I am sure you are all reading the stories about what continues to happen in China. Notwithstanding literally locking people in their homes, starving them to death, or putting them in CV-19 concentration camps, the virus continues to spread. When will we finally get it through all of our thick skulls that you cannot suppress these contagious respiratory virus. How futile and expensive in so many ways were all our attempts to do so?
This study examined the role of superspreaders and variability in general in the susceptibility of persons to CV-19 and their viral loads and exhalation capacity, all in the context of epidemic modeling. Modeling was dreadful in this one, hopefully it gets better before the next one and this issue of variability is key. (Medrxiv Paper)
A couple of other recent papers also could bear on modeling issues. The first looked at the impact of differential timing of stages in symptomatic and asymptomatic persons. Because it may take an asymptomatic person a longer period of time to infect someone else, and they may be infectious for a shorter period, their interactions with others would create a different epidemic trend than in an epidemic with only symptomatic persons. So the authors tried to model the effects of different proportions of the sub-populations, including in different age groups. (Medrxiv Paper)
This paper looked at the impact of mixing of vaxed and unvaxed populations on epidemic trends. Unfortunately the moronic authors of the article used it as an opportunity to attack and shame the unvaccinated. The model they built rests on the now clearly inaccurate assumption that vaxed people don’t spread CV-19 as much as unvaxed ones. Unfortunately that simply does not appear to be true. (CMAJ Article)
I said before that I am not spending a lot of time on mask BS studies, because it is clear as can be that they make zero difference on population-wide spread. This study found that mask compliance levels did not appear correlated with either case level or number of deaths in Europe. The authors are shocked, just shocked by this finding. I would note that an issue with these is implying causation or lack thereof either way, because I strongly suspect that level of mask-wearing is associated with case levels–some people almost certainly are more likely to wear masks if they are aware case levels are higher, and less likely to wear them when case levels are reported as being low. Remember this paper next time people try to tell you that if everyone just wore 8 masks all the time there would be no spread of CV-19. (Cureus Paper)
No one knows for sure how many people have been “infected” by CV-19. The core issue is that there are so many asymptomatic or mild cases. Early in the epidemic there was inadequate testing capacity; then we went overboard; and now we have a lot of home testing and self-management of those mild cases. This paper attempts to estimate how many undetected cases there are and suggests that in Illinois, in the pre-Omicron waves, only about 50% to 70% of cases were detected, but with Omicron the rate of detection dropped to only 10% to 15% of cases. If that is true, almost the entire population at one time or another has been infected. (Medrxiv Paper)