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Old 16th April 2020, 11:31 PM   #281
dann
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Another territory anomaly:
Many countries and territories led by women are being praised for their quick and strategic action against the coronavirus pandemic. (CNN, April 16, 2020)
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Old 16th April 2020, 11:50 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Sorry you didn't elect Hillary now, USA?
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Old 17th April 2020, 01:28 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
Sorry you didn't elect Hillary now, USA?
Very good question.
There is an interesting herald article I just read, behind a paywall, but in part,

In January I saw Covid-19 reports coming out of China and I thought there's a disease to watch. I did my first interview in early January and began writing about the disease. By the end of January it was clear it was going to be a global pandemic and I was asked to join the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Group to advise the Ministry of Health on the response.

On February 6, with my colleague Prof. Nick Wilson, we put out a scientific blog urging New Zealand to prepare for a potentially severe global coronavirus pandemic. This was clearly a very infectious virus that had potential to result in millions of deaths. But people and countries can have a strange sense of exceptionalism, that something won't hurt us the same way it will hurt everywhere else, and we felt people weren't taking Covid seriously enough.


https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ef=recommended

I think Hillary Clinton would have saved America from this pandemic. More for the political thread? Maybe, but Trump is universally seen in New Zealand now as an unhinged madman who has created a territory anomaly that was totally avoidable.
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Old 17th April 2020, 05:29 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
There have been some memes about this. Interestingly, all the Nordic countries have governments headed up by women except one....Sweden! And we all know about Sweden!

That said, I wonder what, if any, mechanism can explain what difference is made by having a female head of state?

Is there an actual reason why their leadership is better than that of men in this case? Or are the examples cherry-picked or just so happen to have distribution patterns which conveniently support that hypothesis?

After all, when we look at countries that are doing well, they tend to be those hit by SARS or other sudden pandemics such as...

South Korea
Taiwan
Singapore
Hong Kong

I suppose that two of those have female heads of state (if you include Hong Kong, but I don't think Carrie Lam is being portrayed as a poster girl).

Or in another region:

South Africa
Australia
New Zealand

Certainly New Zealand is getting a lot of praise, and Jacinda Adern as well, although is there anything she has been doing above and beyond that of the other trination rugby Southern hemisphere countries? South Africa and Australia seem to be having pretty similar success at flattening the curve.

Yes, Germany, as expected seems to be doing pretty well, and they have been doing testing from very early on. The UK government, by comparison is being pilloried for its lack of testing and slow lockdown. But then Austria and Czech Republic seem to be doing as well if not better.

Also, I note that the meme used to include Belgium but they have since quietly dropped that particular female-fronted country (third highest death rate per million after San Marino and Andorra). Although in Belgium's case they have been reporting deaths at home and in care homes as COVID 19 fatalities, meaning maybe their figures are more honest than some others.

Perhaps, then, if it does come down to male-female explanation, maybe it is not so much that women are necessarily more competent, or that men are necessarily more incompetent, but that if a leader is incompetent, that leader is more likely to be a man.

There could be a scientific reason for that!
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Old 17th April 2020, 05:42 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
There have been some memes about this. Interestingly, all the Nordic countries have governments headed up by women except one....Sweden! And we all know about Sweden!

That said, I wonder what, if any, mechanism can explain what difference is made by having a female head of state?

Is there an actual reason why their leadership is better than that of men in this case? Or are the examples cherry-picked or just so happen to have distribution patterns which conveniently support that hypothesis?

After all, when we look at countries that are doing well, they tend to be those hit by SARS or other sudden pandemics such as...

South Korea
Taiwan
Singapore
Hong Kong

I suppose that two of those have female heads of state (if you include Hong Kong, but I don't think Carrie Lam is being portrayed as a poster girl).

Or in another region:

South Africa
Australia
New Zealand

Certainly New Zealand is getting a lot of praise, and Jacinda Adern as well, although is there anything she has been doing above and beyond that of the other trination rugby Southern hemisphere countries? South Africa and Australia seem to be having pretty similar success at flattening the curve.

