New Coronavirus threat

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Common flu affects billions of people annually. Every day there is pandemic. Whether we consider something pandemic depends on politics.

If you think about it, CDC released stats only a few thousand people in the US died from COVID-19, the remaining deaths were associated with COVD-19 but not necessarily due to it.
There is absolutely no equivalence between seasonal flu and COVID19. The former is a well-understood virus whose treatment, mitigation and management strategies are well established. The latter is a far more dangerous (and probably contagious) novel virus that is poorly understood by comparison.
 
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Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Common flu was also pretty lethal when it first appeared. The survivors are pretty much immune to it. Same with black death. The survivors transmitted it to the New World after it ravaged Europe. COVID-19 lethality is down to 1 to 3 percent now that the people who are most susceptible to it have been killed by it. Over the next year lethality should fall to 1 percent. 10 years from now the survivors will be pretty much all immune to it.
More sweeping claims with no sources to support them. An infection fatality rate (IFR) of 1-3% would make COVID19 orders of magnitude more lethal than seasonal flu. Bearing in mind that only a small fraction of the human population has been exposed to the disease and the existence & mechanisms for immunity after exposure are not yet well documented, you are simply peddling misinformation at this point.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
More sweeping claims with no sources to support them. An infection fatality rate (IFR) of 1-3% would make COVID19 orders of magnitude more lethal than seasonal flu. Bearing in mind that only a small fraction of the human population has been exposed to the disease and the existence & mechanisms for immunity after exposure are not yet well documented, you are simply peddling misinformation at this point.
Many thanks for your lucid efforts at correcting deliberate misinformation being posted by fozraro. For his refusal to accept the science of pandemic management and lack of ability to respond professionally across multiple threads, the Moderators, at the request of multiple members, who have reported his posts, have also banned him.

For good order, see also : Covid-19 pandemic & Fake News - How you can help
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Many thanks for your lucid efforts at correcting deliberate misinformation being posted by fozraro. For his refusal to accept the science of pandemic management and lack of ability to respond professionally across multiple threads, the Moderators, at the request of multiple members, who have reported his posts, have also banned him.

For good order, see also : Covid-19 pandemic & Fake News - How you can help
No problem @OPSSG. Happy to do what I can to maintain the quality of information on the forum.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #685
Early indications suggest the flu season will be minimal in Canada, similar to Southern Hemisphere countries. Not sure which measures are most responsible for the decrease, masks and social distancing or travel bans or all these measures? As the US and Canada have similar travel bans but different approaches to mask wearing and social distancing, any significant higher flu infection rates in the US would seem to indicate mask and social distancing are the main reasons for lower rates this year.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/flu-season-2020-canada-public-health-1.58046731605632966384.png
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Our health experts in NZ have put the very low flu rate down to the COVID-19 precautions that have been taken here. Whether or not the same low rates will occur in the northern hemisphere will depend upon individual countries COVID-19 pandemic precautions.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Updates from America — Part 1 of 4

1. Since 2 Oct 2020, the number of Americans infected has been growing at an exponential rate. Even the US President Donald Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19 on that day.
(a) As daily deaths from the coronavirus reach new records, a new IPSOS/Axios poll finds that a core group of 18% of Americans, like Trump, continue to regularly engage in the behaviors thought riskiest for spreading the disease.​
  • This group spent at least an hour restaurants & bars, entertainment centers, other people’s homes, gyms, or places of worship; or spent over 10 hours total indoors out of home in the last week.
  • 44% of this group report wearing a mask at all times and only 36% are concerned about the coronavirus pandemic.
  • This group tends to be under the age of 55, more likely to be male, and more likely to be Republican.
  • People who primarily get their news from local sources or do not consume news are more likely to be in this group.
W32


