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Fri Jul 30, 2021, 08:16 AM

Covid is more mysterious than we often admit.

Interesting article that may change some of our notions about COVID. From The Morning by David Leonhardt, published July 30, 2021.
This article can be found by searching for "The Morning" on the NYTimes website.

Not in control

Consider these Covid-19 mysteries:
• In India — where the Delta variant was first identified and caused a huge outbreak — cases have plunged over the past two months. A similar drop may now be underway in Britain. There is no clear explanation for these declines.
• In the U.S., cases started falling rapidly in early January. The decline began before vaccination was widespread and did not follow any evident changes in Americans’ Covid attitudes.
• In March and April, the Alpha variant helped cause a sharp rise in cases in the upper Midwest and Canada. That outbreak seemed poised to spread to the rest of North America — but did not.
• This spring, caseloads were not consistently higher in parts of the U.S. that had relaxed masking and social distancing measures (like Florida and Texas) than in regions that remained vigilant.
• Large parts of Africa and Asia still have not experienced outbreaks as big as those in Europe, North America and South America.

How do we solve these mysteries? Michael Osterholm, who runs an infectious disease research center at the University of Minnesota, suggests that people keep in mind one overriding idea: humility.

“We’ve ascribed far too much human authority over the virus,” he told me.

‘Much, much milder’
Over the course of this pandemic, I have found one of my early assumptions especially hard to shake. It’s one that many other people seem to share — namely, that a virus always keeps spreading, eventually infecting almost the entire population, unless human beings take actions to stop it. And this idea does have crucial aspects of truth. Social distancing and especially vaccination can save lives.

But much of the ebb and flow of a pandemic cannot be explained by changes in human behavior. That was true with influenza a century ago, and it is true with Covid now. An outbreak often fizzles mysteriously, like a forest fire that fails to jump from one patch of trees to another.
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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jul 30, 2021, 08:18 AM

1. I don't know that Britain is really having a drop.

Their cases are starting to go back up in the last couple of days.

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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jul 30, 2021, 08:23 AM

2. So Are They Saying TFG Was Right?....

One day this will all magically disappear?

Better not let TFG read this post or he'll be out taking bows. (sarcasm)

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Response to global1 (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 30, 2021, 09:30 AM

4. The article doesn't say Trump was right.

The part after ... says vaccinations and social distancing are vital to lessening the damaging effect of covid on human health. It explains the whiplash so many people feel when reading about the rise-and-fall of covid cases.

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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jul 30, 2021, 08:30 AM

3. caseloads and cases are a horrible measure -- the data is incomplete

We have ABSOLUTELY NO WAY of knowing how many people have had covid, have Covid right now, have had it multiple times, etc because there is no centralized data stream.

Particularly in places like Ndia and parts of the US, government officials tried to find ways to hide cases. They slowed testing -- because you can't have confirmed cases without testing. They stopped releasing covid numbers. The CDC stopped trying to measure the breakthrough cases.

What we have is a lot of incomplete data that is almost impossible to make sense of.

How many vaccinated people had a mild breakthrough case and attributed it to seasonal allergies or a cold? How many people in states like Iowa, where I live, were certain that they had covid at some point but could not schedule a test because of a lack of insurance or the inability to schedule a time.

One reason that covid is mysterious is that we have not tried to collect all teh data that would help scientists to make sense of it.



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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jul 30, 2021, 09:32 AM

5. When Delta hits Africa it's going to go off like an atomic bomb.

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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jul 30, 2021, 10:13 AM

6. The complete understanding, if ever, of this virus will take years of study, just like all other

complicated scientific problems. I find it amazing that the science was able to produce an apparently quite successful series of vaccinations in the very short period of time. I am quite happy that I have been given a short term solution to avoid a rather nasty death and am willing to sit back and let the experts at the nuts and bolts of the virus.

Science saved us in the short term, now it is time to get off the scientists backs long enough to let the experts get at the scientific process of solving the complete puzzle. We are an impatient species so we tend to invent simple answers to hard questions by fabricating solutions out of thin air and thick bullshit.

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Response to SharonClark (Original post)

Fri Jul 30, 2021, 10:20 AM

7. From past experience, we know that flu type illness don't do well in the hot months.

That is why we call it the "seasonal flu" We may be seeing the same thing with the dropping numbers of cases during the dog days of Summer. I don't know, I am a plumber, not a virologist, but it seems consistent with our current thinking. Then again, it may be explained by some entirely different phenomenon. Perhaps it is just going away, in the words of our idiot evil magician, "just like magic." Lets just protect our selves and wait and see.

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