Coronavirus: How dangerous a threat?

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Are doctors encouraging people to get flu shots in hopes that it will reduce additional strain on medical facilities, or in hopes that it will reduce the number of people who get the flu which challenges their immune system and makes them more susceptible to Covid19? Or maybe that's a yes to both?
I think it is more the former. The USA was already moving out of the flu season when COVID-19 hit so we missed the double whammy in the spring. Bad flu seasons can stretch hospital capacity in places. Flu usually weakens people for secondary bacterial infections. But, I wouldn't entirely rule out a secondary infection of COVID being a problem because there is not a lot of data to go on at this point. Ask this question in 6 months and we will know better by then. But I think the observations movingtarget and Cookster15 make are important. As long as we remain vigilant about COVID-19 precautions, flu mortality should also be mitigated in the US.

People in the US should probably try to listen to the new interview with the radiologist Scott Atlas on BBC/NPR. So, he is now the top doctor in charge of COVID-19? That is not great.

ETA link.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172x2yvvc3z7c7

What is the strategy? Lots of words. JFC.....
 
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I think it is more the former. The USA was already moving out of the flu season when COVID-19 hit so we missed the double whammy in the spring. Bad flu seasons can stretch hospital capacity in places. Flu usually weakens people for secondary bacterial infections. But, I wouldn't entirely rule out a secondary infection of COVID being a problem because there is not a lot of data to go on at this point. Ask this question in 6 months and we will know better by then. But I think the observations movingtarget and Cookster15 make are important. As long as we remain vigilant about COVID-19 precautions, flu mortality should also be mitigated in the US.

People in the US should probably try to listen to the new interview with the radiologist Scott Atlas on BBC/NPR. So, he is now the top doctor in charge of COVID-19? That is not great.

ETA link.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172x2yvvc3z7c7

What is the strategy? Lots of words. JFC.....
I'll listen to the link at lunch, but is it crazy or what that the new top advisor on disease is a radiologist?! On top of that he's a radiologist who likes the idea of herd immunity...hence the reason he got a job that he is not qualified for.

EDIT: I got a quick 10 minute snippet...wow, this guy thinks that he is special. No wonder he got the job! He did back a way from herd immunity a bit, but then went on to lecture the infectious disease community on not understanding it.
 
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Strictly speaking, she is 100% right. Also, if I take a walk across the street, I am getting closer to California. Nowhere in that video does she claim that herd immunity has been achieved or is 'close'. Considering that she is a doctor, I am a bit surprised she is talking about outdoor crowding when it is clear from all the research that indoor events are the problematic ones. If you have her objective evidence for herd immunity, I would love to hear it. Based on what she said in that clip, her thesis is unconvincing.
That's just a brief introduction clip - I had posted a few weeks ago the main video that has gotten 314,000 views and 2,800 comments:

View: https://youtu.be/CwQpg62Kflg


She co-authored the Sekine et al study: Robust T cell immunity in convalescent individuals with asymptomatic or mild Covid-19.


They're proposing that mild Covid-19 cases can produce strong T cell response lasting for years that could lead to population-level immunity (absent antibodies). Interestingly, memory T cell immunity lasting for over 10 yrs was observed from SARS-CoV-1 in mice models.

And this:

"Sweden now has one of Europe's lowest Covid-19 death rates"



So, something positively is going on here if their deaths & hospitalizations have plummeted to almost nothing. Looking at that footage from Stockholm, I see virtually no social distancing (restaurants, malls & particularly in the classrooms) and maybe one or two people wearing masks.

This should be exciting to help curb this fear & hysteria from the MSM that Covid-19 is all doom & gloom. If Swedes are not wearing masks and not social distancing, and their deaths & hospitalizations are down (and remain flat moving forward into the fall), this could possibly suggest a direction toward population-level immunity I would think.
 
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The mild flu season is a consequence of Covid-19 measures including social distancing. It works for all respiratory illnesses including flu and the common cold, not just Covid. My local medical centres have been near empty when twice recently visited. Normal wait time 1 to 2 hours. I have never seen this before in about 20 years.
Do you think social distancing measures & masks might become permanent in some parts of Australia?
 
She co-authored the Sekine et al study: Robust T cell immunity in convalescent individuals with asymptomatic or mild Covid-19.

They're proposing that mild Covid-19 cases can produce strong T cell response lasting for years that could lead to population-level immunity (absent antibodies). Interestingly, memory T cell immunity lasting for over 10 yrs was observed from SARS-CoV-1 in mice models.

