Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

  • 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 2½ 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.

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  • 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. 😉

    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! 😉

    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! 😉

    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 😉 ), 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.... 😉

  • 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
    — 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. 😉

  • 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 😛

  • 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. 😄

  • 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.

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