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rotting sea cow

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Posts posted by rotting sea cow


  1. 13 hours ago, GrimTuesday said:

    Germany just bailed our Lufthansa to the tune of 9 billion euros. In return for the Bailout, the German government take a 20% stake in the company that they intend to hold for 3 years. This is what we need to be doing here in the US for every single big company we bail out.

    If you do that at the end of the year you will become the Soviet Union of America.


  2. 1 hour ago, karaddin said:

    I'm always wary of the pushback against online learning in that yes the experience of in person teaching is better, but online learning can make it accessible to people who would never be able to do it otherwise and that's still a hell of a lot better than nothing. It can be much more accessible for single parents, for people with certain disabilities etc. Its just another tool to use, and of course it needs to be tailored appropriately, including not expecting to be able to duplicate testing methods.

    This is a good point.

    My take however is that it is very difficult (and expensive) to produce quality content. The only content I've seen worth to look at involves a lot of pre- and post-production which is outside of the capabilities of the average teacher/professor/school/university/etc, so there will be a few big institutions producing content with the rest of teaching personal only playing a minor role, thus reducing diversity.

    People have mentioned cheating during the evaluations. I think we need to move away from the typical tests. They were barely justifiable before this crisis, they are even less so. Other forms of evaluation unfortunately require much more effort.

     

     


  3. 5 hours ago, Ran said:

    Yes, saw that article. I think in the early stages of this, where tests were very limited, it made sense that the resources were focused on those who were seriously ill and doctors needed to know whether this novel coronavirus was a cause or not. Spending tests on random sampling from, specifically, school workers or students was probably not in the cards. Now, though, we have lab capacity for 100,000  tests a week... but there's a bit of furor in Sweden right now over the fact that nothing like that number are actually being done, largely because the regional and communal governments can't seem to figure out how many tests they should authorize and for whom beyond the ill and essential workers (which school staff are not considered to be, though IMO I think by this stage they should be). But as the article notes, there are also legal and privacy restrictions that seem to make it harder to do research.

    That said, other than the one outbreak in Skellefteå (which seemed to be driven by adults passing it to each other) there's been little evidence of any significant cluster outbreaks in Swedish schools. It's not the kind of depth of data researchers would want, but it's something.

    Thanks for the info.

    One thing that actually bothers/worries me is that it seems (at least from my PoV) that governments do not have actual plans for the forthcoming autumn/winter other than pray that a vaccine is available and/or close everything if things start to look bad again. Since there is an increasing amount of information about the disease and its transmission, countries in the northern hemisphere should use this window of opportunity during summer to think and prepare more clever strategies.

    In that respect, the Swedish model is very important to tune the said strategies. To see what things went well, what went wrong, what can be improved, etc. Hopefully something like that can be implemented instead of the Spanish model, which terrified me more than the disease itself.


  4. Another from Science Magazine

    How Sweden wasted a ‘rare opportunity’ to study coronavirus in schools

    Quote

    There’s nearly universal agreement that widespread, long-lasting school closures harm children. Not only do children fall behind in learning, but isolation harms their mental health and leaves some vulnerable to abuse and neglect. But during this pandemic, does that harm outweigh the risk—to children, school staff, families, and the community at large—of keeping schools open and giving the coronavirus more chances to spread?

    The one country that could have definitively answered that question has apparently failed to collect any data.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/how-sweden-wasted-rare-opportunity-study-coronavirus-schools

    I actually asked @Ran about it. I would have expected that COVID had burnt its way through the schools, universities and kindergartens, but apparently even the Swedish don't know. It would have been certainly very interesting.

    On a general sense. I feel there is a lack of care in terms of data keeping and using opportunities to understand the disease better, with many opportunities missed. Sure, some of them can be looked retrospectively, but in many cases won't be possible. For example, I still expect that something come out from the USS Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle aircraft carriers outbreaks. I also hope that some people look in detail the huge disparity in morbidity and mortality among nursing homes. I've heard of nursing homes completely obliterated, others where most of the cases are mild or asymptomatic and others which have avoided any problem.

    I feel there is too much focus on the sick (understandingly)  and not on the healthy, i.e. those who don't get sick at all and those who have had only mild cases. The later categories might have the key to defeat the disease.

