Author Topic: Covid 19  (Read 9165 times)

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #100 on: May 20, 2020, 08:25:17 pm »
This whole thing is beginning to remind me a bit like pat of the plot of Logan's Run.  (Spoiler alert)

The state controls everything. Everyone stay inside as outside is bad and if you try to run outside the Sandmen (police) will shoot you.   And when the crystal in your hand goes out that's it, game over.  For those that do manage to escape they find there's not actually much wrong with all the outside world, which upsets the state.

I may be being a bit cynical, however, the continual mixed messages and contrary reports is rather tiresome to say the least.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #101 on: May 20, 2020, 10:58:53 pm »
Just wait until Soylent Green is available in ASDA... :yucky:

Offline Laurie

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #102 on: May 21, 2020, 12:50:06 pm »
Except 'normality' will be a totally different 'normality'.
MNRC

Offline MarkS

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #103 on: May 22, 2020, 08:09:47 am »
Interesting to see there has now been a "proper" study on the effect of sunlight on the virus. The plots below show the inactivation rates for simulated sunlight (approx. winter solstice in Spain) vs. darkness. It suggests the virus would be able to last a lot longer in low-light conditions so is certainly relevant to caving, if not necessarily significant.

"The present study provides the first evidence that sunlight may rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, suggesting that surface persistence, and subsequently exposure risk, may vary significantly between indoor and outdoor environments."

Offline Fjell

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #104 on: May 22, 2020, 08:25:10 am »
That’s a log scale, so the viral load drops by a factor of 30 in 20 mins in sunlight? And if you believed that was a anything like a straight line, down to zero in well less than an hour?

Offline Speleotron

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #105 on: May 22, 2020, 08:41:14 am »
That’s a log scale, so the viral load drops by a factor of 30 in 20 mins in sunlight? And if you believed that was a anything like a straight line, down to zero in well less than an hour?

Looks like it, why would we not believe that? Maybe we can knock a bit off the effectiveness outside due to little nooks and crannies where the UV doesn't shine as much but there's no reason not to believe that study. UV is nature's great steriliser.
In search of taverns measureless to man

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #106 on: May 22, 2020, 10:22:50 am »
The 5 tribes of coronavirus: Society has divided up in surprising, and not so surprising ways

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/489356-coronavirus-divided-society-surprising-ways/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Email

Offline Fjell

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #107 on: May 28, 2020, 08:13:35 am »
This is an interesting article with some data. It is a bi-modal group unfortunately, but the passenger group will all be over 60 pretty much.
It implies that 80% of cases were asymptomatic and also that about 40% just didn’t get it at all despite probably trying quite hard to do so, including many cases where people shared a cabin for a long period. Very prolonged exposure (viral load?) is implied as an issue (ships doctor got very ill).
https://thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2020/05/27/thoraxjnl-2020-215091
Anecdotally, a care home group I am getting info from is seeing mostly asymptomatic cases even amongst 80-90 year olds with dementia. In the absence of testing, it is a bit of a nightmare to manage as you might imagine.
The data would vaguely imply something like 12% of an exposed population would develop symptoms, which might not be that far off.

Offline mikem

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #108 on: May 28, 2020, 08:18:27 am »
The medical staff are also suffering from increased stress & lack of sleep, which are well recognised factors in a loss of immunity, I think that's more of an issue than prolonged exposure per se.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #109 on: May 28, 2020, 09:13:25 am »
It implies that 80% of cases were asymptomatic and also that about 40% just didn’t get it at all despite probably trying quite hard to do so, including many cases where people shared a cabin for a long period. Very prolonged exposure (viral load?) is implied as an issue (ships doctor got very ill).
https://thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2020/05/27/thoraxjnl-2020-215091

I read the same results and see a slightly different set of important details:

a) at least some of the tests are crap
b) _at least_ 59% of the ship's population were able to catch the virus. Some may have recovered and now had undetectable levels of viral RNA. So much for herd immunity... as an (ex-)astrophysicist, 50% is basically the same as 100%.
c) a large number of people were asymptomatic _but_ this needs to be kept in context with antibody testing which shows the majority of people have not yet had the virus (only ~5% in the UK, 20% in London I think). I think this level of asymptomatic-ness is probably consistent with the large discrepancy in the number of people who have tested positive (~270,000) vs the expected number of cases from antibody studies (about 3.5 million from 70,000,000 * 5%). The Covid-19 app was predicting about 2 million _symptomatic_ people infected at the peak, which might seem a bit high if the asymptomatic rate is 80%, but it might be catching other stuff and/or 'asymptomatic' could mean different things to different people.
d) admittedly based on small-number statistics (one death), but a 0.8% death rate, and a 6.2% medical evacuation rate.
e) yet more small-number statistics, but interesting that if you get symptoms at all (only 12.5%), you have a high rate of needing medical care (6.3%) and about 50% of those requiring intubation and ventilation (3.1%).

