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Posts Tagged ‘pandemia’

Waiting for a vaccine

10 Aug

Two vaccines are close to Brazilians due to the participation of local research institutes, the Oxford vaccine, where the Brazilian Pedro M. Folegatti is on the development team (author of the article in The Lancet magazine), in which the laboratory also participates Fio Cruz with government incentive, and the Chinese vaccine in which the USP Butantã Institute participates in the testing stage, with an agreement from the São Paulo government for development.

The fact that the British laboratory AstraZeneca, which is in the development of the Oxford vaccine, closed an agreement to produce the vaccine in China through the company Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products, announced last Thursday, August 6, can cause confusion of interpretation. .

Vaccines also have different developments, while the Chinese vaccine follows the traditional development of vaccines for flu and some common diseases such as measles, cachumba and others, which is the development of a weaker dose of the virus itself thus producing immunity in the body, after some minor annoyances, in the case of the corona virus, a question remains, is there no possibility of reinfection, there are already cases all over the world, which are being studied.

The Oxford vaccine, which has the participation of FioCruz Brazilian Laboratory and encouragement from the Brazilian government, has already been explained in a post that is producing a non-replicating viral vector, it is modified and non-infectious, a protein hidden in the vector takes a protein that produces antibodies and immunizes the vaccinee, the Oxford laboratory says that with two doses it is 100% effective.

There are many other projects under development in the world, Chinese companies participate in addition to these two, in more than 8 of the 26 projects that lead the development of the vaccine because they are already in the stage of testing the vaccines in humans around the globe.

The race for the vaccine has two aspects, the positive is that there is a race that can bring the vaccine earlier, the other fearful is that safety steps are passed, Russia says it has a vaccine soon, but there are doubts about compliance with the protocols before mass vaccination, caution is needed.

 

 

The dark night of humanity

04 Aug

Watching political debates or even relevant issues of public life, a brief look at culture and religion, any angle that looks at the moment aggravated by the pandemic, it is relevant to point out the confused features of this civilizing moment.

It is a fact that we have already been through another pandemic, in frightening numbers the so-called “Spanish flu” in the middle of the 1st. world war, it was a great and humanitarian disaster that challenged humanity, and even then came the second war, the concentration camps and the Hiroshima bomb, but the contours of this moment seem even more serious, there is a crisis of thought.

What can be observed are phrases made with a doubtful impact, appeals to impossible optimism in the face of the pandemic scenario or the hope “after all this is over”, however as the vaccine does not reach reality it imposes it, even on the wise on duty a little sobriety, but still without the solidarity and humanity that would be desirable.

The crisis of thought already pointed out by Edgar Morin, Nicolescu Barsarab and many others, in addition to the scientific and technical debate, is the difficulty of composing elements that should go beyond the limits of specialties to solve problems beyond the disease, the social and the religious, to tackle the problem together would require an overall view and not an impoverished disciplinary view of specialists.

When less is seen by pure and simple analysis, the darker this night becomes, the foundations lost, even if the civilizing foundations can be overcome: the Greek culture, the Judeo-Christian religiosity that so many scholars had, also the Islamic with Avicenna, Averroes, Al-Khwarismi and more recently Abdus Salam, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.

Science is still strongly linked to the positivism and logicism of two centuries ago, while Karl Popper, Tomas Kuhn or Bachelard are still little known and confined in circles of “experts of the scientific method” which indicates a shallow reading of these questioners of conventional science.

The last century gave us Gustave Klimpt, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, the bold architecture of Antoni Gaudi, by Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, but the straight façades, the abuse of glass and crystals that appear for the first time in the Crystal Palace (photo), English architectural structure of the 19th century that invoked a recreation center for “education of the people”, cited by Sloterdijk and his disciple Byung Chul Han as representative of current architecture, as centers of consumption and “an architectural form was proclaimed as the key to capitalism . condition of the world ”(SLOTERDIJK, 2005, P. 279).

