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April 21, 2020

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Well, 4 year olds aren't expected to obey signs that they can't read. That's what their parents are for. And clearly Pence is among those who needs a parent/minder whenever he goes out. Perhaps not as much as Trump, but that's a d*mn low bar.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/04/13/the-quest-for-a-pandemic-pill

This article is very interesting, not only because of the science but also because it moves into territory where Americans generally fear to tread:

that the nature of private, for-profit free market capitalism is in some ways ill-equipped to deal with the nature of virus pandemics.

Shoes, cars, video games, microwave ovens, etc, the market produces spectacularly to meet consumer needs. Not so much anti-virals required on a mass basis, and apparently (this is my addition) not even masks, swabs, and the ordinary stuff required to fight pandemics.

I'm not a one-size fits all guy. Some systems work for some things, other systems for others.

Don't know if this appeared here or I found it somewhere else.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/we-still-dont-know-how-the-coronavirus-is-killing-us.html

Rather chilling. A couple of pull grafs.

Over the past few months, Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been compiling and revising, in real time, treatment guidelines for COVID-19 which have become a trusted clearinghouse of best-practices information for doctors throughout the country. According to those guidelines, as few as 44 percent of coronavirus patients presented with a fever (though, in their meta-analysis, the uncertainty is quite high, with a range of 44 to 94 percent).

I am not a doctor, but this suggests to me that the body is not always reacting to drive out the virus, so it is able to slip past defenses or able to trick the immune system. This plugs into the asymptomatic carriers. Yikes.

then there is this.

A couple of days later, in a pre-print paper others questioned, scientists reported finding that the ability of the disease to mutate has been “vastly underestimated” — investigating the disease as it appeared in just 11 patients, they said they found 30 mutations. “The most aggressive strains could generate 270 times as much viral load as the weakest type,” the South China Morning-Post reported. “These strains also killed the cells the fastest.”

The article also links to this
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/how-does-coronavirus-kill-clinicians-trace-ferocious-rampage-through-body-brain-toes#

which outlines where the virus attacks, which is everywhere.

The article closes with this
In the space of a few months, we’ve gone from thinking there was no “asymptomatic transmission” to believing it accounts for perhaps half or more of all cases, from thinking the young were invulnerable to thinking they were just somewhat less vulnerable, from believing masks were unnecessary to requiring their use at all times outside the house, from panicking about ventilator shortages to deploying pregnancy massage pillows instead. Six months since patient zero, we still have no drugs proven to even help treat the disease. Almost certainly, we are past the “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals” stage of this pandemic. But how far past?

In a video that was shared, the lecturer memorably compared the virus to HIV and Sars and suggested that while those earlier viruses were honor students, COVID-19 was just a plodder. While I don't like the anthropomorphizing of bits of RNA, and I don't think that the lecturer should be drawn and quartered, to take that further, maybe this is a sign that thinking the virus is just a plodder is exactly what it wants you to think...

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