You’ll never believe it, but morbid fascination Twitter has tribes… 🧵 infodemic of dueling social media pundits pushing warring doomsday scenarios, while others falsely insist the virus is harmless. /2
… yes, you should try to avoid catching the virus, but no COVID won’t “wipe out your T-cells like airborne AIDS”… /3
..and no, COVID doesn’t infect brain cells…a typical case is not gonna “shave off IQ points..” /4
..and despite that #LongCovid is legit and quite tragic, most infections resolve without nasty sequelae, especially if you’re fully vaccinated .. /5
..there are still plenty of unknowns and I get that that’s scary.. /6
..but when we give in to the urge to be entertained by scary outlier studies— a few of which may involve true examples of what can happen at rare extremes.. /7
..then our understanding of the pandemic and its risks becomes exaggerated and distorted by fear … like a carnival hall of mirrors.. /8
.. worse yet we can lose the ability to calibrate our responses to the actual risks.. /9
..while creating openings for people pushing wishful thinking takes, like “it’s mild”… “it’s just a cold” /10
.. or hey, “no big deal, we can cure it with ivermectin..” In short, social media is a double-edged sword .. a great way to reach large audiences.. /11
…but lies (and distortions) can surf 🏄‍♀️ these radio waves just as fast as truth can, and are often far more entertaining.. /12
Therein lies the rub… critical thinking & distinguishing valid sources from phonies are more important than ever.. /13
..hey, it’s a big, wide world and the best parts are not on Twitter..stay sane, folks! /14

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More from @macroliter

13 Jan
Not only does @23andMe sell customer🧬+ health data behind our backs, but they don't genotype a key #COVID19 susceptibility locus, OAS1 rs10774671. @NebulaGenomics better wrt PRIVACY & QUALITY. Less astrology-like popsci takes, more data🧵
OAS1 COVID ref ⛓️ OAS1 rs10774671 locus results from 23andMe showing my result
Here's the GWAS data implicating OAS1 ..…..
Here's the Science (AAAS) / UK study showing functional relevance that got much more media attention than the eLife paper that was published slightly earlier.. comparing when each preprint went live (April 22, 2021 eLife vs. May 9, 2021 Science/AAAS)…
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
Vivek's piece in the WSJ argues that policy makers must tolerate the spread of "milder" variants like #Omicron. @angie_rasmussen & others rightfully criticized this Very Bad Idea. There are many things wrong with Vivek's arguments. 🧵 1/n
Firstly, he is just gloriously wrong on the facts. Yes, variants can emerge in the U.S., there are immune compromised (IC) people here & #Omicron and other variants can and do find their way to replicate in IC hosts in USA. (There's also endemic SARS-CoV-2 in Deer). 2/
Vivek says U.S. "enjoys widespread vaccination" so variants won't emerge / evolve while we let Omicron "rip".. Widespread vaccination: Maybe.. But U.S. vaccine uptake is PATCHY.. Does this look like great vaccination rates? 👇… 3/ Image
Read 10 tweets
11 Jan
💥 Very important finding: Airborne infectivity of SARS2 🦠 decreases by ~90% within 20 min. The group hasn’t yet tested #Omicron —but overall, this work underscores that crowding indoors drives the pandemic. 🧵 #COVIDisAirborne cc: @EricTopol…
“We report changes in the infectivity of the airborne virus over timescales spanning from 5 s to 20 minutes and demonstrate the role of two microphysical processes in this infectivity loss: particle crystallisation and aerosol droplet pH change.”
“A decrease in infectivity to ~10 % of the starting value was observable for SARS-CoV-2 over 20 mi, w/ a large proportion of the loss occurring within the first 5 min after aerosolisation.”
Read 5 tweets
10 Dec 21
Friday afternoon epiphany. Team LabLeak are not "like creationists." They ARE creationists: (1) They claim humans 'created' the coronavirus. (2) They ignore evidence & move goal posts. (3) They come up with stats-based arguments that evince a total misunderstanding of evolution.
Listen to Susan Weiss. It’d be incredibly, incredibly hard to engineer a virus that has a presymptomatic infectious stage like SARS2 does. We don’t know how to do that. COVID-19 isn’t a human creation.
The idea that inserting an FCS into a coronavirus Spike just magically starts a pandemic is a little like assuming that buying a young tall boy basketball shoes will get you a Kobe Bryant.
Read 4 tweets
7 Dec 21
1/ Did you know @Vir_Biotech's Sotrovimab antibody neutralizes OG 2003 SARS & SARS-CoV-2 variants -- even #Omicron? Since Sotrovimab was cloned from the memory B-cells of someone who recovered from COVID19, many recipients of current vaccines will develop similar antibodies...
2/ The @Vir_Biotech Humabs team found Sotrovimab by looking for antibodies that neutralized both 2003 SARS & SARS-CoV-2...…
3/ But what if we could develop vaccines that trained our immune system to produce "broadly neutralizing antibodies" that can inactivate all SARS-like viruses? Not such a new idea.. Similar strategies have been proposed for influenza & even HIV!…
Read 10 tweets
4 Dec 21
1/ We in wealthy nations not only hoard vaccines 💉. We also hoard the genome sequencing 🧬 reagents needed for early detection of dangerous new variants like #Omicron which— coincidentally— emerge much more easily in poorly vaccinated regions …🧵…
2/ This problem stems from short-sighted scientific & political leadership in the West, exemplified by the attitude of @emblebi @embl co-Director Rolf Apfweiler in his May 2021 quote to @amymaxmen. THESE WORDS HAVE NOT AGED WELL IN WAKE OF #Omicron 🤦🏻‍♂️… Fears of exploitation haven...
3/ This quote from Peter Bogner of @GISAID juxtapose hauntingly against Apfweiler’s .. (but please read the whole @FT piece…) Screenshot of excerpt from ...
Read 9 tweets

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