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Sunday, March 01, 2020

US-based pro sports leagues monitoring coronavirus outbreak

By request:

Major North American professional sports leagues are talking to health officials and informing teams about the coronavirus outbreak that has led to the first reported death in the U.S.

Officials from the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball say they are all consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations on a regular basis about COVID-19. Washington State reported Saturday that a man in his 50s died from the virus.

There are no immediate plans to cancel or postpone games or have them held in empty stadiums or arenas. Some of those contingencies have been taken in other countries, including Italy, where soccer matches were postponed until May.

Pro sports in the U.S. for now are going on as scheduled, though leagues are closely monitoring the situation. The NBA and NHL are in their regular seasons and MLB in spring training in Arizona and Florida with Opening Day less than a month way.

 

QLE Posted: March 01, 2020 at 12:56 AM | 8016 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus

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   4501. Eddo Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:15 AM (#5937206)
The IMHE is not modeling R0 from number infected but from number dead. They are saying (for their model, anyway), the results are the same if 1000 people have it and 300 are symptomatic, 50 need hospitalization, and 10 die, as it is if 200 people have it, 100 are symptomatic, 50 need hospitalization and 10 die. In effect, they are modeling R0 from deaths not from number of people infected.

I don't see how that can be true, though. Taken to its extreme, let's say 99% of people already had it (which means 99% of them were asymptomatic). There would be a hard cap on how many more could get infected an die.

I don't see how you can have a model that doesn't account for emerging herd immunity.

Ultimately it is not the same of course, as you note, but for the model it is the same. Also, Karsten (and others) have been trying to tell us that the lower the mortality rate due to under-ascertainment (i.e., insufficient testing), the better for the death rate. The lower mortality would actually be a negative (not a positive), because it would be harder to stamp the disease out totally.

Definitionally, if more people have had it, but not died, it is better for the death rate.

But no one is really trying to stamp the disease out totally, right? At least not in the next 1-2 years? Working towards herd immunity - not in a "get it over with" way like the UK and Sweden intended - has to be part of the end game, and for that, the denominator question matters hugely.

Maybe we're talking cross-purposes, but I can't see how more people having had it already is a bad thing (given that no miracle vaccine is coming up in the next few months). Everyone who has already had it and survived is literally someone who cannot die from it.

   4502. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:21 AM (#5937207)
And, um, do we all have an ear wax problem?


Yes.

They sell ear wax drops that, for me, work really well. Thick drops with a peroxy carbamate. Put the drops in, lay on your side for a few minutes, then flush with warm water using the bulb in the kit. Works like a charm.


I do the same. I have to do that treatment about every 2 months.
   4503. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:22 AM (#5937209)
I don't see how you can have a model that doesn't account for emerging herd immunity.
the IHME model doesn't. It effectively assumes the disease will be stamped out totally.

The only way mortality rate is going to make a big difference is if we get to a point where herd immunity starts becoming a factor. None of these models that predict 100,000 to 200,000 deaths come anywhere close to that point.

While mortality rate could be lower than expected, it can't be that much lower. We've already had close to 0.5% of the entire population of Bergamo die, so it's hard to get a mortality rate of less than 0.5% or so. If that holds, and you need 70% of the population for herd immunity, yo are talking at least 1 million dead in the US. The models we have so far all assume we stamp out the virus well before herd immunity becomes a factor.

Stamping out the disease could happen--but if it does the "denominator problem" is essentially irrelevant.
   4504. Eddo Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:24 AM (#5937210)
If ultimately herd immunity will be a big factor, the IHME model is essentially useless, because it assumes that only around 3% of the population will ever get infected. Herd immunity will take more than 20 times that.

LENGTH OF THE EPIDEMIC
Why do your estimates only go until July? Does that mean the outbreak will be over then?

Our model says that social distancing will likely lead to the end of the first wave of the epidemic by early June. The question of whether there will be a second wave of the epidemic will depend on what we do to avoid reintroducing COVID-19 into the population. By end the of the first wave of the epidemic, an estimated 97% of the population of the United States will still be susceptible to the disease, so avoiding reintroduction of COVID-19 through mass screening, contact tracing, and quarantine will be essential to avoid a second wave.

If the death rate reaches zero - i.e. the disease has been stamped out - where does this second wave come from?

Also, the percentage of the population that gets it is really dependent on figuring out the denominator (because quite literally, it is the denominator). So I don't see how having a better figure for the denominator wouldn't make the model better.

Fair enough regarding herd immunity, though. I think my mental model was off my an order of magnitude, in terms of what percentage of the population had it in places like Italy and Spain.

EDIT: Also saw your 4503. I guess I'm not really disagreeing with anything specifically you're saying, just questioning the model.

Regardless, my overall point in reading and sharing Kasten is to actually try to make this all less gloom-and-doom for people. It's been very helpful for me to read her posts, because again, the denominator absolutely does matter when you're thinking "oh no, what if someone I know gets it?" If there are far more non-serious cases - or if people you know have already had it without realizing - that is reassuring.
   4505. . Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:34 AM (#5937212)
The IMHE is not modeling R0 from number infected but from number dead.


Then it's essentially worthless. I suppose if one puts positive value on wild guesses, it has that positive value.

EDIT:
I don't see how that can be true, though. Taken to its extreme, let's say 99% of people already had it (which means 99% of them were asymptomatic). There would be a hard cap on how many more could get infected an die.


Yes, exactly. Double Coke in arrears.
   4506. Ron J Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:34 AM (#5937213)
#4501 based on what I can see (not currently moved to dig deeper) the IMHE is doing what you can with the single best piece of available data -- absolute number of deaths. And yes, given reporting issues it's not great.

Still, it looks to me to be a valid if noisy method.

