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I've seen a lot of fear mongering, misinformation and overall general panic concerning the zika virus surrounding the Rio Olympics. However, little has been said about the actual epidemiological impact of these Olympics concerning zika.
I would assume that sending hundreds of thousands of people into this 'zika hotspot' and then having them return to their home countries will likely only accelerate the spread of this virus. I understand that Zika has been present in other tropical parts of the world for 50+ years, but the South American strain has had a higher incidence of more dire effects.
Has anyone actually modeled how these 2016 Olympics will impact (likely accelerate) the spread of this dangerous viral strain throughout the world?
I know the CDC and WHO have people working on this, but I haven't seen any direct reports or evidence of such work. I know it's difficult to create too accurate of a model due to the lack of knowledge about other mosquito species' abilities to become carriers, so I would assume that if a model does exist, it's likely just using Aedes species as the main vector.
Regardless, if anyone knows about epidemiological modeling being done about the Olympic's impact on the spread of zika, please provide some resources.
Though I have not found direct access to a model (which is what I'm really looking for), I have found evidence of such modeling efforts.
The CDC apparently put out a risk-assessment report in mid July discussing the results of such epidemiological modeling (reported by FivethirtyEight, ABC and others).
The report (available here), suggests that the risk of accelerated zika spread due to the 2016 Olympics is low.
They cite two major reasons:
- Low mosquito activity due to colder winter weather
and more importantly…
The number of increased visits to the Olympics will make up only a fraction of the number of people that travel to/from zika-affected countries on a regular basis.
The estimated 350,000 to 500,000 international visitors and athletes from 207 countries who are expected to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games represent a tiny fraction -- 0.25 percent -- of total travel to and from Zika-affected countries, according to the CDC report.
According to CDC director Tom Frieden:
"Compared with all travel to Zika-endemic areas, the Olympics account for about one-tenth of 1 percent of travel from the U.S. and globally about one-quarter of 1 percent, so even if Olympics didn't exist, 99.75 percent would be the same risk."
I will contact the CDC directly and ask for additional information regarding the model they used for this report. I will update this answer with any additional information I can gather. However, I'm sure others are producing similar models using different criteria, so please feel free to add additional examples or provide direct links to any available models.
Zika virus and the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016
Brazil is one of the 58 countries and territories which to-date report continuing transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes. While mosquitoes are the primary vectors, a person infected with Zika virus can also transmit the virus to another person through unprotected sex. Zika virus disease usually causes mild symptoms 1 , and most people will not develop any symptoms. However, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly (children being born with unusually small heads) and other brain malformations and disorders in babies born to women who were infected with Zika virus during pregnancy, and Guillain-Barré syndrome (a rare but serious neurological disorder that could lead to paralysis and death).
Athletes and visitors to Rio de Janeiro, and other areas where Zika virus is circulating, are being encouraged to:
- follow the travel advice 2 provided by WHO and their countries&rsquo health authorities, and consult a health worker before travelling
- whenever possible, during the day, protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents and by wearing clothing &ndash preferably light-coloured &ndash that covers as much of the body as possible
- practice safer sex (e.g. use condoms correctly and consistently) or abstain from sex during their stay and for at least 8 weeks * after their return, particularly if they have had or are experiencing symptoms of Zika virus
- choose air-conditioned accommodation (windows and doors are usually kept closed to prevent the cool air from escaping, and mosquitoes cannot enter the rooms)
- avoid visiting impoverished and over-crowded areas in cities and towns with no piped water and poor sanitation (ideal breeding grounds of mosquitoes) where the risk of being bitten is higher.
Pregnant women continue to be advised not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission. This includes Rio de Janeiro. Pregnant women&rsquos sex partners returning from areas with circulating virus continue to be counselled to practice safer sex or abstain throughout the pregnancy 3 . The Games will take place during Brazil&rsquos wintertime, when there are fewer active mosquitoes and the risk of being bitten is lower.
WHO/PAHO is providing public health advice to the Government of Brazil, the International Olympic Committee and, by extension, and the Rio 2016 Local Organizing Committee on ways to further mitigate the risk of athletes and visitors contracting Zika virus during the Games. An important focus of WHO advice revolves around measures to reduce populations of Aedes mosquitoes which transmit chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever in addition to Zika virus.
WHO/PAHO will continue to monitor the Zika virus transmission and risks in Brazil and in other affected areas to provide updates on how Zika virus outbreaks, risks and prevention interventions develop between now and August and beyond.
 Symptoms include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.
*Corrigendum: This sentence was changed on 2 June 2016 to reflect the update in the WHO guidance document, "Prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus", which was updated on 30 May to the following: "To prevent the onward transmission of Zika and adverse pregnancy and fetal outcomes, all returning travellers should practice safer sex, including through the correct and consistent use of condoms, or abstaining from sex for at least 8 weeks."
Corrigendum: The original version of this statement was modified on 29 May 2016 to remove reference to the fact that WHO/PAHO is providing advice to The International Olympic Committee under a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU between WHO and the IOC expired in 2015. WHO is currently providing public health advice for the upcoming Olympics through the Rio 2016 task force which was established in 2015. Advice on planning and delivering mass gatherings is undertaken as part of WHO support to host countries with the host country's Ministry of Health.
Could Canceling The Olympics For Zika Do More Harm Than Good?
It sounds simple, like canceling a party: Cancel the 2016 Summer Olympics to prevent further spread of the Zika epidemic. Some in medicine and public health have lobbied and even petitioned for this action. Yes, the Zika epidemic is a major public health emergency. Yes, the virus may lead to birth defects and nervous system disorders. Yes, the location of the Olympics (Rio de Janeiro) is in Brazil, which has been the epicenter of the Zika epidemic. But is canceling the Olympics really the answer? Or would such an action distract from what really should be done? What's the evidence behind the calls for cancellation? Could canceling the Olympics actually do more harm than good?
Here's the argument that has been offered for canceling the Summer Games. This mass gathering of athletes, officials and tourists in the country hit hardest by Zika may provide mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus to bite and transmit the virus to many people from different countries. On top of that, people from different countries may pass the virus to each other through sex. (Yes, people have sex at the Olympics. ESPN offered an account about how much sex (a lot) occurs among athletes at the Games.) Then, after the Olympics, the infected people may return to their countries where they will further transmit the virus to their country mates via sexual contact or mosquito bites.
