Coronavirus Open Thread 2023

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“oral antiviral pills”

Is there an anal version?


From Japan:


Maybe not, but you could ask a doctor if you’re into that.

The point was probably oral vs. injectable, where oral is often preferred where possible, because of better patient compliance, cost, no need for healthcare staff to administer, etc. Remdesivir needs to be administered by IV, for example (AFAIK). A lot of potential drugs get destroyed in the stomach or can’t be absorbed from the GI tract.

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China is pissed off about restrictions other countries are putting in place against them. How soon they forget or dismiss that at one time they had the most restrictive testing or arrival requirements in the world. Not to forget the anal swabs on the Japanese embassy personnel!

The Chinese are just going to fake Covid tests in order to get on a plane anyway. What’s the point? China can’t be trusted for anything. And they are playing victim? Geez! Pot kettle black!

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not sure where to post this.
Seeking advice and help.
I just tested positive for Covid.
The fever and chills come and go.
Saw a doctor and got meds.
They arent helping the constant debilitating headache.

Anything over the counter that works for massive Covid headaches here in Taiwan?

An intelligent conversation about the vaccines, messaging, institutions, the scientific community and conspiracies in social media.

I’ve just had a quick skip through it (I’ll watch it properly later) but when someone uses the phrase “science-fearing man”, it rings some alarm bells. Science is not a deity. The other speakers are making completely unfounded claims that they’ve pulled out of their ass, without producing any supporting data (because they can’t). People who have actual intelligent conversations about this subject (Bret Weinstein and Chris Martenson spring to mind) invariably build their talks around some particular piece of research or set of scientific results.

The comment about getting a slice of the yuuuuge pot of government moolah that’s floating around, to study a largely-mythical syndrome (“long COVID”), made me laugh. Because that’s basically what it’s all about, isn’t it? Might as well tap into some of that firehose of cash before hyperinflation sets in.

How are you?

7 days since testing positive.
Still testing positive.
Still symptomatic…
chest cough
sore throat
Doctor said it progressed to pneumonia. On antibiotics.
Official quarantine ended today.
If I am still positive and symptomatic, is the quaratie extended?

Not sure about extended quarantine - but you better take care of yourself first.
Eat more healthy food and sleep more.

Not sure about Antibiotics - since you are still positive means antibiotics not working ?
You need to tell your doc probably there is some other medicine.

Try hot ginger tea for sore throat and cough, other natural stuff like honey and lemon.
Hot Chicken soup.
Pneumonia - better check with your doc how to get proper medicine and so on.

Take care.

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Let nature take its course.

Haven’t we been through this, at nauseum? Or is this just some warming up for a nihilistic 2023?


Yes we have, and after two years I’ve been unable to get through to you that these two statements are not even remotely close to being the same thing. I’ll give it another go: if you cannot (even in principle) control A, then the sensible course of action is to focus on whatever things B, C and D you can actually control, instead of screaming frantically that A is out of control and more needs to be done to control it.


Who is “screaming frantically”? That seems quite disconnected from any interactions I’ve had with health authorities in Taiwan.

Based on your posts, I can only conclude that you and I are hanging out with different crowds.


I avoid all interactions with “the health authorities” if I can possibly avoid it. I certainly wouldn’t want to hang out with them. I don’t know what it is they’re paid to do, but my health has taken a nosedive because of their “mandates”, so I’m assuming they either know buggerall about public health and aren’t interested in educating themselves, or that making people sicker is their explicit goal. I can’t think of any third possibility.

In any case my point was that you cannot control the spread of COVID any more than you can hold back the tide, and nobody has successfully done so, anywhere. Since this is known to be impossible, what you can do is mitigate the effects of a relatively trivial disease, and then bloody leave people alone. That is something that the CECC/CDC, in common with every other “health authority” across the globe, has steadfastly refused to do, and has called people conspiracy theorists and worse for suggesting that it might produce an optimal outcome.

The latest variant has been named Orthrus. Is there a team coming up with scary names?

"Doctor Allison Arwady, Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner, said early signs were cold-like symptoms.

Dr Arwady said these included a sore throat, runny nose, congestion and a cough."



So … it’s basically a cold. :ponder:

Apparently, the Commisioner gets paid $180,215 a year (plus expenses, I imagine) for bringing these important public messages to the people of Chicago.

EDIT: I just found a picture of Chicago’s public-health expert:

Draw your own conclusions.


So I’ve been meaning to go through the ONS statistics for a while. They’re now up-to-date until the end of 2022.

A lot of people have been discussing “excess deaths” in 2022. I’m not a big fan of this concept, because it fails to distinguish between 90-year-olds and 5-year-olds dying, unless you stratify by narrow agebands. So I’m continuing with my “lost life-years” methodology because I still think this accurately captures to social impact of deaths in a simple scalar measurement.

