Coronavirus

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mockbee
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Re: Coronavirus

#821 Post by mockbee » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:04 am

Bandit72 wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:14 am
I'm surprised Fox News would run a story like this? :noclue:


Why?

He makes as many plausible claims as the crap on MSNBC, CNN etc. :noclue:



Things are going to get so batshit crazy in the next couple months, from both sides, our heads are going to spin. It's going to make the last 4-5 years look cute and placid. :idea:

But it'll be alright by the middle of Nov/early Dec. The world won't end.
:wave:
:aoa:

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Bandit72
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Re: Coronavirus

#822 Post by Bandit72 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:44 am

mockbee wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:04 am
Bandit72 wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:14 am
I'm surprised Fox News would run a story like this? :noclue:


Why?

He makes as many plausible claims as the crap on MSNBC, CNN etc. :noclue:



Things are going to get so batshit crazy in the next couple months, from both sides, our heads are going to spin. It's going to make the last 4-5 years look cute and placid. :idea:

But it'll be alright by the middle of Nov/early Dec. The world won't end.
:wave:
:aoa:
Isn't it bordering on a whole load of "conspiracy theories"? The BBC would never show this. Not that I care as the BBC are a load of arseholes anyway. I think I stopped watching mainstream news about 4 months ago.

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chaos
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Re: Coronavirus

#823 Post by chaos » Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:51 pm

Despite the slogans, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC are not "news" stations even if they occasionally present some news content. Cable stations can brand themselves anyway they want. Fox News claims they have a news division (which airs during the day) and an opinion division (primetime lineup). They can use whatever format they want news, opinion, etc., but they are not regulated by the FCC or any governmental agency, and cannot be sited for FCC violations.

The FCC regulates broadcast news channels which are free to the public, but has no regulatory control over cable programming because the stations are privately owned.

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Bandit72
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Re: Coronavirus

#824 Post by Bandit72 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:42 pm

chaos wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:51 pm
Despite the slogans, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC are not "news" stations even if they occasionally present some news content. Cable stations can brand themselves anyway they want. Fox News claims they have a news division (which airs during the day) and an opinion division (primetime lineup). They can use whatever format they want news, opinion, etc., but they are not regulated by the FCC or any governmental agency, and cannot be sited for FCC violations.

The FCC regulates broadcast news channels which are free to the public, but has no regulatory control over cable programming because the stations are privately owned.
I never knew that. 👍🏼

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Artemis
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Re: Coronavirus

#825 Post by Artemis » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:18 pm

Cases are rising in Ontario again and the premier has introduced some changes. Indoor gathering, max of 10. Outdoor gathering, max 25. New fines will be imposed as well. Anyone caught hosting an event with more than the allowed numbers will receive a fine of $10,000 and attendees will get $750 ticket.
He announced rent freezes for 2021. :thumb:

I'm not a fan of the Premier(Doug Ford. Brother of Rob Ford) but he makes me laugh sometimes.

Before the Labour Day weekend he asked people not to "party" and share "doobies". Today this:
"This is frustrating for all Ontarians when you have these people that just recklessly ignore the regulations and guidelines that the Chief Medical Officer has put out there," Ford said when he announced the new caps.

"They must be a few fries short of a happy meal."
School started for many this week. I wonder how that's going to go.

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Bandit72
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Re: Coronavirus

#826 Post by Bandit72 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:29 am

There is a big issue over with the inadequacies of the PCR testing. For me it looks like the government is starting to spread mass panic by stating cases are rising sharply (due to more testing), yet most of the time the test picks up small traces of the virus in the persons body which isn't transmittable. Very, very few are dying and it is the fourth week in a row that deaths from flu have surpassed deaths from Covid19.

What's going to happen when people genuinly get different types of colds in the coming months, nothing to do with Covid19? We are restricted to 6 people going out, work places, gyms shops still open, yet mixing of households is prohibited. Wtf?

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mockbee
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Re: Coronavirus

#827 Post by mockbee » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:29 am

Bandit72 wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:29 am


What's going to happen when people genuinly get different types of colds in the coming months, nothing to do with Covid19? We are restricted to 6 people going out, work places, gyms shops still open, yet mixing of households is prohibited. Wtf?
Good question. Europe might be screwed in this regard with your restrictions that will be very difficult to unwind. You guys got yourself into a mess without an easy exit.

