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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 1

By August 9, 2021Commentary

Okay, so I changed the series name some.  Because we obviously have some people who aren’t going to let go of this; who will always find some way to terrorize us and hang on to their moment of glory and power, to the detriment of all of us.

Minnesota announced four deaths today, Monday.  All four occurred in February.  Almost a third of all deaths announced in the last few weeks have been before March 1.  What the heck is going on.

Dr. Osterholm, as is usually the case, got in trouble for telling the truth.  Whacko progressives who run the country don’t like that.  Remember that clip I gave you a link to, of the good Doctor letting slip that masks don’t work.  YouTube has removed it.  If it doesn’t fit the religion, it can’t be true.  We live in a cesspool similar to current day China, Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany.  You will only believe what the GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE, YOU WILL ONLY HEAR WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO HEAR.  And he is trying to backtrack now, to stay in the dictators’ good graces.

Ok, I am little fed up with people who post comments that contain clear misinformation, especially about the vaccines, particularly stuff about how they have killed a lot of people.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  I want to allow free exchange of information and opinion but I am not going to have that kind of crap on the blog.  So if you submit a comment like that, it is going in the trash.  And I know many of you think I am too much of a rooter for the vaccines.  If you don’t think they work, I would like the alternative explanation for the very low level and rates of deaths we see in Minnesota, and more importantly, in places like Florida and the UK, which had very high case surges in recent weeks.  As I have said from when they were first about to be put to use, we should of course monitor safety carefully and we should have realistic expectations about what to expect from any respiratory virus vaccine–nothing stops exposure, including masks; but vaccines, and prior infection, will limit the risk of infection and of serious illness.  I have also made it clear that getting vaccinated is an individual decision and I don’t support vaccine mandates, except possibly in the case of teachers and school staff who think children shouldn’t be able to go to real school and/or should have to wear masks, not to protect the children, but to protect the teachers and staff.  And I will keep summarizing the research on vaccines, including when it suggests they have less than perfect protection.  But I won’t publish what I know to be complete misinformation.  Can’t be suckers for conspiracy theories, guys, makes us all look we are loopy.

I have been thinking more about total adaptive immunity in a population, which results from both infection and from vaccination.  In some ways it appears immunity from natural infection is at least as good as that from vaccines, so assuming we can determine that someone did have a prior infection, not sure why we are insisting they get vaccinated.  (See a couple of studies below relevant to this point.)    Using Minnesota as an example, the state says we have 618,000 infections.  The CDC says we are missing about three out of four cases.  I am going to cut that down and let us just say we have twice as many undetected cases. So around 1.8 million.  According to a number of sites, over 3 million Minnesotans are fully vaccinated.  The state population is about 5.7 million.  Depending on the overlap of the vaccinated and infected groups as many as 4.8 million (no overlap) Minnesotans have some form of immunity or as few as 3 million (complete overlap).  Since the younger age cohorts actually have the most detected cases (and the most undetected) and they are the least vaccinated groups, the truth is somewhere in between and I think it likely is shaded toward less overlap.  If even 4 million Minnesotans have been infected and/or are vaccinated, that is a whopping 70% of the population.  hard to imagine how we have much of a case wave unless protection by prior infection or vax is pretty weak, especially since the pace of vax, especially among younger groups is picking up.  But this is why it is so critical that we get more detailed information on the breakout of both reinfections and breakout infections.

And speaking of my friends the teachers’ unions, who should be flat-out banned and disbanded, here is a story from Denmark about keeping schools open and treating children as though they actually are important.  (Denmark Story)   Children are going to back to school in Denmark as before.  They aren’t going to worry about children getting infected because they don’t get sick and they aren’t going to send children home because one child in a class tests positive.  Now here is a teachers’ association representative who actually cares about children.  He said “The children have been home enough and need a normal school year without being sent home.”  Imagine if the maniacs at our teachers’ unions, who only care about their own welfare and creating social justice warriors who will vote them ever higher salaries and pensions, were that sensible.  And an epidemiologist in Denmark said “I’m in favor of us in Denmark being able to let the epidemic run now.  The question is whether we can tolerate an epidemic in terms of health, and I believe we can because with effective vaccines we have protected those who are at high risk.”  Whoa, way too rational, don’t export that to the US, we believe in hysteria and panic.

