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2020 Corona Virus


Ambergris

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I have been following your numbers daily and have really appreciated it. I know it's a lot of work for you. Thank you so much for all you do to help us stay informed.  If you don't post it perhaps the

My DD16 had a small meltdown when visiting her dad last summer.  They don't keep much food in the house and she did not know how to cook the exotic fresh ingredients they had.  His mom called to check

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On 2/9/2021 at 7:25 PM, Jeepers said:

Today I was able to go to the head of the line to get the vaccine since I'm in the new 65 years or older catagory. 

 

They are already saying that there isn't enough vaccine to give the second shot to the educators. Yet they want to start vaccinating the healthy-ish elderly. 

 

I'm talking about Ohio. I don't know about the rest of the country. 

 

I'm giving up my place in line so a school teacher can get their second shot. ;)

 

 Just posted and interesting article in the "Unintended Consequences" thread. This quote is from the article:

 

I recently interviewed cellular and molecular biologist Judy Mikovits, Ph.D., about the mechanics of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, which are in actuality gene therapy. They’re not conventional vaccines. Compare the summary of reported side effects in the section above to the longer-term side effects she suspects will become commonplace, based on the mechanics and biological effects of these gene therapy “vaccines”


Full article can be found here: Seniors Dying After COVID Vaccine Labeled as Natural Causes

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/joseph-mercola/seniors-dying-after-covid-vaccine-labeled-as-natural-causes/

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19 hours ago, Midnightmom said:

 

So if a senior dies of natural causes but happens to test positive for Covid, they are labeled 'died from/with covid'? However, if they receive the gene therapy and die, it's generally attributed to 'natural causes'?   :buttercup:

 

Yesterday, we talked to one of my mom's friends who stayed at the retirement center. They are locked down again as someone brought in covid. The cafeteria is closed down and all meals are delivered to each apartment. My mom's apartment hasn't been rented since I moved her out. That's 9 months times $3000 month. Rack up $27,000 for many empty apartments and I can see why the Center is in deep financial trouble. No one seems to be moving into these places if they can stay at home and bring in services.  :thumbs: The writing on the wall is that the residents will eventually be required to take the gene therapy if they want to stay there. I didn't want my mom to have to make that decision. It's hard, but we make life simple and easier for her as she finishes her race with us.   :hug3:

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7 minutes ago, Homesteader said:

My mom's apartment hasn't been rented since I moved her out. That's 9 months times $3000 month. Rack up $27,000 for many empty apartments and I can see why the Center is in deep financial trouble.

It's a good thing they haven't kept charging her rent!

 

 

8 minutes ago, Homesteader said:

The writing on the wall is that the residents will eventually be required to take the gene therapy if they want to stay there. I didn't want my mom to have to make that decision. It's hard, but we make life simple and easier for her as she finishes her race with us.   :hug3:

The scariest part of this is that it is not inconceivable that they may require residents to take the "vaccine" before leaving - err, being allowed to leave.

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Where the number of people in hospitals increased the most in the last week

(And the good news is--ta da! nowhere!)

For the week ending Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021

  CURRENTLY HOSPITALIZED
State Avg. this week Per 100K 1-wk chg.
New York 7,296
 
38
–8.0%
Arizona 2,515
 
35
–23.7%
Georgia 3,507
 
33
–17.0%
Washington, D.C. 218
 
31
–9.5%
Texas 8,858
 
31
–15.4%
New Jersey 2,659
 
30
–8.2%
Nevada 891
 
29
–19.7%
California 10,956
 
28
–21.9%
South Carolina 1,394
 
27
–17.8%
Alabama 1,313
 
27
–23.0%
Delaware 250
 
26
–17.2%
Kentucky 1,120
 
25
–14.6%
Virginia 2,126
 
25
–12.2%
Missouri 1,501
 
25
–11.4%
Arkansas 724
 
24
–12.6%
Mississippi 710
 
24
–20.6%
Florida 4,986
 
23
–12.3%
United States 74,034
 
23
–16.2%
Louisiana 1,039
 
22
–21.3%
Rhode Island 232
 
22
–21.6%
Maryland 1,275
 
21
–11.5%
North Carolina 2,204
 
21
–15.4%
Oklahoma 823
 
21
–19.4%
Connecticut 738
 
21
–14.0%
Pennsylvania 2,656
 
21
–14.8%
West Virginia 356
 
20
–14.0%
Tennessee 1,357
 
20
–14.3%
Massachusetts 1,279
 
19
–17.4%
Indiana 1,192
 
18
–20.3%
New Mexico 359
 
17
–19.1%
Ohio 1,847
 
16
–18.3%
Illinois 1,985
 
16
–15.4%
Kansas 348
 
12
–28.2%
Nebraska 227
 
12
–21.7%
South Dakota 98
 
11
–21.0%
Michigan 1,099
 
11
–18.6%
Utah 346
 
11
–21.4%
New Hampshire 143
 
11
–27.4%
Idaho 182
 
10
–5.7%
Montana 101
 
10
–8.2%
Washington 711
 
9
–9.5%
Colorado 507
 
9
–11.4%
Vermont 55
 
9
–12.7%
Iowa 275
 
9
–23.0%
Wisconsin 486
 
8
–23.2%
Maine 108
 
8
–25.0%
Puerto Rico 242
 
8
–13.6%
Wyoming 42
 
7
–12.5%
Minnesota 324
 
6
–13.4%
Oregon 240
 
6
–18.4%
North Dakota 38
 
5
–5.0%
Alaska 35
 
5
–20.5%
Hawaii 53
 
4
–13.1%

 

Where the positive test rate is highest

For the week ending Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021

  TESTS TO DATE ONE-WEEK TOTAL
State Total tests Per 100K New tests Per 100K Positive rate
Rhode Island 2,774,464
 
