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Thread: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

  1. #1
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    Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    I know this thread will probably arouse a fair bit of controversy, but it does now appear that for most people Covid (Omicron variants) is now nothing more than the flu/bad colds.

    Of course there's still exceptions I know, but yesterday I was wondering if Omicron Covid could now start being treated like Swine Flu back in 2009, in the sense that there were no lockdowns/restrictions back then, nor did we have to social distance or wear face masks, etc. Also there were no such thing as LFT kits back then either, which are now also ubiquitous.

    The only 'restrictions'/measures I really recall back then were infected persons having to self-isolate until they had fully recovered and us having to regularly gel our hands. Apart from those, it was all pretty much a walk in the park compared to Covid, even though Swine Flu seemed pretty damn terrifying for what it was at the time.

    Once again, I know I'll probably get shot down in flames over this thread but I still have no intention whatsoever to play down nor trivialise Covid in any way.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    I mean, where I live in the states has virtually done away with all “protective” measures even through this latest surge of primarily Omicron. Seems to have taken a “herd immunity” stance.

    For reference, my county is the largest in my state, 600,000 people roughly. We went from under 100 cases per day to over 1,800 cases per day in the span of a two week time period. Vaccination rate for those eligible is around 70% in my county (at least one dose). Hospitals are full, no beds available, staff out sick. Where I work we were operating on about half our staff for a 3 week period or so. People with everyday illnesses (heart attacks, strokes, traumas) we’re not getting the care they needed in a timely fashion, so unneeded deaths were up. There weren’t enough staff, or healthy people, to give blood donations - so our supply was almost depleted.

    All that being said, cases are starting to decline (don’t have a full week of data yet so tough to say if this will be a continuing trend or just a blip), hospital space is starting to improve, and we only had a couple people out sick on Friday at work. So maybe we’re about to come out on the other side of this.

    This, from all appearances, seems to be much, much more infectious than any prior virus or disease that we’ve experienced. I do believe comparing it to swine flu is an apples to oranges comparison, but I also see what you’re getting at. The problem with treating this as “any old virus” right now is the severe shortage of the drugs that are known to help currently, and the ability to rapidly overwhelm the health care system that is in place. In my opinion, basic precautions should still be taken until we have a drug stockpile built up of things like paxlovid, to keep people out of hospital and not risk overwhelming the hospital systems.

    this is just my opinion though and is in no way meant to have a dig at you personally or anything Lenco. I absolutely see where you’re coming from, and my eventual hope is that we can treat this thing like the flu or any other virus! And I really hope we get to that point soon!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    Quote Originally Posted by glassgirlw View Post
    I mean, where I live in the states has virtually done away with all “protective” measures even through this latest surge of primarily Omicron. Seems to have taken a “herd immunity” stance.

    For reference, my county is the largest in my state, 600,000 people roughly. We went from under 100 cases per day to over 1,800 cases per day in the span of a two week time period. Vaccination rate for those eligible is around 70% in my county (at least one dose). Hospitals are full, no beds available, staff out sick. Where I work we were operating on about half our staff for a 3 week period or so. People with everyday illnesses (heart attacks, strokes, traumas) we’re not getting the care they needed in a timely fashion, so unneeded deaths were up. There weren’t enough staff, or healthy people, to give blood donations - so our supply was almost depleted.

    All that being said, cases are starting to decline (don’t have a full week of data yet so tough to say if this will be a continuing trend or just a blip), hospital space is starting to improve, and we only had a couple people out sick on Friday at work. So maybe we’re about to come out on the other side of this.

    This, from all appearances, seems to be much, much more infectious than any prior virus or disease that we’ve experienced. I do believe comparing it to swine flu is an apples to oranges comparison, but I also see what you’re getting at. The problem with treating this as “any old virus” right now is the severe shortage of the drugs that are known to help currently, and the ability to rapidly overwhelm the health care system that is in place. In my opinion, basic precautions should still be taken until we have a drug stockpile built up of things like paxlovid, to keep people out of hospital and not risk overwhelming the hospital systems.

    this is just my opinion though and is in no way meant to have a dig at you personally or anything Lenco. I absolutely see where you’re coming from, and my eventual hope is that we can treat this thing like the flu or any other virus! And I really hope we get to that point soon!!
    Thank you very much for your reply Glassgirl.

    I do agree that comparing Covid and Swine Flu is like comparing apples with oranges, hence why I started this thread on a cautious note.

    What certainly hasn't helped during this pandemic is all the egotistical know-it-all busybodies masquerading as wannabe 'experts', spreading misinformation on social media, such as 'this pandemic has been 'engineered', 'vaccines are bad for us', and even the polar opposite, such as 'this pandemic is the beginning of the end of the world', and various other OTT claims.

  4. #4
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    Something that has to be defined is whether the Omicron variant has indeed become less lethal, or if the apparent fall in lethality is attributed to high vaccination coverage and immunity from previous infection.

