08/19 OT: It's The 19th; Heyyyy 19
So yeah, 19, as in Covid-19 for starts.
We have assorted experts making projections, predictions and posbbibly WAGs about the future, starting, specifically, with 2021.
A "news feature" in Nature, August 5, 2020 entitled:How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond, sub-titled This "coronavirus is here for the long haul — here’s what scientists predict for the next months and years." takes a somewhat in-depth look.
(https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02278-5?utm_source=pocket&utm... ) There are a lot of variables, known and unknown (and ye olde unknown unkonwns) so there are a lot of possible scenarios that play out. One big variable, or variable cluster is recited as follows:
What happens in 2021 and beyond?
The pandemic’s course next year will depend greatly on the arrival of a vaccine, and on how long the immune system stays protective after vaccination or recovery from infection. Many vaccines provide protection for decades — such as those against measles or polio — whereas others, including whooping cough and influenza, wear off over time. Likewise, some viral infections prompt lasting immunity, others a more transient response. “The total incidence of SARS-CoV-2 through 2025 will depend crucially on this duration of immunity,” wrote Grad, Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch and colleagues in a May paper14 exploring possible scenarios (see ‘What happens next?’).
Different values result in different timings of periodic eruptions, as might well be expected. (Seemingly not factored in is the possible effect of the anti-vaxxers expanded by all the covid sonspiracists leading to 50% or more of the US population remaining unvaccinated.) Social distancing and masking might be required periodically for many years to tamp down periodic outbreaks. So all in all, I think it is worth a read.
Possibly iffy good news on this front
UC Irvine scientists get ‘initial hit’ in developing drug to treat COVID-19 ( https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/uc-irvine-scientists-get-ini... ) Per the article, they have developed a molecule known as a macrocycle that sits in the site of an enzyme that is critical to the covid-19 virus' reproduction, blacking it and preventing reproduction. This sounds like a wind, but it appears that the molecule isn't ready for the big time yet and they still need to do more work:
Now that Nowick’s lab has a prototype called an “initial hit,” researchers need to make additional molecules that are more effective in blocking the protease. Then they must figure out how to actually deliver the best molecule to infected cells.
This means that, while the new macrocycle is a promising first step, Nowick said, “people need to understand that it’s a long way from a drug candidate.”
Less iffy, but ...
‘AeroNabs’ Promise Powerful, Inhalable Protection Against COVID-19 ( https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/08/418241/aeronabs-promise-powerful-inhal... )
In an aerosol formulation they tested, dubbed “AeroNabs” by the researchers, these molecules could be self-administered with a nasal spray or inhaler. Used once a day, AeroNabs could provide powerful, reliable protection against SARS-CoV-2 until a vaccine becomes available. The research team is in active discussions with commercial partners to ramp up manufacturing and clinical testing of AeroNabs. If these tests are successful, the scientists aim to make AeroNabs widely available as an inexpensive, over-the-counter medication to prevent and treat COVID-19.
Annnd here it is, simply one a day to keep covid away. The article makes it sound like this stuff works, as is and is ready to go except for the mandatory testing and such. BUT, s"...eeking a commercial partner...", ah, there's the rub. How soon abnd how affordable. "Inexpensive" means many things to many people, and "over-the-counter" means that nobody's insurance will cover it. A dose a day for how long? Forever? Only 'til 2025 or so? Of course, if it works well enough and is distributed to and used by all, the virus dies off and goes away, but what are the odds of that. Maybe in China or some other socialist hellhole, but never, not if our very lives depended on it, in the good old capitalist USofA.
This article, FWIW, is an interesting read because of the information on the Llama link. The active ingreadient in these AeroNabs is based on the nanobodies used by Llamas and other Camelidae as part of their immune system repertire.
Though they function much like the antibodies found in the human immune system, nanobodies offer a number of unique advantages for effective therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2,” explained co-inventor Aashish Manglik, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical chemistry who frequently employs nanobodies as a tool in his research on the structure and function of proteins that send and receive signals across the cell’s membrane.
