Our benevolent dictator deigned to give us a couple more degrees of freedom yesterday. All limitations should be off, but he just can’t give up the power over people’s lives he is enjoying so much. I would note by the way, the tension between maintaining terror and now that his party succeeded in their goal of using the pandemic to change federal administrations, declaring victory. The actual level of supposed cases, if you ignore false and low positives in a low-prevalence environment, doesn’t justify any restrictions.
UNICEF thinks the lockdowns and school closures have done immeasurable harm to children. (UNICEF Statement) You read the list of harms and you couple that with other recent research linking loss of schooling with economic damage and you can easily see that the response to the epidemic has done far more harm than the virus. But don’t tell the IB; he is too busy counting his money from the teachers’ unions and it might upset him.
I am not sure I agree with everything in this posted letter circulating widely. It was written by a virologist who understands the immune system well. He explains, among other things, the harm that restricting children’s interactions may do to their immune systems. But his main point is that widespread vaccination may weaken people’s innate immune response to CV-19 and encourage the virus to mutate in untoward ways. (Bossche Letter) I am not sure about vaccination weakening or displacing the innate immune response, as he suggests. I tend to agree with his assessment that our excessive attempts to suppress the virus have made the course of the epidemic worse and could lead to a more lethal pathogen. He suggests creating vaccines that facilitate rather than displace innate immunity, particularly by targeting what are called natural killer cells.
This paper examined asymptomatic transmission in college residence halls. (Medrxiv Paper) It find that such transmission rarely occurs but when it does, it is from students with large viral loads. This is what should be common sense to anyone, viral load is correlated with likelihood of transmission and asymptomatic persons generally have lower viral loads and are infectious for a shorter time.
And if you were infected with CV-19 and lived with someone who also was infected you were more likely to have serious disease. The implication is that you had a more significant exposure to a higher viral load. (Medrxiv Paper)
How many people have been infected with CV-19 in North Carolina? An ongoing antibody study with multiple longitudinal results from many participants was reported in this paper. (Medrxiv Paper) By the middle of February, 83% of health care workers and 49% of non-health care workers were positive. Many of the positives were likely due to vaccination, especially among health care workers. The antibody prevalence is far higher than that suggested by confirmed tests.
Another study from North Carolina looked at household transmission and included a higher percentage of minority participants. (Medrxiv Paper) A very high 60% secondary transmission rate was observed. Transmission was associated with higher viral loads in the index case. The higher transmission rate was likely due to high living density among many participants.
Why do so many people who have direct contact with an infected person not become infected? This paper examined that question. (Medrxiv Paper) The authors concluded that contacts who did not become infected had strong innate immune and cross-reactive responses.
690,000 patients who had CV-19 disease and commercial insurance were included in this study. (Medrxiv Paper) Stroke, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, dementia and heart failure, were associated with much higher risk of serious disease requiring hospitalization.
Just another article reporting on the fact that when you do large scale testing of asymptomatic populations, no matter how accurate your test is supposed to be, you are mostly going to get false positives with a few low positives mixed in. (LS Story)
This paper suggests than antibody testing in people with asymptomatic or mild disease is pretty inaccurate, probably because the assays are not good at picking up lower antibody levels. (Medrxiv Paper)
People are still puzzling over the relationship between vitamin D and CV-19. This paper attempted to associate average vitamin D levels in European countries with deaths. (Medrxiv Paper) Countries with lower total sun exposure but higher vitamin D levels did appear to have lower deaths. But there can be confounding factors.