The US looks ridiculous, I admit, and there have been too many deaths. Were those deaths totally avoidable? I dont know. A vaccine was always going to be a ways off. And we are a big diverse country that prides itself on NOT following directions.
But we might make it out of this mess the best in the end. Sweden looks pretty good as well.

:noclue:

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Bandit72
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Re: Coronavirus

#828 Post by Bandit72 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:34 am

mockbee wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:29 am
Sweden looks pretty good as well.
And they never locked down....

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mockbee
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Re: Coronavirus

#829 Post by mockbee » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:14 am

Welp.....

WHO agrees with Trump in regards to discouraging lockdowns, for the same reasons......

There goes that argument for 'Shut It Down - the science says so - Biden" ......

Yeah, I know there is the mask deal that Trump was delinquent on, but WHO was delinquent as well.

All quibbles, yes, and Trump is all bluster and chaos, yes, but Biden has nothing to stand on in terms of science, that was his cornerstone.....

Not trying to rub in, but Democrats are just so in the woods on this. People are begging to say FU to COVID and need their lives back. Trump says YEAH! (and is now in line with science) and Biden says....."well, uh, yeah, well, we'll see......."

whatever......our corona response is all so fucked up, yeah hindsight 20/20.... :hs: :no:

Just goes to show we are all still at the core, human, bumbling through history and time, but we'll get to the otherside eventually....or die trying. :cool: :lol:

WHO doctor says lockdowns should not be main coronavirus defence

By Michael Doyle
Posted 1dday ago

Melbourne's second wave lockdown has badly hurt businesses, and recent comments by a leading doctor have raised questions about whether they were necessary.(ABC News: Simon Tucci)


Recent commentary from the World Health Organization's (WHO) special envoy on COVID-19 has sparked questions about the legitimacy of lockdowns to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus."


This statement from Dr David Nabarro has also prompted questions about whether the WHO has backflipped on its advice, months after the pandemic was declared.

So, when should lockdowns be considered, what is the WHO's advice on them and how does this affect Australia?

WHO doctor calls on world leaders to use other control methods

The latest discussion about strict lockdowns started after the WHO's special envoy on COVID-19 said they should not be used as the primary method of control.

Dr Nabarro made the statements in an interview with The Spectator.

"The only time we believe a lockdown in justified is to buy you time to reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources; protect your health workers who are exhausted," Dr Nabarro said.

"But by and large, we'd rather not do it."

Dr Nabarro told The Spectator the economic impact on small countries that rely on tourism and increased poverty levels are two major effects of shutting communities down.

"We really do appeal to all world leaders, stop using lockdown as your primary method of control," he said.

"Lockdowns have just one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer."

While the statements by themselves seem to call for an end to lockdowns, the message is consistent with a piece written by Dr Nabarro days earlier.

Titled, Reflections about the Middle Path, he advocates for governments around the world to find a balance between restrictions and normal life.

"Too many restrictions damage people's livelihoods and provoke resentment. 'Virus run wild' will lead to lots of deaths as well as debilitating long-COVID among younger people," he wrote.

The message from the article is that health measures which involve strict personal hygiene, effective contact tracing and isolating when ill are the essential measures to be taken.

"Public health services are organised to offer locally-integrated support for interrupting transmission and suppressing clusters," he wrote.
Read more about coronavirus:

Who in Victoria needs to a wear a mask and when
Coronavirus survives on common surfaces longer than previously thought, say scientists

"This means test-trace-isolate-protect services everywhere, with clearly justified performance metrics.

"It is important there is enough testing capacity to pick up where the virus is, to detect spikes and manage surges.

"Lockdowns just freeze the virus … they do not lead to elimination."
So when should lockdowns and restrictions be lifted?

The WHO put out a six-step plan for governments to follow to ease restrictions.