(b) The rest of Americans are more worried about the coronavirus now than at any point since early this Summer.​
  • 60% of Americans are extremely or very concerned about the coronavirus outbreak with an additional 25% somewhat concerned. This high level has sustained from before Thanksgiving and was last seen in June.
  • Almost 73% say returning to a pre-coronavirus life right now would be a large or moderate risk, the highest levels seen since this question began tracking in April.
(c) Interest in the first generation COVID-19 vaccine continues to climb as it becomes more of a reality.​
  • This week, over 53% say they would be likely to get the first generation COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available, up from 51% before Thanksgiving and 38% in early October.
  • Most people are more likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine if it
    • has been proven safe and effective by public health officials (69%),
    • has a 90%+ effectiveness rate (67%), or
    • has been on the market a few months (65%).
  • When presented with a situation where former presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton take the vaccine publicly, 60% say they would be likely to take it. An improvement over the baseline but not as convincing as the safety arguments.
2. These are daily numbers from the US:
  • 3,054 deaths;
  • 209,822 new coronavirus cases; and
  • 106,688 hospitalizations.
3. NY is hit by another wave of infections, with 1,524 infected in city hospitals.

4. Biden’s first major announcement after being projected the winner of the election, was to announce a coronavirus advisory board to guide him during the transition.

5. The task force is chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler and Yale University's Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. Among the other members are Dr. Luciana Borio, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Dr. Zeke Emanuel, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act and an ex-Obama health adviser. The latest announcement of Biden's selection of:

(a) infectious disease expert Dr. Rochelle Walensky to head the CDC; The CDC will manage the distribution of a Covid vaccine, a complex process that will be one of the largest immunization campaigns in U.S. history. Health care leaders celebrated Walensky’s appointment after the news broke.​
(b) Xavier Becerra as Health Secretary (Attorney General of California and former member of the House of Representatives);​
(c) the return of Dr. Vivek Murthy as surgeon general;​

(d) the elevation of Dr. Anthony Fauci to medical adviser;​

(e) Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith as a COVID-19 Equity Task Force chair (Nunez-Smith is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Management at the Yale School of Medicine);​

(f) Jeff Zients as Coronavirus Coordinator (Zients previously earned broad acclaim for his leadership of the 2013 HealthCare.gov tech surge and his oversight of the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ fuel-efficiency program); and​

(g) Natalie Quillian as Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response (Quillian is a national security expert, former White House and Pentagon senior advisor, who had played an instrumental role in coordinating the Obama-Biden administration’s interagency response to the opioid epidemic),​

all point to a more assertive federal coronavirus role and a restoration of the traditionally important role of science in public health emergencies.​
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
A Snapshot on Korea

1. South Korean authorities scrambled on 10 Dec 2020, to build shipping container hospital beds to alleviate medical facilities stretched by the latest coronavirus wave, which shows little sign of abating with 682 new cases.

2. The resurgence of infections has rekindled concerns about an acute shortage of hospital beds, prompting Seoul city to begin installing container beds for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Updates from America — Part 2 of 4

6. Let me quote an extract of an article by Sema Sgaier and Neela Saldanha: Biden’s Covid-19 Task Force Needs Behavioral Scientists in Harvard Biz Review, that speaks to many of my concerns:

“In any case, given the challenge of vaccine development, manufacturing, and distribution, it could be some time before we see mass vaccinations — perhaps half a year or more. In the meantime, Americans will need to adopt and continue other behaviors, such as limiting the size of their social gatherings, participating in social distancing, and wearing face masks. These behaviors need to be adopted consistently — something we know that has proven hard to achieve. Mask wearing today across America is still highly variable — ranging from 75% to 90%. In our own research, we found that while people thought they understood social distancing, they were not consistent in its interpretation: For example, some didn’t consider visiting friends and family to be in violation of social distancing. Since every passing day means thousands more deaths and more strain on our health care system, persuading people to get and stay with the program is urgent. These behaviors must become habits.​

So how do we address these challenges?​

Based on their study of human behavior in a number of domains, health among them, social and behavioral scientists understand the task at hand. They know that despite our intentions, we don’t take flu shots or get preventive screenings done on time. Almost half of the people with chronic diseases don’t take their medications as doctors prescribe. And according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one in 10 Americans eats enough fruit and vegetables despite decades of research and communication outlining the benefits of doing so.​

