Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of January 24
This thread is posted weekly, and is intended as a place for more-casual discussion of the coronavirus and questions/updates that may not warrant their own dedicated topics. Tell us about what the situation is like where you live!
The blood markers that could help to diagnose long COVID
Here is the paper.
This is excellent news.
Covid isn't a human being, it doesn't care what you think about it.
My brother said this to me sometime in the summer of 2020, and my brain ground to a halt as I tried to process how utterly nonsensical it seemed. At the time the first thing I could think of was to attempt to draw a comparison to the British in WWII living under threat of being bombed, and not hiding when the sirens went off because "the kids need to be outdoors". It was a weak comparison, because the opposition in that scenario was still other humans with intent. This comparison to natural disasters is a much better device.
There’s a new version of omicron but so far it doesn’t appear to be more dangerous
Here's an excellent podcast with encouraging and positive news in the wake of Omicron and lots more data analysis. Really helped reduce my heightened anxiety lately,
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to increase, driven by the Omicron variant.
Random thought I had: Are viruses an important part of an ecosystem? Is there such a thing as a "good" virus? What would happen if some technology was invented, picture aerosolized self-replicating nanobots or something, that actively destroyed every virus it encountered. If we could eradicate all viruses from the earth, would there be a downside?
Some viruses are indeed mutualistic ("symbiotic"), including for humans. This Nature review paper is very approachable for the layman, you should have a look. But for the sake of the answer I will paste the (freely accessible) key points below; I'll let you, err... look at your scientific hub of choice for the full text.
As usual when talking about life, it has a head start of a few billion years in term of fine tuning and equilibrium, so eradicating a whole class of organism is not without consequences.
Thanks for the thoughtful response I was afraid of, haha. I guess genocide really is never the answer!