Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Covid Games

Extra entry condition - have had and got over Covid.
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The Games can go ahead, Everyone on the same level, each with their own antibodies.
wjt, Jul 25 2020

Marble Olympics https://en.m.wikipe...Jelle's_Marble_Runs
Already happening. Haven't seen the first doping scandal yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time [pertinax, Jul 25 2020]

Malaria https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria
Most deaths are caused by P. falciparum [8th of 7, Jul 26 2020]


       Screw it, I think the Olympics are done. And probably good riddance too, seeing as they are mostly just a way for its members to scam up big bucks in exchange for location consideration.
tatterdemalion, Jul 25 2020

       See link for a different way to olympicize.
pertinax, Jul 25 2020

       Why worry ? The typical olympic athlete is so far removed from the demographic of the median fatality as to make travelling to the venue a substantially higher risk than any threat the virus poses...
8th of 7, Jul 25 2020

       I actually like this. There's evidently a stigma from having had this in some circles.   

       I'd expand it to everything else. Beauty pageants, spelling bees, song competitions.   

       The idea that somebody would be stigmatized for having been sick is what we in the business call "bad". This would be what we refer to as "good".   

doctorremulac3, Jul 25 2020

       After the games, they are probably* healthy enough to donate plasma.   

       *barring hidden drug residuals and other standard communicable diseases
wjt, Jul 25 2020

       Not certain how long the antibodies last or are able to handle new variants.
RayfordSteele, Jul 25 2020

       //*barring hidden drug residuals and other standard communicable diseases//   

       Dunno, might get the added bonus of all those steroids. Get your antibodies and get pumped at the same time.
doctorremulac3, Jul 25 2020

       // Not certain how long the antibodies last or are able to handle new variants. //   

       Based on the latest data, those with antibodies to a specific sub-serotype become vulnerable to re-infection in at most 90 - 120 days (the error bars are currently quite big). However, that's statistical, and there's nothing to prevent infection by a different sub-serotype within days, or indeed a patient contracting two sub-serotypes simultaneously.   

       Antibodies to a specific sub-serotype are "remembered" by the immune system, and thus remain available almost indefinitely, but their effectiveness against a mutated version is a complete lottery - depending on antigen divergence. Given that the virus also mutates (almost invariably asymptomatically) in the biological reservoirs, not just the human population, it's currently impossible to quantify. More than 1000 "initiating" sub-serotypes have been identified in the UK alone ("points of entry"), and these will of course have mutated uncountably since first introduction.   

       As a sidelight, if you fall into the "high risk" category, and have not been immunized against flu, you are between two and three times more likely to die as a consequence of seasonal influenza as coronavirus.   

       We now return you to your regular programme of doom, gloom, sneering, cynicism and smug misanthropic gloating.
8th of 7, Jul 25 2020

       It's definitely a lottery whether the antibody is part of highly variable part or a stable section.
wjt, Jul 26 2020

       You've just proved the point. Bad influenza year- 500k. Covid- 640k. Same order of magnitude, same target cohort. The same group are being killed off by one pathogen instead of another. They can't die twice, so this year flu deaths will be way down.   

       There's a flu vaccine which cuts down the numbers in wealthier nations. Without that, the numbers would probably line up...   

       It's not a factor of 10; not even a factor of 2 (yet). They rates are higher, but not significantly so; and a lot of those WHO numbers are finger-in-the-air guestimates, not hard data - the sort of thing that hysterical alarmist media delight in.   


       Planetary population 7.8 billion.   

       Covid mortality 640k - call it 780k to make the math all integer.   

       780k/7.8 billion = 0.00001 = 0.01% ...   

       Hardly statistically significant.
8th of 7, Jul 26 2020

       But haven't we made a slight effort. What would the numbers be if it was treated as status quo flu? knowing makes a difference.   

       It is still experimenting solutions for a big one.
wjt, Jul 26 2020

       // experimenting solutions for a big one //   

       If by that you mean "it's a useful source of data for when an actually dangerous pathogen gets loose", then yes.   

       The most important data so far is that "governments are incompetent, totally unprepared, and useless, with no understanding of science".   

       // What would the numbers be if it was treated as status quo flu? //   

       Likely to be very similar in the longer term. As [kdf] has usefully pointed out, the numbers are of the same order of magnitude. The pathogen is significantly more contagious, but rather less lethal overall, so more cases occur but fewer of those cases result in death.   

