In case you did not see it, voters in Pennsylvania pretty soundly took away their Governor’s emergency powers. Not only is this a victory for democracy, but it should be a warning to a certain political party in regard to 2022. People are fed up with a lot of that party’s shenanigans. And just checking random news stories gives you a sense of how out-of-control and on the verge of true madness our country is. 20% of Seattle’s police have quit and can’t be replaced because no one wants the job. Think that will have a beneficial effect on crime and quality of life? Sound familiar for people who live in Minneapolis? Walgreen’s closed 17 stores in San Francisco because shoplifting is out of control. You may recall San Francisco decided not to try to enforce property crime laws. In Minneapolis several innocent young African-American children have been shot and seriously wounded as bystanders while bullets fly due to no police and no policing. I am sure the social workers can stop it.
The New England Journal of Medicine, a supposedly prestigious publication, prints an article about how horrible it is that some states are trying to prevent children and teens from being given transgender treatments, or as they put it “gender-affirming” treatment. That is truly insane, that doctors think it is a good idea to give dangerous treatments to minors who are not capable of deciding and should not be encouraged to even be thinking about their gender identity. This is medicine? Meanwhile Sweden, because of the harms caused by the treatments, is banning them. Here is a gender-affirming idea; how about we encourage children to be happy with who they are, and not confuse their immature minds with notions of 9 or 15 or 20 genders that they can choose to be. Children are not social experiments. Children are not tools for ideological change. Children should be allowed to be children and be nurtured in a safe environment, away from the perverse interests of ideological whack-jobs.
Every thing we dependent on has become infested with completely bonkers ideology. The backlash is going to be swift and brutal and it should be. All these whacko elitists will have to be run out of their positions of influence. Who could possibly have imagined how completely off the rails our universities, our public schools, the media, medicine, law, even businesses would go. The rest of the world thinks we have lost our minds and China and Russia are laughing their asses off, knowing they have won, which is not good for the world.
The coronavirus briefing yesterday was mercifully short. We did learn that there are now 2249 breakthrough infections in 2060507 fully vaccinated people. You can do the math but it is an extremely small percent, and I would guess that most were asymptomatic and mild. Interestingly a number of these occurred within 14 to 20 days after receipt of the J & J vaccine, suggesting that it does take longer than two weeks to get full adaptive immunity, that vaccine is somewhat less effective than two dose ones, and the tests may just be picking up fragments from before vaccination. The average age of the breakthrough infection patient is 70%. We also heard that variants are over 70% of current cases in Minnesota so there is no way in hell they are causing more serious disease or even being more transmissible, given the lack of change in hospitalization and death rates and the continued decline in cases.
Here is a description from an email I got of the problems that can be caused by bad testing. This relates to studies I summarized yesterday on hospitalizations among children that are miscategorized as CV-19. “Just in the last two weeks, the one year old son of good friends got very sick. Tests were positive for CV and he was shipped to our local university hospital, where he was put in isolation (seldom seen by health care workers due to the effort to gown up, etc.) He languished in a coma for 72 hours until someone finally woke up. A barium enema showed an intussusception with perforation. Repeat CV test was negative. He’s probably going to survive, but it was dicey for a while. Tragic.” Bad tests and assuming that a positive test for an asymptomatic patient means CV-19 is responsible for whatever problems a patient has, will lead to treating physicians making bad decisions.
And I got another email from a reader describing how the head of infectious disease at the local dominant hospital system said that adaptive immunity from infection only lasts three months so kids need to be masked and vaccinated, which led to the local school board listening to and following clearly erroneous advice. How the “experts” can be so wrong and so ignorant on research findings is beyond me.
Life is complex. Research has to be that way as well to find true causative associations. We might all like to think vitamin D levels help protect against CV-19 infection. But the best research, of which this is an example, finds that when you properly adjust for a variety of other factors, any potential association disappears. Kind of like masking or lockdowns effectiveness. (JAMA Article)
You can figure this out even though it is in German. The study found that seasonal coronaviruses did cause a level of false positives on CV-19 PCR tests. (German Study) The false positives ranged from 2.2% for one strain to over 7% for another. So as seasonal coronavirus picks up in the US, another source of false positives.
Interesting article from South Africa on influenza dynamics in households. About half of all influenza infections were asymptomatic. Transmission occurred in only 10% of households. Symptomatic persons were much more likely to transmit than asymptomatic ones. (SD Article)