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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 178

By November 26, 2022Commentary

Governments spent and wasted incredible amounts of money during CV-19, trillions, which has created enormous financial distress, including inflation and slow growth.  This article from the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine discusses the complete pointlessness of all the testing and contact tracing, which like everything else made zero difference in the spread of CV-19.  (T & T Article)

People die.  A lot.  All the time.  From lots of things.  Including occasionally from CV-19.  But not as much as governments claim.  Here is a study from Germany examining both all-cause mortality trends and deaths attributed to CV-19.  A far more sophisticated analysis of actual trends pre-epidemic, by age group, and during the epidemic.  Among other things, the analyses indicates that deaths attributable to CV-19 in Germany have been substantially over-estimated.  Note several important aspects of the method.  You should use a very long time period, in this study the researchers used 20 years, to assess pre-existing trends.  You have to standardize results to changing population size, and really that should be done age group.  Understanding death trends by age group is very important because even in the last two decades, the number of very old people, and their proportion of the total population has grown substantially.  These people are also by far the most likely to die in any given year. (Medrxiv Paper)

Studying adverse events from vaccination is important, as it weighs in the decision of relative benefits from getting vaxed.  This article performed a meta-analysis of research on heart rhythm disruption following vaccination.  The authors compared rates of arrythmia from CV-19 vaccination to those from other vaccinations.  While the rates of such problems following (not necessarily attributed to) CV-19 vax were very low, they were substantially higher than that for other vaccines.  However, all-cause mortality following vaccination were the same for both CV-19 vax and other vaccines, indicating no association with excess deaths.  (Medrxiv Paper)

The epidemic has revealed a remarkable lack of understanding of the basic course of an epidemic.  One such myth related to “herd” immunity, which I prefer to call population immunity, and the notion that once enough people had been infected, there simply would be no further opportunity for significant transmission.  We now see that despite extremely high levels of vaccination and prior infection, there continue to be large numbers of cases, with the vast majority being breakthroughs and/or reinfections.  But protection against serious disease, which uses health resources and causes significant damage to a person’s health, appears to be more substantial and durable.  Since protection against subsequent infection appears to lessen with time in the case of both vaccination and prior infection, to determine the total level of population immunity at any given point in time, one would need to track infections, vaccinations and the passage of time.  That is what is done in this study, with the goal of assessing vulnerability to a large wave this winter.  According to the authors, 94% of Americans have been infected at least once and 97% have some immunity either from those infections or vax.  From December 2021 to November 2022, protection against an Omicron infection is said to have risen from 22% to 63% of the population, and protection against serious disease from 61% to 89%, making a wave of serious CV-19 disease seem unlikely.  (Medrxiv Paper) 

The immune is complex, astoundingly complex.  People are still trying to understand why some people’s immune systems seem to react faster and more strongly to attempted CV-19 infection.  There was some early research on the potential cross-over effects of prior seasonal coronavirus infections.  This new study is interesting because it suggests that a prior Cytomegalovirus infection leaves behind T cells that can recognize and react against CV-19.  (PubMed Paper)

According to this study from Switzerland, 13% of children aged 2 to 17 experienced a serious mental health issue during the epidemic.  If it was that high in Switzerland, what would it have been like in the US.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Why do recent variants appear to be more transmissible?  Seems like something worth understanding.  Apparently it isn’t due to greater stability on aerosols or surfaces, according to this research finding that neither Delta nor Omicron strains showed such characteristics compared to the original CV-19.  (Medrxiv Paper)

The outcome of research on the impact of prior infection and vax on subsequent infection risk is getting quite repetitive.  This research was done among adolescents in England and found that prior infection with any strain appeared to be more protective than vaccination against symptomatic subsequent infection, with vax alone showing rapid lessening of protection, which the combination of a prior infection and vaccination provided somewhat superior protection to either alone.  (Lancet Study)