       <Weary voice>   

       Once again, the total number of deaths is not relevant when calculation outcomes and consequences. Humans die all the time; in fact, it's one of the things they're well known for.   

       What matters is ANNUALIZED EXCESS MORTALITY.   

       A geologic event like a supervolcano, or an anthropogenic event such as a limited* nuclear exchange, would cause a large EXCESS mortality. Many would die who would not otherwise have died.   

       But a pathogen like coronavirus, whos median fatality has a low 1-year survival, does not necessarily generate a large excess mortality. People die of, or with it, but would otherwise have died anyway from something ordinary and uninteresting, like boring old pneumonia, or influenza, or any number of other causes.   

       The media choose to focus on absolute numbers of "cases" - those who have tested positive for the virus. These are not fatalities; often, they are not even significantly ill. They may feel pretty dreadful for a few days, but flu or even too much beer will do the same thing. There are conditions like glandular fever (mononucleosis) that are much more protracted, and resistant to treatment. Millions suffer from, and die, as a result of malaria but because effective prophylaxis is available to Western travellers, it hasn't been a big issue since WW2.   

       " In 2018 there were 228 million cases of malaria worldwide resulting in an estimated 405,000 deaths.[3] Approximately 93% of the cases and 94% of deaths occurred in Africa." <link>   

       400k+ deaths every single year; that doesn't even factor in the economic loading as a result of chronic illness. Same order of magnitude as influenza and covid. Why no "malaria panic" ? Could it be that these deaths happen to poor, brown-skinned people in hot countries far away ? Shirley not ...   

       </Weary voice>   

       *in the event of a non-limited nuclear exchange, where everyone brings their toys out to play, there will be pretty much no social structures left capable of collating the relevant statistics.
8th of 7, Jul 26 2020

       // Covid has not yet proven as bad as I thought it might. //   

       You "thought". We calculated based on available data, and have revised results and projections as the data have changed. Huge difference in approach there.   

       // I was thinking more 1918 than 1957. //   

       It's a very different beast to H1N1 and the social conditions are equally different. It was, however, clearly predicted. Just going from the data from the initial outbreak in China where it was identified, it was very clear that overall mortality would not exceed 0.1% and as you acknowledge it's well below that figure.   

       // that’s still bad enough to work on mitigation //   

       There's nothing wrong with working on mitigation.   

       The point is that any mitigation should be evidence-based and rigorous, with a realistic prospect of achieving a statistically significant outcome. And the "greatest good of the greatest number" is applicable, shirley ? Malaria kills half a million EVERY year. Waterborne diseases probably kill as many EVERY year. There are ways to address these fatalities; fixing them will save far more lives in the long run than any coronavirus treatment or vaccine. What are your priorities ? If you want to cut down the number of people dying from preventable conditions, you're doing it wrong.   

       Promoting "cargo-cult" solutions when the science actually isn't there to support them, simply to bolster public morale, is stupid and dangerous, because the likely outcome is to foster distrust of the scientific method in the general population, who are already ill-informed and dangerously credulous. Then again, if it destroys the credibility of politicians and the media, science will just have to shrug and take one for the team. Science can rebuild its credibility; the others can't.   

       And we are delighted to report that Montgomery has shown up, safe and well.
8th of 7, Jul 26 2020

       No, it's him. No question.   

       // Outlaw tobacco. //   

       Tobacco, alcohol, sucrose, saturated fat ... oddly, many governments derive very large amounts of revenue from taxing alcohol and tobacco, both damaging chemicals ...   

       A cynic might even be tempted to observe that this suggests that governments perhaps don;t care quite as much as they should for the health and wellbeing of their citizens.   

       Or maybe it's just another manifestation of what George Washington called "The tragedy of democracy" - the insuperable problem with democracies being that people (in theory) get what they want, not what's good for them, either individually or collectively.   

       See also "The tragedy of the commons", an example from economics of the failure of self-regulation in an environment with limited resource.
8th of 7, Jul 26 2020

       Sure, the flu kills X number every year. But we don't typically take especially severe steps in attempts to limit it. Were the coronavirus treated the same way, I suspect we'd see it beat the flu by a wide margin.
RayfordSteele, Jul 27 2020


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