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Arquivo para a ‘Jornais on-line’ Categoria

Between science and believe

07 Dec

Whenever the weather changes: rains, floods, storms, hurricanes and now volcanoes and earthquakes something worries us, it is necessary to separate what is in fact supernatural from the natural that exists, even if catastrophic, science helps, but it doesn’t always have answers ready.

It was like a Covid-19 problem and the La Palma volcano is now drawing attention for its unpredictability, but it has helped science that has collected a much larger number than in other eruptions and its variation also helps to study different influences, the shape of the soil, the earthquakes and temperatures close to the volcano, the type of soil (in this case there are several deep cracks) and the type of lava effusion.

A recent opinion article, volcanology is not a science that can make predictions, in fact, in the opinion of physicists such as Werner Heisenberg and philosophers such as Edgar Morin their predictions, even though possible, are hypotheses, but in the case of volcanology the Cumbre Vieja, volcano of La Palma, has helped.

An article published in the journal Science and which was the subject of an article in the journal El Pais, by researcher Marc-Antoine Longpré elaborated a series of opinions, including that: “The course-term forecast is based on technology and on the recognition of patterns of behavior of volcanoes, as well as constant improvement, as volcanologists gather more data”, as is the case with this eruption of Cumbre Vieja, in La Palma, in the Canary Islands.

The article published in the prestigious journal Science, begins by explaining that it had 50 years of rest and is historically the most active of the Canary Islands, it erupted on September 19, 2021, and will complete one of the longest eruption periods of the day. December 19, when it will reach 3 months of eruption and the article informs that the longest on record was 3 months and 3 weeks.

But the seismic patterns started on the date of September 11th, I wrote the article: “the number of detected earthquakes quickly increased to several hundred per day, of which only a subset was located”, and grouped in much smaller depths (<12 km ) and of lower seismicity than the previous one (around 3 to 4 degrees on the Richter scale), and with a displacement to the area of =the volcano that erupted on the 19th, this already marks a pattern for eruptions (see graphics of author) Another fact observed was the appearance of two fissures, in addition to the elevation of the ground and the formation of the volcanic cone, each fissure measuring about 200 m in length, 1 km above sea level and 2 km from the village of El Paraèso which was rapidly evacuated without reaching the residents.

The author informs that the eruption shows no signs of abating, and speaks of the social drama for the local population and compares saying that it is similar to Kilauea, and asks if interested parties, of course, are including financial and political interests, if in the long term will it be possible to permanently reduce the risk associated with urban development on the flanks of the Cumbre Vieja?

This is the important social fact, preventing deaths as happened recently with the eruption of the Semeru Volcano in Indonesia where 14 deaths initials (today it rose to 34), the article was prophetic in this regard, since it was published days before this eruption, yes extraordinary things are possible and even even supernatural, but who has the authority to assert them? it is necessary to avoid fake news and a climate of terror that contributes nothing, but caution, as is the case with the Pandemic, is necessary and prudent.

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Falling, but the pandemic is not over

25 Oct

We mentioned last week the concern about evolving cases in some countries such as Russia and England, where a variant of the virus is being studied with concern, also the poorest countries have received fewer vaccines than promised by donation, and we already understand that Pandemic is global, that is, there is an influence of less vaccinated regions in others that maintain a high level of immunity, policies for future pandemics already take these factors into account.

Some countries continue with a high level of deaths, despite vaccination, in the US around 1700 daily deaths in the last week, in the rest of the world it is falling, but with the presence of deaths, in the graph above with deaths registered on the 23/ 10 (Saturday) in absolute number of deaths, Brazil, followed by India, Mexico and then Russia.

The major concern of WHO is with respect to promises of vaccine donations to the poorest countries that are not being fulfilled. the news is not from this blog, but from the WHO itself, as it has positioned itself against the third dose, as according to The People’s Vaccine report made on the BBC, an alliance of a charity institution reported that only one in seven doses of vaccines promised by companies and rich countries, in fact reached the poorest nations.

In the report, in the interview with Bruce Aylward he stated: “Do we really need to step up or do you know what’s going to happen? This pandemic will last another year than it needs to,” he warned, and this is due to the fact that even with isolation measures we are always connected, and any communication (not only of people, but of products and any biological material such as fruits and food) can be transmitter.

In Brazil, the number of vaccine doses is coming, a boost in the vaccination campaign against Covid 19, a batch of 1.7 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived on Friday (10/22) and other equal amounts had already arrived, totaling almost 5 millions of vaccines.

The inputs for AstraZeneca were also received by FioCruz (Brazil), which produces the vaccine in the country, the landing of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) arrived for the production of 5.6 million doses with arrival scheduled for 5:50 am on Sunday morning (25/10).

