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Coronavirus mutations

Virology Lectures 2020 #1 What is a Virus - YouTube

The British scientists Norman Pirie and Fred Bawden discovered in 1936 that viruses were not pure protein, but only 95 percent. The other 5 percent consisted of another molecule, a mysterious strand-shaped substance called nucleic acid. Nucleic acids, scientists would later discover, are the stuff of genes, the instructions for building proteins and other molecules. Our cells store their genes in double-stranded nucleic acids, known as deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA for short. Many viruses have DNA-based genes as well. Other viruses, such as tobacco mosaic virus, have a single-stranded form of nucleic acids, called ribonucleic acid, or RNA.

Four years after Stanley crystallized tobacco mosaic viruses, a team of German scientists finally saw the individual viruses themselves. In the 1930s, engineers invented a new generation of microscopes able to see objects far smaller than had ever been seen before. Gustav Kausche, Edgar Pfannkuch, and Helmut Ruska mixed crystals of tobacco mosaic viruses into drops of purified water and put them under one of the new devices. In 1939, they reported that they could see minuscule rods, measuring about 300 nanometers long. No one had ever seen a living thing anywhere near so small. To contemplate the size of viruses, tap out a single grain of salt onto a table. Stare at the tiny cube. You could line up about ten skin cells along one side of it. You could line up about a hundred bacteria. And you could line up a thousand tobacco mo- saic viruses, end to end, alongside that same grain of salt.

In the decades that followed, virologists went on to dissect viruses, to map their molecular geography. While viruses contain nucleic acids and proteins like our own cells, scientists found that differences between the structures of viruses and cells are many. A human cell is stuffed with millions of different molecules that it uses to sense its surroundings, crawl around, take in food, grow,

and decide whether to divide in two or kill itself for the good of its fellow cells. Virologists found that viruses, as a rule, were far sim- pler. They typically were just protein shells holding a few genes. Virologists discovered that viruses can replicate themselves, de- spite their paltry genetic instructions, by hijacking other forms of life. They inject their genes and proteins into a host cell, which they manipulate into producing new copies of themselves. One virus goes into a cell, and within a day a thousand viruses may come out.

By the 1950s, virologists had grasped these fundamental facts. But that understanding did not bring virology to a halt. For one thing, virologists knew little about the many different ways in which viruses make us sick. They didnít know why papillomavi- ruses can cause horns to grow on rabbits and cause hundreds of thousands of cases of cervical cancer each year. They didnít know what made some viruses deadly and others relatively harmless. They had yet to learn how viruses evade the defenses of their hosts and how they evolve faster than anything else on the planet. In the 1950s they did not know that a virus that would later be named HIV had already spread from chimpanzees and gorillas into our own species, or that thirty years later it would become one of the greatest killers in history. They could not have dreamed of the vast number of viruses that exist on Earth; they could not have guessed that much of lifeís genetic diversity is carried in viruses. They did not know that viruses help produce much of the oxygen we breathe and help control the planetís thermostat. And they certainly would not have guessed that the human genome is partly composed from thousands of viruses that infected our distant ancestors, or that life as we know it may have gotten its start four billion years ago from viruses.

Introduction to the Viruses

In 1898, Friedrich Loeffler and Paul Frosch found evidence that the cause of foot-and-mouth disease in livestock was an infectious particle smaller than any bacteria. This was the first clue to the nature of viruses, genetic entities that lie somewhere in the grey area between living and non-living states.

Viruses depend on the host cells that they infect to reproduce. When found outside of host cells, viruses exist as a protein coat or capsid, sometimes enclosed within a membrane. The capsid encloses either DNA or RNA which codes for the virus elements. While in this form outside the cell, the virus is metabollically inert; examples of such forms are pictured below.


Viral micrographs : To the left is an electron micrograph of a cluster of influenza viruses, each about 100 nanometers (billionths of a meter) long; both membrane and protein coat are visible. On the right is a micrograph of the virus that causes tobacco mosaic disease in tobacco plants.

When it comes into contact with a host cell, a virus can insert its genetic material into its host, literally taking over the host's functions. An infected cell produces more viral protein and genetic material instead of its usual products. Some viruses may remain dormant inside host cells for long periods, causing no obvious change in their host cells (a stage known as the lysogenic phase). But when a dormant virus is stimulated, it enters the lytic phase: new viruses are formed, self-assemble, and burst out of the host cell, killing the cell and going on to infect other cells. The diagram below at right shows a virus that attacks bacteria, known as the lambda bacteriophage, which measures roughly 200 nanometers.


Viruses cause a number of diseases in eukaryotes. In humans, smallpox, the common cold, chickenpox, influenza, shingles, herpes, polio, rabies, Ebola, hanta fever, and AIDS are examples of viral diseases. Even some types of cancer -- though definitely not all -- have been linked to viruses.

Viruses themselves have no fossil record, but it is quite possible that they have left traces in the history of life. It has been hypothesized that viruses may be responsible for some of the extinctions seen in the fossil record (Emiliani, 1993). It was once thought by some that outbreaks of viral disease might have been responsible for mass extinctions, such as the extinction of the dinosaurs and other life forms. This theory is hard to test but seems unlikely, since a given virus can typically cause disease only in one species or in a group of related species. Even a hypothetical virus that could infect and kill all dinosaurs, 65 million years ago, could not have infected the ammonites or foraminifera that also went extinct at the same time.

On the other hand, because viruses can transfer genetic material between different species of host, they are extensively used in genetic engineering. Viruses also carry out natural "genetic engineering": a virus may incorporate some genetic material from its host as it is replicating, and transfer this genetic information to a new host, even to a host unrelated to the previous host. This is known as transduction, and in some cases it may serve as a means of evolutionary change -- although it is not clear how important an evolutionary mechanism transduction actually is.

The image of influenza virus was provided by the Department of Veterinary Sciences of the Queen's University of Belfast. The tobacco mosaic virus picture was provided by the Rothamstead Experimental Station. Both servers have extensive archives of virus images.

The Institute for Molecular Virology of the University of Wisconsin has a lot of excellent information on viruses, including news, course notes, and some magnificent computer images and animations of viruses.

The Cells Alive! website includes information on the sizes of viral particles and an article on the mechanisms of HIV infection.

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Old News ;-)

[Aug 05, 2021] Delta plus and other new mutations of the coronavirus

The fact Delta remains dominant worldwide, and this is a sign Delta Plus might not overtake it soon. Delta Plus (also known as AY.1) has an extra mutation in the code for its spike protein, which helps the coronavirus access human cells. India's health ministry said last month that Delta Plus appeared to spread more easily than Delta and might be able to bind more easily to lung cells or resist antibody drugs.
In the US, Delta Plus cases peaked in late June at less than 5% of the nation's sequenced cases, according to . Health experts say it's a sign Delta Plus isn't outcompeting other variants.
Public Health England suggested June that there was no evidence Delta Plus' extra mutation made the virus any more severe or reduced vaccine effectiveness relative to Delta.
While Delta seems to have challenged how well vaccines prevent infection and transmission, recent CDC data indicates coronavirus shots still reduce the risk of getting COVID-19 several times, and the risk of hospitalization or death by vaccinated within the last six months by an order of magnitude, although the protective effect of Pfizer and other vaccines fade with time.
Aug 05, 2021 |

On Tuesday South Korea announced that it had detected two cases of the Delta Plus variant, one in a man who had recently returned from the U.S., Reuters reports. Some experts believe the Delta Plus variant could be more contagious than the Delta variant.

