COVID-19/Coronavirus Discussion Thread (see OP for useful links)

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Northstar

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Nick Rolovich, head coach of the Washington State handegg team, has lost his $3million/year job because he doesn't want to get vaccinated.

 
1,502
Australia
Melbourne
Update: not doing so well. He said they are giving him 40 liters of pure oxygen every hour and its not doing much. Ventilator might be next. He was cracking jokes about his new 'stache though...

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I'll admit I had no idea who this guy is. I got curious and checked the ig account and he got put on a ventilator last night. According to his mate and co-host he is young and had no preexisting conditions. What I found odd is that they were happy with sharing photos from his ICU bed and talking about his health but when asked about whether he was vaccinated his friend said that he doesn't feel it's right to be talking about someone's health decisions and that he wouldn't be going there, I'm just paraphrasing. From that I assume he was not vaccinated. I hope he makes it.
 

Touring Mars

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A German friend of mine is attending COP26 and emailed me out of the blue the other day to say he was coming to Glasgow and would like to meet up. I asked him if he had a hotel booked (he hasn't!) and so I offered him my spare room - hotels are fully booked in Glasgow and private lets are charging ridiculous amounts (I've seen one place going for £1400 a night...), with cruise ships being used as overflow for conference delegates and people having to book hotels miles away from Glasgow already, while my apartment is literally next door to the COP26 conference site - so he has definitely lucked out on that front... an en suite room just minutes from the conference, and free for however long he wants to stay.

However, it just occurred to me that I've just invited someone to stay at my place for the first time since the pandemic began, and someone who is attending the biggest conference in Scottish history - 25,000 delegates, and presumably no 'vaccine passports' or mask mandates. It's kind of bizarre how this didn't even occur to me when I made the offer of a place to stay, but now I'm kind of regretting it!

Scotland and the UK as a whole are currently in a very precarious position. Cases are skyrocketing in England and have started to increase again in Scotland. Hospitalisations in Scotland are also stubbornly high - still less than half the previous peak, but now it is the sustained level of hospitalisations that is posing a problem.

The UK Government are being urged by just about everyone to shift back to some COVID restrictions - the BMA, the NHS and Independent Sage are all calling for 'Plan B' to be enacted right now, but the Government are resisting, even though they are being warned of reaching 100,000 cases per day over the winter period unless action is taken well in advance - like now.

If restrictions are re-imposed, it could happen very quickly and it could well happen in Scotland before it happens elsewhere. What impact that might have on COP26 remains to be seen, but it looks like I've landed myself with a houseguest during that period anyway...
 
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Scaff

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Even the Aussie's are having a go at owning Cruz now.

Oz owns Cruz.jpeg
 

McLaren

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"Australia is the Texas of the Pacific".
Cringe Reaction GIF


Only a fake Texan like Fled Cruz would come up with that. Not a single Texan believes that.

Esp. right-wing ones who believe every child should be granted a Bible & a gun at birth in this state, whilst they currently scorn Australia for allowing the police to break up lockdown protests b/c they gave away their guns. Because you know, that's something that totally doesn't happen in the country with the biggest hard-on for guns to begin with.
 
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Blitz24

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"Australia is the Texas of the Pacific".
Cringe Reaction GIF


Only a fake Texan like Fled Cruz would come up with that. Not a single Texan believes that.

Esp. right-wing ones who believe every child should be granted a Bible & a gun at birth in this state, whilst they currently scorn Australia for allowing the police to break up lockdown protests b/c they gave away their guns. Because you know, that's something that totally doesn't happen in the country with the biggest hard-on for guns to begin with.
So when will Texas be fighting ostriches and losing in comical fashion?
 

McLaren

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So when will Texas be fighting ostriches and losing in comical fashion?
Could happen. Back in the 80's-90's, there was big ostrich/emu boom that ended up crashing, and then was reborn in the last decade. There's around 2,000 birds between 2 ranches alone around Waco, iirc.
 
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TexRex72
Because unhinged protesters accosting medical professionals isn't enough.
As COVID-19 continues to ravage Montana at one of the worst rates in the country, doctors at one hospital there are facing another crisis: alleged intimidation and threats from state officials.

