Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Today's News: "In the Covid era, the vulnerable die earlier, the remaining become vulnerable earlier"

I've been noticing and collecting a variety of recent posts and tweets about Covid and our situation these days, and the challenges we will be facing in 2023.

This pretty well sums it up, really: And as for the continuing political implications: Yes indeed: But wait, there's more....
In Stat, Helen Branswell writes a good article about the "scariants" - XB what? BQ huh? Do you need to keep up with Omicron’s ever-expanding offspring?:
When people start to develop immunity to a virus, it must evolve to be able to continue to infect people. Three years into our coexistence with SARS-2, most people on the planet have either been infected (in some cases several times) or vaccinated (in some cases multiple times) or some combination of the two. The virus must employ new tricks to get around our mounting defenses.
“It is important to explain that variants will continue to emerge as the very survival of the virus depends on it,” Pollard explained. “We can expect new variants for the rest of our collective lifetimes, but we might anticipate less frequent waves in the future as immunity across the population continues to build.”
Others are not so sanquine about the virus evolution: In The Tyee, Andrew Nikiforuk writes We Now Face An Army of Covid Viruses -- a useful article to read in full, but here is a summary of his points:
Here are six observations on viral evolution and how it may shape our lives in this, the fourth year of the pandemic. 
1. One virus has become many...
2. The new COVID soup is a unique experiment in evolution...
3. What were viral peaks are now a constant rising sea of infections with high and low tides...
4. One pandemic has morphed into regional epidemics...
5. Reinfections rarely happened. Now they are commonplace...
6. We can do more to blunt the evolutionary threat of COVID subvariants...
Here is a useful tweet thread summary of the current situation -- I am copying some of the most significant tweets in this thread:
~~~ ~~~ Some recent comments on Covid epidemiology: Here are some comments about Long Covid: ~~~ Long Covid now seems to be called Covid DECATI - Delayed Effect Cardiovascular And Thrombotic Injury: ' ~~~ Finally, some new statistics on excess deaths. Stats Canada recently released some info about Canada's excess deaths over the last three years -- more than 50,000 extra from January 2020 to October 2022, mostly due to Covid and its damage to our health, but also due to drug overdoses. 
Stats Canada says:
There is evidence of excess mortality when weekly deaths are consistently higher than the expected number, but especially when they exceed the range of what is expected over several consecutive weeks.
Provisional data show there were an estimated 53,741 excess deaths in Canada from the end of March 2020 to the end of August 2022, 7.6% more deaths than expected had there not been a pandemic. During this period, at least 42,215 deaths were directly attributed to COVID-19.
The worst times in Canada for excess deaths were January/ February 2022 in Ontario and Quebec, and  mid-April/ mid-May 2022 in Alberta and BC. 
Though Canada's 7.6 percent excess death percentage seems high to me, England is reporting even worse percentages:
Finally, an interesting thread on Covid in the workforce: Tern gets the last word: UPDATE: Just saw this one, about booster shots:

No comments: