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Mlle. Zabzie

Covid 19-31 The Mutants Are Coming

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Padraig said:

Ouch.  Sorry to hear that.  Is that a normal side effect?

To a certain extent, but not to the extent she’s experiencing. Fatigue and heavy legs can be a side effect affecting a smaller minority. For this to get painful and last weeks is certainly not normal. She got some meds now and hopefully it’ll clear up. 

10 hours ago, Padraig said:

Better than Czech's approach anyhow.  But that may be a very low bar.  Only Hungary ended up worse in Europe.

I do think the health system is probably the most important factor.  Maybe Compliance then?  Testing is good too.   I see that Austria does have one of the best testing rates in Europe.  But the Czech's weren't bad for testing.

Comparable data collection obviously plays a role too.

Anyhow, I'm sure there will be books written on this!  It's a complicated topic

Indeed *nervous laugh* 

Although this is an empiric impression (aka personal subjective assessment) and hardly data based,  the main reasons for our disastrous stats are:
-last summer was way too free and brought a disastrous November-December
- autumn lockdown came at least a month late, by the end of October (when restrictions were reintroduced) the thing was out of control, and the reopening we are doing as we speak is also highly premature 
- public discipline and compliance with regulations is honestly shameful and has been throughout the thick of it 
- anti-vaccine and virus-denial was and still is surprisingly high
- even though the government made an effort to provide ventilators, there isn’t enough workforce or room in health care facilities to operate the hospital equipment and keep patients properly separated 
- the general health of people isn’t great (this one is actually backed up by oecd data), people lead unhealthy lifestyles and my suspicion is that this has been a contributor
- even though there was an effort to get several vaccines, the British variant arrived sooner than the sufficient vaccine supplies to vaccinate en mass (there was and still is mistrust and dislike for vaccines other than Pfizer&Moderna)
- always caving in to whatever the public pushes for, but always messing up the timing and execution so that it’s not even well received. 
 

the problem is that we don’t seem to have learned from the mistakes of last summer. Limitless freedom in the summer has heavy repercussions for the autumn months. I personally think that we should have settled for learning to live with permanent moderate restrictions rather than drastic lockdown for 4-5 months and wild hedonism for another 4-5 months.

Edited by RhaenysBee

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1 hour ago, RhaenysBee said:

the problem is that we don’t seem to have learned from the mistakes of last summer. Limitless freedom in the summer has heavy repercussions for the autumn months. I personally think that we should have settled for learning to live with permanent moderate restrictions rather than drastic lockdown for 4-5 months and wild hedonism for another 4-5 months.

This is interesting, because I think I took the exact opposite lesson from the pandemic so far, although perhaps this is just a fundamental difference between island/continental nations. In the UK we have had some level of restrictions in place for over a year now. We have had some short periods of severe lockdown, but by and large the restrictions have been moderate. I would much rather have extended our severe lockdown from Spring of last year by a few weeks/months in the hopes of eradicating the virus completely, like NZ/Aus managed. 

In the UK, we've sort of yo-yo'd between severe, mild and moderate restrictions (like a lot of places). Our first severe lockdown was about 6 weeks, and we managed to get the daily cases down to triple digits for most of the Summer. It's really hard not to think that if we had just extended that first lockdown for a few weeks/months, we could have reduced cases to zero, avoided the second and third waves, and an entire year of mixed restrictions. 

Living alone as I do, I'm probably more incentivised than most to favour this approach since the mild/moderate restrictions have broadly the same impact on my life as severe ones. But I have to think most people would prefer a short, sharp shock than the drawn out misery of the last year. The key failing has been the belief that a small number of cases can be handled, the reality is that anything other than zero is unworkable in the long term without having vaccinated everyone.

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1 hour ago, RhaenysBee said:

To a certain extent, but not to the extent she’s experiencing. Fatigue and heavy legs can be a side effect affecting a smaller minority. For this to get painful and last weeks is certainly not normal. She got some meds now and hopefully it’ll clear up. 

