Corona thread. No politics please

Discussion in 'Carothers Performance Knives' started by fkctrjt121, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. SwarthyGnome

    SwarthyGnome Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Nov 1, 2018
    Had a coworker at the front desk leave early last week with increasingly higher temps throughout the day. A couple of us in the clinic either directly interacted with or touched documents she had passed to us. Of course we utilize masks, gloves, and cleaning of equipment, etc.
    Luckily I never had Sx but being a healthcare provider and a Type 1 Diabetic, I opted to get tested.
    Nystagmus, 91bravo, duramax and 10 others like this.
  2. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
  3. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    ^ these are interesting times
  4. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    Ain't that the truth.....

    Pick your cortisol releaser
  5. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Interesting times indeed.
    Standard78, duramax and Odog27 like this.
  6. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    The topic of the flu shot came up in discussion elsewhere. I thought that the folks here might find it of interest.

    ***This is NOT medical advice. This is merely my opinion. As always, consult with your PCP for medical advice***

    I've gotten the flu shot every year for the past 15 years. I haven't had the flu in all that time, but I may have to seriously reconsider getting the flu shot this year.

    Why, you ask? Not because of any conspiracy worries over what they may put in the flu vaccine this year, but due to the evidence that getting the flu vaccine can potentially make you more vulnerable to other respiratory infections, Coronaviruses being among them. That means there's a possibility that the flu vaccine may leave you more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2.

    And this study, on military personnel
    Of particular concern, in the conclusion

    The reason why I've gotten the flu vaccine every year, despite being aware of this, is simple; of the typical respiratory bugs in a normal season, the flu is the one that would potentially hit the hardest, therefore I'm OK with being a little more susceptible to (common) coronaviruses and rhinoviruses etc. for better protection against influenza viruses.

    In addition, over the years, I've found that high dosage zinc is effective for me in knocking out common colds. In my particular case, if I start the high zinc dosage immediately when I first notice symptoms, the symptoms usually disappear within ~14 - 16 hours.

    In the past ~15 years, I haven't really had a bad chest cold, and never one that started as a head cold with the runny nose, that progressed to a chest cold with a productive/wet cough for 2-3 weeks (like I see many people with, every year), because
    a) the runny nose stage rarely ever lasts longer than the 1st day on high zinc, and
    b) IF my nose is still running when I'm getting ready for bed. I'll pop both a Benadryl and a Sudafed 30 minutes prior, and sleep with my head in a position where there's no chance that I might aspirate the virus laden nasal discharge (this is a big one. Before I began doing this, I used to follow the typical pattern most people do; sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat, go to sleep, wake up the next day with a wet cough).

    Between the high dose zinc, Sudafed + Benadryl before bed if the runny nose hasn't stopped, and the sleeping head position that eliminates the risk of aspirating the virus laden nasal drip, there's no transition from head cold to chest cold.

    So to me, there were no downsides to getting the flu vaccine every year (and for folks planning to get a flu shot, look for a place that carries the Flucelvax quad shot).

    But this year, the risk:reward proposition seems to have flipped. I'd much rather risk the less contagious influenza, with typically fewer complications vs potentially increasing my susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. YMMV.
    willc, gk4ever2, 1AbominAble1 and 6 others like this.
  7. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    @bluemax_1 - what's your read on the "g" strain/mutation of the Covid virus. I'm sorry to say I really don't know the lingo, but I understand there is some evidence that there is a mutation of the Covid virus which has a G in one of the amino acids that used to have a D protein. This is somehow far more infectious/contagious (although not all that more lethal?).

    I am wondering if that is part of why the curve has taken on the shape of a hockey stick... (which cannot be helped by the reopening around Memorial Day and protests nationwide).

    The weeks after memorial day have been remarkable. Then next 3-4 are going to be even more so. The brakes failed on the freight train, it seems....

    Thanks again for the rational posts you make.
  8. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Gold Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    I am hoping to be still around when an actual vaccine comes out. Can you imagine what a shyte-show that one will turn into?
  9. CataD

    CataD Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    @bluemax_1 On the other hand, catching Sars-CoV2 AND Influenza, at the same time, really increases one's chances of having a bad outcome (as far as it's been observed) :(...

