Mar 5, 2020

Coronavirus Update II

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks

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We would like to thank the many people who provided comments to our last coronavirus update at https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeboatfoundation/permalink/10158676889983455/.

You can comment on this update at https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeboatfoundation/permalink/10158683233098455/.

Here’s a lot of new information:


Hit play at https://nextstrain.org/ncov to watch the coronavirus evolve in near realtime. (The play button is on the geography part.)


Read https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2020/03/04/coronavirus-h…cientists/ to learn how there are two main lineages of this virus and that the less dangerous version seems to be gaining on the more dangerous version.

I quote: “The Chinese scientists, who analysed the viral DNA from 103 infected people, said it appeared the less dangerous ‘S-type’ was now taking over, possibly because of aggressive public health lockdown measures in China, which had stopped the more virulent disease in its tracks.”

So my current theory of how China is getting the infection under control is that the quarantines are being helped by the weaker version of the disease being a buffer giving the more dangerous version less victims to target. So countries that initially get a handful of people with the more dangerous version likely get an initial explosion of cases because there is no buffer for them. (The more dangerous version is called the ‘L-type’.) Note that I expect that many/most with the weaker version of the virus will never be counted in the official numbers.

For a full scientific article about this, read “On the origin and continuing evolution of SARS-CoV-2″ at https://academic.oup.com/nsr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/nsr/nwaa036/5775463. If you can’t find it, the full 24 page PDF is at https://academic.oup.com/nsr/advance-article-pdf/doi/10.1093…waa036.pdf. An Excel file containing detailed information about the sequences and acknowledgement used in this study is at the bottom of https://academic.oup.com/nsr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/nsr/nwaa036/5775463. (I can’t direct link to the Excel file because they keep updating the URL.) I’m laying it on thick here with scientific references since one person told me that saying there was a less dangerous strain of the virus was “fake news”.


You can see a dashboard of the current cases at https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594…7b48e9ecf6.

This dashboard includes the total recovered which is currently encouraging as China is doing well. Until all countries are doing extensive testing, we will have bursts in the cases over time. (Most countries are not doing extensive testing yet.)

Learn about new cases/new deaths at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus.

Look at 17 responsible live visualizations about the coronavirus at https://blog.datawrapper.de/coronaviruscharts.


There are some excellent coronavirus videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQ_IRFkDInv-NvRRUN0aqe51sMs188k8z. Also watch “Joe Rogan Experience #1439 — Michael Osterholm” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3URhJx0NSw.


The death rate of the coronavirus is likely much lower than initially reported. You can learn more at https://slate.com/technology/2020/03/coronavirus-mortality-r…think.html.

I quote: “Allow me to be the bearer of good news. These frightening numbers are unlikely to hold. The true case fatality rate, known as CFR, of this virus is likely to be far lower than current reports suggest. Even some lower estimates, such as the 1 percent death rate recently mentioned by the directors of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, likely substantially overstate the case.”

Luckily, children have nearly a 100% survival rate with this virus. As of March 3, there have been no deaths reported so far in children. Read https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/we-simply-do-not-…g-n1147951. Even newborns are successfully fighting off the coronavirus!

In general, the coronavirus is mostly killing the elderly and those with serious health problems. It does get enough people really sick to make the quarantines worth it, though. (Both China and Italy have had their hospitals get overwhelmed.)

The fight against the coronavirus is a good dry run for when a truly wicked pathogen appears, and with biological engineering, that is only a matter of time. Perhaps we will learn something here that will save humanity when a true planet killer arrives.


The coronavirus is on the march worldwide and there will not be a vaccine in the foreseeable future. So our main line of defense is the quarantine.

A quarantine CAN NOT be properly implemented if you don’t know who has the virus, so countries must follow South Korea’s example and do massive testing for the virus. This would also end up calming the populace as people would no longer have to guess how bad the pandemic was in their neighborhood.

