NWR new zero tolerance covid thread

On vaccine efficacy issue, there are some backgrounds to be introduced:

Covid is mainly a respiratory infectious disease (of course, it also does harm to other parts) It primarily replicates in upper respiratory tract; and then it causes more serious problem when it goes down to the lungs.

Antibody, or immunoglobulin (Ig), has several different groups. IgG is the main force of vaccine induced immunity, found in blood and other body fluid; it's more specific and lasts longer, so in a sense better quality antibody against virus. IgA is mostly seen in mucus of respiratory and digestive tracts; its memory doesn't last as long as IgG, and although it can protect the primary infection at mucus, it doesn't help as much for systematic problem.

Most vaccines are given through injection, same as all the current approved Covid vaccines. They mostly generate very good immune response, with neutralising antibody, mainly IgG which is great, because it's the high quality and long lasting antibody you want to defend the whole body. However it's probably not enough to stop coronavirus to grow in ones nose. It is quite effective to stop coronavirus grow in the lungs, or in the blood and spread to all over the body (so-called viremia), hence effectively prevents severe illness. For strain like Delta variant, which the virus titre is extra high, even the person is vaccinated and their lungs protected, they can still have quite some viruses grow in their upper respiratory tract. They would therefore 1. be tested positive 2. have fever, headache, losing smell etc and 3. pass the virus to others.

Vaccine still significantly reduce 1. the number of people get infected by same amount of virus 2. the infectious virus one can shed if they got vaccinated. So it will therefore significantly reduce R value. As if that R will be lower than 1 or not, it depends on the vaccine coverage + human activity + protecting equipment (e.g. facemask) + the infectivity of the strain. Herd immunity is still possible, just we need higher vaccine coverage for Delta variant.

There are efforts to make something like nose-spray vaccine; I think there is one or two in phase 1 trial. It is not very easy though, and as said IgA doesn't last very long.
 
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Sorry Gareth - that’s pillar 2 data I received today. Definitely not including pillar 1. I’ve given up on the dashboard ever since LFTs we’re counted as a Covid test.
NHSE / PHE was the route it arrived by.
I could double check source - but can’t be arsed.
I haven’t a clue what’s going on at the moment. Cases in my area - Covid at home workload, admissions, are all steadily rising whilst testing and vaccine uptake are falling.
I do think behaviour is impacting on data more than ever before.
 
Sorry Gareth - that’s pillar 2 data I received today. Definitely not including pillar 1. I’ve given up on the dashboard ever since LFTs we’re counted as a Covid test.
NHSE / PHE was the route it arrived by.
I could double check source - but can’t be arsed.
I haven’t a clue what’s going on at the moment. Cases in my area - Covid at home workload, admissions, are all steadily rising whilst testing and vaccine uptake are falling.
I do think behaviour is impacting on data more than ever before.
Well ok but that directly contradicts what is on the dashboard. You can also see that Pillar 2 tests have actually increased from 440k to over 500k in the last 10 days but that is obvs not just PCR. I wish they’d breakdown the data in a useful way!
 
The obvious question about the declining infection rates, is wether it is really good news or not ? My understanding was that the Govt wanted a peak now over the summer to prevent a peak happening in the winter when the NHS is under pressure. It’s fine if the lower infection rates are a sign that even in the winter things will be good, but if if this is just pushing back when a final (hopefully) wave arrives, then maybe its not such a good thing.

Over here Sydney are expected to announce that they will extend their lockdown for at least another month. They managed to avoid exponential growth of the virus, but the numbers are still ticking up every day and they are slowly losing control. They probably need to go thru a Melbourne style lockdown with very limited movement and a curfew, but that may be a step too far politically. They are trying to use vaccination as a cure, but there is not enough of Pfizer to innoculate everyone and that would still take months to make a real difference.
 
On infection number up or down issue, I almost didn't participate in the discussion. There are a couple reasons, first of all I didn't see enough data to even say what's actually happening, let alone to guess what are the reasons.

The second reason is, infection number going up and down, isn't that the nature of infectious disease anyway? Even the epidemiology models, when they calculate the 'no interference' curve, they don't draw line that goes up forever, even a very high peak will come down.

If you see most of other less lethal respiratory virus infections, they mostly come in waves, including less serious human Cov. The disease rushing in, peaked, and faded out, even when there is no obvious policy change. Of course, any scenario has reasons, just we scientists haven't found them yet.

The real problem is, is it the last wave? There was a time when we think India magically escaped the huge problem, then it was hit by this virus in the most horrible way. Now that terrible peak is coming down, even in provinces that refused lockdown. Though no one can say if that's the end of the problem. If this virus is not going anywhere, then there is a chance the wave will be back, maybe with a new mutation. Will we be more ready then? Will anyone should and want to be protected get protection? Will older and weaker people get extra immunity form a third dose? Are we satisfied with the current death rate, or something can be done to make it better? Or can we even guarantee that this kind of protection will be as good in another six months?
 
