Coronavirus

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Hokahey
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Re: Coronavirus

#881 Post by Hokahey » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:18 pm

Pandemonium wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:00 pm
My wife had to get a Covid test 4 times so far in the past month. She's having stomach problems again and has to go through a bunch of procedures that include upper/lower GI, CTs etc. So every time she has a procedure appt, she has to get a Covid test about 3 days prior. She does it at the Hospital test site which is done by having people stay in their cars in a long, slow moving line that snakes around the parking lot. The latest was this past Monday and because thousands of idiots think if they get a test, they're good to travel and get together with family. So the Hospital Covid test line was about 6 hours long instead of the usual 2 hour wait.
There's also that whole surging virus thing causing longer lines.

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Re: Coronavirus

#882 Post by Pandemonium » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:27 pm

Looks like most if not all SoCal counties including LA and Orange counties go into mandatory stay-at-home/lockdown order for 3 weeks as of Sunday night. One thing I didn't know previously, was that during this new order, Hotels have to shutter their businesses to all but "essential" customers. I don't know how they enforce that rule.

Then there's this - earlier this week, LA Mayor Garcetti closed down all in and outdoor dining, effectively shutting down this bar/restaraunt owner's outdoor dining set-up but somehow a large film shoot going on locally was permitted and able to set up a massive outdoor dining facility in the parking lot right next to her business the day she was laying off her employees and giving them their last paychecks.

Sherman Oaks restaurant owner shares her frustration over LA County dining ban in emotional video

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The owner of a Sherman Oaks restaurant expressed her anger and frustration over Los Angeles County's outdoor dining ban in a gut-wrenching video.

Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, posted a video on social media after she saw production tents and tables set up in a parking lot just a few feet from the outdoor dining area she's not allowed to use. People involved in the television production were seen dining under the tents.

"Everything I own is being taken away from me and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio," Marsden says in the video. They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive. My staff cannot survive," she also says.

Marsden has owned the restaurant for 10 years. She says she spent around $80,000 setting up an outdoor dining area and making changes to meet L.A. County's health requirements, but she's run out of loan money and can't afford to offer takeout, so for now, she's closing. Marsden says she went to the restaurant to pay her staff and was in shock when she saw the production tents.

"The day they come to get their last paycheck, you punch me in the face and say that this is dangerous. Right here is dangerous. But just walk over there and eat," Marsden told Eyewitness News.

Marsden and other small business owners are making signs, preparing to hold a protest at the home of L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Marsden says she hopes to reopen her business, but she is not sure how it will survive without financial assistance.


https://abc7.com/sherman-oaks-angela-ma ... l/8514601/

So you have state and local politicians coming up with utterly arbitrary, contradictory and random rules with little to no actual scientific data to back them. I mean, in LA they're closing down outdoor dining but it's ok to have church services (even indoor) and protests?!? Movie shoots with large gatherings to have meals served in tents are cool? Plus you have situations where these political fuckers ignore their own edicts and directly flaunt their own guidelines.

Contrast this with the populations of most UK/European countries who have a lot more faith in their politicians either blindly or because some actually are better at their jobs in this sort of crisis and inspire a bit more loyalty in what they say. Asian countries, that's a completely different mindset altogether, not to mention in places like China, human rights are routinely trampled upon to keep people in line. You live in fear of fucking with what the government wants you do do in China.

Here, most Americans have come to the realization that their politicians are toothless hypocrites, inept at their jobs and in it for themselves. It goes far beyond the hatred of Trump and his handling of the pandemic. What's to inspire trust with something like that "leading" you? Even many local police depts refuse to enforce these rules.

There's a lot of dumb people out there but even this BS is transparent enough that it adds up to a significant percentage of the public mindset saying "fuck this shit."

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Re: Coronavirus

#883 Post by Hokahey » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:59 pm

Most of the people I know bitching and complaining about government overreach are the same people out there without masks on, not social distancing, and all have inevitably contracted covid and inevitably spread it around prior to having symptoms.

I can't count how many times I've said "you are the reason these restrictions are happening."

