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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 205

By April 23, 2023Commentary

The excess death puzzle will go on for years, with no certain resolution.  John Ionnaidis and company weigh in again with another paper attempting to use long and variable baselines and multiple analytic methods to untangle the extent of excess deaths and any causal changes in 33 developed countries.  Longer baselines generally reduced the calculated excess deaths.  Many countries were experiencing declines in death rates pre-epidemic and thereby compiling a lot of very susceptible elderly people, who were heavily disproportionately impacted by CV-19.   The US consistently had among the highest rates of excess deaths across analyses, likely due to our relatively poor health and health behaviors.  40% of excess deaths in the US were in those under 65, the highest among countries analyzed, which is likely due to homicides, drug overdoses and other negative health behaviors.   (EJE Article)

It is not a joke to say that masks not only are not likely effective for stopping community transmission of CV-19 or other viruses, but that they can cause harms.  This study among anesthesiologists finds that prolonged mask wearing is associated with changes in oxygen concentration, headache and fatigue.  Just what you want to maximize your doctor’s performance.  (NCBI Study)

More good news on the effect of making people stay at home during the epidemic.  There was a large rise in cases of children, very young children, ingesting illegal drugs and other dangerous substances.  Their parents apparently cared so little about the children that they left cannaboids, opiates and similar drugs lying around for their young children to get their hands on.   (JAMA Article)

Another study showing that keeping kids locked up for a couple of years weakens their immune systems and leaves them vulnerable to other infections.  Strep throat incidence, primarily an issue for children, rose by over 30% in the winter of 2023.  The rise was most noticeable among the youngest children.  (Epic Study)

Three years in and doctors and researchers still don’t know the optimal care patterns for CV-19 infectees.  This study suggests that giving dexamethasone, a drug used to improve breathing, to those hospitalized with the infection improves outcomes.  (JAMA Study)

Another study from the VA, this time examining relative risk of death from CV-19 and influenza among hospitalized patients.  Not sure why this is important, both diseases have some risk of serious outcomes, including death, but some people still seem to find it necessary to claim that CV-19 was this awful, unprecedented pathogen.  For people with prior exposure, as most people have with flu, CV-19 would clearly be less threatening than influenza, which is demonstrated by the decline in mortality rate for CV-19 during the time period of the study.  This is the first time through the human population for CV-19.  In any event, the mortality rate for CV-19 was higher than that for influenza.  Vaccination appeared to decrease the risk of death from CV-19.  (JAMA Study)

In the “Doh” department, more research to the effect that children have stronger general immune reactions to an attempted CV-19 infection than do adults, with higher levels of antibodies reactive to CV-19 and a longer duration of a strong response.  This was always the most likely explanation for why CV-19 is not a substantial risk for children.  (Medrxiv Paper)

I don’t know what to make of this study, which links a CV-19 infection and a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, but only in men.  Other research has come to similar conclusions and some has failed to find any link.  I have not seen a good explanation of a potential causal mechanism.  I am inclined to believe that it may actually be associated with the affects of treatment or differential health behaviors among those who have and haven’t been infected.  And as always relying solely on test results to determine who had an infection means lots of missed cases.  (JAMA Article)



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