The Spread of COVID-19

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Unless you’ve really hard-headed, it’s pretty difficult to argue with these statistics and visual examples.

How Coronavirus Spreads Through a Population

The illustrations pinpoint the R0 factor (basic reproduction number), and indicate how many new cases one infected person generates. There are also examples on how the virus compares with other diseases (you may be surprised).

102 thoughts on “The Spread of COVID-19

  1. Hello Nan. I like the graphics, easy to understand. I was surprised how much more virulent Delta was than the first Covid even though they talk about being so. I had not seen the numbers before. Number three behind measles and Chickenpox. But Nan, do you think it will help get the message to people who simple ignore the clear data and science about how masks work? You can show these disbelievers the video of how masks stop the spread and they just ignore it completely. Sorry for being so negative but so many of us have been saying over and over the known science and still we have people who claim to be medical people who claim that masks don’t work and are of the devil so liberals can indoctrinate their kids into localized transgendering of their freedoms? Or some such. Hugs

    Liked by 8 people

    • No, the illustrations probably won’t have any effect on the nay-sayers. Their “science-based” sources of information are much more suitable to their way of seeing the world.

      Nevertheless, I felt it was worth sharing. Especially considering the article doesn’t discuss prevention tactics. It’s all about the level of contagion. And if people can’t assimilate that information? There’s little more that one can say.

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      • I hate to be cynical but all those kids getting kidney damage is a LOT of money for the people who manufacture & market dialysis treatments … machines, medicines, techs, etc. Plus all the stock options … money in the bank. All these kids with kidney problems … wow, there’s a bunch of Mr. Burns rubbing their hands together & saying “Excellent”.

        Capitalism sucks, it really does.

        Liked by 9 people

        • Hello polly. Dialysis is one of the few treatments 100% paid for by the US government. It is single payer universal healthcare all by it self. Since 1972, when Congress granted comprehensive coverage under Medicare to any patient diagnosed with kidney failure, both dialysis and kidney transplants have been covered for all renal patients. In the last 20 years it has become a huge industry, one of the most lucrative in healthcare. I knew ICU nurses that would take second jobs for dialysis companies making huge sums of money for basically no real work. For most patients it is not a risky procedure but the nurses still made incredible money. Hugs

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        • Hate to be a stick in the mud, but… masking.

          Masks reduce droplet spread. Mask DO NOT reduce concentration unless the mask is an N-95 or better. Masks also reduce inhaling or exhaling droplets. Droplets can carry gobs of SARS-CoV-2 virus.

          So here’s thing: SARS-CoV-2 is a very small corona virus, so small that it floats all by its lonesome. It does not need the vehicle we call ‘droplets’ to spread. Masking of less than an N-95 is ALL about interfering with droplets. But for this virus to spread, requires only exhaling. Mask or no mask. That’s why the N-95 to be effective has to properly fitted AND fitted goggles worn to complete the PPE criteria.

          Almost all of the attempts to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 so far has been aimed at affecting droplets, from masking to cleaning surfaces to distancing (most droplets precipitate within 2 meters). It’s like looking under the street light at night for your dropped keys… not that they were dropped there but the light’s the best. Masks look good. Looks like we’re protecting ourselves and others. Look s can be and often are deceiving.

          Our knowledge since the droplet days has improved regarding this corona virus.

          Now we know that SARS-CoV-2 is an aerosol virus (meaning the virus is small enough – like measles – to hang in air for hours and hours… nary a droplet needed). We know now that the danger of contracting the virus – through eyes, nose, and mouth – increases as the concentration level rises. (This is why humidity plays a key role in constraining the virus’ movement in air… the higher, the better.)

          The level of concentration is dictated by how long a unit of air receives virus. Inside, is bad because lots can accumulate, outside better because the concentration is diluted. Add in good air flow, even better. So the closer to the source, the higher the concentration. Masking means increasing the local concentration and reducing the extended concentration. But the total concentration is IDENTICAL regardless of masking.

          So masking is something that has an effect but does not REALLY matter unless one is wearing the kind of mask that can impede under 2 micron particles (the N-95 fitted mask is about 95% effective at 5 microns). Most masks neither catch virus coming in nor going out to any meaningful degree. But it does interfere with droplets that themselves can carry thousands of virus. The problem here is that once the droplet evaporates, usually within 5 seconds for a 100 micron droplet at 50% humidity, all that concentrated virus is now free to roam.

          So making the whole masking thing really important is somewhat ridiculous when compared to the effectiveness of vaccines in every regard, even though masking is effective when one is temporarily exposed to an exhaled breath. Once a person moves into still air, masking is like masturbation: it feels good but accomplishes very little. The amount of applause or booing really doesn’t alter anything… unless one makes either into a spectator event.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Funny thing. I don’t recall seeing anything in the referenced article about masking. It does mention “isolation methods,” but no mention of masks … ??

          Perhaps you’re commenting on the wrong post? Especially since I’ve written several on the topic.

          Liked by 5 people

        • I was actually responding to Scottie about the importance of masking. But because it was a general comment in regards to the effectiveness of masking versus an aerosol virus I didn’t link it directly to his comment. Sorry about the confusion.

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        • Given the continuance of covid and fact that I will be masking for a while, I did invest in the best possible masks. However, there are data on the survivability of viruses (not covid) with and without even a microdot of snot. I am not sure of the science here, and I thank you for your input.

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        • I agree with the fact that masks are at best a minor assistance, however I think it is a more a psychological effect whereas some hope that we can beat the virus and gives us some freedom to shop and exercise etc. I think that some masks are probably mass produced rubbish to cash in on the massive sales and profits to be made.

