Okay, I want to be fair, sort of, to the IB, and I meant to praise something he said on Thursday. He said we were just going to have to manage the virus and live with it the way we do flu. That is absolutely right and a welcome contrast to the Commissioner saying we have to suppress it.
I walked into my local grocery store today, no mask for the first time in almost a year. Tears literally came to my eyes. I know the clerks well and we all were giddy with not having to have our faces covered. It is interesting to see how different stores and businesses are handling the end of mask mandates. I suspect the pressure to unmask will become overwhelming for most of them. Instead of a virtue signal, masks will be seen for what they are, a symbol of ignorant fear. Unfortunately, some public health “experts” and the teachers’ unions are doing their best to keep our poor children masked. The group that needs to be freed the most will be punished the longest.
On a non-CV note, the New York Times has a hilarious story about how Biden challenges his advisors and is demanding of all the details. (NYT Story) Anyone who watches this guy stumble around a teleprompter and who knows anything about cognitive impairment realizes that he is the poster child for fast developing dementia. This is a pure puff piece planted by the Administration and the real president, whoever that is, to counter the obvious fact that Biden doesn’t know what day or what time of day it is. The only challenging questions he asks his advisors are: when is my next nap; do I have to get dressed tomorrow; when can I get my Jello; has Hunter put the money in my account yet; what century is it, and so on. And by the way, if you looked at the home page of the NYT yesterday, they are clearly still obsessed with Trump and completely a Democratic Party mouthpiece. A sad, sad commentary on journalism.
Here is my favorite paper of the day. There have been indications that CV-19 may be blocking influenza infections. On the other side, it appears that rhinovirus has the capability to hinder CV-19 infection. (JID Paper) Apparently this is accomplished by rhinovirus infection causing an interferon reaction that inhibits CV-19 replication. So a high level of rhinovirus infection in a population may help reduce CV-19 transmission.
A detailed examination of the effects of vaccination in Israel, through April 10. A very large number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths were avoided, largely in the over 65 group. (SSRN Paper)
This study followed 170 infected Italian health care workers for up to 12 months. Almost all had strong persistent antibody responses for the full period. Out of four reinfections, three occurred in people whose antibody response waned. (RS Article)
A good paper on viral load and infectiousness, with some other nuggets thrown in. (JID Article) The study was a combination of contact tracing and testing. Out of over a million index cases, only 9% of contacts experienced a secondary transmission. That is very bleeping low. The likelihood of transmission increased dramatically with viral load. The B117 appeared to be associated with a 50% greater likelihood of transmission, which might be due to characteristics of the strain itself or an association with differential viral load. Home was by far the most common source of secondary tranmission. Children were the least likely to transmit.
A really bad paper on transmission, focused on asymptomatic transmission. The authors did nothing but built a model, tell it there was a lot of asymptomatic transmission and, viola, the model told them there was a lot of asymptomatic transmission. Genius, sheer genius. Of course if you used realistic assumptions about the actual rate of asymptomatic transmission based on contact tracing studies, it wouldn’t look nearly as scary. (JAMA Article)
We have seen in Minnesota and the US that the terror campaign led to a sharp drop in childhood immunizations. The same is true in Canada, according to this study. (Medrxiv Paper)