T. Ryan Gregory Profile picture
Professor of evolutionary biology. I, for one, do not welcome our new viral overlords. Monger (fear, occasionally fish). Pronouns in bio (he/him).
papillon4444 🇨🇦💛💙🐶🌻 Profile picture Wayne L Pendley Profile picture Jerry Stock Profile picture ARP Profile picture Beat- Слава Україні 💙💛 🐧✊🏻🇺🇦🇪🇺🏳️‍🌈 Profile picture 14 added to My Authors
Sep 24 13 tweets 2 min read
It seems to me that, in order to continue to vigorously minimize the pandemic and not suffer immense cognitive dissonance, one would need to actually believe the following:

🧵 * Excess deaths attributable to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (~20 million) are *vastly* overestimated.

* Confirmed COVID deaths (1 million in the US, 6 million globally) were largely "with" and not "from" COVID.

* Estimated orphanhood rates (~10 million) are greatly exaggerated.
Sep 24 9 tweets 1 min read
What other horrible things have masks and lockdowns done? Go. Image Masks don't fossilize, so it remains entirely possible -- nay, a near certainty -- that they caused the End Permian mass extinction 250 million years ago.
Sep 23 6 tweets 4 min read
That's three articles about this brave student and her struggles with performative administration at @uofg. I've said it before and will say it many more times, our students are awesome.

guelphmercury.com/news-story/107… guelphtoday.com/local-news/u-o…
Sep 23 7 tweets 2 min read
New variants can evolve among hosts in the population (as within the Omicron lineage) or within individual hosts (Delta vs Omicron), specifically immunocompromised people with persistent infections. Here's why that means *protecting* those who are vulnerable, not blaming them. Here's just a few papers showing that within-host evolution, specifically in immunocompromised or immunosuppressed people with long-term infections, may be how we get new major lineages of variants:



Sep 22 7 tweets 2 min read
I've written before about how viral evolution occurs at two levels: within individual hosts and among individuals within the host population. New variants can evolve in either case, but the results may be quite different. 🧵 What we see with Omicron variants (specifically, members of the BA.2 lineage, which includes BA.5 variants) converging on a suite of immunity-escaping mutations is due to natural selection at the among-host, population level.
Sep 22 4 tweets 3 min read
For those who follow me and dedicated @uofg colleagues like @shoshanahjacobs, @DrDanielGillis, @glenpyle, @adamwjdavies, I hope it's obvious how much our issues with the senior administration relate to things that affect not only faculty, but also staff and students. The total erosion of trust, the disrespect, the lack of transparency, the undermining of collegial governance, the disconnect from real experiences, the lack of empathy, the performative EDI statements, the ego, and the attempt to control everything. This impacts us all at @uofg.
Sep 22 10 tweets 2 min read

So, what's happening with COVID variant evolution most recently is that the various lineages are converging on a similar suite of mutations. Mutations are random, but which ones persist and increase in frequency is not if they are evolving under natural selection. The variants circulating now are all derived from the BA.2 major lineage of Omicron (BA.1 is the other but it is basically extinct). There are two lineages of concern within that branch of the COVID evolutionary tree, ones still called BA.2 and ones derived from BA.2 called BA.5.
Sep 21 7 tweets 2 min read
Quick summary of variants you're probably hearing about. 🧵


BA.2 lineage:
BA.2.75 = Centaurus
BA.2.75.2 = Alcyon
BJ.1 = Argus

BA.5 lineage:
BQ.1.1 = Asterius
BF.7 = Cerberus WHO uses the Greek letter naming system for major variants of concern. Functionally, this has turned out to be akin to high-level taxonomic names. So, "Omicron" is like "Mammalia". Yes, all of the current major variants are "Omicron" in the way that all mammals are "Mammalia".
Sep 20 9 tweets 2 min read
The current public health situation captured in funny skits, sketches, bits, or clips. Go. 🧵 It's ok. The pandemic is over.

