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Remco Evenepoel OUT of Giro d'Italia with Covid

The Belgian regained the race lead during yesterday's time trial, but abandoned the race just hours later...

Remco Evenepoel is out of the Giro d'Italia having tested positive for Covid, announcing he is leaving the race just hours after winning his second time trial of the Grand Tour and regaining the maglia rosa.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that I will be leaving the Giro d’Italia due to Covid-19 after taking a routine test, which unfortunately was positive," Remco said in a statement.

"My experience here has been really special and I was looking forward to competing over the next two weeks. I can't thank enough the staff and the riders who sacrificed so much in preparation for the Giro. Still very proud to leave with two stage wins and four pink jerseys."

Soudal Quick-Step confirmed all other riders and staff members tested negative and that their leader would leave the race, even if Covid testing is no longer mandatory and riders may continue to race even after a positive test.

Last night, EF Education-EasyPost too confirmed that one of their GC riders, Rigoberto Urán had tested positive after displaying symptoms. On Saturday morning, Ineos Grenadiers' Filippo Ganna also left the race with Covid.

Somewhat ironically, earlier in the week, it was Evenepoel's rival Roglič who was rumoured to have Covid, the Slovenian cheekily laughing off the Covid rumours yesterday (plus Jumbo Visma's team policy of riders leaving the race if they test positive suggesting there's not much truth to the speculation).
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Di nuovo in Rosa! 🔥#Giro #GirodItalia pic.twitter.com/UNbNoUL765

The Belgian's Sunday victory by one second from Geraint Thomas came a week after he had blown the entire Giro d'Italia field out of the water on the opening stage with a mind-boggling time-trial, which included a 55km/h average pace, 59km/h for the 16km flat section, a sub-17 minute time for opening 10 miles, and six KOMs out of seven segments — but yesterday, it was less than a tenth of a second that separated him from  victory.

> Remco Evenepoel uploads mind-boggling Giro d'Italia time trial domination to Strava

Evenepoel began strongly, already up on Roglič by almost half a minute by the first checkpoint. While he did slow down in the later stages, allowing the clock to tick down and raise Thomas' hopes, it was just, just enough to give him the victory and secure his position at the top of the general classification standings, opening up a commanding 45 seconds lead over Thomas, with Roglič a further two seconds behind. Or so we thought.

Hours before the positive, Remco admitted he "didn't pace it very well" and "wasn't feeling too well".

"I started way too fast and my second part was actually a really bad part," he said. "After the technical section in Cesena I found some better legs, because I could recover a bit but… I think my first part was very good and it was the pacing plan that we tried to get, but in the second part, with the headwind I wasn't feeling too well. Not the best result but another stage win, which is very nice.

By the end of the night we knew why...

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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56 comments

Avatar
Paul J | 9 months ago
2 likes

Other reporting suggested Remco's test was part of "routine" team testing. If that's true, suggests he wasn't sick, but they just tested him as part of some foolhardy anti-covid policy.

What team would be /so/ stupid as to test their GC leader, who is leading GC, for covid, unless they were already ill and certain to leave cause of that anyway?

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Rendel Harris replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
8 likes
Paul J wrote:

Other reporting suggested Remco's test was part of "routine" team testing. If that's true, suggests he wasn't sick, but they just tested him as part of some foolhardy anti-covid policy. What team would be /so/ stupid as to test their GC leader, who is leading GC, for covid, unless they were already ill and certain to leave cause of that anyway?

Covid is closely associated with myocarditis and pericarditis and it is strongly recommended that people who are positive for Covid should cease exercising for the duration of the infection to avoid heart damage. In an event as strenuous as a grand tour the question should be what team would be so stupid as not to test their riders for Covid.

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Paul J replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
3 likes

If you have symptoms you should recover yes. If you don't then a PCR or AG + test isn't of clinical use, of itself.

It's just crazy to go by test diagnoses as primary indicator. These tests were meant to aid differential diagnosis of a specific condition, where indicated by illness, to support deciding on the correct treatment - where there was some meaningful difference in treatment between the possible conditions.

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Paul J replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
2 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

Covid is closely associated with myocarditis and pericarditis

Note, this is something that this is not well established - in the sense of this being worse with covid19 than other viruses. It is a popular idea in some circles, particularly those who seem emotionally invested in the idea of "long covid", but the evidence is mixed at best.