The Creator’s greatness and daily novelty are a stark contrast to repetitive, outdated religions that say nothing to the world today, about the pandemic oscillating between simple adherence to current discourse to models of solidarity and defense of life that are too fragile for tragedy pandemic.

SLOTERIJK, P. Crystal Palace,  Chapter 33 of in Globalen Inneren Raum des Kapitals: Für eine philosophische Theorie der Globalisierung (In the Global Inner Space of Capital: For a Philosophical Theory of Globalization). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2005, pg. 265-276.

 

The historical origin of hiding pandemic data

03 Aug

The idea of ​​hiding data about the pandemic had already occurred in the Spanish flu, which received this name only for political reasons since Spain remained neutral during the First World War, the original name was trench flu because it affected many soldiers and weakened some armies.

The idea of ​​hiding the disease was even supported by prestigious institutions, such as the Royal Academy of Medicine in London, until the end and 1918 few believed in the flu.

The name of Spanish influenza is also old, Brazilian newspapers (there was an article from the magazine A Careta, n. 537) used the name but as now the beginning of the fight against the disease was troubled, and the coercive measures defended by the sanitary Oswaldo Cruz were seen as a sanitary tyranny in the country and political groups opposed to the Wenceslau Braz (see the Brazilian daily) government saw the flu as a government pretext for intervention in the lives of the population.

Political use has also been made, but at this serious moment in history, it is desirable that true humanitarian spirits disarm themselves to defend the lives of the population, the action of doctors, aid groups and efforts for the vaccine.

The insistence on polarizing in such a tragic moment reveals only the decadence of the most expensive values ​​of compassion and solidarity, even by groups that should be more committed to joining efforts, and curiously we find even those on the other side of both solidarity and those seeking divert attention from the real enemy: the pandemic that affects everyone.

In the country, lost the opportunity to do a #lockDown when the disease was still located in some regions, now it has spread throughout the country and only the measures already known should continue to be adopted, I see medical teams and support services reaching depletion , the cases of infection of this true heroes continue to grow.

What is new is a worldwide tension in truly worrying limits, the departure from abandoning the basic foundations of society and attitudes that vary between conformism and the simple abandonment of any measure of protection and social isolation, such as the march of thousands of people in Germany.

The levels of the pandemic in Brazil remain stable, neither is it true that the pandemic is under control, nor is it true that there is a genocide in the country, simply the measures that could be taken were not, and time passed and the disease spread.

We are left with the hope of the vaccine, that of Oxford, one of the most reliable due to scientific criteria, the transparency of the working scientists (a detailed article was published in The Lancet magazine) and the rigor of the vaccine’s release stages, without being hit.

The post-pandemic is frightening because there are no attitudes of sobriety and balance even in conscious sectors of society, the impression of a humanism that is more political than true.

 

 

How to live a crisis and the stable plateau

27 Jul

Edgar Morin and Patrick Viveret wrote in 2010 “How to live in times of crisis” (Portuguese edition of 2013), and they certainly were not considered a pandemic, but they are already being seen as a potential horizon for humanity, and that horizon has certainly been aggravated .

Thus, philosophers and other types of visionaries who try to have a peaceful future have no foundation, or may even have, but based on philosophies and thoughts already overcome, a pandemic that demands even more from the great strategists and humanitarian thinkers.

On page 37 of the book it shows the symptoms of the crisis: “Wall Street knows only two feelings, euphoria and panic”, even without knowing it is what they think or promise “happiness”, but it is false and it follows depression, once analyzed more sensible can prepare for the next challenge.

The stable plateau has arrived, in terms of deaths, because the infection data are inaccurate, shows these peaks, now it is moving towards a stable plateau not only in Brazil, but in the world as a whole, it is because the infection cycle has reached the whole world, and in Brazil an entire country.

The cycle can be perceived as not as isolated poles of infection, even countries without new cycles that can be affected, but note that New Zealand and Taiwan are islands, so isolated by sea, they are more controllable, but trade can also reduce these countries.

