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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, April 12, 2021

Sam Baker: All the things that could prolong the COVID-19 pandemic -- that could make this virus a part of our lives longer than anyone wants -- are playing out right in front of our eyes.

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...Driving the news: The British variant is driving another surge in cases in Michigan, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has resisted reimposing any of the lockdown measures she embraced earlier in the pandemic.

  • Variants are beginning to infect more kids, even as schools are on the fast track back to reopening, making the pandemic "a brand new ball game," as University of Minnesota epidemiologist Michael Osterholm recently put it.
  • New research confirms that our existing vaccines don't work as well against the South African variant.

Between the lines: This is a preview of the longer, darker coronavirus future the U.S. may face without sufficient vaccinations " one that many experts see as pretty likely.
  • Although the pace of vaccinations is still strong, there's a growing fear that it's about to slow down. In some parts of the country, particularly the South, demand for shots has already slowed down enough to create a surplus of available doses.

How it works: The more widely a virus can spread, the more opportunities it has to mutate. If the U.S. and ultimately the world don't vaccinate a sufficient percentage of the population, we'll be setting ourselves up to let the virus keep spreading, and keep mutating, continuing to give us new variants that will continue to pose new threats....

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-04-12 11:40 AM | Reply

we'll be setting ourselves up to let the virus keep spreading, and keep mutating, continuing to give us new variants that will continue to pose new threats....

Ugh. I'm tired of reading this ignorant thinking by journalists who apparently have little to no training in microbiology or virology.

There isn't unlimited evolutionary space. There are only so many changes the virus can make to evade human immune responses, so the rise of new variants later this year or next year or three years from now isn't going to make it a brand spanking new virus that's invisible to existing immunity. These initial changes (increased binding strength to ACE2, major changes in S that partially evade antibody immunity) are entirely predictable as the virus evolves to humans as its new primary host.

But once it's adapted to humans as it's primary host, more than likely it will remain with us as a seasonal virus that will have variations in seasonal severity and case loads as existing population immunity waxes and wanes.

There may be the need for booster vaccinations at intervals, but with the slow rate of mutation in coronaviruses compared to influenza viruses I don't see that as being terribly likely and if they are needed they would be infrequent.

#2 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-12 04:13 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#2 | Posted by jpw

I saw a segment on a COVID TV special with a virologist from Pfizer. He said with mRNA vaccines they can take copies of new spike shapes and paste them into current vaccines so they recognize new strains instead of staring from scratch, like pasting a cropped picture into PhotoShop.

Methinks we're going to be in this pandemic for a long time because of idiots who won't mask or get vaccines.

#3 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-04-12 07:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Two other things in the news; Moderna weakens at least somewhat after 6 mos, and Pfizer may not protect against the South African variant.

www.cleveland19.com

Are we having fun yet?

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2021-04-13 12:12 AM | Reply

Methinks we're going to be in this pandemic for a long time because of idiots who won't mask or get vaccines.

#3 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY

Define "long time."

In 1918 there were 3 major waves of caes.

Spring/early summer 1918, autumn/winter 1918-19 (largest wave) and then in spring 1919 with consistent cases into 2020.

Looks like we're surging to a spring 2021 wave so we're pretty close kinetically to 1918.

Keep vaccinating (with updated vaccines, hopefully soon) and I'm hoping that by autumn 2021 we'll be petering out on the tail end as this transitions to an endemic virus.

#5 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-13 01:41 AM | Reply

JPW

2-3 years, at least.

We were an agrarian society in 1918. Few autos, no planes, everything was localized. Now we're a highly mobilized society and world. And with new variants yet to make themselves known as the virus continues to mutate, we'll be vaccinating for years to come.

In 1919, society turned on 'Mask Slakers' and made pariahs of anyone who wouldn't wear one. Eeveryone was eventually forced to mask up and abide by the rules. We don't have that here anymore. People openly flaunt their 'freedom' and spread COVID to others.

#6 | Posted by americanunity at 2021-04-13 02:27 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

And we have a large segment of American society who won't even consider getting vaccinated.

It's only my opinion, but based on what I see IRL and in the news, COVID is going to hurt the rest of us for years.

