Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) - just how serious?

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661-Pete
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby 661-Pete » 9 Feb 2020, 8:45am

Seriously....

I know full well I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, and I know full well that a lot is not yet known about CV.... but I'm still sceptical. According to this report (which looks fairly authoritative), an estimated 4.6 million seasonal flu cases, with 2,100 deaths, had been recorded in the USA alone, up to 21 December last year. This far exceeds anything that the Chinese strain of Coronavirus has wreaked upon us. And that despite the fact that there is a (reasonably) effective vaccine which many people take up?

So why wasn't there a global panic about seasonal flu? Indeed, why isn't there a global panic and lockdown every (northern hemisphere) winter, seeing as that's when seasonal flu erupts, without fail?

Perhaps someone will knock down my reasoning... :?
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Audax67
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Audax67 » 9 Feb 2020, 9:30am

There isn't a global panic every flu season because the strains have usually been sussed out in advance and vaccine made available; and enough people get vaccinated to provide a degree of herd immunity* for everyone.

The Wuhan virus is a novel variety for which no vaccine is available, so public health measures - "lockdown" - are all we have to fall back on. That, and general anti-viral/anti-flu drugs.

* Herd immunity which anti-vaxxers ride on the back of, more's the pity. Not to put too fine a point on it, if anti-vaxxers get sick and die it's better for the rest of us since it removes their wrong-headed propaganda from the media. Not allowing your children to be vaccinated should be a criminal offence.
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661-Pete
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby 661-Pete » 9 Feb 2020, 11:13am

Audax67 wrote:There isn't a global panic every flu season because the strains have usually been sussed out in advance and vaccine made available; and enough people get vaccinated to provide a degree of herd immunity* for everyone.

The Wuhan virus is a novel variety for which no vaccine is available, so public health measures - "lockdown" - are all we have to fall back on. That, and general anti-viral/anti-flu drugs.

* Herd immunity which anti-vaxxers ride on the back of, more's the pity. Not to put too fine a point on it, if anti-vaxxers get sick and die it's better for the rest of us since it removes their wrong-headed propaganda from the media. Not allowing your children to be vaccinated should be a criminal offence.
I agree - in part.

However, under current NHS rules, flu vaccine is offered FOC only to certain at-risk groups: primary school and younger children, those aged 65+, those with underlying health issues (e.g. asthma), pregnant women, carers of elderly or disabled people. This seems to suggest that the vaccine is primarily intended to deal with the risk of more serious complications, rather than to promote 'herd immunity'. If the latter were intended, then everyone ought to be vaccinated (as is the case with MMR).

Of course MMR is a single-shot (OK: 2-shot) vaccine which hopefully provides immunity for life. I recognise that no flu vaccine can do that - hence it has to be re-administered every year. I suppose giving flu vaccine to everyone FOC would be too costly for our beleaguered NHS!

Since I tick two boxes in the above list, I have been offered flu vaccine for several years now. Up until last year I consistently refused the jab, feeling that it was ineffective because of the constant mutation of the virus. But last November I relented - when I happened to be at the doctor's for a quite different complaint. So he gave me the jab there and then.

At present I have a slight cold. Runny nose and sneezing. It's probably a variety of Coronavirus - but not the Coronavirus.... :shock:
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby mercalia » 9 Feb 2020, 11:59am

661-Pete wrote:
Audax67 wrote:There isn't a global panic every flu season because the strains have usually been sussed out in advance and vaccine made available; and enough people get vaccinated to provide a degree of herd immunity* for everyone.

The Wuhan virus is a novel variety for which no vaccine is available, so public health measures - "lockdown" - are all we have to fall back on. That, and general anti-viral/anti-flu drugs.

* Herd immunity which anti-vaxxers ride on the back of, more's the pity. Not to put too fine a point on it, if anti-vaxxers get sick and die it's better for the rest of us since it removes their wrong-headed propaganda from the media. Not allowing your children to be vaccinated should be a criminal offence.
I agree - in part.

However, under current NHS rules, flu vaccine is offered FOC only to certain at-risk groups: primary school and younger children, those aged 65+, those with underlying health issues (e.g. asthma), pregnant women, carers of elderly or disabled people. This seems to suggest that the vaccine is primarily intended to deal with the risk of more serious complications, rather than to promote 'herd immunity'. If the latter were intended, then everyone ought to be vaccinated (as is the case with MMR).

Of course MMR is a single-shot (OK: 2-shot) vaccine which hopefully provides immunity for life. I recognise that no flu vaccine can do that - hence it has to be re-administered every year. I suppose giving flu vaccine to everyone FOC would be too costly for our beleaguered NHS!