These behaviors are driven by our own identities and contexts: the circumstances we’re exposed to; the constraints we have; the people with whom we interact; and our goals, beliefs, and values. And these factors may be very different for different people. For example, in the CDC study on vegetable consumption, the groups least likely to eat vegetables were men, young adults, and adults living in poverty. Potential explanations could range from contextual explanations — such as a lack of availability of vegetables or high prices — to identity explanations, such as the association of masculinity with eating meat.​

A one-size-fits-all behavioral approach, therefore, cannot get us to 90% mask compliance or the high levels of vaccine uptake we need to achieve herd immunity (which means 65% to 70% of the population, according to the World Health Organization). We need to segment prospective mask wearers or mask avoiders based on the reasons behind their actions. In our previously mentioned research on social distancing, for example, we found that higher financial security, higher levels of information seeking, and higher levels of worry about the pandemic were key drivers of whether people engaged in social distancing.​

...​

Having applied behavioral scientists with experience in implementing interventions in the real world will be critical to translate recommendations into an operational “playbook” that helps states and local bodies turn the guidance into actions. Such a playbook would recommend tested interventions — including messaging campaigns (which also strive to counter misinformation) — to address each individual population’s precise set of behavioral drivers. It will help ensure that the right set of interventions are applied to the right people through the right channels.”​

7. Overseeing the coronavirus response will be the most complicated task Becerra has ever contemplated. By next year, the US will be engaged in a mass vaccination campaign, the groundwork for which has been laid under the Trump administration. As former senior House Democrat, Becerra played a role in steering the Obama health law through Congress in 2009 and 2010. Hopefully, Biden’s new health team will be able to hit the ground running, with a vaccination plan, on 20 Jan 2021.
 
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tonnyc

Active Member
The University of Queensland vaccine candidate has been halted because it creates false positives on HIV tests. Again, it's false positives. There is no danger of getting HIV from this vaccine candidate and this has been verified by further testing on the trial volunteers. In the big picture this is not a big deal, because Australia will just buy more of other vaccine candidates (deals with Astra Zeneca and Pfizer are confirmed for Australia), but the tech that they use for this vaccine is interesting.

It uses a protein sequence marker from the SARS-COV-2. However, the protein sequence alone will deteriorate too quickly to be useful, so it attaches the SARS-COV-2 marker to another protein sequence. However, this protein sequence is taken from HIV. I'm not sure why they decided to do this rather than use some other protein sequence but given that the University of Queensland has an extensive HIV research work, it might be because it allows them to start with something they already have an extensive amount of data rather than starting from scratch.

They estimate that switching to another protein sequence base will take them another year and by then other vaccine candidates will already be finished, so they decided to give up on this. I am hoping that they don't shut this line of research completely though. The fact that it makes the body create antibodies to fight against HIV points to the possibility of a future HIV vaccine. Alternatively, using a protein sequence from another virus could create a combinatory vaccine that's effective against both COVID-19 and another disease. A vaccine that's effective against both influenza and COVID-19 will be very convenient, for example.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Updates from America — Part 3 of 4

8. Doctor thanked by Biden fired by Yuma Regional Medical Center for his social media posts alerting people about the deadly severity of the coronavirus pandemic in Arizona.

9. Something is rotten in the State of Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey has made it clear he will not impose any new restrictions — a position he has held for months — but even if he did it would be too little too late. Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, once again called out Ducey and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ for slow walking their efforts to combat COVID-19.
(a) Board members and superintendents of Schools in Arizona say the decisions they're confronted with come with little support or counsel from Gov. Doug Ducey and other state leaders, while they face mounting pressure from parents and teachers.​
(b) What has evolved since Aug 2020 is the philosophy around whether schools should stay open when COVID-19 numbers rise. Health and education leaders have said they believe behavior outside of the classroom primarily drives outbreaks.​
(c) Decisions to open and close are made by individual school districts. Many suburban districts opened in Sep and Oct 2020, while schools in the urban core of Phoenix have remained closed and plan to stay that way through the end of the year.​
(d) As COVID-19 cases increased in Nov 2020, more districts in Arizona started to contemplate a switch back to virtual school or to a hybrid model, where students are on-campus half the week and learn online the other half.​

