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Covid 47: Waving Invisibly


Zorral
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The senior management at my organisation have all caught Covid (from each other, apparently, during a meeting). Would be nice if this made them reconsider their attempts to pointlessly drive everyone on lower paygrades back into the office regardless of the nature of their job. Doubt it will though. 

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On 6/23/2022 at 9:41 AM, Luzifer's right hand said:

As expected the vaccine mandate here in Austria that was never enforced has been cancelled completely.

That's unfortunate. The vaccines are not great at preventing infection with the latest variants, but they're far from useless. The NYC tracker page currently has an interesting set of rates showing this. First, here is the number of cases by vaccination status:

7-day averages as of June 11
Cases of COVID-19 per 100k vaccinated people     22.4
Cases of COVID-19 per 100k unvaccinated people     149.4

In and of itself, this is not particularly impressive as far as the vaccine is concerned because the people who are unvaccinated are also less likely to take other covid precautions (i.e. some of this difference is behavioral). However, the really interesting part are the hospitalization numbers:

7-day averages as of June 11
Hospitalizations per 100k vaccinated people     0.9
Hospitalizations per 100k unvaccinated people     137

The first thing this says is that the 149.4 number of cases per 100k above should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt because the unvaccinated pretty much don't test -- the only way we find out they have covid is if they are hospitalized. The second thing it says is that despite the fact that most of the unvaccinated have probably already had covid at this point, the protection against hospitalization offered by the vaccine is considerably better.

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30 minutes ago, Altherion said:

That's unfortunate. The vaccines are not great at preventing infection with the latest variants, but they're far from useless. The NYC tracker page currently has an interesting set of rates showing this. First, here is the number of cases by vaccination status:

7-day averages as of June 11
Cases of COVID-19 per 100k vaccinated people     22.4
Cases of COVID-19 per 100k unvaccinated people     149.4

In and of itself, this is not particularly impressive as far as the vaccine is concerned because the people who are unvaccinated are also less likely to take other covid precautions (i.e. some of this difference is behavioral). However, the really interesting part are the hospitalization numbers:

7-day averages as of June 11
Hospitalizations per 100k vaccinated people     0.9
Hospitalizations per 100k unvaccinated people     137

The first thing this says is that the 149.4 number of cases per 100k above should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt because the unvaccinated pretty much don't test -- the only way we find out they have covid is if they are hospitalized. The second thing it says is that despite the fact that most of the unvaccinated have probably already had covid at this point, the protection against hospitalization offered by the vaccine is considerably better.

You are preaching to the choir. I got my 2nd booster yesterday now that it looks like we are having a 2nd omicron wave and optimized shots are still far away.

There seems to be evidence that repeated infections with COVID are not good for you immune system. What does not kill you makes you weaker I guess. 

Here people are getting annoyed that doctors test them when to go to one with cold/flu like symptoms. The urge to completely ignore the virus is incredible strong here.

As if a massive wave of respiratory infections has ever been normal in June here...

Edited by Luzifer's right hand
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Whelp...been struck with this myself for a couple days...

On Saturday, while coming home from a family trip (my parents, siblings, spouses, and children totalling 16 people...all vaxxed and boosted except for the three kids who hadn't had the booster yet) my daughter complained of not feeling well during the drive home.  We home tested her Sunday and it took less than five minutes for the result to be positive. My wife and I were negative and our son showed no symptoms.  Went back to work on Monday when I probably shouldn't have, as I started feeling downhill as the morning went on...they did send me home after a while though (I mostly stayed in my office and avoided people). By Monday night, word came that one of my neices, both of my brothers, one sister-in-law, my wife and I were all positive. My dad seemed to be infected and my son was starting to go down. 50% of those that went on the trip. Of which we did almost exclusively outdoor activities, except the one museum, which is where I suspect the infection caught us...though my one brother who caught the illness wasn't present.

And of course, we all have a myriad of differ et symptoms too.  

Thank goodness for the vaccine because I cannot fathom what it would have been like without it.

(For the record, as a whole, the family is generally very careful but we are guilty of beingax with masks when inside that museum, so it's on us).

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Sorry your family & you have tested positive. I should probably know what our guidance is if family members/ people you live with become positive. I live alone so it isn't an issue I've had to face but given that the rules are slightly relaxed, but I think with access to LFTs, I'd probably do one every day and only go out if they were negative. It gets harder when one doesn't have free access to rapid tests. 

