Florida is open and packed. I see fewer, but still some people walking on the beach or even riding bicycles with masks on. I don’t know if people have a perception that they are safer, are vaccinated or just have had enough, but there definitely is a feeling that people are just going to return to doing what they want to do.
Dr. Birx says better mitigation could have prevented most deaths in the US, verifying that leaving her advisor role didn’t make her less of an incompetent moron. Let’s see, a whole lot of 80 plus year-olds died, most of whom were ready to keel over with any additional health issue or just with the passage of time, but different mitigation would have stopped that? Multiple countries, states, other geographical subdivisions had very different mitigation strategies, and very similar outcomes, including some, like Florida, that actually had far better outcomes than places with much stricter mitigation. I agree with her that we could have employed a smarter mitigation strategy and it would have involved not shutting schools, not shutting businesses, and not terrifying people, all accompanied with attributing deaths to causes in the normal way, and we would have endured a lot less damage and had a lot fewer reported deaths.
In my presentation on CV-19, when I discuss why this got so delusionally overblown, the number one reason I cite is the US media fixation on anything they believe will bring them ratings and ad revenue. This is backed up by a study from researchers at Dartmouth and Brown University. (Media Study) The authors note that 87% of major media coverage in the US is negative in tone, compared to only 50% for stories from other countries. They also note that the stories don’t get better when the actual course of the epidemic does.
And in other good news, the terror campaign that kept people from seeking needed health care, led to delayed caner diagnoses and care, according to a study performed at one large institution in Massachusetts. (JAMA Article) Massive declines in five common cancer screening tests were found during the first wave of the epidemic, leading to as many as 1400 missed diagnoses.
This study further supports the finding that vaccines provide good protection against CV-19 infection. (Medrxiv Paper) The study was conducted among health care workers, whose infection rates were compared to those in the surrounding community. Within two to four weeks after the first dose, infections dropped 61% and they virtually disappeared following the second dose. While infections also dropped in the community, they did so at a much slower rate.
This study from Georgia (the state not the country) examined transmission patterns during the spring. The largest single source of transmission was between family members. Yep, telling people to stay home as much as possible makes a lot of sense. (Medrxiv Paper) Strict lockdowns did not appear to affect rates of transmission.
This is another paper that suggests that the results of antibody surveys may depend on the assay used. (Medrxiv Paper) They found a lasting response, but variable among people, with disease severity contributing to the variation.
CV-19 disease treatment has improved significantly. This study from Belgium says that treating hospitalized patients with statins and two common blood pressure medications decreased mortality significantly. Always good to have confirmation from more than one study, however. (Medrxiv Paper)