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Discussion thread VII - COVID-19: Endemic Stage

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  • Discussion thread VII - COVID-19: Endemic Stage

    UK -

    Endemic Covid: Is the pandemic entering its endgame?


    James Gallagher
    Health and science correspondent
    @JamesTGallagheron Twitter

    Published 2 days ago

    ...
    "We're almost there, it is now the beginning of the end, at least in the UK," Prof Julian Hiscox, chairman in infection and global health at the University of Liverpool, tells me. "I think life in 2022 will be almost back to before the pandemic."
    ...
    There will be people - mostly the old and vulnerable - who will die from endemic Covid. So there is still a decision to be made about how we live alongside it.

    "If you're willing to tolerate zero deaths from Covid, then we're facing a whole raft of restrictions and it's not game over," Prof Hiscox explains.

    But, he says, "In a bad flu season, 200-300 die a day over winter and nobody wears a mask or socially distances, that's perhaps a right line to draw in the sand."

    Lockdowns and restrictions on mass gatherings will not come back and mass testing for Covid will end this year, he expects.

    The near certainty is there will be booster vaccines for the vulnerable come the autumn in order to top up their protection through winter.

    "We need to accept the fact that our flu season is also going to be a coronavirus season, and that is going to be a challenge for us," says Dr Groppelli.

    However, it is still uncertain how bad winters will be as the people who die from flu and Covid tend to be the same. As one scientist put it, "You can't die twice."
    ...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-59970281
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    I made a copy of the above post to start a continuation of our COVID-19 discussion.

    Please see the previous thread:

    Discussion thread VI - COVID-19 (new coronavirus)

    Comment


    • #3
      bump this

      Comment


      • #4
        COMMENT|ONLINE FIRST

        COVID-19 will continue but the end of the pandemic is near


        Christopher J L Murray
        Published: January 19, 2022 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00100-3

        ...
        Surprisingly, IHME models1 suggest that the transmission intensity of omicron is so high that policy actions—eg, increasing mask use, expanding vaccination coverage in people who have not been vaccinated, or delivering third doses of COVID-19 vaccines—taken in the next weeks will have limited impact on the course of the omicron wave. IHME estimates suggest that increasing use of masks to 80% of the population, for example, will only reduce cumulative infections over the next 4 months by 10%. Increasing COVID-19 vaccine boosters or vaccinating people who have not yet been vaccinated is unlikely to have any substantial impact on the omicron wave because by the time these interventions are scaled up the omicron wave will be largely over. Only in countries where the omicron wave has not yet started can expanding mask use in advance of the wave have a more substantial effect. These interventions still work to protect individuals from COVID-19, but the speed of the omicron wave is so fast that policy actions will have little effect on its course globally in the next 4–6 weeks.
        ...
        A question remains in relation to the countries pursuing zero COVID-19 strategies, such as China and New Zealand. China has local omicron transmission in January, 2022.9, 10 Given the high transmissibility of omicron, it seems unlikely that China or New Zealand will be able to permanently exclude the omicron wave. For zero COVID-19 countries, the question will be one of timing. Later omicron surges will allow further progress on increasing vaccination coverage and better understanding of the impact of the omicron variant in a fairly immunologically naive population.

        By March, 2022 a large proportion of the world will have been infected with the omicron variant. With continued increases in COVID-19 vaccination, the use in many countries of a third vaccine dose, and high levels of infection-acquired immunity, for some time global levels of SARS-CoV-2 immunity should be at an all time high. For some weeks or months, the world should expect low levels of virus transmission.

        I use the term pandemic to refer to the extraordinary societal efforts over the past 2 years to respond to a new pathogen that have changed how individuals live their lives and how policy responses have developed in governments around the world. These efforts have saved countless lives globally. New SARS-CoV-2 variants will surely emerge and some may be more severe than omicron. Immunity, whether infection or vaccination derived, will wane, creating opportunities for continued SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Given seasonality, countries should expect increased potential transmission in winter months.