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        • I’m sorry, but you nor anyone else have any way of knowing how effective any masks have been. A ‘minor assistance at best’ is some improvement over no assistance. Even the best masks are subject to leakage and some failure. The best vaccines are not 100% effective.

          Wearing the best mask available will not make one bulletproof. Even with the mask and the vaccine we still need to practice self-defense. Declaring personal opinions as to what works and what doesn’t puts us in the predicament of maybe influencing someone to make a disastrous decision based on what we say. Turn your TV onto a Christian channel/network and listen for a few minutes to what is being preached. Every bit of misinformation, disinformation, and bloviations on things we are not qualified to critique, contributes to the spread of the covid.

          I wish the information that Nan provided could be displayed on my sisters-in-law’s TV. My Nephew’s. My cousins’. I live in a small rural county, 40,855 (2018). We had 4,000+ infections and 80 deaths. All-time. We relaxed the mask-wearing. Children went back to school. Boom! 9/3, forty-one new cases and one death. In less than two weeks with the relaxed conditions, we are now suffering the consequences. I wish we could have prevented one of those spreaders as in those charts.

          The coronavirus has been around for a while. It survives by stealth and taking advantage of the ignorance of its host. We don’t have any natural defenses, so we have to find ways to stop it or at least to help us survive it. If these little cheap one-use masks I have had stopped one of those spreaders in my county we may be down to 20 infections and no deaths.

          https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/coronaviruses-have-been-around-for-centuries-what-differentiates-2019-ncov/

          I hope everyone took notice and advantage of the information Nan provided. I had not seen it presented like that before. Maybe if I can convince my sisters-in-law to look at this it will convince them to change their minds about a few things. They identify as ‘prayer warriors’ so I have to compete with the church. They are Trump supporters, so I have to compete with what used to be the Republican party. I don’t know who their minister/preacher/pastor is but he/she has prayer warriors.

          The spread of the covid virus. Credulity = the inability of some people to have critical, skeptical thoughts.

          I’m sorry, Nan. I just keep turning those little circles on those charts into people. 658,407 of them to date.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t think anyone is calling for masks in lieu of the vaccine. Masks usage for those who are not eligible for the vaccine is not a ridiculous idea. Masks plus vaccine is a good idea. Whatever viable weapons we have should be put to use.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. A little side note..just saw Wash Post article (I subscribe) stating the booster shot will only be for people who have gotten the Pfizer shots. The other two need more study. Yet in my area (Fla),most of the drug stores and grocery stores are offering both right now. Seems like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing and then I question should I go get the third shot now before my 8 months in Oct? Very confusing.

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    • Seems like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing

      This doesn’t surprise you, does it? 😈

      Personally, even though I’m “eligible,” I don’t think I’m going to opt for that third shot. At least not right away. Besides, if it’s only for Pfizer folks, I’m disqualified as my jab was with Moderna.

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    • As of today, the Moderna is holding up better versus contracting Covid after 8 months than Pfizer, which fades to under 50% effectiveness in just ONE category only, namely, breakthrough infection… which is why they are considering a booster for the most compromised. (Moderna has a higher effectiveness over the same span.) But in all other categories – like serious symptoms, hospitalizations, long covid – Pfizer (and Moderna and AZ) – remains very strong protection.

      I’ve heard many a Medical Officer say don’t take a booster just because you can; take it when your doc says it’s good idea for maximum effectiveness.

      Many Pfizer double vaxed people are getting Covid (as are many of those who received Moderna and J&J and AZ and so on) but something like 8 fold fewer problems if contracted and over 50 fold greater protection from adverse symptoms and almost immunity from needing intubation compared to the unvaxed. To date, I don’t think there’s any Pfizer vaxed people hospitalized in our region, although about 20% of positive cases of Delta is coming in from fully vaxed people. But that’s to be expected when Delta is 1000 times more virulent. So getting Covid is what will probably happen literally to every human being eventually regardless of vaccination status. So that’s not really the important issue, even thought the vaccine critics are trying to paint it thusly. What matters are the facts, and the facts are that for those double vaxed people, these breakthrough cases are very much like either few if any symptoms or sometimes a mild flu. And there are no reported cases of long Covid from those fully vaxed who have had Covid. You’re doing great being fully vaxed and you’ll be advised to get a booster from your doc when and if you should. That’s why those people went to school for all those years.

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      • So getting Covid is what will probably happen literally to every human being eventually regardless of vaccination status.

        I tend to think this is a very-close-to-accurate statement. Especially now that the Mu variant is being investigated –with rather frightening feedback according to lab results. And then what variant will follow?

        So long as we have the unmasked and the unvaxxed among us, I think we’re all at risk of contracting one form or another of the virus during the next few (several?) years. A depressing thought.

        Liked by 5 people

        • Looks like Mu cannot compete against Delta and so models show it will die out. Don’t know enough to know why, and I don’t know if that’s good news or bad.

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      • Get the booster to insure we get a delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta….and so on variants. The best option is to let the virus reach a state of equilibrium, verses forcing Darwin to explore other options through vaccinating during a pandemic.

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        • No. You do not understand either viral mutations or how vaccination works. You’ve managed to get this exactly backwards. The smallpox vaccine got rid of smallpox; it didn’t create a new pox. The polio vaccine got rid of polio; it didn’t create a new strain. The same is true for a whole bunch of stuff and this is readily available knowledge.

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      • Just a week ago, a woman in Alberta who was double Pfizered, like me, caught the Delta variant, and was dead a week later. She was in her 60s, but healthy and active. This tells me that no one is truly safe. It was not known if she was masked when she contracted the virus, but I am going to keep wearing my mask anyway. I have not had as much as a cold since I started wearing one, and I am very prone to colds and flu.