Although these are legitimate possibilities, the question is how much more Zika transmission may occur with the Olympics, and what would be the real benefit of canceling the Olympics? Rio is very large city that serves as a business and travel hub for many. People continue to travel to and from Rio every day. It's not as if they would shut down Rio along with canceling the Summer Games. Therefore, transmission is continuing and would continue to occur with or without the Olympics.
There are still other athletic events occurring in Brazil. For example, pictured here is U.S. . [+] athlete Justin Gatlin, left, finishing ahead of Trinidad and Tobago's Richard Thompson, center, and the Brazil's Vitor Hugo Santos, during the "Mano a Mano" challenge at the Quinta da Boavista in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, June 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
The answer is no one knows yet what impact cancellation of the Olympics would have. Before making any claims or decisions, we need more appropriate studies. We just don't have the same evidence, data and information that we had for some past epidemics such as the 2009 influenza pandemic. Where are the clinical, epidemiological and computational modeling studies? Prior to and during the 2009 pandemic, different people were calling for various policies and interventions to reduce the spread of influenza. But computational simulation models developed by various teams showed that some of these interventions would not be worth the cost and could even have unintended consequences.
Let's take the example of closing schools to prevent the spread of influenza since school children are aggressive spreaders of influenza. They rub their hands and faces and other parts of the body, don't wash their hands, and rub their grimy mitts everywhere, such as on door knobs, clothes, desks and each other. Kids are essentially mobile petri dishes. Therefore, the rationale was that shutting down schools would prevent these little bug farms from passing the flu to each other and then going home and getting their families sick.
Sounds reasonable, right? Well, it's not that simple. Our team, which included Dr. Shawn Brown of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/Carnegie Mellon University and Phil Cooley and Bill Wheaton of RTI, developed and used our computational simulation models of Allegheny County, Penn., and Pennsylvania to find two interesting things. First, as described in BMC Public Health, closing schools would not have enough of an effect to be worth the high cost of shutting down schools. Think of the resulting delays in educational progress, the makeup days that need to occur through normal vacation period, the extra cost of daycare for parents, and either teachers losing income or having to pay teachers while they are not teaching.
Secondly, as published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, our modeling work showed that closing schools could even make an influenza epidemic worse, depending on how long the schools were closed. Huh? How is this possible? Well, imagine viruses as people on a trip who can stay in a car for only a week before having to find another car to drive. When people have been in a car for a week and cannot find another car to jump into then the trip ends. Similarly, if viruses cannot find new people to infect, an epidemic ends. Indeed, closing schools would prevent kids from mixing with and infecting each other. while the schools were closed, which would be analogous to cordoning off some cars so that people can't ride in them. Yet, once the schools re-open, as long as viruses were still around, the viruses would suddenly have a bunch of kids that it can newly infect, which could prolong the epidemic. This would be analogous to suddenly releasing the previously cordoned off empty cars so that people can keep finding new empty cars to continue the trip. Thus, for school closures to be effective, you may have to keep them closed for a very, very long time. Despite good intentions, closing schools in some situations could actually extend the epidemic and result in more people getting sick.
Thus, the evidence behind school closures as being an effective method of dealing with an influenza epidemic remains mixed as outlined in a review article by Mirat Shah and me in Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy. Currently the evidence just is not strong enough to warrant mass school closure during a flu epidemic. Thus, during the 2009 pandemic, ultimately the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended that schools remain open after initially suggesting that schools shut down immediately when students became ill.
This is just one example of infectious disease control being more complex than initially realized and how well-meaning approaches can have unintended bad consequences. So, what effect will canceling the Olympics have on the Zika epidemic? No one really knows, because the necessary studies haven't been done yet. Pengyi Shi, Pinar Keskinocak and Julie L. Swann from Georgia Tech University and I published a study in BMC Public Health that used a computational simulation model of the state of Georgia that explored the impact of mass gatherings (such as large concerts or sporting events) and holiday traveling on an influenza epidemic. We found that postponing or canceling large public gatherings may have some effect close to the peak of the epidemic but not earlier or later during the epidemic. Of course, flu transmission is quite different from Zika transmission, so more studies are needed.
Former Olympic medalist Tara Kirk explained in an op-ed how canceling the Olympic Games would leave . [+] many athletes heart-broken. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
What we do know is that canceling the Olympics will come at a high cost, in terms of money and affecting many, many lives, including athletes and everyone working for businesses and other efforts involved with the Olympics. (In a Baltimore Sun opinion piece, former Olympic medal-winning swimmer and associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security Tara Kirk Sell explains how athletes "would have their hearts broken and their Olympic dreams tossed aside.") Asking someone to cancel a party is easy when you are not the one organizing, hosting, paying for or even attending the party. Moreover, the Olympics are much more than a simple dinner party. Canceling the Olympics could have widespread detrimental economic effects on Brazil, which has already been struggling economically, as well as many other parts of the world. The Olympics are big business. Think of the potential ripple effects. Will such economic effects then impair Brazil's ability to control Zika, such as control its mosquito population? Does maintaining the Olympic spotlight on Brazil mean that the world is paying closer attention to Brazil and its efforts to control Zika? Could removing that spotlight remove this attention?
Moreover, calls for canceling the Olympics may distract from what really needs to be done, such as:
- Conducting studies (e.g., laboratory, clinical, epidemiological and computational modeling) to better understand the Zika virus and possible control measures .
- Developing a vaccine, treatments and better diagnostic tests for Zika.
- Communicating to the public about what precautions to take.
- Developing new ways to protect people.
- Tracking where the virus is going.
These are just some of things that should be done.
During a media briefing, Rio 2016 Chief Medical Officer Joao Grangeiro and Rio de Janeiro Olympic . [+] Games officials tried to reassure foreign journalists that the Zika epidemic would not be a problem for athletes or visitors. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Also, what happens if canceling the Olympics has no effect or even makes things worse? Then, people will become suspicious of future urgent calls. It's the "boy who cried wolf" syndrome. Be careful about calling for drastic measures that will have major cost before the necessary studies have been done. Otherwise people may stop listening to you. And people not listening about future public health measures that are needed could have another chain of bad consequences.
