20200523S Day 144: BC and AC, Before and After Coronavirus

Sign at Capitola Village Beach – May 23, 2020.

One benefit I gain from having a small number of followers and viewers of my blog is that the odds are large that major news sources are not getting their story ideas from me. If I read something randomly in the news that I feel generates an event in my past, it’s synchronistic.

As an example, I just read a CNN article discussing how the recent WHO vote around China shows that geopolitics is changing post pandemic. What felt synchronistic to me, was the following words from the article starting with “five months into 2020”:

“Five months into 2020 and it already feels like a new era: now there is only BC and AC — before and after coronavirus.” If I imagine that time can go backwards too, and that when we act in the present, it is also affected by our potential futures as well as our potential pasts.

Then I can understand how me reading this quote randomly in this moment is one of the possible futures that I felt in my past when I started writing my blog posts with “Day 1”, “Day 2”, etc. And then added “Day 0”, “Day -1”, etc.

The CNN news article that I started reading this morning was this one: https://cnn.com/2020/05/23/world/pandemic-world-order-trump-intl/index.html

Oh wow! I’m looking back at my day 0 post, which was the first one I searched for to find a link, and it is also about the WHO! Even feels more synchronistic to me!!

https://surfingtheuniverse.com/2020/05/07/20191231t-day-0-pneumonia-unknown-etiology-detected-in-wuhan-city-hubei-province-of-china/

As the link confirms, I started writing Day 0 and Day -1 posts on May 7th, which was 128 days after Dec 31st. 128 is significant to me because of its binary conversion. I remember struggling with whether to call Dec 31st Day 0 or Day -1.

I have had this blog for a while. It stated as mainly a place to post the pages of the first and only book I’ve written: Surfing the Multiverse: Finding Happiness One Universe at a Time by J. Sands Loch

The book is a very lightly edited copy of the original journal entries I wrote as I had my first experience of noticing that the world is not as it appears – that reality can be viewed through a lens of parallel universes and things make more sense.

Writing the book felt partly like writing a personal diary and partly like channeling words from another source of knowledge. I’ve never had such a strong urge to write and have never written with such regularity. After writing it, I told few. But I began using the knowledge.

When I viewed the world through a lens of multiple parallelish worlds all going on simultaneously and interfering with one another, the world as I experienced it made more sense to me and I could understand cause and effect in a timeless manner.

So now, while it is still a bit surprising and somewhat against my scientific method training to believe that my reading of a CNN article today affected my blogging in the past, I suspend my belief in the unidirectionality of time and accept what flows from there.

This allows me to understand why I suddenly started almost daily blogging at the beginning of this year:

https://surfingtheuniverse.com/2020/01/01/2020-day-1-seeing-is-believing-good-morning-new-universe/

And why 9 days later I was blogging about coronavirus infections in Wuhan:

https://surfingtheuniverse.com/2020/01/09/day-9-new-strain-of-coronavirus-found-in-wuhan-china/

And why 80 days later, I was still blogging on the novel coronavirus pandemic and felt as if I had universe surfed into a pandemic wormhole.

https://surfingtheuniverse.com/2020/03/20/20200320f-day-80-first-80-days-of-surfing-into-a-pandemic/

I’m curious how this thread will appear and be read in parallel worlds. When I wrote the first post, I had to correct it because the first time I wrote it, I wrote “odds are small” instead of what I meant to say “odds are large”. Luckily the words have the same number of letters.

20200522F Day 143: The Beginning of the End

Today is the beginning of a long Memorial Day weekend. It is also the End.

Here are some of the Universes in which it is the End:

  1. It is the Beginning of the End of our social liberties.
  2. It is the Beginning of the End of our flattening of the curve, and now infections are going to go up.
  3. It is the Beginning of the End of our fear of this novel coronavirus.
  4. It is the Beginning of the End of our belief that social distancing is necessary to stop the pandemic.
  5. It is the Beginning of the End of social distancing and shelter-in-place rules.
  6. Is is the Beginning of the End of the stock market crash.
  7. It is the Beginning of the End of requiring mask wearing.
  8. It is the Beginning of the End of high unemployment.

20200521h Day 142: Spacetime Independent Probabilistic Blockchain

My how time flies when you’re surfing through the multiverse. (Natural Bridges State Beach, May 21, 2020)
This thought is staying with me, that when we are moving “parallel”, then our experience of time is distorted.
Reading this quote again makes me smile. It would be interesting if science is able to detect parallel universes. If there is interference between parallel universes, then this should be detectable. If not, then it’s just a mental model. I find that even as a mental model, it’s a helpful for me in understanding reality.
This was just word association from Danielle’s original “spacetime on a hashtable” tweet.

