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2 hours ago, Lo.M said:

Here are many people passing false information, "vaccines are made from aborted fetuses" "vaccines will change dna" "vaccines cause autoimmune disease".

Who even came up with the "change your DNA" business?

Someone at some point apparently said, "This isn't like ordinary vaccines; it changes your DNA so that your cells can no longer be attacked by COVID-19. This is gene therapy." It's SHOCKING how many people believe that's what mRNA is.

Obligatory:

 

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6 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

The vehemence and paranoia with which the Chinese Government attacked any hint of it being from the Wuhan lab is certainly suspicious.  Lab accidents happen.  

If they were correct in their assertion that it was not a leak - then being open and letting 3d parties confirm their assessment would have been smarter than how they handled it. 

The problem is that you're thinking about it rationally, when, especially from the standpoint of a geopolitical challenger who doesn't have an upper hand in agitprop bullhorns, transparency gets you nothing because the truth doesn't matter, it will convince no-one who isn't on your side already, and just gets shouted down, so hard-headedness and bluster ("It escaped from USARMID in mid-2019!") will get you a whole lot further.

5 hours ago, Lo.M said:

Here are many people passing false information, "vaccines are made from aborted fetuses" "vaccines will change dna" "vaccines cause autoimmune disease".

Every thing we hear

Don't forget that some contain ethanol.

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8 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

This is gene therapy." It's SHOCKING how many people believe that's what mRNA is.

Turns out there are hordes of people who are completely ignorant of the sciences and think that they understand stuff.  They might hear that a virus injects genetic material into a cell which then hijacks the cell into making new copies of the virus... and then expand that into thinking that scientists can inject a person and rewrite their DNA. 

 

Even though this is covered in 7th grade and beyond - people don't seem to get it or care that they don't. 

 

Probably one of the reasons scifi and horror are successful genres 

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One of my main issues with the "Lab Leak" theory of the origin of the virus, is it falls into the "proportionality bias" trap. 

IE when something big happens, something big must of caused it.

Sure its possible that it did leak from a lab, but how come I never heard of a lab leak scenario from the first sars virus? Or lab leak theories from all the other coronavirus variants in the past? Its not like nature couldn't of created this virus by itself, as it already has done so in the past. However, few of those previous version's have impacted the world as greatly as the latest one, hence its only reasonable the proportionality bias starts kicking in.

This of course doesn't rule anything out, but it does confirm that we can have a tendency to believe theories like this when there is such a large impact.

 

4 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Turns out there are hordes of people who are completely ignorant of the sciences and think that they understand stuff. 

Its not so much they are "ignorant" of the sciences, its that people usually under estimate how much they think they know. (Dunning-Kruger) Furthermore, the internet can easily become a confirmation bias, and "group think" machine. Where similar thinking individuals are grouped together to confirm their similar beliefs, along with provide all the "confirmation" one needs to continue to believe almost any claim. Its not exactly easy to disagree with one's peers even on the most straight forward of claims. 

Even without any sort of peer pressure, or "group think" shaking that sort of thinking requires one to question their own thinking and beliefs, which essentially requires a person to realize they don't know enough. Which can scare people. Hence why people believe what they want to believe, because realizing they don't actually know whats going on isn't comforting, or downright scary. 

 

 

I also have an update on my personal coronavirus experience. I was notified by my health care provider that I can get the vaccine due to falling under "pre-existing conditions" and was able to get Moderna earlier in the week. Besides feeling a little "meh" the day after, and a sore arm for a few days I have no complaints. Its also possible my "meh" day might of also been just seasonal allergies affecting my sinuses. I'll be going back at the end of April for the 2nd shot and prepping myself for something worse than a "meh" day when that happens, being a young person with a "very active immune system" I might be in for a rough time, but its better than getting into some cytokines storm, or having my lungs get even more damaged!

The other thing I've been having to think about is the possibility a significant portion of my extended family wont get vaccinated due to one reason or another, which means increased risk for me in the long run. :(

 

 

 

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Fascinating. Three weeks ago at 15:00, the vaccinatiom wing of my hospital was barely even half-full. Today, at 16:00 it was chock-full.

Is it the spring?

Is it the Evil Bald Man finally taking the jab?

