Covid 19/Coronavirus

bostjan

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re: 9/11, I'll have to go back and do some reading, if I'm being honest i havent read anything on the subject in 10 years. It's actually looking rather like I'll be in DC for the 20th anniversary of the attacks, so it wouldn't hurt to refresh. :lol:

Part of why I think it's insanely unlikely that a genetically modified virus wasn't accidentally or intentionally released, though, is because that type of research is extremely closely restricted, and extremely hard to do with any degree of control. I've shared this link before but it's worth a re-share, as the sole western scientist to be working in the lab around the time Covid-19 likely began circulating:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/feat...a-lab-scientist-at-wuhan-institute-speaks-out

tl;dr - no one at the lab had been sick around the time transmission must have happened, if anyone WAS doing gain-of-function research then not a soul else at the lab knew about it, and while containment measures at the lab were world class, occasionally mistakes do happen and if Wuhan was the source it was almost certainly in that.

I mean, the other thing, is that it's kind of a natural Occam's Razor - we have no real evidence, or reason to believe, that SARS-Cov-2 was lab-grown, and it probably wouldn't even be on anyone's radar if it wasn't for the fact that there WAS a lab studying coronaviruses in the province the disease was first discovered. SARS-Cov-2 doesn't have to be lab grown for the lab to be the source of the original transmission, and like China needs any excuse to be shady as fuck into any public outside investigation into anything that could even potentially be described as creating the appearance of wrongdoing on their part. :lol:

What is extremely closely restricted in the public eye is often surprisingly loose in one way, shape, or form, if you dig into it. It could have been something as simple as a lab tech didn't get enough sleep the night before and chucked a sample in the wrong bin. No safety checks in place, bin goes to the wrong facility, and voila- a deadly virus is on a scrap of whatever material that gets handled carelessly.

Is it likely? Not at all. But neither was someone with a weakened immune system eating a pangolin that just happened to have bat shit on it, with the bat having been infected with just the right mutation of a virus to infect the pangolin and then subsequently the human who ate it, right?

If you asked me where this stupid virus came from, all I can do is speculate, because the only correct answer anyone can give at this point, especially me, is "hell if I know." :shrug:
 

Xaios

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If you asked me where this stupid virus came from, all I can do is speculate, because the only correct answer anyone can give at this point, especially me, is "hell if I know." :shrug:
Aye. At this point, as far as the public good goes, it doesn't really matter. The supposed source of the virus is just a political football being thrown around which enables various governments to play the blame game.
 

Randy

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Aye. At this point, as far as the public good goes, it doesn't really matter. The supposed source of the virus is just a political football being thrown around which enables various governments to play the blame game.

Seems one sided. International community says it happened in nature, China says we bioengineered it and deposited it there, then tried to blame them. That seems a bit lopsided.
 

Bodes

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An interesting statistic from the New South Wales, Australia, Health department:
upload_2021-8-26_11-21-44.png

I know this will probably not change many anti-vaxxer thoughts on not to vaccinate themselves.

NSW also had over 1000 one-day new COVID cases for the first time yesterday. I know these seem like small numbers to the rest of the world, but Australia has taken a very different approach to the virus.
 

mbardu

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Seems one sided. International community says it happened in nature, China says we bioengineered it and deposited it there, then tried to blame them. That seems a bit lopsided.

A lot of that has changed and a number of countries and the WHO are saying the lab escape/accident hypothesis is not really unlikely at all. Most people who are still considering it as "out there conspiracy" are usually remembering Trump suggesting it, and having the knee jerk reaction of "it must be wrong".

Also just for laughs for those who haven't seen it:
 

spudmunkey

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What I keep thinking about is the history of "artificial" sweeteners. That more than a couple discoveries were made when a lab worker, working on some unrelated chemistry, accidentally licked their fingers or forgot to wash their hands before lunch. Saccharine, Aspartame and I think at least one more were all discovered like that, if I remember right.
 

Randy

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What I keep thinking about is the history of "artificial" sweeteners. That more than a couple discoveries were made when a lab worker, working on some unrelated chemistry, accidentally licked their fingers or forgot to wash their hands before lunch. Saccharine, Aspartame and I think at least one more were all discovered like that, if I remember right.

So what you're saying is the next big thing is gonna be Coke Guano flavored?
 

CovertSovietBear

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I've seen more than a few scientists grab their phone after handling viruses (notably, lentiviruses, but the worse offenders were my undergraduates :frantic:), so not at all surprised by how some discoveries have been made, though I guess it differs by what field you're in.

An interesting statistic from the New South Wales, Australia, Health department:
View attachment 97155

I know this will probably not change many anti-vaxxer thoughts on not to vaccinate themselves.

NSW also had over 1000 one-day new COVID cases for the first time yesterday. I know these seem like small numbers to the rest of the world, but Australia has taken a very different approach to the virus.

How's the current vaccine situation in Australia? Not sure if the Pfizer booster has been approved but I'm due soon if they do, seems unfair given how many other places still need their initial dose.
 