20020526T Santa Cruz, CA: I took a break from blogging, so plan to revisit some of the tweets I made on each day that I didn’t blog. The above are from May 21st.

Spacetime Independent Probabilistic Blockchain: Blockchain is today used to permanently capture/guarantee a sequence of events in time. I was imagining blockchain used to capture changes in the probability of events occurring in a time and space independent manner. So the blockchain would store the current answer to the question “in a random universe within a distance of my current universe, what is the percent chance that EVENT occurs”, for a particular EVENT.

Whenever a probability was updated, then it may cause a change in other probabilities. The “proof of work” would be to come up with which probabilities would change the most and the amount of change in these probabilities. Perhaps it would be enough work to just determine whether a probability goes up, down, or stays the same.

The benefit of this over traditional cryptocurrency proof-of-work would be that useful work would be done to continuously update the probabilities stored in the blockchain and this information would be of great value to many people.

One issue would be coming up with the algorithm/system to compute the updated probabilities.

20200520W Day 141: Surfing to a Universe with more Massages

On Wed, I gave my beloved a full-body massage using her new massage table. I’ve given only two or three full-body massages. She is trained as a massage therapist, but I am not – at least not in this universe. I can easily feel that I’m a massage therapist in a parallel universe. I remember when I first felt my massage therapist universe. It was the year 2000, right after the dot com crash. Lots of jobs were being outsourced to low-wage countries where they could be performed remotely. I remember thinking how one career that would be difficult to outsource to a foreign land would be massage therapist.

Unfortunately, this inability to perform remotely is making life difficult for massage therapists, most of whom are not able to work due to shelter-at-home rules. In Santa Cruz County (and the rest of California), massage therapists are prohibited from working. This is different than physical therapists and chiropractors, who also work closely with clients.

20191218W Day -13: Noroviruses, like small naked Coronaviruses

20200521h Santa Cruz, CA: When I investigated what was going on back on Dec. 18, 2019, the first thing I ran across was a New York Times article by Jessica Grose on a Norovirus outbreak at an elementary school. Some points made in the article:

  1. There are multiple strains of norovirus migrating around the world. Catching one strain does not prevent you from catching a different strain;
  2. Noroviruses are seasonal and most active during Nov-Apr in the Northern Hemisphere and May-Oct in the Southern Hemisphere;
  3. Noroviruses are highly contagious stomach viruses that cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea;
  4. Noroviruses are able to live on surfaces for days;
  5. Infected people can shed billions of virus particles for two weeks or more;
  6. As few as 10 virus particles are needed to cause an infection;
  7. If there is an outbreak at a school, then kids should change our of their clothes as soon as they get home and leave their clothes and backpack at the front door;
  8. Infected people should self-quarantine;
  9. Active infections normally last 1 to 3 days; and
  10. Avoid going to the E.R. if you are infected.

From wikipedia, the following additional facts:

  1. Noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis, responsible for about 18% of all cases worldwide;
  2. There is no vaccine or specific treatment;
  3. There are an estimated 685 million cases of disease and 200,000 deaths worldwide associated with norovirus infections, 25% of which are children under the age of five;
  4. Noroviruses are named after the city of Norwalk, Ohio, after an outbreak in 1968;
  5. Like coronaviruses, noroviruses are single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses;
  6. Unlike coronaviruses, noroviruses are non-enveloped (naked capsid) viruses;
  7. The norovirus genome is linear and non-segmented, with a length of about 7500 bases;
  8. The norovirus capsid varies in size from 23-40nm in diameter. The smallest 23nm capsids are composed of 60 VP1 proteins and the largest 40nm capsids are composed of 180 VP1 proteins;
  9. The estimated mutation rate is 12-14 substitutions per 1000 sites per year, which is considered high for RNA viruses;
  10. Diagnosis of norovirus infection is made via PCR assays within a few hours, with detection ability of as few as 10 virus particles;
  11. Infection by one strain of norovirus generally provides immunity against reinfection by the same strain for 6-24 months;
  12. Noroviruses can survive for weeks on hard and soft surfaces, and for months to years in still water; and
  13. Individuals with different ABO(H) histo-blood group phenotypes are infected by noroviruses in a genotype-specific manner.