All of this doesn't mean that the Olympics should not be canceled or postponed. It just means that much more information and studies are needed before a decision can be made. The same holds for other reasons being proposed for canceling the Olympics for other issues in Brazil such as water pollution. Calls for cancellation now would be like competing in an Olympic event without enough planning, practice or preparation.
Coronavirus' Impact On Olympic Athletes & Their Training Routines
The IOC is still encouraging athletes to continue training as usual but tells Bustle that they are being referred to a precautions list created alongside IOC Scientific Director, Dr. Richard Budgett, OBE. The list instructs athletes to be diligent with personal hygiene, to keep at least three feet from anyone coughing or sneezing, and to stay home if they feel unwell. The Olympics' "Coronavirus advice for athletes" webpage reiterates WHO guidelines.
In addition, Yahoo Sports reports that the Chinese Athletic Association (CAA) is taking serious action to protect its athletes. On top of restricting access to training gyms, the Beijing base has added a disinfection chamber that all athletes and coaches must go through to get into the Olympic training gym. Inside, equipment is regularly wiped down throughout the day. CAA is also having athletes check their temperatures three times a day, eat their meals alone, and limit their social hangouts.
Meanwhile in the U.S., athletes are continuing to train and follow coronavirus safety guidelines. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky told The Washington Post that she's limiting her exposure to crowded places, washing her hands regularly, and watching the headlines closely.
The epidemic history of Zika virus began in 2007, with its emergence in Yap Island in the western Pacific, followed in 2013–14 by a larger epidemic in French Polynesia, south Pacific, where the first severe complications and non-vector-borne transmission of the virus were reported. Zika virus emerged in Brazil in 2015 and was declared a national public health emergency after local researchers and physicians reported an increase in microcephaly cases. In 2016, WHO declared the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil a global public health emergency. Similar clusters of microcephaly cases were also observed retrospectively in French Polynesia in 2014. In 2015–16, Zika virus continued its spread to cause outbreaks in the Americas and the Pacific, and the first outbreaks were reported in continental USA, Africa, and southeast Asia. Non-vector-borne transmission was confirmed and Zika virus was established as a cause of severe neurological complications in fetuses, neonates, and adults. This Review focuses on important updates and gaps in the knowledge of Zika virus as of early 2017.
Economic impact of Zika outbreak could exceed $18B in Latin America, Caribbean
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School estimate that the social and economic impacts of the recent Zika virus outbreak in Latin America and the Caribbean could cost countries in the region an estimated $7 billion to $18 billion from 2015 to 2017.
Image caption: Mario Macis (left) and Emilia Simeonova
Their findings are included in a new report titled "A Socio-economic impact assessment of Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean: with a focus on Brazil, Colombia and Suriname" issued by the United Nations Development Programme and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The report was produced in collaboration with the ISGlobal, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, and presented to the United Nations on April 6.
The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitos and has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with smaller than expected heads and brains. The disease is also associated with a pattern of birth defects known as "congenital Zika syndrome," which can include severe microcephaly, vision and hearing problems, and other symptoms. Since 2014, Zika has spread rapidly throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as parts of the U.S., Asia, and Africa. In early 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika a "public health emergency of international concern."
The WHO estimated that as many as 4 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean could have been infected by early 2017. Worldwide, those estimates could be as high as 80 to 117 million people infected and as many as 1.5 million pregnant women infected globally.
For the study, two Carey School researchers—Associate Professor Mario Macis and Assistant Professor Emilia Simeonova—conducted a rapid assessment analysis of macroeconomic costs for Latin American and the Caribbean nations based on existing data on the incidence and transmission of Zika virus. Macis and Simeonova based their calculations on three estimated rates of transmission—current, medium, and high. The overall cost of the epidemic included the cost of direct treatment and care, as well as the cost of lost revenue and productivity.
Relevant news and helpful resources related to the Zika virus
According to the study, the epidemic could cost between $7 and $18 billion in the short term, which equates to an average of $1 billion in costs for every five percent rise in infection rate. The magnitude of the estimated economic cost of the epidemic varies considerably across the three infection scenarios: $7 billion for the baseline $9 billion for medium transmission rates and $18 billion for high transmission rates over the entire region.
The long-term cost of Zika on the region was also estimated to be substantial due to the direct and indirect costs associated with microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare illness of the nervous system that has increased in regions affected by Zika. Overall, the total direct and indirect lifetime cost of microcephaly cases caused by Zika could exceed $3 billion in the most optimistic scenario and $29 billion in the worst-case Zika scenario. The corresponding lifetime costs of Guillain-Barre syndrome cases are estimated to be between $242 million and $10 billion.
"The Zika epidemic will have both significant short-term and long-term economic impact. Even in the least pessimistic scenarios, we estimate the costs could be as high as $7-$9 billion, which is a large amount, particularly when we consider that the countries affected are low- and middle-income countries" Macis said. "This outbreak will be expensive, but it is very hard to predict the true cost, because we do not know how widespread the disease will be, and there is still considerable uncertainty about the frequency of microcephaly, Guillain-Barre, and other consequences of Zika."
According to Macis, some recent estimates suggest that the rate of microcephaly from Zika infection could reach 10 percent, which is a much higher rate than that considered in the UNDP study.
"There is a paucity of research on the costs associated with the Zika virus. For example there are no studies on the effects on tourism revenues. The global community really needs to come together to better understand this problem," Simeonova said. "More information is needed to understand transmission rates and other outcomes. More information will help us in making better estimates, which in turn would help the affected countries to budget appropriately."
Materials and methods
Demographic and socio-economic setting
Feira de Santana (FSA) is a major urban centre of Bahia, located within the state’s largest traffic junction, serving as way points to the South, the Southeast and central regions of the country. The city has a population of approximately 620.000 individuals (2015) and serves a greater geographical setting composed of 80 municipalities (municipios) summing up to a population of 2.5 million. Although major improvements in water supply have been accomplished in recent decades, with about 90% of the population having direct access to piped water, supply is unstable and is common practice to resort to household storage. Together with an ideal (tropical) local climate, these are favourable breeding conditions for species of the Aedes genus of mosquitoes, which are the main transmission vectors of ZIKV, CHIKV and the dengue virus (DENV) that are all co-circulating in the region (Kraemer et al., 2015 Carlson et al., 2016). FSA’s population is generally young, with approximately 30% of individuals under the age of 20% and 60% under the age of 34. In the year of 2015, the female:male sex ratio in FSA was 0.53 and the number of registered births was 10352, leading to a birth rate standard measure of 31 new-borns per 1000 females in the population.