ArtDecade

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How's the current vaccine situation in Australia? Not sure if the Pfizer booster has been approved but I'm due soon if they do, seems unfair given how many other places still need their initial dose.

25% of the population is fully vaccinated. Australia took a little while to approve the American-made vaccines so now that there are more options available as of early August.
 

Drew

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What is extremely closely restricted in the public eye is often surprisingly loose in one way, shape, or form, if you dig into it. It could have been something as simple as a lab tech didn't get enough sleep the night before and chucked a sample in the wrong bin. No safety checks in place, bin goes to the wrong facility, and voila- a deadly virus is on a scrap of whatever material that gets handled carelessly.
Again, though, that's with the assumption it was bioengineered (if I read your post right - the "gain of function" research is extremely restricted, meaning if no one working in the lab, including non-Chinese citizens, knew it was happening, it very likely wasn't). What you're describing here is the sort of accidental leak that could happen even with pretty good safety protocols if someone happened to accidentally run up against a gap, with a naturally occurring sample. Like I said, mistakes happen. But if someone was doing gain-of-function research in Wuhan, it was without the knowledge of most/all of their colleagues. Not impossible, but much more unlikely.

But, end of the day, at the moment we don't know. Some sort of lab leak/accidntal transmission of a naturally occuring virus, as a hypothesis, is at least plausible - probably about as plausible as a wet market, considering it's a little hard to get live bats to sell when they're not widely found in your province and are busy hibernating. Which is also not impossible, but not likely, if significantly more likely than secret unregulated gain of function research that no one else at the lab knew about. :shrug:

If you asked me where this stupid virus came from, all I can do is speculate, because the only correct answer anyone can give at this point, especially me, is "hell if I know." :shrug:

I mean, it's an internet discussion message board. We're here to share information and speculate, there's nothing wrong with speculation, provided you're sharing information the speculation is based on. :yesway:
 
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Drew

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25% of the population is fully vaccinated. Australia took a little while to approve the American-made vaccines so now that there are more options available as of early August.
As I understand there was also some slow initial uptake, as an unfortunate byproduct of the fact you Aussies did a good enough job of quarantining and closing your borders, that vaccination felt a lot less urgent than it did for, say, Americans Who Don't Primarily Watch Fox News.
 

profwoot

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If covid began as a bioweapon, its creators were supremely incompetent. A perfect bioweapon is one that quickly kills everyone it infects so it doesn't have time to make it back around the world and infect the people who created it. A virus that is extremely transmissible with a long asymptomatic stage and that takes a few weeks to kill a small percentage is just about the worst possible bioweapon.

I don't have a strong opinion regarding its actual origins, but I still lean a bit toward the unregulated wet markets in wuhan, around which the first cases have been tracked to, and which are known to deal in relevant wild animals. A natural interaction origin would have happened much farther south where said animals actually live, and an accidental lab leak would presumably have led to the first cases appearing near the lab, or I guess near someplace else the lab might have been sending samples. So it's either the original wet market hypothesis, or if one insists on it being malicious, some kind of ad hoc half-assed plan involving a disgruntled lackey planting it near the market to provide cover. Of course then you'd expect the og covid strain to be very similar to one at the wuhan lab, which it isn't, as far as anybody knows (last I read, anyway).
 

bostjan

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If covid began as a bioweapon, its creators were supremely incompetent. A perfect bioweapon is one that quickly kills everyone it infects so it doesn't have time to make it back around the world and infect the people who created it. A virus that is extremely transmissible with a long asymptomatic stage and that takes a few weeks to kill a small percentage is just about the worst possible bioweapon.

I don't have a strong opinion regarding its actual origins, but I still lean a bit toward the unregulated wet markets in wuhan, around which the first cases have been tracked to, and which are known to deal in relevant wild animals. A natural interaction origin would have happened much farther south where said animals actually live, and an accidental lab leak would presumably have led to the first cases appearing near the lab, or I guess near someplace else the lab might have been sending samples. So it's either the original wet market hypothesis, or if one insists on it being malicious, some kind of ad hoc half-assed plan involving a disgruntled lackey planting it near the market to provide cover. Of course then you'd expect the og covid strain to be very similar to one at the wuhan lab, which it isn't, as far as anybody knows (last I read, anyway).
It depends on what you want the bioweapon to do, but I agree. But, most chemical and biological weapons are not engineered to be weapons, they are usually mistakes. The guy who discovered the irritating effects of mustard gas was just messing around with ether and tried tasting the product of ether and chlorine ( https://zenodo.org/record/1885270#.YSfrGI1Ki70 p117 ). It's not like the computer games where you type in the mortality and transmitability you want and print viruses out or something.
 

Drew

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A virus that is extremely transmissible with a long asymptomatic stage and that takes a few weeks to kill a small percentage is just about the worst possible bioweapon.
I mean, beyond that, it's also extremely standard for a coronavirus. Nothing abnormal about the incubation period, nothing abnormal about the progression, nothing even that abnormal about the symptoms, for a novel virus... Nothing about how Covid-19 infects people and the symptoms it causes are at all abnormal to the degree that it begins to become suspicious it was engineered rather than naurally occuring.