Regarding blood-type, I found an article by Prof. Patricia L. Foster on livescience: Your Blood Type Might Influence Your Risk of Getting the Stomach Flu. Some interesting facts from the article:

  1. Noroviruses can survive in temperatures from 32 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit; and
  2. As naked-capsid viruses, noroviruses are resistant to alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Here is a interesting quote from the article regarding blood type specific infections:

When norovirus is ingested, it initially infects the cells that line the small intestine. Researchers don’t know exactly how this infection then causes the symptoms of the disease. But a fascinating aspect of norovirus is that, after exposure, blood type determines, in a large part, whether a person gets sick.

Your blood type — A, B, AB or O — is dictated by genes that determine which kinds of molecules, called oligosaccharides, are found on the surface of your red blood cells. Oligosaccharides are made from different types of sugars linked together in complex ways.

The same oligosaccharides on red blood cells also appear on the surface of cells that line the small intestine. Norovirus and a few other viruses use these oligosaccharides to grab onto and infect the intestinal cells. It’s the specific structure of these oligosaccharides that determines whether a given strain of virus can attach and invade.

https://www.livescience.com/blood-type-stomach-flu-norovirus-risk.html

20200519T Day 140: Drive Shack Opens Up

Wind Surfing Beach near Davenport, CA – May 19, 2020

One stock that my brother recommended to me was Drive Shack. It is a Top Golf competitor that, as most other non-essential businesses, has been closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, they opened back up and their stock opened up on Tues as well, closing at $1.43.

On Tues I visited a new beach where I saw some wind surfers. It reminded me of my kite surfing in Morocco.

I also worked a bit on my RV – mainly cleaning it up and testing the fridge which still refuses to operate.

 

20191219h Day -12: Influenza Immunity and Vaccines

image
3D computer-generated rendering of an influenza virus. (Credit: Dan Higgins, courtesy of CDC/ Douglas Jordan)

20200520W Santa Cruz, CA: The first article to catch my eye today as I looked back to Dec 19, 2019, is Why your first battle with flu matters most, a article from the University of Arizona about a research paper published online on this same date: Childhood immune imprinting to influenza A shapes birth year-specific risk during seasonal H1N1 and H3N2 epidemics.

The researchers looked at Influenza virus subtypes H1N1 and H3N2 and found that “birth year-specific differences in childhood immune imprinting, not differences in evolutionary rate, explain differences in H1N1 and H3N2’s age-specific impacts.”

A result found by the researches was evidence to support the view that immune protection is stronger when acquired as a child rather than as an adult:

The fact that elderly cohorts show relatively weak immune protection against H3N2, even after living through decades of seasonal exposure to or vaccination against H3N2, suggests that antibody responses acquired in adulthood do not provide the same strength or durability of immune protection as responses primed in childhood.

Another possible conclusion not mentioned is that the H3N2 vaccinations, versus naturally acquired immunity, may partially explain the reduced immune protection in adults.

The University of Arizona article has some interesting quotes:

“Clearly, something compromises the immunity to strains that you see secondarily, even if they belong to the same group as your first exposure,” Worobey adds. “The second subtype you’re exposed to is not able to create an immune response that is as protective and durable as the first.”

In other words, our ability to fight off the flu virus is determined not only by the subtypes we have encountered over the course of our lives, but also by the sequence in which we have encountered them.

“Whichever subtype our immune system sees first lays down an imprint that protects us especially well against strains of the same subtype,” Worobey says, “but relatively poorly against strains from other subtypes, even though you’ve encountered those subsequently.”

The molecular causes of this effect are currently being studied, according to the researchers.

“Part of your immune system’s response to current infection is directed against the strain you first had as a kid, and that investment of fighting the last war appears to compromise your ability to form a fully effective immune response to the invader you encounter later,” Worobey says.

Regarding vaccines, Worobey, one of the researchers, has this to say:

“We need a vaccine that targets the deficits on an individualized level,” Worobey says. “Our work has clearly shown that the first virus we had can have a profound long-term effect. The bad side of that is that our immune system seems to be locked into fighting just one half of flu genetic diversity, and we need to find ways of breaking that.”

This research suggest to me that if we keep SARS-CoV-2 from infecting our children today, then they will be more susceptible to infection from SARS-CoV-2 even decades from now. It also makes sense to me that vaccines should not be the first solution thought of when deciding how to protect the population from a pathogen, and perhaps should be the last solution considered. Instead, the development of anti-virals that can assist the immune system in fighting off a viral pathogen make more sense. This would allow the body to naturally develop an immunity. Also, we need to develop treatments to improve recovery time and protect the body from the long-term effects of a particular viral infection.