Still Only One Coronavirus Strain and Progress to Treatments and Vaccines

The coronavirus is currently changing slowly. There are only about two dozen mutations.

There have been many reports of multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2. Virologists use the world strain as a label to the same group of samples. This does not mean they are functionally different. Strain can also refer to viral genotypes that are functionally distinct. Functional distinctness of strains requires more experimental, clinical and epidemiological data than is currently available. There is a hypothesis that there are two SARS-Cov-2 strains. These would be “D614” vs “G614”. This has not been proven. A study from China claims that people who got D614 have antibodies that do not protect them from the European G614. The D614G mutation may be responsible for increasing the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2.

Flu is still a concern and flu can also cause illness and death. There is concern that there is swine flu spreading in pigs in China. The new swine flu has not crossed over to humans butt there is worry that the Pandemic flu in pigs could become pandemic flu in humans.

There are over 133 [now 149] candidate vaccines. However, only one to two dozen are strong possibilities for getting proven in clinical trials and then scaled for treating large numbers of the public. The WHO lists all of the possible vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. There are 17 vaccines undergoing clinical evaluation. There are 132 undergoing pre-clinical evaluation.

The Milken Institute is tracking 172 Vaccine candidates and 257 COVID-19 treatments (as of June 26, 2020).

It appears that death rates for COVID-19 in hospitals are one-fourth what they were at the start of the pandemic. Doctors know more about how to treat the disease. They know that COVID-19 can thicken a victims blood. They give blood thinners to prevent deaths. They also have proven that an inexpensive steroid can reduce deaths by 20%.

The public and governments know that wearing face masks, social distancing and frequently cleaning hands can reduce the spread of the disease by 90%.

SOURCES- Nextstrain, Journal Science, Milken Institute, WHO
Written By Brian Wang,

67 thoughts on “Still Only One Coronavirus Strain and Progress to Treatments and Vaccines”

  1. Couldn’t have done that at the start. The push back would have been insane. Even now, it is hard to get people to do what has to be done. Some of us are born to be cannon fodder in the COVID war.

  2. My back yard is positively deserted. WIth only the occasional rabbit, one visit by a python, and the rest just birds (turkeys, kookaburras, owls and parrots).

  3. It’s vitamin A that people can poison themselves with. D is pretty harmless.
    OK, people can poison themselves with salt, or water, if they try hard enough. But now we’re back at the stage of saying that you can’t help some people.

  4. well i wasn’t talking about an intentional experiment but rather or showing cases where there is a clear connection. Say of having contacts only with people wearing mask for the last month and yet getting sick…

  5. Such a test would be unethical, so not permitted. But you can show that the virus is still viable. Even tests with animals would not be conclusive because, what may be contagious to them, might not be to us.

  6. “Shutting down the economy is what you have to do when you have lost containment.” 
    Or you need to buy time to manufacture tests, and test treatments. We did not have decent tests early on. We needed to quarantine whole towns early on…because we had no tests worth a darn. The only people coming in and out should have been truckers. And they should have had N95 masks, and no beards (not comparable with N95 masks). Off-ramps blocked, roads blocked. Trucks with food and such issued stickers for this. Media let in, but not out. Ministers and healthcare workers let in, but not out.
    Tracing early on is insufficient. Stop all flights. Isolate affected cities and towns. Even cutting off NYC was possible, and might have prevented the deaths in other cities in New York State and nearby States like New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

  7. Maybe the best policy is still to test everyone on a Saturday and put the infected in hotels, perhaps with their children, if they are a single parent. And keep them there until the virus has cleared. Perhaps give them $600/week to pay their bills. Then in a couple weeks after the initial test, test everyone again. Then, depending on the number found the second time either test yet again or if numbers are low enough, move to tracing.
    The time is probably running out for this plan. If too many people are infected, we won’t have enough hotel space. Expense-wise things are also already out of hand. We could have done this earlier and saved a lot. We could not have done it immediately after this things started to spread widely, because we had few, if any, tests. But we could have vastly ramped up test manufacture, and had enough tests a month later.
    Even if numbers are high, some form of this is still possible. Maybe quarantine people in their homes, (and have a substantial fine if they are out), and check on them frequently. Give them a freezer full of food, a box or two of can goods and dry foods. Give them some food selection control. Drastic? Maybe. Deaths seem under control. There is an 8 day lag in reporting, and a median 8 days from infection to death. If there is also a lag in testing reporting, we would know sooner than 16 days after the increase in positive tests.

