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Forums - General Discussion - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Discussion Thread

haxxiy said:

^ There are some suggestions nirmatrelvir might have a generic immune-suppressing effect since it drops the viral load so dramatically. Hence the possibility of a rebound in cases of a dysfunctional immune response. A longer course of treatment might be the answer but that raises the possibility of viral resistance in the mid to long term.

Yep, I read up on it some more. It can work so fast your immune system doesn't have time to 'learn' and take over after the 5 day treatment.

I also suspect that that 0.03% comes from mostly healthy people taking the trial. While now it's mostly subscribed to those with weak immune systems and other vulnerabilities. Thus in the 'wild' the number of relapses will naturally be larger. In this case the 'real world' is a biased sample.

Anyway, we got through another night. Oldest is still home in bed as well, lot of coughing, but not doing too bad otherwise. His temperature reads 34.7c, kinda low, but that's normal for him. No fevers, just very tired and coughing.

Glad we still have the usual water is wet articles

A new report has found that 46 per cent of Canadians are feeling an increased sensitivity to stress than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting their overall mental health. According to the LifeWorks' monthly Mental Health Index released Thursday, many Canadians are expressing more "stress sensitivity concerns" about themselves and their colleagues compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The report found that 49 per cent of working Canadians say they have noticed their colleagues are more sensitive to stress, with 46 per cent indicating the same for themselves. Of those surveyed, 22 per cent said they were unsure. In addition, 45 per cent of employed Canadians said the pandemic has had a negative impact on their ongoing mental health.

Who would have thought! It had a negative impact on down town as well, lot of mom and pop shops are boarded up :(

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I feel long covid19 symptoms are over-investigated and over-reported. For decades, we've known that many auto-immune illnesses are hypothesised to be caused by viruses, and there is recent strong evidence suggesting that EBV is responsible for multiple sclerosis. I am glad we know the brain changes after covid19, but who's to say the common cold is worse? It would be great to see all viruses investigated similarly, who knows what we might find out...

Weekly update, North Korea decided to start reporting, major outbreak there.

In total 6.11 million new cases were reported last week (up from 3.78 million) to a total of 526,390,898
Also another 12,335 more deaths were reported (up from 11,958) to a total of 6,298,870

USA still rising, deaths as well now (640K -> 770K cases / 2,141 -> 2,303 deaths)
Europe still declining but deaths went up a bit (1.35M -> 1.23M cases /  5,542 -> 5,854 deaths)

The continents

Big rise in Asia all from North Korea which reported 2.24 million cases this week.

Corners of the world

South Africa seems to be going down again after their recent new wave, USA and Australia still climbing
Canada reported 25.0K new cases (down from 32.4K) and 447 deaths (501 last week)

Europe in detail

Since reported deaths went slightly up, the ongoing decline in reported cases seems mostly due to lower testing / more erratic reporting.

At home things are starting to get slightly better. Our oldest is feeling much better, still coughing but up and about. My wife managed to get out of bed a couple times, still very weak, low on ogygen and getting more dehydrated. She needs an IV to get her fluids back up but the wait times are horrendous and her blood pressure is still very high which only goes up when going to the hospital. Fluids come out faster than she can get them in :/

Problem is, it's a long weekend now (Canada day), people like to make campfires and set off fireworks, bad air quality. I already ahd to run to close all the windows again when smoke was coming in. It's also very humid after a micro cell hit this morning which caused chaos. Lot of damage, people died at campsites from falling trees :( The emergency services are very busy this weekend.

Thursday was a nightmare, this is what I wrote then (internet went down as well)

You think you live in a first world country and then everything falls apart...

At around 5pm, after doing the laundry, there is a strange smell in the house. I go investigate and there's water in the basement, from the floor drain. The laundry water was pouring into the basement... 'Luckily' the washing machine was done and the sewage blockage happened near the end of the cycle.