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Re: Coronavirus

#884 Post by Pandemonium » Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:40 pm

Hokahey wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:59 pm
Most of the people I know bitching and complaining about government overreach are the same people out there without masks on, not social distancing, and all have inevitably contracted covid and inevitably spread it around prior to having symptoms.

I can't count how many times I've said "you are the reason these restrictions are happening."
I agree. I've been ragging on a lot of the bullshit I've seen with the political establishment lately but this whole thing has also really exposed the soft underbelly of shocking stupidity of a big portion of the American public. Normally, I'd say fuck it, thin the herd but a lot of the worst offenders are the ones unknowingly carrying Covid around and spreading it to people who for the most part *are* following simple, basic health guidelines, which let's face it, are never going to be 100% effective in avoiding exposure and infection.

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Re: Coronavirus

#885 Post by Hokahey » Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:16 pm

Pandemonium wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:40 pm
Hokahey wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:59 pm
Most of the people I know bitching and complaining about government overreach are the same people out there without masks on, not social distancing, and all have inevitably contracted covid and inevitably spread it around prior to having symptoms.

I can't count how many times I've said "you are the reason these restrictions are happening."
I agree. I've been ragging on a lot of the bullshit I've seen with the political establishment lately but this whole thing has also really exposed the soft underbelly of shocking stupidity of a big portion of the American public. Normally, I'd say fuck it, thin the herd but a lot of the worst offenders are the ones unknowingly carrying Covid around and spreading it to people who for the most part *are* following simple, basic health guidelines, which let's face it, are never going to be 100% effective in avoiding exposure and infection.
The incredible abundance of anti-science, anti-intellectual, pro-conspiracy mentalities that have been exposed by this pandemic has honestly shook me to my fucking core. Even people I generally respect as reasonably intelligent, kind, decent, people are out fucking around and then posting "guys I got it, it's real" shit on social media. And when we talk it's always "well we decided we deserved a night out and that's when we got it. I started feeling sick when I was at my brother's house...."

How many fucking people did you doom to their fucking deaths while you were asymptomatic and out of the house you selfish, stupid pricks?

Almost every friend and family group I have has contracted the God damn thing. And it wasn't a surprise with any of them.

I feel like I have just a couple of friends and family members left that I completely respect.

Between this and Trump-ism, all of the idiots have shown their true colors. And they're fucking EVERYWHERE!

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Re: Coronavirus

#886 Post by Hype » Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:10 am

The sheer number of people who have caught this thing and survived is starting to seem as concerning as the ongoing death toll. There's increasing evidence that survivors in many cases experience lingering symptoms and side effects, some of which are debilitating or life-altering. The worst one is something that was also seen after the 1918 flu epidemic, and persisted for over a decade -- in fact, it has been argued that it helped propel Nazi eugenics ideas into the mainstream.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101 ... 1.full.pdf
There is evidence that COVID-19 may cause long term health changes past acute symptoms, termed ‘long COVID’. Our analyses of detailed cognitive assessment and questionnaire data from tens thousands of datasets, collected in collaboration with BBC2 Horizon, align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having COVID-19. Individuals who recovered from suspected or confirmed COVID-19 perform worse on cognitive tests in multiple domains than would be expected given their detailed age and demographic profiles. This deficit scales with symptom severity and is evident amongst those without hospital treatment. These results should act as a clarion call for more detailed research investigating the basis of cognitive deficits in people who have survived SARS-COV-2 infection
We don't know how many survivors will suffer these effects. But the fact that there have been over 65 million recorded cases of infection means that the laws of big numbers are in play. In the United States, especially, the long term effects of this pandemic are going to be bad. The vaccines won't help with the effect on all the people who caught it and are unlucky to have suffered strokes, brain damage, organ damage, etc.

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Re: Coronavirus

#887 Post by kv » Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:03 pm

Pandemonium wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:27 pm
Looks like most if not all SoCal counties including LA and Orange counties go into mandatory stay-at-home/lockdown order for 3 weeks as of Sunday night. One thing I didn't know previously, was that during this new order, Hotels have to shutter their businesses to all but "essential" customers. I don't know how they enforce that rule.

