…with current news of September 6, 2021
Started in February 2020, the SAJO blog is providing a thread through the pandemic with up-to-date information and suggestions around SARS-CoV-2.
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Again, it is time for an update.
Fall is knocking at the door and everyone is wandering how it will be.
First, let’s take a look at the infection numbers – the only true measure of the pandemic’s development. The Johns Hopkins University has changed its data presentation from daily cases to weekly cases (Monday through Sunday). This presentation is in correspondence to the one we had chosen in the past. Thus, you now may find the data at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
What does this mean?
Case numbers are climbing by 15 to 50 % each week in Germany alone. The same dramatic increase is happening globally. We are going into this fall with a much higher baseline infection rate than last year. Thus, we expect an infection wave much stronger and more severe.
Several new mutants have emerged that are spreading globally. Four mutants made it to the World Health Organization’s “watch list”. These variants with their respective mutations have the potential of immune escape variants, if they haven’t become some already. These are variants carrying more than 50 new mutations, especially within the spike region.
Our appeal to let yourself be vaccinated, from pupils to the elderly, is still standing, and our call is becoming more urgent: The virus will be standing in front of each and every single home, just like in a classical Western. Every human being will have to face this virus. It just isn’t clear which variant it will be. In a duel, would you want to face your enemy without a bulletproof vest? The better you are protected the better your chances to get out of this situation.
This virus will face everyone!
And it happens to be invisible. You won’t know if it is a loved one presenting you with the virus, or a colleague at work, or a friend or maybe your kid.
Protect yourself as good as you can. This is our advice.
On a more personal note, we want to let you know that Jörg experienced no side effects after his shot, except for some fatigue. Sabine showed some side effects, such as fatigue, chills, rash and itching from the injection point, after about 40 hours.
After 48 hours the side effects diminished. The mRNA that was applied to the cells, is being degraded after a while. Thus, we knew side effects will subside and disappear. But what if Sabine had been infected? Side effects may be treated with some medication. It is a time frame of two days.
What happens after a vaccine shot by BioNtech/Pfizer or Moderna?
The mRNA, which carries the blueprint of the viral surface molecule, called spike, is being transported into the body’s muscle cells. In the lab this technique is called lipofection. After several hours, the muscle cell now carrying the mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) will start to produce the molecule it is encoding. The spike molecules (viral surface proteins) travel to the cell surface and present themselves to the immune system, triggering an immune response. As a result, our immune cells are producing antibodies against the “foreign” spike molecules, which upon an infection with the virus, will fight against it.
The differences between a vaccination and an infection are as follows:
- After a vaccination we are running through a few symptoms, caused by the spike, but without the danger coming from a replicating virus. Should you suffer from a few side effects, it will give you a hint as to what you would have to face with a viral infection, with an open end.
- After infection by the virus, the body needs about two weeks in order to mount an immune defense. The activation of defense takes several weeks, regardless of the cause (vaccine or infection). BUT: The vaccine does not cause an infection with all its symptoms, yet it triggers your immune system. Should the infectious, dangerous virus infect you, your immune system is already prepared with its antibodies.
To enter the fall season without protection is madness. The new variants are more infectious, more dangerous, they are spreading faster and more efficiently. Besides, they may partially escape vaccine-mediated immunity. Note: The vaccine is protecting, if not as efficiently as against the original virus.
Both, recovered and vaccinated people may be infected by the new variants, but since they have antibodies, they are protected in part. They have an 85 % protection from a severe course, from Long COVID, and from death, which the virus is bringing. And this is a lot of protection, don’t you think?
How well you are protected may be determined in an antibody test of your blood. Your doctor can arrange that if you wish to know.
Many times, we are being asked if vaccinated and recovered individuals should savor all their liberties?
Well, whatever all liberties mean…?
In the end, it is probabilities, how much virus is in the air between people and where a meeting is taking place – in closed spaces, what air conditioning, how many people gathering and so on. It is statistics, mathematics.
Basically, as experts we are pointing out two things:
- A high number of infections is providing a breeding ground for the development of further immune escape variants. Hence, infections MUST be avoided.
- Vaccinated and recovered individuals can become infected by the escape variants, they are spreading the virus, but they have a protection, spreading less virus than non-vaccinated people. This is a minimizing effect.
Thus, we are advising to keep up all the measures – that we had dubbed Merculix rules – in the near future.
That means to correctly apply N95 masks, keeping 6 feet distance, and to adhere to proper hygiene. What do we mean by that? N95 masks need to fit properly, so as no air may be drawn around it. Keeping 6 feet distance in the outdoors and in closed space – even with masks. Hand and body hygiene and a proper cleaning of buildings need to be applied. Inside buildings, check the ventilation. We had covered this in more detail in our post “winter is coming…” https://www.sajo-innovation.de/blog/winter-is-coming/
Tests to identify super spreaders, and to isolate them – if possible, they should do this on their own – will be wise in fall/winter again.
Should people tell their employer about their vaccination or recovery status?
We think it is best to be open with this topic, since it is a question of safety and behavior. Furthermore, we do not understand that people are voluntarily and openly giving away this information to restaurants, theaters, recreational facilities, but refuse to inform their employer. It is about safety at the workplace.
We argue that people should be able to be themselves at work. It would be desirable if nobody had to live through ostracism, bullying, and discrimination. Being open should be rewarded, only then work may be done successfully. Even more important is mutual trust, on both sides.
Why is everyday life not changing?
This question is easily answered: The virus is becoming more dangerous, it is changing too fast, and the development and production of vaccine capacities is too slow. The virus is not just one step ahead, it is running. The discussions in politics are starting slowly, while the virus is many steps ahead.
Personally, I would wish for more funding of drug development. Only with new drugs SARS-CoV-2 infections may be treated. At present, only symptoms can be treated, meaning nothing less than the virus running the full infection program without being stopped. Unfortunately, some influential, out of their area of expertise or technically less competent ones have decided to only marginally fund new drug development, which is even less than the proverbial drop in the bucket. Scientists, such as us, with new ideas, new platforms, new developments, inventions, are seeking potential, interested, intelligent and future-oriented investors. We know how it works. And we can rebut the obsolete, outdated arguments easily, without any effort. How bad for the influential die-hards.
SAJO is consulting all around infectious diseases. We are applying our know-how, that we have acquired in more than 20 years. We do what we can to fight this pandemic.
SAJO – for a healthy world and better future!
This is post No. 192. To our delight our blog is receiving a lot of acceptance, we love to share our know-how and experience. Single posts and contents are being adopted by others, also in media. We have learned how to correctly make a citation; this we would wish from others in return as well. Please feel free to share the link – it is an informative tool to fight this pandemic.
(Note: We are no members of political parties, religious congregations, or societies. We value independence, sovereignty, and freedom. With our blog we are providing purely scientific advice, without conflict of interest, altruistic. We are not being paid for it.)
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#2 On a regular basis we are asked for ideas. For ideas please feel free to contact us as well. You may use the formular at our homepage or phone number or email.
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