Travel in the time of COVID-19

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Grinnin, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    My turn to play devil's advocate - if even natural immunity only lasts a few months, what vaccine are you waiting for?
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  2. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Yep- a very good question. Hopefully it, and vaccine-conferred immunity lasts at least 6 months. That's what I'm counting on. There is at least some very limited data that says it is long lasting, and the mutation rate seems to be slow enough so one might expect immunity to last for a year or more. I did see a 2007 article that tracked Ab (antibody) levels in SARS patients, and they maintained Ab levels for a year or more. But the study did not track much beyond that.
  3. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    @tlub The natural immunity probably doesn't last long because the vast majority of the infected people don't even get sick. The viruses don't really want to kill the host and those that do are doomed because their spread is very limited because of their high mortality rate. The first version of SARS is a good example of that. This new version is much "improved" in a sense that it is much milder and therefore has much wider spread. The thing is, lockdown or not, there is no stopping a virus like that. The people who are vulnerable to this virus will get it sooner or later no mater what. The rest of the population will just live with it in the same way they do with a number of other seasonal respiratory viruses. Luckily for humanity, unlike the 2007 SARS, this one doesn't seem to affect young people. This panic lockdown was an utter stupidity on a global scale. If only ten percent of the lockdown effort and cost was focused on protecting the elderly, the effect would have been much, much more meaningful.
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  4. hensmen

    hensmen Been here awhile

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    We had in the hospitals patients, young patients with enormous damage at all kind of organs, so why do the people still compare this virus with so called seasonal respiratory viruses in the same sentence with panic lockdown ?
  5. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    No, you make a number of assumptions and statements not based on science. First of all, we don't really have hard evidence to support your statement that the vast majority of infected people don't get sick. The PCR tests will pick it up if you are infected, and the way testing has been done would not produce data to remotely support that statement. Until we have widespread testing, and by this I mean half the population or more, your statement is pure guesswork.

    Symptoms have nothing to do with antibody production or immune system response. You don't have to get really ill to have a good immune response. Some have voiced this hypotheses for Covid-19, but I have seen no science to confirm it.

    One way a virus CAN kill a lot of hosts, and still survive for at least a number of rounds of infection, is to be transmissible before symptoms appear. That way, if the host dies, it doesn't matter- it's already passed on the virus. That unfortunately, is true of this virus.

    There is a way to stop a virus like that, or any virus- it's called a vaccine. The questions are how effectively, and how long it might last. As of now, we have no evidence to support that once people get it, the immune protection lasts long enough. Some evidence is hopeful, but there are plenty of cases where immunity doesn't last for other corona viruses, such as for the corona viruses that cause some colds. I personally know of a case (a Chinese co-worker's grandmother in Wuhan) who had Covid-19, had a strong Ab response for months, and then it just crashed. It is possible a vaccine could be developed that might last longer than natural immunity, but this would involve knowing a lot more than we do now about this virus.

    As @hensmen noted, a lot of young people do get ill, and often with non-respiratory effects.
  6. ToothDocJay

    ToothDocJay Been here awhile

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    No, no it doesn't. Misery is when people you love die of a virus when all you had to do was make a small sacrifice in your comfort. Think about that. Yes, the number of deaths might seem small in the grand scheme of things, but it sure as hell hits home, and hits home hard, if it's someone important in your life and you didn't make some small changes to your life to protect them.

    Restrictions I can live with. In most areas that have taken precautions, they are already easing restrictions. Hopefully that trend will continue, but I'm not optimistic because people are what people are. Some of us will play it safe, travel with the herd if you want to think that way, and others with lone wolf it, others be damned.

    I believe in the ethical argument that everyone has a right to do as they please. However, one's right to swing their fists around ends where my face begins. So those of you who want to engage in any risky behavior (it's a motorcycle forum after all) are entitled to do so, just so long as your behavior doesn't endanger my freedoms and life.

    I assume everyone here rides motorcycles, and that's risky behavior to many. The thing is we make an effort to avoid bad consequences, we take precautions and if we don't it's typically not others that pay for our mistakes. With this pandemic not taking some reasonable precautions puts others at risk, not just ourselves.

