I want to explain again why I harp on items like the DOH misleading about breakthrough events. We are all shaped by our past, especially when we are young. I grew up during the Vietnam War, and it became very apparent to me that governments, all governments, and really not the “government”, which is nothing but a legal fiction, but the people who are in positions to make decisions for the “government”, lie to protect themselves. They lie sometimes because they think it is actually good for the country. How patronizing. Not their decision to make. But mostly they lie to protect their image, which is a suggestion of fragility, as though their egos cannot accept telling the consequence of telling the truth.
I won’t and can’t accept that state of affairs, I will fight it forever with every fiber of my being. I will do everything I can to ensure that the public hears the full truth, to ensure that citizens are treated like reasonable adults, capable of absorbing data and making rational inferences from that data. I know I can be sarcastic, even mean, and I belittle and berate those who lie to and mislead us. That won’t stop either. If you are in government and you think you have some justification for sitting around in a room and deciding how to message the epidemic and what data to release or massage to support your messaging, you are a disgrace, you have no integrity and you should be deeply ashamed. And I will do everything I can to reveal you for who you truly are.
Right now the most important issue in responding to the virus and the epidemic is understanding the effectiveness of the vaccines. DOH is intentionally not providing data in their possession that would give us an accurate picture of the proportion of events that are in the fully vaxed, or even in the partly vaxed. They have data on reinfections, that would help us compare the effects of the adaptive immunity from infection versus that deriving from vaccination. They have more fulsome data on hospitalizations and deaths attributed to CV-19. They know the true results of the excessive testing they encourage among the young in particular. We need this information and one way or another we have to get it.
You can help. Call your state legislators, especially your state senator if they are a Republican. The Republicans control the Senate and its committees and they could demand that DOH produce this data to them. Write to your newspaper and TV news channels and ask why they aren’t insisting that this data be released, especially since their job is supposedly to ensure that the public is informed.
And the elites who make a lot of money and can work from home while being serviced by lower-paid delivery drivers, grocery store workers and others, and who then want to impose all kinds of restrictions on those lower-paid people for the safety of the elites, are getting a good comeuppance as they try to impose vaccine mandates on these people. Hospitals and other health care, restaurants, stores, transportation, all are seeing a labor shortage exacerbated by these mandates. The divide between pampered stay-at-home elitists and the working class who had far greater exposure to the virus couldn’t be any wider.
Dave Dixon heard from DOH on why they dropped the total number of people tested statistic. They were having too much trouble identifying duplicate testing of the same individual. Maybe the same explanation is why we don’t get reinfection data? Seems to be like it should it be a fully automated process cross-database checking process, but maybe that is just too easy.
I heard from parents at another paired school district in the Twin Cities suburbs, Westonka and Orono. One has a mask mandate, the other is mask optional and although it is anecdotal, mask wearing is pretty low. Very similar rate of cases among the school districts, despite being adjacent and having the different policy.
As I noted yesterday, a bigger issue for hospitals than CV-19 patients is all the patients who were terrified into delaying care and now have very acute illnesses needing hospitalization. This story confirms that to be the case. (Beckers’ Story)
CDC-published mask flim-flammery never ends. Here is the latest. Once you say it is a CDC study, not sure much more analysis is needed, the presumption is that it is just part of the messaging. But this one purports to assess whether mask-wearing especially by both persons in a contact, could reduce transmission. The spur to the study was the county saying people who were masked at time of contact didn’t need to quarantine, which conflicted with CDC policy. The study took place in one county in Iowa. This is a university county, so draw your own conclusions. The use of masks is self-reported and the patient gave the information about whether they and/or the contacts were masked. So draw your own conclusions on that as well. And only patients and contacts who were reported to the county health department were included. Many cases contacts refused to participate, think the ones who did might be more likely to lie or misremember in regard to mask use? Hmmm, another confounder? Hilariously, the research says this source of bias would lead to underestimation of the effect of masks. Excuse me, I think you meant over-estimation. No information on type of mask. And of course, the biggie, how do they possibly know that this contact was the source of infection for the contacted person? They don’t.
This was an extremely young group of cases and contacts, including many school children. You are relying on their memory? And this group has a very large number of contacts. The overall transmission rate was only 20%. As you would expect given the design and the intent of the study, the transmission rate was supposedly much lower, about half, when both parties were wearing a mask compared to when one or neither was. But look at this goofy finding. The transmission rate was higher when only the index case was masked than when both parties were masked and was far lower when only the contact was masked. Makes no sense. More goofy findings–no higher transmission for symptomatic versus asymptomatic cases. Great spread outdoors than indoors. In the limitations, the authors finally get around to acknowledging that their statistical results have minimal likely credibilty. And they really have no credibility. (CDC Study)
Immunity following natural infection is important to understand. This is another study which followed patients for up to 15 months after infection. While circulating antibodies declined over time, they persisted in almost all patients. A good memory B and T cell response was noted, althought the B memory cell persisted at a higher level. Severe disease produced a stronger response. Two doses of vaccine produced a response similar to that of infection in strength but not in variability. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study explores the notion that CV-19 waves have an intrinsic periodicity, which some have theorized to be around two months. The authors’ work suggests there is somewhat regular time period to waves, but it is around 4 months. (RS Study) The authors explore several reasons for such periodicity but reject them, such as seasonal factors or the emergence of variants. They also suggest that the infamous non-pharmaceutical interventions have little effect. They suggest that the basic pattern is a modest wave, a substantial wave, a modest wave. And they note that subsequent years may have some waves.
This research from Japan suggests that viral loads in Delta are 6 times higher than those in Alpha at the time of infection, and that while breakthroughs occur, even Delta infections are cleared relatively rapidly in vaccinated persons and seldom result in severe disease. Suffers from the usual failures to consider the effect of prior infection and that vaccination may change the distribution of Delta infections in a way that means fewer are detected, leading to apparent, but not real, higher viral loads. This is demonstrated by the finding that Delta and Alpha produced similar viral loads in fully vaccinated persons. (RS Study)