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Covid 48: The Long March


Darzin
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  • 2 weeks later...

https://gothamist.com/news/is-covid-back-in-nyc-wastewater-surveillance-shows-coronavirus-is-rising

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New Yorkers who've noticed more sniffles and coughs during their subway commutes aren’t imagining things. Wastewater monitoring is showing early signs of a coronavirus rebound in New York City and some surrounding suburbs.

All 14 wastewater treatment plants across NYC are reporting high concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, according to the dashboard run by NYS Wastewater Surveillance Network. A “high” ranking translates to at least 50 or more COVID cases per 100,000 people.

The dashboard also gives a readout on two-week trends. The current rise dates back to late April for most sewersheds in the city, though ones covering Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and part of the Bronx recorded the starkest upturn over recent weeks. Wastewater from Yonkers, New Rochelle and parts of Rockland county are also trending upward with their coronavirus concentrations.

Wastewater sites share data with the state dashboard on a regular basis, and as of Wednesday, the latest tranche of NYC recordings dates to May 21 — meaning the increase was underway ahead of Memorial Day gatherings. The state health department told Gothamist that test positivity — the percentage of diagnostic tests showing an infection — has also risen slightly, though experts said this measure is harder to trust now that laboratory testing is less common.

The New York City health commissioner confirmed the wastewater uptick, but he and public health researchers said it’s too early to tell if the rise indicates the start of a full blown wave. The change could just be a blip caused by more people hanging out as the weather improves or due to a new version of omicron finding occasional places to thrive. ....

 

 

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I don't know if this webinar is available to the general public because I got the link through an internal work email. It's going to be on more than just anti-vax but it seems a significant motivation for the webinar is COVID anti-science in particular.

Distinguished Lecture - Prof Peter Hotez | The deadly rise of antiscience – vaccines, neglected tropical diseases and climate change

https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aFm5e5G0R86KdYt5hqkTVA?fbclid=IwAR1p_Rgl2TIH7RW5Cpu64tI1zi8JIXwAgUXuLyI5Lq2UB1RKGjxZxLocUgg_aem_th_ATsbwVRxHRd2JQOvbpazizAkRUglbxDEGGMg1QvPYKWbioZmtPDcJ34P4V7-X1Dd0_Q#/registration

The timing unfortunately is not going to work for me to be able to attend. If someone else does I'd appreciate a rundown.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is the definitive word from Intelligence agencies saying that the origin of COVID-19 is not definitive.

https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/Report-on-Potential-Links-Between-the-Wuhan-Institute-of-Virology-and-the-Origins-of-COVID-19-20230623.pdf

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 IC ASSESSMENTS ON COVID-19 ORIGINS
(U) In March, the IC updated its analysis on core intelligence questions related to COVID-19 origins, to include whether the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—was the result of natural exposure to an infected animal or a laboratory- associated incident. Variations in IC analytic views on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic largely stem from differences in how agencies weigh intelligence reporting and scientific publications and intelligence and scientific gaps. All agencies continue to assess that both a natural and laboratory-associated origin remain plausible hypotheses to explain the first human infection.
• The National Intelligence Council and four other IC agencies assess that the initial human infection with SARS-CoV-2 most likely was caused by natural exposure to an infected animal that carried SARS-CoV-2 or a close progenitor, a virus that probably would be more than 99 percent similar to SARS- CoV-2.
• The Department of Energy and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assess that a laboratory-associated incident was the most likely cause of the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2, although for different reasons.
• The Central Intelligence Agency and another agency remain unable to determine the precise origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, as both hypotheses rely on significant assumptions or face challenges with conflicting reporting.
• Almost all IC agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered. Most agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not laboratory-adapted; some are unable to make a determination. All IC agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2
was not developed as a biological weapon.

So there you have it. COVID 19 was definitely not a lab leak, except that it maybe definitely was. Of it definitely was a lab leak except that it maybe definitely wasn't. I guess it depends on your preference.

It is good to know that all Intelligence agencies agree it was definitely not developed as a bioweapon, and almost all of them agree it was not genetically engineered. Given these probable facts I'm not really overly bothered by whether it's a lab leak or natural exposure. Lab leaks happen, the risk of leaks should be negligible, but nothing can be 100%. I just hope they are extremely rare events.

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1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

Still open to whether it’s natural or lab leak, but the info that 3 of the first people infected with the virus worked in the lab, one being a guy working on similar viruses does look kind of suspicious. 

That isn't even remotely what the report says. If anyone had proof of that the debate would be over.

