We're all doomed! Doomed I say- the Corona virus thread for panicking in!

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Post by halfwise Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:11 am

Gotta figure the kids all caught it and recovered a month ago; the piano player probably a week early. So then they figured they were immune and back they all come. It's like going out and getting drunk and throwing up, but after that first time you don't get hung over any more. What's not to love?

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Post by Lancebloke Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:06 pm

I am heading up to a football match tomorrow.

If this was 6 months ago I would have forgone my ticket but I am of the logic now that everyone is being forced back in to life and given that 1 in 13 people had covid last week I am definitely not going to the the only person that is potentially contagious.

Together with having first tested positive over 5 days ago, most symptoms clearing up coupled with knowing that tests can show positive long after being infectious and some symptoms lasting for weeks... I am totally going.

I am not sure if I should feel bad about that or not... I kinda do and kinda don't! Plus tickets were hard to come by and will be an expensive no-show!
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Post by halfwise Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:25 pm

My feeling is that symptoms are mild enough among the vaccinated that in extenuating circumstances you can push the borderline. I stayed in a couple days longer than you because I had no compelling reason to go out. For those who refuse to get vaccinated, they made their choice.

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Apr 12, 2022 6:37 pm

If you wear a mask Lance, you don't need to feel guilty. But not wearing one and then infecting someone standing next to you is not something that I could do personally. You don't know who they have at home who is vulnerable.
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Post by azriel Thu Apr 14, 2022 8:32 am

Im of the mind that this virus can be diluted out. The more who catch it and survive the less the grip. I believe in being out in the fresh air as much as possible, I also think that coddling yourself indoors against the virus will hit you harder if you do get it. Its going to alter and change, it will mutate but unless you are seriously ill to begin with then carrying on as normal is my plan. I know people wont like that idea and say what a fool I am, probably say Im a selfish wotsit. I keep myself to myself, I dont sneeze in peoples body zone, wash my hands when I get home & hope this breaks, one day.

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Post by halfwise Thu Apr 14, 2022 11:43 am

I agree Az. It's time to treat it more like a cold - people need to get vaccinated, and if they don't it's on them. I'm glad I finally got it in weakened form. Figgs is correct that people may have others who are vulnerable at home, but you have to draw the line at normal activity. Stay home if sick, but otherwise it's time to get back to normal and accept a little more sickness to burn this thing out.

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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Apr 14, 2022 1:29 pm

The law here is everyone must wear a mask indoors, all shops, and show a green pass to say you are fully vaccinated and boosted in restaurants. Outdoors, only people past 50 seem to be still wearing masks on the streets because cases are still very high, its not over yet. I find this situation very sensible and it is also very respectful for those who have to shield, and this way people who are vulnerable feel safe to go out and live normal lives. The way the UK has done things is terrible, it has let the virus rip and I have read many letters in the Guardian where disabled and at risk people are afraid to even go to the shops, they feel they have been thrown under a bus. Cases are at record levels and it is too early to relax things, but Johnson and his cabal did it anyway. I get that after two years people have had enough, but it is not a cold and long covid is still a scandal waiting to happen for the government. Its not a cold, its not endemic, its still a pandemic. People can live normal lives but wear a mask, get boosted and protect the vulnerable. But that's just my opinion.
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Post by halfwise Thu Apr 14, 2022 3:36 pm

It's a question of whether emergency rooms and hospitals are backing up or not.  If they are, you MUST do something.   I see that Britain's not too far off it's recent peak of hospital use, so maybe it IS too soon.  Italy's more like 1/3 the recent peak, but the US is down around 10%

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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Apr 14, 2022 3:44 pm

Its getting slowly better here, the curve is going down every day for now, so I guess we are over the omicron peak. Hopefully. But you never know with this fucker.
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Post by Lancebloke Sat Apr 16, 2022 8:43 am

The UK is very far off of its previous peak of hospitalizations. The majority of people in hospital and in with it, not because of it. I think numbers in intensive care are about 10% of the peak in January.

