Coronavirus COVID-19 Thread

NaffNaffBobFace

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Don't know how I missed this one for the Catharsis Corner yesterday:

- UK: People in the country of Kent booked appointments and were sent to a COVID test center which did not exist.


One person said "I'm personally disillusioned with the whole test-and-trace programme," revealing they had been previously advised the nearest test centers with available appointments were in Birmingham (292 mile round trip away) and The Isle Of White (202 mile round trip including a ferry trip across the sea).

On a pedantry note, I would like them to change the name of the "NHS Test and Trace" system to the "NHS et al. Test and Trace system." There are 35 fingers in that pie, apparently only four of which are NHS:

 
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PeppaPigKilla

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- UK: Police to receive Track and Trace info on people in England who have had a Self Isolation order imposed on them, following a government commissioned study suggests only 11% of those who have been identified as having been in contact with people who have tested positive have obeyed the order to quarantine too.

This alone is scary, they think they'll see an increase on that 11%, they'll see a decrease on the number of people who put their details forward for track and trace.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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This alone is scary, they think they'll see an increase on that 11%, they'll see a decrease on the number of people who put their details forward for track and trace.
I would hope it's all for the best. I'm just going to stay indoors until March.
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today Monday 19th of October.

- World: 40,240,700 confirmed cases and 1,115,907 confirmed deaths.

- World: Passes 40 million confirmed cases, we passed 39 million on Friday meaning one million more cases in the last 3/4 days.

- US: COVID cases now rising in 48 States, with 39 states reporting rising hospital admissions over the last two weeks.

- US: President says "people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots" discuss COVID and how to tackle the pandemic, and indicated that if he'd listened to the advice from Fauci the death rate would be more than double what it is currently.

- China: Live COVID-19 samples found on frozen food packaging suggesting the contagion can survive through cold food chain operations.

- UK: Talks with Manchester continue, with sources indicating no agreement has been come to as yet with the latest talks today ending "Abruptly". Concerns continue on the safety implications of delays in local lockdown implementation.

- Uganda: Police arrest 25 people with fake COVID test certificates used to prove they have passed a test recently to be allowed to travel.

- UK: Trials on Drones transporting COVID test samples and other items between hospitals gets the green light, with the backing of the UK space agency.

- Wales: Plans announced to perform a short sharp "Circuit Breaker" lockdown to regain control of cases and pre-empt demand on the Health Service, in contrary to the UK governments insistence that it will not perform a national version of the same. The term used by the Welsh is "fire-break" which is probably how they got it passed the Senior Advisers at number 10.

- Iran: Daily deaths spike suddenly to 337 compared to the previous days 252.

- Belgium: Health Minister warns of a "Tsunami of cases" which risks spiraling out of control.

- Northern Ireland: Since reopening schools in August, 1,491 COVID cases have been reported in the student and staff population.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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Did not know the uk had a space agency
It's been kicking about since the 50's. It's where the Beagle 2 Mars Lander came from, we even had a launch vehicle too for a brief while - a Rocket design called the Black Arrow which was the only UK launch vehicle to put a UK satellite into orbit.

From what I recall there was a rocket center on the Isle Of White (not sure if you could call it a space port) but launches occurred in Woomera in Australia.

More on this here Wiki page:

 

ColdDog

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- UK: Police to receive Track and Trace info on people in England who have had a Self Isolation order imposed on them, following a government commissioned study suggests only 11% of those who have been identified as having been in contact with people who have tested positive have obeyed the order to quarantine too.

Lets see... it is "Self Imposed" but the UK Govt is enforcing it. Sounds mandatory... not self imposed. Might as well round the sinners up and put them in jail I suppose.
 

Vavrik

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Lets see... it is "Self Imposed" but the UK Govt is enforcing it. Sounds mandatory... not self imposed. Might as well round the sinners up and put them in jail I suppose.
It's not self imposed, it's being imposed. But it's still worded kind of weird, apparently people who don't have a cell phone or telephone are SOL. In the current economic state, that might occur more often, unless telephone bills and repairs are paid for by the Government. I kind of doubt that.
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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Catharsis Corner update as further events will unfold before the next scheduled content:

- UK: City of Manchester officials given deadline for agreement by government of 12 noon today, or moves will be made to implement Tier 3 without local agreement. City of Manchester officials indicate "The government could [already] have a deal if it better protects low-paid people. It is choosing not to do that."