Yes, Germany, as expected seems to be doing pretty well, and they have been doing testing from very early on. The UK government, by comparison is being pilloried for its lack of testing and slow lockdown. But then Austria and Czech Republic seem to be doing as well if not better.

Also, I note that the meme used to include Belgium but they have since quietly dropped that particular female-fronted country (third highest death rate per million after San Marino and Andorra). Although in Belgium's case they have been reporting deaths at home and in care homes as COVID 19 fatalities, meaning maybe their figures are more honest than some others.

Perhaps, then, if it does come down to male-female explanation, maybe it is not so much that women are necessarily more competent, or that men are necessarily more incompetent, but that if a leader is incompetent, that leader is more likely to be a man.

There could be a scientific reason for that!
That could well be it. I've heard something similar about female business leaders. They don't get there solely by connections and charm, as a man might, but need to be actually competent. In politics, a man can reach the top with charisma and sharp elbows (to get ahead of competitors in his own party), but that may not be enough if you're a woman. Angela Merkel is not exactly charismatic in my opinion, but watch one of her recent adresses to the German public if you want to see competence at work.
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Old 17th April 2020, 11:00 AM   #286
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She is long dead, of course, but Margaret Thatcher would probably have been more of a hardliner than Boris Johnson in a situation like this. Instead of closing down the mines, she would probably have forced them to continue, so the miners could have infected each other. That would have been cheaper for her in the long run.
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Old 17th April 2020, 11:12 AM   #287
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Or... you know... correlation <> causation?
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Old 17th April 2020, 11:38 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Perhaps, then, if it does come down to male-female explanation, maybe it is not so much that women are necessarily more competent, or that men are necessarily more incompetent, but that if a leader is incompetent, that leader is more likely to be a man.
Nailed.
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Old 17th April 2020, 01:30 PM   #289
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Mod InfoThis thread has been closed due to its many duplications with other science and medicine threads about Covid-19. Members are directed to a new, single thread HERE. Members may freely quote from this thread and import discussions here into the new catchall science thread. Thank you.
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Old 27th April 2020, 12:27 PM   #290
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Mod WarningThread re-opened.
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Old 27th April 2020, 03:00 PM   #291
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Righto - I'll go and get some numbers and come back later with an update on the territories and see if the anomalies still exist.
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Old 27th April 2020, 06:10 PM   #292
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Ok, back to the anomaly.

Hawaii, Japan, NZ, Australia, Iceland, Latvia & South Africa were the countries doing particularly well, and their position hasn't changed at all, with every one of them seeming to have the disease under control. In the case of Hawaii & Japan, that is after minimal disruption by government intervention.

We can now add Chile and Israel to the countries with very low mortality rates, and both of them are pretty sunny.

To look at a few different angles, I drew this up a couple of days ago, using countries that have tested over 5% of their entire populations, and all of them have low mortality rates:



Those low rates may just be an artifact of finding a greater percentage of cases, giving a true picture of the mortality rate.

I do think from the evidence of NZ & Australia that catching the disease while outside is incredibly low, without face to face contact taking place. People have been out and about across Australasia and there are no known cases caught outside. Going by the number of people walking around in NZ, I'd say there are 5-10 times as many people on the streets as would usually be the case.
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Old 27th April 2020, 07:43 PM   #293
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Interesting piece here on the Indian situation: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52435463
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Old 27th April 2020, 10:10 PM   #294
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So sunlight, then? Perhaps it has a double effect with people getting more natural vitamin D and its' UV rays destroying more virus outdoors in aerosol and microdroplets.

Florida may be another example. I had expected more deaths there due to idiot governor, but that could have beem mitigated by the mayor of Miami having warned people about it quite early.

ETA: If sunlightplays that big a role, then we should fear what can happen next winter...

Last edited by Ulf Nereng; 27th April 2020 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 27th April 2020, 11:56 PM   #295
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Again with the sunlight?

NO.

Massive amounts of testing, rigourous contact tracing, social distancing, and forced quarantine of new arrivals.

