Experts changing their minds as facts against Covid19 mount

Abstract

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide pandemic in 2020. In response, most countries in the world implemented lockdowns, restricting their population’s movements, work, education, gatherings, and general activities in attempt to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 cases. The public health goal of lockdowns was to save the population from COVID-19 cases and deaths, and to prevent overwhelming health care systems with COVID-19 patients. In this narrative review I explain why I changed my mind about supporting lockdowns. First, I explain how the initial modeling predictions induced fear and crowd-effects [i.e., groupthink]. Second, I summarize important information that has emerged relevant to the modeling, including about infection fatality rate, high-risk groups, herd immunity thresholds, and exit strategies. Third, I describe how reality started sinking in, with information on significant collateral damage due to the response to the pandemic, and information placing the number of deaths in context and perspective. Fourth, I present a cost-benefit analysis of the response to COVID-19 that finds lockdowns are far more harmful to public health than COVID-19 can be. I close with some suggestions for moving forward.

https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202010.0330/v1

Deaths due to lockdown: UK

Thanks to good record keeping and research in the UK that country is now counting the cost of lockdown on health.

The Spectator reports:

A study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found delayed and cancelled breast cancer treatments will cause between 281 and 344 additional deaths. For colorectal cancer, there were an extra 1,445 to 1,563 deaths, lung cancer an additional 1,235 to 1372 deaths and 330 to 342 more oesophagal cancer deaths.

 

A University of Leeds study estimated that there have already been an extra 2,085 deaths from heart disease and stroke as a result of people not accessing timely medical help. A study by the University Hospital of Northern Tees reveals that the number of endoscopies — used to investigate and diagnose bowel cancer — fell to just 12 per cent of their normal level between 24 March and 31 May

 

The National Blood and Transplant Service looked at the period between 23 March and 10 May and found that, compared with the same period in 2019, the number of organ donors fell by 66 per cent and the number of transplants fell by 68 per cent. This year, 87 people died while waiting for an organ transplant, compared with 47 last year.

And in a report by the ONS, an extra 25,472 people have died at home than would otherwise be expected from the average past five years.

Six months before the truth caught up with Covid19 doom-mongers

A dismaying aspect of the Western response to Covid19 is that it has been six months before some Governments and public institutions started listening a wider range of advice, and understood they must critically assess advice to decide what is in the fullest public interest.

Even then, the ‘listening’ has been piecemeal and slow. And not at all in New Zealand.

The preference for heeding the warnings of doom-mongers with the worst numbers is somewhat understandable, but it is inexcusable that leaders failed to listen to other advice, and to judge from the data for themselves.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/boris-johnson-briefed-sw…

Pre-existing immunity is retarding Covid19

Sunetra Gupta talks about her most recent study showing preexisting resistance to Covid19, and that 15-20% sero-positivity in the population could retard Covid19 prevalence and probably already is.

She also refers to some strange behavior of people opposed to looking into these matters.

https://youtu.be/ZCnTtKM6RK8.

Immunity variations explains actual impact of Covid19

Fascinating study shows that removing homogeneity assumptions from population models, and replacing it with variations in virus susceptibility, returns data that better fits the actual impact of Covid19.

The results imply that most of the slowing and reversal of COVID-19 mortality is explained by the build-up of herd immunity.

The estimate of the herd immunity threshold depends on the value specified for the infection fatality ratio (IFR): a value of 0.3% for the IFR gives 15% for the average herd immunity threshold.

Now, compare this to the simplistic exponential models provided to governments across the world, and here in NZ.

https://www.medrxiv.org/conte…/10.1101/2020.09.26.20202267v1

The PCR test is not reliable

Sensitivity of the PCR test creates unreliability which undermines contact tracing, and destabilises policy making.

Jay Bhattacharya explains that the epidemic is too widespread for contact tracing to limit disease spread; that errors in the PCR tests substantially raise the human costs of contact tracing and render it less effective; and that contact tracing incentivises the public to mislead public health authorities.

https://inference-review.com/article/on-the-futility-of-contact-tracing

Global leaders infected each other with panic

No matter how dangerous you think Covid19 might be, this academic analysis dissects the dangerous speed and nature of the authoritarian responses by otherwise democratic governments.

Its says the political ‘global copycat response’ signals an ‘pandemic of authoritarianization’ with “the potential to unleash humanitarian crises no less devastating than COVID-19 in the long run”.

https://academic.oup.com/jlb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jlb/lsaa064/5912724#207838617

Herd immunity variable, but it happens: Sunetra Gupta

Sunetra Gupta has written a thoughtful explanation of herd immunity.

It’s a riposte to a claim by the UK health minister that herd immunity is impossible for Covid19. In short she says individual immunity to Covid19 is unlikely to be permanent or complete, as with many similar viruses, so herd immunity is variable, but the level it occurs reduces widespread infection.

https://unherd.com/2020/10/matt-hancock-is-wrong-about-herd-immunity/

CDC study finds masks don’t stop Covid19 infection

A CDC study found that wearing a mask made no difference to catching Covid19.

71% of case-patients (ie. infected) and 74% of control-participants (not infected) reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public.

The CDC didn’t highlight this finding, but the finding that people who caught Covid19 were twice as likely to have gone out to eat or drink.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm

Covid19 infection produces antibodies that protect you for at least five months

Big Question answered: It turns out that the antibodies you make when you get Covid19 protect you for at least five month, like most other viruses. This doesn’t include the T-cells and other immunity variations that also protect us.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-10-sars-cov-antibodies-immunity.html