Wow, a sudden flood of research the last couple of days, so I will try to at least briefly address the studies, even as the epidemic recedes from public concern, for all but a few nuts. I saw some government somewhere told people if they have a “cold” just stay home til it clears. Might have been appropriate advice at the start–saved a lot of money and heartache for everyone.
Ivermectin strikes a cord with some people for whatever reason. I think a lot of people just hang on to something as though if we just had done that, the epidemic would have gone so much better. Sorry, ivermectin isn’t it. I think one thing I would like people to understand, and we are still seeing evidence of this in places like South Korea, China and other Asian countries, is there really is nothing you can do to stop a highly transmissible respiratory virus, so why kill yourself, literally, in the effort.
And remdesivir is another somewhat controversial treatment option, widely used and forcing a lot of hospitalizations for administration. At least the mechanism of action makes sense on this one. This study was a fairly large one looking at use in hospitalized patients in Europe. Ooops, lot of wasted money that made a drug company rich. No difference in outcomes. None. Now, because of regulatory requirements for hospital administration, which is stupid, remdesivir’s use as a preventative outpatient treatment was limited. It might work better at stopping replication if given earlier. Full disclosure, I am and have been a Gilead shareholder, but I still think it was stupid government and health policy to use this drug the way it has been used. (Medrxiv Paper)
This is an excellent overview paper on the overall shape of the epidemic and what may occur in the future. It reviews the evolution of CV-19 and identifies possible changes in the future, from becoming a fifth seasonal coronavirus with low morbidity, to being like flu every year, to being a more deadly constant threat. I strongly encourage you to read this paper. (Zenodo Paper)
It is pretty well established that vax doesn’t prevent infection against Omicron for most people. A breakthrough infection, however, appears to create a good response against all variants, primarily by reshaping existing B memory cells to recognize broader protein segments. (Medrxiv Paper)
And this paper has basically similar findings in regard to Omicron infections in vaxed persons. (Medrxiv Paper)
This paper looked at correlations between vax rates in a country and level of cases and deaths. Vax rates were not correlated with case levels, particularly during Omicron, but were associated with reduced death numbers. Over time the effect lessened. (Medrxiv Paper)
How did vaccination affect hospitalization during the Delta and Omicron waves? That question was examined in this large study from England. The findings are an interesting twist on the incidental hospitalization issue. The authors find that using more restrictive definitions of when a hospitalization was actually for treatment of CV-19 leads to findings of better effectiveness of vaccines against hosp, including during Omicron, when the rate of incidental hosps increased substantially. Now you tell me that those hosp stats were exaggerated all along. (Medrxiv Paper)
As with most respiratory pathogens, we don’t really have a good understanding of CV-19’s ability to persist and remain viable in various environments. This study from Minnesota and Wisconsin did regular air sampling in nursing homes and found frequent presence of CV-19 and other pathogens. But let’s go on believing that masks, distancing, testing and tracing, plastic barriers, etc. will stop spread. (Medrxiv Paper)
And finally, one supposed side effect of vax was on menstrual cycles. This paper looked at a small group of women and found that there was delay of 2 days or so in the cycle immediately after vax, but the change reversed in following cycles. There was no change in women on hormonal contraception. (Medrxiv Paper)