COVID topic vol 2

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Lemon
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by Lemon »

@Jenny it depends what you will do with a test results. Also I have no idea what the regulations WRT meeting, positive cases etc. are in the US full stop so not commenting on that.

So positive test - pretty obvious.

Negative test - reduces the likelihood of having COVID but not to zero. Mainly because 1) could be very early infection 2) could catch en-route as you say and the other big one - 3) how well trained the person taking that test is at getting the sample. So a negative test is definitely lower risk as an individual than no test, but not zero.

In terms of what you do with that? depends on what risk tolerance you have. If you want certainty of no infection it isn't going to do that. But as far as it goes I wouldn't worry too much about the unpleasantness of having the test affect the decision to take or not, it isn't FUN by any means but while uncomfortable it is a mercifully a short experience.

Alphaville
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by Alphaville »

the problem with tests is that they’re only a snapshot. you could catch covid right after taking the test. as you point out, on the airplane. testing upon arrival would make the best sense as you also point out.

since you can’t test upon arrival, that presents a logical gap in your testing plans. there is no real way to know.

i’d unsentimentalize thanksgiving 2020 and operate on a strategic basis if possible. not always possible because we’re not robots.

not being robots is why humans often game systems—when they chafe against them either emotionally or rationally.

choosing to fake symptoms in order to get a test on the basis of emotion can be considered unethical on a purely logical basis. on a cultural basis however, it could provide sufficient justification. e.g. the legal concept of “crimes of passion” in some countries (this is not the same thing, just an example of emotion providing a legal excuse).

now there is also a logical ethical reason to make exceptions in the system, which is not emotional: that one may be an asymptomatic carrier and can’t quarantine and needs to protect others. i.e. needs a reason to force-quarantine.

but if that can be solved by quarantine without test... then you’re stuck with that unhappy solution for the time being. but it’s a solution to the contagion problem, not the emotional one.



eta: there’s also the issue of boarding a plane while knowingly having covid. maybe he should test for the sake of others on the plane? that’s a separate problem from your individual sad thanksgiving problem though—that of giving others a sad thanksgiving.

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jennypenny
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by jennypenny »

@ertyu -- I'm not making him come home. He decided to fly home because (1) his school is going virtual for a while, (2) Pennsylvania is a safer place to be than SD, and (3) it's too far for him to drive by himself (1800+ miles) since he also has to 'attend' school every day and needs good internet and obviously can't be driving while online. If he's going to get locked down somewhere for part of the winter, our house/state is a much better option.

@Lemon -- The school brought in people from the local hospital to administer the tests, so I'm pretty confident (as much as I can be, I guess). You're right though that I would probably still want a strict quarantine when he got home since we have some high risk individuals in our bubble.

@Alphaville -- I should have made it clear that yes, if he tested positive he would stay in SD until he was no longer contagious. We aren't trying to be reckless, just trying to find a way to (safely) get him home before any new lockdowns.


I guess I'll have him take the test to make sure it's safe for him to fly. He'll wear a mask and shield on the flights (assuming he's negative), and quarantine when he gets home. Maybe I'll do thanksgiving out in the backyard Charlie Brown style so he can join us.

Alphaville
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by Alphaville »

i hear ya, and it’s a logistical nightmare.

the most biologically contained path i can think of is if he’d test, then drive straight home, while avoiding gas station bathrooms (i have my ways :lol:).

but long-distance solo driving has its own risks which are not negligible, particularly under winter conditions. the fact that it’s a van could be helpful (mattress in the back) but the sleep is not great as i recall from road trips of yore.

it’s not an easy move however you slice it.

probably flight + straight quarantine at home is best. just reframe it from charlie brown sadness to grateful to be home safe, even if it’s in a temporary bubble.

or move thanksgiving dinner to a post-quarantine date. what is a calendar anyway? mass hypnosis. give thanks when you’re good and ready. plus you can find turkey on sale :D

Seppia
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by Seppia »

@jp do you have a room for him?
If yes, just go Asian on him and have him quarantine for 14 days and take a test on day 12.
You don’t need to actually close him in a small apartment for 14 days*, just make sure he wears a mask when he gets out, doesn’t see anybody when he does and doesn’t touch anything other than the door knob (which should be disinfected after he gets back in).


