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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 66

By December 10, 2021Commentary

Okay, I used to love the Atlantic magazine because it had thoughtful, contrarian pieces.  Then it went full progressive bullshit woke and just became ideological garbage.  But during the epidemic a vestige of its former attitude began to pop back up and the journal has actually had some interesting takes.  Now they have discovered another pretty obvious truth, we don’t have an epidemic of the unvaccinated, we are heading to an epidemic of the vaxed.  Unfortunately they then turn this insight into an opportunity to engage in the worst kind of terrorism regarding the Moronic variant.  This is what we are faced with–a media that will look for every possible opportunity to buy eyeballs by printing sensationalist hysteria with no factual basis.  (Atlantic Article)

We need more of this, an study which explores the statistical and methodological issues in research on mitigation of spread tactics, which points out that very small changes in approach completely change findings; in other words most research on the topic is worthless, particularly in regard to mobility changes allegedly caused by lockdowns, etc.  (NBER Paper)

Another NBER paper focuses on excess death calculations.  The author points out several errors he believes exist in other calculations.  One difficulty is that there actually is a fair amount of variability in deaths from year-to-year.  He determines that in general prior reports found too many excess deaths and that about 85% of all excess deaths were attributable to CV-19.  But he appears to be accepting the over-broad CDC approach to attributing deaths to CV-19.  Males had slightly more deaths than females.  Whites had more deaths but a lower proportion of excess deaths than other ethnic groups.  By age group, the most excess deaths were obviously in the elderly, but on a percent basis there wasn’t a lot of difference among age groups except in the very young.  Fewer excess deaths in non-whites and among the young and middle-ages were attributed to CV-19.  Heart disease had the most excess deaths and diabetes and dementia had the largest percent excess deaths.  Can you say missed care?  Accidental deaths, homicides and drug overdoses had large percent increases.  Can you say lockdowns?  Suicides were actually down, but see drug overdoses.    (NBER Paper)

The latest UK vaccine surveillance report.  Here is the real question, why doesn’t our outstanding, unparallelled, wonderful, tremendous CDC put out similar reports.  The answer is twofold; they are completely incompetent, lifelong bureaucrats and it wouldn’t fit the desired political message.  Anyway the UK report shows the same trend of lessening vax effectiveness against infection, continued protection against hosp and death, with some hint that boosters are helping.  (UK Report)   But one thing the UK data shows is that just like in the US, there will be enough events among the fully vaxed to keep the terror going if you want to.

This study in Science finds again that the combination of infection and vax appears to drive the strongest immune response and suggests that those with prior infection only need one dose of a vaccine to create that enhanced protection.  (Science Article)

A study from Canada finds that in general hospitalization death rates declined and ICU length of stay decreased during the epidemic, likely due to improved treatments and despite the arrival of the dreaded Alpha and Delta variants.  (Medrxiv Paper)

This paper describes an outbreak in a homeless shelter in California, which occurred among the vaxed and unvaxed.  80% of vaxed residents became infected and 71% of unvaxed ones.  14% of the vaxed cases were hospitalized and 2% of the unvaxed ones.  One person in each group died.  12 persons had a detected prior infection, only five of these became reinfected and none were hospitalized.  And of course, the authors’ lesson is that we all need to wear ten masks, say 400 feet apart and never leave our basements, even if fully vaxed.  (Medrxiv Paper)

An interesting paper which explores why variants may have a transmission advantage and tries to develop a model identifying the Alpha and Delta supposed advantage.  The authors focus not just on case growth but on apparent changes in the generation interval or the time between one person being infected and their infection of another person.  Interesting but still missing a possible role of variable susceptibility in the population.  (Medrxiv Paper)

And another piece of research validates what we already can tell by recent statistics, the vaccines don’t work as well in older people.  (JID Article)


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