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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/18/20

In Which We Debunk A Covidiot Pamphlet

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On the recent open thread commentator ADKC quoted from a post at the corona-nonsense blog Off-Guardian. The piece, published last week, is an updated rehash of one the same author posted in April.

The more recent version is unfortunately no better than the old one. It repeats false numbers, is scientifically astonishingly inaccurate, and draws false conclusions.

It makes little sense to review and refute the whole mess. I will therefore concentrate on the 6 of the 8 "Take Home Messages" at the end of the piece which ADKC posted here:

1. Corona viruses are one of the viral agents of the common cold, which, just like the flu, invade the whole planet every year. They cause largely widespread, mostly benign, yearly pandemics of respiratory tract infections.

There are seven distinct corona viruses that infect humans. Four of those can cause the common cold. The infections are generally mild. At times they have more severe consequences like pneumonia. The infection fatality rate for these four corona viruses is estimated to be about 0.1%.

The three other corona viruses, SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2 are very different beasts. They cause very severe symptoms in a significant numbers of the infected people. The infection fatality rate for SARS was 9% and for MERS it is even 37%. The true infection fatality rate for SARS-CoV-2 depends on various circumstances (health service availability, social and medical conditions of the population etc.) but is currently estimated to be around 1%.

To mix up the four corona viruses that cause the common cold with the three viruses that have 10 to 370 times higher death rates is highly misleading.

Next point:

2. COVID-19, the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2, the current corona mutation, is not more lethal than the flu, with a 0.1-0.2% infection fatality rate.

This is a. outright nonsense that has no scientific basis and b. a lie.

SARS-CoV-2 is not a 'mutation' of some general coronavirus (there is none). Its nearest 'relative' is the RaTG13 virus known to be carried by certain bats:

Simplot analysis showed that 2019-nCoV was highly similar throughout the genome to RaTG13 (Fig. 1c), with an overall genome sequence identity of 96.2%.

Humans share some 96 percent of their genes with other primates. But no one would call a human to be a 'mutation' of an ape.

Evolution works through billions of iterative mutations until something unique evolves that fits to its environment. The surviving results of the evolutionary process are unique in kind. SARS-CoV-2 is a very special beast that is unique in its kind and effects.

Now to the bigger blooper in point 2: "is not more lethal than the flu, with a 0.1-0.2% infection fatality rate".

That is outright false and easy to refute. Just take a look at New York City which in April was hit hard during its first wave peak:

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Moon Of Alabama was opened as an independent, open forum for members of the Whiskey Bar community.  Moon of Alabama's purpose is to discuss politics, economics, philosophy and blogger Billmon's Whiskey (more...)
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