This article reports that border mitigation measures are being softened. Starting on 28 Feb:
- People can use a RAT instead of PCR test to get back into the country. (I don’t know how they verify the test date.)
- There will still be random PCR checks at the border, but if you have to take one, you will not be required to quarantine.
- Children under 12 who are fully vaccinated and travelling with fully vaccinated people will not need to wait before returning to school or daycare.
- The Government will drop the blanket, “don’t go to other countries for non-essential travel” recommendation.
This article says that some UBC researchers have come up with an spray for fabrics that kills viruses, including COVID-19. Me, I have zero fear of catching COVID-19 from my overcoat, but what do I know?
This preprint gives a case study of an immunocompromised patient who was infected with Omicron and Delta at the same time. So it can happen (and sounds distinctly unpleasant.)
In another “COVID-19 is not the flu” edition, this article says that more children in the USA have died from COVID-19 than in the previous five years combined:
This preprint says that if pregnant women got vaccinated, they effectively vaccinate their babies, with an effectiveness against infection of 61%. Oddly, it was better for the baby to get vaccinated late than early: the effectiveness was only 32% if they got their two doses before the 20-week mark, and 80% if they finished afterwards. (Note that catching COVID-19 when you are pregnant is really really bad for the baby, so maybe you should get one shot ASAP and the other at 21 weeks?)
Something from this thread that I hadn’t looked at this way: “folks [fail] to realise quite how much faster and larger vaccine rollout was compared to “virus rollout”.
Can we give BA.2 its own name already, please? Pi? I’m tired of explaining that BA.1 and BA.2 are both in the Omicron family, but BA.1 is the one which we call Omicron.
This preprint says that BA.2 is worse than BA.1 (what we usually call “Omicron”) in basically every way:
- 1.4x higher R0;
- the antibodies you need against BA.2 are different than what you need for Omicron Classic (which I think implies that Omicron Classic infection won’t protect you from BA.2);
- more resistant to Sotrovimab (the only monoclonal antibody approved in Canada that works at all against Omicron Classic);
- BA.2 is more pathogenic than BA.1 (in hamsters).
If you know someone who says that “masks don’t work”, this article goes into a pretty comprehensive debunking of that, showing not just the studies which support masking but also the debunking of the major articles cherry-picking data to debunk masks (debunking debunking). If you are already convinced that masks work, skip the article, it’s loooong with lots of evidence.