Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): The Disease & Its Spread (Per Se)

charliebrown

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The Delta variant AY.4.2 is a fast spreader in the U.K. accounting for 12% of new cases in the UK.

But so far there is no evidence that the AY.4.2 is worse than the original Delta.

This new variant is starting to show up in other countries including the U.S.
 

marhawkman

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True ... There have been studies for some time that indicate animals (e.g., dogs and cats) might serve as COVID vectors. The most significant news in the case of North American white-tailed deer is the scale / frequency of infection found in the animal population.
I really wish I'd saved it, because it seems to have disappeared, but last year sometime I saw a reasonably well written article about the longevity of diseases and what makes a pandemic, and what that means for this disease. To include the distinction between pandemic and endemic. One of the most salient points was that, if you can't get rid of it, it's endemic. The higher the number of animal species that carry it the harder it is to get rid of, and... thus comes the possibility it's impossible to eradicate. Especially if in order to do so you'd have to nearly wipe out an entire wild population.
 

GNC

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Up to half a million more deaths expected in Europe by March unless someone takes drastic action on public Covid safety:
News story

So obviously, people are taking to the streets, chanting anti-vaxxer slogans, rioting, spreading the virus...
 

Sabresonic

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What gets me about this pandemic is that I read somewhere on line ? after the another pointless war which was WW1 and 2 mIllion or so sadly dead for their masters and no doubt the aftershock/injuries caused many deaths after but The Spanish Flu suddenly appeared and killed so much more yet they kept the Public House's, Theatres, opera Houses, Sporting leagues were still going and they didn't have the medicine and technology but life went on.
Sorry to post this as I maybe wrong but be happy to be corrected :)
 

Sabresonic

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Up to half a million more deaths expected in Europe by March unless someone takes drastic action on public Covid safety:
News story

So obviously, people are taking to the streets, chanting anti-vaxxer slogans, rioting, spreading the virus...
You forgot the BLM, XR and Newcastle Arabic loving fans ;)
 

Starry

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What gets me about this pandemic is that I read somewhere on line ? after the another pointless war which was WW1 and 2 mIllion or so sadly dead for their masters and no doubt the aftershock/injuries caused many deaths after but The Spanish Flu suddenly appeared and killed so much more yet they kept the Public House's, Theatres, opera Houses, Sporting leagues were still going and they didn't have the medicine and technology but life went on.
Sorry to post this as I maybe wrong but be happy to be corrected :)
Spanish Flu appeared during the War. Masking was imposed, public places closed, social distancing measures etc put in place. However, governments didn't want to cause panic when fighting (home and abroad), so suppressed information during the War, which became de rigueur, so was kept on after it. Life wasn't going on as before anyway. Spanish Flu had a big effect but it was one of many in a war-torn, economically depressed time.
 

Sabresonic

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Spanish Flu appeared during the War. Masking was imposed, public places closed, social distancing measures etc put in place. However, governments didn't want to cause panic when fighting (home and abroad), so suppressed information during the War, which became de rigueur, so was kept on after it. Life wasn't going on as before anyway. Spanish Flu had a big effect but it was one of many in a war-torn, economically depressed time.
Cheers for that but they did keep the Sports fixtures going, well at least in Sydney.
 

Trevp666

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Now 5,000,000 people have died world wide, 800,000 in the U.S. and 150,000 in the UK.
No, but it's close though.
143,866 with covid up to the present date (as per the UK way of recording the deaths - these are proven in a large percentage to be either people that acquired the infection after being admitted to hospital for something else ['nosocomial' transmission], or had returned a positive test and then died of something else during the following 28 day period. It is unlikely that we will ever be able to get an accurate figure for the number of people who died solely because of the symptoms produced by a C19 infection)
 
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charliebrown

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We will probably not know who had an underlying disease besides covid since this information is not given out.

But from what I have seen on the TV, Europe seems to be “ going down hill “ again with covid, and people are not wanting to go back to restrictions.