Local climatic data (rainfall, humidity, temperature) for the period between January 2013 and May 2017 was collected from the Brazilian open repository for education and research (BDMEP, Banco de Dados Meteorológicos para Ensino e Pesquisa) (Brazil BDMEP, 1961). The climate in FSA is defined as semi-arid (warm but dry), with sporadic periods of rain concetrated within the months of April and July. Between 2013 and 2015, mean yearly temperature was 24.6 celsius (range 22.5–26.6), total precipitation was 856 mm (range 571–1141), and mean humidity levels 79.5% (range 70.1–88.9%). Temperature, humidity and precipitation per day is available as Dataset 1.
Zika virus notified case data
ZIKV surveillance in Brazil is conducted through the national notifiable diseases information system (Sistema de Informação de Agravos de Notificação, SINAN), which relies on passive case detection. Suspected cases are notified given the presence of pruritic maculopapular rash (flat, red area on the skin that is covered with small bumps) together with two or more symptoms among: low fever, or polyarthralgia (joint pain), or periarticular edema (joint swelling), or conjunctival hyperemia (eye blood vessel dilation) without secretion and pruritus (itching) (Brazil SINAN, 2016 Brazil, 2016). The main differences to case definition of DENV and CHIKV are the particular type of pruritic maculopapular rash and low fever (as applied during the Yap Island ZIKV epidemic (Duffy et al., 2009)). The data presented in Figure 1 for both Brazil and FSA represents notified suspected cases and is available as Dataset 3 (please refer to the Acknowledgement section for sources). Here, we use the terms epidemic wave and outbreak interchangeably (but see (Perkins et al., 2016)).
Microcephaly and severe neurological complications case data
A total of 53 suspected cases with microcephaly (MC) or other neurological complications were reported in FSA between January 2015 and February 2017. Using guidelines for microcephaly diagnosis provided in March 2016 by the WHO (as in (Faria et al., 2016c)), a total of 21 cases were confirmed after birth and follow-up. A total of 3 fetal deaths were reported for mothers with confirmed ZIKV infection during gestation but for which no microcephaly assessment was available. The first confirmed microcephaly case was reported on the 24 t h of November 2015 and virtually all subsequent cases were notified before August 2016 (with the exception of 2). The microcephaly case series can be found in Dataset 4.
Ento-epidemiological dynamic model
The ordinary differential equations (ODE) model and the Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) fitting approach herein used are based on the framework previously proposed to study the introduction of dengue into the Island of Madeira in 2012 (Lourenço and Recker, 2014). We have changed this framework to relax major modelling assumptions on the mosquito sex ratio and success of egg hatching, have included humidity and rainfall as critical climate variables, and have also transformed the original least squares based MCMC into a Bayesian MCMC. The resulting framework is described in the following sections, in which extra figures are added for completeness.
The dynamics of infection within the human population are defined in Equations 1-5. In summary, the human population is assumed to have constant size ( N ) with mean life-expectancy of μ h years, and to be fully susceptible before introduction of the virus. Upon challenge with infectious mosquito bites ( λ v → h ), individuals enter the incubation phase ( E h ) with mean duration of 1 / γ h days, later becoming infectious ( I h ) for 1 / σ h days and finally recovering ( R h ) with life-long immunity.
For the dynamics of the mosquito population (Equations 6-10), individuals are divided into two pertinent life-stages: aquatic (eggs, larvae and pupae, A ) and adult females ( V ) as in (Yang et al., 2009). The adults are further divided into the epidemiologically relevant stages for arboviral transmission: susceptible ( S v ), incubating ( E v ) for 1 / γ ˙ v days and infectious ( I v ) for life. The ˙ (dot) notation is here adopted to distinguish climate-dependent entomological factors (further details in the following sections).
Here, the coefficient c ˙ v is the fraction of eggs hatching to larvae and f the resulting female proportion. For simplicity and lack of quantifications for local mosquito populations, it is assumed that the sex ratio remains at 1:1 (i.e. f = 0.5 ). Moreover, ϵ ˙ A v denotes the rate of transition from aquatic to adult stages, μ ˙ A v the aquatic mortality, μ ˙ V v the adult mortality, and θ ˙ v is the success rate of oviposition. The logistic term ( 1 - A K ( R + 1 ) ) can be understood as the ecological capacity to receive aquatic individuals (Tran et al., 2013), scaled by a carrying capacity term K ( R + 1 ) in which K determines the maximum capacity and R is the local rainfall contribution (further details on following sections).
From Equations 6-10, the mean number of viable female offspring produced by one female adult during its life-time, i.e. the basic offspring number Q , was derived (Equation 11). Most parameters defining Q are climate-dependent, and for fixed mean values of the climate variables (ex. mean rainfall R ¯ ), expressions were derived for the expected population sizes of each mosquito life-stage modelled ( A 0 , V 0 ) which are used to initialize the vector population (Equations 12-13).
In respect to the infected host-type being considered, the vector-to-human ( λ v → h ) and human-to-vector ( λ h → v ) incidence rates are assumed to be, respectively, density-dependent and frequency-dependent (Equations 14-15). Here, a v ˙ is the biting rate and ϕ ˙ v → h and ϕ h → v are the vector-to-human and human-to-vector transmission probabilities per bite. Conceptually, this implies that (i) an increase in the density of infectious vectors should directly raise the risk of infection to a single human, while (ii) an increase in the frequency of infected humans raises the risk of infection to a mosquito biting at a fixed rate. The basic reproductive number ( R 0 ) is defined similarly to previous modelling approaches (Equation 16) (Wearing and Rohani, 2006 Lourenço and Recker, 2013). We further derived an expression for the effective reproductive ratio ( R e , Equation 17), taking into account the susceptible proportion of the population in real-time.
Markov chain monte carlo fitting approach
For the fitting process, the MCMC algorithm by Lourenco et al. is here altered to a Bayesian approach by formalising a likelihood and parameter priors (Lourenço and Recker, 2014). For this, the proposal distributions (q) of each parameter were kept as Gaussian (symmetric), effectively retaining a random walk Metropolis kernel. We define our acceptance probability α of a parameter set Θ , given model ODE output y as:
where Θ ⋆ and Θ o are the proposed and current (accepted) parameter sets (respectively) π ( y | Θ ⋆ ) and π ( y | Θ o ) are the likelihoods of the ODE output representing the epidemic data given each parameter set p ( Θ o ) and p ( Θ ⋆ ) are the prior-related probabilities given each parameter set. We fit the Zika virus cumulative case counts per week, for which no age-related or geographical data is taken into consideration.