     


  5. I don't think I've seen this here

    The mystery of the pandemic's ‘happy hypoxia’

    Quote

    Among the many surprises of the new coronavirus is one that seems to defy basic biology: infected patients with extraordinarily low blood-oxygen levels, or hypoxia, scrolling on their phones, chatting with doctors, and generally describing themselves as comfortable. Clinicians call them happy hypoxics.

    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6490/455

     


  6. On 5/22/2020 at 12:21 AM, King Adrian Storm said:

    One of the 3 lies that Dany has to slay from the HOTU. "A great stone beast takes flight from a smoking tower, and breathes shadow fire" (paraphrasing).

    I have 4 different ideas of what the stone beast could be:

    2. Euron- The other 2 lies, Stannis and Aegon are claimants to the throne, so it would make sense that the 3rd be Euron. Maybe he steals one of Dany's Dragons. The shadow fire having something to do with his magical abilities.

    No. It doesn't have anything to do with the claims to the throne. It has to do with the lies Dany will need to slay

    Stannis is not Azor Ahai. Aegon is not a Targaryen and Euron..

    3 hours ago, LordImp said:

    Euron.

    Exactly. That  "great stone beast that breathes shadow fire and takes flight" feels like a dragon, but that "shadow fire"  feels like something unnatural or something like an illusion.

    My guess is Euron will do some magic in Oldtown (the tower in fire is almost certainly the Hightower) and becomes a dragonrider. That "dragon" might be an illusion or something else. Maybe a fossilized dragon or an undead one.


  7. 1 hour ago, Iskaral Pust said:

    An acquaintance of ours, an oncologist, included us on an email a week or two ago in which he advised that a regimen of aspirin would be a simple and effective treatment for a lot of Covid cases because it seems to primarily attack through inflammation, and because aspirin is already established as cheap, available in volume and safe to most people.  He based this on his years research of chemo treatments.  The email went quite long with some technical explanation.

    I thought it was bizarre for any doctor to offer widespread unsolicited medical advice.  It felt like a crank message TBH.

    (I don’t know him well but our close friend who is an oncology surgeon, and also included on the email, did confirm that this guy is an oncology research doctor.  But offered no further opinion)

    Maybe it is interesting, maybe it is not. There is truly a dearth of information about what people should/shouldn't do in case they get infected. In particular what they can do to avoid or to try to avoid getting hospitalized. It is all like. if you get covid just call ER in case things get bad. I think it is worrying because people will randomly try whatever they have heard it might help. From smuggled and/or adulterated HCQ (yes, it's a thing) to sauna baths with essential oils.

    BTW: Does anybody know the status of ibuprofen here. Middle March it was the worst thing you could do in case of COVID-19. Some days later it was all fine. Still, it seems doctors avoid to prescribe it.

     

     


  8. 8 hours ago, Wilbur said:

    So this image started showing up on the local NextDoor and Facebook channels this week.

    https://d3926qxcw0e1bh.cloudfront.net/post_photos/1a/cc/1accd9763f67812e3d1390026c61e1b0.jpeg.max800.jpeg

    I am not sure if the posters who use it are serious or not, since I can't imagine a reputable doctor actually prescribing or recommending this cocktail to the general populace.  But the comments sections of threads about Sky Harbor requiring travelers to wear masks, the CDC's guidelines for opening schools, and the governor cautioning the citizens to be cautious are full of it.

    Sometimes it seems like the internet has permitted us to travel backwards in time to a pre-literate society where hex marks like the images above possess the power to protect people from ideas they don't like.

     

    7 hours ago, Impmk2 said:

    So azithromycin (the active in zithromax) has quite a few studies which suggest it can really improve things for COPD sufferers. Amongst other things its been shown to increase the ability of alveolar macrophages to clear cell apoptotic cell debis as well as bacterial infections (even at sub-inhibitory concentrations). So not surprised its being tried out with COVID. But from a quick google looks like all the trials are very limited and / or it isn't really improving outcomes. So yeah, probably rubbish.

    Trump stuck his ugly fingers in the topic of treatment research and clouded the waters. Hopefully wiser politicians learn from that. Since Trump mental diarrhea, every scientist and his mother are trying to disprove HCQ as potential treatment, most of the time quite clumsily.

