COVID news and predictions

Omicron variant is spreading, good news, bad news.

From a scientist in Canada :slight_smile:

After more than two years, there is nothing to be said on this pandemic that has not been said.
Echoing what others are saying, the bad news is that this pandemic is becoming endemic: we will need to learn to live with COVID-19.
The good news is that the natural history of viral pandemics is governed by evolutionary principles: to spread their DNA or RNA more, it is advantageous for viruses to mutate to become less lethal and more infectious.
All the latest data seem to indicate that this is starting to happen with the Omicron variant.
For instance, surveillance of COVID-19 proteins in the wastewater in Ottawa is showing 1/3 of the activity seen in April 2021, even though the number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa is 50% higher than the previous record number in mid-April 2021 (see two Figures below).
This suggests that, in a population that is largely vaccinated, there is a substantial change in shedding of Omicron from the gut.
In most vaccinated people, the Omicron virus stays in the nose and throat as a common cold virus would (“le virus d’un rhume”); these people test positive and they can infect others, but without virus in their lungs or gut, they do not develop a pneumonia or diarrhea; they do not get very sick.

2021-12-26 Ontario stats

This does not mean we can ignore COVID-19: if it becomes like the flu (“la grippe”) or the common cold, while most people will not get very sick, a substantial minority (i.e., still a lot of people) will get sick, and many old people (or younger people who are immune-compromised by cancer or other diseases) will die.
Also, even in young healthy people, a benign viral infection can be associated with significant complications.
For instance, benign viral infections can be followed by a permanent loss of sense of smell (and taste), a permanent facial paralysis, or an overreaction of natural immune defenses causing a Guillain-Barre syndrome in about 2 cases per 100,000 infections manifested as a paralysis that can lead to respiratory failure. While most people recover, recovery can take weeks to years; about a third of patients have some permanent weakness and 8% die.

All this to say, that we will need to continue to be vaccinated and to try to limit transmission, without preventing society from functioning, like we have done for the flu and the common cold.
My prediction for 2022: most human beings on earth (and many animals) will eventually be infected by the Omicron (or the next) variant and the pandemic will end, replaced by an endemic infection as happened with the Spanish flu (it stopped killing a massive number of people but it has stayed with us as “the seasonal flu”).

More day to day experience:

My sister has 8 children, and some great children :slight_smile: one has COVID, one is contact case, one was at work in hospital for Xmas.

My brother in law has three sons: one could not come as his daughter 6 years old had caught COVID in school, and one was contact case.

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Yes. It is high time that we find a method that does not kill viruses but neutralizes the ability to trigger virulence in viruses and their mutations without causing natural selection of immune strains.

One possible solution to combat all bacteria and viruses lies in the species-specific chemical languages that allow for bacterial and/or viral “quorum sensing”, the chemical language that triggers concerted virulence.
Human ability to “confound their language”.

IOW it causes the organism’s inability to communicate and trigger mass virulence , without killing them. This form of attacking the communication between organisms does allow for mutation, but renders any mutation unable to acquire virulence also.

To learn more about “quorum sensing” see below scientific efforts to develop artificial chemical “words” that render the organisms unable to communicate.

The use of quorum sensing to improve vaccine immune response

In this study, we produced an ETEC bacterin with the use of quorum sensing (QS), and observed a significant expression of F4 adhesin, and heat-labile toxin (LT) in the cultures when compared to the controls. Mice, and pigs vaccinated with the QS bacterin demonstrated higher antibody titers against these antigens when compared with commercial and control bacterin. Our results suggest that the system might bring promising improvements in ETEC bacterin efficacy.
The use of quorum sensing to improve vaccine immune response - PubMed

Quorum sensing in the immune system


Quorum sensing is the regulation of gene expression programmes in response to changes in population density. It is probably best recognized as a mechanism through which bacterial communities can synchronize behaviours, such as biofilm formation and bioluminescence. This Comment article highlights the emerging evidence suggesting that quorum sensing also contributes to the regulation of immune cell responses.
Quorum sensing in the immune system - PubMed

The secret social lives of viruses

Scientists are listening in on the ways viruses communicate and cooperate. Decoding what the microbes are saying could be a boon to human health.

