More fear-mongering at the briefing on Tuesday, can’t let our guard down against this nasty virus that kills about .2% of Minnesotans who have been infected, based on the latest seroprevalence data and CDC estimates, and based on our all-inclusive method of attributing deaths to CV-19, and even though those deaths are almost exclusively in the LTC population and those over 80. And we can’t be sure yet that Thanksgiving had no impact, even though we are well past the incubation period for any exposure that occurred then. And yes, we are just sure that the IB’s orders are responsible for the downtrend in cases, even though it clearly occurred before those orders. When will people just look at the case curves and realize that they are about the same everywhere, reflect classic epidemic curves and don’t show any significant effect from any mitigation efforts. But of course the IB will take all the credit he can get, while being sure to never mention all the damage he is causing.
The vaccine roll out has begun. I am going to caution people again to not be surprised when we start getting reports of adverse events. The government has done a terrible job of explaining what to expect to people. I also am finally beginning to see information relating to the actual trial reports and FDA information. People seem surprised that the vaccine is not as effective for older people, but that is generally the case. And finally, and most frightening, we have knuckleheads suggesting that maybe the vaccine keeps you from getting as sick, but you could still be infected and infectious. This could be the pretext for a never-ending state of emergency. Again, do people have so little understanding of how a vaccine, especially for a respiratory virus, would work. Like the natural form of adaptive immunity, this isn’t some magic plastic barrier that keeps you from being exposed, it just should allow faster clearance, which could happen and hopefully usually will happen, before you are infected or infectious. I will say it one more time–the virus isn’t going to disappear and we are going to have to live with it, which a vaccine will help with. And speaking of that, since we are constantly now being guilted by the IB about protecting health care workers, once they are vaccinated, we should be able to loosen restrictions, right?
Yet another article stating the obvious, what we have done to children is literally criminal. (NBC Story) The story recites the all-too familiar litany of damage and notes that it is likely irreparable for many kids.
Just what we need, some more fear-spreading on vaccines. This study suggests that the vaccines may not lead to adaptive immune responses in the upper respiratory tract, therefore people could still be infected and infectious for some time. (Vaccine Study) While this is literally possibly true, it is not unexpected or unusual and it doesn’t mean the vaccines aren’t effective. I also would not interpret the clinical trial results as meaning that there isn’t an adaptive immune response in mucosal tissues. That is a stretch without some actual verification.
This study is basically designed to minimize the estimates of excess deaths not due to CV-19. (Annals Article) The authors compared excess deaths from March 1 to August 31 to the years from 2015 to 2019. 1,671,400 deaths occurred in the US in the 2020 study period. This included 173,300 deaths over-attributed to CV-19. An average of 1,370,000 deaths occurred in the comparison periods. The unadjusted excess would appear to be around 301,400, leaving a large number of non-CV-19 excess deaths. But let’s make up a formula to adjust for population growth which somehow reduces excess deaths to only 217,900, of which of course, there is no change in the CV-19 deaths. Of the remaining 44,600 non-CV-19 deaths, the primary causes of death were due to diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease and 78% occurred in people aged 25 to 64, so they are lockdown and terror deaths. This means we lost far more years of life to the lockdowns than to CV-19. A minor note, the researchers referred to the CV-19 deaths as those in which CV-19 was listed as an underlying cause, but that is not accurate, the CDC deaths also include those in which CV-19 was also listed as a contributory cause. The main problem with the age adjustment is that it ignores cause of death by age composition. Opioid deaths alone have been increasing rapidly in younger age groups. So to just use an overall population growth shift, which has largely occurred in those over 65, would ignore some of those age-specific cause shifts.
This study deals with excess deaths among middle-aged people. (JAMA Study) The authors examined all cause, opioid and CV-19 deaths among 25 to 44 year-olds from March 1 to July 31. Comparisons were made to 2015 thru 2019. 76,088 deaths occurred in this group, 11,899 more than expected. 4535 were supposedly CV-19 deaths, or only 38%. We know what the rest are due to. The authors make the usual comments about maybe we missed some CV-19 cases, but what is far more likely is that deaths were attributed to CV-19 that had nothing to do with the virus, including accidents and homicides.
Minnesota’s efforts to deal with spread in LTC facilities suck, period. Here is a article on the impact in those facilities across the states. (AEIR Study) The author discusses factors to be considered in comparing states and in understanding the issue in LTC generally.