Author Topic: coronavirus  (Read 616287 times)

ScottF

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4000 on: December 29, 2021, 11:16:25 AM »
Looking forward to Scott support for soft drink taxes or high fructose corn bans, since he's so concerned about obesity. I'm not sure what his obsession is with the fatties. Subsidies for healthy food would be useful as well, or mandated gym membership reimbursement by businesses over a certain size.

I'm not advocating anything - I'm squarely on the side of less intervention and intrusion vs more. My challenge is one of consistency. The comment was about punishing states that don't have vax mandates. If the idea is to use federal funds as a cudgel to make sure states are enforcing "healthy behaviors" I want to see where the line is. Mandates that led to reducing obesity would have orders of magnitude health benefits beyond vax mandates.

So yeah, by this line of reasoning states who don't ban soft drinks, corn syrup and potentially enforce calisthenics/activity reporting, etc. should also have funds withheld until they fall in line.

Fenring

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4001 on: December 29, 2021, 11:17:19 AM »
So the Federal Gov should not withhold funds for abortions, which are a Constitutional right?

I'm a bit hazy on this sort of legal statement. I was under the impression that Roe barred government from banning abortions, rather than implying they were a natural right. Is that not the case?

ScottF

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4002 on: December 29, 2021, 11:27:22 AM »
Turns out PCR tests are typically being run at sensitivity levels that are too high (gasp! shocked!) and the CDC now says you *should not* test again after quarantining.

This came to my attention over a year ago, when I read that the amount of 'cycles' the PCR tests use are typically well over the amount they are supposed to use. It may mean there are some amount of positive results that involve a minimal amount of virus. But as others have mentioned I'm sure there are many unreported cases, so maybe they balance out in terms of the overall stats. The 'false positive' is much harsher for people living in places with mandatory quarantine.

Or it could mean that the cycle threshold being used in PCR tests has always been far too high, as the NYT reported last summer.

TheDrake

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4003 on: December 29, 2021, 11:36:50 AM »
Looking forward to Scott support for soft drink taxes or high fructose corn bans, since he's so concerned about obesity. I'm not sure what his obsession is with the fatties. Subsidies for healthy food would be useful as well, or mandated gym membership reimbursement by businesses over a certain size.

I'm not advocating anything - I'm squarely on the side of less intervention and intrusion vs more. My challenge is one of consistency. The comment was about punishing states that don't have vax mandates. If the idea is to use federal funds as a cudgel to make sure states are enforcing "healthy behaviors" I want to see where the line is. Mandates that led to reducing obesity would have orders of magnitude health benefits beyond vax mandates.

So yeah, by this line of reasoning states who don't ban soft drinks, corn syrup and potentially enforce calisthenics/activity reporting, etc. should also have funds withheld until they fall in line.

We can't leave critical decisions that cross state lines just up to the states. Florida's rampant corona problems don't stay in Florida, because you know there is free interstate travel right? Obesity changes outcomes that affect largely Florida hospitals, but also certainly impact federal funds. Mask resistance and vaccine resistance affects the entire country, and to a lesser degree the world.

That's why I support clubbing businesses with OSHA to get vaccines, but not wellness programs. It is entirely consistent under this framework.

There is certainly an argument to be made that the federal taxes that support Medicaid and Medicare, not to mention VA, are impacted negatively by both vaccine rates and obesity and other health factors. If we were using that argument, I agree that this is potentially problematic.

There's nothing new about tying federal dollars to state law, however. Highway funds were used to force a national speed limit at 55. The argument here is one of gas conservation, because fuel prices also crossed state boundaries.

Fenring

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4004 on: December 29, 2021, 11:46:52 AM »
Or it could mean that the cycle threshold being used in PCR tests has always been far too high, as the NYT reported last summer.

That may be where I heard it, I forget. Since then I had always assumed that the threshold was too high. I also read at that time that the PCR test itself was repurposed and wasn't meant for this use. Not that I'm against repurposing things in a pinch. Last year I was concerned that the numbers were being trumped up to make press and for government overreach. But there are a lot of real world details which suggest that even if the numbers were trumped up it may not matter since it's clearly a major medical emergency anyhow. Many people are willing to lie or cheat in order to demonstrate something that is, in fact, true. They don't understand that when the standard of truth is distorted it makes people suspicious of the truth.

ScottF

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4005 on: December 29, 2021, 01:31:23 PM »
Do you feel it's still (ie currently) a medical emergency?

Fenring

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4006 on: December 29, 2021, 02:02:39 PM »
Do you feel it's still (ie currently) a medical emergency?

I didn't anymore as of this summer. With Omicron I really don't know. I'm hearing conflicting reports about how dangerous this strain is. Either we're (a) headed toward a lower grade disease which can be added to the roster of yearly cold season ailments, or (b) dealing with early versions of a highly adaptive creature which attacks organ systems and the brain, and which is going to radically alter life as we know it permanently. No one wants to think it could be (b), but I think it could be. Obviously I hope it's (a).

TheDeamon

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4007 on: December 29, 2021, 02:07:11 PM »
Do you feel it's still (ie currently) a medical emergency?

I didn't anymore as of this summer. With Omicron I really don't know. I'm hearing conflicting reports about how dangerous this strain is. Either we're (a) headed toward a lower grade disease which can be added to the roster of yearly cold season ailments, or (b) dealing with early versions of a highly adaptive creature which attacks organ systems and the brain, and which is going to radically alter life as we know it permanently. No one wants to think it could be (b), but I think it could be. Obviously I hope it's (a).

Problem is things are getting mixed and crossed. A lot of the "organ destruction" and long term health impact reports are coming from earlier covid strains. Delta and earlier might destroy your organs. Omicron is unknown.

Of course, the other problem with Omicron is its R factor is much higher than earlier strains of Covid. So even if it is less dangerous than earlier strains, because it is far more contagious, it still overwhelms the hospitals.

LetterRip

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4008 on: December 29, 2021, 02:09:14 PM »
The big problem with PCR is not the cycle threshold used, but the fact that it can't differentiate live virus from virus that is inactivated such as by antibodies.  The 'too high a cycle threshold' is a fairly minor issue in comparison.

I've posted on PCR, cycle threshold, etc. here before.

TheDrake

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4009 on: December 29, 2021, 02:15:23 PM »
Considering that 1300 people are dying every day, and hospitalizations are 80,000 and rising, yeah I'd say that qualifies as an emergency. To do the math for you, that rate will see another 500,000 dead Americans in 2022, if it holds constant. It is likely to wax and wane, but we're at full wax thanks to holiday cheer especially between the unvaxxed.

It must be exhausting to constantly search for ways to argue that the virus isn't as bad as it is made out to be, or that testing is flawed, or that deaths are overreported. It is certainly possible that in August of 2020 we had the volume turned up in a vain attempt to keep the spread down. It's a lot better to isolate a person that isn't contagious than to blithely send infected people into the world.

April 2021 is a different story

The tl;dr on this is that you shade to a higher sensitivity because you don't know that the viral load won't grow to infections levels two or three days later. It's not like these people are going to come back after a negative test and try again, knowing that a positive might keep them from working.

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During the course of the pandemic, it has been recognised that positive tests with a high cycle threshold may be detecting very small amounts of viral genetic material or “non viable fragments” rather than active virus.

There is concern that these positive tests may not represent people with an active infection, or who are most infectious.

Recent posts have suggested that an announcement from the WHO in January 2021 somehow represents a change in approach, or an acceptance that there are flaws in PCR testing, to do with cycle thresholds that were not previously recognised.

The announcement from the WHO did not retract previous guidance which promotes the use of PCR testing, or suggest that PCR results are ‘invalid’.