Then there's this - earlier this week, LA Mayor Garcetti closed down all in and outdoor dining, effectively shutting down this bar/restaraunt owner's outdoor dining set-up but somehow a large film shoot going on locally was permitted and able to set up a massive outdoor dining facility in the parking lot right next to her business the day she was laying off her employees and giving them their last paychecks.

Sherman Oaks restaurant owner shares her frustration over LA County dining ban in emotional video

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The owner of a Sherman Oaks restaurant expressed her anger and frustration over Los Angeles County's outdoor dining ban in a gut-wrenching video.

Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, posted a video on social media after she saw production tents and tables set up in a parking lot just a few feet from the outdoor dining area she's not allowed to use. People involved in the television production were seen dining under the tents.

"Everything I own is being taken away from me and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio," Marsden says in the video. They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive. My staff cannot survive," she also says.

Marsden has owned the restaurant for 10 years. She says she spent around $80,000 setting up an outdoor dining area and making changes to meet L.A. County's health requirements, but she's run out of loan money and can't afford to offer takeout, so for now, she's closing. Marsden says she went to the restaurant to pay her staff and was in shock when she saw the production tents.

"The day they come to get their last paycheck, you punch me in the face and say that this is dangerous. Right here is dangerous. But just walk over there and eat," Marsden told Eyewitness News.

Marsden and other small business owners are making signs, preparing to hold a protest at the home of L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Marsden says she hopes to reopen her business, but she is not sure how it will survive without financial assistance.


https://abc7.com/sherman-oaks-angela-ma ... l/8514601/

So you have state and local politicians coming up with utterly arbitrary, contradictory and random rules with little to no actual scientific data to back them. I mean, in LA they're closing down outdoor dining but it's ok to have church services (even indoor) and protests?!? Movie shoots with large gatherings to have meals served in tents are cool? Plus you have situations where these political fuckers ignore their own edicts and directly flaunt their own guidelines.

Contrast this with the populations of most UK/European countries who have a lot more faith in their politicians either blindly or because some actually are better at their jobs in this sort of crisis and inspire a bit more loyalty in what they say. Asian countries, that's a completely different mindset altogether, not to mention in places like China, human rights are routinely trampled upon to keep people in line. You live in fear of fucking with what the government wants you do do in China.

Here, most Americans have come to the realization that their politicians are toothless hypocrites, inept at their jobs and in it for themselves. It goes far beyond the hatred of Trump and his handling of the pandemic. What's to inspire trust with something like that "leading" you? Even many local police depts refuse to enforce these rules.

There's a lot of dumb people out there but even this BS is transparent enough that it adds up to a significant percentage of the public mindset saying "fuck this shit."
Just saw some twitter newsmax thing with this lady...she is going on and on about a bunch of bullshit..."people go to target or walmart without masks but my restaurant can't" where the fuck in this state can I go where they aren't asking for a mask? I know all the big stores demand them...wtf is she on about? you can't eat food without taking the mask off...so ya...

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Re: Coronavirus

#888 Post by Artemis » Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:30 pm

Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine today! Hoping this is the begging of the end of COVID 19 or at the least, getting good control of it so that people can get back to work and businesses can start opening up again. We're far from being out of the clear, but at least some light at the end of the tunnel.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavir ... -1.5223477
'Historic moment': Health Canada approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

OTTAWA -- Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in this country, and the first doses could be administered as early as next week.

It’s a critical moment in Canada’s fight against the novel coronavirus, as it is the first vaccine to receive the green light.

The federal health agency has deemed the vaccine effective and safe for use on Canadians, which means that the team responsible for the rollout of vaccines can now begin the process of administering them.
“We expect vaccines to arrive maybe as early as Monday. It takes time to prepare the vaccine,” said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the top military general leading the rollout from the Public Health Agency of Canada, saying the first shots could be given by the middle of next week.

The approval comes alongside an update to the timeline for national mass vaccination effort. The plan is now to begin vaccinating the general population in April 2021, and have all Canadians immunized by the end of next year, with one of the several vaccines under consideration.