Another benefit of massive testing is that the true case fatality rate (CFR) will be revealed as people with mild forms of the virus will be included in the totals. The actual CFR rate is likely between 0.1% and 0.3%. This lower CFR will also calm the public. Here’s info on a test that takes less than an hour to get results: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/488807-fda-authorizes-…virus-test


If you get a serious case of the coronavirus and/or are old or have underlying conditions with serious symptoms, you may wish to ask your doctor to give you 400mg of hydroxychloroquine per day. This enables more zinc to enter your cells and interferes with coronavirus replication. If your country doesn’t have hydroxychloroquine, 500mg of chloroquine can be used instead. You should not combine this treatment with the lopinavir 400mg/ritonavir 100mg treatment as this can cause heart problems. Read “In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxychloroquine for the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” at https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa237/5801998.

The anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are being used to fight the coronavirus in many countries, including South Korea. Read http://www.koreabiomed.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7428 to learn how South Korea is using hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine has less side effects than chloroquine.

Also, read Breakthrough: “Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies” at https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bst/advpub/0/advpub_2020.01047/_article and “Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture” at https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1001176. The second article is from 2010 which is a bit interesting.

Watch “Coronavirus Epidemic Update 34: US Cases Surge, Chloroquine & Zinc Treatment Combo, Italy Lockdown” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7F1cnWup9M.


Expect known cases to explode in the U.S. in the next week as the U.S. learns from South Korea and starts doing real testing. We have to know who is exposed for quarantines to make a difference. Many other countries will have the same situation. Countries that are already doing a lot of testing such as South Korea and China will continue to get the virus *UNDER CONTROL*.

You can sign a petition for more U.S. transparency at http://chng.it/RpcbpW9VGH?fbclid=IwAR03XTtAAabpZID3Tawckon8L…Yq2ACbD23Y.


Besides bothering your government to increase testing if you live in a country which is faltering on testing, you can:

1) Engage in social distancing. Read “Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now” at https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-peop…d3d9cd99ca.

2) Take Vitamin D as described at https://youtu.be/gmqgGwT6bw0?list=PLQ_IRFkDInv-NvRRUN0aqe51sMs188k8z. This video shows how regular supplementation can reduce your chance of infection by 50%. (Many studies are referenced including studies that show that taking a single megadose of Vitamin D will temporarily disrupt the immune system and is not helpful.)

Here’s information about a Vitamin D study including 11,000 participants: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170216110002.htm. I quote, “Overall, the reduction in risk of acute respiratory infection induced by vitamin D was on a par with the protective effect of injectable ‘flu vaccine against ‘flu-like illnesses.”

It is likely that the increased Vitamin D that people get in the summer is a factor in the flu fading away during the summer months!

3) Get at least a month’s supply of basic necessities as there will be food runs, quarantines, and other disruptions in the near future. You don’t want to run out of toilet paper!

4) Remember to wash your hands and don’t touch your mouth, nose, and eyes a lot. Watch

to learn more. (This 14 second video is very funny.)

5) Here’s a list of some products that you can use to kill coronavirus: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/docum…5;2020.pdf. (Bleach and peroxide are especially useful.)

6) Get a thermometer and realize you don’t have a fever unless your temperature goes above 100.4℉/38.0℃.

7) Don’t go to the hospital unless you have severe symptoms. Hospitals will soon have many coronavirus victims and you want to avoid them if you can.

8) If you get really sick, call ahead so the hospital can prepare to isolate you as soon as you arrive.

9) And please self-quarantine for 2 weeks if you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus.


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. Actually, my wife ( who once led a research group in related areas) and I discussed the evolution of the virus just yesterday. If it is evolving fast enough to less lethality, that argues for us to withdraw in the less safe present period. If not, if we expect to get it sooner or later anyway, so why not get it over with sooner near home and a little younger? In the US, it is hard to see much selective pressure on it for less lethality.

    Your information from China seems to reverse that impression, arguing at first for strong selection in China. Will a new less lethal version spread from China to US and swamp out the older more dangerous version here now? But then it says the two versions are different enough that one can catch both, that both can spread here, which would put us back in square one, almost like the Russians I saw on France24 simply enjoying their vacation in Milan.

    Curious that I don’t see much advice on how to prepare at home to live through the disease. I have advised old ‘friends to use an incentive spirometer now to build up lungs.

    1. Eric Klien says:

      “But then it says the two versions are different enough that one can catch both” Our guess is that you can only get both if you are infected by both at the same time (or before one has time to give you immunity to the other).