Cases in Minnesota, and the country, and just plummeting to nothingness. We are absolutely at a lower level of cases than at the same time last year, particularly given differences in testing. And I have no doubt that a lot of the “cases” we are seeing now are false and low positives. So the true number of infectious people wandering around out there is miniscule. And in Minnesota at least, taking off the mask mandate, and the massive increase in the number of contacts people are having as everyone is out and about, have made no difference. I keep wondering when the majority of the population is going to wake up and see that all the nonsense about masks and everything else made no difference. One thing I would hope comes out of this is a lot more skepticism about government and experts, but a lot of people seem to go the other way and justify their own compliance with all the orders by believing it was necessary.
It appears that throughout the epidemic many experts have forgotten basic immunology. In regard to long-term protection against a pathogen, the critical thing isn’t what is circulating in your bloodstream as antibodies but the memory cells that can recognize the re-introduction of the pathogen and marshal a defense. This study confirms that while antibodies may lessen in patients, especially those with mild disease, memory B cells were present in all patients studied, and showed a response to the major CV-19 variants, although a lesser one to some. (SSRN Paper)
A study on vaccine effectiveness from Canada. (Medrxiv Paper) The study involved the mRNA vaccines and found that after two doses they were extremely effective against both infection and serious illness. Effectiveness was lower among the elderly. And effectiveness was significantly less with only one dose but some protection was afforded even then.
Another piece of research on vaccine effectiveness from Israel and Europe. (Medrxiv Paper) In regard to deaths, the mRNA vaccines were found to be 72% effective, with only a slightly lower effectiveness in regard to the B117 variant. The lower effectiveness against death as opposed to infection probably relates to the fact that older people react less strongly to the vaccines and are more likely to have serious illness from CV-19, so not unexpected. The authors attempted to analyze the vaccine effect in light of existing trends and other factors, so a useful approach. Other factors which appeared to effect the course of the epidemic were temperature, airport busyness, and general mobility.
This study from Italy examined reinfection risks over a long period. Out of 1579 patients in the spring of 2020, there were only 5 reinfections, one of whom was hospitalized. People who were not infected originally had a 15 times greater risk of being infected later. CV-19 infection appears to create a lasting a strong adaptive immune response. (JAMA Article)
A short paper reports on cancer and CV-19 at a hospital in India. 19 patients with CV-19 died, but in all cases cancer was determined to be the cause of the death. But in the US, and probably in India, those deaths will be treated as CV-19 deaths. (Medrxiv Paper)
And finally, a study that deals with factors affecting the rise of variants. At least these authors acknowledge that suppression may actually encourage the development of variants that are more infectious, but their solution is that we should just lockdown harder. (Medrxiv Paper)