I am in Florida, rainy, warm, somewhat free. Dropped a bunch of posts with Twitter charts today and here is a little research summary work.
This study was a review of research on harms to children from keeping schools closed. (Medrxiv Paper) As you would expect, it noted the cumulative findings of substantial declines in children’s mental health and a likely failure to identify large numbers of cases of abuse and neglect.
This article from a UK paper summarizes the evidence that children don’t contribute to spread and are greatly harmed by being out of school. (Telegraph Article)
In the spring of 2020, Sweden kept lower grade schools opened but put the equivalent of high school into virtual mode. This study examined any comparative effects on transmission among students and teachers. (SD Study) There did not appear to be an impact on overall case levels. But there was twice the level of cases among the lower level teachers than the higher level ones and the partners of the lower-level teachers also had higher infection rates. This was a story about the study, not the actual study, which apparently has not been published. Unclear whether there was any contract tracing. Overall, other studies in Sweden indicated that teachers had a lower mortality rate.
The European equivalent of the CDC is not fully politicized like ours is. It performed an analysis of the evidence on face masks earlier in the epidemic and recently updated that review. (Euro. Study) Second verse, same as the first. At best, there is limited evidence of low quality for a beneficial effect. The agency doesn’t oppose use of face masks and notes they could be appropriate in some settings, but is clearly cautious in pushing their benefits, which seems appropriate given the lack of real world visible impact.
And here is another study using dummies to evaluate various kinds of face protection on the transmission of droplets. (Medrxiv Study) Two dummies (no, not Fauci and Osterholm) were placed opposite each other and “breathed” particles with a DNA marker. Face shields and various masks were tested. Note that the dummies were four feet apart and “breathed” droplets. The conditions supposedly replicated what the CDC defines as close contact. But the simulation lasted for only 15 minutes. Employees wish they only had to wear masks for 15 minutes. The emitting dummy when wearing a face covering saw a substantial reduction in DNA marker reaching the receiving dummy. That reduction was 96% for the face shield, 89% for a surgical mask and 79% for a cloth mask. But the wearer experienced an over 9000% (yes, you read that right) increase in marker in the eye region with the face mask and 765% for the face shield. The face shield also increased contamination of the wearer’s neck region. Again, think real world and think large numbers of encounters. 90% of something doesn’t mean much of anything in real life.
Another article discusses the transition of CV-19 to endemic status. (Science Study) The authors explore, with the aid of data on seasonal coronaviruses and a model, scenarios related to CV-19 becoming a milder seasonal infection. The critical factor, as you would expect, is the development of adaptive immunity in a large percent of the population.
Okay, please don’t pay any attention to the freak-out over variants, that is just an excuse for the dictators to control us forever. Another study finds that adaptive immunity will cover any variants known so far. The killer T cell response from 30 recovered CV-19 patients was tested against known mutations and the T cells were able to recognize them all. (Medrxiv Paper)
And speaking of variants (no, not deviants, Uncle Joe) this paper from 1984 looked at seasonal coronavirus mutational behavior. The researchers found substantial variability in strains and in the immune response to strains upon reinfection. (CV Paper) This suggests that in general, coronaviruses change pretty regularly and the response may not be protective against all changes. But note that CV-19 is more dangerous and causes more severe disease and therefore is likely to provoke a more varied and stronger immune response.
And a very recent but similar paper looked at whether the seasonal coronaviruses tended to cause frequent reinfection because of mutations. (eLife Study) It found a fairly high rate of change, especially in spike region, and evidence that these changes helped promote evasion of existing adaptive immune responses.
And here is my unasked-for and probably unappreciated political observation for the day. Our new president is so cognitively challenged that he is incapable of calling leaders of other countries. Our incompetent new vice-president is taking on that role. The president is working maybe 2 hours a day. He had a town hall at which he said there was no vaccine when he came into office, and he told a child that she was very safe, children rarely get coronavirus, but children aren’t safe from his caving to the teachers’ unions and keeping them out of school. This guy has also totally sold out to the Chinese government, he made excuses for that country’s treatment of Uighurs. He has no idea what policies his combination administration of leftover Obama administration clan/woke progressives is pushing out there. This is no way to run a country. But don’t worry, money still talks loudly as it always has and the teachers’ unions are making sure that no child is left behind, instead they are all left behind.