Instead, it re-iterated the advice given in its September guidance and said that:

“ ...careful interpretation of weak positive results is needed (1). The cycle threshold (Ct) needed to detect virus is inversely proportional to the patient’s viral load. Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different [nucleic acid testing] technology.”

That aside, a high Ct positive test doesn’t always mean that the person the swab was taken from isn’t infectious, or about to become infectious. 

The exact relationship (between Ct value and infectivity) is still being researched, and interpreting these results depends on the clinical context.

Public Health England says although a positive test at the higher cycle thresholds does normally represent someone with a lower concentration of virus at the time that the test was done, there are other factors to consider, all of which depend on the “ clinical history and context”.

It is important to remember that these tests are a snapshot in time. Therefore, a positive result with high Ct value could represent somebody with lower amounts of virus, and lower infectivity (for example, somebody who has recently recovered from infection). It could also indicate somebody who may have been tested shortly before infection, when viral levels are low, but which may develop “[...] into symptomatic infection with high viral load and infectivity.”

LetterRip

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4010 on: December 29, 2021, 02:17:43 PM »
Of course, the other problem with Omicron is its R factor is much higher than earlier strains of Covid. So even if it is less dangerous than earlier strains, because it is far more contagious, it still overwhelms the hospitals.

Actually the Ro is 5, which is lower than Delta's.  Instead it has a shorter incubation period and it reproduces 70x faster than Delta.  So it goes from start of infection to contagious drastically faster.

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The exposure-to-symptom gap, called the incubation period, is estimated to be about five to six days for the original strain, five days for the alpha variant and four days for delta.

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/omicron-may-have-3-day-incubation-period-shortest-of-any-variant-6-things-to-know.html

Current estimate is 3 day incubation period for Omicron.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/28/world/omicron-covid-contagious-cdc.html

So even though it has a lower Ro, it does that spread shortly after the person has been infected.  So you get far faster exponential growth.

LetterRip

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4011 on: December 29, 2021, 02:36:10 PM »
I didn't anymore as of this summer. With Omicron I really don't know. I'm hearing conflicting reports about how dangerous this strain is. Either we're (a) headed toward a lower grade disease which can be added to the roster of yearly cold season ailments,

Omicron reinfects people easier - prior variants most cases and hospitalizations were from people prior uninfected.  So at this point speculation of it being 'milder' is unwarranted, since it may simply be the reinfected and vaccinated having expected milder infections.

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or (b) dealing with early versions of a highly adaptive creature which attacks organ systems and the brain, and which is going to radically alter life as we know it permanently. No one wants to think it could be (b), but I think it could be. Obviously I hope it's (a).

Most infections spread to a variety of organs and cause long term disability, usually no particular virus has dominated so much of the disease burden over a brief period - so we've never really focused on 'long Influenza' or 'long chickenpox', or 'long EBV' or 'long CMV' but any virus is capable of multiorgan infection leads to some degree of long term disease burden.  Note that the multiorgan long term effects aren't something Omicron specific - all the prior variants have the same effects, we just have a better handle on them.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2021, 02:42:49 PM by LetterRip »

ScottF

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4012 on: December 29, 2021, 04:00:30 PM »
It must be exhausting to constantly search for ways to argue that the virus isn't as bad as it is made out to be, or that testing is flawed, or that deaths are overreported.

It's certainly more work than simply complying. I've changed my opinion on a number of things, but I'll always prefer having agency and questioning everything to the alternative. And yeah, if you looked at the models and forecasts of the "experts" the virus definitely isn't as bad as it was originally made out to be. (queue the "tell that to all the dead people" response).

While my posts here are typically ornery-covid contrarian it's far from a "constant search" on my part. I guarantee I'm not nearly as invested in any of this as the Branch Covidian true believers.

"It is certainly possible that in August of 2020 we had the volume turned up..."

Lol, a year ago 5000 adults were asked "As far as you know, what percentage of people who have been infected by the coronavirus needed to be hospitalized?"

41% of Democrats, 28% of Republicans and 35% of independents surveyed said 50% or higher. FIFTY PERCENT. The real number at the time was between 1% and 5%. That's so far removed from reality it's quite literally sickening. Those responses were not in the absence of data, that was our experts and media doing their finest work.

So yeah, I tend to search and question more than the average duck before eating what's being spooned out by Fauci, CNN, Fox and social media.

The day the head of NYC's health department tweeted "soon we'll be digging mass graves in Central Park..trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line" the lightbulb really went off on how people supposedly in charge were responding and communicating.

TheDrake

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4013 on: December 29, 2021, 05:18:43 PM »
And those mass graves would indeed have been used if they hadn't closed the city. Imagine if everyone had tooled around doing business as usual. If they hadn't cancelled public transit, closed all gathering places, shutting all entertainment.

It wasn't hyperbole, it was disaster averted.

Well, almost averted. The mass grave was used for about 1000+ new yorkers. https://www.google.com/amp/s/time.com/5913151/hart-island-covid/%3famp=true

TheDrake

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4014 on: December 29, 2021, 05:20:38 PM »
Mask heroes #1

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Austin-Travis County, health leaders officially moved the area to Stage 4 guidelines. It also updated its guidance to include what those with and without booster shots should do.

For people who are fully vaccinated and boosted, Stage 4 guidelines recommend masking in all situations, even when gathering outdoors. For people who are not fully vaccinated or boosted, it recommends eliminating travel and only dining or shopping through takeout or curbside service.

TheDrake

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4015 on: December 29, 2021, 05:29:55 PM »
Mask heroes #2

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HiIn Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, masks are required indoors regardless of vaccination status

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4016 on: December 29, 2021, 06:18:16 PM »
Fenring

"The other dude is saying that taking boosters is an unacceptable restriction on one's life, and you're suggesting going out in an N95 with goggles for the next few years. Talk about reasonable standards of what's ok for daily life..."

Okay, just to be clear on the goggles thing, that's only necessary if you are serious about protecting yourself in an environment where people aren't wearing masks. If you're vaccinated or have previous immunity or just don't mind getting it but you don't want to be an asymptomatic spreader, then goggles don't matter. They do nothing to stop you from spreading it. Only the masks will do that.

It's pretty much criminal negligence that we haven't seen more about this.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8193301/

"A study of patients in the Hubei Province, China, at the beginning of the pandemic demonstrated that among a group of 276 patients admitted to a hospital with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, the proportion of patients who said they routinely wore eyeglasses more than 8 hours per day was lower than in the general population. Therefore, wearing eyeglasses more than 8 hours per day may be protective against SARS-CoV-2 infection, possibly because eyeglasses are a barrier that reduces the frequency with which people touch their eyes... Conclusion: The public at large may profit from wearing glasses, as well as wearing face masks and practicing social distancing."

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Of course this is just a small study in China but if eyeglasses help reduce your risk of infection then it's only logical that stronger eye protection like goggles would reduce it a lot more. If that's the case, then why not study it more to prove it and then put that information out there so people can protect themselves? Inquiring minds want to know.

Obviously I question the part about the reason being that the glasses keep you from touching your eyes. The whole touching thing, that covid is going to molest you if you touch yourself, has been dumb from the beginning.

The thing about these cloth masks just being covid theater at this point is largely because if you're surrounded by hordes of maskless infectoids your cloth mask is just a joke covid finds hilarious. If everyone wore cloth masks then they wouldn't be totally useless, still not as good as better masks but not just covid kabuki to entertain the virus as it goes to work. The whole point of the cloth masks was to keep the virus in, not to keep it out. Now if you're serious about keeping it out you'll need an N95 and goggles. Fortunately both are now available in abundance.

Part of why it may look like masks don't work is because people are in mixed company. So you have people wearing masks and they still get infected and they say see, that proves that masks are useless. Well yeah, if you are wearing your mask and half the people around you aren't and many of them are infected then your mask has a good chance of failing to protect you, especially if it's not a good mask and you don't have eye protection with it.