So, something positively is going on here if their deaths & hospitalizations have plummeted to almost nothing. Looking at that footage from Stockholm, I see virtually no social distancing (restaurants, malls & particularly in the classrooms) and maybe one or two people wearing masks.

This should be exciting to help curb this fear & hysteria from the MSM that Covid-19 is all doom & gloom. If Swedes are not wearing masks and not social distancing, and their deaths & hospitalizations are down (and remain flat moving forward into the fall), this could possibly suggest a direction toward population-level immunity I would think.
Thank you. I did post that Cell paper upthread. The big takeaway is that serology numbers are almost surely an underestimate of the number of people who were infected. But this is one of my pet peeves about scientists talking to the media. They often make claims that go well beyond what they say to their peers. Does this really sound conclusive to anyone? Or as definitive as what she is claiming in that interview?
Our study was cross-sectional in nature and limited in terms of clinical follow-up and overall donor numbers in each outcome-defined group. It therefore remains to be determined if robust memory T cell responses in the absence of detectable circulating antibodies can protect against severe forms of COVID-19.
Or this?
Of note, we detected cross-reactive T cell responses against spike or membrane in 28% of the unexposed healthy blood donors, consistent with a high degree of preexisting immune responses potentially induced by other coronaviruses.....Although we detected generally broader and stronger T cell responses in seronegative convalescent and exposed individuals compared to unexposed donors, it remains possible that a fraction of the anamnestic SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell response was initially induced by seasonal coronaviruses (Mateus et al., 2020). The biological relevance of cross-reactive T cell responses remains unclear.
Don't get me wrong, the T cell data that has come out in recent high tier publications is very promising. But we are really talking about two separate issues. T cell memory in people infected looks to be present in most cases. I doubt the cross-reactive T cell memory is going to prevent an infection with COVID-19, but it might provide some benefit in terms of outcomes. Also, Mice don't live for 10 years. (Scientists who work with animals would LOL at the thought of housing per diems for that experiment.) Are you sure that they weren't talking about humans who survived SARS 1.0?

Part of what has worked in Sweden is that they are a generally healthy population with a lot of people in single occupancy housing. And they have a climate where summers can be spent outdoors and not rely on AC for their interior spaces. They are an ideal test case to try a more relaxed approach. I would just caution against extrapolating their numbers to the USA. Or to assume that they have beat the virus. As hrotha has noted, compare what they have done to their Scandinavian neighbors first and foremost.

I'll listen to the link at lunch, but is it crazy or what that the new top advisor on disease is a radiologist?! On top of that he's a radiologist who likes the idea of herd immunity...hence the reason he got a job that he is not qualified for.

EDIT: I got a quick 10 minute snippet...wow, this guy thinks that he is special. No wonder he got the job! He did back a way from herd immunity a bit, but then went on to lecture the infectious disease community on not understanding it.
Atlas has impeccable credentials for radiology. Most people do not achieve his level of stature without being very confident in the sound of their own voices. He is where he is for the most obvious reasons. His strategy seems to be protect the vulnerable and open the rest. He may not want to admit the terminology, but what else is he proposing here?

It was really a hack-ish performance. The most eye-rolling part is when he talks about the excess deaths being the best comparison but still uses the lower 180K figure when it suits. Or when he claims to want to look only at the future and not dwell on the past. Convenient thinking.
 
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Idaho passed 'emergency' legislation to protect businesses even if they are negligent. Other states have also passed or are considering similar legislation. MMc has been pushing it at the fed level.
 
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Thank you. I did post that Cell paper upthread. The big takeaway is that serology numbers are almost surely an underestimate of the number of people who were infected. But this is one of my pet peeves about scientists talking to the media. They often make claims that go well beyond what they say to their peers. Does this really sound conclusive to anyone? Or as definitive as what she is claiming in that interview?
Or this?Don't get me wrong, the T cell data that has come out in recent high tier publications is very promising. But we are really talking about two separate issues. T cell memory in people infected looks to be present in most cases. I doubt the cross-reactive T cell memory is going to prevent an infection with COVID-19, but it might provide some benefit in terms of outcomes. Also, Mice don't live for 10 years. (Scientists who work with animals would LOL at the thought of housing per diems for that experiment.) Are you sure that they weren't talking about humans who survived SARS 1.0?
My mistake; the study I was reading mentioned that mice vaccinated showed T-cell response absent antibodies. Got it confused with Ng et al, which was, in fact, human survivors of SARS-COV-1:

"Memory T cell responses targeting the SARS coronavirus persists up to 11 years post-infection."


Interestingly, their research suggests that T cell response from SARS-recovered patients could be protected from re-infection.
 

