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A few more coronavirus links

May 12, 2020

What we know and don’t know

Despite more than 1000 papers spilling into journals and onto preprint servers every week, a clear picture is elusive, as the virus acts like no pathogen humanity has ever seen.

Scientists discovered that there are dozens of virus mutations and that it mutates rapidly. The mutations affect deadliness, with the most aggressive strain having a “virus load” (the amount of virus per volume of body fluid) 270 times greater than the least potent. This potent strain is found in Europe and the US’s East Coast. Rapid mutation of the virus is not an encouraging sign for creating a universal vaccine.

There are many things we still do not understand about the virus, including, importantly, whether a “cured” patient can be re-infected. The World Health Organization has warned that it is unclear if surviving the virus provides meaningful immunity. There is sometimes no production of antibodies in young patients. While antibodies are found in nearly every patient, not all are equal. Neutralizing antibodies are the ones that stick to the coronavirus and are able to stop it infecting other cells. A study of 175 recovered patients in China showed that 30 percent had very low levels of these neutralizing antibodies. Another issue is that while one might be protected by antibodies, one could still harbor the virus and pass it onto others.

A variety of medical reports have been published showing that those who do recover from the disease are often beset with lung, heart, liver, or neurological problems. Autopsies showed that the virus causes blood clots and subsequently multiple major organ failures in patients. Blood thinners have reportedly increased the survival chances of the sickest patients. 

There are cases where Sars-CoV-2 remains in the body for weeks after a patient is cleared of the disease — with some experiencing a second stage of the disease, and others reporting the illness hitting them in waves.

In South Korea, nearly 100 Sars-CoV-2 patients deemed recovered have tested positive again, with mounting evidence that the virus may have been reactivated rather than the patients being re-infected. A disturbing number of people post messages on social media that they are  struggling with Sars-CoV-2 symptoms with no end in sight.

Though rare, these cases have alarmed researchers who fear that some patients might become chronic carriers of the virus. Scientists are particularly concerned about dozens of apparently chronic patients in Hubei who still haven’t cleared the virus, what indicates the possibility that the virus could have burrowed deep enough to become chronic.

Young age has proven to be no guaranty for an easy recovery. Even infants have died from the coronavirus, and adults in their 30s are suffering strokes after being infected.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 36.4 percent of 214 Chinese patients had neurological symptoms ranging from loss of smell and nerve pain, to seizures and strokes. A paper in the New England Journal of Medicine examining 58 patients in Strasbourg, France found that more than half were confused or agitated, with brain imaging suggesting inflammation. The virus may be either triggering an abnormal immune response known as a cytokine storm that causes inflammation of the brain (autoimmune encephalitis) or direct infect the brain (viral encephalitis).

Ventilators aren’t the only machines in intensive care units that are in short supply. Doctors have been confronting an unexpected rise in patients with failing kidneys and hospitals in New York at one point were nearly running out of dialysis machines.