It seems there are many protesters in the Netherlands and Austria today.
 

Trevp666

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It seems there are many protesters in the Netherlands and Austria today.
Not just there but in many countries, especially Australia and Italy, and it has been going on for weeks.
Also here in the UK, pretty much weekly, very large demonstrations, but the mainstream media avoid reporting on it, mainly thanks to Ofcom issuing a 'D-notice' back in March 2020 causing all the news publications to be extremely limited and/or jittery about what they report.
When you watch 'The TV' you're only seeing a very small amount of sanitised/selected stuff.
You can find out about this stuff but you have to go looking for it, often only visible if you are using a VPN.
That's probably best left for another thread though as it really doesn't fit here, and also it's starting to drive down the avenue that leads to discussions of politics, and we don't want to go there.
 

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Not that anybody asked but I've been mulling over some stuff in my head around the virus and vaccines etc. It seems that the EU will soon approve vaccinations for 5-11 year olds.

This seems madness to me as this age range to not get very ill. They shrug it off. And I would rather that my young child has naturally occuring immunity to a virus than receive a vaccine which lacks longevity studies.

I reasoned as follows:

The Vaccines are good at preventing serious illness or hospitalisation. Yet young children are not getting "serious" illness with Covid.
Vaccines do not prevent infection. You can be vaccinated and still get Covid. You can also spread it even when vaccinated. So vaccine to prevent mutation is a non-argument.

Do we vaccinate the young against, for example, Influensa? No. Because it does not pose a morbidity risk to younger children.
Do we vaccinate the young against illness which cause life changing problems? Yes. But Covid does not affect children as it does adults.

The effectivity of the vaccines is measured in Reduction in Hospitalisation.
The vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalisation by between 86-89%. This drops however down to between 13-58% after 6 months. If the booster jumps that back up then what happens in another 6 months time? Will we have to be vaccineated in perpetuity?
Source: https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211105/covid-vaccine-protection-drops-study

The antibodies from a vaccination are stable and predictable. Natural infection and recovery antibodies seem stronger yet it varies wildly from person to person. So the vaccine gives a more reliable metric. Some people who naturally contracted SARS-CoV 1 are still showing antibodies 18 years later. A large study in the US has concluded that poeple who who have previously had a CoV-2 infection are likely to NOT benefit from a vaccination.

So surely it would be better for a young, healthy child to catch the virus and recover than it would be to give them a vaccine which is not proven to be safe (over time)?
 

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Not that anybody asked but I've been mulling over some stuff in my head around the virus and vaccines etc. It seems that the EU will soon approve vaccinations for 5-11 year olds.

This seems madness to me as this age range to not get very ill. They shrug it off. And I would rather that my young child has naturally occuring immunity to a virus than receive a vaccine which lacks longevity studies.

I reasoned as follows:

The Vaccines are good at preventing serious illness or hospitalisation. Yet young children are not getting "serious" illness with Covid.
Vaccines do not prevent infection. You can be vaccinated and still get Covid. You can also spread it even when vaccinated. So vaccine to prevent mutation is a non-argument.

Do we vaccinate the young against, for example, Influensa? No. Because it does not pose a morbidity risk to younger children.
Do we vaccinate the young against illness which cause life changing problems? Yes. But Covid does not affect children as it does adults.

The effectivity of the vaccines is measured in Reduction in Hospitalisation.
The vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalisation by between 86-89%. This drops however down to between 13-58% after 6 months. If the booster jumps that back up then what happens in another 6 months time? Will we have to be vaccineated in perpetuity?
Source: https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211105/covid-vaccine-protection-drops-study

The antibodies from a vaccination are stable and predictable. Natural infection and recovery antibodies seem stronger yet it varies wildly from person to person. So the vaccine gives a more reliable metric. Some people who naturally contracted SARS-CoV 1 are still showing antibodies 18 years later. A large study in the US has concluded that poeple who who have previously had a CoV-2 infection are likely to NOT benefit from a vaccination.

