You can all now see the reason I coined the phrase “coronamonomania”. After almost two years we have learned nothing, or rather our leaders and experts have learned nothing. We see the same panicked, herd mentality response. We see the same use of futile and ineffective efforts to suppress a respiratory virus. We see the same refusal to acknowledge that a widespread respiratory virus must be adapted to, that it cannot be eliminated. We see the same lies about the effectiveness of measures like masks and vaccines to prevent exposure and transmission (again, going to emphasize, vaccines do work to limit serious disease and death). Presidementia Biden does a great Incompetent Blowhard imitation this week, using hysterical terrorism, shaming and misinformation, well actually lies, to browbeat the population into submission. All for naught. And the damage from this inane and incompetent response to CV-19 continues to mount up. We have to stop it and it starts with everyone of us refusing to give in to the terror and comply with the ludicrous suppression measures. We have to demand full and complete data and honesty about what that data tells us.
And here is some more research. First up is some data from Denmark on the Moronic variant. My word of caution on anything you see about the Moronic variant is to be cautious. Too early to really tell much. And remember that this variant is being introduced into a heavily vaxed/previously infected population, so comparisons with other variants are tricky. And remember also that when it comes to deaths especially, there are only so many really vulnerable people and we have run through that pool a couple of times in most geographies. So that can also influence what serious disease outcomes look like. Having said that, these initial Danish numbers, and I have seen more on Twitter, suggest that it is indeed presenting with milder disease than Delta. (Danish Article)
And here is a daily report from the UK on Omnicron. Again, looks mild, but too early to form firm conclusions and the world has changed so unlikely to ever get a true, unconfounded comparison. (UK Report) And I would further point out that when you see stuff about reproduction times and doubling rates, take that all with a grain of salt. No one knows, a lot of things go into transmission numbers and rates and I am withholding judgment on whether this variant really is much more transmissible. The South Africa curve, for example, may be rolling over. Cases are definitely affected by testing and South Africa is doing three times more tests now than it was a year ago. And deaths are very low in the country. Also not clear that the UK is on a big sustained upswing. Sometimes you just have to wait and see.
The best research shows that “long” CV-19 disease isn’t so long or even very real. I have reported on a couple of prior studies to that effect showing that in general people report all kinds of extended symptoms after any disease episode, most of which are due to attention bias. This study was a meta-analysis of research on long CV in children and similarly found it to be mythic. Except for loss of smell and cognitive symptoms, the best studies included in the analysis found little support for long-term symptoms. (JID Study)
More vaccine effectiveness research: A lot of nursing home residents have died. This paper examined booster responses in that group. The boosters lifted antibody responses to a high, neutralizing level, above what was attained after the second dose. (Medrxiv Paper)
Prospective effectiveness studies are less common. This one was done in a rural Wisconsin community. It found the usual pattern of declining antibody levels but few infections following vaccination. Having a prior infection was also associated with similar levels of protection. (Medrxiv Paper)
This paper followed people for 9 months after vaccination, measuring antibody and T cell levels, again confirming the general decline, which was exaggerated in obese and elderly persons. (Medrxiv Paper)
Another study finding that a breakthrough infection following vaccination led to broader, stronger antibody responses than vax alone produced. (JAMA Paper)
For purposes of understanding the difference in immune response generated by infection or vaccination and for dividing people into appropriate groups for analysis of immune effectiveness, knowing who has had a prior infection is helpful. This study details a method using T cells to make such a determination. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study from Scotland examined risks of cases and hospitalizations in children. Despite massive testing and finding of cases, there was an extremely, extremely low risk of hospitalization and apparently no deaths among children. The median length of stay was 2 days, so these were basically observation stays and there was almost no use of the ICU. The risk of hospitalization was much higher in children with chronic conditions. (Medrxiv Paper)