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14 minutes ago, navybsn said:

Malaria and other mosquito borne illnesses are still a huge threat to humanity that get little attention in the west. We tend to think of them as a "third world" problem, but as Zika proved a few years ago, we are certainly vulnerable. And don't forget tick-borne illnesses that continue to threaten to become a bigger problem. Global warming and population encroachment continue to increase our exposure to new vectors of disease that do not bode well for humanity in general.

That's why I smoke as much crack as I can now. No sense in saving it for later because you just never know. Its certainly true that you can't take that crack with you when you die!

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16 minutes ago, navybsn said:

Malaria and other mosquito borne illnesses are still a huge threat to humanity that get little attention in the west. We tend to think of them as a "third world" problem, but as Zika proved a few years ago, we are certainly vulnerable. And don't forget tick-borne illnesses that continue to threaten to become a bigger problem. Global warming and population encroachment continue to increase our exposure to new vectors of disease that do not bode well for humanity in general.

I never forget about tick-borne illnesses... I had a run-in with Lyme disease as a child. It doesn't seem like we're equipped to handle any of these problems well here. I'm going to wear a suit made out of mosquito nets everywhere from now on, with foam spacer rods to keep the nets off my skin and ensure proper social distancing. 

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39 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

I never forget about tick-borne illnesses... I had a run-in with Lyme disease as a child. It doesn't seem like we're equipped to handle any of these problems well here. I'm going to wear a suit made out of mosquito nets everywhere from now on, with foam spacer rods to keep the nets off my skin and ensure proper social distancing. 

The lack of adequate Public Health resources or interest from the public is a huge problem. As evidenced by all of the Covidiots running amok at the moment. As environment change accelerates, the importance Public Health is only going to increase. Considering the resistance to those efforts we are seeing now, a mosquito net suit or proper forcefield probably isn't a bad idea.

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Mozzie spread diseases are pretty common in some areas around here. We have one area not far from here where mossies are in huge numbers. It's was/is a fishing destination and people flock there during the summer months for the good fishing. There has been plenty of cases of Ross River Virus attributed to the area. But it's recently been discovered that the same mozzies are actually related to another necrotic like disease that was originally thought to be transmitted by white tailed spiders.

For about the last three decades we've been told White Tailed spiders are dangerous and extreme caution should be taken around garden shed's, outdoor brickwork, and nicely shaded areas because the little buggers love to hide until an unsuspecting chunk of bare skin comes into reach. But recent studies have showed the spider is innocent (in this case) and the disease is actually spread by mozzies, however the majority of people don't connect the two because of the time between getting bitten and showing signs.

Some of the media tried to make out that it was so serious it was going to be our next pandemic and that thousands of people were going to die from it in our state alone. Their big problem was that they made the claim mid 2020 long before covid had finished with us and suddenly the hundred or so actual cases recorded faded into obscurity. It's still a concern for those who do catch it, but no where near the threat covid is especially given that it's only in small numbers and in a few communities, but it's also treatable, it just takes time.

 

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4 hours ago, navybsn said:

Malaria and other mosquito borne illnesses are still a huge threat to humanity that get little attention in the west. We tend to think of them as a "third world" problem, but as Zika proved a few years ago, we are certainly vulnerable. And don't forget tick-borne illnesses that continue to threaten to become a bigger problem. Global warming and population encroachment continue to increase our exposure to new vectors of disease that do not bode well for humanity in general.

Apparently the only organisation on the planet that is seriously investigating malaria vaccines was the US military.  The private pharmaceuticals are apparently not interested as malaria is mainly found in poor countries.

 

However with global warming, the malaria belt is spreading from the equatorial zones.  People also forget countries like Italy also used to have malaria up to 1970s  before they drained swamps and ramped up use of insecticides on an industrial level.

 

 

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Lemme just say how odd it is for me to see something as gross and annoying as mosquitoes given a cute little diminutive like "mozzie".

____

It's been a very long time since I saw a metal show. I'm not hyped on going places these days, but I see that Artificial Brain is playing at St Vitus in Brooklyn in January and I have to admit I'm tempted. Could probably stay with friends and make a weekend of it. Huh. Pretty sure I'll find cold water being poured on this idea one way or another, but it's fun to think about.

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On 12/14/2021 at 11:03 AM, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Yeah I know, easy for me to say, I live in New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the US, where we've had over 28,500 Covid deaths among our 9 million residents,

Let me just say that it kind of blows my mind that you have the population of Sweden (450 295 km²) packed into one of your American states (NJ: 22 591 km²). It's just wild. I think I would go stir-crazy with that many people around me at all times.