Reports indicate that although there was no plan to alter the Furlough system to meet the desire to protect the low paid, which would apply to the whole country, the suggestion of a Hardship Fund was tabled apparently by the Government to meet the requests of the Local Leaders to ensure the lowest paid in the area were not hung out to dry, considering the furlough scheme now only offers 22% for Furloughed staff, and 67% for staff of businesses which were ordered to close, such as bars etc. Well short of the 80% of wages as was previous (To put this in context, during the first Furlough I personally found my outgoings were 79% of my monthly wage - a very uncomfortable couple of months). However the next meeting ended "Abruptly" as reported in the previous Catharsis Corner, as the existence/possibility of a Hardship Fund was denied as to ever having existed:


"The two sides can't even agree on what they actually discussed today (yesterday) [...] Believe the local leaders and this morning (yesterday) there seemed to be hope in the air. Officials from central government had mooted the possibility of a hardship fund to help support low paid workers who stand to lose out if businesses close their doors under tighter restrictions. [...] After that call, the consensus among North West leaders was moving in the direction of signing on the dotted line, with another call planned with Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick for the afternoon. [...] (at the next meeting) There was no mention of the hardship fund that had, according to one side, been discussed. [...] But on the other side, the government has gone on the record to say North West's leaders are mistaken to think such a deal was ever on the table."

How it's looking from the cheap seats:

If discussing with local authorities was anything to do with keeping people safe and restricting the pandemic, all measures which could have been enacted independent of the sticking-point issue would have been enacted immediately. The whole concept of discussing measures with the local authorities feels like it is becoming less and less about it being done right for what's needed locally in those areas and more and more about Central government giving themselves Plausible Deniability by being able to say that restrictions were agreed and consented to by those local authorities, and Central Government is innocent of all fallout when it all "goes to tits" because they are not the eyes on the ground and the failures are those of the locals, not Central - as we saw in the first wave the UK economy somehow took the hardest kicking of all developed nations. There will be a tremendous amount of fallout, even if the local authorities get every box they want ticked.

There will be no winners in this. Only making sure you don't end up looking like the loser. That's how it's looking from here.
 
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Michael

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You know what this says to me... is that Germany is not honest. A virus knows no boundaries. Wonder how Sweden is doing?

View attachment 19023
the map looks slightly different now

also there is a wierd discrepancy between eastern and western germany. Some think it might be related to the BCG vaccine used. (but its not proven)

There has been a lot of talk why germany might perform better: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-exemplar-germany

Also its somewhat stupid to compare countries as you need to consider population densitiy, cultural differences, acceptence of sanctions etc:

new cases per Million, logarithmic
Unbenannt.png

Something to factor in should be population denisity:
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today Tuesday 20th of October:

- World: 40,514,091 confirmed cases and 1,120,003 confirmed deaths.

- UK: Manchester Local Leaders and Central Government fail to reach an agreement by 12 noon, indicating the Government walked away from discussions at 2pm. Initial figures by local leaders were £75 million was needed citing the area has been under stricter than national measures for 3 months now. They lowered their request to £65 million in discussion, but Central would not rise above £60 million. With no agreement, Central has stepped in and is now enforcing Tier 3 without an agreement with £22 million offered. Local leaders call the drop "Brutal" however Central says this is the base amount of funding for the area based on allowance per head of population, according to the governments figures - it has stressed, however, that there will be other assistance beyond the base level, however it has not been indicated how much that will be. The new restrictions will come in on Friday, because why do today what could have been done ten days ago?

- UK: Earmarks £30 million to intentionally infect young people with COVID-19 to speed up trials on Vaccines.

- Belgium: To postpone all non essential hospital procedures to deal with the surge.

- Bulgaria: Sees record high new daily cases.

- Russia: Sees record high new daily cases.

- Iran: Sees record high new daily cases.

- Republic Of Ireland: To bring in a strict national lockdown in the hopes it will calm cases for a relaxed restriction Christmas.
 

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NaffNaffBobFace

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I thought this was interesting... a new term for everyone - Muller's Ratchet

Basically says the virus gets weaker as it goes through its cycle.

.