261,900 111,702 10,544.3
2.6%
Massachusetts 14,948,553
 
216,881 623,037 9,039.3
2.2%
New York 35,036,952
 
180,106 1,538,485 7,908.5
3.8%
Connecticut 6,214,545
 
174,307 255,073 7,154.3
3.1%
Alaska 1,584,548
 
216,603 47,637 6,511.8
2.4%
Vermont 966,693
 
154,922 36,192 5,800.1
2.1%
New Mexico 2,543,345
 
121,295 113,018 5,389.9
2.7%
Delaware 1,319,220
 
135,476 49,332 5,066.1
4.9%
Washington, D.C. 1,169,684
 
165,737 34,079 4,828.8
2.6%
Maine 1,497,048
 
111,370 58,669 4,364.6
2.2%
California 45,703,217
 
115,669 1,708,895 4,325.0
4.0%
Illinois 17,171,858
 
135,512 535,273 4,224.1
3.0%
South Carolina 4,672,026
 
90,742 208,964 4,058.6
10.0%
New Jersey 10,079,702
 
113,482 358,624 4,037.6
6.6%
Indiana 7,557,530
 
112,259 271,709 4,036.0
3.4%
West Virginia 2,085,558
 
116,372 68,417 3,817.6
4.2%
Maryland 7,466,180
 
123,496 228,933 3,786.7
3.2%
Nebraska 2,252,919
 
116,466 71,411 3,691.6
4.9%
New Hampshire 1,363,148
 
100,253 48,958 3,600.6
4.9%
Louisiana 5,338,034
 
114,826 163,195 3,510.5
5.0%
North Carolina 9,722,096
 
92,697 363,339 3,464.3
7.1%
Colorado 5,851,957
 
101,619 198,428 3,445.7
4.3%
United States 335,086,712
 
102,086 11,222,511 3,419.0
5.7%
Arizona 7,218,703
 
99,176 236,555 3,250.0
7.0%
Florida 20,525,810
 
95,568 675,947 3,147.2
7.3%
Montana 1,023,871
 
95,798 32,730 3,062.4
4.9%
Minnesota 6,586,481
 
116,789 171,184 3,035.4
3.2%
Oregon 3,384,703
 
80,249 113,222 2,684.4
2.8%
Pennsylvania 9,799,882
 
76,550 340,420 2,659.1
7.0%
Wisconsin 6,500,249
 
111,641 151,548 2,602.8
4.2%
Texas 18,810,731
 
64,874 738,441 2,546.7
9.9%
Washington 4,896,154
 
64,297 179,295 2,354.5
4.4%
Hawaii 1,034,740
 
73,082 32,721 2,311.0
1.2%
Michigan 9,839,545
 
98,525 229,624 2,299.3
3.6%
Ohio 9,587,475
 
82,021 239,579 2,049.6
8.0%
North Dakota 1,378,291
 
180,863 15,449 2,027.3
2.9%
Nevada 2,612,420
 
84,815 62,354 2,024.4
6.9%
Virginia 5,607,650
 
65,698 169,877 1,990.2
12.3%
Tennessee 6,726,614
 
98,498 135,788 1,988.4
9.4%
Oklahoma 3,371,147
 
85,195 77,658 1,962.6
12.3%
Utah 2,739,498
 
85,450 62,419 1,947.0
10.7%
Kentucky 3,758,264
 
84,121 81,963 1,834.6
13.4%
Arkansas 2,584,498
 
85,642 55,173 1,828.2
11.4%
Georgia 6,853,061
 
64,545 188,785 1,778.1
12.7%
Missouri 4,331,743
 
70,579 82,212 1,339.5
6.5%
Mississippi 1,648,073
 
55,376 38,765 1,302.5
14.9%
Alabama 2,228,906
 
45,458 41,577 848.0
20.5%
Kansas 1,217,589
 
41,794 20,536 704.9
22.1%
South Dakota 413,448
 
46,735 5,985 676.5
18.1%
Idaho 622,353
 
34,825 9,143 511.6
24.9%
Iowa 1,280,992
 
40,601 12,831 406.7
36.4%

 

My guess is that in Iowa, they test you if they are pretty sure you have it, while in Rhode Island, they test you if you don't run fast and far enough.

Deaths in the last week

For the week ending Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021 focusing on the percentage of change

  DEATHS TO DATE ONE-WEEK TOTAL
State Total deaths Per 100K New deaths Per 100K 1-wk chg.
Ohio 16,346
 
