Jump to content

Covid 47: Waving Invisibly


Zorral
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ya, I know what you mean.  High Holy Days will restart the spiking, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.  We've only been gifted with less than a month of falling numbers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4th dose (second booster) has only been rolled out to over 50's and higher risk individuals here (unless something has changed in the last 3 or 4 weeks). Not quite sure why, possibly govt is buying in less vaccine now, so doesn't have supply to meet expected demand if it was opened to everyone.

First booster uptake is 73% across the whole population, so I expect 2nd booster uptake, if made generally available would be pretty decent, maybe 40-50%. Even with 2nd booster being limited to 50+ and vulnerable the the daily 2nd booster rate is almost 10x all other vaccinations combined (1st, 2nd, 3rd, paediatric vaccination).

We have a 7 day rolling average of 3 deaths per day attributed to COVID. Converting that to US population for comparative purposes, that's ~180 deaths per day. Or 0.6 deaths per million per day. 

And latest news on vaccines, it appears there are no plans for a bivalent (Omicron) vaccination programme, but bivalent vaccines are going through our Ministry of Health approval process. So I assume that means they will be available on request if your chosen vaccination service has it in stock. Though I imagine once the bivalent vaccine is approved Pfizer (and whoever else) will stop shipping their og vaccine.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/300705444/covid19-no-plans-to-roll-out-omicronspecific-booster-this-year

Edited by The Anti-Targ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ya, I know what you mean.  High Holy Days will restart the spiking, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.  We've only been gifted with less than a month of falling numbers.

In the meantime, fall arriving exactly on the first day of autumn with cool, blustery weather -- Partner feeling very sick. This weather does make him sick, historically speaking.  But -- tested today.  Negative.  Whew!  Whew because we've been far more public and social.  I even went with Partner and two friends Wednesday night to Radio City Music Hall-- the first time I've done anything at all like this since pandemic.  Like Partner, the friends have been doing a lot more social - professional in large companies all along than I do.  None of us have gotten it. So far.  

Friends, their son and we wore masks all through the spectacle and transportation.  Nobody else did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/23/2022 at 2:32 AM, The Anti-Targ said:

4th dose (second booster) has only been rolled out to over 50's and higher risk individuals here (unless something has changed in the last 3 or 4 weeks). Not quite sure why, possibly govt is buying in less vaccine now, so doesn't have supply to meet expected demand if it was opened to everyone.

First booster uptake is 73% across the whole population, so I expect 2nd booster uptake, if made generally available would be pretty decent, maybe 40-50%. Even with 2nd booster being limited to 50+ and vulnerable the the daily 2nd booster rate is almost 10x all other vaccinations combined (1st, 2nd, 3rd, paediatric vaccination).

We have a 7 day rolling average of 3 deaths per day attributed to COVID. Converting that to US population for comparative purposes, that's ~180 deaths per day. Or 0.6 deaths per million per day. 

We are throwing vaccines away all the time as uptake for boosters is low and we ordered millions of doses that next to nobody seems to want especially the Valneva and Novavax vaccines.

I will try to get a bivalent booster at some point but I only had my 4th shot in June.

They have detected BJ.1 here which is kinda interesting as we don't do much sequencing. They have no evidence that it is spreading in a way that could replace to currently dominant BA.4/5 variants though.

Edited by Luzifer's right hand
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A 70+ year old friend of mine just said he has been officially diagnosed with long COVID (if there is such a thing as an official diagnosis, in the least it's not a self-diagnosis but a diagnosis given by his doctor). Pretty much ticks off all the most common symptoms for long COVID. He's not an especially healthy dude and spent a day in hospital when he had COVID. I think if he wasn't vaccinated he might be dead.

He also very has been diagnosed with pancreatitis and enlarged liver. Not sure if there is a known causative link to these. Organ damage is mostly heart and lung isn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

A 70+ year old friend of mine just said he has been officially diagnosed with long COVID (if there is such a thing as an official diagnosis, in the least it's not a self-diagnosis but a diagnosis given by his doctor). Pretty much ticks off all the most common symptoms for long COVID. He's not an especially healthy dude and spent a day in hospital when he had COVID. I think if he wasn't vaccinated he might be dead.