This is our fourth day with no new cases.

Hopefully this keeps up, but we still have a few weeks for the latest 600 arrivals to fall sick.
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Old 27th April 2020, 11:57 PM   #296
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By the way it's pissing down with rain.

Sunlight has gone bye-byes
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Old 27th April 2020, 11:59 PM   #297
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Yeah, we're hattening down the batches - that's going to hit us tomorrow.

And my car will be parked outside this time.
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Old 28th April 2020, 12:49 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Again with the sunlight?

NO.

Massive amounts of testing, rigourous contact tracing, social distancing, and forced quarantine of new arrivals.

This is our fourth day with no new cases.

Hopefully this keeps up, but we still have a few weeks for the latest 600 arrivals to fall sick.
YES. Sunlight. Plus distancing is essential.
Doom and gloom all you like but you won't be a big victim. It almost seems as if you WANT to be one?

If weather was not a deterrent, there would be a LOT of death here where I live. Much more. But as far as I can see, they are about 100x less than NYC.

Obviously there are geographic and living patterns at work. The virus likes certain environments and it doesnt like yours. Be happy!

Ps. I am an Aussie too. Family there. I am confident they are as safe as can be in the world today/.

Last edited by Sherkeu; 28th April 2020 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:02 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
So sunlight, then? Perhaps it has a double effect with people getting more natural vitamin D and its' UV rays destroying more virus outdoors in aerosol and microdroplets.
Well, we know for sure sunlight degrades the virus very quickly, and the sun seems to be a common factor in a lot of places doing very well.

Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
Florida may be another example. I had expected more deaths there due to idiot governor, but that could have beem mitigated by the mayor of Miami having warned people about it quite early.
A lot of states are doing much better than you'd reasonably expect. Texas has even better stats than Florida, and Hawaii defies belief entirely.

Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
ETA: If sunlightplays that big a role, then we should fear what can happen next winter...
Agree entirely.

Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Massive amounts of testing, rigourous contact tracing, social distancing, and forced quarantine of new arrivals.
None of which has been happening in Texas, Florida, Hawaii or Japan.

I'm quite happy that South Korea, Aussie, NZ, Iceland, Latvia & a few other countries have managed the disease to good stats, but there is a massive anomaly in other territories that haven't intervened early and where the disease just isn't spreading.

On the other hand, the worst-hit areas - UK, northern Italy, New York, Massachusetts & New Jersey aren't exactly sun-drenched in January/February.
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:23 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Again with the sunlight?

NO.

Massive amounts of testing, rigourous contact tracing, social distancing, and forced quarantine of new arrivals.

This is our fourth day with no new cases.

Hopefully this keeps up, but we still have a few weeks for the latest 600 arrivals to fall sick.
I'm not suggesting that it's the only factor, rather that it's a factor that could explain some of the differences we see between different territories. Some places have sucked at contact tracing, social distancing, and quarantine but still have gone mostly unscathed. The question is why? What other factors are there that could help or make matters worse? We have discussed cultural factors, social factors, and so on. Atm it looks to me as if sunlight plays a larger role than I had previously thought.
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:33 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Again with the sunlight?

NO.

Massive amounts of testing, rigourous contact tracing, social distancing, and forced quarantine of new arrivals.

This is our fourth day with no new cases.

Hopefully this keeps up, but we still have a few weeks for the latest 600 arrivals to fall sick.
Heh if you behave yourselves even saint bl**** mother teresa Jacinda Ardern might forgive you for improper lax social distancing and allow visas.
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Old 28th April 2020, 01:34 AM   #302
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This particular SARSCoVid-2 virus in its current form seems to like cool dry environments.
So, areas with that environment, like those with cooler weather and lots of places where many people touch, and many people breathe are good vectors. Crowded ski resorts, subways, trains, buses, mosques, etc...

I posted here(I think almost 2 months ago?) predicting it would spread fastest in places with avg day temps of 46 degrees F. I haven't changed my mind on that yet.