140 4,687 40.1
+868.4%
Oregon 2,137
 
51 114 2.7
+72.7%
Washington 4,675
 
61 226 3.0
+37.8%
Rhode Island 2,290
 
216 78 7.4
+34.5%
Massachusetts 15,484
 
225 485 7.0
+14.9%
South Dakota 1,844
 
208 35 4.0
+12.9%
New Mexico 3,529
 
168 130 6.2
+12.1%
Arizona 14,978
 
206 930 12.8
+0.2%
Hawaii 426
 
30 8 0.6
+0%
Connecticut 7,381
 
207 167 4.7
–0.6%
Colorado 5,824
 
101 93 1.6
–1.1%
United States 485,698
 
148 21,787 6.6
–1.8%
Maryland 7,554
 
125 205 3.4
–7.7%
New Jersey 22,454
 
253 465 5.2
–7.9%
Arkansas 5,265
 
175 189 6.3
–9.1%
Florida 29,275
 
136 1,114 5.2
–10.6%
California 47,017
 
119 2,864 7.2
–11.2%
Alabama 9,242
 
189 727 14.8
–12.1%
Georgia 15,871
 
150 779 7.3
–12.9%
New York 45,616
 
235 1,048 5.4
–13.4%
Mississippi 6,462
 
217 193 6.5
–13.8%
Idaho 1,803
 
101 36 2.0
–14.3%
Texas 41,494
 
143 1,895 6.5
–16.2%
Pennsylvania 23,136
 
181 643 5.0
–17.4%
Wyoming 647
 
112 23 4.0
–17.9%
Utah 1,794
 
56 58 1.8
–18.3%
Kansas 4,364
 
150 263 9.0
–18.3%
Michigan 16,119
 
161 265 2.7
–19.5%
Oklahoma 4,024
 
102 211 5.3
–20.7%
Illinois 22,121
 
175 383 3.0
–21.0%
North Carolina 10,491
 
100 508 4.8
–21.6%
Minnesota 6,376
 
113 77 1.4
–22.2%
Missouri 7,719
 
126 313 5.1
–22.7%
West Virginia 2,210
 
123 81 4.5
–22.9%
Nevada 4,709
 
153 189 6.1
–24.4%
Kentucky 4,282
 
96 231 5.2
–24.5%
Virginia 7,012
 
82 234 2.7
–25.5%
Wisconsin 6,745
 
116 132 2.3
–26.3%
Nebraska 2,002
 
104 34 1.8
–29.2%
Washington, D.C. 979
 
139 27 3.8
–30.8%
Vermont 189
 
30 6 1.0
–33.3%
Puerto Rico 1,919
 
60 36 1.1
–33.3%
Louisiana 9,292
 
200 173 3.7
–33.5%
Delaware 1,283
 
132 75 7.7
–36.4%
Iowa 5,236
 
166 128 4.1
–38.2%
New Hampshire 1,133
 
83 29 2.1
–38.3%
South Carolina 7,998
 
155 347 6.7
–43.0%
Tennessee 10,933
 
160 464 6.8
–43.3%
North Dakota 1,431
 
188 3 0.4
–50.0%
Maine 649
 
48 14 1.0
–68.9%
Indiana 12,173
 
181 356 5.3
–80.7%
Montana 1,327
 
124 13 1.2
–84.0%
Alaska 280
 
38 1 0.1
–94.1%

 

Deaths in the last week

For the week ending Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021 focusing on the number of deaths per hundred thousand people in the state

  DEATHS TO DATE ONE-WEEK TOTAL
State Total deaths Per 100K New deaths Per 100K 1-wk chg.
Ohio 16,346
 
140 4,687 40.1
+868.4%
Alabama 9,242
 
189 727 14.8
–12.1%
Arizona 14,978
 
206 930 12.8
+0.2%
Kansas 4,364
 
150 263 9.0
–18.3%
Delaware 1,283
 
132 75 7.7
–36.4%
Rhode Island 2,290
 
216 78 7.4
+34.5%
Georgia 15,871
 
150 779 7.3
–12.9%
California 47,017
 
119 2,864 7.2
–11.2%
Massachusetts 15,484
 
225 485 7.0
+14.9%
Tennessee 10,933
 
160 464 6.8
–43.3%
South Carolina 7,998
 
155 347 6.7
–43.0%
United States 485,698
 
148 21,787 6.6
–1.8%
Texas 41,494
 
143 1,895 6.5
–16.2%
Mississippi 6,462
 
217 193 6.5
–13.8%
Arkansas 5,265
 
175 189 6.3
–9.1%
New Mexico 3,529
 
168 130 6.2
+12.1%
Nevada 4,709
 
153 189 6.1
–24.4%
New York 45,616
 
235 1,048 5.4
–13.4%
Indiana 12,173
 
181 356 5.3
–80.7%
Oklahoma 4,024
 
102 211 5.3
–20.7%
Florida 29,275
 
136 1,114 5.2
–10.6%
New Jersey 22,454
 
253 465 5.2
–7.9%
Kentucky 4,282
 
96 231 5.2
–24.5%
Missouri 7,719
 
126 313 5.1
–22.7%
Pennsylvania 23,136
 
181 643 5.0
–17.4%
North Carolina 10,491
 
100 508 4.8
–21.6%
Connecticut 7,381
 
207 167 4.7
–0.6%
West Virginia 2,210
 
123 81 4.5
–22.9%
Iowa 5,236
 
166 128 4.1
–38.2%
South Dakota 1,844
 
208 35 4.0
+12.9%
Wyoming 647
 
112 23 4.0
–17.9%
Washington, D.C. 979
 
139 27 3.8
–30.8%
Louisiana 9,292
 
200 173 3.7
–33.5%
Maryland 7,554
 
125 205 3.4
–7.7%
Illinois 22,121
 
175 383 3.0
–21.0%
Washington 4,675
 
61 226 3.0
+37.8%
Michigan 16,119
 
161 265 2.7
–19.5%
Virginia 7,012
 
82 234 2.7
–25.5%
Oregon 2,137
 
51 114 2.7
+72.7%
Wisconsin 6,745
 
116 132 2.3
–26.3%
New Hampshire 1,133
 
83 29 2.1
–38.3%
Idaho 1,803
 
101 36 2.0
–14.3%
Utah 1,794
 
56 58 1.8
–18.3%
Nebraska 2,002
 
104 34 1.8
–29.2%
Colorado 5,824
 
101 93 1.6
–1.1%
Minnesota 6,376
 
113 77 1.4
–22.2%
Montana 1,327
 
124 13 1.2
–84.0%
Puerto Rico 1,919
 
60 36 1.1
–33.3%
Maine 649
 
48 14 1.0
–68.9%
Vermont 189
 
30 6 1.0
–33.3%
Hawaii 426
 
30 8 0.6
+0%
North Dakota 1,431
 
188 3 0.4
–50.0%
Alaska 280
 
38 1 0.1
–94.1%

Remember that "+100%" means "doubled."