The Lambda variant, which originated from Peru last year, has already been detected in the U.S.

Recent studies indicated that Lambda could be more resistant to the current COVID-19 vaccines, according to Reuters .

[Aug 03, 2021] Where is the delta variant in the U.S.- This CDC map might give you a clue

Also interesting US hits 70% vaccination rate -- a month late, amid a surge
Aug 03, 2021 |

The Centers for Disease Control Prevention has a COVID-19 case tracker that shows the percent of the total population vaccinated against COVID-19. The map shows the percent of the total population fully vaccinated and then compares it with the cases per 100,000 people.

... ... ...

The CDC advises caution about traveling to areas with low vaccination rates and a higher number of cases per 100,000 people.

[Jul 30, 2021] Animals can be a reservoir of COVID-18 and the source of new mutations: researchers Find new COVID Mutations in NYC Sewage, Pointing to Possible Dog, Rat Infections

Jul 30, 2021 |

Their work is funded through a more than $300,000 contract with the city. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services with the University of Missouri is assisting in analyzing the data, through a $2 million National Institutes of Health grant .

The team began testing rat feces for the coronavirus to see whether that was the source of the new spike protein mutations -- but nothing matched their initial finding.

They then surveyed the sewage, using a process called "deep sequencing," for animal DNA. They found evidence of various mammals, such as cows, pigs and sheep, which likely came from human food consumption, along with evidence of dogs, cats and rats.

But most of the mutations were found over three different wastewater plants spanning months. That meant the "animal reservoir" would have to be living in or near the sewershed; largely constrained to their geographic location; and in big enough numbers to sustain an epidemic for six months.

The most likely culprits: rats and dogs.

"These novel lineages could be relevant to public health and necessitate further study," the researchers wrote in the study.

As for the mutations themselves, their origin remains an open question.

The researchers hypothesize that since not all COVID-19 cases were diagnosed and not all positive samples were sequenced, the "cryptic lineages" could come from "asymptomatic, vaccinated, immunosuppressed, pediatric, or chronically infected patients who are not being sampled in clinical settings."

COVID-19 could also linger in different areas of the body, such as the gut, long after it's been cleared in other areas, like the respiratory tract -- potentially explaining the presence in wastewater.

... ... ...

Signs of More Rats

If the new spike protein mutations the researchers discovered points to an outbreak of coronavirus among city rats, they would not be the first animal to contract the virus.

There have been reports of dogs, cats and even a New York City tiger catching the virus, according to the CDC .

A study published Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service found that white-tailed deer populations in New York, Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania had coronavirus antibodies, meaning they had previously contracted the virus, although they did not show signs of an active infection.

In November, Denmark culled 17 million minks after the virus jumped from a human handler to the minks, then back to humans. In Michigan, a taxidermist became infected with coronavirus and, after his test results were sent to a lab, it was determined that there was a mutation in his sample that came from an infected mink.

[Jul 20, 2021] Delta variant accounts for 83% of new cases in US, CDC director says

Jul 20, 2021 |

"This is a dramatic increase, up from 50% [in] the week of 4 July," Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in Senate testimony.

Walensky also said Covid fatalities had risen by nearly 48% over the past week to an average of 239 a day.

"Each death is tragic and even more heartbreaking when we know that the majority of these deaths could be prevented with a simple, safe available vaccine," she said.

A cluster of midwestern and southern states have emerged as the new hotspots for Covid-19.

[Jul 13, 2021] Delta variant now dominant COVID-19 strain in NJ

So it looks like NJ repeats the pattern observed in Israel -- the rise of cases with Delta variant despite high level of vaccination. . Looks like they try to hide statistics of infections among vaccinated... With 70% of adult population vaccinated ( NJ COVID Update- 70% of adult population in state fully vaccinated - ABC7 New York ) NJ is one of the most highly vaccinated state and Pfizer vaccine is predominant in this state like in Israel.
Jul 13, 2021 |

Japan warns of 'sense of crisis' about China's threat to conquer Taiwan Sen. Cotton expresses 'real doubts' about US Navy's ability to defeat China in

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the predominant strain in New Jersey, according to Governor Phil Murphy and health officials.

Pause Current Time 2:03 / Duration 2:12 Unmute 0 LQ CaptionsFullscreen Delta variant now dominant COVID strain in NJ Click to expand The highly contagious strain that originated in India and is surging around the globe now accounts for 41% of new variant cases in the Garden State last month, overtaking the Alpha variant that was first documented in the United Kingdom.

For the week ending June 26, Delta accounted for 70% of identified variant cases.

... ... ...

More than 5.1 million people have been fully vaccinated in New Jersey, Murphy said, which is about 66% of the eligible population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared with about 56% for the country overall.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Jersey rose the past two weeks from 235 new cases per day on June 26 to 264 on Sunday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths fell, going from nine deaths a day on June 26 to almost five a day on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, New Jersey's rate of transmission ticked up above 1 -- to 1.01, for the first time since late January.

[Jul 09, 2021] Delta Variant Hotspot- These Colorado Music Festival Goers Don't Care

The delta variant was estimated by health officials is perhaps twice as contagious as the original virus and at least 20 percent more contagious than Alpha.. It was first identified in India a wave of infections there in April and May.
Jul 09, 2021 |

LaCount has lived in Grand Junction, Colo., a city of 64,000, nearly her whole life. As a hospital pathologist, she knows better than most that her hometown has become one of the nation's top breeding grounds for the delta variant of COVID-19.

"The delta variant's super scary," LaCount said.

That highly transmissible variant, first detected in India, is now the dominant COVID-19 strain in the United States. Colorado is among the top states with the highest proportion of the delta variant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mesa County has the most delta variant cases of any county in Colorado, state health officials report, making the area a hot spot within a hot spot. A CDC team and the state's epidemiologist traveled to Grand Junction to investigate how and why cases of the variant were moving so quickly in Mesa County.

... ... ...

A few yards away from LaCount and her son on the playground, a man fished in a still pond with his 10-month-old daughter in a backpack. Garrett Whiting, who works in construction, said he believes COVID is still being "blown out of proportion," especially by the news media.

"They got everybody scared really, really fast," said Whiting, slowly reeling in a sparkly blue lure from the water. "There's no reason to stop living your life just because you're scared of something."

