Delta – the virus bomb

On Saturday, July 24, 2021, roughly 3,000 men, women and children marched through my city, demanding ‘freedom’.

Freedom from what? From a lockdown designed to save the mostly unvaccinated population of Melbourne from the Delta variant of Covid19.

Virtually none of those selfish, stupid people were wearing a mask. None of them were ‘socially distancing’. And all of them thought there was ‘no danger’. No danger to them and no danger to the rest of us.

No danger from Delta… -grinds teeth-

I’m not going to rant about those people. Instead, I’m going to address the criminal misinformation they were fed about Covid19:

  1. The first thing to understand is that the virus infecting NSW, Victoria and South Australia now is not the same as the version we fought during the first wave, back in March 2020. It’s a mutation of the virus called ‘Delta’.
  2. Delta is miles more infectious than the original version of Covid because it incubates faster and has a hugely greater viral load.
  3. Delta’s incubation period – i.e. the time it takes for the virus to start infecting others – is roughly half of what happened with the original version. It’s now about 30 hours.
  4. Delta’s viral load – i.e. how much active virus is being manufactured by the body and shed outside the body – is 1260 times more than the original version. Just think about that number for a moment. 😦
  5. Delta can also infect via super fine aerosol spray [from just breathing], droplets [heavier drops from say sneezing] and contamination of surfaces [from droplets landing on surfaces and staying active].

Taken all together, this means that many of the things we thought we knew about Covid no longer apply.

We used to think that Covid only spread via droplets and surface contamination. We now know that Delta can and does spread via super fine aerosol spray. That’s how Delta has been escaping from hotel quarantine.

We used to think that children and the ‘young’ were pretty much safe from dying of Covid. Wrong. Recent data from Indonesia shows that children and the young are much more likely to become sick and die if they catch Delta.

We used to think that being outdoors, or in a properly ventilated area would protect us from Covid. We now know that Delta can and does spread outdoors. The spread from the MCG is proof of that. Air circulation does dilute the viral load, but wherever large groups of people come into close contact, spread does occur.

Imagine this, you’re walking along in a crowd of people, completely unaware that the person directly in front of you has Delta. Maybe they don’t know they have it either. As they breathe out and move on, you walk through the air that just came out of their mouths! If you breathe in at that moment, you’re breathing in the Delta virus.

3000 people in Melbourne may have done just that on Saturday, and not just for a few seconds, but for the entire time they marched through our streets. Some of those people are just plain nuts – you would not believe the conspiracy theories being bandied about. Most though, have probably been taken in by the misuse of statistics from overseas.

I saw one tweet on Twitter touting the fact that the percentage of people who died from Covid was tiny, so there was ‘no danger’. Those stats came from the CDC in the US and were totally misleading. The percentage of Covid deaths out of a population of 350,000,000 may be ‘a little number’, but that’s only because there are just 100 numbers in a percentage – from 1 to 100. The number of deaths, however, is huge – over 600,000. That’s over half a million people like you and me.

For those 600,000+ people in the US, the danger was very and very fatal.

The only thing that stops us from facing the same danger is luck. Or lockdowns. I may be a control freak, but know which I prefer.

Getting back to those 3000 people in Melbourne, many were saying they had been fully vaccinated and therefore should not be locked up with the rest of us. I sincerely hope they were vaccinated, because otherwise they could die if they catch Delta. The latest victim was a young woman in her 30s who had no underlying health problems.

But being vaccinated yourself does not mean you can’t be infected by Delta. And it definitely does not mean you can’t pass Delta on to those who are not vaccinated. Recent data coming out of Israel shows that whilst vaccines continue to stop people from becoming sick and needing to be ventilated, their ability to stop transmission of the virus reduces drastically with time.

How drastically? Down to about 39% after 4 months. Four months. That means anyone who is not fully vaccinated will be in danger…from those who are vaccinated…after just four months. And this is data about the Pfizer vaccine! The gold standard for protecting health and reducing transmission.

But the worst news is that Delta may not be the worst variant of Covid we have to face. In Peru, almost all of those with Covid have been infected by a variant called Lambda. And Lambda is spreading out of South America, with cases now found in Texas.

No one knows which variant will prove to be the winner in this war of the viruses, but being vaccinated is no longer the magic bullet we all hoped it would be. In a few years time, Generation XX of the vaccines may stop transmission as well as hospitalisations, but this first generation of vaccines can’t, or at least, it can’t stop transmission permanently.