Perhaps they should have enticed people with ice cream... *munches on a McFlurry*

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10 hours ago, MKI said:

Sure its possible that it did leak from a lab, but how come I never heard of a lab leak scenario from the first sars virus

Kerikbalm lays out a few of the reasons for the lab leak scenario on the previous page. 

 

I find it plausible because I had actually heard about concerns with the Wuhan lab a year or so before Covid was on everyone's radar.  There were several articles suggesting that the government / educational groups running the lab were rushing things and not following protocols expected of BSL-4 labs. 

Neither SARS or MERS had lab leak scenarios tied to them because neither of them originated in a place with a half assed BSL-4 lab - not to mention a lab that was actively looking into coronavirus. 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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37 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:
11 hours ago, MKI said:

One of my main issues with the "Lab Leak" theory of the origin of the virus, is it falls into the "proportionality bias" trap. 

IE when something big happens, something big must of caused it.

@KerikBalm lays out a few of the reasons for the lab leak scenario on the previous page. 

I find it plausible because I had actually heard about concerns with the Wuhan lab a year or so before Covid was on everyone's radar.  There were several articles suggesting that the government / educational groups running the lab were rushing things and not following protocols expected of BSL-4 labs. 

I'm willing to consider the lab leak hypothesis, but I don't find it particularly plausible, mostly because of the nature of SARS-CoV-2.

SARS-CoV-2 isn't like norovirus or measles, where even a couple dozen virions are enough to infect someone. Fomite transmission of COVID-19 is possible, but infrequent, and only happens when a surface is touched by someone who is seriously infected. Most transmission requires relatively close personal contact. Even if the Wuhan lab had a breach, it wouldn't have just "gotten out" into the public, not without going through basically everyone at that lab first and all of their families. It seems unlikely that one person at the lab became infected asymptomatically, DIDN'T give it to anyone else at the lab, and then caused a superspreader event at a wet market 42 km away.

Further, the lack of genetic diversity in the virus and its mechanism of action strongly suggests a natural origin and a spillover infection event. Coronaviruses need to jump around a lot to mutate significantly, so if this was simply a sample of a wild bat coronavirus which was sent to the Wuhan lab, it wouldn't have had any real way of mutating much in the lab. Yet the closest known wild relative to SARS-CoV-2, RaTG13, is only 96.1% similar to SARS-CoV-2, and since early 2020 repeated sampling and serum testing of the Yunnan region where RaTG13 was found shows nothing closer. 

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1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Kerikbalm lays out a few of the reasons for the lab leak scenario on the previous page. 

 

I find it plausible because I had actually heard about concerns with the Wuhan lab a year or so before Covid was on everyone's radar.  There were several articles suggesting that the government / educational groups running the lab were rushing things and not following protocols expected of BSL-4 labs. 

Neither SARS or MERS had lab leak scenarios tied to them because neither of them originated in a place with a half assed BSL-4 lab - not to mention a lab that was actively looking into coronavirus. 

@KerikBalm

"By comparing the available genome sequencing data for the virus chains, we can firmly determine that SARS-CoV-2 [as the new coronavirus is called] originated from natural processes," said Kristian Andersen in a note. , associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research, the American nonprofit medical research center. According to the research, the molecular structure of the new coronavirus would not be something done in the laboratory because it is very different from that seen in other diseases of the same group. However, it has similarities to known viruses that affect bats and pangolins, which would not be used in genetic engineering.

Researchers from universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia say the virus has a natural origin.  "Our analysis clearly shows that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory building or a virus that was purposely manipulated," says the article.

 The study authors compared the genetic structure of SARS-CoV-2 with that of other viruses in the same family.  The scientists stressed that, if there were genetic manipulation in the laboratory, the structure of the new coronavirus would be similar to that of other existing organisms.  In other words, if someone wanted to create a new virus in order to cause disease, they would use a known "mold".  "The genetic information shows irrefutably that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any central virus structure used previously," says the research.

Another important feature rules out the theory of human creation.  The researchers analyzed the structure that the virus uses to "cling" to the outer walls of other cells, in particular the so-called receptor-binding domain (RBD).  This part of SARS-CoV-2 was so effective in connecting to human cells that scientists concluded that it was the result of natural selection, not genetic engineering.

Edited by Lo.M
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Plausible =/= conclusive. 

My comments are also in relation to my previous post about letting 3d parties in to confirm the 'not our lab' assertion. 

