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Messages - vox_mundi

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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 13, 2021, 10:51:25 AM »
Thomas Barlow is as wrong as John Ioannidis was. Wrong not because of the lack of knowledge, but wrong because they cherry-picked data to obtain the results they wanted to obtain. Ioannidis is a charlatan with credentials whose lies cost 3 million lives and trillions of dollars.

0.15% IFR... The only way to get to that number is by ignoring those above 70. They spent their lives already so they deserve to die. Then there are the younger than 70 but with heart disease or diabetes. They also deserve to die because they are "dying soon" anyway.

With the people 70% and above out of the way and not counting those with preconditions, we get to an IFR of less than 0.1% A weak virus.

That is their message and they want you to embrace it. Forget the old and the people with preconditions. Live your life however you want. YOU will be ok (As long as you ignore long covid or the coming variants)

Besides that this, often touted 0.1% fatality rate for the flu is CFR not IFR.

The  Case Fatality Rate of the flu is better compared to the 3.7% Case Fatality Rate of C19.

The actual Infection Fatality Rate of the flu is well below 0.1%, but mostly unknowable.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 13, 2021, 02:45:05 AM »
It's quite simple really. This forum has collected lots of actual data from the past year as well as lots of peer-reviewed publications, all pointing to an IFR above 0.5% in most populations, with high hospitalization rates as well. In addition, all data points show a contagiouness far higher than the flu, with the UK variant (B.1.1.17) having a yet higher contagiouness than the variants that were previously circulating. The combination of this "solid scientific information" makes this a "Serious Pandemic", though admittedly not "The Plague". This is completely unrelated to fear-induced panic, ideology or narrative. Just simple facts which were indeed hard to come by in January 2020 (full of incomplete data, circular flaws, and false assumptions) but quite easy to come by in January 2021 and indeed much earlier.

As to a discussion of policies, it should indeed take place, based on said actual data and based on the outcomes of the various policy experiments around the globe, as well as on value systems (how important are the lives of humans of various ages and health, how important is "the economy", desired lessons going forward, and so on). But when someone promotes flagrantly wrong numbers - as well as ignoring said discussion altogether rather than engaging in it in a structured way - the forum's tolerance at this late stage is quite low.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 12, 2021, 06:58:57 PM »
I suggest you stop following people publishing on Twitter

Can I safely assume that you haven't yet read any of the assorted peer reviewed articles referenced in the Twitter threads I've brought to your attention? I suggest you start reading them.

You won't have seen this screenshot either:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 12, 2021, 10:15:59 AM »
John Ioannidis is to Medical science the same thing John Christy is to Climate Science. A charlatan with credentials cherry-picking the science to advance their lies. His lies were cruel but perfectly in line with the message people like Elon Musk were trying to jam through the masses.

That message was as clear then as it is now. Old people and sick people shouldn't count.
Millions of people died unnecessary deaths because of the lies of John Ionaddis.

Of course, that's baby genocide relative to the climate genocide liars like John Christy will cause.

The power of the word.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 12, 2021, 01:10:55 AM »
Not to mention that the W.H.O., in 2019, advised against wholesale travel restrictions & border closures in a flu/coronavirus pandemic, using the phrase "Not recommended in any circumstances" ( And now we see variants of the virus growing in the perfect incubator of a locked-down region, where it can propagate, survive, & strengthen, more easily than being watered down in the world's very powerful collective immune-system (strength of which is shown in these studies here:,2996.msg302301.html#msg302301).

False.  First, the document you cite from WHO is specifically for influenza pandemics.  This isn't an influenza pandemic.  This is a different, more virulent, far more contagious virus.

It is the W.H.O. who advised against restricting travel in 2019 for pandemics, not me. Flus have never remotely been pursued & recorded the way covid-19 has, so you have no idea wether it is more contagious. Flus pass around just as much, but no-one counts it and pursues it the way covid was.

Laughably false.  Although Covid has been intensively studied for one year, we have a century of epidemiologic and virulogic study of influenza.  We do know, indeed, that Covid is far more contagious than influenza.  We see this even in data from the past year, where respiratory virus precautions inadequate to control Covid has nevertheless dropped influenza rates to near zero.

The point has been quantified by others, many times.  One that popped up immediately for me is from Lancet:

Comparing SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV and influenza pandemics

"The basic reproductive rate (R0) for SARS-CoV-2 is estimated to be 2·5 (range 1·8–3·6) compared with 2·0–3·0 for SARS-CoV and the 1918 influenza pandemic, 0·9 for MERS-CoV, and 1·5 for the 2009 influenza pandemic."

Note that R0 for seasonal influenza is lower than that for a pandemic influenza year.  In comparison, Covid is a highly transmissible disease.

Note that small changes in R0 translate into enormous differences in the number infected.  See, from

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2021, 01:41:26 AM »
Brazil has some interesting results.... I am sure those who think Covid is nothing will find a way to undermine this update.

In the end, regardless of the excuse-making people make here for the terrible results in places like the US and Europe, this virus can be managed. Those who failed are those who keep trying to remind us that it is basically unstoppable. Which is great PR for excuse-makers in their respective countries.

