The Twitter account @boriquagato was recently banned. The holder regularly posted about COVID-19. He moved to Substack where he posted the following about the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant. (SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. It stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2.)
delta, delta, delta (variant), el gato malo, 14 June 2021
The delta variant looks somewhat more contagious and dramatically less dangerous.
That a virus would take this course (more contagious, less virulent) is expected:
this is entirely in keeping with basic biological and epidemiological prediction and expectation. a virus is not some evil foe seeking to maximize harm, it’s a set of biological instructions trying to self-replicate. harming hosts is maladaptive. the evolutionary gradient of a virus as it becomes endemic is to be more contagious and less harmful. ideally, it would pose no harm or, as many bacteria have managed, to become outright beneficial.
He backed up his claim with this chart. Delta has high case numbers but a relatively low case fatality rate (CFR, last column, 0.1%):
Here’s a newer chart I found. Says the same thing. Delta looks to be more contagious and less virulent than the other variants.
This is UK data. Both of these charts can be found at the UK government site:
Research and analysis, Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: technical briefings
The CFRs for the Delta variant, from above, are between 0.1-0.2%. For comparison, seasonal flu has a case fatality rate of 0.1%
Delta, at least in the UK, is on its way to becoming the dominant variant, which isn’t a bad thing:
it’s what makes a pandemic end. you cannot eradicate a virus. covid zero is a ridiculous and impossible task. but having the virus shift to a variant that spreads faster and poses so little risk is the next best thing.
you WANT delta to be all over the place. you want it to be the one that goes endemic. if, indeed, it winds up to be far lower risk than flu, then this is well and truly over.
Where do vaccines fit in this? I’ve seen UK data that shows the fatality rate in vaccinated people is higher than in unvaccinated people. But good data is hard to come by right now.
There’s a lot more to understand, but for me this was a bit of good news.