And given the lack of good testing I'm dubious as to whether adding in the other factors increases the precision of the model.

If you want a baseball analogy I'm thinking it's like trying to model team runs scored with the only known piece of data being doubles.
   4507. Howie Menckel Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:36 AM (#5937214)
have had the occasional ear wax issue.

do NOT use a Q-tip. they were NEVER designed for that use, in spite of the rampant misconception, and they tend to do way more harm than good.

the "kit" at the pharmacy works just fine.
   4508. bunyon Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:45 AM (#5937219)
I do the same. I have to do that treatment about every 2 months.

Yeah, over time, I've learned to be very proactive about this. A couple of weeks ago I thought I was having a stroke. Nope, just golf ball sized ear wax in the left ear.



   4509. Tony S Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:48 AM (#5937221)
Thanks to all the suggestions. I have some peroxide, so I'm trying that. I'll also get the pharmacy kit and see if that helps.

I guess if nothing works I can book an appointment with an ENT, which is probably "safer" than a primary caregiver's office these days.
   4510. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:54 AM (#5937222)
The vast majority of the population is not infected now, and will continue to not be infected so long as the lockdowns are in place. Afterwards, what will happen is very uncertain. Will everywhere be able to do what South Korea and Singapore appear to be doing, and what China may be doing? keeping new infections at a very low rate for the next year or two until there is a vaccine? Or will the relatively small remaining number of infections in the community become a fairly immediate problem again as soon as the lockdowns are relaxed? We'll see. The IHME model doesn't model past the point where lockdowns are over, so is no use at all in modeling what comes next.

We know the vast majority of the community in any place in the US is not infected, because we can just count the number of people actually dead in the worst hit areas of the world, and the percentage is far, far higher than in places like NYC as a whole, let alone the rest of the country.
   4511. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:12 AM (#5937227)
Tony I sometimes have the same problem. Pull your ear back to straighten the ear canal and rinse out with warm water while you’re in the shower. Then if you want, carefully use a q-tip to clear away some of the softened wax. Be careful with the q-tip (I know doctors will tell you not to do this at all, but I think everyone does). Will probably take more than one iteration to work, if it does work at all. Hydrogen peroxide can also work in lieu of warm water.

Stop being a dumbass and using q-tips. They just compact it further. But also don't be a baby about putting things in your ear. Get some actual curettes / ear picks. e.g. something like this.

I particularly recommend the ones with the ribbed ends for a deep clean. But if you have a lot of buildup, you will want to use a scoop to get the majority out first, so you don't end up pushing wax deeper into your ear.
   4512. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:15 AM (#5937228)
Not that it's enough, but the NHS reports over 4000 ICU beds available (per their January 2020 update), not less than 1000.


Agreed - the only thing I can think of is that the IMHE is assuming a certain capacity utilisation that can't be flexed. Which a) is wrong; the NHS along with other health services is re-prioritising to be maximally prepared, and b) ignores additional capacity build-out over the last couple of months. It may be a straightforward way of modelling, but it doesn't seem likely to match the facts on the ground.

They're the experts so I'll tend to defer to their work. But if the model is a very abstract way of describing the real world, individual national outcomes seem prone to wild swings in accuracy.

EDIT: In fact, just after I wrote that, the Guardian liveblog published a write-in comment in its main news feed arguing basically the same thing 30 minutes ago. (Also apparently the IMHE couldn't get an 'invasive ventilator' count for the UK so just set it at zero . . .) My faith in their precision is certainly not absolute.
   4513. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5937234)
Thanks to all the suggestions. I have some peroxide, so I'm trying that. I'll also get the pharmacy kit and see if that helps.
Be warned about the pharmacy kit!

I tried one of those kits, and I don't know exactly what happened, but it was like the drops bonded with the existing wax buildup and essentially formed a manhole cover in my eardrum, so I couldn't hear at all. I freaked out and went to an urgent care place, and it took them more than an hour's worth of flushing with their special solution before they were finally able to extract the blockage with their instrument. I caveat this with the fact that I had some *serious* wax buildup over the course of probably decades - what they pulled out was about the size of my pinkie.
   4514. BrianBrianson Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5937241)
And, um, do we all have an ear wax problem?


Well, not anymore. But as a child it clogged my ears to the extent I once had surgery to release fluid that had been accumulating behind my ear drums. I think until I was nine or ten once or twice a week I'd fill each ear with baby oil, let it sit for a minute or two, then drain it, to keep it clog-free (one ear at a time obviously, using gravity to keep the oil in).
   4515. Lassus Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5937244)
I have been using q-tips to clean wax out of my ears for over 30 years, easy. I have not gone deaf, become psychotic, or died.
   4516. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5937245)
They sell ear wax drops that, for me, work really well. Thick drops with a peroxy carbamate. Put the drops in, lay on your side for a few minutes, then flush with warm water using the bulb in the kit. Works like a charm
Every time I've tried this the wax ended up forming a hard seal on my eardrum, and I was functionally deaf in the ear until an ENT doc cleaned it out. This might be just me.
   4517. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:54 AM (#5937246)
If you're lucky, your significant other will help flush your ear wax. True love.
   4518. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5937247)
Every time I've tried this the wax ended up forming a hard seal on my eardrum, and I was functionally deaf in the ear until an ENT doc cleaned it out. This might be just me.
Jeez, does anyone even read my posts??
   4519. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:59 AM (#5937249)
Apparently not!
   4520. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:15 AM (#5937254)
I am thinking we're going to need a OT: Ear Wax thread soon.
   4521. bunyon Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5937256)
Yeah, the kit is designed for routine wax removal, not major surgery. I, too, had a decade or more worth of wax removed by a pro once who turned me on to the kit and pointed out I should maybe take care of it myself. I waited a year and the kit nearly failed. By increasing how often I use it, it works much better. If you're to the late stage, get a pro to clear them out and then get a kit and use it every couple of months.