Whiting tested positive for COVID about three months earlier. He said he doesn't plan to get vaccinated, nor does his wife. As for the baby on his back, he said he's not sure whether they'll have her vaccinated when regulators approve the shot for young children.

Warnings from around the world

The delta variant is one of four " variants of concern " circulating in the U.S., according to the CDC, because the delta strain spreads more easily, might be more resistant to treatment and might be better at infecting vaccinated people than other variants.

The delta variant has raised alarms around the world. Parts of Australia have locked down again after health officials said the variant leapfrogged its way from an American aircrew to a birthday party where it infected all unvaccinated guests , and after it also is reported to have jumped between shoppers in a " scarily fleeting " moment in which two people walked past each other in a mall.

Israel reissued an indoor mask requirement after a spate of new cases linked to schoolchildren. A leading health official there said about a third of the 125 people who were infected were vaccinated, and most of the new infections were delta variant.

A rise in delta variant cases delayed the United Kingdom's planned reopening in June. But public health officials have concluded after studying about 14,000 cases of the delta variant in that country that full vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalization. Studies around the world have made similar findings. There is also evidence the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are effective against the variant.

Los Angeles County recently recommended that residents resume wearing masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, over concern about the delta variant. The World Health Organization is also urging vaccinated people to wear masks, though the CDC hasn't changed its guidelines allowing vaccinated people to gather indoors without masks.

[Jul 09, 2021] Why The Delta Variant Is So Contagious- A New Study Sheds Light - Goats and Soda - NPR

Jul 09, 2021 |

After months of data collection, scientists agree: The delta variant is the most contagious version of the coronavirus worldwide. It spreads about 225% faster than the original version of the virus, and it's currently dominating the outbreak in the United States.

A new study, published online Wednesday, sheds light on why. It finds that the variant grows more rapidly inside people's respiratory tracts and to much higher levels, researchers at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

On average, people infected with the delta variant had about 1,000 times more copies of the virus in their respiratory tracts than those infected with the original strain of the coronavirus, the study reported.

In addition, after someone catches the delta variant, the person likely becomes infectious sooner. On average, it took about four days for the delta variant to reach detectable levels inside a person, compared with six days for the original coronavirus variant.

Article continues after sponsor message Is The Variant From India The Most Contagious Coronavirus Mutant On The Planet? GOATS AND SODA Is The Variant From India The Most Contagious Coronavirus Mutant On The Planet?

In the study, scientists analyzed COVID-19 patients involved in the first outbreak of the delta variant in mainland China, which occurred between May 21 and June 18 in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. The researchers measured the levels of virus in 62 people involved in that outbreak and compared them with the levels in 63 patients infected in 2020 with an early version of the virus.

Their findings suggest that people who have contracted the delta variant are likely spreading the virus earlier in the course of their infection.

Coronavirus FAQ: I've Been Vaccinated. Do I Need To Worry About Variants? GOATS AND SODA Coronavirus FAQ: I've Been Vaccinated. Do I Need To Worry About Variants?

And the scientists underscore the importance of quarantining immediately for 14 days after coming into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.

Or even better, getting fully vaccinated. Preliminary data shows that in some U.S. states, 99.5% of COVID-19 deaths in the past few months were among people who weren't vaccinated, the CDC's director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said Thursday at the White House.

"We know that the delta variant ... is currently surging in pockets of the country with low vaccination rates," Walensky said. "We also know that our authorized vaccines prevent severe disease, hospitalization and death from the delta variant."

[Jul 09, 2021] Los Angeles County reports 165 percent spike in COVID-19 cases in a week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the variant now makes up the majority of new cases in the United States

Jul 09, 2021 |

Los Angeles County is reporting a 165 percent spike in coronavirus infections in a single week amid the rise of the highly contagious delta variant.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health said in a statement that 839 new coronavirus infections had been reported as of Thursday. The daily average case rate is at 3.5 per 100,000 people, up from last week's 1.74 cases per 100,000 people.

The agency said that the delta variant of the coronavirus first identified in India has become the most commonly sequenced variant in the county since the beginning of June, and now accounts for the majority of variants identified by labs, "consistent with what other parts of the U.S. are seeing."

...According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the variant now makes up the majority of new cases in the United States, driving spikes in infections in several states.

...The county said that slightly less than 4 million of its residents are still not vaccinated, while 4.6 million are fully vaccinated.

... There are currently 296 people hospitalized, of which 24 percent are in intensive care.

[Jul 08, 2021] The Alpha version of supposed SARS-CoV-2 was supposedly the most transmissible and infectious pathogen ever. With a transmission rate of at least 3.8 and reported to be perhaps as high as 9. Does this mean that Delta has transmissin rate over 12?

Jul 08, 2021 |

8 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The Alpha version of supposed SARS-CoV-2 was supposedly the most transmissible and infectious pathogen ever. With a transmission rate of at least 3.8 and reported to be perhaps as high as 9.

Meaning each infected person infects at least 3.8 other people, and perhaps up to nine. During the year we were told one infected choir singer passed the infection on to at least 220 people in one church. If Delta is 50-60% more infectious than Alpha, then each person will infect at least six others. Perhaps dozens.

The problem with that, is Delta is from last year in August. That is when it was first "identified". A pathogen that infectious would have infected over 8 billion people in less than five weeks.

The supposed Alpha strain would have infected the entire world by the middle of last June. After a year, the cases would measure in the trillions if the exponential progression continued. Obviously there aren't trillions of people on the planet.

What that proves is either SARS-CoV-2 isn't as infectious as claimed, or every single person on the planet has been exposed multiple times and simply didn't even know.

There is a certain definitive fact. Whatever the government tells you is for sure an absolute lie. lay_arrow

OliverAnd 7 hours ago

Mutations are usually deleterious; one small percentage will mutate into a strain that may be more or less pathogenic; the purpose of the mutation is so that the virus becomes less pathogenic so that it can live symbiotically with its host.

We humans are a hilarious bunch; for example we sleep with whores knowing they are walking STD labs catching herpes, HPV, gonorrhea, etc increasing our chances of cancer while decreasing our lives by decades, yet we worry about getting vaccinated. We eat processed foods, junk food, high sugar and salt foods, smoke, speed, drink, etc taking many years off our lives yet we worry about a jab. Where are all those people not wanting the vaccine? They are eating at the fast food chains sleeping with that one who has been around the block stressed out because they are unable to go shopping with their empty pockets.

[Jul 08, 2021] Can vaccines guide coronavirus evolution in the direction of evading and bypassing the antibodies produced by the vaccine.

Jul 08, 2021 |

10 play_arrow 1 BaNNeD oN THe RuN 8 hours ago (Edited)

Numerous virologists have said that the vaccine encourages the virus to mutate to bypass the antibodies produced by the vaccine.

[Jul 08, 2021] Delta Could Disrupt Emerging World's Post-COVID Recovery, Goldman Warns

Jul 08, 2021 |

You should never trust Goldman, but still

Q. The Delta variant (first identified in India) is estimated to be 50-60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant (first identified in the UK). How effective are the Western vaccines against the Delta variant?