Note that post-viral myocardiopathy is not just restricted to covid19.

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brooksby replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
3 likes
Paul J][quote=Rendel Harris wrote:

Note that other post-viral myocardiopathy is not just restricted to covid19.

I'm not sure that that's the positive that you seem to think it is... 

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Paul J replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
4 likes
brooksby]<p>[quote=Paul J wrote:
Rendel Harris wrote:

Note that other post-viral myocardiopathy is not just restricted to covid19.

I'm not sure that that's the positive that you seem to think it is... 

Didn't say it was a positive. Just saying this is something already known, and occurring at rates of 1 in 1k to 2k prior to covid19. And there isn't strong evidence of that being much different with covid19.

All I'm saying is that it doesn't, based on evidence, make a great deal sense to have protocols very different with covid19 to other ILIs.

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Roulereo replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
0 likes

The Australian Government Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation admitted in 2022 that there was a link to Myocarditis and Pericarditis from MRNA vaccines. Males under 40 receiving a booster in particular were seeing increased occurrences. 

Slandering people as covid deniers, when they are simply being rational never helps. Especially when a conspiracy theory becomes a spoiler alert if you wait five minutes. Doesn't it feel like the reaction now to Remco getting Covid is pretty much as if he has 'just got a bit of the flu'...? Crazy talk previously to Covid deniers, but sure looks like a healthy young man is going to be absolutely fine here. 

 

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brooksby replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
4 likes
Paul J wrote:

Other reporting suggested Remco's test was part of "routine" team testing. If that's true, suggests he wasn't sick, but they just tested him as part of some foolhardy anti-covid policy. What team would be /so/ stupid as to test their GC leader, who is leading GC, for covid, unless they were already ill and certain to leave cause of that anyway?

That reminds me of when President Trump wanted to reduce the numbers of people with Covid by stopping testing for Covid...

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Paul J replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
4 likes
brooksby wrote:

That reminds me of when President Trump wanted to reduce the numbers of people with Covid by stopping testing for Covid...

Given the vast majority of invasive and expensive covid tests resulted in no clinical action, nor in any arrest of the spread of covid, the benefit of this vast expenditure of resources was very questionable.

Just sticking "Trump" to your comment doesn't really change that.

In my country, a fairly large portion of our health budget was diverted to covid testing masses of healthy people. And it seems to have achieved little - except further impoverishing the remainder of our health service. We could have spent this money on more cancer treatments, joint replacement surgeries (long waiting lists for older folk, who are usually in a lot of pain, and less mobile as a result - which then impacts their exercise, which than affects the rest of their health), mental health services, etc.

It was madness.

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Roulereo replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
1 like

Surely there is now a Trump version of Godwin's law. No internet argument can lost any longer than 7 posts before some whiner gives up and says "oh...but Trump"? 

Is this then cancelled out by "Hunter's laptop and $10m to go to the Big Guy"? 

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brooksby replied to Roulereo | 9 months ago
2 likes
Roulereo wrote:

Surely there is now a Trump version of Godwin's law. No internet argument can lost any longer than 7 posts before some whiner gives up and says "oh...but Trump"? 

Is this then cancelled out by "Hunter's laptop and $10m to go to the Big Guy"? 

Is it Godwin (Trump) to quote something that Trump actually said and which was relevant to the discussion at hand?

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chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:
Roulereo wrote:

Surely there is now a Trump version of Godwin's law. No internet argument can lost any longer than 7 posts before some whiner gives up and says "oh...but Trump"? 

Is this then cancelled out by "Hunter's laptop and $10m to go to the Big Guy"? 

Is it Godwin (Trump) to quote something that Trump actually said and which was relevant to the discussion at hand?

Obviously - as The Donald is just trolling everyone equally, including himself.  Failing MSM want to hold him to things he said?  Greatest witch-hunt tactic ever employed!  FACT!

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Sniffer replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
2 likes
Paul J wrote:

Other reporting suggested Remco's test was part of "routine" team testing. If that's true, suggests he wasn't sick, but they just tested him as part of some foolhardy anti-covid policy. What team would be /so/ stupid as to test their GC leader, who is leading GC, for covid, unless they were already ill and certain to leave cause of that anyway?