What does this all mean for us? It means we need virtually 100% vaccination rates – across all age groups, including children. It also means boosters, boosters, and more boosters. And it may mean that wearing masks in certain settings becomes the norm rather than the exception.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out these videos from Dr John Campbell:

And re viral load:

As for the fools marching through our streets on Saturday…I really wish there were a vaccine for stupid. These people actually saw themselves as ‘heroes’ who would be applauded by the rest of us.

Well… 10,000 of the rest of us contacted Crime Stoppers about the protests. Surprise, surprise.

Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

52 responses to “Delta – the virus bomb

  • Remembering Lives

    I hope similar numbers contact Crimestopers about yesterday.

    Liked by 2 people

  • robbiesinspiration

    Hi Meeks, South Africa has suffered through 3 waves of Delta. The first time around, it was Alpha and no-one I knew died. No-one I knew was even sick, a few people tested positive but they had no symptoms. The second wave was Beta (the SA variant). This time around I knew a lot of people who got sick, but again, no-one I knew died. Over the past few months we have battled Delta. This time I personally know several people who have died. They were not elderly people, but young people with children, one of them a son as young as 1. I also know many people who have been deathly ill. If you get covid and are hospitalised, it takes over 8 weeks to recover if you are lucky. I have colleagues and friends who are still using oxygen in their 8th week of this virus. My dad had a pulmonary thrombosis 6 weeks ago – no ambulances – no beds in hospital – I had to go it alone, giving medication that should be giving by an ICU nurse under constant surveillance. This is Delta and my family and I expect to wear masks forever at this point. It is not worth getting covid because you want some idealised concept of freedom. There is no freedom in death.

    Like

    • acflory

      Oh Robbie. I don’t know what to say. I can barely imagine what you must have suffered, especially with your own Father so desperately ill.
      Would you allow me to turn your words into a Tweet thread? Verbatim? For the fools here in Australia, and elsewhere, who still believe Covid is no worse than ‘the flu’. 😦
      I will understand completely if it feels too personal and you say no.
      -massive hugs-
      Stay strong.

      Like

  • Why the vaccinated have to keep wearing masks | Meeka's Mind

    […] my last post I talked about Israeli data showing that Pfizer protection against transmission – i.e. the […]

    Like

  • D. Wallace Peach

    It’s so baffling that people want freedom to get sick and die. I guess that’s their right. What upsets me is that they want the freedom to infect and potentially kill others. The lack of care and compassion for their community is stunning. And we have the same thing here, Andrea. The unvaccinated are culling themselves from the human race.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Anonymole

    Malthus would cock an eyebrow, “how very curious.”

    … And now with solid evidence being vaccinated may not protect you from Delta… Not wearing a mask — ever — is not an option.

    I will say one thing about wearing a mask outside. For the occasional “close call” I merely hold my breath as I _walk-on-by_. Thirty-feet later, breathe. A crowded venue? Avoid those like the plague — hey, that’s a thing again, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I totally agree. I think we have to assume that Covid can strike at any time, especially from the asymptomatic, so wearing masks in public should be a no-brainer.

      I hate wearing a mask because my face feels as if it’s inside a sauna but…it proves that /my/ breath is staying where it should, safe inside my mask. I despair of the idiots who wear a mask…under their noses! -facepalm-

      lol – like you, I hold my breath when passing people on the street, even if they are wearing masks too! It’s become one of those habits I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to break again, even assuming we finally beat covid worldwide.

      Stay safe. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • Widdershins

    Bunch of bloody bastards, every one of ’em. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  • Matthew Wright

    I cannot understand the protests against lockdowns. Not on any rational level anyway. I think emotionally it’s explicable, particularly given the way social media has so badly undermined trust in science. To me these kinds of responses reveal a great deal about the human condition – what humanity actually is, as a species. Unfortunately the only way out of the current situation is to follow the science. It’s worked before, and – as you point out, given time – will work against the current crisis.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Apparently the protestors were a mixed bag, but you’re right about the mistrust of science. Of course, it doesn’t help that there are people who deliberately misrepresent the science. Someone on Twitter said that the PCR test doesn’t work. A stack of people jumped on that as proof that their conspiracy theories were right. I did a simple search and discovered that the facts had been completely misrepresented. But none of the Twitterati bothered to check. So they trusted a stranger because he/she fed their mistrust of facts.
      -facepalm-
      On a much brighter note, Victoria [my state] and South Australia have ground Delta into the ground and both states come out of lockdown at midnight tonight!