    There are in fact very few studies in one way or another that are worth their pages. It is possible we never know thanks to Trump. Maybe we should ask the Indians or similar more reasonable people.

    ETA: Yes, @Wilbur that combo has been suggested multiple times. Will we ever know whether it works?

     


  9. 3 hours ago, Fez said:

     

    As Josh Barro lays out, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2020/05/why-is-the-stock-market-rising-if-the-economy-is-so-bad.html, investors are just hoping for a known end date to all this. It doesn't matter if that date is pretty far out, so long as it's known, they can begin investing in ventures for after that. And right now there's so much government money flowing around that they can afford to wait.

     

    Thanks. This is excellent

    1 hour ago, Mudguard said:

    I wasn't able to respond to your question regarding antibody enhancement in the previous thread, so I'm glad you brought it up again.  I was not previously familiar with this concept, which is very interesting.  My first job after college was working on Merck's HIV vaccine (I was just a small cog in a big wheel), which ultimately failed in phase 3 clinical trials.  In the phase 2 clinical trials, they showed that subjects given the vaccine developed a robust antibody response to the antigens encoded by the DNA delivered by the vaccine (naked DNA prime followed after some time by adenovirus encoding HIV antigens).  However, the phase 3 trials were stopped early because the patients that received the vaccine were getting infected with HIV at a higher rate than the control group.  I had no idea why at the time this would occur.  I had left Merck by this time, so I didn't follow up.  This antibody-dependent enhancement of infection provides a possible explanation of what happened with Merck's HIV vaccine.

    Thanks for your answer and sharing your experiences. Just to be clear. I was quoting people more knowledgeable than myself. They just speculated than instead of normal colds having a protective effect, the opposite might be also possible.

    1 hour ago, Mudguard said:

    One other thing, I don't see how influenza vaccination would cause antibody dependent enhancement of a coronavirus infection.  The only way that could happen is if anti-influenza antibodies could somehow also cross-react and bind to coronavirus.  As far as I know, this has not been shown yet.  I would be skeptical of any plots generated by a random anti-vaxxer.  Show me a study that anti-influenza antibodies can bind to coronavirus and then I would seriously consider it.  

    Validation of many of the coronavirus antibody tests haven't shown cross-reactivity from blood taken from patients who had influenza, so I'm doubtful that influenza vaccination would cause antibody dependent enhancement.

    Thanks for the answer. I was wondering if something like that was indeed possible. The plot in question was sent to me by a cousin per whatsapp which in turn was sent to her by someone. I checked the numbers and seemed right but deleted because I get sent so much crap these days. I just tried to reproduce by myself

    But first a warning to everybody:

    CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION

    If fact, now I can see it again. I tend to think that most of the correlation is driven by the countries at the lower left corner which 1) are typically small 2) implemented strong containment policies.

     

     

     


  10. 30 minutes ago, Paladin of Ice said:

    One very preliminary guess that I heard was that the severity of the symptoms might have to do with whether they’ve ever had one of the more common Coronaviruses, as having had them might give the immune system a better response to the virus and stop the most extreme reactions.

    It’s reasonable enough, but pure speculation at this point.

    There was an article that actually goes in that direction.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/t-cells-found-covid-19-patients-bode-well-long-term-immunity#

    So, yes, it is possible that some people have immunity due to the common cold. However almost immediately some people speculated the opposite. It might be that the common coronaviruses cold is not conferring immunity but enhancing the disease through some Antibody-dependent enhancement. I cannot say myself. I don't have the knowledge, but that also brought to my mind a plot made by the anti-vaxxer crew that showed that the covid deaths per million rates are correlated with influenza vaccination rates. I don't have the plot at hand, but the numbers seemed right to me.

     


  11. 12 hours ago, Jeor said:

    Yes, here's another skeptical story about the "promising" results from the Moderna vaccine. I think the two main points they make are (1) very small sample size, and (2) antibody levels vary enormously among people who have recovered, so it's hard to know how these antibody levels really stack up or how "durable" they are.

    Not really surprising that they'd want to pump the stock price, but a bit disturbing how the whole S&P500 rockets upwards a few percent based on very sketchy information. A lot of health companies must be engaging in various forms of market manipulation but in the current environment they'll probably get away with it.