   4522. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5937258)
Whether the specialty formula or peroxide, when it's still moist use the bulb syringe to clear the ear out; that's been key for me.
   4523. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:36 AM (#5937260)
Stop being a dumbass and using q-tips. They just compact it further. But also don't be a baby about putting things in your ear. Get some actual curettes / ear picks. e.g. something like this.

I particularly recommend the ones with the ribbed ends for a deep clean. But if you have a lot of buildup, you will want to use a scoop to get the majority out first, so you don't end up pushing wax deeper into your ear.


I second this recommendation. Just make sure you don't misplace them, like ... uh ... someone I know.
   4524. JL72 Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5937262)
I have not gone deaf, become psychotic, or died.


Two out of three ain't bad.
   4525. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:38 AM (#5937263)
The closest I've ever come to fainting, if memory serves, is when I went to the doctor's office about 35 years ago because for weeks one of my ears just would not unstop after I showered. She wound up finding some sort of bug who'd crawled up into the ear canal & died. No particular pain, but the knowledge that she was digging around was extremely unsettling.
   4526. Howie Menckel Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:52 AM (#5937267)
I caveat this with the fact that I had some *serious* wax buildup over the course of probably decades - what they pulled out was about the size of my pinkie.

I don't know why I'm laughing - but living in this region these days, I'm glad I did.

the only major ear issue I had was about 20 years ago. no pain (that's a topic for another day!), but couldn't hear.

the ENT takes a look, then grabs a tool. it looked like a magic act - she just kept pulling out an endlessly long thread of - I guess it was ear wax.

or I slept with the wrong amateur magician a few days earlier.

had to be one or the other.
   4527. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5937269)
or I slept with the wrong amateur magician a few days earlier.
Is there ever a right amateur magician to sleep with?
   4528. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5937271)

I had the same problem with the store kit/bulb as Billy Ripken and Fernigal. However I recall that I tried the store kit after I already had that "water in your ear" sensation, and probably had decades of accumulated wax in there. I went to an ENT who used a scoop to remove most of it and it was pretty astounding in volume. Since then I try to be more proactive in cleaning them out regularly. I've just used Q-tips but I might try one of those other implements linked to in #4511. Bad hearing is probably among the top 3 frustrations in my daily life so I'm willing to try new things if they might help it.
   4529. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5937272)
I have used the store kit several times and found it very effective. Also, I have come to enjoy the "snap crackle and pop" sensation inside your ear as the solution breaks down the wax.

At least I think that's what's happening in there? Hope I'm not doing it wrong!
   4530. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5937274)
When I was a kid, maybe 15, I started digging into my right ear with a pencil (note: not particularly recommended) one night because I'd been feeling something in there for quite awhile. Turns out it was a wad of cotton that had been there for god only knows how long; when I was younger I was prone to earaches.

It would appear that at least through my mid-20s, my ears -- more precisely the right one, if memory serves -- were my Achilles heel, which would make for a rather unusual physique.
   4531. Howie Menckel Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5937275)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/20/we-have-a-q-tips-problem/

"Q-tips are one of the most perplexing things for sale in America. Plenty of consumer products are widely used in ways other than their core function — books for leveling tables, newspapers for keeping fires aflame, seltzer for removing stains, coffee tables for resting legs — but these cotton swabs are distinct. Q-tips are one of the only, if not the only, major consumer products whose main purpose is precisely the one the manufacturer explicitly warns against.

The little padded sticks have long been marketed as household staples, pitched for various kinds of beauty upkeep, arts and crafts, home-cleaning, and baby care. And, for years, they have carried an explicit caution — every box of Q-tips comes with this caveat: "Do not insert inside the ear canal." But everyone — especially those who look into people's ears for a living — know that many, if not most, flat out ignore the warning."

"It wasn't until sometime in the 1970s that boxes began to caution against sticking the things inside of ears. A vintage box from shortly after the new labeling practices (available for purchase on Ebay) says "for adult ear care" on the front. But the box also sports directions on the back advising against using them inside of the ear canal."

"In 1980, a commercial for the brand featured Betty White, who encouraged people to use them on eyebrows, lips, and ears. "This is a Q-tips cotton swab," she said. "They call it safe swab.""

"In 1990, a piece published in The Washington Post joked that telling people to use the swabs on "the outer surfaces of the ear without entering the ear canal," as Q-tips packages do, was akin to asking smokers to dangle cigarettes from their lips without ever lighting them."
   4532. base ball chick Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5937277)
my dudes

NEVER use an ear curette - you can poke a hole in your eardrum or push the wax against it

to get rid of the waX - lie on one side and pour peroxide in the ear that is up. leave it be for 10 minutes, then turn and do the other side just like that. then go in the shower and tilt your head so that the shower water goes in your ear and that will help rinse it out. you can try the blue bulb booger sucker you use to clean babies noses, but it doesn't work as well. if you have a giant hard plug and it kind of comes to the edge of your ear canal, get your partner to pull it out with tweezers. if it still won't come out, repeat the peroxide.

it may take several tries or even several days to get it all out.

being a mom has its points
   4533. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5937282)
A co-worker of mine swears by an ear candle. I blame the influence of his wife, who swears by nature cures & other such crap.
   4534. Howie Menckel Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:32 PM (#5937285)
sorry for going off-topic, but I found it VERY encouraging that NY Gov Cuomo said today of NY, NJ, and CT - "when we come back, we come back together."

meaning, at some point more people will be going back to work.

the "Ground Zero" of COVID-19 is very much focused on NYC and its suburbs of Westchester, Long Island, Bergen NJ and other North Jersey counties, and Fairfield CT. so they need to coordinate longterm plans.

