Author Topic: Theories on the origin of Coronavirus (split from Is it OK to go Caving)  (Read 2581 times)

Online mikem

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Offline DaveK

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Just to throw some more conspiracy theory into the mix, I thought people may be interested in the below, especially as some points have already been made in this thread.

https://project-evidence.github.io/

The paper basically lists a lot of coincidences and invites you to make your own conclusion (although it's clear what the authors think), but regardless of what you decide it is interesting at least. 

Plus in the best conspiracy theory fashion, it hasn't been peer reviewed, it's published on github (rather than in a journal), and the authors are anonymous.  At least the sources appear to be credible though.

Offline PeteHall

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Thanks for sharing that DaveK, a very interesting read so far (I've not finished it yet and I certainly haven't looked up every citation).

This particular quote pretty much sums up what I've thought about it for a while...

Quote
In order for this pandemic to have originated outside of a Wuhan biological laboratory, the following would have had to take place:

 •  An unknown animal comes into contact with a bat carrying the virus that would become SARS-CoV-2. This bat, for some reason, is not hibernating during the winter unlike most other bats.

 •  This animal is then hunted and killed by some unknown person who does not fall ill and does not spread SARS-CoV-2 to anyone else.

 •  This animal is then sent from its original location to the Huanan Seafood Market. Along the way, it is handled by dozens to hundreds of transportation employees, all of whom do not get sick and do not spread the virus.

 •  The animal finally reaches the market, at which point multiple people who encounter it are hospitalized, and the virus begins to spread at very high rates.

Perhaps this virus had been spreading undetected amongst animal populations for the past few months prior to the outbreak. But if this is the case, why would the spillover event to a human occur in Huanan Seafood Market? China has many hundreds of these markets in every province. We are looking at 1-in-several-thousand-odds that a natural outbreak would begin in this market versus all the others.

Consider the odds we are looking at of a natural outbreak occuring in a market less than 10 miles away from two labs which have previously housed bats and conducted research on bat coronaviruses, rather than any other market in China.

Four months into the outbreak, China, with its vast electronic surveillance network and army of CCTV cameras, still has not been able to provide any evidence that this virus originated anywhere other than the market in Wuhan.

We argue that it would be incredibly unlikely for a virus to materialize out of thin air in this particular market.

 
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Online mikem

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I believe the whole point was that the bat was collected (possibly from a winter roost) & came into contact with another species at the market - which avoids all those middle men...

Offline PeteHall

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Except that there were no bats at the market, as it doesn't sell bats.
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Online mikem

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Since when has anyone believed news from China...

Having said which, even they are coming to the view that it didn't originate at that particular market:
https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1189599.shtml
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 10:56:28 pm by mikem »

Offline ZombieCake

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No sensible government would willing destroy their economy for a few years, have massive future redundancies, and effectively stop other actions such as cancer treatment referrals etc. for a bit of glorified flu from a single market place in a Chinese backwater that doesn't quite meet Michelin star standards.  There's more to this.

Online pwhole

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That's pretty much what I said on the phone to my mum a couple of hours ago. This may go some way to explain the reasoning:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/15/covid-19-can-damage-lungs-victims-beyond-recognition-expert-says
Quote
“What you find in the lungs of people who have stayed with the disease for more than a month before dying is something completely different from normal pneumonia, influenza or the Sars virus,” he said. “You see massive thrombosis. There is a complete disruption of the lung architecture – in some lights you can’t even distinguish that it used to be a lung.

“There are large numbers of very big fused cells which are virus positive with as many as 10, 15 nuclei,” he said. “I am convinced this explains the unique pathology of Covid-19. This is not a disease caused by a virus which kills cells, which had profound implications for therapy.”

Offline andrewmc

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Quote
We argue that it would be incredibly unlikely for a virus to materialize out of thin air in this particular market.

Well of course it's horrifically unlikely. There are 1.3 billion people in China alone, with who knows how many wet markets, and how many animals in close proximity to people, yet despite this major outbreaks of disease on this scale are very rare.

The virus that was circulating in animals would probably not have been infectious to humans (in the main) since the mutation required to jump species would provide no advantage in the animal host. The act of jumping species to humans probably only happened once, so it is not a surprise there is a single point of origin. If it was easier, we would get viruses jumping the species barrier all the time.

Also we don't think MERS, or SARS, or Spanish Flu, or swine flu, or H1N1, or all the other species-jumping viruses were grown in a lab. When you look at the one coincidence of a nearby viral lab against this context it is less of a coincidence...

Online mikem

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Indeed, not only are there millions of people, but there are millions of bats in the area as well! (Part of the reason the lab was set up there in the first place).

& as they now don't believe the market to have been the origin point of the virus, it may even have followed the convoluted course decried by the conspiracy theory (& have infected those people along the way).

Online mrodoc

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If it is toss up between cock up or conspiracy cock up wins every time.  People also want to find a reason for things. The Spanish Flu epidemic that probably started in the USA was avian in origin but was first observed d in soldiers.  Nowadays that would be manna from heaven for a conspiracy theorist!

Online mikem

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They were new recruits, rather than regulars, so had just come from the farms.

Offline AR

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The initial source of the Spanish flu outbreak is believed to have been a US army training camp that had a large chicken and pig farm attached to it, so the opportunity was there for the flu virus to jump between all three of its usual host species and mutate into something particularly virulent. Being a training camp at the point when the US army was ramping up massively for going into France meant that there was a large flow of people in and out, which really facilitated its spread.
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Online mikem

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& their refusal to isolate anyone with symptoms / not send them overseas...