*BTW, it’s not that bad if one has internet, access to fresh air and some sort of open view. I’m doing it for the second time in a month and a half and it’s not the end of the world.

theanimal
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by theanimal »

Jenny- I would have him take the test prior to coming home. I've been tested multiple times for work and have experienced both tests. The older one where they go all the way back into your nasal cavity for 5 sec and the shallower one in both nostrils for 10 sec. It's slightly uncomfortable but it's not bad and not worth avoiding if you're concerned.

I am still of the opinion that it is safer to fly than drive, even with the virus factored into the equation. A month or so ago there was a report out stating that since March, only something like 40 people out of a billion passengers worldwide had contracted the virus from being on a plane. I'll see if I can find it later today.

classical_Liberal
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by classical_Liberal »

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:06 am
It has definitely had an effect on Influenza, the CDC recently said it was down by 90% over the same period last year.
Wow! I had to look that up to confirm, it's true. Thanks for info, I had no idea. Maybe COVID will create some habit changes in the population that have a longer term net positive for an overpopulated world wrt infectious disease?

In any event, it shows how highly contagious COVID itself is (given 90% reduction in influenza, behavior changes are obviously present), and kind-of supports my original thesis that it's not containable without draconian lockdowns. This is gonna be a bad winter. I highly doubt vaccines will be available for the general public in less than several more months. If current trends continue, my home state of ND will be at or near herd immunity by Spring anyway. There is a statewide mask mandate now, but mask compliance was very high already and had been mandated in the biggest "cities" for a month already. Not sure it'll have much of an effect since these behavior changes were mostly already in place.

I've found antibody titers for as low as $65 now. Might be worth the investment to determine personal strategies going forward.

chenda
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by chenda »

jennypenny wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:54 am
DS lives in SD and is flying home next weekend (for a couple of months).
FWIW I took a few flights last month and was very reassured by the covid measures taken on board. Everyone is in masks and the plane is apparently sanitised after every flight. I wouldn't have done it if I was high risk but even then, I think its still the safest way to travel.

Seppia
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by Seppia »

Also, serious airlines are only flying planes with the latest HEPA filters installed, that filter the air eliminating almost all contaminants every two minutes.
See point #5
https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_HK/ ... ycare.html
Basically, flying on one of these planes is akin to being outside. Couple this with mandatory masking and it’s fairly safe.

I have been looking into this quite a bit as I just moved the whole family to HK, the local authorities are very transparent.
An additional proof of safety is that I have found no cases popping up after being on a plane with infected people (and there are a lot of flights coming in with infected people https://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/flights_trains_en.pdf )
Last edited by Seppia on Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by jacob »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:57 am
Wow! I had to look that up to confirm, it's true. Thanks for info, I had no idea. Maybe COVID will create some habit changes in the population that have a longer term net positive for an overpopulated world wrt infectious disease?
Late spring/Early summer I read (unverified) that the flu had temporarily been completely eliminated in Denmark. (Compliance has been markedly higher in Denmark than the UK or US.) Recall that, for the pre-COVID social behavior, R0 for the flu was around 1.1 whereas for CV19 itself it was estimated at 3.5--4.5. It's not that surprising that the flu is practically gone since it infects and exposes people in very similar way (reach and force). Its current R0 must have dropped to 1/3 or 1/4 as social behavior gets "algorithmically/behaviorally" dialed in to converge on ~1 along the CV19 axis.

Apparently the Japanese custom of wearing masks in public dates back to 1918. When I first saw it practiced on airplanes, I figured that this must be an extremely paranoid individual. Turns out that it's actually an altruistic measure, so those who wore masks were more motivated by having recently been "sneezy" and not infecting fellow travelers than they were about catching something from someone else.