TheDrake

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4017 on: December 29, 2021, 07:03:30 PM »
I wonder if the same people say helmets don't work because look, that football player still got a concussion.

Fenring

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4018 on: December 29, 2021, 07:04:23 PM »
Okay, just to be clear on the goggles thing, that's only necessary if you are serious about protecting yourself in an environment where people aren't wearing masks. If you're vaccinated or have previous immunity or just don't mind getting it but you don't want to be an asymptomatic spreader, then goggles don't matter. They do nothing to stop you from spreading it. Only the masks will do that.

I was pointing out the stark contrast between on the one hand a nay-sayer insisting that even rare vaccine boosters is asking too much, while another nay-sayer (you) was suggesting going out in a hazmat suit (sort of). I guess there are a million ways to object to what people are doing. Actually I also object to a lot about the covid response, publicly and privately. I just don't think it's a "serious" plan to try to go into public areas wearing an N95 and goggles on an ongoing basis. It would be extreme even for just a couple of weeks, let alone years. If your concern is that much then I would suggest that a more 'serious' approach would be to avoid being in spitting distance of strangers and friends in the first place. Glasses/goggles to protect your eyes from spitting is kind of like wandering around a vampire crypt swinging a string of garlic. Maybe it will protect you, maybe it won't, but how about just not going there. I mean what about the aerosolized particles of covid in the air? They won't care about your goggles.

TheDrake

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4019 on: December 29, 2021, 07:54:05 PM »
Well obviously goggles have an effect or you wouldn't see doctors and nurses wearing them around covid patients. Having it be worth it at Kroger's, somewhat dubious. And yes, the better answer is curbside pickup or delivery. I've upgraded to n95, but I'll stick to my eyeglasses.

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4020 on: December 29, 2021, 08:39:48 PM »
I just went into the Asian grocery store and everyone except for an elderly white couple were wearing face masks. Adding my goggles onto it to me doesn't seem out of place at all, much less out of place then it would have used to be, before covid, seeing someone wearing a face mask in the first place. And if that elderly white couple (probably Trump voters by the looks of them) without masks, despite there being a sign on the door saying that masks are required, are contagious, that is a very small store with a lot of people in it so everyone in there without goggles is at a much higher risk of infection than if they would have had some eye protection. Their face masks will help them a lot, no doubt, but they could have sealed the deal, as it were, with some goggles. It's not a big deal to me. I don't have to go into a lot of places and when I do it's not for very long, maybe twenty minutes tops. I don't wear any protection outside. Just keep my goggles and double N95 in a ziplock in my pocket, put them on at the door and take them off as soon as I exit. It doesn't seem like it's too much trouble for the reward of almost zero chance of getting infected and passing it on to the people at home in my trust bubble.

So what if I had to work somewhere and wear this all day long, every day and everyone at work looked at my like I'm a lunatic? Okay, I'll admit that would require different calculations.

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4021 on: December 29, 2021, 09:12:55 PM »
What would be nice though would be some goggles that provided the same eye protection but looked more inconspicuous, like sportswear glasses.

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4022 on: December 29, 2021, 09:44:24 PM »
https://www.nbcnews.com/select/shopping/best-coronavirus-eye-protection-ncna1263834

"Beyond wearing masks, washing our hands, practicing physical distancing and getting vaccinated, there’s an additional layer of protection against the coronavirus that we might want to consider: eye protection. While rare, Yuna Rapoport, MD, founder and director of Manhattan Eye, said our eyes are an entry point for viral particles and can be a channel through which we become infected with Covid-19. But does that mean we should wear eye protection to school, work and the grocery store?

“I don’t think we need to routinely wear glasses, goggles or face shields like we need to wear masks,” said Rapoport. “But then again, it doesn't hurt to wear protective eyewear, either.”

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So there have been people talking about it, experts and in the news, but it's interesting because I don't remember anyone in our government including Fauci talk about it or recommend it at all for the general public.

Maybe it's for reasons kind of like this:

https://www.foxnews.com/media/cdc-director-human-behavior-shortened-isolation-period-covid-cases

"Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky acknowledged Wednesday that human behavior played into the latest guidelines for how long individuals with coronavirus should quarantine.

In an appearance on CNN, Walensky was pressed about how and why the CDC reduced its recommended isolation period from 10 days to five days for people who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were asymptomatic by that time. Walensky said most transmission of the virus occurred in the immediate days before and after developing symptoms of the disease.

As she added "people need to get back to work," Walensky said the behavioral science aspect of it came into play as well.

"From what you're saying, it sounds like this decision had just as much to do with business as it did with the science," fill-in anchor Kaitlan Collins said.

"It really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate," Walensky said, saying studies showed a majority of Americans weren't isolating when they "need to." "And so we really want to make sure that we had guidance in this moment — where we were going to have a lot of disease — that could be adhered to, that people were willing to adhere to and that spoke specifically to when people were maximally infectious."

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So if our government figures people aren't up to wearing eye protection they just won't bother with mentioning it even if it could make a difference, maybe small and maybe big but not worth the bother if it's not something they "thought people would be able to tolerate."

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Oops, glad I caught this in time. I was looking into it more and apparently Fauci did mention it. Good for him. He should probably mention it a bit more though. If it can save even one life... and all that. At least let people have the information because it seems like a lot of them haven't gotten the memo. They blast the message on vaccines often enough and loud enough. Throwing out something about eye protection along with masks, as they say, wouldn't hurt.

https://nymag.com/strategist/article/goggles-coronavirus-dr-fauci.html

"At the end of July, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested that Americans looking to further protect themselves from the coronavirus should be wearing another piece of protective gear, along with masks: “If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it,” he told ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton on Instagram Live.

Your eyes, he explained, like your nose and your mouth, have mucous membranes, which permit viruses and bacteria to enter your body. So wearing goggles or a face shield in addition to a face mask provides more complete protection from becoming infected. This is especially true in situations where social distancing is difficult or where you are indoors for a long period of time."

They go on again about the goggles protecting you by keeping you from rubbing your eyes but I have my doubts. Obviously it's a good idea not to dip your hands in a big bucket of covid sauce and then poke yourself in the eyeball, but the eye protection also works by keeping the same tiny covid moisture droplets and aerosols from landing right on your open eyes and infecting you that way with no touching required.

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4023 on: December 29, 2021, 10:11:09 PM »
I'm looking for more inconspicuous eye protection so if anyone has any suggestions they'd be appreciated. I was going to take my son to the Asian market and he was okay with the mask but he was pretty adamant about not wearing the goggles. Luckily he slept through the window of opportunity to go so it didn't matter, but some goggles that don't look totally ridiculous would be nice. I'm looking at some of Haleems onion goggles, the basic white, and though they would still stand out, not as much as my Uvex goggles. I would just want to be sure they offered the same level of protection.

TheDeamon

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4024 on: December 30, 2021, 12:33:30 AM »
I'm looking for more inconspicuous eye protection so if anyone has any suggestions they'd be appreciated. I was going to take my son to the Asian market and he was okay with the mask but he was pretty adamant about not wearing the goggles. Luckily he slept through the window of opportunity to go so it didn't matter, but some goggles that don't look totally ridiculous would be nice. I'm looking at some of Haleems onion goggles, the basic white, and though they would still stand out, not as much as my Uvex goggles. I would just want to be sure they offered the same level of protection.

There are sunglasses that are sold which also double as eye protection. It might mean you end up being that guy who is wearing sunglasses indoors, but if you find that to be less conspicuous than obvious safety goggles..