Edgar Morin and his collaborator published in the book “Three mutations” important in the crisis and which are valid for a social situation of the pandemic, as they represent the ancient world, the world “nation states, industrial society, a segmented organization (see conflicts in the USA x China)… or the ecological challenge poses a question about what we are going to do with our planet ”(p. 57).

An industrial revolution put life in a frenetic way of life, “a classic industrial society that organizes itself in the classic sesame that you make of your life?”, And that remains a question that questions everyone, or recently launched in Portuguese “You have to change your life” by Peter Sloterdijk puts this around anthropotechnics, bringing to the debate a technical question.

MORIN, E.; VIVERET, P. Como viver em tempo de crise? (How to live in times of crisis?) Tradução: Clóvis Marques. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand do Brasil, 2013.

 

 

 

 

Has the pandemic changed humanitarian consciousness?

20 Jul

In his book Science with conscience, Edgar Morin asked the question: “Does scientific adventure lead us to catastrophe or to a better world?”, We replaced spiritual and popular knowledge and, in the meantime, we were unable to avoid war, we fought a pandemic, but and will our humanitarian relationship improve? I wanted to believe so, but it seems not.

We arrived in Brazil for the extension of the Plateau, which we announced since the beginning of May (post), but only now the major media and world organizations recognize it, and it should not fall until the plateau extends throughout the national territory, which already is happening, it runs until the end of July.

Many reflections arose about improving family relationships, and many improved, slowing down the fast pace of modern life, even decreased, but few people seem willing to a new lifestyle, a “new normal”, most want to go back to life previous: parties, consumption and addictions.

Of course, the pandemic only accelerated what was already going on, families with difficulties, with forced daily coexistence worsened, but those who did not find time, now have time, help with daily tasks, change the logic of polarized relationships and find the Other .

We made several posts in the past week about the good, indicating that its fragility (the philosopher Martha Nussbaum wrote a book about it in thought in classical philosophy), but the fragility of the good is different from the frivolity, it is neither futile nor superficial.

It is still possible to change the tendency of the pandemic for greater awareness and care for the pandemic, as well as (before it’s too late) awareness of social problems that are fundamentally humanitarian, respect for rights, diversity of opinions, races and creeds, etc.

We imagine that the pandemic cycle could be shorter, and also that the virus would be mitigated or other false views about a pandemic, even before some believe that it does not exist, however the fundamental humanitarian problem is the most serious and for him conscience must pay attention.

The maxim of phenomenology is worthless, there is no awareness in an abstract sense, although “symbolic evil” can create bubbles in which some groups survive, this is the danger of a non-phenomenal abstract awareness, awareness of the pandemic can help us improve our perception and sensitivity of the humanitarian problem, which is already epochal (transition of times) and could become civilizing, as risks of an even more serious dehumanization.

A change is possible that starts from each attitude, from each personal action on the big problems and each one requires phenomenological awareness, that is, directing the interaction to that problem with its contours, limitations, and weaknesses.

We can reverse the humanitarian curve, but time is pressing and the pandemic has accelerated it.

 

 

A pandemic with many outbreaks

13 Jul

Although the large centers, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro States in particular, registered declines in the number of infected and deaths, the pandemic has internalized and now reaches the innermost part of the country, which includes small poor cities, indigenous villages and regions with little access. Restroom.

The general graph (of deads) shows a stabilization around 1200 daily deaths, but it does not mean the control of the disease, nor any indication of a fall, since the expansion into the interior and deprived areas can cause new explosions, allied to an innacute opens of trades without criteria.

We present the general graph above just to indicate a general graph, since the policy under the responsibility of the regional governments and mayors (it was determined by the STF) does not allow us to say that there is a national policy of combat, although the regional health secretariats communicate and governments make state laws, such as the one that obliges the use of masks, with some regional control.

Another controversial issue is the use of medications, hydroxycloquine, the initial controversy, and now azithromycin, ivermectin and nitazoxanide are not recommended by medical criteria, the drugs in the background are given on a case-by-case basis, for example, for infectious conditions, depressive symptoms or respiratory problems that are acute, but each patient may or may not have conditions that prevent the use of a certain medication.