One theory was that areas with high levels of air pollution resulting in more particulate matter in the air would leave residents more susceptible to infection and serious disease.  The cause would likely be deteriorated lung function and immune response, but could also be providing better transport for virus particles.  This meta-analysis concluded that more particulate matter was associated with a greater risk of infection but not with more serious disease.  (Medrxiv Paper)


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • George H Avery, PhD says:

    I wasn’t one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, but I had been involved with Jay Bhattacharya in discussing the amazing failures of COVID policy early on and signed the declaration. I published a brief analysis in March 2020 of data from the Diamond Princess liner, with confirmation out of Sout Korea, showing that the actual CFR was not 7-10%, but about the same as the 1968 Hong Kong Flu pandemic (which was not good – I spent 2 weeks in a PICU with it as a 2 year old), but not the 1919 level event that was being hyped. I have been hit by both sides on the vaccine issue – I have pointed out that it is not a panacea, but it DOES provide protection, and that the risk-benefit ratio is not favorable for men under 25, a wash for females under 25, and improves with age for those older than 25. That means the anti-vaxxers AND the vaccinate everyone people both get upset at me. I was attacked for a comment, for example, at the time of the vaccine introduction on Purdue vaccination policies, for pointing out that a vaccination rate of 100% for ANY vaccine is going to result in harm because there are always some people – immune disorders, etc. – for whom the vaccine is contraindicated. The same occurred – from both sides – when I pointed out that NO vaccine is expected to have 100% efficacy in preventing an infection – what they do is prime the B-cells to produce antibodies to give the immune system a jump start in responding to an exposure. Pro-COVID vaccine advocates attacked me for undermining confidence, anti-vaxxers insisted I was wrong because vaccines are supposed to prevent disease and some vaccinated people developed an infection.

    One of my favorites was when a former student from one of my classes when I taught at Purdue, now a nursing professor, complained about seeing people playing golf in April 2020. I pointed out to her that golf pretty much is designed around social distancing and that the virus was UV sensitive AND thermally labile — and that her own research advocated the health benefits of people getting out and walking around for exercise. She backed down on her indignation.

    I raised questions about the net cost of the lockdowns and masking policies early on, which raised some indignation among friends and colleagues. One I heard was “you can’t put a dollar value in lives” – at which point I mentioned I was talking about the costs in terms of lives – lives lost to ODs, suicide from lockdown anomie, delayed treatment for other conditions (I waited 7 months for a colonoscopy in 2020 despite a presumption of colon cancer from a false positive Cologuard test, all because IU health deemed it “elective”), etc. Masking is a particularly sensitive topic. Pointing out that cloth/paper masks truly only reduce risk when work by the infected who are shedding viruses gets both sides riled up. Anti-maskers claim the pore size is less than the viral diameter and get upset when you point out that droplets are emitted from the nose and mouth of the infected, and they are MUCH larger than the aerosols formed a few feet away as droplets break up and water evaporates. Pro-maskers have an almost religious belief that a covering is a panacea.

    I had been really frustrated because my team when I was a professor at Purdue developed guidance for a respiratory epidemic, prevention and healthcare surge capacity, fifteen years ago. Despite paying us between ¾ and a million dollars to do the work, they obviously ignored it after the reports were delivered. We even had Judy Monroe, then the state Health Commissioner, later the head of preparedness at CDC and now head of the CDC foundation, embargo a couple of papers developed off the work because they might be “embarrassing” (one focused on preparedness gaps in local health departments, another on psychometric flaws in the CDC preparedness assessment instrument). She was really trying to get the CDC appointment at the time and blocked anything that didn’t make her shine or would embarrass CDC. As it was, she was unhappy with our healthcare guidance because it focused on managing demand through communications and triage rather than how to build tent hospitals.

  • John Oh says:

    ” . . . embargo a couple of papers” This says it all. Sorry your hard work was taken so seriously but not acted upon. Obviously it was taken seriously or it wouldn’t have been embargoed.

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