Okay lets do some real talk with variants to counter the fear narrative that is circulating out there (thread):

There has been a lot of fear and panic pushed out today about a variant in California but to me it is more sizzle than steak.
Variants are very common when it comes to viruses. Up until about a few months ago we did not really do enough genomic sequencing to track them but now we are increasing this practice. This helps in tracking mutations and these variants can be dated (tracked)
This can provide a great advantage when it comes to seeing how a particular virus mutates and behaves in the environment. So it does have very good advantages. However it seems lately we have been using this to push panic which I do not think is good at any time.
Think about it, if i constantly tell you to be worried and I am constantly wrong...you will trust me less. This is what is happening with these variants. There are a multitude of variants circulating globally and domestically in the US.
This is a great depiction of these:
So as you can see they are with us and have been with us from the start. Now back to the "devil is here" variant in California. The LA Times story is extremely misleading. I suspect it is made that way to get a response, which it has.
This variant has been tracking since 9/1 and is referred to as B.1.427/B.1.429. The fact it has been tracked since 9/1 makes me feel quite good because we should be able to see the effects empirically and we do and can. According to the LA Times article...
it accounts for more than 50% of coronavirus samples. So it looks like the dominant strain. I am not a virologist or ID doc but I am a data scientist so I wanted to check the numbers to see what effect this could have had on California.
My site of choice is covid19-projections.com

So lets take a look at California.
I subscribe to the Hope-Simpson seasonality model. Sources (he also has a rather lengthy text):


So it was unsurprising when California got their wave starting in Early October. That is about the time the H-S seasonal stimulus should happen with the peak in December
Now California was fairly untouched until this period so Covid had a lot of room to run. California peaked 12/11 with 123,159 infections. As of 2/8 CA it was at 14,976 infections which is a 87.8% drop. This is a pretty extreme drop.
This curve also mimcs both the national curve and other states as well. In fact shifting the starting point to 12/24 (the US peak) until 2/9 (when data is available for each look) the US has dropped 74.7%.
Even if we shift California to fit our US peak date range we have an 85.8% decrease. So California has actually fell at a faster rate than the US as a whole. Now lets look at severity because that is also invoked in this article.
Well the US peaked around Jan 5th in hosps. There has been a 58% decrease since then. California? The peak was a few days after but lets compare similar timeframes. California has dropped 68.1%. So again California has dropped faster than the US as a whole.
Taking all of this into account and seeing how this variant was basically dated back to 9/1 I really do not see the cause for panic. Vigilance in tracking these? Yes. Panic over every variant? No.
We are exiting a H-S seasonality peak, we have burgeoning herd immunity (i prefer resistance) and excellent vaccines that curb transmission and severe outcomes. This is the best spot we have been in during this entire pandemic. Plenty to be optimistic about. Panic is not the way.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with District AI

District AI Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @districtai

22 Feb
Apocalypse Checkup:

How is Iowa doing?

The answer? Pretty damned good.

On Feb 5th @KimReynoldsIA lifted the statewide mask mandate as of the following sunday, Feb 7th. Well let's see how they are doing since:


Dropped from 546 (7d MA) to 361 which is a 33.8% decrease


Dropped from 316 to 229 which is a 27.5%


Really too early to tell but still have dropped from 30 to 14.
The @DMRegister quickly lambasted her but as we can see they were wrong. The @StarTribune in Minnesota did the same. This is the same pattern we have been seeing. Outlets criticize a politician for removing NPIs, are proven wrong and are never held to account.
Read 5 tweets
8 Feb
Covid cases and hosps are falling, fast. What can we possibly rule out? Thread (data used in parenthesis):

- Masking? compliance actually increased into this rise...has not increased markedly during the fall (IHME)
- Behavior? no data backing this up (USC Behavior)

- PCR Ct? WHO put out guidance but besides a small Kansas announcement the CDC has not followed suit (WHO, no CDC announcement)
- Less Testing? Cases have fallen at a much higher percentage than testing has receded (Cases down roughly 50%, Testing 20%, Data: CTP).

- Variants? Well variants would cause an increase according to the models (these are only models) yet SA and UK are also falling fast. (worldometers)
- Vaccines? Too early for those but we could start seeing effects on keep down severe cases this month (Bloomberg)

Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!