 

22 hours ago, navybsn said:

The healthcare system is fucked if H5N1 ever jumps from birds to people, it will make COVID look minor league. Read The Great Flu by John Barry or any of the myriad of books about the 1918-19 epidemic and imagine how much worse an event like that would be today.

Thanks, I hate it.

I've read that Barry book and it's fucking wild. Just death on an unfathomable scale. What exactly is it about the bird flu that is so dangerous compared to Covid?

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22 minutes ago, Sheol said:

Let me just say that it kind of blows my mind that you have the population of Sweden (450 295 km²) packed into one of your American states (NJ: 22 591 km²). It's just wild. I think I would go stir-crazy with that many people around me at all times.

 

Thanks, I hate it.

I've read that Barry book and it's fucking wild. Just death on an unfathomable scale. What exactly is it about the bird flu that is so dangerous compared to Covid?

It's very similar to COVID. The problem is that humans have never been exposed to that strain (save a few cases in SE Asia) and have zero existing immunity to it unlike the usual strains that go around. That and it's highly pathogenic, highly mutable, and has a mortality rate around 60% (pandemic plans normally account for 0.1-0.4% mortality rates, the 1918-19 flu was 2-3%). The good news is we have a good stockpile of vaccine against it, but as we've seen with COVID, that's no guarantee we could effectively distribute the vaccine or convince people to take it. The public worries about things like Ebola, but URIs (upper respiratory infections) are what worries epidemiologists because of their transmissibility (they spread faster) which is so much higher than diseases passed through contact with bodily fluids. Another SARS variant presents an equally scary threat. We got very lucky with the first one that emerged. Unlike most related viruses (common cold, COVID) that are infectious before symptoms begin to show, SARS is not transmissible until after symptoms present. Had that been reversed, we would have seen a lot more deaths and would likely still be dealing with it today.

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3 hours ago, Sheol said:

Uhhh, oh shit.

There is some debate about that mortality rate. I've seen numbers as low as 14% and some estimates at 33%. The problem is that there have been so few cases in humans and no cases of human-human transmission to date, those numbers would likely be significantly lower with more widespread dispersion. Right now you can only get it from long term exposure to infected birds, that's why it's usually found in poultry farmers in SE Asia which doesn't have an effective healthcare infrastructure and still relies a lot on traditional medicine practices.. The virus hasn't figured out how to make the jump between humans....yet. They always do. Then we're absolutely fucked.

Quoting from Wiki (the parts I bolded are especially unsettling):

A human H5N1 pandemic might emerge with initial lethality resembling that over-50% case fatality now observed in pre-pandemic H5N1 human cases, rather than with the still-high 1-2% seen with the Spanish flu or with the lower rates seen in the two more recent influenza pandemics.[47] As a WHO working group noted,

Determinants of virulence and transmissibility.

... One especially important question is whether the H5N1 virus is likely to retain its present high lethality should it acquire an ability to spread easily from person to person, and thus start a pandemic. Should the virus improve its transmissibility by acquiring, through a reassortment event, internal human genes, then the lethality of the virus would most likely be reduced. However, should the virus improve its transmissibility through adaptation as a wholly avian virus, then the present high lethality could be maintained during a pandemic.[48]

The U.S. CDC presents a similarly sobering conclusion authored by Robert G. Webster et al.:

... We cannot afford simply to hope that human-to-human spread of H5N1 will not happen and that, if it does, the pathogenicity of the virus will attenuate. Notably, the precursor of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)–associated coronavirus (31) repeatedly crossed species barriers, probably for many years, before it finally acquired the capacity for human-to-human transmission, and its pathogenicity to humans was not attenuated. We cannot wait and allow nature to take its course. SARS was interrupted by early case detection and isolation, but influenza is transmissible early in the course of the disease and cannot be controlled by similar means.[16]

Although some mammalian adaptations have been noted, H5N1 remains better adapted for infecting birds than mammalian hosts,[49] which is why the disease it causes is called a bird flu. No pandemic strain of H5N1 has yet been found. The precise nature and extent of the genetic alterations that might change one of the currently circulating avian influenza strains into a human flu strain cannot be known in advance.

