Okay, for those who weren’t keeping count, we had a horrific wave of cases in Tuscaloosa, Alabama after the college national championship game, thousands died after the Super Bowl celebration in Tampa, millions of cases have been reported in Iowa after they removed all restrictions, Texas and Mississippi have been reduced back to the Stone Age, since they are Neanderthals, and Florida, well, Florida by now has been completely depopulated, so I have every reason to think that we will in fact see a few zillion cases among the spring break visitors in Miami. Shades of Sturgis, the original superspreading disaster. WHY IS ANYONE LISTENING TO SUPPOSED EXPERTS BY NOW?
A sad thing going on right now is that one of the original proponents of sanity, Alex Berenson, who I still follow closely and admire for his stand, has gone whacko on trying to show that vaccination programs are associated with a rise in cases. There is zero evidence to support this, especially if you understand the timeline for development of adaptive immunity. You may recall the study from just a couple of days ago indicating that it likely takes two to four weeks after the second dose for full adaptive immunity to be kicking in. And the reality is that the immune system is continuing to build up its long-term response for as much as several months. And as always, you have to look at pre-existing trends and other factors. If a country has a vaccination program going on at the same time as the seasonal conditions are favorable for transmission, you have to adjust any analysis for that. What is discouraging is to see someone on “our side” doing the same cherrypicking of data, same shoddy analysis and same misrepresentation of the research. And worst of all, he is determined not to rethink his position, not to consider that he might be wrong. Anyway, keep following Alex, but ignore the nonsense about vaccination and case rises.
Got my second dose this morning, feel fine so far, but if this summary seems worse than usual, please blame the vaccine!
Speaking of vaccines, study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds they are effective agains the common variants of concern. (JAMA Article)
And another article finds that households with a vaccinated member appear to have less case transmission than do households without one. (Medrxiv Paper) Health care workers who had and hadn’t been vaccinated were the test bed. Compared to people in the household of a vaccinated one, people in an unvaccinated one had a 40% greater chance of being infected and over twice the risk of hospitalization.
An excellent article on asymptomatic transmission, laying out issues in getting a grasp on this “monster under the bed” that has been used to justify restrictions without clear data. The author doesn’t give any data analysis but does summarize what is known and how to think about the problem. (Science Article)
And I don’t quite understand the point of this article in Nature. (Nature Article) The author gives five reasons why he thinks population immunity to CV-19 is unlikely. Now I agree with the points he is making, but that has nothing to do with population immunity. Population immunity is not the state where there is zero transmission; population immunity is a state in which transmission is at a very low level, certainly below what would be considered an epidemic. It is not the same as “zero covid”, which is a completely unrealistic goal. But having infections recede to a nuisance level is not only possible but extremely likely.
The American Psychology Association (Which slightly off topic, has turned itself into the worst woke nightmare possible and if it really represented what psychologists are like, you would never want yourself or family and friends to be treated by one. Ideology and good mental health care are fundamentally inconsistent.) issued a paper on the bad effects of the responses to the epidemic. According to its survey, 47% of Americans have delayed or cancelled care; 62% reported undesired weight changes, with over 40% saying they had a weight gain of a median 15 pounds (how good is that for health); 67% reported sleep problems; 48% of parents reported more stress and 62% with children still at home for remote learning reported stress. But don’t worry, according to the IB, its all good. (APA Survey)
And this is a useful article regarding the transmission and transmissibility of respiratory viruses. (Nature Article)