#7 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-04-13 02:30 AM | Reply

@#2

Thanks for the correction and explanation of my #1.

#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-04-13 10:38 AM | Reply

"...and then in spring 1919 with consistent cases into 2020."

Now THAT's a long haul!

#9 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-04-13 10:40 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

We were an agrarian society in 1918. Few autos, no planes, everything was localized.

Except we were at that time highly mobile because of WWI.

And with new variants yet to make themselves known as the virus continues to mutate, we'll be vaccinating for years to come.

Mutations aren't all or nothing. A mutation doesn't mean the virus is now completely resistant to existing antibodies, it means there is reduced efficacy.

And there are only so many mutations a virus can make.

COVID is going to hurt the rest of us for years.

#7 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY

Well it's never going away, that's for sure.

Will it become a disease of the very young and very old? Probably.

#10 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-13 10:52 AM | Reply

"...and then in spring 1919 with consistent cases into 2020."
Now THAT's a long haul!

#9 | POSTED BY DANFORTH

LOL

Even though it's a typo it's not that incorrect considering it became an endemic strain for decades and is still with us.

#11 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-13 10:53 AM | Reply

People occasionally get diagnosed with The Plague..viruses have staying power

#12 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-04-13 11:09 AM | Reply

The Plague is bacterial, but point taken.

#13 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-13 11:35 AM | Reply

-___- dangit lol.

#14 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-04-13 11:49 AM | Reply

Thanks for the correction and explanation of my #1.
#8 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER

Not so much a correction but a chiding of media who hasn't seemed to interested in updating their knowledge and outlook.

For your average person the constant drum beat of dire outlooks gets tiresome and they stop listening.

It's also not exactly the most accurate information.

#15 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-13 12:44 PM | Reply

#12 small pox is the only human pathogen to completely eradicated.

COVID isn't going anywhere.

#16 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-13 12:51 PM | Reply

But you try to tell this to the Republicans of today and they'll never believe it.

#17 | Posted by chuffy at 2021-04-13 01:25 PM | Reply

People occasionally get diagnosed with The Plague..viruses have staying power

#12 | Posted by GOnoles92

Lucky thing there weren't republicans during the plague or mankind would have been wiped out.

#18 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-04-13 01:39 PM | Reply

If the infection rates in New Mexico drop sharply today then we will at last have the proof that everyone does need to get vaccinated.

#19 | Posted by Tor at 2021-04-13 01:43 PM | Reply

#19 | Posted by Tor

What does that mean?

#20 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-04-13 01:59 PM | Reply

NM has a higher % of it's pop fully vaccinated than any other state.

#21 | Posted by Tor at 2021-04-13 08:41 PM | Reply

The pandemic itself is irrelevant. What matters is people's response to COVID, which is now almost certainly as much a part of this planet as we are.

Eventually, COVID will no longer be the new bogeyman, and the "fear" response will diminish. The threat of COVID will become just another threat that we humans must deal with as a function of being alive.

And then, as we get older, it might kill us. But more likely cancer.

#22 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:38 AM | Reply

"Keep vaccinating (with updated vaccines, hopefully soon) and I'm hoping that by autumn 2021 we'll be petering out on the tail end as this transitions to an endemic virus."

What does that translate into with regards to incidence?

I think the strategy should be to shift away from trying to prevent the next COVID case to preventing the next COVID death. That would mean rethinking how the government handles not only COVID, but other infectious diseases as well.

#23 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:41 AM | Reply

"Eventually, COVID will no longer be the new bogeyman"

Heart disease and cancer breathe a sigh of relief!

#24 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-14 03:22 AM | Reply

MB, that's quite some rationalization you are attempting.
BTW, cancer deaths and COVID deaths weren't far off from each other in March 2020 to March 2021.
We've had cancer around for a long time. Cancer is still devastating.

We know what "long-haulers" are experiencing already, and that that affects everyone in every age group.
We also know we have no idea what the long-term health consequences are going to be with non-fatal and even asymptomatic COVID infection. We know there will be some. COPD is likely just one of the chronic conditions many will be faces with from having been infected.

COVID needs to be prevented. Full stop. This isn't "the flu."

Until COVID mutates to a much less virulent form with no long term health effects, the only answer is vaccinations, and sane public health policies.