"... kind of irreversible ratchet mechanism will gradually decrease the mean fitness of small populations of asexual organisms."
Very interesting, thank you for sharing :like:

As I couldn't understand much of what was being said in the scientific article, I went a goog'd a little to learn a bit more, and found someone who already answered the question I was going to ask off the back of your articles in regard to what size is considered a small population size:


"It depends largely on the ecological contect and the population dynamics. [...]
Basically, in organisms with high mutations rates (such as RNA viruses), Muller's Ratchet suggests that the mean fitness in a population will always decrease. In small populations, mutation-free individuals are rare, and they will be lost through genetic drift. In 1990, Chao showed that deleterious mutations are generated at a sufficiently high rate to advance Muller's ratchet in an RNA virus. [...]
RNA viruses show the highest mutations rates in nature (Sanjuan et al 2010). This can lead to Muller's Ratchet in small populations where selection is weak and drift is prominent, but can lead to high levels of adaptation in large populations. It is not just the census population size which is important, but the effective population size, which can be thought of as a proxy for the amount of genetic diversity within a population. If a population rapidly expands from a single origin, as is expected to have happened with the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, then the census population size would be larger than the expected diversity. Novella (1995/1996) showed that there is an interplay with the size of the bottleneck and the fitness of the surviving clones; when a more fit viruses passes through the bottleneck, they are more likely to avoid Muller's Ratchet. So in the case of SARS-CoV-2, whether or not the virus would be subject to Muller's Ratchet would depend on both the variation and fitness of mutation of the viruses who jumped from the intermediate animal to humans."

I think its an answer to my question - but potentially not an answer to what's going on in reality right now, can't say I speak Science enough to know either way but very interesting, I'd love to know what actively infected population size is considered "small" enough for ratcheting to take affect...?

We'll have to see where the pandemic goes in regard to this mechanism, we have already seen in this thread strains of the virus which have become more infectious (but not necessarily more dangerous) with mutations to their spikes which has gone on to stabilize - perhaps a predominant strain out-competing other variations is part of the ratchet by reducing the pool of generic variation in the active population overall?

What do you think, considering the population size of infections I'm not sure the Ratchet would be effective until cases are small enough and isolated enough to drop the number of infected below the viral mutation rate?
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today Wednesday 21st of October:

- World: 40,997,453 confirmed cases and 1,127,637 confirmed deaths with a disclaimer that John Hopkins and its data partner/s are changing the way they collate info so may be a bit of an oddity.

- UK: Government adviser gives MP's stark warning country is on course for "tens of thousands of deaths" and that the current approach of introducing restrictions as cases increase will cause "a high level of incidence everywhere" - which to be fair to him is not outside the bounds of reason... the countries which have introduced local lockdowns and kept a lid on COVID did so by not having COVID elsewhere, and closing the areas which did have it. It's already widespread in the UK. It's already simmering. The Tiers system is just a matter of time before you reach level 3. It may prolong the enevatable when medium measures are put in place.

- UK: County area of South Yorkshire to be moved into Tier 3 restrictions.

- Oxford Vaccine/Brazil: Brazil reports the death of a Trial Volenteer from COVID complications. Trial was paused but is to resume: “Following careful assessment of this case in Brazil, there have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial and the independent review in addition to the Brazilian regulator have recommended that the trial should continue,” Reports from Bloomberg indicate a source says the volunteer had not actually received the vaccine.

- US: City of Boston to move public schools to distance learning again, amid crowing cases. “We have said all along that we will only provide in-person learning for students if the data and public health guidance supports it, and this new data shows that we are trending in the wrong direction,” the Mayor said.

- Brazil: President Bolsonaro states the country will not be purchasing Chinese experimental vaccine. Critics have branded this a Political move rather than a Health or Economic one.

- Scotland: Extends hospitality restrictions (bars etc) in central area as cases continue.

- Spain: First West European country to pass 1 million cases.

- Switzerland: Warns of the prospect of overloaded hospitals as admissions for COVID-19 double every week.

- Italy: Sees record number of new daily cases.

- Netherlands: Sees record number of new daily cases.

- Slovenia: Sees record number of new daily cases.

- Croatia: Sees record number of new daily cases.

- Poland: Sees record number of new daily cases.

- Russia: Sees record number of new daily fatalities.
 
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ColdDog

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What do you think, considering the population size of infections I'm not sure the Ratchet would be effective until cases are small enough and isolated enough to drop the number of infected below the viral mutation rate?
I am with you, I don't know either. I have heard that the virus has had very limited mutations and I have heard that its mutated a lot and losing effectiveness, but the Ratchet theory is valid science theory, I think it just depends on the virus and the environment. I suppose it is just another tool in the toolbox to keep in your mind as you digest the info.