 

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Countries reporting the most new infections each day 
UNITED STATES 77,884

BRAZIL 45,654

FRANCE 18,361

RUSSIA 14,206

UNITED KINGDOM 12,289


Countries reporting the most deaths each day 
UNITED STATES 2,695

MEXICO 1,043

BRAZIL 1,034

UNITED KINGDOM 583

RUSSIA 473

 

So far 82 countries have begun vaccinating people for the coronavirus and have given at least 183,206,000 doses.

Gibraltar leads the world and has administered enough vaccine doses for 39% of its population, assuming every person needs two doses.  Israel comes second, and the United Arab Emirates third.

 

From Reuters:

 

Researchers on Wednesday urged governments to delay administering the second dose of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine, which they said had an efficacy of 92.6% after the first dose.

They cautioned that there may be uncertainty about the duration of protection with a single dose, but said that the administration of the second dose a month after the first provided “little added benefit in the short term”.

Pfizer says South African variant could significantly reduce vaccine protection

A laboratory study suggests that the South African variant of the coronavirus may reduce antibody protection from the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech vaccine by two-thirds, and it is not clear if the shot will be effective against the mutation, the companies said on Wednesday.

The study found the vaccine was still able to neutralize the virus and there is not yet evidence from trials in people that the variant reduces vaccine protection, the companies said. Still, they are making investments and talking to regulators about developing an updated version of their mRNA vaccine or a booster shot, if needed.

++++++++++++

South Korea will almost certainly miss its goal of vaccinating 80% of its population to reach coronavirus “herd immunity” by November, the head of a doctors’ association whose advice helped the country contain the pandemic’s first wave said on Wednesday. The vaccination programme is due to start next week, after a procurement process that has drawn complaints at home for being slower than many abroad.

The government now aims to immunize close to 44 million people - four in five of the population - by October to reach herd immunity four weeks later when vaccine antibodies will have been formed. The government’s plans calls for each physician to diagnose and vaccinate 150 patients a day.

COVID-19 breath test shows promise in study

++++++++++++++

A commercially available electronic “nose” manufactured by Dutch company Breathomix can tell when a person does not have COVID-19 and would be a useful screening tool, researchers have found.

Studying more than 4,500 individuals who came to coronavirus test facilities in the Netherlands between August and December 2020, the device was able to reliably rule out infection - with or without symptoms - in 70% to 75% of all individuals tested, with results available within seconds.

 

 

Edited by Ambergris
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If I'm reading this right, the United States still leads with the most cases and the most deaths???   And if I read between the lines it seems the vaccine does not lend immunity until four weeks after it is administered, perhaps the second one may not be needed,  the SA variant could significantly reduce the vaccine's protection, and in essence there are still many unknowns with the vaccine AND with the virus.  :(  

 

I, for one, will continue to prep as if I might be isolated for the next year yet and possibly longer. I can do that.  It's just a bit more difficult now than it was.   

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America Is Ignoring the Coronavirus Variants at Its Own Peril
A tale of “two epidemics.”
JACKIE FLYNN MOGENSENFEBRUARY 17, 2021

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.
Around this time last year, we were still living relatively normal lives. Donald Trump had just survived his first impeachment, Bernie Sanders had clinched a victory in the New Hampshire primary, and Justin Bieber had released his first album in nearly five years. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, China struggled to control its outbreak of a virus we would eventually call SARS-CoV-2. Most of us had no idea how the coronavirus would upend our lives.

Nearly 30 million cases and more than 485,000 deaths later, we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are working! Cases are declining! So exciting is this progress that dozens of states are opening back up or loosening restrictions for restaurants, gyms, salons, bowling alleys, and in-person schooling. Great news, right? Not exactly. Actually, we’re now in a situation that’s remarkably similar to where we were exactly a year ago. And experts are warning that now is not the time to let up.

Researchers warn that their models indicate a “calm before the storm.”
At least three designated “variants of concern” have made their way to the United States: B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the United Kingdom (where it drove a surge in cases), B.1.351, which was first identified in South Africa, and P.1, which was first identified in travelers from Brazil who were tested at a Japanese airport. These variants seem to spread much more easily from person to person—around 50 percent more, researchers estimate in B.1.1.7’s case—and are possibly more deadly, though research is limited.

B.1.1.7 already appears to be spreading rapidly across the country, and it shows no signs of stopping. For a sneak preview of what could happen next, scientists are looking to Denmark: Like in the United States, COVID cases there are currently declining. But unlike in the United States, Danish authorities are sequencing genomes from more than half of the country’s positive cases. As a result, they’ve been able to detect “two epidemics“—one driven by the old variants and receding, and another that’s on the rise, driven by B.1.1.7. (See chart.) Researchers warn that their models indicate a “calm before the storm.”
In other words, it’s a crisis waiting to happen. Again.

To better understand exactly what we’re up against with these new variants, I called Joseph Fauver, a genomic epidemiologist and associate research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health, Sarah Otto, an evolutionary biologist and a professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia, and John Swartzberg, a clinical professor emeritus specializing in infectious diseases and vaccinology at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. 

In short, they told me that the variants are a real threat, one that was made possible by the sheer scale of this pandemic. Worldwide, more than 100 million people have been infected by the coronavirus. More cases mean more opportunities for the virus to evolve. That’s why experts say slowing the spread—by masking, social distancing, and when we’re able, getting vaccinated—is still our best option against these variants, as well as future ones. As Swartzberg put it, “We’ve got to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible because we’re in a race to protect people’s lives. But we’re also in a race with evolution of these viruses.”