Cuomo said it could be certified immune (had virus, done that) and/or young people going back first. older people may not get a quick "go ahead" signal.

NYC had another record death toll today - but hospitalizations are declining. the seriously ailing will continue to raise death totals this week and maybe next so it doesn't look good. but we're getting there.
   4535. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5937288)
The closest I've ever come to fainting, if memory serves, is when I went to the doctor's office about 35 years ago because for weeks one of my ears just would not unstop after I showered. She wound up finding some sort of bug who'd crawled up into the ear canal & died.


You still ended up better than Captain Terell, just don't get your Ceti Alphas mixed up next time.
   4536. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5937290)
It's going to be interesting. A number of countries, including Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK, essentially said upfront that efforts to fight the coronavirus were ultimately doomed to result in herd immunity, it was just a matter of how long that takes. (They've all walked that back a a bit of course.) We are now telling ourselves in the US that they were not just wrong, but way wrong, and that we can reduce deaths to 10% or less of what herd immunity would require, just by taking several weeks worth of our lumps now. If we are right, that sure looks like a bad gamble by these other countries.
   4537. PreservedFish Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:02 PM (#5937297)
A good Q-tipping of the ear canal is one of the best feelings in the world. You'll never make me stop!
   4538. Ron J Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5937298)
#4536 The way the reported deaths skew in Sweden it looks kind of like they went with the approach advocated by Dan Patrick.

Politely, grandpa can take his chances.
   4539. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5937302)
+604 in Italy, so consistent with a gradual return to manageable levels. +282 in Lombardy (same). Likely two more days until (officially) .1% of the population there has died. Actual mortality rate of entire population is probably around 0.2% or more.

18% positive out of 4300 new tests in Lombardy. Lombardy petty much only tested the worst cases, but even then, at the height of the peak, they never got much above 50% positive. That highly implies significantly less than 50% were ever infected, which additionally means that the mortality rate can't really have been less than 0.5% there. Possibly far higher, of course, since more realistic estimates have Lombardy at 25% or less ever infected.

edit: and that 20k estimate by UK is looking to have been a little on the optimistic side. They could still get down to 20k or less at the end of this first wave, maybe, but if so it will be really tight.

   4540. . Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:32 PM (#5937304)
Politely, grandpa can take his chances.


Grandpa takes his chances every winter with the flu. Nor has the social distancing necessarily reduced grandpa's net exposures particularly all that much given the far closer and far more elongated family contacts we have now, particularly in multi-generational dwellings and particularly given the school closings. A lot of grandmas and grandpas would have been better off with status quo; the ones who had to de facto take over child care duties with closed schools being first in line.

We really don't know the impact social distancing has had on this. We have guesswork and no more. (*) Historians will be poring over hospital and other archives 50 and 100 years from now, and finding new things.

The difference between my age and Boris Johnson's is immaterial, so I'm not talking my book in the least here. If I had it in late December -- and it's quite likely I did; virtually every sign points to it, particularly the staged advance and the massive dry cough -- I'm very lucky I wound up where I did. And if I didn't, I'm in an at-risk group. Not the highest risk to be sure, but I'm unfortunately not 25 anymore.

(*) The idea that social distancing could definitively or anything close to definitively cut a proper model from 500,000 to 20,000 deaths, as claimed by Ferguson, is laughably preposterous. Credibility sapping. There is no "science" to depend on (**), no "experts" to rely on. It's going to be a political, moodish decision based on our best shot at risk/reward, biased toward safety. That's the best that can be done. Which is fine -- no one elected Fauci and no one elected Ferguson.

(**) Beyond the science of the disease itself, and the possible vaccines, tests, and the like, which we can be confident is being handled by thousands of first-rate minds.
   4541. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5937305)
Kind of astonishing after all this to pretend that lockdowns don't work in the short run.

If they don't accomplish anything in the long run, then many more Americans will die.
   4542. Ron J Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5937307)
   4543. . Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:46 PM (#5937311)
Kind of astonishing after all this to pretend that lockdowns don't work in the short run.


I'm not "pretending" anything. When there is reasoned proof that the lockdown has net-net worked, I will conclude that it net-net worked. We're nowhere near that point yet. It may never come. It might. There's reason to reasonably intuit that it's helped, nothing more. If that's enough for you, great. In reality, it's easy to envision a material change in our understanding of this event coming online 20 or 30 years from now.

If they don't accomplish anything in the long run, then many more Americans will die.


Where were you in the 2017-18 flu season when the delta above basecase was 30,000 US deaths by itself? See, that's the thing -- I don't recall any concern over the thousands of grandpas and parents of middle aged people that were dying then. Was there a BTF "flu season" thread then? If so, I must have missed it.
   4544. Tin Angel Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5937314)
Grandpa takes his chances every winter with the flu.


Where were you in the 2017-18 flu season when the delta above basecase was 30,000 US deaths by itself?


Just remember everyone, SBB has never compared the coronavirus to the flu. He defies you to provide one example in this entire thread where he has said anything like this. Most likely you just have poor reading comprehension.
   4545. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:57 PM (#5937317)
Wow, wow, wow. I blame your tribal mentality.
   4546. . Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:06 PM (#5937320)
SBB has never compared the coronavirus to the flu.


Still haven't.

Wow, wow, wow. I blame your tribal mentality.


Well, the one thing we know is that the tribe was nowhere to be found during the various flu seasons, including the one a mere two years ago that killed 60,000 people. That's a lot of grandpas and grandmas. They probably could have used you.
   4547. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:17 PM (#5937324)
According to the CDC, the highest week reported in 2017-2018 for the flu was 1600+ deaths. We might get that many reported for coronavirus in the US for today alone.