Since my wife needs access to a working toilet, things got critical in a hurry. And it turns out it's nearly impossible to get a plumber willing to go inside a house with Covid. I've called every number I could find for plumbing emergencies, called the county (did a gas line locate so we're cleared to dig, err), the city (send a guy out to check the manhole, couldn't do anything else), the fire department (no answer), police (said to call the health unit), health unit (took info, called back the next day). No solutions. Some of the plumbing companies said get a port-a-potty delivered, she can hardly make it to the bathroom :/

Meanwhile my wife is only getting worse, her blood pressure peaked at 176 over 152, that's stroke level, severe risk. The emergency line advised to take an extra dosage of her blood pressure medication and said it would be at least 2 hours before an ambulance could be out here. They're having problems that there aren't enough beds and every time they bring someone to the hospital they lose their stretcher until they can find a bed. The wait time at the ER is 5+ hours, but to get there, call an Uber (their words...). I doubt an Uber will want to take a Covid patient about to stroke out... Wtf country is this.

Her parents can't risk catching Covid, I can't drive her to the hospital with another kid with Covid at home. It's like check mate... Back to 3rd world living, using plastic bags in the toilet, bowls in the sink to catch the water. It worked at least. Her parents brought a commode chair to use which they happen to have from taking care of another family member. I'm still busy calling any plumbing number I can find, then finally got a call back from a plumber who could do an outside assessment but no guaranteed fix, most likely not going to be able to fix it and $3000 to come out just to look at it at night...

At 10:30 another plumber called back who was ok going in the basement with PPE. He got here an hour later and saved us. He had the camera snake, managed to clear the clog and also find the problem. A section of pipe is sloped the wrong way causing standing water and back flow which traps grease over time, that builds up and then clogs everything up when a big piece dislodges. We're very careful with grease since we've had the basement flooding twice before in 15 years, but the way to pipe is laid, it will happen again. First we need a power flush to get the rest cleared but the pipe needs to be replaced. (which is about 25K to get done if not more, got a 2nd quote for 28K)

Anyway, plumbers with balls are the real heroes, coming out late at night. Not cheap but it did wonders for my wife's stress level and thus blood pressure. Forget about hoarding toilet paper, useless if you can't flush...

I have no idea what we pay taxes for anymore. All the 'services' taxes pay for are pretty useless when needed. She's much better now she doesn't have to go to the hospital just to have access to working plumbing. The high blood pressure spike was mostly due to ptsd from previous experiences at our local hospital.

Another item off the bucket list, diarrhea in a plastic bag. And I wonder if the neighbors saw me peeing in the garden... (It helps to keep the deer out though haha) I found a bucket for our kids to pee in, but they rather held it in. How did our life turn into a stand up comedy routine! At least we could laugh about it after the water started flushing again. No need to dig up the front yard yet, get better first. I need a drink.

Omicron is definitely different than the original strain we think she had in Februari 2020. This time she says it's like an energy vampire. She can hardly stand up, completely exhausted yet can't sleep. She said it feels like she's just a head until the pain reminds her of her limbs.
Yes because the people that get it, can't get a test... or anything for that matter.

I am always reading your posts, hoping things get better, scared things got worse.

It really is crazy how things can get so much worse, so fast. I just hope more hospitals open and more skilled people can do those jobs, because we clearly need more at this point.

Thanks! It was indeed very scary. I sort of crashed today, had a 5 hour nap during the afternoon. Our youngest went to the grandparents, oldest old enough to take car of himself during the day and my wife could move about a bit. I was exhausted, lights out.

I feel for the people working in health care. They have been overworked, dealing with this stuff for over 2 years straight now. The signs "thank you essential workers" are long gone, but the pandemic keeps going. We desperately need more doctors and staff, more hospital beds, more ambulances, more of everything. Years and years of budget cuts, going for the most efficient way, trimming the last bits of fat, created a system that's incapable of dealing with an increased load of patients.

Meanwhile our hospital looks like it's stuck in the seventies. Resources are scarce. Last time my wife was admitted she carried her pillow everywhere with her when having to go different places for tests. People made fun of her, but she wasn't going to let it out of her sight as you only get one flat uncomfortable pillow with the hard beds. At least she got a room, some people get stuck on a stretcher in the hallway.