For computational reasons and based on a previous approach (Dorigatti et al., 2013), the likelihoods π were calculated as the product of the conditional Poisson probabilities of each epidemic data ( d i ) and ODE ( y i ) data point:
Note, in this case where we have low cases numbers in a large population, the Poisson likelihood represents a reasonable approximation to the Binomial process, which is expected to underlie the observed data.
With the MCMC approach described above, all combinations of the open parameters in the ODE system that most likely represent the outbreak are explored (Table 4). In summary, the MCMC estimates the distributions for: (1) the carrying capacity K , an indirect estimate of the number of adult mosquitoes per human (2) time point of the first case t 0 , assumed to be in a human (3) a linear coefficient η that scales the effect of temperature on aquatic and adult mortality rates (4) a linear coefficient α that scales the effect of temperature on the extrinsic incubation period (5) a non-linear coefficient ρ that scales the effects of humidity and rainfall on entoi
mological parameters (6) the human infectious period 1 / σ h and (7) the human incubation period 1 / γ h .
By introducing the linear coefficients η and α , the relative effect of temperature variation on mortality and incubation is not changed per se, but instead the baselines are allowed to be different from the laboratory conditions used by Yang et al. (Yang et al., 2009). For solutions in which η , α → 1 , the laboratory-based relationships are kept. For a discussion on possible biological factors that may justify η and α please refer to the original description of the method in (Lourenço and Recker, 2014) and (Brady et al., 2013). Finally, the introduction of ρ allows the MCMC to vary the strength by which entomological parameters react to deviations from local humidity and rainfall means. In practice, the effect of rainfall and humidity can be switched off when ρ → 0 and made stronger when ρ → + ∞ (details below).
Initial analysis of the MCMC output raised an identifiability issue between the human infectious period ( 1 / σ h ) and the linear coefficient ( η ) that scales the effect of temperature on vector mortality ( η scales the baseline mortality without changes to the response of mortality to temperature). Hence, changes in both η and 1 / σ h result in similar scaling effects on the transmission potential R 0 (Equation 16) and thus unstable MCMC chains for η and 1 / σ h , with the resulting posteriors appearing to be bimodal (for which there was no biological support). We addressed this issue by using informative priors for four parameters for which biological support exists in the literature: η , 1 / σ h , 1 / γ h , and α . Gaussian priors were used with means and standard deviations taken from the literature (see Figure 2—figure supplement 2).
The framework described above has only 4 fixed parameters that are neither climate-dependent nor estimated in the MCMC approach (Table 2). Amongst these, ϕ h → v is the per bite probability of transmission from human-to-mosquito, which we assume to be 0.5 (Lounibos and Escher, 2008 Mohammed and Chadee, 2011) the sex ratio of the adult mosquito population f is assumed to be 1:1 (Lounibos and Escher, 2008 Mohammed and Chadee, 2011) the life-expectancy of the human population is assumed to be an average of 75 years (WHO, 2016c) and the biting rate is taken to be on average 0.25 although with the potential to vary dependent on humidity levels (details below) (Trpis and Hausermann, 1986 Yasuno and Tonn, 1970).
For each of the temperature-dependent entomological parameters, polynomial expressions are found de novo or taken from previous studies fitting laboratory entomological data with temperature (T) values used in Celsius. For rainfall (R) and humidity (U), positive or negative relationships to entomological parameters are introduced using simple expressions, with values used after normalization to [ 0 , 1 ] . We assume that some parameters are affected by a combination of temperature with either rainfal or humidity, but take their effects to be independent. A list of climate-dependent parameters and references is found in Table 1.
Polynomials of 4th degree for the mortality ( μ A v , μ V v ) and success ovipositon ( θ v ) rates are taken from the study by Yang and colleagues under temperature-controlled experiments on populations of Aedes aegypti (Equations 19-21) (Yang et al., 2009). For aquatic to adult ( ϵ A v ) rate we use the 7 t h degree polynomial of the same study (Equation 20). For the relationship between the extrinsic incubation period ( 1 / γ v ) and temperature we apply the formulation by Focks et al. which assumes that replication is determined by a single rate-controlling enzyme (Focks et al., 1995 Schoolfield et al., 1981 Otero et al., 2006) (Equation 24). The probability of transmission per mosquito bite ( ϕ v → h ) is here modelled (Equation 25) as estimated by Lambrechts and colleagues (Lambrechts et al., 2011). Finally, the relationship between temperature and the fraction of eggs that successfully hatch ( c v ) is estimated de novo (Equation 26) by fitting a 3 r d degree polynomial to Aedes aegypti and albopictus empirical data described by Dickerson et al. (see Figure 2—figure supplement 1) (Dickerson, 2007 Mohammed and Chadee, 2011).
We normalise the time series of rainfall (R) and humidity (U), further using the mean normalised values ( R ¯ , U ¯ ) as reference for extreme deviations from the expected local tendencies (Bicout and Sabatier, 2004 Tran et al., 2013). Rainfall is assumed to affect positively the fraction of eggs that successfully hatch ( c v ) (Alto and Juliano, 2001 Rossi et al., 2015 Tran et al., 2013 Madeira et al., 2002). A similar positive relationship is taken for the vector biting rate ( a v ) and humidity levels (Yasuno and Tonn, 1970), in contrast to a negative effect on the adult mosquito mortality rate ( μ V v ) (Alto and Juliano, 2001).
Below is the complete formulation for each entomological parameter in time (t), depending on the climatic variables for which relationships are assumed to exist, including the MCMC fitted linear ( α , η ) and non-linear ( ρ ) factors described above.
Stochastic formulation of the ento-epidemiological model
A stochastic version of the ento-epidemiological framework was developed by introducing demographic stochasticity in the transitions of the dynamic system. This followed the original strategy described in (Lourenço and Recker, 2014), in which multinomial distributions are used to sample the effective number of individuals transitioning between classes per time step. Multinomial distributions are generalized binomials - B i n o m i a l ( n , p ) - where n equals the number of individuals in each class and p the probability of the transition event (equal to the deterministic transition rate). This approach has also been demonstrated elsewhere (Lampoudi et al., 2009).
