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D&D and the rising pandemic


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billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Hopefully, if convened, the grand jury will do the right thing and refuse to indict. Otherwise, this does smack of being racially motivated...
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Insofar as trends are not guarantees, that's true. And certainly, given that we are annoyed when pizza takes too long to show up, it won't happen "quickly" on our terms. But quickly, maybe even lightning speed, in evolutionary terms.

One can look at previous pandemics. They seem to hang around for around 3 years.

They generally seem to mutate into less deadly variants.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
One can look at previous pandemics. They seem to hang around for around 3 years.

The number of useful historical examples, though, is small, making the trend a bit difficult to be sure of. And (we can hope) this time around is different, as other pandemics did not have such successful vaccine development programs.

News this morning is that Pfizer and Moderna have both increased and stepped up their delivery schedules - it is expected they'll deliver enough vaccine for 300 million Americans by May
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The number of useful historical examples, though, is small, making the trend a bit difficult to be sure of. And (we can hope) this time around is different, as other pandemics did not have such successful vaccine development programs.

News this morning is that Pfizer and Moderna have both increased and stepped up their delivery schedules - it is expected they'll deliver enough vaccine for 300 million Americans by May
around 2 months sooner than previously
 




The more successful tend to be less deadly... they can still have horrible linger effects

To an extent; counterselection is usually for early mortality, but you can absolutely get something like AIDS which is successful and still lethal, it just takes a while (barring modern drug treatments). But that still, in practice, tends select out a fair number of really bad infections over time; its just not a certainty that, as you say, it'll avoid long-term effects.

Or, a long-winded way of saying what Umbran says above.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The number of useful historical examples, though, is small, making the trend a bit difficult to be sure of. And (we can hope) this time around is different, as other pandemics did not have such successful vaccine development programs.

News this morning is that Pfizer and Moderna have both increased and stepped up their delivery schedules - it is expected they'll deliver enough vaccine for 300 million Americans by May
There’s also a few notable counterexamples, like smallpox and bubonic plague. Neither evolved into less deadly forms. One, we used vaccination to eradicate in the wild, and the other we changed our behavior in order to minimize its impact on us (PLUS developed treatments to survive it).

See also anthrax, SARS, MERS, ebola, Marburg, Lhasa, and Hantavirus.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
One, we used vaccination to eradicate in the wild, and the other we changed our behavior in order to minimize its impact on us (PLUS developed treatments to survive it).

See also anthrax, SARS, MERS, ebola, Marburg, Lhasa, and Hantavirus.

Yep. Humans can, if they have their heads screwed on straight, adapt behavior and/or technology much more quickly than viruses change. That's kind of the point of having the big brain.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
There’s also a few notable counterexamples, like smallpox and bubonic plague. Neither evolved into less deadly forms. One, we used vaccination to eradicate in the wild, and the other we changed our behavior in order to minimize its impact on us (PLUS developed treatments to survive it).

See also anthrax, SARS, MERS, ebola, Marburg, Lhasa, and Hantavirus.

Modern bubonic plague is a lot less deadly than the black death to the point that they're wondering if it's the same thing.

Doesn't quite match up as we only have descriptions of its effects. It doesn't spread as rapidly either that might be partly because of modern hygiene.

But it still lingers on in parts of the world lacking those facilities.

There were further outbreaks of plague after the black death but it didn't kill one in three. Accounts of the plague in Roman times also indicate it was worse.

And it's not like hygiene really improved much until the late 19th centy.

But we'll still be dealing with Covid until 2022 minimum.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
But we'll still be dealing with Covid until 2022 minimum.

I think you need to define who you mean by "we" and "dealing with" for that to be a meaningful statement.

If "we" is "the world", then yes. There will be places the vaccines haven't reached yet. If "we" is "your town", then covid-19 may be a practical non-issue before summer's end.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I think you need to define who you mean by "we" and "dealing with" for that to be a meaningful statement.

If "we" is "the world", then yes. There will be places the vaccines haven't reached yet. If "we" is "your town", then covid-19 may be a practical non-issue before summer's end.

We I meant at the government level. Going to take years for tourism for example to recover.

Probably have to ask some hard questions here and there about a lot if things.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Modern bubonic plague is a lot less deadly than the black death to the point that they're wondering if it's the same thing.

Doesn't quite match up as we only have descriptions of its effects. It doesn't spread as rapidly either that might be partly because of modern hygiene.

But it still lingers on in parts of the world lacking those facilities.

There were further outbreaks of plague after the black death but it didn't kill one in three. Accounts of the plague in Roman times also indicate it was worse.

And it's not like hygiene really improved much until the late 19th centy.

But we'll still be dealing with Covid until 2022 minimum.
While we actually have effective treatments for it now, public health is the real key. PH in general has saved more lives than medicine ever will. With the plague, differences in public health measures- better hygiene, better rat control, anti-flea measures, contact tracing, etc.- are significant barriers to rapid spread.

Hell, every outbreak in the USA- about 7 per year- gets significant local news coverage, usually including all kinds of warnings about how to avoid getting or spreading it.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
While we actually have effective treatments for it now, public health is the real key. PH in general has saved more lives than medicine ever will. With the plague, differences in public health measures- better hygiene, better rat control, anti-flea measures, contact tracing, etc.- are significant barriers to rapid spread.

Hell, every outbreak in the USA gets significant local news coverage, usually including all kinds of warnings about how to avoid getting or spreading it.

More outside USA. The common belief is it's less deadly than it used to be because it's never been repeated and the records indicate slightly different symptoms.

I think it originated in Myanmar/NE India. May have been that perfect storm as well conditions, mutations maybe more than one pathogen.

Common flu may be the remnants of Spanish Flu from 100 years ago.

3 years seems to be the longer lasting pandemics anyway. Obviously long term effects extend beyond that.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
To an extent; counterselection is usually for early mortality, but you can absolutely get something like AIDS which is successful and still lethal, it just takes a while (barring modern drug treatments). But that still, in practice, tends select out a fair number of really bad infections over time; its just not a certainty that, as you say, it'll avoid long-term effects.
yeh one could say aids is a horrible long term effect of the less lethal direct effects of the virus.
 


yeh one could say aids is a horrible long term effect of the less lethal direct effects of the virus.


That's the gig here. Mutation, essentially, rolls the dice for new traits, and then selection picks the versions of an organism that does best, reproductively speaking out of them. Virii and other microorganisms have rapid life cycles, so you get to see the process in realtime in a way that a lot of other organisms do that too slowly to do.

All other things being equal, host mortality increases are counterselected for. That's true even of things like AIDS; a host that lived out its whole life as a virus generating factory would be more beneficial to reproduction of the organism than one that doesn't. But once the survival time is long enough relative to the virus life-cycle, that selection pressure is minor, whereas other elements may be stronger.

That's why really quick-kill diseases are rare; they can take down the host before it even gets a chance to spread the disease, and the counter-selection there is stronger the shorter the time frame is. The longer it takes, the more other reproductively benign traits start to weigh in more than that.

But this still tells you why "super deadly and super quick diseases" aren't really common; its a poor reproduction strategy, and that quickly selects away from it, and the selection away from deadly diseases never really stops. Its just the effect on slower-killing diseases can be kind of weak.
 


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