The power brokers of the world just love the people who keep reminding us how mild Covid is, especially the ones who talk about the corruption of governments and the desire to increase their own wealth and power and see how power brokers are using Covid to increase their power.

I mean, how ironic is it to have those who supposedly see through the bullshit end up being the same people who undermine Covid and the attempts to stop it and who make excuses for bad management. If it wasn't so bad (remember, there are charts here putting Covid last year on a similar death level as WW2 and WW1) it would be comical.

Why cant the excuse makers understand that you can have a virus that is a problem while also having power brokers use it to their own advantage?
Can the excuse makers please explain how there are countries with 23% extra deaths without it being Covid? Deaths per year are crazy consistent, so if Covid isn't that bad, why is an extra 23% in the space of one year, okay?

The countries that took action are the same ones that managed Covid well.
The ones where it was ignored, undermined, and treated like an economic problem rather than a health problem have lost a lot of extra people. It may have still spread and been bad, but it would have still been a far better result than doing nothing.

But hey, it is only old people and fat people and those who need medications to survive or those who cant afford decent food. So, the poor people.

I wonder what these same people will be saying when Covid just keeps getting more contagious, which it is, and when it eventually avoids the vaccines, which it will, and when it becomes more lethal to young and healthy people, which it is.

You guys better dig in deep, because you are going to have to start coming up with some mind-bending reasons for the death toll and health toll Covid has in the coming years.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2021, 01:39:43 AM »
In non zero community transmission strategy States the COVID19 policy choice is a false position between the health of the people and health of the economy. They do not say this, yet that is what it means to not pursue ZCT. It is, of course, a false dichotomy.

 A good policy protects both. 23% of global population and their economies are currently being protected by ZCT. Bad policy harms both. Just look at the deaths and economic harms in the differing countries. Go on. Compare Vietnam or New Zealand's outcomes with USA or England's outcomes. Use yer google and compare the outcomes.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 03, 2021, 12:07:13 PM »
Here is a summary for Europe of the last 6 weeks (taken from Worldometers, may contain errors from me, of course).

When captcha decides it doesn’t like you. ;D


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 28, 2021, 05:35:21 PM »
I show a small quote from another great post by vox_mundi above. Real info ouclasses blah blah by a country mile.

I visit this thread a couple of times a day and always read vox_mundi's comments including all of the stuff he links to. Very valuable if you want to stay current on the pandemic although I am a little disappointed by the lack of bar charts in his comments.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 28, 2021, 05:04:35 PM »
I show a small quote from another great post by vox_mundi above. Real info ouclasses blah blah by a country mile.

A Covid-19 variant, P1, continues to rip through the country as experts agree it is more contagious and potentially produces more severe illness than previous strains. Even younger people are not spared. Multiple doctors speculated the P1 variant has something to do with the shift in demographics among the sick.

... Across the country, intensive care physicians keep saying the same thing: In this latest wave, their patients are younger than ever.

"We have otherwise healthy patients that are between 30 and 50-years-old and that is the profile for the majority of patients," said Dr. Pedro Archer, a 33 year-old intensive care physician at a public hospital in Rio de Janeiro. "That is the big differentiator in this latest wave."

Brazil's Health Ministry publishes national statistics on the ages of Covid-19 victims. An AFP analysis of data from that ministry found the number of people aged 30-59 represented about 27% of Covid-19 deaths over the past three months or so -- a 7% increase from pre-December numbers. The AFP also found the share of the death toll for those aged 60 and over fell by 7% in that same time period.

Officials said 60% of younger patients with Covid-19 needed ICU beds, a higher figure than earlier in the pandemic.

There have been a lot of posts about how self-inflicted health problems are a major contributing factor in Covid-19 deaths, including by imputation that all obesity is self-inflicted, which is crap. Ask my Landlady who is afflicted with the problem caused by genetic inheritance.

There have been a lot of posts about those who keep themselves healthy are almost immune. Well, it looks like the P1 variant may redress the balance, preferring to kill young healthy people (as did the so-called Spanish 'flu a century ago?).

Also I hope our scientists are getting as much info as possible from Brazil about this variant.
- Is it more aggressive?
- Is it more contagious?
- Is it resistant to vaccines?
- If it gets established in a population will it become the dominant virus variant?

All we need is our Boris the Infallible forcing through the end of restrictions, including international travel, if the answer to the above questions is - yes.

The USA is even more vulnerable.

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: March 27, 2021, 12:25:29 PM »
The Big, Stuck Boat Is Glorious
I’m obsessed with the dang boat because people like me and you are not really supposed to be aware of what boats like her are up to. You’re not supposed to think about, or even notice, global freight, but the Ever Given has made cartoonishly noticeable some of the crucial infrastructure of global capital, which is usually invisible in most people’s daily life. She has done so with an absolutely sublime visual gag, improved by every new detail about the problems the ship is causing and every new photo of the impotent human measures being undertaken to fix them. ...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 15, 2021, 09:00:50 AM »
This Week in Virology is a YouTube channel worth keeping an eye on with the Covid pandemic.
The latest one includes some concerning information about apparently increasing effects seen in kids. 

