TWiV 665: This half-week in coronavirology

September 20, 2020

Daniel Griffin provides a clinical report on COVID-19, superspreading potential of SARS-CoV-2 in Hong Kong, structure of virion glycoprotein of a commmon cold coronavirus reveals changes driven by prolonged circulation in humans, and listener email.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Brianne Barker

Guest: Daniel Griffin

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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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10 comments on “TWiV 665: This half-week in coronavirology


    Now there are political ads airing on YouTube and on OTA TV in Battleground states saying this where COVID related deaths could be worse than even Iraq war or to the halfway point of the Holocaust.

  2. Very nice apology to Dickson to start off. That was an elephant in the room.

    Dickson and Vincent’s friendship is deep and complicated. Dickson himself is pleasant and somewhat an avatar for many listeners. Vincent is sharp and somewhat an avatar of Science with a capital S. The impatience of Vincent toward Dickson is bred from their familiarity and very precise pedantry on points they continue to discuss in their many interactions. Examples of this pedantry that are universally celebrated in TWiV ( and by listeners alike ) are; anthropomorphism, what vs. why questions, virus vs. disease, magical thinking, controlled data driven study vs. suggestion vs. pure speculation, political vs. descriptive and specifically, as in this past case, very deep models of reality.

    Dickson is far from incapable of self defense or fragility. His reluctance to engage on this level is a tribute to his long relationship with Vincent ( I presume) but is no shelter to those who engage Dickson’s persona as a lens to the fascinating material that is

    Criminy… I’ve overstepped in a relationship that has nothing to do with me… though, I think, there are a community of listeners who gratefully appreciate the public apology and will now move on with little enmity or distraction.

  3. Richard Cornell Sep 20, 2020

    Theories are great. Go back to #584. Since we have a great medical health system where people who did not die of childhood diseases now have a chance of dying from COVID-19.
    Also all who volunteer to get HIV now will also have a chance to see if their virus will beat the COVID virus. Then you have those people who have unhealthy lifestyles. Smoke for a long time killing those lung cells. Drinking your liver so that it is partly dead.
    Taking a list of street drugs or just those illegal drugs while that did not do them in this virus may do them in.
    If you find that a bag of chips make up your meal each night then your body might have a problem with this virus.
    Saying that a million people will die in the US. That is not a high number when you have people who soul lives are depended on legal pills. That they have one foot in the grave. It is not just the nursing homes but those who are at home.
    Just look at those on Social Security or those that belong to AARP where this virus could kill them.
    One would think that people over 50 would wear masks where ever they go.
    But as seen that is not the case. I wear a 3M 2091 every where I have gone since March. Many people I see also wear mask of sorts, those who do not must have great insurance policies.
    I’m 78 and this virus can kill me. I will get it, maybe and I want to if I must get it, it will far into the future. Chances will be better of coming out of this plague so as I can see what the next plague will be like.

  4. Michael Irvine Sep 21, 2020

    To the crazed anti-communists who think socialized health care means people just fly in from all over the world to take advantage of the system.

    Um – NO!

    We in Canada and are supplied with a government issued Health Card that has our photo, a magnetic stripe and other security features that make it near impossible to copy. No card, no service, except in cases of emergency. For those without a health card you have to pay.


  5. Jeffery J Biss Sep 22, 2020

    America’s problems are all political, due to the fact that there are enough anti-intellectuals and libertarians to control the political process and have supported Republican candidates who ran on making government “small enough to drown in a bathtub”. This started with Reagan’s “hope”, his plan to satisfy Americans’ sense of entitlement.

    Either more good people overwhelm them or we continue down the toilet drain.

  6. Richard Cornell Sep 22, 2020

    In my youth I feared nothing. I took stupid chances did a lot of stupid things that I now regret and it took decades to wise up. One thing I did was to stay away from people who were sick. At that arms distance. Because when I got a cold, I got a cold. Bedridden cold. I learn one thing, always sit in the back of a room. People cough, just not on me. I started to wear a mask after I heard #584 that I did not want to be one of the herd. This virus will kill me. I looked back as if something in my past would be an underlining factor.
    With 200,000 dead so far and only a couple million more dead to go, I rather that others fill that count.
    So far it looks like many who will be of that count will be younger than 50. As every person over 50 out of fear is going to mask.
    Still the young will party. Just like in the old days when the “BOMB” would do you in.

  7. Keith Robinson Sep 25, 2020

    Regarding Perry’s letter from Sheffield, there are numerous references to Boris Johnson’s “Operation Moonshot” programme in the British papers. Yes, it sounds like the scale of testing that Michael Mina espoused on TWiV episode 640, with up to 10 million tests in the UK per day. See, for example, The Guardian:

  8. Keith Robinson Sep 25, 2020

    With regard to Perry’s letter from Sheffield, the British papers have sprung Boris Johnson’s plan to test up to ten million Brits per day.

  9. michelle Sep 25, 2020

    Dr. Daniel: What about the nurse who had legs and fingers amputated?

  10. michelle Sep 25, 2020

    Dr. Daniel: What about the nurse who had legs and fingers amputated? Also, is there enough data to speak to differences in ICU deaths-rate for pregnant women vs. non-pregnant women?