Covid update

Old Dec 24th 2020, 4:23 pm
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Default Covid update

Here is the latest opinion reported by our main local newspaper. I presume that anybody reading this Cayman section is familiar now with the young US girl who broke quarantine and got caught, so I won't go into that...!
https://www.caymancompass.com/2020/1...ing-is-needed/

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Old Dec 24th 2020, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

What you must find out is how will you get the vaccine? You cant just call the makers and they will send it, there are ordrs already in place which appear to cover manufacturing capacity for about 2 years. If your country hasnt signed a contract and committed to paying for it, you are stuffed.

The COVAX initiative is fine, but it will deliver vaccines paid for by richer countries etc in an equitable manner, and they are saying they will work towards 20% population in each country next year, so thats not going to cut it.

The uk realised this early and paid for / placed orders for approaching 400 million doses, why? Because they need 100 mil for the uk populations globally and with a broad range of vaccines bought, they can pick and choose whats best for whome, then donate the rest to covax. They have also not paid more than 30us a dose, much of it at 2-3 a dose.
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Old Dec 24th 2020, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

Well, two things. First, we're not a country, but a colony of Britain and we usually rely on it for this sort of thing. Second, I myself am in no hurry to get vaccinated while the pharmaceutical folks are still experimenting with the umpteen vaccines that are doing the rounds. Every week brings news of a new mutation. I haven't had a flu vaccine for the past twenty years because each year it's widely reported that the vaccine given does not match the mutated version. As you know, each year's flu vaccine is chosen by guesswork as to how last year's vaccine will have mutated.Flu vaccines are (by all reports) getting stronger each year - and new Covid variants are being discovered every month. I certainly don't want to take a new vaccine a month or two after the last one, so I intend to wait a while. I'll be the bloke at the end of the queue.

Yes, I know research is a lot quicker than it used to be. The polio vaccine took seven years or something like that before it was effectual. These days it shouldn't take seven years. But it will probably take more than seven weeks!
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Old Dec 25th 2020, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

Flu vaccines carry protection for between 3 and 5 types of flu. Before genotyping existed it was thought there were about 120 types of that bug, but we now know that virus's mutate a lot but that 99% of mutations are irrelevant. What is interesting is that evolution tends to make a virus more infective, but cause weaker disease. Sounds like they are intelligent wanting to infect the max but not make them ill enough to go to bed away from people or die. Of course its simply survival of the fittest bug. Ebola is an example of a bug that is actually a failure as it kills before people have a chance to infect others. Its only because its so infective - people get infected by dead bodies...

So the flu vaccine - the protections given are actually determined by the levels of infection 6 months previously in the australian winter. There are also differen mixes for different ages who are less or worse infected. You can only give 3-5 because of the complexity of making them, plus how much a body can take on with minimal side effects. The idea is that actually over 5+ years if you take it each year, you are immune from a decent chunk of the infections.

Half a million people in the uk have now taken the biontech vaccine, nothing serious seen. So - half a million took it, nobody died, vs half a million get the bug and 10 thousand die. Clearly its your life, or not, but by now the odds seem in favour of taking it?
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Old Dec 25th 2020, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

Oh - its a lot more than 7 weeks, the trials were started in July.
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Old Dec 25th 2020, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

Well, a lot depends on what we read and where we read it and what the writers' and publishers' prejudices are. Here's a link
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01221-y that says there are 90 different vaccines on their way. Should we go with the first few to come along? The biggest company? Its record with chemicals? Would you believe Monsanto if they told you theirs was the best? Would you believe whichever one the Washington Post is pushing? Which country's scientists should we believe? there are plenty of candidates for this: India, USA, China, England, Holland I think, Russia? It's a long list.

Then we have to look at our own immune-systems. I haven't had a flu injection for the past 20 years or so, without catching the various strains in the community; does that mean I have a strong immune system? A strong RNA or DNA? Are there any side-effects to having one's RNA or DNA fiddled with? Many scientists (not all) have warned me against eating genetically modified food; I'm not scientifically sophisticated enough to know whether the vaccines are relevant to that discussion. Should I be wary of a company calling itself Mode-RNA?

