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Covid 44: The Sickening


Mlle. Zabzie
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I doubt it will break the link completely, but the data is certainly looking promising so far in respect of this particular variant. South Africa, for example, is reporting very low fatalities compared to previous case surges. Still too early to make a call though I think.  

A lot of the improvement in deaths is due to those countries, which were previously generating significant fatalities (i.e. mainly Central/Eastern Europe), have now gone well past their last peak.  They are all seeing large drops in fatalities, while Western Europe/US etc are generating many new cases.  That is exaggerating the difference between overall case and death trends.

The concern would be that Omicron will generate a new wave in Central/Eastern Europe (it hasn't yet but it generally hits that region later than Western Europe).  Given vaccination levels, it remains vulnerable.

On the other hand, I do agree that there is some hope when one looks at the trends in countries that have had major Omicron waves so far.

One interesting thing is that South Africa has seen J&J used a lot and it is now reporting solid results after 2 doses of J&J.

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One real-life study from South Africa showed vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization from Covid-19 rose to 85% after a booster dose of the J&J vaccine, even after the Omicron variant was circulating. And a lab-based study in the US indicated the vaccine stimulates a strong immune response from cells known as T-cells, which protect people against severe disease even if they don't block the virus entirely from infecting the body.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/30/health/jj-covid-booster-omicron/index.html

85% is certainly decent.  Although, the question remains how long the protection lasts.  I'm not sure we've seen similar figures for Pfizer/Moderna yet (except that Pfizer was around 70% effective against contracting Omicron)?

5 hours ago, Heartofice said:

When you have high levels of vaccination in the country, as well as a high percentage of people with previous infection, then concentrating on demonising the unvaccinated becomes more futile and nothing more than vindictive, and is really just a distraction to make people feel better.

Some of the posts on this board have been over the top in their stridency and there are probably real life examples of the demonisation of the unvaccinated that are similarly unedifying.    But in general, I wouldn't support coddling the unvaccinated.  They are objectively making a mistake after all, which effects other people.

6 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Vaccinating people as a method of reducing spread really doesn't seem to be particularly effective, as you can see from the current wave. 

We believe initial protection goes back up to 70% against infection after getting boosted.  There is certainly a question about how long this lasts.  If is reduces well below 50% after 2 months, then yes, the current vaccines are no longer effective at controlling spread.  But then, in that case, I expect we'll see a new vaccine in the coming months to (hopefully) fix that problem (assuming Omicron is a significant threat).

Given all that, I think its too early to give up on vaccines when it comes to reducing spread.

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Wrote a post for the previous thread just as it was locked. Anyway, geeking out about this:

 

Omicron has completely swapped cellular entry mechanism(!), now entering via endosomal fusion - generally associated with lower inflammatory response, less cell to cell transmission and biases towards different tissues. It's a pretty huge shift. This is now one of a string of studies showing replication in different tissues and a decrease in surface fusion, but has some pretty great controls in there to really dissect the detail.

Becoming more convinced that the virus really is intrinsically less severe. However as the preprint notes:

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Nonetheless, even a variant that is less virulent with a very high transmission rate may still present a substantial risk to older people and those with co-morbidities, especially those with immunosuppression. Moreover, our work demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 exhibits high antigenic and functional plasticity; further fundamental shifts in transmission and disease should be anticipated.

 

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People across the board are sick.  They are burned out.  Don't expect any health care for a long time. So don't tell me to be kind to the vaxx refusniks.  Just. Don't. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/30/hospitals-staffing-shortages-omicron/

.... “There’s this assumption that two years into the pandemic, health care somehow should have hired more people,” Daniels said as patients trickled into Mayo’s snow-dappled campus Wednesday. “But the truth is that we are at the limit. … The people who draw blood. The people who work night shifts. The people who sit in rooms with patients who are delirious. They’re tired. We’re all tired.”

Doctors at this elite institution are confronting the same challenges as their colleagues everywhere: exhaustion, burnout and exasperation at patients who still refuse to mask up and get vaccinated. And that was before the arrival of omicron, the most transmissible variant yet, which is sickening staffers as well as patients and fueling workforce shortages.

Five things about omicron that I want my friends and family to know

As a result, health-care systems nationwide are canceling elective procedures, turning away requests to take emergency medical services patients and grappling with workers calling in sick. Multiple states have deployed the National Guard to help support stressed hospitals, often by simply managing administrative tasks such as helping deliver food or cleaning dirty rooms.