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Agree with you Po, but there has been an unfortunate body of people in the UK who have thought that only government interventions & restrictions can help bring down cases. Everything else is “letting it rip”, causing “exponential growth”. But viruses don’t quite work like that, as has been shown throughout the world many times during this pandemic.
 
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Po, thank you for your thoughts on this. Is it reasonable to assume that the stabilization around the no interference curve you mention would likely have more to do with human behaviour or other externalities, rather than the biology of the virus itself? Presumably, this would not happen in controlled in vitro experiments?
 
Po, thank you for your thoughts on this. Is it reasonable to assume that the stabilization around the no interference curve you mention would likely have more to do with human behaviour or other externalities, rather than the biology of the virus itself? Presumably, this would not happen in controlled in vitro experiments?
Good question! I was wondering that.
 
Po, thank you for your thoughts on this. Is it reasonable to assume that the stabilization around the no interference curve you mention would likely have more to do with human behaviour or other externalities, rather than the biology of the virus itself? Presumably, this would not happen in controlled in vitro experiments?
As virus is a very simple semi-living form, if virus genome hasn't changed, we reasonably assume its "biology" doesn't change. The genome nucleotides change all the time but mostly only amino acid changes are meaningful. And even there are amino acid changes, if the new mutant doesn't spread out, it has little impact on what's happening nationwide (hence it's meaningful but not important). I assume PHE and other countries' CDC does full genome sequencing regularly and if some mutations start to spread (like those which define Alpha or Delta variants), then of course we should test it in vitro.

So the main view is that the 'biology' change, if there's any, would be on the human side. For example, human upper respiratory tract may have different phyisology in summer vs winter. Or, like Eric suggested last year, there might be an infection-caused herd immunity existing in the group of active people; in a period of time most those who would get it have got it, and the epidemic exhausted its fuel for now.
The issue is that it might not be long lasting; IgA doesn't last very long, new group of active people may join (summer holiday finish), and worst of all, there can be new variants.
I am optimistic that we will win this war, and we are winning it; just it might take some time. Whether we can quickly and totally get rid of it... not sure I can say it as a scientist; we need a bit grace of heaven.
 
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Whichever bottle you have been saving for a good occasion to open, now is as good as any to open before the next wave hit….
This whole year, and things happened to some nice gentlemen in this forum, really remind me that 1) we don't know what will happen to our wine 2) we don't know what will happen to our drinking friends 3) we don't know what will happen to ourselves.
I don't do wine investment, I buy wine for drinking so it's easier for me to say. But I also used to keep bottles for 'important occasions in the future' and now I tend to think slightly differently.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
Interesting video - thanks Steve.

I wondered what the panel's experience is recently with travel/transport.? The South African holiday we had planned back in January was re-scheduled for January 2022, with various bookings moved forward one year. I did not however move my flights, but took a refund which I was able to get (eventually) because BA cancelled the original flights first.

I'm feeling far from positive about whether the Jan 2022 trip will happen, but I do keep my eye on flight options, especially when BA has some sort of deal on. Last week there were some good deals for my potential dates, but I declined to book, because BA still does not offer a refund if you have to cancel due to Covid, or government rules (i.e. if they are still flying, even if you are advised not to, a refund is not offered as they have not cancelled their flight). They do offer a time-limited voucher if you cancel up to three weeks before departure. I understand the travel industry has had a torrid time of it, but I can't help feeling they would be much wiser to make all bookings refundable under those circumstances. I would certainly have booked, knowing I could get my money back rather than a voucher I had to use within a year or so.

Don't know what other airlines or transport companies are doing.
 
We're holding off booking anything beyond out Sept Tuscany jaunt. We have a few things planned (including US) but as you say unless they are refundable who wants to take the risk.
 
Infection figures up two days in a row now. Though on the actual day figures we're still tracking down. There seems to be a potential pattern in two high days and then five declining days which might explain it though that would mean a big drop tomorrow.

Both hospitalisations and deaths seemed to have been flat though for the last week or so which is good news. Let's hope that changes quickly into decline!
 
Infection figures up two days in a row now. Though on the actual day figures we're still tracking down. There seems to be a potential pattern in two high days and then five declining days which might explain it though that would mean a big drop tomorrow.

Both hospitalisations and deaths seemed to have been flat though for the last week or so which is good news. Let's hope that changes quickly into decline!
Yes the figures have intrigued as they fell so dramatically given we had just opened up but I thought the other variables of schools closing, no euros and other elements all helped reduce the numbers. I expected they would go up but that’s not totally clear yet.
What is contradictory to the lower numbers we is that the actual infection rate has gone up. We also have a 10% increase of app pings, even though users are deleting, and data from sewage possibly confirming higher actual infection rates.

The sudden drop last week does also give more weight to the under 18s helping fuel the numbers and keep infections so prevalent. It further reinforces my view that if you want to reduce the pool of infection then you need to vaccinate the 12-18 group. I think they may well do this if things don’t drop enough, once they see further stats from the US and other countries who are vaccinating their young Saying that we also seem to be struggling with 18-24 year olds.
 
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