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        • I tend to think that those of us who are more interested in our personal health and well-being than statistics and “expert” opinions are going to take whatever precautions we feel are necessary to protect ourselves. If someone else has come to the conclusion that such steps are “unnecessary” — and they use incidents like the lady you mentioned to validate their opinion — that’s their prerogative.

          Personally, I’d rather be safe than sorry. Even if it means a certain amount of discomfort and/or inconvenience.

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        • My sentiments exactly. If by masking and vaccinating I am protecting others as well as myself, that is my choice. And I will continue to mask. I cannot unvaccinate myself!

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        • Nan, I see you have an abundance of resident experts to deal with. I repent of having burdened the page and your followers with my drivel. I should have scrolled down through all the comments before chiming in.

          Covid, and all viruses, etc., ride a horse called ignorance.

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        • DON’T apologize!! EVERY person’s opinion is important … whether it’s to support or disagree. You never know whether something you say will resonate with others and cause them to reconsider/re-evaluate their position.

          My only qualifier is to stay on topic. 😋

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  3. The clear historical tendency for viruses crossing over from one species to another is to evolve in a way that makes them both more infectious and less pathogenic over time. However, a universal vaccination policy deployed in the middle of a pandemic can turn this normal Darwinian taming process into a dangerous vaccine arms race.
    The essence of this arms race is this: The more people you vaccinate, the greater the number of vaccine-resistant mutations you are likely to get, the less durable the vaccines will become, ever more powerful vaccines will have to be developed, and individuals will be exposed to more and more risk”

    This from Dr. Malone, the inventor of mRNA vaccines (and DNA vaccines). He also discovered lipid mediated and naked RNA transfection technologies.
    His website here —
    https://www.rwmalonemd.com/news
    There is a lot of misinformation and rookie mistakes and management of this pandemic. The best option is to protect only the most vulnerable to decrease the number of variants (stop forcing the virus to mutate with vaccinations) and it will stabilize itself as other pathogens do.

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        • Vaccination does NOT cause mutation. Good grief. It’s having NOT ENOUGH people vaccinated so that mutations have time and numbers of unvaccinated people to find that sweet spot between virulence and how contagious it is. But even then, as the mRNA vaccines have shown, vaccination reduces the symptoms and severity and transmissibility. There is NO downside to vaccination. None. Zero Nada. Diddly followed closely by Squat. Any other suggestion is from the expertise of Twitter and the library of Facebook commentary, right up there with bovine deworming Ivermectin.

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        • Tildeb, viruses are not simple. They can’t all be placed in one box. According to Quanta Magazine, smallpox has low mutation rate, and is amenable to vaccines. Influenza has a high mutation rate, and isn’t easily controlled with vaccines. Polio, on the other hand, has a high mutation rate and it is controllable with vaccines.

          Vaccines can backfire. There are several effects that have appeared in the development of various vaccines (including Covid) in animal testing. It’s called ADE. Basically if the anti-body is poorly matched to its receptor, it enables the virus to infect immune cells. This is the mechanism by which the second bout of dengue fever is worse than the first.

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        • Available data suggest that the most probable ADE mechanism relevant to COVID-19 pathology is the formation of antibody–antigen immune complexes that leads to excessive activation of the immune cascade in lung tissue. This is not a response to vaccination. It is a response to infection by the corona virus. That said, there was concern that a serum vaccine could produce ADE and so this was tested.

          “Vaccines that elicit neutralizing antibodies against the S protein reliably protect animals from SARS-CoV challenge without evidence of enhancement of infection or disease71,72,73. These data suggest that human immunization strategies for SARS-CoV-2 that elicit high neutralizing antibody titres have a high chance of success with minimal risk of ADE.”

          So no one is saying viruses are simple. No is saying that vaccines have zero risk. But nothing in human history equals the achievement of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination program. And the benefits are overwhelmingly in favor of the effectiveness (note that is different than efficacy). This is not in dispute by facts; it is in dispute by motivated reasoning… for whatever reason the motivation might be. I’m much more concerned with what’s trrue. And the ONLY response to SARS-CoV-2 that offers the greatest benefit to the most people is approved vaccinations. This notion to let the virus run rampant and burn itself out when compared to safe and effective vaccination is criminally stupid.

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        • Varients do not come through vaccinations. Varients come through allowing the virus to continue unimpeded. Varients are a natural progression of the virus’ effort to survive.

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        • If you don’t have these pathogens evolving in response to vaccines, then we really don’t understand natural selection.
          Paul Ewald
          Immunization is also making once-rare or nonexistent genetic variants of pathogens more prevalent, presumably because vaccine-primed antibodies can’t as easily recognize and attack shape-shifters that look different from vaccine strains. And vaccines being developed against some of the world’s wilier pathogens — malaria, HIV, anthrax — are based on strategies that could, according to evolutionary models and lab experiments, encourage pathogens to become even more dangerous.”Quanta Magazine
          https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-vaccines-can-drive-pathogens-to-evolve-20180510/

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        • “presumably because vaccine-primed antibodies can’t as easily recognize and attack shape-shifters that look different from vaccine strains.” (Vaccine strains? This presents the virus a s if a product of the vaccine, which is gross if not intentional misrepresentation).

          So if you have ‘non-primed’ antibodies – ie a normal immune system – you get an unrestrained fricken pandemic! Might that be a known problem? Let’s ask the millions who are dead and the hundreds of millions still affected.

          Plus, just because you’ve survived one member of literally hundreds of variants of a virus family that has burned through a population doesn’t mean you have the ‘natural’ defense against the next variant that will ALWAYS arise. This is why we have a family of corona viruses that are never eradicated by ‘natural’ immunity arising from previous infections but viruses that continue merrily mutating because that’s what all viruses DO. Again the point here is this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH VACCINES.