The mortality rate seems to continue to fall... the question is, is the virus getting weaker or are the therapeutics working well, or a combination of both.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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COVID Catharsis Corner - Reports from around the world from today Thursday 22nd of October:

- World: 41,477,330 confirmed cases and 1,134,090 confirmed deaths.

- World: Passes 41 million confirmed cases. We passed 40 million on Monday meaning 1 million new cases in the last 3/4 days.

- Spain: Sees record high new daily cases.

- US: Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado and Ohio report record high new daily infections.

- US: Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Hawaii and Wisconsin report record high new daily fatalities.

- Denmark: Sees record high new daily cases.

- UK: Prime Minister admits the Test and Trace (In connotation with the NHS) system needs attention as latest figures show the number of tests processed in a reasonable turnaround time of 24 hours dropped to just 15.1% from 32.8% the week before, and the number of contacts traced continues to tumble.

- Morocco: Sees record high new daily cases.

- UK: Another Thursday, another set of countries added to the Quarantine Travel List, this time... almost the entire world... The list of places that won't need some form of quarentine when arriving there or getting back is apparently as follows, quoted from the BBC:
  • Canary Islands (from Sunday at 04:00 GMT)
  • Foreign tourists can fly into Cuba at certain entry points
  • Gibraltar
  • Travellers who haven't recently visited parts of the UK deemed ''high risk'' can visit Germany without quarantining
  • Greece
  • Madeira and the Azores - if travellers cannot show proof of a recent negative test, they will be tested on arrival and have to quarantine until the result comes back (about 12 hours)
  • Maldives non-tourists must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Non-tourists must take a private Covid test no less than 96 hours before travelling
  • Sweden
- France: Sees record high new daily cases.

- Wales: Retailers banned from selling non-essential items like clothes when Wales goes into a two-week "Circuit Breaker" lockdown.

- Italy: Sees record high new daily cases.

- UK: Job support scheme revised after critisism that it was "Londoncentric", in tier 3 places where workplaces are forceably closed to contain the pandemic support will now be 67% of wages without employers having to contribute. In Tier 2 places workers will only have to work 20% of their hours but "employers must pay an extra 4% of total wages to cover some of the hours not worked, and the government will pay 49% of the total salary to cover hours not worked." meaning workers will still receive 73% of their wages. This change, incidentally, comes appears to be put in motion slightly before London has to go on to higher tier lockdowns. It is not clear if it will be backdated for those in the north, some of whom have been under the old 22% government contribution scheme since it was introduced.

- Germany: Sees record high new daily cases passing 10k in a day for the first time.

- UK: In TV interview Mayor of Manchester says "The Government needs to grow up a bit" as Central bypasses the Mayors office to distribute the £60 million it had previously offered the area directly to the 10 local authorities that make up the effected area. "Nobody tells me what to do in terms of on high from the Labour Party of Westminster, I do what I think is right for the people of Greater Manchester." It is unclear if todays revisions to the Job Support Scheme will sub in the absent £5 million which was the sticking point on the original Manchester discussions.

- Netherlands: Sees record high new daily cases.

- UK: Member of Parliament who tested COVID positive in March give speech in parliament advising they have been recently tested and no longer have antibodies - they are no longer immune to the condition.

- Austria: Sees record high new daily cases.

- Croatia: Sees record high new daily cases.

- Slovenia: Sees record high new daily cases.

- Bosnia: Sees record high new daily cases.
 

Vavrik

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- UK: Member of Parliament who tested COVID positive in March give speech in parliament advising they have been recently tested and no longer have antibodies - they are no longer immune to the condition.
Around 7 months, that's actually not too bad. That conclusion may or may not be true, scientists are trying to figure this out. You can't do a standard antibody test for immunity to many viral infections and expect to find antibodies a long time after the infection. They have a limited "shelf life". Fortunately there is a type of T-Lymphocyte generically called Memory T cells that remember the pathogen, and respond to it by restarting the production of another kind of T cell that can produce the antibodies. ... that's the shortest explanation of that on the planet... What we don't know is how long that process can go on for. For flu for example, it's less than a year. For the "common cold" it's far shorter (and the pathogen is often a coronavirus.) Or it can last the rest of your life. My money is not going with lifetime protection with this one, it's a coronavirus.
 
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