A. While the Delta variant weighs on the efficacy of vaccines (and especially single doses) at preventing infections (especially asymptomatic infections), Pfizer and AstraZeneca full vaccinations remain highly effective at protecting hospitalizations, and Moderna and J&J lab results look encouraging

A study from Public Health England estimates elevated Delta-specific efficacies at preventing hospitalizations of 94%/96% after one/two Pfizer doses and 71%/92% after one/two AstraZeneca doses. Public Health England estimates lower efficacies at preventing symptomatic disease after two doses for Pfizer of 88% and 60% for AstraZeneca. Similarly, a new study from Canada also estimates an 87% efficacy of full Pfizer vaccinations to prevent symptomatic disease. The symptomatic efficacy, however, is lower after one dose and estimated at one-third for both Pfizer and AstraZeneca in the English study, and 56%/72% for Pfizer/Moderna in the Canadian study

Yesterday, Israel's Health Ministry reported a 64% effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine in preventing any infections and a 93% effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations. The 64% estimate likely corresponds to the effectiveness to prevent both asymptomatic and symptomatic infections while the studies from England and Canada and clinical trials assess symptomatic infections. Taken at face value, these headline numbers suggest a reduced ability of the Pfizer vaccine to stop the transmission of Delta infections relative to previously dominant strains, although the "additional" infections are more likely to be asymptomatic.

Finally, in vitro studies from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson demonstrate their ability to neutralize the Delta variant with neutralizing titers that were lower compared to the ancestral strain but higher than for the Beta variant (first identified in South Africa), where high efficacy against severe disease was clinically demonstrated.

Q. How effective are the Eastern vaccines against the Delta variant?

A. Although data remain very limited, Chinese and Russian expert commentary and clinical trial results from India's Bharat Biotech suggest that the Sinopharm, Sputnik V, and Bharat Biotech vaccines provide solid protection against severe disease.

Q. What about Delta's impact on reinfection risk?

A. Although the data are particularly limited, research and experts suggest that prior infections continue to provide some protection against Delta, especially against severe disease.

Q. The UK is experiencing a surge in infections although hospitalizations and especially fatalities remain relatively low (Exhibit 2). What drives this "decoupling" and will it continue?

A. This mostly reflects the concentration of new infections among younger individuals but also a stronger vaccine protection against hospitalizations than against infections (especially for AstraZeneca). We therefore expect this decoupling to continue.

Q. Are infections and hospitalizations/fatalities also "decoupling" outside of the UK?

A. Most other economies with high vaccination rates and Delta outbreaks are also experiencing this decoupling, although it is particularly pronounced in the UK. We expect hospitalizations to remain relatively low in high vaccination countries.

Q. Does the virus still matter for activity in North America and Europe if hospitalizations stay low?

A. Yes. The virus GDP drag should, however, be much diminished and reflects travel restrictions, consumer risk aversion, and lingering softness in labor supply

... ... ...

Q. The Delta variant has raised the theoretical bar to achieve herd immunity to probably at least 85% of the population. Does vaccine hesitancy imply that countries will never approach such high immunity levels?

A. Not necessarily, and many medical experts believe the coronavirus will eventually turn from a pandemic to an endemic stage. The Delta variant likely implies higher ultimate vaccination rates (and immunity rates). In fact, further outbreaks appear to be sharply boosting demand in several countries, including the US, China, Australia, Israel, and especially Portugal (Exhibit 13).

EatMyAssLibtards 9 hours ago

How anyone can believe this $hit anymore is a question not even God would have an answer for

Four chan 6 hours ago


MaxmaxExtreme 5 hours ago remove link

Wait until the vaccine pushers hear about booster shots until the day they die, or rather until it kills them.

The Ingenious Gentleman 7 hours ago

The vaccine is the new god. People who get it seem to positively religious about getting others to do the same. Almost like they have been programmed.

Nona Yobiznes 5 hours ago

Have you seen the reddit community called ChurchOfCOVID? Worth checking out for some laughs.

HowdyDoody 3 hours ago

What has happened to Goldman Sacks? They are way behind the curve. Delta is yesterday's news. Lambda is where the action is.

[Jul 06, 2021] Israeli officials say Pfizer vaccine less effective as Delta variant spreads

Highly recommended!
That means that 64% of vaccinated can get Delta variant and spread it. This is the last nail in the coffin of idiotic (in case of coronaviruses) Fauci idea of "herd immunity" and connected with this fiasco of (1)vaccination of teenagers (and generally people younger then 30), pregnant women and people who already recovered from COVID-19 and thus has natural immunity
Please note that COVID vaccines are experimental, unproven drugs (or gene therapy in case of Pfizer and Moderna) and Fauci and other high level medical bureaucrats should be liable for any negative consequences of this campaign.
Jul 06, 2021 |

The Israeli Ministry of Health announced that an epidemiological analysis had found that since June 6 there was a "marked decline in the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine in preventing infection (64%) and symptomatic illness (64%)."

"This decline has been observed simultaneously with the spread of the Delta variant in Israel," t he ministry said in a statement .

At the same time, "The vaccine maintains an efficacy rate of about 93% in preventing serious illness and hospitalization cases," the officials emphasized.

... Professor Nadav Davidovitch, who sits on the government's expert advisory committee on the coronavirus, told the Financial Times the new finding was based on "preliminary" figures gathered by health authorities. "Delta is a lot more infectious, but appears to not lead to as much serious illness and death, especially given that we now have the vaccine," he said.

[Jul 02, 2021] Delta Variant's Spread Prompts Reconsideration of Mask Guidance

Notable quotes:
"... On Monday, health officials in Los Angeles County followed suit , recommending that "everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places as a precautionary measure." ..."
"... Natural immunity among those already infected has also kept transmission low, she noted, but it is not clear how long natural immunity will last. ..."
Jul 02, 2021 |

But that was before the spread of the Delta variant . Worried by a global surge in cases, the World Health Organization last week reiterated its longstanding recommendation that everyone -- including the inoculated -- wear masks to stem the spread of the virus.

On Monday, health officials in Los Angeles County followed suit , recommending that "everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places as a precautionary measure."

Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director, said the new recommendation was needed because of upticks in infections, a rise in cases due to the worrisome Delta variant , and persistently high numbers of unvaccinated residents, particularly children, Black and Latino residents and essential workers.

Roughly half of Los Angeles County residents are fully vaccinated , and about 60 percent have had at least one dose. While the number of positive tests is still below 1 percent in the county, the rate has been inching up, Dr. Ferrer added, and there has been a rise in the number of reinfections among residents who were infected before and did not get vaccinated.

To the extent that Los Angeles County has managed to control the pandemic, it has been because of a multilayered strategy that combined vaccinations with health restrictions aimed at curbing new infections, Dr. Ferrer said.

Natural immunity among those already infected has also kept transmission low, she noted, but it is not clear how long natural immunity will last.

