You’re Going to Die, But Probably Not From COVID

We have let the media and social media platforms control the messaging while their profits increase and the rest of the society crumbles. Are they giving back any of their profits to the people who have lost during this period? __ Fear Killing More People

COVID is Not the Main Threat
Image Source

The level of panic and hysteria over the virus from Wuhan is something to behold. The more thoughtful among us may learn something about ourselves, once the politicians and media stop crying “Wolf!” and we have had a chance to catch our breath.

People are certainly dying, but they are mostly dying from the things that they always die of. Humans are mortal, and they tend to die sooner or later of something. For a small percentage of people — usually the old and infirm — a communicable respiratory virus such as Chinese SARS-2 will tip them past the point of no return.

In the US, New York and New Jersey were hardest hit — largely due to the policies of mayors and governors of those regions.

The mortality inflicted in [New York and New Jersey] was devastating. Further, much of it was likely produced by the lockdowns when the virus was forced into the weakened populations. The mortality rate rose rapidly starting 2 weeks after lockdowns and peaked in mid-April. __ Source

But even in that homicidally mismanaged part of the country, it was the usual causes of death which predominated.

COVID Deaths Small Fraction of Total Deaths
If You Want to Panic Over Something, Panic Over How Easily Influenced You Are by Media Hype

Herd Immunity is Already Slowing the Spread

The large number of people already infected with the coronavirus in the US has begun to act as a brake on the spread of the disease in hard-hit states.

Millions of US residents have been infected by the virus that causes covid-19, and at least 160,000 are dead. One effect is that the pool of susceptible individuals has been depleted in many areas. After infection, it’s believed, people become immune (at least for months), so they don’t transmit the virus to others. This slows the pandemic down.

“I believe the substantial epidemics in Arizona, Florida and Texas will leave enough immunity to assist in keeping COVID-19 controlled,” Trevor Bedford, a pandemic analyst at the University of Washington, said on Friday, in a series of tweets.

… The exact extent to which acquired immunity is slowing the rate of transmission is unknown, but major questions like school reopening and air travel may eventually hinge on the answer.

What is known is that after rising at an alarming pace starting in May, new cases of covid-19 in Sun Belt states like Florida have started to fall. Some of that may be due to social distancing behavior, but rising rates of immunity are also a factor, according to Youyang Gu, a computer scientist whose Covid-19 Projections is among 34 pandemic models tracked by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Immunity may play a significant part in the regions that are declining,” says Gu. At least until the fall, which is how far his models look forward, he says, “I don’t think there is going to be another spike” of infections in southern states.

Herd immunity
The US has been recording more than 1,000 covid-19 deaths and 45,000 confirmed cases a day. The flip side of the rapid spread, however, is there are progressively fewer vulnerable people to catch and spread the virus again.

…. “Clearly, as susceptibility drops, disease spreading drops. No one can say different,” says Tom Britton, a statistician who models the pandemic at the University of Stockholm. “The question is to what degree is the effect because of interventions or because of immunity? In regions with very large outbreaks—New York, Milan, Madrid, and London—I am convinced it’s a combination.”

A virus outbreak will cease to grow, even without any control measures, when a threshold called herd immunity is achieved. That’s when so many people are immune that the virus can’t find new hosts quickly enough.

… Once an obscure inflection point known only to epidemiologists, herd immunity has gained what Francois Balloux, a systems biologist at University College London, calls “Kardashian-like” fame and become a lightning rod in politically polarized debates over economic reopening. On social media, some commenters insist that herd immunity has already arrived, meaning lockdowns and school closures are not necessary. Others find reason to doubt that immunity will ever accumulate without a vaccine and say counting on it can only lead to millions of deaths.

What is certain is that in the US, with a raging epidemic, natural immunity is building fast. During June and July, Gu estimates, 450,000 people a day were being infected by the coronavirus in the US, the highest figures since the disease arrived in February.

That number is higher than the official case count because it includes an estimate of infections that go unseen, unfelt, or unreported. In June, CDC director Robert Redfield told reporters that the real number of infections could be many times the official tally. For instance, Gu has estimated that about 35 million Americans have now been infected—roughly 10% of the nation’s population.