That's why i say that I will be at the end of the queue, Grenada. Also, as an old auditor, I am suspicious of statistics. The number of deaths attributed to the Virus, now... How reliable are they? I read that the number of deaths from the common or garden flu this year is hugely less than in past years. Can we be certain that the Virus deaths don't include any flu deaths? If so, how many, and where? We auditors are an unforgiving bunch. Tell us one lie, and we will never believe you again. (9-11 springs to mind, there. If they lied about Building #7, the whole story might be false. So you see what I mean.)
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Old Dec 25th 2020, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

I really dont mind how new or old a vaccine is, after all there is a manufacturing / batch issue that might just as easily occur. I do however care it is sufficiently proved to be safe / effective of course. In the UK the medicines 'auditors' have a formal set of requirements for these things. They are properly independent and government and the NHS are at pains to point out, they ask them to start looking at a new drug, but from then on its entirely up to the MHRA to say when and if and how they approve of it and approval is down to exceeding a set of parameters defined from the outset. Frankly if they say its ok, i probably agree.

Similarly - you realise the caribbean doesnt look to the US CDC for its advice, its the EU CDC that is trusted in covid news. American approval of the first vaccine was slower, not becuse they were rigorous, but because the committee that decides [how quaint / lacking in objectivity] didnt meet till ....

Peoples reaction to different physical challenges varies by challenge. EG in the post WW! flu pandemic it was he young with strong immune systems that died as that bug thrived in those with a strong immune response. It depends on how the attack is made.

I do come back to the argument vaxxers vs anti vaxxers. Vaccines provably save lives, the objective negatives of the anti vaxxers are sometimes factual but in no way i have heard of counter the benefits to the individual or society of the vaccines. There is already talk of limiting the unvaccinated. I think in your birth country arent unvaccinated kids not allowed in state schools? [might be denmark?] you cant fly now to some countries unless vaccinated against some things, covid free passports are coming widely i suspect.
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Old Dec 25th 2020, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

From a current web-link...
Since the pandemic has only been ongoing for less than a year now, researchers have instead tried conducting "meta studies" - that is, comparing data collected in dozens of studies examining some aspect of the virus's functionality. In the paper noted above which examined 54 separate studies with nearly 78K total participants, the authors claim that "The lack of substantial transmission from observed asymptomatic index cases is notable...These findings are consistent with other household studies reporting asymptomatic index cases as having limited role in household transmission."
This is of course not the first time we have heard this. Aside from the WHO scientist example cited above, two British scientists recently published an editorial in the BMJ imploring scientists to rethink how the virus spreads "asymptomatically".


That's not to say that asymptomatic people can't spread the virus, it's just to say that maybe there is a significant difference in risk levels in terms of exposure. Of course, public health officials at this point seem to be afraid to acknowledge anything that questions the notion that everybody is potentially a threat. To be clear, the WHO's current guidance on the issue is that "while someone who never develops symptoms can also pass the virus to others, it is still not clear to what extent this occurs, and more research is needed in this area" - but at this point, they have changed their guidance and flip-flopped so many times, who even knows, understands or cares what they say?

The thing is, they're all still experimenting, and there is very little agreement among all the "scientists".
I don't have much of a problem with vaccination being required of airline passengers. When I first left Australia in 1963 we had to carry a little booklet showing that we had been inoculated against Yellow Fever and Cholera. I don't know for sure, but I think the stuff they put into us had been tested for a number of years. Again I say: I don't trust "scientists" (a pretty broad term these days) who try to give us the bum's-rush.
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Old Dec 30th 2020, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

Recent news in Cayman is that the newly elected President of our Tourism Association is the manager of one of the big hotels, and naturally he is pushing the politicians to at least announce some kind of plan to re-open the borders. Normally I don't have much good to say about our politicians, but in this instance I'm on their side. Things are moving too quickly to devise a meaningful plan. Look at England, which is changing its "Tier" boundaries and rules every week or so. To me, it makes sense to sit quietly in our little bubble of freedom and wait until the future becomes clear. What's done is done; our tourism industry is destroyed for the near-term foreseeable future. So it would do no good to raise the boom-gate now. What do you reckon, Grenada?

