The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Covid Variants Continue Immune, Vaccine and Treatment Resistance Evolution

From Salon:

BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are both spreading extremely fast in parts of Europe. According to Cornelius Roemer, a viral evolution expert at the University of Basel, the number of BQ.1.1 infections has been doubling every week. That kind of exponential growth is sure to drive the variant to becoming dominant globally in short order.

“The degree of immune escape and evasion is amazing right now, crazy,” Yunlong Richard Cao, an immunologist at Peking University in Beijing, told Nature this week. Cao co-authored a paper, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, that seems to show previous infections by BA.5 and antibody drugs, including Evusheld and Bebtelovimab, aren’t enough to stop a BQ.1 infection.

“Such rapid and simultaneous emergence of multiple variants with enormous growth advantages is unprecedented,” Cao and his colleagues warned in the study. “These results suggest that current herd immunity and BA.5 vaccine boosters may not provide sufficiently broad protection against infection.”

Meanwhile, BA.2.75.2, an offshoot of the Centaurus omicron subvariant, also shows stark ability to evade antibodies.

So. Expect a bad winter. Remember that this exponential increase in new variants has always preceeded a new variant becoming dominant, and that given international travel, they always spread. If you get a vaccine, get a bi-valent one, but I’d suggest filtering enclosed areas and that wearing n95 masks is a good idea. Remember that even a mild case of Covid can lead to invisible organ damage, especially to the brain and heart, and that repeated infections have a good chance of giving you long Covid.

This isn’t a game, and it isn’t about ideological talking points or culture war bullshit. This is a disease, which because we refuse to take the steps necessary to eliminate it, that keeps mutating to avoid whatever half-assed steps we are taking, and which can seriously fuck you up.

Be well.


Ukraine Is The First Major War Of The “Age of War and Revolution”


Review of Wolfgang Streeck’s “How Will Capitalism End?”, by Marku52


  1. Soredemos

    It’s still killing at least 400 people in the US a day, and who knows how many globally. And of course long covid. I think (hope) that eventually, belatedly, people will wake up to the danger of this disease and the fact that they’ve been completely abandoned and thrown to the wolves, and that this will eventually have political consequences for the creatures who have done this to us.

  2. capelin

    Yup, totally predicted.

    Don’t have the (reputable) links handy, but the MRNA’s target the viri’s spike protein, which is a designed to adapt-to-survive. The MRNA’s also contain genetic strings that are know to be used by multiple body cell types, which risks genetic drift to non-target areas. Both are considered bad practice in vaccine design; one should target low-mutigenic components, and components not shared by multiple cell types.

    Then, force this novel genetic-chemical soup into perfectly healthy people (and kids! newborns! the unborn!), crank everyone up on fear, and knock out their support systems and livelihoods.

    Remdesiver works by accelerating viri mutation (the theory being that it can’t replicate without going off the rails), so we threw some of that out there for good measure. Not sure if Omicron ended up originating in S Africa, but that’s were it manifested, as they were doing Remdesiver trails.

    They want this shit-show to go on forever, which is why they are doing exactly what they are doing.

    Fun fact: The Corona virus contains a genetic string *patented* in 2017, by Pfizer. There’s video of their head hauncho goin’ “oh, that’s just a coincidence”.

    Spend some quality time with Dr’s McCullough and Malone, for god’s sake, so you understand some of the actual science, and the actual power play.

  3. multitude of poors

    I suspect that the Malthusian Billionaires, are quite pleased with this state of affairs. This, due to their ability to totally avoid the average human and live in areas not teeming with other humans—and able to afford and buy 24/7 medical prevention and treatment services, if the need does arrive—further, able to live in the conditions of abundant sunshine and saltwater breezes which (I suspect) are likely very, very beneficial in warding off disease, along with serving the purpose of tax havens and slave service from the historic natives. Perhaps they also have quietly purchased a straw into one of the worlds largest aquifers (e.g. the Bush family’s ‘lot’ in Paraguay and the Guaraní Aquifer)

    Much like another commenter here (one of my favorite commenters here) implied, a month or two ago, I would not be a bit surprised to ultimately find that this monstrous plague was deliberately unleashed by such vile examples of human beings as Billionaires usually are—human beings are generally not vile, In my over sixty years experience, humans are many times profoundly kind, even when vile capitalism threatens their ability to survive in punishment for their kindness.

    gotta run, truly, will try to check back, hope all are well as can be—though I think some should clearly check their loyalties—the republicans gut you from the front, the democrats gut you from the back. You were born a human not a democrat, or republican, try to remember that, or we’re all sunk. Those two “Parties” are, frankly, one and the same.

  4. multitude of poors

    Not clear whether it was akismet or you, Ian, I made a comment (142586) on this post last night that was assigned an unmoderated comment number (i.e. it didn’t show in the resultant url that it was in moderation, as they usually do), but it didn’t post, should I attempt it again?

  5. Ian Welsh

    Yeah, Akismet marked it as spam. Retrieved. Akismet doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but no algo is infallible.

    Thanks for, a), letting me know; and, b) not flipping out and assuming I’m squashing your (sane) comments.

  6. multitude of poors

    Yeah, Akismet marked it as spam. Retrieved. Akismet doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but no algo is infallible.