    That's just my opinion, how I view the situation. If people don't share my opinion, knock yourself out, I don't care to argue it with anyone. Just pay me the common courtesy of staying the hell away from me and the ones I love.
  7. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    I can't see in your post any reference to science that supports any of your statements and assumptions? And, BTW, "vast majority" is way more specific than "many", which without a point of reference could mean very different things to different people. To give you an example - a vast majority definitely wins the elections, whereas "many" - not necessarily so :-)
  8. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Well, as I stated already, which you may or may not have seen, I am a PhD Biochemist, working at a company that not only has already provided reagents for over 140 million qPCR Covid-19 tests, and I am currently working on improved components of those. I also am, in a very minor way, involved with developing tests to determine if people have antibodies (Abs) against Covid-19. At one time I was in charge of all nucleic acid (RNA and DNA) purification at the company, and got to know a lot about genetic testing.

    As a biochemist since 1975, and nearing retirement, I know a few things about immunology and molecular biology. It is very basic immunology that whether antibodies are raised has nothing to do with actual symptoms. It may depend on how much antigen (virus) is there (or not), which may (or may not) be related to symptoms. It does require a protein to be recognized as 'foreign', and this is often the most critical part of the response. It appears that the CV is quite enough foreign. Perhaps to your point, there are conflicting data about whether the degree of infection for Covid-19 has to do with viral load, or whether the level of Abs has to do with initial or later viral load. I suspect that the reason the data is conflicting is that we really don't have enough data. However, in one study of ~5200 people who had Covid-19, all but 3 eventually developed a strong antibody response. It took longer for some than for others, and that may be the source of the preliminary suggestion that mild symptoms meant low response. I think 5197 out of 5200 is a vast majority.

    It is safe to say that the RT-qPCR test will absolutely be positive if the virus is there on the swab, and the test is done correctly, unless someone does something horribly wrong in handling it. They will easily detect the amount of virus in one tiny microdroplet, let alone that in a nasal swab, which will be many times more. Again, given my profession, I get to see data that is not yet published. I only know of one case that never tested positive, and since that sample never had antibodies either, we strongly think it was mislabeled.

    I should add that the serum samples that companies use to develop tests for Covid-19 antibodies are a standard set from governmental sources, so that we are all developing to the same specs.
    With regards to your statement about the vast majority not showing symptoms, what I said is there is no science to support it. And there isn't. We (the world, not me) do have preliminary data, which suggests that about 25% of those that get it will never know it. (That is neither a majority nor vast) But, at any given time, between 50% to 80% may be asymptomatic. The reason for the difference in these numbers is that the other 25%-55% are at the early stage, and will show symptoms later. However, the entire 50%-80% are likely (but not certain) to be spreaders. That is the truly scary part, and why we should wear masks even if we feel fine. We're protecting others, and they are protecting us.

    With regard to the Ab response, there are reports of people's Ab levels dropping after several months, and also reports of long lasting (1 year+) response for Abs against SARS-1, the closest virus to this. There isn't any long term data yet for Covid-19. People are different. A brief primer here: the early Abs are IgM, which are typically low affinity and short lasting, and they start the process of making the longer lasting and higher affinity IgG Abs. This can take weeks. But, they can last for years (i.e. mumps) or a much shorter time. However, there are something called 'memory' B cells, which retain the capability to make the right IgG Abs at short notice, upon a second infection. One sees this with influenza. If you have the right vaccine, or one to a related flu strain, or had a related flu, you still retain some resistance even if your Ab levels drop. Typically what happens is that you get infected, symptoms start, and in a day or two or three, the IgGs kick in, and your flu is both shorter and milder. If the analogous is true for Covid-19, what I am hopeful about (but no one has data to support or deny) is that even if IgG levels drop in a few months, as some data suggests, that upon re-infection with Covid-19, the memory B cells will kick in Ab production in the early asymptomatic stage, and kill any new infection of Covid-19 before the symptoms show.
    Hey, I'm optimistic, what can I say?
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  9. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    @tlub Well, you can't argue with numbers. There goes the largest Covid dtabase in the World, which clearly indicated that 98% of the infected are in "mild condition". I hope that qualifies for "vast majority" even in science. Please take look at the definitions of the terms they use because they have no category "no symptoms" and "mild" is basically their lowest. Also, they refer as "active cases" to people who have been tested and confirmed to be infected. I hope you won't argue that the number of infected people who have absolutely zero symptoms and have therefore not been tested is many, many times more, which makes the vast majority evne "vaster".

