Here is just a summary of what the excessive shutdown orders have done to employment. (ZH Story) Over 40 million Americans have now lost their jobs, almost twice the number of all jobs created since the last recession. It is simply an unfathomable number. As a person quoted in the headline says “Nobody ever imagined it would get this bad this fast.” Speak for yourself, I know that lots of people who warned of just this kind of catastrophe. Seriously, what did people think would happen when you shut down all these businesses?
Here is another interesting antibody study, this one in children in Seattle. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers saw low levels of infection among children, likely due in part to limited testing because children were largely asymptomatic or had mild illness. The authors therefore did an antibody survey of 1775 samples taken from 1076 children during the early part of the epidemic, for testing unconnected with coronavirus. They found 8 children who had never tested positive, but did have antibodies. The results indicate that while few children tested positive for antibodies, those who did largely had asymptomatic infections.
Studies are increasing around potential cross-reactive immune defenses. Here is yet another one, from researchers in Singapore. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers looked at T-cells in recently recovered COVID-19 patients, patients who had the original SARS coronavirus 17 years ago and individuals with no history of infection with either the previous or current strain of SARS coronavirus. Blood from 24 recovered coronavirus patients was tested for T-cells. All had responses to the coronavirus structural protein. Spike protein T-cells were detected at lower frequency. But most recovered patients had T-cells which recognized multiple regions of the virus RNA. Next the researchers tested blood from 15 individuals who had recovered from the original SARS. 17 years after infection these individuals all still had T-cells which were capable of recognizing and mounting a defense against not just that original SARS strain, but the current one as well. Given the portions of the virus genome that were recognized, the researchers further explored whether individuals who had not endured either the prior or current SARS coronavirus infection might have T-cell defenses. Blood from 18 of these people was tested and 9 had T-cells that recognized and acted against the current strain. The portion of the virus they recognized was consistent with many animal coronaviruses, suggesting that exposure to these strains may have primed the immune system. Once again, we see the explanation for why many people don’t get infected on exposure and why so many others are asymptomatic or have mild disease.
Here is my vote for stupid person of the year, although it is close with Bill Gates, Scott Gottlieb and Andy Slavitt in the running. This knuckleheaded physician thinks if we just elect doctors and scientists we would be in great shape. He thinks we should never open up. He apparently doesn’t give a damn about any patient other than coronavirus ones. Who knew that a coronavirus life was worth so much more than other lives. We are in the mess we are in because politicians listened way too much to doctors and other supposed experts. (MP Story)