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/493509-hospitals-scramble-for-dialysis-machines-amid-surge-in-covid-19-patients-with
https://gothamist.com/news/a-shortage-is-looming-but-instead-of-ventilators-now-its-dialysis-machines
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/shocking-study-finds-coronavirus-mutations-are-much-deadlier-original
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/04/the-coronavirus-new-normal-has-only-started-to-arrive.html
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/19/florida-leatherback-turtles-coronavirus-beaches The animal world is jubilant.
https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/lions-kruger-lockdown-scli-intl/index.html
https://nypost.com/2020/04/17/wild-animals-are-reclaiming-cities-during-coronavirus-lockdown/
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/05/covid-19-lockdowns-birds-singing-flamingoes-flocking-dolphins-dancing-cleaner-air-and-water.html
https://www.forbes.com/sites/marleycoyne/2020/04/17/coronavirus-antibodies-may-not-make-you-immune-who-warns/#6d050cfe133a
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/04/16/covid-19-vietnam-winning-new-war-against-invisible-enemy/
https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/why-vietnam-won-and-us-lost-their-covid-19-wars
https://www.ehn.org/toxic-chemicals-coronavirus-2645713170.html Who would have ever expected that?
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/04/15/the-angry-arab-coronavirus-fallout-for-the-middle-east/
https://meta.eeb.org/2020/04/16/5-ways-opportunistic-lobbyists-are-using-coronavirus-to-attack-eu-environmental-laws/ Lobbyists work hard to keep the old system in place.
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/US-Blacks-Toll-Hit-by-COVID-19-Grows-as-More-Data-Emerges–20200418-0009.html Ethnic minorities are hit harder.
https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/indias-kerala-state-shows-way-coronavirus-fight
https://www.rt.com/russia/486502-moscow-coronavirus-medics-hospitals RT initially published articles doubtful about the severity of Sars-CoV-2, but the reality made them change course.
https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/japan-has-had-to-change-its-covid-19-strategy
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/24/japa-a24.html Japan fails the pandemic test.
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/22/beau-a22.html Laying off healthcare workers just as they would be most needed.
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/usa-accused-of-modern-piracy-after-it-seized-a-barbados-bound-consignment-of-20-ventilators/
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/25/heal-a25.html US health care workers in mortal danger.
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Cuban-Doctors-Head-to-South-Africa-to-Help-Fight-COVID-19-20200426-0003.html
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/cuba-plans-national-production-of-effective-drug–against-covid19-20200427-0002.html
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/US-Prevents-Cuba-From-Acquiring-Pharmaceutical-Raw-Materials-20200429-0007.html
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/cuba-interferons-effectiveness-against-covid19-confirmed-20200429-0002.html
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176693/ tomgram%3A_dilip_hiro%2C_the_coronavirus_chronology_from_hell/ Comparing US and China pandemic measures.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-photos-decline-air-pollution-lockdown/
https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-crisis-worse-fear-c88158d2-64a3-4da6-a85a-cc6556a6207d.html A grim outlook.
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/we-still-dont-know-how-the-coronavirus-is-killing-us.html
https://www.ft.com/content/6bd88b7d-3386-4543-b2e9-0d5c6fac846c Death toll could be 60 percent higher.
https://markmanson.net/nobody-knows-what-is-going-on Right! And everybody typing some text on the computer pretends to know-it-all.
https://medium.com/@mattbivens_34439/the-pandemic-era-emergency-dept-weirder-wilder-emptier-than-ever-a1ec4fdfa497
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/29/arts-a29.html Artists are in trouble.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/29/more-cases-of-rare-syndrome-in-children-reported-globally
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/mysterious-coronavirus-linked-syndrome-spreads-london-new-york
https://asiatimes.com/2020/05/nhs-an-open-sore-on-britains-stiff-upper-lip/
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/05/tale-of-two-cities-redux-hk-to-ease-its-covid-19-restrictions-while-nyc-situation-remains-dire.html
https://www.rt.com/news/487849-coronavirus-mutating-contagious-strain The Malaysian Health Ministry already had detected a mutation of Sars-CoV-2 with aggressive infectivity.
https://theintercept.com/2020/05/08/andrew-cuomo-eric-schmidt-coronavirus-tech-shock-doctrine/ Billionaires prescribe more technology, longer screen time, which means in practice: Less nature, less personal contact, less friendship and love.
https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them Important advice to avoid infection.
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/we-need-a-radically-different-model-to-tackle-the-covid-19-crisis-by-james-k-galbraith/ Astute observations about the USA.

Who can read that all?

Maybe people who are in quarantine or recovering from COVID-19. Sometimes reading the headline and the first paragraph is enough to tell you the purpose, the agenda, the mission of the article. Helpful information, narrative spin, deception, or propaganda?

My personal conclusions from what I see and read: Be careful and avoid infection at all cost, because it could mean lifelong chronic ailments and it could mean even death.

Everything will fundamentally chance, and it would have changed even without the pandemic alone by the environmental catastrophes we are facing.

Prepare for the change.

Build your relations with your family, your circle of friends, your neighborhood, your local community. Make these relations as strong and harmonious as possible. Be helpful, be kind, respect, accept, forgive.

Strive for self sufficiency at any level.

Alternatively one could join the “deep green resistance,” the determined, merciless fight against the sociopathic polluters, looters, destroyers, killers of the world.

Shape Of My Heart from Sting just came to my mind out of nowhere:

But those who speak know nothing
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who fear are lost