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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:42 pm 
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Darwin may have gotten the timing wrong, but evolution happens. It looks like the variant coming from South Africa could well be concerning, both for itself and the implications.

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:09 pm 
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Oh, and the British strain may be somewhat more deadly. Granted, they're looking at a difference of 1.3% against 1% in a certain age group, but still. Those three people per thousand could probably do without the honor.

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:13 pm 
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Studies on the British vaccine and the South African strain of Sars 2 haven't been really encouraging. It's getting ever more clear that we're going to have to treat Covid infections like the flu, with vaccines being modified as it evolves. Ah, well.

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:34 am 
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Yeah, we had... issues... with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

But at around the same time as those disappointing test results came out, we apparently had decent test results - for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. So we're rolling that one out to health people (doctors, nurses, etc.) instead.

It's not so much an official vaccine rollout, because technically the vaccine hasn't been fully tested yet. So, technically, all of the health workers getting vaccinated are getting vaccinated as part of a wide-ranging study into the effectiveness of the vaccine. (As a country, we are very, very good at "technically".) It's also Stage 1 of our general vaccination program. (Stage 2 is people with comorbidities or who are over... over 60, I think the cutoff is? The vulnerable people, anyhow. And then Stage 3 is Everyone Else). I think that Stage 2 might need official approval; it definitely needs more vaccine supplies.

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:43 pm 
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Just as a for what it's worth: being deficient in Vitamin D does not seem to be a good idea if you catch a Covid infection. But when studied either the benefits of popping a single high dose supplement on the way into the hospital were subtle, or the benefits of supplementation on hospitalization were quite apparent but the methodology was questionable.

With the proviso that vitamin D is fat soluble and that megadoses can kill you in a very nasty way; it's worth noting that most of us are deficient in vitamin D, and taking it in a multivitamin (with fat containing food) might be helpful if you happen to play host to our current favorite virus (as well as for general health purposes).

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:40 am 
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I've been seeing stories that the common cold is a much more aggressive virus than Sars-Cov-2; not only will having a cold supposedly block a Covid infection, but getting a cold would drive out a relatively new Covid infection in order to safeguard its turf. Fear the humble rhinovirus.

Oh, and there's talk of a new mutated Sars virus in India that combines two previous mutations. Until there's general herd immunity we can expect to see more viral evolution going forward, so here's hoping nothing comes up that seriously compromises the vaccines before then.

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Sun May 23, 2021 8:42 am 
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It looks like the vaccines are still doing a good job against the new mutant strains. Hopefully that'll keep up.

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:01 pm 
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But the virus keeps getting better at spreading. The Delta variant is perhaps 3 times as good at spreading from host to host as the original strain. And apparently Delta has more symptoms similar to a common cold in younger hosts, which may help convince them to keep spreading it. Gotta love evolution.

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2021 12:03 am 
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Now this is interesting. The vaccine technology used against Covid infections is being used against bubonic plague. They just started human testing. I've also seen that a vaccine against HIV, using the same tech, will start human testing soon. Apparently the investment made to deal with SARS is looking to pay off big time.

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 Post subject: Re: The Virus
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 pm 
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One hears that the case numbers of Covid infections are coming down here in the US, which means that reasonably soon the death rate to said infections will start to fall. One also hears that it's now the most lethal episode we've had, with 700,000 officially dead of this particular disease (beating out the Spanish Flu epidemic and the Civil War).

Unfortunately, 'officially' means the CDC was notified that there was a death certificate that had 'covid' in the cause of death section. Clearly that wasn't always done for various reasons; and the CDC estimate for how many have actually died of Covid infections (the surplus death statistic) says the high point of the bell curve is at 840,000 dead and counting. Well, at least there's only about a 5% chance that the real death toll has passed a million already.

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