TWiV 731: The kids aren't alright

chronology of topics courtesy of a commentator on the channel:

0:00 The weather
6:20 Ebola in Africa intro
8:40 DRC  Guinee  approx. 30 outbreaks
9:50 filovirus  peters out  stays zoonotic
10:45 bats
12:00 bushmeat  primates   immunocompromised as reservoir? 
15:00 Ebola  persisting in humans ?
16:00 Separate origin of outbreaks Guinee and DRC
17:00 2 vaccines available  1: spike   2: prime boost vaccine J&J
19:00 small pharma vs global pharma   manufacturing capability
21:20 Merck cancelled vaccine, prioritises antivirals. Produces J&J vaccine
23:30 Covid: Kids Zoe Hyde attack rate bias  less tested  short infectious period  ifr 0.002%
25:30 long covid underappreciated in young population
27:00 children twice as likely to be asymptomatic   only 9% of pediatric cases diagnosed at symptom onset, others by contact tracing
28:00 heterogeneity in secondary attack rate   only 2 day window for detection by PCR
29:10 seropositivity prevalence 23- 26 % same as adults (Italy)
31:00 School closure creates bias in susceptibility of children
34:00 conclusion: you can’t say kids get infected less. They play an important role in community transmission
39:30 opening schools   appropriate precautions    low spread      Testing is key
41:40 Texas state Uni : weekly testing + when needed:  no community spread
43:50 Despite scientific uncertainty there is already a lot of knowledge. Textbook knowledge is not used properly. Few vaccines prevent infection. Unrealistic to expect this from Covid vaccines.
48:30 MMWR march 5 2021    Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence Among Persons Aged <18 Years — Mississippi, May–September 2020    covenience samples   mid sept   113000 <18  infected in missippi. 9000 diagnosed  so factor 12 underestimated  conclusion: young and old infected at the same rate
54:00 speculation about approaching herd immunity
55:50  long covid   22% had >1 symptom 5 weeks after infection    10%  at 12 weeks. Fatigue cough headache loss of taste and smell   35 49 y age group   curve peaks  25 -69  age range  : economic damage   limitation only covers some symptoms, maybe underestimate   
1:00:00 not just a virus  not comparable with common cold   
1:04:00 maybe a third of the population already infected    Herd immunity is not black and white
1:05:00 e-mail

The rest / Re: Masks
« on: March 14, 2021, 03:10:07 PM »

Oxygen is so precious.

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to reply by quoting Dr. Strangelove.   

Precious Bodily Fluids.

The rest / Re: Masks
« on: March 11, 2021, 04:59:45 PM »

Germ theory denialism is the pseudoscientific belief that germs do not cause infectious disease, and that the germ theory of disease is wrong. It usually involves arguing that Louis Pasteur's model of infectious disease was wrong, and that Antoine Béchamp's was right. In fact, its origins are rooted in Béchamp's empirically disproven (in the context of disease) theory of pleomorphism. Another obsolete variation is known as terrain theory and postulates that diseased tissue attracts germs rather than being caused by it.

The forum / Re: Arctic Sea Ice Forum Humor
« on: March 08, 2021, 01:59:33 PM »

First Dog on the Moon

I'm with the dog about going to the pub.

click images to make readable by old dogs like me

The rest / Starling Murmuration at Lough Ennell, Ireland.
« on: March 04, 2021, 10:17:08 AM »
Incredible photo by James Crombie of a starling murmuration at Lough Ennell, central Ireland.

How did they know how to form a giant bird ?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 04, 2021, 07:32:11 AM »
Mising receptor in the immune system is associated with severe courses of Covid-19

The interaction between the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the human immune system has a decisive influence on the course and severity of the COVID-19 disease in individual patients. The antiviral immune response by natural killer cells (NK cells) is usually an important step in fighting virus replication in the initial phase of the infection. These killer cells have specific activating receptors on their surface, including the NKG2C receptor, which communicates with an infected cell via one of their specific surface structures, the HLA-E. This interaction leads to the destruction of the virus-infected cells. However, the activating receptor NKG2C is naturally absent in around 4% of the population due to a gene variation, and the receptor is only partially present in around 30 percent of the population.

A research group from the Center for Virology at the Medical University of Vienna under the direction of Elisabeth Puchhammer-Stöckl has now shown, in cooperation with doctors from the Favoriten Clinic, that especially people with a partial or complete absence of the NKG2C receptor develop severe cases of COVID -19.

In their study, which was recently published in the journal “Genetics in Medicine”, the authors show that people who had to be hospitalized with COVID-19 were significantly more likely to have the gene variation underlying the lack of the receptor than people with mild courses. Puchhammer-Stöckl: “The lack of the receptor was particularly common in patients who had to be treated with COVID-19 in intensive care units, regardless of age or gender. Genetic variations in the HLA-E of the infected cell were also associated with the severity of the disease, albeit to a lesser extent. "

The current study therefore shows the great importance of the NK cell response in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 infection: “This part of the immune response could therefore also be an important target for drugs that could help treat severe COVID-19 -Prevent diseases, ”explains the MedUni Vienna expert.

