Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

  • Hero Member

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  • @zboblamont You know the test will only tell you if you have at time of test not if you will not get it in the future so not sure why all of the belief that testing is going to stop you from getting it if you are in contact with people who have it

  • @mntlvr Sorry, obviously I didn't explain that clearly enough.
    There were two strands to testing the Chinese, South Korean etc authorities successfully deployed, and bear in mind these are in communities where voluntary precautions limited the spread, control on movement, distancing, isolation, sterilisation, etc..
    The first strand was a rolling programme of mass checking to identify those with potential symptoms, typically temperature, but there were reports of the Chinese deploying portable scanners to check for lung damage (a much earlier flag) but found no further info on that.
    Only those identified as suspicious went on to specific virus testing, while they traced and checked contacts. Where positive the contacts were advised to be aware and were more rigorously checked.

    Edit - A further complication is that some who recovered fully were infected a second time. This raises questions over immunity, but pretty sure the specialists are trying to figure that out.
    The Vo project/experiment in Italy was an interesting project on global virus testing... As a non-infected city, it's only danger now is inward carriers, but lockdown prevents it...

  • Hero Member

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

    Edit - A further complication is that some who recovered fully were infected a second time. This raises questions over immunity, but pretty sure the specialists are trying to figure that out.

    Here's a list of the different theories put forth to explain the double positive test. In classic news style, they're presented with almost equal weight. As a result, the TL;DR is: who knows? 🀷
    My guess: since the stakes are high, you probably want a test that's biased toward false positives over false negatives, and so you would actually expect some double positives from that alone. Whether statistics alone accounts for all of it or not... well, that's what bio statisticians are good for, to tease apart the raw data and figure that out. They should have interviewed one!

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

    They should have interviewed one

    Not sure what US media is like, but in the UK it is expert and eminent virologists such as Pierce Morgan, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson's father they select to interview.... πŸ‘€

    Considering the speed at which this has unfolded the knowledge gleaned has been remarkable, much more to come I suspect.

    UK now has finally gone into lockdown and I believe the US, but there is still considerable disinformation circulating which is not helping, such as Dan Patrick's idiocy on Fox News, reported in the UK along the lines of "WTF... and we thought Boris Hohnson was mad".
    Will leave you with this reality check from Ireland, where numbers are still mercifully low...
    Good luck to all, stay safe...

  • Hardware Contributor

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

    Not sure what US media is like, but in the UK it is expert and eminent virologists such as Pierce Morgan, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson's father they select to interview....

    I believe this is some kind of worldwide trend 🀦

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont According to an op-ed piece in the New York Times, as of yesterday "the United States has tested approximately 313,000 people for the coronavirus, and more than 270,000 have tested negative." i.e. only 13.7% of those who were tested actually tested positive. Given how pre-screened most of those 313,000 had to be in order to even get the test, that 13.7% figure seems a lot lower than I would have expected a priori. Unless the test itself is pretty much garbage, that suggests there must be some other flu with remarkably similar symptoms that's attacking in parallel at the same time. A one-two punch perhaps?

  • Hardware Contributor

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

    the United States has tested approximately 313,000 people for the coronavirus

    A lot of tests return negative while people are still in incubation period, but also after symptoms, they seems to be far from 100% reliable. Yesterday they stated that a case currently treated at hospital was tested negative 3 times already, but she is still not considered "cured" in the official statistics.
    My building is still in quarantine, we were supposed to be released from quarantine if all direct contacts tested negative. They tested them all, twice, all negative, but they still maintain the quarantine until the end of the 14 days, and tested all the building yesterday.
    I think it shows how much they trust the tests...

    If you look at the study from Pr Raoult in France who claims chloroquine is an incredible cure, you can see the same patient can be positive one day, negative the next, and positive again on third day. And that's probably the best hospital in France, with the best equipment and very experienced doctors.

  • @NeverDie There do appear to be conflicting reports of test results, but what is not clear in some cases is what the test actually was.
    What IS however very clear is that different strategies of identification, distancing, isolating, quarantine are having various profoundly differing impacts on the spread of the virus, but doing nothing is catastrophic.
    A collaborative article drawing together various aspects of this I'll attach here, a long but illuminating read, and we all have plenty of time of late... The projections for the US were eye-popping, even if the orange faced idiot thinks you'll all be at Easter church services..

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont Surely by now everyone realizes that mitigation will help save lives. So, what's holding it back? In the US forward thinkers are starting to question whether a proper prolonged mitigation is even possible without the economic wheels exploding and an altogether different, possibly worse disaster happening, leading to who knows what. It's hard to know what the shape of that might be, but look at how quickly Iraq went barbaric after the US invaded as one possible model of the fallout, and, well, it's not unimaginable. We're all built from the same DNA as those Iraqi's. Mass looting? Definitely, and in poorer cities pretty fast once the groceries run out. And the chaos just gets worse from there. Take existing crime and multiply by 100x. We're just not staffed to control for that. I think we're looking at government rationing and martial law, at a minimum, just to try to keep a lid on things and prevent a boilover.

    So, on the one hand, we think we know the huge cost in lives of not mitigating, but on the other hand, we have little idea of what a prolonged mitigation could lead to, because there's just too many unknowns. Save lives or save society as we know it? And then you look at just whose lives are being saved, and it's mostly a lot of very old people, so you're saving years at end of life rather than saving entire lives. Thus, I can see an argument in favor of letting the chips fall where they may on the virus front but otherwise keeping the world as we know it more or less in tact. Ultimately, I think that's the sort of trade-off that's being debated behind closed doors. If not already, then pretty soon.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @NeverDie depends on who's old. Here in FR, yesterday, 38% of people in reanimation are <60years old. Being in reanimation, means people may also have future health consequences=money cost too.
    Sadly, there are also doctors who died, infected nurses and firemen.. each day seems worse. with confinement, peak is coming very soon here I think.
    Citing a french doctor: "when there is fire, you shouldn't look at the water bill"

  • Hero Member

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

    38% of people in reanimation are <60years old

    They may be in re-animation, but are they dying? So far, US death rate seems governed by age:
    alt text

  • @NeverDie As @scalz aptly quoted, "when there is fire, you shouldn't look at the water bill", unfortunately many of our politicians obsess over little else.
    Frequently ignored on stats relating to age range of fatalities is the realities faced where COVID overwhelms, such as Italy. Those >60 are more likely to have medical complications which increase chances of pneumonia. When numbers attending hospital exceed resources, prioritising WHO gets ventilation kicks in. Over 60s are not priority but are given "assistance" to suffer less, hence inflating fatalities in that age range. A dreadful but necessary choice for doctors typical of a war zone.
    China went on a war footing rapidly, field hospitals, roving screening, contact tracing, they wrote the book. Korea and Singapore refined the techniques successfully, look at their numbers and condition now...