10. On 10 Dec 2020, Arizona reported more than 4,900 new COVID-19 cases and 73 new known deaths as infection and hospitalization numbers continue their weeks-long upward trend statewide in the latest COVID-19 wave.
(a) Dr. Monica Kraft, a pulmonary physician at the University of Arizona and Banner Medical in Tucson, paints an even more dire picture of what’s going on in southern Arizona where the Pima County Office of Emergency Management issued a public health advisory on 9 Dec 2020 that hospitals have reached capacity. Things are so bad, Kraft said, that a patient of hers who did not have COVID-19 couldn’t receive treatment for an asthma attack because no rooms were available. And the pharmacy was backed up, so she couldn’t receive medication there as a backup option.​
(b) A report released 19 Nov 2020 by Arizona State University predicted that hospital capacity in Arizona will be exceeded in Dec 2020 and that, without additional public health measures, holiday gatherings are likely to cause 600 to 1,200 additional deaths from COVID-19 in Arizona by 1 Feb 2020 beyond current-scenario death projections.​
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Updates from America — Part 4 of 4

11. The above article tells us that because COVID-19 is rapidly filling up all hospitals, parts of America may no longer have beds for strokes, heart attacks, car accidents, and so on. Serious diseases or accidents that is normally treated in an American hospital will not be as readily treated (or be treated at all), once the ICU capacity is gone.

12. California ICUs are full. Los Angeles County Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Christina Ghaly has laid out the following equation, which has proven reliable:
  • about 12% of all coronavirus cases end up in the hospital
  • 6% of all coronavirus cases end up in the hospital end up in the ICU
  • 4% of all coronavirus cases end up on a ventilator
  • 2% of all coronavirus cases die
Doing the math, that means 3,561 of the 29,677 infections reported in California on 10 Dec 2020 will end up in a hospital. Of those, 1,780 will require ICU care. Some 1,175 of those ICU patients will require a ventilator. That means 587 people will die as a result of 10 Dec 2020 (Thurs) single-day new numbers.

13. EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. On the heels of a new regional stay-at-home order due to what state public health officials call a “rapid” surge in Covid-19 hospitalizations, three more counties have been moved to the most restrictive level on the state’s reopening tier system, bringing the total number of “purple” counties to 54 out of 58.

14. In California, Amador, Marin and Mono counties are the latest to drop down to the purple tier. Mariposa, Inyo and Alpine remain in the red or “substantial” tier and Sierra remains in the orange or “moderate” tier.

15. The 54 counties in California are now in in the purple tier include 981 public school districts and 1,300 charter schools, enrolling a total of 6,065,117 students — 99.87% of the state’s total enrollment.

16. Numerous ideologues in America are in deep denial. Denial does not change the fact that:

(a) 1 out of every 500 residents in New Jersey are dead due to the pandemic.​

(b) 1 out of every 675 residents in North Dakota are dead due to the pandemic.​

(c) 1 out of every 721 residents in Mississippi are dead due to the pandemic.​

(d) 1 out of every 731 residents in South Dakota are dead due to the pandemic.​

17. Beyond New Jersey, North Dakota, Mississippi, and South Dakota, 8 other states and DC have already hit the 1 in 1,000 dead milestone: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Illinois, Michigan and Iowa. Five other states are likely to join that "club" soon: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Indiana. We should not lose sight of this fact: more Americans have died from Covid-19 in 9 months than in combat over 4 years in World War II. The virus death toll exceeds 292,000, compared with 291,557 American World War II battle deaths.

18. Pfizer's vaccine has already received emergency approval in Britain and Canada. In more good news, emergency use authorization allows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the US. See: FDA Takes Key Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
A Snapshot on Korea

2. The resurgence of infections has rekindled concerns about an acute shortage of hospital beds, prompting Seoul city to begin installing container beds for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
1. The number infected in Korea (42,766) is still lower than the cumulative number of infected in Singapore (58,313) but their death rate (580) is 20 times that of Singapore (29). The mask wearing requirement took effect from 14 Apr 2020 in Singapore and this same requirement was imposed only on 13 Oct 2020 in Korea. To date, Singapore with a population of 6.5 million, has done 4,834,370 CORVID-19 swap tests on 1,247,202 individuals (some of whom are tested routinely).

