2021-05-03 General

Quarantine

This article describes a quarantine loophole for Canada. If show that you had COVID already, you get to quarantine at home instead of at a quarantine hotel. Unfortunately, there’s not a standardized form for positive tests, so it would be easy to forge. Nobody knows if/how many forgeries there are.

Vaccines

The New York Times says that the FDA is going to approve Pfizer for teenagers by early next week, yay! (Canadian approvals are usually in the same general timeframe as the FDA’s approvals.) I understand, but think it’s a pity: by late July, we’ll probably be in a space where we can do outdoor gatherings again. But alas, probably isn’t good enough.

Treatments

It’s really preliminary, but there’s a paper which says that amodiaquine — an antimalarial drug — might be an effective treatment for COVID. The most interesting thing about the paper, though, is that they tried a bunch of drugs using “bronchial-airway-on-a-chip” — basically lung cells grown on media.

Other epidemics

The Ebola outbreak in central Africa has been declared over. Yeah, I know, that’s not COVID, but it means we are not going to have to fight two pandemics at once. Whew!

USA Confidence

As a preview of what is likely to be in our near-term future, the USA is acting more confident: they are buying hard trousers and stopped blanking off the middle seats in airlines.

Long COVID

I mentioned yesterday that there was a study on pseudoviruses — little balls with spike proteins — and their effects on the circulatory system. I found that right before bed, so didn’t talk much about it but I think that it is a) really interesting and b) confusing.

They put spikey-balls into lab animals and showed damage. From the article:

The team then replicated this process in the lab, exposing healthy endothelial cells (which line arteries) to the spike protein. They showed that the spike protein damaged the cells by binding ACE2. This binding disrupted ACE2’s molecular signaling to mitochondria (organelles that generate energy for cells), causing the mitochondria to become damaged and fragmented.

This is particularly interesting because if the energy-producing cells are damaged, that means no energy, which means fatigue, which is very common in Long COVID and very similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Meanwhile, this paper from 22 March 2021 on CFS/ME says that patients with CFS-ME had reduced endothelial function affecting both large and small vessels compared to healthy controls. One of the things that epithelial cells do regulate blood flow according to the metabolic demands of tissues. I think that means that if the epithelial cells don’t work right, hungry cells don’t get as much blood as they need, but I am not a doctor.

However, I’m having a bit of a hard time understanding how it could possibly be true that putting spikes into the body would damage it, since that’s what the COVID vaccines do. Novavax, in particular, makes these little pseudovirus particle thingies that have spikes poking out all over them, but have no virus.

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