          This is the case with SARS-CoV-2 and it is known. Without vaccines to interrupt transmission, it IS a pandemic that just keeps on keeping on.

          Do you see the idiocy of this vaccines-are-the-problem position, naming the potential rise of variants as if MORE dangerous than a KNOWN danger? This is anti-vax propaganda, plain, pure, and simple. And although it contains a kernel of truth (the same reasoning is if we let the forest fire burn unimpeded and naturally wrecking havoc on populations and property , then – Oh Look! – we’ve reduced the risk of some new fire), it utterly fails to address a real problem in real life right now that we CAN do something about: THIS pandemic.

          I mean, seriously…

          Liked by 1 person

        • Also, the question of whether or not a person previously with Covid-positive results from antigen testing should or should not then get vaccinated has been definitively answered:

          Yes.

          “Moreover, neutralizing antibodies against B.1.351 (Beta variant) after vaccination of individuals previously infected with non-B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 (say, the variant Delta) were ∼100 times higher than after infection alone and 25 times higher than after vaccination alone—even though neither the vaccine nor infection involved the B.1.351 spike.”

          This study is is all about investigating ‘hybrid immunity’ and if it’s a thing or something important. So this study (a Science article about it published here) demonstrates very clearly that vaccination – contrary to Jim’s assertion and Quora’s supporting article for his position that vaccination causes variants AND increases the variant’s virulence – reduces the creation of new variants and impedes their spread by boosting immunity.

          Jim and the Quora article are entirely misguided in this conclusion because the facts do not support it.

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        • Just thought I’d mention that the contributor of the article in Quanta that I think you’ve been referencing is described thusly:

          Melinda Wenner Moyer is a science writer based in New York’s Hudson Valley. She is a contributing editor at Scientific American and a columnist at Slate. She is a 2018 visiting scholar at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and an Alicia Patterson fellow.

          IOW, she’s simply referencing things she’s researched. She herself is not qualified to offer a studied perspective.

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        • She herself is not qualified to offer a studied perspective”. Sorry Nan, this isn’t quite right. Who do you leave it to to publish the findings? I read many articles on google scholar on the development of the vaccines, the gene editing and the manufacture of nanolipids, and rather than being in the lab yourself, who is going to report these findings? Btw, it’s very long, technical, and difficult and I have a medical background.
          Part of her text is direct quotes from the scientists themselves.
          What seems apparent here is people who got the shots are hell bent on confirmation bias to justify their actions.
          This isn’t a finding of any sort against the vaccinations, just the repercussions, although there is plenty to wonder if all of these vaccinations are in the best interest of long term humanity. At any point do we let nature select the course? In other words, we say we know evolution is true, but have no faith in it at all.

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        • “In other words, we say we know evolution is true, but have no faith in it at all.”

          What? Faith in evolution is like faith in gravity. (It takes a lot of hubris to presume either has some end goal.)

          This arguing that vaccinations impede evolution is like arguing handrails impede gravity. Well, yeah.

          So I guess for those ‘strong’ hand-rail-ists among us, we say we know gravity is true, but have no faith in it at all.

          And that matters to this supposed purpose for either evolution or gravity exactly how?

          But it sure as hell matters for those who might die needlessly or suffer interminably from not impeding either when the opportunity arises to take mitigating measures, don’t you think?

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        • I’m not presuming evolution has some goal. It’s just blind energy, right? In the end nobody really believes in their philosophies. It’s all existential anxieties. Is this course of action humanities best chance at survival? Like Oppenheimer said, the world is going to hell and the only thing that might prevent it is if we don’t try and stop it. Meaning every human intervention on nature has a million more variables we can’t account for. Bigger bandaids, less quality. Btw, What is the harm in dying needlessly as opposed to a reasonable death? How would you even know you died, and how can any possible death be needless when every death is an indispensable cycle of nature? We will however save all we can and simultaneously deplete every last resource, wind the whole thing up as tight as genetically possible, then bang!
          Is it possible our attempts at fixing every last problem is the bigger problem?

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        • Evolution is a mechanism, a process, an understanding of how life changes over time. It’s not a philosophy, nor an ‘energy’, Jim. It is an unguided, natural way life behaves. It just is… in the same way that mass has an attraction to any body of atoms. In the same way gravity is a fundamental property of mass, so too is evolution a fundamental property of life. This requires no belief, no faith; it requires understanding.

          In the same way we ‘use’ our understanding of – or as you would say, interfere with – mass for all kinds of purposes we deem beneficial to our well being, so too do we ‘use’ and our understanding of evolution to ‘interfere’ with biology for all kinds of purposes we deem beneficial to our well being. Most people might be tempted to go so far as to say a means of interfering called ‘medicine’ is based on exactly this. Why presume such interference is philosophically ‘bad’? Why frame any interference as automatically ‘bad’ unless one is so far down the rabbit-hole of life-denying nihilism that any and all actions are meaningless and therefore futile? Your biology does not agree with this philosophy and will do its utmost to operate and ‘interfere’ to the extent of trying to survive in spite of the cowardly philosophical position to justify any and all inaction.

          Vaccination IS medicine and its sole purpose is to reduce the risk of great suffering and promote the enhanced potential for well being. Denying vaccination therefore is to increase the risk of great suffering and refuse the enhanced potential for well being. In evolutionary terms, such interference improves fitness of the vaccinated cohort, those smart enough to realize greater reproduction is more likely from people who are alive and healthy after a couple of jabs than those who think ‘Let nature take its course’ with this virus and see who comes out the other side. Remember, both will come into contact with this virus and both will produce antigens; the difference is that vaccinated people will be far more successful than the non vaccinated and not just against a particular virus but against the entire family of related viruses. In every way, the evolutionary advantage goes to the vaccinated.