        The impacts of future SARS-CoV-2 transmission on health, however, will be less because of broad previous exposure to the virus, regularly adapted vaccines to new antigens or variants, the advent of antivirals, and the knowledge that the vulnerable can protect themselves during future waves when needed by using high-quality masks and physical distancing. COVID-19 will become another recurrent disease that health systems and societies will have to manage. For example, the death toll from omicron seems to be similar in most countries to the level of a bad influenza season in northern hemisphere countries. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the worse influenza season during the past decade in 2017–18 caused about 52 000 influenza deaths with a likely peak of more than 1500 deaths per day.11 The era of extraordinary measures by government and societies to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission will be over. After the omicron wave, COVID-19 will return but the pandemic will not.

        https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...100-3/fulltext
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela

        Comment


        • #5
          bump this

          Comment


          • #6
            Pandemic or endemic? Should we stop worrying about Omicron?
            ...
            By Liam Mannix
            JANUARY 23, 2022
            ...
            “Endemic in itself does not mean good,” the World Health Organisation’s emergencies director, Dr Michael Ryan, said on Thursday. “Endemic just means it’s here forever.”

            So, is COVID-19 moving from epidemic to endemic?

            We put that question to the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases president, Professor Allen Cheng. He says COVID-19 is at once pandemic, endemic and epidemic. The virus will be constantly present with us from now on, circling the world (an endemic pandemic). But we will also see sudden, sharp increases when a new variant arises, when the seasons change, or when public health measures are too relaxed (an epidemic). COVID-19 will continue to be a disease of waves.
            ...
            Is Omicron the final variant? If there are more, will they be even milder?

            The rise of Omicron has many people pointing to a popular notion of viral evolution: over time, viruses evolve to become more contagious and less deadly.
            ...
            The problem: this idea, known as the “law of declining virulence”, coined by a long-dead cattle scientist, was debunked in the 1980s. Virus experts are quite baffled as to why so many people still seem to believe it.

            “Sadly, it’s wrong,” says a world-leading expert on coronavirus evolution, the University of Sydney’s Professor Edward Holmes. “It is not the case that virulence always goes down. It is absolutely not true. It depends on how virulence impacts transmission.”

            A virus’ virulence – how lethal it is – will evolve up or down depending on how it affects how contagious the virus is. If a mutation makes the virus both more lethal and more contagious, it’s got a good chance of sticking.
            ...
            “We’re lucky that Omicron appears to be milder – but I think that’s primarily luck,” Cromer says.

            The narrative of a weakening virus has a second problem: Omicron did not evolve from Delta.

            Rather than evolving from the dominant variant, genetic evidence suggests Omicron evolved from a much earlier lineage of the virus that diverged in 2020. Delta swept the world, but somewhere – likely in Africa – was a residual pool of people infected with this older lineage. Omicron emerged there and took over the world.

            That knowledge means we cannot be confident the next variant will be an evolution of Omicron – or even of Delta. It could come from anywhere, with attributes we cannot predict. Based on the evidence, and the fact that many countries still have low vaccination levels, it is simply impossible to predict whether the next variant will be more or less lethal, Holmes says.

            The best bet in this pandemic remains the same: expect the unexpected.

            “I don’t know I feel confident saying we’re close to saying Omicron is going to be the end of it,” Juno says. “We’ve learnt from the pandemic so far that there continue to be surprises coming around the corners.”
            ...

            https://www.smh.com.au/national/pand...19-p59pdr.html
            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela

            Comment


            • #7
              Protesters March in Washington Against Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates

              January 23, 2022

              more..

              https://www.wsj.com/articles/protest...​​​​

              Comment


              • #8
                if something like COVID or especially omicron had happened some centuries ago,
                would they have decribed it as influenza ?
                Remembering all the old books that we had studied here in 2006-2008
                and their desciptions of the history of influenza.

                It looks somehow unlikely that Corona epidemics had never been observed before.
                I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
                my current links: http://bit.ly/hFI7H ILI-charts: http://bit.ly/CcRgT

                Comment


                • JJackson
                  JJackson commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Emily - If you give 8 billion people any vaccine some are not going to tolerate it well and may get very ill or die and of those some may have fared better with the virus. Statistically the choice is a no-brainer your odds of a bad outcome from the vaccine are vanishingly small compared to catching COVID. The hospitals are not full of severe vaccine reactions.