So surely it would be better for a young, healthy child to catch the virus and recover than it would be to give them a vaccine which is not proven to be safe (over time)?

I have interpreted the situation differently, based on – as always – different assumptions. I do not have the links to support my interpretations, but my interpretations are based in the public science of Covid when I was really interested in it. Of course, this does not mean I have it all correct or complete.

Children: Children get Covid and are rarely seriously damaged by it or even die. But they do. Children can get the disease and pass it on to others (adults), who may then be seriously damaged by it or even die. Therefore, innoculating children will reduce both the rare chance of a child suffering dire consequences, and also the not rare chance of infecting an adult.

For someone who has the vaccine and then gets infected with Covid: both the symptoms and the rate of breathing out covid viruses into the air are reduced. If the symptoms are reduced, then the effects of this are that the medical infrastructure is not used as much as it would be for the seriously ill. Fewer people die. If the rate of breathing out the virus into the air is reduced, then this will result in fewer people being exposed to it and getting sick themselves. If the rate of transmission is reduced, then the rate of mutation is reduced. The Covid vaccine, in its current state, will not prevent mutation, but reduce it. I am not aware of anyone, in the US where I live, arguing that the vaccine will prevent mutation.

The comparison to influenza is flawed, I think, because of the real differences between influenza and the flu: Covid is much more transmissible than flu; Covid results in a much higher rate of mortality and permanent damage. In the US, where we have millions of people who refuse to get vaccinated, the jump in the death rate is astonishing.

Vaccinations in perpetuity: yes, I think so, based in the Covid virus high mutability. Ringo, why is this problematic?

As an individual who is part of an aggregate of public health, I disagree with the conclusions that “people who have previously had a CoV-2 infection are likely to NOT benefit from a vaccination.” I had Covid in August 2020, and I am permanently damaged from it. I got both vaccines, as well as a booster. I will continue to get more Covid vaccinations as they are available. Because 1. It is available. 2. I think vaccination is safer than getting infected again. 3. The high rate of both transmission and mutability means that the virus is more likely to mutate into something which my antibodies (either from the infection or from the vaccines) can’t effectively fight.

“So surely it would be better for a young, healthy child to catch the virus and recover than it would be to give them a vaccine which is not proven to be safe (over time)?”

My response: no. I don’t want a child getting sick and then being damaged, dying, or getting me sick, for all the reasons I just gave. Also, the reasoning you use is exactly what the antivaxxers in the US use. (Ringo, I am not implying you are an antivaxxer.) Ringo, how would any vaccine be proven safe for children? Would it involve giving the vaccine to children and then watching the children for harmful effects? How many children? Whose children should be used for the tests? Not yours? How should the vaccine be tested for safety for any age group? This is a public health problem of relative risk statistical estimations: benefits and risks of both getting the virus and getting the vaccines.
 

EnolaGaia

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Ringo: Long story short, and I haven't the time to quibble about the fine-grained details ...

The points you cite about children's susceptibility to, and risks from, COVID-19 are relatively true, but they are not as absolutely true as you've portrayed them.

Children do get infected, manifest a range of symptoms up to and including severe ones requiring hospitalization, and even die from COVID-19. However, to the extent anyone can pinpoint the statistics for this notoriously under-analyzed age group these most adverse and worrisome effects are much less prevalent in younger children than in adults. "Less prevalent" does not equate to "non-existent." It's still a matter of playing the odds. The odds seem to be much better for younger children, but there's no absolute certainty.

Playing Russian Roulette using a revolver with 100 chambers rather than 6 is still Russian Roulette.

The situation is complicated by the fact the most dire potential outcomes are associated with insufficient or excessive personal immune system response, and this age group varies as much or more than any other in the level of immune system development / capability for one versus another individual.

It's still largely unknown why younger children seem to weather COVID-19 better than older folks, and it's similarly unknown whether or how severe stresses on their developing immune systems might impair their general immune capabilities for life.