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jennypenny
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by jennypenny »

That flu statistic is a little frightening tbh. Is covid really that much more communicable, even with precautions? Or is the difference that most people who contract the flu know they have the flu and stay home, whereas many people with covid are asymptomatic so they unknowingly continue to circulate thereby infecting more people?

ertyu
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by ertyu »

jennypenny wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:10 pm

know they have the flu and stay home
in what economy? it's the expectation on workers to take a tylenol and go back to work when ill with regular flu. this expectation is stronger for grocery store, fast food etc. employees that come into contact with many people on a daily basis and are thus more likely to infect others. it has certainly been the expectation at every job i've held that i'll take a pill and show up even though i'm white collar. taking days off and recognizing those as paid time off was made extremely convoluted so that if you're ill, it's still easier to show up to work than it is to go through the requirements to get the requisite paperwork to get your absence recognized as legitimate medical leave. The low R0 on regular flu is with this in place.

tl;dr: yes covid is that infectious.

black_son_of_gray
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by black_son_of_gray »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:57 am
If current trends continue, my home state of ND will be at or near herd immunity by Spring anyway. There is a statewide mask mandate now, but mask compliance was very high already and had been mandated in the biggest "cities" for a month already. Not sure it'll have much of an effect since these behavior changes were mostly already in place.
Came here to make this point.

If we look generally at the US numbers (worldometers), five months ago (June 15) there were ~2.2 million confirmed cased. Today there are 11.2 million confirmed cases, or a (11.2/2.2) ~5.1x increase. If we assume widespread availability of the vaccine will take another 5 months or so*, then we are looking at perhaps (11.2*5.1) 57.1 million confirmed cases. Confirmed cases are clearly an under-count, as many people are asymptomatic and therefore never get tested, or already know that they have it when they get it and never get tested to confirm. Various experts have hinted that the true number is likely in the range of 5-10x higher. If we take the lower number there (5x higher), then that suggests that (285.5 million infected/~330 million population) 86.5% of the population would have encountered SARS-CoV-2 before they can get the vaccine.

Sure, there are a bunch of confounds with the simple math above. The infection curve is S-shaped as the population acquires herd immunity. The 5x-10x under-count numbers could be wrong. The vaccine might roll out a month or so earlier. People might take precautions more (or less) seriously in time. But as a general estimate, I think it puts us in the ballpark.

The implications would seem to be: 1) The vaccine won't prevent nearly as many illnesses/deaths in the US as people might be expecting it too**. 2) Far fewer vaccines will be needed in the US to get a noticeable impact (perhaps fewer than 100 million, although it makes sense to push for everyone to eventually get vaccinated if possible). This would make the roll-out logistics much more forgiving. 3) Those (individuals, communities, or states) that have most stringently adhered to safe practices are overwhelmingly the most benefited by a vaccine. In other words, the vaccine will be a game-changer for some people (e.g. those at risk that have largely withdrawn from society) and certain places (e.g. Vermont, etc.), but the current trajectory is that the vaccine's arrival will only serve to top off the immunity already achieved. It'll do almost nothing for a whole lot of virus-ravaged communities. The flip side, though, is that those worse-hit communities would likely already be nearly if not fully "re-opened" by then***.

*Indeed, we are only about half-way done, at best, at this point.
** Of course, around the world, the vaccine is hopefully going to prevent a huge amount of illnesses/death.
*** Which puts more pressure on the unvaccinated and never-infected population to get the vaccine ASAP, because requirements like social distancing, mask wearing in stores, or the ability to work from home to avoid infection, and the availability of special government programs like unemployment assistance will go away even as the remnants of the coronavirus still spreads throughout the community.

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Stahlmann
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by Stahlmann »

Hmm. So things are becoming interesting.

George the original one
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by George the original one »

Those of you that are calculating we'll reach herd immunity seem to be ignoring the question of how long immunity lasts. There's a UK study that indicates 6 months might be the limit of antibodies for this virus... how might that impact your calculations?

ZAFCorrection
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by ZAFCorrection »

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101 ... 1.362319v1

Unless I am missing something, they are putting 6 months as the known lower limit for T cell response, not the upper limit.

