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About Jason

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  • Birthday November 22

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    Toronto, Canada

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  1. Enough already. Do you still not understand that the point was and is that a blanket prediction about the behaviour of COVID in its first year was not possible? The single example of the southern United States this past summer is enough to demonstrate that point, regardless of the reason.
  2. @AndyK Having reviewed the posts from that time in March, I feel quite confident you were not threadbanned for suggesting that the virus would eventually be seasonal, which was indeed obvious to a great many people. You were threadbanned for implying, intentional or otherwise, that the virus would necessarily disappear during the summer of 2020 (which it did not, particularly as evidenced by the "second wave" that occurred in the southern United States). There were numerous posts that attempted to clarify that nuance to you before you were threadbanned. I very much doubt anyone else thinks some great injustice was committed, but if anyone else would like to see for themselves, pages 122-123 of the thread should suffice.
  3. NO. I cannot possibly over-emphasize how dangerous of an idea this is. Yes, like COVID, chicken pox causes mild illness in childhood and more severe illness in adulthood. The similarities end there. There are three very, very important differences between chicken pox and COVID. First, chicken pox is a far less dangerous disease than COVID, even among adults with no prior exposure, who have a fatality rate of about 0.03%, more than 10-fold lower the fatality rate of COVID in adults. Secondly, a vast majority of adults were already immune to chicken pox, greatly reducing any risk of spreading the disease more widely to begin with. Finally, a vaccine for chicken pox didn't exist until the mid 1990s, and until then the best way to prevent severe illness as an adult was to ensure you were infected as a child. A vaccine for COVID exists, and children will receive it long before they grow old enough to be affected by more severe disease. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by deliberate infection via a "covid party", and the risk of a child spreading it to their older family members, causing severe illness and even death, is very, very real, which was not the case for chicken pox.
  4. I presume he used the same definitions of "severe" that were used in the published peer-reviewed articles of the vaccine data, and basically the same definition used by the FDA. For Pfizer: For Moderna: These two definitions aren't actually different, the Moderna definition explicitly defines the clinical signs that are indicative of systemic illness, respiratory failure, and shock rather than assuming the reader's familiarity or willingness to look it up in the supplementary material. The real problem is that severe cases weren't common enough that you can really assign any statistical certainly to the degree that they were prevented. For the Moderna vaccine, the placebo group had 30 severe cases and there were none in the vaccinated group. For the Pfizer vaccine, the placebo group had 10 severe cases, and there was one in the vaccinated group. This does NOT mean that the Pfizer vaccine is less effective against preventing severe COVID - that one case could be just very bad luck. Generally speaking, vaccines reduce the severity of illness even when they fail to prevent it completely, and given the high general efficacy of both vaccines it's reasonable to expect they will both make severe illness very rare.
  5. I first saw this about a week ago, and basically there's nothing inconsistent with these results from the trial data. Most of the 17% who got infected did so within two weeks of receiving the vaccine. If I recall correctly only about a quarter of the observed infections occurred after the 12 day window of the first dose. The Pfizer/Moderna vaccines are about as effective as any vaccine can be, at 95% efficacy. It's worth noting the vaccine is very nearly 100% effective against preventing severe COVID. From the NYT article linked above:
  6. I did. I think there's still an investigation as to whether there could be some other trigger for his case. Acute ITP can follow viral infections (and this has been observed with COVID-19) so it's probable than any link following vaccinations (presuming it exists) may not be related to the specific nature of the vaccine but rather the immune activation caused by the vaccine.
  7. I can assure you that anyone choosing (i.e. non-medical reason) to not get a vaccine for COVID, or diseases with similar or greater risk of severe illness, also has no clue what medical procedures actually do or mean. The evidence for the safety and efficacy of vaccines is overwhelming. The rate of severe side effects (requiring hospitalization) is less than 1 in 50,000 for the most "reactogenic" vaccines and for others closer to 1 in 2 million. Rates of side effects causing death or permanent injury are orders of magnitude lower, so low they are impossible to accurately measure even in populations with tens of millions of people vaccinated. The diseases that vaccines prevent by comparison often have death rates exceeding 1 in 1,000 and cause severe illness requiring hospitalization at rates exceeding 1 in 100. (COVID is obviously well above this bar.) The vaccine is not 100% effective, no vaccine is. There are also going to be people who can't take the vaccine for medical reasons, either because of known or suspected allergies, and/or because they would derive no benefit (various immune system related illnesses). That's why herd immunity is so important. Every person who chooses not to get vaccinated (because of their profound ignorance) makes it harder to achieve herd immunity, and yes, potentially does present a risk to the safety of others.
  8. Sorry, I was crazy busy in November and I tabled this for future reply, and then I forgot. Probably still relevant to reply - I think it's much more probable that immunity to COVID-19 will be more like SARS than the common cold. Aside from the data cited above, the COVID-19 coronavirus is much more closely related to the SARS coronavirus than to those coronaviruses causing colds. Also, part of the weak immunity to those viruses is probably related to the fact that they don't trigger much of an immune response, since they cause milder illness. (The other possibility is that they cause mild illness precisely because adults to retain cell-mediated immunity even with antibodies dropping off, which would also be good news.) The main pitfall related to the data above is that ultimately we're still relying on extrapolation to guess at what immunity might look several years from now. But the shorter-term data is consistent with enduring immunity for most people in the case of natural infection. Worth mentioning that it's possible that some of the vaccines, especially those designed with a two-dose regimen, will actually result in better immunity than natural infection.
