2021-12-04/05/06 General

Variants I referenced a preprint on Friday which said that Omicron’s doubling time was 1.2 days, but everybody else seems to be saying more like 2.5 days. This makes a difference: ten doublings (which is about 1000x) is either 12 days away or 25, which means before Christmas or after Christmas. Either way, don’t plan… Continue reading 2021-12-04/05/06 General

2021-11-25 General

Variants Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Remember how yesterday I wrote this totally depressing analysis of how hard it was going to be to vaccinate our way out of this mess with our current vaccines? It just got harder. There’s a new variant under investigation — B.1.1.529 — with thirty fucking two mutations. People who I follow and respect… Continue reading 2021-11-25 General

2021-11-10 General

Treatments Okay, this preprint is wild — if I understand it correctly. My understanding is that the authors made a thing — a Therapeutic Interfering Particle or TIP — which looks just like SARS-CoV-2 except it has a vastly stripped-down genome, one that doesn’t have all the instructions needed to make the enzymes and proteins… Continue reading 2021-11-10 General

2021-11-04 General

Genetics This preprint talks about using virus-like particles to study viruses. It looks enough like SARS-CoV-2 that it can get into cells, but then it can’t replicate. Essentially, it’s shooting blanks. This study identified a specific gene variant (which comes from Neanderthals!) which gives a 2x risk of respiratory failure. About 60% of people of… Continue reading 2021-11-04 General

2021-10-26 General

Pathology/Treatment A really puzzling and important question has been: why do some people get really really sick from COVID-19 while others breeze through? This preprint reports on measuring the hell out of three groups of people — healthy, hospitalized, and ICE — to figure out what was different between them. They found: At least 10%… Continue reading 2021-10-26 General

2021-10-23/24/25 General

Transmission In this small study of Italian health-care workers who were tested regularly, all of the people who tested positive but were asymptomatic tested negative the very next day. The mean time for the symptomatic patients to test negative was 11 days. Pathology This preprint says they found SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid of… Continue reading 2021-10-23/24/25 General

2021-10-21 General

Mitigation Measures This article talks about $7.4B in relief spending that the Government of Canada has announced. All three of these programs will go until 7 May 2022. Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will be replaced by the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit and will provide $300 a week to eligible people. The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery… Continue reading 2021-10-21 General

2021-09-30 General

Pathology This preprint made a model which predicts positive PCR tests based on seven symptoms: loss or change of sense of smell, loss or change of sense of taste, fever, new persistent cough, chills, appetite loss, and muscle aches. This can possibly replace tests in places where tests either are not available or when someone… Continue reading 2021-09-30 General