Coronavirus 'acts like no pathogen humanity has ever seen,' say doctors

Which is not super surprising given that Covid suppresses the immune system.


Sepsis causes blood to coagulate?


Yes, if it bad enough. That’s why you end up with some sepsis victims having limbs amputated.

Also related.


Crafty virus that also deposited a layer of iridium.


I agree. I’d been thinking about macro life and micro life lately. We assume we are macro. What if we aren’t? What if there’s more to life beyond what we can see and sense?

People are destructive, and always have been.

We attack micro life when it threatens us.

Who knows what we are threatening?

Maybe this is the result of something more macro trying to stop us?

The fact it’s not death falling from the sky to obliterate us – yet – doesn’t mean something isn’t trying a more homeopathic route to rid itself of it’s bad case of humanity. Rub some virus on it, twice a year, and it’ll clear up over time.


William of Ockham, meet Pensketch, Pensketch, meet William of Ockham. You two really need to get together for a bit, even with social distancing.


If more people followed Occam’s Razor, religion wouldn’t be the problem that it is today. Yet, here we are. Millions (billions?) of people believe in some form of omniscient sky being(s) that created everything and wants people to suffer for their amusement, or other variations of said sky being(s).

I didn’t say it was my belief there’s life that’s more macro than our level of perception. It’s just something I was giving some thought to recently.

If you prefer to discount any possibility that’s the case by calling up the spirit of William of Ockham, by all means, you do you. I just hope you exhume him any time someone around you is talking about God and all the things He does to and for us.

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This is offtopic, but I can’t believe how anyone who can see the situation that currently exists in US politics and government right now, would want to hand the power of deciding who can vote on arbitrary measurements of abstract concepts to that same government, and yet still believe themselves intelligent skeptics or better decision makers than anyone else.


As a vocal atheist, yeah, I do use it all the time against the religious, so you aren’t any exception.

Is it possible that it’s something more macro? Yeah, but without any evidence that’s a pretty worthless claim that doesn’t help us at all. At best it removes some of the blame from humanity for all the crap going on, and that’s close to the last thing we want right now.

Well, the gaia hypothesis would suggest a more macro lifeform without the need for gods

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I agree. The last time the US tried those things, it really didn’t work out well for people of certain skin colors. That sort of ideology quickly becomes a bludgeon for oppression and genocide.


Good for you then.

Full disclosure, I’m not a Christian, and I have no answers about what else there might be outside of our corporeal existence.

I just feel – since that’s all I can do this side of the grave – that there’s more to everything than just this.

What is it? No idea. But from the bible thumpers to the atheists to the conscientious religion objectors, the final answer will come to us all at some point, regardless of our beliefs.

Thanks to current events, for many of us much sooner than expected.

What I said wasn’t a claim, it was a supposition. There’s a difference. Claims should have evidence behind them, as you pointed out, or they are just lies. Suppositions are kicking ideas around to see what is uncovered. At no point did I claim what I wrote was reality, QED.

What I supposed was to take a moment and think about how there may be more to this life than we are aware of, and perhaps instead of stomping around like we own the world, as we have been, we should – as a collective – dial it back. A lot.

Whether that’s to avoid eradication by something more macro than us, or to avoid accidentally uncovering the next “bleed from your eyes” plague, I believe it’s the result that matters.

Not that it actually matters, because people…

Also, who said I’m here to help? If you want help, look to the elected government who aren’t fucking helping. Then send them a snarky comment and see if that changes things.

By talking about the possibility that all the crap that humanity is doing has triggered what’s going on now – whatever the source – isn’t taking away some of the blame against humanity. Weird that was your takeaway from what I wrote.

We need responsible government that has empathy toward its people and a plan for the future that extends beyond the individual politicians’ bank accounts and spoils.

What we have is the last thing we want right now. I don’t see how what I tossed out there is anywhere close to the last thing we want right now.

Me saying what I said didn’t launch a new religion of people not being willing to take responsibility for the things they say and do. We already have that.


I think the problem I have with the “Gaia fighting back” or the “planet fighting back” hypothesis, beyond the fact that I think it’s taking the problem away from humans and putting it on the planet, is that this is clearly our mistake.

We’ve been stepping back disease and pandemic abatement programs as part of the big government “fund slashing” that the republicans have been doing for years. This is the bullshit that has been shrinking our government and killing our ability to respond, and ability just built back up by the ACA and the medicare expansions (which so many southern states refused).

