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covid-19

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On 3/29/2021 at 6:01 AM, nwt said:

What makes you think we aren't?

 

Well how long do you have? I could write a book. For one, I work in a hospital so I see what these 'treatments' look like on a daily basis. Actually, I work in the cardiopulmonary lab and so I especially get a first hand look. In short, the medical industry is a money making industry like any others and they dont make money on cures, they make it on treatments. They are incentivized to keep people sick to keep things expensive. Anyone who thinks that medicine is all unicorns and pixie dust and every doctor does it to help the betterment of his fellow neighbor is naive beyond definition. There are a lot of really shitty doctors, a lot of shitty nurses, a lot of shitty hospitals and an otherwise shitty industry. Many of the treatments that do exist are largely bullshit. They are not real treatments. They are are more like a slight prolonging of your life and maybe slight reduction in symptoms, but many treatments do little or absolutely nothing to actually address the disease.

COVID-19 vaccinations occurred in record speed becasue there was record world-wide pressure and competition for them. Everyone on the planet was in a race for what they knew would be a world-wide market with unlimited purchasing power and an unlimited supply of demand. So companies fronted endless amounts of cash to develop a vaccine and develop it RIGHT NOW. Look at HIV by contrast. It took over 30 years to develop a treatment that is effective against HIV. Yet we developed a vaccine that has a near perfect efficacy rate to a virus we have never seen before in only 100 days.

Mankind has the ability to solve the other problems at stake if we were motivated enough. There are cures to forms of cancer that exist in other countries that dont exist in the USA. I personally saw a patient who had a rare form of bone cancer and all the doctors told him he was going to die and nothing could be done. He found about a treatment option in Australia that completely cured him. But in America, no one even wanted to tell him about it....

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10 hours ago, Westerly said:

It took over 30 years to develop a treatment that is effective against HIV. Yet we developed a vaccine that has a near perfect efficacy rate to a virus we have never seen before in only 100 days.

Mankind has the ability to solve the other problems at stake if we were motivated enough. There are cures to forms of cancer that exist in other countries that dont exist in the USA. I personally saw a patient who had a rare form of bone cancer and all the doctors told him he was going to die and nothing could be done. He found about a treatment option in Australia that completely cured him. But in America, no one even wanted to tell him about it....

You vastly underestimate the effort it takes to understand the human body and devise methods of protecting it against itself.

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29 minutes ago, billvon said:

You vastly underestimate the effort it takes to understand the human body and devise methods of protecting it against itself.

That and I wonder if he knows about the secret carburetor that the oil industry bought to keep out of the hands of motorists.

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5 hours ago, Westerly said:

For one, I work in a hospital so I see what these 'treatments' look like on a daily basis.

So you think you understand more than you do. I guess we already knew that.

5 hours ago, Westerly said:

They are are more like a slight prolonging of your life and maybe slight reduction in symptoms, but many treatments do little or absolutely nothing to actually address the disease.

Sadly, there is some truth to this. However, it's because curing disease is hard, not because people and companies don't want to invent cures. When people and companies are able to invent cures, they do. We have them for lots of things. Aside from the unicorns and pixie dust you don't believe exist, there is strong financial motivation to produce cures

6 hours ago, Westerly said:

COVID-19 vaccinations occurred in record speed becasue there was record world-wide pressure and competition for them

And also because of the decades-long research into mRNA vaccines intended for use in cancer treatment. I find it highly ironic that you don't understand this.

 

6 hours ago, Westerly said:

Look at HIV by contrast

Contrast. Almost as if it were a different disease and was being tackled with more primitive technology than we have today. Different situation, right?

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14 hours ago, nwt said:

 

However, it's because curing disease is hard, not because people and companies don't want to invent cures. When people and companies are able to invent cures, they do. We have them for lots of things.

 

Contrast. Almost as if it were a different disease and was being tackled with more primitive technology than we have today. Different situation, right?

