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New heavily mutated variant B.1.1.529 in South Africa raises concern
Old 11-25-2021, 03:13 PM   #1
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New heavily mutated variant B.1.1.529 in South Africa raises concern

Happy Thanksgiving.

Researchers in South Africa have identified the most heavily mutated Covid variant discovered so far. How bad is it? Too soon to know but scientists are concerned.

From the BBC:

Quote:
It is also incredibly heavily mutated. Prof Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa, said there was an "unusual constellation of mutations" and that it was "very different" to other variants that have circulated.

"This variant did surprise us, it has a big jump on evolution [and] many more mutations that we expected," he said.

In a media briefing Prof de Oliveira said there were 50 mutations overall and more than 30 on the spike protein, which is the target of most vaccines and the key the virus uses to unlock the doorway into our body's cells.
Be safe out there everyone.
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:49 PM   #2
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Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm in Europe now (Switzerland) and on the late news tonight they announced that the U.K. has just suspended travel from six southern African countries. Cases have started to spike up among primarily unvaccinated people in Switzerland but they have a pretty good hospital system that does not appear to be in a state of panic yet. However, just as an observation, I have noticed while driving that busses are pretty full and only about 30% are wearing their masks over their mouth and nose, the rest use them as chin diapers or not wear them at all. So if a more infectious strain does appear, it will likely spread fairly easily through this dense public transit system. We have no plans to use the public transit system (trains and busses). They are pretty strict here with respect to checking your COVID certificate when entering restaurants and public venues. However, unvaccinated people can also get a COVID certificate good for 48 hours if they get an antigen test. They are voting on the 28th on whether to keep the COVID certificate/pass system in place as opponents consider it to be discriminatory against the unvaccinated.
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:52 PM   #3
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Maybe we can get through the holidays before more variant cr@p hits the US.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:42 PM   #4
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Well that’s really crappy news. Ugh!!
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:04 PM   #5
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Time to start stock piling TP?
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:25 PM   #6
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Dealing with a pandemic is so stressful, and too much stress is no good for one's health. It's especially tough when we don't know exactly what the likely severity and timing of predicted impacts may be.

I suppose that now we need to keep an eye on this variant, to see if the situation here has deteriorated yet, and if so then how much.

Frank and I tend to be introverts. If shutdowns are strictly enforced we know we can be happy staying inside at home, surfing the internet or listening to the radio and so on. But gosh, times like this have to be especially tough on extroverts and others who need to get out of the house for various non-trivial reasons, like checking on elderly parents and so on.

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Time to start stock piling TP?
Good idea, if you're running low! I guess I have enough to last until late spring or early summer.
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:34 PM   #7
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As long as people dont believe in vaccines, and the pharma companies don't shift their focus from profits to vaccinating poorer countries, the virus gets their chance to keep mutating and prepare for the next attack wave. Human beings are killing themselves from not being able to learn from their mistakes and greed.
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Old 11-26-2021, 05:48 AM   #8
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^^^ +1. Since thatís the criteria, weíre probably screwed, as this deadly virus is one of humanityís first calamities to meet us in our modern context of toxic social media where anything goes, irresponsible corporate media feeding tribal markets with misinformation and narcissistic politicians seeking personal advantage by fanning any spark of division into a culture war bonfire. We have the science to solve the problem but, tragically, no longer the social cohesion and shared national purpose. So, Iím trying to understand how best to navigate the new reality of a world where deadly Covid variants keep emerging, life expectancy keeps falling, and my loved ones and I live under threat.
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Old 11-26-2021, 05:52 AM   #9
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Mutations will keep arriving with the lack of a cohesive nationwide effort to take the vaccines available.
Our investments will suffer too.
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Old 11-26-2021, 06:38 AM   #10
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At 7:30 AM EST, Dow futures off 2.25% or over 800 pts. attributed to this "Thanksgiving gift" of news.
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:28 AM   #11
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Mutations are a natural progression to a less troublesome variant. At least history says so.
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:31 AM   #12
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One thing I fail to understand is why Pfizer, Moderna and J&J donít keep up with the strains in their vaccines. It seems putting the mRNA for the delta variant and this new variant would be as simple as the original vaccine. But they keep offering the original vaccine, which may not work against this new strain.

It seems like this has similarities to the flu vaccine, needing to tweak the vaccine each year. The FDA shouldnít need to reapprove the same vaccine, made the same way, except for a slight shift in the mRNA molecule.

What am I missing?
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom56 View Post
Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm in Europe now (Switzerland) and on the late news tonight they announced that the U.K. has just suspended travel from six southern African countries. Cases have started to spike up among primarily unvaccinated people in Switzerland but they have a pretty good hospital system that does not appear to be in a state of panic yet. However, just as an observation, I have noticed while driving that busses are pretty full and only about 30% are wearing their masks over their mouth and nose, the rest use them as chin diapers or not wear them at all. So if a more infectious strain does appear, it will likely spread fairly easily through this dense public transit system. We have no plans to use the public transit system (trains and busses). They are pretty strict here with respect to checking your COVID certificate when entering restaurants and public venues. However, unvaccinated people can also get a COVID certificate good for 48 hours if they get an antigen test. They are voting on the 28th on whether to keep the COVID certificate/pass system in place as opponents consider it to be discriminatory against the unvaccinated.
It depends on the canton and region--if I recall you are in Romandie, yes? Here in Ticino (Italian speaking) everyone is masked up on public transit, including buses and trains; you will be asked either put on a mask or be escorted off. The federal government announced this week that they are not taking further measures as yet, preferring to allow the cantons to get things right. If not, they will act.

