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Coronavirus: What questions do you have?

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rocketsaway

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Here a report on how well different face masks work:
Tony
My masks are handmade in VA . 2 layers of tight woven cotton w/ a pocket I insert a piece of Wypall polyester hydro knit towel. The full contour mask wraps tight using a head and neck band and bendable nose piece.
I can tell if there are no large air gaps, if my glasses dont fog. I keep a backup in my pocket.

Ive seen many teens, while entering a store, pull up their tshirts over their nose, hold on w/ one hand while shopping w/ the other.
 

jsdemar

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I haven't commented in this thread in a while. It's difficulty to guess how this will end any time soon.

Back in April, I gave up trying to figure out the models or trust the quality of the data. My final extrapolation was a seemingly wild estimate of 1M cases per month in the US from that point on. Now we have over 5M cases less than 5 months. It's even worse than my crazy model thought it would be.

In April, the fatality rate was around 7%. It's around 2% now but starting to rise again. With the number of cases rising but fatality rate falling, what is happening? My guess is that the general population (less vulnerable) are testing positive as more testing is being done.

But the absolute number of fatalities per day is increasing again since a low around July 4th (about doubled now). My guess is that more areas have "opened up" and people are assuming they're safer now because the politicians and authorities are telling them it's safer. Still a fine line trading economic recovery for sickness and death. Especially when the deaths are among the most vulnerable and the poor.

The speculators are making a lot of money on vaccine and testing company stocks. The research and trials are not as promising as the businessmen (and politicians) present them to be. Experts get drowned out, but they are saying it will be a while before there's a safe and partially effective vaccine. They are saying there are many mutations. And the medical experts are warning of severe lifelong complication for many people who get the virus. Even for people that are asymptomatic, these serious side affects are popping up later (heart, nervous system, autoimmune responses).

Too many people are not taking this seriously. Roll the dice and go on with normal life? Not me.
 

cwbullet

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Yup. People say "You know that mask doesn't protect you that much?"
Hear that a lot. A little protection against potential death and disability is worth the hassle.

In April, the fatality rate was around 7%. It's around 2% now but starting to rise again. With the number of cases rising but fatality rate falling, what is happening? My guess is that the general population (less vulnerable) are testing positive as more testing is being done.
I would guess the true fatality rate is 1-3%. Early we did not have supplied to test so we only tested the high risk and that falsely inflated the fatality rate. Now we we might be doing the opposite.
 

cwbullet

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Do masks work?
Yes and no. Masks with an outlet valve do not work. Any cloth mask will reduce viral spread, but none will protect 100% unless you going into to MOPP 4 or a biochem protective suit. A simple layer t-shirt or bandana protects both the user and people around them some.

Mask suggestions:
  • Do not take the mask off or let it hang while wearing it
  • Increase the number of layers (at least three layers)
  • Use a water-resistant fabric for the outer layer
  • Choose a fabric with a high thread count (so a tighter weave, for instance from a good quality sheet, is generally better than a fabric with a looser weave that lets light through)
  • Hybrid fabrics such as cotton/silk, cotton/chiffon, or cotton/flannel may be good choices because they provide better filtration and are more comfortable to wear
  • Make sure that the mask fits and seals well around the face
  • Wash mask daily after using it
Mash Wearing.jpg
 
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afadeev

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Chuck,

I ran across a few new articles reporting on vaccine testing and production ramp-up capacity, and wanted to cross-reference their data with what you are hearing.

1). A few CV19 vaccine candidates have started yielding encouraging results. Moderna, for instance, believes it will complete enrollment for its Phase 3 trial of a coronavirus vaccine by next month (phase 3 usually runs 3-4 months). The bad news, though, is that the first coronavirus vaccines might only be 60% effective, if not lower. Fauci is quoted saying that the probability of a coronavirus vaccine being 98% effective is “not great.”

2). Vaccine time-to-market: manufacturing RNA vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and CureVac) is not scaling well in terms of both manufacturing capacity and funding. For the first world, we may have enough manufacturing and distribution capacity, and enough buying power, to vaccinate most by the end of 2021. The rest of the world might have to wait till 2022 when cheaper alternatives become available.

3). Any word on whether allergies may offer a degree of protection to children (who already have asthma and allergies), and surprisingly don't seem to be at high-risk of developing serious cases of COVID-19 ?

TIA
 

NateB

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I think if the vaccines are 60% effective, that would be considered a success. That is a large number of people who wouldn't get sick or would get less sick and less likely to spread a large viral load.
 

manixFan

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I just want to point out that study was a retrospective study. My wife was a medical researcher for over 40 years. She'll tell you that resprective studies are hypothesis creating studies, not confirming. They can really only be use to generate a hypothesis to be tested with a prospective study using classical double blind randomized trials. She says a retrospective study should never be used as a basis for treatment decisions. Indeed, quoted from the study: "However, any interpretation other than acknowledging the need to study this prospectively in a randomized, controlled trial would be invalid.", and later, "Once we have the data, yes, clinical experience would be important to make patient-by-patient decisions. But without that prospective, ideally randomized, data, we're just going blindly."

