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Gstalt#42 – SARS-2 Pandemic

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Tabitha111 View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 07 2021 at 10:10am

by monontreme 1000/March 7, 2021
Gestalt#42 – SARS-2 Pandemic – Monotreme's Blog (wordpress.com)


Brazil


Brazil is currently experiencing a catastrophic health care crisis. Part of the problem is that the President of Brazil has apparently lost his mind and abandoned his people. But this is not the only problem. There is a SARS-2 variant that is biologically more dangerous than the original strain.


The new variant, known as P.1, is 1.4 to 2.2 times more contagious than versions of the virus previously found in Brazil, and 25% to 61% more capable of reinfecting people who had been infected by an earlier strain, according to a study released Tuesday.


[snip]


Several doctors have reported a surge in younger patients in their Covid-19 wards, many in their 30s and 40s with no underlying health problems. In Peru, some doctors said patients are becoming seriously ill faster, just three or four days after the first symptoms emerged, compared with an average of nine to 14 days last year.


“The virus is behaving differently,” said Rosa Lopez, a doctor in the intensive-care unit at Lima’s Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen Hospital. “It’s really aggressive…the situation is very difficult, really terrible.”

Covid-19 Variant in Brazil Overwhelms Local Hospitals, Hits Younger Patients - WSJ

Samantha Pearson and Ryan Dube, Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2021


This strain has been found in other countries, including the US. Will our current vaccines hold against this strain?

We don't know. But the fact that it can re-infect and kill people who were already infected once is cause for concern.

Is the virus killing more young people because it is truly more lethal or is it killing more young people because it is so much more infectious?

We don't know yet. But neither possibility is good.


The "it must get milder myth"


I understand the rationale of public health authorities to offer hope to the stressed-out public. But it is dangerous to lead them to expect a rosy scenario when a worse case may  occur. It is also wrong to repeat wrong interpretations of evolution.

For years, I have been seeing claims that a virus or bacteria "doesn't want to kill its host, so therefore, it must get milder". This is false.

Pathogens don't think. They just infect.

The only selection on a virus is to replicate itself. Its main competition is other viruses. There has been little discussion of what this means. Brazil has demonstrated that new strains of SARS-2 may not be milder, they may be worse.

One possibility is that once many people are infected with SARS-2, selection favors a strain of virus that is better able to evade our immune systems. This new strain could easily be more infectious and more lethal. If this true, then what will happen once we have vaccinated a large number of people in the US?
If we don't completely eradicate all strains of SARS-2 within our borders, and prevent new strains from coming in, then we can expect that selective pressure will result in, not milder strains, but instead, more dangerous strains.


Unease


I am feeling uneasy about some signals I am getting from multiple sources. I think that many people are having a difficult time with the pandemic and are getting to the end of their ropes, psychologically. They are being told to hang on, the vaccine is coming and then all will be well.

I have been vaccinated and encourage everyone I know to get the vaccine. But… I'm not sure that once everyone has been vaccinated that all be well (see above).

I am also getting signals that something is up in China. I don't think Xi will let much time go by before he does something dangerous. I am hoping we have a few years to prepare for this, but I'm not sure.

If the vaccines does give us a respite, we should use that time to prepare for perhaps even greater disruptions than we have already experienced. As all now know, this should include financial preps. You don't want to be in the position where you have to work in a dangerous location to keep food on the table.

'A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.'
--Confucius

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