[Jul 02, 2021] Some Vaccinated People Are Dying of Covid-19. That suggests that Delta is displaying a worrying ability to evade the vaccine and cause severe illness

Jul 02, 2021 |

As the Delta variant of the coronavirus surges through the U.K., almost half of the country's recent Covid-19 deaths are of people who have been vaccinated.

.... ... ...

The U.K. is a testing ground for how vaccines are coping. Delta is racing through the country -- with 146,000 identified cases in the past week, 72% up on the week before. The country is also a world leader in identifying through testing and genetic sequencing which versions of the virus are prevalent: By mid-June, 97% of cases were Delta infections. And Delta is spreading among a population that is among the most highly vaccinated in the world: 85% of adults have had at least one vaccine shot and 63% have had two.

Data from Public Health England show that there were 117 deaths among 92,000 Delta cases logged through June 21. Fifty of those -- 46% -- had received two shots of vaccine.

First, vaccines aren't 100% effective. Not everyone who is inoculated will respond in the same way. Those who are elderly or whose immune systems are faulty, damaged or stressed by some other illness are less likely to mount a robust response than someone younger and fitter. Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective but some people will still be vulnerable to the virus even after receiving their shots.

Second, the risk of dying from Covid-19 increases steeply with age. If a vaccine reduces an 80-year-old's risk of death from Covid-19 by 95%, for instance, that 80-year-old's risk of death might still be greater than the risk faced by an unvaccinated 20-year-old. Some chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and lung disease are also associated with a higher risk of severe illness and death.

Third, as more of the population gets vaccinated, there are fewer unvaccinated people for the virus to infect. If the pool of vaccinated people is larger than the pool of unvaccinated people, then it is possible and even likely that breakthrough infections resulting in death in the older, vaccinated group would match or exceed deaths in the younger, unvaccinated group. Consider an imaginary country with 100% of people vaccinated, where the virus can still somehow spread. All Covid-19 deaths would be in vaccinated individuals.

Of those 50 deaths in fully vaccinated people in England, all were in people aged 50 years and over, the data show. There have been no deaths recorded in double-vaccinated under 50s.

The data show that, overall, the fatality rate for confirmed cases of Covid-19 has been lower than it was with the Alpha variant, which was first spotted in the U.K.

... Public Health England, using a variety of statistical analyses, has estimated that vaccination reduces the risk of hospitalization with the Delta variant in people who have received two doses by between 91% and 98%, with a central estimate of 96%.

Though vaccines offer substantial protection against severe illness and death, there is growing evidence from lab studies and real-world data that Delta does have some ability to bypass vaccines to cause milder infection.

Public Health England says that its analysis of Delta cases in England implies protection against symptomatic Covid-19 caused by Delta of around 79%. That compares with an 89% reduction in the risk of symptomatic Covid-19 with Alpha.

In Israel, a senior health official said in late June that in a recent outbreak of 200 or so Delta cases, about half were in children 15 years old and younger and the other half were in those aged 16 and above, of whom more than 80% are fully vaccinated.

British data shows Delta is even more adept at evading our immune response after just one dose of vaccine, highlighting the importance, public health officials say, of getting two shots. A single dose reduces the risk of symptomatic Covid-19 with Alpha by 49%, according Public Health England, but only by 35% with Delta.

[Jun 28, 2021] Delta variant outbreak in Israel infecting vaccinated adults

The Delta variant or the B.1.617.2 was first identified in India during late 2020 and is now prevalent in more than 70 countries across the world.
Jun 28, 2021 |

An outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Israel has spread to some vaccinated people -- with about half of the adults infected fully inoculated with the Pfizer shot, a health official said.

Ran Balicer, who heads a COVID-19 government advisory committee, said that about 90 percent of new infections in the country were likely caused by the Delta variant, a highly-contagious strain that first emerged in India, the Wall Street Journal reported .

"The entrance of the Delta variant has changed the transmission dynamics," Balicer said.

Children under the age of 16 -- the majority of whom had not received the vaccine -- were responsible for about half of the new cases, Balicer said.

But about half of adults infected in the outbreak were considered fully-vaccinated -- meaning that it had been at least two weeks since they received their final dose of the Pfizer shot, he said.

Balicer added that the so-called breakthrough cases were expected because though Pfizer is highly effective against the virus, it's not 100 percent protective.

Israelis wear protectives against COVID-19 at a shopping mall in Jerusalem on June 25, 2021.
Israelis wear protectives against COVID-19 at a shopping mall in Jerusalem on June 25, 2021.

The spread of the Delta variant comes as daily cases rose to 200 on Thursday from around 10 a day for most of June, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Though the outbreak is small by global standards, it has prompted the government to reimpose indoor mask mandates, the newspaper reported.

Health officials in the US have warned that the Delta variant will soon become the dominate strain of COVID-19.

But evidence has shown that the vaccine will prevent severe cases of the bug, as well as hospitalizations.

[Jun 28, 2021] Experts "extremely worried" about Delta variant, by BETH MOLE

Jun 15, 2021 |

"Right now, in the United States, [Delta accounts for] about 10 percent of infections. It's doubling every two weeks," Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Sunday on Face the Nation . "So it's probably going to become the dominant strain here in the United States. That doesn't mean that we're going to see a sharp uptick in infections, but it does mean that this is going to take over. And I think the risk is really to the fall -- that this could spike a new epidemic heading into the fall."

Adding to the worry is new data that suggests Delta may also cause more severe disease -- in addition to spreading to more people. Early findings out of Scotland suggest infections with the Delta variant were associated with nearly double the risk of infected persons ending up hospitalized compared to infections with the Alpha variant. The data was published Monday as Correspondence in the Lancet . Experts say they'll need more data to confirm that risk.

The bright side

The good news in all of this is that being fully vaccinated appears to protect against Delta. At the end of May, researchers at Public Health England posted data (which had not been peer-reviewed) indicating that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were 88 percent effective at preventing a symptomatic infection with the Delta variant . Meanwhile, the data said, two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were 60 percent effective. (Notably, just one shot of either vaccine was not protective, offering only 33 percent efficacy against symptomatic Delta infections. Experts emphasized the importance of not skipping the second dose.)

Data out of Scotland Monday likewise suggested that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were 79 percent effective against the Delta variant, while two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were again 60 percent effective.

Also on Monday, PHE released another analysis (also not peer-reviewed) that finds that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were 96 percent effective against hospitalization and two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were 92 percent effective against hospitalization.

"So we have the tools to control this and defeat it," Gottlieb noted.

Looming risk

But experts are still concerned. The pace of vaccination has slowed significantly in the US, and many states -- particularly in the South -- are far behind the goal of getting 70 percent of adults at least one vaccine. Pockets of low vaccination are fueling fears among experts, including Gottlieb, that cases could once again spike as Delta continues its spread.

