[News] Coronavirus

A place to discuss the now-global coronavirus outbreak.

ranalin wrote:

So is there a way for government agencies to be protected from political pressures?

CDC is just f*cking itself at a time when trust in them is needed the most and there's obviously people who are trying to do the right thing, but are getting reined in due to politics.

Entirely, no. And there shouldn't be. We need some level of election related accountability to our government.
My idea would be higher levels of detail on how transparency and operations of these departments should be handled, but I realize adding additional bureaucracy comes with its own issues.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

(The analogy works with farts, too, if you prefer.)

I do not prefer.

So I am pissed at another failure of this administration with the covid response. The obfuscation of the experts has continuously delayed important knowledge of covid. The Trump administration knew about this in January and if they had supported the science, we would have known about aerosol transmission and while we may not have been able to detect covid concentrations in the air, we could have experimented with likely concentrations for infections.

We could have reasoned out what level of fresh air circulation is required to prevent or severely limit indoor infection. Which means that we would know things like what types of business could open with informed guidelines. We could also have moved towards limiting infections in schools. We could have made our healthcare and grocery store workers even safer.

But instead we may as well be pushing our science back into the early 1900's with the level of this administration's support.

Fauci Shuts Down False Rand Paul Claims About Coronavirus, Herd Immunity

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) received a sharp education lesson on virus immunity and prevention from Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate hearing on Wednesday when the Kentucky physician attempted to attribute New York’s dramatic reduction in COVID-19 cases to herd immunity instead of people following safety protocols.

During a heated back and forth, Paul, who has opposed mask mandates, criticized Fauci’s past praise of New York and its Democratic governor’s handling of the pandemic.

“New York had the highest death rate in the world,” Paul said. “How can we possibly be jumping up and down and saying, oh Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo did a great job? He had the worst death rate in the world.”

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, responded with a fact check.

“No, you misconstrued that, senator, and you’ve done that repetitively in the past,” Fauci fired back. “They got hit very badly. They made some mistakes. Right now ... the things that are going on in New York to get their test positivity 1 percent or less is because they are looking at the guidelines that we have put together from the [coronavirus] task force.”

Those safety guidelines include mask-wearing, social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands and participating in public gatherings that are outdoors instead of indoors whenever possible.

“Or they’ve developed enough community immunity that they’re no longer having the pandemic because they have enough immunity in New York City to actually stop,” Paul interrupted.

“I challenge that,” Fauci responded, before repeating the latest data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC’s director, Robert Redfield, was also testifying at the hearing.

“This happens with Sen. Rand all the time. You are not listening to what the director of the CDC said. That in New York it’s about 22%,” he said of the positivity rate. “If you believe that 22% is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that.”

o establish herd immunity, a large percentage of a community would have to contract the virus, or a similar one, and produce antibodies to it. Every disease’s threshold for herd immunity is different. In the case of the measles virus, which is one of the most contagious infectious diseases, it’s estimated that 94% of the population would have to be immune to it to achieve herd immunity, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“Experts estimate that in the U.S., 70% of the population — more than 200 million people — would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the epidemic,” the Mayo Clinic’s website states.

Another report published in the medical journal JAMA in May estimates that to achieve herd immunity for COVID-19, between 55% and 82% of the population would have to have developed antibodies to the virus.

Sen. Paul went on to suggest that there may be people out there, about one-third of the population, that have “pre-existing immunity” to COVID-19. This idea is based on these people having what are called cross-reactive antibodies after successfully fighting similar viruses.

Fauci shot that suggestion down too.

“I’d like to talk to you about that also because there was a study that recently came out that pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses that are common cold do not cross-react with the COVID-19,” he said.

FIERY: Dr. Fauci SPARS with Rand Paul at Senate hearing

Because I'm sure it'll be out there: yes, Rand Paul is a medical doctor. He is an ophthalmologist. That does not make him an expert in infectious diseases, which Dr. Fauci is. If Dr. Paul were to argue with Dr. Fauci about the structure and conditions of the human eye, I'd side with Paul. If Dr. Paul were to argue with Dr. Fauci about infectious diseases and epidemics, I'd side with Dr. Fauci.

