Another daily briefing, another bunch of lies and terrorization. Well, a slight blip in cases in Minnesota and the state does what it always does, blame the citizens. We aren’t behaving right. The fear-mongering messages are consistent. Variants, variants, variants. With absolutely zero good science behind any fear in regard to variants, but keep up those suppression efforts, I am sure you can yet create favorable conditions for a really horrific one. The Director of Infectious Diseases, the aptly named Chris Errorperson, repeated the simplistic and very wrong statement that we have to stop transmission to stop mutations. Every case, we are told, represents a story of enormous human loss; but somehow all the damage done by the mitigation of spread measures is never mentioned. Don’t travel for spring, don’t gather for holidays. Hunker down forever, because who knows what variant might arise, or whether the vaccines may work. Just superglue those five masks over your mouth or nose, never get face to face with another person, including family, and everything will be fine, except the quality of your life.
As I said, lies and blaming us. We aren’t wearing our masks as much, according to the state, relying on a survey from the group in Washington state that has been completely wrong about everything. I see zero evidence of that. People are out more, but there is no evidence that this is the source of more cases. Just look at the weekly report. And cut the crap, either the vaccines work or they don’t. If they do why place any limits on vaccinated people? If you keep delivering a message that vaccines don’t lead to a freer life, don’t be surprised when some people don’t feel motivated to get vaccinated. The Commissioner said we know how to prevent transmission, masks, distance etc. No, we obviously don’t know how to prevent transmission and we probably can’t prevent it. It is the season of the virus.
And the data provided by the state continues to be pathetic. We get very little information on vaccinations, first and second doses, by the same age groups used for case, hospitalization and death reporting in the weekly report. We need that to do the very basic and most important analysis now–are we seeing an impact of vaccinations. Given the widespread and ludicrous testing of completely asymptomatic people, particularly in schools, why is there absolutely no work to find out how many of those results are false positives and how many represent actually infectious people.
And the CDC, with a different administration in charge and getting a little worried about the parents’ rebellion on school closings, magically decides that 3 feet of distance is okay in schools. Has as much science behind it as the original 6 feet, i.e., none. How about we let kids be kids and have no distance restrictions, no dividers and no masks. There is no science behind any of this. But here is the dirty little secret that apparently only CDC knows; the virus has evolved in the last year and now instead of being able to travel 6 feet it can only travel 3 feet. That virus is something, with its amazing capabilities that no one ever suspected a virus could have, like, well, it has been telling the Governor of Minnesota what he has to do with executive orders for the last year. Seriously, he constantly tells us that the virus made him do it.
And along the lines of stories of enormous human loss, even the CDC has noticed that fake school causes problems for students and parents. (CDC Study) A survey of parents of children aged 5 to 12 found that only 31% of children were getting a real education. Children and parents of children who were not in full-time in-person had far greater indicators of mental stress and lack of well-being. What a shock.
And a study from Wisconsin after schools reopened finds little benefit to some restrictions used in those schools. This was a followup to an earlier CDC report on the same schools which found no significant case transmission after opening. (Medrxiv Paper) The authors found that most of the time 6 feet of distancing was not maintained. There was no increased ventilation. Students continued to eat lunch indoors and to not wear masks at recess. Mask compliance was not universal, even among students. Bussing was used. There was high transmission in the community. But no jump in cases in the schools. Who needs all those restrictions. Not kids.
Does living with children lead to a greater likelihood of infection or death. This large study from the UK attempts to answer that question. (BMJ Study) During the country’s first wave, among adults age 65 and under, there was no association with more cases, hospitalizations or deaths. During the second wave, there was a slight, very slight association with increased cases and hospitalizations but not with deaths. In general, people living with children had a reduced risk of deaths from CV-19 or other causes.
Another paper following up on vaccination of people known to have been previously infected and those who had not been infected. As prior research suggested, those who had been infected obtain a robust response after the first dose of vaccination. Those who were not infected seem to require two doses to reach the same effect. (Medrxiv Paper) Those with prior infection seemed to have a peak response in about 14 days, whereas those without took around 28 days to achieve that level.
Here is an interesting article on the topic of suppression efforts and mutations. Pretty much along the lines of what I have been saying. (Mutation Article)
This paper examines the effect of the advice to people over 70 in Sweden to stay at home in the spring of 2020. Sweden had limited restrictions, but did have some. The survey revealed high compliance with the recommendations but found that as a result, there was greater mental distress, a lessening of physical activity and more skipping of recommended health care. (Medrxiv Paper)