2021-12-25/26/27/28 General

Variants There has been difficulty figuring out how badly Omicron is going to hit the hospital system first because it is a lagging indicator, second because Omicron affects vaccinated and unvaccinated people so differently, and third because of poor-quality data around the holidays. Still, there are hints that, as this tweet from New York says,… Continue reading 2021-12-25/26/27/28 General

2021-12-24 General

This is short because Happy Christmas Eve! Testing This paper from October says that there is 1.7x variation in PCR test results over the course of a day, with 2pm being the time when an infected person will have the highest viral load. This article says that it’s not legal for you to redistribute rapid… Continue reading 2021-12-24 General

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