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4025 on: December 30, 2021, 01:28:43 AM »
I'd like them to be so protective that a virus flying around in the air can't work its way in from the back. Basically I'm looking for airtight. The Haleems onion goggles might be airtight with the strap to help keep them on firmly but I'm not sure. Maybe I'll test them with some pepper spray.

Crunch

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4026 on: December 30, 2021, 11:01:43 AM »
So there have been people talking about it, experts and in the news, but it's interesting because I don't remember anyone in our government including Fauci talk about it or recommend it at all for the general public.

That's because it's insane.

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4027 on: December 30, 2021, 11:24:45 AM »
So you're saying it's insane that people with a very good tight fitting perfectly functional N95 masks are getting infected with Covid through their eyes because they don't have eye protection?

That's not what the science says.

This will be another case of people like Biden saying about getting infected through the eyes that "nobody saw that coming. Nobody in the whole world."

Or maybe it's insane to continue to try not to get infected and continue to try to avoid being an infectoid.

SPOILER ALERT for Bird Box. Kind of like the immune people in Bird Box who go around purposefully exposing others to danger so they too can experience the joy of it.

The one thing I do know is that it's not a good idea to take advice about how not to get infected from people who don't care about whether or not they get infected.

I saw Andrew Sullivan had an article about living with covid and such and he's talking about it quite a bit.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9882205/Columnist-Andrew-Sullivan-tells-CNN-wrong-pursue-illusory-victory-COVID.html

'In a free society, once everyone has access to a vaccine that overwhelmingly prevents serious sickness and death, there's no reason to enforce lockdowns again or mask mandates or social distancing any longer. In fact, there's every reason not to,' he said.

Sullivan, who was born in the UK and has enjoyed an illustrious career as a journalist in the US added: 'There are costs to not living. There are costs to having a year of your life taken away from learning and developing as a child. There are costs of not being with your family. There are costs of not being with your fellow workers,' he explained.

'We are a social animal. We cannot live isolated like this. We've never done this before. You can't wrap yourself up in cotton wool for the rest of your life and you mustn't let children not live.'

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Nothing against people with AIDS, but I'm not going to take advice on how not to get infected with Covid from a guy who didn't care enough about not getting infected with AIDS to stop it from happening to him. Of course, I realize he's not talking about not getting infected. He's talking about just laying back and letting it happen after you get vaccinated. With breakthrough infections and new variants that the vaccine doesn't protect as well against as well as the fact that even the vaccinated are superspreaders, that's a lot more risky than just wearing a mask, and eye protection too. I understand everyone has different priorities. For some people the priority is not to get infected or infect their fellow human beings. For others, it's to enjoy life and not worry about dangerous viruses like covid and AIDS, not worry about getting them and not worry about spreading them either. When you look for the source of differences of opinion it often comes down to differences in priorities.

I'll go back to Japan. Figuratively for the moment, maybe literally again someday although they may still have their travel ban in place because they take the virus seriously and have the common sense that we lack. But they are all wearing masks and are still living their lives, still finding their joy in tidying up or whatever else they like to do for fun. In fact, hundreds of thousands more of them are living and enjoying their lives compared to America because they are taking simple common sense precautions.

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4028 on: December 30, 2021, 11:25:10 AM »
Crunch,  [...]
So yes, as usual you have no clue what you are talking about.
You're more charitable than I can bring myself to be.  Coinflips and stopped clocks have no clue, but they're incidentally correct more often than that poster.  It seems to me that if they're not being deliberately misrepresentative of the true facts, they're being a haplessly direct conduit for those that are.

Oh man, the rare “I know you are but what am I” argument.
I imagine it might indeed seem familiar, given that you regularly wildly accuse others of failings you yourself are transparently a huge offender regarding.  The one inoculation strategy you do approve of, perhaps?  Scream "straw man!" and "fallacy!" often enough, and somehow no-one is allowed to point out your routine employment of those, either?

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I think we shouldn’t allow minors on this forum.
I imagine we don't;  relevance?  Or indeed, we might do well not to allow those with a flagrant disregard of the facts, the intellectual dishonest, serial whatabouters, and a lack of basic civility.

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4029 on: December 30, 2021, 11:31:38 AM »
So you're saying it's insane that people with a very good tight fitting perfectly functional N95 masks are getting infected with Covid through their eyes because they don't have eye protection?
I think the point is that tight-fitting masks and goggles are fine if people want to do them, but they're not going to be necessary for control of the disease from a public-health point of view, and behaviourally it's probably fairly deep into counterproductive territory if the messaging were seen to be "telling" people to do this.

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4030 on: December 30, 2021, 11:38:38 AM »
I'm a bit hazy on this sort of legal statement. I was under the impression that Roe barred government from banning abortions, rather than implying they were a natural right. Is that not the case?
It's a "natural right" in a negative sense, as I understand it.  One doesn't really have much of a "right" to state- or federally funded healthcare in general in the US, after all.  You just can't be substantially restricted in obtaining this "commodity" if you have the means.  By virtue of the general "medical privacy" and "bodily autonomy" reasoning that the SCOTUS found to exist prior to Roe v. Wade

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4031 on: December 30, 2021, 11:41:44 AM »
I'm like the cylons in Battlestar Galactica. I have a plan. Or like Jack Reacher. Buy time as long as you can, look for an opportunity, and see what happens next.

Maybe Omicron will be it. It's too soon to tell though but the plan is to wait until confirmation of a mutation that is easily transmissible, provides cross variant immunity, and doesn't cause serious sickness, long term problems, or death, and for which there are cheap and effective treatments. Wait long enough and as more people get infected we also get closer to herd immunity. If this virus behaves like past ones, that scenario is coming eventually. Can I wear a mask for another year as a small sacrifice to live hopefully another fifty? Yes, easily and with no complaints. This too shall pass.

Patience is a virtue, sometimes a lifesaver. There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who lost their lives because they got impatient or careless or okay maybe just unlucky.

I'm no spring chicken and I've got asthma that has put me in the hospital a couple of times. For the people who figure it's just survival of the fittest and natural selection, well I'm smart enough to know that if I'd been born a hundred years earlier with my conditions I'd probably be dead. So maybe I don't have the genes or constitution to survive this virus as it is now or even survive being in a room with heavy smokers for any length of time, but I do have the common sense to know how to avoid those things and enough will to live not to purposefully expose myself to known and avoidable dangers. I've also got the simple courtesy, the humanity, to care enough about others not to carelessly expose them to a dangerous pathogen.

ScottF

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4032 on: December 30, 2021, 11:47:50 AM »
Can I wear a mask for another year as a small sacrifice to live hopefully another fifty? Yes, easily and with no complaints. This too shall pass.

Couple of questions:

1. Do you anticipate living another 50 years, regardless of covid?
2. If masks mandates became permanent,(ie. this too shall not pass), would that also be easy and no complaints?

ScottF

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4033 on: December 30, 2021, 11:49:56 AM »
There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who lost their lives because they got impatient or careless or okay maybe just unlucky.

Some conditions and co-morbidities are truly just bad luck. Many more are a result of poor choices.

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4034 on: December 30, 2021, 12:00:10 PM »
I don't anticipate. I hope.

If mask mandates are permanent that means that the virus continues to be extremely dangerous. If the virus and its variants keep killing 1% of those infected and seriously debilitating millions more, for instance by setting up in-body vibrations that go off every couple of hours and keep someone from sleeping to the point that they kill themselves as happened to Hollywood screenwriter Heidi Ferrer, if it continues to be as dangerous as it is now or maybe becomes even worse, then yeah I'd be fine with wearing a mask to prevent that from happening to my fellow human beings. I get a lot of my joy from sleeping. If wearing a mask and goggles prevents me from getting these long covid body tremors I'll wear a mask all day long and gladly.

