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About Jason

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  • Birthday November 22

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  1. The majority (even vast majority) of these "re-infections" as @The Panda mentioned, are from false negatives before completely recovery, or detections of remaining viral DNA even after recovery has occurred. The tests detect viral DNA, not live virus. The vast majorty of patients are expected to have at least short-term immunity. Generally, immunity to a disease will actually be strongest immediately after infection. Catching a virus again usually requires that the virus has mutated enough to avoid detection, with more time elapsing making this more likely), or otherwise for antibody counts to fall enough that they no longer provide full protection. For viruses that don't mutate quickly, that's usually on the order of decades. This is so very off-topic, but I feel obliged to correct the record. It was reported in all the major newspapers. It was even right near the top on the Toronto Star webpage and that's the newspaper that gets called the "Red Star". It obviously didn't stay prominent there or elsewhere, because the Liberals relented, and there's a lot going on right now. Also, the Liberals are not a far-left party. They're a mostly status-quo party with some progressive leanings. They're considered to be quite close to the political centre among Western political parties. Maybe that's far left of where you are, but that's not usually how the term is used. I hope you would agree that a Communist calling the Liberals far-right would be ridiculous.
  2. Unlike some of the other reports that have come out, this has the advantage of coming from an actual clinical trial with a reasonable sample size. Also, it actually makes sense from a biochemistry standpoint. (Favipiravir is an inhibitor of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases, an enzyme that both flu viruses and coronaviruses have that is essential to their reproduction. Humans do not have such an enzyme, which makes it a good target.)
  3. @Killimano3 Hi, another Canadian! Which province are you in btw? If the restrictions are working (and they really ought to be), new transmissions will decline immediately. The median incubation time is 5 days, and 97.5% of people develop symptoms within 11.5 days. So new symptomatic infections should then should start to decline within a week. However, the decrease in the daily count of new confirmed cases will take longer, because many cases are only confirmed a few days after the test is administered, which itself is usually administed at least a day after symptoms begin. Also, testing capacity has been increasing over time, so if a higher proportion of cases are being discovered, that will obscure a slowdown. Very ballpark guess, I would expect at least another week before we see a decline in new cases. Probably closer to two.
  4. You only get a "damped oscillating sine wave" if you relax the restrictions too far. Push down cases with very strong restrictions, then relax them so that R (the number of new infections per case) is kept below 1. Since the R0 of the virus is about ~2-2.5, maintenance restrictions that reduce transmission by 60% will be enough to prevent cases from rising again. It's important to note that with increasing testing capacity, we will be able to find and selectively isolate more cases, allowing the rest of us to have more freedom while still keeping R below 1. Have a friend that works at a Staples in NY. Apparently they've persuaded authorities they have an essential function as a source of supplies for home offices. Honestly, transmission from any kind of social gathering is going to be way higher than from shopping at a Staples. That's the real target of a lockdown, people who insist on meeting up with friends to socialize (that's what's so bad about conferences, restaurants etc. - the social interaction). Probability of transmission decreases with proximity but increases with time, and ultimately social gatherings usually involve people staying closer together for longer than what you would see at a Staples. I'm also told that they have red tape down on the floor in 6 foot intervals so that people keep that distance while lining up. Most people realize what it's for, but for the rest they comply after being told.
  5. Reducing spread within the community is far more important than travel restrictions. Paper after paper in academic journals has shown this. Obviously there's a synergistic effect, but it would have been far better if the US government (and other Western governments) had immediately warned the public instead of playing down the threat, and aggressively moved to prepare testing kits and approve other facilities to run tests, so that cases could be identified and isolated. The situation would not be far worse without the travel ban because the total cases that could have come from China is dwarfed by the amount of community spread that has occured. That's how exponential growth works. I don't have time to dig up a dozen academic sources right now, but here's an example of a paper comparing travel restrictions to reducing community spread: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/03/05/science.aba9757 For a more digestible model to show why distancing/isolation works better than quarantine: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/
  6. Trump is so bad he makes me grateful for Doug Ford. (that's the Premier of Ontario, brother of infamous crackhead Mayor Rob Ford, for anyone who might be wondering)
  7. The probable reason why the antibodies in question (to the existing human coronaviruses) do not offer lasting immunity is because the viruses don't present a surface ("epitope") that is easily targeted by antibodies. ("Maybe the antibodies are not protective, and that is why, even though they are present, they don't work very well") This is the case for HIV, which has the double problem of both being rapidly mutating, and also presents epitopes that don't generate broadly protective antibodies. However, all antibodies decline over time in the body over time, these antibodies do not decline any faster. They are just less protective to begin with. For highly protective antibodies, even tiny amounts are effective. It would be a concern if the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) does not present an epitope capable of broadly protective immunity. I don't think it can be assumed that will be the case for this virus based on others in the family. Viruses in the same family share some general features in common but they can present completely different epitopes. The literature indicates that there are some promising vaccine targets. (https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/12/3/254, https://www.cell.com/cell-host-microbe/pdf/S1931-3128(20)30166-9.pdf) Coronaviruses are generally not slow mutating. I'm sorry, but I'm much more persuaded by the bulk of the scientific literature on this than I am by the one statement you've presented, without a link to peer-reviewed literature, for one unspecified virus in the family. ("common cold" doesn't tell me which of the four human coronaviruses is being referred to) More importantly, research has already been done on the mutation rate on SARS-CoV, the very close relative of the novel coronavirus. (Hence the name of SARS-CoV-2). It has a moderate mutation rate for an RNA virus (which generally mutate quickly, DNA viruses mutate very slowly), which combined with a relatively large genome is enough for rapid mutation to be a problem. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3185738/ (mutation rate for SARS-related coronaviruses, which includes the novel coronavirus) Hint: that's not very slow. Influenza A mutates at about 2.3 x 10^-3 per year, which is roughly in the middle of that range. https://bmcevolbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2148-4-21 (mutation rate for SARS-CoV, very close relative to the novel coronavirus) Again, not very slow. Table 3 lists other viruses for comparison. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC321409/ (another source for mutation rate for SARS-CoV) Again, not very slow. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC548474/ (mutation rate for one of the human coronaviruses) Definitely not as rapid as Influenza A, but not slow either.