Lot of research and a couple of important studies deserve more focus, so just going to catch up with a number of quick items.  So we will start with a CDC study on vaccine effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations among the elderly, those over 65, in 13 states.  (CDC Paper)   The study period was from February 1 to April 30.  Both mRNA vaccines and the J&J one were included in the study, which included over 7000 hospitalized adults.   For adults aged 65 to 74, for both mRNA vaccines effectiveness against hospitalizations was in the 90 percents.  It was slightly less for the J&J vaccine.  For those 75 and older, there was a slight drop in effectiveness.  There are a number of possible confounders and biases in the study, the most important of which is that a number of the unvaccinated group likely had prior infections, which would provide some adaptive immune protection and would make vaccines appear less effective than if they were compared solely to the hospitalization rate among those who had no form of immunity.

Pertinent to my comment above, this study attempted to assess total immunity in Texas.  (Medrxiv Paper)   Much of the paper describes a method the authors developed to estimate actual infection rates.  Using Texas as an example, they estimate that rate at 35%, or 4 times the reported case rate.  Coupled with a vaccination rate of around 35% of uninfected persons, for a total immunity of about 69% of the population.  Enought to substantially slow transmission.

Another vaccination study among healthcare workers, this time from Germany and analyzing antibody responses.  (Medrxiv Paper)   As other studies have suggested, prior infection is associated with a stronger response to vaccination.  Interestingly, mixing vaccine types across two doses also was associated with a stronger response.

You may recall I mentioned that an explanation for better effectiveness against reinfection resulting from original infection versus vaccination could be that natural infection tends to develop antibodies, and T cell responses, against a wider variety of virus segments.  This research supports that notion.  While the vaccines tend to only target spike proteins, natural infection results in antibodies against nucleocapsid and other segments as well.  (CureHub Paper)   In addition, both vaccinated and naturally-infected persons showed some antibody cross-reactivity to the spike protein of other coronaviruses.

How do variables like age and smoking affect the performance of vaccines?  This paper addressed that issue in Japanese health care workers.  (Medrxiv Paper)   A number of demographic and other factors were assessed for relationship to antibody levels following vaccination.  Older age and current smoking status were associated with lower levels of antibody development, as you would expect.

We have seen a few pieces of research on antibody prevalence over time in people who were infected.  This paper followed over 400 patients in Germany for as long as over a year.  (Medrxiv Paper)   They found a decline in antibody prevalence over time, and the decline was more significant in the elderly.  However, they did not measure B cell prevalence or trends, and I suspect that is more important to determing the antibody response to an attempted reinfection.

I don’t know if “long” CV-19 is real or not.  I am dubious.  I posted on the study about children, showing that even absent CV-19, there are people who have long-term “symptoms” often hard to link to a specific disease.  I assume that is the case with the long CV group as well.  This study looking at symptom persistance among a group of hospitalized Spanish patients.  (Medrxiv Paper)   There were a large number of patients with at least one symptom persisting for 6 months, most often a lung function symptom.  But a lot of the sufferers of these symptoms had pre-existing lung-related diseases.  Count me still dubious.



Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Doug says:

    Do you have any thoughts regarding the probability of “booster” vaccinations this fall for the immunity-compromised and/or senior citizen communities? Both Moderna and Pfizer have discussed this.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I am sure the drug companies are all for them, why not from their perspective. unless they are going to do something very different in the boosters, hard to see how it makes any difference in terms of infections, especially among those vulnerable groups they mention. People will come up with anything to avoid the obvious and inevitable conclusion that you can’t make this go away any more than we make flu go away.

  • Corey says:

    “If you don’t think they work, I would like the alternative explanation for the very low level and rates of deaths we see in Minnesota, and more importantly, in places like Florida and the UK, which had very high case surges in recent weeks.”

    “But the flip side of this phenomenon is that once the epidemic has burned through these group settings and the elderly, it largely has the younger populations left to infect, and we are going to see much lower levels of severe illness in those groups. And that is exactly what is happening now, we are experiencing an apparent rise in cases, while hospitalizations and deaths are not increasing as rapidly or are even declining. I view this as potentially beneficial from a public policy perspective. We are gaining population immunity, while seeing less risk of serious illness and death to the elderly.” source:

    Could this not be an alternate explanation for why cases increase while deaths remain low?

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I think the total population immunity plays a role, so it is prior infections and vaccination

  • Stephen Duff says:

    ‘Can’t be suckers for conspiracy theories, guys, makes us all look we are loopy.’