So just keep that in mind anytime you see a retrospective study. They should never be used as a basis for treatment. And sadly, most of the Covid studies at this point are still retrospective just based on the time it takes to do a true, randomized clinical study.


Tony
 

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I think if the vaccines are 60% effective, that would be considered a success. That is a large number of people who wouldn't get sick or would get less sick and less likely to spread a large viral load.
It would be better than Flu Vax.
 

cwbullet

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I just want to point out that study was a retrospective study. My wife was a medical researcher for over 40 years. She'll tell you that resprective studies are hypothesis creating studies, not confirming. They can really only be use to generate a hypothesis to be tested with a prospective study using classical double blind randomized trials. She says a retrospective study should never be used as a basis for treatment decisions. Indeed, quoted from the study: "However, any interpretation other than acknowledging the need to study this prospectively in a randomized, controlled trial would be invalid.", and later, "Once we have the data, yes, clinical experience would be important to make patient-by-patient decisions. But without that prospective, ideally randomized, data, we're just going blindly."

So just keep that in mind anytime you see a retrospective study. They should never be used as a basis for treatment. And sadly, most of the Covid studies at this point are still retrospective just based on the time it takes to do a true, randomized clinical study.


Tony
It is and it is not surprising. Blood thinners by themselves increase risks. The question is whether they lower clots and mortality in COVID. We need a randomized double blind Placebo trial but this points to what the likely outcome will be.
 

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Today, I am reviewing the factors that cause infections and research behind it. It appears that the virus uses ACE2 receptors. This may explain why some folks are more susceptible to the virus and why kids are less effected and infected.

It is amazing what we are learning.
 

kuririn

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Yeah, it's fascinating to see what's coming out of the research just in the short time that the virus has surfaced.
Read an article yesterday about a study that used a super computer, turns out that maybe the pulmonary edema and inflammation may be due to bradykinins rather than cytokines.
(Had to look that word up).
If that's the case then maybe a treatment that suppresses bradykinins might save some lives in the near future.
Lots more research on this needs to be done.
 

Mushtang

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Chuck,

Here at work we have a refrigerator with soft drink cans for students who come take classes that we offer. This morning I noticed that they're spaced far apart and I joked that they were spread out to make it look like we had more and was told no, they're spread out so students don't need to touch a can that another student may grab later.

I mentioned that a virus wouldn't be able to live in a refrigerated space anyway so that didn't seem necessary and would only result in the drinks needing to be restocked more frequently. I was met with the response of "Do you have a PhD in virology and know this for certain? Are you an expert on Covid?" so I walked away. I didn't even bother pointing out that there was only one handle on the refrigerator door and every student would be touching it on their way to get a drink.

But I decided to ask a PhD since you've made yourself available for this. How long can a virus survive on a soft drink can in a refrigerator, and is distancing the cans likely to offer any benefit to the students for avoiding catching Covid by keeping someone with Covid from touching another can?

I promise not to take your answer to the Training Department to try and get them to change anything, I'm only curious for myself.
 

manixFan

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Chuck,

Here at work we have a refrigerator with soft drink cans for students who come take classes that we offer. This morning I noticed that they're spaced far apart and I joked that they were spread out to make it look like we had more and was told no, they're spread out so students don't need to touch a can that another student may grab later.

I mentioned that a virus wouldn't be able to live in a refrigerated space anyway so that didn't seem necessary and would only result in the drinks needing to be restocked more frequently. I was met with the response of "Do you have a PhD in virology and know this for certain? Are you an expert on Covid?" so I walked away. I didn't even bother pointing out that there was only one handle on the refrigerator door and every student would be touching it on their way to get a drink.

But I decided to ask a PhD since you've made yourself available for this. How long can a virus survive on a soft drink can in a refrigerator, and is distancing the cans likely to offer any benefit to the students for avoiding catching Covid by keeping someone with Covid from touching another can?

I promise not to take your answer to the Training Department to try and get them to change anything, I'm only curious for myself.
I run a training company and none of the corporations or government entities (including federal and military) that I work with will allow their employees (or armed services members) to attend any kind of in person class right now, or for the foreseeable future. I see you're in Georgia, but still, I'm surprised you're holding voluntary in-person classes. The refrigerator handle is a good example of the kind of issue that is hard to control. It seems that the virus does not easily spread via hard surfaces, but still, getting a bunch of people together in a classroom for an extended period just seems like an invitation for trouble.


Tony
 
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Mushtang

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I run a training company and none of the corporations or government entities (including federal and military) that I work with will allow their employees (or armed services members) to attend any kind of in person class right now, or for the foreseeable future. I see you're in Georgia, but still, I'm surprised you're holding voluntary in-person classes. The refrigerator handle is a good example of the kind of issue that is hard to control. It seems that the virus does not easily spread via hard surfaces, but still, getting a bunch of people together in a classroom for an extended period just seems like an invitation for trouble.


Tony
Within the classrooms we're requiring distancing. A room that usually holds 25 students is being limited to 6 so that they can be spaced apart. Everyone in the building is required to wear masks. And apparently all cans in the refrigerator are required to keep 5 inches between them. This is a contractor's class which requires access to equipment so unfortunately they cannot hold this class online.