Online pwhole

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It's frankly hilarious watching all the 'superpowers' (a rather diminished term at the moment) trying to blame each other for 'originating' the virus rather than trying to deal with its global implications - for superpowers especially. I spent most of my adult life being taught to fear the Soviet Union and then Russia, and now it's China, and they're even less scary than the Soviet Union wasn't. It's all yah-boo bullshit to cover up their poor performance and to avoid their heads ending up on sticks. It's becoming more and more obvious that the only way to fight this properly is by international co-operation, as there is no advantage to be gained from the opposite. Most pandemics in history have has 'supernatural' explanations until science explained them better, and folks realised they could fix many of them with medicine - but not all.

It's easy to be pessimistic or conspiratorial about such matters but given it's affecting everyone equally badly, it doesn't really matter where it came from in a moral sense, we just have to sort it out. The real drag is that most of the powerful countries are presently run by ridiculous men with serious character defects and outdated outlooks, and when you look at the countries with the worst figures, and then look at their leaders, it kind of speaks for itself. And conversely, when you look at somewhere like New Zealand's figures, and you look at their leader, that also kind of speaks for itself. I know who I'd rather hang out with.

Offline ChrisJC

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And conversely, when you look at somewhere like New Zealand's figures, and you look at their leader, that also kind of speaks for itself. I know who I'd rather hang out with.

I am looking forward to the final score on this one (in a few years time). I rather suspect that there are significant demographic and geographic factors in play here, and in places like Ireland and NZ, the very low population density plays a big part. Probably at least as much as politicians.

And let's not forget - there is no cure, so it's not over. Until it's worked its way through the entire population, we don't actually know where we are, and it's like scoring a game at half-time.

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Online al

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I rather suspect that there are significant demographic and geographic factors in play here, and in places like Ireland and NZ, the very low population density plays a big part.

While I would agree that demographics, population densities, life-style and other factors do play a large part in the seriousness of the disease, pwhole's post was referring to the additional problems caused by the poor response from leaders who are bent more on following their own ideologies rather than dealing sensibly with the crisis. It's a pandemic, a world-wide problem - co-operation and learning from other countries is essential.

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Online mikem

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Indeed, but Chris' point is equally valid, that pretty much whoever was in charge in NZ, they were at an advantage from every angle.

Offline PeteHall

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What I think ChrisJC is that once this is genuinely all over, we will be able to see if the response of various state leaders had any impact on the overall death toll.

Countries like New Zealand, which have successfully limited the impact of the virus in the short term, may well just be fighting it for longer as the population hasn't been exposed to it. Over here, the population may have mostly been exposed already, so might genuinely be over the peak of it.

Time will tell...
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Offline ChrisJC

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pwhole's post was referring to the additional problems caused by the poor response from leaders who are bent more on following their own ideologies rather than dealing sensibly with the crisis. It's a pandemic, a world-wide problem - co-operation and learning from other countries is essential.

The cooperation point I fully agree with. Mitigating the effects is best done cooperatively, not willy-waving like the US and China!

But I do think it's far too early to 'count the chickens'.

The basic point is that provided you can get healthcare, then the total number of deaths will not be affected by the 'shape' of the curve. 100% of the population will get Covid-19 at some point, and those that are vulnerable will die.

So until we've had 100% population coverage, and all those vulnerable have died, we won't know the final score. And only then can we see if early lockdowns and factors made any difference other than keeping the health service able to function.

My feeling is that long term it will be like Influenza. It will remain circulating in the population, taking the newly vulnerable every time it comes past. But because it thinned the population out so much this time around, it will fade into the background once the death rate stabilises and we realise it's no worse than any of the many other reasons we all die eventually.

It might even save the NHS money by reducing the numbers of elderly and long-term sick!

Chris.

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Offline PeteHall

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It might even save the NHS money by reducing the numbers of elderly and long-term sick!

We'll have to save all the money we can following the current spending spree!  :o
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Offline JoshW

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The basic point is that provided you can get healthcare, then the total number of deaths will not be affected by the 'shape' of the curve. 100% of the population will get Covid-19 at some point, and those that are vulnerable will die.

Mostly agree, except for there is also vaccine discovery to think about. The fewer people who get it prior to a vaccine being discovered, the better obviously, so flattening the curve was important, and not just for "protecting the NHS".*

* I say this with a hint of irony, as a government hell bent on dismantling the NHS, tries to persuade people they're doing the best for it.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 09:31:55 am by JoshW »

Online mikem

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The fact is they can't actually afford the NHS, as the range of drugs & treatments increases every year, so no matter how much money they throw at it, it'll never be enough. It could certainly be better funded than it is now though.

Offline JoshW

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The fact is they can't actually afford the NHS, as the range of drugs & treatments increases every year, so no matter how much money they throw at it, it'll never be enough. It could certainly be better funded than it is now though.

Then the amount you have to put into it each year needs to increase at least in line with that.

But on the plus side by the end of the year, there will be an extra £350 million a week for the NHS. The bus told me so :furious:

Offline PeteHall

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Then the amount you have to put into it each year needs to increase at least in line with that.

Or the range of services you offer needs to reduce...  :shrug:
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