    It is too early to assess the long term damage to health for survivors, but lung damage is fully expected, hence the desperate search for drugs which can have beneficial effect BEFORE infection becomes destructive.

    Finally, the front line as @scalz highlighted. It is crucial medics etc are given all the PPE and kit they need, without it their numbers will deplete, and fatalities will increase... No healthcare system can handle this, again highlighting the importance of strategy deployed by Singapore/Korea etc, screen, test, trace, isolate.

    Watch London in the next 10 days for a textbook example of bean-counter mentality on the health of a populace, it will eclipse Lombardy...

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont Yes, in an ideal world, I'm all for that. But realistically, for how long can it be maintained? At the moment, we're teetering on recession/depression. As you may have heard, in the US the politicians just recently authorized $2 Trillion direct cash injection to individuals and businesses, and supposedly that means most people will get a roughly $2,000 check. Wonderful. Just how long will that $2,000 last you before it runs out? A week? Two weeks? And then what? Another $2 Trillion? For argument's sake, let's say $4 Trillion/month. Times what? 12 months? 24 months? That would be a range of $48 Trillion to $96 Trillion dollars. Who's going to lend the US that kind of money, especially in an environment where other countries will be needing to borrow similar amounts? Even if everyone got behind that, is it even possible? I just don't see how. In the near term the treasury could print money, but there are limits to even that before dollars lose much of their value to inflation, and if that's the only plan then dollars will become devalued even sooner. US GDP is roughly $20 Trillion. Total existing national debt is $22 Trillion. If there's some way it's possible, I'm just wondering how.

    And I don't mean this to be about the US. The same thing in will probably happen in many if not most other countries.

    My earlier point was simply this: in the US the average life expectancy is 78.6 years. For simplicity, let's set aside the nuances of what that means and take that number at face value. Suppose that by whatever means and at whatever cost you could save a large chunk of the 85+ year olds. Just how much longer do you suppose they would live, even before coronavirus? Maybe a couple more years, on average? And yet, because I doubt the US will triage like the Italians are doing, they'll probably be occupying most of the hospital beds and respirators, because they'll become the sickest in the biggest numbers.

  • Hi guys from Italy. I live in one of the most interested areas by the Virus and I can say that the situation is very bad. I read some of you refer to older people as the main group touched by the virus. That's obviously true but our doctors start to say that the last days people around 50 years old are now increasing in the intensive care units. So, since you all have more time than us, please stay at home and avoid any possible contact with others because this virus is very aggressive. Take care!

  • Hardware Contributor

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

    but our doctors start to say that the last days people around 50 years old are now increasing in the intensive care units

    And yesterday a 16 y.o. girl died in France...

    Edit: no pre-existing condition known and no saturation of hospital/missing equipment involved...

  • @NeverDie We have been teetering on global recession/depression since 2008 because the underlying problem was never addressed, we just stuck a band-aid on it and carried on with the same "religion". The MMT model is now peeking out amid the UK crisis, and the finance circus are up in arms seeing their QE milk-cow taken away. For the US there are multiple times that resistance and greater lobbying power but that's a whole other issue..

    The problem with your earlier point is what value is placed on a human life, and as both preceding posts made clear the statistical prevalence of older sicker people masks the fact that this virus takes out the young and fit also.
    Without mitigation and ultimately intervention those numbers will escalate dramatically, and you're going to need multiple field hospitals built by the army in record time to cope. It is THAT serious.

    As of this morning the US exceeded China's infections (who tested rigorously and universally v the US scenario) the wider the spread of the virus the greater the number of young and middle-aged who will die, it really is THAT simple.
    As an aside, a 4,000 bed field ICU is almost completed in London just as ALL hospitals are at breaking point, but with it's high population it will still be too little for the tsunami which hits over the next 10 days.
    Time was up 6 weeks ago....

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont Sounds apocalyptic. Here we've barely left the house since January. Take care, and even more so if you have one or more of the known co-morbidities that puts you at higher risk of death. Plan ahead and identify your source of nearest available supplemental oxygen in case it comes to that.

    The Italians have started to say that hospitals are a major source of caronavirus infection, so I intend to stay away unless it's truly unavoidable.

    In the US there's a push toward hospitals not attempting to resuscitate anyone (aka as "universal DNR") with caronavirus, because healthcare workers don't want to expose themselves to greater risks than they're already taking (which is the stated reason), but probably also legally absolve themselves from taking action when, for example, there simply aren't enough ventilators or other resources to meet demand. Otherwise, they'd be in a constant thrash mode trying to revive someone who has no ventilator access only to be in the same position a moment later, because there's still no spare ventilator to put them on. The only prior precedent for it would be people who officially ask in advance for DNR, with notarized paperwork and instructions to that effect, but this would encompass everyone, even if you've made it clear that's not what you want. I'm guessing it will be approved, but even if it isn't, I can imagine they may adopt that policy unofficially anyway out of either self survival or absurdity avoidance, in which case the public at large may not find out until after the dust has settled, if ever. At least if it were official, people would know what they may be in for if they're unable to breathe on their own, or worse, which is probably the only reason you'd want to be in a hospital in the first place. A brand new catch-22.

  • @NeverDie It's only apocalyptic because politicians made it so or played it down, the nuts claiming it's no worse than flu, or a scam by money manipulators, or Chinese conspiracy, or would damage the economy, only helped obscure the danger to human life by confused messaging.
    Odds of dying in ICU is averaging 17% from the figures I've seen, 27,000 dead so far, no plans to join that number but acutely aware I'm high risk, hence isolated...
    DNR is normal once ICUs are overloaded, a shot of morphine is all they can do to ease the passing.

