How have there been almost 60 parts to this series already, will this thing ever end? That is a serious question–when will the experts and politicians declare victory and stop the excessive focus on a receding epidemic and instead start dealing with all the health, educational, social and economic issues they have caused by trying to suppress the virus. A few governors have bravely and appropriately ended states of emergency. Our goonvernor will still have it in place up to the day he is booted out of office.
Of course, we had to have a briefing on CV-19 from the DOH today. Same old same old, what can we come up with today to scare the hell out of people. The usual themes, variants, India is the new monster under the bed, travel is incredibly scary, yada, yada, yada. In answer to a question about why more cases in younger groups as a percent of all cases, didn’t give a straightforward answer that it is due to relative vaccination rates, which the data clearly shows, and excessive testing of asymptomatic people in that group.
A quick note on my favorite economic topic, aside from absurd investment valuations, yes Virginia, there is inflation. You can’t dole out trillions of useless spending without having some effect. Note the companies in this article and note the comments. This is classic inflation psychology, which becomes embedded quickly and is hard to root out. People are expecting price increases in their inputs so they are raising prices on their products and services. That becomes ingrained and everyone’s products and services are someone else’s costs. Round and round we go. But don’t tell Joe, he is napping in his Jello, which he gets free, courtesy of the taxpayers, so he doesn’t have to worry about how much it costs. And he can always send bagman Hunter to the Ukraine or China for another billion or so if he is feeling a little pinched. (ZH Article) And don’t tell Powell either, he is hoping people just won’t think about the consequences for the Federal Reserve and Treasury. Here is one–much higher interest rates on $20 trillion of federal debt. We will see very bad note and bill auctions in coming months. Yippee!!
Earlier this year Minnesota released a report on opioid deaths, which attempted to minimize the effect of the pandemic. Here is an update which shows even more clearly that the lockdown and terror campaign were associated with a stark rise in those deaths. (Mn. Opioid Rpt.) Deaths rose from 792 in 2019 to 1008 in 2020, a 25% increase. These are predominantly young adults, with many years of life ahead of them. This is also due to the complete failure of our police-hating Attorney General, Keith Ellison, to focus on drug trafficking as an issue. Minnesota is wide open to drug gangs bringing anything they want into the state. We can spend tens of millions of dollars prosecuting one poor cop, but somehow can’t stop opioids from flowing into the state and killing our citizens. We never hear about any significant interdiction of drug shipments or busts of dealers. And Joe Biden’s open border policy means that this will get even worse. Associated with this will be even more killings among young minority men, and innocent bystanders in their neighborhoods. Murderopolis rides again.
More good news about how the terror campaign affected young people. A study from Northern California finds that while the use of vaping declined among adolescents during the epidemic, drug and alcohol use was essentially unchanged, but physical activity lessened significantly. (JAMA Study)
The terror campaigns didn’t just affect young people, older people were often disproportionately affected with isolation. This research comes from the UK and found a doubling of rates of depression among older adults. (Medrxiv Paper)
Further confirmation that the virus was circulating in the US well before generally acknowledged comes from this study in Southern California doing retrospective testing on specimens collected in late 2019 and early 2020 and finding several cases of CV-19 infection. (JID Study) The source was likely both international and domestic travel. There were almost certainly a fair number of cases before any testing began.
This study from Germany does suggest that the AstraZeneca vaccine may have been associated with clotting issues, but not the Pfizer vaccine. (Medrxiv Paper) Further investigation of clotting issues is clearly warranted.
This paper is pretty technical, but if you want to understand something about different types of antibodies that develop from vaccination or immunization, it will do that for you. A lot of different antibodies are developed from person to person and there are a number of common ones. Generally speaking they appear to be resistant to being mutated around. (Medrxiv Paper)
And another paper relating to vaccination and variants. (Medrxiv Paper) Looking at the mRNA vaccines, they focused on T cell responses and found that the vaccine response was more robust as one prompted by infection, both to spike and nucleocapsid segments. The response was strong against known variants although not quite as strong as to the original strain.
This research from South Korea examined prevalence of all respiratory viruses following the implementation of social distancing measures. Enveloped viruses, of which coronavirus is an example, were all substantially diminished. Non-enveloped viruses were not, such as rhinoviruses and adenoviruses. Speaks to likely lack of ability to persist in the environment, presumably due to lipid envelope instabilities. Coming soon, some more lethal form of rhinovirus or adenovirus, thanks to our over-assertive suppression measures. (SK Study)
In September, antibody prevalence in Houston was around 14%, or four times the reported number of infections. Foots to common estimates of 3-4 times reported infections you see in other sources, including CDC. If true, Minnesota has about 1.75 million to 2.25 million cases. (CID Study)