  8. Non-N95 masks do little to stop aerosols as well. So you have to look at what you are comparing the shields to.
    There is also no consensus on the modes of transmission:
    Strongest evidence is droplet from sneezing, coughing, and talking and fecal from flushing high pressure toilets and surfaces very recently sprayed with droplets or contacted are the main routes. But the article lists studies, most of which come up with a wide variety of often contradictory conclusions.
    If it was primarily aerosols, distancing and non-N95 masks would not do much. The fact that they do, suggests that droplet is much more important than aerosols, but, I admit, that is just reasoning, not science. For all we know, masks could do squat and the people from Singapore may just be less susceptible to Covid-19, for some other reason than the masks they wore. Diet, genetics, colostrum, and personal history of previous infection (like the previous SARS thing) all could alter rates of infection one population to another.

  9. I’ve got 10 cats in the back yard and 4 in the front yard, 1 skunk, 3 raccoons, 2 opossums, and 1 bee hive. We had a fox too…but the neighbor killed it with a rock and when it started to stink called animal control on us. We did not know it even existed. I am not walking bare foot out there…even if there is no disease.

  10. Studies suggests twice as many people have immunity from covid 19 then just what the antibody tests show. That means the IFR is way lower than 0.26%.

  11. No, Tommy, I won’t engage in such a disingenuous debate.

    At this juncture, I can only assume that you are either from New York and/or a democrat, because you’re trying too hard to excuse the inexcusable.

    We’re done.

  12. Perhaps you should read beyond the first sentence.
    NY is a great example – just not for the “over-reaction” case you are trying to make.

    NY had a horrific rate of COVID19 case growth UNTIL they implemented social isolation. See my note below – social isolation just one week earlier might have spared them 95% of their cases and deaths.

  13. You are making an argument that usually I am sympathetic to:
    If you can’t read and understand beyond the headline then you deserve to be wrong.
    But this is a very special case. It’s a public health announcement.
    Rather than aim it at at the 50th percentile human and ignore the bottom 5%, a public health announcement during a pandemic has to be aimed directly at the bottom 5%, because they can spread the disease to everyone else.
    So if the surgeon general (a role that is 99% about communicating with the public) says, and I quote from the CNN article

    “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!

    They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus,

    Then that’s what people will hear. At least the sort of person who will go to a football game, squeeze into a toiletpaper buying mob, and then visit grandma in the nursing home.
    And the fact that we here on NBF all knew this was oversimplified garbage designed for the rubes is not relevant to the question of whether public statements of this sort should have been made.

  14. “masks are bad for you and they don’t work and anyway we need them”
    That remains a fantasy, i suggest you re examine that cnn article quoting the fox and friends interview you posted, don’t cherry pick partial statements, read what is says and not what you want it to say. 
    If all one can get out of those statements is “mask bad” 2000 years of epistemology was a waste of time.

    Now a big slab of the population have learned that what the medical authorities tell them is likely to be bullsnit made up for short term crowd control reasons.

    False conclusions by people predisposed to irrational reasoning is an indictment of their capacity to reason and not that of medical advice which remains an accurate reflection of objective reality.

  15. Going by what I have read, face shields don’t do very much to keep aerosols the one wearing the face shield emits from escaping and carrying the infection to others, and don’t prevent aerosols from reaching the one wearing the mask.

    Face shields probably do greatly reduce spray of large droplets, both incoming and outgoing, but it seems that transmission via aerosols is the more important infection path. So face shields probably are just a way to comply with the letter of the health orders, without complying with their intent.

  16. continuation because of the damned size limit:

    Don’t rely on the standard medical advice about what should be the vitamin D level a 25hydroxy-D test reports. The test itself is fine, giving accurate results. The problem is that most labs use woefully out of date info about the target level a person should have. As a result, many labs will report levels that are quite beneficial as being too high, and uninformed doctors will allow themselves to be misled by that.

    I had more to say, but the damned size limit interrupted my thoughts.

  17. If you are taking a vitamin D3 supplement, you have to work damned hard to poison yourself from it. Most people with the typical American lifestyle would do well to take around 10,000 IU per day, and would have to take more than twice that amount to get their vitamin D level up to the point where they start to be in danger of any harm from it. The exact amount an individual needs depends on somewhat hard to determine factors, so 10,000 IU per day is a bit over what most people would need, but is not enough to be dangerous. If you get tested for your vitamin D level, you can adjust your intake to get to about 70 to 80 ng/ml (or 175 to 200 nmol/liter). Most people in the U.S. who are not taking a vitamin D supplement have levels below 30 — often far below. Nearly everyone gets enough vitamin D to avoid rickets, because that is what they based the original guidelines on, many years ago. Most of the functions of vitamin D were not known then, and you don’t get much help for those other functions (besides rickets prevention) until you have much higher levels.

    continued in next post because of the damned size limit

  18. The reality is rather different from what you imply.

    First, 250M at risk of starvation doesn’t equate to 250M dying of starvation – that’s more like saying ‘globally over half a billion elders are at risk of dying of COVID19’.

