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midtskogen
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

23 Jul 2021 12:57

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post China is one of very few countries that adopted what I would call a true "strike the curve down and keep it down" policy, in the sense that they were not content with having to deal with repeated waves.

And they're hosting the Olympics in half a year.  I wonder how that will work out given the current woes in Tokyo.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

23 Jul 2021 21:48

I think we can learn from nations in which there was early intervention and the mortality rate didn't get as out of control as it did in other nations, although how much of this is scalable to the level of a larger nation, is questionable.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

26 Jul 2021 03:28

The question is also how responsibly in all countries they treated the testing for COVID. I heard that in some countries, doctors did not send patients for tests in order to artificially lower the incidence rates. True or not, I don't know. But if we assume that this is true, then such an attitude, on the one hand, at some point contributes to the underestimation of statistics, but on the other hand, the unexamined people were not on self-isolation and infect other people.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

26 Jul 2021 05:59

Challenger wrote:
The question is also how responsibly in all countries they treated the testing for COVID. I heard that in some countries, doctors did not send patients for tests in order to artificially lower the incidence rates. True or not, I don't know. But if we assume that this is true, then such an attitude, on the one hand, at some point contributes to the underestimation of statistics, but on the other hand, the unexamined people were not on self-isolation and infect other people.

That has been happening in Florida and Texas, I dont trust any numbers coming out of those places.
Florida also only reports rates on Fridays, obviously trying to undercut media attention on the issue.
Loads of other issues going on there, like vaccine availability being much less in underprivileged communities (where it is needed the most) and the buddies of the governor who are rich and gave him money getting the vaccine first.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

27 Jul 2021 15:18

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Florida also only reports rates on Fridays, obviously trying to undercut media attention on the issue.

I love it. Things can't change if we don't observe them. The faster things are changing, the less often we should check. :)

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

27 Jul 2021 16:19

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Florida also only reports rates on Fridays, obviously trying to undercut media attention on the issue.

I love it. Things can't change if we don't observe them. The faster things are changing, the less often we should check. :)

Image

I love it- it's like the philosophy that dirt can be swept under the rug and let's pretend it's not there.  By the way the amount of unvaccinated people is going to ruin us with how much more contagious this Delta variant is, I wonder if there is a quantitative comparison about how much more contagious it is vs the original.  I also wonder if people who are fully vaccinated are transmitting the virus at the same rate as the unvaccinated, I read somewhere that although the vaccines prevent hospitalization in most cases, the transmission rate remains very similar.

Wat, it's even worse than we thought.  These people believe in some mutated version of the observer effect.  They actually think that the more you check something, the worse it will appear, not because it's actually worse, but because measuring more often makes it only appear to be worse.  Talk about trying to misapply quantum mechanical behavior to our scale lol.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

27 Jul 2021 21:18

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I wonder if there is a quantitative comparison about how much more contagious it is vs the original.

What I have read is that Delta is about 50% more transmissible than Alpha (the UK variant), which was about 50-70% more transmissible than the original. So if R0 for the original virus was between 2 and 3, then for Delta it is between 5 and 8, with a most probable value of about 6.

I also checked with a simple model what value of R0 gives a best fit for recent outbreaks such as in the UK, the Netherlands, and in parts of the US with certain vaccination rates, while also accounting for some immunity by recovery from prior infection. Basically, the data tell me the same thing: Delta's R0 cannot be less than 4, and most likely it's around 6. 

It is kind of bothering me that media continues to cite the "70% threshold to reach herd immunity". That's simply not true anymore with how transmissible Delta is. We see Delta spreading in places with more than 70% vaccination + recovery. This could also be an effect of how unvaccinated people are more likely to socialize with other unvaccinated people. Despite being a very good toy model, the spread of a virus through a population is more complicated than a bunch of dots randomly moving around and bumping into each other, and in this case that complexity matters.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

27 Jul 2021 21:55

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I wonder if there is a quantitative comparison about how much more contagious it is vs the original.

What I have read is that Delta is about 50% more transmissible than Alpha (the UK variant), which was about 50-70% more transmissible than the original. So if R0 for the original virus was between 2 and 3, then for Delta it is between 5 and 8, with a most probable value of about 6.

I also checked with a simple model what value of R0 gives a best fit for recent outbreaks such as in the UK, the Netherlands, and in parts of the US with certain vaccination rates, while also accounting for some immunity by recovery from prior infection. Basically, the data tell me the same thing: Delta's R0 cannot be less than 4, and most likely it's around 6. 

It is kind of bothering me that media continues to cite the "70% threshold to reach herd immunity". That's simply not true anymore with how transmissible Delta is. We see Delta spreading in places with more than 70% vaccination + recovery. This could also be an effect of how unvaccinated people are more likely to socialize with other unvaccinated people. Despite being a very good toy model, the spread of a virus through a population is more complicated than a bunch of dots randomly moving around and bumping into each other, and in this case that complexity matters.