“This is a big deal,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon, thanking doctors, researchers and scientists who worked to approve the first COVID-19 vaccine. “We will see 30,000 vaccines begin to arrive next week, with many more on the horizon. But we are not through this yet, we've got a tough winter to get through and I know we're going to be able to get through it together.”

“Health Canada has determined that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine meets the Department's stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements for use in Canada,” said Health Canada in a statement, alongside a series of documents related to the decision, with the promise of more information about the clinical trial in the weeks ahead.

In a press conference, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma called the approval a “critical milestone in our fight against COVID-19 and in our efforts to provide every Canadian with access to a vaccine,” and said extensive work from a range of scientific experts went into issuing this approval.

“We concluded that there was strong evidence supporting that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks,” Sharma said. “We know that even the best vaccines will only be effective if people trust them, and ultimately agree to receive them. An important part of building trust is openness and transparency, ensuring that people have as much information as possible, to help them make informed decisions for themselves and for those they care for,” she said.

Pfizer trials concluded that the vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 in 95 per cent of patients, one week after the second dose is given. In terms of the long-range immunity the vaccine may provide, that is still under evaluation.

The vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, which means it teaches cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response, without using the live virus that causes COVID-19. Once that immune response is triggered, antibodies are produced, which protect people from being infected should the virus enter their system in the future.

In an interview with CTV National News Medical Correspondent Avis Favaro, Pfizer Canada’s Vaccines Medical Lead Dr. Jelena Vojicic said she is “very pleased” with Health Canada’s decision.

“This is certainly a historic moment for science, and for Canadians. And this is a result of a tremendous effort, starting with the international scientific community, and then going over the dedicated work of Pfizer and BioNTech employees, the clinical trial sites, the participants in the clinical trials, the volunteers,” Vojicic said.

“And of course, I need to acknowledge the tremendous work by Health Canada in quickly reviewing our file while maintaining really gold standards of review and keeping a vigilant eye on the data.”

The initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in Canada next week, and plans are already in place to have the shots ready to be administered at 14 delivery sites in major cities across Canada, within one or two days of shipments arriving.

SHIPPING DOSES 'IMMINENTLY'
Vojicic said that Pfizer is prepared to ship to Canada and she is expecting that shipment will happen “imminently.” She anticipates most vaccines destined for Canada will be coming out of Belgium.

Fortin said he expects doses to be shipped by the end of the week, likely Friday.

By the end of December, Canada is set to receive up to 249,000 doses of this vaccine, or enough to vaccinate 124,500 people, given it requires two 0.3 ml shots into the muscle of the arm, 21 days apart. In total, the federal government has purchased 20 million doses of the vaccine, and has option to buy 56 million more.

From there, Fortin is expecting a “constant flow” of doses to arrive -- up to four million Pfizer doses and possibly two million of the Moderna vaccine candidate which is next in line for approval, by the end of March 2021. Moderna’s candidate is now the most advanced in Canada's regulatory process, but there isn’t a date or estimate yet for when it may be approved. That vaccine also requires cold storage but not as cold as Pfizer, meaning the logistical rollout of Moderna doses is expected to be less challenging.

That means that by the end of March, Canada is planning to have three million Canadians—or eight per cent of the population—immunized. From April and June, between 15 and 19 million Canadians will be immunized, which equates to between 40 and 50 per cent of the population. Then, between September and December the plan is to see all 38 million Canadians vaccinated. These latest projections are based on anticipated delivery schedules and are dependent on regulatory approvals of additional vaccines.

Prioritized groups will be the first to receive the vaccine, given the limited quantities to begin with. Among the earliest to receive these shots will be staff and residents in long-term care and other congregate senior living facilities and health-care workers with high exposure risks. Each province is able to modify the national recommendations for prioritization based on their regional situation. For example, Ontario has opted to use the first small batch in Toronto and Peel region, where the most severe lockdowns are in place due to weeks of surging case counts.

Reacting to Wednesday’s news, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that “light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter."

For now, the vaccine is being recommended for use in people 16 years of age or older, and further clinical trials are being run on children of all age groups, so it’s possible the Health Canada approval could be revised in the future to include children, if the data from these studies support it.