    For now hunker down and take reasonable precautions, even from our own family members if symptoms show. Until governments are forced to take this seriously and adopt the WHO measures, there is very little upside until you survive it...
    Best of luck over there. πŸ˜‰

  • Hero Member

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

    Odds of dying in ICU is averaging 17%

    If you don't already own one, you may want to buy an oximeter, just to have some objective measure of your condition or a family member's. They're cheap and even now probably pretty widely available. And if you do end up in a hospital, it sounds like you may want to take it there with you. Otherwise, you may be turning blue before anyone notices.

  • Hero Member

    There's growing consensus that the Italian data (not the Chinese data) provides the best model for infection rates and death rates in western countries. Because no one has any natural immunity to this virus, anyone who is exposed will get sick to one degree or another, though some may only be unwitting carriers. That much is a given. Current estimates are that 10% of those exposed will require hospitalization. About half of those "lucky" enough to be on ventilators will die anyway. Cause of death is pneumonia, which in turn is caused a body's excessive inflammatory response. The current average death rate is about 3%. So, when the supply of ventilators and hospital support run out, expect a higher death rate. In the US, the "peak" (i.e. number of new cases per day) is estimated to be sometime in May, with the number of new cases doubling about every 3.5 days up to that peak point. Due to lag, peak death will be sometime in July. It's likely we'll all continue in lockdown until at least August. So, answering my own question from earlier, I'm guessing that yes, the US can self-finance through August. If there is a second wave of infection that comes after, as some predict, then...

    This took some work to dig up and distill, but there it is. Sorry to be the messenger.

  • Admin

    Here in DK, we started with closing down all public schools, and educational institutions 2 weeks ago. For my part, I have been working at my home office for the last 2Β½ weeks.

    The government is taking a more and more strict approach to the current situation, limiting the freedom of movement, the latest is that (unless you'r a family living together) you are only allowed to be 2 persons in the same area (taking a walk etc.). And the schools etc. are closed at least until 14th of april (after the Easter holidays in denmark)

    Luckily I live in the countryside, so we have lot's of space around us, with forrests etc. So we can get out in the fresh spring air, almost without meeting other people, or if we do meet other people, we can keep a safety distance of 2m. This also means that our local grocery store is not overly crowded with people, when we do shopping, as opposed to the shops in bigger cities.

    As a kind of bonus, I get the opportunity to order some gadgets for my home office, now that I work full time here. "But honey, this thing will unclutter my desktop / make it easier for me to switch between work and hobby".." 😏

  • Hero Member

    If you have a weak temperament or are easily upset, you may want to stop reading now.....

    OK, then, for those who are still reading... I think we all have a shared interest in vetting out what is real vs propaganda. Therefore, how is it that as of this morning the news media is projecting "only" 20,000 dead in the UK and maybe "only" 200,000 dead in the US? Those sound like linear extrapolations to me, not exponential ones. If instead covid-19 really is doubling every 3.5 days, as I've heard from MD's, then in 5 weeks time it's going to be 2^10, i.e. 1000x, worse. Right? So, by that rekoning, in the UK it's going to be a million dead or dying and in the US about 2.5 million. In just 5 weeks from now. Even if social distancing has slowed the rate, the media numbers for the total cost (not just 5 weeks from now) sound way, way off. Or am I missing something? Even if we manage to "flatten the curve," then short of a miracle, that only means it will take longer for the 1000x damage to occur, not that it's going to be avoided. Right? Meanwhile, due to shortages that haven't yet occurred and so aren't yet reflected in the early numbers, I'd wager the outcomes will be even worse than 1000x worse. Does anyone here have a different viewpoint? It seems to me that the official projections are incredibly low-balled, and so they are actually contributing to the problem! The best way to flatten the curve would be for people to have accurate projections, because then they'd be shocked out of their complacency and not be taking unwise risks.

    If you can possibly stay at home and not go out at all for anything for the next two months, I think you'd be wise to do that. Why? Because within that timeframe the actual trendlines should become a lot more apparent to everyone, and so by then people will have dialed in more closely to whatever the actual risks are and adjusted their behavior accordingly. To draw an anology, right now it's like Chernobyl just happened, and yet people are still attending parades outdoors the following day (which is what actually happened) because they were not made aware of the true risks.

  • Screenshot_2020-03-30-19-30-42-952_org.telegram.messenger.jpg

  • Hero Member

    Here the federal government has revised upwards its projections regarding # of infections, # of deaths, and the date of the "peak". They didn't have much choice, given that their prior projections would have soon been invalidated after-the-fact. Their new projections, especially regarding the "peak" date still seems far too conservative. I can only assume they are simply trying to avoid mass panic. Locally the governor has ordered that everyone not involved in giving or receiving essential services stay at home. Finally!

    At least so far no one has talked about whether the food delivery infrastructure will be critically damaged. Because it is a high priority, though, I presume that to one degree or another it will continue to function. Some food items are being rationed, and a few categories, like dried beans, have been wiped out, but overall getting enough food to survive doesn't appear to be a problem if you have the money to pay for it. However, with large segments of the economy effectively "turned off," it seems likely that large numbers of people will be running out of money soon, and with the government here being slow to react...

    Anyone have an updates for their country? I'm interested to hear more about Viet Nam, since it sounded as though it was doing well and there's so little coverage in the press here about it. Unfortunately, the case of China, there's a lot of suspicion that China under-reported how badly they were affected, which would surely have contributed to the under-reaction in the West. The data from Italy seems solid though. It it weren't for the Italians generously sharing their experience, I'm sure things would be even worse throughout the world.

    I'm not sure how much the hospitals can actually do that makes a difference. I had previously read a WHO article that had said that oxygen, which is the first line treatment, didn't actually appear to change the outcomes, though it can keep you alive a bit longer than without it. I'm hearing that 70-80% of those who do advance to ventilation and intubation end up dying even with the added support. I mean, I'm not saying we shouldn't try to do all that we can, just that even our best efforts may only occasionally help--which is suprising. I had thought modern medicine, when properly administered, would make more of a difference.


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  • Hardware Contributor

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

    I don't know if any of you have seen this before:

    Yes it's famous, I used to watch it daily when there was mainly a big red dot over China, and a few tiny dots elsewhere. Now they had to reduce the size of dots, and it's red everywhere 😞
    I find the table here easier to see the trends, as the main info to know the progress of the epidemic in a place is the number of new cases / total cases and you can see it right away without clicking on each country.

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

    I'm not sure how much the hospitals can actually do that makes a difference.