The media is basically treating this 70% as gospel when it just assumes a static infection rate which is definitely not happening.  The vaccination rate in Nassau County is 80% and the infection rate is still rising.  I think it comes from a dual threat- first the mutation rate of the virus- but also the fact that there have been many repeat infections, so it's obvious that getting the infection doesn't confer permanent immunity, which we already knew, but the infection rate among those who previously had the infection seems to now be higher.  I've even heard of many cases of getting the infection, then getting vaccinated, and then getting a second infection.  It seems like the new variant is much more efficient at doing this than the original or prior variants were.  Hence the decision by the CDC to issue indoor masking suggestions for even the vaccinated.  Thanks for the infection rate measurement for Delta, Wat, is this variant any more lethal than the original?  I had read some uncertainty on that subject, but most think that it's about the same as the original where that's concerned?
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

27 Jul 2021 22:56

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Thanks for the infection rate measurement for Delta, Wat, is this variant any more lethal than the original?

Sure thing. My understanding is also that it's a bit uncertain and difficult to measure, but it's either about the same or a little higher (for people who have neither been vaccinated nor exposed to it before). A slightly higher lethality makes some sense given the role of a higher viral load within the body as one of the mechanisms for being more transmissible.

Added:
We do hear anecdotally a lot about more younger people filling up hospitals and ICUs and getting extremely ill, but it's difficult to distinguish this being an effect of the virus itself from the effect of preferential vaccination of the elderly. If I can find a good analysis I'll be sure to share it later.

There's also this extremely common belief that viruses should mutate to become less lethal over time. The reasoning being that a virus that kills its host is evolutionarily disadvantageous. Sounds totally logical, until we remember that it doesn't matter if the virus kills its host if it jumps to more hosts first -- which is rather one of the defining characteristics of a virus. This particular virus transmits very easily long before it kills (if it does). It often transmits before the person shows any symptoms at all! The contagious period begins two days before symptoms develop, and peak contagious period is the first day of symptoms. Mortality on the other hand is usually at least a week after symptom onset, often more than 2 weeks. So there's essentially zero pressure for it to become less lethal. There has instead been tremendous pressure to become more transmissible (as well as immune-evading). Being more transmissible can even make it a little more lethal, and it's no problem for it in evolutionary terms.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

27 Jul 2021 23:02

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Thanks for the infection rate measurement for Delta, Wat, is this variant any more lethal than the original?

Sure thing. My understanding is also that it's a bit uncertain and difficult to measure, but it's either about the same or a little higher (for people who have neither been vaccinated nor exposed to it before). A slightly higher lethality makes some sense given the role of a higher viral load within the body as one of the mechanisms for being more transmissible.

I wonder how many of these re-infections are because the person who got infected had a different variant or the original virus for the first infection vs being infected by Delta twice?  I also wonder how much being fully vaccinated reduces the transmission rate (maybe this is why the CDC is recommending that fully vaccinated people remain masked indoors- there is some uncertainty about the transmission rate of fully vaccinated people if they do get the virus, even though we know the infections are much less serious for them, if an unvaccinated person caught the virus from them it would probably be much more serious.)
I see that the Pfizer vaccine is better for generating more antibodies than the AZ vaccine (which is used in other parts of the world.)  I saw the other day a report about a two shot mixed vaccine, with the first dose being from the AZ vaccine and the second dose being from the Pfizer shot being 6x more efficient at generating antibodies than the two shot AZ vaccine.  It made me wonder why bother with the AZ shot at all, and just replace that completely with the two shot Pfizer vaccine.  But other parts of the world don't have the access to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines that we have.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

28 Jul 2021 06:12

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post It made me wonder why bother with the AZ shot at all

The simple explanation could be that a lot of countries ordered huge loads of AZ, and I somehow doubt that AZ accepts refunds.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

29 Jul 2021 02:23

midtskogen wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post It made me wonder why bother with the AZ shot at all

The simple explanation could be that a lot of countries ordered huge loads of AZ, and I somehow doubt that AZ accepts refunds.

Yes and I also think they ordered that specific one because it is the least expensive out of the group of 4.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

29 Jul 2021 02:28

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Thanks for the infection rate measurement for Delta, Wat, is this variant any more lethal than the original?

Sure thing. My understanding is also that it's a bit uncertain and difficult to measure, but it's either about the same or a little higher (for people who have neither been vaccinated nor exposed to it before). A slightly higher lethality makes some sense given the role of a higher viral load within the body as one of the mechanisms for being more transmissible.

Added:
We do hear anecdotally a lot about more younger people filling up hospitals and ICUs and getting extremely ill, but it's difficult to distinguish this being an effect of the virus itself from the effect of preferential vaccination of the elderly. If I can find a good analysis I'll be sure to share it later.