Protecting Olympic Participants from Covid-19 — The Urgent Need for a Risk-Management Approach
In late July, approximately 11,000 athletes and 4000 athletic-support staff from more than 200 countries will gather for more than 2 weeks of competition at the Tokyo Olympics. One month later, another 5000 athletes and additional staff will attend the Paralympics. According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Tokyo 2020 playbooks, 1 which are intended to protect both participants and the people of Japan from SARS-CoV-2 infection, Olympic athletes are instructed to supply their own face coverings, are encouraged (but not required) to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and will undergo testing at unspecified intervals after they arrive in Japan.
When the IOC postponed the Tokyo Olympics in March 2020, Japan had 865 active cases of Covid-19 against a global backdrop of 385,000 active cases. It was assumed that the pandemic would be controlled in 2021 or that vaccination would be widespread by then. Fourteen months later, Japan is in a state of emergency, with 70,000 active cases. Globally, there are 19 million active cases. Variants of concern, which may be more transmissible and more virulent than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, are circulating widely. Vaccines are available in some countries, but less than 5% of Japan’s population is vaccinated, the lowest rate among all Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries.
Pfizer and BioNTech have offered to donate vaccines for all Olympic athletes, but this offer does not ensure that all athletes will receive vaccines before the Olympics, since vaccine authorization and availability are lacking in more than 100 countries. Moreover, some athletes may choose not to be vaccinated because of worries about the effects of vaccination on their performance or ethical concerns about being prioritized ahead of health care workers and vulnerable people. Although several countries have vaccinated their athletes, adolescents between 15 and 17 years of age cannot be vaccinated in most countries, and children younger than 15 can be vaccinated in even fewer countries. As a result, few teenage athletes, including gymnasts, swimmers, and divers as young as 12, will be vaccinated. In the absence of regular testing, participants may become infected during the Olympics and pose a risk when they return home to more than 200 countries.
We believe the IOC’s determination to proceed with the Olympic Games is not informed by the best scientific evidence. The playbooks maintain that athletes participate at their own risk, while failing both to distinguish the various levels of risk faced by athletes and to recognize the limitations of measures such as temperature screenings and face coverings. Similarly, the IOC has not heeded lessons from other large sporting events. Many U.S.-based professional leagues, including the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association, and the Women’s National Basketball Association, conducted successful seasons, but their protocols were rigorous and informed by an understanding of airborne transmission, asymptomatic spread, and the definition of close contacts. 2 Preventive measures, adapted amid continuous expert review, included single hotel rooms for athletes, at least daily testing, and wearable technology for monitoring contacts, supported by rigorous contact tracing. Despite increasingly rigorous protocols, outbreaks of Covid-19 have caused multiple game cancellations. The World Men’s Handball Championship, held in Egypt in January 2021, showed the limits of housing even two people together when roommates were both forced out of games after one tested positive. In February, the Australian Open was challenged by hotel-driven exposures and two local outbreaks. In early May, the Indian Premier League cricket tournament was suspended in its third week.
The IOC’s playbooks 1 are not built on scientifically rigorous risk assessment, and they fail to consider the ways in which exposure occurs, the factors that contribute to exposure, and which participants may be at highest risk. To be sure, most athletes are at low risk for serious health outcomes associated with Covid-19, but some Paralympic athletes could be in a higher-risk category. In addition, we believe the playbooks do not adequately protect the thousands of people — including trainers, volunteers, officials, and transport and hotel employees — whose work ensures the success of such a large event.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both recognized the important role of infectious-particle inhalation in person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2. 3,4 When planning any event, the first task should involve identifying the people most at risk of being exposed and the jobs, activities, and locations for which exposure will be the highest. When it comes to aerosol inhalation, the most important features of exposure are the concentration of infectious particles in the air and the length of time spent in contact with those particles. Concentration of particles depends on the number of infected people, the type of activity (i.e., the degree to which it generates aerosols), the amount of time that infected people spend in a particular space, and the degree of ventilation. Over long periods, physical distancing plays a less-relevant role in enclosed spaces, as particles become distributed throughout the space.
We believe that the IOC’s playbooks should classify events as low, moderate, or high risk depending on the activity and the venue and should address differences among these categories. For example, outdoor events for which competitors are naturally spaced out, such as sailing, archery, and equestrian events, may be considered low risk. Other outdoor sports for which close contact is unavoidable, such as rugby, hockey (field hockey), and football (soccer), could be considered moderate risk. Sports that are held in indoor venues and require close contact, such as boxing and wrestling, are probably high risk. Any sport that takes place indoors — even if athletes compete individually, as they do in gymnastics — will pose a greater risk than outdoor events. Protocols for keeping athletes and everyone else involved safe could vary on the basis of these risk levels.
The playbooks could also address differences among venues, including noncompetition spaces. Smaller, enclosed spaces where many athletes congregate, including stadiums, buses, and cafeterias, are higher-risk settings than outdoor areas. Hotels are likely to be high-risk areas, in light of close contact in shared rooms (three athletes per room will be standard), dining spaces, and other common areas and inadequate ventilation systems that were designed before the pandemic.
Because people with Covid-19 can be infectious 48 hours before they develop symptoms (and may not develop symptoms at all), routine temperature and symptom screening will not be effective for identifying presymptomatic or asymptomatic people. Polymerase-chain-reaction testing, at least once (if not twice) per day, is best practice, as the NFL experience shows. 2 The IOC plans to provide every athlete with a smartphone that has mandatory contact-tracing and health-reporting apps. Contact-tracing apps are often ineffective, however, and very few Olympic athletes will compete carrying a mobile phone. Evidence suggests that wearable devices with proximity sensors are more effective than such apps.
Comparison of Best Practices to Protect Public and Athlete Health with the IOC’s Current Plan.
