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Old 01-06-2022, 10:54 PM   #461
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I wish I knew more about who or what determines that something has become endemic. From my limited reading, it seems subjective - subjective enough to push this cycle of soft closures well into the future.
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Old 01-07-2022, 12:13 AM   #462
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I wish I knew more about who or what determines that something has become endemic. From my limited reading, it seems subjective - subjective enough to push this cycle of soft closures well into the future.
The politicization of covid is what will keep these soft closures going
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Old 01-07-2022, 02:03 AM   #463
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That's not how most viruses work.

A virus, like all living things, has one goal - survival.

The variants that have the best chance of survival will win the evolutionary battle. A deadlier variant that is as transmissible as Omicron will either burn itself out or destroy itself by destroying the hosts.

Obviously anything is possible but it's much mu,ch much more likely that the virus continues to evolve into something that is endemic like seasonal flu or the common cold. Those things both kill tens of thousands of people a year, as our gzus loving friend told us in the past.

This is the most likely path of COVID-19, and it is likely already happening with omicron.

I’m no virologist or pathologist or whatever, but I’m pretty sure that’s how we got over just about every pandemic in the past (human failure followed by nature).
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Old 01-07-2022, 08:42 AM   #464
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Originally Posted by Headache in a Suitcase View Post
That's not how most viruses work.

A virus, like all living things, has one goal - survival.

The variants that have the best chance of survival will win the evolutionary battle. A deadlier variant that is as transmissible as Omicron will either burn itself out or destroy itself by destroying the hosts.

Obviously anything is possible but it's much mu,ch much more likely that the virus continues to evolve into something that is endemic like seasonal flu or the common cold. Those things both kill tens of thousands of people a year, as our gzus loving friend told us in the past.

This is the most likely path of COVID-19, and it is likely already happening with omicron.
I see this repeated all the time, but that's not exactly right though.

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Sheahan pointed to several examples such as the Ebola virus, which was discovered in 2016 to have undergone a mutation that not only made it more transmissible but likely more infective. This variant eventually died when the epidemic ended in 2016. The West Nile virus was found in 1999 to have mutated into a highly virulent strain, killing crows on multiple continents.

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, estimated to have killed at least 50 million people worldwide, is another example, said Chua.

A May study out of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany, found evidence that the virus responsible did mutate into more lethal variants. These deadlier strains, responsible for three later influenza outbreaks, likely made the virus better at spreading between humans rather than birds, its natural hosts, and better at evading the immune system.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ly/7839167002/

Coronaviruses tend to infect other people before their host dies, which means that a more severe virus can still be quite successful from an evolutionary perspective.

Which, again, shows how stupid it was to hoard vaccines.
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Old 01-07-2022, 09:58 AM   #465
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I think it's important to keep in mind that mutations in viruses are no controlled, or steered processes. Neither is evolution. Viruses are no sentient beings that can somehow target their mutations. When people speak of it's in the best interest of the virus not to kill its host, then that may well be true, but it shouldn't be mistaken for the virus actually having such a thing as an interest, or any way of influencing how it achieves said interest. That's a bit of anthromorphism at work, I'd say.

A "perfect storm" of a mutation that makes a virus highly contagious and highly deadly therefore is a possibility. And such a virus would only fail eventually because it doesn't have enough hosts left to infect.

With omicron, we may have got a bit of a lucky break. But as long as we allow the virus to (almost) freely run rampant in large parts of the world, we basically allow for all kinds of mutations to occur. Some beneficial, others less so. And thus we can only hope that variants such as omicron continue to crowd out other variants, where the mutations may line up less favourably.
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Old 01-07-2022, 02:47 PM   #466
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Agree. We are rolling the dice with every mutation.

Right now what's going on in the US means it's very likely for another variant and who really knows what it'll produce.

Throw in the same with Africa and other parts of the world that have no access to vaccines. China is another place that scares me in that their vaccine provides little to no protection against it, but they have the "advantage" of mass lockdowns without Karen's overthrowing government.
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