At the international level, some measures on economic weakness are beginning to be considered, such as helping the unemployed, how to articulate joint action plans between countries, the great example of which is the euro zone.

Preventive measures must continue for a long time, which I prefer to call social distance, because flexibility is already growing and little controllable, wearing masks, maintaining a certain distance in transport, walking even considering that they are done in airy areas are necessary and are part of of the so-called new normality, it is enough to see the countries left the peak.

At the social level, measures to prevent the worsening of the social crisis should be considered in the world.

 

 

The pandemic plateau remains

06 Jul

The data observed in the last week of deaths by the corona virus, which are reliable data, since the curve of infected people depends on testing, which is done by companies and is still low, indicate that the plateau remains and the pandemic is internalized in the Brazil (see graph), we have already stressed the importance of making the logarithm to better visualize the slope of the curve, which is exponential.

What the policy would be for this moment is to continue maintaining social isolation, personal hygiene, and social distancing habits, in addition to precautions in relation to municipal policies.

Any prospect of a peak, at least the data indicates, seems meaningless, the number of infections remains around a thousand daily deaths, and a #lockdown is no longer viable, as the virus has already spread and regional isolation does not mean pandemic control.

We will navigate through uncertainties, already tired of a long period of isolation and with an open and close policy that does not have much effective results, except to contain a greater contagion, without meaning any effective result of controlling the pandemic at the federation level.

The economic costs that would be great in the case of a #lockdown period, will now be higher because both the commerce and the services that effectively need face-to-face contact would not be justified to keep them disabled, and few services are non-essential.

The plan is to continue the so-called “social isolation”, whose more certain name in the Brazilian case we have already said, is “social distance” which is compatible with some open services.

The essential is therefore to maintain personal care and hope that the curve falls “naturally”. 

 

Innocence, naivety and ignorance

03 Jul

In many situations we stumble on these three concepts as synonyms or close ones, they are not, a child is innocence and does not know many subjects, but he is not ignorant, for his naivete he must be protected both by his parents and by any person of good character.

An adult can also be innocent in a certain situation because he was not part of or did not know a serious situation, he is not ignorant, but innocent even though some harm may have occurred due to his ingenuity in not realizing the seriousness or the consequences of an act.

Ignorance is militant, that is, even seeing and understanding the seriousness of a given situation, a conscious voluntary action commits or allows a serious act to be carried out, and some or many people or even serious situations can occur.

The pandemic exposed these three realities and one cannot fail to notice a disease with the severity of taking lives and whose defense is complex due to the lack of knowledge about the action and control of the coronavirus implies making decisions in defense of life that mitigate the number of deaths.

Just as it exposes the naivety of many people who do not take care of hygiene and prevention to minimize the contagion, exposing innocent people, but it is ignorance that worries most and can cause even more serious situations if it is not possible to stop neglect. Ignorance was used in history to manipulate innocent populations and often managed to lead many naive people to catastrophic situations, striking innocents and often leading to death and despair, this happened in wars and pandemics, the Spanish flu in the 1918s and 1919 killed 50 million people, an absurd number for the population at the time.

The biblical revelation in which the apostle Matthew (Mt 11.25) states that it was his father’s pleasure to reveal himself to the little ones and to hide the divine truths from the “wise and understanding”, must be understood in the context of belief in God.

God eternal knowledge and not about knowledge and temporal truths, because the following text is very clear (Mt 11: 26-27): “Yes, Father, because that was your pleasure. Verything was delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son, except the Father, and no one knows the Father, except the Son and the one to whom the Son wants to reveal him.

Using this passage to justify or defend ignorance is bad faith, in both senses, in the religious and in the moral sense.

 

It is not a cIt is not a crisis of thought alone

02 Jul

The crisis may seem like something too intellectual, thinking would be far from the concrete reality of science, and thus from ordinary life, but its extension reaches the everyday science from statistics to medicine, from bibliometrics to biology and this can affect confidence in science and in In the spiritual field there is an immense openness to quackery and the manipulation of good faith.

