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Coronavirus Thread

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50 minutes ago, Innovindil said:

What does their hospital admissions/deaths look like? Not really useful with half the picture painted imo.

Deaths are rising slowly (seven day average has gone up from 60/70 to around 90 but as I said, looking back three/four weeks, cases were accelerating much faster than that. Hence I mentioned ‘good news’ ..... don’t know where hospital admissions info is for chile. 

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7 minutes ago, Nalis said:

Good post.

 

June 21st was always very optimistic in respect of full normality but if you are referring to the reopening plans prior to  that point I'd interested to know why you think they are unrealistic (if you do). Surely the lifting restrictions, including those on Monday and in mid May, strike a decent balance between being cautious and not unnecessarily locking down parts of society given the plummeting hospitalisation and death rate? If you dont, then ignore me!

The former, June 21st and again the mixed messaging that has ensued as an inevitable result. The gradual easing of restrictions is essential, but it needs to be very measured. The dangers are that as this thread is ample testimony to in places, there is the erroneous conclusion that the aims have been achieved and that the purpose of vaccination is simply to protect the vulnerable. This along with the shortcomings of Lateral Flow Testing is seen by some as the green light to immediately resume normality and throw caution to the wind.  

 

We know that the R number will rise, but the last lockdown has afforded us time, eased the clinical burden and presented the opportunity for the vaccination programme to gain an advantage in the race. We can then work towards containment and elimination where cases spike when and where it becomes necessary. The notion that we won't be subject to, at the very least, regional measures and disparities after June 21st is giving false hope and selling the country a lie. Furthermore, due to the superspreading events that I mentioned, restrictions on large indoor gatherings will remain in place for some time. 

 

The main concern in the future as I see it is international travel and inadequate quarantine procedure. Locally, the high infection rates in Leicester and comparatively lower uptake of vaccination also spells trouble as we relax restrictions. 

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It is easily feasible that come October we could see all PL clubs with fans and the KP empty due to a spike in local infections. 
 

the govt will be so sensitive to any spiking and will respond strongly (think places like Australia and how they deal with local infections once the country was ‘open’) 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, st albans fox said:

It is easily feasible that come October we could see all PL clubs with fans and the KP empty due to a spike in local infections. 
 

the govt will be so sensitive to any spiking and will respond strongly (think places like Australia and how they deal with local infections once the country was ‘open’) 

 

 

You obviously haven’t seen which areas have the lowest % of the vulnerable vaccinated to be making that statement.

 

Also, at that point in the year with the virus as it is, how does the NHS risk getting overwhelmed?

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8 minutes ago, Costock_Fox said:

You obviously haven’t seen which areas have the lowest % of the vulnerable vaccinated to be making that statement.

 

Also, at that point in the year with the virus as it is, how does the NHS risk getting overwhelmed?

By then it shouldn’t  be about overwhelming the NHS or protection of the vulnerable ........i expect it will be about preventing areas having significant clusters where new variants can develop.  They didn’t think v hard about restricting Leicester last year when everywhere else was open and they won’t again ....

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1 minute ago, Costock_Fox said:

On that basis nothing ever returns to how it was.

See @Line-X’s post from earlier .....it’s a global pandemic, not a U.K. one ..... it will end eventually because the reality is likely to be that mutations will become less dangerous 

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18 minutes ago, st albans fox said:

See @Line-X’s post from earlier .....it’s a global pandemic, not a U.K. one ..... it will end eventually because the reality is likely to be that mutations will become less dangerous 

Haha. 

 

We've had it drilled home for weeks now since all the vulnerable have been vaccinated and hospital admissions  have collapsed that the great bogeyman on the horizon is the all conquering mutation. 

 

Yet, you are saying that mutations are our way out of this?! 

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Just now, Paninistickers said:

Haha. 

 

We've had it drilled home for weeks now since all the vulnerable have been vaccinated and hospital admissions  have collapsed that the great bogeyman on the horizon is the all conquering mutation. 