Here are some things to know about the new variants:

The variants have all found the same “secret sauce.”
Like you and me, the coronavirus isn’t perfect. As it replicates, copying its RNA over and over, it’s bound to make mistakes. These mistakes are called mutations, and most of the time, Swartzberg explains, they don’t help the virus. But over many, many replications, in millions of hosts, one of these “experiments” may be successful, giving the virus a competitive edge over its predecessors.

“It starts to compete with the standard strain, and that’s the one that would be of concern,” Swartzberg says—hence the name, “variant of concern.”

As SARS-CoV-2 mutates, researchers are tracking it, building a “family tree” of sorts. As a result, they know that all three variants of concern seemed to have evolved similar, beneficial mutations independently, a process called “convergent evolution” or “parallel evolution.” 

“Convergent evolution,” Otto explains, “implies that they’re finding a solution to the environmental challenges they face, and are converged on the same solution.” It’s like they’ve found the same “secret sauce.”

So what specifically is that secret sauce? Scientists don’t know for sure, but they suspect the variants’ boost in transmissibility has something to do with the spike protein, the spike-like structures which cover the surface of the virus and allow it to infect our cells. Each of the new variants independently developed several mutations, including mutations in the spike protein. These changes, research suggests, allows the virus to attach and get inside of our cells “with greater efficiency than the standard strain,” Swartzberg says. “Once it gets in our cells, it produces billions of progeny that can infect more of our cells and can be spread to another person.” (Researchers recently identified seven other variant lineages in the US that share a common mutation that affects the spike protein, though it’s unclear if they too are more transmissible than previous versions, and the research hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed.)

The variants’ rise wasn’t exactly a freak event. We gave it plenty of opportunities to evolve.
As far as RNA viruses go, SARS-CoV-2 mutates relatively slowly. These mutations occur randomly across the genome, but also in a predictable and “clock-like” fashion, Fauver explains. “Every type of virus has its own mutation rate, or what we call a molecular clock.” The variants, however, are running ahead of schedule—B.1.1.7 for instance, has developed about twice as many mutations as you’d expect over the course of a year. “I like to say it had almost two years’ worth of mutations in this one year since it’s been circulating in humans,” Otto says. 

How this happened will likely remain a mystery. But scientists do have one well-supported theory: B.1.1.7, they think, came from an individual who was unable to mount a full immune response to it. Studies suggest that if people get infected with COVID while they are on medication that suppresses their immune system (for example organ transplant recipients, whose bodies may otherwise reject the organ transplant), the virus that replicates within their body may end up looking different than if it had replicated in an individual with a fully-functioning immune system. “They’ll sequence that virus over time,” Fauver says, “and find out that it acquires a bunch more mutations than you would expect in a normal transmission event.” 
The United States has only managed to sequence about 0.3 percent of cases. As a result, “We’re blind to what’s happening.”
This might sound like a freak occurrence—but not so fast, Otto says. While the variants arose randomly, we also gave the virus plenty of opportunities to evolve by allowing the pandemic to rage out of control. It’s sort of like playing the lotto: your chances of winning Powerball with one ticket are slim to none. But if you purchased hundreds of millions of number combinations, your chance of winning wouldn’t be so slim. “The problem is, there have just been too many cases,” Otto says, “And so with so many individuals across the world infected, the chance that the virus will get this ‘acceleration’ goes up.”

“You have bad luck when you have bad habits,” she says.

Now is the time to double down on protective measures like wearing masks and social distancing.
Again, we don’t fully understand what is giving these new variants a leg up on other variants floating around. “To have a disease that’s transmitting 50 percent more, we don’t even know what makes that possible,” Otto says. “Does it mean that it stays in the air for longer or that it has an easier time getting into our bodies? We don’t exactly know what’s giving it that kind of advantage.” But based on what we know so far, Swartzberg says, the transmission rate likely has to do with the virus’ ability to attach to our cells.

Even with a more transmissible virus, all three experts agree, hope is not lost. “My answer is to continue doing what we know works, which is wearing a mask, social distancing, not spending unmasked time indoors with people outside of your immediate household or your bubble, what have you,” Fauver says.

“My view of it is that if we have more transmissible strains than the standard strains circulating now, it means that we need to double down on everything we do to prevent getting infected,” Swartzberg says, echoing Fauver. For instance, Swartzberg says he’s considering going grocery shopping a little less often and combining trips to the pharmacy. “You just have to be upping the ante right now.”

Vaccinations are also key. The faster we vaccinate, the fewer chances these variants have to potentially spread and evolve. “How can we keep our vaccines working for longer?” Otto says. “We can bring the case numbers down, give evolution less opportunity.” Data is limited, but so far, it seems our vaccines are effective against the new variants, although possibly not to the same degree as with previous versions.

The discovery of the first variant was a lucky accident. But we shouldn’t leave genomic surveillance up to chance.
In the UK, Otto explains, garden-variety COVID tests are designed to detect three segments in the virus’s genome, like identifying a person by looking at three of their fingerprints. But late last year, health officials started to notice that some people’s COVID tests were detecting just two of the sections. As time went on, the odd result became more and more common. It turns out that a variant, which we now know as B.1.1.7, had developed a mutation in the exact segment researchers were already looking.
B.1.1.7 eventually dominated the country. “As a consequence,” Otto says, “they had hundreds of thousands of individual people getting tested for COVID that they could tell, do they have the variant or do they not have the variant? That’s why they have so much information about this variant.”
The UK has also poured tens of millions into conducting genomic surveillance, giving it what Fauver calls the “gold standard” of national sequencing strategies. As of late January, the country had sequenced around 200,000 coronavirus genomes. The United States, on the other hand, a country about five times the size of the UK, has sequenced about half as many genomes, the Wall Street Journal reports. The effort to track SARS-CoV-2 variants in the US is also less centralized, Fauver says, happening on more of an “ad hoc” basis among academic institutions and state health departments.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, the UK has sequenced around six percent of all its cases. The United States has only managed to sequence about 0.3 percent of cases. As a result, Swartzberg says, “We’re blind to what’s happening.”

