20200214F Day 45: Near Universe where 2019 Novel Coronavirus is in Austin

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Today, the CDC announced that individuals who display flu-like symptoms and who test negative for the flu should be tested for coronavirus. This is to start in a few of the larger cities (e.g. San Francisco, New York). Also today, I went to the urgent care with my partner to get tested for the flu. She has flu-like symptoms and tested negative for the flu. We asked about testing for novel coronavirus and the doctor had heard something about it being tested in some cities. She told us not to worry because COVID-19 has only a 2% mortality rate and that the flu kills many more people. She seemed to imply that the flu has a higher mortality rate, but I didn’t want to get into a math lesson with her when I figured she was just trying to ease our worries. “The only coronavirus confirmed case is in quarantine in San Antonio”, she said. She also mentioned that a number of people had been in today with flu symptoms and for some reason the flu tests were coming back negative. “Maybe something wrong with the flu tests”, she said. I mentioned that we had just flown in the day before from California. This didn’t seem to raise any concern. She knew about the Diamond Princess cases – she called the ship the “death ship” and was appalled that people were being kept on it instead of being quarentined in their own country.

I did notice the sign on the front door about letting them know if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19. I’m curious if the doctor would have still welcomed us with a handshake if we came in wearing masks.

20200212W Day 43: Universes Colliding as Coronavirus Daily Cases Increase 10x

This post is delayed a day. Yesterday I flew to Austin from Santa Cruz. It reminded me of the trips I would make back and forth six years ago. I remembered how I would often feel in a different universe when I was in one place versus the other. This trip has given me a similar feeling. I’m now in a universe where reported worldwide Coronavirus daily cases are up 10x over the day before. Chinese authorities announced they were changing the way in which they determine whether someone is infected by the novel coronavirus. Now, instead of needed to be tested, the doctor can make a determination themselves based on a diagnosis.

In this new universe, instead of the daily cases in China going down, it is now uncertain whether they are going down or going up due to having only one day of reporting using the new method.

20200211T Day 42: Surfing to a Universe where I analyze viral genomes

As an experiment, I’m going to try surfing to a universe where I analyze viral genomes. I had an early interest in the novel coronavirus outbreak over a month ago.  I felt myself moving close to universes where there was a coronavirus pandemic in 2020 Day 17: Wuhan Coronavirus infections in Thailand and Japan in which I wrote:

This morning I thought it would be interesting to use this blog as a way to experiment with quantum feeling parallel worlds. My hypothesis is that parallel worlds can be sensed, and that the feeling of sensing a parallel world is correlated with the feeling of a synchronicity, and furthermore that the synchronicity is related to an event that ties the parallel worlds together. For example, eight days ago I sensed a parallel world in which the Wuhan Coronavirus was a bigger event than it was in this world.

There’s not currently a pandemic in the strictest sense of the word, with the only country experiencing an outbreak thus far being China (ignoring the Diamond Princess cruise ship that recently had a doubling of cases to 135). The novel coronavirus has been provisionally named 2019-nCoV. A new name, SARS-CoV-2, has been proposed by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been named by the WHO as COVID-19.

In the universes where I analyze viral genomes, I am almost certainly analyzing SARS-CoV-2. I’m curious where this universe surfing will lead …

20200210M Day 41: Voyage of the Diamond Princess through the Multiverse

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In one set of universes, all the people on the Diamond Princess are enjoying a fabulous cruise. In another set of universes, they are quarantined in a Japanese harbor. In both sets, there are some universes where the only one infected is the 80-year-old man who boarded the cruise ship in Yokohama on Jan. 20th, was on a bus tour with 40 people in Kagoshima on Jan. 23rd, disembarked on Jan. 25th in Hong Kong, and tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Feb. 1st.

Here are the numbers of infected to date:

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There are many universes where the 80-year-old who first tested positive was not the only one infected of the over 3700 people on the cruise ship. To date, less than 10% of the passengers on the ship have been tested for the presence of the coronavirus. It appears we are in a universe where the Diamond Princess is being used to test assumptions about the spread of the coronavirus in a somewhat controlled setting.

20200209u Day 40: Conspiracy Theories in Multiple Realities

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When feeling into the quantum field of multiple worlds, I find it difficult to not fall down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories. One thing I do to stay grounded is pay attention to the classical facts that are continually present in the universe I’m in. I also acknowledge that due to the infinite nature of parallel worlds, almost all conspiracy theories are true in at least one reality. I don’t ask myself then whether a conspiracy theory is true or not. Instead, I ask myself how close it is to me – to my current classical reality. I also underweight conspiracy theories that I sense are being promoted for reasons other than reporting the truth.

As an example, consider the recent research paper which was preprinted on bioRxiv on Jan. 31, 2020 (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.30.927871) entitled Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag. This paper was retracted only a few days later. Some comments about it …

From https://www.statnews.com/2020/02/03/retraction-faulty-coronavirus-paper-good-moment-for-science/ :

The paper, from academic institutions in New Delhi, India, was critical and alarming, if true. Except that it wasn’t.

and this from https://theprepared.com/blog/no-the-2019-ncov-genome-doesnt-actually-seem-engineered-from-hiv/

In other words, the sequence overlap is not actually uncanny, and there is no big scoop here. The group in India fell prey to some of the pitfalls of bioinformatics research.

and factcheck.org also debunked the research article as a baseless conspiracy theory:

Several online stories inaccurately claim that the new coronavirus contains HIV “insertions” and shows signs of being created in a lab. But there is no evidence that the new virus was bioengineered, and every indication it came from an animal.

and ChinaDaily.com.cn article Coronavirus conspiracy debunked by Wuhan researcher:

A scientist from the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has debunked a recent conspiracy which claimed the novel coronavirus was manufactured and escaped from the institute’s most advanced biocontainment facility.

Shi Zhengli, a researcher from the institute, said on her social media on Sunday the virus was the result of “nature punishing the uncivilized habits and customs of humans”, and she is willing to “bet my life that [the outbreak] has nothing to do with the lab.”

Shi was the leading scientist who made the discovery the novel coronavirus can enter cells through ACE2 receptors and may have originated from bats.

Her comments came after Indian scientists recently published a non-peer reviewed paper suggesting scientists had artificially inserted genes from the HIV virus into the coronavirus, thus making it susceptible to anti-HIV treatments.

The paper was immediately panned by experts around the world and retracted from biology journal server bioRxiv on Sunday.

In a Twitter post commenting on the paper, David Liu, a chemistry professor from Harvard University, said: “The mere claim that such short inserts support nCoV origins ‘unlikely to be fortuitous in nature’ is already highly suspect.”

“This is a classic case of searching for lost keys only under a lamppost,” he said. “A fearful world does not need to fuel conspiracy theories with bad analyses.”

The last quote about searching for lost keys only under a lamppost is one I especially like. I’ve often told that joke. However, I’ve also learned that I can find my lost keys specifically by looking for them “under a lamppost”. I don’t end up finding them there, but the act of looking for them there seems to removed the lamppost as a possibility and once I’ve checked enough lampposts, then I can often look in the grass between the lampposts and find them.

After withdrawing the paper preprint, one of the authors commented:

While we appreciate the criticisms and comments provided by scientific colleagues at BioRxiv forum and elsewhere, the story has been differently interpreted and shared by social media and news platforms.

We have positively received all criticisms and comments. To avoid further misinterpretation and confusions world-over, we have decided to withdraw the current version of the preprint.

But just when you think everyone is in the same universe, evidence of interference between two sets of universes – one natural virus and one man-made virus – is still seen. The Taiwan News reports Chinese military news agency discloses 2019-nCoV was product of lab: Guide Wengui:

As conspiracies about the origin of the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) surface in recent weeks, exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui (郭文貴) said on Tuesday (Feb. 4) that Chinese military news network Xilu claimed the virus was engineered by the United States, which is strangely at odds with what Chinese health authorities have said.

@DrEricDing has some ideas on threader journalling his trip down the rabbit hole – with references!

At this point, the origin of 2019-nCoV is still in a superposition of states (wild and man-made), at least for most of the people on the planet.

 

 

20200208S Day 39: Using Full Moon Nights to Wormhole to Far Away Universes

I started writing daily blog posts on this wordpress blog at the beginning of the year 2020. I imagine that in many nearby parallel universes, I also started writing daily blog posts on this date as it is customary to have new year’s resolutions to mark the beginning of the Julian calendar. However, there are many other calendars in use across the world. It’s possible for me to surf to universes where the Julian calendar is not the chosen calendar of the West, or even universes where it doesn’t exist.

Imagine a world in which the moon phases and the seasons mark the passing of time. This world is know to be in our past and is also almost certainly in our possible futures. On the night of a full moon, it is possible to communicate with your parallel self across all the universes in which your parallel self is communicating back. While this is a somewhat arbitrary time to choose to communicate, it’s more likely than not that it would be a special time to communicate. Full moon ceremonies and gatherings are popular in the classical universe we experience and it takes only a small leap of faith to know that full moon nights are a sacred time across the multiverse.

So, I plan to use the remainder of the night before I sleep to meditate and attempt to communicate with my parallel self. I also plan to imagine a new habit I want to start for the next moon cycle – specifically a habit that I might have in a far, far away universe where there is no Julian calendar to guide me.