Those who love panic and hysteria are still trying to use the epidemic to get their junkie rush. There is a new wave of cases in Europe, due to a variant of the Omicron variant. There are some cases from the same variant here. Apparently these panic purveyors haven’t gotten the message that the public is pretty much done with this epidemic and now accepts that the virus isn’t going away and all of our past attempts to suppress it were an exercise in expensive futility. I will repeat for the four-hundredth time–the virus can’t be suppressed, there will be cases and some severe disease, we can live with it and the sooner we accept that, the better off we will all be. But expect in the next few weeks to see increasing hysteria about a new wave in the US and Minnesota.
Meanwhile, a couple of dolts who claim to be public health experts, which I personally would be ashamed to acknowledge after the epidemic, wrote an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune saying we should all still mask up, using the typical guilting and shaming rationale of protecting the vulnerable. These dipshits are completely incapable of reading charts or analyzing data or understanding research or they would know that there is absolutely no evidence that masking does anything to slow the spread of CV-19 in the community. Public health as a discipline is a disgrace right now. It is a woke mess with no ability to do real science. And it has no regard for actual “public” health, which means acting for the benefit of the general overall health of the entire population. Thanks to these morons, we have millions of Americans whose physical and mental health has worsened because of delayed diagnoses and treatment for common conditions like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, dementia and others. So all the public health experts should just please shut up and go learn something about actual public health.
For those in the endless vaccine booster crowd, which would include Pfizer and the other vaccine manufacturers, there is little evidence to support any significant lasting benefit form additional doses. This study from Israel looked at a fourth dose and found a modest, at best, benefit, against transmission, which likely will decline over time. (NEJM Article)
I think the most likely explanation for the shape of the epidemic curves involves the role of superspreaders–people who are very susceptible to infection, have high viral loads and have lots of contacts, and in particular, the likelihood that they get infected early, but when the pool is exhasusted a wave collapses. This paper explores superspreading in coronavirus epidemics. From limited data across a number of studies, the authors find that a typical superspreader might be a male over age 40, often with a mild course of disease, but that the phenomenon was widespread across adults. (Medrxiv Paper)
The study looked at the relative rate of serious cases among Delta and Omicron infections in England. Overall, those with Omicron has about 40% the risk of being hospitalized and 30% the risk of dying compared to those infected with Delta. Both vaccination and prior infection helped lower risk of those events. (Lancet Paper)