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New York City will offer Paxlovid at mobile testing sites, a first in the U.S.
Mayor Eric Adams says that offering immediate prescriptions to people who test positive at the mobile sites will help address concerns over inequities in distributing antiviral treatments.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/07/01/world/covid-19-mandates-vaccine-cases#nyc-paxlovid-covid-treatment

Quote

 

New York City is creating the first mobile testing units in the United States that will allow people who test positive for the coronavirus to immediately receive for free the antiviral treatment Paxlovid.

Mayor Eric Adams announced the new program on Thursday in Manhattan with Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator.

The new “Test to Treat” mobile unit program is part of federal and city efforts to reduce the impact of the virus and to prepare for future waves of cases. Health officials want to improve access to antiviral drugs for vulnerable New Yorkers who may not know about the treatment or do not have a primary care doctor or health insurance.

Mr. Adams, a Democrat who took office in January, tested positive for the virus in April and has said that his infection was mild in part because he took Paxlovid. The treatment, made by Pfizer, has been found to substantially reduce the chances of severe illness in high-risk people if patients start taking it early in the course of infection. Federal regulators authorized the drug for emergency use late last year, and on Thursday Pfizer said it had applied to the Food and Drug Administration for approval of the treatment. ....

 

 

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No herd immunity here.

Where’s the herd immunity? Our research shows why Covid is still wreaking havoc
Danny Altmann
‘Living with the virus’ is proving much harder than the early vaccine success suggested: this fight is far from over

Danny Altmann is a professor of immunology at Imperial College London


"Rather than a wall of immunity arising from vaccinations and previous infections, we are seeing wave after wave of new cases and a rapidly growing burden of long-term disease. What’s going on? The latest scientific research has some answers."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/01/herd-immunity-covid-virus-vaccine

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.... According to the latest numbers, released today, the UK added more than half a million new Covid infections in the past week, and the estimated number of people with Covid in total was somewhere between 3% and 4% of the population.

Many have been rather unwell and off work or school, with the associated disruptions to education, healthcare and other vital services. These infections will also inevitably add to the toll of long Covid cases. According to ONS data, the supposedly “mild” waves of Omicron during 2022 have brought more than 619,000 new long Covid cases into the clinical caseload, promising an enduring and miserable legacy from this latest phase. 

Rather than a wall of immunity arising from vaccinations and previous infections, we are seeing wave after wave of new cases and a rapidly growing burden of long-term disease. What’s going on? The latest scientific research has some answers.

During May and June two new variants, BA.4 and BA.5, progressively displaced the previous Omicron subvariant, BA.2. They are even more transmissible and more immune-evasive. Last week a group of collaborators, including me and a professor of immunology and respiratory medicine, Rosemary Boyton, published a paper in Science, looking comprehensively at immunity to the Omicron family, both in triple-vaccinated people and also in those who then suffered breakthrough infections during the Omicron wave. This lets us examine whether Omicron was, as some hoped, a benign natural booster of our Covid immunity. It turns out that isn’t the case.

We considered many facets of immunity, including the antibodies most implicated in protection (“neutralising antibodies”), as well as protective “immune memory” in white blood cells. The results tell us it is unsurprising that breakthrough infections were so common. Most people – even when triple-vaccinated – had 20 times less neutralising antibody response against Omicron than against the initial “Wuhan” strain. Importantly, Omicron infection was a poor booster of immunity to further Omicron infections. It is a kind of stealth virus that gets in under the radar without doing too much to alert immune defences. Even having had Omicron, we’re not well protected from further infections. 

Also, to be added to the now complex mix is “immune imprinting”. This is the finding that our immune response to Covid is shaped very differently, depending on our prior exposures – infection in one wave relative to another, plus vaccination. In our study, those who’d been infected in the first wave and then again with Omicron had particularly poor T-cell responses and no boosting of antibodies. That is, some combinations of exposures may leave us poorly protected relative to others.

Contrary to the myth that we are sliding into a comfortable evolutionary relationship with a common-cold-like, friendly virus, this is more like being trapped on a rollercoaster in a horror film. There’s nothing cold-like or friendly about a large part of the workforce needing significant absences from work, feeling awful and sometimes getting reinfected over and over again, just weeks apart. And that’s before the risk of long Covid. While we now know that the risk of long Covid is somewhat reduced in those who become infected after vaccination, and also less in those from the Omicron than the Delta wave, the absolute numbers are nevertheless worrying. ....

 

 

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The math is simple — if immunity lasts a year, on average there will be 0.25-0,3% of the population infected every day.

If people stay positive for 10 days, at any given moment 2.5-3% of the population will be infected.

In reality it is not going to be uniform, there will be waves and quieter times.

But the floor can be very high.

