24 May 2022

Stay at home 🟨🟨

 The three things you need to know:

  1. the more long-distance travel there is, the more aggressive a pathogen can be and not go extinct by killing all the hosts it can reach what with being able to reach more hosts
  2. if you keep adding long-distance travel, there's an abrupt transition between extinction being unlikely and extinction being nigh-certain for the host population. We know this point exists but not how to identify it in the real world.
  3. if you think this doesn't apply to extractive economic behaviour as well as diseases, you need to contemplate the concept of "model" a little more.
Oh, and monkeypox?  Current doubling time is around a day and a half. In a disease with a long — two week — incubation period and a historically low transmissibility.  Tends to hint that many more people have it than know they have it.  It'd be useful to know what's going on.

Available facts as of a day or so ago.  Note particularly that the virus is durable, fomite transition is absolutely a thing, and hand washing doesn't kill it.  Alcohol does and dilute bleach does.

Also note that there is no way pox viruses do not spread and if you go look at the 19th century literature it takes completely seriously the idea that V. major could spread through the air.  Prudence would not limit concern to droplet transmission.

ETA: There's a Lancet paper on treating this variant of monkeypox in humans:
Prolonged upper respiratory tract viral DNA shedding after skin lesion resolution challenged current infection prevention and control guidance.

That is, the traditional-with-pox viruses guidance that after the lesions scab over and the scabs fall off you're not contagious anymore?  With this pox virus, that's wrong. Effective treatment involves at least a month of strict isolation of the patient, and we purely do not have the capacity to do that for very many people. 


JReynolds said...

No kidding.

My brother told me before the Victoria Day weekend that his mother-in-law had come down with COVID after flying to and from Ireland on vacation.

I wouldn't wish COVID on anyone, but this 'everything is OK now, get back to your old life' vibe is going to kill / injure with Long COVID a lot of people.


Graydon said...


We purely do not know what the 10 year COVID mortality rate is, and could wish people could be convinced to respect that.

So, yes, agreement. "It will all be fine" does not apply to novel viruses.

JReynolds said...

Voted today in the Ontario election. Consulted a website that said that the NDP candidate had the best chance of beating the PC candidate in my riding, so I voted for them. (Also realized that my drivers license expired 8 days ago. Going to the MTO tomorrow morning!)

It makes me so mad that we're almost certain to get another PC majority, with Ford getting less than 38% of the vote. Welcome back to FPTP.