COVID Immunity and mutation rate

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There's some dispute on the Coronavirus mutation rate. The basics are it is an RNA type virus, that's twice as complex and mutates at half the rate of the seasonal flu. Combined, that's an effective mutation rate at 1/4th the Flu. Is that slow enough that we can create vaccines? We aren't sure yet. We think so. But some Chinese researchers dove deeper and found more mutation and outcomes than expected. So need more info. On the other hand, there seems to be evidence in at least limited immunity (plasma/antibody treatment, low re-infection, and study on monkeys). Also there were a few stories about China or Korea finding patients who had been cured that later tested positive. But it is believed that it's just residual RNA fragments that haven't been flushed from the body yet. (Nothing to worry about).


COVID-Immunity : 4 items

No immunity ends the shutdown -
  1. If COVID exposure doesn't offer immunity, then shelter-in-place while waiting for a vaccine that isn't coming, is a dumb idea. We need to figure out how to live with the disease forever.
  2. If COVID does offer some immunity, then shelter in place while waiting for a vaccine is a dumb idea. Just go get immunity the old fashioned way.
You can't control a disease once it's gotten too widespread -- and we're past that, it's too wide spread. So let enough low-risk people get it, that we're not swamping our hospitals, and that increases our herd immunity and lowers the R0 (Contagion rate). Each person that has had it, is one more person less likely to pass it (the velocity of spread is decreased). Plus you have people with antibodies you can use to treat ypeople that do have it.

COVID Vaccine timeline - A vaccine is (a) coming in a few months (b) 12-18 months or (c) never.
  • Well, waiting for (c) is dumb -- crushing the economy for something that's never happening? We should get on with our lives. I'd rather take a 1/1000 chance of dieing than be a prisoner for life.
  • if (b) shelter-in-place for 12-18 months will destroy ≈60% of the jobs (virtually all small business, most travel/hospitality, many service businesses, etc). The SIP policy would move us backwards 50+ years economically, and cause more deaths than COVID-19. So we have to get herd immunity quicker for the good of humanity/civilization.
  • The only time shelter-in-place might make sense is if you know it's coming in <6 months. Maybe we can ride it out without complete destitution. And I just don't think that's likely.

COVID Reinfection - There was some initial scare mongering about how we wouldn't get immunity because we could be reinfected. China and South Korea had shown a few cases of people that were cured that came back positive in a later test. However, later studies indicated that this was likely just residual RNA fragments (de-activated) that hadn't been fully flushed from the body yet. Never mind.

COVID Monkey Study - 2020.04.17 SARS-CoV-2 study on rhesus macaques seems to show at least limited immunity.


📚 References

The Coronavirus is named after the fact that under a microscope it looks like the surface of the sun, with lots of little protrusions and bumps. These are series of diseases, but the one everyone is talking about for now, is the Chinese (Wuhan COVID-19 for COrona VIrus Disease circa 2019, or SARS-CoV-2) that's going pandemic. While the CDC, WHO and FDA all blew their response, we've never seen a more effective response to a pandemic, and the U.S. outperformed most of the world in objective metrics. But as to be expected, partisan Democrats and their media never let an opportunity go to waste: to politicize, polarize, divide and undermine the American economy and people.

Written by: Ari Sabouni 2020.04.25