Something else needing a cure; testilying
The Police Lie. All the Time. Can Anything Stop Them? - Would the criminal justice system collapse if cops were forced to tell the truth? By Mark Jospeh Stern, 8/4/2020, in Slate. ( https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/police-testilying.html )
The article first presents and then goes into detail on this not news and on at least one thing that jump-started a seeming surge in this age old behavior. You know, when they outlawed torture, then cops had to lie about torturing, etc. Each new restriction led to another specific type of falsehoods until today, the truth is pretty much absent. Some places are experimenting with developing databases of some of the worst liaars in blue and refusing to let them testify about anything, which tanks some of the bogus cases they generate. Whether such techniques will have a material effect, as whether or not they will become widespread is up in the air. There is a possible solution partly given and partly only hinted at, but it is unlikely to come to pass:
What would happen if a city really tried to eliminate testilying? I posed this question to Bennett Capers, a former federal prosecutor and Fordham Law professor who studies police lies. “In all honesty, I think my initial reaction would be that the system cannot exist without it,” he told me. “It would grind to a halt.” Capers said that “run of the mill policing would have to change. We are doing about 13 million misdemeanor arrests a year. With a lot of those small crimes, there’s fudging. Nobody’s paying attention.”
Police, in other words, would have to stop arresting so many people for minor crimes. Once cities stopped deploying officers to harass misdemeanants, they could shrink their police force, reducing the number of encounters between cops and civilians. Agencies might then dedicate those resources to investigative and detective work in order to build solid cases against suspects, thereby creating a higher bar for which cases to pursue. Prosecutors would be forced to make a more careful calculation about the risk of bringing a case to trial and drop cases that rested on a search of dubious legality. In the short term, the legitimacy of the entire system might take a hit—though only because its participants confronted the illegitimate basis of so many convictions. Over time, however, the system might regain the legitimacy it lost with a preference for punishment over justice.
The article is worth a read.
Are we doomed to drown in plastic?
A short must-read, Can Cities Go Zero-waste? One Japanese Town Tried - Kamikatsu famously declared its goal was to go waste-free by 2020, but it didn’t quite get there. Their experience shows we can’t move further without systemic changes.- .An op ed by Olivia Sullivan in The Revelator August 7, 2020.
Covid-19 may have exacerbated the problem some. Thanks to Covid-19, a lot of places have banned reuesable bags, reusable mugs and cups and the like. Take out goof with disposable utensils proligerated. This gave the plastics industry an opportunity to lobby like crazy for a return to maximun disposable plastic living. But, all in all, the problem was insoluble already.
The town only met 80% of it goal, stymie by plastic packaging, mixed materials and unrecyclable plastics. These things will continue to be non-ecyclable, and will continue to fill landfills, reivers, lakes and oceans for as long as they continue to be made. Companies must stop making so much plastic and non-recyclable mixed materials.
According to the author:
We must also shift the paradigm by holding producers responsible for the waste they create. By requiring new plastic products to contain recycled plastic and making producers fund the collection and recycling of plastic products, producers would be incentivized to design longer lasting products that can actually be reused and recycled.
The author makes nts of some proposed legislation in the US, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, but notes that it has stalled. They further note:
Requiring producers to stop making nonrecyclable products designed to be thrown out is the first step toward achieving that goal. Only then will Kamikatsu and other towns, cities and countries around the world finally be able to eliminate plastic pollution and reach 100% zero waste.
Not news, but important to know. Not mentioned is that "comsumers" need to stop buying crap in plastic packaging, single use plastic crap, and stuff made from or packaged in non-separable mixed materials.
Be that as it may there may be fully recyclable and biodegradable flip flops in out future, should we happen to have one. The new science behind algae-based flip-flops By Cynthia Dillon and Mario Aguilera, UC San Diego
Wednesday, August 12, 2020 ( https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/science-behind-algae-based-f... ) is a quick read that will get you up to speed on the matter. More importantly, if they are real, what else might lie down this path?
We should return from our far too brief camping trip sometime today, but well after this posts.
be well and have a good one.
It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours