– At the beginning of the pandemic, many scientists predicted that the virus has no task to kill, so it will mutate, increasing its infectivity, but decreasing its aggressiveness. As a result, we see that new Delta-type mutations are not only transmitted much easier, but also lead to a more severe course of the disease. Why?
– I don’t think there is evidence that new strains make the disease worse. It’s just that viruses use human organisms as a reservoir for the selection of new, more adapted variants. Such selection, which allows living organisms to survive, is the main thesis of the Darwinian theory of evolution. Many have not yet been ill, and the virus has a place to unfold. Therefore, those variants of the virus that infect faster gain advantages and crowd out other variants. Their infectiousness increases, but the increase in severity is not at all obvious. The Delta variant is several times more contagious than its ancestor from Wuhan and than the lines of South Africa and Britain. The evolution of viruses is a natural process, and it will stop when most of them get sick or get vaccinated.
– Today, some experts are voicing the theory that prolonged vaccination only contributes to an even greater mutation of strains. Is it so?
– It seems to me that this is a typical case of shifting from a patient’s head to a healthy one. If a mass and rapid vaccination is carried out, the virus will have no place, and there will be no people left to infect it. In countries where vaccination is incomplete, the virus can infect the unvaccinated, and when they become infected, new variants of the virus appear that can get into the layer of vaccinated, but in most cases this does not lead to anything. Most often, viruses mutate in unvaccinated ones, and strains that can overcome the immunity of vaccinated ones may appear. And then a double evolutionary process takes place – the virus acquires variability on the unvaccinated and hones its properties on the vaccinated.
– Until recently, India was in the top of the news – the incidence there grew at a colossal pace. Now, despite the low rates of vaccination, it is also falling sharply. Why is that?
– If you look at infectious waves in all countries, then there has always been a sharp rise, moreover, often when no one was expecting it, and then the situation returned to a conditional norm. Our country was an exception – with our “norm” of 10 thousand cases per day, there are a lot. But the decline occurs for natural reasons: with a strong development of the epidemic, people begin to distance themselves and observe anti-epidemic measures, often without realizing it, and the state goes to new restrictions.
– There are versions that in India, the reason could be a massive prophylactic intake of one veterinary drug with unproven efficacy against coronavirus. In the social networks of Russia, sects of fans of this drug have already been formed …
“I don’t even know what it’s about. There is no antiviral drug for coronavirus. But surely there are people who believe in ginger, chaga, lemon and other strange things. Former US President Trump believed in the magical power of chlorex bleach.
– Why do we have such a strange attitude towards the coronavirus. You can get together on the subway, but you can’t go outside at the festival?
– I dont know. It would be helpful for the authorities to explain their actions. But if you think about it, you can understand why this is so. If you impose strict restrictions on travel on the subway, the city will stop and people will stop working. And large festivals, albeit in the open, that create crowding and spread infection, with all due respect, are not necessary for the economy to work.
– Why do some people get very sick, and some find antibodies, although there were no symptoms of the disease?
– This is a general question that has nothing to do with coronavirus. It depends on the characteristics of the immunity of each individual person and the characteristics of genetics that make people resistant to certain diseases. Everything is very individual, including not only genetics and lifestyle, but also the role of chance. After all, one gets a small dose of the virus, while the other gets a lot.
– At the beginning of the pandemic, there were attempts to identify the genes that are responsible for the severe course of covid, but since then nothing has been heard about this. Have such genes been identified?
– Allegations that there are supposedly genetic causes that affect the severity of the course of covid are irrelevant to reality. However, some people are able to quickly mobilize the antibody production system, which can help fight disease. Antibodies can be produced individually in different people.
– What determines the body’s ability to produce antibodies?
– For example, today there is an understanding that after the use of active vaccines, the level of antibodies rises for a while, and then decreases. But this does not mean that there is no immunity For the vast majority, it does not matter whether there are antibodies or not – it is important that the vaccine prevents the disease. However, the question of the duration of the protective effect of vaccines is still open. There is no clear scientific data on this topic, and it is pointless to demand them. Vaccines will be officially applied for 6-7 months, and it is impossible to say, for example, that they will give immunity for two years. It is interesting to measure antibodies, but it is pointless.
– Then you can say the same about those who have been ill? The duration of their immunity is also unknown?
– Yes. Antibody levels are often lower after an illness than after a vaccine. However, there are actually no clear statistics in our country on the frequency of recurrent diseases. There is only a feeling, at the level of data from real life. But, despite the fact that many write that they have been ill twice, in fact, the frequency of the risk of getting sick again is low. And in the risk group, first of all, the unvaccinated and people who have not yet been ill.
– In the world, flu mutations appear every 5-10 years, and the coronavirus has produced 4 different variants in 2 years. Why?
– New versions of influenza appear every year, which is why the vaccine is modified every year. But the coronavirus as a whole mutates less than the flu virus. Nevertheless, in a pandemic, when it rapidly spreads through the population, there is a natural process of selection of new adapted, more infectious variants, so alphas, beta, gammas, etc. appear. And this is not a conspiracy, but a natural process.
– There was a high mortality rate in India. Is there a dependence of vulnerability to coronavirus on nationality?
– There is no dependence on nationality or genetics. And India is far from the highest mortality rate. Even in the days of the “best”, 4 thousand people per day died there per half a million infected, this is less than 1 percent. For comparison: in Russia, if we take the official data on trust, the mortality rate is 2-3%, sometimes more, 3.5%.
– Some doctors say that this virus strains only the respiratory system, while others say that all organs are in danger. Why be afraid?
– The virus has a systemic effect, but from the point of view of a specific person it is not clear exactly where the severe damage will occur. Most often it occurs in the lungs, but it can also affect the vessels, the heart, and the liver. Therefore, it is important to prevent a serious illness, that is, to use all means of protection against infection.
– Is it true that children are not afraid of this virus at all?
According to available statistics, children get sick more easily. They are believed to have fewer receptors that the virus binds to like a key with a lock. Initially, the elderly were the most ill. But, although children rarely get seriously ill, they are carriers of the disease.
– If I go to the forest for two or three years, is there a chance that I will not get sick?
– Good question If we all agree, all 7 billion people, and each hide in his own house, exclude contacts with each other for a month or two, the epidemic will certainly come to naught. The only way the virus is transmitted is from person to person, and if there is none, the game will end.
– My wife and I sleep nose to nose, we are a lot together. She has 120+ antibodies, and I have 0. Is this possible?
– If this happened, it can mean anything. Your wife could have been asymptomatic, but you did not get infected. The wife may not have antibodies to SarsCov2, but to related viruses. Maybe she even got vaccinated without you knowing.
– What is the probability that the virus and its mutations are man-made?
– This is a hypothesis that cannot be ruled out, but also cannot be proved. If you are asking whether a certain Doctor Evil could have created this virus on purpose, the answer is definitely not. Scientists don’t yet know enough about viruses and their interactions with cells to create such a beautiful piece. Is it possible that he just ran away from their laboratory, where experiments were being conducted to study animal coronaviruses? It is possible. But to prove this, you need full access to reagents, refrigerators, etc. in the laboratory in Wuhan, as well as the opportunity to communicate with people working there who are not afraid to say what happened there. Which is real only in the event of a complete loss of China’s sovereignty.
It is also possible that the virus arose naturally by evolution, which is capable of anything.
– What, in your opinion, is the secret of China’s success in combating the pandemic?
– There are a lot of vaccinations, but this is clearly not the reason. The epidemic began to decline there very quickly. Although we do not know exactly what is there now. Perhaps draconian measures, which we never dreamed of, worked.
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