Chris Gadsden

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In my opinion, this will be what COVID is remembered for. Lingering effects will go on for probably a decade for significant populations in most Nations. Overwhelming evidence. Underwhelming concern.

Conclusions and Relevance These findings suggest that prevalence of depression symptoms in the US was more than 3-fold higher during COVID-19 compared with before the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals with lower social resources, lower economic resources, and greater exposure to stressors (eg, job loss) reported a greater burden of depression symptoms. Post–COVID-19 plans should account for the probable increase in mental illness to come, particularly among at-risk populations.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2770146
 
The reality is that it is going to take more than thoughts and prayers. If you are concerned, push for solutions to the virus problem. Tell your skeptical friends and co-workers to take precautions and get the vaccine when available. Otherwise you are slapping a band aid on a gushing artery.
My mistake; the study I was reading mentioned that mice vaccinated showed T-cell response absent antibodies. Got it confused with Ng et al, which was, in fact, human survivors of SARS-COV-1:

"Memory T cell responses targeting the SARS coronavirus persists up to 11 years post-infection."


Interestingly, their research suggests that T cell response from SARS-recovered patients could be protected from re-infection.
Meh. T cells don't generally protect against re-infection. T cells can kill infected cells but don't kill the virus directly. They might lessen the disease symptoms, but preventing infection without antibody is unlikely. And the antibodies are not crossreactive.
 

Chris Gadsden

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If you are concerned, push for solutions to the virus problem. Tell your skeptical friends and co-workers to take precautions and get the vaccine when available. Otherwise you are slapping a band aid on a gushing artery.
It’s not about me and my friends. It’s about the response to this virus with zero respect for how human beings behave. Save a life from the virus while that same life dies from one of dozens of psych disorders is the opposite of winning.

You tell me, is there something in between full shutdow/economic ruin and wide open/thing as they used to be? Our Governor in the once great State of California has plainly said “we aren’t going back” to the way things used to be. He’s a silver spoon fool but he has the power.

Is being safer from COVID worth the damage being done to mental health? You realize who’s paying the heaviest price, right? That’s right, minorities and non-skilled labor.
 
They are also paying the highest price in terms of viral morbidity and mortality. And they have been forgotten about economically. Do you suppose that is connected to the mental health burden?

Tenet opened in theaters to a paltry $20 mil. People are deciding what is safe and that judgement highly correlates with the degree of viral community spread. 6 months of data has shown us what works and doesn't work. There is no will to do anything due to perverse financial incentives. So, instead of following those things, we are opening colleges and allowing things like Sturgess. The Dakotas now have the worst per capita rate of infection and the graph below is self explanatory and entirely predictable.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1302716451384487936
 
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Chris Gadsden

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They are also paying the highest price in terms of viral morbidity and mortality. And they have been forgotten about economically. Do you suppose that is connected to the mental health burden?
And now the COVID response will see to it a whole new generation stays in the struggle locker while simultaneously making the situation exponentially worse for those already there.

6 months of data has shown us what works and doesn't work. There is no will to do anything due to perverse financial incentives.
Perverse financial incentives? You mean like one putting themselves in a position to pay rent by, like, tending bar?
 
Meh. T cells don't generally protect against re-infection. T cells can kill infected cells but don't kill the virus directly. They might lessen the disease symptoms, but preventing infection without antibody is unlikely. And the antibodies are not crossreactive.
Then why so many asymptomatic cases with this virus?


40% show no symptoms. Taking the current number of cases of ~6,277,000 - ~2,500,000 would be asymptomatic. So they must have had some previous coronavirus exposure or these are mostly false positive cases (which we've seen some examples of already with the NFL & Sweden).
 
And now the COVID response will see to it a whole new generation stays in the struggle locker while simultaneously making the situation exponentially worse for those already there.



Perverse financial incentives? You mean like one putting themselves in a position to pay rent by, like, tending bar?
True, because people don't want to do anything about it. I don't see you offering up anything beyond platitudes.

I would pay bartenders NOT to work. Then they can pay rent while they decide if they want to change careers or wait it out. Bars cannot exist with this type of pandemic.

Then why so many asymptomatic cases with this virus?

40% show no symptoms. Taking the current number of cases of ~6,277,000 - ~2,500,000 would be asymptomatic. So they must have had some previous coronavirus exposure or these are mostly false positive cases (which we've seen some examples of already with the NFL & Sweden).
A lot of infections are asymptomatic for a variety of pathogens. Typhoid Mary being a notable example. Infectious disease surveillance is an iceberg that we only see the tip of. If you wanted to use PCR to diagnose flu, you could find a lot of asymptomatic cases there too.