I'd argue with all of them.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Because I'm sure it'll be out there: yes, Rand Paul is a medical doctor. He is an ophthalmologist. That does not make him an expert in infectious diseases, which Dr. Fauci is. If Dr. Paul were to argue with Dr. Fauci about the structure and conditions of the human eye, I'd side with Paul. If Dr. Paul were to argue with Dr. Fauci about infectious diseases and epidemics, I'd side with Dr. Fauci.

He's also only board certified as an ophthalmologist in the sense that he created his own accrediting board to cover his his.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

I'd argue with all of them.

You wouldn't even need to know anything about eyes or diseases!

Tanglebones wrote:

He's also only board certified as an ophthalmologist in the sense that he created his own accrediting board to cover his his.

Correct. He was licensed and did certify at one point, but instead of re-certifying he drummed up some nepotistic bullsh*t and re-certified himself. Because he's a wanker.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
cheeze_pavilion wrote:

I'd argue with all of them.

You wouldn't even need to know anything about eyes or diseases!

We are such a dysfunctional piece of sh*t state.

Missouri governor’s wife tests positive for COVID-19; governor postpones travel, debate

Gov. Mike Parson postponed an event in St. Louis Wednesday and a debate on Friday after First Lady Teresa Parson tested positive for COVID-19.

Kelli Jones, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mike Parson, said the first lady received a positive result after taking a rapid test Wednesday morning and is awaiting results of a nasal swab test to confirm the findings.

The first lady had been showing signs of the disease, including a cough and nasal congestion when she took the test.

The governor, a Republican who has not required Missourians to wear masks to reduce the spread of the disease, is awaiting test results in Jefferson City.

“Those should come in this afternoon,” Jones said.

The fast-moving news came on a day when the state reported 1,580 additional people had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to just under 117,000. The Department of Health and Senior Services also announced 83 more deaths, bringing the total to 1,947.

Update: Trump Toady Governor Mike Parson is positive for Covid, too.

God bless them for their contribution to herd immunity!

In case there is any question, it was me that liked that.

Was this was Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick meant when he said "old people should volunteer to die to save the economy"?

Jonman wrote:

Was this was Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick meant when he said "old people should volunteer to die to save the economy"?

very kind of him to volunteer to convalesce at home without impinging on a doctors time to free up resources for someone is need should he catch the virus.

Last time Rand Paul got this badly worked over, it was over a leafblower.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
ElectricPi wrote:
PoderOmega wrote:

Maybe I missed it but if it is not airborne then what? The only way to transmit is someone directly breathing on you or touching infected surfaces?

I am not an expert on this so anyone please step in and correct me, but my understanding is that the old theory was it being carried by droplets that can hang in the air for a little while, but fall to the ground reasonably quickly. I think of it like fog versus snow. Snow is like droplets; it doesn't fall like a rock, and depending on wind etc. it can even go up, but it is still basically falling so it's not counted as airborne. Fog is airborne; it just stays hanging in the air.

Droplets is just a really polite way of saying "spit". The working theory was that the coronavirus was spread by droplets of spit when people spoke, coughed, sneezed, and so forth. Spit when you cough is pretty much like spit when you spit: it goes out of your mouth and goes on a nice little ballistic arc from there. That's where the six feet of distance comes in. The idea is that even the most spit-flecked rant won't send spit flying much more than six feet, so if there's no one within six feet of said infected spitter, the infected spit doesn't land on people. Masks also work by keeping all of your spit in your personal space.

Aerosolized transmission is different. Aerosolization means that when you exhale, the virus takes a ride on smaller droplets of moisture in your mouth and nose. Aerosolized virus stays in the air until it settles to the ground or is dispersed by airflow. But it doesn't limit itself to six feet, and it doesn't necessarily even need for an infected person to stick around. They can spread aerosolized virus in the air, leave, and then infect people after they've departed. The other thing that happens with aerosolized virus is that concentrations build up in enclosed spaces over time.

The analogy that gets used a lot is to imagine a room where someone is smoking. Think about how the longer a smoking person is in a room, the more concentrated the smoke is and how eventually every corner will smell of it. Thinking about how the person who has been smoking can leave, but the scent of cigarettes will remain behind. Think about how much more quickly the room fills with smoke when you have more than one smoker in there. If they're wearing a mask, how much smoke gets held in?