The news of nasty new mutations of the Virus is truly scary, because Cayman doesn't have the scientific expertise to test for that. So that's another reason to sit tight and cross our fingers.

At the moment, my son (my only child) is intending to fly here for a month this summer. He and I will have to self-quarantine for the first two weeks - but the way things are going there may be no BA flights from Heathrow to Cayman at that time. Yikes.
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Old Dec 31st 2020, 8:59 am
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Default Re: Covid update

Firstly dont be too concerned by mutations. The uk has the tech in abundence so it tends to spot these things first, the uk 'strain' isnt a uk strain, it was just spotted there first. The experts say a successful virus spreads easily but doesnt make its host so ill they have to isolate [this is why ebola though deadly isnt a real threat, its too deadly, it kills you beore you can spread it - only people handling your dead body are at risk] so in truth most mutation that win by spreading make the bug weaker. There have been about 50 mutations of it so far but they are pretty irrelevant to its death rate or to vaccine effectiveness.

We have daily flights from virus central - the us, apart from a screw up at sandals we have no community spread in general, because you have to test pre flight and you are then quarantined for 4 days for any bug you just caught to mature then you are tested again. This seems in practice foolproof so long as quarantine is observed, so you can open borders without danger.

We have already discussed vacines, but they or herd immunity are the only games in town for ending its severity, though like flu, its here forever.
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Old Dec 31st 2020, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

Originally Posted by uk_grenada View Post
We have already discussed vacines, but they or herd immunity are the only games in town for ending its severity, though like flu, it's here forever.
Well, according to some reports (the two US maps at the link below, for instance), the flu may not be here forever! Who knows, eh?
https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/g...sappearing-act


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Old Jan 7th 2021, 2:15 am
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Default Re: Covid update

https://caymannewsservice.com/2021/0...ive-in-cayman/
As per above, 10,000 vaccine doses have arrived here on the BA flight from London - Pfizer, unfortunately, but better than nothing for those who are panting for a vaccine. I expect there will be quite a few resisters. We shall see!
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Old Jan 9th 2021, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Covid update

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow View Post
https://caymannewsservice.com/2021/0...ive-in-cayman/
As per above, 10,000 vaccine doses have arrived here on the BA flight from London - Pfizer, unfortunately, but better than nothing for those who are panting for a vaccine. I expect there will be quite a few resisters. We shall see!
I wouldn't class myself as a resister per se but I am no hurry to take a vaccine. I generally don't take lotions or potions or pills or pins, I just suffer it unless it is unbearable. I know medical science has moved on considerably since the days of Burke and Hare but I remain unconvinced about a vaccine that has been put together in less than a year.This is by no means a dig at those hard working and dedicated scientists involved, I just require a little more assurance, more clinical trials and peer reviewed analysis. My worry is that very shortly, travel will be prohibited unless you have taken a vaccine. The UK government have denied that it will become 'passport by injection' but I am not convinced.

On a slightly different note, I fly back to Cayman next week after a month at home and CIG just announced that I must produce a negative Covid test before flying or I'm not allowed on the flight. That has just set me back £200. And I'll have to quarantine anyway. I can't quite see the reasoning behind that if I am isloated anyway.
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Old Jan 9th 2021, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: Covid update

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
... but I remain unconvinced about a vaccine that has been put together in less than a year.This is by no means a dig at those hard working and dedicated scientists involved, I just require a little more assurance, more clinical trials and peer reviewed analysis.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...g-vaccine.html
Well this link (above) won't give you much assurance! We all tend to forget - and we are never reminded - that vaccination does not guarantee freedom from the Virus. I don't say the whole thing is a hoax, at all, but the authorities are certainly trying to rush us into it. Much more testing is needed.
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Old Jan 10th 2021, 1:41 am
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Default Re: Covid update

Experts have warned that it takes time for immunity to Covid-19 to build up. She obviously caught the virus before she had enough antibodies in her system.
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