusing on the mechanism of spread. So viruses rely on some amount of stealth here to get the most spread out before the immune system kicks its ass.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 28th Nov 2021 at 19:34.

  12. #3737
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    It worked for Spanish flu. I saw some articles where experts were debating if coronavirus is going to follow that model. There were apparently some technical reasons that complicated the answer (beyond my pay-grade in immunology, which is to say I don't know jack to have a valid opinion on it XD). But it would be much better if a non-lethal & milder variant drove the lethal strains out of business of course.

  13. #3738
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Might be a good idea to keep in mind that all we really have right now is anecdotes and speculation. There's not going to be anything substantial on how vaccines deal with it, etc, for a couple weeks at least.

    If anyone's interested in the new variant, TWiV is going to cover it in their podcast on Tuesday.

    For anyone interested in the basics of virology, they also have an ongoing course completely free of charge: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...k50Qy_wWh_7tPL

  14. #3739
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    It worked for Spanish flu. I saw some articles where experts were debating if coronavirus is going to follow that model. There were apparently some technical reasons that complicated the answer (beyond my pay-grade in immunology, which is to say I don't know jack to have a valid opinion on it XD). But it would be much better if a non-lethal & milder variant drove the lethal strains out of business of course.
    Best case scenario, we end up with another cold virus, albeit more contagious, I can live with that. Fingers crossed

  15. #3740
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    From what I've gathered, quite a few scientists seem to think that due to evolutionary pressures it will eventually become the fifth coronavirus causing a portion of the common colds. And there's some speculation about how the four mild ones we currently have might have been more aggressive at some point in the past.

  16. #3741
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    How contagious it is might be subject to meta-evolution since then it could burn through hosts too fast. So there might be an optimal rate of spread, given that more mutations would make it easier to infect the original person again, plus a slower gestation time would mean more time for older hosts to lose anti-bodies.

    That's another thing I'm interested in, which is the evolution of the mutation rate itself. Organisms have DNA error-checking systems. So those themselves can be fine-tuned to give different mutation rates. Having more mutations might be beneficial sometimes, especially for micro-organisms. So you'd expect that the mutation rate itself is something that could be tweaked by natural selection.

    http://depts.washington.edu/scipos/w...utation-rates/

    Our hypothesis was that a moderate environmental change will select for organisms with a higher mutation rate. We had a variety of environments: a static environment where all of the tasks were consistently rewarded and 6 dynamic environments where there was a toggle between rewarding and punishing traits at different rates
    ...
    Our preliminary results indicate the digital organisms can fix a higher mutation rate if they are subjected to a dynamic environment. We see that the ideal environmental change is not too short (not enough time to mutate) or not too long (no incentive to change as the environment is changing slowly).
    Someone with an actual bio-science background would probably be better at letting me know whether this is common knowledge or more speculative.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 29th Nov 2021 at 22:06.

  17. #3742
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I think we should be careful not to just label it another cold. The adenoviruses and rhinoviruses which cause most mild URT infections (which we collectively call colds), do not possess some of the properties of coronaviruses.

    Examples:

    > Use of ACE2 as entry factor - this protein is highly expressed in the respiratory tract, which is why it primarily manifests as a URT infection, but it can also cause clots and may increase lifelong risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes / infarctions.
    > Affecting the nervous system - long COVID and cognitive impairment in the medium and long term
    > Impairing B cell immunity - seems that COVID may directly impair certain T helper cells, impairing their ability to prime B cells for antibody expression

    While these are rare / mild in most cases, the damage standard colds can do on their spectra of potency is, I'd have thought, likely to me different to what coronaviruses can do, so I'd imagine long term, colds are going to be a bit of a cross-fingers and hope it's just a regular cold type affair.

    What I'll be looking for in the coming decades is what the global incidence of cardiovascular illness is compared with previous years. Ditto idiopathic cognitive / fatigue conditions.

    I hope I am wrong of course, so if anyone has counterpoints, I'll gladly take them.

  18. #3743
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipheron View Post
    Someone with an actual bio-science background would probably be better at letting me know whether this is common knowledge or more speculative.
    I don't have time to find enough decent sources right now, but during my BSc, I did learn that in bacteria at least, stress-induced mutagenesis can be highly evolutionarily conserved in populations living in conditions which require continual / rapid adaptation. Nature has a habit of repeating patterns which work at a fundamental level, so I would not be surprised to find similar conservation in viruses.