  8. It's not because the human body doesn't hold onto its antibodies to coronaviruses. It's because coronaviruses mutate rapidly, so that when you get re-infected several months or years later, the virus that re-infects you is not the same virus as the one that originally infected you, causing the antibody to only be a partial match. The flu virus is another such virus, this is why a new flu shot is required every year. This is therefore likely to be the case for the coronavirus as well. The good news is that even partial immunity is better than no immunity. This is the main reason why the 1918 flu and other new flu strains eventually fade away in following flu seasons. Even when re-infected (by a mutated strain) of the COVID-19 virus, most people would probably experience a milder disease. This would likewise be the case for vaccinated individuals. Vaccines are generally very effective (>90%) for viruses that do not mutate quickly. (Smallpox, polio, measles, rubella, hepatitis B, etc.)
  9. A "lockdown" here won't stop you from travelling from your residence to somewhere else. I imagine public transit won't be shut down either, at least not completely, since some people rely on transit for essential travel. Given what I know about your residence, probably sooner is better for other reasons not related to travel restrictions.
  10. The exact origin of the 1918 flu is speculative, in part because it happened prior to genetic sequencing being available to definitively trace it. But yes, the name was acquired from it first being widely reported in Spain, particularly when King Alfonso XIII got sick with it. Apparently in Spain, the 1918 flu was called the "French flu".
  11. Yes, that's a fair point. Although they weren't caught unprepared for that one either. To be honest, how bad the Western response has generally been ought to be the real surprise. Just a few years ago (2015) the CDC and FDA were responding very decisively to novel epidemics. I don't think highly of Trump and I know he fired a number of key people involved in pandemic response, but it took my by surprise just how delayed the US government response was. I don't know as much about European politics. Perhaps the West has collectively been too reliant on the CDC to help get ahead of the curve on epidemics.
  12. Notably, Korea actually didn't have to deal with SARS to a meaningful extent (3 cases), despite their proximity to China. I don't think prior experience with SARS is the most defining feature of the countries whose governments acted quickly and in accordance with expert advice.
  13. Oh for fuck's sake. The mods asked us not to call this the "Chinese virus" or "wet market virus", then followed by don't "shame/accuse/point fingers and any one country/race". In context, I think it's clear that @AndyLL was warning against posts with xenophobic undertones, rather than a blanket disallowal of criticisms of the Chinese government response. He, or the mods in general, didn't say we couldn't criticize the Chinese government at all. Stop willfully pretending the two are the same thing. Y'all who are defending the use of "Chinese virus" are embarassing yourselves.
  14. It'd be unconstitutional to completely deny them entry. They could be detained on Canadian soil, if returning by land. (Air is a different matter, they can be prevented from boarding a plane heading to Canada.) I suspect that the 4 million figure is assuming the healthcare system gets overwhelmed and consequently the case-fatality rate moves upwards. An oft-cited Imperal College London paper estimates a figure of 2.2 million, but also mentions "not accounting for the potential negative effects of health systems being overwhelmed on mortality". The confirmed-case fatality rate of the coronavirus is about 4% at this time. Of course, that's not an exact comparison with the fatality rate for the flu, since the 0.1% fatality rate there is calculated using a population-level estimate of total cases from routine surveillance. The infection-fatality rate is a more exact comparison, and is estimated to be ~0.9% in the papers I cited in the recommended post that is below the post in question. That said, the 0.9% is calculated from conditions where medical interventions were available - if the healthcare system were to become overwhelmed, the fatality rate would go up and it's not known by how much. (afaik) I think the post got recommended because there were a few too many posters that morning suggesting that COVID was comparable to seasonal flu. To be honest if we're going to quibble about "facts", the greater issue is the statement it "will" kill 30-40 times more people, it should say it "would, if not mitigated". (If we're really going to quibble, the number is probably more like ~30x-60x in the unmitigated scenario.) The post was recommended by @Cap not DeeCee - with the phrase "this is not the flu, stop calling it the flu". My recommended post below that one, which I think clarifies the situation, is the one that was posted by Cap as "Flu v Covid-19 Facts".
  15. Regardless of what lies they told their own people, there's no evidence whatsoever the data they've reported to the World Health Organization is deliberately misleading, and plenty of evidence to the contrary, which I've already mentioned here. When epidemiologists publishing in peer-reviewed journals show the data is consistent with what appears elsewhere, that's what I care about. Not random journalists or whoever in publications like the Epoch Times. And yes, I know the Chinese testing in Wuhan wasn't thorough enough, especially earlier on. But China never pretended otherwise to the WHO. In fact, they were explicit that they had to rely on clinical diagnosis. That said, the countries whose data we should focus on are the ones that have succeeded at containment using methods that are possible in Western countries - Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong.
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