    Hopefully, with people being more respectful (wearing masks, keeping distance, washing hands..) the Flu season might (should?) be way less of a problem than in past years. It's funny, I was bickering about colleagues coming to work sick back in Oct/Nov last year.. and nobody cared. NOW, everyone cares! GOOD.
    untytled, Mike157, bluemax_1 and 3 others like this.
  10. Odog27

    Odog27 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2011
    More like we took our brake pads off before the road trip and are now wondering why we can’t stop.
    That’s my read on it.
    Ive noticed the spikes are exactly where the experts predicted they would be.
  11. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Gold Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    It now seems eerily surreal that only about 16-17 weeks ago in mid Feb, the only “known” U.S COVID-19 cases were 15 reported cases on a cruise ship off the coast of San Francisco! Im truly at a loss for words to quantify the way this pandemic has accelerated in the last 4.5 months! I don’t think that we ever attempted as nation to implement contract tracing!
    untytled, CataD, Standard78 and 4 others like this.
  12. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Short answer: The D614G mutation is bad news. It's a mutation that altered the spike proteins you may recall them talking about on the news. It increases the stability and binding ability of the spike proteins, which increases SARS-CoV-2's infectivity and virulence. Due to this higher infectivity, the D614G mutation has rapidly become the predominant spreading variant, accounting for 70% of the new samples isolated by the gene bank studies not just in the US, but from worldwide sampling.

    The spike proteins in the surface of SARS-CoV-2 are what allow it to attach to cells and infect them, which is why this mutation increased not only the infectivity, but also the virulence.

    The first cases of community spread occurred on the West coast, hitting WA and CA with the older D614 variant.

    NY and the East coast got hit with the D614G mutation which likely arrived from Italy. Notice not only how fast it spread in the East coast states once community spread levels were reached, but also how the CFR is higher.

    Viruses mutate regularly. Most of the mutations are benign. Sometimes the mutations increase the virus's ability to infect, sometimes they decrease it. Sometimes the mutations increase the virulence, and sometimes they decrease it.

    I've heard more than one person who's read some article or other, say, "I heard/read that viruses all eventually mutate to a milder version. Their goal is to spread, so killing the hosts isn't beneficial. Mutating to a milder form allows them to continue spreading more effectively. Look at the 1918 Spanish Flu, the regular coronaviruses. And SARS 1 and MERS died out".

    The above is an example of folks who don't understand pathogenesis and epidemiology.

    Infectivity = how easily an organism can infect you.

    Pathogenicity = the ability of the organism to cause disease. (eg. In some cases/organisms, you can be infected, but not develop disease from it. Eg. SARS-CoV-2 is the pathogen, Covid-19 is the disease. HIV is the pathogen, AIDS is the disease. Helicobacter Pyloridis is the pathogen, gastroenteritis is the disease).

    Virulence = the severity of the disease resulting from infection.

    Viruses don't think or adapt intentionally. They're simply unstable enough to mutate often.

    Selective pressure (in pathogens) = natural selection from factors that affect an increase or decrease of the pathogens ability to infect and spread.

    If a mutation (such as D614G) increases the pathogens ability to infect and spread, then the higher infectivity means it spreads faster and preferentially. In this case, the mutation also means that it binds to cells more easily, also increasing its virulence.

    SARS 1 and MERS were never even close to SARS-CoV-2's infectivity. With a far smaller spread, a mutation that either decreased the infectivity or pathogenicity, potentially means the pathogen naturally disappears.

    The problem with something that's spread as wide as SARS-CoV-2, is that IF a mutation develops that has lower infectivity, it won't result in the pandemic dying out, because a variant with higher infectivity that's already widespread spreads further and faster.

    We'd need a variant that develops BOTH a mutation that enhances its infectivity (so it spreads much more easily and rapidly) AND a mutation that decreases the pathogenicity and virulence (so it reduces the chance of severe disease from infection), while simultaneously conferring lasting immunity not just to the milder variant, but to the more virulent strains.

    With the infectivity and virulence both tied to the spike protein's ability to bind to cells, the likelihood of that occurring isn't something I'd wager on.

    The 1918 H1N1 strain circled the globe in 3 waves. The 1st wave predominantly killed victims with weaker immune systems, much like the regular flu. The 2nd wave was the anomalous mutation that exhibited far higher fatalities amongst younger, healthier victims. There was a 3rd wave in the Spring of 1919, that didn't result in quite as many deaths as the 2nd wave.

    The 1918 Spanish flu didn't 'die out' though. It continued circling the globe for decades. It's just that after 1919, so many people had been exposed and infected across the planet, we'd developed partial herd immunity.

    With the reliable testing showing that even countries like Sweden (who tried to let it 'burn through' quickly) are at less than 10% of the population infected, we would see a LOT more deaths trying to reach herd immunity naturally.

    The US is realistically at maybe 6% infection. To attain some kind of herd immunity, we'd need 60-80%, and the thing is, we still don't know enough about this bug.

    More recent studies indicate that SARS-CoV-2 positive victims who've had milder cases, may not have developed sufficient antibody titers to ensure immunity. The highest antibody titers were from patients who survived more severe cases.