Last edited by Sherkeu; 28th April 2020 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 28th April 2020, 02:24 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
This particular SARSCoVid-2 virus in its current form seems to like cool dry environments.
That does appear to hold up, because the cold countries doing well - Iceland, Latvia, South Korea, all took early and drastic action, which explains their success.

It would also make it the same as most other coronaviruses.
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Old 28th April 2020, 05:02 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
So sunlight, then? Perhaps it has a double effect with people getting more natural vitamin D and its' UV rays destroying more virus outdoors in aerosol and microdroplets.

Florida may be another example. I had expected more deaths there due to idiot governor, but that could have beem mitigated by the mayor of Miami having warned people about it quite early.

ETA: If sunlightplays that big a role, then we should fear what can happen next winter...
Focus on what I bolded...

My understanding is that the current scientific research says that there is no evidence of outdoor transmission (infection) by way of airborne aerosols. It is theoretical but we have no actual evidence of it. We have lots of evidence for indoor transmission and it looks like a percentage of that is by way of breathing in airborne aerosols. Now...

If outdoor UV exposure (sunlight) experienced by the virus really does kill it and prevent transmission - then it means that OUTDOOR transmission by way of aerosols is a REAL THING. And then if it does explain the difference in cases between sunny countries and cloudy countries it informs us that OUTDOOR transmission is highly significant.

We are sometimes told that being outdoors is actually safer than being indoors. How is that true if outdoor transmissions are what makes the difference between a successful sunny country and a devastated cloudy country?
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Old 28th April 2020, 05:29 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Focus on what I bolded...

My understanding is that the current scientific research says that there is no evidence of outdoor transmission (infection) by way of airborne aerosols. It is theoretical but we have no actual evidence of it. We have lots of evidence for indoor transmission and it looks like a percentage of that is by way of breathing in airborne aerosols. Now...

If outdoor UV exposure (sunlight) experienced by the virus really does kill it and prevent transmission - then it means that OUTDOOR transmission by way of aerosols is a REAL THING. And then if it does explain the difference in cases between sunny countries and cloudy countries it informs us that OUTDOOR transmission is highly significant.

We are sometimes told that being outdoors is actually safer than being indoors. How is that true if outdoor transmissions are what makes the difference between a successful sunny country and a devastated cloudy country?
Because anyone outdoors takes the living virus indoors in an amount than could infect. Temperature matters too.

Someone outdoors in the sun may get less dose. May not get it at all. May fight it off easily. Then indoors, no transmission.
In a colder environment, and indoors they shed what they caught outside. Think more like a virus surviving, trying to survive long enough to get into humans, and less like a human trying to infect others in certain environments. It is the virus that has the 'say so' of where it goes.

If it comes from bats (which it almost certainly did!) it did not develop a robust adaptability for sunshine. Bats aren't warm sunny time creatures.

Last edited by Sherkeu; 28th April 2020 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 28th April 2020, 05:43 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Focus on what I bolded...

My understanding is that the current scientific research says that there is no evidence of outdoor transmission (infection) by way of airborne aerosols. It is theoretical but we have no actual evidence of it. We have lots of evidence for indoor transmission and it looks like a percentage of that is by way of breathing in airborne aerosols. Now...

If outdoor UV exposure (sunlight) experienced by the virus really does kill it and prevent transmission - then it means that OUTDOOR transmission by way of aerosols is a REAL THING. And then if it does explain the difference in cases between sunny countries and cloudy countries it informs us that OUTDOOR transmission is highly significant.

We are sometimes told that being outdoors is actually safer than being indoors. How is that true if outdoor transmissions are what makes the difference between a successful sunny country and a devastated cloudy country?
Clouds do not significantly block UV light:

https://www.sophisticatededge.com/do...-block-uv.html
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Old 28th April 2020, 06:37 AM   #307
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I have a hypothesis. We know that the virus mutates, and there are at least 5 different strains going around now (probably more). What if one or more of those strains mutated into something less deadly but more infectious? That would mean there's still a very deadly strain, but also a less deadly version that's spreading faster. Could that explain what we're seeing?
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Old 28th April 2020, 07:26 AM   #308
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I remember a quote by The Atheist:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...0#post13021320

Quote:
Even the Indian gov't Minister I quoted a million posts ago admitted they have no chance of stopping it. They have one test facility in all of India.