Remco had symptoms.  Maybe mild, but he reported them in in his interviews.

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Gm_Crop replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
1 like
Paul J wrote:

Other reporting suggested Remco's test was part of "routine" team testing. If that's true, suggests he wasn't sick, but they just tested him as part of some foolhardy anti-covid policy.

What team would be /so/ stupid as to test their GC leader, who is leading GC, for covid, unless they were already ill and certain to leave cause of that anyway?

I'd counter that with what professional team would be so unprofessional as to not test? Ok so the risk of serious illness now is way lower than early on in the pandemic, but how would anyone involved react if the team had carried on and someone- not necessarily just a rider- did become seriously ill.

For a sport that is trying to demonstrate it's commitment to ethics it's a no brainer.

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Paul J replied to Gm_Crop | 9 months ago
3 likes
Gm_Crop wrote:

For a sport that is trying to demonstrate it's commitment to ethics it's a no brainer.

Testing hasn't worked in society at large to either arrest spread or prevent anyone becoming seriously ill. A cycling team doing it during a grand tour has even less likelyhood of preventing this. Even more so when rest of society has given up on this expensive-but-useless measure.

It's complete tilting at windmills to make that particular argument, today.

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Rendel Harris replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
3 likes
Paul J wrote:

Testing hasn't worked in society at large to [...] arrest spread

Really? So millions of people self-isolating when they found through testing that they had Covid didn't control the spread at all? We could have all gone about our business in the usual way and spread would have been exactly the same? Cobblers.

(Standard Covid denier come on I challenge you to prove a negative response doubtless incoming)

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Paul J replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:
Paul J wrote:

Testing hasn't worked in society at large to [...] arrest spread

Really? So millions of people self-isolating when they found through testing that they had Covid didn't control the spread at all? We could have all gone about our business in the usual way and spread would have been exactly the same? Cobblers.

(Standard Covid denier come on I challenge you to prove a negative response doubtless incoming)

How do you explain that Sweden did no worse than most of Europe, and indeed *better* than most of Europe, _including neighbours_, when you look at age-standardised mortality rate? (Sweden does slightly worse than some nordic neighbours on /delta/ of ASMR - their increase was a little higher - but they have great health and still did as good on ASMR in the end; and better than most of their neighours and most of Europe on both ASMR and delta-ASM - check ONS analyses). Also, Denmark and other nordics also generally had much lower restrictions than rest of Europe anyway.

This is basic null hypothesis testing. The country with the fewest restrictions should - by your theory - have done worse. It did not.

Your theory that lockdowns and testing were essential to getting through the pandemic simply doesn't pass basic scientific hygiene tests.

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Rendel Harris replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
4 likes
Paul J wrote:

How do you explain that Sweden did no worse than most of Europe...Your theory that lockdowns and testing were essential to getting through the pandemic simply doesn't pass basic scientific hygiene tests.

I said nothing at all about lockdowns. Did Sweden have a testing programme? Yes it did. Were people told to quarantine when positive? Yes they were. You are citing the performance in handling the pandemic of a country that had testing and quarantining to demonstrate your peculiar belief that testing and quarantining has no effect in controlling the spread of a highly infectious pathogen. I think you need to look at your own "basic scientific hygiene" before attempting to criticise that of others.

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Paul J replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:

I said nothing at all about lockdowns. Did Sweden have a testing programme? Yes it did. Were people told to quarantine when positive? Yes they were. You are citing the performance in handling the pandemic of a country that had testing and quarantining to demonstrate your peculiar belief that testing and quarantining has no effect in controlling the spread of a highly infectious pathogen. I think you need to look at your own "basic scientific hygiene" before attempting to criticise that of others.

You wrote this:

Rendel Harris wrote:

We could have all gone about our business in the usual way and spread would have been exactly the same? Cobblers.

Did Sweden do testing? Sure. But it didn't go mad on this, and shut everything like down the rest of Europe. And in fact in Sweden people *did* go about their business largely as usual, bar the shutting down of large events, and life was exactly the same. People in Sweden were going to shops, going to work, going to pubs and restaurants, while many of the rest of us in other parts of Europe were barred from these things, and even restricted in how often we could go out (and for how long).

So you claim is false. It does not pass null hypothesis testing.