Indeed *nervous laugh* 

Although this is an empiric impression (aka personal subjective assessment) and hardly data based,  the main reasons for our disastrous stats are:
-last summer was way too free and brought a disastrous November-December
- autumn lockdown came at least a month late, by the end of October (when restrictions were reintroduced) the thing was out of control, and the reopening we are doing as we speak is also highly premature 
- public discipline and compliance with regulations is honestly shameful and has been throughout the thick of it 
- anti-vaccine and virus-denial was and still is surprisingly high
- even though the government made an effort to provide ventilators, there isn’t enough workforce or room in health care facilities to operate the hospital equipment and keep patients properly separated 
- the general health of people isn’t great (this one is actually backed up by oecd data), people lead unhealthy lifestyles and my suspicion is that this has been a contributor
- even though there was an effort to get several vaccines, the British variant arrived sooner than the sufficient vaccine supplies to vaccinate en mass (there was and still is mistrust and dislike for vaccines other than Pfizer&Moderna)
- always caving in to whatever the public pushes for, but always messing up the timing and execution so that it’s not even well received. 
 

the problem is that we don’t seem to have learned from the mistakes of last summer. Limitless freedom in the summer has heavy repercussions for the autumn months. I personally think that we should have settled for learning to live with permanent moderate restrictions rather than drastic lockdown for 4-5 months and wild hedonism for another 4-5 months.

I'm not sure if moderate restrictions work in our countries though. I mean as soon as the first lockdown ended a significant number of people started ignoring all the rules around here. At least with a drastic lockdown stuff like pubs ges closed.

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1 hour ago, Leap said:

This is interesting, because I think I took the exact opposite lesson from the pandemic so far, although perhaps this is just a fundamental difference between island/continental nations. In the UK we have had some level of restrictions in place for over a year now. We have had some short periods of severe lockdown, but by and large the restrictions have been moderate. I would much rather have extended our severe lockdown from Spring of last year by a few weeks/months in the hopes of eradicating the virus completely, like NZ/Aus managed. 

Just to say that this was never going to happen. By the time the first lockdown had been put in place the virus was already endemic in the population and we had moved well past the point of being able to eradicate it , it was simply too far spread out. On top of that we had no idea that vaccines were so close to coming into reality so soon.

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4 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Just to say that this was never going to happen. By the time the first lockdown had been put in place the virus was already endemic in the population and we had moved well past the point of being able to eradicate it , it was simply too far spread out. On top of that we had no idea that vaccines were so close to coming into reality so soon.

I don't agree. What you're arguing is that the R number would have stabilised at around 1 or over it in a lockdown scenario, but factually that isn't what happened - it was well below 1 throughout. That's how we went from tens of thousands of cases to hundreds. On the 19th June 2020 the R number was  estimated at 0.7-0.9, meaning that the cases would have continued to decline had we stayed in lockdown throughout that time, which we didn't. 

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3 hours ago, Leap said:

This is interesting, because I think I took the exact opposite lesson from the pandemic so far, although perhaps this is just a fundamental difference between island/continental nations. In the UK we have had some level of restrictions in place for over a year now. We have had some short periods of severe lockdown, but by and large the restrictions have been moderate. I would much rather have extended our severe lockdown from Spring of last year by a few weeks/months in the hopes of eradicating the virus completely, like NZ/Aus managed. 

In the UK, we've sort of yo-yo'd between severe, mild and moderate restrictions (like a lot of places). Our first severe lockdown was about 6 weeks, and we managed to get the daily cases down to triple digits for most of the Summer. It's really hard not to think that if we had just extended that first lockdown for a few weeks/months, we could have reduced cases to zero, avoided the second and third waves, and an entire year of mixed restrictions. 

Living alone as I do, I'm probably more incentivised than most to favour this approach since the mild/moderate restrictions have broadly the same impact on my life as severe ones. But I have to think most people would prefer a short, sharp shock than the drawn out misery of the last year. The key failing has been the belief that a small number of cases can be handled, the reality is that anything other than zero is unworkable in the long term without having vaccinated everyone.

As an island, one severe lockdown to eradicate the virus could be the right course of action and provide sustainable results. But I don’t think that’s doable for the mainland. We essentially didn’t have a first wave while 2020 spring was the strictest lockdown ever. Then we opened up and had 5-20 cases per day for two months. During that time people traveled, partied and went on vacations. By early September we had three times the daily cases we did on the worst days of April. There’s also quite a workflow coming and going on a daily basis at every border, so it’s impossible to control country to country spread. 