#25 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-14 09:16 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

What does that translate into with regards to incidence?

Well, the numbers will apparently go down but that's because the only ones reported are the ones tested for at a doctor's visit. An as yet determine proportion of infections will be mild enough not to warrant a visit and will go unreported.

I think the strategy should be to shift away from trying to prevent the next COVID case to preventing the next COVID death. That would mean rethinking how the government handles not only COVID, but other infectious diseases as well.

#23 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Case loads are too closely linked to deaths to parse them like that under pandemic conditions.

When it becomes endemic this will likely be the practice because, as said above, the only cases doctors know about will be the ones in the patient sitting in front of them.

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 10:21 AM | Reply

Until COVID mutates to a much less virulent form with no long term health effects, the only answer is vaccinations, and sane public health policies.

#25 | POSTED BY YAV

Or until we have a better understanding of the dynamics between infection and immunity.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 10:22 AM | Reply

"Until COVID mutates to a much less virulent form with no long term health effects, the only answer is vaccinations, and sane public health policies."

So you first problem is assuming that the virus will mutate into something less virulent. Your second problem is establishing a temporal limit on when that transformation would occur.

Then we talk public health policy. The term "sane" is subjective. Personally, I think the US is the gold standard in dealing with COVID, with far more emphasis on preserving the economy, qualify of life, and the mental health of the population. Where I live here in Germany, it's just the opposite. It's prevent the next COVID case at any cost, and many of the measures being implemented are cosmetic. Starting tomorrow, it will be illegal for me to be outside after 9pm. 845pm, OK, but something happens at 9pm that makes people more susceptible to COVID.

But it sucks, and if it sucks it must be effective.

#28 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 11:44 AM | Reply

"Case loads are too closely linked to deaths to parse them like that under pandemic conditions."

That's not true. It's never been true.

There have been a total of 140 deaths for people under 14 years of age. 648 deaths for the 15-24 age group. On average 60%-80% of those had underlying conditions.

The US did a better job of recognizing this fact than most other countries. Or at least some states within the US.

#29 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 11:50 AM | Reply

"qualify of life"

Apparently this doesn't require being alive.

#30 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-14 12:20 PM | Reply

Prisoners in solitary confine are alive. Is their quality of life consistent with someone who is not in prison?

#31 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 12:23 PM | Reply

There have been a total of 140 deaths for people under 14 years of age. 648 deaths for the 15-24 age group. On average 60%-80% of those had underlying conditions.

The US did a better job of recognizing this fact than most other countries. Or at least some states within the US.

#29 | Posted by madbomber

You mean your party did a better job of deciding those deaths don't matter.

#32 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-04-14 12:25 PM | Reply

Republicans are the reason this disease killed as many as it did, and they're the reason we wont get rid of it any time soon, yet they're the ones whining that they want to go back to normal the most.

------- morons.

#33 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-04-14 12:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"You mean your party did a better job of deciding those deaths don't matter."

My party?

#34 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 12:58 PM | Reply

"Republicans are the reason this disease killed as many as it did, and they're the reason we wont get rid of it any time soon, yet they're the ones whining that they want to go back to normal the most."

You're ------- high.

You still think politics can control this? Nope?

I fully, FULLY expect Germany to be in lock-down until some time in 2022. And the mortality rate here will match that of the US.

The difference, it's going to take Germany twice as long to get there...but they will get there. With the additional burden of unprecedented economic ruin.

You're response is one of fear. That's why the military spends so much money training operators. Because fear inevitably encourages failure.

#35 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 01:03 PM | Reply

So you first problem is assuming that the virus will mutate into something less virulent.

It is an assumption but a solid one as the historical precedence is for viruses to become less pathogenic as they adapt to hosts.

Personally, I think the US is the gold standard in dealing with COVID, with far more emphasis on preserving the economy, qualify of life, and the mental health of the population.

LOL killing more people is the "gold standard" for you.

That you value money more than human life is disturbing.

And you're a fool if you think the US cares two ----- about people's mental health. Our overall public policy in that regard is abysmal.

#36 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 01:49 PM | Reply

That's not true. It's never been true.

