• RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    @NeverDie thank you for taking the time to read all my long messages 😄
    I mostly read from news in French from (relatively) reliable newspapers but I try to cross check with their own sources, and trying to avoid the infamous confirmation bias which is a very hard task 😄 So sorry, no good single reliable source to share, I think that's the key, try to get multiple sources and avoid the bogus ones: those who can't recognize their mistakes, who try to bend reality to fit their narratives, who pretend they have a miracle cure based on cherry picked or self-made low quality studies etc etc

    And of course always remember that even from "experts" in virology/epidemiology predictions are only best guesses and we can never be sure of anything, it takes time to see which hypothesis becomes reality. While media can't wait and are ready to invite anyone who is willing to give answers, the most probable outcome is not always the one that will happen. As seen in France right now, it was expected the Omicron outbreak would fade away like it's doing in UK after peaking last week, while in the end a sub-variant that seems even more transmissible has taken over and made contamination numbers increase again and set new records (0.7% of population tested positive on Tuesday only !).

    So trust those that dare to say they are not sure and talk about the other possibilities, and whatever the subject is, always try to check the solidity of the data/information on which what you hear is based on, especially if you like what you hear/read 😉

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    @Nca78 You seem pretty well informed, and I learn a lot from your posts. Thank you for that! Are there any youtubers, or other sources, that you find particularly worthwhile to follow?

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    @zboblamont said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    The cross immunity being documented suggests any subsequent variant would be rendered ineffective since the immunity imparted is for the whole virus not specific proteins.

    This is obviously not a good argument, it sounds "logic" and "common sense" but has been denied by the facts. Many people got the original strain of sars-cov2 and got immunity for "the whole virus" but later got sick from Delta and/or Omicron.

    The hope I think is that with the combination of widespread vaccination AND widespread Omicron circulation following an already strong circulation of the Delta variant the immunity most people will have will be based on many different strains of sars-cov2 and at least 2 of them (original through vaccination and Delta or Omicron) which have a lot of differences. So unless nasal vaccinations get widespread we will still get sick from covid when new variants emerge, but only will lighter symptoms like vaccinated people with Omicron.

    But even if most doctors and epidemiologists seem very optimistic there is still a risk of a new, more virulent variant escaping this immunity, and the widespread circulation of Omicron makes it possible, as the widespread circulation of the virus has made possible the appearance of previous strains where the virus circulation was strong (Alpha in UK, Beta then Omicron in South Africa, Lambda in Peru Delta in India, ...).

    I try to take any claim by any doctor with a grain of salt, especially when they refer to previous epidemic/pandemic situations as reference. Because many predicted sars-cov2 would evolve to be more contagious but less virulent, only to be proven wrong repeatedly (Alpha more contagious and as virulent, both Lambda and Delta being more contagious and much more virulent).
    And for this specific doctor he made false claims about Ivermectin use and efficiency in Japan, in addition to being no virologist nor epidemiologist, so like others he is not infallible and is mostly sharing his hopes (that I share !) and guesses but it should not be taken as truth cast in stone, sars-cov2 has been very unpredictable until now...

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    @zboblamont Thanks for posting that youtube. That led me to an even more recent youtube by the same youtuber, where he made the point that because omicron is 1. so incredibly transmissible (in the youtube that you posted he quoted some un-named indian researchers who had declared it to be the most transmissible respiratory virus of all time, even more so than measles) and 2. offers back protection against the Delta variant, then 3. it is effectively helping to snuff-out the proliferation of Delta. That is very good news. Indeed, his analysis suggests contracting omicron is actually a good thing because it's so survivable and because it ultimately trains your immune system to be more resistant to other variants.

    For reasons as yet unclear to me he seems to downplay the likelihood of possibly another future surge of a new, highly pathogenic variant (e.g. perhaps less transmissible than omicron, but far worse outcomes). I hope he's right, but unfortunately he didn't lay out an argument for why it is unlikely. Perhaps because after omicron so many people will have a natural resistance to any covid-19 variant, and so there will be a smaller pool of potential hosts for something really nasty to evolve within? Or is there some other Virology 101 explanation for why it would be unlikely?

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    @NeverDie said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    Sadly, according to NPR news, if you have to go to the ER in Tucson, Arizona, where I grew up, you now have to wait over 200 hours before a hospital bed frees up for you. That means you're laying on a gurney in a hallway for over 8 days! Plainly an overflow condition, literally.
    Worthy of note, according to some European health agencies, is that mixing and matching the vector and mRNA machines may be optimal: https://fortune.com/2021/12/07/mix-and-match-vaccines-heterologous-boosters-pfizer-moderna-jnj-astrazeneca-sputnik-ema-ecdc/ I wasn't aware of this until I specifically went looking for the info. Too much "not invented here" mentality in the US when over the summer we could have been trading Pfeizer and Moderna vaccines for sputnik vaccines and had a true win-win outcome. Compared to both Pfeizer and Moderna, Sputnik protection loses effectiveness more slowly (4x more slowly than Pfeizer and 8x more slowly than Moderena).

