The only thing that spreads faster than CV-19 is panic about CV-19. It has been a while since I pointed this out, but you can’t spell pandemic without panic. (And what party abbreviation do those other three letters stand for? Hmmmm) (For the record, I am a free-market libertarian.) After all this time, I would like to believe that my beloved skepticism, even cynicism, had been adopted by the majority of my fellow citizens in regard to any pronouncement from our political leaders, physicians, scientists and most of all, public health experts. Could there have been a worse record of performance from this group? No.
Now, I don’t really believe this because the consequences are too severe for all of us, but I do take more than a little pleasure watching the alleged Biden administration (who the hell is really in charge over there?) which only got elected because of the epidemic and whose handling of the epidemic is the only issue on which there has been (no more) a positive rating, flop and flounder like the beached fish in rapidly-lowering Lake Mead. Their credibility is shot and this abysmally incompetent group is setting up the Dems for an epic fail in the next few elections. Simply epic. And I will enjoy every moment. I vote that we for free move all progressives to California and New York, let anyone else in those states move for free to somewhere else, and then divorce those two states. They can keep DC too. Then the rest of us can return to sane government and policy.
Notwithstanding my exasperation with the failure of common sense and skepticism to prevail, I will try one more time to simply list why we shouldn’t get all hysterical again and what data our supposed government experts should be providing.
Let’s start with Delta. Contrary to the misinformation being spread by many, including the so-called experts, the research to date shows:
- It has a lower hospitalization and death rate.
- It is perhaps somewhat more transmissible.
- It does not result in substantially higher viral loads.
- Vaccines are only marginally less effective against Delta infections.
- It does not have a worse impact on children.
Now let us move on to vaccine effectiveness, where we find that:
- People who are vaccinated can get infected, but do so at lower rates than the unvaxed.
- People who are vaccinated and get infected have lower viral loads than the unvaxed who become infected.
- People who are vaccinated and get infected are less likely to be infectious and transmit.
- People who are vaccinated have much lower rates of hospitalization and death than do those who are unvaccinated and get infected.
- The research is actually mixed as to whether vaccination or prior infection provides a stronger adaptive immune response.
- If you understand adaptive immunity, whether from infection or vaccination, in regard to respiratory viruses, none of the above is a surprise, e.g., the performance of flu vaccines and the difficulty in developing an RSV vaccine.
Now what do we need, other than a complete replacement of said political leaders and experts.
- Provide case, hospitalization and death data by vaccination status and give us days after second dose that the case was identified in the case of “fully” vaccinated individuals. Full adaptive immunity is unlikely in 14 days, it takes weeks for memory B and T cells to be completely in place.
- Give us the age structure of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated.
- Show us at least a very representative sample of cycle numbers from supposedly positive PCR tests in both the vaxed and unvaxed cases. I am certain this will reveal much higher cycle numbers and lower viral loads in the vaxed cases.
- Do representative sampling of supposed positives from vaxed and unvaxed persons and attempt to culture the test swabs. I am again certain this will show much less presence of viable virus among the vaxed group.
- Give us complete reinfection cases among the unvaccinated, including hospital and death rates. Reinfections among the unvaxed are the equivalent of breakthrough infections in the vaxed and a direct comparison about rates and outcomes would be helpful.
- Stop hiding how many hospitalizations listed as CV-19 ones aren’t actually for CV-19. The state of Minnesota started doing this for breakthrough infections but it should be done for all cases, so we can compare true serious outcomes.
Finally, come up with better and more accurate messaging on how respiratory virus vaccines should be expected to work. Stop calling them breakthrough infections; the virus isn’t breaking through some physical barrier. Give people at least a rudimentary explanation of how adaptive immunity works. Explain that adaptive immunity is weaker in older persons and those with serious health issues, so we can expect to see cases and even serious illness continue among that group. Once more, for the three millionth time, tell people this virus is not going away, we will live with it, we will adapt to it, we will have preventive and treatment measures that are effective, but it ain’t disappearing. And life is too short and too valuable to waste it in futile attempts to avoid CV-19.
I just have to note as well, after I wrote this, that could there be worse messaging than the CDC telling vaccinated people to wear masks. Readers know that I don’t find any evidence to suggest masks play any role in limiting transmission in the community. I have summarized my reasons for that repeatedly. And what is the point in pushing, even forcing people to get vaccinated if they have to still abide by all the same futile and stupid restrictions. But at least the CDC is consistent, they have done an absolutely atrocious job of communication.
That, that, that’s all folks!!!