    I actually don't understand how the markets are still not going in full panic mode. They got that big drop towards the end of march but that was it, whilst millions of jobs around the world have been annihilated, whole economic sectors have completely stop functioning,  trade has gotten more complicated than ever,  governments are spending reserves after reserves, where there is no clear way out of the crisis. I kind of feel they are trying to hold for as long as possible, maybe as a tacit agreement to not make thing worse, but for how long?


  12. 17 hours ago, Paladin of Ice said:

    Here's an oral account of what it's like to have COVID-19 for 8 weeks. As per Wert's article, this is currently estimated to be the reaction for around 5% or so of people who get infected.

    :o

    This disease is crazy. There are lots of similar accounts in the interwebs of people feeling miserably for weeks and there are others of people hardly having a bad night. People going to bed earlier than usual to not wake up again. People with light symptoms for weeks. People almost comatose for few days and then everything fine.  People with only neurological symptoms. Etc.  In reddit you can find this thread of people describing their experiences. I cannot make sense of them.  It is like there is no pattern at all.

    I heard from someone who is doing social work during this crisis and he is equally astounded. A household where everyone is infected down to the cat and the dog. A similar household a few streets away where only one is infected and the virus skips even the grandmother. WTF?

     


  13. 1 minute ago, Ser Lumpyhead said:

    So the Kindly Man tells Arya (The Ugly Little Girl) "... we who serve Him of Many Faces give his gift only to those who have been marked and chosen."

    So who chose Pate?

    Perhaps Leo Hightower, or Alleras, or Rosie's Mom, or Rosie herself, or maybe Archmaester Walgrave in one of his lucid moments?

    No one wanted him dead.


  14. OK. Trump has threatened to withdraw US from the WHO in this letter

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1262577580718395393/photo/1

    (forget the fact that he probably didn't write it by himself)

    1.- Of course we know it is attempt to sidestep the blame and cover up his own failures, as countries have independence from the WHO to implement whatever policies deem necessary to protect the health of the population. In fact, US received intelligence reports regarding the situation in Wuhan as early as the 3d of January and they didn't do anything.

    2.- Regardless of that, there is a nice summary of some of the WHO failures in the response to this crisis. I'd add to the list.

    - The WHO insistence in not closing borders as late as mid-March (as far as I recall) despite the virus was clearly spreading between countries and the Italian outbreak was already looking very bad.

    - The WHO opposition to the use of masks based on the claim that the virus is not "airbone", countries went their own ways and the WHO gave in after a while.

    - Ah... Let's not forget the Ibuprofen blunder. One day was very likely to kill a patient, the next day everything was fine.

    Something else?

     


  15. 3 hours ago, Rippounet said:

    It's clear that people can fall sick twice (though it's not too common, and the second time seems to be milder than the first), but it's still not certain whether these are cases of reinfection or relapse.

    It's also troubling that the virus may have been circulating earlier than initially thought... Could there be a link?

    Maybe?

    Somewhat related?

    Quote

    In a side-by-side comparison of evolutionary dynamics between the 2019/2020 SARS-CoV-2 and the 2003 SARS-CoV, we were surprised to find that SARS-CoV-2 resembles SARS-CoV in the late phase of the 2003 epidemic after SARS-CoV had developed several advantageous adaptations for human transmission. Our observations suggest that by the time SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in late 2019, it was already pre-adapted to human transmission to an extent similar to late epidemic SARS-CoV. However, no precursors or branches of evolution stemming from a less human-adapted SARS-CoV-2-like virus have been detected. The sudden appearance of a highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 presents a major cause for concern that should motivate stronger international efforts to identify the source and prevent near future re-emergence. Any existing pools of SARS-CoV-2 progenitors would be particularly dangerous if similarly well adapted for human transmission. To look for clues regarding intermediate hosts, we analyze recent key findings relating to how SARS-CoV-2 could have evolved and adapted for human transmission, and examine the environmental samples from the Wuhan Huanan seafood market. Importantly, the market samples are genetically identical to human SARS-CoV-2 isolates and were therefore most likely from human sources. We conclude by describing and advocating for measured and effective approaches implemented in the 2002-2004 SARS outbreaks to identify lingering population(s) of progenitor virus.