      Liked by 3 people

    • SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

      Dear Meeka and Matthew,

      I concur with both of you. In my recently expanded, much revamped and multidisciplinary posts entitled “💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 🦠“, I have identified and elaborated on four of the most responsible and corrosive conditions that contribute to adverse outcomes of pandemic responses:

      1) Anti-intellectualism
      2) The cult of anti-expertise sentiment
      3) The politicization of science
      4) Populism

      Yours sincerely,
      SoundEagle

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory

        Four excellent points, SoundEagle. We’ve all seen the insidious spread of all four without realising what an effect they would have on our responses to this pandemic. I guess when things can go horribly, horribly wrong…they do. :/

        Liked by 1 person

  • anne54

    This is a great post Meeks, and I agree wholeheartedly in condemning the protesters. Selfish bastards whose actions are likely to prolong lockdowns rather than end them as they demand. I read another aspect of this that made sense to me too ~ as these people are demanding Freedom, have they also been demanding freedom for the refugees who are mired in the government’s refusal to let them live in the community? I am very sure of the answer, as the protestors don’t haven’t any regard for anyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  • tidalscribe.com

    Even if children don’t die they can get long COVID and that can be totally devastating to their health and lives.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    Those that are convinced that doing what is best for both themselves and the rest of the world is depriving them of “rights” are idiots, selfish, and totally brainwashed. So many who were of that bent in the U.S. are regretting it because they or their family members became severely ill or died. It seems we live in a generation where people forget that rights come with responsibilities. Sorry if this is a rant but it makes me furious.

    Liked by 4 people

  • Candy Korman

    The refusal to see reality never ceases to amaze me. I’m so tired of people repeating, “I’ve done my own research and the vaccines don’t work, so I’m not taking them.” You own research? Ha! The internet algorithms recognize that the user WANTS to go down an anti vaccine rabbit hole and that’s were they go.

    This is one of those times when rugged individualism has to yield to looking toward the greater good. The vaccines prevent death, hospitalization, and infection (in descending order) and even if an individual feels invincible, they likely have a family member, neighbor or colleague who is vulnerable.

    FREEDOM to punch your fist ends at the next person’s nose.

    Sorry for the rant, but I’m in NYC where we got hit HARD and recovered well. The vaccination rates in the city are high, but the resistance to reality is huge in my country at large. So tired of short sighted logic.

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      Speaking of punching, two miserable bastards have been arrested here for punching police horses during the protest. Horses! The macho cowardice makes me want to throw up.
      As for that ‘research’, you’re right, they’ve been taken straight to someone’s interpretation of facts that aligns with their core beliefs. And the fact that they can’t interpret the facts for themselves speaks volumes. Shock jocks employed by the Murdoch media don’t help either. Lies presented as fact should be a crime punishable by jail time.
      I’m so glad that NYC at least is going to come through this okay. -hugs-

      Liked by 1 person

  • daleleelife101.blog

    The protesters seemed to be a mixed bag but with one thing in common after the event… universally despised and disparaged by the rest of us mask wearing, social distancing, lockdown obeying, vaccine adopting, widely & variously informed others who accept that while the science and the politics aren’t perfect the people behind both are trying to come up with solutions rather than putting more pressure on frontline workers to indulge their vanity. I think someone in the media used the word boofheads, and that’s being kind.

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      A-bloody-men! Boofheads seems entirely appropriate. I’ve been calling them ‘double digits’ but some, at least on Twitter, seem to be intelligent enough just fixated on conspiracy theories that most kids would know is fiction. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    We’re fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine, which they say will protect us – some – against delta (no idea about the others). We fully expect to need booster shots of all kinds – and that’s because we’re scientists, in a community of intelligent other retirees, and have a 97% or greater vaccination rate.

    We still wear our masks everywhere except at the dinner table – and they’re keeping close track of who eats with whom.

    It won’t be enough – we have too many nitwits. But Australia had over a year to prepare – and boasted, the last I heard, a 6% vaccination rate.

    Science education in the schools has not prepared the population for reality. Many more will die worldwide.