Also consider the fact that children's better odds for individual outcomes have nothing to do with the odds of their serving as reservoirs and vectors for carrying or passing on infections to others. Little mobile germ buckets are still mobile germ buckets posing an epidemiological risk to others.
 

charliebrown

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Dr. Fauci on TV claims asymptomatic children even though not sick themselves, is a huge reservoir of the covid virus,

The idea is vaccinating kids reduces the availability of the virus.

Nearly one million kids ages 5 to 11 have been vaccinated in the U.S. with no known problems.

I agree it is a hard choice for parents.
 

uair01

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A nice graph from eastern Europe:
Percentage of vaccinations versus deaths last week:

1637782633851.png
 

Ringo

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I am playing Devil's Advocate here. I am fully vaccinated - as is my wife and oldest daughter (13 yrs). I am not an anti-vaxxer by any means. I am just thinking out loud.
I have interpreted the situation differently, based on – as always – different assumptions. I do not have the links to support my interpretations, but my interpretations are based in the public science of Covid when I was really interested in it. Of course, this does not mean I have it all correct or complete.

Children: Children get Covid and are rarely seriously damaged by it or even die. But they do. Children can get the disease and pass it on to others (adults), who may then be seriously damaged by it or even die. Therefore, innoculating children will reduce both the rare chance of a child suffering dire consequences, and also the not rare chance of infecting an adult.
AFAIK, the children who have died from Covid were all suffering co-morbidities or compromised immune systems. These were sick children before they got the virus. These children should of course be vaccinated. It is a tragedy for any child to die. Also, if all adults are vaccinated then there is no risk of the children giving it to them unless the vaccines are not effective. In which case, why give them to children? And even vaccinated people can contract and spread the virus.
For someone who has the vaccine and then gets infected with Covid: both the symptoms and the rate of breathing out covid viruses into the air are reduced. If the symptoms are reduced, then the effects of this are that the medical infrastructure is not used as much as it would be for the seriously ill. Fewer people die.
I think this is the key. The whole vaccine programme is to minimise disrutption to the Health Services. Which I fully support. The vaccines were never meant to get rid of this.
If the rate of breathing out the virus into the air is reduced, then this will result in fewer people being exposed to it and getting sick themselves. If the rate of transmission is reduced, then the rate of mutation is reduced. The Covid vaccine, in its current state, will not prevent mutation, but reduce it. I am not aware of anyone, in the US where I live, arguing that the vaccine will prevent mutation.

The comparison to influenza is flawed, I think, because of the real differences between influenza and the flu: Covid is much more transmissible than flu; Covid results in a much higher rate of mortality and permanent damage. In the US, where we have millions of people who refuse to get vaccinated, the jump in the death rate is astonishing.
I agree that the viral load is reduced. I wasn't really comparing Covid with Influensa (although I did write that). What I meant was that we vaccinate people against the illnesses which pose a risk to their age groups. Older people get a flu shot because flu is more of a risk to them than to a younger adult/child. We vaccinate kids against illnesses which pose a risk to them as children and going forward into their adult lives. We don't vaccinate children against illnesses which don't pose a mortality risk.
Vaccinations in perpetuity: yes, I think so, based in the Covid virus high mutability. Ringo, why is this problematic?
No problem for me at all except I would rather have a vaccine that works and doesn't need boosting twice a year. Maybe time will give us a more comprehensive vaccine.
As an individual who is part of an aggregate of public health, I disagree with the conclusions that “people who have previously had a CoV-2 infection are likely to NOT benefit from a vaccination.” I had Covid in August 2020, and I am permanently damaged from it. I got both vaccines, as well as a booster. I will continue to get more Covid vaccinations as they are available. Because 1. It is available. 2. I think vaccination is safer than getting infected again. 3. The high rate of both transmission and mutability means that the virus is more likely to mutate into something which my antibodies (either from the infection or from the vaccines) can’t effectively fight.

“So surely it would be better for a young, healthy child to catch the virus and recover than it would be to give them a vaccine which is not proven to be safe (over time)?”

