"They're going to be chasing variants around the globe for the foreseeable future, and have made a death pact for endemic spread—it's never going to go away." says @gregggonsalves, in a great podcast with @jameshamblin and @maevehiggins. (1/x) podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6L…
"We're now in a path where we're going to have these cycles of coronavirus outbreaks as there are gaps in vaccination across the U.S. and across the world, and as new variants emerge that might be less susceptible to vaccines that we put out into the field."
"We could be lucky. Maybe these variants don't emerge that escape the ability to be neutralized by the antibodies raised by these vaccines, but, you know, we have hundreds of millions of people infected, and while this virus isn't as great a mutation generator as HIV, but..."
"...the sheer number of infections that are occurring are a recipe for viral variation emerging over the course of the next few months are years..."
"...and as we put things in its way that are not good enough to stop it in its track, it starts to push it down an evolutionary pathway to resist these half-measures." (x/x)

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More from @dwallacewells

12 Feb
In his book American Crisis, Andrew Cuomo addressed his nursing home policy in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic at some length. It was always a defensive, tone-deaf account; given what we now know about his data falsification, it is outrageous. A thread... (1/x)
"The most painful aspect of the COVID crisis has been its
devastating effect on our elderly in nursing homes," he writes. "Understanding the threat, on March 13, we were taking every precaution that we could think of."
"Even before New York had a single COVID death, we banned visitors from going into nursing homes for fear that they might be transmitting the virus, and we required PPE, temperature checks, and cohorting of residents with COVID."
Read 13 tweets
12 Feb
"Imagine you are setting across the table from two people both of whom are 65 or older, both with underlying health conditions. You have two doses of vaccine, one in each hand...." @mtosterholm on the covid vaccine dosing dilemma. marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolu… (1/x)
"And you say to them I can give two doses to you or to you but then the other person gets nothing. Or I can give one dose to both of you."
"This is what I know. At the very least, one dose is likely to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. Two doses will probably even prevent clinical disease with B.1.1.7."
Read 5 tweets
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
9 Feb
“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.”
Read 5 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

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