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May-June Open Thread

by Bernard Sun May 2nd, 2021 at 08:10:30 PM EST

No one is safe until everyone is safe.


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Realistically SARS-CoV-2 is endemic across the bio-sphere and so will be around for a long, long, time.  So too the disease - Covid-19 - it causes.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue May 4th, 2021 at 05:42:29 PM EST
Speak for yourself. I'm all right Jack, I've had the disease. And apparently I'll be about 900% safer once I've had one shot of any RNA vaccine.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 5th, 2021 at 02:57:16 PM EST
I'll probably need a third "booster" shot with mRNA later this year, especially if new variants keep popping up: I'm on the AZ treadmill for now, but it is clearly perceived as the "inferior vaccine" throughout much of the EU, Union Jack or not.

mRNA companies claim it is easier and faster for their technology to cover a large range of variants, than traditional viral vector vaccines. No plans for that, though: nobody knows how long the vaccine protection will last; probably not any longer than a seasonal flu shot.

by Bernard on Wed May 5th, 2021 at 05:17:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been informed that I'll be authorised for one shot of vaccine mid July, three months after my initial infection. Hoping to be cleared for travel in August.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 10:25:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So far existing vaccines are effective against all known variants.  

The out-of-control spread in India is the exact environment for the rise of new variants and so the emergence of strains the current vaccines cannot protect against.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri May 7th, 2021 at 03:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 03:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if Bolsonaro and Modi had the brains to institute lockdowns, which they don't, there's no way to enforce it.  Cops in the slums of India and Brazil make the US police look like paragons of virtue.  And the people in the slums have to do their daily hustle to eat or starve and they have no money for PPE if the PPE was available.  Which it isn't.

Realistically we're looking at tens if not hundreds of millions of deaths in the undeveloped countries.  Plus decades of sequelae from major organ dysfunctions.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat May 8th, 2021 at 03:58:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So far existing vaccines are effective against all known variants.

For a certain value of "effective"...

Seychelles brings back curbs despite vaccination success

The Seychelles, which has fully vaccinated over 60% of its population against Covid-19, is bringing back restrictions amid a rise in cases.

The archipelago of nearly 100,000 people recorded close to 500 new cases in the three days to 1 May and has about 1,000 active cases.

A third of the active cases involved people who had had two vaccine doses, the country's news agency said.

The rest had either had a single dose or were unvaccinated.

The Seychelles, which relies on tourism for much of its income, began vaccinating its population in January using Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine doses donated by the United Arab Emirates.

By mid-April about 60% of the vaccine doses administered in the country were Sinopharm, with the rest Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses, Bloomberg reported.


The Sinopharm and AZ vaccines have shown to be less efficient than the mRNA vaccines, particularly against the South-Africa variant, which is most prevalent in the Western part of the Indian Ocean. French health authorities are not using the AZ vaccines in the islands of Maore and Réunion: only Pfizer or Moderna.

The other thing the Seychelles situation is telling us: with more contagious variants, even a full vaccination rate of 60% is not enough in itself to prevent the spread of the virus, which makes it even more challenging to reach the mythical "herd immunity".

by Bernard on Sun May 9th, 2021 at 08:56:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US health official are advising, 37% of completed vaccination satifices "heard immunity".

To judge by the yella sheets' photo galleries of liberated continentals, the EU agrees.

by Cat on Sun May 9th, 2021 at 01:02:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vaccines aren't magic.  They hugely lower the chances of a person contracting Covid.  They do not eliminate it.  The reality is we are only at the end of the beginning of this pandemic.  Relaxing sensible Public Health measures only ensures more cases and more deaths.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 9th, 2021 at 02:36:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bernard: "The Sinopharm and AZ vaccines have shown to be less efficient than the mRNA vaccines"

and there is a reason for that.

How SARS-CoV-2 first adapted in humans

The key is that both the RBD-up conformation and dissociation of S1 from S2--enabled by furin cleavage--require disordering of the 630 loop. Thus, the RBD-up conformation can be more easily accessed with the original D614 S protein, but once this conformation is achieved, this S protein is more likely to fall apart entirely owing to premature shedding of its S1 domain. Conversely, with G614, more energy is required to achieve a one RBD-up state, but dissociation of S1 from S2 also becomes less favorable because the remaining folded 630 loops continue to hold the trimer together. Thus, the D614G variants have more S proteins in the up orientation because the next, irreversible step toward inactivation is slower. Infection with D614G is more efficient because it prevents premature S1 shedding

These structural studies have real-life implications. All current vaccines are based on the original, unstable D614 form of the S protein. Fortunately, most vaccine developers, including Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, took a lesson from studies of SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus to slow S-protein shedding by introducing non-native prolines into S2. Those who developed the Johnson and Johnson and Novavax vaccines had the prescience to also remove the furin site. By contrast, the developers of the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine opted for the wild-type S protein (containing D614), as is also the case for the inactivated virus vaccine produced by Sinovac. To be clear, other variables, especially antigen-delivery systems, likely account for efficacy differences among these vaccines. However, apples-to-apples studies in animals make clear that both engineered prolines and furin-site ablation contribute to vaccine effectiveness. It is almost certain that the next round of vaccines, those better reflecting the S-protein variants now in circulation, will include D614G. Vaccines that express unmodified S proteins with G614 may enjoy a relative jump in potency because this change compensates for the lack of engineered stabilizing mutations.

[Emphasis added]

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun May 9th, 2021 at 03:04:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately the mRNA vaccines target the probe which enables the virus to attach to cell walls. So far that has meant that variants have not significantly affected immunization. The ability to target such a basic and tiny part of the virus with designer mRNA tech may mean that instead of becoming vaccine resistant the disease will, instead, continue to rely on the unvaccinated to spread. Then we will be awaiting the next disease to emerge from the wild or some feckless lab.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 26th, 2021 at 03:58:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu May 6th, 2021 at 09:06:04 PM EST
Who described a Jewish character  as "having the eyes of an "unblinking snake" ,who sends his son "pathetic presents, every five years, of low-denomination bills.""