“Frankly, between postponing elective surgeries, delaying surgeries, transferring patients, EMS bypass, and now the National Guard coming in … it’s going to be approaching a breaking point if we don’t turn the tide on these hospitalizations very soon,” said John Palmer, a spokesperson for the Ohio Hospital Association. ....

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I honestly considered making the new thread and titling it "Pumping Up Those Fourth Quarter Numbers" but it felt wrong, even if the play on words is deadly accurate.

Hey @Fragile Bird,

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I just saw the US had 488,000 cases yesterday, about twice as many as the peak earlier this year.

New numbers are out and it was over 580,000 today. And climbing.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I honestly considered making the new thread and titling it "Pumping Up Those Fourth Quarter Numbers" but it felt wrong, even if the play on words is deadly accurate.

Hey @Fragile Bird,

New numbers are out and it was over 580,000 today. And climbing.

 

 

Canada never had more than 10,000 cases before in the previous waves. Yesterday we had almost 40,000. Ontario alone has more than 13,000 and Quebec more than 14,000. Quebec is imposing a curfew again.

40,000 cases is like about 360,000 in the US. Tonight I saw news reports telling Americans to expect an explosion of cases in January. Geez, what the hell are our numbers going to look like?

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13 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Canada never had more than 10,000 cases before in the previous waves. Yesterday we had almost 40,000. Ontario alone has more than 13,000 and Quebec more than 14,000. Quebec is imposing a curfew again.

40,000 cases is like about 360,000 in the US. Tonight I saw news reports telling Americans to expect an explosion of cases in January. Geez, what the hell are our numbers going to look like?

The biggest party day of the year begins here in just under 30 minutes. And we relaxed the protocols while already knowing a spike was happening daily. Even for the unvaccinated who don't care about the federal suggestions. Buckle up. 

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1 hour ago, Fragile Bird said:

Canada never had more than 10,000 cases before in the previous waves. Yesterday we had almost 40,000. Ontario alone has more than 13,000 and Quebec more than 14,000. Quebec is imposing a curfew again.

40,000 cases is like about 360,000 in the US. Tonight I saw news reports telling Americans to expect an explosion of cases in January. Geez, what the hell are our numbers going to look like?

I wouldn’t bother with those provincial numbers. They are nothing more than an indication and are underestimating reality by a factor of at least three.

Ontario is actually killing free testing from tomorrow so the number will soon become even more worthless than the ones quoted above.

Edited by Paxter
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8 hours ago, Impmk2 said:

Omicron has completely swapped cellular entry mechanism(!), now entering via endosomal fusion - generally associated with lower inflammatory response, less cell to cell transmission and biases towards different tissues. It's a pretty huge shift. This is now one of a string of studies showing replication in different tissues and a decrease in surface fusion, but has some pretty great controls in there to really dissect the detail.

I think I saw something similar. It might be the same study? Reportedly, Omicron also has reduced ACE2+TMPRSS2 cell entry and enhanced pure ACE2 attachment.

We maybe should start calling Omicron the first true different strain of SAR-COV-2. It's anyway crazy that comparatively few aminoacids mutations can lead to such a change in viral behavior and pathogenesis.

I agree that it's not a common cold yet, even if some people feel it like that. I still wonder what will happen when the vulnerable population starts to be hit by the massive waves.

This is the study

 

 

 

Edited by rotting sea cow
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Our figures in the UK while high, are definitely not reprasentative.

After nearly 2 years of being able to get tested as often as you like, I don't know anyone that isn't looking for LFTs, and PCR tests are almost impossible to come by. 

On a seperate note, I can get tested near work, but if I test positive how do I get home since I live 50 miles away and have to take the train?

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Looking like that DJ was not infectious when he breached self-isolation in Auckland. So that's a bullet dodged.

All we can really do at this point is hope that MIQ does not leak further. Meanwhile, it looks like the Auckland Delta Outbreak will be dead in a month or so.

 

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Auckland is about 96% single dosed and 94% double dosed for the 12+ age group. given the 12-30s are still lagging the older age groups Auckland is probably not far off 100% of people over 40 at least single jabbed. I might go so far as to say that 100% of people over 40 who are not anti-vaxxers of some stripe or have a legitimate reason not to get vaccinated are now at least single dosed in Auckland.