Also on the part about the goggles being insane, that means that attempting to prevent yourself from getting infected is insane. The masks don't prevent you from getting infected. Depending on the quality of mask, they reduce your chances either somewhat or very significantly. But even the best mask won't prevent infection. Not when you can get infected through your eyes which we know is the case. Now a mask and goggles? That does prevent infection.

I wouldn't go so far as saying not wearing a mask is insane. It's accepting a level of risk that not everyone may be as comfortable with. Is it insane to wear your seatbelt? Is it insane to only go the speed limit? Is it insane to throw out expired milk? I don't know. It seems like it's just prudent to me.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2021, 12:10:38 PM by cherrypoptart »

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4035 on: December 30, 2021, 12:02:46 PM »
If masks mandates became permanent,(ie. this too shall not pass), would that also be easy and no complaints?
If we're all allowed to weigh in on this, I would not.  Public health legal restrictions should be limited to, and proportionate to, the actual public health danger.  Specifically significant numbers dying, or very large number of hospitalisations running the risk of overtopping healthcare capacity.  Which is sharply different from the apparent position of some of, "I feel it should be over, so end the restrictions immediately."

OTOH, if people choose to wear masks for their self-protective benefits against "long tail seasonal covid" (say) or indeed annual flu, hopefully they won't see an enraged politicised backlash from others for doing so.

Some conditions and co-morbidities are truly just bad luck. Many more are a result of poor choices.
Given how metaphysical and philosophy-of-religion this forum is getting, "in before" the Garden of Eden!

Of course, there's a large middle case here.  Exercise has huge health benefits, and good diet is a significant plus too.  But not everyone has similar access those in practice.

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4036 on: December 30, 2021, 12:23:27 PM »
If the virus and its variants keep killing 1% of those infected and seriously debilitating millions more, if it continues to be as dangerous as it is now or maybe becomes even worse, then yeah I'd be fine with wearing a mask to prevent that from happening to my fellow human beings.
It might "get worse before it gets";  it's not impossible we could still get a "delticron" wave with high immune evasion, transmissiblity and severity.  Of course ironically more severity it some ways makes it easier to deal with -- "SARS Classic" (the same species of virus, let's recall) was a little too CFRish for many people to be laughing off on social media, and was contained pretty quickly.  I don't think it seems likely to bump along at a IFR rate of close to 1% indefinitely.  While it's still one subspecies of virus we're dealing with, there's a reasonable hope that it exhausts much of its ability to evade immune response, especially as augmented with vaccination.  Bear in mind that there's been no deployment of alpha-, beta-, delta or omicron-specific vaccinations yet, and we're still getting decent protection from those variants with just the "wild-type" vax.  If in a year's time, once most of the world has been double- and triple-jabbed, hopefully the next "seasonal" wave will be less severe overall, and there will be scope in pharma production capacity for strain-specific boosters.

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Is it insane to throw out expired milk?
Now that really is crazy talk.  Cheese sauce frenzy!  (OK, if it's a "green lumps" shade of expired, I give you my blessing.)

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4037 on: December 30, 2021, 02:01:31 PM »
Okay, so the last time I "went out" into public was two weeks ago. My social bubble is pretty solidly contained as well. You're now staking out the position that if I go out to the grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk and return home. I just potentially committed mass murder against anyone I came near to should I have done so without a mask?
Maybe more like a series of potential statistical assaults or reckless endangerments.  Have to roll in quite a lot of exponential growth to get it to "mass", and some mens rea to get it to "murder".

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There is this thing called the "reasonable man standard" that comes into this. If I have been in isolation for a week or more and have no symptoms at all, and anyone else I might have been in contact with isn't showing symptoms for anything(and hasn't been warned about possible exposure). It is reasonable to conclude that I am not going to be a "spreader" of any stripe. The probabilities just get terrible at that stage. Yes, it is possible, but the odds are astronomically low because of how large the chain of "asymptomatic covid19 carriers" involved would need to be.
I know the hard sciences aren't very popular on this forum, but I think you might be quite a few orders out as what constitutes "astronomical".  Asymptomatic cases are estimated to run at 30% or so, so a short chain of those isn't especially unlikely at all.  Multiply by how many of them are possible -- zero in "isolation", lawd knows how many in a "pretty solidly contained social bubble".  To which add the pre-symptomatic cases, depending on timing, and on whether you ever heard about them when they became otherwise.  I don't think we're even at "Falcons' chance of making the playoffs" levels of unlikely.

There's also the social solidarity aspect to it, too.  Or the enforcement angle, if your polity has gone that route.  How does any third party tell if you're a maskless individual who's been utterly hermetically isolated, and someone who's been playing tonsil-hockey with "let's catch this cold!" types 24/7?

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The things in play here are Covid19 is an mRNA virus, which is a very special subset of viruses, and being mRNA, it is subject to mutation at very high rates.
It's a positive-strand RNA virus, which is similar to mRNA, but functionally distinct (and possibly structurally/compositionally, Iunno, ask an actual biologist!).  I suspect the conflation happening here is with a couple of the more prominent vaccines which use mRNA as a platform technology for manufacturing virus fragments in vivo, to induce an immunological response.  That's somewhat incidental, as other vaccines use adenovirus vectors (J&J, AZ, Sputnik), protein subunit, whole-virus, etc.

RNA viruses are far from "very special", and are actually a huge category.  They don't all mutate at the same sorts of rate.  Influenza is a much more slipshod replicator, and is more genetically diverse in the first place.  Covid-19 is just one subspecies, influenza is a number of entire genera.  And of course "the" common cold (i.e. mostly mild upper respiratory viruses generally) is actually a vast array of different pathogens, some of them pretty wildly unrelated to each other.  And at the other end of the scale, rubella, mumps, measles, and polio are all single-strange RNA viruses, all fairly wildly infectious, but are genetically stable enough that vaccination against them is pretty much "one and done".

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Reality is, a lot of these "long-haul covid patients," if they'd had the same encounter with Covid just 150 years ago, most of them would simply be dead, or otherwise be rendered into a state where reproduction wasn't likely to be a further ongoing concern for them. Natural selection at its finest.
I think the "simply be dead" consideration is less of a consideration for long covid, and more of a factor for the acute "severe disease" or "requires hospitalisation" group.  Most obviously via oxygen support and mechanical ventilation, and things like being able to deal with secondary infections, but other interventions are chipping away at the CFR too.  (Just not as good as the "there's a miracle cure!" memes would have you believe, and not quite as bad as the "there's a vast conspiracy to prevent treatments being developed!" ones.)

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For those who are not particularly vulnerable to Covid19, it pretty much is "just a flu" where we have not yet fully worked out the means of determining who is likely to fall into which group. But I'm strongly inclined to suspect there is a genetic component to it.
The epidemiology really doesn't support that first at all, and the latter is pretty speculative.  The more direct factor is the current state of one's immune response, which clearly is very largely not genetic, but determined by recent and lifetime exposure prior to that point.

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Just how far is society willing to go to protect what appears to be less than 2% of its population?
I don't see how you can possibly get to "less than 2%".  It's certainly not the "only the vulnerable!" of social-media memes, wherein if an exceptionally fit person in their 30s with mild asthma dies of the disease, then obviously they're thrown under the bus retroactively as "part of the vulnerable group".  It's even more obviously not the proportion of the population with a significant chance of getting severe disease requiring hospitalisation or of getting long covid.  So I assume you think there's some very reliable predictor of death such that 2% of the population is at huge risk, and 98% insignificantly so.  Who exactly does this 2% "appear" to be?  What age threshold, underlying conditions, or mysterious other variable?

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Trying to protect the children and young adults in particular is very commendable, they're nominally "part of the future" after all.
Clearly if we were in Logan's Run, while it'd be perfectly ethical to covid-vax people up to the eyeballs, it'd not be a public-health priority.  The reason it is in the real world is to yield a moderate benefit to them, and a large one to broader public health.