 

Yet, you are saying that mutations are our way out of this?! 

The govt are petrified of them because it’s pretty much the only thing that can derail our return to normality....... but as far as I understand it, over time, mutations are more likely to become less dangerous rather than more.......  that won’t stop govt from stressing for now ....

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8 minutes ago, st albans fox said:

The govt are petrified of them because it’s pretty much the only thing that can derail our return to normality....... but as far as I understand it, over time, mutations are more likely to become less dangerous rather than more.......  that won’t stop govt from stressing for now ....

Agree that mutations are more likely to mutate into weakness over time, but it’s not a certainty and I would be more pissed if the government were not stressing

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11 minutes ago, st albans fox said:

The govt are petrified of them because it’s pretty much the only thing that can derail our return to normality....... but as far as I understand it, over time, mutations are more likely to become less dangerous rather than more.......  that won’t stop govt from stressing for now ....

 

2 minutes ago, Dahnsouff said:

Agree that mutations are more likely to mutate into weakness over time, but it’s not a certainty and I would be more pissed if the government were not stressing

Yeah, the idea that mutations could either be really good or really bad news rather than just one or the other is hardly a contradiction in terms that needs to be pulled up.

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At what point can we start categorising deaths "due" to Covid instead of any cause 28 days after a positive test? 

 

I get it when we were at 1000+ deaths a day there was no time but surely now the numbers are 95% lower than that we can be more accurate?

 

Also feel the death numbers should be split into "overnight" deaths and "backdated" deaths for clarity.

 

For example out of the 40 registered today, how many of those people died overnight purely of Covid?

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7 hours ago, Line-X said:

They do indeed and I very much agree with what you are saying regarding browbeating the public. I consistently said that this 'roadmap' was unrealistic and way too optimistic. Regarding "the media" I would review your sources. From your posts, you're clearly an intelligent and discerning individual - however many that I observe on this thread complaining about media scaremongering are the ones continually reposting it along with sensationalised reactionary twitter feeds. Just ignore the popular press and balance the science itself at source.  

 

Regarding "our goals", remember this a a global crisis and we are still a long way from achieving them. As I was discussing last week, remember the objective is to corral and to eliminate covid where eradication is impossible. Think of Influenza A as an annual widespread slow burn, but SARS-CoV-2 is an incendiary firestorm in comparison. This is because it has a much lower 'K' factor (dispersion factor than the flu) meaning that a small number of cases are responsible for a large number of secondary cases. Now imagine a single fire crew attempting to protect a city against an invisible arsonist. A localised fire is started, then another, then another, then another and while they attempt to extinguish the first, the rest are spreading. Fortunately, as vaccination drives the R number down, we are more likely to encounter ever more isolated cases that can be rapidly quelled but this is why we need to guard against one big superspreading event such as an indoor concert arena or event which can quickly overwhelm a local healthcare trust. The "aim" is to get the rates as low as possible and if an outbreak occurs we stop it from spreading. The chief weapon of SARS-CoV-2 is asymptomatic spread. This is the fundamental difference between SARS-Cov-2 and the more serious SARS CoV in 2002 which was quickly tamed in comparison. 

 

In respect of the variants, again it comes down to containment. With almost every person it infects, the virus changes very subtly picking up a letter in its genetic code here, another being deleted there or exchanged for something different. These typically occur due to tiny errors as the virus takes over the cell's molecular machinery to replicate itself. Aside from enabling science to track the virus around the globe, most have negligible consequences, but occasionally a mutation takes place that alters how quickly the virus spreads, how infectious it might be or even the severity of the disease it causes. For example, the H69/V70 deletion of two key amino acids has been found modify the shape of the Covid-19 spike protein so that a loop of molecules that normally protrude from it are pulled in tighter. This is thought to be an adaptation by the virus as it tries to evade the immune system which increases the infectivity twofold. The 20A.EU1 mutation, more commonly known as the Spanish variant emerged and spread during a spate of foreign holidays as restrictions eased last summer. Research that has replicated some of the mutations found on the Brazialian P1 in viruses indicate that they might give the virus the ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity.