So how does the CDC get from 15,000 reported to 60,000 estimated in 2017-2018 season? By counting excess deaths, mainly. If you do that for coronavirus, you might need to at least double the numbers we are seeing so far, including the effect of lockdowns and social distancing.

Why are we comparing this with the flu again? Did the flu ever kill 0.5% of Lombardy? Not a chance.
   4548. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:20 PM (#5937328)
Why are we comparing this with the flu again?
”We” aren’t. “We” is plural.
   4549. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5937329)

Grandpa takes his chances every winter with the flu.

Much better chances.

Nor has the social distancing necessarily reduced grandpa's net exposures particularly all that much given the far closer and far more elongated family contacts we have now, particularly in multi-generational dwellings and particularly given the school closings.

What does this even mean?

A lot of grandmas and grandpas would have been better off with status quo; the ones who had to de facto take over child care duties with closed schools being first in line.

To take a page out of your book, there's simply no way you could make a statement like that yet. Where's your "reasoned proof"?
   4550. Karl from NY Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5937330)
I get ear wax buildup too. I use hydrogen peroxide. I tried a store kit for carbamide peroxide, which hardly seems to do anything, but hydrogen peroxide seems to melt it quite a bit, followed by a shower with warm water to wash it out.

Don't use a Q-tip. It can't do anything about hard impacted wax. Anything you pull out with it was soft and loose and already wasn't a problem.
   4551. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:29 PM (#5937331)
A number of countries, including Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK, essentially said upfront that efforts to fight the coronavirus were ultimately doomed to result in herd immunity, it was just a matter of how long that takes. (They've all walked that back a a bit of course.) We are now telling ourselves in the US that they were not just wrong, but way wrong, and that we can reduce deaths to 10% or less of what herd immunity would require, just by taking several weeks worth of our lumps now. If we are right, that sure looks like a bad gamble by these other countries.

ISTM the gamble wasn't so much about the futility of lockdowns, as it was that the mortality rate of CV in the west was closer to the flu than to CV in Wuhan. I think the UK came out and said as much when they abandoned their path.
   4552. Zonk Wants Justice for Carolyn Gombell Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:32 PM (#5937334)
”We” aren’t. “We” is plural.


Some people are daft, they contain ineptitude....

- Walt Whitman
   4553. Ron J Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5937335)
#4549, not that facts matter with SBB, but Sweden was the nation under discussion. They in fact have tried the status quo. They have higher death rates than their neighbors. Heavily concentrated in the elderly.

Not of course that death rates are all that matters. But higher death rates mean a predictable increase in people requiring ICU care. And those don't skew elderly to nearly the same degree. And this has all sorts of knock on effects.
   4554. base ball chick Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5937336)
grandpa and grandma do NOT take their chances with the flu every year because they ALWAYS get the yearly FLU SHOT so they don't die of it like daddy's cousin did
   4555. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:37 PM (#5937337)
Kind of astonishing after all this to pretend that lockdowns don't work in the short run.


I expect to hear just such claims in the coming campaign, if fact that our refusal of lockdowns proves it.
   4556. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5937338)

grandpa and grandma do NOT take their chances with the flu every year because they ALWAYS get the yearly FLU SHOT so they don't die of it like daddy's cousin did

Yes, my parents (my niece's grandparents) get their flu shots every year as well.
   4557. baxter Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:43 PM (#5937340)
Should it be compared to the flu of 1918?

That is the apt comparison, isn't it? .5% would be 1.5 million people in the US dying from COvid.

Does the fact that so many people died in '18 reflect a herd immunity today?

I apologize if Q's sound basic or have already been answered.

Also the Atlantic article quoting epidemiologist Jefferson makes a good case for the worthlessness of flu vaccination.
   4558. Zonk Wants Justice for Carolyn Gombell Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:45 PM (#5937341)
Some grandpas just eat at Chinese restaurants in December to get it before the good hospital beds fill up....
   4559. PreservedFish Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5937343)
Update from Norwegian Air: they're offering me a 20% bonus if I convert my refund into Norwegian Air Bucks. Given the rumors that they will entirely cease their trans-Atlantic flights, if not cease to exist entirely, this isn't a great option. But if I keep waiting for a refund check, it might never come.
   4560. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:03 PM (#5937346)
IHME Model:


But the newest version of the model underscores just how important social distancing continues to be: It assumes that those measures -- such as closing schools and businesses -- will continue until August, and it still predicts tens of thousands of deaths.
While the analysis has been repeatedly cited by Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, the administration's current guidelines only recommend social distancing through April 30.
...
As more data becomes available, those estimates -- like all of the model's projections -- will change. And importantly, they're based on the ongoing assumption that social distancing measures will continue for months, and will be implemented in places that have yet to do so.
According to Murray, the model's maker, the consequences could be dire if social distancing measures are relaxed or ignored: "The US will see greater death tolls, the death peak will be later, the burden on hospitals will be much greater and the economic costs will continue to grow."
   4561. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5937348)
By the way, according to the IHME model:

UK: 66,000 (a bit higher than 20,000 predicted by the UK team, and way off the charts per capita compared to every other real country in their sample)

France: 15,000 (seems to be an underestimate, since over 10,000 are already dead)
Spain: 19,000 (same as above)
Italy: 20,000 (how...? that's practically like no one else dying)
Netherlands: 6,000 (will get them to higher per capita than Spain or Italy)
Belgium: 3,500 (seems a bit low)
Sweden: 4,000 (higher expected per capita than any other real country in the world, except for off the charts UK)

So the model extrapolates a lot from current trajectory, and assumes a pretty fast drop off to nothing. These are questionable assumptions, but the biggest of course is that we will continue with the current lockdowns until August.

edit: my guess is that their assumptions of steep drop off to nothing followed by no more deaths is in large part based on what China was able to do, mostly in Wuhan. Can we get the same results without the same methods? That's a massive assumption.
   4562. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5937350)
A Guardian post I summarised in 4512 does suggest that the IHME methodology is not working with complete data for the UK, and therefore I’d guess for other countries too.
   4563. bobm Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:30 PM (#5937352)
Does the fact that so many people died in '18 reflect a herd immunity today?