    At some point we simply have to believe the studies and the data. The vaccines are relatively safe and effective and within the range of other vaccines although definately not as good as some (measles vaccine for example). They are not perfect. They endow no where near the immunity received from an actual infection but they substantial reduce the severity of infection. The numbers work out in favor of taking the CoVid vaccine, just like they do for the flu vaccine (and most other vaccines for most people – not everyone) – your chances of dying are slight without the vaccine and infinitesimally small with the vaccine.

    But if we believe the studies about the vaccine we also should believe the studies about the uselessness of lockdowns, masks etc.

    But that’s just the thing. You have to read the studies and do the math, always and for every subject – work out the probabilities because we cannot trust the authorities, the vaccine companies, the FDA, CDC or even NASA to speak the truth anymore. Truth be told, we never could.

  • SteveD says:

    ‘Could this not be an alternate explanation for why cases increase while deaths remain low?’

    These are the three explanations which immediately came to mind. I’m betting the answer is some combination of them.

    1. Vaccines reduce severity more than they reduce cases
    2. Pull forward effect
    3. New variants are less lethal

    Regardless, each or any of these reasons signal that the pandemic (which is measured by deaths not cases) is at an end.

  • CMS says:

    I recently sent this email to the county commissioner in my county. As is par for the course, they are “considering” another mask mandate. The purpose of the email was not to elicit a response (I didn’t think they’d reply) but rather to force them into seeing what mask mandates are: theatre so as to appear as “doing something.” I’ve observed that in any state if the governor doesn’t mandate masks or lockdowns or restrictions on movement, then we can expect a county commissioner, a mayor or city council member(s) to step up to the plate, fully convinced that they are responsible for our “health and safety.” I wanted them to see that half measures (or third or negligible measures) are not accomplishing anything and if they are serious about controlling this virus, then they need to go the full nine yards. (For an example of how that is working out, look at Australia). Anything less is malpractice.

    Our local governments never, ever have to worry about being wrong because they are given blanket amnesty by the CDC. And, it’s easier to face down the anti-maskers than the “you killed granny” zealots.

    Below is my communication:

    Commissioner, I appreciate your honesty and transparency in hesitating on going down this road of mandating masks. I ask that you refuse to do this. If the board does do this, then I ask that you do the following:

    1. Mask mandates, as carried out, are essentially medical malpractice. I have worked in health care all my career, and spent 10 years in patient relations and risk management. NO medical facility would institute an infection control program and then allow every single employee to personally decide how to implement the policy. If you are serious about a mask mandate, then do it right. Demand N95s and demand that a clinician be stationed at every point of entry in (Any State USA) County — businesses, restaurants, churches, etc. — to assure that the mask is tight and worn correctly. Allowing County residents to wear dirty masks, cloth masks, masks below the noses, loose masks, etc. assures that we will not only fail to arrest this virus but we will actually contribute to its spread.

    2. Demand that the people who are at most risk of hospitalization, severe illness or death submit to being monitored and followed by a case manager. This virus targets the frail elderly, those with co-morbidities and obesity, and obesity is associated with co-morbidities. The obese make up 60% of hospitalizations. Our personal liberties have been curtailed due to a fear of overwhelming the hospitals. If you are determined to demand that I submit to a health practice that I don’t believe in, then demand that those individuals also commit to doing their part in mitigating hospitalizations and severe illness. As I told (my district commissioner), I am personally responsible for my health, exercising, keeping my weight under control, getting adequate sunshine, eating right. If the health practices of my fellow citizens is contributing to a limitation on my liberties, can I ask that they be as responsible as I am? Can I ask the county government to manage that? 

    3. I ask that the County commissioners commit to wearing a mask up to 40 hours per week at the very least. I suspect (unless you can point to contrary evidence) that the County commissioners worked from home and only wore masks to the store, church and other outings. The commissioners forced many, many, many County residents to wear a mask up to 40 hours a week continuously and some were forced to wear it for more hours than that. One young man I talked to said he was forced to wear a mask up to 70 hours a week because he worked two jobs. If the board decides to mandate a mask mandate, then commit to showing solidarity with the residents they represent. We’ve been told over and over that “we’re in this together.” I challenge the board to demonstrate solidarity, leadership and compassion for those who are on the receiving end of your decisions. If you personally decide to vote for a mandate, will you commit to this?

