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Thread: The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

  1. #991
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I’d be very curious why they wouldn’t. California has a lot of state and private labs. I’m not sure, but I think more than any other state, simply because of population and size of the economy.
    Can't say. I suppose it takes time to ramp up a statewide program of specific actions if you weren't doing it before.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #992
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Having the tests available in Colorado doesn't mean having the tests available in California. Maybe Cali only recently got that capacity.
    I think itís like Grant explained. California definitely has gene sequencers, but I donít know what kind of a program they have. Also, if a variant is rare, you might not find it through random genomic sequencing. So it could be that it already existed elsewhere, but they simply happened to find it in the UK first.
    As above, so below

  3. #993
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    My wife got the vaccine the other day. No point in asking about it. She had the first dose then worked a full day today (edit - I lost track of time, this would have been shot on Monday, work on Tuesday). As near as I can tell, work has the same side effects after the vaccine as before: tired, cranky, just wants dinner and a pony.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2020-Dec-30 at 05:45 AM.
    Solfe

  4. #994
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    dinner and a pony.
    Separately! SEPARATELY!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #995
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think itís like Grant explained. California definitely has gene sequencers, but I donít know what kind of a program they have. Also, if a variant is rare, you might not find it through random genomic sequencing. So it could be that it already existed elsewhere, but they simply happened to find it in the UK first.
    But if the variant is here but is rare, it wouldnít (yet) be adding much to the case count. My issue is that when I heard of the UK variant, my first thought was, ďIs it here? Is that why our numbers are jumping so much?Ē It would have seemed obvious to me that checking it would be a priority. But Iím just hearing about it now. So I wonder if they were and it is just being talked about now, or if they had a good reason they werenít testing earlier.

    As I said before, California has quite a number of state and private labs. It doesnít have the fifth largest economy in the world (when compared to nations) for nothing, and the number of labs has been mentioned a fair number of times by officials (by way of trying to reassure people) during the pandemic.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

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  6. #996
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    “Is it here? Is that why our numbers are jumping so much?”
    I think there's more mundane explanations for our numbers jumping, and they revolve around factors other than the strictly biological and medical. The new strain is IMO not yet widespread enough in the US to account for our nationwide cases spiking the way they are.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  7. #997
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    Well, thatís the point of testing - no need for guessing or assuming.

    Iíve seen the argument for pandemic fatigue combined with holidays and winter weather. On the other hand California seemed to be taking it more seriously than many states and while having problems wasnít having the degree of infections some others were. Now it seems worse than many.

    If it was just masses deciding to ignore social distancing rules, so be it. Just the degree of increase struck me as surprising.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  8. #998
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    Having a lab does not necessarily mean having a specific test set up. That said, I don't know enough about the situation in California or the nature of how information about the new strain was shared there to come to any hard conclusions.

    ADDED: There's a whole mess of variables involved, some of them political, that just aren't available to us yet to make a judgement.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2020-Dec-30 at 09:55 AM. Reason: added
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #999
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    I'm confused by something about this discussion.

    There are suggestions that this new variant is not detectable by the existing tests, but at the same time that this new variant is responsible for the increase in case counts. I don't see how those can both be true, so I assume I'm misunderstanding something.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  10. #1000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Separately! SEPARATELY!
    Shifting a response over to the amusing thread.

    (Edit to drop a link to my post in the amusing thread.)
    Last edited by Solfe; 2020-Dec-30 at 03:10 PM.
    Solfe

  11. #1001
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    I'm confused by something about this discussion.

    There are suggestions that this new variant is not detectable by the existing tests, but at the same time that this new variant is responsible for the increase in case counts. I don't see how those can both be true, so I assume I'm misunderstanding something.
    It's detectable by routine PCR testing, but not detectable as a new variant. Routine Covid testing is designed specifically to be "blind" to variations between viral strains. You don't want your routine Covid test to give false negatives simply because the viral genome has shifted a little (which is going on all the time). You also want the test to be robust against the inevitable degradation of the sampled RNA, so you don't want to rely on a completely intact genome being present in every sample (because a lot of your samples will have damaged RNA). So routine PCR testing looks specifically for short sections of the genome that are observed not to mutate readily (presumably because they fulfil some vital role for the virus which is disrupted if the base-pair sequence changes). That's what you need from a test intended to inform immediate public health measures--something that robustly flags the presence of SARS-CoV-2.
    Sitting behind that process, genomic surveillance uses the best quality samples to sequence the entire genome, and gives a big picture of how the virus is transmitting around the world.