This is what the report says (direct quote)

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While several WIV researchers fell mildly ill in Fall 2019, they experienced a range of symptoms consistent with colds or allergies with accompanying symptoms typically not associated with COVID-19, and some of them were confirmed to have been sick with other illnesses unrelated to COVID-19. While some of these researchers had historically conducted research into animal respiratory viruses, we are unable to confirm if any of them handled live viruses in the work they performed prior to falling ill.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Impmk2 said:

That isn't even remotely what the report says. If anyone had proof of that the debate would be over.

This is what the report says (direct quote)

 

 

Thanks, hadnt read the report yet, was just going off the reports floating around last week from, admittedly not trustworthy sources.

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The WaPo covered this as well:

New U.S. intelligence report sheds little light on covid origins
The disclosure is unlikely to settle a heated debate about the pandemic’s origins, which has exacerbated tensions between Washington and Beijing

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/23/covid-origins-us-intelligence/

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Freshly declassified U.S. government intelligence about the origins of the covid-19 pandemic reveals some new insights into China’s virus research but no additional clarity about how the global outbreak began and is unlikely to settle that debate, which has exacerbated tensions between Washington and Beijing and fueled a heated dispute among scientists, lawmakers and government officials. ....

.... The report mainly focuses on potential connections between the pandemic and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including collaborations between researchers at the civilian institute and the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military. The WIV was conducting extensive research on coronaviruses.

The intelligence agencies found that “some of the research conducted by the PLA and the WIV included work with several viruses, including coronaviruses, but no known viruses that could plausibly be a progenitor of SARS-CoV-2,” the virus that causes covid-19, according to the report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

While acknowledging the research conducted at the lab, including on animal sampling and genetic analysis, “We continue to have no indication that the WIV’s pre-pandemic research holdings included SARS-CoV-2 or a close progenitor, nor any direct evidence that a specific research-related incident occurred involving WIV personnel before the pandemic that could have caused the COVID pandemic,” the intelligence report found. ....

 

 

Edited by Zorral
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2 adamant Fox news disciples at my workplace, that kept insisting the virus was fake and made up to make Trump look bad, both seem to have long haul ill effects from their Covid episodes. One who ive mentioned previously had a cardiac arrest and now his cult behaving brethren has mysteriously lost 55lbs and has no clue why he's disintegrating in his own mirror, hes going in to get checked out from his Doctor.

He was rhetorically wondering whether his blood clots and covid sickness was a factor, so presumably this one has moved beyond the earlier denial, so theres that.

A third colleague, who is a supervisor (somehow) had so many mysterious, random, unplanned weeks off that we lost count, after each he insisted- "Nope not Covid absences, the cough, its just a coincidental cold."

All of these and there disciples insisted on not getting the "poisonous" vaccine and ive been watching the slow motion train wrecks right around me as im pretty certain all three are experiencing long haul Covid.

 

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8 hours ago, Zorral said:

The WaPo covered this as well:

New U.S. intelligence report sheds little light on covid origins
The disclosure is unlikely to settle a heated debate about the pandemic’s origins, which has exacerbated tensions between Washington and Beijing

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/06/23/covid-origins-us-intelligence/

 

It's a manufactured debate now that Washington should not be trying to prolong. Or rather if they do prolong it the motivation has got nothing to do with getting to the bottom of the disease's origin and it's just about the school bully continuing to pick playground fights with the wannabe school bully. Bioweapon and genetically engineered have been definitively and almost definitively ruled out respectively, and those were the only legit concerns. A fairly accepted fact is that this virus is of natural origin with the only question being whether it spent time in a lab. Just like the 2007 FMD lab leak that happened in the UK, a natural, and economically devastating virus that was being legitimately studied in a secure virology lab that was not as secure as they thought it was.

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A new, sensible plan for fall covid boosters is taking shape

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/06/27/covid-updated-booster-vaccine-xbb-fall/

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As promised, U.S. health officials are devising a plan to update the booster vaccine for the fall to better protect against emerging variants of the coronavirus. The rationale for this new formulation is strong — especially if it’s targeted for high-risk Americans.

Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously this month in favor of the updated shot. Instead of the bivalent booster, which targets both the original coronavirus strain as well as two omicron subvariants (BA. 4 and BA. 5), the updated one will be specific to just one variant: the omicron offshoot XBB.1.5.

This is the right call. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that XBB subvariants constitute more than 95 percent of the circulating variants. While XBB.1.5 is on the decline, two other XBB derivatives are accelerating. Federal health officials project that XBB.1.16 will be dominant by the fall and other sub-lineages such as XBB.2.3 will increase in proportion.

