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Everything posted by Rocky

  1. They already charge for them. You didn't know that? They don't produce major scientific breakthroughs for public health with magical thinking, or someone simply snapping their fingers.
  2. Rocky

    Cat whispering II

    So sorry. I had a cat for several years. He came down with bowel problems too. He's been gone for 7 years now. I miss him. Hugs.
  3. It's not blank on my screen. If you don't feel like yourself... -Seyda Noir I love the prose.
  4. Are you too weak to actually address the elephant in the room? WTF do you mean when you say "don't believe what your senses tell you?" Sure, you're trying to bait me, but you do realize that grandparents aren't generally the decision makers regarding their grandchildren, right?
  5. From the Arizona Republic, Nov 24, 2021 When you get a vaccine, you build up an army in your body. Or at least that’s how Dr. Erik McLaughlin describes it to his 6-year-old twins. But most of the time, if that army is doing its job, we don’t even realize it’s there. So how do we know if it needs reinforcements? And if it does, when is the best time to send them in? When it comes to booster shots against COVID-19, that’s exactly the question that public health officials, researchers, doctors and patients are trying to answer. While Pima County recently recommended boosters for everyone ages 18 and older, citing increased community spread, state- and national-level guidance is still developing. (continued) Rather than some unknowable "don't believe what your senses are telling you" from our "good friend" Allen, who doesn't provide either any reasonable alternative perspective, or definition of WTF he means, other than just seeming to cast doubt on what those who are actually working to figure out the problem and solutions, researchers are working diligently to FIGURE OUT what's going on and how to solve it. Those who heed such guidance clearly diminish their risk of severe illness and death. That seems like a BFD to me.
  6. One of the books I'm reading now is The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life. One of the new (new to me anyway) ideas in the book is that not only does our DNA change generation to generation because we get genes from each of our parents, but our DNA changes as a result of environmental influences, one of which could be viral infections. The author tells a compelling story. One of the figures he describes is French evolutionist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a "a soldier from a family of soldiering minor nobility who transformed himself into a botanist, then into a professor of zoology at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris..." David Quammen described Lamarck as a protean figure. [protean: extremely variable ; changeable in shape or form, as an amoeba ; a versatile actor]
  7. Since there is NO other way for humans to perceive, or take in data/information than by way of the five senses, perhaps you could enlighten us as to WTF you're talking about here.
  8. Those words signal the need for perspective, not dismissiveness.
  9. There was no paywall blocking me. Apparently, the shareholders decided to share.
  10. AstraZeneca will on Tuesday open its new global research and development facility in Cambridge, a £1 billion investment that will be seized on by government ministers as proof positive that Britain can continue to thrive as a science powerhouse while outside the European Union. Admittedly, the investment has little to do with Brexit as such. The decision to base the facility in the heart of the Cambridge science park was taken more than eight years ago, long before Britain voted to leave the EU. Nor does it help with the Government’s pet but fast coming-off-the-rails “levelling up” agenda; the vast majority of high-tech investment in Britain continues to be heavily focused on south-east and eastern England. But it does at least lend some support to claims that this kind of high-end industrial and research spending is unlikely to be much affected by the decision to leave the EU, contrary to some of the more alarmist forecasts of what might become of it at the time of the vote. The grand opening comes at the end of what has been a turbulent couple of years for the pharma giant. When Astra was tapped by the UK Government to partner with the team at the University of Oxford in the development and mass production of Covid vaccines, it seemed to be a moment of triumph for Pascal Soriot, its chief executive, taking him for the first time into a whole new therapeutic area. AstraZeneca's new £1bn facility in Cambridge opens on Tuesday CREDIT: AstraZeneca But despite the company’s early success in producing a workable Covid vaccine, helping the UK to steal a march on the rest of Europe in vaccinating against the pandemic, it then all seemed to go horribly wrong. Astra fast became a political football in the outbreak of vaccine nationalism that took hold. EU resentment over Brexit became inextricably linked with European suspicion of the vaccine. Brussels sued for failure to meet delivery commitments; Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was “almost ineffective” in the over-65s, while his Europe minister accused the UK of taking “massive risks” by depending too heavily on its home-grown jab. Even today, with the delivery issues essentially resolved, Astra still struggles in many parts of Europe to overcome suspicion over the efficacy and safety of its vaccine. And it has yet to gain approval at all in the US, where American born shots are favoured. Inexplicably, Britain’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has compounded the problem by focusing its