And yet we were able to build a machine that put a man on the moon back at a time when seat belts in cars were considered optional upgrades. Just in the last two decades we built cell phones with CPUs in them that are more powerful than computers that took up an entire building 15 years ago. Yet when we look at the leading causes of death like heart disease and COPD, we haven't made it that far. Your chances are not much better today then they were 15 years ago. You might get six months, a year more now than two decades ago. I wouldent exactly call that a marvel of modern medicine. Yes there are some breaking edge cures out there that can solve some of these problems for good. But 99.9% of people don't have access to them, so they are largely pointless. Kind of like when Trump went all high and mighty about how great the treatment for COVID is when he got it while simultaneously ignoring the fact that his dedicated team of cardiologist, pumanologists and ER doctors standing by his bedside 24/7 represent specialists that most people have to wait months for just to get a single appointment.

Edited by Westerly

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(edited)
3 hours ago, Westerly said:

And yet we were able to build a machine that put a man on the moon back at a time when seat belts in cars were considered optional upgrades. Just in the last two decades we built cell phones with CPUs in them that are more powerful than computers that took up an entire building 15 years ago. Yet when we look at the leading causes of death like heart disease and COPD, we haven't made it that far. Your chances are not much better today then they were 15 years ago. You might get six months, a year more now than two decades ago. I wouldent exactly call that a marvel of modern medicine. Yes there are some breaking edge cures out there that can solve some of these problems for good. But 99.9% of people don't have access to them, so they are largely pointless. Kind of like when Trump went all high and mighty about how great the treatment for COVID is when he got it while simultaneously ignoring the fact that his dedicated team of cardiologist, pumanologists and ER doctors standing by his bedside 24/7 represent specialists that most people have to wait months for just to get a single appointment.

My profession is on the machine side of things, and I appreciate your acknowledgement of the technology that got us to the moon, but wow you're oversimplifying the job of the medical profession.

I think I'm pretty good at my job but I would never belittle the work of so many of my friends and some of my family in the medical field like you just did.

HIV viruses kept mutating even within the same person, how do you target that with a vaccine? That's like trying to nail down water. In contrast SARS-Cov-2 is relatively slow mutating. If you work in a lab I'm sure you already know the differences between different DNA and RNA polymerases and their error rates right?

I'm not a doctor and even I could see, even last year, that covid-19 was much easier to make a vaccine for than HIV, because of the technical qualities of the problem rather than the amount of political will or funding. It doesn't excuse or change the injustice that it was stigmatized because of prejudice against the LGBT community, but to real scientists or engineers, political will or funding is only secondary importance to the fundamental technical issues. No amount of funding to my field will enable us to break fundamental laws of physics, for example. The only people who think it will are the ones who have no idea what they're talking about.

PS. I do acknowledge you're talking about wider access to the latest breaking edge cures, and yes that is a political/funding problem. But things like an HIV vaccine or a cure for cancer are NOT just political/funding problems, they're really hard technical problems too.

Edited by olofscience
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Interesting sidebar.  Rox's ex had her 2 adult vaxxed kids to his place last Sunday.  He is now on a vent at a Cleveland Clinic hospital.  Turns out he started feeling sick last Friday.  His wife is also infected.  The kids...nothing.  Pisses me off that he was showing symptoms and invited company.

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Canadian Skydivers Lose COVID Restrictions

April 1, 2021

Canadian skydivers no longer have to restrict themselves to small groups, or bubbles or social distancing or wear masks announced Omar Alghabar, Minister of Transport.

"Since skydivers voluntarily take far greater risks than the general population, COVID 19 is only a minor additional risk for them. Besides, most skydivers are in the 2o to 40 age bracket, which is at low risk of dying from COVID. They may suffer chills, headaches and difficulty breathing during skydives, so COVID adds no additional risk. However, commercial pilots flying skydiving airplanes are still required to wear surgical masks and get regularly checked for COVID. We do ask that skydiving pilots please put their microphones INSIDE their mask, so that air traffic controllers can understand what they are saying. Too avoid contaminating the travelling public, Transport Canada also asks that skydivers avoid cluttering up the controlled air space frequented by commercial airliners." From a prepared statement.

Transport Canada promised to update COVID restrictions as the vaccination campaign continues to roll forward.

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9 hours ago, Westerly said:

And yet we were able to build a machine that put a man on the moon back at a time when seat belts in cars were considered optional upgrades. Just in the last two decades we built cell phones with CPUs in them that are more powerful than computers that took up an entire building 15 years ago. Yet when we look at the leading causes of death like heart disease and COPD, we haven't made it that far.

I'm both a computer engineer and a medical doctor, and I'm completely lost as to the connection you're trying to draw here.

