Just want to note that the case bump in Minnesota is not an isolated event. If you go to Worldometers or the NYT or other places that track cases by day of case, not day of report, you can see that our neighbors, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota all have almost exactly the same timing and per capita swell of cases. Apparently Illinois and Michigan are also seeing this. As usual, I am very frustrated with the poor quality of data released by most states. You would like to see cases reported every day, by data of case identification, with vaxed and unvaxed broken out, with full age structure. And you would like to see a random sample, at least, of cycle numbers from the PCR tests. That would give you a lot of great info on the actual trajectory and components of the current case waves. Well, a person can dream. In any event, the next week or so should tell us if this turns into more than a bump. It could plateau and roll over, or it could just keep building like it did in early fall last year. I would be somewhat surprised at the latter, because it would require either intense infection among the unvaxed, which seems unlikely, or lots of breakthrough infections, which is where cycle numbers would be critical for interpretation. Anyhow stay tuned, we will keep figuring out how to get the best information we can. And of course any case bump is just another opportunity for the zero-CV-19 nutcases to go bananas.
Also want to again caution not to believe anything you are reading about hospitalizations, especially among children. Until we get routine reporting breaking out 1) people actually admitted for CV-19 treatment; 1A) of that group, how many were admitted to get remdesivir administered; 2) people admitted for another reason and just testing positive on admission; 3) people who contracted CV-19 while in the hospital for another reason; 4) number of observational stays; 5) length of stay; and 6) cycle numbers of tests for hospitalized persons; you can’t actually say anything meaningful about trends. In particular in regard to children, we are seeing a lot of “with” rather than “for treatment of” admissions. And a lot of these are for RSV infections, where CV-19 just happens to be present. Remember above all else, HOSPITALS HAVE EVERY INCENTIVE TO FIND AS MANY “CV-19” ADMISSIONS AS POSSIBLE; THEY GET PAID MORE FOR THEM.
Deaths meanwhile, are staying pretty low and while very concentrated among the elderly, lower in absolute number there. I do not know what to attribute that to other than vaccines, given the high rates of vaccination in those older age groups.
For those who wanted to hear my interview by John Hinderaker on the Dennis Prager show, it is on YouTube, my interview starts two hours and five minutes in. (DP Interview)
Always like to start out with good news. All that school closing, lockdowns and missed health care has set many children’s devleopment back by as much as a year, according to this report. And as usual, minorities and low income children are most affected. (Medrxiv Paper)
And we did a lot of good to children’s mental health as well, according to this study. (Medrxiv Paper) The study comes from whacko Oregon, so you can expect the worst, and we got it. After an initial decline in admissions among children for mental health reasons, probably due to fear of seeking care, in 2021 both admissions and suicide attempts are up significantly. This is only going to get worse the longer we keep the nonsense about schools, testing, masking, etc. up.
Assessing rates of reinfection is important to detemine if some people actually need vaccination and to compare reinfection rates to breakthrough infection rates. There is a substantial deficit in research on reinfections. This study examined those rates in patients at 238 US health care facilities from June 2020 through February 2021. Over 130,000 infected patients were included in the analysis. The reinfection rate was extremely low, at .2%. People with serious health conditions were more likely to be reinfected. Somewhat surprisingly, age did not appear associated with reinfection risk. The reinfections generally had the same severity level as the original infection. Because of the data source, almost by definition this study would tend to find only symptomatic reinfections, so there could be a number of asymptomatic ones for which people did not seek testing or treatment. (JID Study)
Get your kids in a private school if you can and push for school vouchers for everyone. Look at the sanity of this private school compared to the lunacy of our public schools. Without forcing children to be masked, they had a lower infection rate in the school than in the community. Islands of sanity are all we have left. (School Statement)
And a number of countries have refused to mandate masks for children in school. Ireland is the most recent and apparently is basing its decision at least in part on a study showing how masks harm development and educational attainment. (Ireland Article) I believe this is the paper. (HIQA Paper) The experts involved in the recommendation felt harms outweighed benefits of having children under the age of 13 wear masks.
This paper examined total prevalence of CV-19 antibodies, from either infection or vaccination, among the population of Geneva, Switzerland. Total prevalence was around 67%, and about 30% of that was from infection. Prevalence was highest in the elderly and lowest in the young, particularly children, who are not eligible for vaccination. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study from Cambodia found both a robust B and T cell response to CV-19 for at least 9 months following infection. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study is small, only five people in each group, but informative. It compared B cell responses to the Pfizer vaccine among people who were previously infected and those who had not been infected. The previously infectd group had a more robust response, particularly against variants. This suggests that a hybrid of prior infection and vaccination likely produces the most effective adaptive immunity against CV-19. (Medrxiv Paper)
Another look at the effectiveness of vaccines against variants. (Medrxiv Paper) The authors compared the benefit of either natural infection, an mRNA vaccine, the AZ vaccine or a mixed vaccine regiment against future infection. Anti-CV-19 antibodies were present in most of those who had been infected for a year after infection. Both vaccination and prior infection created antibodies that were effective against Alpha and Delta, but not as effective against a couple of other, less widespread, variants.
I have given up trying to figure out the meteorological impact on CV-19 spread, although it certainly appears to be there, you will see it in the post with the regional chart when it goes up. This study again looks at association with temperature. (Medrxiv Paper) From about 57 degrees to about 70 degrees, the authors claim is not good for virus spread, but below that and above it facilitate spread. Remarkably precise and I am not necessarily buying it.