I haven't looked at that deaths number but the last time I looked covid had basically substituted influenza as a winter cause of death for vulnerable people which we don't seem to have cared much about for that last 50 years but if they die of covid instead we seem to care.

I still have concern that we are on at the start of the bigger problem created through all the other routine appointments that would have picked up things like cancer and the impacts of life restrictions in other areas, like child development etc.

In my opinion this should now be considered as endemic and life needs to carry on as best it can. People will die as they do all the time from all sorts of things as is the way life is supposed to be and I accept that my family and friends or even I may be in that number one day.... the same as one of them may have died of the flu a couple of years back and would have been just another stat to the rest of the world.
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Post by halfwise Sat Apr 16, 2022 1:19 pm

I'm seeing England and UK at about 2/3 of it's most recent peak, but I don't know how far that is from saturation. If not filling up then it's okay.

https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-kingdom/england?view=resource-use&tab=trend&resource=all_resources

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Post by Lancebloke Sat Apr 16, 2022 2:27 pm

The ICU beds in that graph are very low and I am not sure if the other number is beds because of covid or beds but with covid.

The deaths number is about 10% of peak and should start dropping as we move both over the peak and in to summer.
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Post by azriel Sun Apr 17, 2022 4:15 pm

In my town there seems to be a lot of scaremongery. One minute things are ok, you can still keep hospital appointments, can still see your Dr, do things as normal yadda yadda then, when you do go to the Drs or Hospital or ask the council to fix your gate its a mad waving of hands, eyebrow swizzling and low menacing voices saying how "they" cant operate properly because everyone living in my town is in with covid.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:23 pm

{{ Laws on having to wear mask ended in Scotland today, even though figures are still high. But the Scottish govt advice is to still wear them in shops and public transport or crowded places at your own digression- which I think at this point with hospital numbers being significant but not anything like at the start of all this, is probably the right thing to do- Ill still be wearing mine when I go shopping, and at work in the hotel for a while yet until the local numbers drop lower. From what I saw downtown today I'd say about 60% of folk I saw in shops had masks on still. }}

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Post by halfwise Tue Jan 31, 2023 7:29 pm

This primarily for Lance who may have seen something about this.  It's behind a paywall, so copy and paste from National Geographic.

BYPRIYANKA RUNWAL
PUBLISHED JANUARY 26, 2023

For more than two years, scientists have been trying to understand why millions of people across the world are experiencing lingering symptoms despite recovering from their COVID-19 infection. They’ve proposed several hypotheses including the presence of microclots—tiny blood clots that can block capillaries and potentially affect blood and oxygen flow.

In a 2021 study, physiologist Etheresia Pretorius at the Stellenbosch University in South Africa and her colleagues were the first to suggest that microclots may be linked to this debilitating condition called long COVID. In a follow-up study, she and her colleagues showed that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein triggers the formation of such clots, which the body’s natural clot-busting process doesn’t seem to break down easily.

This finding has led some scientists in the United States, with guidance from Pretorius, to test people with long COVID for microclots. Lisa McCorkell, co-founder of the long COVID-focused Patient-Led Research Collaborative, was thrilled when she heard the news last year.

McCorkell had experienced severe shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and brain fog for several months following her mild COVID-19 symptoms in March 2020, when the pandemic began. In August that year, when she started to feel better, McCorkell took a workout class. But a day later, her heart rate spiked, she struggled to breathe, and she rushed to the emergency room. “That lowered my baseline quite a bit,” she says. “Before COVID, I was running half marathons, so it was a very dramatic change.”­


In December 2020, the 28-year-old finally came to terms with how sick she was and that her illness wasn’t temporary. In late 2021, her suspicions were confirmed when she was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a condition documented in several long COVID patients that can disrupt breathing and cause heart palpitations and dizziness on standing up. POTS has no cure and some patients, including McCorkell, manage symptoms by increasing fluids and salt intake. But a year after her diagnosis she still suffers post-exertional malaise that worsens these symptoms.