They're doomed, and nothing will change that.
I remembered it because back then I was not so sure if Covid-19 would be really devastating for India or just another 'nuisance' besides all the other problems they already have.

Well, looks like it is still not decided.
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Old 28th April 2020, 10:10 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I have a hypothesis. We know that the virus mutates, and there are at least 5 different strains going around now (probably more). What if one or more of those strains mutated into something less deadly but more infectious? That would mean there's still a very deadly strain, but also a less deadly version that's spreading faster. Could that explain what we're seeing?
I suggested that in one of the threads, and it seems to be supported by some evidence.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/scie...-chinese-study

Originally Posted by carlosy View Post
I remembered it because back then I was not so sure if Covid-19 would be really devastating for India or just another 'nuisance' besides all the other problems they already have.

Well, looks like it is still not decided.
Yes, but it is starting to look like they're not getting hit as badly as would be expected. Susheel has posted some info that seems to bear out the official numbers being somewhat reliable.

I've seen India's low median age as an explanation, but Iran's median is only 2 years older than India's and they aren't looking too flash.
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Old 28th April 2020, 04:13 PM   #310
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Hmmm - might have been too early to give India kudos on keeping the numbers down - their totals are turning increasingly ugly, with 2000 new cases today.
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Old 29th April 2020, 02:34 AM   #311
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And given India's healthcare system and capacity one would expect hospital deaths to be much lower than non hospital deaths. Then factor in the terrible "alternate" medicine that is promoted from the government downwards.

I think India's numbers are probably going to be very unreliable whatever the actual situation is.
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Old 29th April 2020, 07:54 AM   #312
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Another potential source of region to region variation.
https://www.cell.com/pb-assets/produ...D-20-00767.pdf
It turns out that the pathway COVID-19 uses to enter a cell is controlled by interferon, which is used by cells to ramp up their anti-viral response. This would imply COVID-19 is much more infectious/dangerous when the body is fighting off another virus. If another virus is circulating in the area could have a big impact on how many COVID cases and deaths will occur.

This would suggest COVID is very seasonal because it’s not just a function of how long it survives outside the body, but it may only spread well at times when other viral diseases are common.
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Old 29th April 2020, 12:25 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think India's numbers are probably going to be very unreliable whatever the actual situation is.
I agree with all that. The irony for me is the deafening lack of voices screaming about it.

Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
This would suggest COVID is very seasonal because it’s not just a function of how long it survives outside the body, but it may only spread well at times when other viral diseases are common.
That sort of runs counter to a [the?] leading theory on why most kids aren't getting or spreading it - the idea that having recent viral respiratory infections confers some protection.

Needs more science, and I'm not a scientist.
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And back to beautiful Hawaii and their astonishing lack of cases and corpses - from the main thread:


Originally Posted by pipelineaudio View Post
Which ones do you suggest? Our other variables should be pushing us into new york. Not only no belief in science, but actually anti-science violence. Massive numbers of large, morbidly obese, three generation families living under one roof. Very little access to running water for hand hygiene outside of the home. Greeting by blowing air in each others' faces while rubbing foreheads together.

What are you seeing which should be helping us?
Ok, let's have a look at the options - you've some of the less positive ones!

Different strain

I think that's a possibility, but complicated by Hawaii being such a tourist hot spot - you'd expect infections coming from all directions and copping a really good mix of all of the strains, so jury out on that angle.

Sun/Vitamin D

Studies have shown UV light breaks the virus down quickly, and we already knew that for other viruses - UV is used in autoclaves to destroy every harmful particle.

That would certainly make outdoor transmission far less likely in Hawaii, but as you say, people are crammed together indoors and it's still not happening. That raises the vitamin D as a candidate, but without a decent study, we probably won't ever know.