    Of course, being vaccinated and/or previously infected has done very little to slow the spread of Omicron, but itís entirely possible that a degree of population immunity from vaccination or previous infection has been at play with keeping the numbers of severe outcomes lower.

    Most viruses donít actually evolve into a less lethal version, itís just that as they evolve our bodies evolve to deal with it. We can accelerate that with vaccination, but generally viruses become less lethal over time due to us encountering them and our immune systems learning to deal with them.

    How we treat it going forward is still a bit of a mystery. Itís going to be an endemic virus, eradication just isnít going to happen. Personally, I think weíll see seasonal spikes due to closer indoor contact during winter months. I think those deemed at risk will be offered a yearly vaccine. In that sense, it would be like flu, but I think thereís still far too many variables and uncertainties to do anything other than go with current scientific consensus.

  5. #5
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary A View Post
    Something that has to be defined is whether the Omicron variant has indeed become less lethal, or if the apparent fall in lethality is attributed to high vaccination coverage and immunity from previous infection.

    Of course, being vaccinated and/or previously infected has done very little to slow the spread of Omicron, but itís entirely possible that a degree of population immunity from vaccination or previous infection has been at play with keeping the numbers of severe outcomes lower.

    Most viruses donít actually evolve into a less lethal version, itís just that as they evolve our bodies evolve to deal with it. We can accelerate that with vaccination, but generally viruses become less lethal over time due to us encountering them and our immune systems learning to deal with them.

    How we treat it going forward is still a bit of a mystery. Itís going to be an endemic virus, eradication just isnít going to happen. Personally, I think weíll see seasonal spikes due to closer indoor contact during winter months. I think those deemed at risk will be offered a yearly vaccine. In that sense, it would be like flu, but I think thereís still far too many variables and uncertainties to do anything other than go with current scientific consensus.
    I think you're right Gary, it's still a case of 'wait and see', and 'take it as it comes'.

    Nevertheless, most of us no longer seem to be scared witless over Omicron (BA.1 or BA.2), unlike before Christmas when it was seemingly feared to be the 'second coming' of Covid!

  6. #6
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    Until they split out the numbers of coincidental cases I dpntbthink they can say. Hospitals became overwhelmed due to churn as opposed to lower levels of more serious illness (from what I can see) but it's the pros that need to break that down into a proper analysis.

    One interesting element is how ventilation beds initially increased but started to decrease whilst Omicron admissions were still increasing. There will be some overlap with Delta in the serious cases. But just looking at the graphs you can easily see how this wave hasn't caused the same impact to the more serious cases.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    It's interesting because here (near where Glassgirl resides) our numbers are all over the place, but consistently higher than they have been yet. One week they are way up, the next they are lower, but even the "low" is still twice as much as it was even in the worst of it. Likely because omicron is so much more contagious? But it is so hard to get a test, and symptoms are different, it's safe to say the actual numbers are much higher. We've also, unfortunately, had the most local death in the past few weeks than we have yet.

    For me, I'm less afraid now that having Covid would be immediately fatal, but I am concerned about the potential of long term effects. Long covid, for one thing, even something simple as prolonged loss of taste/smell is disabling. They also don't yet know what could happen further down the line - there is just so much they don't know. It's a tricky disease, not quite as cut and dry as your regular flu, as it seems to infiltrate and infect so many different systems.
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    I think eventually we're going to have to. At this point, the one thing holding me back from just going back to "normal" is how unpredictable it is. But, I think a lot of that unpredictability will change with time as we get more and more informed on how the virus works and why it affects some people so much more than others. I was looking for a picture the other day in my google photos and actually started to tear up when I got to the pre-covid days. My daughter was 5 when this started and now she'll be 8 in 3 months. I got hit with overwhelming sadness about what her childhood has been and continues to be. So, I don't think we can all live like this for much longer. It's already been too long, really.

  9. #9
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    I don't know how it compares to swine flu, but I had someone tell me the other day that endemic covid is going to look more like endemic polio than endemic flu, because of the way that it can mess with more than just the respiratory system.

    What does that mean for going back to day to day life? I don't know. So much is up in the air right now, but especially in the US, I think there are going to be detrimental effects just because of our healthcare system. So many people are needing extra healthcare and it's obviously not widely available; I have good insurance through my job but it still nearly doubled in price this year, which is also scary.

    Personally, as someone who does have health anxiety, the road back to "normal" is going to be really hard for me. Much harder than it appears to be for others. Ultimately, vaccination is the best way forward, but again, so many people are unwilling that who knows.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Could Covid be treated more like Swine Flu now?

    Quote Originally Posted by .Poppy. View Post
    So much is up in the air right now, but especially in the US, I think there are going to be detrimental effects just because of our healthcare system.
    That and the extreme political divide in our nation. Its truly the worst I've seen in my lifetime :(

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