But when he and his team at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, looked into the contents of their flasks, they saw something completely unexpected: the bacteria were silent, and it was the viruses that were chattering away, passing notes to each other in a molecular language only they could understand. They were deciding together when to lie low in the host cell and when to replicate and burst out, in search of new victims.

It was an accidental discovery that would fundamentally change scientists’ understanding of how viruses behave.
The secret social lives of viruses

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Follow the money. A clue from the Watergate saga. So, why is it that covid cases are treated without charge? Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on medical treatment for individuals, many (most?) of whom refused vaccination. The way we are “fighting” the virus is just a little too odd. As a nation, we aren’t usually this altruistic.

It is considered a National threat and vaccination is a defense against a common enemy.

Strangely enough, for some, if you cannot see the enemy they believe he doesn’t exist. Until they lie in the hospital gasping for air just like any victim of war. Then they believe.

We lost this one and it’s now endemic. We’ll have to live with it for life now.

The reason they can’t and won’t believe in an enemy they can’t see is because they don’t believe an enemy can’t be seen and they don’t want to believe there are microscopic beings waiting to attack us. These little guys take every chance they can to attack us and it’s to their advantage that they can’t be seen without a microscope. It’s very stealth. This plan of attack helps them win.

In France, the government has decided to change the sanitary pass in a vaccination one.

My family members working in hospital are fed up with the unvaccinated.

Found that on the net:

This leads to an increasingly complex set of questions to grapple with, questions with no easy answers. Our lives are all interconnected. Yet when my own health is not at stake to the degree it once was, how do I balance the tension between personal choice and responsibility to others?
Walking through the intensive care unit on one recent afternoon, I took in a familiar sight — half a dozen patients intubated and sedated and alone, most lying on their stomachs. One of the nurses exited a room, quickly removing her N95 and donning a surgical mask in what is by now a well-practiced choreography. “They’re all unvaccinated,” she said, and when I felt momentarily reassured by this fact — maybe I was safe after all — I wondered whether perhaps one of the greatest risks of whatever surge comes next will be compassion fatigue, the dwindling ability to feel empathy for the unvaccinated.
Down the hall, a colleague called me over. A patient I had cared for one night some weeks ago, a mother in her 30s with the coronavirus and severe respiratory failure, was finally being discharged to a long-term acute care hospital. I peered in behind the curtain. She was awake, profoundly weak, but alive.
Earlier that day, my colleague had explained to her what had happened during her long hospital stay and what might come next in rehab. Then he paused and shifted his tone, telling his patient that she should let go of whatever guilt or shame she might be carrying over not getting vaccinated. She had made a mistake, but what is a hospital if not a place where we care without judgment for the many consequences of human fallibility? She started to cry. And then she asked him if she could get the shot. She received her first dose shortly after.
When my I.C.U. colleagues and I talk about our patients on rounds, we distill them into one line that includes their name, age and pertinent medical history. These days, we often include vaccination status. “A 40-year-old unvaccinated man with severe Covid pneumonia.”
I wonder about this, about what impact it has. Though framing a patient as vaccinated or unvaccinated doesn’t change the ventilator settings or the medications we give, I worry about the insidious effect of the frustration that we feel and how we balance that real and understandable anger with empathy. And if our units fill with coronavirus patients once again, further stretching a health care system that is on the edge with severe staffing shortages, it will become even harder to navigate that tension.
What will victory over this virus look like? I used to think that I would care for one final coronavirus patient, but I realize now that is not the case. This virus will become endemic, as some viruses do, and when each winter comes, I will see a few patients with Covid-19 who are sick enough to wind up in the intensive care unit, the unvaccinated or the immune-compromised or the unlucky. We will care for them using the protocols that we have honed over the past two years. No one will react with panic or fear or anger; it will be expected, as it is with influenza or a host of other respiratory viruses.
That is not where we are yet. But we will get there”.

[Opinion | Amid Omicron There’s Still Hope, an I.C.U. Doctor Says - The New York Times]

So is my family. I don’t want medical personnel who are not vaccinated to treat me if I need medical care, but if you were to ask them if they are vaccinated, they’d lie their butts off and still treat you unvaccinated.