DJQuag

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4038 on: December 30, 2021, 04:44:36 PM »
100% not scared. I stopped giving credence to anecdotal observations (I know a guy) a year ago after stories about "otherwise healthy young people" dying from covid started becoming a narrative. You either believe macro data on who's really at risk or you don't. Mandates and policies should be driven based on broad stats, not I know a guy.

The Herman Cain award stuff, apart from being an unintentional self-own, is a push to revel in schadenfreude that is a disturbing phenomenon.

Pretty much, anecdotally, nothing in my etended social network is sounding alarms for the under 50 crowd that is otherwise healthy, even the meta-data has those cases as extreme outliers. It just happens that a 1 in 50,000+ chance turns into a lot of sad stories when you're talking about millions of infected.

I still also suspect there is a genetic component in play, and so far as has been experienced in my extended family, rather than the social network in general. It looks like one where my family cleared the genetic lottery on the worst of it.

Tbf, he's absolutely right. There is no way to acknowledge that some get mild symptoms and others have 2-4 family members die. It's easier *now*, yes, we can blame it all on vaccines. But he is absolutely correct. Some people, genetically, do not give one *censored* about the cornavirus. They flat out don't care. The exact same way all of our ancestors were lucky enough to have the genetic answer to the common cold.

cherrypoptart

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4039 on: December 30, 2021, 06:43:32 PM »
Just going back to the insanity defense for a moment, saying that wearing goggles is insane is the same thing as saying that expecting to actually avoid getting infected is insane so may as well not bother. Thing is, I don't give in that easily.

Now having gone down the rabbit hole of eye protection, I see that what I'm looking for is a D5 rated (fine dust) pair of goggles that don't look like goggles but instead like cool sunglasses.

Something that looks like this would fit the bill pretty well but I'll still look around a bit to see if there's something even better:

https://www.bolle-safety.com/industrial/glasses/safety-glasses/baxter-BAXTER_INDUSTRIAL.html

If you buy from here make sure to tell them I sent you. Now I do notice that with the D3, 4, and 5 rating, it blocks particles greater than 5 microns. But wait... isn't covid less than 5 microns? Well good news there. I doesn't have to block the virus itself, just whatever the virus is riding on, the same as with masks.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/11/fact-check-n-95-filters-not-too-large-stop-covid-19-particles/5343537002/

“COVID 19 virus particle size is 125 nanometers (0.125 microns); the range is 0.06 microns to .14 microns,” the post said. “The N95 mask filters down to 0.3 microns. So, N95 masks block few, if any, virions (virus particles).”

In other words, the post asserts the virus is smaller than the filter on the N95 mask, so the N95 mask doesn’t work.

Experts say this claim flies in the face of numerous studies and reflects a failure to grasp fundamental principles of how viruses behave and how face masks work.

"... The size-based argument against N95 laid out in this claim assumes mask filtering works something like water flowing through a net — particles in the water smaller than the net opening pass through, while larger items don’t.

But the physics involved don’t work like that at all.

The COVID-19 particle is indeed around 0.1 microns in size, but it is always bonded to something larger.

“There is never a naked virus floating in the air or released by people,” said Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who specializes in airborne transmission of viruses.

The virus attaches to water droplets or aerosols (i.e. really small droplets) that are generated by breathing, talking, coughing, etc. These consist of water, mucus protein and other biological material and are all larger than 1 micron.

“Breathing and talking generate particles around 1 micron in size, which will be collected by N95 respirator filters with very high efficiency,” said Lisa Brosseau, a retired professor of environmental and occupational health sciences who spent her career researching respiratory protection.

Health care precautions for COVID-19 are built around stopping the droplets, since “there’s not a lot of evidence for aerosol spread of COVID-19,” said Patrick Remington, a former CDC epidemiologist and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

But that’s not the only logical flaw in this claim.

The N95 filter indeed is physically around the 0.3 micron size. But that doesn’t mean it can only stop particles larger than that. The masks are actually best for particles either larger or smaller than that 0.3 micron threshold.

“N95 have the worst filtration efficiency for particles around 0.3,” Marr said. “If you’re smaller than that those are actually collected even better. It’s counterintuitive because masks do not work like sieving out larger particles. It’s not like pasta in a colander, and small ones don’t get through.”

N95 masks actually have that name because they are 95% efficient at stopping particles in their least efficient particle size range — in this case those around 0.3 microns.

Why do they work better for smaller ones? There are a number of factors at play, but here are two main ones noted by experts:

The first is something called “Brownian motion,” the name given to a physical phenomenon in which particles smaller than 0.3 microns move in an erratic, zig-zagging kind of motion. This motion greatly increases the chance they will be snared by the mask fibers.

Secondly, the N95 mask itself uses electrostatic absorption, meaning particles are drawn to the fiber and trapped, instead of just passing through.

“Although these particles are smaller than the pores, they can be pulled over by the charged fibers and get stuck,” said Professor Jiaxing Huang, a materials scientist at Northwestern University working to develop a new type of medical face mask. “When the charges are dissipated during usage or storage, the capability of stopping virus-sized particles diminishes. This is the main reason of not recommending the reuse of N95 masks.”




TheDrake

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4040 on: December 30, 2021, 06:53:36 PM »
Mask Villains #1

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It was the latest act of defiance by the pair, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde, against a rule requiring legislators to wear masks on the House floor. Most Republican lawmakers, however grudgingly, have complied with the mandate, which can carry fines that quickly add up to hefty amounts. But Ms. Greene and Mr. Clyde have repeatedly, and proudly, flouted it.

To date, the two have incurred more than $100,000 combined in fines, which are taken directly from their paychecks.

A resolution approved by the House in January says that members will be fined $500 the first time they fail to wear a mask on the House floor, and $2,500 for subsequent violations. The House Ethics Committee notes each fine in a news release, but Ms. Greene’s and Mr. Clyde’s violations were so numerous that the panel began announcing theirs in bunches.

TheDeamon

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4041 on: December 31, 2021, 12:07:37 AM »
Quote
The things in play here are Covid19 is an mRNA virus, which is a very special subset of viruses, and being mRNA, it is subject to mutation at very high rates.
It's a positive-strand RNA virus, which is similar to mRNA, but functionally distinct (and possibly structurally/compositionally, Iunno, ask an actual biologist!).  I suspect the conflation happening here is with a couple of the more prominent vaccines which use mRNA as a platform technology for manufacturing virus fragments in vivo, to induce an immunological response.  That's somewhat incidental, as other vaccines use adenovirus vectors (J&J, AZ, Sputnik), protein subunit, whole-virus, etc.

RNA viruses are far from "very special", and are actually a huge category.  They don't all mutate at the same sorts of rate.  Influenza is a much more slipshod replicator, and is more genetically diverse in the first place.  Covid-19 is just one subspecies, influenza is a number of entire genera.  And of course "the" common cold (i.e. mostly mild upper respiratory viruses generally) is actually a vast array of different pathogens, some of them pretty wildly unrelated to each other.  And at the other end of the scale, rubella, mumps, measles, and polio are all single-strange RNA viruses, all fairly wildly infectious, but are genetically stable enough that vaccination against them is pretty much "one and done".

Yeah. I goofed on the term I picked out there. I meant RNA, as it doesn't use DNA per se, but I had mRNA on the brain because of the Covid19 vaccines.

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Reality is, a lot of these "long-haul covid patients," if they'd had the same encounter with Covid just 150 years ago, most of them would simply be dead, or otherwise be rendered into a state where reproduction wasn't likely to be a further ongoing concern for them. Natural selection at its finest.
I think the "simply be dead" consideration is less of a consideration for long covid, and more of a factor for the acute "severe disease" or "requires hospitalisation" group.  Most obviously via oxygen support and mechanical ventilation, and things like being able to deal with secondary infections, but other interventions are chipping away at the CFR too.  (Just not as good as the "there's a miracle cure!" memes would have you believe, and not quite as bad as the "there's a vast conspiracy to prevent treatments being developed!" ones.)