    I hope to survive. I hope my kids survive (they are well educated in science – I did it myself). But this is the most ridiculous situation we’ve faced in decades.

    Liked by 5 people

    • acflory

      Sadly, the ‘boofheads’ voted in a govt more competent in spin than in anything else. Actually, I take it back, even the govt’s spin was wrong. The first message, and the one that so many still believe is “don’t panic, it’s mostly just the old people who’ll die”. The wording was a little more diplomatic, but the message stuck. So did the one about ‘more people die of the flu every year but no one panics about that’.
      You will survive, and so, I hope, will we.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        As an ‘old person’ and a sick one, I take it VERY personally.

        I also think the baby boomer’s accumulated wealth is tempting their heirs – in a generic way. Otherwise, why give up the parents and grandparents?

        People in general think of us as a drain on the system – but we grew up with a system that said, ‘Save enough for retirement because you’re going to need it.’

        It’s a mess.

        Liked by 2 people

        • acflory

          I hate to sound like a cracked recording but…me too, Alicia. All the Boomers I know, are supporting their ‘heirs’ in one way or another, just as our parents supported us. I fear that blaming Boomers for all the ills of the world is just another one of those convenient scapegoats humans love to create.
          It is an unholy mess. We are an unholy mess.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            I agree – and we’re finding how little control we have over anything, even when we know how bad it is.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            Yup. It’s actually not much fun living through a pivotal moment in history. 😦

            Like

          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            KNOWING they ignored the lessons of the 1918 flu.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            -sigh- Not only the 1918 pandemic but also the real time experience of other countries. Or in our case, other states. NSW is currently battling a bad outbreak of Delta, but they have consistently refused to learn from what happened to my state, Victoria, in 2020. At the worst point we had 700 new infections each day. Our Premier put a ‘ring of steel’ around Melbourne so none of us could go outside and infect others. We also had curfews to stop the idiots from having ‘parties’. I heard one myself, not far from where I live. And those measures brought the infections AND deaths down to zero. It was a terrible time, but we did it. Now, party politics has meant that NSW ‘can’t’ learn from out experience because…hey, different parties, different ideologies. It’s sickening.
            Sorry for the rant but just watched the latest news, and the NSW infections are starting to increase exponentially.

            Like

          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            Rant away, as long as it’s politely done.

            We have the same problem here – you’d think each state was a different country (their politicians would like you to think that).

            People are dying because of the stupidity and cupidity of their leaders. And there’s little other people can do when it gets this rigid.

            No one should be allowed to go into politics who isn’t pining to go back and live a simple life on their farm. I think George Washington was like that.

            Those who want to keep their lucrative jobs and jobs with adulation and attendants will do anything to keep those jobs.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            -grin- We’re on the same page, Alicia. I’ve long thought that if we have to have ‘representational democracy’ then those representatives should be pulled from a hat [or the digital equivalent] like those chosen for jury duty.
            Could ordinary citizens who don’t want to be there do any worse than the venal fools there now?

            Like

          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            As long as you have minimum requirements for literacy – which brings up the problem of how to represent those who do NOT meet the requirements – fairly.

            The social democrats in some countries – the Nordic ones – have sometimes done better, but then made bad decisions about masks and such (Sweden threw a LOT of old and vulnerable people under the bus).

            And then it’s all over. Life is an interesting gift.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            As a teacher, I truly believe successive education ‘theorists’ have dropped the bar much, much too low.

            Sweden is an odd case. For decades, it’s been held up as a paragon of enlightened social policy. Why a country like that would essentially condemn its eldery to a most unpleasant death is beyond me. Norway and Finland did the exact opposite, and not only did they have an order of magnitude fewer deaths, their economies are doing better as well.
            The supposed conflict between health and the economy has always been a furfy, and it’s only now that it’s finally becoming obvious to most [Western] countries. 😦

            Like

  • CarolCooks2

    Jeez…if the vaccine was an option here maybe they would be doing the same who knows…another variant what a fun year this is turning out to be…sigh…I’d like to know what outside looks like it’s been so long but my bread making skills have improved so that is a bonus…

    Liked by 3 people

  • petespringerauthor

    The mind-blowing part of this whole thing to me is that this is the issue that some have decided to wage war on. Never mind that 1,000 other things require our attention and are worth getting fired up about. So more than 4,000,000 people dying isn’t enough to get our attention? I truly don’t get it.

    Liked by 3 people

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