Update–an alert reader, obviously more alert than I, noticed that I got catch-22ed, and doubled up on Part 22. I have fixed it now.
I am in Utah, where somehow on a fun trip to Arches National Park, we managed to get snowed on, sleeted on and rained on all in one day’s drive. May be here a little too early. The park is beautiful, but it is a little windy and cold, in fact the same temperature as Minnesota. And even in this weather, there are maskers on trails, almost all young adults. What is wrong with people, anyone can get basic information like “there is no outdoor transmission”.
I am going to keep pounding on this because the next time environmental conditions are favorable for cases and we see some increase (can’t be as bad as late fall/early winter or last spring due to adaptive immunity) and some of those cases are among people who got vaccinated, there will be freakouts and the public health ding-dongs will be trying to lock us all up again. There will be tension between the new administration’s desire to claim victory and the reluctance of its public health “expert morons” to give up their power and stroke their egos; think Fauci, Osterholm, Slavitt et al. But the media loves being able to spread panic and hysteria so it will fight against any return to normality. The dynamics will be interesting.
I don’t know which idiotic epidemic policy to take on first; masking or school closings. Let’s go with masking. Small study but very telling. This paper reports three cases in a hospital setting where the patient and/or health care worker were wearing masks and there was still transmission, which was verified by genomic sequencing. (CID Article) The health care workers also were wearing eye protection, like a face shield. In one case a nurse wearing a mask and googles transmitted to a patient who was not masked. I thought masks were mostly source control? There was humongous air turnover in these settings. These are health care workers, who supposedly know how to use masks and eye protection correctly. Instant virus karma gonna get ya, no matter what. If masks don’t work in these settings, how would they possibly work in real life in the community.
This piece of research isn’t going to tell you anything you don’t already know. It looked at whether funding had anything to do with schools being open in-person or not. (SSRN Research) And the level of funding in a school district had nothing to do with in-person, i.e., real learning. In fact, school districts with higher funding levels, i.e., large city ones, were the least likely to have in-person learning. So Biden, or whoever is pulling his strings, can stop pretending money is what keeps schools closed. The paper built on earlier research showing that teachers’ unions and politics were the strongest predictor of schools being closed. The researchers pointed out that even though private schools spend on average much less per pupil than do private schools, private schools are much more likely to be open.
Here is a nail in the coffin of another stupid argument for keeping schools closed and making children miserable while there. These researchers tested whether there was any difference in case rates among students or teachers in schools with minimum distancing of 3 feet versus minimum distancing of 6 feet. There wasn’t. So stop torturing our children with masks, distancing and other bs. (CID Paper)
And two papers adding to the understanding of adaptive immunity. This paper demonstrated that memory B cells have a diverse ability to recognize parts of CV-19 and that antibodies and memory B cells from recovered patients were capable of recognizing the new variants that everyone is panicking about. (Medrxiv Paper)
Next a paper that found that for patients who have previously been infected by CV-19, one dose of vaccine generates a more substantial immune response that it does in people who have not been infected. (Medrxiv Paper)