This is so cringeworthy I feel bad for you. Like seriously, genuine pity that you posted this with a straight face.

There have been a total of 140 deaths for people under 14 years of age. 648 deaths for the 15-24 age group. On average 60%-80% of those had underlying conditions.

And?

There are two obvious rebuttals to this.

First, these people don't exist in a vacuum.

Second is the simple fact that differing mortality rates for different demographics doesn't in any way suggest case loads are independent of death rates.

The US did a better job of recognizing this fact than most other countries. Or at least some states within the US.

#29 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Some states did a great job being ignorant, greedy --------. That's it.

And that's all it will ever be.

#37 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 01:52 PM | Reply

And the mortality rate here will match that of the US.
The difference, it's going to take Germany twice as long to get there...but they will get there.

I see what you did there.

You list a time-independent stat to claim the responses are the same in a time-dependent fashion.

Serious question: Do you really not see the illogical nature of your statements?

#38 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 01:55 PM | Reply

With the additional burden of unprecedented economic ruin.
You're response is one of fear.

You're the only one exhibiting fear as a driver of your opinions on the topic, mad.

I'd add a healthy dose of hyperbole to the mix too.

#39 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 01:56 PM | Reply

Or that delaying deaths early on allows for vaccination program to be implemented and stop deaths later on, so that number of future equal deaths added making the total result equivalent is utter --------.

#40 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-14 02:02 PM | Reply

Or until we have a better understanding of the dynamics between infection and immunity.

Great point. There are a few variables that can really change the dynamics. Thanks JPW.

#41 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-14 02:03 PM | Reply

"It is an assumption but a solid one as the historical precedence is for viruses to become less pathogenic as they adapt to hosts."

Sure. And in 3-5 years that's the most likely outcome. In your professional opinion, should Germany outlaw human interaction until that point is reached?

#42 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:35 PM | Reply

JPW,

MadBomber can't do calculus.

He lacks the knowledge to understand why he's wrong.

(This applies to his failure to understand economics as well.)

#43 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-14 02:35 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"LOL killing more people is the "gold standard" for you."

Killing more people?

Are some of us not going to die?

And like I said, I 100% expect that in the end, the percentage of the population that dies in Germany will be equal to or higher than what it was in the US. It is just going to take twice as long to get there. And cause twice the amount of economic damage. The mental costs are likely incalculable.

You and I won't be the judge of how this pandemic was handled. It will be our kids. And I suspect they will judge us as the weakest generation.

#44 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:38 PM | Reply

"This is so cringeworthy I feel bad for you. Like seriously, genuine pity that you posted this with a straight face."

In 2008 I sat by while a military aircraft took off to go fly a sortie. It crashed. They died.

Should I have told them not to fly? That the risk simply wasn't worth it?

#45 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:40 PM | Reply

They knew the risks when they signed up, right?

#46 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-14 02:41 PM | Reply

"And you're a fool if you think the US cares two ----- about people's mental health. Our overall public policy in that regard is abysmal."

The US does a better job than most places.

Germany is in hard lock-down. The government has little concern as to the mental state of the population, providing that you might prevent another COVID case.

COVID uber alles.

#47 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:41 PM | Reply

"Some states did a great job being ignorant, greedy --------. That's it."

Then don't live there. Go live in a lock-down state.

Hell, come live in Germany. They'll arrest you for being out after dark. Because of COVID.

You'd love it.

#48 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:43 PM | Reply

"Serious question: Do you really not see the illogical nature of your statements?"

Nope. I don't see the illogical at all.

Maybe I wasn't clear enough.

So what's a better outcome? One where x% of the population dies of COVID over n years, or one where x% of the population dies of COVID over >n years?

Considering that the measures required to extend the COVID pandemic also cause many other social and economic problems.

#49 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:46 PM | Reply

"They knew the risks when they signed up, right?"

Yeah.

And I'm sure that as they realized what was going on, they were like...well...----.

Civilians, and progressives in particular...they're struggling to reconcile reality. I think it must be like the Europeans during the world wars, suddenly finding yourself faced with something you can't wish away. The difference is that USans, unlike Europeans, have never really dealt with war. So COVID has been something very new, and very, very scary. And if you've never been in a position where you have to deal with fear, you're probably going to act irrationally.