    Yes it's been known for some time now that mixing vaccine technologies is a good way to have better immunity. No need for Sputnik it also works with AstraZeneca vaccine, and you had some in the US but never used them.
    Here in Vietnam they have mostly AZ and Pfizer but for booster dose they chose the "safe and fast" version: same injection than the second dose so they are sure you won't get an allergic reaction. Not best for personal immunity but faster for mass injections as they can skip the waiting time and process more people daily.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    Sadly, according to NPR news, if you have to go to the ER in Tucson, Arizona, where I grew up, you now have to wait over 200 hours before a hospital bed frees up for you. That means you're laying on a gurney in a hallway for over 8 days! Plainly an overflow condition, literally.

    Worthy of note, according to some European health agencies, is that mixing and matching the vector and mRNA machines may be optimal: https://fortune.com/2021/12/07/mix-and-match-vaccines-heterologous-boosters-pfizer-moderna-jnj-astrazeneca-sputnik-ema-ecdc/ I wasn't aware of this until I specifically went looking for the info. Too much "not invented here" mentality in the US when over the summer we could have been trading Pfeizer and Moderna vaccines for sputnik vaccines and had a true win-win outcome. Compared to both Pfeizer and Moderna, Sputnik protection loses effectiveness more slowly (4x more slowly than Pfeizer and 8x more slowly than Moderena).

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    @zboblamont said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    His opinion is none will escape infection, but precautionary measures such as vaccinations and masks will minimise effects and help slow spread to more prevent strain on medical facilities.

    Then he's joining the German health minister who declared sometime in November or December that by the end of winter people would be either vaccinated, cured or dead. Vaccinated category might be discarded now with Omicron variant, but clearly it helps staying in second category instead of the third...

    @NeverDie for situations I know in other countries there are much more limitations in France where you need full vaccination (and booster shot soon) or fresh test to access most public places, and a law is being discussed to exclude the test and only allow in fully vaccinated people in malls, cinemas, any type of public show, etc etc But in the end Omicron variant started to spread in schools in December, continued in families during Christmas time and now the number of daily cases has been at 3-4 times the previous peak for over a week.
    Hospital are full of covid cases, but it seems it's mostly the Delta wave (still running at the same level than in December), where Omicron cases have exploded there have been no meaningful increases in hospital admissions, which is good news.

    In Vietnam the situation is much more controlled as I said before: strict border control+quarantine, with no vaccination you get basically nowhere (public places including supermarkets have a mandatory QR code scan at entrance to make sure you're vaccinated, not freshly positive or supposed to be in isolation), even if you are vaccinated you need a fresh negative covid test to take a plane for a local flight, schools have been closed for 8 months (😢). And here in Saigon the vaccination campaign for boosters is going full steam, I got mine 3 days ago, most people down to 30 yo had a booster shot in my district now.
    Result in only a few hundred cases per day in the city, and 18 000 daily cases (peak but still low for 100 millions people) for the full country where vaccination rate is lower (but still around 80% of total population).
    Just checked the number of doses administered in Saigon until yesterday and it's 18,099,453. More than 2 doses per inhabitant, while children under 12 are not vaccinated.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    Because the number of hospital admissions for Covid-19 is, as of today, is at an all-time high where I live, local government has reluctantly instituted its strictest protocols (Stage 5) for dealing with it. Of note, there's no mention of hand washing or hand sanitizers, or any form of surface transmission, such as doorknobs or other physical objects. That's a big difference from the beginning of the pandemic. Remember all the worry about how long the virus could live on various surfaces? Was all that completely baseless?

    Here are the current, maximum strictness rules (there is no higher level of strictness, not even theoretically):

    • Under Stage 5, if you're not fully protected with both initial vaccines and a booster shot, you should:
      Avoid indoor and outdoor gatherings.
      Avoid all travel.
      Only participate in takeaway and curbside dining.
      Only participate in curbside shopping.

    • If you're fully vaccinated and boosted but at low-risk for severe symptoms you should:
      Wear a mask for all indoor and outdoor gatherings.
      Wear a mask when traveling.
      Wear a mask when dining outdoors. Also, only dine indoors, wearing a mask, at places that require vaccinations and masks.
      Wear a mask when shopping.

    • If you're fully vaccinated and boosted but at high-risk for severe symptoms you should:
      Avoid all indoor and outdoor gatherings.
      Avoid all nonessential travel.
      Wear a mask when dining outdoors. Dine indoors, wearing a mask, only at places that require vaccinations and masks.
      Avoid all shopping, apart from takeaway and curbside.

