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Old 12-04-2021, 03:41 PM   #5101
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A few things:

I did read the article - I just didn't find it that comforting that in an event that recent there weren't any severe illnesses yet. It would obviously be great if that stayed the case and this new variant was less severe than prior ones.

In fairness, I don't think I asked my original question well. I was more looking for evidence from other sources that I might not have seen that show a more positive outlook for immune escape and transmissibility even in these early days where evidence is still being compiled. That said, I'm not sure why the snark is necessary.
Two reasons for the snark, both boil down to losing my patience with people.

1. You asked someone to make the Norway superspreader event seem "not so bad" and then when I did based on the very article linked in the tweet, you decided to regard it as terrible anyway with "I am continuing with the assumption that increased cases will still lead to severe illness, hospitalization and death". Cheer yourself up next time.
2. GGG suggesting I'm implying any conclusion about what the variant's virulence is without evidence. Bullsh-t.

All I'm saying is "Early indications are things don't seem too bad, let's not get in our own heads about it".
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Old 12-04-2021, 07:46 PM   #5102
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Originally Posted by TorqueDog View Post
Two reasons for the snark, both boil down to losing my patience with people.

1. You asked someone to make the Norway superspreader event seem "not so bad" and then when I did based on the very article linked in the tweet, you decided to regard it as terrible anyway with "I am continuing with the assumption that increased cases will still lead to severe illness, hospitalization and death". Cheer yourself up next time.
2. GGG suggesting I'm implying any conclusion about what the variant's virulence is without evidence. Bullsh-t.

All I'm saying is "Early indications are things don't seem too bad, let's not get in our own heads about it".

I think the concern of this is even if it's way less deadly, it's miles more infectious. So you need the serious illness number to be more impactful than the infectious impact. If if it's 50% less likely to put you in the hospital but you have double the number of cases you are in the same spot

Edit: this would only apply if the hospitalization times are the same, if they end up being much shorter like these initial results are showing, you would end up being better off in the scenario I had above.

But I do agree with you that things are looking much better than the could be.

Last edited by PeteMoss; 12-04-2021 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 12-04-2021, 08:25 PM   #5103
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I mean technically, that genetic sequence also occurs in HIV. And in 750 different parts of the human genome. So it's hard to say where it really came from.
I'm going to read this as Omicron is the new AIDS and react accordingly.
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Old 12-04-2021, 08:42 PM   #5104
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Bit more news from SA.



https://www.samrc.ac.za/news/tshwane...-features?s=03

Some continued good signs.

Shorter hospital stay across the board. 2.8 days compared to 8.5 days with previous variants.

Unvaccinated make up the majority of patients, but there are still not more adverse results so far. Could be due to prior infection, or not good data on vaccination rates compared to the people who have tested positive, as this isn't stated clearly I don't think.

Majority of patients are not there for COVID related reasons. COVID is obviously being tested for all hospital admittance, and then being discovered. Which leads to people not realizing they have it.

Most COVID patients do not need assisted breathing compared to previous waves where this was more prevalent.

Summary.
80% of hospitalizations below 50 and no age adjusted comparisons to other Covid strains makes this information of limited use. It shows a huge increase in child hospitalizations. That and the 80% under 50 hospitalizations are likely just artifacts of where these spreading events started or that it mixes data with people who aren’t there for Covid. This likely makes the average length of stay irrelevant.

I don’t believe you can draw broad based conclusions without additional analysis.

Last edited by GGG; 12-04-2021 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 12-04-2021, 09:09 PM   #5105
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It just occurred to me that if that is actually the case, the irony is quite funny.

For 2 years many people have said its nothing more than a common cold, and now this. Wild.
That's not really irony. Irony would be if the original virus strains were like the common cold and we found out later.
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Old 12-04-2021, 10:56 PM   #5106
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That's not really irony. Irony would be if the original virus strains were like the common cold and we found out later.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:15 AM   #5107
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Originally Posted by PeteMoss View Post
I think the concern of this is even if it's way less deadly, it's miles more infectious. So you need the serious illness number to be more impactful than the infectious impact. If if it's 50% less likely to put you in the hospital but you have double the number of cases you are in the same spot

Edit: this would only apply if the hospitalization times are the same, if they end up being much shorter like these initial results are showing, you would end up being better off in the scenario I had above.

But I do agree with you that things are looking much better than the could be.
It's interesting to think about. Depending on the percentages, its actually possible that if Omicron overtakes Delta as the dominant strain due to transmissibility, but has a lower percentage of serious illness to such a degree that Omicron could actually be a very good thing. If it can be proven that Omicron's severity is that low, it actually may be worth doing an analysis to see if allowing it to spread to help it surpass Delta as the dominant strain would be a good idea.
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Old 12-05-2021, 03:23 PM   #5108
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It's interesting to think about. Depending on the percentages, its actually possible that if Omicron overtakes Delta as the dominant strain due to transmissibility, but has a lower percentage of serious illness to such a degree that Omicron could actually be a very good thing. If it can be proven that Omicron's severity is that low, it actually may be worth doing an analysis to see if allowing it to spread to help it surpass Delta as the dominant strain would be a good idea.
This is what happened for the 1918 pandemic, by 1920 the H1N1 flu mutated with the help of other mammals and morphed into just another seasonal flu, of the 50 million deaths worldwide very few were after 1920.