With some aircraft, there is a phenomenon where a stall condition stick deflection in one direction results in a snap roll in the other direction. It doesn't make sense, and intuitively, if you were to try and correct, you would throw everything into the opposite direction of the role. But in the end, that will get you killed. What you need to do is deflect the stick in the direction of the turn, and dump the nose.

The US is doing it right. They've dumped the nose. Germany keeps jerking the stick hoping for an outcome that won't materialize.

#50 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-14 02:56 PM | Reply

"So what's a better outcome? One where x% of the population dies of COVID over n years, or one where x% of the population dies of COVID over >n years?"

Your equation is wrong. The second percentage is "less than x", since there will always be people who died of natural causes instead.

#51 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-04-14 03:17 PM | Reply

Sure. And in 3-5 years that's the most likely outcome. In your professional opinion, should Germany outlaw human interaction until that point is reached?

#42 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Your 3-5 years assumption is more egregious that the assumption of lost pathogenicity.

Look, even though they're different viruses you can compare 1918 influenza to SARS-CoV-2.

By 1920 numbers had fallen due to proportion of population infected and either immune or dead being high enough to squelch transmission. That state is the end goal for all public health responses.

A virus with far far greater mutagenic potential did that in two years, why would we assume SARS-CoV-2 to take longer, especially with vaccine immunity rising?

Killing more people?
Are some of us not going to die?

Ahhh yes the good ol' "we're all gonna die anyway" sociopath response.

It's a poor argument. Don't use it.

#52 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 03:18 PM | Reply

In 2008 I sat by while a military aircraft took off to go fly a sortie. It crashed. They died.
Should I have told them not to fly? That the risk simply wasn't worth it?

#45 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

This literally has nothing to do with the conversation up until that point.

#53 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 03:18 PM | Reply

The US does a better job than most places.

No, it doesn't.

And I'm talking about the bigger context, not within the context of COVID.

The US's mental healthcare system is ----.

#54 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 03:19 PM | Reply

Then don't live there. Go live in a lock-down state.
Hell, come live in Germany. They'll arrest you for being out after dark. Because of COVID.
You'd love it.

#48 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Apparently you can only hold one, maybe two variables tops, in your head at once.

Living in a lockdown state means far less if states like FL do what they do.

Righties make this same error every time they try to say Chicago proves gun control doesn't work.

#55 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 03:21 PM | Reply

So what's a better outcome? One where x% of the population dies of COVID over n years, or one where x% of the population dies of COVID over >n years?

www.worldometers.info

Cases per 1M:
US-96,523
Germany-36,483

Deaths per 1M:
US-1,736
Germany-950

When exactly are you expecting the rapid catch up of Germany to the US to happen?

And the one thing that is and will separate the US from other countries is our vaccination rate. If other countries catch up it will largely be because they vaccinated slower than we did.

#56 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 03:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"They've dumped the nose"

Of what?
The economy, the case fatality rate, both, neither?

#57 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-14 03:28 PM | Reply

The US is doing it right. They've dumped the nose.

There is literally not a single stat that supports this assertion.

Again, this viewpoint boils down entirely to whether you value money over human life.

#58 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 03:30 PM | Reply

77,000 new cases and 1000 deaths in the U.S. yesterday.

www.google.com

Yes, this will be around for awhile because of selfish morons who won't abide by simple mitigation measures and the politicians they support who want to pretend this pandemic is over and we should all act like life is normal.

#59 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-04-14 03:30 PM | Reply

Civilians, and progressives in particular...they're struggling to reconcile reality. I think it must be like the Europeans during the world wars, suddenly finding yourself faced with something you can't wish away. The difference is that USans, unlike Europeans, have never really dealt with war. So COVID has been something very new, and very, very scary. And if you've never been in a position where you have to deal with fear, you're probably going to act irrationally.

This actually better explains the Euro response to COVID compared to the US response.

Idiot red states have made our collective response a deer in the headlights type response. Because we, as Americans, haven't experienced true adversity and had to band together to overcome it.

Europeans have. Many many times.

BTW it's not a reaction out of fear no matter how many times you say it.

