# Corona virus general questions mega thread

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29 minutes ago, 13mh13 said:

As nomads, their normal lifestyle was more, to coin a phrase, socially distant.

That is not true at all. In Africa different societies existed ranging from the nomadic groups you mentioned to fairly large empires. One of the best known is the Songhai empire (15th-16th century). Among the cities within that empire Timbuktu and Djenne were powerful commercial entities.

There are of course far more examples (Aksum, Kingdom of Ghana, Abyssinia to name a few). What I am saying is that the view of Africans as nomadic tribes is Westernized colonialist view that is not in line with actual history and I would urge caution to build any generalizations from this level of misinformation.

And before we get to that, in the New World, it is the same, indigenous people had built complex societies in nations, which, while different than their Western counterparts, were highly complex political and societal system and had various levels of urbanization that were not too different from certain Western nations of the same time. Of course the situation shifted when we come closer to the time of the Atlantic slave trade but it is erroneous assumption that all there was were nomadic (and often also assumed to be primitive) tribes.

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5 minutes ago, CharonY said:

That is not true at all. In Africa different societies existed ranging from the nomadic groups you mentioned to fairly large empires. One of the best known is the Songhai empire (15th-16th century). Among the cities within that empire Timbuktu and Djenne were powerful commercial entities.

There are of course far more examples (Aksum, Kingdom of Ghana, Abyssinia to name a few). What I am saying is that the view of Africans as nomadic tribes is Westernized colonialist view that is not in line with actual history and I would urge caution to build any generalizations from this level of misinformation.

And before we get to that, in the New World, it is the same, indigenous people had built complex societies in nations, which, while different than their Western counterparts, were highly complex political and societal system and had various levels of urbanization that were not too different from certain Western nations of the same time. Of course the situation shifted when we come closer to the time of the Atlantic slave trade but it is erroneous assumption that all there was were nomadic (and often also assumed to be primitive) tribes.

Yeah, a quick wiki tot up suggests that out of 3000 tribes only 19 are nomadic.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

Yeah, a quick wiki tot up suggests that out of 3000 tribes only 19 are nomadic.

Regardless, the orig. argument may still hold ... that Euro compactified the African communities to European norms: Europe is smaller and colder, the cities/streets are denser and houses more tightly constructed.

As far as Aksum, Kingdom of Ghana, Abyssinia  ... well those communities were wealthier and may simple have had better historical records of their population geographies. That does not necessarily indicate total population dispersal and logistics. Africa is LARGE and with hot-to-temperate climates, with resources that are dispersed throughout this large area. It's true that MODERN Africa has very dense, crowded communities  --- an "imposed" (perhaps forced)  European legacy.

but it is erroneous assumption that all there was were nomadic (and often also assumed to be primitive) tribes.

Agreed with this when in regards to the "New World" ( Americas ) -- as has been noted in books like 1491 and 1493.

Edited by 13mh13

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2 hours ago, 13mh13 said:

About newer races.. Africa (black Africans) has the oldest gene pool, the Americas ("native Americans"), have the newest. Euros and Asians are somewhere in the middle

That is not the how the terminology is usually used. The gene pool for humans has precisely the same age. There is difference in diversity or gene flow (e.g. due to isolation) but there is nothing that is older or newer per se. Increase in genetic determinants of resistance to certain disease stems from selection for that (e.g. by pathogens but also co-selection) within a given population but you can have higher susceptibility e.g. in Africans and lower elsewhere. The higher genetic variance is a different factor and only means if a selective sweep happens, there is a higher chance of finding individuals with higher fitness (but does not mean that a given individual in a given population is actually a carrier).

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Question 1: Would the deliberate germ exposure lifestyle advocated by comedians like George Carlin have made people's immune systems better equipped to deal with diseases like this one? Why or why not?

Question 2: Would a food-delivery equivalent of mass transit; such as, let's say, a large, moving trolley that does curbside delivery of food parcels with recipients' names on them (be it by mechanically tossing them or leaving people to walk by and pick them up) be more likely to spread disease, or less so?

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37 minutes ago, CharonY said:

That is not the how the terminology is usually used. The gene pool for humans has precisely the same age.

Hmmm.. .well, there maybe something like a genetic "memory" of disease. The gene pool may be the same age, as you claim,  but if the species hasn't encountered the same (self-immunized) disease over many generations, then best to delete that never-used gene from memory. Better to fill genome with more "modern" (= NEWER) genes.

As the pre-Colonial "New Worlders" made their way to the new world, where there were no humans, genetic memory of many ancient humans-based diseases may have been erased over time ... until 1492.

Not sure about Euro introduction of diseases to Africa, tho'. There were a LOT of Asia/Euro-based nasties that were, afaik, exclusive to Asia/Euro ... and NOVEL to Africa.

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11 minutes ago, 13mh13 said:

Hmmm.. .well, there maybe something like a genetic "memory" of disease. The gene pool may be the same age, as you claim,  but if the species hasn't encountered the same (self-immunized) disease over many generations, then best to delete that never-used gene from memory. Better to fill genome with more "modern" (= NEWER) genes.

Sorry genetics and evolution does not work like that and I suggest opening up a new thread if you want to discuss that further (we have hijacked quite a bit already).