entire booster vaccine programme on the rival, and much more expensive, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines. That decision may have had more to do with an excess in stocks of the Pfizer jab – the Government hedged its bets by buying up far more vaccine doses than is needed from multiple different developers – than any deliberate bias against Astra. It left a sour taste in the mouth nonetheless, given Astra’s prior loyalty to the UK vaccination push and its huge investment in UK science. Fears over the Astra vaccine’s slight risk of causing blood clots seem to have fed into the decision to use the Pfizer alternative wherever possible in the UK’s booster programme. Announcing it in mid-September, the JCVI advised “a preference for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for booster jabs, regardless of which vaccine brand someone received for their primary doses. This follows data from the COV-BOOST trial that indicates the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is well tolerated as a third dose and provides a strong booster response”. That decision must now be revisited. The reality of the Astra vaccine is very different to the downbeat perceptions of it that have been allowed to gain traction in Europe and the US. Looked at globally, the Astra vaccine has in fact been a great deal more successful than any of its Western rivals. Largely unremarked, it is now the most applied vaccine in the world after China’s Sinovac Biotech, having already surpassed two billion doses. Pfizer is dominant in the US and Continental Europe, but the rest of the world outside China overwhelmingly uses Astra, which has licensed the product to facilities in multiple different jurisdictions from India to South Korea, Thailand and Brazil. More than 300 million doses a month are now being churned out. What’s more, there is growing evidence, if admittedly as yet only circumstantial, that the Astra vaccine actually offers more durable protection than the rival mRNA products. Again, there is no hard data on this as yet, but one possible answer to the riddle of why the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are experiencing lower infection rates than the UK but much higher hospitalisations, threatening once more to overwhelm public health systems, is because of the choice of vaccine and the age cohorts that were prioritised. If the Pfizer vaccine is less durable, it might explain why countries with apparently similar levels of vaccination to the UK – but with Pfizer the predominant jab – are now experiencing higher levels of hospitalisation and deaths. The seemingly better T-cell response that comes from the AstraZeneca vaccine may mean it gives longer protection, despite an apparently inferior initial antibody response. To be clear, this can be no more than conjecture at this point. All the same, the comprehensive rubbishing of the Astra vaccine that took place early this year, egged on by jealous national governments and commercially motivated rivals, looks ever more misplaced. Politics and commercial interests were allowed disgracefully to take priority over public health. Astra lost the battle to vaccine nationalism, but is now very much winning the global war.
  11. AstraZeneca may offer longer-lasting immunity than other vaccines, scientists have said amid claims that the jab has helped Britain avoid the latest Covid wave in Europe. Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca, said the decision to give the Oxford vaccine to older people in Britain could be one of the reasons the UK was not seeing not "so many hospitalisations relative to Europe" despite a high number of cases. The Telegraph understands that the pharmaceutical company is preparing to release data showing that its jab offers long term T-cell immunity for older people even after antibodies wane. Mr Soriot said the immunity provided by T-cells may be "more durable". Several countries – including France, Germany, Spain and Belgium – restricted the AstraZeneca vaccine to under-65s in the early stages of their rollouts, claiming there was not enough data to prove it worked for older people. In France, daily infections passed 30,000 for the first time since August on Tuesday, with an increase of 63 per cent in a week. Germany confirmed it was planning to make vaccination mandatory for soldiers. The seven-day average of Covid deaths in the country is now twice that in Britain. "European leaders had all these unfounded concerns about AstraZeneca and its use in older people," a senior government source said. "If you look at the data, you can see us using it early has been incredibly helpful in terms of protecting older and vulnerable people from this disease for longer." British experts said Mr Soriot's claims were "plausible" and may be the reason why hospitalisations and deaths have been relatively low even though cases are high. Dr Peter English, a former editor of Vaccines in Practice who previously chaired the BMA public health medicine committee, said: "People whose immune systems have produced a strong T-cell response but a weaker antibody response might be more likely to be infected in the first place but more likely to be able to fight the infection, and they will be much less likely to develop severe disease." Commenting on the UK's high infection but low hospitalisation rates, he said: "It is plausible that this generated an excellent T-cell response, which means that while people can still be infected and infectious, they are unlikely to be seriously unwell." Prof Matthew Snape, of Oxford University, who was chief investigator on booster jabs trials, said: "The best T-cell responses seem to come if you give a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine followed by Pfizer." Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group of lockdown-septic Tory MPs, criticised European politicians for snubbing the jab and called for AstraZeneca's data to be made public. "Serious politicians ought not to need reminding that what they say and what they do is often a matter of life and death," Mr Baker told The Telegraph. "Once more, it looks like political condemnation from Europe of AstraZeneca may have cost lives. "I hope we will see the data and find the facts. If the Government and AstraZeneca have the data, it would be helpful to get it into the public domain." Mr Soriot told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the ability of the AstraZeneca jab to stimulate a long-lasting T-cell response in older people "could be" the reason Britain was faring better than Europe. "We haven't seen many hospitalisations in the UK – a lot of infections for sure – but what matters is are you severely ill or not, are you hospitalised or not?" he said. "And we haven't seen so many of these hospitalisations in the UK. "The antibody response is what drives the immediate reaction or defence of the body when you're attacked by the virus, and the T-cell response takes a little longer to come in, but it's actually more durable – it lasts longer and the body remembers that longer." Although Covid cases in Britain are rising again, with 42,484 recorded on Tuesday, deaths are down 5.5 per cent and hospitalisations by 9.5 per cent since last week. Ahead of the booster vacciness programme decision, several members of the Oxford/AstraZeneca team, including Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert, said third jabs may be unnecessary because two doses offered such good long-term protection. Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh, said a growing number of trials had shown that AstraZeneca initially gives higher levels of T-cells, even if mRNA vaccines like Pfizer are better at producing antibodies. "Since the AstraZeneca vaccine is slightly better at inducing these T-cells, the implication is that it may provide longer term protection against hospitalisation and death," she added. Earlier this month, a team of researchers from University College London published data showing that some people already have T-cell protection against Covid as a result of previous infection with a different coronavirus such as a common cold. Experts also said high levels of infections in the summer and early autumn meant many people in Britain had gained natural immunity to the virus. New estimates from the Office for National Statistics and the Covid Infection Survey show that over nine in 10 adults across the UK have antibodies to Covid.
  12. What If You Weren’t Such a Know It All? You’re smart. You went to college. You’ve read lots of books. You’ve seen a thing or two. So you know a lot. When people have questions, you’ve got answers. When stuff happens, you’ve got opinions. When there are problems, you’ve got solutions. This is great, right? Maybe. Epictetus reminds us that “it’s impossible to learn that which you think you already know.” To the Stoics, particularly Zeno, conceitedness was the primary impediment to wisdom. Because when you’ve always got answers, opinions and ready-made solutions, what you’re not doing is learning. What you’re not doing is looking at things objectively, clearly, with fresh eyes. You’re just relying on instinct and preconceived notions. Ego is the enemy for a reason. It blinds us. It distracts us. It puffs us up and prevents us from learning. The less of a know it all we are, the more we can actually get out and discover. The more open we’ll be. The wiser we’ll become. Remember, the key to Socrates’ philosophy was his admission of ignorance. It was his desire to ask questions, his willingness to be proven wrong, his interest in having conversations—with anyone about anything. He was smart because he was humble, not conceited because he was smart. This is a skill we have to practice. We have to prevent ego from cutting us off from wisdom.
  13. Joshua Eugene Harris is an American author and former pastor. Harris' 1997 book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, in which he laid out his ideas concerning a Biblically-based Christian approach to dating and relationships, helped shape purity culture for many Christian millennials.[1] Harris was lead pastor of Covenant Life Church, the founding church of Sovereign Grace Ministries, in Gaithersburg, Maryland from 2004 until 2015. In 2018, Harris disavowed I Kissed Dating Goodbye and discontinued its publication. The following year, Harris announced that he was separating from his wife, had "undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus" and was not a Christian.
  14. This TED Talk is applicable to LOTS of what we've been through as former wayfers... including covid19 and the vaccines, however indirectly.
  15. As if there's any other way to read the article? Btw, since when are YOU in Japan?
  16. I take what the Guardian says as well documented and lacking bias as much as possible. My (first) cousin (once removed) is a covid ICU nurse in Rochester, NY. She has been saying the same thing for months.
  17. Pretty succinct way to summarize the situation.
  18. All American adults now approved for the BOOSTER.
  19. This is definitely for you Allan.
  20. Thank you for being compassionate in the face of all of that.
  21. I've had that kind of test three times in the last year and a half. Negative every time. Congrats.
  22. I would also hope somewhere out there in cyberspace someone is compiling DATA (FACTS) on that very idea. I have to figure someone probably is doing so.
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