Because the vaccine needs to be stored at temperatures below -70 C, Pfizer will be delivering batches in special thermal shipping boxes it developed that can keep the vaccine stable for days.

“These thermal shippers are also equipped with GPS-enabled data loggers that records the temperature as well as the location of these shippers. So at any point of time, between the manufacturing site and the point of use, we will be able to track those shipments and prevent any unwanted temperature excursions,” said Vojicic, who added she doesn’t think the security of theses shipments will be an issue.

Before being injected, the vaccine is thawed, decanted, and mixed, but can only last a few hours at room temperature, so Pfizer is requesting the first doses be given on-site at these 14 medical facilities where there are ultra-cold freezers in place, to avoid as much wastage as possible from transporting the vials elsewhere. This means Canadians who live in the territories and other remote areas will likely be waiting until the Moderna vaccine is approved to be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

CANADA THIRD IN WORLD
Canada is the third country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Bahrain approved it first, followed by the United Kingdom, which began vaccinating its citizens with this vaccine on Tuesday, though their Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is now warning that people who have a history of serious allergic reactions should not receive the vaccine as they investigate two instances of adverse reactions that occurred in health workers when they received the vaccine.

In general the side effects reported during the clinical trials are similar to those of other vaccines, and are considered “mild or moderate.” They include pain at the site of injection, body chills, feeling tired and feeling feverish.

The United States Food and Drug Administration is set to give the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine the green light to roll out to Americans this week.

For weeks, questions had been raised about Canada’s place in line for vaccines in comparison to other nations, given in part our inability to domestically produce initial vaccines. But Pfizer said Wednesday that “you can see from what's happening today, that we're definitely not at the back of the line. We're actually at the front of the line in terms of the approvals of the vaccines, and the rollout of the vaccines.”

“I think we can be very content as to how Canada has done,” Vojicic said.

Asked how Canada was able to beat the U.S. FDA in deeming the vaccine safe, Sharma said jokingly “we’re just better.”

“We're not in a race with any other regulator, we're not trying to beat any other regulator, what we're trying to do is beat this… virus and working against this virus,” she said.

“It just so happened we got the last piece of information late last night, people worked at it, they were up early this morning to get it ready… that's why we're announcing today,” Sharma said, adding that Canadian officials will be participating in the U.S. meeting happening over the next few days to discuss their approval of Pfizer.

Typically, the vaccine submission review process can usually take up to a year, but because of an emergency order, Health Canada has been able to expedite the authorization process. The agency began its regulatory review of the Pfizer vaccine in October, and has since been assessing rolling information as it comes in from the pharmaceutical company’s studies, rather than having to wait until the end of its work to begin reviewing the findings.

“Canadians can feel confident that the review process was rigorous and that we have strong monitoring systems in place. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will closely monitor the safety of the vaccine once it is on the market and will not hesitate to take action if any safety concerns are identified,” said Health Canada on Tuesday.

The pharmaceutical giant will also have to routinely provide additional quality, efficacy, and safety information. Pfizer has agreed to follow clinical trial participants for two years after their second dose, and will be releasing before March 31 a full risk management plan that covers the known and potential safety issues, plans for collection of additional safety and effectiveness information, and measures that will be put in place to minimize risks associated with the product.

Plans are being made for each province and territory to track who receives doses, and the federal government is considering an additional layer of national monitoring, both for overall immunization levels, and adverse reactions.

Pfizer was one of four vaccine candidates Health Canada has been evaluating, with assessment ongoing for the Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In total, Canada has signed contracts guaranteeing access to 194 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines with the option to purchase 220 million more, meaning if all trials pan out, we’d have access to 414 million doses.

Six of the seven vaccines require two doses, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate being the exception. For those that require two doses, all but the Moderna and Astra Zeneca require their doses to be given 21 days apart. Those two vaccines are to be administered 28 days apart.

COVID-19 vaccines will be offered to Canadians free of charge, and will not be mandatory.