Earlier this month, doctors and staff at St. Peter's Health in the state capital of Helena refused to administer the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin—which, as Reason has reported, is not a safe or effective treatment for the virus—to an elderly COVID patient. The patient's family contacted the Montana Department of Justice, accusing the hospital not merely of violating her right to treatment, but also of withholding legal documents, limiting her text communications, and denying her visitation rights.
That's when things took a turn towards the excessive.

On October 12, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, a Republican, dispatched a Montana Highway Patrol trooper to the hospital to meet with the patient's family; in a subsequent conference call arranged and attended by Knudsen, three unnamed public officials allegedly "harassed and threatened" hospital staff to have them administer ivermectin.

If true, these allegations are emblematic of Knudsen's willingness to use his office to wage partisan battles against his constituents.

"These officials have no medical training or experience, yet they were insisting our providers give treatments for COVID-19 that are not authorized, clinically approved, or within the guidelines established by the FDA and the CDC," hospital spokesperson Andrea Groom told Reason in a prepared statement. "In addition, they threatened to use their position of power to force our doctors and nurses to provide this care."

Knudsen's office declined to answer specific questions, but in a statement given to Reason, spokesperson Kyler Nerison denied the accusations of harassment and threats. Instead, he insisted that the Department of Justice was focused on "allegations that the hospital mistreated a patient and violated her rights and her family's rights."
The Facebook group Montana Federation of Republican Women also joined the fray, urging members to write to the hospital. In an interview with Montana State News Bureau, the group's president cited the 2015 Montana Right to Try Act to justify the patient's access to ivermectin.

State Sen. Theresa Manzella (R) joined the fight as well. "If I as an adult of sound mind want to take responsibility for my own healthcare if I get this terrible virus, I think I should have that opportunity as a free American adult," she told The Daily Beast.

Yet the hospital seems to be standing on solid legal ground: Montana law requires patients to be approved by their health care provider to be administered experimental drugs. If a patient does in fact want to be prescribed Ivermectin, they can choose to transfer their care to a doctor who will prescribe it—but they can't tell their current doctors what medications to give them, nor can the attorney general.

Local officials agreed with the hospital: after being contacted by the state trooper Knudsen dispatched, Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher said there was no evidence of a criminal offense.

At the end of the day, the incident reveals not just the state's antagonistic relationship with its own health care system, but Knudsen's disregard for the limits of his office: a followup story from the Montana State News Bureau included evidence that the hospital fell outside of the attorney general's jurisdiction, and he was not in the right to dispatch a state trooper there at all.

Earlier this year, Knudsen came under fire for intervening in the case of a man who violently assaulted a restaurant employee and threatened him with a concealed weapon that he did not have a permit for; Knudsen took over the case and had two of the charges dropped. In a separate incident, Knudsen audaciously attempted to subpoena the state's entire Supreme Court. Former attorneys described his actions to Montana Free Press as "breathtaking" and "embarrassing" to the legal profession.

In the meantime, as an investigation progresses, COVID isn't going away anytime soon in Montana, and hospital workers continue to be pushed to the brink. "Harassing our care teams places an additional burden of stress on these individuals, diverting their time and focus away from caring for these critically ill patients," Groom, the hospital spokesperson, said.
 
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UKMikey

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At least that trooper performed his/her due diligence check and sought legal advice from a real lawyer. They exercised their conscience even if Knudsen didn't. I hope there's a reckoning coming for him and others like him.
 
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TB

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State Sen. Theresa Manzella (R) joined the fight as well. "If I as an adult of sound mind want to take responsibility for my own healthcare if I get this terrible virus, I think I should have that opportunity as a free American adult," she told The Daily Beast.
Good news, Theresa! You are perfectly within your rights to "take responsibility for your own healthcare" and take Ivermectin.

Right after you check yourself out of the hospital AMA.

Jury is still out on the "sound mind" bit, though.
 