    Specialist ICUs can save some of those who are develop viral pneumonia, the reality is that some will die but there is no telling which is which until they succumb. The dilemma is that once ICUs are overloaded the fatality rate climbs due to prioritisation, so the trick is to avoid overwhelming the facilities or accept a higher death rate than may otherwise be the case.

    The easiest way to look at this much is as a flu outbreak, but with the added feature of 10 times the infectivity. For flu there are shots which can provide greater but not complete protection for the more prone, an annual mutation which the manufacturers refine on each cycle.
    In the COVID case there is as yet no vaccine nor natural immunity, but crucially it is infectivity which is the danger as it presents a deluge of critical cases rather than spread over say many months.
    Social distancing and isolation measures can slow the rapid spread, testing vigorously and isolating as in the Singapore and Korean etc models is another successful technique.

    The rest is a political decision...
    This post I thought entirely apt...

  • Hero Member

    A quick update regarding how long the virus can live on surfaces. Now it's up to 5 days.

    Here’s how long the virus typically lasts on common surfaces:
    Glass – 5 days.
    Wood – 4 days.
    Plastic & stainless-steel – 3 days.
    Cardboard – 24 hours.
    Copper surfaces – 4 hours.

    I'm a bit annoyed by the use of the word "typically." I mean, to be useful, we need to know the high end of the range, not the median.

    If anyone else here has found any other useful tidbits, please post an update.

  • @NeverDie 17 days is the longest I know of SARS-CoV2 surviving in the wild.

    Here is the link to the source....

  • Hardware Contributor

    Thank @skywatch that's interesting, especially the nearly 18% of asymptomatic cases, it explains why the epidemic could progress silently in many places before beeing noticed.

    For the "surviving" that's not what I understand, they say "traces of SARS-CoV-2 RNA" it means they can still see it was there on some surfaces, but the virus is probably "dead". Looks more like a trace of blood that you see after a murder.

  • @Nca78 I understood it was viable (i.e. capable of infection) detection, maybe , maybe not. πŸ˜‰

    But 'the' virus had mutated into at least 33 different versions which might explain why some people/places have more deaths than others. It is also why a cure/vaccine is still a very long way off.

  • Hero Member

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

    maybe , maybe not


    Does the cruise ship report imply that viruses survive up to 17 days on surfaces?

    Dr Julia Marcus: A CDC investigation of the cruise ship found evidence of viral RNA in cabins that hadn’t yet been cleaned. But to be clear, that just means the virus was detectable – not that it was viable or that contact with those services would have been able to infect someone. (Editor’s note: RNA, or ribonucleic acid, carries the virus’s genetic information.)

    Dr Akiko Iwasaki: It just means that there are parts of the virus that still remain. The virus needs many other components to be intact. If you have bits and pieces of RNA, that’s not going to make a virus, you need an entire intact genome. Just because you had a little piece of RNA doesn’t mean that there’s an infection.

    It seems that they only tried to detect either it (possibly intact) or any trace bits of it (possibly not intact), and the way I read it, we don't know whether what they detected was purely unviable bits or whether something still viable was mixed in there as well. I guess if it had turned out that they couldn't even detect it, then that would have been useful information. It's too bad they didn't think ahead enough to test for viability if they did detect something.

    I'm just amazed that by now such basic, practical questions like this, which it should be fairly easy for science to answer, haven't been pinned down with certainty. Or, maybe it has, and we just need to find it somewhere in the scientific literature, unfiltered and undistorted by mass media?

  • Hero Member

    Another interesting tidbit:

    One other surprising finding from the study was that 70 percent of the patients sick enough to be admitted to the hospital did not have a fever. Fever is listed as the top symptom of covid-19 by the CDC, and for weeks, many testing centers for the virus turned away patients if they did not have one.

  • Hero Member

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

    But 'the' virus had mutated into at least 33 different versions which might explain why some people/places have more deaths than others. It is also why a cure/vaccine is still a very long way off.

    Now that's interesting. I hadn't heard that before. Do you have a source link? Does getting one offer any protection against the others, or will we have to endure 33+ separate assaults? I feel like I've already had it twice this year (all the symptoms except for fever), but I'm unsure as to whether it was just the flu or genuine coronavirus.

    Meanwhile, Oxford University is already doing a double-blind study of an innoculation they've developed. They're testing it on human volunteers (and at least some of the ones receiving the placebo control will need to develop actual covid-19 before they can conclude efficacy). They expect they'll know within 6 months or less whether or not it works.

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

    But 'the' virus had mutated into at least 33 different versions which might explain why some people/places have more deaths than others. It is also why a cure/vaccine is still a very long way off.

    Now that's interesting. I hadn't heard that before. Do you have a source link?

    Of course! πŸ˜‰

    And now we have this...."The coronavirus changes at an average speed of about one mutation per month. By Monday, more than 10,000 strains had been sequenced by scientists around the globe, containing more than 4,300 mutations, according to the China National Centre for Bioinformation."

    See the full article here.....

  • Hardware Contributor

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

    See the full article here.....

    I would take this with a grain of salt, because of this: "The authors say their findings - based on just 11 patients - are the first to show the mutation could affect the severity of illness."

    You can't pretend to trace mutation and link them to different regions of the world with only 11 patients...

    They claim the strain in Europe is more deadly, but it's the one that arrived in Vietnam (vast majority of the 270 cases recorded here are linked to people arriving from Europe in March) and it doesn't seem to be that deadly: most people are now cured and no none died.

  • Hardware Contributor

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

    I'm just amazed that by now such basic, practical questions like this, which it should be fairly easy for science to answer, haven't been pinned down with certainty. Or, maybe it has, and we just need to find it somewhere in the scientific literature, unfiltered and undistorted by mass media?

    The only things they can detect are some specific DNA sequences that are specific to the virus. So the tests can either find those DNA sequences, or not. There are probably ways to check if there are indeed viable viruses in the samples taken, but it must be a very hard task and not worth the energy.
    For survival time of the virus I guess the most practical approach is to put live virus on different surfaces and check after x hours/days if the viruses are still "alive" and able to contaminate people, like the studies you quote earlier. Based on these studies, it doesn't seem credible that the traces found are still dangerous after 17 days.

  • Hero Member

    @skywatch Yipes! Thanks for the heads up.

