“The virus still has a huge amount of kinetic energy out there in society. And what we’ve learned is even when you take the kinetic energy out, there’s just a huge amount of potential energy left.” ⁦@DrMikeRyan to ⁦@HelenBranswell⁩ (1/x) statnews.com/2021/02/09/a-q…
“And unless and until a huge proportion of the world’s population is immune to this virus, the potential energy in the virus will remain. It’s a fact.”
“What I see emerging ultimately is a Covid-19 control program, hopefully integrated into our influenza control program, so we have a much better way of dealing with respiratory viruses as ongoing threats.”
“If we have to update vaccines every year, if we have to give people a booster shot every year, particularly the vulnerable, then so be it. It’s just another control program. One where we’re in control. I think we have to evolve into that. But we’re not ready to go there yet.”
“I was asked the other day on Facebook: ‘When can we get back to our old lives, the old normal?’ And I said: ‘I don’t want to go back there. It wasn’t a safe place. — for our planet, or for social justice or for extremism or for human health.’” (X/x)

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More from @dwallacewells

11 Feb
Seasonality, vaccines, variants, caseloads—the country is in a confusing place right now. I spoke with ⁦@michaelmina_lab⁩, probably the most incisive epidemiological thinker in this pandemic, about all of it. A thread of his many observations (1/x). nymag.com/intelligencer/…
“My personal feeling is we are seeing the benefits of seasonality hit, which I know some of my colleagues don’t agree with.” The conventional wisdom is that seasonality wouldn’t abate before the spring, but “it’s not uncommon for coronaviruses to essentially start dropping now.”
“Most of the known coronaviruses have something on the order of a three-month window where they’re really infectious — when they’re really transmitting.” We may be leaving that window behind now.
Read 38 tweets
29 Jan
“Pandemic anxiety has turned lately to the question of viral evolution—the possibility that the disease might be outracing our efforts to contain it.” Of all the new strains, the Brazilian variant may be most concerning. (1/x) nymag.com/intelligencer/…
“In the Amazonian city of Manaus, where antibodies had been previously estimated in 76% of the population, there has been a horrifying and deadly dramatic second wave, right in the middle of Brazilian summer in a place believed to have already developed true herd immunity.”
“A new ‘Comment’ published Wednesday in the Lancet surveys what we know about the Manaus variant, and offers four possible explanations for what has happened there. None of them are good. Three are quite terrifying.”
Read 26 tweets
20 Jan
The world has emitted a quarter of all the carbon it has ever produced in the twelve years since Joe Biden was inaugurated as vice-president in 2009.
Since 2009, and the last time a Democratic president was inaugurated, about 400 billion tons of carbon have been emitted into the atmosphere.
Back then, there were 386 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere, 36 above the "safe" level of 350 ppm. Today the figure is 414.
Read 5 tweets
19 Jan
Climate change is much bigger than the U.S., and addressing it much more complicated than electing a new president. But on the eve of the inauguration, a thread to show just what a different world the new president is inheriting. (1/x) nymag.com/intelligencer/…
"The price of solar energy has fallen ninefold over the past decade, as has the price of lithium batteries, critical to the growth of electric cars."
"The costs of utility-scale batteries, which could solve the “intermittency” (i.e., cloudy day) problem of renewables and help power whole cities in relatively short order, have fallen 70 percent since just 2015."
Read 18 tweets
26 Dec 20
The alarming lead story in the New York Times this morning concerns the growth of COVID-19 through Africa, where the cumulative death total from the disease is less than 45 per million. In the U.S. it is 975 per million—more than 20 times worse. nytimes.com/2020/12/26/wor…
The story is primarily about caseloads, since the age structure of Africa means the disease has been much less lethal there.
While official counts underestimate the number of true infections throughout Africa (as they do in the U.S.), the contrast in cases is just as stark: 2,000 per million there, 56,000 per million here.
Read 7 tweets
25 Dec 20
From June, “Why Don’t Americans Trust Public-Health Experts?” (1/x) nymag.com/intelligencer/…
“In January, as the earliest scary research into the outbreak in Wuhan began arriving from China, public-health officials downplayed the threat and systematically advised coronavirus panic be channeled into vigilance about the flu, which they considered a bigger problem.” (2/x)
“In February, as initial data arrived from China showing a dramatic age skew in mortality, with the old at far greater risk, and the very old at greater risk still, political leaders and public-health officials did practically nothing to protect the most vulnerable.” (3/x)
Read 9 tweets

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