In Sunday's referendum, the chances are seen as very low that the anti-Covid certification proposal will pass.

My problem is we have a young woman, our "surrogate daughter," who is planning to visit us in mid-December, flying in from Ottawa, Canada. We are unsure of what the situation will be like in three weeks and if she even will be able to enter the country by then. Now the new S.A. variant adds a new wrinkle.

On the good news front, my wife and I just got our third jab a few hours ago!

-BB
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Old 11-26-2021, 08:46 AM   #14
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This is depressing news. I have been so hoping for a break from Covid concerns. DH and I got our boosters last week and I was really looking forward to feeling well protected from the virus. I fear that once this variant gets here we will be vulnerable once again.

I recognize that we have been very fortunate so far to avoid the virus. If we need to social distance again, we can easily do so. My heart goes out to the people who have suffered devastating consequences for themselves and their loved ones.
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Old 11-26-2021, 08:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
One thing I fail to understand is why Pfizer, Moderna and J&J donít keep up with the strains in their vaccines. It seems putting the mRNA for the delta variant and this new variant would be as simple as the original vaccine. But they keep offering the original vaccine, which may not work against this new strain.

It seems like this has similarities to the flu vaccine, needing to tweak the vaccine each year. The FDA shouldnít need to reapprove the same vaccine, made the same way, except for a slight shift in the mRNA molecule.

What am I missing?

Iíve wondered this too. Thereís an article in WSJ today about the new variant that has this statement: ďIf needed, a BioNTech spokeswoman said, the companies could produce a new vaccine adjusted to any variant within six weeks and ship initial batches within 100 days.Ē

Why hasnít this already been done with known variants?
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Old 11-26-2021, 08:58 AM   #16
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The timing is right. I had about three weeks of feeling comfortable in public after becoming fully vaccinated then the delta hit. I had my booster about three weeks ago, and it will probably be a few weeks before this new strain becomes a reality here. This is getting old...
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:04 AM   #17
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I’ve wondered this too. There’s an article in WSJ today about the new variant that has this statement: “If needed, a BioNTech spokeswoman said, the companies could produce a new vaccine adjusted to any variant within six weeks and ship initial batches within 100 days.”

Why hasn’t this already been done with known variants?

Ummmmmm...as far as I know, no government has signed a contract for millions of dollars to guarantee the purchase of mega-millions of doses of "Vaccine 2.0". Sort of a "which comes first chicken or egg" situation.

Heck, the original vaccines (paid for by the US gov't and possibly others) are still NOT readily available in many third world countries who desperately need them. (Not sure if this is a production or logistics issue.)

omni
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:07 AM   #18
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Covid is the gift that keeps on giving....unfortunately.
Bah HumBug!!

Seriously, keep on masking, social distance from those who have not been vaccinated, good hand hygiene...same old, same old.
And Please get vaccinated if you have not already!
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:08 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Freedom56 View Post
Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm in Europe now (Switzerland) and on the late news tonight they announced that the U.K. has just suspended travel from six southern African countries. Cases have started to spike up among primarily unvaccinated people in Switzerland but they have a pretty good hospital system that does not appear to be in a state of panic yet. However, just as an observation, I have noticed while driving that busses are pretty full and only about 30% are wearing their masks over their mouth and nose, the rest use them as chin diapers or not wear them at all. So if a more infectious strain does appear, it will likely spread fairly easily through this dense public transit system. We have no plans to use the public transit system (trains and busses). They are pretty strict here with respect to checking your COVID certificate when entering restaurants and public venues. However, unvaccinated people can also get a COVID certificate good for 48 hours if they get an antigen test. They are voting on the 28th on whether to keep the COVID certificate/pass system in place as opponents consider it to be discriminatory against the unvaccinated.
That's surprising. In Geneva at least, I see nearly 100% mask compliance on public transports (trams and trains). The fines for not wearing a mask on public transport are hefty in GE. I recently traveled to Paris and also saw nearly 100% mask compliance on trains and subways.
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:53 AM   #20
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It depends on the canton and region--if I recall you are in Romandie, yes? Here in Ticino (Italian speaking) everyone is masked up on public transit, including buses and trains; you will be asked either put on a mask or be escorted off.
So Switzerland is like the USA. Who knew?

Your description reminds me of the situation around me. Western Washington especially the Seattle area is highly vaccinated, well above national averages. Eastern Washington is somewhat more resistant to the vaccine and they are also more lax about masks. They are closer to national averages. Cross the border into the Idaho panhandle and and you can walk into stores and businesses where nobody - employees and customers - wear masks. Their vaccination rate is lower also. Virus? Pandemic? Never heard about that! But, at least the Idahoans are no longer filling the ICU beds across the border in Spokane.
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