Without a robust national surveillance program, we’re not only failing to monitor the current variants of concern—but also setting ourselves up to miss future ones, Otto says. “Where are we gonna miss [future variants]? In places like the United States, with many cases and a very low rate of genomic sequencing.”

The success of the vaccine also hinges on our ability to track the variants of concern. Pharmaceutical companies like Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are already preparing to supply “booster shots” of their vaccine to combat the new variants. But if we have no idea how widespread the various variants of concern are in our country, these companies will be operating at least partially in the dark. “The more we know, Swartzberg notes, “the safer we are. We’re not going to get out of this pandemic by ignorance.”

 

++++++++

Population Britain:  67,886,011 people, i.e. not quite twice the population of California.  

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•    A new study in Israel found that the Pfizer vaccine was 85 percent effective after one shot, a finding that could lead some countries to delay the second shot in order to get more people vaccinated more quickly.
•    The results echo research on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been shown to offer protection weeks after the first dose.
•    A separate study published today suggested that the AstraZeneca vaccine was more effective when people received a second dose after three months, instead of six weeks.

The new findings lend ammunition to experts and governments, including that of Britain, which have advocated a “first dose first” strategy, which prioritizes giving as many people as possible an initial dose. But Dr. Fauci said that U.S. health officials were not willing to change their recommendations that all people receive two shots.
Pfizer and BioNTech also announced today that their vaccine can be stored at standard freezer temperatures for up to two weeks, rather than five days as recommended in their initial guidelines. Distribution of doses has been complicated by the requirement that the vaccines be stored at ultracold temperatures, and the change has the potential to expand the number of smaller pharmacies and doctors’ offices that can administer the vaccine.

Separately, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna were reassuringly safe and that side effects were rare. The agency examined nearly 14 million vaccinations and found nearly 7,000 reports of adverse events — including headaches, fatigue and muscle aches — and said that 91 percent of those cases were not serious.
My colleague Katie Thomas, who covers the business of health care, told me that this rush of new studies and information is what happens when medicine begins to be used in the real world.
++++++

91 percent were not serious they say... what does not serious mean?  Because that nine percent of of the 7,000 means a lot of people when you extrapolate to hundreds of millions of people (or even billions of people) eventually getting vaccinated.

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Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Mark Makary, writing recently in the Wall Street Journal, concludes that the welcome collapse in virus cases, which began in January, cannot be attributed solely to the end of holiday festivities or the start-up of vaccines. He says it also suggests that the medical community is vastly underestimating the number of people in the country who have contracted the virus, are asymptomatic, and who have developed immunities.   Makary thinks, assessing the data, that "The country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection."  He concludes that the U.S. is nearing "herd immunity" and that "COVID will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life."  

 

Youyang Gu, a data scientist whose model has proved the most accurate forecaster of COVID deaths, predicts we will reach herd immunity (or "normality," as his team now calls it) by June/July. Not as soon as April, but soon. 

 

None of these forecasters suggests we should drop all precautions. Indeed, progress may require continued mask-wearing and social-distancing for the next few months. But by early summer, we can resume our pre-COVID lives. 

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Ambergris, thank you for the information.  It explains some of the things I'd been seeing happening. 

 

Homey, that is encouraging news.  I would embrace wholeheartedly the ability to be out and among family and friends freely again.  Still,  I've learned over the years not to believe everything I read or hear.    I, for one, will continue to be cautious.  

Edited by Mother
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On 2/17/2021 at 6:20 PM, Ambergris said:

My guess is that in Iowa, they test you if they are pretty sure you have it, while in Rhode Island, they test you if you don't run fast and far enough.

 

:coffeescreen: 

 

On 2/18/2021 at 5:07 AM, Ambergris said:

electronic “nose” manufactured by Dutch company Breathomix

 

Like the cancer-sniffing dogs.......or airport drug dogs...  Still, 70-75% leaves a quarter of errors.  :shrug:  

 

MtRider 

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On 2/19/2021 at 5:49 PM, Ambergris said:

Without a robust national surveillance program,

 

...talking about detecting the mutations of the COVID virus but does anyone understand how the scientists would surveil?  By running more of the positive tests from lots of folks thru additional lab testing?

 

MtRider ...new job market?  Medical lab tech???

 

 

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23 hours ago, Ambergris said:

91 percent were not serious they say... what does not serious mean?  Because that nine percent of of the 7,000 means a lot of people when you extrapolate to hundreds of millions of people (or even billions of people) eventually getting vaccinated.

 

:thumbs: 

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I am getting conflicting information on the California variant.  The name of it keeps changing, for one thing. 

 

Here's one article:

 

Researchers warn 'the devil is already here' after analysis of California COVID-19 variant
Brendan Morrow Tue, February 23, 2021, 12:14 PM

Researchers in California are expressing concern over a COVID-19 variant in the state, which the Los Angeles Times reports appears "increasingly dangerous."

Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco examined the B.1.427/B.1.429 COVID-19 variant spreading in California, and they say that it "not only spreads more readily than its predecessors, but also evades antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines or prior infection and it's associated with severe illness and death," the Los Angeles Times writes.

The researchers warned that the variant should be viewed as a "variant of concern" like others from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.
"The devil is already here," warned Dr. Charles Chiu, who led the new analysis. "I wish it were different. But the science is the science."