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.01.073262v1

    I think this study has been already quoted by different media as evidence that the virus didn't come from the Wuhan seafood market.

    From what I gather they argue that the link between already identified bat, pangolin, etc coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2 is still missing, as none of these viruses nor a recombination of them could reproduce the characteristic of this virus.

    It might well be, it was already circulating and well adapted to human transmission before it got deadlier in Wuhan.


  16. Coronavirus: France fears virus may have spread in October after military games in Wuhan

    https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/global/coronavirus-france-fears-virus-may-have-spread-in-october-after-military-games-in-wuhan/news-story/b55680fc3b6a11b8c258317d3454961b

    Quote

    France fears the killer coronavirus may have hit Europe from October as several athletes recall becoming “very sick” while competing in Wuhan back then.

    Ok. But if this is the case, why tsunami of patients started to hit the hospitals only early March?

     


  17. 38 minutes ago, House Of Wolves said:

    It is definitely and interesting theory that Arya could have been named in his will.  I will even admit it is possible Robb could have Mentioned Arya somewhere in his will as an appeasement  to his mother. That being said even Cat seems to have accepted that Arya is almost certainly dead at this point. It would have been extremely Foolish and I mean next level Foolish/stupid to put in a will that If a little girl who had been missing for  close to two years, Believed to be dead should one day show up that she would Become his heir over the other he was naming. Even a stupid person should be able to see the potential problems that could arise from putting that in the will. I mean people have already used a fake Arya in the books without the will.  It seems like a big risk to put into your will for someone you are certain is already dead.

    The fact that Arya is not mentioned by Robb is interesting but to me it is not surprising. The whole point of the will nameing a new heir is that his Current heir Sansa Is unfit and he is naming a new Heir. So when he is talking to the lords he explains his two brothers are dead , making his sister Sansa his current rightful heir. He explains that because she is married to a Lannister that she is unfit to be his heir and asks them to sign a document his choice for new heir. Robb does not need to talk about those who would have come next in line naturally after Sansa. Sure he could have mentioned his probably dead Sister Arya . He could have mentioned his probably dead uncle Benjan Stark. He could have Mentioned those who would come after that.  He was not trying to say others who came after Sansa were unfit. He was trying to say his current heir Sansa  was unfit and that he was naming a new person his heir and wanted the lords to back his decision with there signatures.

    Just to clarify because my little theory was quoted. I don't think that Arya was mentioned in the will, because the reasons you mention. Nevertheless, an alive Stark would cloud the waters, as some will claim that the will was made under false premises.

    People need to understand that in these situations things are not rarely crystal clear. The would-be subjects of a potential heir of Winterfell have also something to say. Who would they prefer? A child lord, a girl, a broken boy who is nevertheless inaccessible, someone married to the Lannisters or a legitimized very Stark-looking bastard with experience in command?

    On the other hand, that bastard broke some very holy vows. The child is supported by the powerful White Harbor. The broken boy has some awesome powers. That Sansa Lannister is coming with an army and tons of food. And the girl comes with their late king crown, an army and her undead mother.

     


  18. 30 minutes ago, DMC said:

    A portmanteau of a black president and the most infamous presidential scandal.  What's it based on?  Nothing, same shit Trump has been whining about since he got elected.  Just the most recent distraction from his own incompetence.  It seems to entail complaining about the FBI doing their job and generally decrying the "deep state," but I wouldn't advise going down that absurd path.

    What did the FBI? I don't want to go much further, completely unnecessary.

    BTW: What is the possibility of Obama running again? From afar, it seems to me that Trump still needs to do much worse during the current crisis to get Biden elected.  That old man cannot warm up even a horny quarantined teen, if you forgive the language.


  19. 7 hours ago, Mudguard said:

    Although having a T-cell response is good news, it doesn't prove that a vaccine will work or that people who recover will be immune, much like showing an antibody response is good news, but doesn't prove that a vaccine will work or that people who recover will be immune.  I think the situation around immunity and vaccines hasn't changed.  For immunity, we just have to track the recovered patients over time, and see how many get reinfected.