Vaccination in the first dose reaches close to 153 million doses, while the second dose (or single dose) reached just over 109 million vaccinated, the moving average of deaths is just above 300 daily deaths, with a downward trend we can assume that we will be below 100 daily deaths in early December.

 

 

Good news and caution

11 Oct

Five Brazilian states did not register death by Covid 19 in the last 24 hours, but it has already exceeded 600,000 deaths and accounts for 21,575,820 infections, the moving average is below 500 deaths and more than 60% of the adult population has already received both doses or single dose of the vaccine.

The main danger is that the stress of the period of sanitary measures causes a relaxation in the population, sanitary measures are still mandatory and this is the right time not to relax and be resilient.

The precaution is due to the worldwide problem of the pandemic, the WHO global data indicate 52,929 infections yesterday with a weekly drop of 17.64% and a total of 818 deaths (more than 42 in the week) with a weekly drop of 21.26% (see chart), both more pronounced than in previous weeks.

In many countries there is already a relaxation in sanitary measures, it is necessary to be aware that this affects the whole world, as flights and global mobility start to be relaxed, and without the precautionary measures taken by everyone, it can make the fall more slow, and it is also necessary to remember late autumn and early winter in the northern hemisphere.

Sanitary precautions such as washing your hands and continuing to wear masks and alcohol gel, avoiding crowds and distances when in collective activities (public transport remains a problem), and avoiding the usual end-of-the-year consumerism problem.

A more dignified and less sumptuous Christmas will be more worthy of the date and will avoid the desperation of traditional spending and consumption at the end of the year.

May the return to normality also be a return to serenity, empathy and solidarity.

 

 

 

To avoid a fourth wave

20 Sep

The map at the side, official WHO, clearly indicates the three waves of Covid, the new variants and a resistant Pandemic demand a final effort so that it is possible to think a 2022 without the restrictions that are uncomfortable, of course, but still necessary.

The small town of Floraí in the northwest of Paraná State (Brazil) is a good illustration of the need for this care, the small town of just over 5,000 inhabitants received a stage of a handball championship and before, with only two cases, it rose to 68 in one week.

Looking at the WHO chart and the data from Brazil, we have a moving average of deaths above 500 in a still very slow fall, what is most talked about is the possibility of more flexible measures, which in many cases is already happening, however care still continues.

Brazil reached 65% vaccination of the first dose and just over 37% for the second dose, if we look at the data from July, when we had already reached 30% of those vaccinated, it can be noted that there is a slowness especially in second dose without any explanation.

Europe enters its autumn, while the southern hemisphere in its spring, it is to be expected that in the heat the proliferation of the virus will decrease, but if care is maintained and vaccination evolves.

The great danger in Europe, and I don’t see any comment or concern, are opportunistic diseases, that is, clinically they are those infections caused by microorganisms that even in people with normal immunity, due to other diseases, can cause infections or even conditions immunodepressants in convalescent patients or those who went through the contagion, after all, there are more than 200 million people who have already been infected with the virus, all over the planet.

At the beginning of the Pandemic, WHO had warned of the problem of treating post-covid in many patients, but the topic was forgotten and as these are not isolated cases, a mass treatment would be necessary, what may lie ahead is difficult to know without a medical research, but not difficult to imagine, it would be like a new post-pandemic epidemic, I leave it to the doctors.

We need to come out strengthened, at least in terms of health, in terms of solidarity, many of the world’s analysts have already thrown in the towel, we were not able to treat a common problem as such, it seems that it is a problem for the other, for those who had the disease, of course not for everyone, there is a moral reserve in society that still guarantees future hope.

 

 

Delta variant still worries

23 Aug

The cases of the Delta variant and the new Alfa variant, which came from the United Kingdom are still worrying, monitoring is needed, movement control, and in the case of Brazil, the state of Ceará, which has 43 cases, provides an example, having created a monitoring center and screening for travelers, Ceará has 43 Delta cases and there is already a case of the Alfa variant coming from the United Kingdom.

The cases in state of Ceará (Brazil) are 24 women and 19 men, the majority (33) are between 20 and 39 years old, which makes sense because the second dose is still happening at the ages, there are cases coming from Nova Friburgo (RJ) and São Paulo and the others live in 20 different municipalities in Ceará, all of whom had mild, moderate, or asymptomatic symptoms.

It is a moment of caution and the flexibility of many state governments may be premature, the curve of deaths and infections is at a stable level, and with vaccination, the expectation was for it to fall.

As reported by the consortium of press vehicles, the number of people who received the first dose is 122 million while 54 million took the necessary doses (a vaccine uses only one dose), were the data of last Saturday (21/08).

As safety for the delta variable is necessary for complete immunization, the exact number of 54,890,099 people (24.92%), which gives a quarter of the population, is too low for the new Delta and Alpha variants (which are already starting to advance in the country), the possibility of reaching 60% immune is still far, September will be a fatal month, and the level of infections and deaths is still high and stable.