Schools are no better. The preventative measures and promised better air quality turned out to be nothing more than a fan and an open window. Our youngest had to wear his coat in class because he's sitting next to the window. Last week they had the stomach flu going around, and Friday we got an email that they had a confirmed case of chicken pox at school. It was better in the old days, when you just didn't know lol.

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The researchers were able to show that more severe reactions to the virus were associated with higher levels of long-term exposure to air contaminants.

For every 25 per cent increase in fine particles a patient had been exposed to, the chance of being admitted to hospital after being infected with COVID-19 increased by six per cent and the odds of being admitted into an ICU increased nine per cent. The team found no links between death rates and particulate exposure.

The effects were smaller for nitrogen dioxide.

But for ground-level ozone, the study found correlations for every 25 per cent increase in exposure were much higher. The chances of hospital admission increased 15 per cent. Intensive care admissions increased 30 per cent and death rates went up 18 per cent.

"Of those people who were already infected, we observed some of them who were exposed to higher air pollution levels prior to their infection have a higher probability of worse outcomes," Chen said.

Couldn't this be the effect of the air pollution weakening your lungs over time

Chen cautioned the study doesn't establish that the three pollutants actually caused the worsening COVID-19 outcomes. But it wouldn't be a surprise. Those contaminants are all known to irritate lungs and lung function, and COVID-19 is a pulmonary disease.

"We know this virus attacks our pulmonary system," she said. "It's possible that being exposed to more air pollution prior to infection makes you more susceptible."

My wife is having a tough time with Covid and she's always had weak lungs with a long list of pneumonia in the past. Our air quality seems not that bad better than Toronto of course. I guess it's more the other way around in our case, sensitive lungs. Any smoke from people burning yard waste or campfire in the evening already has her reaching for the inhaler.

She is finally doing a bit better, getting out of bed a couple times a day for a big trip to the kitchen. Get some food, and lose it again an hour later :/ Still too weak too do anything else. We got an O2 meter as well now to complete out home monitoring set lol. Blood pressure, temperature, O2 saturation, heart rate, can't measure dehydration yet cracked lips are a good tell... Oxygen level is down but not dangerous yet, mild hypoxemia, avg 92% reading.

It got cold again, down to 6c last night and only 14c the past couple days. Cool fresh air does help. That microcell last Saturday did efficiently clear the air. Did leave a lot of destruction behind though.

While parts of the world are 'done' with the pandemice

The COVID-19 pandemic is "most certainly not over," the head of the World Health Organization warned Sunday, despite a decline in reported cases since the peak of the Omicron wave. He told governments that "we lower our guard at our peril."

The UN health agency's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told officials gathered in Geneva for opening of the WHO's annual meeting that "declining testing and sequencing means we are blinding ourselves to the evolution of the virus." He also noted that almost 1 billion people in lower-income countries still haven't been vaccinated.

"Reported cases are increasing in almost 70 countries in all regions, and this in a world in which testing rates have plummeted," he added.

Reported deaths are rising in Africa, the continent with the lowest vaccination coverage, he said, and only 57 countries -- almost all of them wealthy -- have vaccinated 70% of their people.

While the world's vaccine supply has improved, there is "insufficient political commitment to roll out vaccines" in some countries, gaps in "operational or financial capacity" in others, he said.

"In all, we see vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation and disinformation," Tedros said. "The pandemic will not magically disappear, but we can end it."

I doubt we can end it with vaccines, it certainly didn't end it here. We're at 82% fully vaccinated. It still spreads, you still catch it, can still get very sick. Maybe the unvaccinated asymptomatic cases keep it circulating. I've heard of more cases among friends and family this year than since the pandemic started.

I'd disagree that testing is 'bad' worldwide at the moment. CFR and hospitalization rates have plummeted hard since December. I think that indicates we're actually picking up a greater percentage of *clinically relevant* cases than ever.