The department I work in teaches classes as well, but usually I travel around the country to teach them. During Covid we've switched to online classes and it's working okay so far.
 

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manixFan

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Within the classrooms we're requiring distancing. A room that usually holds 25 students is being limited to 6 so that they can be spaced apart. Everyone in the building is required to wear masks. And apparently all cans in the refrigerator are required to keep 5 inches between them. This is a contractor's class which requires access to equipment so unfortunately they cannot hold this class online.

The department I work in teaches classes as well, but usually I travel around the country to teach them. During Covid we've switched to online classes and it's working okay so far.
That sounds pretty reasonable - only 6 in a room for 25. A good friend of mine works for a community college that is well known for it's trade classes, like welding. Same issue there, can't teach that online, at least not realistically. He just turned 70 and is unsure what he is going to do, as he also has health issues that make him high risk.

Challenging times all around.


Tony
 

manixFan

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A big factor in the spread of the viruses is human nature to stay indoors when it is cold.
And for airborne diseases, that clearly makes transmission a lot more likely. Here's the part from the article that might apply to the cold drinks:

"Cooler temperatures, apparently, cause the virus to form the rubbery outer covering that can withstand travel from person to person, Dr. Zimmerberg said. Once in the respiratory tract, the warm temperature in the body causes the covering to melt to its liquid form, so that the virus can infect the cells of its new host, he added. "

It's talking about the flu virus, but it is somewhat reasonable to assume the same may be true of the Coronavirus.


Tony
 

cwbullet

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And for airborne diseases, that clearly makes transmission a lot more likely. Here's the part from the article that might apply to the cold drinks:

"Cooler temperatures, apparently, cause the virus to form the rubbery outer covering that can withstand travel from person to person, Dr. Zimmerberg said. Once in the respiratory tract, the warm temperature in the body causes the covering to melt to its liquid form, so that the virus can infect the cells of its new host, he added. "

It's talking about the flu virus, but it is somewhat reasonable to assume the same may be true of the Coronavirus.


Tony
That is not common to all respiratory viruses. That is an overgeneralization. Each virus is different. COVID is sticky in all forms and stocks to surfaces. It also has probes that interact with receptors in the airways.

If you talk to a virologist, you find that each virus has its unique means of infectivity.

This is a more reliable source:
 

Mushtang

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Chuck, you may have missed this part...

I decided to ask a PhD since you've made yourself available for this. How long can a virus survive on a soft drink can in a refrigerator, and is distancing the cans likely to offer any benefit to the students for avoiding catching Covid by keeping someone with Covid from touching another can?
 

cwbullet

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Chuck, you may have missed this part...

I decided to ask a PhD since you've made yourself available for this. How long can a virus survive on a soft drink can in a refrigerator, and is distancing the cans likely to offer any benefit to the students for avoiding catching Covid by keeping someone with Covid from touching another can?
I am not sure, but a 2010 study used two viruses that are related to the COVID-19 virus to look at the effects of temperature and humidity on viral survival. Researchers found that both lower temperatures and lower humidity helped viruses survive longer. In particular, at 4 degrees C, or 40 degrees F, and 20% relative humidity, more than two-thirds of the viruses survived for 28 days. On the other end of the spectrum, at 40 degrees C, or 104 degrees F, and 80% humidity, the viruses survived for less than 6 hours.
 

Mushtang

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I am not sure, but a 2010 study used two viruses that are related to the COVID-19 virus to look at the effects of temperature and humidity on viral survival. Researchers found that both lower temperatures and lower humidity helped viruses survive longer. In particular, at 4 degrees C, or 40 degrees F, and 20% relative humidity, more than two-thirds of the viruses survived for 28 days. On the other end of the spectrum, at 40 degrees C, or 104 degrees F, and 80% humidity, the viruses survived for less than 6 hours.
Thanks! Good to know. Now we have to do something about that refrigerator handle.
 

BABAR

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Thanks! Good to know. Now we have to do something about that refrigerator handle.
With minimal ingenuity shouldn't be too hard to come up with a foot operated handle.
 

OverTheTop

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Here at work we have a refrigerator with soft drink cans for students who come take classes that we offer. This morning I noticed that they're spaced far apart and I joked that they were spread out to make it look like we had more and was told no, they're spread out so students don't need to touch a can that another student may grab later.
We are not allowed to store food in the work fridge overnight. Not sure what they are trying to do with that. As pointed out any virus on it will remain viable, but I don't think it will multiply.

Yes, the handle is a red flag for me. Washy washy washy...

I like the foot door release idea. I will give that job to my intern to design and 3D print.
 

NateB

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Maybe it is habit due to working in a hospital, but with shared surfaces like that it helps to be in the habit of washing your hands before you eat and after touching community appliances. Even with gloves on, I KNOW where my coworkers hands have been...
 

Bill S

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I make it a habit to use a little bottle of hand sanitizer (alcohol) on handles/doorknobs, etc, in public. Maybe it helps, hard to say, but at least I tried. :)
 

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