My response: no. I don’t want a child getting sick and then being damaged, dying, or getting me sick, for all the reasons I just gave. Also, the reasoning you use is exactly what the antivaxxers in the US use. (Ringo, I am not implying you are an antivaxxer.) Ringo, how would any vaccine be proven safe for children?
That is a valid point. I'm not sure how medical studies could prove things are safe without experimenting. For instance, the childhood vaccinations that are administered now have a long track record. However, someone had to be first. I'm just not sure I want my young child to be the first.
Would it involve giving the vaccine to children and then watching the children for harmful effects? How many children? Whose children should be used for the tests? Not yours? How should the vaccine be tested for safety for any age group? This is a public health problem of relative risk statistical estimations: benefits and risks of both getting the virus and getting the vaccines.
Well that's what they do and have done with all medicines and treatments. It is tested and then released. People report side effects and then it is recalled if need be. But this process can take years.
Ringo: Long story short, and I haven't the time to quibble about the fine-grained details ...

The points you cite about children's susceptibility to, and risks from, COVID-19 are relatively true, but they are not as absolutely true as you've portrayed them.

Children do get infected, manifest a range of symptoms up to and including severe ones requiring hospitalization, and even die from COVID-19. However, to the extent anyone can pinpoint the statistics for this notoriously under-analyzed age group these most adverse and worrisome effects are much less prevalent in younger children than in adults. "Less prevalent" does not equate to "non-existent." It's still a matter of playing the odds. The odds seem to be much better for younger children, but there's no absolute certainty.

Playing Russian Roulette using a revolver with 100 chambers rather than 6 is still Russian Roulette.
I agree. It is less prevelant but certainly not non-existent. Children are getting sick and dying. As I mentioned above, I think a lot of these children may have been sick before they contracted the virus. That is not to say that their deaths are acceptable. No child should die. We have been constantly told here in Sweden that children are not a vector and are not spreading this virus.
The situation is complicated by the fact the most dire potential outcomes are associated with insufficient or excessive personal immune system response, and this age group varies as much or more than any other in the level of immune system development / capability for one versus another individual.

It's still largely unknown why younger children seem to weather COVID-19 better than older folks, and it's similarly unknown whether or how severe stresses on their developing immune systems might impair their general immune capabilities for life.

Also consider the fact that children's better odds for individual outcomes have nothing to do with the odds of their serving as reservoirs and vectors for carrying or passing on infections to others. Little mobile germ buckets are still mobile germ buckets posing an epidemiological risk to others.

I agree with every word. But again, playing Devil's Advocate, if the adult population are vaccinated then what does it matter if the kids are reservoirs or vectors?

And finally...I want to make this clear. I am not an anti-vaxxer. I belive in vaccinations and think every adult and certainly every child with a weakened immune system should be vaccinated. I am spit balling here. I'm just a parent trying to decide what to do.
 

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The other vaccines we give to children has been through years of testing. They are not something which has been rushed through with little oversight. Do we want to put them at risk, so that us older people can live a few more years?
 

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I am playing Devil's Advocate here. I am fully vaccinated - as is my wife and oldest daughter (13 yrs). I am not an anti-vaxxer by any means. I am just thinking out loud.

AFAIK, the children who have died from Covid were all suffering co-morbidities or compromised immune systems. These were sick children before they got the virus. These children should of course be vaccinated. It is a tragedy for any child to die. Also, if all adults are vaccinated then there is no risk of the children giving it to them unless the vaccines are not effective. In which case, why give them to children? And even vaccinated people can contract and spread the virus.

I think this is the key. The whole vaccine programme is to minimise disrutption to the Health Services. Which I fully support. The vaccines were never meant to get rid of this.