Original article in Springer Nature:

Beyond 1984
- Be careful to only express "+ve" energy because AI is checking up on you.
- One logical outcome is that persistent offenders (i.e. those who express -ve energy regularly) may end up in thought realignment camps ( in China ) or lose their jobs (e.g. with Facebook, Amazon, Ebay, Google, Goldman Sachs).
Smile for the camera: the dark side of China's emotion-recognition tech

Xi Jinping wants ‘positive energy’ but critics say the surveillance tools’ racial bias and monitoring for anger or sadness should be banned
Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology but they have no choice. If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it. There’s always that demand and we’re here to fulfil it.” So says Chen Wei at Taigusys, a company specialising in emotion recognition technology, the latest evolution in the broader world of surveillance systems that play a part in nearly every aspect of Chinese society.

Emotion-recognition technologies – in which facial expressions of anger, sadness, happiness and boredom, as well as other biometric data are tracked – are supposedly able to infer a person’s feelings based on traits such as facial muscle movements, vocal tone, body movements and other biometric signals. It goes beyond facial-recognition technologies, which simply compare faces to determine a match.

But similar to facial recognition, it involves the mass collection of sensitive personal data to track, monitor and profile people and uses machine learning to analyse expressions and other clues.

The industry is booming in China, where since at least 2012, figures including President Xi Jinping have emphasised the creation of “positive energy” as part of an ideological campaign to encourage certain kinds of expression and limit others.

Critics say the technology is based on a pseudo-science of stereotypes, and an increasing number of researchers, lawyers and rights activists believe it has serious implications for human rights, privacy and freedom of expression. With the global industry forecast to be worth nearly $36bn by 2023, growing at nearly 30% a year, rights groups say action needs to be taken now.

‘Intimidation and censorship’
The main office of Taigusys is tucked behind a few low-rise office buildings in Shenzhen. Visitors are greeted at the doorway by a series of cameras capturing their images on a big screen that displays body temperature, along with age estimates, and other statistics. Chen, a general manager at the company, says the system in the doorway is the company’s bestseller at the moment because of high demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chen hails emotion recognition as a way to predict dangerous behaviour by prisoners, detect potential criminals at police checkpoints, problem pupils in schools and elderly people experiencing dementia in care homes.

Taigusys systems are installed in about 300 prisons, detention centres and remand facilities around China, connecting 60,000 cameras. “Violence and suicide are very common in detention centres,” says Chen. “Even if police nowadays don’t beat prisoners, they often try to wear them down by not allowing them to fall asleep. As a result, some prisoners will have a mental breakdown and seek to kill themselves. And our system will help prevent that from happening.

Chen says that since prisoners know they are monitored by this system – 24 hours a day, in real time – they are made more docile, which for authorities is a positive on many fronts. “Because they know what the system does, they won’t consciously try to violate certain rules,” he says.

Besides prisons and police checkpoints, Taigusys has deployed its systems in schools to monitor teachers, pupils and staff, in care homes for older people to detect falls and changes in the emotional state of residents, and in shopping centres and car parks.

While the use of emotion-recognition technology in schools in China has sparked some criticism, there has been very little discussion of its use by authorities on citizens.

Potential for misuse
Asked if he was concerned about these features being misused by authorities, Chen says that he is not worried because the software is being used by police, implying that such institutions should be automatically trusted.

“I’m not concerned because it’s not our technology that’s the problem,” Chen says. “There are demands for this technology in certain scenarios and places, and we will try our best to meet those demands.”

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 02, 2021, 07:18:46 PM »
I dont even understand what this discussion is about any longer.

Thomas came out of nowhere, proclaiming that the virus is "weak", which is basically a meaningless statement and we have been chewing over that statement which is by nature subjective and is an opinion. Discussing opinions, subjective impressions is quite pointless in my view. Discussing data and facts instead could lead somewhere...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 28, 2021, 05:35:09 AM »

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: February 24, 2021, 09:28:13 PM »

G. W. K. Moore et al. Anomalous collapses of Nares Strait ice arches leads to enhanced export of Arctic sea ice, Nature Communications (2021).

Presentation by Kent Moore now available on youtube covering this paper.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: February 24, 2021, 02:22:41 AM »
Sunset on Mars.
Amazing to be alive at this time to witness this.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: February 23, 2021, 02:58:30 PM »
'Dare mighty things': hidden message found on Nasa Mars rover parachute
Social media users say message is encoded in red-and-white pattern on parachute

The politics / Re: The Collapse Of America
« on: February 16, 2021, 12:11:20 PM »
Trump was allowed to make his case. He failed to prove anything other than he is a liar. Over and over again. Ignoring people who rarely tell anything close to the truth just makes sense.

LeftyLarry is a righty. You should change your login name.
I think "lefty" refers to which hand he uses - towhit the"sinister".

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: February 13, 2021, 02:26:12 AM »
Dramatic Discovery Links Stonehenge to Its Original Site – in Wales
My wife is Welsh. Very Welsh. Over the centuries, according to her, the people have been enslaved and used as builders of castles (to defend against the Welsh), miners for gold, lead, copper, iron and especially coal. The valleys have been flooded and turned into reservoirs - not for the Welsh, but for the English, especially Liverpool. Now it turns out that we've even stolen their greatest monument.