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        • Curious if you have ever read, “On the Problem of Good”? It is a great read and challenges our notions of that which we think we know. It has plenty of science for you and would actually like to see you dispute it.
          You seem to be selling something here. You contradict yourself with your “not a philosophy” and science is beyond reproach. You have no idea what will come of this.

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        • I have no doubts that the intent is honorable. It doesn’t really change the unforeseen consequences which typically outweigh the intent. We will prop up every facet of survival till we’re all shoulder to shoulder.

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        • Lol. True. I have no problem with that. Maybe the only philosophical question worth pursuing—is it serious? For the strict evolutionist it certainly shouldn’t be. For the Eastern thinkers it certainly shouldn’t be, only in our Christian culture does it hold such improbable importance. We evolved out of the primordial soup to form political alliances and take sides, draw lines in the sand and fight so “they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot”—Carl Sagan
          Pretty amusing, really.

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      • Further, from my referenced article,

        But if some people are not susceptible to infection — because of immunity through vaccination, because they have previously been infected or because of other biological reasons — or if transmission is curbed due to part of the population being isolated, then the R value becomes lower, and the spread is incomplete, and slowed.

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        • All these conclusions from the various “experts” must be taken with a grain of salt. Your referenced article talks about the potential of “existential reproductive risks” from the vaccines, yet elsewhere this has been debunked.

          This particular “warning” hits home because my daughter apparently read (and believed) this “virologists fear” and thus discouraged my granddaughters from getting vaccinated. Now three of them have/had COVID.

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        • Um, it’s a little early to make that call. “Reports of abnormal periods after COVID-19 vaccinations prompt NIH to award funding to study potential link”
          Months after people began sharing their stories online of experiencing abnormal menstruation following a COVID-19 vaccination, clinical research into a potential link is set to begin.
          The National Institutes of Health announced this week that it awarded funding to five institutions to study whether the coronavirus vaccines are causing menstruation changes.”
          Your defending what is not yet known. Good grief

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        • The good grief was aimed at people Nan knows who think vaccination is a higher risk than the safest vaccination ever produced in human history, tested more than any other in human history, followed to collect the largest data set in human history, manufactured in the largest quantities in human history, distributed to more people than any other in human history to the greatest efficacy in human history, and then there’s those who think the known should be suspended in the name of the unknown. In comparison, we know a lot about SARS-CoV-2 and a lot about Covid-19. and we know it has adverse health effects to the point of death.

          I like to compare and contrast and so I understand why the medical consensus is to get vaccinated… because its benefits is known to dwarf any and all other concerns about its potential risks. Many fold. Many, many, many fold.

          So to come across someone who thinks otherwise tells me they don’t understand simple Bayesian reasoning but are more than likely (excuse the pun) to be using motivated reasoning that makes them feel special as a contrarian to facts. Fox News and a lot of Talk Radio have cashed in on this all too human foible.

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        • greatest efficacy in human history”
          That’s utter religious bullshit. Are you friggin kidding me? A vaccine that works but still requires masking and social distancing, full of gene editing and Solid Lipid Nanoparticles, and frankly, hurried and risky technology that does not eradicate the virus.
          I know 3 people in my little town that died of corona and we’re all vaccinated. Even put it in their obituary to not get fingers pointed. Countless others got it and also were vaccinated—almost like it weakens immune response. But to you, science is beyond reproach, even when the money says otherwise.

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        • It an excuse of word salad to justify the impotence of the modality in real life. It isn’t working, nor is it in the best interest of our long term survivability.

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        • So to come across someone who thinks otherwise tells me they don’t understand simple Christian reasoning but are more than likely (excuse the pun) to be using motivated reasoning that makes them feel special as a owner of facts. Fox News and a lot of Talk Radio (never watch em) have cashed in on this all too human foible.
          —And these facts are changing daily which makes them unfactual.
          Question; why do these vaccine manufacturers insist on blanket immunity and strong-arm third world countries into no fault agreements if your theory is so bulletproof?

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        • It’s not my theory, Jim. It’s data driven. These are the real world results. Vaccinations save people an incredible amount of harm. Vaccinations massively reduce risk. Vaccinations interfere with the transmission of that virus. Vaccinations do not eliminate the risk nor protect people from it. And this is why I often explain that risk is what matters. All we can do is either increase it or decrease it. (To make matters even more complicated, our personal decisions increase or decrease the risk to others.) We cannot avoid it.

          So when I comment like this, I am basing it on how effective vaccinations really are not to one or two people but in the aggregate because this shows clearly divergent trends. Where vaccination rates are low, the harm is high. Where vaccinations are high, the harm is low. Where vaccinations reach a certain level, the harm decreases to negligible for that entire population. So that’s why health policy is what it is, to try to get to the point where, say, children face very low risk because the adults followed medical advice and got vaccinated. And we can measure this. We know when it’s working and when it’s not. That’s why I say it’s not my theory but data driven based on what’s really going on.

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    • Flat line Delta in both Iceland and Belgium where over 85% are vaxed. The danger is what we have: a fair number vaccinated but not enough to get the Ro below one (and create herd immunity). That give the virus time to mutate and spread. Vaccination is the one defense we have.

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    • I think you need to do a little more research into your guy, Dr. Malone. He’s not what he’s cracked up to be when he is buddies with the likes of Steve Brannon and pokes insults at Dr. Fauci.

      Liked by 4 people

        • Political leanings is an understatement. I appreciate different views if they are from reputable sources, so I consider not only the source, but their cohorts. Glenn Beck? Tucker Carlson?