 

The mistake that people are making - in government rhetoric and not just simply public perception - is to overlook the dynamic and flux of the virus presenting/conceiving this as a national crisis, completely overlooking the wider global issue. This is a world war - and although we are nationally winning the battle, there is still a massive threat lurking overseas. This is a war that will eventually be won, the aim being to disarm the virus. Any subsequent pockets of resistance throughout the globe will then rapidly be circled and subdued.

 

The suggestion that we have already "achieved our goals" is the delusional part. 

Two questions.  

 

1.  There are several coronaviruses that affect humans.  I think I've heard that it's seven including this one, but it's definitely several.  Do we have to guard against mutations in all of them, or just in this one?

 

2.  Timescale.  Presumably to vaccinate the world, you're thinking years rather than months.  Smallpox, which was a much more stable virus, took 30 years to eliminate.  How long should your variant of lockdown carry on for, would you think?

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1 hour ago, Sol thewall Bamba said:

At what point can we start categorising deaths "due" to Covid instead of any cause 28 days after a positive test? 

 

I get it when we were at 1000+ deaths a day there was no time but surely now the numbers are 95% lower than that we can be more accurate?

 

Also feel the death numbers should be split into "overnight" deaths and "backdated" deaths for clarity.

 

For example out of the 40 registered today, how many of those people died overnight purely of Covid?

probably 0

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2 minutes ago, dsr-burnley said:

Two questions.  

 

1.  There are several coronaviruses that affect humans.  I think I've heard that it's seven including this one, but it's definitely several.  Do we have to guard against mutations in all of them, or just in this one?

 

2.  Timescale.  Presumably to vaccinate the world, you're thinking years rather than months.  Smallpox, which was a much more stable virus, took 30 years to eliminate.  How long should your variant of lockdown carry on for, would you think?

Very good questions, thanks for your reply. This, as I understand it:

 

1. Correct, there are six other coronaviruses that can currently affect humans. The more a virus spreads, the more mutations will occur which is why it is important to drive down the infection rate. Most of the time when a virus mutates, the resulting variants are benign or even weakened versions of the pathogen - while they replicate, each cycle represents a genetic crap shoot. So many of those mutations may confer no advantage but will nonetheless be passed along until they are common in the population which is known as the founder effect. Four of these strains mainly cause asymptomatic or mild respiratory and gastrointestinal infections and account for approximately 5–30% of common colds and so are not generally life threatening. As you know however, to date, there have been three documented highly pathogenic CoVs, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 which are prone to infecting the lower respiratory tract, resulting in acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. SARS was contained, MERS continues to circulate but the absence of a sustained epidemic suggesting a very low reproductive rate. For both these reasons transmission is negligible and therefore mutation not a concern. 

 

The difference between the other two, is the fact that SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread like wildfire across many parts of the world which means it is more likely to evolve into a more efficient version. We're currently witnessing variants that are selected for greater transmissibility and/or antibody resistance because they're the two biggest selection pressures. Strong selection pressure, such as with very high efficacy vaccines, will reduce the number of chances for the virus to replicate and mutate. Meanwhile, a really weak selection pressure means the virus doesn't have the urgency to mutate - like the other six strains, so any change will provide a negligible advantage. So to prevent future variants, for now we need to ensure that the vaccination programme is widespread and timely to prevent so-called escape mutants from emerging. And we need to stop the spread of the virus, which allows the coronavirus more chances to mutate. Saying that, I think that the future of the current pandemic will depend more on the actions we take to prevent the virus from spreading than on the intrinsic changes in the properties of the virus itself.

 

Whilst on the subject, interestingly It remains unknown whether infection with other human coronaviruses can offer any protection against SARS-CoV-2. I was reading yesterday about a cell-culture experiment involving SARS-CoV-2 and the closely related SARS-CoV, antibodies from one coronavirus could bind to the other coronavirus although there is not yet evidence that it could neutralise it. 