No one prior to this pandemic has immunity to this "novel" virus.

It seems the 1918 flu affected old and young differently than this virus does, perhaps in part because of prior exposure of the old to prior similar flus.

A second important point emphasized in Worobey, Han and Rambaut is their explanation of the W curve, the high mortality of young adults. They draw on the concept of ‘HA imprinting’, the idea that are two subgroups of the HA antigen. Persons will have lifelong immunological memory of the subgroup of HA antigens that was produced during the first influenza episode of their life. This in turn generates growing herd immunity against animal infections (avian, swine) from that group. The age curve of the 1918 influenza suggests that those born before the great influenza epidemic of 1889 were exposed to the same HA group of the 1918 flu, and therefore had some immunity to it. But the young men and women born later, the young adults so affected in 1918, had only met the other HA subgroup—in this case H3N8 and hence their immune systems were less effective against the 1918 outbreak. Worobey, Han and Rambaut conclude, ‘We hypothesize that childhood exposure to an H3N8 virus may have made some young adults in 1918 a sort of temporal counterpart to highly vulnerable geographical isolated populations, inducing suboptimal immunity that tilted the odds in favor of secondary infection with the wide range of bacterial pathogens that cause most influenza-related mortality’. [As we shall see later, actual geographical isolation (prior to wartime conditions) may have also played a role [11, 23].


Link
   4564. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:31 PM (#5937353)
I am thinking we're going to need a OT: Ear Wax thread soon.
Make sure it gets a TRIGGER WARNING!
   4565. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5937356)
Also, should go without saying that the IHME model is already wrong at least for Italy, Spain, and France, because when excess deaths are included as of today April 7, these countries' numbers will almost certainly be higher than what the IHME has projected for total deaths for the duration.
   4566. Zonk Wants Justice for Carolyn Gombell Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5937359)
There are conflicting reports about immunity period as it relates to COVID-19.... I'm not a virologist/biologist/etc - but on one hand, you have anecdotal reports of good results using plasma from recovered individuals.

However, on the other - there are scary reports that docs and researchers are not seeing the "leftovers" one would expect from those who recover; the telltale markers that usually come with such.

Beyond that, there are also reports RE-infection and second waves that re-hit those who recover.

IOW, I don't think anyone really knows anything with any kind of certainty regarding individual OR "herd" immunity.

This doesn't seem like it would be surprising - we're talking about a virus only discovered a few months ago.... I don't know anything about the field -- except that it probably takes a lot of time and study to truly unravel and understand.
   4567. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:53 PM (#5937363)
If recovered people don't become immune at least to a degree or for a period of time then we're talking about what? The end of civilization?

All the evidence suggests that the vast majority of people who recover will have antibodies for at least a couple years.
   4568. Srul Itza Posted: April 07, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5937365)
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has submitted a letter of resignation to Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Story

First he fires him.

Then he flies to the ship to excoriate him, or the crew, or both, for cheering him as he left.

Then he apologized for the performance, possibly under pressure from the Secretary of Defense

Then he resigned.

Any other time, this would be a story. At this time, it is just business as usual. Nothing to see here. Just move along.
   4569. Karl from NY Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5937368)
If recovered people don't become immune at least to a degree or for a period of time then we're talking about what? The end of civilization?

Well, yes. But obviously there is some period of time. Once antibodies clear the virus, they don't disappear instantly. But we really don't know if that's on the order of days or years or permanent, or what the shape of the distribution curve looks like (high variance per person, or long tail, etc.) At any rate, the way out of the whole situation is a vaccine that can be reapplied at intervals shorter than the average antibody persistence period, whatever that period turns out to be.
   4570. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5937369)
If recovered people don't become immune at least to a degree or for a period of time then we're talking about what? The end of civilization?
Wouldn’t that depend on whether being reinfected was common, or just a strange occurrence affecting a few people? The other mystery I wonder about is the more than 50% of virus carriers who are asymptomatic. Would be helpful if they could figure out whether certain types of exposures cause more severe cases, or there is something about the individuals.
   4571. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:07 PM (#5937370)

So how does the CDC get from 15,000 reported to 60,000 estimated in 2017-2018 season? By counting excess deaths, mainly.

Yes, it should be noted that the CDC numbers are estimates, and include estimates of the number of people who were reported to have died of other causes like heart disease but for which influenza was a contributing factor. The current 95% range is 46,000-95,000 (it should be noted that they will continue to refine these estimates as additional data comes in; it takes up to 2 years for them to collect all the various raw data).

To AuntBea's point, 61,000 deaths over a flu season (assuming a flu season is Oct-May, even though people do die from the flu throughout the entire year) implies ~250 deaths per day nationwide. Only ~16,000 deaths were actually reported to be due to the flu, including a weekly peak of 1,626, or 232 per day.* At its peak, that was about 150 incremental deaths nationwide per day vs. a "normal" recent flu season.** In NYC alone, we've been averaging 200-250 reported COVID19 deaths per day over the past week or so. The actual number is likely higher based on the numbers Mark Levine cited for people dying in their homes.

If you include all the unreported, estimated flu deaths, then the peak nationwide in 2017-2018 would have been about 1,000 per day, or about 600 incremental vs. a "normal" flu season. In the U.S., over 1,400 people have died of COVID19 *today*.