Options:

  • Corbyn

  • Starmer

  • Reese-Moog

  • Johnson
  • You can find the answer near the end of this article.

    by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 11th, 2021 at 07:21:37 PM EST
    Wait a minute, wasn't it conclusively proven beyond all doubt that every British anti-semite was a hard-left Laborite?
    by Zwackus on Tue Jun 8th, 2021 at 04:35:24 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    8 hours post-dose deux, I'm starting to feel the ache.
    Now, looking forward to a half pack more and a quick, painless death < checks watch > 'round midnight.
    by Cat on Tue May 11th, 2021 at 09:11:59 PM EST
    The Forward
    It had to be a mistake. Or perhaps some kind of prank? The email from Montclair High School stunned parents in the famously liberal New Jersey enclave Monday afternoon: Its pick to honor for Jewish American Heritage Month was the late ultra-nationalist radical Rabbi Meir Kahane.
    by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 12th, 2021 at 12:23:17 PM EST
    by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 12th, 2021 at 04:00:16 PM EST
    It depends: is Tsahal planning a military coup?
    by Bernard on Wed May 12th, 2021 at 04:57:01 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Independent
    Call me Cassandra. For years, I, a citizen of France and therefore of the European Union, have been known to muse out loud: "What if the US had its own Eurovision Song Contest? But instead of countries voting for one another it were... all 50 states?" (Yes, I am fun at parties.)

    On Friday, this concept came true. Eurovision organisers announced the creation of the American Song Contest, a Stateside version of the great European tradition.

    by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 16th, 2021 at 12:03:51 PM EST
    by Bernard on Sun May 16th, 2021 at 03:13:44 PM EST
    by Bernard on Mon May 17th, 2021 at 08:55:52 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    AstraZeneca's CEO finally admitting what we already knew for months.

    by Bernard on Sat May 22nd, 2021 at 08:38:35 PM EST
    by Oui on Thu May 27th, 2021 at 06:18:41 PM EST
    New poll
    YouGov's latest research shows that 41% of Americans think that dinosaurs and humans either 'definitely' (14%) or 'probably' (27%) once lived on the planet at the same time
    Are they thinking of birds or Republicans?
    by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 01:32:03 PM EST
    66% of Americans reject the Theory of Evolution.

    So anything they think about Biology is bound to be moronically stupid


    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

    by ATinNM on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 06:20:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Let's not forget the flat earth:

    by Bernard on Thu Jun 3rd, 2021 at 07:40:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Who knew so many Republicans could fly?

    "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
    by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 26th, 2021 at 04:02:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Twitter AI instantly suspended my account for 12 hours and denies my account is registered to the email address it's been linked to for 3 years.

    Evidently, an ancient ethics question, paraphrase or quoted, "If Suzy jumped off a bridge, would you?", encourages suicide ideation.

    by Cat on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 02:35:55 PM EST
    We're all fugitives from the Group W bench


    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
    by ATinNM on Fri Jun 11th, 2021 at 05:36:53 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    'I am not ashamed': Disability advocates, experts implore you to stop saying 'special needs'
    Carter-Long, communications director for the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, says the word disabled connects members of the community "to each other, our common history, and to the lineage of all those who fought, protested and persisted so that one day we could be proud of disability history too."
    by Cat on Fri Jun 11th, 2021 at 06:43:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    + Not too long ago, I wrote that using Twitter as a political tool was like organizing on a trap door. Well, that door finally opened on me and swallowed up my account. For the past two weeks, I've been locked out. No explanation given, no avenue of appeal open. So, if you're looking for me in those argumentative precincts, I'm not there, as Dylan warbled, I'm gone...
    - J. St. Clair, Counterpunch
    by Cat on Mon Jun 14th, 2021 at 02:31:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Welcome to Wokespeak: Its Logic-Defying Rhetoric Is Making Heads Spin

    "The white culture conundrum is one of many such paradoxes in today's topsy-turvy woke culture, where colorblindness once represented the ideal of being unprejudiced, but now marks the epitome of racism."
    by Cat on Tue Jun 15th, 2021 at 02:40:43 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Group W Bench is a reference to "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie.

    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
    by ATinNM on Wed Jun 16th, 2021 at 03:02:20 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    < wipes tears >
    Not any more. The youngsters have stormed the castle and are rifling the goodies.
    by Cat on Wed Jun 16th, 2021 at 07:27:22 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A preview of what's awaiting us in continental Europe in ~2 months from now?

    by Bernard on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 10:56:41 AM EST

    #Awkward as the kidz say these day...

    by Bernard on Sat Jun 12th, 2021 at 08:33:30 PM EST
    DG MEME has a good one:

    by Bernard on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 11:44:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Drama for Denmark last night ... former Ajax Amsterdam player Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field ...

    by Oui on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 06:12:55 AM EST

    Appears medical aid saved his life ... not everyone is that lucky ... directly reminded me of a young talented Ajax player who suffered permanent brain damage due to lack of oxygen ...

    by Oui on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 06:14:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Abdelhak Nouri: The Ajax prodigy who suffered permanent brain damage | BBC News - Sept. 19, 2019 |

    'Appie 4 Ever'

    Nouri family taking Ajax to sports Court of dispute for final ruling

    by Oui on Sun Jun 13th, 2021 at 06:16:13 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Bernard on Tue Jun 29th, 2021 at 06:41:59 PM EST
    by Oui on Fri Jul 2nd, 2021 at 10:37:04 PM EST


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