    Regarding vaccines, I have very low expectations for the Oxford vaccine and the Moderna mRNA based vaccine.  Both are based on experimental technologies that have never resulted in an approved vaccine.  At best, I think these two vaccines will provide mediocre protection, in part because as you note, the vaccine is based on a limited number of antigens, maybe just the spike protein.  Each of the approaches have a number of other problems as well. 

    For example, the Oxford vaccine uses adenovirus to deliver the DNA encoding the spike protein to your cells.  If you've had an adenovirus infection in the past, and adenovirus infections are relatively common (one of the causes of the common cold), your immune system may clear the adenovirus based vaccine before it gets a chance to deliver its payload.  Or if it turns out the vaccine requires both a priming shot following by a booster shot, you generally cannot use the adenovirus based shot twice because you would have developed immunity against the adenovirus for the second shot.  You'll have to use something else for the prime.  Figuring these things out generally take years, sometimes decades, and sometimes a solution is never found.  Normally you'll want to do experiments to find out if your vaccine can generate a strong antibody response and T-cell response, and figure out the optimal dosing strategy that results in the strongest immune response, before you get into Phase III clinical trials.  I think they are essentially skipping this, or at best, are just doing extremely limited amount of optimization.  For Oxford's or Moderna's vaccine to work, it will take a huge amount of luck.

    The vaccines based on traditional techniques using the whole virus, i.e. some form of inactivated virus or live attenuated virus, have the best chance of generating a strong immune response that confers lasting immunity.  These vaccines will probably take a longer time to make and test, in part because working with a dangerous virus is much more difficult than working with just one gene taken from the virus.  The number of labs qualified to do this type of work is much, much less than the number of labs that can come up with a RNA/DNA vaccine.

    Thanks for the explanations. Yes, it seems to me that the vaccine is further away than even some sober expectations. So, we need to live with the virus in the meanwhile, somehow.

    BTW, since you seem to be knowledgeable on the subject. What is the probability that there is some Antibody-dependent enhancement affecting the virulence of the disease? After the news about the T-cell related immunity, some people speculated that it might be that the  common coronaviruses cold is not conferring immunity but enhancing the disease. That also brought to my mind a plot made by the anti-vaxxer crew that showed that the covid deaths per million rates are correlated with influenza vaccination rates. I don't have the plot at hand, but the numbers seemed right to me.

     


  20. 2 hours ago, The Great Unwashed said:

    I've been watching the Russian numbers and noticed the same thing. I'm wondering if they're maxing out their testing capabilities every day because they report nearly the same numbers every day like clockwork.

    It is said that they aren't actually testing everybody individually, but doing something called "pool sampling", that is getting samples of chunks of people and mix them. If they come back negative, everything is fine, otherwise you should test them individually. I'd guess the later is not happening, which would produce interesting statistical behaviours, but it is a way to massively increase your testing capabilities at a relatively lower cost.

     

    2 hours ago, The Great Unwashed said:

    Their deaths are definitely an undercount because they only report COVID-19 deaths after an autopsy has been conducted and all other possible causes have been ruled out.

    Well, to be fair. The Russian outbreak started to pick up steam only late in April. Giving that people take their time to die, it is not completely unsurprising that their number is still relatively low. It might also help that life's expectancy is only 72 years compared to 82 years in Italy.


  21. 1 hour ago, Ran said:

    Following up on a paper Drosten was part of, there's new a peer-reviewed paper in Cell  (here's a general audience write-up) that finds that T-cells largely do seem to respond to SARS-CoV-2, so these nightmare scenarios of the immune system or vaccines not working are out the door. And like Drosten and co, they found T-cell cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 as well, suggesting that people who have had one of the four common cold coronavirii in the past may have some partial protection which may explain situations of people having very mild or non-existent symptoms.

    Interesting information. Specially the last. May it also explain the seemingly immune people who despite sharing close quarters with infected do not get the virus?

     

    1 hour ago, Ran said:

    The caution about not focusing vaccine efforts on training the immune system on the spike protein alone should be well-taken. I believe the Oxford vaccine, and the mRna-based one that was in phase I trials in the US, both focus on just the spike.