    Stay safe, and take precautions. I know I'm personally trying to avoid catching this as much as possible.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  13. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    It's true that concurrent infection with both, potentially results in a bad outcome, as your immune system is heavily taxed trying to fight off attacks from more than one pathogen.

    The things is, the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 without drastic mitigation measures, looks to be somewhere around an R0 between 6 - 8. Compared to the flu with an R0 of about 1.2, SARS-CoV-2 exhibits much higher infectivity.

    If you're taking measures to avoid contracting Covid-19, your chances of getting the flu are significantly lower.

    It's sad that so many people seem to lack common sense and the ability to reason, eg.
    - "Yeah, yeah, so this bug's killed 125,000 Americans. So what? The flu's killed 81,000 Americans and we don't shutdown the whole damned country because of it".

    First off, I don't know where this 81,000 figure came from. In the past decade, the worst flu season the US has seen was the 2017-2018 H3N2 epidemic. It's estimated to have killed 62,000 Americans. ESTIMATED. The actual confirmed tests in that season were about 16,000. The CDC makes their yearly estimates from reports of ILI's (Influenza Like Illnesses).

    In contrast, the 125,000 deaths are SARS-CoV-2 positive tested cases (yeah, yeah, some folks believe the confirmed test case numbers are ALL BS inflated lies).

    The average estimated yearly US deaths from the flu, are around 16,000 - 34,000. While the flu season is generally taken as between October and March, the estimates are for the year from October to October.

    SARS-CoV-2 has killed ~4 times the average high end (not including 2017-2018) in just over 4 months DESPITE widespread shutdowns for nearly 3 of those 4 months.

    If we shut everything down for 3 months in the middle of the average flu season (or to make a similar comparison with this pandemic, at the earliest signs of community spread of the flu), and tested EVERY person with an ILI for the flu, the actual deaths due to the flu would be WAY under 10,000 for the year.

    The folks I've heard comparing those numbers, make me question their general ability to reason.

    We saw the number of Covid-19 deaths rise from a couple dozen, to nearly 100,000 in the midst of widespread shutdowns across the country.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  14. CataD

    CataD Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    @bluemax_1 Thanks for the detailed response; I agree with you and most of what you wrote and 'knew' most of it (still reading on the >40.000 mutations of SARS-CoV-2). I've lost a couple of 'friends' in arguments about Sweden, 1918-19 Flu Pandemic and such :(.

    As you put it:
    this is a very good point. You gave really good arguments why you have to think really well about 'not' taking the Flu Vaccine this year. I'm just saying that there are arguments to be made about having the flu vaccine, as the corona-virus and influenza-virus co-infection is no joke :(.

    Also, with so many people (bad word) that are against vaccines these days, it might be a dangerous idea for doctors/scientists to advise against the Flu vaccine. These people will not understand the rationale behind that advice and will only make them go deeper down the rabbit hole/s of conspiracy theories against vaccination :(

    Cheers! and stay safe,
  15. CataD

    CataD Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Haha, we were writing in the same time :)

    Yep, I agree with you.. Unfortunately, too much false information out there :(.

    As mention above, an ex-friend was making an argument that everyone should follow Sweden's example (Sweden's model 'designer' admitted he f-ed up, in the meantime). I showed him the data: Last year (or '18-'19) Sweden had ~550 deaths from Flu. In 9 months (40 weeks they consider Flu season). They had 4500 deaths in TWO months from SARS-CoV-2 :(...

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  16. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    I can definitely understand the dangerous rabbit-hole of providing antivaxxers with any ammo, which is why I attempted to preface the post the way I did, as merely my personal opinion, while also explaining my rationale.

    The way I see it, the antivaxxers don't really care about why they should get a vaccine anyway. They generally ignore any data and points that contradict their position and aren't going to get the flu vaccine one way or the other.

    The post was simply for the consideration of my CPK brethen, who may not have been aware of some potential issues. I personally prefer to make decisions based on weighing the pros and cons from as much data and information as possible and figured most of the folks on the CPK forum seem the type to appreciate more info (I know I and many others here really love reading Nathan's informative posts about the technical aspects of metallurgy and functional design).
    untytled, CataD, Standard78 and 3 others like this.
  17. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Another thing to consider wrt to Sweden:

    If you look at the size and population densities of their cities and towns, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are actually pretty similar. When you consider the deaths not as a total, but as deaths per 1,000,000 or per 100,000 population, you can then get a better perspective for comparison (i.e. easier to compare deaths between countries with different population sizes, when you look at deaths/100,000).