This is exactly what we see in the UK — they dismantled much of the surveillance infrastructure but there is still ZOE and ONS and the results have been quite startling — it hasn’t gone below 1M infected at any given moment ever since the winter 2020-21 lockdown and the post-vaccination reopening.

And it was 1M when Delta was dominant — once Omicron arrived, the floor has been 1.5M. Or 2% of the population.

At any given moment, as the baseline…

So in the UK if you find yourself in a gathering of 100 people, there is only a slightly more than 10% chance nobody is positive.

And that’s life from here on.

So the map will be red most of the time. Provided that someone is still publishing the map…


https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/06/fast-and-furious-omicron-new-variants-defy-explanation-and-dont-bode-well-for-future-either.html#comment-3742951

Quote

As readers may have worked out, scientist GM, whose observations via e-mail and in comments we have often hoisted into posts, is on the pessimistic end of the spectrum of Covid prognosticators and yet (or maybe due to that) has been early and very accurate. For instance, he was one of the first to notice the data from Israel in July 2021 showing a marked falloff in Pfizer vaccine protection 5-6 months after the jab. GM was also immediately on top of Omicron, that its many mutations on the spike would mean close to total evasion of prior protection (whether via vaccination or prior infection) and therefore potentially rapid spread.

 

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Well this is interesting. We seem to be having a new covid wave, even though there’s no testing or stats to prove it and also absolutely nobody (including media or authorities) gives a damn about it, because we have much bigger problems. But a lot of people have it, so I suppose it makes sense to mask up in crowded interiors again. 

weird because summers had always been covid free so far. Well, it’s not like anybody can afford to travel anyway, with 30% inflation and 15% decrease of currency value, we are glad if we can pay for groceries. On the upside, we still have gas and oil, so there’s that at least. 

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4 hours ago, RhaenysBee said:

Well this is interesting. We seem to be having a new covid wave, even though there’s no testing or stats to prove it and also absolutely nobody (including media or authorities) gives a damn about it, because we have much bigger problems. But a lot of people have it, so I suppose it makes sense to mask up in crowded interiors again. 

weird because summers had always been covid free so far. Well, it’s not like anybody can afford to travel anyway, with 30% inflation and 15% decrease of currency value, we are glad if we can pay for groceries. On the upside, we still have gas and oil, so there’s that at least. 

Not testing does not make the virus go away. You can just pretend that it is not there usually combined with not giving long COVID patients treatment and giving paliative care with painkillers that are bad for the respiratory system to risk groups who get it instead of ICU beds. The damage to the immune system repeated infections of COVID seems to cause in some cases is also completely ignored.

Edited by Luzifer's right hand
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1 hour ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

Not testing does not make the virus go away. You can just pretend that it is not there usually combined with not giving long COVID patients treatment and giving paliative care with painkillers that are bad for the respiratory system to risk groups who get it instead of ICU beds. The damage to the immune system repeated infections of COVID seems to cause in some cases is also completely ignored.

Obviously not, but it’s not like there’s anything anyone can do about it at this point and in the current context. 

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5 hours ago, RhaenysBee said:

covid wave, even though there’s no testing or stats to prove it and also absolutely nobody (including media or authorities) gives a damn about it, because we have much bigger problems

I think it’s More because actually holding reinstalling/pushing for the much needed mandates is unpopular and contentious at this juncture.

8 minutes ago, RhaenysBee said:

Obviously not, but it’s not like there’s anything anyone can do about it at this point and in the current context. 

There is, but western politicos don’t have the will to try that hard anymore.

One of the pitfalls of democracy is a lot of the electorate want immediate, comfortable solutions, to long-term problems that require a degree of sacrifice.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321
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6 hours ago, RhaenysBee said:

weird because summers had always been covid free so far. Well, it’s not like anybody can afford to travel anyway, with 30% inflation and 15% decrease of currency value, we are glad if we can pay for groceries. On the upside, we still have gas and oil, so there’s that at least. 

There is a wave in pretty much every country in Europe at the moment.  Except Portugal, which was first hit by this latest Omicron variant (or two) and has come out the other end.  Fatalities did jump in Portugal, but to previous Omicron levels rather than Delta levels.  It has gotten some attention here as hospitalisations have gone up significantly but based on Portugal, we should be peaking around now.

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We’re officially in a 7th wave here, in Ontario anyone. Wastewater numbers are up sharply, small increase in hospitalizations. 

Went to the dentist today. He finally got Covid a month ago. His doctor immediately put him on a 5 day course of Paxlovid. He said the side effects were really rough on him, especially muscle pain. He said the first day the pain was so bad he couldn’t sleep. First time in his life Tylenol ever helped him.

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