Peter Hotez, director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, echoed that concern Tuesday. He told CNN that he is " extremely worried " about the Delta variant. He emphasized that right now is "crunch time" to get fully vaccinated -- which takes five to six weeks -- before Delta spreads further.

In a press briefing last week, top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci made a similar plea, pointing to the rapid spread of the Delta variant in the UK. " We cannot let that happen in the United States ," he said. This "is such a powerful argument... to get vaccinated."

[Mar 22, 2021] How very little is known, still, concerning viral transmission

Mar 22, 2021 |

oldhippie , Mar 21 2021 17:43 utc | 22

The trio of linked articles in top post concerning covid are all excellent. Each highlights how very little is known, still, concerning viral transmission.

> [W]e do express our concern at the UK's decision to increase its nuclear weapons arsenal, which is contrary to its obligations under Article VI of the NPT. It could have a damaging impact on global stability and efforts to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons.

At a time when nuclear weapon risks are higher than they have been since the Cold War, investments in disarmament and arms control is the best way to strengthen the stability and reduce nuclear danger. <

Yves Smith makes the suggestion that for starters we should just open some windows. Get some ventilation. Get some fresh air. When I was still employed I was a house painter. Way back in sixties and seventies painters learned drills for how to paint every surface of a window. This is no longer required. Most windows are never opened. In newer homes it is quite unusual to find windows that have ever been opened . Simplifies painting enormously.

Poor people live in small dank dwellings and open the window. The rich still believe in fresh air, have trouble finding painters who know what to do with double hung sash. Everyone else believes in the miasma.

Windows are sealed shut. Sealed shut to keep out the unknown. Heating or air conditioning is on 100% of the time. Opening windows is something very old people or very rich people do, otherwise Americans do not.

The flip side of that is performative masking. When out of doors, even in the most uncrowded spaces, the maskies are never seen without the mask. Not science, fear.

[May 26, 2020] COVID19 New Practical Results on Airborne Transmission Indoors by Lambert Strether

May 25, 2020 |

Posted on May 25, 2020 by Lambert Strether of Corrente

I was considering using "All that is fomites melts into air," but I couldn't bring myself to, so count yourself lucky (and anyhow, it's not really true). From the beginning of the #COVID19 pandemic, we've been washing our hands, masking up, cleaning surfaces, and social distancing. These measures have worked ( especially masking ), but now we know more. There's mounting evidence that airborne transmission indoors is a key -- perhaps the main -- pathway to SARS-COV-2 transmission. In this post I want to look at why that's so, give examples, and suggest a simple heuristic to stay safe. Material like this might also be used to inform public policy ( here ; here ) by reducing superspreader events in enclosed spaces like churches (airborne transmission via singing), restaurants (loud talking, especially if room is noisy), bars (ditto), nursing homes (shouting[1]), gyms ( grunting ), meat-packing plants ( shouting ), call centers (talking), offices generally (air conditioning), and other hot spots, but working that polucy out is not the object of this post ( see here for engineering controls for airborne transmission , and here for covid-proofing public spaces ).

Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Indoors

This article from PNAS seems to be the index publication for airborne transmission. From " The airborne lifetime of small speech droplets and their potential importance in SARS-CoV-2 transmission ":

Speech droplets generated by asymptomatic carriers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are increasingly considered to be a likely mode of disease transmission. Highly sensitive laser light scattering observations have revealed that loud speech can emit thousands of oral fluid droplets per second. In a closed, stagnant air environment, they disappear from the window of view with time constants in the range of 8 to 14 min, which corresponds to droplet nuclei of ca. 4 μm diameter, or 12- to 21-μm droplets prior to dehydration. These observations confirm that there is a substantial probability that normal speaking causes airborne virus transmission in confined environments.

That experiment was done inside a box. Vox translates to real world terms:

A crowded indoor place, then, with poor ventilation, filled with people talking, shouting, or singing for hours on end will be the riskiest scenario. A sparsely populated indoor space with open windows is less risky (but not completely safe). Running quickly past another jogger outside is on the other end of the spectrum; minimal risk.

(In other words, the problem is not density or proximity; the problem is transmission of the virus, through the air, by human vocalization[2] (of which coughing and sneezing are a small, and symptomatic, subset.)

That would explain why masks have worked. (One could argue that masks need only be worn indoors, but most people are constantly moving from the outdoors to the indoors and out again, which would involved touching the mask constantly to remove and replace it; better to wear it all the time. In any case, minimal risk, to others, is not no risk). From the South China Morning Post, "Coronavirus: hamster research shows effectiveness of masks 'huge' in Covid-19 battle, Hong Kong scientists say":

Hong Kong scientists conducting research on hamsters have offered the first proof of what many residents have believed all along – that wearing surgical masks can significantly reduce the rate of airborne Covid-19 transmission.

The study, which the team called the first of its kind, found the rate of non-contact transmission – in which the virus was transmitted via respiratory droplets or airborne particles – dropped by as much as 75 per cent when masks were present.

(See also " If 80% of Americans Wore Masks, COVID-19 Infections Would Plummet, New Study Says ," from Vanity Fair.)

Examples of Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Indoors

So far as I can tell, there are two main villains: Air conditioning, and vocalization:

Air conditioning . Here is the very first article I spotted on airborne transmission, back on March 9, 2020. From the South China Morning Post, " Coronavirus can travel twice as far as official 'safe distance' and stay in air for 30 minutes, Chinese study finds "

A passenger, known as "A", boarded a fully booked long-distance coach and settled down on the second row from the back.

The passenger already felt sick at that point but it was before China had declared the coronavirus outbreak a national crisis, so "A" did not wear a mask, nor did most of the other passengers or the driver on the 48-seat bus."It can be confirmed that in a closed environment with air-conditioning, the transmission distance of the new coronavirus will exceed the commonly recognised safe distance," the researchers wrote in a paper published in peer-review journal Practical Preventive Medicine last Friday. They said the study proves the importance of washing hands and wearing face masks in public places because the virus can linger in the air attached to fine droplet particles.

Here is a seating chart of the bus:

After reading this, I altered my practice not to mask up, which I was already doing, but to avoid (air-conditioned) public transportation entirely, and indeed air-conditioned spaces entirely.

Here is a second example, a Chinese restaurant. From the CDC's Emerging Infectious Diseases, " COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020 ":

We conclude that in this outbreak, droplet transmission was prompted by air-conditioned ventilation. The key factor for infection was the direction of the airflow. Of note, patient B3 was afebrile and 1% of the patients in this outbreak were asymptomatic, providing a potential source of outbreaks among the public (7,8). To prevent spread of COVID-19 in restaurants, we recommend strengthening temperature-monitoring surveillance, increasing the distance between tables, and improving ventilation.

Here again is a seating chart:

I was already not going to restaurants because of the Chinese bus episode, if I had been, I would have stopped. One can't wear a mask while eating!

Vocalization . We have several examples of vocalization (singing, shouting, talking, grunting, etc.) causing transmission.

