[ExI] social distancing, was: RE: > Taiwan is standing strong
avant at sollegro.com
Thu Mar 19 23:19:54 UTC 2020
> OK we are doing all this social distancing and after a while it
> becomes habit, for good reason, ja?
For as much fear as it generates, COVID-19 pales in comparison to the
likes of smallpox or the measles which are far more communicable and
deadly both. Brought to heel by vaccinations those two killers were.
Habits like washing your hands and not touching your face will serve
you well every cold and flu season. Shutting down bars and
restaurants, not so much.
> If covid is with us indefinitely, we will face it again next flu
> season, and it isn?t clear at what point it mutates into something
> less lethal, as did H1N1 and the other bad guys from a few years ago.
While it might remain endemic in some areas, it will likely not become
a seasonal hazard like H1N1 or other influenza viruses. Unlike many
other RNA viruses like Influenza or HIV, SARS-CoV-2 is highly
conserved genome-wise. With strains sampled in countries all over the
world being on average 99.1% to 100% identical to the reference
genome.(1) This virus will be one-hit-wonder relegated to working
small venues thereafter. Other coronaviruses might arise however as
apparently there are a lot in animal hosts that we haven't identified
Incidently, the Imperial College paper that the President's current
strategy is based on suggests that approximately 80% of people will
get the virus. They will either survive and be immune to this
particular coronavirus or not be so lucky. All social distancing is
expected to do is slow down how fast that 80% get infected so that the
hospital capacity is not overwhelmed. In essence, we are trading
severity for duration of the epidemic. (2)
> Rafal is that how that works? It mutates into something more like
> an ordinary flu?
FWIW, I may not be a medical doctor like Rafal but I am a published
microbiologist. So believe me when I say that there is nothing
ordinary about flu viruses. Their ability to recreate themselves year
after year to get past your immune system is ingenious. In any case,
SARS-CoV-2 has no such ability.
Here are the references:
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