    It will always come down to whether the ability to rack up mutations faster is too deleterious and reduces persistence in the environment, or whether it increases persistence due to being able to stay ahead of rapidly changing pressures (such as immunity). I would also not be surprised if conserved mutagenicity could be restricted to certain genetic loci, for example, the region coding for the spike protein.

    Speculative, but it's at least educated speculation.

  19. #3744
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Still looking good


    The European Union has recorded at least 44 confirmed cases of the omicron variant in 11 countries, but so far all of those are asymptomatic or people with mild symptoms, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

    “So far, no severe cases or deaths have been reported among these cases,” the ECDC said Tuesday in an update on the variant, based on information from public sources.

    It added that omicron cases have also been identified in nine additional countries and territories.

    Earlier, the European Medicines Agency said it would use expedited procedures to approve new vaccine versions in three to fourth months should the current ones prove insufficient to fight off omicron.

  20. #3745
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    From the looks of it, Branch Covidians are busy fighting for the virus in the US:

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...heir-jobs.html

    On Oct. 20, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a crackdown on unemployment benefits. She required recipients to double their job search activity, and she imposed strict audits—with the threat of cutting off payments to anyone who fell short—to ensure that “no Iowan who is receiving unemployment benefits unnecessarily remains on the sidelines” of the job market.

    Nine days later, however, Reynolds signed legislation that pays vaccine refusers to do just that: sit on the sidelines. Under the new law, anyone “discharged from employment for refusing to receive a vaccination against COVID-19 … shall not be disqualified for benefits.”
    Reynolds is one of many Republican politicians who openly advocate, and in some states have successfully imposed, a two-tiered system of unemployment insurance. It’s not a left-wing policy of money for everyone or a right-wing policy of money for no one. It’s a policy of pernicious hypocrisy: welfare for vaccine refusers, tough love for everyone else.

    Under these new laws, any worker who gets fired for broadly defined “misconduct,” such as flunking an employer-imposed drug test, is disqualified from unemployment benefits—but employees who refuse COVID vaccination are glorified, protected, and subsidized. The state must guarantee, in Reynolds’ words, that these reckless freeloaders “will still receive unemployment benefits despite being fired for standing up for their beliefs.”

    The GOP’s coddling of vaccine refusers makes a joke of its rhetoric about self-reliance. This summer, for instance, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee ended the federal government’s supplemental COVID-era unemployment benefits. “We are paying people to stay home. That needs to change,” he declared. But two weeks ago, Lee signed legislation that pays vaccine refusers to stay home. Under Tennessee’s new policy, the state’s normal rule about employees fired for “misconduct”—that they lose their eligibility for unemployment benefits—can no longer be applied to anyone who is terminated for “refusing to receive a vaccination for COVID-19.”

    In May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he, too, would end bonus payments to unemployed Floridians. These payments, he argued, had created a perverse “incentive structure” that discouraged people from working. But DeSantis signed legislation two weeks ago that sets up a similar incentive structure, exclusively for people who defy COVID vaccine requirements (albeit with lower payments than when the federal government was still offering an extra $300 per week in benefits). Under the new law, vaccine refusal can’t “be deemed misconduct for the purpose of reemployment assistance.” In fact, the Florida law says that if you’re unemployed and you’re offered a job that requires vaccination, you can turn it down and stay on the dole.

    Last week, Kansas adopted the same policy: You can keep drawing unemployment checks while declining job opportunities, as long as you specifically refuse “work that requires compliance with a COVID-19 vaccine requirement.” And if you were recently fired for refusing vaccination—or if you were previously denied unemployment benefits because you refused job offers that entailed vaccination—the state now promises that you’ll be “retroactively paid benefits” going back to the beginning of September. This bonus payout is yours, as a special kind of welfare recipient, even if you have “not requested retroactive payment of such benefits.” Tennessee has enacted a similar clause promising “retroactive payment of unemployment benefits,” without a specified time limit.

    [...]

