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Coronamonomania Thrives in Darkness, Part 8

By February 17, 2021Commentary

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.


Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Ganderson says:

    Report from Hampshire County, MA. As I have posted before the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus has pretty much locked down all their students. Unfortunately (from the university’s perspective anyway ) they haven’t been able to lock down the kids who live off campus, in particular Bluto, Boone, Otter and all the rest of the guys in Animal House. The cops have issued fines to three off campus residences (not frats) for violating the gathering rules. I wonder if the cops are going to go out to the local ponds and arrest the hockey players. That’s actually happened in Calgary.

    So yesterday the UMass faculty took a vote of no confidence in the campus chancellor ostensibly, according to the article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette because he hasn’t done enough to keep the kids locked down.

    Compliance with Gov. Baker’s diktats (masking, closures, number limits indoors) is close to universal, and the local public school teachers are fighting any attempt to open the schools. Amherst College’s classes are 100% remote, kids who live off campus can’t go on campus. Imagine paying elite tuition to go to the University of Phoenix. By the way, that’s not a knock on the University of Phoenix, I don’t think they have the stones to charge what Amherst College charges.

    I’ve become convinced that this madness will continue at least until the end of the year.You Kevin and many others are doing great work to expose the idiocy on display here, unfortunately nobody’s listening, at least no one in any kind of position to do anything. I’ve now become convinced that the Biden ministration will attempt to limit traveling to Florida, and maybe South Dakota, although I don’t think anyone in Biden’s administration could find South Dakota on a map, so they might be safe. I just get more depressed about this every day. They say despair is a sin- I guess I better go to confession.

  • Ganderson says:

    Slight correction- it was the housing people, the RAs and others, students, who held the no confidence vote.

  • Liz Birkeland says:

    I appreciate your unasked-for political observation for the day. And your humor – ‘two dummies, Fauci and Osterholm’… Thank you for being the HealthySkeptic, and helping to make sense (as much as possible) of this fiasco.

  • SteveD says:

    ‘Another study finds that adaptive immunity will cover any variants known so far.’

    Not a surprise if you consider that most mutations which make big changes will lead to a non viable virus. Evolution works by small steps. It’s a common misconception that the influenza virus mutants to highly different viruses all the time. Most of the variants we encounter have been around for decades. That’s why we have vaccines ready for them which we chose by guessing which variants will be prominent that year. A variant which can circumvent adaptive immunity (or even a vaccine) will be rare and it will likely take some time before it arises. (Let’s be ready though!)

    My question is why, when this thing first appeared, did we; 1) throw out everything we knew about viruses, respiratory viruses and coronaviruses, and assume everything about Covid19 would be completely new (not likely) and 2) treat it like a deadly, antibiotic resistant bacteria (which it isn’t)?

    For example, I don’t know how many people I heard say something to the effect that there was no pre-existing natural immunity. I don’t think they understood anything about immunity. Based on the similarity of Covid19 to other coronaviruses, that would be highly unlikely. Based on early data from S. Korea and cruise ships that simply wasn’t true.

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