I mildly suggested that maybe the Preseli locals had decided to move to Wiltshire for the better weather, and wanted to bring a "touch of home" with them. Ok, so there were at least the 42 stones that are there now, and possibly up to 80. Ok, they weighed between two and four tons each... Ok, they had to carry them 140 kilometres... Some people just get homesick, I guess!

Wikipedia backs me up:
... As there was evidence of the underlying chalk beneath the graves being crushed by substantial weight, the team concluded that the first bluestones brought from Wales were probably used as grave markers. Radiocarbon dating of the remains has put the date of the site 500 years earlier than previously estimated, to around 3000 BC. A 2018 study of the strontium content of the bones found that many of the individuals buried there around the time of construction had probably come from near the source of the bluestone in Wales and had not extensively lived in the area of Stonehenge before death.

I also pointed out that she hadn't used the common nationalist cry "taking our women". She ran me through with a piercing Celtic eye, and said "at least I got to choose - and you're still on probation!"

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 09, 2021, 06:54:08 PM »
As a resident of Tampa, Florida I witnessed what what likely be one of the top super-spreader events of the pandemic, the festivities and events surrounding the “Super Bowl.”  It was a whole week of parties and exhibits that drew tens of thousands from all across the US.  The cherry on top was the immediate aftermath of the game, with thousands in bars and on the streets, shoulder to shoulder and mostly maskless, screaming directly into each others’ faces.  And of course there were innumerable small gatherings here and across the country that will add to the upcoming fourth “peak.”

The UK mutation is firmly entrenched in Florida, and by the end of Feb we should see the metrics reflect the consequences.

Science / Re: Early Anthropocene
« on: February 05, 2021, 08:51:02 PM »
Paul Crutzen, Nobel Laureate Who Fought Climate Change, Dies at 87
He named our age the “Anthropocene” and warned the world of threats that certain chemicals posed to the ozone layer.

Paul J. Crutzen, a Dutch scientist who earned a Nobel Prize for work that warned the world about the threat of chemicals to the planet’s ozone layer and who went on to push for action against global warming, died on Jan. 28 in Mainz, Germany. He was 87.

A great loss.
Rest in peace.

Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: February 04, 2021, 02:27:14 PM »
I have a dream....
‘Then You’ll Put Out A Nice Press Release Stepping Down As CEO,’ Whispers Rogue Fulfillment Bot Holding Bezos At Gunpoint

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 02, 2021, 05:32:47 PM »
A sad note .. the passing of Captain Tom Moore .. 100 year old fund raiser extraordinaire .. £32 milion for the NHS . It was COVID that got him . He was placed at risk a few weeks ago when I last saw him on telly .  RIP Sir Tom . b.c.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 02, 2021, 03:51:48 AM »
Some good news:

Israel: We say with caution, the magic has started

Note blue lines, of 60+ years old (first to vaccinate), in the past 2 weeks:

~35% drop in cases
~30% drop in hospitalizations
~20% drop in critically ill

Stronger than in younger people & not seen in previous lockdown

These patterns were not observed in the previous lockdown, see same graphs for second lockdown

Yesterday we showed even bigger drops in cities vaccinated earlier:

Israel: Signs of vaccines affecting national pandemic dynamics

Drop in cases & hospitalizations of 60+ y/o in cities vaccinated early

Stronger than in late-vaccinated cities

Stronger than in younger people (only recently eligible)

Not seen in previous lockdown


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 25, 2021, 11:32:33 AM »
The graphic display is simply too good not to share.

This is a graphic of the Australian journey through Covid from start to today.
It shows returning travel infections, local trans, unknowns, clusters and has footnotes for them as well.

Of personal note, my mother was in the Baptcare Wydnam Cluster

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: January 24, 2021, 11:16:05 PM »
Flyn at guardian: deserted villages

" there are too few people to fill all its houses – one in every eight homes now lies empty. In Japan, they call such vacant buildings akiya – ghost homes."

" Many akiya have been left empty after the death of their occupants; inherited by their city-living relatives, many go unclaimed and untended. With so many structures under unknown ownership, local authorities are also unable to tear them down."

" old fields and neglected gardens are reclaimed by wildlife. Sightings of Asian black bears have been growing increasingly common in recent years"

" Galicia and Castilla y León are among the regions worst affected, as entire settlements have gradually emptied of their residents. More than 3,000 ghost villages now haunt the hills"

"The youngsters have left the villages, and the parents are getting old and getting flats closer to the hospital. You don’t want to get stuck up in the hills when you can no longer drive."

"smaller populations crowding ever more tightly into urban centres. And outside, beyond the city limits, the wild animals prowling."

"Sunk are thy bowers, in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o'ertops the mouldering wall;
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away, thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay"

--Goldsmith, "The Deserted Village" from another era ...


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 22, 2021, 03:18:11 PM »
James' model has a period over the summer where he can't reconcile the death data with the case data, and this is because much of the infection is happening in Spain rather than the UK and most of the people travelling and their immediate contacts aren't particularly vulnerable.

There might be a Spain travel effect as you say but I would note that log scale makes discrepancy at low end look worse. Current small looking discrepancy with deaths higher than middle of band while cases below middle of band is much worse in absolute numbers.