So yeah, let's compare COVID19 and the flu. I think it's pretty clear why reactions have been different.


* The peak, which I'm arbitrarily defining as weeks with >1,000 reported flu deaths, lasted 7 weeks.

** I believe 61,000 was closer to "normal" levels if you go back more than a decade, based on another study I looked at a few weeks ago -- a lot of progress has been made in combating the flu over the past decade, whether due to increased adoption or efficacy of flu shots, better health care in general, or all of the above. This may be another reason why most people did not necessarily perceive 2017-2018 as unusual.
   4572. Srul Itza Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5937371)
If recovered people don't become immune at least to a degree or for a period of time then we're talking about what? The end of civilization?


What about the people who get it, but are asymptomatic, or have only very mild symptoms? Is anyone looking into what (if anything) distinguishes them, and if they have any antibodies after it "clears" their system?
   4573. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5937373)
IHME's updates were based on places where peak deaths had been hit, but Tuscany looks shaky in that regard. The provincial government site, which I saw last night and can't find now was saying that the peak number of daily deaths had been reached again.

That seems consistent with the national rating. IHME predicts 336 total deaths as of 7 April national government reports total deaths of 369 for Tuscany.
   4574. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5937374)
It's going to be a cruel, cruel summer.

Never underestimate the wisdom of Bananarama.
   4575. Zonk Wants Justice for Carolyn Gombell Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5937375)
What about the people who get it, but are asymptomatic, or have only very mild symptoms? Is anyone looking into what (if anything) distinguishes them, and if they have any antibodies after it "clears" their system?


Lack of testing, man...

Until we can literally test anyone and everyone and start to aggregate good data - I suspect the problem is that we simply don't know.
   4576. Tony S Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5937379)

Looks like New Zealand has its act together.

The country does have the built-in advantage of remoteness, but it's an impressive record nonetheless.
   4577. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:28 PM (#5937380)
What about the people who get it, but are asymptomatic, or have only very mild symptoms? Is anyone looking into what (if anything) distinguishes them, and if they have any antibodies after it "clears" their system?
We don't have a working antibody test yet. Well, supposedly one was okayed yesterday, but I'm not sure if it actually works and it certainly hasn't been distributed. When we have a working one and can test a ton of people with it we'll have a much better understanding of total spread, asymptomatic cases, and so on. That will be a while.
   4578. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 07, 2020 at 04:31 PM (#5937383)
a lot of progress has been made in combating the flu over the past decade, whether due to increased adoption or efficacy of flu shots, better health care in general, or all of the above.

But wait, I thought nobody cared about all the people who die of the flu or try to prevent people from dying of the flu, they only do that for much more lethal viruses with no vaccine or known treatment in order to make Mr. Trump look bad.
   4579. baxter Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:05 PM (#5937392)
4568 Very bad judgment by the former acting secretary to give a speech like that, particularly so when it will be recorded and broadcast worldwide.
The footage of the Captain's leaving the ship to the tributes of his crew is extraordinarily moving.
   4580. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:07 PM (#5937393)
We don't have a working antibody test yet. Well, supposedly one was okayed yesterday, but I'm not sure if it actually works and it certainly hasn't been distributed.


The UK Health Minister earlier stated that the UK has ordered several antibody tests, all of which were failures, and he doesn't anticipate having a working one for weeks to come. Perhaps this new one grades out better.
   4581. bunyon Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:11 PM (#5937394)
If recovered people don't become immune at least to a degree or for a period of time then we're talking about what? The end of civilization?


What about the people who get it, but are asymptomatic, or have only very mild symptoms? Is anyone looking into what (if anything) distinguishes them, and if they have any antibodies after it "clears" their system?


Civilization will be fine but evolution will happen. Within 20 to 30 years, all the humans will be of the type that are asymptomatic.


I think it extremely unlikely many people will be at risk after having it once. But, yeah, if having it doesn't give you at least a year of immunity, a vaccine won't work and the people vulnerable to COVID-19 are ######.
   4582. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:24 PM (#5937399)
This is the thing . . . I don't know enough to know whether this is a silly question or not, but if having it doesn't give you at least a temporary immunity, then doesn't that eliminate the possibility of a vaccine?

If there can't be a vaccine, then nothing can go back to normal until there's an effective treatment, which will take much longer and may never happen.
   4583. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:30 PM (#5937401)
It's been 40 years and there's still no AIDS vaccine. There's no vaccine for the common cold. I'm not sure why people are bullish about 18 months.
   4584. bobm Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:35 PM (#5937402)
It's been 40 years and there's still no AIDS vaccine. There's no vaccine for the common cold. I'm not sure why people are bullish about 18 months.

There are treatments for AIDS. Magic Johnson announced he had AIDS 30 years ago.

How many people does the common cold typically kill?
   4585. bobm Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:39 PM (#5937404)
Even if there is no vaccine in the short term, and leaving aside technologies like bluetooth contact tracing, there are possible treatments for things like the overly aggressive immune response that harms some people more than the virus.

Another interesting angle, albeit just a correlation for now: "Nations with Mandatory TB Vaccines Show Fewer Coronavirus Deaths" (New study finds a correlation, but clinical trials are still in progress)
   4586. Tony S Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:40 PM (#5937405)

If there can't be a vaccine, then nothing can go back to normal until there's an effective treatment, which will take much longer and may never happen.