#60 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-14 03:42 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#58 I value money over life. That is why I want to completely disband the US Military. Let China and Russia invade, it will be cheaper for me. Once they get tired of killing Americans, I will sell them snacks. Winning.

#61 | Posted by bored at 2021-04-14 03:43 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

"They've dumped the nose"

Economy:
DAX up 48% in past year
DJIA up 44% in past year

COVID-19 Deaths:
Germany: 950 per million
USA: 1,737 per million

Looks like Germany's economy is doing just as well as America's, with half the deaths.

#62 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-14 04:09 PM | Reply

Again, this viewpoint boils down entirely to whether you value money over human life.
#58 | POSTED BY PW

You know he values money more than human life.
Someday, he might figure out how protecting human life also protects capital.
But today won't be that day.

#63 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-14 04:10 PM | Reply

"I will sell them snacks"

LONG LIVE THE MALHEUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE TAKEOVER

WOLVERINES!!!

#64 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-14 04:17 PM | Reply

"Your equation is wrong. The second percentage is "less than x", since there will always be people who died of natural causes instead."

Maybe.

What we've seen in Germany is that when the government permits unrestricted human interaction, case numbers go up. To be fair though, the numbers are going up exponentially even under strict lockdown conditions.

If there are x number of people who are susceptible to COVID right now, that number will change as a percentage of x dies off, but those people will be replaced as others age or develop comorbidities.

I think that the public health community is a violent agreement that herd immunity will be required to suppress the virus...but you'll never get there when you're prohibiting human interaction without vaccination.

#65 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 02:18 AM | Reply

"Your 3-5 years assumption is more egregious that the assumption of lost pathogenicity."

I'll go back and see if I can't find the article I was reading, but it stated that it would be 4.7 years until the planet resembled something akin to the way it looked in the summer of 2019.

"By 1920 numbers had fallen due to proportion of population infected and either immune or dead being high enough to squelch transmission. That state is the end goal for all public health responses."

Dude, if you're an advocate of lock-downs, the Spanish Flu is not the example you want to present.

This is important, so pay attention: There were no limits on human interaction during the Spanish Flu pandemic. It was because of this permitted interaction that the virus was able to spread, which eventually resulted in herd immunity. And it still took two years! Had they locked down hard back then...how long do you think it would have taken for herd immunity to develop? Would it have?

It wasn't vaccines that ended the Spanish Flu, it was naturally occurring herd immunity.

And here's another thing. The Spanish Flu was not like COVID. COVID kills old people with underlying conditions. People who likely aren't working, aren't traveling, and limited in human interaction. The Spanish Flu killed the very young and middle aged. People who would be interacting with many other people as a result of work, social life, whatever. SF killed something like 4% of all factory workers in the US. The "roaring 20's" are today viewed as the outcome of a generation that survived both war and a pandemic.

#66 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 02:28 AM | Reply

"When exactly are you expecting the rapid catch up of Germany to the US to happen?"

It's happening right now.

www.google.com

Furthermore, the mortality rate in Germany is 2.5% compared to 1.7% in the US.

The pandemic will really only end when humans are able to reconcile their fear of the virus, but in the US it's looking more and more like anyone who wants a vaccine will soon have it. That's not the case here in Germany. The US government has done a great job of vaccinating US citizens in Germany, but Germany has only fully vaccinated 6% of it's population. Even for those who got their first shot, there's no guarantee a second shot will be available.

#67 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 03:02 AM | Reply

#55

That's one of the advantages, or disadvantages if you see it that way, of living in a free society.

This wasn't a problem in China.

#68 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 03:03 AM | Reply

"Yes, this will be around for awhile because of selfish morons who won't abide by simple mitigation measures and the politicians they support who want to pretend this pandemic is over and we should all act like life is normal."

That's likely the rub...what constitutes a simple mitigation measure.

I don't think that anyone has an issue with using hand sanitizer when going into a store. I don't think that many people have a huge issue with wearing a mask. But these are "simple" measures. Do they have an effect on limiting transmission? Probably. But to what extent. California, which had a strict lock-down and mask policy, had 6% less cases than Florida, which did not. And 4% less than Texas. And lock-downs are an extreme mitigation measure...not a simple one, as they prevent a person from behaving in a way they otherwise would choose to.