Natural infection also turns out to be extremely efficient at reducing virus transmission—even more effective than an equal number of people getting a vaccine. The reason is that the virus has been finding and infecting precisely those people who—whether because of behavior, circumstances, or biology—are most likely to be part of transmission chains.

Perhaps they are college students on spring break, or hospital nurses, or people who touch their face all the time. Whatever the reason, once these individuals become infected and are removed from the equation through death or immunity, the effect on the pandemic is outsized. By contrast, vaccinating a sheltered older person might protect that individual but does relatively less to stop transmission.

“When the disease itself causes herd immunity, it does so more efficiently than when we give out vaccine at random,” Marc Lipsitch, a public health modeler at Harvard University, told the political pundit Bill Kristol last week during a podcast interview. As a result, “there is discussion” about whether viral transmission could be reduced more quickly than generally believed, he says.

Lessons from Sweden
Outside the US, researchers are also closely tracking the role of population immunity in national responses. Sweden, for example, did not impose a strict lockdown, and saw a large number of deaths starting in April. Since then, however, the number of new infections has declined. The nation’s leaders said last week that children would go back to school unmasked.

“I would say in Sweden there is no doubt that immunity plays an important role, more than in other countries,” says Britton. “Now this epidemic is slowly stopping.”

Britton says a better understanding of how population immunity is shaping outbreaks could help guide the level and intensity of social interventions. He says the goal is to keep the virus’s reproduction number, called R, below 1, meaning every person with the virus infects fewer than one other. Under those conditions, an outbreak dwindles. __ MIT Technology Review

Lockdowns are killing people in many ways, not least by killing hope for a better economic future for themselves and their families.

Lockdowns are devastating in a place like New York City. But, if people stay at home in Wyoming, you have a good chance of slowing infection and reducing the viral load on each individual; but even in Wyoming, an elderly person with underlying conditions is at serious risk of death if they become infected. So, putting sick people into rest homes is not advisable ANYWHERE (even though that was what was done in New York). That part of the equation does not change. What is clear is that you cannot apply a one-size-fits-all policy across the nation. Yet, authorities have tried to impose their view of risk restrictions on everyone. __

The media and the more vile politicians and public health officials, want you to think that COVID is the greatest threat since the bubonic plague. The numbers suggest otherwise. Try not to lose your heads in the miasma of fear and panic that is loose on the wind.

If you are old or infirm, you are at a real — but finite — risk from this Chinese virus. Please stay away from nursing homes, you will probably live longer.

If you are like most of us and you need to be out and about conducting your everyday affairs, keep in mind that the number of viral particles you may be exposed to has a lot to do with how sick you may become. Use precautions, and try to avoid prolonged exposure in tight spaces with persons who may be infected with a potentially deadly disease agent.

It is clear that most governments, at many levels, have no clue what they were or are doing or how to retreat. Of course, they are in over their heads and to admit any mistake is unthinkable; therefore, they must continue with the sinking ship (while safely sitting in the lifeboat next to the ship). They are also panicked. They are panicked because if anyone dies, they think that they will be blamed, such is the fear that has been induced during this. Much of the government actions were out of panic and fear and ignorance and those actions did a lot of damage. But, this is a virus. It is a working of nature and evolution with which we are all a part. The person who can best protect you, is YOU, not your governor or some other official! __ Source


A natural experiment in 50 states:

A 50 State Experiment: More Deaths Under Lefty-Lockdown Regimes

Cuomo is doing everything he can to cover up the errors. He’s stonewalling bipartisan efforts in Albany to investigate the deaths of thousands of elderly in nursing homes ravaged by the virus. __ NYP

Once the virus is loose and rampant, lockdowns seem to intensify the spread in households and care facilities while slowing much needed population-scale immunity. The Chinese SARS-2 virus was already abroad in Europe, Iran, and North America long before anyone outside of China suspected it.

For societies to survive, they must be allowed to conduct their economic business. When governments put everyone under house arrest, they are killing people more efficiently than any third-rate Chinese “gain of function” virus that accidentally saw the light of day.

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