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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 217

By August 5, 2023Commentary

It is somewhat mysterious why some people seem to be more resistant to getting CV-19 infections.  There is no question that they are exposed, everyone has been. But their immune systems are capable of repelling the virus with few or no symptoms.  I was one of those lucky people, despite living very freely and being exposed to multiple family members, including my wife, who were infected and sick, I got my first actual symptomatic infection just in the past couple of months.  It could be that this is due to a generally stronger immune system and it might be due to prior frequent exposure to other coronaviruses, which primed a strong cross-reaction to this one.  A new study also finds that perhaps a certain genetic variation may be associated with greater resistance to CV-19 infections.  Without getting too technical, the study suggests that a certain variation in a primary immune system component results in strong prior T cell reactivity to coronaviruses, including CV-19, and protects people who have this variation.  (Nature Article)

Pro-masking studies are so embarassingly weak that I don’t know why anyone authors them.  This “research” from Canada is typical of its kind, where researchers make up a model, tell the model, in this case, that the lack of mask effectiveness is just due to not enough testing, and voila, they get a result that says masking limited infections, although to the authors’ chagrin, even this fake result is pathetically weak and not statistically significant unless you really pimp the model.  (Medrxiv Study)

It isn’t uncommon for viral infections, particularly serious ones, to have longer term impact on health after the acute infection is resolved.  And it isn’t uncommon for virus to linger in the human body in hidden niches, safe from immune attack.  HIV is a master at this.  This research claims to find both long-term T cell activation and apparent CV-19 virus particles in the body for a very extended time, particularly in those with lasting CV-19 symptoms.  (Medrxiv Paper)

And as you might imagine, the percent of people supposedly having post-acute CV-19 symptoms varies wildly depending on the definition used, and when you compare to people who didn’t have CV-19, you see a lot of the same symptoms, suggesting it ain’t actually due to CV-19.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Okay, not sure we need any more research on this topic, the outcome is obvious.  A lot of people got depressed and anxious during the epidemic.  But they tended to be depressed and anxious before.  So the epidemic has become one more excuse for these people to avoid getting on with their lives and instead go on Social Security disability, whose roles have greatly expanded.  As I note above, I am sure there are people with genuine long term effects of a CV-19 infection, but I don’t think mental health issues are among them.  (Nature Study)

A large cohort study from England finds that people who reported disruptions to their health care during the epidemic had higher rates of avoidable hospital admissions.   This stems from a long-standing area of research in health care finding that if people follow recommended care pathways, they are less likely to be hospitalized, including for serious conditions like heart failure.  When people wonder what caused and will cause excess deaths, it is this ongoing impact on health from care disruptions.   (BMJ Article)

And another study from England found that waiting times increased greatly for health services during the epidemic and that people who were waiting consumed much more health services in the interim, presumably because their conditions worsened in the absence of treatment.  (Medrxiv Study)

I frequently and accurately accused public health officials of ignoring the broader public health during the epidemic. One of the consequences I foresaw was a weakening of immune response to a variety of pathogens as lockdowns created a lack of exposure that keeps our immune systems primed.  And this study validates that in regard to RSV, which seriously impacts children and older adults.  And we saw during the epidemic some very bad RSV waves.  Public health officials literally killed children from RSV in the name of trying to stop a virus that was harmless to them.  (Medrxiv Paper)


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