Since I tick two boxes in the above list, I have been offered flu vaccine for several years now. Up until last year I consistently refused the jab, feeling that it was ineffective because of the constant mutation of the virus. But last November I relented - when I happened to be at the doctor's for a quite different complaint. So he gave me the jab there and then.

At present I have a slight cold. Runny nose and sneezing. It's probably a variety of Coronavirus - but not the Coronavirus.... :shock:



bye bye 661-Pete been nice knowing you :wink:

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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Audax67 » 9 Feb 2020, 1:40pm

661-Pete wrote:
Audax67 wrote:There isn't a global panic every flu season because the strains have usually been sussed out in advance and vaccine made available; and enough people get vaccinated to provide a degree of herd immunity* for everyone.

The Wuhan virus is a novel variety for which no vaccine is available, so public health measures - "lockdown" - are all we have to fall back on. That, and general anti-viral/anti-flu drugs.

* Herd immunity which anti-vaxxers ride on the back of, more's the pity. Not to put too fine a point on it, if anti-vaxxers get sick and die it's better for the rest of us since it removes their wrong-headed propaganda from the media. Not allowing your children to be vaccinated should be a criminal offence.
I agree - in part.

However, under current NHS rules, flu vaccine is offered FOC only to certain at-risk groups: primary school and younger children, those aged 65+, those with underlying health issues (e.g. asthma), pregnant women, carers of elderly or disabled people. This seems to suggest that the vaccine is primarily intended to deal with the risk of more serious complications, rather than to promote 'herd immunity'. If the latter were intended, then everyone ought to be vaccinated (as is the case with MMR).

Of course MMR is a single-shot (OK: 2-shot) vaccine which hopefully provides immunity for life. I recognise that no flu vaccine can do that - hence it has to be re-administered every year. I suppose giving flu vaccine to everyone FOC would be too costly for our beleaguered NHS!

Since I tick two boxes in the above list, I have been offered flu vaccine for several years now. Up until last year I consistently refused the jab, feeling that it was ineffective because of the constant mutation of the virus. But last November I relented - when I happened to be at the doctor's for a quite different complaint. So he gave me the jab there and then.

At present I have a slight cold. Runny nose and sneezing. It's probably a variety of Coronavirus - but not the Coronavirus.... :shock:


Herd Immunity is a poor term, really, since it implies that a large proportion of immune members in a population conveys immunity on all of it. The effect is more one of denial of habitat, so that the virus dies out because safe havens are too far apart for it to reach.

Flu-vaccination campaigns tend to emphasize danger to the individual, and often imply that if you're not a child or elderly you don't need to worry too much, and only subsidizing vaccines for the two most vulnerable groups underscores this. That doesn't do anything to curb a flu outbreak.
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby horizon » 9 Feb 2020, 1:42pm

Audax67 wrote:There isn't a global panic every flu season because the strains have usually been sussed out in advance and vaccine made available; and enough people get vaccinated to provide a degree of herd immunity* for everyone.

* Herd immunity which anti-vaxxers ride on the back of, more's the pity. Not to put too fine a point on it, if anti-vaxxers get sick and die it's better for the rest of us since it removes their wrong-headed propaganda from the media. Not allowing your children to be vaccinated should be a criminal offence.


Just as points of information:

I don't receive the flu vaccine (and, as things stand, never voluntarily will)
I've never had the flu (AFAIK, but if I have I am here to talk about it)
I didn't ask for herd immunity
I don't rely on it or want it
No-one has ever asked me if I want "herd immunity" (I don't)
I completely accept how other people deal with their own health as long as they allow me to do the same
I am not an "anti-vaxxer" - people can do what they like as far as I am concerned
I've never ridden on the back of anything apart from bikes and horses
And no, I won't be having the coronavirus vaccine when it turns up and all the above applies to that as well
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby 661-Pete » 9 Feb 2020, 3:32pm

horizon wrote:I've never had the flu (AFAIK, but if I have I am here to talk about it)
Let's get this straight. Most people recover fairly quickly from flu. There are a few unlucky ones of course. I was off school several times during my schooldays, with flu and a high fever. Most kids went down with it in those days. But I don't get it now in my adult years.

You probably had flu in your childhood - even if you don't remember it.

horizon wrote:I didn't ask for herd immunity
I don't rely on it or want it
It's not your prerogative to 'ask' for it or to refuse it. It's a public duty to share in the herd immunity to safeguard others more vulnerable than yourself. Got that?

