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Doug B

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  1. W.H.O. Fights a Pandemic Besides Coronavirus: an ‘Infodemic’ (The New York Times) Shoddy Coronavirus Studies Are Going Viral And Stoking Panic (BuzzFeed News) Baseless Conspiracy Theories Claim New Coronavirus Was Bioengineered (
  2. Not really. I believe the same was true of the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic -- my then-three-year-old son caught it and was only mildly sick. Anecdote is not data, of course. Just musing, no science: I wonder if children tend to have a more efficient inflammation response than adults (e.g. faster healing of wounds, etc.)? Also, I believe (without looking it up to verify) that post-infancy children can withstand higher fevers without permanent effects than adults can.
  3. My memory of it -- which I want to double-check -- is not that the error-correction mechanism prevents mutation altogether. Rather, any individual mutation is simply made less likely, less chaotic. ... There was a theory hypothesis put out fairly early on that: a) the very early December 2019 cases in Wuhan were of a new zoonotic** mutation that was especially virulent but spread poorly due to quick infirmity of the humans infected. Then ... b) that there was another mutation afterwards (~early January) that throttled back the pathologies, and "lived" to spread more efficeiently. The theory hypothesis posits that the second, less serious strain is the one still spreading now. Not sure if this has been confirmed or not -- or even if it's something still being studied. ** originating in animals, theorized currently to be bat via pangolin.
  4. I saw it as well. Will be able to dig for it later today. A Google News search for relevant terms should bring up some articles about it.
  5. Curious because I don’t know, and it may be still to early to tell for sure, but: Are these severe-illness percentages holding up outside of Hubei province (where Wuhan is)? Outside of China? I know the mortality rate outside of Hubei has so far been much lower, and even more so outside of China. Just wondering if the same for the percentage of those falling seriously ill.
  6. There's been some curiosity in this thread about the upcoming Tokyo Marathon. Here is a little news:
  7. Points granted, beer30. I was just making a point that the shared China/India/Nepal border area, despite its size, is not itself hospitable to the spread of pathogens. Mongolia has a very long land border with China -- but again, there are vast sparsely populated areas between Wuhan and Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia's capital).
  8. The Tibetan Plateau, Hindu Kush mountains, and the Himalayas comprise a formidable physical barrier to human crossings. Not to mention hundreds of miles of sparsely-populated area that would naturally slow or halt disease spread. That makes me wonder if pre-modern plagues and diseases ever really passed between India and China? Over land, anyway? EDIT: The famous Black Death in the 1300s (bubonic plague) started in China and swept westwards across Eurasia to the Atlantic Ocean. North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean coast, and the Arabian Peninsula were also affected. But that particular plague never made it to India. Another, lesser bubonic plague epidemic started in the mid-1800s in China. By the 1890s, British ships sailing out of Hong Kong spread this plague to India. Over 22 million people in British India succumbed to the plague by 1930.
  9. Diluted bleach is great for disinfecting hard surfaces. I highly doubt spraying it into the air does anything, though. Decon7 is also made for surface disinfection, not disinfecting the air.
  10. (not aimed at facook) Don't even have to look at his site. All panic and all hypebole from people who "really have the answers!", every time, is B.S. Any rando can put up a web site like that. If he has the goods on this, contact authorities, get it to the CDC and make a case. It's not up to the world at large to disprove your B.S., Andy. Without even looking at his site, I'll stand this.
  11. The trial itself is and always was going to be public. There seem to be some narrower hearings in advance of the trial, though ... I guess in response to various motions submitted to the court. Meanwhile ...
  12. I don't think we can quite say that yet. Not enough historical data to pin down a range for COVID-19's R0.