“It's an exceptional day for Canada. It's one step along the road, it's one tool in terms of our fight against COVID-19, along with all of the other measures," said Sharma. "We have other vaccines that will be likely coming as well, but I think in a year where we haven't had a lot of good news, this is a bit of good news. And I think we should take a moment to acknowledge that, and then we're all going to get back to work."
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Re: Coronavirus

#889 Post by Pandemonium » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:21 pm

....aaaaannnd, SoCal is officially in meltdown mode.

Now there's talk of at least LA County doing a full lockdown, all businesses shut down except essentials like grocery stores, but.... not until after New Years. It's like ...well, lotsa people are dying and filling up hospitals, but lets wait until after the Christmas rush when the shit is REALLY, REALLY BAD.

I just don't get this shit anymore.

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Re: Coronavirus

#890 Post by Artemis » Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:50 pm

2020 just keeps on giving...


https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/12 ... ns-unclear
Mutant coronavirus in the United Kingdom sets off alarms but its importance remains unclear

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

On 8 December, during a regular Tuesday meeting about the spread of the pandemic coronavirus in the United Kingdom, scientists and public health experts saw a diagram that made them sit up straight. Kent, in the southeast of England, was experiencing a surge in cases, and a phylogenetic tree showing viral sequences from the county looked very strange, says Nick Loman, a microbial genomicist at the University of Birmingham. Not only were half the cases caused by one specific variant of SARS-CoV-2, but that variant was sitting on a branch of the tree that literally stuck out from the rest of the data. “I've not seen a part of the tree that looks like this before,” Loman says.

Less than two weeks later, that variant is causing mayhem in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe. Yesterday, U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson announced stricter lockdown measures, saying the strain, which goes by the name B.1.1.7, appears to be better at spreading between people. The news led many Londoners to leave the city today, before the new rules take effect, causing overcrowded railway stations. Also today, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy announced they were temporarily halting passenger flights from the United Kingdom. The Eurostar train between Brussels and the British capital will stop running at midnight tonight for at least 24 hours.

Scientists, meanwhile, are hard at work trying to figure out whether B.1.1.7 is really more adept at human-to-human transmission—not everyone is convinced yet—and if so, why. They’re also wondering how it evolved so fast. B.1.1.7 has acquired 17 mutations all at once, a feat never seen before. “There's now a frantic push to try and characterize some of these mutations in the lab,” says Andrew Rambaut, a molecular evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh.

Too many unknowns
Researchers have watched SARS-CoV-2 evolve in real time more closely than any other virus in history. So far, it has accumulated mutations at a rate of about 1 to 2 changes per month. That means many of the genomes sequenced today differ at around 20 points from the earliest genomes sequenced in China in January, but many variants with fewer changes are also circulating. “Because we have very dense surveillance of genomes, you can almost see every step,” Loman says.

But scientists have never seen the virus acquire more than a dozen mutations seemingly at once. They think it happened during a long infection of a single patient that allowed SARS-CoV-2 to go through an extended period of fast evolution, with multiple variants competing for advantage.

One reason to be concerned, Rambaut says, is that among the 17 are eight mutations in the gene that encodes the spike protein on the viral surface, two of which are particularly worrisome. One, called N501Y, has previously been shown to increase how tightly the protein binds to the ACE2 receptor, its entry point into human cells. The other, named 69-70del, leads to the loss of two amino acids in the spike protein and has been found in viruses that eluded the immune response in some immunocompromised patients.

A fortunate coincidence helped show that B.1.1.7 (also called VUI-202012/01, for the first “variant under investigation” in December 2020), appears to be spreading faster than other variants in the United Kingdom. One of the PCR tests used widely in the country, called TaqPath, normally detects pieces of three genes. But viruses with 69-70del lead to a negative signal for the gene encoding the spike gene; instead only two genes show up. That means PCR tests, which the U.K. conducts by the hundreds of thousands daily and which are far quicker and cheaper than sequencing the entire virus, can help keep track of B.1.1.7.