The TL;DR version is that all-cause mortality increased in 2020 above the 2017-2019 baseline, and has remained there, despite the fact (a) that very few COVID deaths are being declared and (b) we supposedly have a magic vaccine that has saved 3 million lives worldwide.

Here are the figures/charts. For each of 52 weeks, I’ve taken a reference average from 2017, 2018, and 2019. UK population has grown somewhat since 2017 (not really what you’d expect during a “pandemic”, but there it is), and demographics have changed a bit, so this accounts for a smallish fraction of the uptick in deaths. However, I have not attempted to calculate ASMR - all of these charts are based on raw deaths. I’ve calculated “lost life years” using the actuarial life expectancy at age X - in other words, if you die at (say) age 65, that gets factored in as 20 lost life-years. The Y-axis on all charts is “years lost”, not “lives lost”.


This one (ages 0-19) is quite striking. Child deaths actually dropped in 2020 and returned to baseline in 2022. Here’s the difference between 2020-2022 and the 2017-19 average:

Where’s the “pandemic” here? Where’s the justification for closing schools? For masks and vaccination mandates? Children and teenagers lost three years of their lives - years that they can never get back - for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The only obvious bump above zero is at the back end of 2021. Now, what notable event happened at the back end of 2021? Oooh, I really can’t remember.

Here’s ages 20-44 (what I’ve called “Working Age”). Again, the “pandemic” isn’t even visible. These people were spending the best years of their lives unemployed, ordering useless shit from Amazon, and watching Netflix, alone, getting fat and depressed.


Here’s the difference from the 2017-2019 baseline:


It’s impossible to even guess which of those lines is the pandemic year without looking at the legend. This age group has had elevated non-COVID deaths for three years now - up only 5% in 2020, 12% in 2021, and 9% in 2022. In other words, a lot more people in this agegroup died after the arrival of vaccines than at the peak of Thuh Pandemic. Not saying the vaccines are the cause; but COVID doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything here.

It’s only when we get to middle-aged people (45-69) we actually see something that looks like a problem:


It’s a pretty weird problem, though. We get what looks exactly like a seasonal respiratory-disease bump in late 2019, and overlaid on top of the downslope of it is … a thing. WTF is that? Whatever it is, it apparently blasts through the country in about 3 months, and then it’s gone.

Same thing happened in the following winter. “Flu season” started, and then … uh, something else happened. Both of those peaks coincided with draconian “lockdowns”: the first occurred in week 12 2020 (about halfway up the apparent COVID uptick), and the second occurred around week 40 (in the middle of what looks like a common-or-garden bout of respiratory disease). Lockdown proponents will take this as proof that lockdowns are a Good Thing.

Excess lost life-years:


Compared to 2017-2019, lost life-years in the middle-aged were up 12% in 2020, 14% in '21, and 9% in '22. So, again, more people seem to have died in the aftermath of the pandemic measures than actually died during the outbreak.

The elderly cohort (age 70+) is the only one where a disease might plausibly be a principal cause of death - that is, where deaths in 2020 were higher than deaths in 2021 and 2022:



Notice that the 2020-21 winter wave is unremarkable in this group. One possible explanation is that some people at the natural end of their lives had already died back in April (the slight discontinuity between Dec 2020 and Jan 2021 is caused by me deleting week 53, just to make data alignment easier).

Compared to 2017-2019, lost life-years in the elderly group were up 13% in 2020, 8% in '21, and 8% in '22. Nevertheless, most of the deaths were confined to an extremely short period in 2020, and some serious questions have been raised about the care (or otherwise) of the elderly during that period.

Here are some snapshots of the big picture:

Total (“expected”) lost life years in 2017-2019: 6.5 million per year.
Lost life years in 2020: 7.4m (+14%)
Lost life years in 2021: 7.2m (+11%)
Lost life years in 2022: 7.0m (+8%)

Or in terms of absolute excess lost life years: 0.8m, 0.7m and 0.5m in 2020,21,22 respectively. It is most curious, IMO, how little interest there is in the fact that the same number of life-years have been lost to causes unknown in 2021-2022 as were supposedly lost to COVID in 2020-2021. And given the mounting revelations about vaccines, I’d be curious to know if anyone has changed their minds about the desirability of grannies being apprehended for walking their dogs and sitting on park benches, random people bashed over the head for not wearing a mask or going for a walk, the spending of trillions of fictional $ on fictional medicaments, or the othering and exclusion of ~30% of the population for refusing to participate in an uncontrolled experiment. Was it all worth it? Do we need to find out why all these extra people are dying, or is it OK to just shrug it off as a price worth paying for … well, what, exactly, did we even pay for?


Thanks for posting that, and for taking the effort to do it. :slightly_smiling_face:

Of course, most people won’t bother to read it, but still…