The title of this series is a little too prescient. The panic and hysteria are totally out of control and totally unwarranted. The amount of misinformation about variants, vaccines, masks, risks to children, and on and on is making me rip what little hair I have left out of my head. I want to scream. How long, how long, must we endure such total ineptitude. When, oh when, will people finally accept what I said in the first posts I wrote, WE CANNOT STOP THE VIRUS. We can live with it with a minimal toll. We have to stop inflicting far more damage on ourselves than the virus ever could do. We have idiots like Andy Slavitt talking about not only suppressing CV-19, but the flu. Since his first book is doing so well, he must want to write another one about preventing flu deaths. What should be Preventable is allowing moronic fear-mongers to have any influence on public policy. At what point do people just get fed up finally with the lies and understand that you have to go on living your life as rationally as you can and that nothing is going to make this relatively non-threatening virus disappear. Do people really not understand that the vast majority of those who got seriously ill and died, were going to die in a few months of something? And that we have killed far more young people with our lockdowns, missed health care and lack of school and a social life than the virus ever could.
I am so tired of fighting outright lies, and misleading information.
DELTA DOES NOT CAUSE MORE SEVERE DISEASE. IT CAUSES LESS SEVERE DISEASE.
DELTA IS NOT FAR MORE CONTAGIOUS, IT IS AT MOST SLIGHTLY MORE CONTAGIOUS.
DELTA DOES NOT AFFECT CHILDREN MORE THAN PRIOR STRAINS.
THE VACCINES HAVE ONLY SLIGHTLY REDUCED EFFECTIVENESS AGAINST DELTA.
NATURAL IMMUNITY FROM INFECTION IS AT LEAST AS GOOD AS IMMUNITY DERIVED FROM VACCINATION.
THE VACCINES ARE DOING A VERY GOOD JOB OF LIMITING SERIOUS DISEASE AND DEATHS.
NO ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS ANYTHING ABOUT ADAPTIVE IMMUNITY WOULD HAVE EVER SAID THE VACCINES WOULD PREVENT ALL INFECTIONS OR EVEN A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF INFECTIONS, ESPECIALLY IN THE ELDERLY.
If I had the time I would go way back to my posts around when the vaccines came on line. I said then that we would still see infections, especially because of our goofy PCR testing. If I knew that so should people at NIH and CDC and they should have set reasonable expectations. But no, they had to lie to justify the lockdowns–“just wait til the vaccines get here”, they said, “cases will be over”. What a completely botched mess and all due to such dreadfully incompetent messaging.
And the DOH in Minnesota certainly has to do its part. At a briefing on Friday, they did their usual completely worthless exposition of the current state of the epidemic and avoided presenting data that would have helped the public understand what is really going on. The usual terrorism about Delta. The commissioner put on a clinic of how to lie with statistics in regard to risk among children. The absolute number of cases remains very low. But the commissioner said they were up as a proportion of all cases. This is completely misleading, since most children are not vaccinated, whereas older age groups in some cases have extremely high vax rates. So you would have to adjust for vax status of an age group. And there is no evidence that hospitalization rates among children are higher either, especially if the state would be honest about the RSV wave moving among children, a wave due to what we have done to isolate them, so we are seeing hospitalizations for RSV and some of those children happen to test positive for CV, but they aren’t hospitalized for CV.
Those of you looking for help in why we should have in-person school without masking, go to this website, has good charts and data on how mask-optional schools did better than mask-mandated schools. (School Site)
I constantly complain about the oversensitivity of PCR testing and that if you routinely take nasal swabs in the population you will find all kinds of pathogens. A pre-epidemic study validates this. (JID Study) About 1500 visitors to New York were swabbed and 7% had some pathogen, often seasonal coronavirus and rhinovirus. Most of these “infections” were asymptomatic. So a lot of us walk around with all kinds of viruses in our nasal passages, doesn’t mean we are actually infected or infectious. And all those infections are what helps our immune system stay vigilant.
And I am constantly mentioning that a lot of hospitalizations are purely for remdesivir administration, which is validated by this study. (Annals Study) The study covered the time period from February 2020 to February 2021 and found that overall remdesivir use increased during the study period, with 21% of hospitalized persons being administered the drug, but in February 2021 that proportion was 27%. While some of these persons may have needed to be hospitalized in any event, many were solely admitted for remdesivir administration.
This study from Canada attempts to use relative testing rates to ascertain the total rate of infection in a population. Kind of a backwards way to deal with the proportion of undetected cases among younger people. As you would expect, they find that there is a much greater number of cases among the very young and the very old than are reported. Meaning rates of serious illness are much lower than reported. (Annals Study)
Older people have weaker immune systems. Therefore they have both a less effective response to attempted CV-19 infection and to vaccination. This study notes the reduced T cell response to CV-19 in these older individuals. (Imm. Study)
Another seasonality study. (Medrxiv Paper) As usual, any pattern appears complex.