Heck, Laurie Garrett was warning of these things in her book: “The Coming Plague”

And that was a book written 25, almost 26 years ago. There are whole sections of that book that detail in clarity exactly what we were doing wrong in the 1980s and 90s, and they’re the same mistakes we’re making a quarter of a decade later.

The planet isn’t “fighting back.” We’re acting careless. We’re not taking care of ourselves. We’re falling into 25+ and 35+ year old mistakes and we’re paying for them.

Even with Corona, we had advance knowledge in the US in the realms of months. We saw what China was doing. We knew the symptoms. We had more time to prepare for this than they did, and we’re still screwing it up.

The planet doesn’t need to fight back. As we make travel easier and faster and cut regulation to the bone in the US in the name of big business, emergent diseases will have a much easier path in.

That’s true when Reagan was fucking the regulations over in the 80s, and it’s true when Bush was doing it in the 90s, and it’s true now.


Some of the weirdness is due to the biases built into the testing in most places: usually only people connected to a known case.

We’re the drunkard looking for his keys under the streetlight. We have little idea of what’s happening out in the dark, in the general population.


Yeah, I’ve also read there’s liver damage being seen, etc. It seems like it’s still unclear how much is direct damage from the virus, vs. a consequence of low blood oxygen. It turns out that blood oxygen can get dangerously low in the infected even before they start having difficulty breathing…

Something I’m realizing more and more: viruses are weird, yo (and biology is messy as fuck). I keep reading about all sorts of secondary effects from even common viruses that don’t get much attention. The flu virus is talked about as respiratory, but it can also impact the heart, gut, muscles and brain, for instance. Contagious diseases tend to get talked about as if “virus/bacteria X infects Y part of the body,” but it’s really not true, except as a sort of simplified statistical likelihood as to its impact.

The more I read about viruses, the more I realize that evolution is lazy. Not only are the same genes being used across radically different species (the number of genes in common between humans and, say, broccoli is somewhat disturbing), even if for radically different purposes, but you have molecularly similar/identical structures used in the body in different organs for different purposes. So it doesn’t take that much for a virus to leap species, and when it infects you, there are multiple points of attack for it. (In the case of coronaviruses, it seems Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is an entry point, and it’s found on the outer part of cells in the “lungs, arteries, heart, kidney, and intestines,” for example.)

The most useful definition of “life” I’ve come across involves the idea of autopoiesis - that it’s a system capable of maintaining its structure and maintaining its distinctness from its environment. Other living things are trying to do that too, often by fucking with your boundary conditions so they can use bits of you to maintain themselves. Which is to say: the very nature of life is to be under constant attack, always.

Of course, as humans are causing ecological devastation, they’re putting themselves into more positions of contact with pathogen-carrying animals as a direct result, so it does sort of end up that way, anyways…


Or the planet.

All this talk of the planet fighting back, Gaia etc., reminded me of this article from earlier this month.

Also @OWYAC @heng @lizard-of-oz @Melizmatic (Sorry for tagging you all, but from your comments I wondered if you might find the article of interest. Sorry if it’s a distraction or you’re already aware of its content.)

Also, in the same vein.

Human encroachment into biodiverse areas increases the risk of spillover of novel infectious diseases


Imagine if the black plague or leprosy was the emerging disease ravaging the world. You could say the exact same thing about them. It only seems weird because its new and scary, not the flu (which we’re mostly used to) and we keep hearing anecdotal real time reports rather than summaries of years of study.


I have to say I am having the same thoughts, but everybody is being clobbered by it. You’d think that if it had been made by the Chinese, they would have been move careful with their little toy.

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Well, the current going conspiracy theory on this is that it was made by us, transported to China by a member of the armed forces during the World Military Games, and used to start a pandemic to blame on China. The originators of this supposed thing? The democrats, to make Trump look bad.

So, if you’re up for believing anything, I guess that’s what you’re going to have to go for.

Personally? It’s just an emergent virus. We’ve slowly and completely eroded the world healthcare systems. It shouldn’t be a shock after defunding and deregulating that we screw up when we don’t need to. Could have been any other virus that’s emerged and we did stop.


I largely agree with where you are coming from but it is not JUST an emergent virus. We MADE it emerge. It did not need to emerge. I refer back to The Guardian article above.