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Ego
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by Ego »

Cross reactive immunity (from other coronaviruses, ie. the common cold) has been rather durable and long lasting. While the virus has spread in sub-Saharan Africa, far fewer have died than in Europe or North America because they've been previously exposed to the common cold. This despite the fact that they have extremely high HIV rates (43% of the study participants in Zambia) as well as malaria, cholera and TB which all dampen immune response.

This may also partially explain why children are less vulnerable, because they are reservoirs - often asymptomatic - of the common cold.

https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S120 ... 9/fulltext

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/ ... ce.abe1107

Also, this presents a very big problem for those hoping the vaccine with solve all problems. It is extremely unlikely that any of the vaccines will produce sterilizing immunity (a cure). It will reduce the load and lessen symptoms. Those vaccinated people will still catch the virus and be infectious but will not feel symptoms so they will spread the disease. Old people and those with comorbidities will get vaccinated but they will still have their vulnerabilities and they will have flaccid immune systems that have been unchallenged for a year. So they will need to be protected. Forever.

------

Also, a combination treatment of Ivermectin and doxycycline looks very promising. But these two drugs have been around for years and are available as generics so there is no profit.

https://www.trialsitenews.com/peer-revi ... -covid-19/

Horse ivermectin was still available over the counter in April when I bought it. For my horse. Apple flavor. Just in case things got bad.

UK-with-kids
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by UK-with-kids »

Humans en masse are kind of simple creatures who like comforting stories rather than all this math(s) and science. So the narrative of "lockdown worked, it saved lives" followed up soon by "the vaccine worked, it saved lives", will get us "back to normal" at some point next year.

Nobody is interested in hearing counter narratives about what else might have happened if government action had been different, or that it's a common misconception that x was caused by y when it was actually z that was behind it. The vaccine is the get out of jail card for the politicians who need a way to end damaging lockdowns but can't appear to be uncaring about old people dying.

Something else hard-wired into the DNA of most humans is that they are highly sociable, and this is why long-term masking wearing and cancellation of social lives and events is impossible. The expression "the new normal" reminds me of "this time it's different"! Yes there are technological developments which will be sped up, and maybe we don't need a physical shop/store for every item you can buy for example. But most people don't really want to live their lives over Zoom and buy everything online without any human contact, and they never will.

SARS-Cov-2 will eventually become another background virus that occasionally kills a few elderly people but which nobody thinks too much about (there are plenty of others). When we draw an historical graph of deaths per year, 2020 will look a lot more like 1957 (Asian Flu) than 1918 (Spanish Flu) - in other words you won't be able to notice it. This is basically because in the UK for example average life expectancy is 81 years and the median age of death with Covid is 82 years.

If anything, deaths will increase more over the next few years as we reap the consequences of health services focusing too much on Covid and not enough on more serious diseases like cancer that kill younger people. Additionally, the lockdown measures have damaged the economy, and deprivation is strongly correlated with poorer health outcomes.

Flurry
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by Flurry »

UK-with-kids wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:34 am
Nobody is interested in hearing counter narratives about what else might have happened if government action had been different
In Germany and Austria it feels like it's forbidden to even think about any other way to deal with the pandemic. Everyday there's something in the news how inferior the Swedish way is, for example.

J_
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Re: COVID topic vol 2

Post by J_ »

Reading tea-leafs for how the covid-future will be is an (old) sport. And many of us like that sport, so to read.

All measures here in Europe and the USA to contain the number of (very) sick people are to keep the existing hospitals not overloaded. No other reason.
And yes its costs are a less blooming economy, and will end in rising taxes. And yes, to people who work in affected industries it may cost their job. But I see new jobs arising...

But what is ìn our control is to get knowledge (and skills to cook) about the best food you can eat, to move your body and to get enough rest, to strive to the best possible health you can obtain. That is the only way to be prepaired if you have the bad luck to become infected with this virus. In such a way you have much more chance to become one of the non-symptomatic ones who surives.

Our news-papers, our governments hardly pay attention to this very basic given, let us here in the forum not do the same.

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