    The article you linked makes it sound as though it is better at hooking onto and penetrating human cells, but I wonder if anything else of importance may have changed too. For instance, I wonder whether it lives the same length of time on surfaces as the original virus, or whether that information is obsolete wrt the new mutation. That might be an alternate explanation for the higher infection rate.

  • @NeverDie @skywatch Be careful, this has already been outed as fake news...

  • @zboblamont Do you have a link for the 'outing'?

  • Hero Member

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

    @zboblamont Do you have a link for the 'outing'?

    Maybe this?

    It is rather curious that, at least in the US, the Los Angeles Times was the only "major" (usually reputable) newspaper to print the original story.

  • Hero Member

    In the US, the trend is toward removing the lockdown. What do you guys think about that? I mean, if anything, isn't there a more immediate coronavirus threat now than when the lockdown was started? The politicians seem to be saying: "Oh, look, the hospitals didn't get over-run after all." But, in reality, aren't coronavirus infections still growing geometrically? I'm wondering whether the "end the lockown" movement might be the biggest case of GroupThink in world history.

  • @skywatch Sorry, read it in two separate press articles but didn't pay attention which ones... Essentially virologists and epidemiologists reckon this is the most watched and researched bug worldwide, yet ONE lab published a non peer-reviewed paper ?

    @NeverDie There is no one-size-fits-all approach to exit lockdown, the trouble is there are multiple demands to do so none of which are based on science, which is why most of Europe is feeling it's way slowly and with an abundance of caution, the alternative is a lot of dead and overwhelmed health systems.
    Romania has 48/M dead, UK 460, US 236, even if eradicated now there will be 2nd, 3rd etc waves unless you have another strategy to prevent spread. It's all about breaking chains of transmission, and that means dramatically changing "normal" human behaviours.
    Social distancing and sanitation appears to be key, Test/Track/Isolate is also being examined, but no jumping in a plane to Paris for a weekend, it's now 14 days in quarantine.

  • @NeverDie Your name on here is more apt than ever now! πŸ˜‰

    I think that 'fake news' is a bit harsh. They both agree that mutations have and continue to occur, they do however differ in their opinions on what this actually means.

    @zboblamont I'd rather have another 3 months of lockdown with a clear way out then a rushed one that then comes back after another 30000 Brits die. Lets face it, WE are the test dummies in this scenario and many more will die if the government gets it wrong.

  • @skywatch Agreed, but I'm in a shielded group due to age, and since retired my "normal" ain't everyone else's.

    The immediate problem of lockdown (beyond getting pissed off) is political not health. With so many now on the government payroll (that quaint US term furlough) essentially MMT is in place and working, and it's scaring the sh1t out of those who make a nice living out of MMT denial. If the penny drops as lockdown extends, the big con is over, hence the heavy campaigning to exit lockdown soon, and politicians bricking it. I gather you're a Brit so this may prove interesting if you're not already acquainted with Murphy...
    Our lives will be fundamentally changed for probably 18 months to 2 years with trials and setbacks to keep things under control, what form the steady state takes is currently anybody's guess, but we should know better by 6 months in, around October.

  • @zboblamont I have not read that link entirely, but the title "People and jobs? Or wealth?" made me smile. How will 'wealth' get created without people and jobs?

    Anyway, I will read it all tomorrow when I have more time. Seems that you need some hobbies to avoid getting 'pissed off'. I have been cleaning, gardening, cooking and generally fiddling with mysensors stuff. A few movies as well, it's not as bad as being in an ICU bed I can assure you!

    I think the government should do a half hour presentation to the public about the virus and then 'advise' a lockdown without enforcing it. Then, only the idiots would carry on, as normal, get the disease and die. therefore we could improve the future gene pool by getting rid of some of them. But not everyone would agree with me.

    Also, this is not a war and no infrastructure has been destroyed, to bounce back can happen very quickly when the balance between dead voters/tax payers/GDP contributors (read us, the public) is acceptable for the financial markets to go back to what they were doing before.

    As for now, I understand that alcohol kills the sars-cov-2 virus and so have a lockdown plan to tackle this.......


  • @skywatch I understand your confusion on the wealth/jobs aspect, "the financial markets to go back to what they were doing before " is precisely what we do NOT need if we're not going to avoid boom bust austerity cycles... Mark Blyth does some good lectures on it which may help reset perspectives, his software/hardware computer analogy is particularly helpful.
    Those same vested interests have been provoking public frustration of late in England, but I sincerely hope folks stick with it, idiots are not the only victims if they don't.

    Plenty to keep me occupied here and beer is cheap enough (ca 50p πŸ˜‰ ), currently fitting IP65 spots in the bathroom, so laying off the beer and looking forward to a shower....

  • The situation is getting worse in my country. Ive read news that around 500 inmates in a single jail was positive of the virus. Im praying we can get through this situation soon.

  • Hero Member

    I was reading up on Hypochlorous Acid as a possibly superior disinfectant. I was surprised to find little machines on AliExpress which are claiming to make it.,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_
    The typical ingredients are just water plus a little vinegar and salt, plus some kind of reaction which the machines do. I'm not sure how one would test for efficacy, but it sounds interesting.

    Anyone heard of these or are using them? One of them sells for as little as $10 and plugs into a USB port. Just about all of them are less than $100. They appear to make copious amounts of disinfectant, such that you could pretty much shower any incoming goods in the stuff. From what I've been reading, Hypochlorous Acid appears to be a capable viruscide that's quite innocuous to humans and has much less odor than bleach. That said, I have no idea whether these machines manage to make it in a useful concentration or not. Concentration levels are directly related to efficacy, and AFAIK, maybe required dwell time as well.

    So, why not just buy the stuff rather than make it? Apparently Hypochlorous Acid has a relatively short shelf-life of about a week or so.

    Anyone heard of this stuff before? I've seen almost nothing in the news about it.

  • @NeverDie a sodium hypochlorite solution is what is commonly known as bleach. Probably is more convenient to buy it rather than produce them.

    Just to give you an idea, below a picture of a famous bleach commercialized in Italy... Maybe you have the same brand in your country


    Your question about the concentration and efficacy is interesting.

  • Hero Member

    @franz-unix said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    a sodium hypochlorite solution is what is commonly known as bleach.

    Yes, but take a closer look. I was not interested in bleach (sodium hypochlorite) but instead Hypochlorous Acid. Note the difference in spelling, as they are not the same. I'm aware that some of the aliexpress products, like the one I linked to, may also advertise as sodium hypochlorite, but I think that may just be click bait (?). After all, how many people have ever heard of Hypochlorous Acid? Not me, until now.

