Finally. Halleluyah. A Family Tree of the Coronavirus

Finally - we have a proper Family Tree of the Coronavirus.

It is the technique to measure genetic distance between strains and extrapolate to the common ancestor based on their DNA sequences. The technique was originally created for the human ancestry project by IBM and is nearly infallible. It provides us with a very good estimate on the time passed between a common ancestor and it descendants. It is also the best technique to lay "conspiracy theory" claims for "origin" of nasties to rest (or prove them true). It should have long been applied to the Lyme Disease, "Strange" mosquitoes in Caucasus and many other conspiracy theories. It would have disproved them or proved them in a month (once enough sequence data is available).

Back to COVID19 - you can find the full tree here: https://nextstrain.org/ncov and play with it including a replay of the infection sequence.

The interesting bit is the data which you see when you mouseover on top of a "junction" where the tree branches. That gives you likely location of the mutation event, likely date and confidence range for the date.

The data comes from WHO, is authoritative and is updated daily. It is also the same algorithm and the same method and the same people which track flu internationally.

It also reveals a list of F... Again in Investigative Journalism and Disinformation peddled by all interested parties.

  1. USA got their COVID19 nearly exclusively from China around late December early January. Comrade Xi can stop trying to gaslight all of us that USA brought it there.
  2. Iran did not stand a chance - its Patient Zero extrapolates to December directly from Wuhan.
  3. Canadian COVID19 is from Iran, not from China. Considering the closeness between Seattle and Vancouver, I find this surprising, but that is what the data says.
  4. European COVID19 ... Drumroll... Drumroll... Drumroll... is mostly from England? WTF? This is the Grey-to-Green part of the tree which the algo today draws on top (it rearranges it as new data is added so, you need to find it when you look at it)
    1. Patient Zero in Engalnd around Xmas
    2. Nearly ALL European Samples Genetically Descend from that. According to the results of the model UK "gifted" COVID19 to most of the continent.

Note - earlier computations when there were fewer samples available were giving Holland as the entry point. There is still significant anecdotal evidence in favour of Holland. In fact, I have been contacted by people who have experienced a COVID2019-like cold around Xmas and I have had replies on various forums too. However, math now says England, so the working hypothesis for European Patient Zero is England.

So, on the F... Again:

  1. Blaming Iran is an F... Again. They did not stand any chance whatsoever.
  2. Blaming Italians is a similar F... Again. The blame should be squarely pointed elsewhere
  3. Supporting all sorts of dubious "soapbox" pronouncements by various conspiracy theorists.
  4. Any sort of "blame it on furriners".

Last, but not least. Looking at the genetic distances between the most divergent strains, the chance of a vaccine is very slim. I agree with my UK school year 13 son who is studying for an A level Biology and said that after spending a couple of minutes with the graph.

Our only chance is Darwin. By isolating the nasty cases and quarantining all of their potential carriers we apply massive selective pressure on the virus to become more bening. We have to maintain the quarantine and continue this evolutionary pressure until this becomes a common cold (which it will in a couple of months). The ideas by people like Bloody Stupid Johnson to let it rip are beyond criminal.