Learning to love the coronavirus

Started by Sena, April 13, 2020, 03:21:23 AM

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Sena

April 13, 2020, 03:21:23 AM Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 03:30:22 AM by Sena
Seth's teaching on viruses is unequivocal:

"(In that same session, Seth gave these responses — among others — to
my question:
("All viruses of any kind are important to the stability of your planetary
life
. They are a part of the planet's biological heritage and memory. You
cannot eradicate a virus, though at any given time you destroy every member
alive of any given strain. They exist in the earth's memory, to be recreated,
as they were before, whenever the need arises.)"

(The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, p.183)

This interesting article in the Boston Globe seems to be in agreement with Seth's view:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/04/10/opinion/its-possible-flatten-curve-too-long/

"Last week Governor Charlie Baker released projections of how many Massachusetts residents were likely to contract the coronavirus. By this reckoning, Baker said, the state would experience "somewhere between 47,000 and 172,000 cases during the course of the pandemic." This represents between 0.7 and 2.5 percent of the state's population.

These are daunting numbers. Unfortunately, they are not nearly daunting enough. Because while there is still a lot we don't know about COVID-19, including exactly how many people are or have been infected, epidemiologists believe that this virus won't begin to disappear until a far higher percentage of the population — at least 60 percent — develops immunity. If that doesn't happen with a vaccine, it has to happen through exposure.

For weeks, the most pressing policy challenge has been relieving the life-and-death pressure on our hospitals. But all that justifiable emphasis on flattening the curve may have created a dangerous illusion that we can get away with relatively small infection rates.

It's easy to forget that if a disease can't be contained — and it's too late for that in the COVID-19 pandemic — then there's only one possible ending to the story: We must collectively develop immunity to the disease. In lieu of a vaccine, that means most of us will need to be exposed to the virus, and some unknowably large number of us will die in the process.

This is the simple, scary math that Harvard epidemiologists Marc Lipsitch and his colleague Yonatan Grad have tried to convey in a series of recently published papers: If each person infected with COVID-19 disease in turn infects three more, as we now think, then in order to bring the disease to heel, Grad says, two of those people must already be immune. "If one person can only spread the disease to one other person, the virus is no longer an epidemic," he says. Two-thirds of the population of Massachusetts, by the way, is 4.5 million people.

When asked why state officials would suggest that the outbreak might infect far fewer people in Massachusetts, Lipsitch said: "It doesn't make any sense to me to project that." Indeed, when asked about the figures, Brooke Karanovich, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, said they came from a model the state produced to "inform an analysis about building hospital surge capacity, not predict every detail about this fast-developing outbreak."

Herd immunity got a bad rap last month, when Boris Johnson's government floated the strategy of allowing COVID-19 to rip through the British population quickly, letting the chips fall where they may. The idea was rightly dismissed as a Wall Street fever dream, a bargain in which we might have tried to trade the most vulnerable members of our society in order to save the stock portfolios of the most prosperous.

But the fact remains that herd immunity isn't merely a possible strategy. In the long run it's the only strategy. The question, then, is how to get there responsibly.

"The objective is to get the trajectory right," said Nadia Abuelezam, a Boston College epidemiologist. That trajectory is what guides public policy. And right now public policy needs to bake in the understanding that unless we plan on spending the year or more it'll take to widely distribute a vaccine sequestered in our homes without respite, we will need to immunize the state's population the hard way.

For instance, one of Lipsitch and Grad's findings is that the better we are at social distancing this spring, the worse the subsequent spikes become. In fact, a loose version of isolation that is less immediately effective might actually be preferable. Instead of trying to flatten the curve as much as possible now, Lipsitch and Grad's findings indicate that it would be preferable to have periods in which some of the population resumes normal social interactions followed by renewed suppression.

Case in point, Grad said, is Singapore. Widely portrayed as a success story these past few months, the city-state has now issued a month-long lockdown. "They did a good job containing the disease initially," said Grad. "But what that did was ensure that most of the population was still susceptible, so now they're seeing a spike in infections." The lesson here is that without a vaccine, you can delay the pain, but you can't prevent it.

Controlled exposure is at odds with policies currently being followed around the world. That makes sense in the short term, because it should be done in a way that minimizes harm. But once more widespread testing is in place and hospitals have the resources they need to treat COVID-19 patients, then we could switch gears and allow for more exposure than we are allowing now. "We can do this carefully and deliberately," Abuelezam said.

There are several reasons to believe we can minimize harm while building immunity throughout the population. "An advance in therapeutics might change our approach," Grad said. There are 40 drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration that are currently in trials for use against COVID-19. Success with any one of these could mean shorter hospital stays, which would dramatically increase critical care capacity and thus, the number of people allowed back to work and play.

Critical to any future policy, though, will be vastly improved surveillance. It's a word with distinctly negative political connotations in America, but that may need to change: For an epidemiologist, it simply means being able to gather the kinds of data that are currently so desperately lacking. The common consensus is that because COVID-19 presents with mild or no symptoms at all in some large, but as yet unknown, percentage of the population, our current case counts are low by an entire degree of magnitude, or maybe more.

"No one knows for sure," said Samuel Scarpino, a mathematical epidemiologist at Northeastern University. "We just know they're wrong by a lot.""

jbseth

Hi Sena,

That was an interesting article. Thanks for posting it.

I think that the very last sentence probably says it all.


"No one knows for sure," said Samuel Scarpino, a mathematical epidemiologist at Northeastern University. "We just know they're wrong a lot."