Also I would attribute more of this to pubs being opened from July 4 resulting in a lower average age of infections and hence a lower fatality rate.

At the time James had a fixed fatality rate, he has now changed to a slowly declining rate. The model doesn't know about different age groups but does pretty well despite this.

Fully agree that when hospitals are packed, it spreads and gets into care homes where fatality rates are highest due to age and vulnerability. There just isn't enough places to go for step down care let alone such places with good protective measures to stop virus spreading.

Sequencing data shows that 75% of the virus circulating was a recent Spanish import. No doubt it was being spread in pubs, but the reason there were infected people in pubs to spread it was that they had caught it in Spain or were part of an outbreak caused by someone that caught it in Spain.

Pre-vaccine James' model bundles changes of mortality in with case ascertainment. That copes fine with the modest drop from first to second wave, but can't cope with the size of effect caused by a couple of months of the epidemic going one way in the young and the other way in the over 60s. I think the vaccine effect will actually be a bit sharper and a bit deeper than James' assumption, but that it'll cope even if he doesn't decide it needs tweaking

James' being a rather better modeller than the professional epidemiologists, he just stopped paying attention to the death data and accepted it as a necessary consequence of a simple model. The MRC model, which has the same virus model as James but splits out the demographics into 56 buckets, broke under the strain and they stopped publishing it for a couple of months because they couldn't get results they believed out of it. Others did really silly things like take it as proof that the virus had got a lot less deadly, or was being transmitted a lot less than it actually was or the false positive rate was hugely greater than it actually is and got what would happen in the autumn spectacularly wrong. They also gave Boris the ammunition with which to get it spectacularly wrong too.

Not knowing about the ages is actually a strength of James' model. Splitting the data into demographic buckets multiplies the parameters by N^2, while multiplying the data available by N and increasing the noise level in the data. The overfitting to which MRC is prone is a consequence of having three thousand times as many parameters to fit as James does.

James did a blog on how much his R and the SAGE R diverged over the summer,
and I reckon its a decently close fit for James picking up the four-fold increase in circulating virus due to Spanish imports that SAGE's modellers missed. Back in September I thought it was Eat Out to Help Out, but that looks marginal now that sequencing data shows the effect of travel was vastly greater than I realised then.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 22, 2021, 02:43:29 PM »
SARS-CoV-2 Escape In Vitro from a Highly Neutralizing COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma

Three mutations allowed SARS-CoV-2 to evade the polyclonal antibody response of a highly neutralizing COVID-19 convalescent plasma.


To investigate the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in the immune population, we co-incubated authentic virus with a highly neutralizing plasma from a COVID-19 convalescent patient. The plasma fully neutralized the virus for 7 passages, but after 45 days, the deletion of F140 in the spike N-terminal domain (NTD) N3 loop led to partial breakthrough. At day 73, an E484K substitution in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) occurred, followed at day 80 by an insertion in the NTD N5 loop containing a new glycan sequon, which generated a variant completely resistant to plasma neutralization. Computational modeling predicts that the deletion and insertion in loops N3 and N5 prevent binding of neutralizing antibodies.

The recent emergence in the United Kingdom and South Africa of natural variants with similar changes suggests that SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to escape an effective immune response and that vaccines and antibodies able to control emerging variants should be developed.

Thanks for posting this, Vox.  The findings are important and disturbing, but not surprising.  After repeated passage in cell culture, with incubation with highly-potent immune serum, the virus acquires resistance to the antibodies present.   The acquired mutations confer resistance to some but not all sera from other recovered individuals.

Study of the acquired mutations might give us an early look at mutations that may develop in the wild.  This could give a heard start on developing the next generation of mRNA vaccines, which would probably be multi-valent, to cover more mutant strains as well as the original.

We should note that this is very much "gain of function" research.  Dangerous?  Quite possibly, if the mutant strain escapes the lab.  Worth taking the risk?  I'm inclined to think so, assuming solid lab containment protocols.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 20, 2021, 02:55:01 PM »
Vaccination rate has slowed sharply from 100-150k per day to less than 50k per day
I stand corrected, above are the numbers for first shot, most of the immediate activity is now second shot of the the first eligible wave. This chart gives the full picture of vaccinations, with the lighter color showing the second shots.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 17, 2021, 09:14:40 PM »
Epidemiology of post-COVID syndrome following hospitalisation with coronavirus: a retrospective cohort study

The study looks at what happened to everyone admitted to hospital during the first wave in England, and compares outcomes for about 5 months afterwards with a matched cohort. There is quite significant long term health damage associated with having been in hospital for COVID.

766 (95% confidence interval: 753 to 779) readmissions and 320 (312 to 328) deaths per 1,000 person-years were observed in COVID-19 cases, 3.5 (3.4 to 3.6) and 7.7 (7.2 to 8.3) times greater, respectively, than in controls.

Of 47,780 individuals in hospital with COVID-19 over the study period, 29.4% were re-admitted and 12.3% died following discharge

Thats about 5000 excess deaths.

Respiratory disease was diagnosed in 14,140 individuals (29.6%) following discharge, with 6,085 of these being new-onset cases; the resulting event rates of 770 (758 to 783) and 539 (525 to 553) per 1,000 person-years, respectively, were 6.0 (5.7 to 6.2) and 27.3 (24.0 to 31.2) times greater than those in controls.