Also living alone, and being an introvert, I care far more about the safety of people than about parties and going to bars. That’s not to say I don’t miss a summer happy hour or brunch or a cozy afternoon in a cafe. But I’m still heavily pro restriction.

3 hours ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

I'm not sure if moderate restrictions work in our countries though. I mean as soon as the first lockdown ended a significant number of people started ignoring all the rules around here. At least with a drastic lockdown stuff like pubs ges closed.

Fair point. Neither moderation nor compliance is our strong suit. Restrictions are mostly ignored if not downright spat in the face.  The first thing people did last autumn was get fake papers to get past curfew rules, and several restaurants ran holiday get-togethers through the staff entrance. 

You know what, maybe sharp strict lockdowns are the way to go. Who can tell. I know I can’t wait for all the books and docu series about covid to find out what the hell is going down. 

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I was curious about Novavax for a while.  Previously it was expected to get approval by the end of April but it hasn't even filed for approval.  And now it suggests that it wouldn't do so until June.  The delay is linked to the complexity around manufacturing.  It has never produced a drug before.

It's another blow to poor old COVAX.  Novavax is supposed to be a big supplier but nothing will be seen till July at least.

https://www.ft.com/content/95a28a60-12b7-4110-a769-99cf1e0af767

It is working away on a combined flu/COVID vaccine though, which is neat.

That means that Curevac may be the next Western company with an authorised vaccine.  But its another small company with dreams.  We'll see will it also run into trouble.  It is supposed to publish results this month.  So that will be a big indicator.

6 hours ago, RhaenysBee said:

As an island, one severe lockdown to eradicate the virus could be the right course of action and provide sustainable results. But I don’t think that’s doable for the mainland.

Fair point.  Location is another huge factor.  Countries in the centre of Europe had major disadvantages.

An island getting to 0 COVID is clearly doable, but I do struggle to think that a European island could have maintained that.  You have to stop everyone from entering the country (except a token number, which you can quarantine).  It wouldn't have been easy to pull off.

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FDA Authorized Pfizer Biontech for 12-15 year olds on an emergency use basis.  This is great news and very encouraging for those of us in the states with younger children.  I’m hopeful they will be able to apply for the 2-11 cohort by the fall.

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9 hours ago, Padraig said:

Fair point.  Location is another huge factor.  Countries in the centre of Europe had major disadvantages.

An island getting to 0 COVID is clearly doable, but I do struggle to think that a European island could have maintained that.  You have to stop everyone from entering the country (except a token number, which you can quarantine).  It wouldn't have been easy to pull off.

I suppose it is. The fact that some of our border counties are the most infected - after the capital and its surrounding county obviously. (Admittedly there are like four counties that aren’t the capital or a border county because that’s the size of this place :lol: so once again who knows if this is a statistically relevant observation) 

No of course now. And the UK is quite the destination and a center of air traffic so it’s no more comparable to an island like Phuket than it is to mainland center Europe. 
 

anyway, sister’s getting a vaccine in about 5 minutes. And coincidentally so is my manager - although at a different station. I’m slightly worried but my brain knows that it’s unreasonable to assume there’s more than a 0.01% that she’ll experience irregular side effects. 

And we’re at 500 new cases today. Which is great. But we at 500 new cases per day in January too. Then the third wave happened. So I can’t say I want to rush out to celebrate.  In fact, all I want is to be able to visit my mum when she gets the second dose and for our dog to survive that long. 

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11 hours ago, Padraig said:

 

Fair point.  Location is another huge factor.  Countries in the centre of Europe had major disadvantages.

An island getting to 0 COVID is clearly doable, but I do struggle to think that a European island could have maintained that.  You have to stop everyone from entering the country (except a token number, which you can quarantine).  It wouldn't have been easy to pull off.

Not only do you have to stop the virus from entering again. I also think that you can only achieve zero covid, if it never was there. If it has started to diffuse into the community there will always be asymtomatic carriers, and then there are the cats and ferrets and whatnot. so you have to catch it at the beginning like New Zealand did.

