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Coronamonomania Thrives in Darkness, Part 43

By April 12, 2021Commentary

Had to have one of those regular, every 5 or 10 years, lovely procedures today.  The prep is miserable but I am done and back at it.  Supposedly the sedative will affect me all day, so I probably shouldn’t be WWI.

I remain mystified by the unusual lack of terror and panic coming from the state as cases rise.  I can only explain this as political, now that they got their change of administration, they have to pretend that everything is much better.  At this point in the wave last fall, the world was going to fall apart and we were all being naughty children causing cases to rise.  As more evidence across multiple states mounts in regard to variants, it is apparent that they don’t cause more hospitalizations or deaths and that they may not even be more transmissible.

I have no idea how the research nazis let this slip through, but here is an article in a somewhat prestigious journal listing all the issues with masks in regard to effectiveness and potential harm.  Pretty funny that it snuck out there.  It was made available last November but got no publicity, so just sort of popped up now.  (MH Article)

This study from Canada examined the relative role of children in the spread of CV-19.  (CMAJ Article)   The authors assessed PCR cycle number and culturability to determine relative viral loads.  Only 19% of swabs had viable virus for children 10 and under, 23% for children 11 to 17, and 44% for adults.  This was correlated with cycle numbers being much lower to get viable virus for children than for adults and with average viral loads in children being lower.  The authors quite properly note that this means children are very unlikely to play a major role in transmission.

More evidence on vaccine efficacy is piling up every day.  (Medrxiv Study)   This paper examines early experience in California.  Among fully vaccinated people efficacy at preventing infection was 86%.  One week after each of the first dose and second dose, efficacy was 66% and 78%, respectively.  Vaccine hesitancy was much higher in rural areas than urban ones.

More work on the difficult problem of assessing exactly how that darned CV-19 floats around on the air and transmits.  (Medrxiv Paper)  The authors focus on droplet and aerosol transmission and seek to advance the understanding of flows and lifetimes.  They also looked at environmental conditions, particularly humidity and temperature, and their impact on particle fate.  Finally, their work also examined the effects of explosive exhalation, like a sneeze.  The thrust of their findings was that in many circumstances droplets and aerosols can persist longer than previously believed.  Interesting paper.

If you have been infected, how likely is it that you will be reinfected?  That question was examined by this large study from England comparing previously infected persons with those who were never infected.  Compared to uninfected persons, those with a prior infection had only a 15% or so likelihood of being reinfected.  (Lancet Study)   Pretty good adaptive immune response.  As far as I can tell from the tables, almost all of these “reinfections” were only possible infections, and most were asymptomatic or very mild.

And another article on B memory cells and coronaviruses.  (Science Article)   The essence of the study is that these cells are found in varying concentrations in different tissues and that children are much more likely to have pre-existing cross-reactive B cells.

This is kind of an interesting study in a CDC publication regarding the epidemic in Qatar.  (EID Article)   The researchers find very high levels of past infections in the population, with very few current active cases or clusters and suggest that population immunity has been reached in some communities in the country.  The population is relatively young so the rate of serious disease is extremely low.


Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Darin Kragenbring says:

    Hi Mr. Roche,

    Regarding The Lancet study about reinfection: can we make use of a study like this without cycle-threshold values for the PCR tests? I suppose the results are lopsided enough that we can conclude vaccinations provide protection from reinfection. I just wonder if some of those “reinfected” patients are actually getting faulty PCR test results?

    Thank you.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      it appears that almost all the reinfections were very minor, if cases at all, as you suggest

  • VS says:

    Pre-existing cross-reactive B cells in children don’t come out of nowhere. How long before the social distancing of children, which is preventing them from contracting colds and other minor illnesses, takes a noticeable toll on their immune development, leaving them more vulnerable to covid?

    • Kevin Roche says:

      absolutely 100% correct, we have severely affected children’s normal immune system development, and along the way limited the immune system challenges they present to adults, which helps adults. We are going to cause some serious problems for children.

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