    Second, those 250M people were already ‘at risk of starvation’ this year – but advocates for those 250M have speculated that COVID19 social isolation and shutdown measures might make that problem worse.

    It did not in the US, btw – we’ll have a large grain surplus this year due to social isolation side effects. Meat is a bit pricier because of meat packing plants getting lots of cases and having to shut down. And even so we’re now exporting some of the better cuts of meat, rather than grind them up for hamburger, which would help keep meat prices down. Economics at work…

  19. I can see why there was a push for “stop the public buying masks” when most countries didn’t have enough for medical personnel.
    But turning this into “masks are bad for you and they don’t work and anyway we need them” was burning the bridge.
    Now a big slab of the population have learned that what the medical authorities tell them is likely to be bullsnit made up for short term crowd control reasons.

    At exactly the point in time that they need everyone to actually pay attention to public health messages, they destroyed their own credibility to deal with a supply problem because they couldn’t be bothered providing a more complex message.

    Clumsy, stupid, self defeating short term tactics.

  20. Yeah, this 10 million, 250 million, 1 billion people dying of hunger because of lockdowns number keeps appearing.

    It sounds like Billy and Jane starving to death in their suburban house because they can’t drive to the store to buy food.
    But if you dig into it they are referring to projected increased deaths throughout the 4th world places like Upper Volta because a decrease in world economic growth means that the economy in these places will suffer. And there is some proportion of the population who are currently bumping along the bottom of the malthusian limit.

    The phrase “deaths due to lockdown” is highly misleading, and “deaths due to world economic collapse” is much better.
    BUT… if you put it that way, this then leads to a debate about whether a particular policy would lead to more or less economic issues overall. And who wants a debate if you can convince people with a sharp, scary, catchphrase?

  21. Social isolation done just one week earlier in NY could have reduced their current case load (and deaths) by 95%. No, that’s not an error – their case load was increasing by around 50% per day just before social isolation went into effect. Since implemented they’ve reduced their rate of daily case growth to under 0.25%.

    Imagine if NY had waited one week LONGER. NY deaths alone could have exceeded current US deaths by more than 3x.

    If the steersman of the Titanic had seen the iceberg a few seconds earlier and steered hard away, you are arguing that he shouldn’t have done so because after all only one section of lower-class compartments got torn open and flooded killing 15% of the occupants – who probably would have gotten some lower-class disease and died soon anyhow.

  22. “I don’t think you should have used NY as your example.”

    I think you have a political reason to avoid using New York as an example.

  23. I don’t think you should have used NY as your example. If anywhere, social isolation even a week earlier would have prevented a lot of their disaster. Once they implemented social isolation measures, they reduced their percentage-wise active case growth rate to under 1% of their original rate.

  24. Like i said, usually due to poor reading comprehension and general anti science attitudes.

    In march, the directive was don’t buy up the ppe in the pipeline and away from front line medical personnel who needed it more. If they get taken down in the first wave due to a lack of ppe, it will not matter if an ICU bed is available when there aren’t enough medical personal around to treat you. The concept of triage is still foreign to most, they instead see shadows and conspiracies in every corner. 
    The CNN “propaganda” piece was more beneficial to the effort than the alternative “it’s just the flu” or “everything is under control, nothing to worry about”.

  25. For any given population, living in scattered O’Neill Settlements would make this a relatively trivial problem.

  26. I’ve noticed the ones most offended by socialized masking support the war on drugs, by and large. They don’t even realize they are neurotic power addicts. Yet.

  27. That’s the way neurotics are. Janov and Baldwin are eerily similar in their descriptions of same.

  28. Can you quote a source for COVID. The Wikipedia article on Brilacidin has no mention of activity against any virus.

  29. Why do I get the feeling that if it suited your argument, you’d claim a large number of Americans were dying of hunger?

  30. Face masks, specially cloth made ones, aren’t for protecting you. They are for reducing the spit everyone ejects when breathing and talking. That is, for protecting others.

    That’s why everyone should wear them in public, so you will be protected too.

  31. “Sun exposure reduces covid-19 symptoms by 90%” sorry, that is not what that article was saying. It is talking about Coronavirus on surfaces or in the air, not in people. And if you touch a contaminated surface, the fact that 90% of it is dead, should not give one cause to exhale in relief. Still millions of copies of the virus there. Only takes one to infect you.
    Mostly, people are not being infected by surfaces anyway, it is people sneezing or breathing close to you and unimpeded by masks or shields.