What’s frustrating for McCorkell and many other long COVID patients is blood and other routine tests turn up normal despite their debilitating condition. In November 2022, she flew from California to New York where David Putrino, a rehabilitation and long COVID scientist at Mount Sinai Health System, and his collaborators are collecting blood samples to search for microclots. “We’re very early,” Putrino says. “We’ve only tested a few dozen folks so far.” But every sample from long COVID patients, including McCorkell’s, has revealed such clots.

When she first saw the microscope images of fluorescent green blobs revealing the microclots, she cried with relief. For her, the confirmation that she has microclots felt like validation of her illness, “especially after not getting a PCR test at the beginning and being gaslit throughout the last few years.”

While some experts agree the microclots hypothesis is plausible, they think it could be just one piece of the long COVID puzzle. But they want to see more research that demonstrates how these clots contribute to long COVID symptoms and whether getting rid of them leads to improved health outcomes.

How microclots form
Unlike blood clots that block arteries or veins, microclots occur in small blood vessels. They form when a soluble protein called fibrinogen is exposed to inflammation-causing molecules, which can bind to the fibrinogen and aggregate into sticky blobs. “They are not capable of clogging large vessels; they’re not capable of causing life-threatening symptoms,” Putrino says, but notes, “They can significantly affect organ function.”


Pretorius and her colleagues have been studying such microclots for more than a decade and have observed them in patients with type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. In a preliminary 2021 study, they saw substantial microclot formation in the blood of acute COVID-19 patients, as well as people with long COVID who experience persistent symptoms for six months or longer. “The main difference between microclots we find in diabetes and other conditions is that they break up quite easily,” Pretorius says. COVID microclots are harder to disintegrate.

Trapped inside the persistent microclots, her team found high levels of inflammatory molecules and a protein called alpha 2-antiplasmin that prevents their breakdown. Such blockages in tiny blood vessels throughout the body could hinder the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues, potentially leading to long COVID symptoms like fatigue, muscle pain, and brain fog.

But what’s triggering the microclots formation? Pretorius and her colleagues think it’s the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which can linger in the blood of long COVID patients for up to a year. In a 2021 study, the team added spike proteins to healthy blood and were able to trigger the development of microclots. They also found that in the presence of the spike, the microclots were more resistant to fibrinolysis—a natural process that enables the removal of clots. “Our belief is that the spike protein binds to the healthy fibrinogen,” Pretorius says. “We think that interaction perhaps makes for a tighter [microclot] structure and a bigger structure.”

If these microclots persist for prolonged periods, the body could produce autoantibodies—proteins that inadvertently attack the body’s own healthy tissues and cause debilitating disorders. “It’s those individuals who we are particularly worried about,” she says.

How scientists detect microclots
Detecting microclots requires a specialized laboratory technique called fluorescence microscopy. “You can’t just go to the doctor’s office and get tested for microclots,” says microbiologist Amy Proal, of the nonprofit PolyBio Research Foundation and co-founder of the long COVID Research Initiative.


The process involves drawing blood, spinning it, and adding a fluorescent agent to see the clots under a fluorescence microscope. It’s not a widely available tool in general pathology labs.

But what’s unknown is the sensitivity and specificity of this method. “If you’ve got 500 long COVID patients, is this assay positive 100 percent of the times or 20 percent,” asks hematologist Jeffery Laurence at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, who isn’t involved in Putrino’s or Pretorius’s research. “Given that a similar phenomenon occurs in other diseases, how specific is this for COVID.”

He also points out that published microclot studies have been done in a small number of long COVID patients, but future work should involve testing blood samples from many more people and replicating the research in several labs. Putrino, in collaboration with immunologist Akiko Iwasaki, at Yale University, plans to test hundreds of long COVID patients “because a few dozens is by no means valid for saying everybody [with long COVID] has microclots,” he says.