Re: dead virus BBC article. This is something that is not new. Here is the discussion from March.

I posted an article earlier, but there is some evidence that being positive for the test toward the end of the illness does not mean that the person is contagious. PCR can only detect the viral RNA after it is reverse transcribed to DNA, not actual infectious virus. Late term positive could mean that you are picking up viral remnants after the immune system has cleared the infection. An analogy would be you are seeing spent shell casings not intact bullets.

As for people discussing how this all ends. People should go back and read how incredibly difficult it was to get countries virus free during the Ebola outbreak. And that was an outbreak that was geographically constrained and clinically much more obvious to spot. Mitigation strategies will help us limit the virus like in China. But getting it to absolute zero is something that I don't think we can do at this stage, barring a vaccine hail mary.

Another troubling black hole where we really don't know what is going on. A number of the positives in MD came from the same Nile River cruise. View: https://twitter.com/declanwalsh/status/1238072170116505600
 
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Chris Gadsden

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because people don't want to do anything about it. I don't see you offering up anything beyond platitudes.
While you want to bury people in an attempt to save them. You have said nothing of the effects Of solitary. So you don’t actually care about that part.

I would pay bartenders NOT to work.
Sure. They probably 1) dont want your money and 2) want to make their own way. But, you know, being pawns in a chess game kinda is what it is.

Bars cannot exist with this type of pandemic.
Neither can schools. Not now, not ever.
 
While you want to bury people in an attempt to save them. You have said nothing of the effects Of solitary. So you don’t actually care about that part.

Sure. They probably 1) dont want your money and 2) want to make their own way. But, you know, being pawns in a chess game kinda is what it is.

Neither can schools. Not now, not ever.
Isolation? See below about Sturgess. We know how people can interact safely by now. That we are not really doing that is the issue.

Paraphrasing:

CG: People need money to pay rent.
DP: OK, let's give them money.
CG: They don't want your money.
DP: ?????

Schools can function. Just not as they have been. I just did a 2 h discussion session for the medical students over zoom. It wasn't ideal, but I think it was close enough to in person to merit the effort. Interestingly, the students get to choose whether they attend remote or live versions for this one. About 75% opted for Zoom. I will be doing a similar discussion live in person (masks and spacing in a cavernous room) on Thursday. People have to adapt as best they can. Bars do too if they want to survive.

View: https://twitter.com/FriedsonAndrew/status/1302591878957862912
 
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Isolation? See below about Sturgess. We know how people can interact safely by now. That we are not really doing that is the issue.

Paraphrasing:

CG: People need money to pay rent.
DP: OK, let's give them money.
CG: They don't want your money.
DP: ?????

Schools can function. Just not as they have been. I just did a 2 h discussion session for the medical students over zoom. It wasn't ideal, but I think it was close enough to in person to merit the effort. Interestingly, the students get to choose whether they attend remote or live versions for this one. About 75% opted for Zoom. I will be doing a similar discussion live in person (masks and spacing in a cavernous room) on Thursday. People have to adapt as best they can. Bars do too if they want to survive.

View: https://twitter.com/FriedsonAndrew/status/1302591878957862912
No way in the world that rally should have been allowed to go ahead. Local government should have taken care of that.
 
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Chris Gadsden

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Isolation? See below about Sturgess. We know how people can interact safely by now. That we are not really doing that is the issue.

Paraphrasing:

CG: People need money to pay rent.
DP: OK, let's give them money.
CG: They don't want your money.
DP: ?????

Schools can function. Just not as they have been. I just did a 2 h discussion session for the medical students over zoom. It wasn't ideal, but I think it was close enough to in person to merit the effort. Interestingly, the students get to choose whether they attend remote or live versions for this one. About 75% opted for Zoom. I will be doing a similar discussion live in person (masks and spacing in a cavernous room) on Thursday. People have to adapt as best they can. Bars do too if they want to survive.

View: https://twitter.com/FriedsonAndrew/status/1302591878957862912
Exercised over Sturgess? So how many nights now in a row in Portland? Over 100?

Real weird how political the Virus chooses to be.

All things being equal humans aren’t geared for the handout. But, you know, let give the hand outs anyway.

I agree, schools can function... but not how they have been. I don’t think they ever will function the way they were. Teachers Unions have declared their members to be non-essential workers and I think A lot of parents In the Country are beginning to agree with the Unions. Beyond that, we can’t keep the kids safe in schools from any virus and a host of other threats.

Education needs to be re-imagined.
 

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