Essentially tallies up with the 'mainstream' version of events (highly infectious, large number of asymptomatic cases, a relatively high death rate, little native immunity, high hospitalisation rate leading to significant impact on health services, about 50% of serious hospital cases requiring ventilation).

Your point about people trying and failing to get the disease is not necessarily valid; one of the cabin-mates could have had the virus, given it to their compatriot, recovered and now tested negative while the compatriot tests positive.

Offline Duck ditch

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #110 on: May 28, 2020, 11:08:34 am »
You can buy Soylent Green at Aldi as a suppository. 2 for £4.99
It didn’t do me any good.  I might as well have shoved them up my arse.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #111 on: May 28, 2020, 01:13:04 pm »
This is an interesting article with some data. It is a bi-modal group unfortunately, but the passenger group will all be over 60 pretty much.
It implies that 80% of cases were asymptomatic and also that about 40% just didn’t get it at all despite probably trying quite hard to do so, including many cases where people shared a cabin for a long period. Very prolonged exposure (viral load?) is implied as an issue (ships doctor got very ill).
https://thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2020/05/27/thoraxjnl-2020-215091
Anecdotally, a care home group I am getting info from is seeing mostly asymptomatic cases even amongst 80-90 year olds with dementia. In the absence of testing, it is a bit of a nightmare to manage as you might imagine.
The data would vaguely imply something like 12% of an exposed population would develop symptoms, which might not be that far off.

This is really a interesting item to read for me as I took the exactly the same cruise, on the same ship, from 7th. December 2019 to 1st. January 2020, staying in a solo cabin.  I flew to Buenos Aries and then on down to Ushuia to board the ship and back home by the reverse route at the end of the cruise.  As far as I know no-one reported sick at any time during the cruise although the passengers included a group of about 10 Chinese among the 179 on board (about 20+ different nationalities).  Virtually all the crew were Phillipino with an assortment of nationalities among the 20 or so scientists and expedition leaders.  A great deal of my time was spent out on deck, whale- and bird-watching, etc. but cabins (other than outside balcony suites) and all public spaces are air-conditioned with sealed window/portholes.

The overnight twelve and a half hour flight home from Buenos Aries to Amsterdam was completely full - probably at least 50% of the passengers being Chinese as this is apparently a standard route from South America back through Amsterdam and on to China.  There were large numbers of Chinese children on board, quite a number of whom didn't seem to be very well and were upset and crying all the time.  (A real nightmare flight with no sleep!)

A couple of weeks later, in late January (i.e. before Covid-19 made the news in GB) I became ill with a cough, some difficulty in breathing, headache, sore throat and conjunctivitis.  I thought it was a really nasty bout of flu (though I'd had a jab in the autumn) so dragged myself to the doctor and was given a week's course of very strong antibiotics plus stuff to clear the conjunctivitis - the Practice Nurse whom I saw agreed with me that it was probably flu.  The symptoms gradually eased during the following week and now I'm OK again.

I'm beginning to suspect that in late January I may actually have had Covid-19 after all but I have no way of proving this unless I can get tested for antibodies.  I'm socially isolating anyway, I live alone and am staying at home, except when I now travel to the Btitish Caving Library, on my own, to work alone for the day.

Offline 2xw

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #112 on: May 28, 2020, 01:18:26 pm »
Was the wildlife worth it Jenny? Get any narwhals?

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #113 on: May 28, 2020, 01:40:41 pm »
Was the wildlife worth it Jenny? Get any narwhals?

No, they're a northern species!  But loads of Hump-backs very close to the ship plus Orcas and others at a distance.  Huge pods of dolphins playing round ship and, in particular, round the tender boats at some sites when we went ashore.  Definitely a bucket list trip and quite unlike the usual sort of cruise (which I did try once and hated).  South Georgia is something else again - beyond spectacular - and Blue Whales are now being seen in the seas round there again with fur seals and elephant seals in huge breeding colonies on shore.