To ease restrictions the WHO says governments should:

Ensure transmission is under control
Make sure health systems can care for every case — including tracing and isolating
Minimise risks in health facilities, including nursing homes
Have preventative measures in workplaces, schools and other essential places
Manage the risk of the virus being imported in from another place
Fully educate the community on the new normal, and how they can protect themselves


Does this mean the WHO has backflipped on its advice?

Not necessarily.

The WHO has been advocating for contact tracing, hygiene and isolation since the beginning of the pandemic.

During a media briefing on April 14, the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, spoke directly to the issue of lockdowns.

He said while some countries may have been considering lockdowns, contact tracing was an essential measure all governments needed to have in place.

"We know that early case finding, testing, isolating, caring for every case and tracing every contact is essential for stopping transmission," he said.

"As I have said many times, physically distancing restrictions are only part of the equation, and there are many other basic public health measures that need to be put in place."
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
WHO Director-General says lockdowns are only one part of a public health response during his press briefing on April 14.

The Director General also spoke about the impracticality of lockdowns in countries with weaker economies, similar to the statements made by Dr Nabarro to The Spectator.

"In countries with large poor populations, the stay-at-home orders and other restrictions used in some high-income countries may not be practical.

"Many poor people, migrants and refugees are already living in overcrowded conditions with few resources and little access to healthcare.

"How do you survive a lockdown when you depend on your daily labour to eat?"
Days since the last reported case of COVID-19

Dr Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the WHO, was asked on Monday morning if the organisation had backflipped on its own advice.

Appearing on Chanel Nine's Today show, Dr Harris said claims of a backflip were the result of misreporting of Dr Nabarro's comments.

"It is not a backflip, it is not a change in advice," Dr Harris said.

"Right from the start we have said what we'd really like to see is a strong tracking, tracing, the community hand-washing [and] mask wearing, so that you don't have to go into lockdown.

"A lot of countries have had to go to lockdown, but we say do all the other things to avoid going there because the economic and social costs are very high."

This statement by Dr Harris on Monday is consistent with a statement she gave to Australian media in April.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age — both owned by Chanel Nine — she said the WHO was advocating for strong contact tracing.

"We have never said go into lockdown — we have said track, trace, isolate, treat," Dr Harris said.

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Pandemonium
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Re: Coronavirus

#830 Post by Pandemonium » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:16 pm

My wife and I got tested Monday. Did it at a local Kaiser hospital, completely drive-through. Took about 45 minutes to get through the line and the test was the typical Q-tips up the nose and back of throat. I actually got a nose bleed, the nurse plumbed my sinuses so roughly it felt like she popped through the brain barrier, lol!

We're both in the high risk category if we get infected and it appeared she may have been exposed. She got a calcium IV infusion a week ago and apparently another patient getting a chemo infusion next to her came down with Covid. Over the weekend, she had a 100 degree fever for a day and felt really run down and we thought maybe it was due to the infusion. But I noticed (actually she kept pointing it out to me) that I now had a weird dry hacking cough and have been taking 2 hour naps through the day, unusual for me.

We got our test results back in just under 24 hours - both negative.

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kv
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Re: Coronavirus

#831 Post by kv » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:21 pm

:thumb:

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mockbee
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Re: Coronavirus

#832 Post by mockbee » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:28 am

Glad to hear panda. :wave:

Also, sounds like you're keeping positive. :wink:
Not easy in this craphole year of the millenium....

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perkana
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Re: Coronavirus

#833 Post by perkana » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:58 pm

Bandit72 wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:34 am
mockbee wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:29 am
Sweden looks pretty good as well.
And they never locked down....
I don't think that Sweden has been fairing that well :noclue:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/10 ... cQrFTKfd2Q
The country did not ignore the threat entirely. Although stores and restaurants remained open, many Swedes stayed home, at rates similar to their European neighbors, surveys and mobile phone data suggest. And the government did take some strict measures in late March, including bans on gatherings of more than 50 people and on nursing home visits.

Yet Sweden adopted strikingly different policies from those of other European countries, out of a desire to avoid disrupting daily life—and perhaps the hope that, by paying an immediate price in illness, the country could achieve “herd immunity” and put the pandemic behind it.