    And, BTW, I am sorry to say it, but science has failed miserably with Covid by not being able to answer even the basic questions clearly. The sentence we hear most often from scientists these days is "we don't know". And it is not as if this is the first virus to come around ... or even the first corona virus to come around. So, yeah, sorry if I don't take your word as the last word on the matter because there is a "vast majority" of scientists going around contradicting each other and there is still no vaccine for the first SARS 15 years later. And I understand why in this particular situation no one is questioning throwing billions of tax payers money for all kinds of private vaccine research these days but once the dust settles questions will be asked and I hope "science" will have some better answers by then.
  10. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Well, that database shows that for cases which have had an outcome (about half the total so far), 11% died. In the US that number is 15%. That doesn't agree with 2% serious, which is for current cases. What it does tell you is that many are early results. 'Mild' is relative. It may just mean you are not in the hospital. Yet.
    In the US, as of June 4th, there have been 1.91M cases and 110k deaths. Both are certainly undercounted, but using those numbers, the death rate is 5.8%. I think all of those were 'serious'. As were many that were hospitalized and recovered. That database is a snapshot of a disease still increasing, as is testing. But 'mild' doesn't mean you don't know you have it. It likely means 'not hospitalized'. And once a 'serious' dies, they add to that 11%.
    For a disease which has a time course of about a month, of which half of that time can be asymptomatic, and where death is toward the end of that month, 2% serious at a given time is not really inconsistent with either an 11% or 5.8% death rate. But it doesn't mean the vast majority (or any majority) don't know they have it, or won't know.

    Your comments about science tell me you don't have the foggiest idea about it. It's a verb. It's a process. Conclusions WILL change as find out more. A good scientist will always be willing to change their mind with new data. For this, that would be once we have sufficient test data. We have not yet. Our view is evolving. But nothing says this is not a very serious deadly disease with a real challenge to stop, because of its asymptomatic transmission stage.
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  11. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    I guess we all appreciate you enjoying your scientific process of evolvement but for the rest of us, who fund it with our taxes and suffer the economic consequences of scientists changing their minds all the time, the practical value is dubious to say the least. I guess science should have started the process during the first SARS outbreak 15 years ago instead of now having to explain all the time that "they don't know". Well, the rest of us don't know either, so how does that make you opinions more relevant? To every scientific opinion on Covid19 there are immediately two contradicting equally scientific ones. So, the next time you ask where is the scientific support for anything I say, ask yourself - is there unanimous scientific support to anything anyone says.

    As for the 10-15% mortality rate - do you honestly believe that the tested and confirmed cases are the only ones infected? Your fellow scientists speculate that the actual number of infected people might be many times more, which immediately brings your mortality rate many times down. Furthermore, if the number of infected people is many times more than the number of those tested and confirmed, do you honestly believe that this vast majority of unconfirmed cases are severe ones? Because I don't know about USA but in my country and I guess in most of Europe you only need to sneeze to get tested twice. So, yeah - the vast majority of people don't have symptoms at all and those who dom are 98% mild. In the meantime USA have 20 mln new lockdown unemployed and that is not some scientific speculation or model but actual people who lost their job because of some scientist have been overly cautious because "they don't know for sure". And, BTW, do you have any scientific evidence that lockdown makes any difference to the spread? Because in my country there practically no lockdown - we were never forbidden to leave home and walk on the streets, many shops remained open and very few workplaces were closed. And do you know what - we have 160 dead per 7 mln and the overall mortality has dropped significantly throughout each and every of the moths since the beginning of the year. What does science think about that?
  12. Hawk I

    Hawk I n00b

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    Racist remark!!!! Mods notified and have done nothing.
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  13. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    Lots of people are hoping that that mild case of flu they had back in January , wasn’t flu, but was Covid.

    Unfortunately the Testing for Antibodies to Covid is not showing that there are vast numbers of people who had a mild dose of Covid.....

    What is interesting is the way the Covid has dealt with different areas of Europe, in particular the Balkan states seem to have got off very lightly indeed.

