June 7, 2021
When did SARS II Corona virus arrive in Europe?
January/Feb/March 2020 cases showed up.
Thought the transmission rate was as high as 6-7 at the beginning. Mostly because of the explosive spreading in areas in Italy and US east coast. What we have learned is that without any protective behaviors the original strain was about 3. It seemed to be higher because it appeared that it spread so fast – as soon as it was detected. But we didn’t have the information available about when it actually showed up. Now it is clear that the virus was in place summer 2019 and the spread was not as fast as it appeared. Testing of sewage showed virus present back in March 2019 in Spain. (likely from Chinese seasonal migrant workers) This makes more sense and is consistant with an R-0 of about 3.
Four clues that the SARS II corona virus was not naturally evolving.
1) Did it really come from an animal that jumped to humans? This is certainly something that can happen. You can usually tell by the structure of the virus and the affinity for animals. But the SARS II has an affinity for human cells. There have been some transmission to animals, but not from animals. Obvious this appeared in humans first and normalized for humans.
2) Areas in the viral structure of SARS II are different from a virus that would arise in nature. Polybasic furin cleavage site – seen in virus research and more likely arising in a lab virus.
3) Do not see any animal reservoir for SARS II virus – no indication anywhere on the planet that there is an animal population affected in the natural world.
4) The explosion of the virus was centered within miles of the Wuhan research facility. There is no “index”patient – the first to be affected by an animal.
These are all indications it was a lab created virus accidentally let loose into the population.
Nomenclature / Naming for the variants
Are now using the Greek alphabet and changing the names from geographic reference and numbers.
B117 strain from UK – became the dominant strain in US now is the “Alpha” strain R0 of 4
S. African B1351 – “Beta”
Brazilian P1 – “Gamma”
B1617.2 Indian – “Delta” on the way to become dominant throughout the planet. R0 of 6
California B1427, B1429 – “Epsilon”
there are more that are minor
The higher transmission rate determines which will become dominant. Original strain had R0 of 3 and the Delta strain has an R0 of 6, which is twice as high.
The Delta strain also avoids the human immune system better than the other variants. The vaccines have a little harder time fighting the Delta strain. It seems the vaccines are able to hold up well to all the variants, although the Astra Zeneca vaccine may be a little less effective. Still too early to say for sure.
May be booster shots available in the fall.
Increased cases due to variants
Tiny “bulge” in cases in late April and early May. This is when the Alpha variant landed in the US and became the dominant strain because it is more transmissable. Fortunately, it didn’t turn into a major surge because vaccinations were happening.
The Delta variant may cause another bulge when it hits here. The immunization rates may be high enough to prevent it. But the non immunized may be at greater risk.
Black fungus / mucormycosis
A very serious fungal infection experienced in India in Covid patients. It is an “opportunistic” infection that usually happens in people with compromised immune systems. There is a high fatality rate and it can only be treated with drastic surgery to remove affected tissue. There is a higher incidence of diabetes in India, which is another risk factor.
Vaccine status and ongoing restrictions for those without vaccines
Ananda has done well with respecting all individuals and the personal choices. Outside Ananda people without vaccines will have a harder time and will face judgment from others, as well as various restrictions. One example: a concert open to vaccinated people for $18 and nonvaccinated tickets are $1000.
Within the educational system in CA – the universities are making vaccination a requirement for faculty and in person students. When schools open for 5 day a week, in person classes, if you are vaccinated you will not have to quarantine if a classmate tests positive. Without a vaccine, students will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
Public Health Updates
Nevada County: Case Positivity rate is down to 2.9% (was up to 4.3%) State of CA CPR is 1%
Mild increase in the last week – all new cases in Truckee area.
Have given about 90,000 doses of vaccine.
About 50% of pop in NC is vaccinated.
Statewide vaccinations are about 52%, in some areas it is higher.
US as a whole: fully vaccinated is about 40%
If a fully vaccinated person tests positive and does not have symptoms, they are not required to quarantine. The risk of transmission is low. Should continue to be cautious.
Influenza season (Nov-March) went by with little influenza cases. Masking and restrictions probably made a big difference. Dr Peter’s clinic did not see any cases at all. We may see more use of masks in the future as a protective measure, in addition to flu vaccinations.
Pfizer MRna vaccines – approved for ages 12 and older.
Moderna will be approved soon for ages 12 and older.
Nevada County: Less than 5 new cases per day. In moderate tier.
Tier system may stop on June 15 because case rates are so low. Hospitalizations 2-5 people per day.
No additional deaths.
Rate of substance use has skyrocketed. A substantial number of ICU cases are alcohol withdrawal and opiate overdose. This is one of the delayed outcomes of the restricted times of Covid.
There is a view that the number of deaths in the US has been undercounted. Coroners report that families are pressuring medical staff to NOT include Covid on death certificates.
Yuba County: CPR 3%
Placer County: CPR 2.2%
Sierra County: 0%
US as a whole: New cases per day is down to 10,000 or lower.
Deaths per day – 300 or less.
Finally getting case counts down to about 100,000 per day. (was as high as 400,000 documented)
Some parts are beginning to open up for commerce.
Deaths: 3000 per day (undercount) These won’t go down for a while.
Metro areas are hardest hit and now the pandemic is moving into rural areas.
News from India is that there are still major hot spots, especially in southern India. Many Ananda members and families of members affected.
Italy – retreat has opened up, but restrictions are still in place. They are as full as they can be legally. But there are concerns about economic difficulties having impact.
Fundraising for Covid in India was successful and one need is care of orphans. Ananda India pouring out energy.
Next update: July 12