Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Coronavirus Fragments 6: Is It Real?

Pope's brief security incident 31 December 2019; the pope's illness has prompted conspiracy theorists to ponder this incident. Gif Source: 4chan.

A lot of people doubt the seriousness of the novel coronavirus pandemic and think the huge media coverage of it is fear porn. They believe that nCov exists but that COVID19 is not that scary an illness. Perhaps it is (they say) a US-election-year psyop; a cover story for economic covert conflict between China and the US; a trumped-up excuse to reset a broken global economy; an excuse to suppress the alternative media; an excuse to suppress populations around the world and put them in quarantine centres; a hostile attack on Iran, masked as an epidemic, and so on.

Nevertheless, the drastic actions in China and smartphone footage leaked to Chinese social media belie this theory. This shows how the Internet and mainstream media create a sense of unreality about everything. Could it really all be faked?

Here is a partial summary of a flood of information on the novel coronavirus:
  • South China Morning Post (28 February 2020): Pope slightly ill, seen blowing nose at mass, canceled appointments
  • Novel coronavirus can survive for 9 days on surfaces. However, note that two other coronaviruses, transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) and mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), can survive for 28 days on surfaces at 4 degrees Celsius (The Journal of Hospital Infection DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022). This may or may not be relevant.
  • New York Times (27 February 2020): "Iran Vice President Is One of 7 Officials to Contract Coronavirus Masoumeh Ebtekar, President Hassan Rouhani’s deputy for women’s affairs and the highest-ranking woman in the government, was at least the seventh Iranian official to test positive."
  • Daily Mail (28 February 2020): Could be 1000 times more infectious than SARS
  • Dim Sum Daily (28 February 2020): Pet dog infected with COVID19 in Hong Kong; UK vets express skepticism, saying it could be a false positive (see also here, here, here)
  • Dim Sum Daily (29 February 2020): Pet cat quarantined, but tested negative for COVID19 in Hong Kong
  • Dog N95 masks (one of many vendors, no promotional)
  • Animal contraction questions and antibody dependent enhancement (ADE): can sheep, horses, cows, chickens, rats, mice etc. contract the virus? (speculation, also here)
  • Microbes and Infection (22 February 2020): "Is COVID-19 Receiving ADE From Other Coronaviruses?": "One of the most perplexing questions regarding the current COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic is the discrepancy between the severity of cases observed in the Hubei province of China and those occurring elsewhere in the world. One possible answer is antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) of SARS-CoV-2 due to prior exposure to other coronaviruses. ADE modulates the immune response and can elicit sustained inflammation, lymphopenia, and/or cytokine storm, one or all of which have been documented in severe cases and deaths. ADE also requires prior exposure to similar antigenic epitopes, presumably circulating in local viruses, making it a possible explanation for the observed geographic limitation of severe cases and deaths."
  • 4chan speculation about ADE and nCov19 (28 February 2020); see also here: "So basically, it's starting to look like it has ADE because of prior infections with coroanviruses, that would include the two that cause the common cold. However, I'm also thinking that specifically SARS/MERS antibodies gives SARS-CoV-2 a major boost in infectious rate, because right now, the countries that are getting hit the hardest, China, Iran, SK, Italy, all had outbreaks of SARS/MERS. I also believe that SARS/MERS flew under the radar with milder symptoms for a majority, which means that those countries are most likely walking around with antibodies for SARS/MERS and is the reason they are getting hit the hardest. However, this is also troubling because this gives reinfection a much clearer danger."
  • nCov19 may use other receptors besides ACE2? Antiviral Research (8 and 10 February 2020): The spike glycoprotein of the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV contains a furin-like cleavage site absent in CoV of the same clade
  • South Korea sets up drive-thru COVID19 testing facilities
  • IB Times (26 February 2020): "North Korea's first confirmed Coronavirus COVID 19 patient shot dead: report"
  • Lancet (30 January 2020; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30251-8): Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding
  • Next Big Future (25 February 2020): Coronavirus Is Bat Coronavirus With SARS Receptor: "Genetic analysis of the COVID-19 virus shows that it is very similar to a coronavirus in bats but the receptor binding looks like the receptor for SARS. This could happen naturally with slow changes of one in ten thousand sequences each year. This appeared all at once. This gives support to the belief that the Wuhan lab took the bat virus and attached the SARS receptor. However, this could happen with the mechanism of antigenic shift. While influenza viruses change all the time due to antigenic drift, antigenic shift happens less frequently. Antigenic shift is the process by which two or more different strains of a virus, or strain of two or more different viruses, combine to form a new subtype having a mixture of the surface antigens of the two or more original strains. The term is often applied specifically to influenza, as that is the best-known example, but the process is also known to occur with other viruses, such as visna virus in sheep. Antigenic shift is a specific case of reassortment or viral shift that confers a phenotypic change."
  • 4chan (28 February 2020): "I don't have the pdf at hand, but they tried treating nCov patients with SARS antibodies and found it had no effect. So not sure to what extend older infections of other viruses affect the illness."
  • 4chan (28 February 2020): discussion of cytokine storm: "chances are this could actually during infection just hijack antibodies, which would explain the asymptomatic period, because your body reacts to something then the virus hides in the antibodies basically, just giving you mild symptoms, until the virus is everywhere and it causes a cytokine storm, or septic shock." and a related answer: "Well, I read something similar, and some specific research for SARS, which indicated that it could actually worsen the infection if continued under a longer period. Also, if they treat already infected patients it wouldn't do anything more than spread the disease further, which is hard to detect if the patient naturally is getting worse. I would like to see someone with added SARS antibodies then get infected."
  • 4chan (28 February 2020): discussion of HIV and similarity to nCov interacts with PACS1 protein: "'In addition, the human protein plays a role in HIV-1 Nef-mediated downregulation of cell surface MHC-I molecules to the TGN, thereby enabling HIV-1 to escape immune surveillance.' So there seems to be more and more credence to the HIV parts as well, not that it's spliced with it, but that it uses similar ways to avoid detection and so on."
  • AFP / El Heraldo (27 February 2020): WHO criticizes Italy for testing too thoroughly
  • Zero Hedge (28 February 2020): Whistleblower claims corrupt cover-up of mishandlings and mishaps at US quarantine facilities
  • Zero Hedge (28 February 2020): Record numbers of CEOs departed in January 2020, prompting speculation about their golden parachutes prior to crash
  • Zero Hedge (28 February 2020): summary update for that day

Images Sources: Lancet via Next Big Future.

UK planning. Image Source: Twitter via 4chan. Click to enlarge.

Image Source: 4chan.

Image Source: Twitter.

See all my posts on Epidemics here and here.

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