While many of the current H5N1 strains circulating in birds can generate a dangerous cytokine storm in healthy adult humans, the ultimate pandemic strain might arise from a less-lethal strain, or its current level of lethality might be lost in the adaptation to a human host.[50][51][52][53][54]

If H5N1 mutates so that it can jump from human to human, while maintaining a relatively high level of mortality, how many people could die? Risk communication analysts Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard give a round-up of the various estimates:

Worldwide mortality estimates range all the way from 2-7.4 million deaths (the “conservatively low” pandemic influenza calculation of a flu modeling expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to 1000 million deaths (the bird flu pandemic prediction of one Russian virologist). The estimates of most H5N1 experts range less widely but still widely. In an H5N1 pandemic, the experts guess that somewhere between a quarter of us and half of us would get sick, and somewhere between one percent and five percent of those who got sick would die — the young and hale as well as the old and frail. If it's a quarter and one percent, that's 16 million dead; if it's a half and five percent, it's 160 million dead. Either way it's a big number.[55]

The renowned virus expert Robert G. Webster provided perhaps the most extreme estimate when he acknowledged in March 2006 that H5N1 has the theoretical capacity to mutate into a form that could kill one half of the human population,[56] stating, "Society just can't accept the idea that 50 percent of the population could die. And I think we have to face that possibility".[57]

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8 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

Too bad even the dark lord can't protect them from Covid. Kind of a crappy deal.

Wasn't the best deal you know. Cats aren't skilled negotiators.

10 minutes ago, KillaKukumba said:

Was the deal made with all cats or just some?

I much rather the thought of being slave to a tiger than a little moggy that looks at you as if to say "feed me or I'll shit behind the fridge".

I think the "moggies" will rule due to sheer numbers and pre-existing infiltration.

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2 minutes ago, navybsn said:

Wasn't the best deal you know. Cats aren't skilled negotiators.

I don't know, they do a pretty good job getting what they need out of me... Maybe that says more about me, though.

2 minutes ago, navybsn said:

I think the "moggies" will rule due to sheer numbers and pre-existing infiltration.

Moggies in the polar extremes, mozzies in a belt around the equator. 

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9 hours ago, Sheol said:

Let me just say that it kind of blows my mind that you have the population of Sweden (450 295 km²) packed into one of your American states (NJ: 22 591 km²). It's just wild. I think I would go stir-crazy with that many people around me at all times.

California, which is much closer to Sweden's land area, but still a little smaller at 423,970 km² has 40 million people. The vast majority of these populations both in Jersey and Cali live in and around the big cities. Both states still have less populated rural areas where you can breathe a little and aren't completely jammed in with your fellow humans. California has many more wide open spaces than little NJ though. I did not enjoy living and working in the heart of a congested metropolitan/suburban area with 19 million other people (NY) for 55 years nor would I ever want to live in California's large metro areas amidst 13 million others (LA) or 8 million (SF Bay area) Stockholm and its entire surrounding metro area by contrast has a population of 2.4 million. 

Stir crazy is a good way to put it, it can be quite stressful living amongst so many people. I am much happier since I've moved out here to Sussex County roughly 60 miles (100km) or about 90 minutes by car away from NYC, where we are just far enough that at times I can forget the big city is right there, and at least there are trees n mountains n lakes n farms n pastures n shit not just wall to wall concrete, neon & traffic everywhere. Vernon Township where I live is 67.6 sq miles with 22,200 people which works out to 328 people per square mile. Compared to Metro New York City's 28,000 people per sq mile that's a world of difference. Metro Stockholm by contrast, the largest city in Scandinavia has 13,000 people per sq mile. I know you don't live down south near Stockholm Johan, but I figure maybe you've been there at least. Boston has 13,800 per sq mile. Los Angeles 8,400, San Francisco BAy Area 19,000. Greater London has 14,550 per sq mile. Tokyo 16,000, Melbourne Australia has just 1,336 people per sq mile. Of course out here in the country we have rednecks, yahoos and bumpkins to deal with, not to mention drug addicts, smelly-ass cows as well as garbage eating bears, and dumb ass deer that want to jump out right in front of your car at night. But I guess nowhere's perfect.

 

*couldn't find any data on cats/overlords per square mile.

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49 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Australia has just 1,336 people per sq mile. 

 

I always find these kind of population density analyses a bit idiotic.

It doesn't take into account habitable land.

 

Vast majority of Australia is essentially desert and a lot of the grassland has insufficient water resourcing for any large human habitation.  

It's not even like Phoenix, the world's least sustainable city, which still has access to rivers and lakes (albeit all dwindling thanks to human hubris).

 

Australia-climate-map_MJC01.png

 

 

RAIN DAYS IN AUSTRALIA

1024px-Rain_days_in_Australia.svg.png

 

Sweden is mainly mountainous - again not exactly good for large scale habitation.

 

sweden-relief-map-5572867.jpg

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