Bird life was amazing, both ashore and at sea: penguins by the hundreds of thousands on South Georgia and albatrosses, petrels and umpteen other species following the ship.

Offline Duck ditch

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #114 on: May 28, 2020, 02:50:27 pm »
Sounds spectacular jennyp.  Especially the bird life. Very jealous.   I hope you have had the virus and recovered.  It would be great to get that particular albatross off your back.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #115 on: May 28, 2020, 06:27:23 pm »
Gotta get tested to be able to prove it though!  Still worth it, even if I did get Covid-19 - trip of a lifetime!

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #116 on: May 28, 2020, 08:08:09 pm »
Interesting to see there has now been a "proper" study on the effect of sunlight on the virus. The plots below show the inactivation rates for simulated sunlight (approx. winter solstice in Spain) vs. darkness. It suggests the virus would be able to last a lot longer in low-light conditions so is certainly relevant to caving, if not necessarily significant.

"The present study provides the first evidence that sunlight may rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, suggesting that surface persistence, and subsequently exposure risk, may vary significantly between indoor and outdoor environments."

but think how happy you will be when you get out into the sunshine!

Offline pwhole

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #117 on: November 28, 2021, 11:55:11 pm »
A very interesting paper here on the potential uses of melatonin as a prophylactic and treatment for Covid-19, particularly as it speculates that bats' general resistance to illness from coronaviruses may be caused by very high levels of melatonin due to their dark habitat. I've been taking it as a supplement for years for cluster headache prevention and sleep-management, and as a general antioxidant, but wasn't aware of its benefits for lung, heart and gut health. The science is a bit heavy if you're not a scientist like me, and it could have done with another proof-read, but the basics are pretty straightforward and it seems to make sense:

https://www.heraldopenaccess.us/openaccess/use-of-melatonin-as-adjunctive-treatment-and-prophylaxis-during-covid-19

Offline Tomferry

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #118 on: November 29, 2021, 08:49:38 am »
Looks like I can get my booster soon hopefully!! Fingers crossed it will cover all these new variations, bad side is I need to do over time to afford the fuel to travel there  :lol:

Offline pwhole

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #119 on: November 29, 2021, 10:22:19 am »
I just realised my typo above - 'like me' should have been in brackets, as I'm definitely not a scientist!

Offline Speleofish

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #120 on: November 29, 2021, 10:40:15 am »
Warning! What follows may be heavy going - I apologise in advance.

Heraldopenaccess (the publisher of the paper referenced by pwhole) is regarded as a possible predatory publisher (see Yale University Library's guidelines which aim to direct their staff away from potentially dodgy journals).

The paper would never have got through the editorial process in a reputable publication and should be viewed sceptically, even if you overlook the poor grammar and the absence of proof-reading. Much of the science quoted is reasonably robust and is sourced from mainstream journals but has limited relevance to the supposed subject of the paper. Rather, it looks as if the authors have taken every biological property of melatonin that might impact on the inflammatory cascade and cut and pasted them to produce a review that makes melatonin look like a possible wonder-drug. The authors make several assertions which are not justified by the evidence they quote. For example:

"One of the reasons which contribute to such effect, at least partially, is the reduced level of melatonin in elderly people. The study presented in [19], shows that level of melatonin is quite different in young (age 26 +/-2 years) and elderly (84 +/-20 years) people. The elderly people have 3.5 times less melatonin during the day but 7.5 times less during the night. Such effect obviously contributes to general deterioration of cognitive, psychological and social functioning as well as by sleep disturbances, but primarily to immune function [4]."

It's perfectly possible that reduced melatonin levels in the elderly contribute to their vulnerability but the reality is much more complex. Even if low melatonin levels are important, there is no evidence that giving supplements will do any good. The medical literature is full of highly embarrassing studies where hormone supplements in people whose levels were low have done  no good or even caused serious harm (google growth hormone trials in critical care).

The worst bit is the conclusion. Having spent a large amount of time building up melatonin as a powerful biological agent, the authors produce an anecdote to justify using melatonin to treat Covid: "One of the authors (RR) is a physician-general practitioner. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 80 of his patients between 23 years old and 86 years old were positively diagnosed with COVID-19 and suffered various severity of the disease. As a physician, RR has prescribed melatonin to his patients with COVID-19 based on the safety data and the efficacy evidence presented in this review. All the patients that were treated by melatonin did well and completely recovered".