(The analogy works with farts, too, if you prefer.)

It's why airflow is important and why being outdoors is less risky than being indoors and why being indoors for brief periods of time is less risky than being there for a long time. There's evidence to suggest that a lot of the superspreader events we've seen are a result of aerosolization and people staying indoors in fairly close quarters for a long time. Entire conference rooms or auditoriums could become infected, not just the people within spitting range of someone who is contagious.

Choir practice in Spain infects 30 of 41 members with virus

AP wrote:

At least 30 of 41 members of a gospel choir in northeastern Spain have contracted coronavirus following a rehearsal indoors with little air circulation, local authorities and the chorus say.

The River Troupe Gospel, a volunteer gospel group, rehearsed on Sept. 11 ahead of an open-air performance two days later for a local festival in Sallent, a town in the province of Barcelona. It was their first public show since the beginning of the pandemic.

After one member of the chorus tested positive following the Sept. 13 performance, more than 40 other members and their close contacts went into isolation, the chorus said. Since then, at least 30 singers have tested positive, the Sallent municipal government said.

Although the chorus claims that it complied with most health safety measures — temperature checks on arrival, hand washing, social distancing between each member and masks on for most of the rehearsal — the venue’s windows were closed to avoid moths and mosquitoes. The group said it had switched on air conditioning to fight the heat.

I believe there were at least several other instances of people getting infected from choir practices.

Yeah, I've read about at least one other superspreader event at a choir. I'm not sure how many choirs are still gathering, though, so it's hard to determine what the risk is.

We have some evidence that dining in restaurants is a real bad idea, and it seems reasonable to me that twenty people really belting it out would put far more virus into the air than quietly sitting at dinner. I wouldn't personally go anywhere near a choir, either as member or audience.

it probably rings a bell because a choir getting sick was a major event in the road towards seeing airborne transmission as being a threat: LINK

Science can only do so much against our collective jackassery?!? I'm shocked.

The people who refuse to wear masks will be the same people who refuse to get vaccinated.

(And there won't be a vaccine before 2021 anyway.)

In other news, Wisconsin Officials have no idea how schools or parenting work:

NBC: Parents Knowingly Sent Kids With Coronavirus to School, Wisconsin Officials Say

Parents are knowingly sending their children who have coronavirus back to classes in Wisconsin, health officials said on Thursday, which could lead to potential school district shutdowns.

“The health department has worked with school districts since spring to make a plan to reopen,” Kirsten Johnson, Washington-Ozaukee public health director, told NBC News. “Never in a million years did we imagine or think to account for parents deliberately sending their sick or symptomatic child to school.”

I'm guessing a combination of people who can't afford to not have their kids in school and people who don't believe that the virus exists has resulted in reality diverging from the models.

There's going to be no one left to vote in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he has signed an order moving the state into phase three of reopening at a news conference today.
However, the order treats restaurants and bars differently in terms of what local municipalities can do to restrict operations.

"If a local restricts between 50 and 100, they've got to provide the justification and they've got to identify what the costs are involved with doing that are," the governor added.

Conversely, bars, which were operating at 50% capacity, must be authorized to scale up to 100% by local governments.

"If you want to go beyond the 50, you can authorize it and do it," DeSantis said.

"We're not telling you [that] you have to, but we're not going to stand in the way of that," he added.

DeSantis, in "an act of executive grace," also suspended "all outstanding fines and penalties that have been applied against individuals" associated with pandemic-related mandates, such as mask requirements.

"I think we need to get away from trying to penalize people for social distancing," DeSantis said.

"All these fines we're going to hold in abeyance and hope that we can move forward in a way that's more collaborative," he added.

Catching COVID is the ultimate collaborative act. Can't do it by yourself!

COVID kills more poor people than rich ones, and dead poors can't vote.


Could spend a week unpacking this.

I realize this is a small minority of the overall population, but it's still dispiriting to see so many people gather and announce loudly that they don't give a f*ck about anyone but themselves.

Englishman here. If drinking and having loud, interminable conversations about football is the soul of England then I think we need to find a new one.

I thought the soul of England was to stand in the door, yelling that you are leaving. Year after year.