We recommend that the WHO immediately convene an emergency committee that includes experts in occupational safety and health, building and ventilation engineering, and infectious-disease epidemiology, as well as athlete representatives, to consider these factors and advise on a risk-management approach for the Tokyo Olympics (see table ). There is precedent for such an approach: the WHO convened an emergency committee to provide guidance ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil during the Zika virus Public Health Emergency of International Concern in 2016. 5
A global health security strategy relies on understanding the interconnectedness among countries. If our experience facing Covid-19 represents a moment of truth, it also provides an unrivaled opportunity for the realization of human values and collective human interests — the world’s new contract — and for preparing to defeat future threats. With less than 2 months until the Olympic torch is lit, canceling the Games may be the safest option. But the Olympic Games are one of the few events that could connect us at a time of global disconnect. The Olympic spirit is unparalleled in its power to inspire and mobilize. We rally around the torch because we recognize the value of the things that connect us over the value of the things that separate us. For us to connect safely, we believe urgent action is needed for these Olympic Games to proceed.
If you do a search of “Condoms and Olympics,” you will get 6.6 million search results. Another time I got 27 million, then it switched back to 6.6, the next time I searched the same words. Weird, like everything else these days. The sixes and nines (2 plus 7) are consistently a figment of one’s imagination, surely. Because one made the mistake of becoming passably literate in Masonic signaling and symbolism, a few months ago—now one can’t shake the sixes and nines. Or the faint guilt about being a paranoid outcast. One wants to turn back, or get some resolution. Neither are options. Perhaps we can laugh.
I wondered if the number reflected articles on condoms and/or the Olympics, or if it meant Condoms and Olympics.
Why would anybody search those words to begin with?
Yesterday afternoon, I read (against my will) about the latest “news” from Masonic Globalist land, pertaining to this subject, and my mind started making connections. Things I’d been staring at since the late 1980s began to “make sense.”
First, the PSYOP itself, launched 2 days ago, in choreographed global media:
“Condoms will be distributed to the athletes — but not until they’re leaving the Tokyo Games. Athletes will be allowed to bring alcohol into the village — but allowed to consume it only if they’re alone in their rooms.
“The distribution of condoms at the Olympics began in 1988 to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS, and the number [of] condoms given away at subsequent Games has skyrocketed. From 8,500 at the Seoul Games in 1988 to 450,000 at the Rio Games in 2016 Olympics, where Brazilian officials sought to curb the spread of the Zika virus.”
Reuters ran a similar story.
[Both outlets are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.]
Even though it’s futile and depressing, I began to deconstruct all this in my mind.
Lest I get stuck here, I need to say it quickly, like telegrams: The Masonic Globalists have infiltrated every facet of “life” and they hijack things, as they accuse “viruses” of doing to your cells. Things once thought to be normal, or at least not overtly Luciferian. Sports, music, airlines, fast food. Banks.
No corporate space is free of this woke propaganda anymore. Every major airline has the LGBTQ (and maybe P) flag in its logo (see Twitter) and even most churches in cities like New York are festooned with LGBTQ rainbow flags, even at the altar, displacing the cross. (I have an actual photo of this.)
What does it all mean, besides domination, humiliation and abuse?
The Olympic Games are central to the ritualism of the woke Vatican. (So is, for that matter, the actual Vatican.)
Then there is the almighty Condom—the God of Rubber, separation, and Contagion Faith.
The Condom became a worshipped globalist artifact and symbol in or around 1988, with the establishment of the Church of HIV, AIDS, Safer Sex, and LGBTQ.
The LGBTQ Industrial complex has nothing to do with "homosexuality” and everything to do with trans-humanism, let’s just get that out of the way.
I was close friends with the inventor of Safe Sex, Michael Callen, who was a “multi-factorialist,” and who tried to tell us that fast lane bathhouse receptive gay men in the 1980s were sick from an acquired illness that was unique to their exposures to toxins and stressors. These included: Amyl nitrites, recreational drugs, multiple STDs, chronic antibiotic use, poor diet, lack of sleep, and many other things. I can’t bear going over this again, but here is a link to the last interview I did with Michael, in 1993, prior to his death from AIDS (proper) in 1994.
Michael (and Richard Berkowitz, a gay sex worker and writer) invented “Safe Sex” for what Callen called “promiscuous gay men”, (receptive) in order to lessen various STDs and try to survive AIDS.
Michael called Safe Sex his “baby” and was horrified what became of it. He never wanted anybody to worship it, weaponize it, or ask people to pretend it was fun. That’s what he said. He wanted people to accept it as a bummer, a sacrifice, to try to stay alive, period.
[A history of “Heterosexual AIDS” PSYOP here.]
I write to you from what remains alive in my memory, because opening archival boxes gets me into quicksand. The things I remember, I remember for a reason.
The last time Michael and I spoke, he was lying on the sofa in his Greenwich Village apartment, and his one leg was terribly swollen. I told him at some point I was thinking about electromagnetism and rubber. Condoms. Not for my sake, but it came to me as a form of incoherent yet persistent anxiety. I didn’t yet have the words “spiritual attack.”
“What if condoms are interfering with a very important transmission?”
I said something like that. I was concerned about human beings being cut off, entirely cut off. Something about it struck me as very threatening. He hoisted himself up and became very animated, insistent. “You must write about this,” he said. “You will have your head handed to you by my people, but you must do it. You must promise.”
”Ok,” I said. “I promise.”
Prior to all this, condoms were just a bad option for birth control. Right?
Michael Callen was placed in my path, at the beginning of my ill-fated AIDS reporting, and at the time I was certain we could set everything straight. No pun intended.
He was sitting at an adjacent booth at an AIDS conference in Washington DC, in 1988, and he turned around, and more or less said: “There is no mystery why gay men are getting sick. If your editor will publish it, I will tell you the whole truth. You heterosexuals do not have a clue, and I don’t mean that as an insult.”
Again he told me I would have my head handed to me by his people but urged me to press on anyway. I think I should have voted to keep my head on my body, but journalism is a form of lunacy, especially in the very young.
That day, Michael became my guide, whistleblower, and primary source. Also Dr. Joe Sonnabend, his doctor, and his collaborator Richard Berkowitz. These three pioneers of the “multifactorial” model of AIDS were violently opposed by the Single Bullet army (HIV is the cause of AIDS, no co-factors) led by Larry Kramer and ACT Up. They won, and it became gospel in the media never to mention any differences between gay men and heterosexuals, because there supposedly were none. Anybody could “get it.” That meant catch it. Even though it was accurately and appropriately named Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and “HIV” was clearly neither transmissible nor a demonstrable pathogen capable of infecting and decimating cells to collapse a whole immune system.