Swedish authorities actively discouraged people from wearing face masks, which they said would spread panic, are often worn the wrong way, and can provide a false sense of safety. Some doctors who insisted on wearing a mask at work have been reprimanded or even fired.

Until last month, Sweden’s official policy stated people without obvious symptoms are very unlikely to spread the virus. So instead of being quarantined or asked to stay home, family members, colleagues, and classmates of confirmed cases had to attend school and show up for work, unless they had symptoms themselves. Testing in Sweden still lags behind many other countries, and in many districts infected people are expected to notify their own contacts—in contrast to, say, Germany and Norway, where small armies of contact tracers help track down people who may have been exposed.

The Swedish approach has its fans. Protesters against coronavirus-related restrictions in Berlin in late August waved Swedish flags. In the United States, a prominent member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, neuroradiologist Scott Atlas, has cited Sweden as a model to follow. The policies also have widespread public support in Sweden, where consensus is prized and criticism of the government is rare.

But within Sweden’s scientific and medical community, a debate about the strategy has simmered and frequently boiled over—in the opinion pages of newspapers, within university departments, and among hospital staff. A group of scientists known as “the 22” has called for tougher measures since April, when it published a blistering critique of the country’s public health authority, the Folkhälsomyndigheten (FoHM). The group, which has grown to include 50 scientists and another 150 supporting members, now calls itself the Vetenskapsforum COVID-19 (Science Forum COVID-19).

It says the price for Sweden’s laissez-faire approach has been too high. The country’s cumulative death rate since the beginning of the pandemic rivals that of the United States, with its shambolic response. And the virus took a shocking toll on the most vulnerable. It had free rein in nursing homes, where nearly 1000 people died in a matter of weeks. Stockholm’s nursing homes ended up losing 7% of their 14,000 residents to the virus. The vast majority were not taken to hospitals. Although infections waned over the summer, scientists worry a new wave will hit in the fall. Cases are rising rapidly in the greater Stockholm area, where almost one-quarter of the Swedish population lives.

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Re: Coronavirus

#834 Post by Hokahey » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:50 pm

I am intrigued by the death demographics by age on this thing. By any available data I can find for the US, some 75% of all deaths are over the age of 70. 90% of all deaths are over the age of 60. 95% are over the age of 50.

Equally interesting is that only some 15% of all cases are over the age of 60.

Basically, if you are under 60, the odds of you dying from Covid are incredibly slim.

How many of these deaths were nursing homes and senior centers? How many fewer would the death count be had the approach been from the beginning to protect those over 60 at all costs, with masks and general social distancing for everyone else?

Why are we not taking a statistics based approach to how we protect the population here?

It just feels...weird (not in a conspiratorial way) that we're acting as if everyone's risk here is equal. It's quite clearly not. By orders of magnitude.

Based on the percentages above (and some pretty rough math), we're looking at around 10K deaths in the US for people under 50. That's not an insignificant number by any means. But it's a lot less scary than over 200K.

Granted, none of this considers other long term health effects related to having the disease. But in terms of true mortality, it looks like around a 0.2% death rate for those under 50. And that doesn't consider that antibody studies in large cities are proving that true case counts are anywhere from 10 to 20x higher than what's being counted due to so many asymptomatic individuals not getting a test. So what's the true mortality rate for those under 50? Seemingly far less than 0.2%.

Right? Am I missing anything here?

All of this said, I'm a faithful mask wearer. Social distancing. Keeping everyone home. Etc.

But sometimes looking at the numbers I can't help but wonder if I'll look back and this will seem like overkill, and that I've essentially robbed my family of a year of normalcy because what would be the equivalent of a cold for us.

And then anecdotally, we know at least 10 people that have contracted the virus. Some young, some old, some very overweight, and none of which said they would have gone to the doctor for their symptoms had they not been so freaked out about the whole thing. All of course are doing well.

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Re: Coronavirus

#835 Post by mockbee » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:59 pm

I really think in the end, when it's all over, which WILL happen, we will all come out in the wash as exposed and either we succumb or we won't... :noclue:

Vaccine is obviously a long, long ways off, you can't speed it along, and there are going to be dozens of strains by then. Everyone (or most everyone) in the world is going to have to take 7 separate vaccines to be mostly covered....? I don't think so. We might have some suplementals that help recovery, but I think that's going to be about it.