The California strain reportedly appears to reduce the effect of neutralizing antibodies by a factor of two, compared to a factor of 6.2 for the South Africa strain. The study also suggests it "could have greater virulence," the Times writes, noting the researchers looked at 324 hospitalized patients' medical charts and found that those infected with the B.1.427/B.1.429 variant were more likely to be admitted to the ICU, as well as more likely to die. Still, Chiu said this could potentially be a result of hospitals being overwhelmed due to the increased transmissibility of the variant, rather than the variant itself being more deadly.

 

There are opposing views, such as by Eric Topol, who calls the California strain a media "scariant" of little consequence:

Eric Topol
@EricTopol
·
22h
There's a problem with labelling the California variant (B.1.427/B.1.429) "increasingly dangerous" when there isn't even a preprint published and we're watching dramatic descent in cases, hospitalization and deaths despite its high frequency

 

+++++

Eric Topol is on Twitter with some interesting commentary.  He's worth looking up every once in a while.

Edited by Ambergris
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Are they just doing checks on hospitalized cases and not all cases?  It would make sense that those who were hospitalized would be more ill.  Isn't mutation to be expected with viruses?  It always seems the regular flu has so many variants that it's hard for the manufacturers of vaccines to figure out which one will be more prevalent in any given year so they can match their vaccine to as many as possible.  

 

I'm not saying that a nasty 'mutant ninja virus' is what anyone wants to deal with and I'm glad they are trying to keep up on the latest mutation but I also don't believe it's unexpected.  

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14 hours ago, Mother said:

Isn't mutation to be expected with viruses? 

 

According to what DH has studied, GENERALLY....the virus/bacteria seeks to NOT kill off it's host with the mutations. 

 

In other words, if you have Virus A that is killing off the hosts, Virus A will not last as long as Mutation Virus B that is far less deadly to the host.  

 

:unsure:  LOL  ..so it's not like virus has a mind to figure out killing host is bad.....  :grinning-smiley-044:   Rather, it will spread more...becoming the dominate virus merely because it's hosts last longer and spread and such....

 

:scratchhead:   Did that make sense on the 3 attempts to explain it?  :rolleyes: 

 

MtRider  ...it's late  :offtobed:

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So there is this game called Plague, Inc that is super fun to play.  You can play real life scenarios on it and it requires thought.  A fatal virus does not necessarily kill fast.  A virus doesn't seek to do anything--it just replicates.  The more people and time it has, the more it does.  The more replications it has, the greater the chance of mutation that is more deadly/fatal/contagious.  The contagion and the fatality are actually separate.  An instantly fatal virus may last longer than say an STD simply because it is passed through air, water, animals, or corpses.    Contagion does not depend on the host being alive, and can exist for extended times without a host for several virus.  Examples of this are corona lasting for a few days on a box, or Hep A lasting weeks on a dirty counter.  A frozen Siberian virus was unthawed and still infectious 30K years later.  

 

~I play way too many video games and read too much medical literature.  

 

Here is an article I used with my kids to explain some of the basics:

There are more viruses than stars in the universe. Why do only some infect us? (nationalgeographic.com)

Edited by euphrasyne
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The trick to winning Plague is not to let any fatal symptoms evolve until after Greenland is infected.  It also helps to start in India, since the virus is always discovered when the first country is fully infected.

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De evolving symptoms works works well on the bacteria mode.  There are a few other things that can work better for some of the other things.   You can ignore Greenland on a few if you environmentally harden to cold and then pass via water and animals.  It will infect before Australia that way.   I find Simian Flu and Prion a bit more tricky.   Mega-Brutal <3.    

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Plague ....is a video game, huh?  :lol:    

 

Well, I think COVID nearly becomes that too, for all the charts and maps and computations and such these days.  Some research type folks isolated away with the numbers and graphs might well be those who NEED to take a peek out into the real hospitals.  The numbers in research don't always add up.....sometimes because of the mutations/variables we're referring to... 

 

MtRider  ....some of these COVID mutations do sound....ominous.  :( 

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Nationwide, about 15% of the population has had a first dose of the vaccine, which is apparently the important dose.

Alaska, the Dakotas, New Mexico, and Connecticut have all all dosed at least 20% of the population

Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Utah, Georgia, and Puerto Rico have dosed less than 14%.

 

The February good news re dropping cases appears to have ended, but the number of people in hospitals is still going down in most states:

For the week ending Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021

  CURRENTLY HOSPITALIZED
State Avg. this week Per 100K 1-wk chg.
United States 51,838
 
