Coronavirus

Political Debate
User avatar
Sid
Legend
Posts: 25668
Joined: 7 years ago

2 months ago

FuB wrote:
2 months ago
Sid wrote:
2 months ago
FuB wrote:
2 months ago
The danger is if mutations of the virus change the parts of the genome that PCR is looking for. Then you get positive people testing negative.
Can you explain this? I don't think I quite understand
PCR is a way of amplifying a specific region of DNA or RNA in a sample. The more specific tests for coronavirus use this method to detect positive samples.

I'm not 100% sure but i think the current PCR tests are looking for RNA strands that code for the spike protein of coronavirus and it's this part of the virus that's seeing mutations. It could eventually get to the point where a PCR test for the original strains won't detect newer strains because the part of the genome it's amplifying doesn't look the same anymore (and therefore it won't get "amplified").

The other tests for coronavirus are immunological tests which are looking for antibodies. I suppose these could also be rendered ineffective by enough mutations of the virus since the more specific parts of our own immune system would be looking for specific physical aspects of the virus. If those change enough, our secondary immune responses wouldn't recognise a sufficiently different virus. The immune system is pretty complex and the way it works isn't just to have things that look for jigsaw perfect fits. There's a less specific primary response which is more hammer to crack a nut - and probably what's been saving most people who get no symptoms or mild symptoms.

I'm not really particularly well qualified or knowledgeable enough to explain PCR or immunology-based ELISA tests so it might be worth you looking elsewhere for better answers.
That's given me the gist, nice one. So basically coronavirus might become harder to detect.
User avatar
Edfuckingwoodward
Legend
Posts: 5850
Joined: 7 years ago

2 months ago

https://twitter.com/deeksj?ref_src=twsr ... r%5Eauthor

Interesting twitter feed that seems to highlight challenges with the veracity of lateral flow testing.
User avatar
FuB
Legend
Posts: 6507
Joined: 5 years ago
Location: Littlewoods Data Entry Department

2 months ago

Sid wrote:
2 months ago
FuB wrote:
2 months ago
Sid wrote:
2 months ago
FuB wrote:
2 months ago
The danger is if mutations of the virus change the parts of the genome that PCR is looking for. Then you get positive people testing negative.
Can you explain this? I don't think I quite understand
PCR is a way of amplifying a specific region of DNA or RNA in a sample. The more specific tests for coronavirus use this method to detect positive samples.

I'm not 100% sure but i think the current PCR tests are looking for RNA strands that code for the spike protein of coronavirus and it's this part of the virus that's seeing mutations. It could eventually get to the point where a PCR test for the original strains won't detect newer strains because the part of the genome it's amplifying doesn't look the same anymore (and therefore it won't get "amplified").

The other tests for coronavirus are immunological tests which are looking for antibodies. I suppose these could also be rendered ineffective by enough mutations of the virus since the more specific parts of our own immune system would be looking for specific physical aspects of the virus. If those change enough, our secondary immune responses wouldn't recognise a sufficiently different virus. The immune system is pretty complex and the way it works isn't just to have things that look for jigsaw perfect fits. There's a less specific primary response which is more hammer to crack a nut - and probably what's been saving most people who get no symptoms or mild symptoms.

I'm not really particularly well qualified or knowledgeable enough to explain PCR or immunology-based ELISA tests so it might be worth you looking elsewhere for better answers.
That's given me the gist, nice one. So basically coronavirus might become harder to detect.
Well, er... yes...

but that's not really something to be particularly concerned about. Bear in mind that they were able to develop a PCR test for a previously unknown coronavirus very quickly and they would be able to do it again if a new strain appears that's sufficiently different to not be detectable by the current tests. Obviously there's a window where it can transmit undetected before people cotton on to it - tests are always behind the curve - and it's also problematic in that maybe you end up needing to test a sample against multiple different PCR primers. None of that's insurmountable, though.

Viruses mutate. It's a fact of life and they've been tracking plenty of mutations throughout the course of the pandemic. Regardless, it seems that this particular virus mutates pretty slowly in comparison to other viruses which is pretty handy and typical of coronaviruses. Creationist knobends should wake the fuck up because we are literally seeing evolution by natural selection right in front of our face masks.

