I think I will just keep this series going, kind of appropriate title for that. Okay, this kind of hurts, and I will soften it at the end, but I am going to give the IB and DOH some praise for not panicking and putting all kinds of restrictions in place during the latest surge and for actually keeping the level of hysteria down. We have had almost no briefings and very few public statements. I would like to believe that it is because they finally have learned and accepted that it is futile to try to stop a respiratory virus and that the sooner it runs through the population, the sooner it will stop causing significant morbidity. But that isn’t the reason; the reason is that the IB is running for re-election this year and the last thing he wants is for people to constantly be reminded about his abysmal leadership during the epidemic and his constant stream of misinformation and lies. But whatever the reason, I am happy that there was a general attitude of virus gonna virus.
We are entering a really interesting period from a statistical perspective. You see this in the UK already. The regular vaccine surveillance reports there now appear to show higher infection rates, and higher growth rates, among the vaxed, across age groups. Kind of the inverse of the situation when we had a small percent of the population vaxed, now we have a small set that isn’t vaxed. In these situations, when you are comparing a very large group with a very small group, you have to be keenly aware of the outsized impact of confounders and of random effects. And in the case of the UK, and Minnesota and most states and countries, one huge confounder which I never see reported on is prior infection. I suspect missing this data actually improves the appearance of vax effectiveness, as you could think that people who were infected might be less likely to get vaxed. But we simply aren’t told prior infection status and it obviously is highly relevant.
This issue is a subset of a bigger problem, which is the undetected infection problem. It obviously would be nice to know the total immune status of each individual in each group, not just detected infections, so we could identify reinfections and the impact of hybrid immunity. That would require extensive antibody or other surveys. The other ongoing problem is who ends up in which denominator. Right now most places are lumping anyone they can’t clearly identify as fully vaxed into the unvaxed group. So partly vaxed, people too unhealthy to vax or just missed vax go in there. We aren’t told how big those subgroups are, but they clearly could affect rate calculations.
An intriguing speculation is whether the unvaxed population includes a large proportion of unusually healthy people and/or those with exceptionally strong immune systems, which limits their susceptibility to infection. I have no idea if this is true, but if the small remaining pool of unvaxed people fall in this category, it could skew reported infections. If these people are aware of their very good health and/or immune systems, they may be less likely to get vaxed. But that is just speculation.
I don’t know which way all these issues ultimately cut, but most governments have information which could be looked at and provided to help enlighten us. In the meantime, I would not assume, as some promote, that being vaxed means you are more likely to be infected than if you are unvaxed, all other things being equal. That is almost certainly not true.
Supposedly reputable medical journals will print any kind of garbage study that supports the mask and lockdown religion. Here is the Journal of the American Medical Association publishing a piece of absolute trash that if it were on any other topic would never see the light of day. The study is about whether certain measures were or weren’t associated with more or less closings of day care centers. Note right off the bat that although a wide variety of supposed mitigation measures were asked about, the title is about masking. So you know it is written by mask religionists. The basic research was a survey, an f***ing survey, that asked day care centers to fill out information about various things they supposedly did and how often they closed. Completely, completely unreliable. Look at the table on various measures, no effect from staff masking, very minor effect from children supposedly masking, and look at the confidence intervals. Who do you think wears a mask better–staff or the children? As usual, you can go on and on with the poor design and statistical analysis, but you get the point. And again, look at the table of measures and look at how few made any difference. This is simply bullshit. (JAMA Article)
Children don’t have the ability to defend themselves so they are easy prey for the epidemic terrorists. These liars have made up risks to children, while forcing them to mask and vaccinate. Among other lies is that children may suffer from “long” CV-19, a made up syndrome, which research generally shows is non-existent and clinically irrelevant. This piece of research from Denmark examines supposed long CV-19 in children. It compared those infected with CV-19 with a control group and asked about various symptoms at 4 weeks or longer post infection. The CV-19 group reported very slightly more symptoms. The most common symptoms were loss of taste and smell, But interestingly, the control group reported more of other symptoms. Since the control group had no specific illness, it shows that if you ask people about whether they have symptoms at any time, they will often say yes. Note that the survey response rate in the CV-19 group was twice what it was in the controls, suggesting undue attention to CV-19 disease and likely biased recall, exaggerating the already small effect. (Springer Study)
Another piece from the UK on incidental hospitalizations, which have reached over 50% of those attributed to CV-19, almost two-thirds in London. I would like to say this is a sign of some return to normalcy, but we have a large population of incidental-deniers. (UK Story)
We are going to have to be very careful about assessments of the relative severity of Omicron, because of the huge confounding effect of both vax and prior infection. This large study from France found that in general Omicron was less likely to result in ICU admission, but that when ICU admission occurs, it was equally likely to result in mortality. (Medrxiv Paper)
The results of this study would suggest that any greater transmissibility of Omicron would be due to inherent qualities of the strain, not to vaccine evasion. Responses to Delta and Omicron were tested in vaxed persons and the reactivation of the immune system was similar to both variants. (Medrxiv Paper)
The Medicare program includes coverage for people of all ages with severe mental illness resulting in disability. These people need constant monitoring and treatment but during the epidemic there was a substantial drop in the use of health care by this group. Another good effect of the lockdown mentality. (JAMA Study)
One more study buttressing the concern about vaccinating young males, again finding elevated levels of myocarditis following vaccination. (JAMA Article)