More likely to have an existing respiratory problem recur, and much more likely to acquire a new one.

Those with COVID-19 received post-discharge diagnoses of MACE, CLD, CKD and diabetes 3.0 (2.7 to 3.2), 2.8 (2.0 to 4.0), 1.9 (1.7 to 2.1) and 1.5 (1.4 to 1.6) times more frequently, respectively, than in the matched control group.

More likely to suffer from heart, liver, kidney problems as well as acquire diabetes. It doesn't mess up the other organs at the same rate as the lungs, but it messes them up.

Individuals requiring ICU admission experienced greater rates of post-discharge respiratory disease and diabetes than those not in ICU, but the opposite was true for rates of death, readmission and MACE.

Its not just those that were in ICU having all the problems afterwards.

Rates of all post-discharge adverse events were greater in individuals with COVID-19 aged ≥ 70 years than <70 years, while rates of all events other than diabetes were greater in the White ethnic group than the Non-White group (Supplementary Table 4). However, the rate ratio of adverse events (contrasting COVID-19 cases and matched controls) was greater in individuals aged <70 years than ≥ 70 years for all event types (Figure 3), with the biggest differences in rate ratios being observed for death (14.1 [11.0 to 18.3] for <70 years versus 7.7 [7.1 to 8.3] for ≥ 70 years) and respiratory disease (10.5 [9.7 to 11.4] for <70 years versus 4.6 [4.3 to 4.8] for ≥ 70 years).

In absolute terms, long covid hit the older patients harder, but in relative terms, its the younger ones who have the most elevated risk.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 16, 2021, 12:44:20 PM »
In February 2020, I was still a lurker, and I was reading this thread with great interest. Thanks to many of you, I think in particular (but there are many more) of Tom_Mazanec, Vox_Mundi, Archimid and Sam who fought hard to make us understand the gravity of the situation and propose solutions. Thanks to your work I was able to prepare very early. Being a very enthusiastic person, I equipped myself without measure, which then allowed me to distribute many liters of hydroalcoholic gel, nitril or latex gloves, masks, wipes and many cleaning products effective against viruses to two doctors in my city, to a group of liberal nurses working in the city, to nurses working in hospitals, to neighbors, to delivery men and of course to my family. And I am sure that many ASIF members and lurkers have done the same thanks to you my friends.

I don't know where all these virus mutations will lead us but I just wanted to thank you for all of this. I don't know if it was very effective, but the look on the faces of the people to whom I distributed all this material in February and March 2020 when they had nothing, well it was worth it.

One last little message: Sam we miss you a lot and we still need your advice, come back soon!

PS: Again a last little detail, to those who proposed bourbon and hot whisky with honey and orange, I regret to tell you that it is not very effective against covid, but if you add coffee and whipped cream it becomes very good.  ;D

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 14, 2021, 06:35:25 PM »
Dear Tom,
You wrote:
'be cause & gerontocrat:
I notice that the most cogent arguments you can make against my linked article are, basically, to foam at the mouth
While it is true that you have engendered a certain amount of gnashing of teeth and foaming at mouths, the reasons do not include acknowledgement and frustration by the devastating strength of your argument.
Indeed, quite the opposite.
I draw to your attention the concept of Logical Fallacies, linked here:
In the interests of saving time, I direct you to the fallacy of 'False Equivalence:

Equating BLM protests against extra judicial killings of an identified group with a mass insurrection based on anger against a legal election is an example of a false equivalency.

It is an easy trap to fall into, one that you are regularly ensnared by, but the moderators of this forum have wisely requested we do not take it up with you.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 13, 2021, 05:25:21 PM »
UK deaths today 1,564.
To put that in perspective, an equivalent figure for the USA based on population would be around 7,500.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 12, 2021, 10:13:14 PM »
You should follow the link and watch the video to see yet another reason for why perhaps the USA should be put on suicide watch.

Covid-19: Alabama crowds ignore coronavirus to celebrate championship

Fans of the University of Alabama football team gathered in the streets of Tuscaloosa in Alabama, ignoring social distancing. They were celebrating the university's third national championship in the past six years.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 12, 2021, 10:01:35 PM »
Modelling conformational state dynamics and its role on infection for SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein variants
Rafael Najmanovich (one of the paper's authors):
N501Y that we predicted to be more infective, could be one mutation away from N501W that we predict to be even more infective.
The mutation that favours the open state the most in our calculations is N501W... The mutation N501W is predicted to have the largest effect in augmenting the occupancy of the open state relative to the wild type. This mutation is associated with stronger binding to ACE2 (Δlog10(KD,app)=0.11) relative to the wild type Spike (but lower than N501Y). Furthermore, N501W appears to have increased expression relative to the wild type with a Δlog(MFI) of 0.1 compared to decrease in relative expression of -0.14 for N501Y. The authors note that changes in expression correlate with folding stability. However, even with a Δlog(MFI) of -0.14, N501Y is viable and spreading. Therefore, N501W might be even more stable and infective

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 12, 2021, 08:25:46 PM »
"can cause certain hysteria"