    4. Be transparent and communicate to us the studies and/or evidence that you have personally reviewed to back your decision. I ask that you go beyond our county health director’s “say-so” and that you personally review the evidence that is available. Nor is our state health director’s “fake but true” study admissible as evidence. May I remind you that we wore masks for months and months and months? If they are so effective, why did they not stop it the first month? President Biden said 100 days and now we are in the second 100 days. If you don’t have any studies that you can point to, I can send several links.

    5. Determine an end point. Biden said 100 days. We were told 15 days to flatten the curve. At what point do you realize that we will have variant after variant after variant? Do you have an end point in your mind, or are you wiling to spend the last years of your natural life hunkered down, fearful and hiding behind a thin piece of wet cloth, socially distanced, isolated from family and friends?

    If you’ve made it this far, I will end with a personal note. My fear is that the more we signal fear, the more we do over and over the things that didn’t work the first time, the more we isolate our very expressions from each other, the more likely we will be enticed into evermore bizarre and harmful actions. The director of the NIH is now saying that parents should wear masks at home with their children even though he admits that children are at very low risk of illness. I have a little granddaughter who is the absolute joy of our lives. I visited her last month and I smile every time I think about the games I played with her, the books I read to her, the walks I took with her. I delighted in her beautiful smile, I was delighted when she responded to my smiles and facial expressions. I love making faces at her. I love her game where we chase each other, smile at each other, laugh at each other. The game’s fun depends upon our faces being open and visible. 

    I must ask: is there really a man in our government who is seeking to destroy that familial bond? This is where we go when we fail to check this. Please don’t be that person.

    Thank you for listening.

  • Abhijit Bakshi says:

    Here is a brand new meta-study on the effectiveness of Ivermectin by the American Journal of Therapeutics:

    Here is a direct quote of their conclusions:

    > Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance. Furthermore, results from numerous controlled prophylaxis trials report significantly reduced risks of contracting COVID-19 with the regular use of ivermectin. Finally, the many examples of ivermectin distribution campaigns leading to rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality indicate that an oral agent effective in all phases of COVID-19 has been identified.

    Here is a stock price chart for Moderna:

    Set it to “max” to see the stock rise from 14.47 in December 2018 to close at 484.47 today, a tidy increase of 33X, or 3200%.

    Remember: Ivermectin is dirt cheap, highly effective against COVID, and does not enrich Big Pharma. But for some reason all we hear is vccines, vaccines, vaccines.

  • Don says:

    I have been tracking the press releases from the 3 regional/local hospitals. On average the unvaxxed make up 85% of those hospitalized.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I greatly appreciate anyone who has information from their state or region on breakthrough infections or reinfections sending it to me. I simply can’t look at every state, but I know from what several readers have sent that several places are doing a better job of reporting than Minnesota does. If we can collectively find enough data, might get more of a big picture.

  • J. Thomas says:

    Doesn’t this Ivermectin study render the EUA for the vaccines null and void? Also, you can’t look at the VEARS database (just the year over year file size) and not see that something very different is going on. I believe other vaccines were discontinued with only a fraction of the events we’re now seeing. Is there a legal cut off by which the EAU is pulled? Is it a percentage of the vaccinated or a fixed count? How is this legally allowed to be incentivized by Governors (PA Wolf today) and not violate the informed consent statute? Why aren’t they supporting the attenuated virus vaccines, only the mRNA’s? Medial info aside, something isn’t adding up to many very smart people.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      people keep making emergency authorization sound like it is some bad thing. I know the FDA regulatory regime, nothing unusual about it in this situation and doesn’t mean trials, etc were skipped. The presence of one therapeutic has nothing to do with approval of another.

  • Don says:

    Coastal South Carolina

  • J. Thomas says:

    Updates from Dr. Sam. Interesting CDC PCR updates.

  • J. Thomas says:

    d. No Alternatives

    For FDA to issue an EUA, there must be no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the candidate product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition. A potential alternative product may be considered “unavailable” if there are insufficient supplies of the approved alternative to fully meet the emergency need.

    Maybe you are right in that the FDA’s ‘regulatory regime’ doesn’t have to follow their own documents if there’s political pressure not to.

    I didn’t say EUA’s were bad. My point was, that in this case, it’s a fraudulent application of the standard. Millions of patients were sent home without support from well known, readily available, but politically outlawed, treatments until they required hospitalization in order for this ‘criteria’ to be considered ‘met’ in terms of the requirements. That’s criminal … period !