          “In that alternate media universe, Robert Malone’s star is ascendant. He started popping up on podcasts and cable news shows a few months ago, presented as a scientific expert, arguing that the approval process for the vaccines had been unwisely rushed. He told Tucker Carlson that the public doesn’t have enough information to decide whether to get vaccinated. He told Glenn Beck that offering incentives for taking vaccines is unethical. He told Del Bigtree, an anti-vaccine activist who opposes common childhood inoculations, that there hadn’t been sufficient research on how the vaccines might affect women’s reproductive systems. On show after show, Malone, who has quickly amassed more than 200,000 Twitter followers, casts doubt on the safety of the vaccines while decrying what he sees as attempts to censor dissent.”

          Liked by 3 people

        • This could be a whole other fun debate. Do you trust a politically liberal scientist, or a conservative one? Do we discredit someone on the right by quoting The Atlantic or the NYT?
          Is the data is interpreted by science to favor science? If we don’t believe the vaccines cause mutations then we don’t understand evolution.

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    • I just got my flu shot as I wanted to specs the two apart.maybe it doesn’t matter, but that’s what I did. I also wear masks even if it helps just a little for me AND someone else. I’m fully vaccinated and glad of it. Ive only heard of one fully vaccinated person who has died from a breakthrough and he had been fighting cancer for several months with chemo etc.

      Liked by 3 people

        • Can’t go wrong building up the body’s immunity with the flu shots and wise, I think, to space them out.

          The serum vaccines are the ones that hold a slightly higher risk but, for anyone with any compromised issues, the benefits massively outweigh the risks.

          And the reason why I say this isn’t because I have this opinion or that, because this person says this or that, because this one study shows this or that result; it’s because the national data base shows this to be the case overall and to date (which is why efficacy – meaning the results of controlled studies – is significantly and importantly different from effectiveness, which the actual real world results compiled from what has come before), and THIS is what I am always referring to: the total number of actual adverse reactions versus the total number of shots delivered and to what cohorts and for how long since receiving them versus those who have had none or one vaccine shot. This is what the numbers actually show to be the case in reality, that we have an incredibly effective vaccination program that delivers real world results that really do significantly reduce pain and suffering and complications and hospital admissions and so on. Now we’re starting to gain data on long Covid, and which strain results in what. That’s why the Delta variant and young people is very alarming because 16% of infected kids get life long organ damage. Hell, 1% would be cause for concern! But the protection for those who have compromised immunity and organs is profound.

          So when I read someone saying vaccinations produce mutations and so we should be careful about receiving a vaccination, it makes me scream in frustration because this is EXACTLY backwards to real world data and following such advice is tantamount to massively increasing one’s risk as well as making the risk greater for EVERYONE else. No amount of masking, for example, can even compare to the reducing the harm (not eliminating it) as two simple needles with almost zero risk to almost everyone. The real world data bears this out.

          Liked by 4 people

        • Especially with heart attacks and, to a lesser extent, strokes. Then there’s the cohort with fairly significant underlying issues like cancer or diabetes or some reduced organ function who die sooner and often suddenly and (relatively) unexpectedly. So it’s the ‘heart attack’ that shows up as the cause of death. So it’s interesting how our best indicators that adds weight to your opinion are not a one-to-one testing-for-Covid results (often not done after a person has died) but overall rates including particular hospitalizations and First Responder events. There are some little-known correlations from larger data sets, too, like waste water testing for the virus to indicate community prevalence, which is then matched up to certain recorded events like an uptick in heart attacks correlated to the number of emergency medical calls and so on. High vaccination rates clearly – and this an important element of support for your opinion – demonstrate a suppression across the board of for all these events, so we can have a fair bit of confidence compared to ‘normal’ that Covid harms in many unseen ways, too… ways that may not show up as a direct Covid-related death.

          And then there’s the waiting tsunami of long Covid because data is showing almost no improvement in symptoms between six months and a year, say chronic tiredness that puts athletes in their 20s and 30s with this condition too tired to be able to brush their teeth and stand at the same time, too foggy to remember 3 number sequences, and so on. Very serious stuff. They assumed if they got Covid they’d be sick for a while and then get better. After all, young, healthy, fit, no underlying conditions…

          What particularly angers me is the harm caused by unvaccinated people taking up so much medical capacity when they do get Covid forcing the suspension and reallocation of other services to serve this immediate need. Other people, through no fault of their own, are being harmed. Things like cancer treatments and chronic pain surgeries and access to early detection medicine and the loss of longitudinal studies and so on, all because so many people decide getting vaccinated is really just a personal choice and not a social obligation in the service of others.

          Liked by 2 people

        • This from Quanta magazine “Evolutionary biologists aren’t surprised that this is happening. A vaccine is a novel selection pressure placed on a pathogen, and if the vaccine does not eradicate its target completely, then the remaining pathogens with the greatest fitness — those able to survive, somehow, in an immunized world — will become more common. “If you don’t have these pathogens evolving in response to vaccines,” said Paul Ewald, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Louisville, “then we really don’t understand natural selection.”
          https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-vaccines-can-drive-pathogens-to-evolve-20180510/
          Btw, I am not an anti vaxer. The talk of herd immunity and the speed at which the population is vaccinated won’t come from a shot that doesn’t provide immunity from the virus. Very simple. To compare this with polio or smallpox is ridiculous.

          Like

        • Hence the reason for dedicated research into vaccinations for a family type of virus or bacterium. The messenger vaccinations are of particular promise here. What current vaccines do is produce antibodies for a one selected mechanism like the spike protein. Interference with this latching mechanism produces a reduction in susceptibility to that protein. But, as you quite rightly say, proteins mutate and so we give the new configuration a new name. But what you are not explaining is how vaccinations give enough protection to significantly continue to give benefit to the body’s ability to produce altered anti-bodies to fit the mutated version.