Sep 20 8 tweets 2 min read
For the people in my region as we head into fall. 🧵 I know some of you still want to know what's going on with the pandemic, so here is what I see heading into fall:

Cases rising again in the UK. Hospitalizations will follow as a lagging indicator, as usual. What happens in the UK happens in Canada a few weeks later.
Sep 17 10 tweets 6 min read
Let's take a look at whether there have been "no new major variants" and "it's all just subvariants of Omicron". Is this true? Yes in one specific sense and otherwise no. 🧵 First to the kinda yes. I'm not talking about the trivially true observation that @WHO haven't used any Greek letter labels since Omicron. That strikes me as more a political decision than I scientific one.
Sep 17 5 tweets 1 min read
I hate to be a downer, and I still strongly encourage people getting boosters, but I don't think the Omicron variant chasing approach to updating existing vaccines is going to do all that much. Not with zero mitigation measures in place. It just evolves too quickly. Boosters and updated vaccines will, I hope, continue to provide protection for the most severe acute outcomes, but they don't stop transmission and long COVID is a major issue even for people who are vaccinated.

We need to significantly reduce transmission. Period.
Sep 15 7 tweets 3 min read
Thinking about nicknames for variants worth watching. A short 🧵

(I have no formal role in any of this, and I am tagging active variant trackers like @Mike_Honey_, @LongDesertTrain, @DGBassani, @EllingUlrich, @CorneliusRoemer, @RajlabN) There's nothing wrong with the technical labels from Pango or Nextstrain/CoVariants, but it can get unwieldy and confusing in broader discussions. I've suggested maybe going alphabetically through Greek mythological creatures, but that's just an idea.
Sep 15 19 tweets 3 min read
We see lower ICU occupancy, fewer patients on ventilators, and a lower number of deaths on a per infection basis now than we have previously. All of this is good news, but does it mean the pandemic is finally coming to an end as we all want it to?🧵 It is tempting to assume that the virus itself has evolved to do less damage to us as its hosts. However, that is unlikely to be the case. If one of the Omicron variants had been the one that first spread in immunologically naïve populations in 2020, it may have been far worse.
Sep 14 4 tweets 2 min read
Toxic male minimizer docs have taken @dgurdasani1's personal message about being medically vulnerable as an opportunity to ridicule and bully her.

1. Show her some support.
2. Do NOT stay silent about this.

#EnoughIsEnough Vinay Prasad Sai MediBrent A. Williams
Sep 13 5 tweets 2 min read
Here is a list of 100 "COVID-19 Wonder Women". They are superheroes and champions for public health.

(If you're on this list, it's because you are having a very positive impact. THANK YOU for all that you do. If you wish to be removed, please DM me.)

twitter.com/i/lists/156967… Thank you to everyone who made so many excellent suggestions! If there are others who should be added please comment.
Sep 13 4 tweets 1 min read
Videos of little Black girls reacting with joy to seeing an Ariel who looks like them has made my day. Much more of this in the world, please. ❤️
Sep 13 4 tweets 1 min read
This is great. Anyone with skillz want to turn the threads about Canada into an info poster people can put up? Links below.
Sep 13 15 tweets 7 min read
I believe that everyone should have access to information about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many governments and public health officials are closing down the sharing of data, but there are still excellent independent sources. Here are some recommendations. 🧵 First, a note about variant names. Things like "BA.2.75.2" are Pango lineages, whereas Nextstrain and CoVariants use a different naming system (like "22C"). These are separate from the Greek letter system used by the @WHO (e.g., everything since BA.1 being "Omicron"). Evolutionary tree of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Summary of different variant naming systems.
Sep 11 9 tweets 5 min read
Hey Canada. I know you've been told that COVID is over or is now mild. A couple of COVID facts for you.

1) The number of confirmed COVID-related deaths in Canada in the past 2.5 years recently exceeded the number of Canadian combat deaths in 6 years of World War II. Cunulative COVID deaths in Canada. Canadian deaths in WW2. 2) In Canada, the first Omicron wave (BA.1) reached the highest peak in hospitalizations and the second highest peak in daily deaths -- behind only the first wild type wave in 2020. Those initial waves occurred before vaccines or any "hybrid immunity" had built up. Number of COVID patients in hospital in Canada. Number of COVID deaths in Canada.
Sep 11 4 tweets 4 min read
Amplifying these amazing women warriors for COVID safety. They all endure so much bullshit but they still kick ass to the benefit of us all.



Please add others I have missed!