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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 108

By February 20, 2022Commentary

I got some reaction to the ivermectin study I summarized.  I have said before that I stay away from treatment stuff, largely because the quality of research is poor and it has to be understood in the context of total patterns of care that require some medical expertise.  I do understand research methodology, however, so if I see a good randomized clinical trial on a treatment I will pass it on.  Ivermectin has become a lightening rod for some bizarre reason and there is ton of complete misinformation floating around out there about it and some other treatments.  And you have people who used the epidemic to come out of the woodwork and claim expertise they don’t have–i.e., Dr. Malone, whatever his accomplishments, was no the or even an inventor of mRNA vaccines.

Here is the broader point.  My goal is to inform readers to some extent, but more importantly, to help you inform yourselves.  That is why I give links to what I summarize and why we explain exactly how we come up with our charts and tables.  But you have to have a skeptical attitude, you have to be aware of biases, especially political ones, that may cause you to look selectively at research and data and to take the wrong message from it.  There is a whole subset of people out there convinced that vitamin D or zinc, or ivermectin or hydrochloroquinine or a number of other things are magic bullets that will prevent you from getting CV-19 or limit serious disease.  They aren’t.  Maybe they help some people.  But don’t allow yourself to be taken in by these extravagant and unsupported claims.  Don’t believe that if something truly had been shown to have benefit, most doctors would not be using it.  I don’t care what people do, but I would encourage you to get medical advice before you do anything, and I would encourage you to be cautious about claims floating around on the internet, especially in regard to treatment.  And when people start saying something would work if only it was taken earlier, or taken all the time, or taken with this or that other compound, that is a warning sign.  I have bad news for everyone:  respiratory virus gonna respiratory virus almost no matter what.

But again let me emphasize again:  I don’t care what people do, I respect autonomy.  Just prefer you be smart about it.  And I won’t tell you the research says something I don’t think it does.

More evidence of the superiority of infection-derived adaptive immunity.  The study comes from Italy and covers the start of the epidemic until recently.  It found an astoundingly low rate of reinfection, which persisted at that level through the Omicron wave.  Those who were also vaxed had an even lower rate of infection.  (Medrxiv Paper)

This study suggests that it is the underlying characteristics of a patient not viral load that determine outcomes from serious disease.  (JID Article)

Higher quality nursing homes, measured on a variety of dimensions, were associated with fewer CV-19 deaths among residents, but more deaths from other causes, as excessive isolation and other tactics to reduce infections took their toll on those with dementia and other issues.  In total the “lower” quality facilities actually had fewer deaths.  This fits in with my general admonition about the failure to consider the broader consequences of interventions.   (JHE Paper)

If it hasn’t been apparent, and I do try to be careful about this when I read stuff related to masks, I hate them, I hate the stupidity of people who think they are being protected by them, I hate most of all forcing them on children.  And people keep acting like they can’t possibly cause any harm.  They hurt children’s development; they are causing massive pollution, they are literally pathogen collection devices, and oh, look, commonly used ones have dangerously high levels of titanium dioxide, a poison.  And this is in Nature, a woke, but somewhat reputable science journal.  (Nature Study)

This study involved prospective testing of a cohort of health care workers to determine how frequently asymptomatic CV-19 infections actually occur.  In this study, no asymptomatic infections were detected, but the authors note that the prospective nature and constant testing may have made the subjects hyper-attentive to symptoms.  (JID Article)

This study compared viral loads between vaxed and unvaxed persons, finding that vaxed persons initially had lower viral loads, but the difference disappears by six months after vax date.  Vaxed persons also had lesser symptoms.  (JID Article)



Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • rob says:

    Thank you! The paranoid extremists on every side are annoying as hell.

  • Matt says:

    Kevin, you know i respect and appreciate you. I am used to seeing your summaries contain more nuance than you gave the JAMA ivermectin study. As many other readers pointed out, the secondary outcomes seem to warrant further study, and are encouraging given the great safety profile of ivm. I know you want to do a good job of providing broad coverage, but i hope you will consider going deep on generic / early treatment at some point, i’m sure that would’ve more valuable to many readers than the nth same type of studies showing natural immunity, etc.

  • Darin Kragenbring says:

    Mr. Roche, I appreciate your candor regarding treatments. Early in the pandemic, I found an article about vitamin D and the commenters were primarily health care workers. I was surprised at the diversity of opinions—I had thought everyone would believe in the efficacy of Vitamin D….not so. Many were not convinced (in general, not just regarding COVID) that Vitamin D was a “magic bullet” for improved health outcomes.

    Part of my skepticism about treatments is that the disease severely impacts so few—how difficult would it be to tease out the benefit or lack thereof? It was clearly wrong, to me, to demonize and even criminalize certain treatments; however, it’s difficult for me to believe the pandemic would have had a significantly different trajectory if the treatments had been more widely used. The more likely scenario is that individual immune systems have a much greater impact and most of us would probably agree that our society has great opportunity to improve our individual health statuses.