On March 29 , we had an event at the Skagit Valley Chorale's rehearsal in Mount Vernon, WA. Here is the report, again from the CDC: " High SARS-CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice -- Skagit County, Washington, March 2020 ":

Following a 2.5-hour choir practice attended by 61 persons, including a symptomatic index patient, 32 confirmed and 20 probable secondary COVID-19 cases occurred (attack rate = 53.3% to 86.7%); three patients were hospitalized, and two died. Transmission was likely facilitated by close proximity (within 6 feet) during practice and augmented by the act of singing.

(Sadly, privacy concerns forbid a seat diagram.) I don't agree that proximity in and itself transmits anything; it seems clear to me that singing was the issue (although transmission through fomites was possible, as choir members put away chairs, etc.). Supporting evidence from Missouri's Daily Journal, " A surprising way you may risk getting Covid-19 ":

The possibility that singing might help transmit infectious diseases is not a new concept. A 1968 article, "Singing and the Dissemination of Tuberculosis," described an elaborate box that volunteers could talk, sing and cough into, allowing investigators to measure the number, size and length of time airborne of individual infectious droplets they breathed out. And a few TB outbreaks have featured singing, including one in a New Jersey church choir in 1995.

(This is good local journalism, too.) Science confirms, in " Why do some COVID-19 patients infect many others, whereas most don't spread the virus at all? ":

Some situations may be particularly risky. Meatpacking plants are likely vulnerable because many people work closely together in spaces where low temperature helps the virus survive. But it may also be relevant that they tend to be loud places, [Gwenan Knight of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine] says. The report about the choir in Washington made her realize that one thing links numerous clusters: They happened in places where people shout or sing. And although Zumba classes have been connected to outbreaks, Pilates classes, which are not as intense, have not, Knight notes. "Maybe slow, gentle breathing is not a risk factor, but heavy, deep, or rapid breathing and shouting is."

We also have the following case in Chicago. From the CDC, " Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at Two Family Gatherings -- Chicago, Illinois, February–March 2020 ":

This report describes the cluster of 16 cases of confirmed or probable COVID-19, including three deaths, likely resulting from transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at two family gatherings (a funeral and a birthday party)

Here, instead of a seating diagram, we have a timeline:

I'm guessing "Happy Birthday" was sung at the birthday party, hence the greater number of cases originating from it.

Here is the case of a South Korean call center. From the CDC, "Coronavirus Disease Outbreak in Call Center, South Korea":

We described the epidemiologic characteristics of a COVID-19 outbreak centered in a call center in South Korea. We identified 97 confirmed COVID-19 case-patients in building X, indicating an attack rate of 8.5%. However, if we restrict our results the 11th floor, the attack rate was as high as 43.5%. This outbreak shows alarmingly that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can be exceptionally contagious in crowded office settings such as a call center. The magnitude of the outbreak illustrates how a high-density work environment can become a high-risk site for the spread of COVID-19 and potentially a source of further transmission. Nearly all the case-patients were on one side of the building on 11th floor. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, the predecessor of SARS-CoV-2, exhibited multiple superspreading events in 2002 and 2003, in which a few persons infected others, resulting in many secondary cases. Despite considerable interaction between workers on different floors of building X in the elevators and lobby, spread of COVID-19 was limited almost exclusively to the 11th floor, which indicates that the duration of interaction (or contact) was likely the main facilitator for further spreading of SARS-CoV-2.

Here we do have a seating diagram:

It seems unlikely to me that air conditioning was the major factor, because otherwise -- HVAC mavens in the readership will correct me -- the cases would have been distributed throughout the floor. However, what call center personnel do is talk , a lot. Hence I would urge that vocalization is the driver, not mere proximity.

And finally, we have the case of a South Korean gym. From the CDC, " Cluster of Coronavirus Disease Associated with Fitness Dance Classes, South Korea "

Characteristics that might have led to transmission from the instructors in Cheonan include large class sizes, small spaces, and intensity of the workouts. The moist, warm atmosphere in a sports facility coupled with turbulent air flow generated by intense physical exercise can cause more dense transmission of isolated droplets (6,7). Classes from which secondary COVID-19 cases were identified included 5–22 students in a room ≈60 m2 during 50 minutes of intense exercise. We did not identify cases among classes with <5 participants in the same space. Of note, instructor C taught Pilates and yoga for classes of 7–8 students in the same facility at the same time as instructor B (Figure; Appendix Table 2), but none of her students tested positive for the virus. We hypothesize that the lower intensity of Pilates and yoga did not cause the same transmission effects as those of the more intense fitness dance classes.

Here is a really neat map of the cases ( full size version ):

We see that "high intensity" classes accounting for all the transmission; there was no transmission from Yoga and Pilates classes. Here the vocalization would be heavy breathing, huffing and puffing.

Heuristic of Avoid Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Indoors

One salutary result of focusing on indoor transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is that we don't have to get all het up [4] about photos like this anymore:

The foreground/background compressed photos of people enjoying outdoor spaces are becoming an irresistible genre. This one from the Washington Post shows a few hundred people in the space of a few hundred meters. In other words, reasonable numbers. The moral panic will backfire.

-- Pinboard (@Pinboard) May 25, 2020

Photographer's tricks aside, these people are outdoors; the risk is minimal (though I still won't answer for, say, small groups of people sitting on a beach blanket, sharing beers and singing old songs). I would avoid groups like this, but then I would anyway, virus or no virus.

The Japanese seem to have had some success by focusing on indoor transmission as well, following a rule called "The Three C's." Here is a poster:

Bloomberg explains, in " Did Japan Just Beat the Virus Without Lockdowns or Mass Testing? ":

Experts are also credited with creating an easy-to-understand message of avoiding what are called the "Three C's" -- closed spaces, crowded spaces and close-contact settings -- rather than keeping away from others entirely.

"Social distancing may work, but it doesn't really help to continue normal social life," said Hokkaido University's Suzuki. "The 'Three C's' are a much more pragmatic approach and very effective, while having a similar effect."

However, I think that knowing what we know now, we can add two more almost-C's to avoid: Air C onditioning, and "Vo c alization (or perhaps C acophony?) However, all in all, I think the best heuristic is offered by one Ángela Caída's Twitter account:

This "Three C's environment is the same as a crowded, musty cave full of tightly packed, chattering bats, which makes sense, because that's where the coronavirus evolved.

Caves are also cool, like air conditioned spaces, and while bats vocalize, I doubt they transmit SARS-CoV-2 as well as we do[3].

So, to avoid SARS-CoV-2 airborne transmission, don't be like a bat! Avoid bat caves! Also, learn sign language?


[1] Thanks to the NC commentariat for a really useful discussion on shouting in nursing homes.

[2] There is a big debate over whether vocalization produces big and small droplets , or a continuum of droplets (with "aerosols" at the small end) but I don't think that matters for the purposes pf this post.