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36 minutes ago, JoannaL said:

Not only do you have to stop the virus from entering again. I also think that you can only achieve zero covid, if it never was there. If it has started to diffuse into the community there will always be asymtomatic carriers, and then there are the cats and ferrets and whatnot. so you have to catch it at the beginning like New Zealand did.

It's possible to eliminate covid, but it requires extreme measures, like China style lockdown and quarantine.  They showed it was possible even after widespread infection, even in a non-island environment.  Less extreme measures might also work, but you need extremely high compliance by everyone, which we don't have.  

As bad as covid has been, it could have been worse.  Imagine a 5 to 10% fatality rate, or worse.  We say that a China style lockdown isn't possible in Europe, North America, and most of the world really, but it should be an option.  Is a two month severe lockdown OK if it saves millions of lives and allows the country or world to resume normal life?  Tens of millions lives?  100s millions of lives?  At some point, which is admittedly difficult to determine, I would be in favor of China style lockdowns.  

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1 hour ago, JoannaL said:

Not only do you have to stop the virus from entering again. I also think that you can only achieve zero covid, if it never was there. If it has started to diffuse into the community there will always be asymtomatic carriers, and then there are the cats and ferrets and whatnot. so you have to catch it at the beginning like New Zealand did.

The city of Melbourne, Australia managed to go from 500+ positive tests per day to zero (with thousands more asymptomatic / minimally symptomatic cases assumed in the community). It took a harsh 112 day lockdown, but it's doable.

Singapore has also dealt with reasonable sized outbreaks and managed effectively eliminate the virus.

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4 hours ago, RhaenysBee said:

And we’re at 500 new cases today. Which is great. But we at 500 new cases per day in January too. Then the third wave happened. So I can’t say I want to rush out to celebrate.  In fact, all I want is to be able to visit my mum when she gets the second dose and for our dog to survive that long. 

I remain cautiously optimistic.  We've been re-opening over the last 2 months and while cases haven't gone down that much since then, given it is a re-opening, the worry was that cases would go up.  And in fact, fatalities, people in ICU and hospitalisations have continued to fall significantly over those 2 months.  From a peak of 2000 in January, we are now at 117 COVID hospitalisations in total.

The vaccines are definitely making a considerable difference.  And it is very striking to see how nearly all countries in Europe have started to improve over the last 4 weeks.

Variants are a concern and you'd like to see more studies but these studies take time I suppose.  Initial analysis suggests we are ok at least.  It is a supply problem, not a vaccine efficiency problem.

Still, one can never be sure of anything when it comes to COVID!

I hope your sister comes through it easily.

2 hours ago, Mudguard said:

It's possible to eliminate covid, but it requires extreme measures, like China style lockdown and quarantine.  They showed it was possible even after widespread infection, even in a non-island environment.  Less extreme measures might also work, but you need extremely high compliance by everyone, which we don't have.  

As bad as covid has been, it could have been worse.  Imagine a 5 to 10% fatality rate, or worse.  We say that a China style lockdown isn't possible in Europe, North America, and most of the world really, but it should be an option.  Is a two month severe lockdown OK if it saves millions of lives and allows the country or world to resume normal life?  Tens of millions lives?  100s millions of lives?  At some point, which is admittedly difficult to determine, I would be in favor of China style lockdowns.  

I think this is right.

COVID has normalised a lot of things in the Western World.  Wearing masks?  (Sure, we may all stop wearing them when this is over but it should be a natural fallback if we have a major respiratory disease again.  And maybe people will start wearing them during flu season also).  Quarantines?  Didn't even some US States say you had to self-quarantine for 10 days if you came from out of state?  Ireland and UK started using hotels.  Loads of restrictions are now normal (even if some people complain).

Would we go as far as what China or Australia did?  As you say, if the fatality rate warrants it...

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2 hours ago, Impmk2 said:

The city of Melbourne, Australia managed to go from 500+ positive tests per day to zero (with thousands more asymptomatic / minimally symptomatic cases assumed in the community). It took a harsh 112 day lockdown, but it's doable.

Singapore has also dealt with reasonable sized outbreaks and managed effectively eliminate the virus.