These XBB offshoots are expected to be similar enough that a vaccine targeting XBB.1.5 would be effective against them, too. While it’s hard to predict the future, it makes more sense to try targeting future variants than to vaccinate people against variants that have long gone out of circulation. This FDA decision aligns with the World Health Organization, which has already recommended replacing existing vaccines with ones that neutralize XBB subvariants.

There is compelling evidence in favor of regular shots for people who are vulnerable to severe illness. New CDC data show that while the existing bivalent vaccine is 62 percent effective in protecting against hospitalization for up to two months, this drops to only 24 percent by four to six months. Protection against critical illness, defined as admission to an intensive-care unit or death, is more robust, dropping from 69 percent to 50 percent. 

.... To me, there are two key questions: First, while vulnerable individuals clearly should receive the fall booster, should the CDC say everyone needs it? Only 43 percent of people 65 and older have received even one dose of the bivalent vaccine. Targeting that higher-risk group could be more impactful than a blanket recommendation. The CDC could urge older individuals and those in congregate living settings to get the new fall vaccine while allowing the general population the choice of additional protection based on their own medical circumstances.

Second, what about children and pregnant women? Kids are generally very unlikely to become severely ill from covid-19. The exception is babies younger than 6 months, who are hospitalized at rates comparable to those of 65-to-75-year-old adults. Again, I’d argue against a blanket recommendation. Instead, the CDC could say that children who are immunocompromised or have serious medical conditions should receive the fall booster. It would also be helpful for the agency to specify best timing for pregnant patients, both to reduce their chance of getting covid and to maximize protection for their newborn.

When coronavirus vaccines were first made available, public health recommendations were straightforward: Everyone eligible for the shots should get them. Now, the guidance must be more nuanced. The fall booster campaign is the next opportunity to focus protection where it’s most needed: people most susceptible to severe illness.

 

 

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Almost 1 in 4 people in the US hadn’t gotten COVID by the end of 2022: CDC

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/4079515-cdc-2022-almost-quarter-did-not-get-covid/

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.... While about 3 out of 4 people carried antibodies from natural infections, nearly all people — 96.7 percent — were found to have some form of COVID-19 antibodies in their systems due to vaccination, infection or a combination of both. ....

 

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Interesting that not long after that very equivocal combined intelligence report, which nonetheless unequivocally concluded C-19 was not genetically engineered nor a bioweapon, I saw a headline saying a Wuhan lab worker has claimed C-19 was developed as a bioweapon.

So the bioweapon thing is obviously still firmly in the minds of those inclined to believe such a thing, and probably always will be. Interesting mutually exclusive conspiracy narratives: It's all fake vs it's a Chinese bioweapon. I wonder if the conspiracy community will eventually coalesce around one of them. I would have thought the bioweapon one is better, since Trump spent all of 2020 pretty much telling everyone the virus is real and it's China's virus; if you are a Trump fan of course.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The numbers have been so very low here this summer, not only for Covid, but all those super contagious diseases -- we've been living pretty much as we did pre-covid (though I still won't go to a movie theater, for instance, but others who are also in the very cautious category are).  About two weeks ago I stopped wearing a mask in shops and so on, though I still will on public transport, museums (though Partner doesn't in the museums and music venues).  It actually kinda reversed, due to the Canadian wildfires' smoke -- masking outdoors and taking them off outdoors.

However!  Covid is so definitely not over.  Our friends who came home last night from a six weeks project in Europe, got home with all their equipment and luggage intact, but also sick with Covid. They got Pax this morning, but they will be missing our hookups this weekend.  Though with the combo of temperatures close to 100 and higher in the Heat Index, and AQI into the red, maybe we'll all be missing everything this weekend.

 

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So a special report on Covid on NPR this evening says the numbers have begun creeping up again since early in July. This is the first I heard of that.  So far, nothing is bad, and the numbers are lower than they've been in the previous summers, but ... caution is advised, as the waste water testing, hospitalizations increase, as small as they (still) are.

They do speculate that it may not get bad again though -- particularly if we all get our shots this fall.

 

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Any news on what kind of shot is going to be available in the fall? A repeat of the last one?

The Canadian government right now simply says numbers are unreliable and underreported because of the fact so little formal testing is being done. 

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5 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

Any news on what kind of shot is going to be available in the fall? A repeat of the last one?

It has been definitively stated that the new one will be new, targeting the latest known shifts.  The CDC says they are going to be pushing this very hard for the elderly and the very young, to get it, like the flu shot and the RSV virus shots, as one should in the fall.  They have a RSV vaccine, if I understand correctly, that is to be targeted for babies, who so commonly get infected with it.

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