 

2/ An impossible question to answer - no one knows, so forgive my conjecture:

 

Smallpox was actually eradicated, not eliminated, thanks to as you say being stable, a very effective vaccine and as opposed to the multiple vectors of coronavirus, it was only present in humans. Globally, it's predicted that SARS-CoV-2 is here for the long term whilst it will be impossible to eradicate. The future depends on a lot of unknowns and variables, including whether people develop lasting immunity to the virus, whether seasonality significantly affects its spread, the level of antigenic drift, reporting and vaccine availability and contentiously but most importantly I think, the choices made by governments and individuals. If immunity to the virus lasts less than a year, for example, similar to other human coronaviruses in circulation, we could quite feasibly be faced with the prospect of annual surges in COVID-19 infections through to 2025 and beyond. Antibody production is not the only form of immune protection - memory T lymphocytes (and B cells) also defend against future encounters with the virus and there is a large volume of current research into the possible duration of this in respect of SARS-CoV-2.

 

Where personal behavioural changes, such as hand-washing and wearing masks, are persisting beyond strict lockdown, they help to stem the tide of infections. I was looking at research that indicates that if 50–65% of people are cautious in public, then stepping down social-distancing measures every 80 days could help to prevent further infection peaks over the next two years and that's without even factoring the effects of comprehensive testing and continuing vaccination. 

 

To end the pandemic, the virus must either be eliminated worldwide which some pessimists regard as a near-impossible feat because of how widespread it has become, but even so, it may be sufficiently contained. Alternatively, the global population must develop sufficient immunity through infections or a vaccine. It is estimated that 55–80% of a population must be immune for this to happen, depending on the country. 

 

In the scenario that immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is permanent, even without a vaccine, there is an albeit remote possibility that the virus could burn itself out and largely disappear as early as 2022. It could be argued that pursuing elimination with intensive control measures, including societal lockdowns, is too costly as many have expressed legitimate concerns over on this thread. Indeed, in our major economies, GDP continues to plummet because of control measures implemented to date. Against the backdrop of rising unemployment, economic recession and deteriorating mental health, suppression may seem the most economical approach. However, this is a short term perspective. Whatever, societal costs in the longer term do need to be evaluated which again many on here have made a compelling case for.

 

As I see it. even if elimination is not achieved, decisive action will drive infection numbers down to levels that make it more easily contained worldwide. The risk of societal spread then becomes lower, and normality can be restored for communities, businesses, and social life. Elimination measures are similar to suppression measures except that they are applied with greater force and rigour. People need to appreciate that these will continue to be sporadic and ongoing and that responsible behaviour changes that I referred to are inevitable. Such measures may also have the co-benefit of reducing other infections. 

 

The problem is, global healthcare is not egalitarian. The virus could therefore become endemic to many regions of the world. Think about it - malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, yet it kills more than 400,000 people each year. Such a worst-case scenario is already reality in many countries with preventable diseases, causing huge losses of life. 

 

Honestly? As I mentioned earlier today, my main concerns are superspreading events and resuming rates of international travel combined with lax quarantine measures. That and the fact that these viruses are strewn across the animal kingdom. As we increasingly encroach on these habitats, greater interaction means that this will happen again sooner rather than later. 

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A total of 450,136 second doses were received on Friday - with 106,878 first doses also administered.

The previous record was set on Thursday when 449,269 second doses were reported - in addition to 96,242 first doses.

There were 2,589 new infections in the past 24 hours, and another 40 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

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3 hours ago, Heathrow fox said:

If they opened up everything tomorrow.Wouldn’t that cause a huge surge in demand and thus cause inflation to spike?

Most tangible goods can be purchased online anyway so I dont think it would have too much of an effect on inflation.....:ph34r:

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I'm hearing that cruise ships are evacuating people from the island of St Vincent after the volcano. Apparently only vaccinated people though. I hope this is not true and it could be bullshit.

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