One really bloody good metric to have would be how many tourists are arriving with it and how they fare against locals.

Temperature & humidity

Nothing says Hawaii like the weather. Virtually indistinguishable all year round, with a bit more rain in summer.

The standout about Hawaii's weather is that it virtually never gets below 18C (65F), which is considered high summer in UK.

If there's a better candidate for Hawaii's success in the face of asking Covid to come for an extended and intimate visit - as the state has done - I don't see it.
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Old 29th April 2020, 01:14 PM   #314
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She sure seemed certain that there were others, I'd like to hear them. I also forgot to put just how violently anti-vaxx people are here, both locally and in the Sedona - on the - Water of Maui
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Old 29th April 2020, 01:23 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by pipelineaudio View Post
She sure seemed certain that there were others, I'd like to hear them.
Me too - looks like both of us have exhausted the pot for possible reasons, although I suppose genetics could be part of it, too, although with only 10% Polynesians, the mix looks pretty generic Asian/US mix.

Originally Posted by pipelineaudio View Post
I also forgot to put just how violently anti-vaxx people are here, both locally and in the Sedona - on the - Water of Maui
Remind me why you live there again...
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Old 29th April 2020, 02:11 PM   #316
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I notice that Bangladesh has hit the rocket-powered stage of the epidemic, which isn't going to be pretty in one of Asia's least-developed countries.

Their temperature range is remarkably similar to Hawaii's.

Yes, the population isn't as dense in Hawaii, and the slums aren't as bad as Bangladesh's, but it's casting doubt on temperature/humidity for me.

Still looking at vitamin D, though.
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Old 30th April 2020, 01:14 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Again with the sunlight?

NO.
How about?

YES.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/hea...-slows-covid19

Sunlight & humidity.

How very Hawaiian!
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Old 24th May 2020, 12:20 AM   #318
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This is from 6 April, a neat 7 weeks ago:

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Ok, I've been crunching numbers all morning and I'm going to plant my flag on it now:

Vitamin D
...
(And suggest your mates got on the cod liver oil capsules immediately.)
To which the responses generally followed this kind of analysis:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
You're guessing.

Your theory is in tatters and you try to mend it like this? Please hand in your skeptics badge.
Yet, having a look at the subject today, I find there's been some serious research on the subject and it certainly appears that vitamin D is quite important at the very least:

Some highlights:

Quote:
A growing body of circumstantial evidence now also specifically links outcomes of COVID-19 and vitamin D status.https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...183-2/fulltext
Quote:
A recent meta-analysis brought together results from 25 trials with more than 10,000 participants who were randomised to receive vitamin D or a placebo.

It found vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory infections, but only when it was given daily or weekly, rather than in a large single dose.

The benefits of regular supplementation were greatest among participants who were severely vitamin D deficient to begin with, for whom the risk of respiratory infection went down by 70%. In others the risk decreased by 25%.
link

And Science Daily to finish off:

Quote:
Vitamin D levels appear to play role in COVID-19 mortality rates
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Old 24th May 2020, 03:49 AM   #319
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If vitamin D is involved researchers should look into the hair colour of the victims, youd expect redheads to have less fatalities!
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Old 24th May 2020, 04:19 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Another potential source of region to region variation.
https://www.cell.com/pb-assets/produ...D-20-00767.pdf
It turns out that the pathway COVID-19 uses to enter a cell is controlled by interferon, which is used by cells to ramp up their anti-viral response. This would imply COVID-19 is much more infectious/dangerous when the body is fighting off another virus. If another virus is circulating in the area could have a big impact on how many COVID cases and deaths will occur.

This would suggest COVID is very seasonal because its not just a function of how long it survives outside the body, but it may only spread well at times when other viral diseases are common.
A bit against this is that we saw few co-infections with other viruses. Also as viral defences induced by interferon are non specific, it is recognised that the activated immune system from one virus infection can 'interfere' with a second viral infection. So it may be that co-virus infections increase susceptibility, or they may do the opposite, empirical evidence does not suggest co-virus infections are a significant issue.
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