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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 39

By October 17, 2021Commentary

A quick shoutout to the IB here, the man is doing his best to have us overtake Florida in age-adjusted deaths.  We have left Sweden in the dust on a per capita basis and I believe we can yet show Florida who can really mis-manage an epidemic response.  Unfortunately, we will never get in the league of such champions as New York, New Jersey and California.  We are currently at 1482 per million of population, unadjusted.

A reader sent me an interesting actuarial analysis of death rates overall and with CV-19 for Minnesota.  It shows exactly what you would expect from following the data; there is no extra risk of death from CV-19 except in the very old.  And CV-19 caused a steepening of the death age structure, there has been a higher proportion of deaths in the very old during the epidemic than there was before.  I anticipate that at some point we will actually see deaths dip below the pre-epidemic average or rate, as there has been a significant pull-forward of deaths.  That phenomenon is already present in Sweden.

And off we go to the research races.  First up a large study of breakthrough infections in the veteran population.  Vaccine effectiveness against infection dropped from 92% in March to around 54% in mid-August.  The J & J vaccine had the biggest drop, followed by Pfizer and Moderna.  Age was not noticeably a factor in the increase in breakthru infections, but this wasn’t a particularly sophisticated analysis.  The authors claim the increase is due to Delta, but that is inconsistent with actual studies on immune response levels, which suggest that the biological explanation predominates.  And of course, the authors reveal their ideological bent by suggesting that the results mean we all should just be masked up and locked down forever.  (Medrxiv Paper)

This study actually looks at the effectiveness of vaccines against Delta.  The study was conducted in the UK and found that a full course of the Pfizer vaccine was 84% against Delta.  However, this is primarily a modeling study, not real world data.  (Medrix Paper)

This was a review of the role of schools in spread of the virus.  It found 15 studies adequate to be included.  The general finding was that while schools could be a source of spread, transmission was generally very low.  The authors attribute this to use of interventions to reduce spread, but that is just their gloss on the findings.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Households are a major source of transmission and this study from the Netherlands examines what effect vaccines appear to have on household transmission.  For comparison, the same group had identified effectiveness against Alpha transmission as 73%, for transmission from a vaxed member of the household to an unvaxed one.  Transmission in regard to Delta for the same pattern was estimated at 63%, which appears lower but you must remember the waning of effectiveness over time, and that Delta became dominant after vaccination began, so I suspect the reality is that effectiveness is equal against both variants.  If the contact of the index case was vaccinated as well, the additional protection from the index case being vaxed was 40%.  (Medrxiv Paper)

This is an interesting paper because it demonstrates that it is very possible to distinguish between adaptive immunity from prior infection and that from vaccination with a simple antibody test.  If the research continues to show that infection provides at least as strong a reponse as vaccination, then it is inexcusable to not treat people with prior infection as in essence being vaccinated.  An incidental finding was that among ER attendees, prevalence of infection had risen to 24% by spring of 2021.   (Medrxiv Paper)

Another study for the vitamin D afficianados out there.  This study indicates that vitamin D levels may have a dual effect.  If they are too high, they may actually be associated with CV-19 disease, and the same is true if they are too low.  The study was conducted among health care workers in the UK.  Certain minorities had greater incidence of vitamin D deficiency, which could be genetic or diet related.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Worth another look is this review of the research on masking, and other physical efforts, to prevent transmission of respiratory viruses.  It was last updated by the Cochrane Institute in the fall of 2020.  The Cochrane Institute is viewed as one of the pre-eminent sources of evidence-based Medicine.  It found that the evidence did not support a benefit to masking in most situations.  (Cochrane Review)



Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Richard Allison says:

    “if you are warped and have no life.”

    Hopefully the is a Mrs. Skeptic to cheer you up and unwarp you on your down days. 😉

  • Dan says:

    And does the media find these doctors they trot out on the news all the time saying that the older people need to get vaccinated to protect the young who can’t get vaccinated yet when as you’ve said many times the young are not at risk?

  • Abhijit Bakshi says:

    RE: “I anticipate that at some point we will actually see deaths dip below the pre-epidemic average or rate, as there has been a significant pull-forward of deaths. That phenomenon is already present in Sweden.”

    One would hope and expect as much. However, another alternative is seeing significant unexplained excess deaths, which can’t be tied to or blamed in COVID-19. Such is the case in Germany and Scotland, at least.

  • J. Thomas says:

    The latest from the WEF is that a ‘Global Pass’ is in the works if you want to participate in society again. I didn’t expect much different from them. This is their game and, so far, they are getting to decide how it’s played. However, what was noticed was that their plan is to use a ‘blood test’ to verify vaccination. So, how does a blood test distinguish between the vaccine or naturally obtain antibodies unless there is something else in the vaccine that’s permanent?

    Can a blood test tell the source of the antibodies without such a marker? Did they just tip their hand that there’s something in the vaccines that is permanent? We know it’s not the protection against this [virus].

  • fred4d says:

    Thanks for the Vitamin D paper link. The difference in response to vitamin D between the British minority (BAME) subjects and whites was very stark. The raw data was not included so it is hard to say how good the curve fits are but it looks like optimum Vitamin D levels may help whites a little but could be very important to the BAME communities. The U-shape curves also show too much vitamin D could hurt.

  • J. Thomas says:

    The D ‘study’ is twisted … all medial journals consider a level between 40 and 80 to be ‘normal’. This study calls everything below 75 abnormal. Then they say more research on the upper end is needed. It’s not a “U” and there will be an irrelevantly small population with this over 75 condition who have interface with this [virus] to study. Do they think that minorities who are dark skinned and have low D is news, or a new discovery? Just a waste of research money and more meaningless crap to complicate people’s understanding of this.

    As we all know, this entire scam is all about the fraudulent generation and definition of ‘cases’ to spread fear and political leverage toward [?], some new version of tyranny and social controls. What’s going to happen after Jan 1st when the PCR scam is changed. I’m not sure it’s “ending”, but the reference material and cycles will surely be ‘updated’ to reflect the next move in the Marxist’s playbook. How is this going to paly out with the ‘testing’ garbage connected to our societal freedoms. The current dictator mandate is jab or test, what happens if there’s no test?

  • Mark FW says:

    The Minnesota Department of Health breakthrough numbers are a mess. According to today’s weekly update (10/18), since the 10/11 update there have been 7,019 new breakthrough cases, 784 new hospitalizations among the vaccinated, and ZERO new deaths among the vaccinated. That sure seems like a very number of hospitalizations considering the number of total new hospitalizations during a typical week has not exceeded 1,000 all year; and reporting zero new deaths makes it look like they are hiding something.

  • fred4d says:

    Responce to J. Thomas. The British Vitamin D study uses units of nmol/L in those units 75 would be equivalent to 30 ng/ml which is the more common units for US studies. Traditionally 20 ng/ml is used as the threshold for low vitamin D, but some Doctors ha suggested slightly higher values should be considered normal.

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