  32. Take a Vitamin D supplement. Just one a day. Don’t overdo it and poison yourself. Don’t like pills then get some sun and again don’t overdo it.

  33. Not anywhere near the true. First, nursing home residents normally stay in the nursing home. They only go to the hospital when they are severely ill. When they recover they are returned to the nursing home. Normal Operating Procedure.

  34. Everything isn’t always a conspiracy by the corporate media. Sometimes, you have to make decisions based on the information your currently have. By the way, a 0.26% death rate would still mean a death count of 825,000 in the US. There is no reason for that many people to die when you can test, contact trace and isolate. You can tamp down the virus so that very few people will get sick and die. As for closing down the economy, if you did a good job of tamping down the virus then that wouldn’t be necessary. Shutting down the economy is what you have to do when you have lost containment.

  35. Keep an eye on Innovation Pharmaceutical’s Brilacidin, a protein mimetic currently being evaluated by the RBL at George Mason U. Already proven safe for other indications. Wipes out COVID in tissue cultures.

  36. Shoes warn improperly fail to protect your feet. They can even cause injuries. You could put the right on the left and the left on the right or fail to tie the strings, trip and fall to your death. 
    Seriously people- STOP BUYING SHOES!
    They are NOT effective in preventing the general public from FOOT INJURIES, but if MAIL CARRIERS can’t get them to WALK THROUGH PUDDLES, it puts them and our communities at risk!

  37. The largest problem is that the politicians could not let the people trained to deal with this sort of thing have all that limelight to themselves.
    A secondary problem is that experts don’t tend to get blamed much if they lean toward calamity and are wrong. But they would be out of a job in an instant, if they got it wrong the other direction. This does lead to a somewhat negative bias.
    Politicians though are a disaster. They usually know squat about science and medicine. And they consider it of great value to cheer people up and relieve fear. Too much play down when there is real risk that people should respect, and bad things happen.

  38. I wish they would check and see how effective it would be to just wear face shields. A face shield protects the eyes from infection, you can still eat with many face shields, at least use a straw to get a drink. You can see people’s expressions. They are easy to reuse. Should stop any splatter from a sneeze either direction. And they are more comfortable than a mask, so compliance should be easier. I suspect it is as good or 90% as good as these non-N95 face masks they are selling…and with higher compliance, probably better.

  39. So that is why all those people who went to the beach in Florida and California diden’t catch it. They also say alchohol protects people but they come home from the bars with the virus.
    Get 15 minutes of sun in your own yard, forget the alcohol unless you want more comorbidities.
    And forget the bare foot nonsense unless you want worms after stepping in the dog poop.
    My AC is on lockdown. I don’t allow it to go wandering off to the bars…people try to snuggle up to it too much. Don’t want it bringing home anything.
    Sorry, feeling flippant today. Probably, my headache. Had a headache on and off for more than a month. I don’t normally get headaches unless I am dehydrated or exposed to chemicals. I wonder if the neighbors are brewing amphetamines to make ends meet. There has definitely been some odd smell. It could just be some fungus eating my dead grass and weeds.

  40. Yep, pretty much.

    That’s why I believe this one could be controlled with face masks and social distancing.

    If everyone just behaved a bit rationally for a while.

    The problem is that nowadays anything is taken as a political statement, and anything a politician says, does or endorses, is seen as bad and contemptible by its political foes.

    So if Orange Man Bad says something, do the contrary to show your allegiance to the side of good. And if the Dem pinko commies do something, attack it on sight because that’s just godless liberal tripe. The level of political divisiveness and tribalism has reached truly ridiculous proportions.

  41. 7500-8000 a day die normally from all causes. Including old age, disease, auto accidents and the like.

    The daily mortality number might actually go down for a while in areas like NJ and NY going forward. Those with comorbidities and severe illness were in nursing homes, and since they were shoving infected into nursing homes those susceptible have already been eliminated.

  42. Clicks keep the lights on. Panic Porn gets clicks. Lots of clicks. Lots and LOTS of clicks.

    Good news? It doesn’t get clicks.

  43. That article doesn’t make a distinction betweeen UVA UVB & UVC so it’s hard to know from it whether the UV that gets past the ozone layer will help kill COVID

  44. I blame the CDC and WHO, considering both organizations in March were telling people not to use masks… and CNN obliged with a propaganda piece talking down masks.

  45. Since you’re on top of this, add the following

    First insert a < /i > to the text… everything following your comment is in Italics.  

