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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 43

By October 23, 2021Commentary

I feel fine, just no posts yesterday because not a lot of research and waiting for a few charts to go into posts.  A couple of cultural observations first, then off we go on the scintillating research summaries.

It is a sad, sad day for our country when Vladimir Putin makes more sense than our leaders.  As my friend John Hinderaker pointed out at the Powerline Blog, his statements on wokism and transgender promotion in the US are spot on.  This truly is insane child abuse.  (Putin Statements)   I am sure Putin, however, as I do, finds it deeply ironic and humorous that his Russian troll farms promote the division around this issue and many others in the US.  Coupled with so-called “progressive” social media influencers, the Russians have very successfully degraded our culture and the functioning of our society.

And Joe Biden, Mr. Corrupt Senility, well deserves his broken elevator cable polling numbers.  You may have observed that we have no respect from our international adversaries, a universal dismissal around the world of our abysmal foreign policy, an uncontrolled border, uncontrolled inflation, shortages of everything, more CV-19 deaths under his watch than Trump’s, low economic growth, crime that threatens everyone’s safety, but most of all minorities’, and greater division over every issue.  Nice work in such a short time.  But of course, it is all Trump’s fault.  Obama was completely accurate when he dismissed Biden as an incompetent lightweight.

But one thing Joe has done is make sure the teachers’ unions get payback for all those contributions they made to his campaign.  Here is more evidence that the CDC policy on school masking was basically written by the teachers’ union.  The leaders of the unions and the CDC should be put up against a wall or tarred and feathered or endure some appropriate punishment for the misery they inflict.  Science my ass, this is pure politics and children suffer greatly as a result.  We need to literally disband teachers’ unions and we need to voucherize parents so they can control children’s education.  (CDC Article)

Our friend Dr. Osterholm really is a wealth of knowledge about epidemics and infectious disease and most of the time actually displays common sense and won’t go along with the party line.  Here he is denouncing the garbage being spread that masks and other mitigation measures stopped the flu this year.  He pointed out that the same thing has happened with other epidemics, including 2009, without any such measures.  (Osterholm Link)

This study from Belgium looks at school cases and transmission.  Note, however, the immediate confounding issue introduced by the fact that the children and adults who participated in the study volunteered; this is not a random sample.  The prospective feature of regular testing in a population is good, but you can’t overcome an initial bad design feature by other better ones.  In any event, a number of “cases occurred”, but the average cycle number was quite high at 29, indicating that most “cases” were probably not infectious.  Children were much more likely to be asymptomatic than adults and had a much shorter period of symptoms if they were symptomatic.  Children were most likely to spread to other children and teachers to other teachers.  Overall, contrary to what the authors suggest, appears to be no danger to children from in-person school and limited effect on adults.  And oh by the way, masks and social distancing were not required.  (JAMA Article)

An early report on the effects of the third dose of Pfizer.   It is a small study sample and short follow-up.  Reactions to the vaccine were similar to those after the second dose.  While for most participants circulating neutralizing antibodies had declined significantly by eight months after dose 2, after dose 3 those levels rose to as much as five times higher than they initially were after dose 2.  In addition, neutralization against variants appeared much higher.  The results again suggest a defective initial dosing schedule.  Not that the drug companies would ever do that on purpose to get more revenue.   (NEJM Article)

This study also looked at the effects of a booster.  Here too the third dose was associated with a substantial uptick in circulating antibodies and few side effects.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Anyone who has watched carefully from the start knows that CV-19 basically goes where it wants when it wants to and that staying 6 feet away from people is a joke in terms of controlling transmission.  This paper is a metareview of other research assessing transmission over longer distances.  Out of the 13 transmission events studied, 12 (or over 90%, that is the vast majority, Jan) found definitive evidence of such transmission.  Of course the experts view this as a reason to never be on the same planet as another human and to quintuple mask even if you aren’t.  (Medrxiv Paper)

We have two recent papers from the Obama birthday bash and gay festivals on Martha’s Vineyard this summer.  This one studied the immune response of those fully vaccinated persons who became infected.  Those who became infected had massively higher antibody and T cell responses to CV-19 than do those who were vaccinated but did not get infected.  (Medrxiv Paper)

The second study just builds on what we already know from the CDC study on the topic, lots of vaccinated people got infected in this location.  Over 1000 cases occurred, almost all Delta and the majority in vaccinated persons.  The genetic and contact tracing analysis identified at least 25 occasions in which the virus was transmitted from or between vaccinated persons.  There was not much transmission, however, outside the specific locale.  About 80% of the cases in the fully vaxed were symptomatic, but that means nothing as the experts treat a sniffle as a symptom.  There was no real serious disease among the cases despite supposedly signficant viral loads.  The most interesting social aspect of this outbreak is that it received almost no criticism in the media or by politicians, because it involved gay people, so contrast that to Sturgis, which is linked to far fewer cases.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Andy says:

    The anti-Russian rhetoric really threw me for a loop, and looks to be the complement of those trying to tell us it was really the Chinese who talked us into lockdowns. “The Russians have very successfully degraded our culture”– really, Kevin? Do you have anything to back that up? Because it seems the stories of Russian troll farms are about as credible as the idea that masks will help stop the spread, and largely come from the same sources.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I don’t think anyone seriously doubts what Putin has going on. Not just our intelligence agencies but multiple other countries’ have detailed these social media operations

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