    What are the benefits?

    Hypochlorous acid, unlike chlorine bleach, is 100% safe and non-irritant. If it gets on your skin or in your eyes, it will not burn. Even if it were accidentally ingested, it is completely harmless. Yet, it is 70-80 times more efficient at killing microbial pathogens than chlorine bleach.

    It's good for disinfecting food surfaces, and you don't need to wash it off afterward. Some other disinfectants aren't safe for food contact, and so they have to be completely washed off food surfaces following disinfection, which to me seems like a major hassle. In addition, hypochlorous acid is apparently safe for disinfecting raw produce.

    There is real science behind it: Acid TR 08 13 15.pdf

    How I found it: I was looking for a disinfectant with the shortest minimum dwell time to be effective. A lot of disinfectants have to thoroughly wet a surface for 10 or more minutes to be effective, which is a long time to be waiting around. The length of time is always detailed in a disinfectant's datasheet. For instance, consider Simple Green Clean Finish:" It kills 99.9% of bacteria in just 5 seconds. It can kill Avian influenza virus in 30 seconds if kept wet, but it can take up to 5 minutes to kill poliovirus. Compared to a lot of other disinfectants, that's pretty fast, so I ordered some for use, but not in the kitchen because it would have to be washed off afterward. Also, it both cleans and disinfects, whereas some cleaners don't disinfect and some disinfectants don't clean. In that sense, it does double duty.

    I've noticed that it takes a lot of disinfectant to thoroughly wet a surface. A lot of people who are using disinfecting wipes aren't using them properly, because (1) they don't thoroughly wet the surface and/or (2) because they wipe it off far too quickly, or they allow it to dry, before the minimum dwell time is reached. It's much easier to thoroughly wet a surface with a spray than it is with a wipe.

  • @NeverDie An alcohol mist is pretty fast and effective as a surface disinfectant and almost universally available.
    HOCl is a weak acid from vague memory and not so far removed from hypochlorite (same family?).
    You have to remember that if a 20 second wash is good enough to clean your hands, the same should be true of surfaces, and raw produce rarely needs much other than a wash...
    Sterilisation is a blanket attack so yes kills the bad stuff but also the good bacteria. eg - Chlorination provides you safe drinking water but kills some useful stomach bacteria on ingestion, which is why foreign waters give tourists problems the locals don't suffer.... πŸ˜‰

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont Have a look at "List N", which is the table at the bottom of the CDC article:

    It's a 17 page list of disinfectant products and their active ingredients. What I was calling "dwell time", CDC calls "contact time". The required contact time for coronavirus disinfection for each is on the rightmost column. It varies from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, even for products with the same active ingredient. I'm guessing the main difference, then, is concentration of the active ingredient, though there might be other factors as well.

    Your argument does seem like common sense, yet none of them are 20 seconds, and 10 minutes seems very common. Go figure as to why.

  • @NeverDie Actually no. Because this is an EPA list denoting the effectiveness of listed products, it's much too complicated to find out concentrations of the active ingredient, and I would guess that the kill times have a Factor of Safety built in.
    Saw nothing on what surfaces are referred as the Virus is known to survive on different surfaces for different durations, again I suspect a high FoS.
    Sorted on "Follow the directions..." and looked for Human Coronavirus, ethanol and isopropol both pop up at 30 seconds contact (normal terminology for disinfection) time.

    Hypochlorite is a few minutes but varies according to brand name, so not really helpful if you don't know concentrations.

    My point remains that alcohol is readily available, and as an additional precaution post washing surfaces probably more than sufficient in a domestic environment.
    If 70% is adequate for handwash on skin where it evaporates in a few seconds, no reason why on a cold non-porous surface it would be no less effective

  • Hero Member

    In case anyone is interested, BigClive tried out some inexpensive gear that's at least notionally similar to what I described above for making Hypochlorous Acid:

    This USB bottle generates surface sanitiser from water and salt. – 20:54
    β€” bigclivedotcom

    Judging from his teardown, it seems so ridiculously simple that it would be quite easy to DIY your own. I'm guessing that the only part that might differ in quality is the electrode. Presumably a platinum electrode (or maybe even just a platnum plated electrode?) would be the ideal choice, but BigClive speculates that maybe stainless steel might also work.

  • Hero Member

    Well, looking into it, the good ones apparently use pure titanium electrodes, which allegedly don't degrade or release other metals into the water.

  • Hero Member

    I received the first Moderna vaccine yesterday, less than a year after the first post in this thread. The big unknown right now is how well it will work against the more lethal variants that have since evolved.

  • Admin

    For "young" people like me in their 40-50, it seems we'll have to wait a few months more in Sweden.

  • Hero Member

    @hek If you hop across over to Russia, you might be able to get inoculated with Sputnik V. Although it was initially greeted in the West with skepticism, it has since gotten thumbs up from a proper peer review in Lancet.

  • Admin


    Hehe, I think we will continue our self isolation. The good thing with IT jobs is that it allows you to work from home. Just hope the teenage kids won't drag it home from their tri-weekly school-visits.

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

    If you hop across over to Russia, you might be able to get inoculated with Sputnik V. Although it was initially greeted in the West with skepticism, it has since gotten thumbs up from a proper peer review in Lancet.

    Here, vaccination is not very popular, many are in no hurry to get vaccinated. I do not know what this is due to, I think mainly because most people are sure that they have already been ill and received immunity)). Judging by the statistics published here periodically, Sputnik V works well and has almost no complications.
    ... I'm not sure if it was skepticism, rather something else. πŸ˜‰

  • Admin

    Just heard they put one of the vaccines, astrazeneca, on hold here in Denmark, as there apparently where reported some serious health issues with it (someone apparently died after getting it). My wife was in line for getting one of them at her job.

    For my part, I think I'll probably be working from home, until after the summer vacation, as my employer has asked us to stay at home. But I do miss the daily walk and talks to the coffee pot with the colleagues. Our sitting together when looking at code issues.

    / Thomas

  • Hero Member

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

    Here, vaccination is not very popular, many are in no hurry to get vaccinated.

    That's what I've heard, and that's why I thought Hek might have a chance at getting vaccinated there. I mean, if there's more than ample supply vs demand, then why not vaccinate anyone who shows up and wants it? It's a win-win for everybody. It appears to be as effective as the Moderna or Pfeizer vaccines.