Quibble: 42 km isn't much of a commute.  Especially if you consider a scenario where a lab worker is an apartment dweller with roommates who all shop at the market. 

Edit - I also want to be clear: I do not believe that Covid was a weaponized virus that China intentionally deployed or accidentally leaked.  I do however, find it plausible that a natural virus was being studied and wasn't handled properly. 

 

---

Here's the thing - I actually don't care about finding fault (mostly because I do not think that covid was an intentional act).  Accidents /Pandemics happen.  (History much, world?)

 

About the only fault I can find is that people / governments did not take it seriously enough, early enough.  As a US citizen - if I'm blaming anyone for that I'm looking at how the previous administration not only failed, but actively lied to us. The arc of this catastrophe could have played out so differently. 

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1 hour ago, Lo.M said:

@KerikBalm

Another important feature rules out the theory of human creation.  The researchers analyzed the structure that the virus uses to "cling" to the outer walls of other cells, in particular the so-called receptor-binding domain (RBD).  This part of SARS-CoV-2 was so effective in connecting to human cells that scientists concluded that it was the result of natural selection, not genetic engineering.

I think everyone here probably agrees that SARS-CoV-2 was not purposefully created/genetically engineered. Rather, I think the "lab leak" theory is SARS-CoV-2 originated from a naturally-collected sample which was sent to the Wuhan lab and then somehow infected someone there. 

As I said above, though, I don't think this fits. If SARS-CoV-2 originated in the wild, was sent to the lab, and then escaped, we would be able to find it in the wild. We don't. And the mutagenic differences between the nearest wild coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2 are too significant to have taken place in a lab, not unless there was deliberate engineering (which, as you note above, there was not). 

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1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

I think everyone here probably agrees that SARS-CoV-2 was not purposefully created/genetically engineered.

I'm not willing to utterly discount it. Too many nasty coincidences, from the "perfect storm" of initial occurence in Wuhan just before Chinese New Year mass commutes, to how it somewhat inexplicably savaged Iranian politicians very early on. As to how it ended up mauling the purported culprits, well...

Spoiler

19790.jpeg

I will, however, concur that there's not a shred of evidence, or will likely ever be.

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34 minutes ago, DDE said:

I'm not willing to utterly discount it. Too many nasty coincidences, from the "perfect storm" of initial occurence in Wuhan just before Chinese New Year mass commutes, to how it somewhat inexplicably savaged Iranian politicians very early on. 

Frankly, human beings are simply not yet capable of that level of genetic engineering.

We could create a virus more dangerous than SARS-CoV-2, sure. But we can't create a virus that functions this efficiently. Not even close. 

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On 4/1/2021 at 4:09 AM, KerikBalm said:

The wuhan lab has been alleged to conduct gain of function experiments, and when directly asked about that, gave a deflecting non-answer (Feb 9th WHO press conference)

Sorry, I must not have interpreted this part correctly, English is not my mother tongue. @sevenperforce

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1 hour ago, DDE said:

I'm not willing to utterly discount it.

I think not utterly discounting human tinkering is fair to keep in reserve.  However I don't think it was intentionally deployed. 

 

Unless of course, you can suggest a population / region /nation /target with a very large elderly component that needs to be moved conveniently out of the way to benefit the economic needs of the following generations? (i.e. covid seems tailor made to kill old people but leave the young mostly unscathed) 

 

But that believing that scenario would require a level of credulity and suspicion of government that goes way past common sense and into la la land 

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8 hours ago, DDE said:

Perhaps they should have enticed people with ice cream... *munches on a McFlurry

Not sure if you are aware of this, but in the US you can grab a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme every day, if you show your vaccination card. 

There was some complaints that this isn't healthy for the general population, since overweight = more at risk. However Krispy Kreme countered that its someone's choice to go get their free doughnut. 

Regardless, I think it can be well agreed upon that getting a free doughnut every day of the year is a pretty insane promotion!

 

3 hours ago, DDE said:

I'm not willing to utterly discount it. Too many nasty coincidences, from the "perfect storm" of initial occurence in Wuhan just before Chinese New Year mass commutes, to how it somewhat inexplicably savaged Iranian politicians very early on.

I am since coincidences aren't proof, especially of an event of this large of scale. Take for example the theory that the virus actually originated somewhere else, and just started to really spread in Wuhan, which is a large metro hub. Then the fact we started noticing it spreading a lot in Wuhan can be contributed to the fact there are a lot of people there, not because "its a prime target for some bio-agent release" or whatever theory they are saying now haha.

