Future of the pandemic

Latest News Forums Discussion Forum Future of the pandemic

  • This topic has 7 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 year ago by michael norton.
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  • #70414 Reply

    This piece “by” some Foreign Office-friendly herbert called Peter Beaumont in today’s Guardian, presumably cut and pasted from what the boys at the FCDO sent him, contains some scary forked-tongue writing.

    Why India’s worsening Covid crisis is a dire problem for the world

    (He doesn’t actually say why, but since it’s obviously true from a humanitarian point of view that a disaster for our brothers and sisters in India is a disaster for our species, why does it need explaining anyway?)

    The two opposed assumptions of the global response to coronavirus – wealthy countries in the west prioritising vaccines for their own need in one camp, and the argument led by the World Health Organization for global vaccine equality in the other – are also failing to hold as the scale of the crisis in India points to an urgent need to prioritise the response there.

    (Didn’t his tutor at Oxford teach him what the word “assumption” means? Clue: it doesn’t mean “aim ” or “argument”. He should look at his own assumption that Vaccination Is The Way. Does he think it was vaccination that stopped the spread of SARSCov2 in China?)

    With the global supply of vaccines unlikely to pick up until the end of this year, what is required now is international leadership and a recognition that, despite the best intentions of the World Health Organization and the vaccine-sharing Covax initiative to fairly distribute jabs, the pandemic may require a period of more focused firefighting where difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions need to be made.

    Peter knows what’s needed. And here it is: what’s needed is “international leadership” of the kind that carries out some “focused firefighting” and, with the leaders’ backs as ramrod-straight as they were on the playing fields of Eton, the taking of some “unpopular decisions“.

    “international leadership”…”focused firefighting”…”unpopular decisions”.

    Why the lack of specificity? Is there something he doesn’t want to say?
    This is supposed to be some “analysis” of a news story, not a call to worship.

    The intensive-care and body-disposal systems in India are on the point of breaking down. Right now, today, late April, 2021. That’s not hyperbole: many people with respiratory illness are being left to die in hospitals for lack of oxygen; people are dying at such a rate that their families are having to keep their bodies in the house (in a hot country) because crematoria aren’t accepting them (how many more days can that go on without mass funeral pyres at the end of the street, Dresden 1945 style?); and a large proportion of the people who are dying are aged under 40.

    The posh white boys from the English elite (subsection: the ones who believe they know how the fuzzy-wuzzy mind works) continue:

    That will require countries to look beyond their own health crises to see that the pandemic could still get much worse without intervention. Experts have repeatedly warned that allowing the virus to circulate unchecked increases the risk that dangerous new strains will emerge and prolong the pandemic.

    What’s he talking about? No country in the world is “allowing the virus to circulate unchecked”. Restrictions vary, but every country has some restrictions. You also have to wonder whether he realises that the way he uses the word “experts” puts him right down at the bottom of the barrel with his journalistic colleagues who write for the Sun. So then, what do the posh boys mean when they say “without intervention”? Sounds like they mean without some kind of intervention that hasn’t happened yet.

    What is different in India – a country with a fragile health system and even weaker surveillance – is the huge possibility for harm locally and globally, perhaps on a scale not yet seen in the pandemic.

    How can anyone can be an “expert” on the issue of how long a pandemic will last, when there is only one previous example of a pandemic for which there is anything approaching a body of reliable information? (It’s not even known that the Black Death was caused by bubonic plague spread by rats – that’s just a theory. It may be true, but you’d be sticking your neck out to accept it with 95% confidence.)

    #70483 Reply

    N_, I am glad that you have recognised the seriousness of the pandemic.

    Just hypothetically, if everyone in the world had taken four weeks supplies and with complete discipline simply stayed at home, everyone for the same four weeks, we could have been rid of this pandemic a year ago. Just four weeks.

    There is now a complication that covid-19 has got into animal populations which could reinfect humans. Pets, of course, could be kept in for four weeks.

    Alternatively, we could compartmentalise, strictly observe travel restrictions, and wipe it out zone-by-zone:

    Green Zones

    Covid has proven quite easy to control within small populations, eg:

    Isle of Man

    The only thing standing between us and the elimination of the pandemic is the reluctance of governments to suspend capitalism for just four weeks. Instead they partially hobble the economy for months at a time, a repeated emergency half-measure, with far worse outcomes even by their own criteria. They simply can’t conceive of showing the necessary leadership. Government no longer exists; it is merely an administration for capitalism, and an ineffective one at that.

    If ever there was proof that the elite are not in charge, this pandemic is it. No one’s driving.

    #70513 Reply

    I dunno but this image of funeral pyres from India I think points to the next year or two. Vaccinations would help but they won’t roll out in the countries that most need them quickly enough because……money. Western countries with sufficient roll out of vaccination programs may get away with it if they are lucky enough and new variants don’t scupper that. The EU/USA/UK still playing silly politics with other countries’ vaccines:

    It’s going to be a rough ride.

    #71611 Reply

    I wasn’t sure which thread was most appropriate to post this but p[icked this as it relates to the “future” for those with long covid.
    The popular science style gist of it. A new imaging technique does indeed demonstrate long term lung damage in patients with long covid.
    The actual study summary is “For dyspneic patients 3 months after discharge from the hospital for COVID-19, hyperpolarized 129Xe MRI showed abnormalities due to gas transfer limitation in the lungs.”
    For these people with long covid the future is continued debility. Hopefully, now that damage can be identified we’ll be that little bit closer to possible alleviating that debility. It also allows for comparative follow up.
    As an aside, ventilation/perfusion mismatch is dfficult to diagnose on imaging, for example, pulmonary emboli. It relies on V/Q scans, which are not that accurate or CT pulmonary angiography which requires a formidable radiation dose (increasing lifetime breast cancer risk in women).

    #71892 Reply

    Prof. Christina Pagel – @chrischirp
    03 June 17:22

    Well the latest tech report is not good news. Schools clearly source of major spread .

    Emerging evidence that Delta is more severe as well.

    Will thread later.

    But can we finally learn that waiting for firm evidence to act is waiting too long?

    One jab of AstraZeneca vaccine protects only 33% against Delta. Two jabs may protect 60%, but the 95% confidence interval goes as low as 33% as well.

    #71908 Reply

    Interesting thread from epidemiologist @kallmemeg. Delta is more severe, but vaccines seem to be slowing its spread, which is occurring mostly in schools and workplaces.

    #71911 Reply

    Oh shit. The current UK numbers are rising very similarly as around September 20 / 21 last year. We’re well on the up-slope that will lead to a peak within weeks.


    Anyone who can possibly take their kids out of school should do so immediately, because schools are where it’s spreading fastest, schools are its express route into the general population.

    #75817 Reply
    michael norton

    It would be excellent if they would inject children against covid. Until they do it will keep super spreading.

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