16
–15.2%
Alaska 43
 
6
+22.2%
South Dakota 94
 
11
+2.3%
Washington, D.C. 192
 
27
–5.1%
Rhode Island 172
 
16
–5.9%
Michigan 831
 
8
–5.9%
Maine 81
 
6
–6.3%
Missouri 1,191
 
19
–7.5%
Colorado 418
 
7
–7.8%
Mississippi 531
 
18
–8.0%
Tennessee 959
 
14
–9.5%
Nebraska 162
 
8
–10.1%
New York State 5,670
 
29
–10.1%
Florida 3,955
 
18
–10.2%
Delaware 167
 
17
–10.6%
West Virginia 272
 
15
–10.7%
Idaho 142
 
8
–10.7%
Kentucky 829
 
19
–11.0%
Maryland 941
 
16
–11.1%
Puerto Rico 197
 
6
–11.1%
Minnesota 264
 
5
–11.4%
Utah 258
 
8
–11.7%
New Jersey 1,993
 
22
–12.4%
Wisconsin 337
 
6
–12.5%
Pennsylvania 1,895
 
15
–12.6%
Iowa 208
 
7
–12.9%
Oregon 173
 
4
–13.0%
Connecticut 494
 
14
–13.2%
Illinois 1,425
 
11
–13.3%
Virginia 1,484
 
17
–14.4%
Montana 78
 
7
–14.5%
Hawaii 35
 
3
–14.6%
New Mexico 236
 
11
–14.9%
Texas 6,488
 
22
–15.0%
Georgia 2,557
 
24
–15.1%
Ohio 1,274
 
11
–16.1%
New Hampshire 99
 
7
–16.1%
Washington 449
 
6
–16.3%
Arkansas 519
 
17
–16.6%
Louisiana 679
 
15
–17.2%
Indiana 796
 
12
–17.4%
North Carolina 1,493
 
14
–18.9%
Massachusetts 835
 
12
–18.9%
Kansas 233
 
8
–19.6%
South Carolina 918
 
18
–19.8%
Oklahoma 574
 
15
–20.1%
Vermont 30
 
5
–23.5%
California 6,440
 
16
–23.6%
Arizona 1,409
 
19
–23.7%
Nevada 531
 
17
–24.3%
Alabama 727
 
15
–26.6%
Wyoming 23
 
4
–31.6%
North Dakota 27
 
4
–31.8%

 

Regardless of the good news re hospitals, the number of people dying has gone up in nineteen states:

For the week ending Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021

  DEATHS TO DATE ONE-WEEK TOTAL
State Total deaths Per 100K New deaths Per 100K 1-wk chg.
United States 513,721
 
155 14,387 4.3
+5.5%
Maine 703
 
52 45 3.3
+400.0%
Virginia 8,552
 
100 1,221 14.3
+282.8%
Oregon 2,208
 
52 53 1.3
+194.4%
Hawaii 439
 
31 9 0.6
+125.0%
Texas 44,031
 
152 1,635 5.6
+81.3%
Oklahoma 4,428
 
112 247 6.2
+57.3%
Idaho 1,860
 
104 34 1.9
+47.8%
Rhode Island 2,502
 
236 126 11.9
+46.5%
Utah 1,935
 
60 83 2.6
+43.1%
Mississippi 6,681
 
225 128 4.3
+40.7%
Tennessee 11,411
 
167 278 4.1
+39.0%
Washington, D.C. 1,017
 
144 22 3.1
+37.5%
Iowa 5,471
 
173 135 4.3
+35.0%
South Dakota 1,888
 
213 25 2.8
+31.6%
California 52,215
 
132 2,874 7.3
+23.7%
Kentucky 4,637
 
104 190 4.3
+15.2%
Wisconsin 7,014
 
121 143 2.5
+13.5%
Ohio 17,297
 
148 481 4.1
+2.3%
Indiana 12,573
 
187 201 3.0
+1.0%
North Dakota 1,445
 
190 7 0.9
+0%
Montana 1,357
 
127 15 1.4
+0%
New Jersey 23,252
 
262 394 4.4
–2.5%
New Mexico 3,716
 
177 92 4.4
–3.2%
Alabama 9,929
 
203 337 6.9
–3.7%
Maryland 7,869
 
130 154 2.5
–4.3%
Puerto Rico 2,036
 
64 57 1.8
–5.0%
Washington 4,956
 
65 134 1.8
–8.8%
Minnesota 6,483
 
115 51 0.9
–8.9%
Arizona 15,980
 
220 475 6.5
–9.9%
Vermont 204
 
33 7 1.1
–12.5%
New York State 47,335
 
243 800 4.1
–12.9%
Colorado 5,951
 
103 59 1.0
–13.2%
Massachusetts 16,118
 
234 292 4.2
–14.6%
Florida 31,406
 
146 972 4.5
–16.1%
Pennsylvania 24,056
 
188 416 3.2
–17.5%
Missouri 8,228
 
134 229 3.7
–18.2%
Louisiana 9,608
 
207 142 3.1
–18.4%
Illinois 22,735
 
179 269 2.1
–22.0%
Nebraska 2,082
 
108 35 1.8
–22.2%
West Virginia 2,300
 
128 39 2.2
–23.5%
New Hampshire 1,170
 
86 16 1.2
–23.8%
Michigan 16,508
 
165 166 1.7
–25.6%
Connecticut 7,622
 
214 99 2.8
–30.3%
North Carolina 11,212
 
107 286 2.7
–34.3%
Delaware 1,422
 
146 55 5.6
–34.5%
South Carolina 8,530
 
166 206 4.0
–36.8%
Georgia 17,295
 
163 551 5.2
–36.9%
Wyoming 671
 
116 9 1.6
–40.0%
Nevada 4,957
 
161 85 2.8
–47.9%
Kansas 4,735
 
163 121 4.2
–51.6%
Alaska 290
 
40 1 0.1
–88.9%
Arkansas 5,243
 
174 -114 0.0
–223.9%

 

What we are seeing, I think, is the predicted peak of cases in January, falling off sharply through the first three weeks of February, with the peak of hospitalizations following (and falling) a week or two behind that, and hopefully the peak of deaths following a week or two later--meaning now.  400% on 45 means 30 some new cases--that's not huge in the big picture.  Texas and Virginia are in trouble, especially if the count goes up like that again on the first Sunday in March, but this is really good news for 48 states and I am reasonably confident the good news will continue for the next week.  Then something will swing, but that's then.   

 

Edited by Ambergris
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https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-lifts-mask-mandate-opens-texas-100-percent

 

This should be interesting.  Won't affect much up here, except for the vitriolic mask-deniers will have more vitriol.  Businesses haven't been enforcing anything around here, so it'll still be that the people who want to wear masks will masks, and the people who don't won't.

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