This criticism questioned, for example, the fact-value dichotomy, emphasizing the social construction of facts, and can be traced back to the works of philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Edmund Husserl, with their rejection of science as a metaphysical substitute.

Stephen Toulmin was very articulate in his criticism of the Cartesian idea of ​​rationality (1958), while the essence of the scientific method has been the subject of writings (and disputes) by authors such as Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend and Imre Lakatos.

The essence of the scientific method has been the subject of writings (and disputes) by authors such as Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend and Imre Lakatos, the echo of these disputes reaching the world of physics as the debate about string theories and their physical reality.

An interesting literature on the current crisis was the work of Derek of Solla Price “Little Science, Big Science” of 1963, he states that there is a point of saturation and senility, which was the result of the exponential growth he experienced in the 20th century.

Another more interesting work is the book by Jerome Ravetz “Scientific knowledge and its social problems”, which offers a critique of the myths of objectivity (it is our main object of this blog), and which asks about the solution of practical problems, that is , social.

In a recent work he recently argued Ravetz (2016) that “Applying a” scientific “methodology to science governance tasks leads directly to corruption, as any system can be at stake”, in another article, Ravetz (2011) defines the issue in terms of the “maturation of the structural contradictions of modern European society”.

The pandemic showed the inefficiency of both the medical field where “specialists” defend medicines that have not been proven effective and generate collateral problems, such as hydroxychloroquine and others (according to the magazine Veja (in section Saude), 69 medicines are tested: 18 are anticancer, 14 immunosuppressants, 13 antihypertensive drugs, 12 antiparasitic drugs and 12 anti-inflammatory drugs, and statistical treatment also hide the real results, as are the analyzes of the evolution of the pandemic in Brazil

References:

De Solla Price, D. J. (1963). Little science big science. Columbia University Press.

Ravetz, J. R. (1971). Scientific knowledge and its social problems. Oxford University Press.

Ravetz, J. (2008). Faith and reason in the mathematics of the credit crunch. The Oxford Magazine. Eight Week, Michaelmas term 14–16, Available online at http://www. pantaneto.co.uk/issue35/ravetz.htm.

Ravetz, J. R. (2011). Postnormal Science and the maturing of the structural contradictions of modern European science. Futures, 43, 142–148.

Ravetz, J. R. (2016). How should we treat science’s growing pains? The Guardian 8 June 2016.

Toulmin, S. E. (1958) The Uses of Argument, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

 

 

 

 

 

Covid 19 in Brazil and the plateau

29 Jun

The analysis based on the number of infected cases is not feasible because testing in Brazil is still small, done by companies or hospitals but only in cases where there is a suspicion of the need for hospitalization, and the estimate that 5% of deaths would correspond to the number of infected is not true because the isolation measures are different in several regions.

The plateau that started from the middle to the end of May has lengthened because the regions with the highest number of infected people were widening and in the case of Brazil going inland, called the epicenter, the name would be inappropriate if there was isolation, thus the contamination spread.

In addition to there being no isolation from the regions where infections started, which has been done in many countries since China where it started and the Wuhan region was epicenter, in this case the name is justified, both local measures and isolation regions were hard to contain the spread.

The second question is how to look at the graph and the numbers, the graph that at the beginning was an exponential and although it is necessary to look at making a logarithmic scale of the curve to see the degree of slope (for example, at the beginning, the number doubled every day and then every other day, etc.), now that the curve no longer has an exponential behavior, it is necessary to make the logarithm.

Looking at the logarithmic scale of the curve, the plateau is clearly perceived (graph above) and the numbers are rotating slightly above the thousand daily cases of death, the degree of infection as already said is not necessary, and thus it is perceived the plateau that has been going on for a month.

The reason was the initial analysis done here, with no isolation from the regions, the virus spread to more inland regions and the new “epicenter” is the interior of the country, and so it should continue into the month of July, either because of the ineffectiveness of isolation policies , or for the winter period