    There will be endless speculation......

    Many of the people who survive a bad dose look likely to be suffering serious after affects for many years.
  14. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I agree. Things will never be the same again. The USA is spinning wildly out of control. Between the virus and rioting/looting I'm shocked. Or should I be? Europe is about to ban Americans travelling to the EU. The Canadian border will most certainly remain closed. The rush to "re-open" the economy sees daily records being set. I watch the news. Nobody it seems is honouring masks and distancing and now the 4th of July is coming.

    As an American living in Alberta 30 years, My friends and neighbours are stunned by what they see on the news. I am as well but I wonder if this chaos was always there waiting to be unleashed. I mean, a guy shoots a Walmart employee who says he can't come in without a mask? Utter madness.
  15. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    But,.... FREEDUMB!!!
    Sadly, you are right. The hatred, division, selfishness, and greed, is mind boggling right now. I see and hear it everyday, "nobody tells me what to do". So many ignorant simple minded people that cant expand thier minds and see the bigger picture, or think its all a hoax. Like yeah, the whole fucking world is in on the hoax.
    Idiots. We are reaping what we sowed.
  16. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter

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    I got my bike out of storage after a trip around the world had been cancelled. I flew from Charlotte, NC to Seattle on half-full planes and everyone was masked. To date, I've spent 24 days on the road and have encountered no issues pertaining to lodging and food. Currently, I'm in Taos and New Mexico seems to just be opening. There are several restaurants opening next week but, still, there are plenty of choices for dining. The motels here are open but can allow 50% occupancy. Yesterday, I walked around the square and saw roughly 50% of the people wearing masks. I saw one woman berate a non-masked fellow accusing him of "not respecting mankind." I thought she was a bit dramatic and the fellow thanked her for her concern. He walked away while she continued her diatribe.

    Mike
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  17. ATadam

    ATadam Been here awhile

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    That's better than here, grocery stores are maybe 20% masks (depending on the store, the more affluent it is the higher number of masks), restaurants 0%, tourist areas 0%, etc.
  18. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Maybe 20% mask use here as well, say at the supermarket. I'm not going many other places. Some restaurants are open with very restricted capacity. I went out once to a favourite Italian place with a female friend. I was getting sick of eating at home. Instead of seating for around maybe 40 they were set up for 12 and all staff wore masks. They've survived ok because they're surrounded by apartment and condo towers and do a booming take-out and delivery business even when the dining room was closed a few months.

    I bought a permanent, washable mask as it appears they're about to become mandatory in some locations such as transit. I use transit a lot aside from riding (I no longer have a car - I just wasn't using it). I find it funny when I see someone alone in their car in traffic wearing a mask.
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  19. ATadam

    ATadam Been here awhile

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    A lot of places here flaunted the phased reopening and went to 100% occupancy quicker than anticipated, there's only so much anybody can do to enforce things. The places that serve actual good food and have strong local loyal customer bases are still doing delivery and takeout only though.
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  20. TownPump

    TownPump Long timer

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    Planning a short motorcycle trip (~800 miles round trip) this weekend from OH to NY to visit my mom who is in a cabin in the Adirondacks, bring her some baked goods and books and break up the pandemic monotony and loneliness for her.

    But NY just added OH to it's list of travel restricted states. Meaning I had to fill out an online form detailing my visit, any recent fevers or coughs, and agreeing to contact tracing. I have to have a screenshot of my completed form with me in case I am asked to present it by a Compliance Officer. NY also indicated they are now posting Health Compliance Agents at all of the airports and checking each incoming passenger for the form, etc.

    This restriction also means you have to self-quarantine once there for 14 days, but I will be self-quarantining while there anyway and be leaving after 2 nights.
    ScreenHunter edit.jpg
    Failure to have the completed form can result in a pretty steep fine.

    Anyway, I thought any travelers planning on going to NY would appreciate the latest developments there. Here is the latest list of 22 travel restricted states for NY as of today.
    • Alabama
    • Arkansas
    • Arizona
    • California
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Iowa
    • Idaho
    • Kansas
    • Louisiana
    • Minnesota
    • Mississippi
    • New Mexico
    • North Carolina
    • Nevada
    • Ohio
    • Oklahoma
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Wisconsin

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