    Grant Hutchison

  12. #1002
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    I tested positive this week so my son and I are isolating for 14 days. Temp dropped from 100.1 F on Sunday and is now 97.9. Slight chills. Trying to swallow small portions of salmon just doesn't go well. Fresh fruits go down great and provide energy rebounds. Steamed vegetables don't go down that well. Stir-fried with chimichurri sauce is still great. I have plenty of taste and smell. David has no symptoms at all.

  13. #1003
    Quote Originally Posted by blueshift View Post
    I tested positive this week so my son and I are isolating for 14 days. Temp dropped from 100.1 F on Sunday and is now 97.9. Slight chills. Trying to swallow small portions of salmon just doesn't go well. Fresh fruits go down great and provide energy rebounds. Steamed vegetables don't go down that well. Stir-fried with chimichurri sauce is still great. I have plenty of taste and smell. David has no symptoms at all.
    Get better Blueshift.
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  14. #1004
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    I'm confused by something about this discussion.

    There are suggestions that this new variant is not detectable by the existing tests, but at the same time that this new variant is responsible for the increase in case counts. I don't see how those can both be true, so I assume I'm misunderstanding something.
    It's detectable by a more complex method that isn't always carried out. It requires more extensive examination than just confirming the presence of the virus.

    Analogy: It's like reading a book cover vs reading the book. You know what book it is, but to tell what edition it is, you need to examine the contents.

    I doubt the new strain is responsible by itself for the increases. It's too new for that. Hasn't had time to become commonplace in the US.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2020-Dec-30 at 08:27 PM. Reason: clarified in the US
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  15. #1005
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueshift View Post
    I tested positive this week so my son and I are isolating for 14 days. Temp dropped from 100.1 F on Sunday and is now 97.9. Slight chills. Trying to swallow small portions of salmon just doesn't go well. Fresh fruits go down great and provide energy rebounds. Steamed vegetables don't go down that well. Stir-fried with chimichurri sauce is still great. I have plenty of taste and smell. David has no symptoms at all.
    Sorry to hear it! Hope you both get well soon.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #1006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Sorry to hear it! Hope you both get well soon.
    Thanks to both you and Backyard Astronomer. We have plenty to keep ourselves occupied. I am engaged with Tom Field's spectroscopy group and there are some just fascinating feedbacks from those with an incredible experience from all parts of the world. Without the hobby of astronomy, I am not sure how well I could tackle this. Sir Isaac set a good example.

  17. #1007
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    A case of the UK variant has now been confirmed in Southern California, which incidentally is where infections are worst in the state. Now to see if it is rare or common.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  18. #1008
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueshift View Post
    I tested positive this week so my son and I are isolating for 14 days. Temp dropped from 100.1 F on Sunday and is now 97.9. Slight chills. Trying to swallow small portions of salmon just doesn't go well. Fresh fruits go down great and provide energy rebounds. Steamed vegetables don't go down that well. Stir-fried with chimichurri sauce is still great. I have plenty of taste and smell. David has no symptoms at all.
    I add my good wishes. I hope it continues to stay mild. On a side note, I wasn’t familiar with chimichurri sauce, but looking it up, it seems to have some ingredients I like. I’ll have to try it out.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  19. #1009
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    Last I heard they were still trying to contact trace the Colorado case. Possibly two National Guard with no international travels and had been at a nursing home, but it's not clear if they got it there.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...orado-n1252562
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  20. #1010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I doubt the new strain is responsible by itself for the increases. It's too new for that. Hasn't had time to become commonplace in the US.
    You may be right, but I don't think you can assert that at present. The Colorado case seems to have no obvious UK contacts, it's reported, which would imply the USA already has community spread. And the USA has sequenced only 0.3% of all identified cases, according to a statement attributed to the CDC--that leaves a lot of room for a new strain to establish itself in the population unnoticed.