Most mutations convey no advantage and many are likely to actually convey disadvantages so it's important not to confuse yourself and think this is a recipe for the doom of mankind. However, these mutations could feasibly lead the virus towards a strain that is sufficiently different to render current vaccines ineffective and that's the more worrying side of things. That's why a lot has been waffled about how important it is to have more than one vaccine being developed because vaccines linked to different target sites on the virus give more strings to your bow and mean the virus needs to be bloody lucky to evade them all. Even so, it's important to bear in mind that most of the vaccines are targeting the spike protein and too much mutation there would likely render the virus less effective at invading cells with ACE-2 receptors, which is its mode of operation.
Rant's official artificial intelligence
User avatar
Sid
Legend
Posts: 25668
Joined: 7 years ago

2 months ago

Fub, have you seen the research that shows poverty & policy is the biggest reason for covid transmission - less so not wearing face masks?

Supports what I was saying before. In poor areas the tier lockdowns haven't really worked and coronavirus has continued spreading cos you can't work from home, also lots of multi generational living, strained services, poor health & lifestyle and shitloads of pollution to name a few contributers - all of which make coronavirus more deadly. The trend is clear now and is acknowledged
by PHE https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/54250626 and others

Here's where policy is to blame: Sunak encouraging face to face consumer spending to boost the economy and sticking low paid workers on 67% furlough wages, which basically forced em back to work cos it's not enough to live on, has been catastrophic. Even on 80%, once employers had to start paying contributions after a few months in to keep their staff on furlough, many sent em back.
User avatar
bman2
Legend
Posts: 8296
Joined: 7 years ago

2 months ago

Sid wrote:
2 months ago
Fub, have you seen the research that shows poverty & policy is the biggest reason for covid transmission - less so not wearing face masks?

Supports what I was saying before. In poor areas the tier lockdowns haven't really worked and coronavirus has continued spreading cos you can't work from home, also lots of multi generational living, strained services, poor health & lifestyle and shitloads of pollution to name a few contributers - all of which make coronavirus more deadly. The trend is clear now and is acknowledged
by PHE https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/54250626 and others

Here's where policy is to blame: Sunak encouraging face to face consumer spending to boost the economy and sticking low paid workers on 67% furlough wages, which basically forced em back to work cos it's not enough to live on, has been catastrophic. Even on 80%, once employers had to start paying contributions after a few months in to keep their staff on furlough, many sent em back.
Definitely a major factor. Another problem is that tier 1 and tier 2 are basically bollocks, barely slow spread of the virus at all. So anyplace not tier 3 was not much better than being tier Trump.
User avatar
dozer
Legend
Posts: 6135
Joined: 7 years ago

2 months ago

The problem with lockdown is it affects people's livelihood and a lot won't be able to afford healthcare for other illnesses.. England has NHS which is free I suppose. India has a fraction of that.
We have world class private facilities which the poor cannot afford.
How do we quantify the impact of that? I think we're beyond the lockdown phase now and we must let people decide.
Perhaps we needed lockdown to buy time to get ready earlier but I think that benefit is not applicable now.
Idk tbf, I'm just assuming that lockdown may have a bigger adverse impact in other ways compared to the alternative.
User avatar
FuB
Legend
Posts: 6507
Joined: 5 years ago
Location: Littlewoods Data Entry Department

2 months ago

Edfuckingwoodward wrote:
2 months ago
https://twitter.com/deeksj?ref_src=twsr ... r%5Eauthor

Interesting twitter feed that seems to highlight challenges with the veracity of lateral flow testing.
Sensitivity of ~3% coupled with a false positive rate of over 50% is appalling. You might as well not bother testing.
Rant's official artificial intelligence
User avatar
FuB
Legend
Posts: 6507
Joined: 5 years ago
Location: Littlewoods Data Entry Department

2 months ago

bman2 wrote:
2 months ago
Sid wrote:
2 months ago
Fub, have you seen the research that shows poverty & policy is the biggest reason for covid transmission - less so not wearing face masks?