    The average size of the cities and towns in Sweden is similar to Denmark and Finland. Although calculating the population density in Finland per square mile or acre makes it appear that they have a lower population density, the population is mostly concentrated in cities and towns of similar size and with similar population densities to Sweden.

    Sweden's deaths per 100,000 are 5x times higher, and they're still nowhere near herd immunity. In addition, their economy is getting hit hard because
    a) when people realize that the infection and death rates are significantly high, they wind up self-isolating anyway, but only after a lot more deaths than the other countries experienced.
    b) their economy has also taken a hit from the neighboring countries closing their borders to Sweden after seeing the results.

    They've had many times the number of deaths per population, along with the hit to their economy (which was the reason they tried to let it 'burn through' while keeping everything open, thinking that it would preserve the economy).

    Very early in the pandemic (I think I made the post in the Random Thoughts thread, before this thread was created), I expressed that specific opinion; yes, shutdowns will hurt the economy, but the economy will also take a hard hit if/when case counts and deaths start to scare people.

    What the "No shutdowns!" crowd don't seem to understand, is that if you do NOTHING to mitigate a pandemic, once you reach a point where a LOT of people are getting sick and many have died/are dying, the economy tanks anyway, as people hide out of self-preservation.

    The sad thing is, another point I've tried to make from early on, is that we could avoid shutdowns of most businesses while still mitigating the spread, if everyone wore masks/face coverings in public, but now people have made this a political issue.

    That's why I've been pissed off at the talking heads from the moment they started the, "Masks won't protect you, don't buy them" idiocy.

    A study of the pandemic in 198 countries has shown that the countries with the earliest, most widespread use of masks, have controlled/mitigated the spread the best.

    N95s have been, and are still in short supply in most of these places. The vast majority of the people in those countries have either been using the paper procedural masks, or cloth masks. Do they provide 100% protection? No. Do they even provide anywhere near N95 protection? No. And yet, they've still demonstrated that if EVERYONE wears some kind of facial covering, the spread of this respiratory disease is hugely mitigated.

    Arguing that non-N95 rated masks are useless is akin to saying that seatbelts and airbags are useless because numerous people still die from vehicular accidents every year despite seatbelts and airbags. They don't guarantee 100% protection, but they still greatly mitigate the chance of death and debilitation.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  18. Boombats


    Mar 21, 2010
    I have to say it is a real relief to come into this thread and see rational, scientific discussions. I was a little scared at first, the "no politics" warning notwithstanding.
  19. Lorien

    Lorien KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 5, 2005
    man, it is really hard to decouple politics from this virus, since it's pretty obvious that the virus is hitting so hard because of politics and because of political leaders reacting poorly.

    @bluemax_1, I really appreciate your reasonable, rational take on the situation. We happen to live in a place where the virus hasn't really hit yet, but we're still bracing for impact. I have a feeling that things will get significantly worse in the fall and over the winter, both with regards to the virus and with regards to widespread, deep financial immiseration
  20. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Unless there's a significant change (eg. breakthroughs in treatment, an effective vaccine, people come to their senses and start wearing masks/face coverings in public, or we get lucky enough that some variant mutation does mute the effects worldwide), it will spread more in the Fall.

    One of the biggest factors for infection is the total viral load a person is exposed to. Whether it's a very high load from a short exposure (sick person coughing in your face) or a longer exposure to a lower environmental load (hours in a room with a sick person).

    If they don't take serious actions to mitigate the potential for spread before resuming in-person classes, those are going to be a big vector. In addition, the colder temperatures drive more people indoors, meaning extended contact/exposure in enclosed spaces.

    Increasing the rate of air exchange in enclosed spaces is one possible measure (I'd hesitate to use the term 'solution', as only some very specialized HVAC setups can mitigate the risk that effectively).

    Most HVAC systems are also not designed for high efficiency filtration to remove or kill pathogens in the circulating air, which poses the risk of exposure via the HVAC system, from one or more sick individuals in the environment.

    And the disruption to the economy is a given if/when spread increases. As more people get sick and/or die, the folks who think it's a hoax or nothing serious will start to worry when they actually personally know firsthand of people who've gotten this, and more folks who haven't got it yet will be more inclined to self-isolate to avoid catching this.

    The preliminary studies indicating that a percentage of victims may not develop immunity after recovery, is not good news. We're also still not sure what 'recovery' means. Some folks are still suffering effects, months after infection. The preliminary findings from studies to asses what percentage of victims suffer long-term debilitation is concerning.

    The reduced spending will hurt the economy. With more people sick, out of work and/or simply not going out and spending money, there will be more and more folks with less money available to spend, due to the effect it's had on their personal incomes.

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