Nobody needs your snobby patronizing, we can handle ourselves. Grow up, and stop dragging discussion off-topic.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 12, 2021, 07:57:05 PM »
Palmer, don't forget you attacked first, and you got a response accordingly. Regardless, you are only getting more emo and off-topic. It sounds like you need to relax, maybe some alcohol or something. Then try to see if you can discuss the topic without attacking others.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 10, 2021, 09:31:11 PM »
What we need is a "get off my plane" moment

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 10, 2021, 02:03:22 PM »
Confirmed Reinfection with B.1.1.7
  • Guy has antibodies from mild infection 8 months ago.
  • Recent sera test shows antibodies were maintained
  • Guy gets reinfected, this time with new variant, B117
  • Much more severe disease 2nd time
"In this case the initial illness was mild, and the reinfection with the new variant was critical/life-threatening ...Rapid work on learning about immune, vaccine and diagnostic escape is needed, as are data on severity of illness caused by VOC- 202012/01."
  • Patient: 78 year old man (hemodialysis patient), positive PCR on 02/04/20. (Mild illness, fever only, uneventful recovery).
  • Initial Ct ~26.
  • Routinely screened between 05/05/20 - 01/12/20, all negative (22 tests).
  • IgG/IgM detectable on 6 occasions between 04/06/20 - 13/11/20 with no evidence of antibody waning.
  • 14/12/20 positive PCR (Ct ~28)
  • Patient presented with 3 day history of shortness of breath. Brought in by ambulance, severe hypoxia leading to intubation.
  • Whole genome sequencing of April/December samples confirms reinfection.

Historical snowfall in the center of Spain. Madrid paralyzed, airport closed.

Weatherman says it will keep going on until tomorrow, probably the most intense snow storm here since 1960’s. I indeed have not seen anything like this in Madrid before. People can use the skis in the street!! In fact it is the only practical transport way right now.

Below a guy on a sled pulled by dogs, quite the view in Madrid, from a video posted on Twitter:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 03, 2021, 07:15:30 PM »
SARS-CoV-2 Escape in Vitro from a Highly Neutralizing COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma
Summary: Three mutations allowed SARS-CoV-2 to evade the polyclonal antibody response of a highly neutralizing COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
  In conclusion, we have shown that the authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus, if constantly pressured, has the ability to escape even a potent polyclonal serum targeting multiple neutralizing epitopes. These results are remarkable because while escape mutants can be easily isolated when viruses are incubated with single monoclonal antibodies, usually a combination of two mAbs is sufficient to eliminate the evolution of escape variants and because SARS-CoV-2 shows a very low estimated evolutionary rate of mutation as this virus encodes a proofreading exoribonuclease machinery.

  The recent isolation of SARS-CoV-2 variants in the United Kingdom and South Africa with deletions in or near the NTD loops shows that what we describe here can occur in the human population. The ability of the virus to adapt to the host immune system was also observed in clinical settings where an immunocompromised COVID-19 patient, after 154 days of infection, presented different variants of the virus including the E484K substitution.

  Therefore, we should be prepared to deal with virus variants that may be selected by the immunity acquired from infection or vaccination.[/quote]

Ultimately, a society does need to address the question as to what lengths they should take to protect their most vulnerable. When should a nation decide that the cost to do so outweighs the rights of the individuals who impose this cost on a nation.

This is, in fact, one of the discussions we are having on this thread.

I think you paint her too positively.  She was actually much worse.

My point was not to paint Margaret Sanger in a favorable or unfavorable light. The point of my comment was that this discussion of sacrificing individuals for the sake of society (in this case the weak, old and infirm to protect the economy) is not new. I thought to provide some historical context and make clear this is the conversation we are having on this thread.

This type of inquiry raises difficult questions. What aspects of society are so sacrosanct as to require the sacrifice of categories of individuals? Is it just the economy? And who decides when the costs of protecting citizens are excessive? Is it the Wall Street types who base it on the value of their portfolio or is it based on a more concrete sense of the economy, it's productive capacity, the ability to satisfy the needs of a nation's residents.  And if the economy deserves protection so that it is able to provide for the needs and wants of a nation's residents, how do we decide that one group's need to protect their portfolio, disregarding the impact on the vulnerable, outweighs another group's need to be protected from a deadly pandemic, disregarding the damage done to investments.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: December 31, 2020, 06:40:57 PM »
That's very worrying to hear that many enough morons of such kind are present here.

I recommend to use a distinct name that makes it harder to find out for the mob to know who's on the other end. I was not always happy with his moderation but any kind of violence, be it physical or mental is unacceptable and it would perhaps be really good to know who is who.

I'm sure @bk is lurking here as well hence "gute Besserung" and stay in control, nobody and nothing is worth it to lose one's peace of mind.

Happy New Year @all

I wish you that “Corona” becomes a beer again in the new year,

that when you meet again you can take a step forward instead of a step back,

that "positive" will again be something exclusively positive,

that "tests" take place again mainly in the education system,

that "isolate" again mainly applies to buildings and power cables,

that you can celebrate Carnival again with a "mask",

and that "Donald" remains a lame "Duck" forever!


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