Some states are slightly above (states of Brazil) Mato Grosso do Sul (40.59%), São Paulo (32.40%), Rio Grande do Sul (31.62%) and Espírito Santo (28.33%), the others are close or below of an average of 25% complete immunization, according to the press consortium.

Recents data indicate that the Southeast pulls the infection curve up by 7%.

We must learn from Southeast Asian countries as infections grow due to low vaccination rates, even countries like China, Japan and South Korea are seeing increasing outbreaks, as reported by the CNN website, data from Brazilian daily “O Globo” indicates data from some countries in the region, infections in blue and deaths in black (figure).

 

 

The danger of the delta variant and vaccination

02 Aug

Concerns are growing about the delta variant of the coranavirus,  the indication is that some vaccines may not be fighting this variant, the growing number of infections, even in countries with advanced vaccination, is worrying.

WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus said two days ago to various media outlets at a press conference: “New cases of contamination and deaths continue to rise. There were 4 million new cases in one week. At this rate, we will surpass the mark of 200 million of infected in two weeks, although we know that this is an underestimated number”, he pointed out.

Since the third week of July, Europe and the United States have again registered an increase in infections due to the delta variant.

Even in China, which had controlled the pandemic, this number grew again, still small (200 cases), but it is already spread over several regions. peoples in dangerous cities will be tested.

In Brazil the moving average is below a thousand daily deaths, it slowly drops as vaccination progresses, but cases of the delta variant already appear in the country, and the real effectiveness of the vaccine in relation to this variant is concerned, there is poor monitoring in some states, testing should begin immediately and en masse, there is no evidence.

The idea of making the measures more flexible continues and will probably not go back until another outbreak, only one state (Rio de Janeiro) registers an increase, 8 states in stability and 15 in decline (São Paulo is one of these).

The WHO and the World Bank call for the urgent application of vaccines in poor countries, the average in high-income countries is the application of 98.2 doses per 100 inhabitants; while in low-income groups, the number is 1.6 doses per 100 people.

Regardless of the effectiveness of vaccines, vaccination must continue and so must restriction.

 

Vaccines and the delta variant

26 Jul

The number of people vaccinated in Brazil approaches 50% in the first dose (46.7%) and 20% in the total vaccination (17.6%) however the effectiveness of vaccines for the delta variant is being studied in the last week of the Institute Butantan started a study to see the effectiveness of CoronaVac.

The delta variant may cause a fourth wave, the warning is from the WHO, which asks that the measures of distance, use of masks and control of social gatherings not be relaxed.

Monitoring carried out in the country registered and located 145 confirmed cases of this variant in the Federal District and in the states: Maranhã, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo.

The death curve continues to fall slowly in Brazil (see photo).

An article published in the scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine points out that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines protect against the Alpha and Delta variants, especially after the second dose, according to the article, Pfizer avoided 88% of symptomatic cases and AstraZeneca 67%.

The Department of Health of the United Kingdom (PHE in English) released a study made with more than 1 million people in risk groups and pointed out that with two doses the effectiveness of these two vaccines rise to 93% and 78% respectively, when treats people aged 16 to 64 years.

In the Netherlands, the government announced that it will re-impose restrictions on nightclubs, festivals and restaurants, these restrictions had been lifted in June, but the infection picture freaked out with 7,000 records of the disease in the last week, before the cases were already less than thousand.

The picture is a setback for Spain and Portugal, who wanted the resumption of tourism.

 

A Century of Life: Edgar Morin

08 Jul

Today (08/06/2021) the French philosopher, educator, historian and geographer Edgar Morin, born in Paris as Edgar Nahoum, adopted the code name Morin in the French resistance.

The French newspaper Liberation, published on Thursday (3/06) some excerpts of its new book that will be released this week in France, “lessons of a century of life” (“Leçons d’un siècle de vie”, publisher Denoel), with some excerpts from the book, calling him the grandfather of all Frenchmen.

In the book Morin says that when he is no longer alive, he hopes that people will be able to “love each other and themselves, instead of continuing in this western regression marked by neo-totalitarianism in the making, and he does not fail to mention China.

When the world closes, and the identity issue becomes relevant, as it divides peoples, Morin, reflecting on his own origins, highlighted in his book, according to Liberation: “Everyone has the identity of their family, of their village or city, that of your province or ethnicity, that of your country, and the largest of your continent. Each one has a complex identity, that is, we are unique and at the same time plural”, it is not just a matter of “tolerating” but of “loving” the Other.

He warns that “human history is relatively intelligible a posteriori, but always unpredictable a priori”, recalls the 1929 crisis, the rise of Hitler and Nazism, the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and the attack on the World Trade Center twin towers , his reflections on what he called “Stalinia”, about which, according to Liberation, he wrote in his book: “My stay of six years in the Stalinist universe educated me on the powers of illusion, error and historical lies”.