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For those who are not particularly vulnerable to Covid19, it pretty much is "just a flu" where we have not yet fully worked out the means of determining who is likely to fall into which group. But I'm strongly inclined to suspect there is a genetic component to it.
The epidemiology really doesn't support that first at all, and the latter is pretty speculative.  The more direct factor is the current state of one's immune response, which clearly is very largely not genetic, but determined by recent and lifetime exposure prior to that point.

Going to disagree, if only because of the whole ACE2 receptor(or lack thereof) side of things, not that there has been much reporting on that since early days of covid, at least on the human side of things. (social media bans of anything not fitting the narrative don't help) I'll have to poke around on that and see if anything has been published on that front since early on.

Anecdotally there are plenty of press reports about Covid finding its way into family gatherings where almost entire family lines end up wiped out without regard to age, while other families have Covid19 hit their gathering and the worst they might get is a Type2 diabetic family member who could stand to loose 100 pounds ends up needing oxygen for a day or two. That screams either a "freak" environmental factor killing the other family off, or there is a genetic aspect involved.

Now there is plenty of additional "noise" coming fromt he elderly in general and a multitude of pre-existing conditions that don't help. But for the "otherwise healthy" individual, I'd put very strong odds that most of those cases have genetics playing a major role in their death. (And that their families probably didn't even get approached about having their DNA studied)

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Just how far is society willing to go to protect what appears to be less than 2% of its population?
I don't see how you can possibly get to "less than 2%".  It's certainly not the "only the vulnerable!" of social-media memes, wherein if an exceptionally fit person in their 30s with mild asthma dies of the disease, then obviously they're thrown under the bus retroactively as "part of the vulnerable group".  It's even more obviously not the proportion of the population with a significant chance of getting severe disease requiring hospitalisation or of getting long covid.  So I assume you think there's some very reliable predictor of death such that 2% of the population is at huge risk, and 98% insignificantly so.  Who exactly does this 2% "appear" to be?  What age threshold, underlying conditions, or mysterious other variable?

"Mysterious underlying variable" is human DNA. Most people don't have broad spectrum(medical grade) DNA sequences done on themselves. Heck, most of the DNA testing companies out there have tended to avoid sequencing "medically significant markers" because of medical regulations that then come into play. Where as mentioned above, we've got a comparative scarcity of information available for a number of reasons.

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Trying to protect the children and young adults in particular is very commendable, they're nominally "part of the future" after all.
Clearly if we were in Logan's Run, while it'd be perfectly ethical to covid-vax people up to the eyeballs, it'd not be a public-health priority.  The reason it is in the real world is to yield a moderate benefit to them, and a large one to broader public health.

But for how long, at what kind of cost? 4 years? 8 years? 12 years? Are you ready for Covid19 shutdowns in 2036 because of the new strain that just came out of Germany?

It is unlikely that it is ever going to go away at this stage. Out best hope is that like some other coronaviruses have done, it mutates into a somewhat more stable and benign form, but prior precedence is it took years to do that(and it is still with us today). This is a bit of my playing devil's advocate on this, but it is a valid question. How long is "long enough" for us in collective terms? How many tens of Trillions of global GDP do we need to either pour down the drain, or divert to combatting it, in the name of "saving the 1%" from this malady before you're willing to declare it's time to move on?

Is there a point where you're willing to concede that, or are we supposed to endure this "until it's over?"

I guess the good news/bad news is that if this is still ongoing by 2025, there probably will be extremely serious efforts to examine this from the human genetics side, as they'll likely be grasping at anything which might grant a reprieve. But that still brings us back to the core of this question. If they do seriously pursue a serious examination of the humans genetics vs underlying conditions vs patient outcome with Covid and do find connections between outcomes. What then? Would be a good day for the resistant (but still potential carriers), but we then have to address the people who didn't win the lottery on that item.

TheDeamon

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4042 on: December 31, 2021, 12:17:33 AM »
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2021.753721/full

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we compared 23 ACE2 variants with different allele frequencies in European (non-Finnish) and East Asian (Table 1). It is shown that 14 ACE2 variants (I21V, E23K, K26R, N64K, T92I, Q102P, D206G, G211R, R219C, E329G, H378R, V447F, A501T and N720D) with enhanced susceptibility have higher allele frequencies in European (non-Finnish) populations than East Asian populations, and 2 ACE2 variants (E35K and F72V) which offer resistance have higher allele frequencies in East Asian populations while they are low or not expressed in European (non-Finnish) populations. These findings are consistent with the epidemic situation and could partially account for the differences between COVID-19 prevalence and mortality rates in Europe and East Asia.

Well that didn't take long once I bothered to look. I guess part of the Japan story could be the prevalence of E35K and F72K ACE2 mutations in their population.

And a thing to note about the Finns as it relates to Paleogenetics. Their distant ancestors are the "most recent" (pre-mongol) group of peoples to migrate from eastern Eurasia to Europe.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2021, 12:20:34 AM by TheDeamon »

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4043 on: December 31, 2021, 03:32:26 AM »
Yeah. I goofed on the term I picked out there. I meant RNA, as it doesn't use DNA per se, but I had mRNA on the brain because of the Covid19 vaccines.
And I have one in the arm now!  After two initial shoddy adenoproducts.  (I jest, and hopefully there's some hybrid vigour from "mixing and matching", fingers crossed.)  Just being a bit picky on the terminology.  I'm not sure if there's even a huge biochemical difference -- I think they're the same strandedness, the same "sense", and the same component basepairs.  The main difference as I understand it is that cellular mRNA is for one gene, and is used for "please go make this protein, we needs it" purposes, as opposed to viral RNA, which is multiple genes, is their whole genome, and is the unit that reproduces through the viral life-cycle.

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Anecdotally there are plenty of press reports about Covid finding its way into family gatherings where almost entire family lines end up wiped out without regard to age, while other families have Covid19 hit their gathering and the worst they might get is a Type2 diabetic family member who could stand to loose 100 pounds ends up needing oxygen for a day or two. That screams either a "freak" environmental factor killing the other family off, or there is a genetic aspect involved.
Those "mini-outbreaks" might also be fairly tightly correlated with similar immune responses, similar other health factors, similar viral load on exposure.  And I have no idea just how prevalent these are.  Are they press reports due to being typical, or due to being exceptional?

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Now there is plenty of additional "noise" coming fromt he elderly in general and a multitude of pre-existing conditions that don't help. But for the "otherwise healthy" individual, I'd put very strong odds that most of those cases have genetics playing a major role in their death. (And that their families probably didn't even get approached about having their DNA studied)
Sure, that's a respectable and maybe even plausible hypothesis.  But it's difficult to see how that gets down to anything like 2%.  Isn't being 70+ an "pre-existing condition" for these purposes?  (60+?  50+?  I'm never quite sure quite how many others the "I'm young and healthy, oldsters look to their own defence" are implicitly throwing under the bus.)  To which add the obese, or even simply the overweight.  Anyone with a pulmonary condition, a cardiac one, a blood-clotting propensity...  the list goes on.