In a press conference on Saturday, chief science advisor Patrick Vallance said that B.1.1.7, which first appeared in a virus isolated on 20 September, accounted for about 26% of cases in mid-November. “By the week commencing the 9th of December, these figures were much higher,” he said. “So, in London, over 60% of all the cases were the new variant.” Boris Johnson added that the slew of mutations may have increased the virus’s transmissibility by 70%.

Christian Drosten, a virologist at Charité University Hospital in Berlin, says that was premature. “There are too many unknowns to say something like that,” he says. For one thing, the rapid spread of B.1.1.7 might be down to chance. Scientists previously worried that a variant that spread rapidly from Spain to the rest of Europe—confusingly called B.1.177—might be more transmissible, but today they think it is not; it just happened to be carried all over Europe by travelers who spent their holidays in Spain. Something similar might be happening with B.1.1.7, says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Georgetown University. Drosten notes that the new mutant also carries a deletion in another viral gene, ORF8, that previous studies suggest might reduce the virus’s ability to spread.

But further reason for concern comes from South Africa, where scientists have sequenced genomes in three provinces where cases are soaring: Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu Natal. They identified a lineage separate from the U.K. variant that also has the N501Y mutation in the spike gene. “We found that this lineage seems to be spreading much faster,” says Tulio De Oliveira, a virologist at the University of KwaZulu Natal whose work first alerted U.K. scientists to the importance of N501Y. (A preprint of their results on the strain, which they are calling 501Y.V2, will be released on Monday, De Oliveira says.)

Another worry is that B.1.1.7 could cause more severe disease. There is anecdotal evidence that the South African variant may be doing that in young people and those who are otherwise healthy, says John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s concerning, but we really need more data to be sure.” The African Task Force for Coronavirus will convene an emergency meeting to discuss the issue on Monday, Nkengasong says.

Still, B.1.177, the strain from Spain, offers a cautionary lesson, says virologist Emma Hodcroft of the University of Basel. U.K. scientists initially thought it had a 50% higher mortality rate, but that turned out to be “purely messy, biased data in the early days,” she says. “I think that is a very strong reminder that we always have to be really careful with early data.” In the case of N501Y, more young people may be getting sick because many more are getting infected; Oliveira says some recent post-exam celebrations in South Africa have turned into superspreading events. Studies in cell culture and animal experiments will have to show how a virus with several or all of the mutations carried by the new variant compares with previous variants, says Drosten.

Getting definitive answers could take months. But Ravindra Gupta, a virologist at the University of Cambridge has made a start. The 69-70del mutation appeared together with another mutation named D796H in the virus of a patient who was infected for several months and was given convalescent plasma to treat the disease. (The patient eventually died.) In the lab, Gupta’s group found that virus carrying the two mutations was less susceptible to convalescent plasma from several donors than the wildtype virus. That suggests it can evade antibodies targeting the wildtype virus, Gupta wrote in a preprint published this month. He also engineered a lentivirus to express mutated versions of the spike protein and found that the deletion alone made that virus twice as infectious. He is now conducting similar experiments with viruses that carry both the deletion and the N501Y mutation. The first results should appear just after Christmas, Gupta says.

Does it occur elsewhere?
The ban on flights from the United Kingdom that other countries are imposing “is pretty extreme,” says Hodcroft. But it does give countries time to think about putting any additional measures in place to deal with passengers from the United Kingdom, she says: “I would hope that most countries in Europe are thinking about this.”

But scientists say B.1.1.7 may already be much more widespread. Dutch researchers have found it in a sample from one patient taken in early December, Dutch health minister Hugo de Jonge wrote in a letter to Parliament today. They will try to find out how the patient became infected and if there are related cases. Other countries may well have the variant as well, says epidemiologist William Hanage of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; the United Kingdom may just have picked it up first because that country has the most sophisticated SARS-CoV-2 genomic monitoring in the world. Many countries have little or no sequencing.

The evolutionary process that led to B.1.1.7 may also occur elsewhere. With vaccines being rolled out, the selective pressure on the virus is going to change, meaning variants that help the virus thrive could be selected for, says Kristian Andersen, an infectious disease researcher at Scripps Research. The important thing in the coming months will be picking up such events, says Andersen. “Whatever enabled the B.1.1.7 lineage to emerge is likely going on in other parts of the world”, he says. "Will we be able to actually detect it and then follow up on it? That, to me is one of the critical things.”