If the virus started spreading from some less populated area, we probably wouldn't of known or noticed until it started affected a large amount of people, hence why it seems like a "perfect storm". 

 

If I remember correctly, Iranian politicians didn't take the virus very seriously (as did multiple world leaders) which again created an opening for the virus to spread, and would explain why they got hit with it early. However, there are multiple other world leaders not hit with it until later, and other's never hit at all, even the most cavalier about it can just get lucky, or be protected by circumstance. With a virus like this its really just statistics for who gets it, overshadowing all the leaders who didn't. So focusing on Iranian politicians can lead more to cherry picking. IE "these people go it so early, so its proof!", ignoring all the other leaders who didn't, or will get it later. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Unless of course, you can suggest a population / region /nation /target with a very large elderly component that needs to be moved conveniently out of the way to benefit the economic needs of the following generations? (i.e. covid seems tailor made to kill old people but leave the young mostly unscathed) 

Funnily enough, I don't buy into that conspiracy theory.

Unless COVID is made by Amazon, in which case all bets are off )

Spoiler

 

 

15 hours ago, MKI said:

Not sure if you are aware of this, but in the US you can grab a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme every day, if you show your vaccination card. 

Jeez, that explains why I'm seeing mentions of donuts in the context of COVID recently. I thought they were about vaccine donuts or something.

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On 4/2/2021 at 5:32 AM, MKI said:

Sure its possible that it did leak from a lab, but how come I never heard of a lab leak scenario from the first sars virus?

Lack of information? It did escape from a lab in Beijing, twice:

https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/gb-spotlight-20040427-03

But that was after it had already been identified.

On 4/2/2021 at 5:42 PM, Lo.M said:

@KerikBalm

  The scientists stressed that, if there were genetic manipulation in the laboratory, the structure of the new coronavirus would be similar to that of other existing organisms.  In other words, if someone wanted to create a new virus in order to cause disease, they would use a known "mold".  "The genetic information shows irrefutably that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any central virus structure used previously," says the research.

1) This only applies to a deliberate manufacturing scenario, which I am not supposing.

2) It supposes that they didn't have a natural precursor sequence (which everyone agrees does exist, somewhere). They have not been very open, and the WHO team wasn't able to audit the wuhan labs

On 4/2/2021 at 5:52 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Here's the thing - I actually don't care about finding fault (mostly because I do not think that covid was an intentional act).  Accidents /Pandemics happen.  (History much, world?)

Often they happen because of people doing stupid stuff. The first two largish Sars-cov outbreaks came from chinese wet markets, they closed the wet markets, then reopened them each time... those things are virus breeding grounds that enable viruses from animals to adapt to humans.

Lab leak or natural spillover, it is China's fault

On 4/2/2021 at 10:53 PM, Lo.M said:

Sorry, I must not have interpreted this part correctly, English is not my mother tongue. @sevenperforce

Gain of function experiments != engineered bioweapons.

It could be simply taking an animal virus that doesn't replicate very well in human cells, putting it in a human cell culture for several passages, it naturally adapts to the human cells, then you sequence it and see how it changed. There are legitimate reasons to want to do this: you can learn what you need to look out for in the future/ focus your surveillance of wild viruses... but you need to contain the virus well, ideally, destroying it afterwards.

Such an adaptation to human cell culture would be very hard to distinguish from a more natural animal-human spillover.

 

There are a number of strange circumstances that distinguish this from the SARS-COV-1 outbreaks, and China has been acting very defensively, I find it highly suspicious, but maybe its just China being China, and they act more defensive because the scale of the outbreak is much worse...

But that wasn't clear at the time that they jailed the first doctor to publicly raise the alarm.

It all comes down to whether or not you trust the Chinese government, and I don't.

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5 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

Gain of function experiments != engineered bioweapons.

Aaand you've stepped right into the acrid puddle of trying to separate biodefense research from biooffense research, which is probably a futile effort. It's one of the reasons why the biological weapons ban has no verification mechanism - it's damned near unenforceable.

That which has the power to save almost always has the power to kill.

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6 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

Gain of function experiments != engineered bioweapons.