I would willingly have taken the flu jab - all those years I missed it - if I'd thought it was all about herd immunity. Just as I would have taken (or rather, my parents would have made sure I took) the MMR if it had been around in my childhood. As it happens, I had measles and suspected rubella when I was a child. I've never had mumps, despite being exposed to someone who had it. And mumps can be serious, especially in adult males.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby horizon » 9 Feb 2020, 3:38pm

661-Pete wrote:
horizon wrote:I didn't ask for herd immunity
I don't rely on it or want it
It's not your prerogative to 'ask' for it or to refuse it. It's a public duty to share in the herd immunity to safeguard others more vulnerable than yourself.



The inference in the post that I replied to is that people who don't have the flu vaccine are exploiting the virtue of those who do. The only way I can refute that is to say that I don't want to, but of course there is no way I cannot.

I'm quite happy to put the recycling out and drive carefully but not to have myself be injected with something.
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby Audax67 » 9 Feb 2020, 4:19pm

I'd say benefiting rather than exploiting, but that's about it.

What's happening in Wuhan demonstrates the effect of a virus moving in on a population that has no herd immunity. Or only a very little, since AFAIK we do have a basic resistance to coronaviruses since we've been living a long time together.

It's also worth noting that measles is making a comeback in the US, thanks to the anti-vaxxers.
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby horizon » 9 Feb 2020, 5:14pm

My understanding, growing up, was that a vaccination conferred protection on the individual. When did that change from providing protection (i.e. immunity) to denying the virus a place to be (i.e. herd immunity)?

And, am I right in thinking that you said above that the term "herd immunity" is erroneous in that the herd isn't immune (except that individuals are) but the virus has nowhere to be (which is of course something different).
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby dim » 9 Feb 2020, 6:04pm

661-Pete wrote:Seriously....

I know full well I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, and I know full well that a lot is not yet known about CV.... but I'm still sceptical. According to this report (which looks fairly authoritative), an estimated 4.6 million seasonal flu cases, with 2,100 deaths, had been recorded in the USA alone, up to 21 December last year. This far exceeds anything that the Chinese strain of Coronavirus has wreaked upon us. And that despite the fact that there is a (reasonably) effective vaccine which many people take up?

So why wasn't there a global panic about seasonal flu? Indeed, why isn't there a global panic and lockdown every (northern hemisphere) winter, seeing as that's when seasonal flu erupts, without fail?

Perhaps someone will knock down my reasoning... :?


https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/02/03/big-one-origin-story-of-china-epidemic-falls-apart-completely/

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661-Pete
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby 661-Pete » 9 Feb 2020, 6:05pm

And meanwhile - it didn't take long for our oh-so decent, tolerant and broad-minded English folk to erupt into vile, ugly racist abuse, did it? :evil: :evil: :evil:

Why do I keep thinking of Brex**it when I read articles like this?
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby kwackers » 9 Feb 2020, 6:08pm

horizon wrote:My understanding, growing up, was that a vaccination conferred protection on the individual. When did that change from providing protection (i.e. immunity) to denying the virus a place to be (i.e. herd immunity)?

And, am I right in thinking that you said above that the term "herd immunity" is erroneous in that the herd isn't immune (except that individuals are) but the virus has nowhere to be (which is of course something different).

Herd immunity is simply where enough people are immune so the virus can't spread amongst a population.

The "reproduction number" is the number of people an single individual can infect. If it's less than one the virus dies out, greater and it spreads.
Herd immunity works by reducing the number of people an infected person can infect. So if you could infect 4 people but three of them are vaccinated then the value is 1 rather than 4 and so the virus doesn't spread.

Viruses that spread have another downside, not only do they infect more people but by coming in contact with more people they have more opportunity to evolve such that they could render current vaccinations moot.

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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby 661-Pete » 9 Feb 2020, 6:12pm

I'm not sure I'm ready to believe that article - but if there's any truth in it, it makes a point.

I'm no medic - and certainly no epidemiologist. I can only speak from personal experience.

Pneumonia - especially in the elderly - has many causes, and often leads to death. My B-i-L's stepmother died of pneumonia, probably caused by her inhaling the NG feed she was on after a stroke (this is not uncommon, sadly). Would this be one of those causes of pneumonia hard to diagnose if one didn't know the circumstances?

Nevertheless one can't belittle the 800 or so deaths from this virus that have already occurred. Deaths which might equally have occurred in a flu epidemic.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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Re: Coronavirus - just how serious?

Postby kwackers » 9 Feb 2020, 6:14pm

661-Pete wrote:
I'm not sure I'm ready to believe that article - but if there's any truth in it, it makes a point.

It makes a lot of points, most of which appear to be unsubstantiated.

Nothing happens anymore without there being a conspiracy behind it...