This is wonderful; thank you for writing it. Very much enjoyed the exposition of the "Quiet" state; have been trying out your advice of switching everything off and trying to slip into such a state and am enjoying what I've found there.
Likewise, thanks for all you're doing Zvi.
Sure enough, the UK has triggered its "Plan B" which mandates working from home for those who can, plus vaccine passports for big events. Perhaps suggests lockdowns coming in the new year.
Do you know what kind of research Theodora's lab is actually doing? (She doesn't have a surname on Twitter so I can't find her). But I imagine research into spike protein mutants could just involve synthesising spike protein that has mutations and assaying the binding affinity of antibodies to the synthetic spike protein – not necessarily creating mutated viruses.
(undergrad biochemistry was a long time ago. I could well be wrong)
I also don't understand her comments about the peptide 'not neutralising COVID in cell [culture]' - why would it? The peptide is just an antigen to get the body to raise an immune response; on its own it doesn't kill COVID.
Not the OP so can't answer for him, but qualitatively the second (November) lockdown was quite different from the first (March) lockdown - much more leeway given on exercising outdoors, workplaces largely stayed open (even if people were working from home). In March, police officers would move people along if they were sitting on a park bench (as that's not exercise); the second time round things were much less strictly enforced. Rules around forming 'bubbles' with other households also didn't exist in March.
Tier 4 is essentially the same as the November lockdown but you can meet one other person outdoors.
Cases went from about 20 on September 1 to 370 in mid November. Then they *dropped* to 213 before jumping up to 500.
The UK had a national lockdown in November, and lifted it at the start of December.
Amazing how it differs by region. Here in the UK, anecdotally tests are pretty easy to come by and turned around rapidly - but are still restricted only to those with canonical COVID symptoms (fever/cough/change in sense of smell or taste).
Meta: anyone else getting a bunch of broken images in this post?
Thanks for the well-written and well-reasoned response!