Actually, wouldn't we get a treatment before a vaccine? Intuitively that makes sense to me, anyway.
   4587. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:42 PM (#5937406)
Another interesting angle, albeit just a correlation for now: "Nations with Mandatory TB Vaccines Show Fewer Coronavirus Deaths" (New study finds a correlation, but clinical trials are still in progress)


Can somebody explain why treatments for non-viral infections (TB & malaria) would be effective here? Are people dying from secondary respiratory infections?
   4588. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:42 PM (#5937407)
It's been 40 years and there's still no AIDS vaccine. There's no vaccine for the common cold. I'm not sure why people are bullish about 18 months.


That, too.
   4589. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:46 PM (#5937408)
There are treatments for AIDS. Magic Johnson announced he had AIDS 30 years ago.

How many people does the common cold typically kill


My point is that everyone talks as if the vaccine is a certainty in a certain timeframe, but what if it proves impossible to develop a vaccine like with AIDS?
   4590. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:55 PM (#5937412)
There's no AIDS vaccine because the virus evolves so rapidly that you can't cover all the variants. There's no common cold vaccine because the common cold can be caused by thousands of different viruses.

The next virus that doesn't induce at least short term immunity in people who survive infection will be the first virus that doesn't induce at least short term immunity in people who survive infection.
   4591. Greg Pope Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:56 PM (#5937413)
My point is that everyone talks as if the vaccine is a certainty in a certain timeframe, but what if it proves impossible to develop a vaccine like with AIDS?

I'm certainly not a doctor, but from what I understand, they're very different. We know how to make a vaccine for this kind of virus. In fact, at least one vaccine is already being tested. The issue with cold and flu is the mutations. There's some confidence that COVID-19 is not mutating.

Why is it so hard to make an AIDS vaccine?

A coronavirus vaccine is coming and it will work

The second article may be biased, but it does explain the concepts.
   4592. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5937414)
4591. Thanks for the explanation. That's good to hear.
   4593. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:59 PM (#5937415)
We haven't been able to come up with a vaccine for AIDS because HIV doesn't cause symptoms when it enters the body, and hides from the immune system until it establishes a reservoir in the T cells and they start dying off. Also it's hard to manipulate the immune system for STDs because they enter the body through the mucosa. Also it mutates very fast.

We don't have a vaccine for the common cold because it isn't a severe enough infection and there are several different unrelated viruses that cause the common cold.

This virus has nothing in common with AIDS. It causes a major antiviral immune response. We can make vaccines for this virus. People who have been infected and had noticeable symptoms will be immune to this virus (except people with weakened immune systems to everything), or it would go against all our knowledge of how the immune system works. I believe the virus is also mutating less than we had expected, which is good. If it is exactly the same next year, the immune memory will work better.

There are two scenarios that would be disappointing. One is if immunity only lasts 2 or 3 years. There's some evidence of that with the original SARS coronavirus, but that never reemerged as an epidemic so it's just evidence from people's antibody levels, not from people actually getting reinfected. Then we have to keep getting vaccinated every 2 or 3 years. The other one is that people who get infected but don't get sick could still be susceptible. That one we will get an answer to soon.

   4594. Greg Pope Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:01 PM (#5937416)
The next virus that doesn't induce at least short term immunity in people who survive infection will be the first virus that doesn't induce at least short term immunity in people who survive infection.

This is also something important that people need to understand. While in theory reinfection could be an issue, the default assumption is that it's not. Certainly duration is unknown.
   4595. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5937417)
I've been also thinking lately about what it would take for a virus to really cause like a Mad Max level apocalypse. Something that mutates as fast as AIDS, that spreads as easily as the Flu, and that is deadly as like, I dunno, Hanta Virus or something would probably do the trick right?
   4596. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5937418)
Actually, wouldn't we get a treatment before a vaccine? Intuitively that makes sense to me, anyway.


I have no idea. This is where a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, because what I was thinking was that there's a known system for coming up with a vaccine, so there could be a good amount of confidence about eventually having one. But the HIV example reveals that to have been a flawed thought process.

edit: I posted that before reading the last several posts. Thanks to everyone who explained things.
   4597. . . . . . . Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:06 PM (#5937419)
I've been also thinking lately about what it would take for a virus to really cause like a Mad Max level apocalypse. Something that mutates as fast as AIDS, that spreads as easily as the Flu, and that is deadly as like, I dunno, Hanta Virus or something would probably do the trick right?


You're missing the key - it needs to make people not that sick at first before killing them. That's why this one is so bad. Most viruses that kill you burn out because they also make you sick, and quickly. This one is a slooooow burn followed up rapid decline, in the patients that follow the severe course.

AIDS was also close to perfect. Super slow burn, but also super deadly. But it was too limited in how it could be transmitted.
   4598. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5937420)
Can somebody explain why treatments for non-viral infections (TB & malaria) would be effective here? Are people dying from secondary respiratory infections?


I have no idea why mandatory TB vaccination would help, although I'm sure I could come up with a plausible sounding bit of handwaving if it meant that much to you. As for antimalarials, some of them inhibit cellular processes required for parasite entry, and viral entry requires some of the same processes.
   4599. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5937422)
Aside from TB and leprosy (members of the same bacteria genus), the BCG vaccine is useful as an "adjuvant" for nonspecifically activating the immune system in general. My dad got topical BCG treatment for early-stage bladder cancer to help the immune system prevent the cancer from reestablishing itself. Like cercopithecus aethiops, I don't know why being vaccinated decades ago would help with a virus. It hasn't been suggested to help with anything else. Big data and correlations to the rescue?
   4600. bunyon Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:20 PM (#5937423)
This coronavirus seems to have a very low mutation rate which is, in principle, really good news for future immunity.

Vaccines are easier than drugs. Drug discovery is really hard to do. If we can't get a vaccine before a (new)* drug, we are in trouble.



* If an old drug we know is safe were to be effective, it would be huge. Hydroxychloroquine doesn't look like its going to do the trick.
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