If you want to see something that looks like actual exponential case rise, look at India’s current curve. And India masks up really well. Made a big difference. And we thought SE Asia was remarkably safe, check out Thailand lately. Another nearly 100% mask country. Seasonality gets you sooner or later.
The briefers in Minnesota were in rare form Thursday, returning to some of their favorite themes in the terror campaign. These shameless hustlers should be subjected to a public gauntlet of ridicule. They pushed the variant terrorism, even though it is very clear the variants are a) covered by the vaccines; b) not causing worse rates of outcomes; and c) likely not really much more transmissible. The commissioner flat out lied in saying the variants are tied to worse disease and outcomes. There is no research that supports that at this point. In fact the best research shows this is not true. The DOH acknowledged that in answer to a Scott Johnson question a week ago.
They are completely number and statistics illiterate. The commissioner tried to make it sound scary that the median age of hospitalization has gone down significantly. This is exactly what you would expect as vaccination of older groups was prioritized. It is why I do those charts that show things like proportion of LTC deaths and relative rates of hospitalizations, cases and deaths by age group. How they can twist this to be something bad is just absurd and frightening in the ignorance it reflects.
We got guilting about vaccinating to protect others. We got the children can get seriously ill BS. And we got the complete lie about supposed asymptomatic spread by children. The DOH is completely unable to point to one actual case of this happening. The higher levels of “cases” among children is nothing more or less than huge percents of false positives due to the testing regimen. It is especially disgraceful and disgusting that the state continues to push these lies and this testing program which leads to unnecessary isolation of students and closing of schools. Parents should demand that these testing programs be fully transparent in disclosure of cycle numbers and that any positive be verified.
The so-called experts can keep ignoring the science all they want, like they do in Minnesota, but truth is truth. The closed school policies are absurd and everyone knows it is nothing but catering to teachers’ unions in the interest of getting campaign contributions. Here is one more nail in the coffin, another study from Japan, whose research is trustworthy, finding that closing schools made zero difference in transmission rates. (Medrxiv Paper) As the authors mildly put it: “policies on school closures should be reexamined given the potential negative consequences for children and parents.”
Yet another vaccination study, from the UK again. (Medrxiv Paper) Over 370,000 people were included in assessing infection rates, cycle number for supposed cases and other outcomes. Even after one dose the vaccinated people were 65% less likely to be infected than people who had not been vaccinated and had equivalent protection to those who had a prior infection. After two doses protection rose to a higher level. The reduction in infections was proportionately much greater among low cycle number infections; in other words those vaccinated persons who were “infected” were much more likely to have low viral loads. The vaccine appeared equally effective against the B117 strain.
Here is a study of the impact of vaccinations in Scotland on hospitalizations. The study was conducted after just one dose of vaccine, but even then hospitalizations between 28 and 34 days after administration dropped by over 90% and at a similar rate even among the elderly. The Scottish vaccine regimen called for a second dose 28 days after the first. The findings reflect strong effect of one dose, if adequate time is allowed for development of adaptive immunity. (Lancet Paper)
Israel has been a leader in proportion of population innoculated. This study from the country suggests that people who had been infected have a similar adaptive immunity to those who are vaccinated. (Medrxiv Paper) The data covered the entire population of the country. Four groups were studied, prior infected and unvaccinated, unvaccinated, vaccinated up to one week after second dose and vaccinated more than a week after two doses. The authors did a variety of adjustments to account for confounding and potential biases. The vaccine was 93% effective in preventing infection, with a slight decrease in the over 80 group. It was 94% effective in preventing hospitalization or death. Having a prior infection actually provided similar, even very slightly higher rates of protection. Vaccines work, and so does developing adaptive immunity from infection.
Is household exposure linked to more severe disease from CV-19? (JID Article) Nope, according to this study of over 15,000 multiperson households in Denmark with an index case. The hypothesis was that because of ongoing close contact, household transmission might result in higher viral loads and more severe disease. Transmission occurred in only 23% of households, which is astoundingly and intriguingly low. And among secondary cases there was no increased risk of severe disease.
This paper covered hospitalization outcomes from March through the end of 2020. (Medrxiv Paper) Over this period median length of stay dropped by a third. Remdesivir and corticosteroid use increased substantially. ICU use almost dropped in half and mechanical ventilation by two-thirds. Some of these trends appeared to flatten out during the November/December wave and there appeared to be an increase in some hospitalization per capita rates, but I think that is due to the steep increase in remdesivir use in that period.