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Bandit72
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Re: Coronavirus

#891 Post by Bandit72 » Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:51 am

Apparently there is a 'mutant' strain, yet viruses 'mutate' all of the time.

Apparently our government knew about this in SEPTEMBER. They broke the news two days ago causing unseen chaos at train stations and ports, and basically cancelled Christmas for London and the South Eastm and put heavy restrictions on the rest of the country with regards to Christmas.

Out government are being advised, AGAIN, by a guy called Neil Fergusson who broke lockdown rules eaerlier in the year to see his mistress. He quit SAGE off the back of this. He makes models and predictions. That is it.

The following are his previous on deaths on his so called modelling....

Foot and Mouth 2001 : Predicted 150,000 Reality : <200
BSE 2002 : Predicted 50,000 Reality : 177
Bird Flu 2005 : Predicted 150,000,000 Reality : 282
Swine Flu 2009 : Predicted 65,000 Reality : 457
Covid19 : Predicted 500,000 (UK)

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Larry B.
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Re: Coronavirus

#892 Post by Larry B. » Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:08 am

Here, we went back to weekend lockdowns. We’re still under curfew (from midnight to 5 AM) and have been in different curfews since October 2019 (with a brief break in Jan and Feb 2020.)

I’m pretty tired, but we’ve got to keep taking care of ourselves.

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Artemis
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Re: Coronavirus

#893 Post by Artemis » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:17 pm

The premier announced that Ontario will be going into full lock down again starting Dec 26. Kids will start remote learning after the Christmas break. In the past few weeks there's been an 80% increase in ICU admissions related to COVID. Also, Canada not allowing flights from UK.

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mockbee
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Re: Coronavirus

#894 Post by mockbee » Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:01 pm

Welp.... people are going nuts.

Here in Oregon we have had most things locked down for 9 months, a slight reprieve in the fall, and we have one side (Patriot Prayer) roaming around public places with assault rifles, breaking the door down and into the Capitol Building and assaulting journalists and the other side (Antifa/Anarchists) roaming around public places with assault rifles, assaulting journalists and blocking public streets with tires/large debris and setting fires, but the Antifa they ALWAYS wear masks so they are good!

All in the name of peace, freedom, liberty, fairness and anti-authoritarianism.

yeah..... :bored:

Maybe I should be more worried, but I'm really not for some reason. I think things will shift in the new year with vaccines getting broadly administered and the second wave dying down....hopefully. :noclue:

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Hokahey
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Re: Coronavirus

#895 Post by Hokahey » Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:14 pm

Fucking Portland.

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Bandit72
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Re: Coronavirus

#896 Post by Bandit72 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:51 am

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meeti ... -CLARK.pdf

Is 2.8% about the normal for bad reactions to a new vaccine? :noclue:

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mockbee
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Re: Coronavirus

#897 Post by mockbee » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:30 am

Hokahey wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:14 pm
Fucking Portland.
Eh, whatever.....

I'm known as "Normal Al" here.... :lol:

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Bandit72
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Re: Coronavirus

#898 Post by Bandit72 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:49 am

The UK has a four tiered lockdown at the moment. I'm in the highest Tier 4. The PM is speaking tonight to put even more tougher restrictions on the UK.

Our National Health Service is supposedly at breaking point yet the office of national statistics show that this winter is no different to any of the last 5 years. I'm really struggling to work out what's going on.

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guysmiley
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Re: Coronavirus

#899 Post by guysmiley » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:29 pm

The numbers are weird. The thing I don't understand is we had a whole spring and summer to prepare for the inevitable spike we all knew was coming this winter. Just like every winter before with flu and colds throughout human history. At the very least, governments could have thrown some money at it to build extensions or temporary bed areas. I know they are understaffed, but we could have come up with something.

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Larry B.
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Re: Coronavirus

#900 Post by Larry B. » Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:18 am

I think it’s simply a combination of “we don’t care enough” and “we don’t want to disrupt the economy.” As simple as that.

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