22,053
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TexRex72
At least that trooper performed his/her due diligence check and sought legal advice from a real lawyer. They exercised their conscience even if Knudsen didn't. I hope there's a reckoning coming for him and others like him.
Seems unlikely. The Montana executive is Republican. The Montana State Senate is 3/5 Republican. The Montana State House is 2/3 Republican. Montana's sole delegate in the United States House of Representatives is a Republican. Amazingly, only one of Montana's two delegates is Republican, however. The other is John Tester.

The right doesn't merely tolerate these sorts of tactics. The right doesn't merely condone these sorts of tactics. The right endorses these sorts of tactics. The right expects these sorts of tactics.
 
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5,762
Simcoeace
Trying to make sense of the UK's currently "red listed" countries:

Colombia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Haiti
Panama
Peru
Venezuela

The UK with a population of 68.3 million has almost 1.5 million active Covid cases. The Worldometer shows that Colombia (which admittedly did have terrible Covid statistics for a long time) with a population of 51.5 million currently has 28,000 reported active infections. This makes the UK's current infection rate 54 times higher than Colombia's. All the other countries on the list also have current infection rates way, way lower than the UK's (& many other countries not on the red list). Can anyone explain this the logic behind this?
 

Touring Mars

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Trying to make sense of the UK's currently "red listed" countries:

Colombia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Haiti
Panama
Peru
Venezuela

The UK with a population of 68.3 million has almost 1.5 million active Covid cases. The Worldometer shows that Colombia (which admittedly did have terrible Covid statistics for a long time) with a population of 51.5 million currently has 28,000 reported active infections. This makes the UK's current infection rate 54 times higher than Colombia's. All the other countries on the list also have current infection rates way, way lower than the UK's (& many other countries not on the red list). Can anyone explain this the logic behind this?
I assume it is due to VOCs (variants of concern), namely Mu and Lambda variants. These variants pretty much don't exist in the UK/Europe, but are quite prevalent in South America. covariants.org only has a few of these countries on it, but the ones that are all have either mu or lambda variants, though there are other countries (such as Chile, Argentina and Brazil) that also have high proportions of other variants alien to the UK that have been removed from the red list, so it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
 
5,762
Simcoeace
I assume it is due to VOCs (variants of concern), namely Mu and Lambda variants. These variants pretty much don't exist in the UK/Europe, but are quite prevalent in South America. covariants.org only has a few of these countries on it, but the ones that are all have either mu or lambda variants, though there are other countries (such as Chile, Argentina and Brazil) that also have high proportions of other variants alien to the UK that have been removed from the red list, so it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Interesting. I am planning on spending a couple of months in the Dominican Republic starting in January. Reported Covid cases have remained surprisingly low there throughout the pandemic so far (although how accurate the numbers are is hard to say). In general, the DR has imposed a moderate level of Covid precautions, but its dependence on tourism has made it very reluctant to impose strict restrictions on visitors.

In the meantime ... both my daughters are studying in the Netherlands. They had planned a trip to Romania in August, but had to cancel as Romania was not accepting tourists from the Netherlands due to elevated Dutch Covid cases & low cases in Romania. They have just traveled to Romania for a week visit ... but I'm noticing that Romania now has extremely elevated Covid cases. :nervous:
 
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Hayden

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There’s a new Australian calculator to help understand an individual’s covid risk based on age, gender, vax status and 35 pages of sources…


I have an anti-vax mate, so I put his details into the calculator. He’s more than twice as likely to catch it and ten times more likely to die of the virus than I am.

After he brought it up tonight, I used this information (for an hour and a half) to attempt to reason with him. Predictably it didn’t go well, but I’m at the stage where I won’t let him talk about anything vaccine related unless he can disprove those numbers. I’m gonna keep going back to it for 10 years if I have to.

After 12 months of this discussion, I think that’s fair enough… 💁‍♂️
 
1,502
Australia
Melbourne
**** Cruz mate.
There’s a new Australian calculator to help understand an individual’s covid risk based on age, gender, vax status and 35 pages of sources…


I have an anti-vax mate, so I put his details into the calculator. He’s more than twice as likely to catch it and ten times more likely to die of the virus than I am.

