Anyone who thinks I was kidding about the pro-regressives being immune (both from natural ideological infection and periodic booster vaccination) to wake-up calls, only needs to read the headlines about doubling down on the whacko agenda and the descriptions of those who voted Republican as troglodyte racists to see how right I was. And if you wonder why I literally despise these people it is because they are fundamentally authoritarians and totalitarians–they clearly believe that they are entitled to tell everyone what they must think, what they must say, what they must believe, how they must behave. The pro-regressives are viscerally opposed to individual freedom in any sphere of life. This authoritarianism is wholly inimical to the dignity and rights that every human has inherent in their existence. And I will fight this ideology in whatever form and from whatever quarter it appears.
And I don’t expect that the election results will cause the whackos to back off of vaccine mandates, mask mandates, torturing our children and all the other epidemic policies they have endorsed. But I believe the general population is increasingly fed up with these policies and recognizing that they have had no effect, other than to make us all miserable.
Here is an excellent review of the recent CDC study purporting to show that those with only prior infection were at greater risk of hospitalization due to CV-19 than those who were vaccinated. (BI Article)
I keep harping on one missing piece of data from Minnesota and elsewhere being the failure to identify how many patients supposedly hospitalized for CV-19 actually went into the hospital for another reason and acquired the virus in the hospital. This study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation sheds some light on the issue and finds that over 10,000 patients contracted CV-19 in the hospital, but the analysis is primarily limited to those 65 and over so must be an undercount. In addition, it is highly likely that hospitals hid a number of cases which arose in the hospital, since they are penalized for such hospital-acquired infections. 21% of those who got CV-19 in the hospital died. I am guessing that at least 5% of hospitalizations involve CV-19 acquired in a health care setting. (KFF Study)
The latest UK vaccine surveillance report is out. As with other recent weeks’ reports, this one shows a falling level of protection against infection, but continuing effectiveness against hospitalization and death. Notwithstanding nonsense about how infectious and dangerous Delta is supposed to be, the vaccines show equal effectiveness against Alpha and Delta. And of course, effectiveness appears lower in the elderly. (UK Report)
An excellent piece of research comparing circulating antibody levels over an up-to 9 month period following vaccination versus B memory cell development, and studying the response to breakthrough infections in health care workers. While circulating antibody levels lessened, B memory cell numbers were increasing during the entire follow-up period. And upon infection, the B memory cells fairly quickly produced antibodies which reached the blood and mucosal tissues. The study, however, again suggests the source of a deficiency in vaccine-derived immune response versus that from infection. In infection, antibodies develop against other than the spike protein and those responses occur in mucosal tissues as well as the lymph system. (SSRN Study)
This study confirms the somewhat positive news about the vaccines, they do have a good level of protection against hospitalization and death. Based on data from 18 states, being vaccinated was associated with much lower odds of being hospitalized and lower odds of dying if hospitalized. But please note that a significant number of vaxed persons were hospitalized and some died. And this was relatively early following vaccination, and the authors found that even with the limited follow-up time since vaccination, the protective effect lessened over time. Also no adjustment for possible prior infection in the unvaxed or vaxed, which could change the results to some extent. The authors conclude that waning immunity rather than the Delta variant was responsible for any apparent change in effectiveness over time. In fact, effectiveness against Delta and Alpha appeared roughly equivalent. (JAMA Article)
Okay, this is fascinating. People have been constructing libraries of human antibodies for a couple of decades. They are used for various research purposes. Using a library built over 20 years ago, researchers found antibodies that reacted against CV-19. Hmmm. Supports the notion that many of us have an adaptive immune response from prior coronavirus infections, including some that must be pretty similar to CV-19. (Wiley Article)
This study from Italy examines characteristics of people who died from CV-19 and found what other studies have noted. The median age of those who died was over 80. Men were more likely to die than women. Almost all had serious diseases other than CV-19, most had several. Quite a few deaths among the fully vaccinated. Those who were vaccinated and died were even older and had even more serious diseases other than CV-19. (Italy Report)
Join the discussion 4 Comments
More of a question than comment. I’d like to know your take on reports that the Italians have drastically changed the number of deaths attributed to COVID.
I remember a number of outlets talking about a study that suggested around half of hospitalizations attributed to COVID were probably people who tested postive upon entry but weren’t hospitalized for COVID treatment but the Italian figure drops the number of deaths by over 90%.
I think both hosps and deaths are greatly over-attributed to CV-19
This is my favorite study lately: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.10.31.466677v1
In testing done over 10 months ago, C-19 was endemic in White Tail Deer in Iowa in Nov 2020-Jan 2021: 82.5% testing positive for covid, some of which was genome tested and came from different lineages.
(And, wouldn’t you know, the surge last fall in the upper midwest coincided almost perfectly with deer season. Minnesota’s and Iowa’s deer seasons, including everything from archery to muzzle loaders ran Sep 18 through the end of the year–and hospitalizations in MN and IA began to rise around Sep 19-21.)
So, my question is: if DEER have that high a prevalence, despite not having close contact with humans, doesn’t that mean that our dogs, cats, gerbils, neighborhood squirrels, racoons, and rats–which we come in contact with every day–probably also have endemic covid, and are a source of transmission?
In which case, how can anyone believe that sticking a mask on your face part of the day will help anything???
From the article:
Multiple spillovers and onward transmission of SARS-Cov-2 in free-living and captive White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Many animal species are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 and could potentially act as reservoirs, yet transmission in non-human free-living animals has not been documented. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the predominant cervid in North America, are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and experimentally infected fawns transmit the virus to other captive deer. To test the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 may be circulating in deer, we evaluated 283 retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) samples collected from 151 free-living and 132 captive deer in Iowa from April 2020 through December of 2020 for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Ninety-four of the 283 deer (33.2%; 95% CI: 28, 38.9) samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA as assessed by RT-PCR. Notably, between Nov 23, 2020 and January 10, 2021, 80 of 97 (82.5%; 95% CI 73.7, 88.8) RPLN samples had detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR. Whole genome sequencing of the 94 positive RPLN samples identified 12 SARS-CoV-2 lineages, with B.1.2 (n = 51; 54.5%), and B.1.311 (n = 19; 20%) accounting for ~75% of all samples.
I suspect whatever seasonal or meteorological factors affect spread in humans have the same effect in deer. I also strongly suspect that the opportunities for deer to human transmission are pretty limited, unless those damn deer forget to triple mask