                • gsgs
                  gsgs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  JJackson, thanks for the link.
                  I didn't read that paper but found from it one from 2021,
                  which even claims for 150M years as tmrca of all Corona.
                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8365511/
                  It is cited by Holmes in a 2022 paper.
                  Holmes is the one with this recent claim of "hundreds of millions of years" with flu
                  in multiple non-avian species.
                  So I looked at that paper and found it totally far fetched.
                  With these assumptions of geographic isolation of a NZ-island for 35 million years
                  and no mammals except 2 bat-species on it for that time.
                  And that birds may not exchange alpha,beta.with bats for such a long time.
                  I have not (yet) checked that argument of host-virus co-evolution,
                  which is also new to me.

                  --------------------------------------------------------
                  and btw. I feel that it's a general problem with science recently
                  Making gigantic claims with little evidence.
                  Running for headlines.
                  It matters most , "wie man es aufzieht" (as some postdoc
                  said in email) , the truth is not so important.

                • gsgs
                  gsgs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  as for 1889/90, for example Parsons reported that cats,dogs and caged birds were affected
                  This should not happen with a human coronavirus.

              • #9
                bump this

                Comment


                • #10

                  The Pandemic of Unknowns
                  Reaching a New Normal in an Age of Uncertainty
                  By Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker
                  January 22, 2022

                  In just two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how societies understand public health and disease. It has made previously esoteric epidemiological terms such as “flattening the curve,” “mRNA vaccines,” “rapid antigen tests,” and “variants of concern” the stuff of everyday conversation. But it has also drawn attention to the limits of epidemiological expertise and precision. The Delta variant, which swept through the United States last summer, confounded the hope that mass vaccination would bring the pandemic to an end—and made U.S. President Joe Biden’s declaration of imminent victory over the virus in July 2021 seem hubristically premature. The emergence of the substantially more infectious Omicron variant has led to the deaths of upward of 1,800 Americans each day and underlined the great uncertainty of this pandemic: it is challenging to know what will come next.

                  The pandemic has revealed the messiness of how science evolves in real time. The last two years have witnessed a grand experiment of leadership practices, public health policies, and medical countermeasures. Despite the herculean efforts of the public health and medical communities, Omicron has now reached all parts of the globe. Although the percentage of serious and fatal cases among those infected will be relatively low compared with Delta, the far greater overall number of cases is overwhelming health-care systems, which are suffering the loss of ten to 30 percent or more of already overburdened and burned-out staffs. Breakthrough infections among vaccinated people are occurring at least five times as frequently as they did with Delta, and Omicron appears to infect children more than previous strains. The crush of patients has been so severe that in a number of U.S. states and countries around the world, health-care workers with mild cases of the disease have had to continue working through their illness.

                  But the long-term view of how societies return to a version of normalcy remains murkier...

                  Read more: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/artic...demic-unknowns

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    https://www.voiceforscienceandsolida...micron-booster

                    January 23, 2022

                    Part 2 - 3: Booster and Omicron Booster (English)
                    We have entered the era of omicron. Politicians say we'll get a omicron booster soon and it'll fix the problems. But is that really so? Is a specific omicron booster a good idea? Geert Vanden Bossche, virologist and vaccinologist, provides information and advice.

                    _____________________________________________

                    Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

                    i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed
                    Governments don't have or own souls.

                    (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
                    Never forget Excalibur.

                    Comment


                    • JJackson
                      JJackson commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Emily - I called it an anti-vax site because they were spreading false information about the vaccines, two of which I highlighted from the first 5 minutes. There is a big difference between a mass vaccination campaign, which I am very much in favour of, and forced vaccination. I have been shocked by how many people have elected not to get vaccinated when the risks are so low compared to infection.

                    • Emily
                      Emily commented
                      Editing a comment
                      JJackson, I totally respect your position on mass vaccination, even if I don't agree regarding the current situation. Regarding your issues with the first 5 min of the video, Geert later stated the dramatic waning period to 2-3 weeks, so that would be up to 21 days and includes your time frame. Whether 50% decline is dramatic or not is a matter of perception. I think it is significant when dealing with variants. When the main variant was Delta, some countries were considering boosting just 4 months out.
                      I'm hoping Omicron is a game-changer, whatever the source of that.