The variables are age and comorbidity and exposure (prisons are bad, packing plants are bad, schools are bad) and there seems to be some countries who generally fair better than others due to possibly genetics/general health/vitamin D exposure.

I think we were just trying to avoid the NYC/Italy scenario where hospitals are overrun, and patients who could have survived don't receive proper treatment. Our threshold of acceptable exposure is tremendously high now for your typical white collar person. And we don't give a shit about the millions in prison/and the immigrant/migrant communities who do all the physical labor. If it's still the goal to spread out the time frame/intensity on exposure we are doing a shit job of it. We are still in lockdown mode in the US, in most of the country, and the world and people are really hurting due to collateral damage. Families and businesses are falling apart right now. Govt payments are drying up. Millions of peoples lives have already been ruined. Yes, deaths have been avoided/delayed but I just don't see how we all don't get exposed eventually.

There is no timeline....we do this for years?

I'm alright with that. I don't go anywhere (i'd love to travel again though) and I just work from my kitchen table, no prob. :noclue:
But generally, the people who do the real labor out there, and the people without work will not be able to afford to accept that. :noclue:

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Re: Coronavirus

#836 Post by Hokahey » Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:02 pm

mockbee wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:59 pm
I really think in the end, when it's all over, which WILL happen, we will all come out in the wash as exposed and either we succumb or we won't... :noclue:

Vaccine is obviously a long, long ways off, you can't speed it along, and there are going to be dozens of strains by then. Everyone (or most everyone) in the world is going to have to take 7 separate vaccines to be mostly covered....? I don't think so. We might have some suplementals that help recovery, but I think that's going to be about it.

The variables are age and comorbidity and exposure (prisons are bad, packing plants are bad, schools are bad) and there seems to be some countries who generally fair better than others due to possibly genetics/general health/vitamin D exposure.

I think we were just trying to avoid the NYC/Italy scenario where hospitals are overrun, and patients who could have survived don't receive proper treatment. Our threshold of acceptable exposure is tremendously high now for your typical white collar person. And we don't give a shit about the millions in prison/and the immigrant/migrant communities who do all the physical labor. If it's still the goal to spread out the time frame/intensity on exposure we are doing a shit job of it. We are still in lockdown mode in the US, in most of the country, and the world and people are really hurting due to collateral damage. Families and businesses are falling apart right now. Govt payments are drying up. Millions of peoples lives have already been ruined. Yes, deaths have been avoided/delayed but I just don't see how we all don't get exposed eventually.

There is no timeline....we do this for years?

I'm alright with that. I don't go anywhere (i'd love to travel again though) and I just work from my kitchen table, no prob. :noclue:
But generally, the people who do the real labor out there, and the people without work will not be able to afford to accept that. :noclue:
I am seeing more and more people taking risks and worrying less about exposure, for better or for worse. In a lot of cities and states, restrictions continue to be eased.

We are also seeing continued positive results with monoclonal antibody treatments, steroids, remdisivir, etc.

And then we have the continued rapid and seemingly mostly successful thus far vaccine development. The early vaccines will not be a magic bullet, but they should help quite a bit with the vulnerable populations, as I outlined in my previous post.

It seems to me that a lot of people are moving on. We are developing better therapies, and soon vaccines. I would suspect that by this time next year this will be mostly stamped down, with great treatments for those that do get infected.

I also think the numbers will become clearer, and this will not be viewed as the deadly disease it once was, outside of a very specific few demographics.

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Re: Coronavirus

#837 Post by chaos » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:35 am

https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/ ... 4ae2c459f0

Why the coronavirus is killing more men than women
Men have weaker immune systems that, in some cases, may actually sabotage the body’s response to an invader. But social and cultural factors may also play a role.
By Ben Guarino
Oct. 17, 2020 at 12:20 p.m. EDT

Early in the coronavirus outbreak, hospital data from China revealed a startling disparity: Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, was killing far more men than women.
That difference persisted in other Asian countries, such as South Korea, as well as in European countries, such as Italy. Then, it appeared in the United States.

By mid-October, the coronavirus had killed almost 17,000 more American men than women, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every 10 women claimed by the disease in the United States, 12 men have died, found an analysis by Global Health 50/50, a U.K.-based initiative to advance gender equality in health care.

That disparity was one of many alarming aspects of the new virus. It bewildered those unfamiliar with the role of gender in disease.

But the specialized group of researchers who study that relationship was not surprised. It prepared an array of hypotheses. One possible culprit was male behavior. Perhaps men were more likely to be exposed to the virus due to social factors; a disproportionately male workforce, for instance, could place more men in contact with infected people. Or men’s lungs might be more vulnerable because they were more likely to smoke in the earliest countries to report the differences.

What has become more evident, 10 months into this outbreak, is that men show comparatively weaker immune responses to coronavirus infections, which may account for those added deaths.

“If you look at the data across the world, there are as many men as women that are infected. It’s just the severity of disease that is stronger in most populations in men,” Franck Mauvais-Jarvis, a Tulane University physician who studies gender differences in such diseases as diabetes. In such cases, biology can help explain why.

Women generally have stronger immune systems, thanks to sex hormones, as well as chromosomes packed with immune-related genes. About 60 genes on the X chromosome are involved in immune function, Johns Hopkins University microbiologist Sabra Klein told The Washington Post in April. People with two X chromosomes can benefit from the double helping of some of those genes.

Akiko Iwasaki, who studies immune defenses against viruses at Yale University, wanted to see how sex differences might play out in coronavirus infections. She and her colleagues cast a proverbial net into the immune system to fish out schools of microscopic fighters.

“We did a holistic look at everything we can measure immunologically,” Iwasaki said, listing a litany of the molecules and cells that form the body’s bulwark against pathogens: “cytokines, chemokines, T cells, B cells, neutrophils. Everything that we had access to.”

In male patients, the T-cell response was weaker, the scientists found. Not only do T cells detect infected cells and kill them, they also help direct the antibody response. “It’s like a master regulator of immune response. And when you have a drop in T cells, or in their ability to become activated, you basically lose the conductor of an orchestra,” Iwasaki said.

The power of the immune system wanes as people age, regardless of sex. But what is a gentle decline for women is an abrupt dive off a cliff for men: Iwasaki’s work indicates the T-cell response of men in their 30s and 40s is equivalent to that of a woman in her 90s.

And T cells aren’t the only immune feature disproportionately impaired in men. Another paper, published in September in PLOS Biology, examined anonymous human genetic material collected along with viruses in nasal swabs.

That study found throttled defense signals in men. When a cell detects a virus, it performs the molecular equivalent of yanking the fire alarm, said one of the study’s author, Nicole Lieberman, a research scientist at the University of Washington. That alarm is manifest in genetic messengers, called RNA, which react almost immediately.

The reaction should cause cells to churn out the first lines of defense, such as interferons, immune system molecules that, as the name suggests, interfere with the virus’s ability to reproduce. Other molecules summon specialized immune cells to destroy the pathogens. “You want the fire alarm to go off for long enough that you can get the fire department there,” Lieberman said.

Lieberman and her co-authors, however, found that in men and some older populations, the fire alarm shuts off early — maybe even before the firefighters have arrived. “That, I think, is the functional consequence, potentially, of what we’re seeing here,” she said.
Harmful autoantibodies

Not only is the immune system in men weaker, but in some severe cases of the coronavirus, it may hobble itself. A study of nearly 1,000 patients with life-threatening covid-19, published in Science in September, found evidence of molecular self-sabotage. Immune system fighters were acting against the body’s defenses, like rebellious castle guards splintering their own gates. This flaw was much more prevalent in men than women.

Specifically, the researchers detected what are called autoantibodies, molecules that bind and neutralize parts of the immune system. Those neutralizers disabled a subset of defender molecules known as type-1a interferon. Simply put, having autoantibodies led to more viral replication.

Ninety-five of 101 people with autoantibodies against interferon were male. “Somehow males are probably more prone to develop such autoantibodies, but we do not know why,” said study author Petter Brodin, a pediatrician at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute who studies the immune system.