Where did you get this info?
I did a quick google, and a lot come up saying covid care/treatments will be going up in cost… implying, it’s not free.

Vaccines are free
Testing is free
And I read somewhere that the new “treatment pills” are to be free, but the overall care / hospital stays are not.

My empathy started waning for the unvaxed when they were wearing MAGA hats back in 2017. Same with the mask-holes that were traipsing around in 2020

  • of course with the exceptions for those who have medical reasons to not vax.

In France most of costs are taken in charge by the welfare system, and the insurance funds.

Tests are totally free, except for the unvaccinated.

In the US both tests and vaccines are free. This is a National Emergency and no one is expected to occur additional cost in combating the enemy.

Walk-in vaccinations are free. Why people want to be tested is a mystery . Does that mean if they test clear they won’t get the vaccine? That is just plain stupid.

If you haven’t been vaccinated, get vaccinated and be safe . It’s no good getting vaccinated when on a ventilator. Then it is too late.

. In France, vaccines are totally free also

We get tested when we have been in contact with COVID infested people, or as a safety precaution, for instance before a family meeting.

Vaccin does not protect you 100 %, especially against omicron. My mother is tri vaccinated, but she is 93 years old !

[Latest on Omicron Variant and COVID-19 Vaccine Protection – NIH Director's Blog]

Smart girl!

I have been doubly vaccinated and am in my waiting period for the booster. Next week will be 6 months required for Moderna.

More than 20% of the population in France is unvaccinated and govt refuses to lockdown while conceding that this is best to stop the spread. Worrying trend is the increase in children attending hopital

French government is betting. He is worried about the economy and worried about the budget as firms which cannot work are subsided.

The risk is that he lockdowns us too late. On the other side, this summer the COVID was kept under control without any harsh decisions.

Any way, the idea is to make the life of unvaccinated people impossible.

The thing is, so many people will be sick that the economy will be affected too.

First lockdown in march 2020 was three weeks to late. There were no lockdown this summer and the government was right.

With around 180 000 new cases yesterday, France is second country in the world behind USA. With 290 deaths, France is sixth country, USA being the first.

One matter is that since the beginning, the French government has told lies.

For instance, as no masks were available, ministers came on TV telling us that wearing them was useless, difficult and sometimes dangerous. 3 days before announcing the first lockdown, our president went to a theater performance, in front of medias, claiming that we should go on living as there would be no lockdown.

And Mriana is right, for economy, the short time gain is more than compensated by middle term losses.

Police in southern China paraded four suspects through the streets for allegedly smuggling people across sealed borders in breach of pandemic control measures – a controversial act of public shaming that triggered backlash on Chinese social media.

On Tuesday, four people wearing hazmat suits, face masks and goggles were paraded in Jingxi city, Guangxi province – each carrying placards showing their names and photos on their chest and back, according to videos shared on social media and republished by state media outlets.

If this were NK, it would have been followed with a public execution by an inventive means.

China is taking things far, it seems.

That they are. Hazmat suits and Omnicron?

Biden has just said that the US is far better off than it was in March 2020. An incredible statement! Since then, 800,000 Americans have died of Covid and approximately 1500 people are dying every day of the disease.

So what does Biden mean when he poses the question: "Are we going back to March 2020 — not this last March 2021, but March 2020 — when the pandemic first hit? " And then replies defiantly: "The answer is absolutely no.

What is so significant about March 2020? Answer: That was the month the stock market crashed, as workers shut down unsafe facilities and the government was forced to implement basic public health measures in response to the pandemic. The DJIA fell to 18,000.

But after passing the CARES Act to bail out Wall Street with billions, the market began its frenzied rise (now over 35,000) as the gov’t and media campaigned to “reopen” the economy and schools, ignoring the massive loss of life.

So when Biden proclaims that “we” are not “going back to March 2020,” he is reassuring Wall Street that the massive wealth accumulated by the pandemic profiteers will be protected. It is gov’t of, for and by the corporate-financial oligarchy.