Life did largely go on as normal in Sweden, and their outcomes were no worse than the rest of Europe - indeed, their outcomes were better in the end.

Your claim is simply not correct.

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Rendel Harris replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
3 likes
Paul J wrote:

Life did largely go on as normal in Sweden, and their outcomes were no worse than the rest of Europe - indeed, their outcomes were better in the end.

Your claim is simply not correct.

People in Sweden were tested, and if they were positive for Covid then they isolated, thereby stopping a wider spread in the population. Something that you claimed testing can't do. Your entire hypothesis about testing is absolute nonsense, you can claim that Covid wasn't serious, that people overreacted, whatever you want, but to claim that when a highly infectious pathogen is present in society that to test people for it and ask them to quarantine if they are carrying it doesn't help stopping the infection spreading further is just plain stupid. Therefore I'm out of this rather pointless discussion.

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Paul J replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:
Paul J wrote:

Life did largely go on as normal in Sweden, and their outcomes were no worse than the rest of Europe - indeed, their outcomes were better in the end.

Your claim is simply not correct.

People in Sweden were tested, and if they were positive for Covid then they isolated, thereby stopping a wider spread in the population. Something that you claimed testing can't do. Your entire hypothesis about testing is absolute nonsense, you can claim that Covid wasn't serious, that people overreacted, whatever you want, but to claim that when a highly infectious pathogen is present in society that to test people for it and ask them to quarantine if they are carrying it doesn't help stopping the infection spreading further is just plain stupid. Therefore I'm out of this rather pointless discussion.

Dude, the likes of France, Italy, UK were doing 3 to 5 times more tests than Sweden. What did this achieve?

https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSel...

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chrisonabike replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
2 likes
Paul J wrote:

Dude, the likes of France, Italy, UK were doing 3 to 5 times more tests than Sweden. What did this achieve? https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSel...

Dude, and did they do everything else the same?

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Paul J replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
1 like
chrisonatrike wrote:

Dude, and did they do everything else the same?

1. Testing: They did a lot less than likes of UK
2. Isolation: They did a _lot_ less of this - they kept most stuff open. People kept going to restaurants, to shopping centres, etc.
3. Masking: They did almost nothing of this, masks were never mandated, not worn much.

Every claim you and Rendel make, for the "obvious" benefits of one or more of these things and the /necessity/ of them to get through a pandemic (cause otherwise... ? we'd all be dead?) is simply disproven by Sweden.

If your claim is Sweden still did a /little/ of these things, then at a minimum you must be claiming that just a little is enough, and you are effectively _agreeing_ that the UK (and others) went completely overboard on these things.

tl;dr: Life in Sweden stayed fairly close to normal during the pandemic, and they did better than at least 2 of their neighbours, and considerably better than most of Europe in terms of mortality over the 2 years.

So... what on earth was the benefit of all the additional *PAIN* the rest of us put ourselves through?

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chrisonabike replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
6 likes
Paul J wrote:

Testing hasn't worked in society at large to either arrest spread or prevent anyone becoming seriously ill. A cycling team doing it during a grand tour has even less likelyhood of preventing this. Even more so when rest of society has given up on this expensive-but-useless measure. It's complete tilting at windmills to make that particular argument, today.

Er... not sure I want to go down this rabbit hole on a cycling site, but... I'm pretty sure the evidence is that in some places it very precisely did work to arrest the spread.  "Arrest" as in "hugely slow" rather than "completely stop / eradicate".  South Korea would be one example (New Zealand and Senegal for some others).  Buying time initially was a very sensible strategy.

Whether this is so useful now - particularly since lots of populations just decided (or politicians declared) that "it's over" - is another question.

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Paul J replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
1 like
chrisonatrike wrote:

 South Korea would be one example (New Zealand and Senegal for some others).  Buying time initially was a very sensible strategy.

Did South Korea fare any differently to Japan? Cause Japan did very little testing. Why would 2 countries have similar outcomes, if one did near no testing, and another (you say) did lots, if you claim that testing was so important to the outcomes? China also failed to stop covid in the 21/22 season. 

New Zealand didn't stop it by testing. They completely closed their borders. And once it did get in and start spreading, mass testing and isolation... did not stop it, now did it?

Further, isn't it strange that countries in Asia and Australasia had little covid in the 20/21 season - even with very different approaches (Japan - no mass testing, and on)? But then couldn't stop it in 21/22 season?