Interferon molecules come in several types, so it’s possible these patients could be treated with another flavor of interferon, Brodin said. But that may be difficult, he acknowledged, because interferons are most helpful early in the course of an infection, before the disease progresses to life-threatening stages.

The lack of killer T cells, coupled with neutralizing antibodies, is “like a double whammy,” Iwasaki said, “that would then ultimately increase the viral load in these men.”
What’s unusual about this result is that most autoantibody immune disorders appear in women, as is the case with the chronic disease lupus.

Iwasaki’s research is examining whether female immune systems may play a role in people with long-lasting covid-19, nicknamed long-haulers.

“There are thousands of people suffering from chronic symptoms,” which may be debilitating, Iwasaki said. Many long-haulers are young and the majority of them, though not all, are women.

Beyond these biological differences, it would be simplistic to ignore how gender’s other aspects, such as behavior and social norms, may also influence the pandemic.

Broadly speaking, men may be less likely to be worried about covid-19 than women, fitting the pattern that women generally treat health risks more seriously. Women took a more cautious approach to the disease, a recent poll found, expressing more concern they could return to workplaces safely. Women are also more likely to follow expert advice such as mask-wearing and social distancing, according to another study that included surveys and observations of pedestrians’ behavior in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Sarah Hawkes, a professor of global public health at University College London who, with her husband, co-directs Global Health 50/50, said that the image of men as risk-takers extends back hundreds of years to John Graunt, one of the first people to participate in the field now known as epidemiology.

After he reviewed England’s death records, Graunt postulated in 1662 that “men, being more intemperate then women, die as much by reason of their Vices” — that is, male behavior was to blame. Hawkes argues that “350 years later,” Graunt’s point still stands. “It is undoubtedly a mixture of both biology and behavior” responsible for the health differences in men and women, she said.

The share of coronavirus deaths in women also rises with their share of the full-time workforce, according to a report by University of Oxford economist Renee Adams that used Global Health 50/50 data.

“The more you have women participating in the workforce, the smaller your sex difference becomes,” Hawkes said. That lines up with gender inequalities — men are more likely to work in environments where they are exposed to air pollution and other harms, Hawkes said. When women start to enter those traditionally masculine spaces, she said, it “turns out, women can get as sick as men.”

The gender disparities discovered in the response to covid-19 have sparked a surge of interest in such differences more broadly. “Almost nobody, apart from the people working in the field, were interested in that difference between men and women in disease until February or March,” when the first results showed that more men were dying, Mauvais-Jarvis said.

Even agencies at the forefront of public health, such as the CDC, were initially slow to reveal sex-disaggregated coronavirus data, Hawkes said. The U.K. public health surveillance system was similarly late. Hawkes took those delays as a sign of just how unimportant people considered this data, since it is so readily available: When people die, their death certificates state whether they were male, female or, in some places, nonbinary.

The CDC data finally made that information accessible in mid-April. The male-skewed patterns revealed in those deaths conform to what was seen in earlier outbreaks of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), both within the family of coronaviruses. And it is in line with other viral responses. “We know that women develop much better antibody response to flu vaccines,” Iwasaki said.

Some of those experts are hoping to capitalize on this moment to shine a spotlight on other gender differences in health. The coronavirus, after all, isn’t the only problem to afflict men and women unequally — so, too, do cancer, asthma, heart disease and other common illnesses, as Mauvais-Jarvis noted in a recent paper in the Lancet.

“The kinds of differences that we’re seeing and outcomes in covid-19 are not unexpected. They’re not exceptional,” Hawkes said. If there’s surprise, it only demonstrates the widespread underestimation of the differences in men and women that persist even among physicians, she said.

Mauvais-Jarvis referred to this faulty approach as “bikini medicine” — in which clinicians view female patients as interchangeable with male ones, except for the organs covered by swimwear.

The coronavirus has helped accelerate the trend away from that outdated view. The “one positive that’s come out of the pandemic,” Hawkes said, is the sudden realization that gendered social factors and biology “may have a relationship with your life expectancy, your experience with illness, your risk of illness. It has made that conversation a little bit more real.”


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