Between 1988 and 2008, countless people all over the world fought this thing—including eminent scientists, Nobel laureates, politicians, lawyers, one head of state— but in hindsight one can see that it was impossible.
That’s how war works, with history told by the victors.
Because what Catherine Austin Fitts calls “Magic Virus” [she means “the Corona Virus”] was never demolished as an idea, because identity politics forbade this, the zombie ship sailed on toward its bio-reductionist new vistas, and now here we are.
I mean this: “HIV” [a collection of proteins with no genetic identity] had to be the “cause” of AIDS, for political, social, and economic reasons. It had to be the case that nothing that happened in what we were [not allowed to call] the gay lifestyle could impact an immune system, only a single “virus.” Political correctness displacing epidemiology. Now with Covid, the virtue signaling is geared toward the cult of separation and injections. But in both cases, political virtue signaling is the main event, in terms of how we think about it, what we believe. Not biology, not immunology, not epidemiology.
Single Virus Contagion was a globalist NWO religion in the making, mistaken by the earnest (dissenting scientists] for a flawed biological hypothesis.
There was one gay writer, and Harvard scholar, John Lauritsen, and one publisher, Charles Ortleb, who, from their besieged ship, The New York Native, exposed it all in real time. They presented, chapter and verse, the fraud of all of the AZT “trials,” and the deaths from that chemical agent, cast as AIDS deaths. They were of course attacked, bullied, and finally put out of business by Act Up, currently basking in the light of their 40th birthday profiles in depraved outlets like The New Yorker.
The condom story appeared to me like a 60-foot monster without a face. As I was reading it, I felt genuine despair.
We thought it had more or less petered out, no pun intended. But it has fused indelibly with the entire corporate culture, this insanity. [A must read here, Woke Inc.]
The PSYOP about condoms being given to the athletes only as they head home, brings separation, social engineering, and globalist pageantry to new levels of No Way.
Take note: “Casual sex,” is a good thing, but in the age of Covid, all contact and expressiveness, even applause at the games, is counter-revolutionary.
”Athletes will be allowed to bring alcohol into the village — but allowed to consume it only if they’re alone in their rooms.”
Are they kidding? No, they never are.
The microcephaly cases of “Zika” were clearly caused by industrial chemicals, AIDS was caused by chemically induced chaos, and I am not sure what Covid is. In the beginning it was a cluster of novel pneumonias, in Wuhan, China. Pneumonia is acquired, not contagious, generally caused by poverty compounded by pollution.
Now the chemical warfare is so advanced that the toxins are directly injected “into arms.” Joe Biden’s "goal” for at least 70% of Americans—getting at least one shot by Independence Day— is the new version of making America “great” again. And people on Facebook are happy he “won.”
He can’t talk. And that’s actually the only consolation. The Pharmaceutical NWO Industrial Complex does not need a President who thinks or talks, so long as he can keep incanting “shots into arms,” the way Act Up used to chant “drugs into bodies.”
Am I traumatizing you? I still think words can work as spell-breakers.
What depressed me the most was the dredging up of these non-isolated, non- pathogenic non-viruses (HIV, Zika, Covid) as interlinked bio-demons, inverted deities, woven into the kitsch culture of the Olympic Games, the way Lenin was projected from every street corner into the minds and souls of the citizens of the former USSR.
“Gaslighting” does not begin to describe it it just feels like the end of the world. It isn’t only condoms, lockdowns, masks and shots that induce “separation”— they have managed to make separation the sole objective, the sole virtue of the epoch. You should not want anything except separation, in this vast waiting room we’re trapped in.
[Future writings will address how we can answer and overcome this.]
I need to de-encrypt the Olympics “story.” Full circle, from 1988 to 2001 is something like this:
Forget all the commands and doctrines of “safer sex.” All human contact is forbidden, as is any lamentation of the loss. As an extra slap in the face, Olympic athletes must bow their heads and receive their Olympic condoms only after the games are over, as they head home, and this only to make sure they pay proper homage to “AIDS awareness” from their lonely apartments wherever they live.
(Because, of course, the Olympic athlete has not been born who knows how to get hold of a condom in Tokyo.)
I wish they would refuse. All those years of sweat and toil to become Olympic athletes, only to be subjected to a public humiliation ritual after earning millions for the corporations? Sent home with a set of condoms to ponder whether they are sufficiently “aware” of “HIV/AIDS” or “Zika.”
I’m trying to “understand” it, for some reason, to type out its inverted logic:
So the condoms were not to be distributed throughout the Olympic Village because… HIV/AIDS, the former pandemic cult, had now been phased out? Now nobody should even want to have “casual sex” anymore, but they may want to get drunk, in which case, they’re welcome to do, so alone in their rooms? Just before they break records in their chosen sport. Maybe after. The finale is the withheld condom kit— withheld, why? Because it implies something still vaguely human? Is the virus cult’s former deity, the Condom, being retired to the status of an old Egyptian God, like Osiris? To stare at in solitary confinement, driving home the point that no right-minded person would wish to have used it? Except to possibly raise levels of AIDS awareness, once back home?
Are they really this deranged? Do they really believe they’re imprinting actual people with these religious beliefs, these chastisements?
We all missed it, in 2012, but there it was in plain sight.
Masonic Satanic Kitsch, Covid predictive programming, NHS worship, towering ghouls, dancing nurses, and Mike Oldfield himself performing Tubular Bells. The soundtrack for The Exorcist. Watching it, you are not to see that this spectacle is (literally) Satanic.
Because clearly, it’s not at all.
Impact of age-specific immunity on the timing and burden of the next Zika virus outbreak
The 2015–2017 epidemics of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas caused widespread protective immunity. The timing and burden of the next Zika virus outbreak remains unclear. We used an agent-based model to simulate the dynamics of age-specific immunity to ZIKV, and predict the future age-specific risk using data from Managua, Nicaragua. We also investigated the potential impact of a ZIKV vaccine. Assuming lifelong immunity, the risk of a ZIKV outbreak will remain low until 2035 and rise above 50% in 2047. The imbalance in age-specific immunity implies that people in the 15–29 age range will be at highest risk of infection during the next ZIKV outbreak, increasing the expected number of congenital abnormalities. ZIKV vaccine development and licensure are urgent to attain the maximum benefit in reducing the population-level risk of infection and the risk of adverse congenital outcomes. This urgency increases if immunity is not lifelong.