    That's it! That's my local government's official policy for maximum containment. What counts as an acceptable mask is left undefined. AFAIK, there is no national policy for containment, aside from politely asking people to pretty please get vaccinated, other than temporarily blocking travelers from entering from certain hotspot countries and, perhaps, requiring foreign travelers to be vaccinated before entering.

    Remember the 6 foot separation space? Such as at schools? I believe that's been debunked for quite some time now, with the knowledge that 6 feet is not sufficient. Yet, that distance seems to be what's carved in stone and what everyone here still uses, if it's observed at all. And, almost beyond belief, the official position of some educators is that kids do not infect each other in school. Rather, if they get infected, it happens "out in the community", not at schools. 🤦 What happened to common sense?

    Is it this lax in other countries as well? Not much of substance is being done, other than "monitoring the situation." The news media hasn't yet reported that the number of new hospital admissions is now at an all time high--I had to pull that info from a graph on a government website:
    covid.PNG
    Worthy of note is that these are 7 day averages, and the rate of increase is far steeper than before--plainly, this is fast becoming meaningfully worse than previously, though we can't yet see exactly how much worse. I would have thought that news reporters would be primed and ready to jump on a number like that, but instead they're sluggish. 🤦 Well, we'll see if they notice by tomorrow. 🙄 In any case, with such weak public policy, I don't see that there's much to slow it down.

    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    @chey given the same website has completely whacky stuff (like this: https://www.nutritruth.org/single-post/technological-parasitism-covid-vaccines-appear-to-contain-self-assembling-nano-octopus-microparti ) I wouldn't trust any "recipe" they share to cure anything... If you've done a few battery powered sensors you can easily realize that it would be impossible to make and then power mechanical and electronic structures small enough to go through the needle used for vaccines 😉

    And regarding HCQ:

    • quinine is not the same at all, so even if the recipe proposed was really producing quinine in sufficient quantities, it wouldn't make anything acting like HCQ
    • HCQ has been proved inefficient long ago by many widescale studies. Initial proponent of the drug (Didier Raoult in France) has cheated in his initial study to make it appear efficient, but without cheating it was not at all. Main cheats were 1) the only death was in the HCQ group and the patient was removed from the study for no valid reason 2) PCR tests for HCQ group were done with fewer amplification cycles (meaning they were far less likely to end up positive) and performed on different days than initially planned in the study description
    • in next studies, Raoult carefully avoided to have a control group so there was no good comparison possible, he just compared results of young people (average age 40) able to stand waiting hours in front of his hospital to get tested, and result of 60+ yo admitted in critical care in other hospitals. And the most ridiculous is his hospital has no critical care unit, patients in critical condition are sent in other hospitals and die there so he never had to account for them in his statistics, the only deaths were those with health degrading too fast to be transferred.
    • opposite to what is claimed in the document (which looks pretty old...), even Trump doesn't believe in it any more, and was not treated with it but with cures that had proved their efficiencies.
    posted in General Discussion
  • RE: Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

    @chey In which country are you? According to Wikipedia, it was recommended in 2021 for mild cases in India. Perhaps it still is?

    I've heard first-hand reports that in Russia anti-coagulants are distributed for free to people who test positive for Covid. Well, for Delta, not sure about Omicron. That isn't the case here in the US, where most medicines just aren't available without a prescription.

    We've been lucky that omiccron has been milder than the rest. Luck isn't a good strategy though. It makes sense to have a plan in place in case the next variant to come down the pike is far worse. The cost of preparedness is pretty low. For instance, I just recently purchased a FoodSaver vacuum sealer, for storing emergency rations, after witnessing how some rations degrade surprisingly quickly without it. This time around I'll be vacuum sealing with a desiccant, just like preserving a partially used roll of 3D printer filament. At the moment sachets of food safe desiccant are cheap and easy to come by, but it wouldn't take much of a change in demand to make it hard to come by. I purchased my Abbott Labs BinaxNow Covid test kits in August at around $20 each from Amazon. Now you can't find them on Amazon at any price, not even to backorder them, and they sell for $130 on ebay. And so it goes. Chance favors the prepared. Compared to the price of health insurance, the cost of all this is just a rounding error.

    If it weren't for the savvy of the vaccine makers, we'd be in a heap of trouble. I give credit for vaccines to the companies that developed and manufactured them, not the government. About the only thing the government here did right was to secure enough of the vaccine for its own citizenry and perhaps help in the distribution of it by making it available to everyone for free. But something is clearly broken here when so many are refusing to get vaccinated for free. I just don't understand it.

    posted in General Discussion