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, CharonY said:

Sorry genetics and evolution does not work like that and I suggest opening up a new thread if you want to discuss that further (we have hijacked quite a bit already).

==Well, honestly YOU led the thread in all sorts of OT direction. And, now, simply b/c you don't have your usual SMUG "BIOLOGY EXPERT"  response, you want claim hijacking?? Really?!!  YOU ARE A TYPICAL FORUM MODERATOR.

Edited by 13mh13

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27 minutes ago, 13mh13 said:

YOU ARE A TYPICAL FORUM MODERATOR

Will you please tell me which other forums you post on? If you see Charon as typical, then I’d very much like to go visit them. They sound wonderful!

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If he thinks CharonY is bad, wait till he gets a load of Swansont, the 'evil liar' ( so I keep telling him )

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Hi 13mh13.

Let me know whenever you reach a tenth of the reputation points that CharonY has.  Points given for a reason from knowledgeable respected members.

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How is the birth/creation of a virus ?

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9 minutes ago, Externet said:

How is the birth/creation of a virus ?

You mean the origins? That is part of a large discussion with quite a bit of unknowns. I think most think that they are a version of mobile genetic elements, like transposons or plasmid, but more autonomous. However another line of thinking, especially among folks working on giant viruses think that they might be stripped-down cells from an unrecognized domain of life. I think the latter has some traction in certain areas but is still considered the less likely narrative by most folks, I would say.

Or do you mean how viruses are formed by their host cells? There are different pathways, but in all cases essentially the viral genetic load is transferred into the host cell which is then used to produce viral proteins as well as propagate its genetic material. There can be steps in between (such as reverse transcribing the RNA in case of retroviruses, for example). At some point the virus particles are packaged with the genetic material and they then escape the cells. This can e.g. happen by lysing the host cells, budding  or exocytosis. The two latter processes result in enveloped viral particles.

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(Sorry for watering down the nice flame we had on this thread.)

What is your opinion how can the reported mortality rate be so much different from country to county?

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2 minutes ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

(Sorry for watering down the nice flame we had on this thread.)

What is your opinion how can the reported mortality rate be so much different from country to county?

Part of it will be timing as they will be on different parts of the transmission trajectory. Another might be the customary level of social contact.

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3 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Part of it will be timing as they will be on different parts of the transmission trajectory. Another might be the customary level of social contact.

Sorry, is you answer for transmission rate or mortality rate?

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

Sorry, is you answer for transmission rate or mortality rate?

I'm thinking of an ultimate, average, projected mortality rate of 1%. The time it takes for each national epidemic to finish may be determined by the transmission rate. Point being that the actual mortality rate is fluid until it's over... you can't say whether one country's death rate is higher than another because that's down to how data is collected in each area. What you are seeing is apparent rates in the moment. A bit like reviewing a football match before it's finished.

Edited by StringJunky

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I understand.

Then, when everything is over, are we to expect relatively small difference in mortality between counties? If so, then the current number of deaths might be a better indicator than the number of confirmed cases to show how much is the disease spread in some country.

On the other hand, if we are to expect large differences in mortality, what might be possible reasons to influence it so much?

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17 minutes ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

I understand.

Then, when everything is over, are we to expect relatively small difference in mortality between counties? If so, then the current number of deaths might be a better indicator than the number of confirmed cases to show how much is the disease spread in some country.

On the other hand, if we are to expect large differences in mortality, what might be possible reasons to influence it so much?

Distribution of age groups will be one. Healthcare availability.

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Also pre-existing conditions.

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1 minute ago, CharonY said:

Also pre-existing conditions.

You mean like general population health?

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Yes, cardiovascular issues are associated with worse outcomes, for example (based on Wuhan data).

But also note that all age groups can have more severe outcomes requiring hospitalization. The US is still undersampled but initial info shows almost all brackets affected except 19 and younger based on CDC data a couple of days ago:

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Thanks.

Another thing... I cannot find any data about the increase in total number of deaths (whatever is the name for it). For example, I calculated that in Italy, on an usual day without pandemic, there should be about 2000 deaths. Now, in times of pandemic, they report 600-700 deaths due to virus only. But I cannot find if the total number of deaths is just the sum, or less (or even more) than this.

Anyone of you have some idea?

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23 minutes ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

Thanks.

Another thing... I cannot find any data about the increase in total number of deaths (whatever is the name for it). For example, I calculated that in Italy, on an usual day without pandemic, there should be about 2000 deaths. Now, in times of pandemic, they report 600-700 deaths due to virus only. But I cannot find if the total number of deaths is just the sum, or less (or even more) than this.

Anyone of you have some idea?

And more here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

I can't immediately find anything on total death rates (all causes). But one thing worth noting is that well over half the deaths are in one region, Lombardia (and mainly in a small part of that). The top two regions account for 74% of all Covid-19 deaths. Whereas the normal (per capita) death rate is presumably fairly evenly distributed over the country.

Also, it is thought that the death rate due to Covid-19 may be much higher in Lombardia because they are not able to test everyone who dies. And the overstretched health service may mean that more people are dying of other causes than they would do otherwise.

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5 hours ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

On the other hand, if we are to expect large differences in mortality, what might be possible reasons to influence it so much?

If I can plug a thread I've opened up...availability of ventilators (or alternatives?), or lack there, of will have (already has had) a significant effect.

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