                    • JJackson
                      JJackson commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Emily - the drop of 50% after 21 days is only the antibody count and would not start for about a month, but antibody levels are an unreliable correlate of protection against severe disease. The T cell protection does not wain in the same way and has stood up very well with Omicron and is stable over months.

                  • #12
                    bump this

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Please see:


                      PLoS Med. Overall and cause-specific hospitalisation and death after COVID-19 hospitalisation in England: A cohort study using linked primary care, secondary care, and death registration data in the OpenSAFELY platform]


                      "Patients discharged from a COVID-19 hospitalisation and surviving at least a week had more than double the risk of subsequent hospitalisation or death and a 4.8-fold higher risk of all-cause mortality than controls from the general population, after adjusting for baseline personal and clinical characteristics.

                      Risks were higher for all categories of disease-specific hospital admissions/deaths after a COVID-19 hospitalisation than in general population controls, with excess risks more pronounced earlier in follow-up for several outcomes. Risks for most outcomes were similar or lower for people discharged from a COVID-19 hospitalisation, compared with people discharged from an influenza hospitalisation in 2017 to 2019, but the COVID-19 group had higher subsequent all-cause mortality, higher rates of respiratory infection admissions and deaths (predominantly COVID-19), and more adverse mental health and cognitive outcomes (particularly deaths attributed to dementia among people with preexisting dementia) compared with the influenza group.

                      Our findings are consistent with emerging evidence from early studies suggesting that a subset of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 can experience health problems for at least several months after the acute phase of their infection, with fatigue, pain, respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms, and mental health and cognitive disturbances being among the problems that have been frequently described under the term “post-acute COVID-19 syndrome” [19]; however, epidemiological characterisation of such sequelae has been limited. Small descriptive studies of COVID-19 survivors have been suggestive of high incidence of a range of outcomes including respiratory, cardiovascular, and mental health related [20,21]; the present study helps to contextualise these observations by adding explicit comparison with risks experienced by the general population and by people with a recent influenza hospitalisation."

                      Comment


                      • Emily
                        Emily commented
                        Editing a comment
                        "Our data showed that COVID-19 hospitalised patients were more likely to have baseline comorbidities than general population controls, reflecting known associations between comorbidities and risks of severe COVID-19 outcomes [6]. Differences in outcomes between hospitalised patients and general population controls might therefore reflect baseline differences not fully captured in our adjustment models and might also reflect a generic adverse effect of hospitalisation [23]. This is supported by the more similar risks we observed when COVID-19 survivors were compared with people who had experienced influenza hospitalisation, with risks for some outcomes actually lower in the COVID-19 group, possibly linked to a general reduction in health seeking for non-COVID conditions in the early months of the pandemic [24]. However, all-cause mortality was substantially higher after COVID-19 compared with influenza."

                        The time frame of the study does not include Omicron, these cases were the more severe variants that seem to be in the process of being replaced by Omicron.

                        The all cause mortality being higher for Covid than the flu in spite of outcomes generally being better than the flu could again be the Covid medication protocols or rampant ventilator use.

                    • #14
                      bump this

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                      • #15

                        https://twitter.com/AB_CovidFacts/st...12498977685506

                        AB_CovidFacts @AB_CovidFacts

                        ***Absolutely shocking and baffling*** Here is the updated AHS chart for cases per 100,000 since their "technical difficulties" Look at the before, and now revised...








                        5:03 PM · Jan 25, 2022·Twitter Web App


                        https://twitter.com/AB_CovidFacts/st...17661176057859



                        AB_CovidFacts @AB_CovidFacts

                        ***Shocking and baffling #2*** After weeks of trending data daily, indicating unvaccinated are less and less a % of cases, active cases, and hospitalizations, AHS revised data after "technical difficulties" and this is no longer the case.








                        5:23 PM · Jan 25, 2022·Twitter Web App
                        _____________________________________________

                        Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

                        i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed
                        Governments don't have or own souls.

                        (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
                        Never forget Excalibur.

                        Comment

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