He also very has been diagnosed with pancreatitis and enlarged liver. Not sure if there is a known causative link to these. Organ damage is mostly heart and lung isn't it?

I have heard of liver damage before but only read up on it after a family member got it as part of his long COVID symptoms.

I think there is no organ it can't damage if you are unlucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another good book on this subject, like Kyle Harper's Plagues upon the Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History (2021), 

Scientists Knew More About Covid-19  Than We Think. And They Still Do.
In “Breathless,” David Quammen explores the predictable lead-up to the global Covid pandemic, and the frantic, belated attempts to stop it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/01/books/review/breathless-david-quammen.html

Quote

 

... In his compelling and terrifying new book, “Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus,” the veteran science journalist David Quammen demonstrates just how much was known — and expected — by infectious disease scientists long before patrons of the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market fell ill in December 2019 with a pneumonia-like virus.

“Soothsayer” isn’t on Quammen’s extensive résumé, but he was among those who had long predicted this kind of catastrophe. In 2012 he provided a field guide to the future, “Spillover,” whose subtitle — “Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic” — explains exactly what the scientific community had long been expecting.

“This is a book about the science of SARS-CoV-2,” he specifies in his new book. “The medical crisis of Covid-19, the heroism of health care workers and other people performing essential services, the unjustly distributed human suffering, and the egregious political malfeasance that made it all worse — those are topics for other books.” Instead, he focuses his informed attention on the unsung heroes who dare to wrestle with viruses, those strange entities he calls “the dark angels of evolution.” Human beings are part of a sprawling family of interconnected species who can share illness because they all grew up together. It is our common ancestry and related bodily ecology that makes spillover possible between, say, bats and Earth’s (currently) dominant mammal.

Covid is, after all, as natural as a wolf cub or David Attenborough, and its thriller-level rate of evolution is part of its danger. “A virus is a parasite, yes,” writes Quammen, “a genetic parasite, to be more precise, using the resources of other organisms to replicate its own genome.” He demonstrates the sheer weirdness of viruses when he explains how difficult it is to even define them. ....

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably not saying anytyhing we all (or almost all), already know but good to have this published in a non-govt publication https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/undoctored/covid-19-deaths-analysis-shows-importance-vaccines-saving-lives

I expect the disparities for Maori and Pacifika will not be genetic, but that in basic health metrics Maori and Pacifika communities are at a lower starting point, and there is some evidence of systemic racism in the health sector, which a friend of mine has directly experienced.

Quote

This analysis is available on the Ministry’s website at COVID-19 Mortality in Aotearoa New Zealand: Inequities in Risk.

The analysis examined 1,797 COVID-19 deaths between 1 January and 26 August 2022, which had been attributed to COVID-19. This included 1,458 people of European or Other ethnicity, 158 Māori, 111 Pacific people, and 60 people of Asian ethnicity.

It supports that, as well as age being a strong risk for death from COVID-19, there is excess risk for Māori and Pacific Peoples, people who are unvaccinated, those in higher deprivation and those with pre-existing health conditions.

The analysis found:

  • Age is the single biggest determinant in the risk of death from COVID-19.
  • Vaccination is one of the most effective steps people can take to reduce their risk of death from COVID-19. The analysis shows a 62% reduction in the risk of death from COVID-19 among people who had two or more doses compared to those who had received one dose or no doses. There is evidence that boosters further reduce the risk of death from COVID-19, and this will be the subject of future study.
  • There was an increased risk of death from COVID-19 for Māori and Pacific People, who were respectively at 2.0 and 2.5 times greater risk compared to the European or Other group. While the risks of death were much lower for all groups under-60 than for older age groups, the inequity for Māori and Pacific people was more pronounced among under-60s, with the risk of death 3.7 and 2.9 times higher respectively. Of the 78 people under-60 who died from COVID-19, 35 were European and Other, 24 were Māori, 13 were Pacific People, and six were Asian people.
  • There is increased risk for those in socio-economically deprived groups, with the most deprived 20% of New Zealanders having three times the risk when compared to the least deprived 20%. 429 COVID attributed deaths were people among the most deprived 20% of New Zealanders and 153 were people among the least deprived 20% of New Zealanders.
  • Having one or more pre-existing health condition was also a substantial factor in an increased mortality risk., especially for people under 60, associated with a 6.3 higher risk of death from COVID-19 compared to someone with no pre-existing health conditions. The analysis showed that of the 78 people under-60 whose deaths were attributed to COVID-19, 72 had a pre-existing health condition.