They then conclude: "At present time while the world is getting infected and fighting with the COVID-19, we need a treatment that is safe and easily available and very inexpensive. Melatonin is an excellent choice, as it can act both for prevention and as an adjunct therapy against COVID-19 disease".

During the pandemic there have been a number of papers like this that make great claims for a variety of drugs (eg hydroxychloroquine) which have been shown to be completely useless and have caused harm by diverting attention away from things that are effective. This doesn't mean melatonin may not work (though I am very sceptical). However, before we use it generally, someone needs to perform a properly blinded, randomised trial. This isn't it.

Finally, I'm curious to know whether Carrier Therapeutics (the employer of the third author) make melatonin. In a reputable journal, all authors should declare their competing interests. There is no mention of interests here which makes me suspicious. I've tried to find out what Carrier produce but the information doesn't seem to be available.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #121 on: November 29, 2021, 11:07:44 am »
I'm glad for the feedback, thanks - I wasn't aware of the publisher's reputation. But the grammar was worrying me, hence my comment about the proof-reading - I noticed 'Buts is' insted of 'Bats are' on the first skim-read, which did seem a bit odd, given it should have been peer-reviewed, and I do tend to pick up grammar errors generally when I do it, so they shouldn't have missed it.

Part of the reason I posted it was because a relative who hasn't been jabbed for health reasons has also recently been prescribed melatonin by their doctor as an immunity-booster and as they wake up at 4am every day, so I'd been doing a bit of searching and found this. I'll hopefully get more feedback from them later this week on what exactly it's all for. I'm not convinced myself on the Covid theory, though it certainly works for me for the headaches and sleep-deprivation. And if they do have commercial interests then they definitely should be declaring them. But thanks for posting this - it's very useful.

Offline droid

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #122 on: November 29, 2021, 11:13:04 am »
There have been several 'magic bullets' during this pandemic.
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline pwhole

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #123 on: November 29, 2021, 11:32:55 am »
Well they're certainly only advocating it as a vaccine booster, rather than a replacement, which was my initial concern.

I know there have been some experiments taking old folks in care outside in winter and essentially forcing them to exercise in bright sunshine, followed by strict light regimens indoors - very bright for activity and total blackness for sleep, and there were some very positive results in overall health, but I guess that's not suprising given that's what we were designed to do. Staying indoors all the time definitely isn't healthy, especially with no exercise. One of my friends recently died, essentially from self-neglect, due to their reclusive approach to Covid.

My cluster headache season is now, generally beginning from when the clocks change - normally two a day until 21st December (afternoon and the middle of the night), and then they stop. I've tried a variety of things over the years, but forcing myself to get up early for maximum daylight seems to be the best treatment, even if I don't need to - it's getting tired at the other end of the day that's always been the problem! I just don't get tired, and can happily stay up for 20 hours without even yawning. I regularly used to go straight through in summer and miss a night. So melatonin's been very useful in helping me keep the body clock right, and last year was the first in 25 years I didn't have one cluster headache - and so far so good this year. I hardly ever get colds either, even when everyone else does, but I accept that's not exactly proof of anything.

Offline Speleofish

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Re: Covid 19
« Reply #124 on: November 29, 2021, 02:04:49 pm »
Looking at this article got me interested in the issue of predatory publishing. It's been a growing problem in the scientific world for some years. Getting published is essential for a young scientist to make progress and a list of publications on the back of your cv boosts your employability. If you're ambitious but your research is mediocre, you may struggle to get it published in a mainstream journal. Predatory publishers will take your paper without question for a fee (often a remarkably large one) and will rarely amend, edit or peer-review your manuscript. Consequently, they allow the publication of poor research and may disseminate false or misleading information.

So long as you're aware of the problem, and do a little due diligence, it's fairly easy to spot an article that may come from a  predatory publisher. If their articles were only read by the scientific community, you could argue that they're relatively harmless (apart from the waste of time and money). However, most of their articles are freely available online so will come up (often prominently) in search results by non-scientists..

Worse than poor quality research, some of these articles have agendas - financial, political or malicious. A lot of dodgy alternative medicine gets published in this way and antivaxxers produce articles that sound as if they come from authoritative sources.

If you want to check whether a journal is likely to be legit, you can search Beall's list (compiled by the librarian at the University of Colorado). This is open access but stopped adding titles to it's list in 2017 after a number of complaints (though I think it has re-started). Alternatively, look on the website of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ.org) which keeps an up to date list of reputable on-line publications. However, you have to have been in business for at least 12 months to get listed).

 

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