  • Rob says:

    Nothing unusual about it? The FDA has waived adverse event reporting requirements for the CV19 vaccines – highly unusual for a vaccine using technology (mRNA) that had never been used in human vaccines before. The censorship being done to people trying to report adverse events is what is most bothersome.

  • J. Thomas says:

    “If you don’t think they work, I would like the alternative explanation for the very low level and rates of deaths we see in Minnesota, and more importantly, in places like Florida and the UK, which had very high case surges in recent weeks”.

    I’ll take a shot at your challenge:

    I’m not anti-Vax, my generation was vaccinated for things that vaccines are good for, so were my children. To start a ‘novel’ vaccine campaign for a supposedly ‘novel’ corona virus in February/March is asinine. It’s seasonal, as are all corona viruses (I’m quoting you). It would have dropped like a rock if we’d done nothing, just like last year, even with far more opportunity to spread. The fact that it’s coming back in the summer, with all of these vaccinated people (50%) and the recovered (+10%), should be of huge concern as this is not typical of this type of infection. Death rates are dropping because all of the dry kindling was burnt up over the last year or so and we’ve have started to use therapeutics correctly and earlier. There’s plenty of evidence that this was mishandled early in the game with ventilators etc., which are now not part of any treatment program. Many payed the ultimate price for our education (Mr. Cuomo, et al).

    We have ZERO long-term data to leverage for this entire situation. We don’t even have a year’s worth of vaccine data along with the seasonality. There are credible arguments that we don’t even know what this ‘thing’ is, as it hasn’t been isolated. Who thinks the Flu really disappeared, somehow yielded to the big bad Corona bug? We’re assigning ‘variant’ names to something that has no true definition. What parts of the genetic code are different in Delta from Alpha? It this computer modeling or peer reviewed laboratory science? We’re using a horribly flawed PCR testing scheme (which the CDC just bailed out on) to measure and referee this debacle. Every death that was (PCR) tested positive was a ‘Covid Death’. You can’t seriously believe that anything we’re being fed by any government organization has meaning or value, as evidenced from your MN’s wonderful system.

    Let’s review what we do know:

    1. Asymptomatic spread is false.
    2. PCR should not be used for screening healthy people.
    3. Natural immunity is complete, robust and durable.
    4. All ‘variants’ are treatable.
    5. Risk of death is measured in fractions of a percent.
    6. 50 micron cloth doesn’t stop sub-micron objects.

    Which of these points are un-supportable from your knowledge and research?

    If you were offered a brand new type of motor oil for your Porsche that has no warranty, would you switch given a .02% chance that it might work? Probably NOT … but you’d do this to your immune system? Brilliant !

  • Mike M. says:

    “I would like the alternative explanation for the very low level and rates of deaths we see in Minnesota, and more importantly, in places like Florida and the UK, which had very high case surges in recent weeks. ”

    I got my vaccination three months ago.

    I have no explanation for the very low death rate UK. But on this side of the ocean, deaths only seem low because there is a lag between cases and deaths. The lag seems to have been about three weeks during the last year. For this wave in the US as a whole, deaths started to rise roughly three weeks after cases. Comparing deaths to cases from three weeks ago, the CFR is about 1.5% for the USA and Florida; about 2% for Texas. Those are similar to what they have been since last summer.

    I find this very disappointing. I am hoping that it is because vaccinated are unlikely to get tested, so that they have a very high ratio of infections to cases.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      i don’t think it is lag to deaths, the case bump has been going on long enough, and the rise in deaths in Florida, for example, is not consistent with the rise in cases. And I think we would need to distinguish the vaxed and unvaxed populations and look at other factors in each to make a good comparison.

  • Jody says:

    Two things.

    1. We would have all of the data we need and then some if only politicians hadn’t seen a way to use this for their own purposes, which required lots of fudging and obfuscating of data.
    2. As far as the vaccines go – I treat it like I do the flu – it is mainly dangerous to the elderly, obese and those with other serious illnesses – right? In that case I will skip the vaccine. Either way, we all had it last April and almost everyone I know in my family and church has had it in the last 7 or 8 months and they all recovered fine except one gentleman at church who had a serious lung issue. Unfortunately he died – one can only wonder if the doctors gave him anything like Remedisvir (sp?), HQC, etc.? I know that my centracare doctor wouldn’t even talk about any of that – just said to stay home and only come to the hospital if I had trouble breathing – not very comforting!

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