#69 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 03:49 AM | Reply

"COVID kills old people with underlying conditions."

And what lingering symptoms does it leave with survivors, particularly the young? Oh, right: you don't know, so you get to pretend zero.

"Your equation is wrong. The second percentage is "less than x", since there will always be people who died of natural causes instead."

"Maybe."

No, definitely. "Maybe" means you don't understand the equation you proffered.

#70 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-04-15 03:50 AM | Reply

"Again, this viewpoint boils down entirely to whether you value money over human life."

Money?

You mean spun cotton paper?

I don't really value that. But I do value having a roof over my head, and food to eat. I've become partial to electricity, and the internet, and traveling by vehicle.

None of that happens without money.

Using your logic, the man in solitary confinement should be the happiest man, as he is prevented from any sort of human interaction, and therefor completely (or mostly) safe from COVID.

#71 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 03:53 AM | Reply

"And what lingering symptoms does it leave with survivors, particularly the young? Oh, right: you don't know, so you get to pretend zero."

Does it matter?

People have lingering symptoms from the COVID vaccine. Should they stop getting vaccinated.

#72 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 03:54 AM | Reply

"People have lingering symptoms from the COVID vaccine."

You're comparing long-haulers with robust immune responses that last a few days?!? Don't be a jerk.

#73 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-04-15 03:56 AM | Reply

"Does it matter?"

Of course it matters, unless you don't care if your kids get long-term pulmonary problems provided you get to go to the gym.

#74 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-04-15 03:58 AM | Reply

"No, definitely. "Maybe" means you don't understand the equation you proffered."

You appear to be presupposing that, as the at-risk population dies of something other than (or from) COVID, there won't be replacements who become at risk over time. If the rate at which at the existing at-risk population dies off is less than the rate at which the overall at-risk population increases, then the number of potential deaths will only increase over time.

To put it another way, if 2% of the population is susceptible to COVID over a period of time, then the best way to mitigate for deaths is to limit the time periods. In this case through herd immunity.

#75 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 03:58 AM | Reply

"Of course it matters, unless you don't care if your kids get long-term pulmonary problems provided you get to go to the gym."

I think they would prefer to risk it and lead a normal life rather than spend a safer life in isolation.

#76 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 03:59 AM | Reply

"You appear to be presupposing that, as the at-risk population dies of something other than (or from) COVID, there won't be replacements who become at risk over time."

No, I'm presupposing if you die of something besides Covid, you didn't die of Covid. That would be LESS than "n" deaths due to Covid.

"To put it another way, if 2% of the population is susceptible to COVID over a period of time, then the best way to mitigate for deaths is to limit the time periods"

Nonsense. The best way to mitigate is mask until vaccination creates herd immunity. That way...get this...LESS people die of Covid.

See, there's that pesky "less than n" again....

#77 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-04-15 04:04 AM | Reply

"I think they would prefer to risk it and lead a normal life rather than spend a safer life in isolation."

How convenient they have the exact same view of risk to their lives as you do! Now they're all 25 or older, right, so their prefrontal cortex is fully developed, true? You know, that part of the brain that understands long-term ramifications of short-term decisions? I mean, they're making that decision as a fully-informed adult, right?

#78 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-04-15 04:10 AM | Reply

To put it another way, if 2% of the population is susceptible to COVID over a period of time, then the best way to mitigate for deaths is to limit the time periods. In this case through herd immunity.

#75 | Posted by madbomber

And the quickest route to herd immunity is mass vaccination.

Any other route to herd immunity means mass death and serious and long lasting bodily damage

#79 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-04-15 05:22 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Any other route to herd immunity means mass death and serious and long lasting bodily damage"

That was the solution offered to Trump by Dr. Quack, whom Trump embraced wholeheartedly to replace Dr. Fauci as the administration's "expert" on Covid-19.

It didn't take long for Dr. Quack to receive a lot of publicly expressed criticism from his peers for that kind of lunatic talk. Trump loved it nonetheless. He tried to cover his tracks by saying "Dr. Fauci has never been right about anything." The public wasn't buying any of it.

As usual, Trump made a fool out of himself.