    The Chinese vaccine is reportedly effective against the Brazilian variant. If I had the choice I maybe would have gotten that one, but it wasn't on the local menu.

  • Hero Member

    Both Pfeizer and Moderna are working on "booster" shots to supplement against virus's (e.g. the South African one) that their regular vaccine is much less effective against. No timeline on availability. Because there are 90+ variants to contend with, I get the impression that we're at the end of the beginning of the pandemic much more than the beginning of the end.

    Meanwhile, people here have gotten tired of PPE and social distancing, and the state government just recently removed the laws mandating it, so I'm seeing less of it now than I did a year ago. The roads are full of cars again, and local retail businesses seem almost as full of people as they were in December 2019. A month ago everyone walking around the neighborhood where I live was wearing a mask. And now, starting this week, literally no one is. It's as though someone flipped a switch. It really boggles the mind. The groupthink error seems to be that falling infection/death rates mean that PPE is no longer needed rather than it was highly useful and the reason for the decline. 🀦 Go figure.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @NeverDie yeah the timing is pretty bad in the US while you are only a few months away of immunity with the fastest vaccination program except Israel. Letting the virus spread free again now is taking a lot of risks of seeing new variants that vaccines can't prevent, and making everything useless...

    Here in Vietnam only 200 000 doses of AZ were received yet, only 30 millions are secured until now so only 15% of population will be vaccinated this summer. Local vaccines are still in clinical trials so won't be here before the end of the year, they probably will be the game changers here are they will allow mass availability and very low cost allowing a mass vaccination campaign.
    But we still have a different situation, an outbreak of the UK variant has been found in the North end of January, they are still fighting with it but usual isolation of cases & contacts are showing their efficiency: in the last days the only new cases found were already in isolation so there was no risk of spread. There was also an outbreak here in Saigon in the team managing the freight at airport, it was contained in 2 weeks...

    Nearly normal life here, everything is opened, but still many people are wearing masks, temperature is checked before entering public places like shops and restaurants. Masks are mandatory in closed places: elevators, shops, etc ... sounds overkill with no community transmission but it has shown efficiency when an outbreak occurs (many border jumpers with China, Cambodia, Laos), it limits the spread of the virus until people are tested, and shortens the contact tracing.

    Wish all countries had the same strict measures than Vietnam, this pandemic would be long over like SRAS.

  • Hardware Contributor

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

    @hek If you hop across over to Russia, you might be able to get inoculated with Sputnik V. Although it was initially greeted in the West with skepticism, it has since gotten thumbs up from a proper peer review in Lancet.

    Read an article in a French newspaper yesterday about French people getting vaccinated with Sputnik in Russia while they were not supposed to be accepted at vaccination centres. But it seems it depends on the centers, and rules can change from one day to the other.

    The problem of Sputnik V is they have a low production capacity at the moment, and that's the same problem than with all the vaccines. They're selling it everywhere but in the end like all other vaccines when countries start buying millions there will be delays due to production bottlenecks. They're signing deals with other countries to produce it but it will take time to get real mass production, and by that time other vaccines suppliers might have solved their production problems.

    For the Chinese vaccine last time I read something about it there were doubts about the efficiency, Coronavac used in Brazil has shown poor efficiency against their local variant. Wouldn't rely on it for my vaccination πŸ˜›

  • Hero Member

    @Nca78 said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    Here in Vietnam only 200 000 doses of AZ were received yet, only 30 millions are secured until now so only 15% of population will be vaccinated this summer.

    Not sure if you saw this, but if not, South Africa actually halted distribution of AZ after they received a million doses because from their testing they found it not much better than placebo against the South African variant:

    I wonder if other countries are thoroughly vetting their vaccines as well or whether they're just taking them on faith and sending them into immediate distribution. Either way the truth would come out eventually, but more testing after the doses are in hand means more delay for sure. As long as it isn't directly killing people, I don't see the downside of inoculating people with it in case it turns out to have some benefits in the more severe cases. It's already a sunk cost, and surely it does no good just sitting on the shelf.

    Or is it that they're trying to avoid a possibly useless vaccine somehow interfering with a better vaccine that may become available in the future?

    Anyhow, it's great to hear the updates directly from everyone about life and the pandemic in your respective countries. πŸ˜„

  • Hardware Contributor

    @NeverDie The study is only about "mild or moderate" illness, as long as there is a decent effect on severe cases, hospitalization and death, it's still worth distributing. And it is a preprint only, done on a low number of cases so it's a bit far fetched to draw some final conclusions from that.
    AZ is very efficient against "old" variants and UK variant, and until now that's all we've seen arriving in Vietnam, so it's already a great progress if we can limit transmission of those variants. If people are less severely ill, it also means than in addition to limit the overload of hospitals people are less contagious (shown by all studies on this subject until now), so it will still slow down the spread of the virus, even for variants for which it can't really protect against.

    And yes probably they don't want to use AZ in SA because the interaction with other vaccines is not known, so using AZ when the vast majority of cases in your country have a variant against which people will have a low protection is a loss of chances for people in the future. In their situation it's logic. But for most of the world where this variant is in minority in declared cases using AZ vaccine makes sense, it will help limit the propagation of the virus and limit the risk of seeing new variants appear.

  • Hero Member

    Reporting back: My second vaccination was literally "drive through". You drive to the site, roll down your window, a nurse injects you in the arm that's facing the window, and like that, you're done. Very easy if you happen to drive a car.

    Here, just this week, we've transitioned from vaccine shortage to a relatively large vaccine surplus: thanks to ramping production, supply exceeds demand. So, they're moving from mass vaccination, like what I had, to pushing the vaccine down to smaller medical clinics to reach more people.

    I hear that in Russia, which has had a domestic surplus for quite some time, they're now paying citizens to get vaccinated. I hope we switch to that as well, because something like 25-33% of the population here doesn't want to be vaccinated, even though it's totally free for everyone. That idea isn't something even being talked about yet, let alone debated, and it may not fly politically. Fortunately, the vaccine really does seem to work quite well, and as evidence of that grows, I'm hoping more of the hesitant population will change their minds and decide to get vaccinated after all.