  9. It's hard to imagine (but not impossible of course) that it could circulate for that long undetected without exploding. The better explanation is probably that the the antibodies detected are to other coronaviruses, and happened to be cross-reactive with SARS-CoV-2. They didn't do a control against older blood samples that would have much more conclusively demonstrated whether or not cross-reactivity was a problem for their assay. (They did cite another paper that found the SARS-CoV-2 RBD was highly specific, but it's worth noting that they used their own in house immunoassay, so it's possible that something different could have caused greater cross-reactivity.)
  10. Yes, the new guidelines for restrictions are basically waving the white flag while trying to pretend otherwise. The choice of thresholds for lockdown restrictions are basically a joke, they're 4x higher than what the province's own panel of experts recommended.
  11. The bulk of evidence indicates that true re-infections are rare and that most people develop at least short-term immunity. I don't think news of these re-infections is inherently bad news for the effectiveness of a vaccine. Of course, the short incubation time of the virus and moderate mutation rate are strongly suggestive that any vaccine won't offer permanent protection, but that was already known. That's not actually herd immunity. Herd immunity is when chains of transmission come to a halt altogether because of a lack of susceptible individuals. The mildness of modern OC43 is also almost certainly not a result of natural selection on humans. It's much more likely because once transmission in human populations slows because of a large number of immune individuals, milder strains of the virus can propagate more effectively, and they outcompete more severe strains. Not quite SOP. It's more common to rely on natural infection, exceptions are mild diseases, ones for which there is an effective treatment, or when comparing a new vaccine to an older one known to be effective. I think COVID-19 is in a bit of a gray zone for the first two qualifications at this point. (Regardless, it's understandable why a human challenge trial is being pursued, and they're taking precautions and seeking informed consent etc.)
  12. So. Over in other thread, someone predicted Giuliani is toast. Call me a cynic but I don't think so? Like, maybe he'll be toast after the election (god willing), but I can't see Trump dumping him over this. That said, definitely not going to help his credibility with regards to the Biden stuff. Not that he had much to begin with of course.
  13. To expand on this point, I think it's almost certainly not how the virus is effected by the weather that drives the apparent seasonality, but rather how the virus shapes human behaviour. It's worth noting that the US actually had a big spike in transmission in the hottest part summer in the southeast where people tend to flee the heat by going indoors to air-conditioned environments. At that same time, in the northern US where people tend to go outside in the summer after hibernating in the winter, the virus waned. Now that the weather is getting lousy in the north but it's nice and comfortable outside in the south, the pattern is reversing. Anything that causes people to spend more time indoors and with less ventilation (closed windows etc.) is going to increase transmission, and vice versa.
  14. It's a good article, one I had actually bookmarked already before you tagged me here. It's consistent with articles I've read elsewhere, and I've also previously seen some of the cited sources. Undoubtedly, a huge part of Japan's success in controlling COVID-19 has been in nearly eliminating the superspreader events that are responsible for ~80% or more of the spread. So in theory, just by avoiding superspreader events you can keep R around or below 1. It's worth noting that Japan has neither had a lockdown (the state of emergency was voluntary and did not involve widespread business closure) nor does it have the thorough testing/tracing/isolation programs implemented by its East Asian neighbours. There's a part of the article I want to draw attention to, especially with regard to movie theatres: Many people together is certainly a necessary condition for superspreading (by definition), and an indoor setting and not wearing masks are almost certainly necessary conditions as well. To my knowledge, there are no counterexamples - superspreader events that have occurred either outdoors, or indoors with full mask compliance. The lack of superspreader events in indoor environments with full mask compliance has actually been quite notable. A definition for "prolonged contact" is hard to pin down, but basically transmissions don't occur if you've had less that 10-15 minutes contact, and after that the longer the contact, the higher the risk of transmission. "Many people indoors not wearing masks with prolonged contact" is may also be sufficient for a super-spreader event, but I strongly suspect another important factor is vocalization. Another common feature of the documented superspreader events is that they involve talking and/or singing. This isn't surprising; it's known that talking releases about ten times as many respiratory droplets compared to breathing. Movie theatres certainly meet the conditions of "many people indoors with prolonged contact". In theory, they need not meet the condition of "not wearing masks", if a mask-wearing policy were enforced. Of course, concessions would need to be banned, and that combined with reduced capacity might mean theatres wouldn't be profitable. There's definitely variation in expert opinion about how risky theatres are, which makes sense because you can reasonably give the aforementioned factors different weighting, and also make different assumptions about mask compliance, concessions, ventilation etc. The ultimate authority in my view is empirical evidence, but of course the problem there is that we may not have any applicable evidence to review. Taiwan has effectively eliminated the virus, and SK, China, and Vietnam very nearly so. Japan hasn't eliminated the virus, but has an extraordinarily high degree of mask compliance, so the lack of superspreader events in movie theatres there may not mean anything for us. Canada and other non-US Western countries had a period where movie attendance was decent (Tenet), but there isn't much in the way of publicly available data for contact tracing. The public health authorities here are telling us that half of traced cases are coming from bars and restaurants, but that's about it - they don't tell us which establishments, nor about the rest of traced cases. I do know that cinemas have been added to the list of businesses that are being closed back down in response to our cases rising, but I don't know if that's based on perceived risk or on probable transmissions we're not being told about. I guess in conclusion what it comes down to is that even though movie theatres aren't a main driver of superspreader events - that'd be social gatherings, bars, and indoor dining - they're probably going to be a casualty of the insufficient number of citizens in (at least most) Western countries willing to commit to wearing masks indoors, and consequently to sacrifice indoor activites that conflict with mask wearing.
  15. My only other idea is to save the video as an mp4, then upload to youtube or something.
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