It's simply not viable to continue indefinitely testing anyone who is sneezing or has a sore throat. Especially given some people out there are filling people's heads with wildly inflated rates of PASC and whatnot.






All I know is that a lot of symptomatic cases aren't counted, since of all the cases I've heard of lately, non got any official tests. Just the home kit or nothing.

Our oldest relapsed. He went to school on Monday after staying home for a week. At noon the school called to come pick him up. He's been home since and even had a fever again today. He was doing much better but now sounds hoarse, long coughing fits and still sore throat. Our youngest is still going to school. At the bus stop I notice a lot of the older kids are missing. I guess younger kids recover faster than the 10-12 year olds.

Perhaps we have the same strain here as is currently going around the states

The coronavirus mutant that is now dominant in the United States is a member of the omicron family but scientists say it spreads faster than its Omicron predecessors, is adept at escaping immunity and might possibly cause more serious disease.

Why? Because it combines properties of both Omicron and Delta, the nation's dominant variant in the middle of last year.

A genetic trait that harkens back to the pandemic's past, known as a "Delta mutation," appears to allow the virus "to escape pre-existing immunity from vaccination and prior infection, especially if you were infected in the Omicron wave," said Dr. Wesley Long, a pathologist at Houston Methodist in Texas. That's because the original Omicron strain that swept the world didn't have the mutation.

The Omicron "subvariant" gaining ground in the U.S. -- known as BA.2.12.1 and responsible for 58% of U.S. COVID-19 cases last week -- isn't the only one affected by the Delta mutation. The genetic change is also present in the Omicron relatives that together dominate in South Africa, known as BA.4 and BA.5. Those have exactly the same mutation as Delta, while BA.2.12.1 has one that's nearly identical.

This genetic change is bad news for people who caught the original Omicron and thought that made them unlikely to get COVID-19 again soon. Although most people don't know for sure which variant caused their illness, the original Omicron caused a giant wave of cases late last year and early this year.

So yeah, now it is relevant which strain you were infected by

"The Omicron infection antibody does not appear to protect well against the subvariants compared to Delta," said Dr. Shan-Lu Liu, a study author who co-directs the viruses and emerging pathogens program at Ohio State.

But Liu said the level of protection a Delta infection provides depends partly on how long ago someone was ill. That's because immunity wanes over time.

People who got sick with Delta shouldn't think of themselves as invulnerable to the new subvariants, especially if they're unvaccinated, Long said. "I wouldn't say anyone is safe."

Keep the virus circulating, new strains pop up. The cycle continues.

I've been feeling very tired lately, soar as well. No idea whether my body is fighting off the virus or more likely just exhausted from all the stuff that's been going on. My wife is getting better, but it's up and down and going very slowly. Still no strength to get outside, couple trips to the living room / kitchen a day at most.

Here in Japan, Cases are going back down again. Positivity % is going down too, so it is not due to testing going down.

Covid was all but eradicated last December 2021 with only 1 person having severe symptoms at one point in Tokyo, but it came back with a vengeance. Due to Vaccines, it never reached the previous peak of 297 persons with severe symptoms in August 2021. It only reached 87 persons with severe symptoms in February 2022. Now it is May 2022, and it is back down to 3 persons with severe symptoms.

So Japan has decided to soften the severe quarantine requirements. Now with most western countries, people who travel from Japan to these countries and back no longer have to quarantine or take a Coronavirus test after landing, starting June 1, 2022.

It will be nice to visit my family again without so much hassle when I get back, and can easily travel back to my home. Unfortunately both countries still require pre travel Covid tests, even if vaccinated. I wonder if such a thing would be abolished or eased for vaccinated individuals in the future.

Only a few days more until the population at large in Austria can pretend that the pandemic is over.

I fully expect another wave in fall and I equally expect politicians to not issue any measures until it is too late again. All one can hope for is that this fall's COVID-19 variant is less infectious and also results in fewer and less severe cases. I've lost track of how many waves and how many different ministers of health we've had in the last couple of years.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

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