Supports what I was saying before. In poor areas the tier lockdowns haven't really worked and coronavirus has continued spreading cos you can't work from home, also lots of multi generational living, strained services, poor health & lifestyle and shitloads of pollution to name a few contributers - all of which make coronavirus more deadly. The trend is clear now and is acknowledged
by PHE https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/54250626 and others

Here's where policy is to blame: Sunak encouraging face to face consumer spending to boost the economy and sticking low paid workers on 67% furlough wages, which basically forced em back to work cos it's not enough to live on, has been catastrophic. Even on 80%, once employers had to start paying contributions after a few months in to keep their staff on furlough, many sent em back.
Definitely a major factor. Another problem is that tier 1 and tier 2 are basically bollocks, barely slow spread of the virus at all. So anyplace not tier 3 was not much better than being tier Trump.
Mask wearing was only ever a part of the solution. Same with lockdowns and the waste of time tiering concept. None of this was intended to eradicate covid; instead being a way to slow things down and buy time. The only way to demonstrably eradicate a pathogen is to be serious about testing, tracing and isolation and the UK govt never were. Not that it's particularly easy to do since to do it effectively i think you probably need to be a totalitarian state.

Obviously socio-economic factors are crucial in a population's ability to comply with any required protocols. I don't have any answers though.
Rant's official artificial intelligence
User avatar
Sid
Legend
Posts: 25668
Joined: 7 years ago

2 months ago

dozer wrote:
2 months ago
The problem with lockdown is it affects people's livelihood and a lot won't be able to afford healthcare for other illnesses.. England has NHS which is free I suppose. India has a fraction of that.
We have world class private facilities which the poor cannot afford.
How do we quantify the impact of that? I think we're beyond the lockdown phase now and we must let people decide.
Perhaps we needed lockdown to buy time to get ready earlier but I think that benefit is not applicable now.
Idk tbf, I'm just assuming that lockdown may have a bigger adverse impact in other ways compared to the alternative.
This is why you can't privatise / run for profit something as important as healthcare cos you have a massively unfair health service were the wealthy live and the poor die, it's that simple. This is one of the main ways capitalism kills millions of lives every year. There's people in the US, the richest country in the world, dying of fucking tooth decay cos they can't afford to see a dentist.
User avatar
Sid
Legend
Posts: 25668
Joined: 7 years ago

2 months ago

FuB wrote:
2 months ago
bman2 wrote:
2 months ago
Sid wrote:
2 months ago
Fub, have you seen the research that shows poverty & policy is the biggest reason for covid transmission - less so not wearing face masks?

Supports what I was saying before. In poor areas the tier lockdowns haven't really worked and coronavirus has continued spreading cos you can't work from home, also lots of multi generational living, strained services, poor health & lifestyle and shitloads of pollution to name a few contributers - all of which make coronavirus more deadly. The trend is clear now and is acknowledged
by PHE https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/54250626 and others

Here's where policy is to blame: Sunak encouraging face to face consumer spending to boost the economy and sticking low paid workers on 67% furlough wages, which basically forced em back to work cos it's not enough to live on, has been catastrophic. Even on 80%, once employers had to start paying contributions after a few months in to keep their staff on furlough, many sent em back.
Definitely a major factor. Another problem is that tier 1 and tier 2 are basically bollocks, barely slow spread of the virus at all. So anyplace not tier 3 was not much better than being tier Trump.
Mask wearing was only ever a part of the solution. Same with lockdowns and the waste of time tiering concept. None of this was intended to eradicate covid; instead being a way to slow things down and buy time. The only way to demonstrably eradicate a pathogen is to be serious about testing, tracing and isolation and the UK govt never were. Not that it's particularly easy to do since to do it effectively i think you probably need to be a totalitarian state.

Obviously socio-economic factors are crucial in a population's ability to comply with any required protocols. I don't have any answers though.
An anti capitalist revolution is the answer, my friend

Btw I didn't mean that post to sound so arsey / confrontational, it's just how it came out when I was writing it at midnight after a long day

That's a good point though, we don't want lockdowns or a totalitarian state, and neither would be necessary with an effective test and trace system. But like you say the british government was never serious about creating one. They only mentioned it to help manage the flak.

In your opinion is a third lockdown necessary? All the experts I've seen say it is, and it needs to happen today. But the gov won't do it because it's too toxic to lockdown at christmas even though it will cost thousands of lives.

Meanwhile New Zealand have had just over 2,000 infections and just 25 deaths. They've successfully managed the crisis until a cure became available which is all we ever wanted from the british posh boys, but that was too much.
Post Reply