What Covid-19 IS, however, is a viral disease that does seem awfully opportune, with the long incubation period, high r*, and relatively low fatality that makes it pretty unlikely to burn itself out. If there was a disease out there somewhere that, if transferred into a human host, would kick off a global pandemic, it stands to reason that it would be something much like this.
 

Bodes

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As I understand there was also some slow initial uptake, as an unfortunate byproduct of the fact you Aussies did a good enough job of quarantining and closing your borders, that vaccination felt a lot less urgent than it did for, say, Americans Who Don't Primarily Watch Fox News.

It was a slow uptake. Mainly due to our Prime Minister being a total farquad. He wanted to only use AZ as we could manufacture it here, it took longer than expected to get going. Then the eligibility was extremely restricted, by the PM.
Now we have a reasonable amount of vaccines, and eligibility has opened up to 16 year olds, we don't have the people to actually administer the vaccines quick enough.
We have crap loads of AZ,but everyone wants Pfizer, again due to our PM being a douche.
Sorry, am I blaming our moronic PM for everything?
He has a very punchable face.

Also we had to have an ex-PM negaotiate woth Pfizer after our current-PM told them to go jump in a lake.
FFS
 
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estabon37

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It was a slow uptake. Mainly due to our Prime Minister being a total farquad. He wanted to only use AZ as we could manufacture it here, it took longer than expected to get going. Then the eligibility was extremely restricted, by the PM.
Now we have a reasonable amount of vaccines, and eligibility has opened up to 16 year olds, we don't have the people to actually administer the vaccines quick enough.
We have crap loads of AZ,but everyone wants Pfizer, again due to our PM being a douche.
Sorry, am I blaming our moronic PM for everything?
He has a very punchable face.

Also we had to have an ex-PM negaotiate woth Pfizer after our current-PM told them to go jump in a lake.
FFS

The eligibility element was the biggest factor for everyone in my (admittedly tiny) social circle. I live on a state border, working as a teacher in the state that I don't live in, which has on-and-off meant having to use the permission forms of the two different states at different points in time in order to travel between home and work. I'm older than I'd estimate 60-70% of my colleagues, and I'm 39 - 1 year younger than the eligibility limit that existed for MONTHS. Everyone I worked with wanted a vaccine and very few of us were allowed to get them.

My principal managed to find a bit of a loophole in the system that meant we could all qualify around a week before they opened it up to over-16s anyway. I lucked out and got a quick appointment, somehow getting in before a few of my colleagues that had been eligible for a while (they're not exactly prioritising regional areas for vaccines when the two most populous cities are being hit hard).

I have half a mind to kick off a whole other thread in this corner of the forum around the implications of Remote Learning on the future of education .... but teaching is a sufficiently busy job that I think this is my first post on the forum in around seven years, so I might need to retire before I try to become a regular contributor to the forum again.
 

Drew

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Today we received a mask mandate at work. We don't need to wear them while we're at our desks as misery kills 99.9% of viruses.
Ha! Same!

We're only required to wear them in public spaces in the building, but it's "recommended" we wear them inside our passcard-protected floor and at our desks, and I could tell our HR person giving us this update was not happy about it and was probably bowing to the sheer number of people contacting her and saying "hey, it's crazy that we're being required to come into the office during this Delta wave when there are no masks." The requirement to come in at least twice a week is still in place but we're being told if we don't feel safe or are otherwise at risk we can stay home (and I'm more productive from here so I plan on it), and the requirement thay we start coming in 4x a week after Labor Day has been pushed back at least a month.

This whole situation is stupid, we're in the middle of surging cases and even here in Massachusetts breakthrough cases are happening often enough, we know vaccinated people can still spread covid if they have a breakthrough case, and I work in an office with 50-something people. We've proven we can run our company from home, we've done it from more than a year in VERY trying circumstances, there's no reason to come back now if it entails any risk at all to do so.
 

Drew

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My principal managed to find a bit of a loophole in the system that meant we could all qualify around a week before they opened it up to over-16s anyway. I lucked out and got a quick appointment, somehow getting in before a few of my colleagues that had been eligible for a while (they're not exactly prioritising regional areas for vaccines when the two most populous cities are being hit hard).
I got in through a loophole, too - they lowered the risk factors from two to one, and the weight factor from a BMI of "obese" to one of "overweight" about a month before they opened it up to the general public. I put on a couple pounds over the late winter/spring due to insane work stress, but I'm still what most people would call slim - the problem is, I'm also a road cyclist, so I carry a TON more lower body muscle than your average person, and my BMI had juuuuust crept up over 25 shortly before the announcement. :lol: So, I have a power-to-weight ratio probably right around 4w/kg, which will destroy most cyclists on a long climb, outside of a professional peloton at least... but on paper I'm "overweight," so I got the shot in early April. :lol:
 


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