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Coronamonomania Lives Forever, Part 222

By September 7, 2023Commentary

A lot of children developed speech issues during the epidemic.  Wonder if being forced to wear masks had anything to do with that?  It is hard to hear adults or other children speaking through masks and children learning to talk pick up a lot of cues by watching other people talk–lips moving, etc.  This study adds a technical underpinning to these common-sense observations that masks impair speech, the hearing of what is said, and the development of speech skills by children.  It describes the specific effects of mask that limit speech intelligibility.  (PLOS Article)

China attempted to suppress transmission of CV-19 through an incredibly draconian set of measures which worked to some extent but limited that country’s development of population immunity and caused severe economic and social damage.  When China finally lightened up there was a massive wave of infections and likely many deaths, although China hides this data.  This study attempted to estimate deaths during the significant wave from December of last year through February of this year.  The authors conclude that there were 1.4 million deaths due to CV-19 in that limited period, far more than China acknowledges.  No matter what a country does, you are pretty much going to end up in the same place in terms of mortality and morbidity from a respiratory virus.  (EID Article)

A severe CV-19 infection, indeed a serious pathogen infection of any type, can have lasting effects on the immune system, according to this study.  The article details changes to certain cells that are part of the immune system following a serious CV-19 episode.  These changes could account for some symptoms described by so-called long CV-19 patients, and could have implications for the overall health of those who suffered serious disease from CV-19.  But the changes can also boost the ability to deal with subsequent infections of all types.  (Cell Article)

This study of the impact of eliminating mask mandates in Massachusetts school.  Let me once again note that the presence of a mandate means nothing, it is how often masks are worn that could make a difference, although it is pretty clear that they don’t make much difference.  And this study suggests that there were not significantly more cases in schools that eliminated their mandate versus those that retained it for some time.  (Medrxiv Paper)

People are still grappling with the risk of death/excess deaths from CV-19 issue.  This research is from England and purports to ascertain the relative risk of death following a positive CV-19 test, adjusting for age, health status, etc.  The ratio of likely death declined over the course of the epidemic, possibly from lessening of variant lethality, more likely due to development of higher levels of population immunity.  In general, there was a high relative risk of death if you had CV-19.   (SSRN Article)


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