[3] "Much of the cacophony in a bat cluster, the researchers suggest , is bats voicing their annoyance with those in very close quarters around them." Bat vocalizations are " ultrasonic ", "repeated bursts of only a few hundred milliseconds." So making the assumption that lower-pitched and longer human communication emits more virus, one might speculate that bats would be less vulnerable to airborne transmission of #COVID-19 than humans.

[4] Terry Pratchett, The Truth :

"Mrs. Tilly, I think you wrote a lovely well-spelled and grammatical letter to us suggesting that everyone under the age of eighteen should be flogged once a week to stop them being so noisy?"

"Once a day, Mr de Worde," said Mrs. Tilly. "That'll teach 'em to go around being young!"

gc54 , May 25, 2020 at 6:21 pm

So, if you must stay in a hotel while driving interstate to avoid air travel:

– choose an older hotel with (noisy) under-window AC rather than the more efficient but potentially deadly central HVAC in newer buildings?
– minimize your (masked) time checking in; wipe down all surfaces w/ bleach esp bathroom, TV remote, table tops; shove bedcover into a drawer; decline room service if only staying one night; avoid common areas; skip breakfast entirely or at most grab and go; remote checkout?

– any other suggestions?

MLTPB , May 25, 2020 at 7:12 pm

Ask how much they charge for having your own (inside sanitized at home) tent on their lawn.

WhoaMolly , May 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm

I'm depressed -- and vulnerable -- enough to seriously consider bringing along a lightweight 2 person tent, and pop it up on top of the motel bed. Sleep, read, surf Internet in the tent. Another option is sleeping in an RV a campground or a WLMart parking lot.

Age and health issues mean I need to start thinking this through or spend remaining years at home.


Yves Smith , May 25, 2020 at 10:39 pm

Air travel is not in the same category as riding on a bus. Airplanes have HEPA filters. From an interview with an associate professor of aviation maintenance:

HEPA filters are a very high-intensity system of fibers that you essentially run air through to filter out an incredible amount of contaminants -- not just dust, not just bacteria, but moisture, any sort of contamination that could potentially harm or create an atmosphere in the cabin or the cockpit that could harm the passengers or the crews. The material in them is much closer together compared to cheaper air filters, and that makes it very difficult for biological elements to penetrate them.

How common are HEPA filters?

I don't know of an airline that's operating right now that does not have HEPA-level filters on them, but that does not mean that one does not exist. There's a certain amount of air quality that you have to maintain in your commercial airplane. If you're flying commercial passengers or corporate passengers, you're going to have a HEPA filter or better air filtration system.

So the risk in flying is not the air circulation. It is:

1. An unmasked person coughing, sneezing, or talking loudly, and you get their cooties before the air gets sucked into the filtration system. Everyone on a plane is supposed to be masked up but it's not easy to enforce, given that the airlines can't toss someone out at 39,000 feet.

2. Getting to the plane and your sear. Hard to imagine that people can stay 6 feet apart when dealing with airline security and getting on board. Passengers are now required to be masked up from TSA onward, so that can be enforced. Airport security can remove people.

3. Those bins at security! Filthy! Wear gloves for that part and remove/replace shortly afterwards.

Huey Long , May 25, 2020 at 6:23 pm

HVAC maven here:

Lambert, it really depends on how the HVAC system is configured; different zones on a particular floor may be served by different airhandlers.

Some buildings have large central A/C plants with massive airhandlers that serve the entire building, especially in 1960's though mid 1970's vintage high-rise office towers.

Several of NYC's larger office REITs are considering installing UV equipment in the airhandler fan chambers, but I haven't heard of any contracts being let just yet.

Cuibono , May 25, 2020 at 6:50 pm

As for the Japanese and avoiding cramped closed close contact spaces: i did not know they had shutdown subways and trains

MLTPB , May 25, 2020 at 8:00 pm

Also places like karaoke bars were they closed in S Korea?

allan , May 25, 2020 at 6:58 pm

"Photographer's tricks aside, these people are outdoors; the risk is minimal ."

That might be true for for deep focus shots along seaside boardwalks,
but maybe not for the overhead shots of Lake of the Ozarks resorts that we've all seen.
Not to mention that drunks trying to impress the other gender can get very vocal.

It will be a very long time before my nuclear family unit ventures forth.

curlydan , May 25, 2020 at 10:02 pm

It seems like the trick might be to stay within your nuclear unit outdoors and not mix with others. We'll need luck trying to teach that to pool bound Arkansas high schoolers (see link below) or possibly Lake of the Ozarks revelers.

I have been out mountain biking with my younger son lately. We feel pretty safe so far. The nice thing about biking in a relatively secluded place is that we literally touch nothing that isn't "ours". Our only debates are if we need to press a button to cross a street.

MLTPB , May 25, 2020 at 7:17 pm

Shutting down churches without shutting down trains (no HEPA filters there, presumably) if their choral music is taped, not live performance, would seem selective, for those who do not believe in livin on bread alone (thus spiritual nourishment is essential).

Biologist , May 25, 2020 at 7:52 pm

No quibbles with your conclusion re: airborne transmission, but the first study you cite above ("How Covid19 spread through a Hunan bus") was retracted:
This is apparently the retraction notice, but it is, well, Chinese to me:
Annoyingly, I can't find the original academic publication.

rd , May 25, 2020 at 8:12 pm

One of my basic rules of thumb is to only go into buildings with very high ceilings (typical big box store) and low density of people. There is lots of air available then for recriculation and you should be able to avoid the virus if you generally stay away from people. I avoid all conversation with people.

By definition, this is generally not going to be a restaurant or bar, so they are out for the foreseeable future.

The Rev Kev , May 25, 2020 at 9:01 pm

I like the way that this article brings together so many threads and articles over the past few months into a handy page. It looks much better when you see it all on one page and start to make your own conclusions. Of course some of the conclusions suck as in no public transport, no restaurants, no gyms, etc. Of course some people will not take note-

When talking about church transmission I thought about something from history. About two centuries ago many Scots followed religions that were not exactly in line with the British Army's professed Church of England. So to avoid getting caught at their own lay services, they would head off to a field or hill and post guards at each corner to give warning of spies and proceed in their services.

So yes, a lot of these churches could have their services in fields while the local sky-pilot could use a megaphone to give the service. They just need to space themselves out a bit. More to the point, some groups forget that their people are the church and not just the buildings that they happen to use. We have even seen services conducted over the net or in drive-in like services. I think that, for example, those people in that Mississippi church that had their church burnt down may have forgotten that fact.

Jackson , May 25, 2020 at 11:16 pm

No. They are waiting for the Rapture..From a NC Contributor Tom Stone, "I have no problem with individual Christians rushing to their Heavenly Rewards, it's when they take others with them without their consent that I see an issue.."

The Rev Kev , May 25, 2020 at 11:26 pm

In my comment I see that I neglected to say that it was not Scottish people that were going off to fields and hills to have their lay services but Scottish Regiments .

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Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

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Last modified: August, 05, 2021