Here is my absurd CV-19 note of the day. A Minnesota Vikings player apparently tested positive last week. He was immediately retested twice. Both those were negative, so the first test was clearly a false positive and he was allowed to play. (Gee, I thought false positives didn’t actually happen?) Yet we are closing schools in Minnesota based on one positive test, with no retesting. So football is more important than school for children?
Maybe there is a shift to more rationality. A group of epidemiologists and physicians have started a petition called the Great Barrington Declaration saying that the lockdown approach to the epidemic has to stop and that more harm than good has been done. (GBD)
More evidence that pre-existing immune responses from seasonal CV infection may limit the likelihood or severity of CV-19 infection. (JCI Article) The authors compared persons with a documented prior seasonal CV infection to those without. Those with prior infection got tested more frequently for CV-19 and had similar infection rates but less severe disease. About 16,000 patients were included, 875 of whom had a prior seasonal CV infection. Please not that although not discussed, the prior seasonal infections could show up on the CV-19 PCR tests, as other studies indicated. The authors conclude that while prior infection did not appear to stop or limit a CV-19 infection, it was associated with less severe disease.
A interesting hypothesis from a group in Israel suggesting that there was a precursor, milder, strain to CV-19 that became widespread and created large-scale immune response to the actual CV-19, giving rise to lower levels of infection from that more lethal strain. (Arxiv Paper) According to the authors this is consistent with a phenomenon in which countries with more travel with China have lower infection rates and that infection rates are negatively correlated with population size. While I believe it is certainly possible that there was a strain part-way between prior strains and CV-19, it also seems likely that given the amount of genomic sequencing of CV-19 and testing of CV strains, any epidemic scale CV would have been identified.
A study from Germany looks at mental health issues among children during the epidemic. (SSRN Paper) 1586 families with children aged 7 to 17 were surveyed. Survey instruments for measuring depression, anxiety and other mental health problems were included. Two-thirds of the children reported being highly burdened by the epidemic, with lower quality of life and more mental health problems. Low-income children were more impacted. 65% found learning more difficult without in-person schooling. 83% reported fewer social contacts and 39% said relationships with friends were impaired. Both children and parents reported more disputes and arguments. But I don’t know why researchers even do these studies, everyone knows that only people with CV-19 count.
People post lots of interesting things. Here is an article on Medium that discusses the outrageous things we are doing to children. (Med. Post) A lot of the same points that others have made, but the most striking thing to me is always how politicians and the media have misled the public into greatly over-estimating their risk.
A former Pfizer chief science officer sounds off on testing, cases and the mythical second wave. (Yeadon Article) I may not agree with everything he says, but this is a person with obviously serious credentials. He believes that many if not most positives are false positives.