    Second, note that R₀ is the replication-rate.  When R₀ drops below 1.0, disease will die off exponentially.  

    R₀ is impacted mostly by 

    • barriers
    • socializing
    • environmental transport
    • contamination
    • virus deactivation science

    For instance, “barriers” is … masks, social distancing, being outdoors, plexiglass eye-and-face shields, gloves.

    “socializing” in turn is (for the exercise) a measure of the contacts-per-hour a population’s habits and needs cross-expose people to.  

    “environmental transport” is the enhancing-or-diminishing effects of outdoor-vs-indoor air, tight HVAC, packed spaces versus loose ones. Heat, humidity, air mixing, foodstuffs surfaces.

    “contamination” refers more to handwashing, hygiene, keeping protective equipment clean, tight fitting.

    “virus deactivation” is utilizing UV, chemicals, solvents, soaps & detergents, binding agents, antibiotics, antivirals, and in the body, vaccines, immuno-response agents. 

    But note…


    COVID–19 was reported as having an R₀ of 2.5. 
    Masks reduce that to 2.5 • (1 – 90%) = 0.25.  
    Social distancing … 0.25 • (1 – 60%) = 0.10;

    So, clearly the R₀ is where it needs to be. Now to keep the super-spreaders from mooching around.

    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  46. Yes, I wonder who told them.

    Such takeaways are usually due to poor reading comprehension, I blame poor educational systems and general anti science attitudes, general aversions to science literacy worn as a badge of honor. Those same political forces at the root cause aren’t helping things by cheerleading the circus train along the way as it careens out of control, and all to benefit a narrow interest. As intended, most are usually too busy caught up in the sideshows to notice or care.

  47. die all the time. Have you given that much thought? How many of this 129k died of COVID19 vs died with COVID19? How many died because people with COVID were sent back to their rest homes where the virus spread easily?

    You are all up in arms about 129k dying. Do you know how many people have died of hunger so far this year? It’s over 5 million. Do you know how many people will be at a risk of starvation because of the COVID19 lockdowns? It’s 250 million people.

  48. Your numbers correctly point out that this is not “nothing to be worried about” even if it seemed like it back in February when the current cultural battle lines were drawn.

    (Because we all know that China and Iran are a bunch of pussies who are overly concerned with the lives of their people (??!!))

    But Yes (if that is her real name) clearly specified “under 70 and generally healthy”. So that 130 000 isn’t a refutation of Yes’s point.

  49. “That reduction depends on the prevalence of those who believe those actions represent tyranny and they’re freedom fighters, or those that believe a mask is worse than the virus for their health.”

    Surely you jest.

  50. What a pathetically disingenuous comment. There’s a great deal of evidence that proves there was a colossal overreaction that actually exacerbated the problem.

    Case in point: the State of New York.

    Out of fear that hospitals would be overrun with patients, nursing homes were forced to take COVID patients. This deterministically lead to New York having the lion’s share of the infected and mortalities in the United States.

  51. Isolation is stupidity. And no, I’m not an anti-vaxxer. If there is a COVID19 jab available, I will take it just like I take the flu jab.

    The chances of dying from COVID19 if you’re under 70 and generally healthy is less than dying from being hit by a car.

  52. yup shouldn’t have even bothered isolating. Let them all die and a good portion of the rest crippled. You deniers and antivaxxers sicken me.

  53. for COVID19 is only 0.26%. That’s from the CDC. Actually rate I am certain is lower e.g. in India it is 0.08%.

    A common sense approach to handing this virus should have taken place. Instead we got panic porn spewed on corporate media networks.

  54. The public and governments know that wearing face masks, social distancing and frequently cleaning hands can reduce the spread of the disease by 90%.

    That reduction depends on the prevalence of those who believe those actions represent tyranny and they’re freedom fighters, or those that believe a mask is worse than the virus for their health. Political forces fostered generations of such people because they’re easy to manipulate, but their presence in the population in sufficient numbers can have negative consequences they cant easily control. What will they appeal to after systematically instilling the rejection of scientific competence as a sacrament, ~”science is still nonsense but you should follow its advice this one time”?.

  55. According to the latest reports a vaccine will be available in the market in enough quantities to make a difference in a bout a year. Here are some additional steps that we can take to curb the virus spread:
    Sun exposure reduces covid-19 symptoms by 90%. Sorrily it wasn’t checked, but reduced symptoms probably also means reduced infectiousness. It should be encouraged just like mask use.
    A very easy to adept anti viral open cycle A/C design should be produced for immediate global replacement with outlets at the ceiling and inlets at the floor to allow for downward air circulation to push virus concentrations from breathing levels downward where they cause the least harm many times quicker .

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