2. In Korea, several cluster outbreaks caused by individual asymptomatic superspreaders have led the government to focus on groups thought most likely to infect others — the Shincheonji Church of Jesus was identified as South Korea's biggest virus cluster. The controversial group was found to be linked to more than 5,200 cases. To aid contact tracing, Korea has a QR code-based registration system for patrons at bars, clubs, and other entertainment facilities across the country that are considered high risk for COVID-19. Information on this QR code system and Korea’s “distancing in daily life” philosophy are available on the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s COVID-19 Portal.

3. 312 of the Aug 2020 new cases have been linked to Sarang Jeil Church, where 3,400 have been placed in quarantine and 2,000 have been screened," said Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip in a Yonhap report dated 17 Aug 2020.

4. Fines for Non-Compliance:
  • Beginning 13 Oct 2020, face masks are compulsory in public places (public transportation, demonstration sites and in healthcare facilities). Failure to wear an appropriate mask that covers both nose and mouth could result in a fine of up to 100,000 won (approximately $100).
  • People suspected of having COVID-19 who refuse to get tested can be fined up to 10 million won (approximately $10,000) or one year of prison.
  • Users and operators of high-risk businesses who violate disinfection and quarantine guidelines can be fined up to 3 million won (approximately $3,000).
  • Those who violate a self-quarantine order may be subject to a fine, arrest, or deportation. This includes failing to respond to daily checks conducted by MOHW.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
UK in the news for the wrong reasons

1. "Efforts are under way to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission," the scientists, from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, said in a statement. The new variant, which UK scientists have named "VUI – 202012/01" includes a genetic mutation in the "spike" protein, which - in theory - could result in COVID-19 spreading more easily between people.

2. As of Dec. 13, 1,108 COVID-19 cases with the new variant had been identified, predominantly in the south and east of England, Public Health England said in a statement. But there is currently no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe COVID-19 infections, the scientists said, or that it would render vaccines less effective.

3. "Both questions require further studies performed at pace," the COG-UK scientists said.

4. European nations have begun to impose travel bans on the UK after it reported a more-infectious and "out of control" coronavirus variant. Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium are all halting flights. The measures vary and are initially short-term but the French rules also affect Channel freight.

5. An EU meeting on 21 Dec 2020 (AM) will discuss a more co-ordinated response.

6. Two travellers from the United Kingdom to Australia's New South Wales state were found carrying the mutated variant of the virus that Britain has said could be up to 70% more infectious. Both are in quarantine, and the recent spike in infections in Sydney is not linked to this, authorities said.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #697
You have to wonder about the French restrictions on freight, a Brexit negotiation tactic perhaps. Have to admit it will give the UK a clear indication about what a no deal might look like.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
You have to wonder about the French restrictions on freight, a Brexit negotiation tactic perhaps. Have to admit it will give the UK a clear indication about what a no deal might look like.
Not necessarily. It can be aimed at the drivers of the trucks, trains etc.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #699
Even though the Canadian- US border has been closed for 9 months, truck traffic continues. There are restrictions on drivers, only access to specific truck stops and their delivery points and staying in their cabs for sleeping. Haven’t heard about any problems but who really knows? Losing distribution of essential goods might be a bigger problem than increased infection rates at this point.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Even though the Canadian- US border has been closed for 9 months, truck traffic continues. There are restrictions on drivers, only access to specific truck stops and their delivery points and staying in their cabs for sleeping. Haven’t heard about any problems but who really knows? Losing distribution of essential goods might be a bigger problem than increased infection rates at this point.
Look at where UK is charting, for death rates per 100k. Care for French drivers of goods vehicles? I am really confused by the motivation to close the border to trucks.
 
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