    IIRC, back when smallpox vaccinations were deployed in a worldwide effort to eradicate smallpox, they were mandatory for everyone. So, if the political will for it exists, there is at least that as precedent. More likely they'll just make life inconvenient for those who aren't vaccinated by issuing vaccine "passports" for those who have been vaccinated. Because of the prior shortage, that hasn't happened yet, and perhaps it will remain just a theoretical option.

  • Hero Member

    I'm presently sick with Covid-19, as confirmed by Abbott Lab's BinaxNow home test kit. I'm fully vaccinated plus boosted, yet I'm definitely feeling it. With society's return to normal here, Covid-19 is spreading like wildfire. Given that, I suppose contracting it is practically inevitable. Politicians here just seem to assume that the healthcare infrastructure can handle whatever happens--no real accountability for public policy decisions except for the next election cycle, and probably not even then because people have short memories.For instance, current hospital triage policy treats everyone (vaccinated and non-vaccinated alike) the same, with the result being that the non-vaccinated can displace some vaccinated people from getting critical care at a hospital. In some regions this is already happening. It's one thing for someone who opts out to accept higher risk for themselves, but this shows adverse outcomes can be spread beyond just themselves in a very concrete way. Yet, no one is willing to talk about this, let alone change policy.

    For those of you in other countries, how is it there now?

  • Hardware Contributor

    @NeverDie hello and happy new year ! I hope you will get well soon, but with 3 shots it should not last too long and you are safe for long term effects of covid.

    In Vietnam there are a few "antivax" but they are a small minority. Especially here in Saigon where Delta hit really hard during the summer and everyone saw the overloaded hospital in Saigon, with people treated outside (filling up courts and parkings) on military beds and barely protected from tropical rain by tarpaulins, all while looking at corpses getting evacuated in plastic bags. Really terrible images, it was like a bad movie... Now 99+% of adult population in Saigon is fully vaccinated, 95+% of 12-17 yo old also and booster shots are progressing fast too with most 50+ already done.
    The virus is under control at the moment with numbers falling (less than 500 new cases daily for 10 millions people), but Omicron had not spread yet due to strict border control and quarantine. It's arrived in the country though, so we will see how it spreads and if it can fill hospitals in a nearly completely vaccinated population and with nearly all fragile population having received a booster.
    With nearly everyone vaccinated there is no need for prioritizing now it got under control.

    In France situation is different, there is no "selection" based on covid patients vaccination status, but a lot of people with other conditions had surgeries delayed because of the Omicron wave. Around half of hospital admissions for covid are unvaccinated people (for only around 10% of unvaccinated population), and as they usually have more severe conditions and stay longer in hospital in critical care units 2/3 of people are unvaccinated. For only 10% of adult population (and an even tinier fraction in the 60+ age range) this is shockingly high.
    So basically the unvaccinated are taking the beds of non-covid patients who might lose chances to survive, there are people having important surgeries like brain tumor removal delayed 😞

    The good news is that even if it now mostly fails to protect from Omicron contamination, the vaccine is very efficient against severe forms of covid, and unless you have immunodeficiency and/or very severe co morbidities you basically can't end up in hospital, in the worse case you have some traditional flu symptoms.

  • Homemade HCQ Recipe

    For anyone who needs a little extra help. I've found this to work myself. Take at the first sign of symptoms and stop taking once better.

  • Hero Member

    @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.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @chey given the same website has completely whacky stuff (like this: ) 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 πŸ˜‰

    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.

  • @NeverDie @Nca78

    Don't read to much into what I posted.

    Even if you don't believe all the HCQ hype in that article you can easily lookup yourself the health benefits of grapefruit and lemon peel.

    That information may provide useful to someone here as it did for me, which is why I wanted to share it. πŸ™‚

  • Hero Member

    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:
    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. πŸ™„ In any case, with such weak public policy, I don't see that there's much to slow it down.

  • @NeverDie If you are experiencing the same as Europe, just as the Delta variant was more infectious, Omicron is worse with a doubling time of 2 days, hence a rapid escalation in cases.
    Increased hospitalisations are a side effect of such rapid escalation in numbers, the only saving grace appears to be Omicron is less serious a variant on effects, but it is not benign by any means.
    If you look up Prof John Campbell on Youtube you'll find plenty of information on what is happening, although he concentrates more on England, where hospitalisations have gone through the roof (not that you'd know it watching the media - Much as Brexit, Omerta)...
    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.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @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.

  • Hero Member

    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: 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).

  • Hardware Contributor

    @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: 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.

  • @NeverDie The latest update from Prof John Campbell you may find of particular interest since it incorporates the latest data from the US.

    Whereas the Omicron variant is indeed causing a massive increase in cases presenting, the hospitalisation, ITU and death rates are markedly different to Delta which is being rapidly supplanted.

    On vaccines and immunity some interesting observations also

  • Hero Member

    @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?

  • @NeverDie I may be wrong in my understanding of the argument -
    Omicron is crowding out the more dangerous version Delta and will soon be the only variant in circulation.
    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.

    John Campbell has had a regular update for some time, is very analytical in his approach and is excellent in explaining in layman's terms.
    He's still fighting the UK authorities over not making aspiration mandatory for intramuscular vaccinations, and there is mounting evidence and professional opinion he is correct in doing so.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @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...

  • @Nca78 Agreed.

  • Hero Member

    @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?

  • Hardware Contributor

    @NeverDie thank you for taking the time to read all my long messages πŸ˜„
    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 πŸ˜„ 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 πŸ˜‰

  • @NeverDie it's kind nostalgic to see posts like this

  • Banned

    @Nca78 It's true about reliability. People believe absolutely everything that is written on the Internet, without verification.

  • Hero Member

    Worthy of note:
    Masks, no evidence they work – 14:59
    β€” Dr. John Campbell

    TL;DR: It turns out that masking had essentially no efficacy. 🀦 It blows my mind. How can it be that the mainstream got so much so wrong for so long about covid? And, more importantly, what should we have done instead?

  • the role of the mask was to gag us.

    a virus is not stopped by a piece of paper on the face, it's in the air, it settles everywhere.
    The only solution was to go out naked and take a shower when we got home.

  • Hero Member

    I don't know what guidance is being given in other countries, but here in the US the CDC is still endorsing the use of cloth masks, even now 3 years into this debacle:

    At the grocery store and other retail, I still see some people wearing cloth masks....

  • yes also here (France) there is still some person with the mask, a remnant of the trauma?

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