     


  22. 2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

    The Blackfish was unmarried because he refused to marry. That is not a mystery. Why he refused to marry we don't know, but his sexuality doesn't necessarily have anything to do with that. Quite a few gay people in Westeros were betrothed or married and there is no indication that lordly or royal parents care about the sexual tastes of their children when they make matches for them.

    Pretty much. Nothing indicate that the Blackfish is gay.  His refusal to marry might just be a way to piss off his older brother.

    In Edmure's case, we know he likes "wenching" so he is probably straight.

     

    2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

    Edmure is very odd in light of the fact that there wasn't even a betrothal. The best explanation I can think of is that Hoster actually changed his approach somewhat after the Littlefinger-Lysa debacle, deciding to allow his son to choose his future spouse himself. And it is not correct that there were no suitable women around.

    When did Edmure's mother die?  It might have something to do with Hoster's attitudes. I kind of feel that Hoster dropped the ball with Edmure. Spcially if you compare the formation he received with Catelyn's. Edmure doesn't look politically savvy, niether he is a competent fighter or strategist.  Did he ever squire for someone? Was he ever sent to KL to court Robert? or to Ned? It seems like he was left to hang around in Riverrun without much to do. Very unHoster-like.  Hell, it seems that Hoster played a very minor role in Robert's reign despite being fundamental for him winning the throne.

     

    2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

    There are unwed Hightower daughters out there who are prestigious enough for a man who wants his son to marry high nobility. The same goes for Desmera Redwyne who had a Tyrell mother. If Hoster had aimed at a royal betrothal - with Myrcella or Shireen Baratheon, say - then we should have heard something about that. After all, such efforts on the side of Hoster should have had considerable effects on the war effort, meaning if Robert/Cersei or Stannis had been talking to Hoster/Edmure before it would have likely influenced the war in some fashion.

    But the bottom line is that it is just not very convincing that the only son of House Tully is not even betrothed in his twenties. The man is Hoster's only proper heir, and it makes no sense for a single son to remain without the means to produce heirs of his own for this long. With Arianne Martell it is different, since Doran Martell has spare heirs in Quentyn and Trystane. But Hoster has effectively only Edmure. Catelyn and Lysa are not going to get Riverrun nor is the castle and lordship for their Stark and Arryn children. And Brynden is no suitable heir, either, being without legitimate children and no longer in good standing with his lordly brother.

    Well, we only know that Hoster tried Ariane Martell, which is again a very odd match, because she is the heiress of Dorne. Where they were supposed to live?


  23. 10 hours ago, Ran said:

    A little update on Sweden. First, today they released some information regarding a sampling of people in week 17 (specifically form April 21 to April 24th) across the country, and found 0.9% returned as having active infections.  The subsection for Stockholm County, a quarter of the tests, showed 2.3% active infection at that time. During week 14, testing in Stockholm showed 2.5% with active infections.

    This survey will be repeated every few weeks to show development over time.

    Next week they will present results of antibody testing from, I think. week 17 as well,  but that'll capture the picture of the situation 2-3 weeks earlier as I understand it.

    In a different vein, Joakim Rocklöv -- one of the more trenchant critics of FHM's approach for a time, and still a bit skeptical but he has recently distanced himself from a group of much more outspoken detractors who repeatedly shot their credibility to shreds with bad modelling and decidedly uncivil language (calling FHM's modellers 'untalented') -- has revised a paper that in its earlier version from early April painted a very negative picture of the situation in Sweden, and presently he finds that Sweden's efforts were largely successful to its stated goals (he doesn'tcome out and say it but he essentially indicates that their 'simple' models were more correct than his own), and were much more effective in reducing R than he gave it credit for. However, he also proposes that with a 10% improvement in effective infectious period (from an average of 3.3 days to 3 days -- this is more a mathematical construct than representing actual infectiousness for any one individual) that he thinks deaths could be nearly halved by September 1st and some 1.5 million fewer people would be infected. The paper lays out all the math for those interested in epidemiological models.

     

    I'm starting to think that,  at least in the Northern Hemisphere, the best idea is to have huge chunks of the population infected before the next winter (of course trying to put protections for the vulnerable). If immunity is a thing of course. Immunological defences are typically higher in summer and people naturally don't go into close quarters, reducing the number of infections to a more manageable level.

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