#80 | Posted by Twinpac at 2021-04-15 07:31 AM | Reply

"To put it another way, if 2% of the population is susceptible to COVID over a period of time"

But that ain't the way it is.

100% of the unvaccinated or unexposed population is susceptible to COVID-19, at any time.

2% of the infected die of COVID-19, at any time.

#81 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-15 09:38 AM | Reply

"Nonsense. The best way to mitigate is mask until vaccination creates herd immunity. That way...get this...LESS people die of Covid."

So...that's a viable plan somewhere like the US, which has it's A game on with regards to vaccinations. And I'm not sure if you're suggesting that masks are the panacea with regards to COVID-you could probably wear a mask for the next several years if you needed to. But you can't maintain lock-down for another 3-5 years.

#82 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 09:56 AM | Reply

"Nonsense. The best way to mitigate is mask until vaccination creates herd immunity. That way...get this...LESS people die of Covid."

So...that's a viable plan somewhere like the US, which has it's A game on with regards to vaccinations. And I'm not sure if you're suggesting that masks are the panacea with regards to COVID-you could probably wear a mask for the next several years if you needed to. But you can't maintain lock-down for another 3-5 years.

#83 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 09:56 AM | Reply

"There were no limits on human interaction during the Spanish Flu pandemic."

Are you stupid?

There were far greater limits than today.

For starters, there was about an order of magnitude fewer people.

On top of that, there was no air travel. We barely had automobiles.

We were limited by the size of the herd, and by lack of individual mobility.

#84 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-15 10:16 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"The pandemic will really only end when humans are able to reconcile their fear of the virus"

The pandemic isn't a state of mind.

The pandemic is a state in an epidemiological model of infectious disease.

The pandemic ends when R0 is less than one.

#85 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-15 10:25 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"I mean, they're making that decision as a fully-informed adult, right?"

They're using the same decision calculus as I am. And if their fear of COVID was keeping them from going out in public, their fear of dying or getting injured in an auto accident should be even greater. Based on the math.

#86 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 12:26 PM | Reply

I mean, they're making that decision as a fully-informed adult, right?"

They're using the same decision calculus as I am. And if their fear of COVID was keeping them from going out in public, their fear of dying or getting injured in an auto accident should be even greater. Based on the math.

#86 | Posted by madbomber

No they're using their under educated brains that never learned basic science, math, or statistics. They keep saying "covid won't kill my but the vaccine might" which is statistically untrue, plus it ignores the whole goal of the vaccine is to reach HERD immunity.

But the weak selfish brains of republicans can't conceive of helping the HERD. They only think of themselves. They want to stop wearing masks, but they're too stupid to realize this is the only way for that to happen.

Too selfish to wear masks, too stupid to take the solution that will end the need for masks.

#87 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-04-15 12:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

But you can't maintain lock-down for another 3-5 years.

#83 | Posted by madbomber

If your stupid death cult would get vaccinated we wouldnt need to.

#88 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-04-15 12:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"If your stupid death cult would get vaccinated we wouldnt need to."

Dude, you are more than free to remain in isolation for as long as your sense of fear demands it.

Many others would just prefer to absorb the risk and get on with life.

Just because they're not scared doesn't mean you can't be.

#89 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-04-15 04:23 PM | Reply

"Dude, you are more than free to remain in isolation for as long as your sense of fear demands it."

You are?

Teachers here are back to school.

#90 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-15 04:42 PM | Reply

It's happening right now.

With the US new case rate being twice as high as Germany's new case rate?

That doesn't make any sense.

The pandemic will really only end when humans are able to reconcile their fear of the virus

As long as all you can muster is base emotional arguments I'm done talking to you about this.

It's old.

And you've been corrected many many times.

#91 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-15 05:39 PM | Reply

"People have lingering symptoms from the COVID vaccine."
You're comparing long-haulers with robust immune responses that last a few days?!? Don't be a jerk.

#73 | POSTED BY DANFORTH

You were way more polite than I would have been to that absurdity.

#92 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-15 05:46 PM | Reply

That's one of the advantages, or disadvantages if you see it that way, of living in a free society.

This wasn't a problem in China.

#68 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

This is essentially an admission that lockdowns aren't the problem in the US.

#93 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-15 06:05 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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