    The new state laws also make a mockery of religion. Under Florida’s statute, if an employee simply “presents” a statement “indicating that the employee declines COVID-19 vaccination because of a sincerely held religious belief,” “the employer must allow the employee to opt out of the employer’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.” Iowa’s policy is similar. The Kansas law orders employers to accept such requests for religious exemptions “without inquiring into the sincerity of the request.” By framing vaccine refusal as religious freedom—while making it impossible to ascertain whether the refusal is truly grounded in religion—the GOP is wrapping its constituency of anti-social moochers in a cloak of martyrdom.

    Republicans also argue that vaccine refusers deserve special treatment because it’s wrong, as a matter of personal autonomy, to let employers dictate workers’ health decisions. As DeSantis put it two weeks ago, “We are respecting people’s individual freedom.” But that’s not how DeSantis treats marijuana. Under Florida law, if you flunk an employer-imposed drug test, that’s “misconduct,” and it bars you from unemployment benefits if you’re fired. And if you apply for a new job—but you’re rejected for failing a drug test “required as a condition of employment” in that job—you’re further disqualified from unemployment benefits “for refusing to accept an offer of suitable work.”

    Let’s pause to appreciate the Orwellian majesty of this sequence. 1) You, a responsible citizen, have gotten your COVID shots and want to be productive, so you apply for a job. 2) The prospective employer demands that you take a drug test. You test positive for marijuana, so the employer rejects you. 3) Based on the employer’s rejection of you—not your rejection of the employer—Florida declares that you have refused the job offer and are therefore disqualified from unemployment benefits. However, 4) your neighbor, who was fired for refusing COVID vaccination and has turned down two subsequent job offers that required COVID vaccination, continues to collect unemployment checks.

    Meanwhile, under the same Florida law, employees who leave their jobs because they’re afraid of getting COVID become ineligible for unemployment benefits, unless they can prove to the DeSantis administration that this fear constituted “good cause” to quit. They’re treated more harshly than people who quit because they’re afraid of a federally approved vaccine.

    This is how Republicans define “personal responsibility.”
    [...]

  21. #3746
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    Is this for real? :| Next level vote trading.....

  22. #3747
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    And another one gone...

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/relig...dical-freedom/

    Marcus Lamb, founder of the large Christian television network Daystar, died Tuesday after contracting the coronavirus. Lamb’s network during the pandemic has made the virus a huge focus, calling it a satanic attack that should not be treated with vaccines. He was 64 years old.

    Daystar is the second-largest Christian TV network in the world, according to CBN News, a competitor, reaching 2 billion people worldwide. Its brand is a fluid, modern, charismatic faith, more about general good vs. evil, miraculous healings and religious freedom than any specific denominational theology.

    During the pandemic, Lamb and his network went in big with anti-vaccine conspiracy claims, hosting daily interviews with skeptics who talked about alleged dangerous, hidden forces pushing vaccines and stealing Christians’ freedoms. One section of a Daystar webpage titled “Vaccines: The Unauthorized Truth” begins: “What if the most dangerous thing your child could face in life is the very thing you’re told by your doctor is safe?”

    [...]

    His wife, Joni, on their daily ministry show Tuesday, said her husband was diagnosed with covid-19, “got the covid pneumonia” and also had diabetes.

    “We were trying to treat the covid and pneumonia with the different protocols we use, including the ones we talk about on Daystar,” she said on the show. “We used those — I myself used them and had breezed through covid.”

    His blood sugar spiked and he needed oxygen, she said. “He 100 percent believed in everything we talk about here on Daystar, things that help so many people around the world with early protocol treatments for covid,” she said. “We still stand by those, obviously.”

    White evangelical Christians resist coronavirus vaccines at higher rates than other religious groups in the United States, a phenomenon experts say is bound up in politics, skepticism about government and the consumption of alternative media and unfounded conspiracy claims about vaccine dangers.

    [...]

    Lamb in 2020 returned $3.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program money after an “Inside Edition” investigation found his ministry purchased a jet two weeks after getting a PPP loan meant to help employees struggling during the pandemic.
    [...]

  23. #3748
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    So no ALIEN "med beds" for christian paladins? What a satanic world

    LULZ

  24. #3749
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    And another one gone...
    Dropping like flies aren't they?

    Guess the miraculous healing power failed this time.

    They'll probably claim it was 'the Lord's will' or something

  25. #3750
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Probably that the deep state gave them a killer strain of COVID on purpose because they got too close to tHe trUTh

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