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Clarifications on COVID-19

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EIRNS—Immunity: The immune response to infection involves both antibodies—which float around in the blood and bind to pathogens to either disable them or mark them for destruction—as well as active white blood cells (T-cells). Many of the vaccine candidates currently being tested are focused on creating an antibody response.

The declining levels of antibodies in the blood months after infection do not necessarily mean a declining ability for B cells (which created the antibodies in the first place) to create a fresh batch of them when needed! It might take people longer to fight off the virus as they gear up antibody production.

Re-infections: People who have recovered from COVID-19 have been found to test positive later on. Are they being reinfected? There is not clear evidence that this is truly occurring, or that there are people suffering from severe disease a second time.

Testing: Do tests find “coronavirus”? Except for sophisticated tests used in research laboratories (and not employed in the sewage studies that have made waves recently), the nucleic acid tests do not test for the entire SARS-CoV-2 virus. They look for small pieces of the virus. This means that a positive test result (whether in a person or in sewage) does not necessarily mean that the person (or sewage) is infectious. See next:

Wastewater: A word of caution on interpreting the positive PCR tests results (for portions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome) for past wastewater samples. Since these tests are for only a portion of the virus’s genome, it is entirely possible that a similar virus, with that portion of the genome, already existed in the past—perhaps all over the world—but that a crucial mutation or transformation was missing to unlock a devastating change in its behavior. This could have occurred, for example, in China. It is possible to attempt to culture (“grow”) the virus from wastewater (or other) samples to determine the presence of infectious virus itself, rather than portions of it.

Origin: Even if the virus, in its present extremely dangerous form, did originate in China, there is no reason to blame that nation (barring the “Wuhan lab” theories). And the conclusion that SARS-CoV-2 was worldwide before erupting in China is not required to beat back the attacks on that nation, which we know to stem from an imperial attempt to prevent China’s rise and collaboration with the U.S., rather than any reasoned thoughts about China’s supposed culpability vis-à-vis the coronavirus itself.

Schools: Put schools in context: The best way to make sure that schools are safe for children in the fall is to dramatically reduce the virus now. Countries with lower prevalence of disease are able to operate schools (with protections in place) without endangering the community.

Favipiravir: Also known as avifavir (Russia), favilavir (China), and by its original brand name Avigan, this is an antiviral originally developed in Japan to combat influenza. It is approved in several countries, including Russia, China, and India. There is at least one study underway in the U.S. to assess its effectiveness.