          Of course fitness matters in the production of new viruses based on mutation. Of course suppressing this protein spike gives benefit and room for mutated virus to emerge. No one is saying otherwise. That’s how we get MERS and SARS: related (corona virus) viruses from the corona family of viruses. My point is that mutation doesn’t occur BECAUSE of vaccination; it mutates all the time based on prevalence – the more people infected, the greater number of mutations. Also, just because a body has recovered from MERS, for example, doesn’t mean it has ‘natural’ immunity for a version of SARS. To expect this is unreasonable. Immunity is always a function of interfering with the mechanisms by which virus successfully invade and reproduce in a host. To suppress one is to give some other mechanism the means to invade and successfully reproduce. This is what is being talked about and why the successful interference of reducing this member or that member of the the family of corona viruses is always like a whack-a-mole game. Where you’ve gone wrong is assuming that whacking the first one causes the second ( which is true with INADEQUATE vaccination rates but not with herd immunity) AND is therefore of less benefit because it gives room for the next. What you’re forgetting is that first mechanism can be eliminated through sufficient vaccination, and this was the point I was raising regarding smallpox and polio. Getting rid of one may make room for another mechanism but getting rid of one is a step in the right direction. And with these vaccines, they ALSO mitigate much of the harm from the mutated versions. This is why virology is always a battleground or a fire storm and we really can achieve significant victories rather than massive defeats even though the war always continues. We are NEVER going to end this war, put out all vestiges of this raging fire that is viral epidemics always trying to expand. But we can contain these and reduce their size and influence. That’s what vaccinations achieve. Vaccinations don’t ’cause’ new variants to rise and this is obvious when we know where the variants of concern have arisen: not from the geography where vaccinated populations live but from where large populations of unvaccinated people live. There’s your answer.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. From the article from the Atlantic and seems Dr. Malone and Steve Brannon are buddies. All I need to know.

    “Robert Malone—a medical doctor and an infectious-disease researcher—recently suggested that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines might actually make COVID-19 infections worse. He chuckled as he imagined Anthony Fauci announcing that the vaccination campaign was all a big mistake (“Oh darn, I was wrong!”) and would need to be abandoned. When he floated that nightmare scenario during a recent podcast interview with Steve Bannon, both men seemed almost delighted at the prospect of public-health officials and pharmaceutical companies getting their comeuppance. “This is a catastrophe,” Bannon declared, beaming at his guest.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also wanted to point out that socialized medicine tends to offer us much better data than the US and other payer systems. This is why multiple studies across many borders offers us more insight into what’s actually going on. So we need to pay attention to whether or not our sources are using narrow or wide data.

    A good example is the US and booster shots, where the CDC and White House say 8 months, but then 5 months, then 6. This kind of response does not breed confidence. What breeds confidence is knowing that two Pfizer shots lose more effectiveness than Moderna for those over the age of 50 and compromised and that like with HIV and Hep C (? I might be wrong here.. me memory ain twhat’ is was) 3rd booster shots are normal to achieve highest effectiveness. The timing for this isn’t the point; the data will indicate the most effective time to do this. That’s where we are now: establishing the best time. And family docs should be sent this advisory.

    So doing the booster too soon won’t necessarily help and doing it too late will produce higher risk for a period of time so this is a shifting target sort of like having one’s screen jostled and the view blurred until it settles down (and the data collected). I suspect the same need for a booster will be true for Moderna or any manufactured RNA vaccine but with a different timeline than Pfizer. But getting vaccinated is still THE ONLY primary defense. And this matter more than ever right now. Especially in the US and especially where vaccination rates are lower:

    “Pediatric hospitalizations have dramatically increased in the past month. Yes, the media is accurately portraying the situation on the ground. And, hospitalizations have increased the most for 0-4 year olds. Importantly, this isn’t because Delta is likely more severe, it’s because we are transmitting Delta in the community and our kids aren’t protected. Your decision not to get a vaccine or implement public health measures in schools or the community is directly impacting the health of kids.”

    So yeah, this is very troubling news with school return imminent just as the 4th wave is gaining full momentum but in the outdoor summer months. This is a huge red flag mostly being ignored. Surprisingly, the next group for highest rate of hospitalizations is not the unvaxed 5-11 cohort, which is what one might expect for the unvaccinated; it’s the unvaccinated 12-17 showing up in need of hospitalization. These two facts obliterates the notion that young, fit, healthy people have some kind of natural immunity or defense against Covid’s Delta variant but it raises the question why this teenage cohort?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. To each and every one of you debating the positives and negatives of vaccines, masks, etc., I am going to say this: The human race is already on a collision course with species suicide due to so many factors that Covid-19 is just a minor concern in the big scheme of things. We can only do our best to control what we can control, but we are not doing our best ANYWHERE. All this fighting divides us when we need to be uniting, and I mean the whole human race uniting to save our planet from human-made destruction.
    If, on this one post alone, we took the energy on display and used it to direct our attention to saving the world and the continuation of life, not as we know it, but better than we know it, great things could be accomplished!
    Listen to Greta Thuneberg, THE TIME IS NOW!
    We are wasting money and time fighting the little things, and letting the big things keep getting worse and worse. I am not saying we should ignore Covid, but let’s get our priorities in order. We need to clean up our planet. We need to stop putting profits ahead of people and other living beings, and we seriously need to learn to work together! Otherwise Covid will cease to affect humans, because there will be no humans left to affect, vaccinated or not!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Just <a href="https://climatecrocks.com/2021/09/04/carbon-capture-perfectly-captured/"an example of what ‘we’ looks like. Golly, I wonder why ‘we’ aren’t getting the job done?