    Grant Hutchison

  21. #1011
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    Just my opinion. I think the scattershot US response has left a lot of room in the dark for who-knows-what to be going on.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  22. #1012
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The Colorado case seems to have no obvious UK contacts, it's reported, which would imply the USA already has community spread.
    They are saying the same of the California case - it looks like community apread.

    And the USA has sequenced only 0.3% of all identified cases, according to a statement attributed to the CDC--that leaves a lot of room for a new strain to establish itself in the population unnoticed.
    And again it looks like they are playing catch-up on testing. Reminds me of the mess early in the year. My guess (but only a guess) is that this will help explain what’s been happening here. Of course, I’ll be happy to drop that idea if evidence argues against it.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  23. #1013
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    Looks like Georgia will be expanding its 1A vaccine candidates to include all first responders AND seniors 65 or older. The initial plan had old fogies like me in a later 1C phase. All subject to vaccine availability of course and still no details on how to sign up.

    It's incremental progress but I'll take it.

    By J. Scott Trubey - The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionHelena Oliviero - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    In perhaps as soon as two weeks from now, Georgia is planning to add people 65 and older, police officers and other first responders to the current cohort of persons eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, Gov. Brian Kempís office announced late Wednesday.

    In a news release, Kemp said seniors, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders would be added to the current Phase 1A group eligible for vaccination. This planned expansion could begin within two weeks, if the state can obtain enough doses.

    Few details about the plan were included in the governorís news release. But Kemp and Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the stateís public health commissioner, have scheduled a media briefing Thursday morning.

    At present, Phase 1A includes health care workers and staff and residents of long-term care homes.

    Itís unclear how persons 65 and older and first responders added to Phase 1A will be informed of their new eligibility or how these individuals will schedule shots. That information was not included in the governorís news release. A public information campaign is expected.

  24. #1014
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    My wife reports that her shot was like a Tetanus shot. Pain at the injection site and all over aches for about 48 hours.

    I'm probably way down on the list, but I really won't be happy until my kids have the shot. My oldest (18 years old) joined the Air Force Reserves and heads off in February. I suspect he'll be the next one to get it. I can sort of picture an assembly line of new recruits getting poked. It won't be fun, but at least he'll get it sooner rather than later.

    My younger two, 16 and 15 are likely at the bottom of the list. I did a little math and if nothing changes in NY and me and my kids are dead last, I'm thinking early 2022. There are a lot of people in line for this and some people have more issues that need to be address than me and the kiddos. Sigh.
    Solfe

  25. #1015
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    My therapist told me yesterday that he's been told he can get it now--but he has to allot a two-hour time to get it where he won't be seeing patients and therefore hasn't yet.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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  26. #1016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    And again it looks like they are playing catch-up on testing. Reminds me of the mess early in the year. My guess (but only a guess) is that this will help explain whatís been happening here. Of course, Iíll be happy to drop that idea if evidence argues against it.
    Some early analysis of specific gene loci in historical US samples are showing up an S-deletion that matches the "English variant". This is not a full genomic sequence, so we can't say it's the same variant, but it shows that the deletion has been in the USA since October.

    Grant Hutchison

  27. #1017
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    Talking to a friend who works as a dental assistant and she’s telling me that it’s the year of cracked teeth. Due to pandemic stress a lot more people are grinding their teeth in their sleep this year. This is compounded by poor diet, nightmares and the fact that people haven't been visiting their dentists as often since many offices were closed to refit for the pandemic.

  28. #1018
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    In another week or so people will be in line to get their 2nd shot while others will be getting their first shot. I hope the logistics of that inoculation overlap have been worked out.

  29. #1019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I add my good wishes. I hope it continues to stay mild. On a side note, I wasn’t familiar with chimichurri sauce, but looking it up, it seems to have some ingredients I like. I’ll have to try it out.
    It's addictive. I put it on salmon, quinoa, stir fry veggies, and use it as a dipping sauce.

  30. #1020
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueshift View Post
    It's addictive. I put it on salmon, quinoa, stir fry veggies, and use it as a dipping sauce.
    Yes, it goes well with just a spoon too.

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