It could be simply taking an animal virus that doesn't replicate very well in human cells, putting it in a human cell culture for several passages, it naturally adapts to the human cells, then you sequence it and see how it changed. There are legitimate reasons to want to do this: you can learn what you need to look out for in the future/ focus your surveillance of wild viruses... but you need to contain the virus well, ideally, destroying it afterwards.

Such an adaptation to human cell culture would be very hard to distinguish from a more natural animal-human spillover.

My areas of expertise are history, physics, and law, not biology or genetic engineering, but it was my understanding from the research that the size of the adaptations was larger than this type of function testing could have produced. In other words, there needed to be something between bats and humans to ease the transition.

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2 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

it was my understanding from the research that the size of the adaptations was larger than this type of function testing could have produced. In other words, there needed to be something between bats and humans to ease the transition.

I'd say that's evidence neither for nor against. Would mean more intermediate species, whether in the wild, or inside a lab.

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2 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

My areas of expertise are history, physics, and law, not biology or genetic engineering, but it was my understanding from the research that the size of the adaptations was larger than this type of function testing could have produced. In other words, there needed to be something between bats and humans to ease the transition.

It would just be a matter of how long the experiment would have been ongoing, and how close the start was.

The WHO team could not verify what they had in their labs.

Its not like I think china would disclose that they had a virus stock that was a 99.5% match to SARS-COV-2 if they had it.

Regarding early cases, based on data supplied by the chinese, the who team identified 79(?) probable earlier cases, and asked the chinese team for more info. The chinese team said that they reviewed them all, and they weren't COVID-19 cases, and didn't hand over any data, citing laws protecting patient information.

0/79 I find suspicious, especially from a government that jailed the first guy to raise an alert, and is promoting a BS "cold-chain" transmission origin of the wuhan outbteak. I have 0 trust in the Chinese government, but that is no reason to conclude that the virus came from their labs.

We are left with just a number of coincidences, that may be just chance coincidences... but it is odd enough that there should be further investigation, but the chinese government won't allow that

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11 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

It all comes down to whether or not you trust the Chinese government, and I don't.

No one should trust the Chinese government, especially when it comes to something like this. That doesn't mean they are hiding something because they can hide anything or nothing for no reason. Obviously it would be better for them if it was a natural occurrence, rather than they bio-engineered/leaked something so they will go that route, regardless of if its true or not. Or they might have actual bio-weapons or research for bio-weapons and obviously wouldn't want to show those off either.

There isn't really a scenario where there government "wins" by being transparent. If you want to argue it would establish trust in them, then you must remember this isn't a democracy. Trust in the government can more easily be manipulated by not being transparent. Take for example the case numbers and deaths are probably under-counted, which isn't surprising. At the same time, the current case and numbers are probably more correct because the government can now enforce dramatically more intrusive schemes to control the situation, like continuous monitoring of people via their location, activity and status. Even if they aren't correct they can be manipulated so it looks good. 

To help get an idea of why looking into China's actions to find "reasoning", let me just make up another random theory, and say that the US engineered the virus and dropped it in Wuhan and it got out of control. Even if the Chinese government knew this is exactly what happened, they would act essentially the same. They would deny they created anything, hide whatever they have, fake how much control they have over the situation, and leverage how much control they have over their citizens to actually control it. Obviously if this was the real situation there would be motives and counter-attacks, so this isn't a real theory, only an example of how the overall Chinese government would act the same even if the actual events changed dramatically. The main idea here is that everything China has done is exactly what I expect them to do under almost any circumstance, the fact it seems "fishy" is only because what they do is fishy, but it isn't surprising

11 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

Lack of information? It did escape from a lab in Beijing, twice:

https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/gb-spotlight-20040427-03

But that was after it had already been identified.

I couldn't find out if they determined if they got it from inside the lab, or out in the environment and just happened to work at the lab. They do mention the 2 cases are separate, but they don't directly correlate issues with the lab itself, or point out what procedures were found to have been broken. They do point out some procedures have been broken in the past, but nothing crazy or definitive as far as I can tell. I checked a few similar articles that basically said the same thing so its not really clear to make any assumptions from it. I also remember that the first SARS didn't have a significant asymptomatic transmission feature, so it was easier to find and isolate, along with people getting really sick so it was more obvious, which helps in tracking, so I'd assume they would of found something obvious with the lab procedures to find if it did directly leak from the lab, rather than be from happenstance. 

 

 

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