We have the nation’s first Child-Abuser-in-Chief, Dr. Leana Wen, how she ever got a medical degree I don’t know, thinks children should be forced to wear industrial grade masks. This is beyond sick. People who spread this crap should literally be jailed. And the masking isn’t to protect children, it is to protect adults. Children don’t get sick from CV-19. Adults who are worried about it should get vaccinated, mask up, do whatever they want and shut up about putting masks on children. Our children need a normal childhood, they need the best opportunity to learn social justice, and Marxism, and gender identity they can possibly have, and sticking masks on them won’t accomplish it. I am beyond distressed when I see this crap.
I don’t know how many ways I have said this. We cannot suppress or extinguish this virus. It will be with us. And the states and countries that recognize this fastest, get themselves in good shape the fastest. Sweden is still the exemplar. Moderate overall death rate, lower than most US states, and almost no social or educational or health care disruption. The total toll on their population is far below that of other countries and certainly the US. And states like Florida and South Dakota, which have largely let the virus run (although that isn’t the way they would phrase it) are in far better shape than places like New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois, which engage in never-ending lockdowns and suppression efforts. I am hoping that Minnesota’s divided government has induced a level of caution in the IB that means he too will just let the virus do what it will, which won’t be much in highly vaccinated and infected population.
Looking at figuring out a way, with Dave Dixon’s help, to track week-over-week changes in case growth on a daily basis. Take some work and adjusting for completeness factors (you health care actuaries out there know what I am talking about), but be informative to show the rate of change in the rate of change. That is how you spot the inflection point in a trend. Can do the same for hospitalizations, which so far on an eyeballing basis aren’t showing much.
Only teachers unions and child abusers think children should either be kept from in-person learning or forced to wear masks. Children have an infinitesimal risk from CV-19. They are not responsible for substantial transmission to adults. Any adult who is concerned can get vaccinated and wear a mask. Masks don’t work to suppress transmission in a community setting. None of those facts matter to the mask religionists. This article describes a study in England (I am trying to find the actual study) by the public health authority looking at transmission in schools. (Fortune Article) The study was conducted in June, when community transmission was high, and when masks were not mandated. Very few students or staff tested positive. The rate of infection was lower than in the community, and lower than in fall 2020.
I think the “aerosols are the primary method of transmission for CV-19” research is suppressed because it doesn’t fit with the mask religion. Here is yet another study showing that aerosol transmission is not just a thing, but probably the thing. (Medrxiv Paper) The study was done in hamsters, which for some reason are a common proxy for human studies, but aerosol emission is aerosol emission. Most of the virus was in very small aerosols, but note also that far less virus was cultured than was found by PCR testing of the aerosols.
And speaking of the mask religion, here is an excellent article summarizing the lack of research around effectiveness in slowing community transmission. (CJ Article)
Vaccine effectiveness studies are pouring in, and this one from England examined Pfizer and AstraZeneca, with a focus on the Delta variant. (NEJM Article) Vaccination status of people with a symptomatic infection was analyzed. After one dose, both vaccines had modest effectiveness against both Delta and Alpha. After two doses, effectiveness improved dramatically, 93.7% for Pfizer against Alpha and 88% versus Delta. For AZ, 74.5% versus Alpha and 67% versus Delta. Just want to note again that vaccine effectiveness could be understated because while persons with prior positive tests were excluded from the analysis, without antibody tests there could be people in the unvaxed group who had adaptive immunity. And this was effectiveness against symptomatic infections. PCR testing will find lots of low positives.
And speaking of all those asymptomatic infections, this study examined the rate among early recipients of the vaccines. (JID Study) The authors note that there was a lower level of infection in general among vaccinees but also that these infections often had very low viral loads, high levels of negative testing on followup and inability to culture virus; and therefore were unlikely to reflect truly infected or infectious persons. This was a prospective cohort study among health care workers. Out of over 2200 workers, only 19 infections were detected, only 3 after full vaccination.
This study shows how even PhD’s can lack basic logic skills. The authors purport to show that vaccination which limits transmission and replication, reduces the arising of dangerous mutants. They purport to use country comparisons and sequencing results to demonstrate this. (Medrxiv Paper) The authors develop an analysis which finds a correlation between vaccination levels and the amount of mutation. But they completely ignore suppression’s effect on creating more advantage for more transmissible variants. The harder you suppress the more advantage you give to mutations which enhance transmission.
This paper studied the development of antibody responses in infected and vaxed persons. (Cell Paper) It found similar antibody types occurred in both groups. The authors note that the frequent presence of similar antibodies can exert evolutionary pressure on the virus, and lead to mutations that evade those antibodies.
T cell responses are less studied that antibody ones, but can be as or more important in the immune response to CV-19. This paper looks at T cell development in infected persons. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers found a lasting response for at least 12 months post-infection, but some components of the T cell response varied in strength depending on the severity of disease.
Here is a breakthrough infection study from Vietnam. (SSRN Article) Among 69 vaxed, but infected, health care workers, all whose virus was sequenced were infected by Delta. None had serious illness. The workers who became infected had low vax-induced antibody levels. Viral loads were said to be much higher for Delta than prior infections, but given the lower antibody levels, not sure that finding holds up. In fact, since the comparison was to viral loads earlier in the epidemic among non-vaxed people, I don’t understand the comparison. And when just asymptomatic people were compared, there was no difference in viral loads. So the higher viral loads may be an artefact of the breakthrough infections only occurring in people with weakend immune reactions to the vaccine, and presumably to infection.
Interesting article pondering the question of why there aren’t more strains of coronavirus circulating among humans. Prior to CV-19, there were basically four commonly circulating coronavirus. The authors speculate on why it may be hard for a new strain to jump and persist in humans. (Cell Article)
Not sure what to think about this study, which suggests that CV-19 was circulating quite early in Italy. I am inclined to believe that it was out there. The researchers examined samples collected over time for measles and rubella surveillance. They said they found some evidence of CV-19 infection among 13 patients, with some as early as September 2019. (SSRN Paper)