      Oh, and Greta’s tweet today is the percentage breakdown of reasons why women have abortions.

      Before I get the mandatory reminder of sticking to the post, I just want to say all of this is connected. Right here. At the grassroots level. We are the we you’re talking about and it starts very much with effectively doing something tangible about the little things and causes change to the bigger things.

      Like

        • Yes … you’re correct. Here is your reminder: Stick to the post topic, no matter how much you think it relates. Thank you. ❤

          Like

        • It goes well beyond being hard-headed to understand why these numbers presented in these interactive graphs are not reason enough to motivate an incredible number of otherwise intelligent people to get vaccinated. And that’s because the reluctance is not based on facts, nor any respect for the reality they represent, but the inevitable results of allowing the politicization of them so that facts becomes the servants of competing and incompatible ideologies. That is the mistake so many of us make everyday, to believe the narrative, to take sides, to motivate our own reasoning. That why I say ‘we’ that rawgod refers to are the problem because we give in to this and not some group of ‘Others’ who are card carrying members of a retrograde ragtag collection of misfits, idjits, and morons (apologies to misfits, idjits, and morons everywhere).

          I think Adam Sobel (a well known extreme weather climate scientist and expert) captures how these problems are linked and compounded. What the States is going through I think is international to some degree in scope:

          “You’re almost certainly aware, if you’re reading this, that climate scientists have been warning for years that human-induced global warming will bring us a future of these faster and more furious extreme weather events. When asked, we try to explain to what extent they are representative of those trends, vs. accidents of nature. Of course, they’re generally both at the same time, to varying degrees, and in my answers, I try to capture the nuances of that tension.

          But now the events are coming with such speed and ferocity that those nuances seem pointless.

          The nonstop, compound environmental disasters of this summer alone — the fires, heat waves, droughts, floods and hurricanes — would probably have been enough to shock us. But they also come after a year and a half of a pandemic. Even worse, they come atop an ongoing crisis for our democracy that is preventing us, as a nation and a species, from effectively meeting any of these challenges. The news about the floods here in the Northeast, the fires burning in the West and the too-slow relief and recovery from Ida in Louisiana are competing for our attention with the news that the Supreme Court and Texas state legislature have managed, at least for the moment, to effectively annul Roe v. Wade, dealing what looks to me like the worst blow to gender equality in my lifetime. This just after the same legislature passed another law that imposes harsh new restrictions on voting, a move supported by a constituency that still maintains that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The same state government, and others like it, have done everything in their power to support those who resist mandating lifesaving public health measures on Covid — masks and vaccines — even as cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge.

          With this retrograde faction as powerful as it is in our national politics, we’re supposed to solve the climate problem? I know this is an unhelpful attitude. And notwithstanding all the bad news, there is, simultaneously, tremendous positive momentum on climate. The President and a Democratic majority in Congress are taking the issue more seriously than ever before, and the infrastructure and budget reconciliation bills offer a potentially historic opportunity to make investments in clean energy, climate adaptation and climate justice that start to take the scale of the problem seriously. The youth climate movement is energized and inspiring. Flat-out climate denial is waning.

          In the big picture, the climate problem is, in principle, solvable. With existing technology and resources, and sufficient collective effort and political will, we, the human species, have what it takes to modify our energy system to minimize future warming and adapt to protect those most vulnerable from what can’t be prevented. But many among us, including those in positions of great power, don’t want to do those things — or even things that would seem much more personally immediate, like encouraging vaccination against Covid-19.

          Trying to convince them feels pretty hopeless. It seems that part of the reason they don’t want to support scientifically proven measures is because those of us they dislike say they should, or would share in the benefits. Solving the climate problem requires not just trust in science, but shared values and a will to collective action for the common good. These are all in short supply. That scares me, way more than the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does.

          There’s no benefit in giving in to “doomism,” either about climate, per se, or politics. The only rational response is to do what we can do, within the boundaries our individual and collective circumstances impose upon us, to make positive change. Speak out, organize, give money, vote.”

          Liked by 1 person

      • Politics! We need to do something real, something that matters to everyone. I’m just a lowly heathen with no power, but even I can see that doing something SIGNIFICANT we can say to the people of the world, “We can do this!” Let us lead by example. That is what helps get everyone else on board!

        Like

  7. I think someone (Jim?) commented something about the vaccines being the genesis behind any new variant.

    If this was the intent of the comment, I have to ask … aren’t the variants identified in the lab using the original virus? If true, how would the vaccine enter the picture since it comes about later and is developed as a prevention against the original virus?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nan: You are absolutely right. But the trick is that viruses can evolve differently in a vaccinated population than they do in an unvaccinated population. Quite simply, the presence of the vaccine can change the type of viral variations that become dominant. However it seems that this is only an issue for certain types of viruses. See the Quanta Magazine article for a well-written description: https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-vaccines-can-drive-pathogens-to-evolve-20180510/

      Like

      • From the article:

        Microbes resistant to vaccines, on the other hand, aren’t a major menace. Perhaps they never will be: Vaccine programs around the globe have been and continue to be immensely successful at preventing infections and saving lives.

        It goes on to say Recent research suggests (bolding added) …

        Further:

        Yet don’t mistake these findings as evidence that vaccines are dangerous or that they are bound to fail.

        Of course there is much more discussion related to vaccines in the article and, as with all debatable issues, there are pros and cons. In any case, the way I see it is vaccines may not be the end-all, cure-all, but they do serve a beneficiary purpose for many, if not all.

        Liked by 2 people

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