    Keep up the great work. I may grow weary of the pandemic hype, but reading your blog and some of the studies you cite has been a learning experience I never expected to get!


  • Dan says:

    So the Nature study says “ The importance of wearing face masks against COVID-19 is unquestionable.” but then shows study results that basically say 70% of masks may be dangerous.

  • Cooter says:

    Huge fan; been reading your stuff throughout.

    However, regarding early treatment, Senator Ron Johnson held a roundtable at the end of January. Panel members included Peter McCullough, Robert Malone (yeah, that guy), Pierre Kory, Harvey Risch, and others. Sen. Johnson INVITED Rochelle Walensky, Janet Woodcock (Acting FDA Commissioner), Fauci, Lawrence Tabak (Acting NIH Director), Albert Bourla (Pfizer CEO), Francis Collins, and several others (see the link). ALL…declined to participate. THAT speaks volumes about what we’re dealing with. It’s not unlike the climate change question. You will be hard-pressed to get a climate alarmist debate a climate “denier.”

    A final comment about Johnson’s panel. It was comprised of doctors…who are actually treating people…vis-a-vis our bureaucratic doctors who have been “guiding” pandemic policy. My main criticism of Trump’ handling of this pandemic is that his attention was hijacked by the bureaucrats and I can’t fault him entirely for that.

    Below is a link to Johnson’s video release that includes links to the entire roundtable (5 hrs) and a short, highlights version (38 min.). Some of the doctors…who are actually seeing/treating patients…speak of their experiences. One might say they are only providing anecdotes; but over time, as they treat more and more patients, they are building a data set, so to speak, that warrants attention.

    My humble opinion, of course.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      People keep talking about early treatment like it is also some panacea, it isn’t. Early treatment with what? the only evidence I see of any significant credibility is around monoclonal antibodies, which makes sense. These block the cell entry and replicative capability of hte virus. The rest is just guessing as far as I can tell. There is a subset of people who want to believe that oh if we just did early treatment every thing would be hunky dory and we wouldn’t need vaccines. That is frankly hogwash. I have communicated with and given data to Sen. Johnson’s staff and I respect him but if that group was the best he could do, it is pretty unimpressive. I can tell when people are in an “I want to believe this” mode, and that is exactly what is going on here. Sorry, but I am not going for it.

  • Colonel Travis says:

    The only issue I have with any ivermectin conclusion right now is that all we have just this one study? Is what they did valid enough? I don’t know. From what I read, it seems to me that what the study looked at was valid. If ivermectin had any value, then shouldn’t it have worked better? Seems to me that if it was an effective treatment, then that would have been the conclusion of this study.

    In a previous post I read a comment that ivermectin doesn’t work as a treatment UNLESS it is used in conjunction with other treatments? I don’t remember hearing that until now. All I’ve heard is – ivermectin, ivermectin, ivermectin. There has been no talk of: you must use ivermectin AND X, Y and Z. I’m all for exploring every single ivermectin treatment variable there is. I don’t want the suppression of information. But I also don’t like moving the goalposts. If ivermectin needs something else, fine. But that’s not what people were told.

    Honestly, I have no dog in this hunt. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, what the hell do I care? All I care about is what, if anything, works. As a standalone, it doesn’t work. I’m convinced of that now.

    Kevin is correct – you need to be skeptical of everything. I’m skeptical of Kevin! But the man has earned my trust after two years. He is a rare breed. You cannot let your emotional attachment to the outcome you want affect your thinking. What I’ve seen with covid the past two years is just insane….

    • Kevin Roche says:

      There are a lot of studies, some claim to show that ivermectin works, some show it doesn’t. It is pretty clear to me that the bulk of the most trustworthy evidence shows very low if any effectiveness against either infection or severe disease. And again, the mechanism of action makes no sense as an antiviral. This compound was developed for and has been used against parasites, which are very different from viruses.

  • Colonel Travis says:

    How/why did ivermectin become a treatment concern in the first place?

  • Patricia O’Connell Stasney says:

    Just a couple of comments. It was my understanding that Dr Malone worked on the technology of mRNH vaccines not the vaccine. I think some outlets did report he was the inventor which is not accurate. As far as taking vitamin D , I have been doing so for about 15 years and noticed that I seldom got winter colds. I should mention I have a healthier diet and am normal weight, which no doubt helps. When we (husband and I got covid in January 2021, We did not get very sick at all and would have dismissed it if we had not known about covid. I was 67. He was 69. He worked physically the whole time. Another thing I would like to see more on , which was dropped early on , is the role blood type plays. We are both type O , as well ass other O family members , and it seemed to be a part of it.Thank you.

  • Micky Willkom says:

    I think you need to read this NIH document on ivermectin to get a better understanding on it’s uses for covid. Specifically the use of ivermectin as an antiviral drug.

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