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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 52

By November 13, 2021Commentary

Been a hectic week, and I don’t want to lose sight of the research summaries, so trying to catch up again today.  Thank all of your for the help on breakthroughs and for so much else.  And I can’t tell you how fortunate I am to have met Dave Dixon when I needed help with data analysis and charting.  Dave has worked tirelessly to understand the often confusing data put out by the state and has created graphs that are easy for people to understand and that convey key points about the epidemic.

There are a lot of myths out there about the Delta variant.  One is that it causes more severe illness, including in children.  This intensive study in a large children’s health system finds that in fact there is no association of Alpha or Delta with more severe illness in the young.   80% of cases were symptomatic, but in 30% the cycle number was too high to allow for sequencing.  This means these case were not really cases, the viral load was too low to even be able to gather virus for sequencing.  Very few children were hospitalized.  (Medrxiv Article)

This very large study from the UK attempts to identify certain patterns in clinical disease stemming from CV-19.  An interesting nugget is that 9% of deaths had no attribution to CV-19 by diagnosis, but were solely treated as a CV-19 data because of positive tests 30 days prior to death.  (UK Study)

Another interesting article on why influenza may have disappeared during CV-19 season, with an explanation of viral interference.     (Medium Article)

I really like articles on experimental and statistical methods because they are a constant reminder of the limitations of human logic and the tendency toward fallacy and bias.  This short article from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine gives an example of such a bias in regard to estimates of vaccine efficacy.  It should be noted that the confounding by unmeasured variables can cut both ways, and often lead to underestimates of vaccine effectiveness, for example not determining whether a person has adaptive immunity via prior infection.  (CEBM Article)

For all the school masking nuts out there, just realize that the US is one of the only whacko countries in the world that abuses its children this way.  And the countries that don’t require masking of children have had the same spread issues as the US, so don’t think it is because they have fewer cases.  They just have more sensible policies and teachers.  (Daily Mail Story)

And this article in a respected pediatric journal details the damage which school closures did to children.  (Ped. Article)

A well-written article on the other topic relating to children and the epidemic, vaccinating them.  The authors conclude that vaccinating children in wealthy countries is ethically wrong, particularly before adults in poor countries are vaccinated.  Personally, I think it is wrong until we actually have trials large enough to ascertain effectiveness or safety.  (Welcome Article)

The financial and economic effects of the response to the epidemic have been very bad in the United States and the developed world, but they have been devastating in poorer countries.  The effects including an increase in poverty levels and a decline in the standard of living, including a significant drop in life expectancy.  This article describes these effects in Indonesia.  As always it is important to recognize that this is caused mostly by the response to the epidemic, not the virus itself.  (Indonesia Study) 




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