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5 hours ago, nwt said:

I'm both a computer engineer and a medical doctor, and I'm completely lost as to the connection you're trying to draw here.

Then we might need to go to those schools and get your money back, and beat their asses. CPU and COPD are all capital letters, capisch? That means that all scientific endeavors are supposed to progress at the exact same pace. Got it now?

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(edited)
6 hours ago, nwt said:

I'm both a computer engineer and a medical doctor, and I'm completely lost as to the connection you're trying to draw here.

The connection is I am claiming that other sectors, like IT technology, have drastically outpaced the medical sector. What used to take up an entire building 20 years ago now can be worn on your wrist. However, the leading causes of death in America are largely still unchanged and the prognosis for them is also largely unchanged. Yes, there have been advancements in specific subsets of certain disease, but less so in treating the most common diseases. Take cancer for example. Just as it was 20 years ago, cancer is still most often found in the latest stages, distant-end, because of the lack of symptoms in earlier stages. Someone who develops stage 3 or 4 cancer of any form is largely still not much better off now than they were 20 years ago. Yet, that's the 2nd leading cause of death and still we've made little to no progress in improving late-stage cancer. But yet we can build a supercomputer that can fit in my pocket, we can put a man on the moon and we can develop a rover that can take and transmit 4k video from another planet.

Edited by Westerly

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OK, I'm an IT person. Yes, those technologies have outpaced medical technology. However, we are building those technologies from scratch, so every day, we're at a new peak of development. However, we're starting with a far more complex technology than we've ever come up with, and it's pretty much completely lacking in design specs or documentation.

Wendy P.

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17 minutes ago, Westerly said:

The connection is I am claiming that other sectors, like IT technology, have drastically outpaced the medical sector. What used to take up an entire building 20 years ago now can be worn on your wrist.

Right.  But trying to build a watch and failing isn't a big deal.  You can do that a hundred times, get it right eventually, and you're a hero.  Trying a new treatment out in your lab and seeing the person die . . . is.  Do that even once and you're a killer.

Quote

Take cancer for example. Just as it was 20 years ago, cancer is still most often found in the latest stages, distant-end, because of the lack of symptoms in earlier stages. Someone who develops stage 3 or 4 cancer of any form is largely still not much better off now than they were 20 years ago.

Hmm.  Off the top of my head I can think of monoclonal antibody therapy, CAR-T therapy, gamma knife and proton therapy radiosurgeries, and I'm not a doctor.  And cancer patients are way better off today compared to even 35 years ago.   Kidney cancer 5-year survival rates have gone from 50 to 75%.  Prostate cancer from 67 to 98%.  Leukemia from 34 to 60%.  Overall for all cancers 50 to 67%.  That seems significant.

https://ourworldindata.org/cancer-death-rates-are-falling-five-year-survival-rates-are-rising

Quote

But yet we can build a supercomputer that can fit in my pocket and we can put a man on the moon.

Supercomputer design is a lot simpler than protein synthesis.

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26 minutes ago, Westerly said:

Yes, there have been advancements in specific subsets of certain disease, but less so in treating the most common diseases. Take cancer for example.

Be careful what you wish for. The advances that are cutting edge in biological sciences are looking like they may be so powerful that they will ultimately be destructive in the wrong hands. And the very best therapies will only be for the very wealthy.

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11 minutes ago, billvon said:

Right.  But trying to build a watch and failing isn't a big deal.  You can do that a hundred times, get it right eventually, and you're a hero.  Trying a new treatment out in your lab and seeing the person die . . . is.  Do that even once and you're a killer.

Hmm.  Off the top of my head I can think of monoclonal antibody therapy, CAR-T therapy, gamma knife and proton therapy radiosurgeries, and I'm not a doctor.  And cancer patients are way better off today compared to even 35 years ago.   Kidney cancer 5-year survival rates have gone from 50 to 75%.  Prostate cancer from 67 to 98%.  Leukemia from 34 to 60%.  Overall for all cancers 50 to 67%.  That seems significant.

https://ourworldindata.org/cancer-death-rates-are-falling-five-year-survival-rates-are-rising

Supercomputer design is a lot simpler than protein synthesis.

Hi Bill,

I have an orange in my frig.  Maybe in Westerley would bring an apple we could compare. 