After he brought it up tonight, I used this information (for an hour and a half) to attempt to reason with him. Predictably it didn’t go well, but I’m at the stage where I won’t let him talk about anything vaccine related unless he can disprove those numbers. I’m gonna keep going back to it for 10 years if I have to.

After 12 months of this discussion, I think that’s fair enough… 💁‍♂️
I met three antivaxxers who at least were holding for the Novavax. I don't know why they think that one in particular is going to be so special, I have not read much about it but apparently it's not an RNA vaccine and that's enough to make them think it's not the mainstream thing the sheep are taking or something.

I have been able to convince one of them to take the ones we have available. Surprisingly it was not that difficult to do so. I was really calm and let her speak and tell me her worries and I was able to show her where she was mixed up with wrong information. That was nice. Another so called friend just asked me to never talk to her again. Win some, lose some.
 

Barra333

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I met three antivaxxers who at least were holding for the Novavax. I don't know why they think that one in particular is going to be so special, I have not read much about it but apparently it's not an RNA vaccine and that's enough to make them think it's not the mainstream thing the sheep are taking or something.
One of the main talking points for anti vaxxers is that the mRNA platform has never been used for a vaccine before and are therefore calling it experimental. While they are half right (COVID is the first mRNA vaccine), the 'experimental' claim is a bit off. How many billion doses have been administered, and how many more before they believe that it works? The mRNA tech has been in development for a decade - I found a paper last week from 2018, that cites some other research stating that mRNA vaccines are looking promising. The main hurdle was stability.
Your friends are right in that Novovax is based on established methods so given that its approval is expected by the end of the year, I wouldn't bother risking friendships over talking them into something else right now. Assuming they are 100% on board with getting it ASAP,
 

UKMikey

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I always feel iffy about politicising this useful and informative thread but here's yet another call for vaccination, albeit from a somewhat unusual source... immunocompromised Fox News host Neil Cavuto:
Independent
“I hear from a lot of people in ongoing nasty emails, ‘You’re a Never Trumper’, or you’re this or ‘We don’t trust you, we don’t believe a word you’re saying.’ And that’s just coming from my family."
 
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2,650
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Outspacer
Are we approaching the end of this wave in England / UK?


I dunno... maybe? Surely we get some herd immunity payoff at some point from having had 4 million recorded cases (likely 7 to 8 million actual cases), (probably) well over 100,000 cases of long covid, almost 100,000 hospitalised and over 10,000 deaths in the four months since since 'Freedom Day'?

The recent surge of cases in England appears to be as much down to more areas having high rates as anything else. The vast majority of cases are in schoolchildren and their parents, with thankfully not much spillover beyond that.

I think the first glimmer of hope will come when some areas start to have much lower infection rates, even if the country-wide average remains high. Perhaps the NW will lead the way. I don't think that the reduction in Scotland is that glimmer since there are a few more restrictions there, and they are much further ahead with vaccinating teenagers than England (50% vs 19%, last I saw) - that's all good, of course, just not neccessarily a sign of how things will go in England.

Anyway, very little sign of hope yet. England, Wales and N.I. are almost completely covered in high rates (400+ per 100,000 per week).

1635254708318.png
 
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PeterJB

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Are we approaching the end of this wave in England / UK?


I dunno... maybe? Surely we get some herd immunity payoff at some point from having had 4 million recorded cases (likely 7 to 8 million actual cases), (probably) well over 100,000 cases of long covid, almost 100,000 hospitalised and over 10,000 deaths in the four months since since 'Freedom Day'?

The recent surge of cases in England appears to be as much down to more areas having high rates as anything else. The vast majority of cases are in schoolchildren and their parents, with thankfully not much spillover beyond that.

I think the first glimmer of hope will come when some areas start to have much lower infection rates, even if the country-wide average remains high. Perhaps the NW will lead the way. I don't think that the reduction in Scotland is that glimmer since there are a few more restrictions there, and they are much further ahead with vaccinating teenagers than England (50% vs 19%, last I saw) - that's all good, of course, just not neccessarily a sign of how things will go in England.