There's also this extremely common belief that viruses should mutate to become less lethal over time. The reasoning being that a virus that kills its host is evolutionarily disadvantageous. Sounds totally logical, until we remember that it doesn't matter if the virus kills its host if it jumps to more hosts first -- which is rather one of the defining characteristics of a virus. This particular virus transmits very easily long before it kills (if it does). It often transmits before the person shows any symptoms at all! The contagious period begins two days before symptoms develop, and peak contagious period is the first day of symptoms. Mortality on the other hand is usually at least a week after symptom onset, often more than 2 weeks. So there's essentially zero pressure for it to become less lethal. There has instead been tremendous pressure to become more transmissible (as well as immune-evading). Being more transmissible can even make it a little more lethal, and it's no problem for it in evolutionary terms.

I always thought that it would be equal chances if a virus would become more or less lethal over time since evolution occurs by chance, with the exception that a more contagious virus would be more likely to spread and since there may be some connection between contagiousness and virulence, that it may actually tend towards becoming worse.  So it seems like what you said in your last couple of sentences (and also in your first paragraph)  is basically my point of view.
Wat, what's your opinion on what Dr Fauci said yesterday?  It's very concerning.  He said people who are fully vaccinated and get infected with Delta are carrying six times the viral load of Alpha and basically the same viral load as people who never got vaccinated!  So basically everyone is spreading it but the effects are of course much worse in those who aren't vaccinated because they have a far worse outcome.  Hence the new indoor masking requirements for even fully vaccinated people.  Pfizer is also working on its booster shot and said its tests indicate that it should be given six months after vaccination.  I guess this will become an annual vaccine, just like the flu shot.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

29 Jul 2021 05:45

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Wat, what's your opinion on what Dr Fauci said yesterday?  It's very concerning.  He said people who are fully vaccinated and get infected with Delta are carrying six times the viral load of Alpha and basically the same viral load as people who never got vaccinated! So basically everyone is spreading it but the effects are of course much worse in those who aren't vaccinated because they have a far worse outcome. 

Yup. It basically implies that almost everyone gets it sooner or later. Better to be vaccinated if never previously exposed. (And if previously recovered from the disease, a subsequent single dose appears to provide extremely good protection.) 

Masks still help to reduce transmission and hence the number of people infected at once. (Flatten the curve yet again.) As I said back then, I think it is unfortunate the CDC had decided in May to suggest that vaccinated people don't need to wear masks indoors. Vaccinated people could always still catch the disease (less often) as well as spread it, but more importantly it was a terrible policy in a practical sense. Using it as a carrot to try to motivate more people to get vaccinated was a bad idea. Now they have to explain yet another policy shift which is making more people angry and confused. Oops.
 
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Thread

29 Jul 2021 06:17

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Wat, what's your opinion on what Dr Fauci said yesterday?  It's very concerning.  He said people who are fully vaccinated and get infected with Delta are carrying six times the viral load of Alpha and basically the same viral load as people who never got vaccinated! So basically everyone is spreading it but the effects are of course much worse in those who aren't vaccinated because they have a far worse outcome. 

Yup. It basically implies that almost everyone gets it sooner or later. Better to be vaccinated if never previously exposed. (And if previously recovered from the disease, a subsequent single dose appears to provide extremely good protection.) 

Masks still help to reduce transmission and hence the number of people infected at once. (Flatten the curve yet again.) As I said back then, I think it is unfortunate the CDC had decided in May to suggest that vaccinated people don't need to wear masks indoors. Vaccinated people could always still catch the disease (less often) as well as spread it, but more importantly it was a terrible policy in a practical sense. Using it as a carrot to try to motivate more people to get vaccinated was a bad idea. Now they have to explain yet another policy shift which is making more people angry and confused. Oops.

So basically getting it once and then getting a single dose of the vaccine is equivalent to someone who never had it getting two doses of the vaccine?  CDC and WHO made some missteps here, hopefully they and we learn from them.  Never seen anything like this in my entire lifetime.  I wonder if this is actually worse than the 1918 virus (I think it is).  By the way did that virus ever make a comeback years or decades later?  These viruses dont just disappear forever do they?
I think we should all just expect the worst and be prepared for it, with masks and distancing and all of it, even with full vaccination.  And expect to take booster shots every year for the foreseeable future until the infection rate is so low that the virus is no longer mutating, whenever that might be (maybe a few years down the line?)
I got harassed on a political forum for suggesting at the tail end of last year that it would be another full year before we would finally be getting out of this (meaning the beginning of 2022).  They all thought that a change in who held the presidency would make the virus magically disappear.  They might be somewhat better, but definitely not gone.  Changing the presidency does not change the fundamental characteristics of society and our society is very individualistic, we are wary of doing something that involves sacrifice on our part for the benefit of a collective society.  We could learn from this along many fronts (including climate change.)

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