‘This analysis shows that being up to date with your vaccinations not only helps protect yourself and your loved ones from severe disease, but it could save your life.’

However, it also shows the burden of COVID-19 has fallen unevenly across New Zealand.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, I haven’t read this thread in ages, but apparently we are likely at the edge of a new wave of Covid cases for the fall and winter. The buzz words are “convergent evolution”, where dear, dear Mother Nature is getting different strains of Covid together to create new, nastier versions that are drug resistant.

Health Canada is warning that the new variations are resistant to the drugs being given to highly immunity-compromised individuals like cancer patients. And some officials are suggesting cases might be under-reported by 100x. Great.

The other buzz word is bivalent vaccines, the ones that protect from two different versions of Covid, but the latest versions haven’t been approved yet in Canada and I’ve been holding off on shot #5. That might be a bad idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 5.  My flu shot coming up next week.  We are being warned here that there is a likely convergence of flu and covid surges this winter, after two winters of masking having kept flu at bay.  They Say do the flu shot now, if not earlier.  I got my omicron booster about 5 days after it became available early in September.  Getting appointments for the jab now takes longer.  Flu shots can't be scheduled quickly now either. I made this appointment some week ago already, as the pharmacies' slots are grabbed so quickly, so I had to wait this long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

Man, I haven’t read this thread in ages, but apparently we are likely at the edge of a new wave of Covid cases for the fall and winter. The buzz words are “convergent evolution”, where dear, dear Mother Nature is getting different strains of Covid together to create new, nastier versions that are drug resistant.

Not that I disagree with the point that we'll almost certainly have an October / November wave (Europe is already having one), and this set of mutations nullifies the last remaining antibody treatments, but you're describing recombination (viruses coming together to swap genetic information) not convergent evolution. 

Convergent evolution in SARS-CoV-2 is the independent evolution of the same (or similar) set of mutations by multiple different lineages. They're focused on the RBD, an area which was previously reasonably well conserved (ie not subject to much change). This is weird. The virus hasn't done this to anything like this extent previously.

This may be (in the long run) a good thing if it means the virus is running out of evolutionary space and is being forced to make previously deleterious mutations to avoid population immunity. This may be a bad thing if these mutations increase virulence and / or open up new evoluationary pathways. We just don't know yet.

Twitter thread from someone studying viral evolution on this:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm on 4, I expect that when winter starts to roll around next year there will be an official annual booster policy for long term COVID-19 management. So my 5th will be May/June next year, but it won't be numerically associated with previous shots, it'll just be called the annual booster. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone at school is down with covid, it seems, or getting over it, now that mask mandates have been dropped.  This is particularly true for faculty and staff who have school age kids, or preschoolers.  Some of them have had covid three times in the last months.

This is going on all over the city, people who have done OK with mask mandates in the subways and their jobs, are now getting it, even though they are still masking as best they can.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed, in this maskless age really the best way to reduce COVID infection risk is to stay away from crowded low ventilation indoor spaces. I go to the supermarket in the evening when there are few people there, and I'm still not going on the train on days when I have to go into the office for work. I'm going to have to start using the train soon though driving and parking is expensive and bad for the environment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The City reports today that -- who woulda thought it? -- covid cases are ticking up again.  Already.  Just as in Europe, They Said.

Get your boosters and flu shots, folks!  Wear those masks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...