-jbseth


narvik2

Wow what a title you gave!
I read it with most interest and agree on so many points.
How about this article  " https://www.disabledveterans.org/2020/03/11/flu-vaccine-increases-coronavirus-risk/
as it says: Flu Vaccine Increases Coronavirus Risk 36% Says Military Study.
Good work dears

Deb

Wow, Flu Vaccine Interference. Seth said viruses sometimes have a purpose. From the article:

"While influenza vaccination offers protection against influenza, natural influenza infection may reduce the risk of non-influenza respiratory viruses by providing temporary, non-specific immunity against these viruses. On the other hand, recently published studies have described the phenomenon of vaccine-associated virus interference; that is, vaccinated individuals may be at increased risk for other respiratory viruses because they do not receive the non-specific immunity associated with natural infection."

and

"According to the chief medical officer for England, cited by news media publisher Mirror, Britons who received the influenza vaccine for this flu season were cautioned to self-isolate for 12 weeks as they fall into the government's "high risk" category."

It makes me wonder about all the people in nursing homes (and the elderly in general)—it is highly recommended they get flu and pneumonia shots every year. And now there's another shot for shingles prevention. Some homes may even make it mandatory, I don't know.

This reminded me of articles written about how kids that grew up on farms, or had pets, older siblings and played in the dirt have less allergies, asthma, inflammation and autoimmune diseases as adults compared to those that grew with hand sanitizer and up never being allowed to get dirty.

"Just as a baby's brain needs stimulation, input, and interaction to develop normally, the young immune system is strengthened by exposure to everyday germs so that it can learn, adapt, and regulate itself, notes Thom McDade, PhD, associate professor and director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research at Northwestern University."

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/kids-and-dirt-germs#1


Sena

Quote from: narvik2
Flu Vaccine Increases Coronavirus Risk 36% Says Military Study.
Isa, interesting article. Hope things are getting better in Italy, and especially that restaurants will be able to re-open in a couple of months.

narvik2

April 16, 2020, 03:24:28 PM #5 Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 05:37:26 PM by Deb
right dear Deb  :-*
Quotehow kids that grew up on farms, or had pets, older siblings and played in the dirt have less allergies, asthma, inflammation and autoimmune diseases as adults compared to those that grew with hand sanitizer and up never being allowed to get dirty.
as they say in italy (and maybe by you also) - "the kids of gypsy never get ill!" ( of these things )
But - the problem is that this madness is still going strong-and stroger.  Official media is ranting, lockdown etc.  the problem is that most of population (? is it really so?) is Praying for a vaccine, or whatever seems to be a solution proposed from "authorities" (?!) and it could also be overall control (apps?) of moving.  This seems really to be the dark tactic for " if you want to arrive in a situation, first invent a problem and then the population will Ask for the solution - to where you wanted to arrive. " 
I pray it's not this.  -but- Another quote: In darkness do not stay whining, better light a light.  but (another but) I find it difficult to pray for them, because  I still get angry.  Our activity is closed from 23 february, economy is down, and madness ranging full blast.  With all wise words, But - Did I really chose to be born now, in these times?! 
Deb, I always wondered why you chose "we are the black sheep" on this forum.  now I got it.  (here they say: white fly).
Love from here

Note from Admin: Added a missing close quote bracket. :)


narvik2

Afterthought from Seth:  Primitive times

Deb

April 16, 2020, 05:49:31 PM #7 Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 05:52:20 PM by Deb
Quote from: narvik2
But - the problem is that this madness is still going strong-and stroger.  Official media is ranting, lockdown etc.  the problem is that most of population (? is it really so?) is Praying for a vaccine, or whatever seems to be a solution proposed from "authorities" (?!) and it could also be overall control (apps?) of moving.  This seems really to be the dark tactic for " if you want to arrive in a situation, first invent a problem and then the population will Ask for the solution - to where you wanted to arrive. "

Differing opinions as to what we should and should not do. The problems are fear, media has a stronger presence and influence than ever, and the fact that no one knows what's the right way to handle this. The world was blind-sided. BTW your mention of "invent a problem" is the #1 rule in marketing a product, and it's very effective. I'm constantly shocked at how people will accept outside information without question. Sheeples (sheep+people). We still have a long way to go. Primitive for sure. This virus and everything about it is an eye-opener.

The Black Sheep thing came from a Seth quote, which I embraced. But then recently I came across a quote from him that said a black sheep—is still a sheep. I'll try to find that, it sort of disillusioned me. I've always seen things differently than the rest of the crowd, and felt like an outsider because of that. Then it became an asset. But at this point I do not want to be a sheep in any type of clothing, lol.

Here is the original quote that inspired me, and no one says things better than Seth:

"Now before I bid you a fond good evening let me tell you that those of you who come to class regularly and gravitate here, if you have not already discovered this for yourself, are the black sheep of the universe. You want to go your own way. You do not want dogma. You will not be satisfied with hearts and flowers. It is not an easy way, and all of you know that. It is past the time for you to be entranced by other personalities including my own. It is time for you to become entranced with your own personality. It is time for you to feel independent enough to launch yourselves from your own subjective reality into others; to emerge, to drop the paraphernalia of all dogma. Not for new dogma but for new freedom. Not to substitute one authority for another, but to allow yourselves the freedom to recognize that the prime authority is All That Is that resides within you and that speaks with your own voice."
—TECS4 ESP Class Session, June 15, 1971

Sending love right back atcha!

narvik2

That's it Dear Deb
You do not want dogma. You will not be satisfied with hearts and flowers. It is not an easy way, and all of you know that.
I'm going to print and plast whole quote on wall.  And name you in my mind "Older Sister " (not of age) as used in taichi practice.