More reports keep trickling in that Omicron is indeed less severe and the vaccines do work on it we should let it take over and remove travel restrictions.
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Old 12-05-2021, 04:28 PM   #5109
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Can these QR codes be falsified? Someone told me that many false ones are getting people into hockey games but I doubt there are many.
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Old 12-05-2021, 04:28 PM   #5110
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Dec 5 update.

https://twitter.com/user/status/1467631127208742914
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Old 12-05-2021, 05:20 PM   #5111
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Can these QR codes be falsified? Someone told me that many false ones are getting people into hockey games but I doubt there are many.
It's probably more of people having someone else's QR code on their phone and are not cross-checked with an ID, 90% of the time nobody has asked me for ID
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:07 PM   #5112
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Not a single death has been attributed to Omicron so far as per WHO.

Despite deaths being a trailing indicator, this along with very low hospitalizations so far and the recent evidence that this was propagating in multiple countries well before it was ever identified are all positive signs of a much more infectious but significantly less lethal variant. It could be the best possible outcome.

For comparison sake, the case fatality rate (all cases) in the US is currently 1.61%.

This is a very significant development should results stay are they are projecting.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:39 PM   #5113
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I'm not sure how much stock I'd put into numbers using only confirmed genome sequenced cases. There are only about 900 of them worldwide, with virtually all of them occurring recently enough that you wouldn't expect severe outcomes to manifest yet.

The place to watch is Guateng where it has already become dominant and look at the overall numbers. So far there's reason for cautious optimism, but it's still too early to really draw any conclusions.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:44 PM   #5114
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Covid deaths average somewhere in the 14 day range. You can start Omicron around the 24th which puts the 8th at two weeks. Without comparing the number of delta Covid deaths from cases starting on the 24th the no Omicron deaths isn’t much to take stalk in.

Hopefully the Tuesday report is good quality and will give some answers.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:10 PM   #5115
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Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus View Post
It's probably more of people having someone else's QR code on their phone and are not cross-checked with an ID, 90% of the time nobody has asked me for ID
Mostly when I pull out ID the person has clearly just scanned the QR code, with the ID being an afterthought. *quick look "Oh, yep good, thanks".
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:11 PM   #5116
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Interesting study out of Israel comparing various types of immunity (vaccinated, infected, or hybrid) and how they wane. Definitely good news for long-term prognosis. Coles notes:
  • immunity from infection is excellent, but does wane a bit over time. Still quite durable all things considered though.
  • 2-dose vaccine immunity starts quite good, but wanes relatively quickly (though this is with the 3-week interval).
  • 3-dose immunity is excellent and markedly better than after 2 doses, but only time will tell how durable it is.
  • recovery->vaccination immunity is fantastic and durable. A recovered person 8 months past their 2nd dose is almost on par with someone who just had their booster dose.
  • vaccinated->recovered is excellent. Not quite at the level of the reverse (likely because breakthrough infections tend to be mild and thus generate lower antibody responses), but immunity 8 months after a breakthrough infection is still superior to peak 2-dose protection.
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1...114v1.full.pdf

The only real caveat is that recovered unvaccinated people are quite different demographically than the rest of the groups (much younger, more likely to be Ultra-Orthodox or Arab, etc.) so it's possible that they have different test-seeking behaviors compared to the other groups. That group had a much higher ratio of severe cases to total cases in the younger age group (about 4x higher than vaccinated people, for instance), which would suggest that a lot of mild cases are getting missed in that group.
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Old 12-06-2021, 08:25 AM   #5117
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I read that too, and I don't understand why they are already suggesting the 4th dose.

Immunity 8 months after recovery is still superior to peak 2 dose protection, and peak 2 dose protection is for most people good enough to beat Delta.

Wouldn't it be wise to spread out the 3rd & 4th shots, if needed, as long as possible? They are a bit ahead of us right now on the 3rd dose, but if is so much better, and we are seeing good protection up to 8 months after, I don't understand the push here.

Almost seems like they're panicking and not actually listening to their own studies.
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:25 AM   #5118
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Covid deaths average somewhere in the 14 day range. You can start Omicron around the 24th which puts the 8th at two weeks. Without comparing the number of delta Covid deaths from cases starting on the 24th the no Omicron deaths isn’t much to take stalk in.

Hopefully the Tuesday report is good quality and will give some answers.
I haven't been overly critical of any of these waves and the need to buckle down again, but this is just too much without nearly an evidence at this point. It is beyond likely that this is somewhere between a non-factor in the pandemic recovery and a slight blip. Hyping this up as a possible doomsday scenario is brutally awful for any self respecting media outlet or medical professional with a platform online.

There's almost always going to be some new variant of this virus, and the media (and government) going nuts for this one is completely ridiculous until we all know more. Let's certainly be cautious and look at the data when it's available, but seeing "omicron" stapled across every headline is disgusting and likely causing a ton of stress and anxiety in those that don't deal well with this (aka most people at this point).
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:34 AM   #5119
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The Boy Who Cried Wolf comes to mind.

If the Omicron variant scare turns out to be a non-issue it will completely undermine the credibility of the experts for the next variant.
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:42 AM   #5120
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I don't see how anyone can look at the rate of spread and not think that some level of concern is warranted. Cases are doubling every 4 days in Guateng, going from about 100 a day to 10,000 a day in a few weeks (and up 10x in 12 days). That implies either that it's more transmissible than Delta or that it's capable of evading immunity. Either way, it suggests more cases which likely means more pressures on hospitals (there are still a significant number of unvaccinated people without immunity from prior infection who can easily fill up ICUs again).

The hope is that infections are more mild than prior variants, but that's not a given at this point.
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