Wellington and Canterbury are also probably not far off that qualified 100%. For greater Wellington with a 12+ population of 401K there are only ~12,000 12+ people unvaxed. Probably means 6,000 or fewer 40+ unvaxxed. For Canterbury with 482K 12+ population it's only ~10,000 unvaxed.

All 3 of these areas must be getting very close to vaccine saturation.

In my region there are 2,000 people left unvaccinated. I have personally met 2 of them, so I know 0.1% of the unvaxed people in my region. And I know of one other. They are all anti-vax and will not get the jab, probably even if Omicron rolls through and kills a few of their friends or family. And I am sure anti-vaxxers often travel in packs, where there is one in a family there will be others.

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41 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

Our figures in the UK while high, are definitely not reprasentative.

After nearly 2 years of being able to get tested as often as you like, I don't know anyone that isn't looking for LFTs, and PCR tests are almost impossible to come by. 

On a seperate note, I can get tested near work, but if I test positive how do I get home since I live 50 miles away and have to take the train?

Most be a regional thing. PCR tests readily available in South Wales.

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13 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

In my region there are 2,000 people left unvaccinated. I have personally met 2 of them, so I know 0.1% of the unvaxed people in my region. And I know of one other. They are all anti-vax and will not get the jab, probably even if Omicron rolls through and kills a few of their friends or family. And I am sure anti-vaxxers often travel in packs, where there is one in a family there will be others.

I know three of them in Dunedin. One of them is the grandmother of an acquaintance, whom everybody else considers a bit mad. She's less anti-vaxx and more naturally contrarian.

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12 hours ago, Padraig said:

Some of the posts on this board have been over the top in their stridency and there are probably real life examples of the demonisation of the unvaccinated that are similarly unedifying.    But in general, I wouldn't support coddling the unvaccinated.  They are objectively making a mistake after all, which effects other people.

I agree to an extent. I understand not all people who’ve chosen to remain unvaccinated are getting excited out of killing people with covid.

Though  I contend many—usually apart of the far right—have treated it as nothing more than another battle for their culture war. And that many cant be compelled to do the right thing without a good metaphorical whipping

Hell many laugh at any stated intent of reducing suffering as foolish. 

The threat of Ostracism and the suspension of certain privileges does help curate a standard of conduct for members of a group.

Its important to establish what types of people are degenerates whose existence is endangering the type of culture we should try to cultivate. 
I hope genuinely being willingly(not capable of taking it safely) unvaccinated and going around public becomes seen as a perversion in line with flashing people on the street. 

Some not so terrible people may be caught in the cross fire but ultimately I think it’d be for the public good and good for the individual to make the unvaccinated life a bit more difficult to get through.

 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321
Messaging and clarification maybe
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2 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

They are all anti-vax and will not get the jab, probably even if Omicron rolls through and kills a few of their friends or family.

Possibly strengthen their beliefs—the alternative is that they may actively helped contribute to their loved ones dying. Which is a tough pill to swallow.

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19 minutes ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

And that many cant be compelled to do the right thing without a good metaphorical whipping

At the same time, fundamentally, the problem in the US is that not near enough people have been compelled to do the right thing (I could quibble about some of the messaging but it's a comparatively small issue).  Maybe the metaphorical whipping helped for a time but maybe no longer.  And thus you end up with a fatality rate twice the rate as Germany's.

This goes for boosters also.  A 21% booster in the US seems very low at this stage, when some countries are double that.

Not that I have solutions here.  I can only imagine that the vaccinated in the US have extra reason to be frustrated.  Although if you are vaccinated, I suppose it is likely that most people in your region are vaccinated.  And vice versa.

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11 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I honestly considered making the new thread and titling it "Pumping Up Those Fourth Quarter Numbers" but it felt wrong, even if the play on words is deadly accurate.

Hey @Fragile Bird,

New numbers are out and it was over 580,000 today. And climbing.

 

 

I considered “Giving ‘Dead Week’ a New Meaning”, but I thought that was both too bleak and probably inaccurate.

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33 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I considered “Giving ‘Dead Week’ a New Meaning”, but I thought that was both too bleak and probably inaccurate.

Put it in the hopper for the impending zombie apocalypse. That's probably about 18 months away at this point. 

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