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Thread: Disease and pandemics thread (because it's science)

  1. #2161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I just ran across an article about why there seems to be inconsistency between the CDC and WHO advice. I had suspected what the person is arguing, i.e. that the WHO is the "world" organization, and is working with many countries where getting masks for everybody is impractical.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/cdc-of...ry?id=70958380

    I don't know if it's true or not, but it makes sense.
    I'm not sure it does, given that WHO has been aggressively pushing the mantra of "test, test, test" (as a means of controlling the epidemic) from very early in the spread of this disease, despite the fact many poorer countries simply had no infrastructure to carry out antigen tests, and very little capacity to develop that infrastructure. Their approach is generally: "Here's the ideal towards which national governments should direct their efforts." "Masks for all" would be a more potentially attainable goal to push than "tests for all", if there was a concern about the ability of a country's infrastructure to cope.

    Grant Hutchison

  2. #2162
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    I learned from the BBC. A lot more about the 1918/1919 influenza pandemic and its social effects. Many of the major changes, womens’ votes, independence movements, and so on were attributed to the war but hindsight shows the pandemic had long lasting effects. There were major mental health issues among survivors lasting many years, and physical illnesses too. Considering that more people died of influenza than Military action, this social effect was probably skewed at the time. We think of the “roaring twenties” as a pushback and the major depression of the thirties, then war again, from that depression but history has not emphasised the long lasting effects of that pandemic. This time we have a very different pandemic, culling the old mainly and hopefully with far fewer deaths than that pandemic a century ago, yet the social and economic effects may be even greater because of the way governments rushed to close down.

    Now that epidemiologists are saying most transmission has been indoors and severity scales up with age like “normal” death expectancy per year, we can begin to use hindsight again. Survivors in this epidemic also face long lasting health issues and Covid19 may be a regular menace. Testing shows very low “herd immunity” so without a vaccine, we might expect waves of outbreaks like in 1919.

    The biggest difference, it seems to me, from a century ago, is in the biological impetus. Now we know about the RNA of the virus and the different ways to construct vaccines. The worldwide damage will have a scientific silver lining in putting vaccine research into the top priority category even as the financial consequences hit us. We have tackled this pandemic with mediaeval technology but we will now put in the science to prepare for the next challenge, as we should have done before.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  3. #2163
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Now that epidemiologists are saying most transmission has been indoors [...]
    Can't help but wonder whether that's how the virus works best, or if that's an effect of how well we eliminated so much contact outdoors.

    I'm cringing now though because of a "mass" demonstration (5000 people, used to be when mass was 100k or more!) to do with other major (but political, so no-go) news items, and people from all over our country gathering there in support... Did they think it was OK to go there because of indoors transmission news? I shudder to think what it could mean if there were a bunch of infected people in that crowd, shouting and chanting, and how many new hot spots may come from it. I mean if they're callous enough to gather like that, how serious did they take the measures before or will they afterwards?
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  4. #2164
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    Maybe ibuprofen isn’t so bad after all - maybe.

    Coronavirus: Ibuprofen tested as a treatment https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52894638


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  5. #2165
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Can't help but wonder whether that's how the virus works best, or if that's an effect of how well we eliminated so much contact outdoors.

    I'm cringing now though because of a "mass" demonstration (5000 people, used to be when mass was 100k or more!) to do with other major (but political, so no-go) news items, and people from all over our country gathering there in support... Did they think it was OK to go there because of indoors transmission news? I shudder to think what it could mean if there were a bunch of infected people in that crowd, shouting and chanting, and how many new hot spots may come from it. I mean if they're callous enough to gather like that, how serious did they take the measures before or will they afterwards?
    Fair point but indoors has advantages for the virus in both recirculation of the air and exposure time. Standing next to an infectious person outdoors for fifteen minutes no doubt also allows enough virus to transfer. My guess is that under a certain age, people have grasped the risk of death is rather low. For the very young, outdoors risk of lightning strike is a bigger worry.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  6. #2166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    And a few more. The growth seems to be pretty constant now at about 1.4% per day.
    122 14%
    123 1.4%
    124 1.7%
    125 1.3%
    126 1.3%
    Now, the number seems to be about 1%/day. In reality the number of deaths per day has remained pretty stable, at around 4,000, so that as the numerator increases the ratio naturally gets lower. Just an interesting thing to ponder, regarding herd immunity, but for the whole world to be infected, at this rate (with a stable population) it would take two million days, or 730,000 years. Of course, since about 360,000 babies are born each day, it won't ever catch up with us at this rate...

    127 0.4%
    128 1.6%
    129 1.2%
    130 1.2%
    131 1.4%
    132 1.2%
    133 1.1%
    134 1.1%
    135 1.0%

    ETA: Of course, since I myself mentioned "herd immunity," one can rightly point out that I should be using infections rather than deaths. True. And then, about 100,000 new infections a day means 220 years, discounting the fact that many more than 100,000 babies are born every day...
    As above, so below

  7. #2167
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    So it seems that we may be seeing a situation where, unless we can push the R0 below 1 and get it to peter out, we will be living to COVID-19 for a long time.
    As above, so below

  8. #2168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    So it seems that we may be seeing a situation where, unless we can push the R0 below 1 and get it to peter out, we will be living to COVID-19 for a long time.
    Yes it does. Testing has shown low levels of antibodies, but as mentioned early in the discussion, it is the local picture that matters. R0 is an average hiding large geographical variation and individual contact rates. When and if a vaccine is available, intelligent use of it can control the epidemics without vaccinating everybody.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  9. #2169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    So it seems that we may be seeing a situation where, unless we can push the R0 below 1 and get it to peter out, we will be living to COVID-19 for a long time.
    Depending on how you define "a long time", I think that's a given. Personally I think it will be until a vaccine is widely distributed - most optimistically some time next year.

    R0 is also going to be dependent upon the situation. I suspect what will happen (and what seems to be happening in the US) is that R0 will drop down to around 1 or below, we will remove some of the restrictions, and R0 will rise above 1. I suspect we will be at a plateau around 1 and with various restrictions on "normal" behavior for a long time.
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