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But for how long, at what kind of cost? 4 years? 8 years? 12 years? Are you ready for Covid19 shutdowns in 2036 because of the new strain that just came out of Germany?
Hopefully not, and certainly hopefully not every year (much less continuously) until 2036,

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It is unlikely that it is ever going to go away at this stage. Out best hope is that like some other coronaviruses have done, it mutates into a somewhat more stable and benign form, but prior precedence is it took years to do that(and it is still with us today).
Yes, "passage" to a mild endemic disease by viral mutation is very likely to be pretty slow.  Granting omicron looks like a lurch in that direction, but there's little telling if the next one will be in the benign direction, or the malevolent one.  Everything else being equal it could take a long time for it to decide -- or more accurately to slipshod-work reproduce itself -- to be "just the common cold".  But the real hope is that everything else isn't equal -- population immune systems are trying pretty hard to get to (at least) the same place.  Get exposed enough and you might keep getting it, but on average you're more likely to get it in milder forms.  (At least in the sense that "critical and needed to be in the ICU" is "milder" than "severe", "moderate" is milder than "severe", and so on, whether "mild" as such.)  And likewise with vaccination status.

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I guess the good news/bad news is that if this is still ongoing by 2025, there probably will be extremely serious efforts to examine this from the human genetics side, as they'll likely be grasping at anything which might grant a reprieve. But that still brings us back to the core of this question. If they do seriously pursue a serious examination of the humans genetics vs underlying conditions vs patient outcome with Covid and do find connections between outcomes. What then? Would be a good day for the resistant (but still potential carriers), but we then have to address the people who didn't win the lottery on that item.
Hopefully it won't be, or if it is, it won't be the current level of "this", just as this "this" isn't as bad as last year's "this".  (Whether you look at that by way of public health restrictions, or public health outcomes.)  It might be around at a level where people are concerned about whether we'll get a "bad covid season" in much the same sort of way as a "bad flu season" is -- not to mention the concern about both at once.  But if it's worse than that, or in particular if it has a worse "hospitalisation per death" curve than the flu does, then what are you going to do?  If you have more cases you need to treat than you can treat, that's bad on every level.  When triage decisions starts to look like death panels, that's not good for anyone.  We gonna treat the sickest?  The people with the least "pre-existing conditions"?  With the best healthcare coverage, i.e., most money?

Certainly there could be breakthroughs on DNA testing.  And likewise on immune-response testing, and getting those to be more tightly predictive of outcomes.  It's hard to see either of those being game-changers in and of themselves, but they'd be some degree of reassurance to some people -- and some degree of alarm-call for others, though people have proved remarkably good at ignoring those.  As you suggest, it's going to be very hard to ever declare someone to be so super-immune they're not even going to be carriers, and even if you could it'd be impractical and absurdly intrusive to tailor a public-health tier accordingly.  Be great if you had DNA-tailored treatments (or immunisation options, or likewise for immune tests), but then that's an additional and potentially much longer step in the developmental chain.

But there will also be better and more targeted vaccines.  More and more people stubbornly or unluckily (re-)immunising themselves the hard way.  Refinements to antigen and RNA testing.  Better treatments -- yes, eventually the snake-oil salesmen will have good product to hawk, albeit despite themselves!  More and better adaptation measures, like ventilation and air filtration.  Maybe even some of the slower learners exhausting themselves with their memes and shizzleposts and getting with the basics of non- and pharma interventions.  Things might not improve as fast as we like, but there's various reasons to expect they will improve, either by leaps and bounds or by small marginal gains across different areas.

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4044 on: December 31, 2021, 04:43:06 AM »
41% of Democrats, 28% of Republicans and 35% of independents surveyed said 50% or higher. FIFTY PERCENT. The real number at the time was between 1% and 5%. That's so far removed from reality it's quite literally sickening. Those responses were not in the absence of data, that was our experts and media doing their finest work.

So yeah, I tend to search and question more than the average duck before eating what's being spooned out by Fauci, CNN, Fox and social media.
I don't think you can blame Fauci, CNN or even Fox for that, short of some sort of tone-trolling exercise.  Blame people poor understanding of risk, and out-and-out atrocious maths and retention of the facts.  Cases, hospitalisation, and deaths are all widely reported -- I can speak more directly to UK and Irish media, but I don't think the US Lamestream(TM) has made a secret of these either -- so if people have managed to not even get an order-of-magnitude sense of their relationship, that's kinda on them.

Social media, undoubtedly.  Though my experience has been entirely inaccuracy in the other direction.  "This virus is 99.98% harmless!"  (Or 99.998%, or 99.9998%, etc -- I think people just lean on the '9' key until they feel happy with the result.)

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4045 on: December 31, 2021, 04:55:07 AM »
The big problem with PCR is not the cycle threshold used, but the fact that it can't differentiate live virus from virus that is inactivated such as by antibodies.  The 'too high a cycle threshold' is a fairly minor issue in comparison.
But they're related, as if you test positive on a very low cycle count, you have some staggeringly high viral load, and it's very unlikely to have all died five minutes before you took it, but if it's on a much higher count, your load is lower, which could mean...
  • You're newly infected, and trending up;
  • You're recovering and trending down, but still with live disease and potentially infectious
  • You've recovered some time ago, and you have a 'long tail' of dead virions
But there's no single "correct" value for cycles, as that should already make clear.  It's a tradeoff between specificity and sensitivity.  Lower the cycle count and you'll get fewer false positives, but more false negatives.  Here's a followup to that NYT piece that gives a bit of background (and isn't behind their paywall either, yay).  https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/09/30/what-science-says-about/

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4046 on: December 31, 2021, 05:08:18 AM »
I'm 100% for this. As long as the Fed also withholds any health care dollars for any state whose population obesity levels are over 50%. If we're actually serious about health and controlling behaviors, then let's get serious.
A bit whataboutish, but you prolly also want to make that more like 35%, if you want to successfully apply the Whip of Poverty(TM) to the tubbiest third of the states.  https://stateofchildhoodobesity.org/adult-obesity/

Trouble is that intervention on diet and exercise quickly end up being a lot more micro-managing than just "wear a mask", "get 1-2 jabs per year" or "prove you've been jabbed".  [Insert dystopian Black Mirror ep or Peloton ad here.]

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4047 on: December 31, 2021, 05:15:12 AM »
Vaccine mandates are settled law are at the state level and for the military.

There's no settled law for Biden or Congress to require everyone in the country to get a vaccine.
It's an interesting technical and legal distinction, no doubt, but it seems a little anticlimactic that so many of these US political debates that supposedly start about inalienable individual rights end up as powder-wigs-and-knee-breeches-clad quibble about state vs federal government.  I struggle to internalise the apparent proposition that something might be fine when determined by millions of tens of millions of your fellow citizens, but evil statist collectivism once it tips over a hundred million.  Of course, makes perfect sense if one just knows what result one wants, and is happy to shop around venues to get it!

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4048 on: December 31, 2021, 05:24:18 AM »
It is all of those good Christians looking out for their brothers. Whatso ever you do, to the least of my brothers and all that. But I hope they do not let the actual teachings of Jesus get in the way of their freedom.
Much like the PRC's system is "Communism with Chinese Characteristics" (i.e., an exceptionally authoritarian brand of capitalism), US "Christianity" often looks suspiciously like beggar-thy-neighbour with Jesus truckplates.

alai

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Re: coronavirus
« Reply #4049 on: December 31, 2021, 05:34:28 AM »
As replies go, your mind-reading skills are poor.
Acknowledgedly!  But my categorisation abilities are decent, so for practicality, similar lines of argument are generally best treated similarly, and we can worry about precise motivation later.

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You seem to think one can't simultaneously be aware of a "problem" and yet not be scared. Based on what you've typed above, I literally can't even tell where you think we disagree. Even though your tone makes it obvious you think we do.
I can't tell either, because your previous comment wasn't on matters of fact or policy position, it was all tone and tropes.  Sure, you can be aware of -- or even, dealing with! -- a problem and unafraid of it.  But when one hasn't been asked about that -- and instead the topic was the problem -- volunteering that observation seems rather tangential and re-framing.