[ExI] social distancing, was: RE: > Taiwan is standing strong

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Thu Mar 19 23:19:54 UTC 2020

Quoting Spike:

> 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:

(1)    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jmv.25701


Stuart LaForge

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