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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic since 2005; Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion Forum.

Gestalt # 21 – SARS-2 Pandemic

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Tabitha111 View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 07 2020 at 1:17pm

by monotreme1000 May 7, 2020


Origin of SARS-CoV-2 Hypotheses

1. The virus was engineered in a crude and obvious way.

Although there have been a few scientists who claim to have found evidence for genetic modification, the consensus view is that are no obvious signs of tampering. There are characteristics of the sequence that point to natural evolution.

2. The virus was engineered in a sophisticated and non-obvious way.

There is no way to prove this hypothesis without a confession from someone who did it or knows about it. This is because all of the signs of natural evolution of a virus could be carefully synthesized, nucleotide by nucleotide. There is also no way to disprove this hypothesis, even in theory.

3. The virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan.

There is no definitive proof that this occurred. However, there is very strong circumstantial evidence which raises suspicion that this may have occurred.

The Chinese government, under the direction of Dictator Xi Jinping, launched a massive cover up which included destroying samples, prohibiting publication of information, silencing of researchers who knew what happened and preventing outside scientists from investigating.

4. The virus originated in a "wet market" in Wuhan.

This hypothesis has been disproven. Samples collected from patients who were infected before the big outbreak associated with the wet market are positive. The epidemic was probably amplified by crowding at the wet market, but it did not originate there.

5. The virus spread from a bat somewhere near Wuhan to an unknown person who then spread it within Wuhan.

There is no evidence for or against this hypothesis.

We do not have a definitive answer to the origin of SARS-CoV-2. However, we can reject hypotheses 1 and 4. Hypotheses 2, 3 and 5 are still possible. The currently available evidence most strongly points to hypothesis 3, although this is entirely circumstantial.

Regardless of the origin of SARS-CoV-2, there can be no doubt that Dictator Xi Jinping deliberately, and with malice aforethought, spread the virus both within Wuhan and to the rest of the world.

He is personally responsible for every death in China and outside of China. This does not excuse other world leaders for their response to the virus, but the blame for starting the pandemic lies with Xi Jinping alone.

Multiple strains

All viruses mutate and SARS-CoV-2 is no exception.

Most mutations have no impact on the biology of the virus. However, there is increasing evidence that there are multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2 with different biological properties.

 A new strain first appeared in Europe and has since spread to New York City. This strain appears to be more infectious. It is possible that it is also more lethal than the strain that first emerged in Wuhan. Calculations about the lethality of SARS-CoV-2 based on the early strain may not apply to the new strain. It is also possible that vaccines developed against the early strain will not work against the new one.

The future

There are still many things we do not know about SARS-CoV-2.

So, any attempt to predict the future has a high probability of being wrong. Nonetheless, the range of possibilities is starting to constrict.

Will the virus miraculously disappear from the world this summer? This is still possible, but seems increasingly unlikely. Although some countries in the Southern Hemisphere have done a great job, thus far, in controlling the virus (Australia, New Zealand), others are struggling (in South American and Africa).

Can the virus be contained in countries where it is currently spreading? Yes, but this requires very tight travel restrictions which are currently not being used to any significant extent in large countries like the US. Whether the US and other countries change their policies on travel depends on political decisions, not scientific knowledge.

Will a vaccine save us? Not any time soon and perhaps never. The virus is mutating too quickly to have any confidence that a single vaccine will work on all strains.

Will an anti-viral save us? We have effective antivirals for HIV and Influenza. Lots of people still die from these diseases every year. I think it is possible that an antiviral will be developed that will be helpful, but it won't stop the pandemic by itself.

Will testing and contact tracing save us? Possibly, but not until our testing capacity has greatly increased from what it is now. This approach will fail unless it is combined with travel restrictions.

There are countries which have reduced their COVID-19 cases to nearly zero. We should study them adopt their strategies. Many countries will not be able to control the virus within their borders due to incompetent politicians and public health officials. I hope the US is not on this list, for long.

     




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