I don't think it was feasible in Europe after February 2020 or so. For example, the very harsh Spanish and Italian lockdowns were never able to cut the transmission chains to a level where eradication seemed possible. Even if some countries tried even harder, the ones who didn't or those were measured failed would doom the others sooner or later. At that point you would have to choose between maintaining the Union or try manage the crisis.

Another possibility would have been a harsh lockdown amid summer 2020 where spread was quite minimal. This was also impossible to sell politically.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mudguard said:

It's possible to eliminate covid, but it requires extreme measures, like China style lockdown and quarantine.  They showed it was possible even after widespread infection, even in a non-island environment. 

In China worked because the outbreak was regional and the rest of the country could provide assistance. It wasn't the case in most countries. I agree that it still requires high compliance.

Quote

As bad as covid has been, it could have been worse.  Imagine a 5 to 10% fatality rate, or worse.  We say that a China style lockdown isn't possible in Europe, North America, and most of the world really, but it should be an option.  Is a two month severe lockdown OK if it saves millions of lives and allows the country or world to resume normal life?  Tens of millions lives?  100s millions of lives?  At some point, which is admittedly difficult to determine, I would be in favor of China style lockdowns.  

Well, one of the problems of COVID is the IFR is high enough to be pose a severe public health threat, but still low enough that the menace seem negligible at individual level, specially considering the age stratification.

My opinion is that health authorities and policy makers were either sleeping or were stupid/evil. The time for harsh measures was 24 Jan 2020 at the latest.

This was people with more knowledge were writing at that time

https://threader.app/thread/1220919589623803905

EDIT: An old article about the topic https://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2020/03/why-was-it-so-hard-to-raise-the-alarm-on-coronavirus.html

 

 

 

Edited by rotting sea cow

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5 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

In China worked because the outbreak was regional and the rest of the country could provide assistance. It wasn't the case in most countries. I agree that it still requires high compliance.

Well, one of the problems of COVID is the IFR is high enough to be pose a severe public health threat, but still low enough that the menace seem negligible at individual level, specially considering the age stratification.

My opinion is that health authorities and policy makers were either sleeping or were stupid/evil. The time for harsh measures was 24 Jan 2020 at the latest.

This was people with more knowledge were writing at that time

https://threader.app/thread/1220919589623803905

I remember when in February 2020 it was discussed if it may be a good idea to stop flights from China. But most politicians said that would be really bad for economy and such an extreme measure is not warranted and also if one country stopped flights from china it would not help at all  and so on...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rotting sea cow said:

My opinion is that health authorities and policy makers were either sleeping or were stupid/evil. The time for harsh measures was 24 Jan 2020 at the latest.

Mostly Hubristic IMO - "that couldn't happen here" "we saw with SARS and MERS, these things happen over there, they never really make it here" "Proper modern health care will deal with this relatively easily, there's no point bankrupting ourselves on the off chance that it can't"

Edited by Which Tyler

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1 hour ago, JoannaL said:

I remember when in February 2020 it was discussed if it may be a good idea to stop flights from China. But most politicians said that would be really bad for economy and such an extreme measure is not warranted and also if one country stopped flights from china it would not help at all  and so on...

Limited travel restriction like that wouldn't have worked anyway. If Germany had stopped flight from China but France (for example) didn't, it would have still entered Germany via France. Only a full border closure (for all travelers, from all destinations) would have worked, like in Vietnam: https://www.vox.com/22346085/covid-19-vietnam-response-travel-restrictions

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14 minutes ago, Gorn said:

Limited travel restriction like that wouldn't have worked anyway. If Germany had stopped flight from China but France (for example) didn't, it would have still entered Germany via France. Only a full border closure (for all travelers, from all destinations) would have worked, like in Vietnam: https://www.vox.com/22346085/covid-19-vietnam-response-travel-restrictions

Yeah, I agree. Full stop to air travel for one or two months. Trace all visitor from China and others with growing outbreaks (chinese and otherwise). It might have worked and save us of much pain. It might have not but it could have still delayed the first wave long enough to have better preparations in place. Air travel is still disrupted now, so... hardly any loss.

If glass candles existed....

but on the other hand people warned that this virus had all the landmarks of a pandemic one.

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