Let's see:  They both fit in my hand.  They both are about the same volume.  They both can be eaten without cooking.  They weigh about the same.

I'm thinking we are on to something here.

Jerry Baumchen

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11 hours ago, billvon said:

...Supercomputer design is a lot simpler than protein synthesis.

 

10 hours ago, JerryBaumchen said:

Hi Bill,

I have an orange in my frig.  Maybe in Westerley would bring an apple we could compare. 

Let's see:  They both fit in my hand.  They both are about the same volume.  They both can be eaten without cooking.  They weigh about the same.

I'm thinking we are on to something here.

Jerry Baumchen

We need to put AMD and Intel on the job. Get rid of all the bio-science people who just sit around drinking cappuccinos and talking liberal smack.

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23 hours ago, Westerly said:

Yes, there have been advancements in specific subsets of certain disease, but less so in treating the most common diseases. Take cancer for example. Just as it was 20 years ago, cancer is still most often found in the latest stages, distant-end, because of the lack of symptoms in earlier stages. Someone who develops stage 3 or 4 cancer of any form is largely still not much better off now than they were 20 years ago. Yet, that's the 2nd leading cause of death and still we've made little to no progress in improving late-stage cancer.

If there are advancements in treating sub-sets and side diseases, but not in the big ones, the logical conclusion (like Olof said) is that the big ones are by far the hardest problems to solve, not that the will or effort isn't there.

The secondary part of this is also that by definition, the ailments that are the hardest to treat or cure are going to be the most common ones that kill us off.

Don't make me tap the sign again...

7 Lessons on Survivorship Bias that Will Help You Make Better Decisions - I  Done This Blog

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(edited)
On 4/2/2021 at 12:55 PM, mistercwood said:

If there are advancements in treating sub-sets and side diseases, but not in the big ones, the logical conclusion (like Olof said) is that the big ones are by far the hardest problems to solve, not that the will or effort isn't there.

The secondary part of this is also that by definition, the ailments that are the hardest to treat or cure are going to be the most common ones that kill us off.

Don't make me tap the sign again...

7 Lessons on Survivorship Bias that Will Help You Make Better Decisions - I  Done This Blog

Except that some of these supposedly 'unsolvable' issues are easily solved in other countries. Take bone cancer for example. In the USA you get a well, I hope your will is updated message. But in AUS, they can cure you completely of it in some situations. What is worse, many doctors in the USA apparently dont even know about these treatments. How can you be an expert in your field but completely unaware a cure to the very disease you treat exists in other countries? That is laughable at best.

In general, medicine in the USA is shit. My ex had a form of lung disease and she complained to countless doctors about her symptoms. Over 10 if I recall right. No one would take her seriously. She was sure that she had sarcodosis, but not one doctor would listen to her. It always was 'oh, that's probably just anxiety ' or some bullshit like that. Well guess what, she was right. Someone with ZERO medical training who literately just 'Googled it' got it right, but 10 doctors got it wrong. It had to get to the point that she was coughing up blood in person in front of a doctor at the ER before someone decided that maybe she actually is experiencing a problem. She was also cleared by two different pumanologists before the 3rd identified and diagnosed the issue. So yea, we're doing great. No room for improvement for sure.

Edited by Westerly

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41 minutes ago, Westerly said:

In general, medicine in the USA is shit.

No disagreement there. The idea of travelling to the States and getting sick is terrifying for someone from a country where you pay zero out of pocket (or close enough) for general or emergency care.

 

43 minutes ago, Westerly said:

So yea, we're doing great. No room for improvement for sure.

There's plenty of room for improvement, that wasn't my point at all.

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17 hours ago, mistercwood said:

No disagreement there. The idea of travelling to the States and getting sick is terrifying for someone from a country where you pay zero out of pocket (or close enough) for general or emergency care.

 

There's plenty of room for improvement, that wasn't my point at all.

Whoosh / You Missed the Joke | Know Your Meme

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No I understood 100% you were being sarcastic. We both agree there are improvements to be made, but I disagree with your initial implications that these problems aren't being fixed primarily because we haven't thrown enough money at them yet.

And just to be completely clear, I'm putting to one side the specific failings of the US healthcare system when looking at this. Cancer and heart disease are still pretty much the biggest natural killers for developed nations.

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