In other news, we know now that there is about 2 years of immunity to reinfection from covid. I.e., you would except covid outbreaks maybe every 2 to 3 ILI seasons or so. We also know now that covid was spreading globally by autumn '19, with SARS-CoV-2 in Europe already having several mutations over the origin Wuhan strain. Which means the following is quite plausible:

- Asia may well have had a covid wave in the 18/19 season. (no direct evidence)
- Europe had covid starting to spread somewhere in Autumn '19 (fact), which was definitely established as a proper wave by January '20 at the latest (fact), for the 19/20 season.

- Asia had very little of a covid wave in the 19/20 season. The narrative then was it had stopped it with lockdowns, but it had already spread globally in autumn '19, plus see "circa 2 years of immunity to reinfection".

- Europe then had a lower 20/21 season, but still noticeable, as a good number had already had it, but not all. 

- Asia could not stop covid in the 21/22 season, despite *much more* draconian measures (certainly in China) _and_ vaccines.

Why did these oh so effective testing and lockdown measures fail to work in 21/22 in Asia, and Australia and New Zealand (offset by 6 months), when they had worked the year before? And how is it that if these measures you claim were so important, countries that didn't implement them much fared no differently? (Japan in Asia, Sweden in Europe)? 

Maybe they were never effective to begin with?

Maybe  the actual reason for the low 19/20 season in Asia, compared to high in Europe, was that they'd already had an 18/19 season.

Regardless, Sweden did no differently to others in Europe (indeed, it did better than most on mortality overall), and Japan no different in Asia. So the claim that mass testing and all that were essential is... simply at odds with what happened, unless you deliberately ignore those regions that provide null hypothesis testing for your claims - and cherry-pick regions favourable to your claim.

chrisonatrike wrote:

Whether this is so useful now - particularly since lots of populations just decided (or politicians declared) that "it's over" - is another question.

Quite.

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Roulereo replied to Paul J | 9 months ago
1 like

It is convenient to say "it's over" for many who became revolting little fascists and complete bed wetters during the 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'. 

I'd better get another Booster shot and mask up, you lot will be dead without it.

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Paul J replied to Roulereo | 9 months ago
1 like
Roulereo wrote:

It is convenient to say "it's over" for many who became revolting little fascists and complete bed wetters during the 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'. 

I'd better get another Booster shot and mask up, you lot will be dead without it.

And RCS has now brough in a mask mandate for the Giro d'Italia. Masks, which did not work anywhere, which /proper/ science (i.e. RCTs, not mechanism studies with masks on dummies or in boxes with gerbils) can not find having any significant effect, are back.
 

Masks are the epitome of voodoo science. ("voodoo science" is a term used in meta-science, to describe bad science).

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Paul J replied to Roulereo | 9 months ago
0 likes
Roulereo wrote:

It is convenient to say "it's over" for many who became revolting little fascists

This is one of the saddest things for me from the pandemic. The way a segment of the population turned into quite nasty, illiberal, spiteful and hateful people. They claimed - with no good evidence at all - that other people had to be locked up and masked and this and that. They encouraged politicians to destroy civil society, and have the police issue large fines for innocuous behaviour, such as... hiking in remote parts of the country side, or not wearing a mask while outside and away from others, or swimming off empty beaches in winter, or having family (whom one mixes with anyway) over for dinner - sometimes even arrested and assaulted by police, and criminally convicted over this NONSENSE.

There was no good evidence then for this. The evidence now is these measures (i.e. criminal regulations micro-managing people's behaviour) were generally a huge over-reaction and entirely in vain.

Yet these people would hurl all kinds of abuse and insults and put-downs at anyone who even /questioned/ the scientific basis for their evidence-less belief system (i.e., religion).

And then they doubled-down with their _quite evil_ vaccine mandates.

These people look in the mirror and still somehow believe themselves to be "liberal" and virtuous.

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Roulereo replied to Gm_Crop | 9 months ago
0 likes

The risk of serious illness is now way lower than early on in the pandemic? 

Pls explain. 

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marmotte27 replied to Roulereo | 9 months ago
5 likes
Roulereo wrote:

The risk of serious illness is now way lower than early on in the pandemic? 

Pls explain. 

Early on millions died. Now they don't.

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