    Thanks for, a), letting me know; and, b) not flipping out and assuming I’m squashing your (sane) comments.

    Thanks so much for the rapid explanation and retrievable, Ian. It was a huge spiritual and psychological gift to me (the little things in life that give hope about humanity). it’s been a terrifying couple of years watching my loved ones get psychologically, and hence physically (stress is deadly to the body, as most wise people know), slaughtered, one after another, in rapid succession. It’s pure agony being helpless to do much of anything for them, let alone myself.

    I highly suspect that California (where I’m stuck with my older loved ones, none of whom can apparently afford to live anymore, with no means of escape) has such tight gun control laws so that people’s only choice of suicide Murder By the State™—unless they have rare access to pure, life proof fentanyl somewhere safe from a Narcan do gooder (fentanyl overdoses have been exploding here, for quite some time, pre-pandemic) —would be so terrifyingly painful (immolation or CalTrain, etc.) they’re apt not to do it (I’ve had a third degree burn, it was ghastly painful).

    California is doing everything they can to avoid the Nation’s top suicide rate, along with it’s top unsheltered homeless rate (14 homeless people died on San Jose Metro AreaSilicon Valley streets in September alone, that very likely does not include all the death by CalTrain Trespassers™, or other vehicles . People, particularly single female renters over sixty, are increasingly joining the homeless ranks in one of the wealthiest county’s in the world, let alone the US. Most of those wealthy are holding out in Hawaii, New Zealand, and other Island Estates, leaving vast acreage of California Estates empty of all but their servants. They are vile to a person, always have been.

    gotta run, thanks so for the resting spot.

  7. Soredemos


    I wouldn’t trust either of those people to direct me to the nearest corner store.

    I take an extremely dim view of any notions that any of this is part of a plan, when stupidity and shortsighted greed are infinitely better explanations.

  8. capelin

    @ Soredemos

    Care to elaborate on either of your beliefs?

    Especially please the one about how this massive upwards wealth transfer and reordering of society to benefit the powerful is just a result of random “stupidity and shortsighted greed” … by the powerful.

  9. Stormcrow

    I imagine you already know that Michael Worobey, et. al. published a “John Snow” type geographical analysis of the early cases: The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. It located the pandemic epicenter at precisely the same place the initial reports coming out of China mentioned.
    This last hit the bricks about 11 months after Edward Holmes, et. al., published a review of the then-current Covid-19 origin contentions: The origins of SARS-CoV-2: A critical review. Now I’m well aware that Edward Holmes lacks the sort of superstar status that requires half a million Twitter followers or a nightly editorial spot on Fox News. All he’s managed to amass in his mis-spent career is a more extensive knowledge of RNA viruses, their origins, and their evolutionary trajectories than any other human on the planet. But he’s awfully unkind to the lab leak conjecture.

    There is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 has a laboratory origin. There is no evidence that any early cases had any connection to the WIV, in contrast to the clear epidemiological links to animal markets in Wuhan, nor evidence that the WIV possessed or worked on a progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 prior to the pandemic. The suspicion that SARS-CoV-2 might have a laboratory origin stems from the coincidence that it was first detected in a city that houses a major virological laboratory that studies coronaviruses. Wuhan is the largest city in central China with multiple animal markets and is a major hub for travel and commerce, well connected to other areas both within China and internationally. The link to Wuhan therefore more likely reflects the fact that pathogens often require heavily populated areas to become established (Pekar et al., 2021).

  10. Soredemos


    Because this is what our elite do. They take advantage of any crisis to maximize their own profit and gain.

    That doesn’t mean they’ve engineered the crisis. What’s happening now fits exactly with the kind of combination of greed and ineptitude I would expect to see in a late-stage hyper-capitalist society that has given up on any notion of a public good.

  11. capelin

    So the elite and powerfull don’t do any planning or engineering. Very interesting.

  12. Stormcrow


    They do planning and engineering, all right.
    But they almost never do it competently.
    I honestly cannot think of a ruling elite in all of history that is less competent than ours is. If you doubt this, just consider Ed Bastian’s letter to Rochelle Walensky of December 21, 2021, where he asked her to reduce Covid quarantine to 5 days. He wanted to preserve his staffing levels in the face of the Omicron Wave. Less than a week later, he got exactly what he’d asked for.
    Fast forward 6 months, and we find Delta being forced to cut flights … because of staffing issues. Did Ed Bastian not know that when he kept people who were actively shedding Covid virus working next to healthy ones, the result would be catastrophic levels of illness and absenteeism, when he wrote that astonishingly stupid email? Apparently, he did not. And almost as amazingly, that email, a testimony to the stunning incompetence of it’s own CEO, is still enshrined at Delta’s website.
    Everywhere you look, you see this same jaw-dropping incompetence, together with a total lack of insight by the powerful into their foundational role in their own failures.
    The last time I can recall anything like this level of elite incompetence, was in the run-up to World War I. Directly followed by 4 years of blindsided butchery, where the same set of mistakes were made, over and over again.

  13. capelin

    @ Stormcrow

    Ah, but competent for whom? Those you mention are mere middle (if that) management, elite-wise.

    Who cares if some airline fails, or a bunch of people die needlessly. Noise. There’s stuff to be pillaged, masses to keep down.

    Widen the frame.

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