Anyway, very little sign of hope yet. England, Wales and N.I. are almost completely covered in high rates (400+ per 100,000 per week).

View attachment 1089857
I mean, theoretically the virus could mutate itself out of existence. That's what Spanish Flu did in the space of a couple of weeks. There never was any vaccine.
 
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I mean, theoretically the virus could mutate itself out of existence. That's what Spanish Flu did in the space of a couple of weeks. There never was any vaccine.
Well, we could be due another variant... Delta Plus (A.4.2?) is gaining some ground but doesn't seem much more of a worry than Delta. The chance of it mutating itself out of existence is pretty slim; there's still pools of multiple variants around the world for it to restart from.
 

Touring Mars

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I mean, theoretically the virus could mutate itself out of existence. That's what Spanish Flu did in the space of a couple of weeks. There never was any vaccine.
Not at all sure what you mean by this, but it is misleading in the extreme.

I presume you mean that SARS-CoV-2, like other viruses, may mutate into less dangerous forms and become endemic, but it is not going anywhere any time soon. Likewise, 'Spanish Flu' did not "mutate itself out of existence", far, far from it in fact.

I also don't know if you intended to imply something about the efficacy of or need for vaccines by adding the comment about there never being any vaccine for Spanish Flu, but it does come across a bit like that to me.

COVID vaccines will not eradicate SARS-CoV-2 either, but they do save lives. Similarly, had vaccines been available for Spanish Flu 102 years ago, the number of infections/cases may not have changed a great deal, but millions of lives would have been saved.
 

PeterJB

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Not at all sure what you mean by this, but it is misleading in the extreme.

I presume you mean that SARS-CoV-2, like other viruses, may mutate into less dangerous forms and become endemic, but it is not going anywhere any time soon. Likewise, 'Spanish Flu' did not "mutate itself out of existence", far, far from it in fact.

I also don't know if you intended to imply something about the efficacy of or need for vaccines by adding the comment about there never being any vaccine for Spanish Flu, but it does come across a bit like that to me.

COVID vaccines will not eradicate SARS-CoV-2 either, but they do save lives. Similarly, had vaccines been available for Spanish Flu 102 years ago, the number of infections/cases may not have changed a great deal, but millions of lives would have been saved.
Spanish Flu mutated into a virus which, as you source says, was largely indistinguishable from seasonal flu, and lost its characteristic cytokine storms that targeted young healthy adults, so it more or less did mutate itself out of existence; by turning into something much more "ordinary", and as a consequence, less deadly. It wasn't meant to be a slight against vaccines, but sometimes diseases do just naturally dissipate by themselves.
 

Danoff

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Spanish Flu mutated into a virus which, as you source says, was largely indistinguishable from seasonal flu, and lost its characteristic cytokine storms that targeted young healthy adults, so it more or less did mutate itself out of existence; by turning into something much more "ordinary", and as a consequence, less deadly. It wasn't meant to be a slight against vaccines, but sometimes diseases do just naturally dissipate by themselves.
The article suggests that all flu is descended from that flu. Or at a minimum, influenza A. Half a million people die worldwide every year from influenza. It's been over 100 years since 1918, so just a complete spitball at the total death toll would be 50 million people. Meaning the Spanish flu has killed as many people after it "mutated itself out of existence" as it did before.

I don't know the total death toll, it could actually be worse.
 
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Or iver... no, wait.
Heck, why not? Probably couldn't have made it noticably worse! Let them eat monoclonal antibodies!

(Funnily enough, both discovered/developed in 1975, if google informs me correctly).

Spanish Flu mutated into a virus which, as you source says, was largely indistinguishable from seasonal flu, and lost its characteristic cytokine storms that targeted young healthy adults, so it more or less did mutate itself out of existence; by turning into something much more "ordinary", and as a consequence, less deadly. It wasn't meant to be a slight against vaccines, but sometimes diseases do just naturally dissipate by themselves.
Roughly how I took what you said, along with a some healthy mockery - 'could' - of people (modellers, me) making predictions :)

Coronaviruses typically mutate at a slower rate than flus though, so we could be waiting a while.