For now, Putrino and his team are seeing a correlation between the number of microclots on a microscope slide and the severity of a patient’s cognitive impairment. These include their ability to regulate emotions, plan and put together long-term solutions to problems, or figure out ways to deal with real-time situations as they’re changing. The research team is also developing an objective measure for microclots. “We’re still at a very rudimentary stage,” Putrino says.

Hematologist Yazan Abou-Ismail at the University of Utah, who isn’t associated with the microclots research but finds the theory plausible in the context of long COVID, also hopes to see studies that document what’s happening inside the capillaries and organs of long COVID patients with microclots. “It can be hypothesized that the microclots end up obstructing small blood vessels,” he says, “but we don’t really know whether there’s an actual obstruction.”


Treating microclots
While researchers try to determine the prevalence of microclots in people with long COVID and why they form, patients are suffering and desperate for treatments.

In a December 2021 preprint study, which is yet to peer-reviewed, Pretorius and her team showed a decrease in microclots and reduced platelet activation—a condition that accompanies microclot presence—in 24 long COVID patients who were administered a combination of anticoagulant Apixiban and a dual antiplatelet therapy for a month. However, they’re in the process of revising the study to include more patients and measurements of their health outcomes following the treatment. “But we need clinical trials to show anticoagulation approaches and antiplatelet approaches have efficacy,” Putrino says. He also wonders if clots in small blood vessels may need different anticoagulants compared to those used against large clots.

McCorkell, on the other hand, is taking her treatment into her own hands and experimenting with over-the-counter enzyme supplements like serrapeptas and nattokinase that seem to breakdown blood clots but aren’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Like many other people with long COVID, McCorkell is disappointed and angered that there aren’t clinical trials to test the use of such supplements and other off-label therapies that some patients are resorting to for relief. Many health providers are also often unable to help. Although she hasn’t experienced any side effects so far, McCorkell knows of some individuals who have had nausea and vomiting episodes from taking the same supplements. Pretorius and her team plan to conduct a study to test if these supplements are effective, but until then many patients are on their own.

“Given the scale of the issue and how much it impacts people’s lives, we need an Operation Warp Speed situation,” McCorkell says. “It’s frustrating that we’re not further along.”

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Post by Lancebloke Wed Feb 01, 2023 10:30 am

It makes sense. There have been lots of studies around this kind of thing... ME, CFS, Fibromyalgia and those kind of things that seem to have no physical cause and so are put down to a mental cause.

Long covid, on the face of it, seems similar. Physical symptoms seem to have cleared up, no disease or issues can be found and so it is put down to a mental issue, i.e. the subconscious is still in fight or flight and is producing what it considers protective outputs even when they are not needed.

While that may ultimately be the case, it is interesting that studies in the last few years are now starting to find things like this... a physical footprint of the issue.

I really hope that this research carries on and some breakthroughs are made. There must be such a huge impact on productivity across the world that this must be something big pharma would make a fuck-ton of money.

But I suppose they are making all of that already from drugs like valium, amytriptyline and others (looking at you Oxycontin!) So they don't need to innovate much more.

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Post by halfwise Wed Feb 01, 2023 1:19 pm

Oh they innovated plenty for the new mRNA based covid vaccines; if there's money they'll jump right in, and I think as you say there could be plenty of money here. But they needed someone else to lay the research groundwork. I suspect some are already looking at this and trying to figure out if it's still too researchy for them to jump in or if there's enough of a foothold to base a development framework upon.

My hope is that the floodgates for government funding will open, and there will be enough research done that drug companies can finally latch on. Still a few years down the line.

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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Feb 01, 2023 5:42 pm

I suppose it depends on the scale of long covid, I think they need to get to grips with how big it is first, there may be millions of people with LC. if its massive Big Pharma will want to jump in with cures. they need to develop a test for it and extrapolate from there.
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Post by halfwise Wed Feb 01, 2023 8:29 pm

Yes, widely available testing for microclots would be key. That may actually be a money maker they can jump on now.

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