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Bits & Pieces

Basically things I’ve noticed while waiting for the next hurricane update:

Ari Fleischer thinks we should give Trump some time to adjust to his loss. Yeah, like the time he gave to Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s family to sit shiva before nominating a replacement. Act like a schmuck and you get treated like a schmuck.

Among those who have tested positive for the COVID virus is my Congresscritter, Matt Gaetz. Gaetz then proclaims that he didn’t test positive for the virus, only for the antibodies. Basic knowledge, you can have the virus before you develop the antibodies, but you can’t have the antibodies if you don’t or didn’t have the virus.

Trump’s current favorite medical expert, Dr. Scott Atlas bad-mouthed government infectious disease experts on Russian state television. If you search for RT on Google, DuckDuckGo, or Wikipedia, the first return is RT (Russia Today).

As Dr. Atlas is a fan of herd immunity, maybe he should aware of multiple studies about the short lived immunity offered by catching the virus: Immunity to the coronavirus may last only a few months, UK study finds, and a separate British study shows evidence of waning immunity to Covid-19. There are already known examples of people catching the virus twice.


1 Oldwhitelady { 11.09.20 at 7:37 pm }

I sure hope Matt Gaetz loses his next bid for office. I have no respect for him, what-so-ever. The Democrat that runs against him will need to get his name out and about, so everyone is familiar with his name. I think familiarity of a name brings the votes.
Now we see Ben Carson is also Covid19 positive. One of my friends, who contracted it at the end of July, said the county nurse advised her the antibodies would only protect her for about 90 days from the day of contracting it.
Dr. Atlas isn’t an immunologist, I think he’s a radiologist. I think Trump really wanted the virus to spread around the USA. I just don’t understand why. I’m pretty sure it’s monetary related, I just don’t know how.

2 Badtux { 11.10.20 at 2:01 am }

We’re really not sure yet whether you can catch it twice. We know that there are people who tested positive for COVID-19, then tested negative for COVID-19 a while later, then tested positive for COVID-19 a while after that, but there is a non-zero possibility that the negative test was a false negative and these people never actually got over COVID-19, or that the second positive test was a false positive and they actually *did* get over COVID-19 but were still shedding virus RNA.

This is due to two things:

1) False negatives result from bad sampling. The test requires sticking a *long* q-tip way back into your nasal passages. This is extremely uncomfortable and if the person twitches just right, you can fail to get the sample. The end result is a false negative.

2) False positives result from the PCR process amplifying non-viable viral RNA. Antibodies work by marking virus capsules for destruction, then white blood cells come by and destroy the virus capsules, leaving naked non-viable RNA floating around in your tissues. This naked RNA has no ability to enter into cells and make you sick — the capsule is what lets it do that. Your body sheds this naked RNA over time. The PCR process doesn’t care whether RNA is naked or non-naked, it will zip the RNA with its mirror image into DNA, then amplify the DNA until it has something it can test. If you’re still shedding the viral RNA it’ll give a false positive even though there’s no actual active infection.

In short — I don’t think we know enough yet to know how long immunity lasts, or whether you can catch COVID-19 again after you’ve already caught it once. The small numbers that seem to have caught it twice could be just a testing artifact cause by the fact that even PCR tests, the most accurate tests we have, are only 99% accurate.

3 Bryan { 11.10.20 at 11:13 am }

I don’t understand how people in Florida’s First District could vote for a clown over a retired Naval pilot. Perhaps the retired Commander needs to get his name out there in the next two years and try again.

Badtux, I’m talking about cases involving two different strains of COVID in the same individual. The studies on antibodies are on hundreds of thousands individuals (thanks to national health systems in Europe) showing the decline in antibodies. Trump could catch it again before January 20th as many of the antibodies he had were from that monoclonal cocktail and he is in the group shown to lose the antibodies the fastest. I’m hoping the vaccines succeed, but I’ll continue wearing a mask even after getting the injection.

4 Badtux { 11.15.20 at 3:31 pm }

I presume you’re talking aboutthis paper at Lancet. Unfortunately this paper raises more questions than it answers. In particular, there was no immunoassay at the time of the original infection to answer the question of whether he developed antibodies to that first infection in the first place. In some cases a mild viral infection will not result in formation of long-term antibodies. Short-term IgM antibodies will form and whack the infection before long-term IgG antibodies are formed. If this individual never formed IgG antibodies to COVID-19 because the initial infectoin was so mild, that would explain why he was re-infected. It doesn’t say anything about how long immunity lasts in and of itself. Presumably the vaccine tests being done today are verifying the formation of long-term IgG antibodies.

In short, in the few case studies we can find that do appear to be true re-infection, it’s unknown whether long-term IgG antibodies had formed in the first place.

5 Bryan { 11.19.20 at 10:01 pm }

That’s the Nevada incident and you may well be correct on in the short-term vs long-term anti-bodies, but the two studies that involved NHS patients in Britain and patients in Portugal were looking specifically at the antibodies retained by those who recovered from COVID and notices that the antibodies were disappearing in months, and the disappearance was more rapid the older the patients.

Now there is a study in Australia of a family, where it appeared that both parents caught the virus, but the children tested negative. When the children were tested for antibodies, the same antibodies that their parents had were found, but the virus was never found. Apparently the immune system response of the children was fast and strong enough to prevent the virus from establishing itself.

The real problem is that we don’t fully understand the disease. Hopefully the vaccines knock it down long enough so that we can trace and eliminate spread. Of course, the vaccines are worthless if people won’t take them.