I agree that the viral load is reduced. I wasn't really comparing Covid with Influensa (although I did write that). What I meant was that we vaccinate people against the illnesses which pose a risk to their age groups. Older people get a flu shot because flu is more of a risk to them than to a younger adult/child. We vaccinate kids against illnesses which pose a risk to them as children and going forward into their adult lives. We don't vaccinate children against illnesses which don't pose a mortality risk.

No problem for me at all except I would rather have a vaccine that works and doesn't need boosting twice a year. Maybe time will give us a more comprehensive vaccine.

That is a valid point. I'm not sure how medical studies could prove things are safe without experimenting. For instance, the childhood vaccinations that are administered now have a long track record. However, someone had to be first. I'm just not sure I want my young child to be the first.

Well that's what they do and have done with all medicines and treatments. It is tested and then released. People report side effects and then it is recalled if need be. But this process can take years.

I agree. It is less prevelant but certainly not non-existent. Children are getting sick and dying. As I mentioned above, I think a lot of these children may have been sick before they contracted the virus. That is not to say that their deaths are acceptable. No child should die. We have been constantly told here in Sweden that children are not a vector and are not spreading this virus.


I agree with every word. But again, playing Devil's Advocate, if the adult population are vaccinated then what does it matter if the kids are reservoirs or vectors?

And finally...I want to make this clear. I am not an anti-vaxxer. I belive in vaccinations and think every adult and certainly every child with a weakened immune system should be vaccinated. I am spit balling here. I'm just a parent trying to decide what to do.

"We have been constantly told here in Sweden that children are not a vector and are not spreading this virus." I am intrigued by this. Do you mean that children are not a major vector for transmission, or that they are not a vector at all? I live in the US, and children are considered a vector; they get infected at school and then bring the infection home and infect adult family members. If this happens before family get-togethers, they may then kill grandma.

All public health information is inevitably shaped by the educational, social, and political goals of the originating source or writer. I have viewed US CDC missives rather sceptically since the AIDs problem in the 1980s.

Response to Devil's Advocate: my assumption base about this disease is very different than yours. So: the disease itself is highly contagious and mutates a lot. Children (and people of any age) can transmit it. Vaccinations can reduce but not eliminate the effects on a vulnerable population, such as organ transplant recipients, old people, etc. The consequences of the disease are much worse than the consequences of the vaccine, as far as current data shows (of which I am aware), for any age group approved for the vaccine.

Ringo, I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. Our assumption bases are very different.
 

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South Africa health department has warned about a new variant with 30 mutations, and seems to be very infectious.

The new variant is named B.1.1.529.
 

charliebrown

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This new South Africa variant is so dangerous, that WHO called a special meeting this Friday.

This has made world stock markets “ jittery “.
 

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The above posts can be brought into focus a touch by this example. One thing to note is that all the people concerned had been tested daily and all proved negative. Ms P's granddaughter is 11. She caught Covid from someone who gives her a lift to school. She passed it on to her mother and her mother's partner and his children. Mother and partner both work in a school and it got passed around the school to kids and teachers. Granddaughter passed it on at her school. All this while all being tested negative until within the space of a day or two symptoms suddenly hit and positive results showed by which time it was too late. Pretty detailed enquiries eliminating other possibilities of transmission were made because of the schools involved. All concerned apart from the children involved had both doses. Some had really bad symptoms. Even I was astonished at how rapid and widespread the thing was.

Children I'm sure will become one of the most effective method of this thing spreading, but there's not a huge amount families can do, and closing schools wholesale is probably not going to happen.
 

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Not good.

In terms of duration and overall mortality rate, the Covid pandemic will soon be rivalling the Influenza epidemic of 1918.
 

charliebrown

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As the new variant has shown up in Hong Kong and Israel, countries of the world are shutting off air services to several African countries.

The New York Stock Exchange this morning opened at 900 points down over this new variant.

This variant has so many mutations the current vaccinations maybe useless.
 

GNC

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New variant now in Belgium, so it's reached Europe. Apparently it's far more infectious and immune to vaccines. This is like a game of whack-a-mole, except that's easier to win and nobody makes up conspiracies about that.
 
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