However, he is far from being thought of as a conservative or even a reformer, he always dreamed of a structural change in humanity, which must start from a change in mentality, thought and culture, and also reflects on populism and religious absolutism.

Let’s wait for the book, as always, it will bring new reflections, perhaps even Morin’s confessions.

In Brasilia, the Center for Sustainable Development of the University of Brasilia (CDS/UnB) in Brasilia will also launch a book with the 15 best articles on Edgar Morin, already selected, in partnership with SESC/SP, supported by the Regional Chair of Complejidad y Condición Humana de la Universidad CLAEH (Uruguay) (the picture used) and EHESS/CNRS where Morin is an emeritus researcher.

At 100 years old, he still reveals a lucidity unrivaled at this age, and a unique vitality and wisdom, Félicitations Morin.

 

Falling curve but slow vaccination

05 Jul

Despite the curve of infections and average deaths (see curve), the problem starts to be the second dose that is stable at 12% in the last week, we warn that the problem could get worse because the number of doses of AstraZeneca and Coronavac should increase because of the second dose.

The number of confirmed cases on Friday was 54,101 and the moving average of the last 7 days was 50,905 infections (in 14 days a drop of 30%), the number of deaths, although still high, is below 2,000 deaths, and there is no state in high, also the ICUs are beginning to be relieved, the most serious regions are around 70% hospitalizations, but in decline.

The controversies of expired vaccines, and the case of Janssen who had many vaccines frozen (they need a special temperature system of -2°C) but are safe, says the Ministry of Health, in addition and Belo Horizonte now also Campinas applied doses of the vaccine in homeless people, a commendable humanitarian measure, since this vaccine immunizes in a single dose and these people have difficulties with sanitary measures.

Cases of expired vaccines are being identified in several cities, some places like the city of Rio de Janeiro had wrong registration in the system, the situation is not out of control and in several cases a new vaccination is already being done, it is important to check with precision the cases where the vaccine was really expired, where there was a system error and the exact number.

The case of the purchase of the Indian Vaccine Covaxin became the center of the government’s political crisis due to accusations of corruption, the negotiation was suspended by the Ministry of Health and the purchase should be canceled, in addition to the politicians, the CGU should also continue with the investigation process.

The serious problem is the slowness of vaccination, we warn that in July, several factors could put the process in check, the need for a second dose, which upon arrival in the municipality is immediately available for vaccination.

The executive secretary of the National Council of Cities Secretariats in Brazil (Conasems), also explaining the case of expired vaccines, guaranteed that the vaccines arriving are immediately made available to the population, so the problem is Anvisa’s (Health Control in Brazil) this control.

Mauro Junqueira, the secretary of Conasems however clarified that it is not always possible to have direct control on the tablet or computer system, sometimes it is done on paper and then placed in the computerized system, the diversity of municipalities in the country explains this easily.

We insisted on the need to increase the production of vaccines for the month of July, the number last Wednesday according to CNN was 3 million doses of Janssen vaccine, 3.33 million doses of Pfizer’s immunizing agent and another 7.15 million of the AstraZeneca/Fiocruz product, total 13.5 million.

 

 

The third wave is attenuated in Brazil

07 Jun

We posted here that it was possible to reach figures close vaccines to 50% by the end of June and that the first week was decisive, the data indicate a reversal of the curve, but it is necessary not to hesitate and continue the vaccination, Brazil received new doses from Pfizer (more than 500,000) and AstraZeneca’s vaccination continues to do well, and the forecast is for another 40 million doses by the end of the month.

It can be said that at this moment there is an attenuation, the number of deaths on Friday is 1689 while infection is above 66,000, figures that show the importance of vaccination as the number of infections is still very high and without vaccination the of deaths would remain high.

The deceleration of vaccination is pointed out in some media, but it is not clear whether it is the distribution or application, it can still be a third thing, operationalization, which would be very regrettable since the INSS and the health departments have a good structure and distribution.

In percentages the number of vaccines distributed, the government speaks of a number above 100 million and the states say they have received 90 million, and there are vaccines in stock, in percentage would be 52 million from AstraZeneca/Oxford/Fiocruz, 47.1 million from Coronavac and 3.5 million from the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine, this variation is interesting due to its efficacy for different ages.

The distribution carried out so far already allows the application of doses, at least the first dose, in 18 of the 28 priority groups of the PNO (National Plan for the Operationalization of Vaccination against COVID-19), which was defined by social vulnerability and greater risks of comorbidities.

The current stage is beginning to prioritize comorbidities in different age groups and health professionals, but the trade that would be extremely important is not included in the plan.

The numbers in the world are still worrying, see the graph, there are still countries with the possibility of a third wave and a definite lesson from the Pandemic is that we must worry about everyone.