Sorry for these digressions. A Foreign Affairs article articulating better than I why Vladimir Putin’s end is likely near, and it won’t be pretty. (FA Article)
And for all the people who are claiming that sanctions, in particular closing off access to the international financial transfer system called SWIFT will backfire and result in loss of dollar supremacy, this is pure ignorance and fantasy. For decades there are those who have predicted this, and it hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen for two reasons. One is that the world wants a system run by countries it trusts to engage in the rule of law. Commercial interests dictate stability and predictibility in resolving disputes and issues. The world trusts the US and Europe to do that. It is a joke to suggest that Russia, which has a puny and lop-sided economy and zero rule of law, can supplant that. China also is not viewed as a substitute, for obvious reasons. The second is that the dollar, in its virtual and physical form, is by far the most-desired currency in the world, and that won’t change either. Wishful thinking on behalf of Putin apologists.
You will recall the adage that age-adjusted, minority population percent adjusted, macro-health indicator adjusted, every country eventually was going to end up pretty much in the same place in the epidemic. Hong Kong, South Korea and New Zealand are all proving that. You can’t stop a respiratory virus, and we spent a fortune and wasted trillions of dollars trying to do that, while eventually killing more people by terrorizing them away from seeking needed health care and turning to drugs and alcohol. Congratulations all you public health experts who turned out to be public health dunces.
A study from New York shows very limited and rapidly declining vaccine effectiveness for children against infection. While protection held up somewhat better against hospitalization, the study gives no reason to have widespread vaccination of children, although the authors claim it does. (Medrxiv Paper)
Another study on vaccine effectiveness from the UK, comparing Omicron and Delta. As we all have now experienced, the vaccines have very limited effectiveness against infection by Omicron. In fact, after two doses, effectiveness was less than 10% and even after a booster, within a few weeks it dropped under 50%. (NEJM Article)
Iceland has a highly vaxed and boosted population but has endured several significant epidemic waves. According to this study from the country, different vaccine regimens produced varying levels of antibodies. Boosters restored some effectiveness against infection, at least initially. (Medrxiv Study)
In the rush to approve vaccines, enough time was not available or spent on optimum dosing regimen in terms of time between doses. This study again finds that leaving a longer period between doses appears to create a stronger antibody response. (Medrxiv Paper)
Researchers continue to look at the potential effect of infections by seasonal coronaviruses. This paper finds that there appears to be a lasting population of T cells following such infections, that remains capable of responding to new attempted infections, rather than the adaptive immune response completely disappearing and being restored only after a new infection. This suggests the same should be true with CV-19 infections. (Medrxiv Paper)
This study from India used masks to measure viral exhalation during the Delta wave. It found no difference in load exhaled between vaxed and unvaxed persons. The Delta variant was said to be associated with much higher loads than the original strains. There were actually more infections among vaxed persons and their household members, which the authors attribute to reduced risk aversion behavior following vax. (Medrxiv Paper)