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Gordo

Just curious, anyone have a plan, or preps for global pandemic?

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Yes, and those protesting the unprecedented lockdowns, mask rules, censorship, and civil liberties violations are painted as "ignorant" and "conspiracy kooks," while those who burned and looted our cities a few months ago and violently took over government buildings and police stations, are incessantly described as "peaceful" and their violent acts justified in the name of "justice," whatever that may mean. 

Those responsible for crushing our economies and using a pandemic to grab political power are being hailed as "true leaders" and "saviors," and given EMIs. But anyone who questioned the Left's narrative and tried to provide evidence challenging the largely proven-wrong assumptions of the figureheads portrayed by the Left as the sole guardians and purveyors of "science," was silenced, fired, or otherwise canceled. I understand that history is often cyclical, but I never thought that I would see such an assault of liberal values in the heart of the liberal democracies within my lifetime.

 

18 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19

 

Yeah, well.... "An evidence" review? As opposed to what? 

The obvious message by this purely political title is that any objection and any studies that contradict it are not evidence-based.  I guess all the studies serving as the basis for the well-established recommendations against healthy people wearing masks, held until last summer by virtually every world health authority, including the CDC, AMA and WHO, were all based on superstition and right-wing, racist ideology. It wasn't until the Left identified masks as a wedge issue with which to attack their political opponents that they, the woke media, and the wave of woke Twitteraties they summoned, were able to force the hapless health organizations to see the light of "critical science."

A lot of bad "science" has come to dominate over the last few years, some driven by commercial interests. But recently it's mostly driven by left-wing political ideology. Critical Theory has infected and destroyed not only liberal arts departments and school and administration, but it's rapidly spreading to the sciences and is entrenching itself within large corporate entities, which often support research financially. 

The current suppression of scientific discourse is not dissimilar to the darkest times for science in Sibiriak's current land, when Lysenko was the anointed embodiment of "the scientists" and Stalin himself wrote part of his speech denouncing and mocking Mendel. The modern version of critical scientific theory is nothing new.

Despite the presumptuous headline above, the study itself is heavily criticized:

Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19

and:

Experts Are Calling For A Top Science Journal To Retract A Paper On Face Masks And COVID-19

and on a broader note (which also applies to other parts of the world, including most of the Scandinavian countries):

The land with no face masks: Holland's top scientists say there's no solid evidence coverings work and warn they could even damage the fight against Covid-19

and:

These 12 Graphs Show Mask Mandates Do Nothing To Stop COVID

Edited by Ron Put

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One of the main points of the lockdown is to reduce the number of people in critical care... If there is no lockdown and no changes in the way people live and work, who is going to treat people when all the nurses and doctors are working in ICU to deal with coronavirus patients? Do you want them to work 24/7 a day with almost no end in sight for months or years?

The NHS here was already running at close to capacity before a recent lockdown and the lockdown has once again worked to reduce the number of people catching the virus.

The alternative (no lockdowns) would result in massive deaths from both COVID and non-COVID patients.

As for masks, what about Asian countries like South Korea and Japan?

A walk in South Korea where 99.99% are using masks - even outdoors.

https://youtu.be/oL3SMeK2YaQ?t=317

 

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You folks know I'm into animal supplies. Who doesn't want their thoroughbred or Fido or Rhesus to have anything but the best.. ahem ..."break glass" .... just in case ...

6BOSxSkCSCMEubsKUE-5SoysH0Yuh_-5n8aJSDWn

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13 hours ago, KHashmi317 said:

You folks know I'm into animal supplies. Who doesn't want their thoroughbred or Fido or Rhesus to have anything but the best.. ahem ..."break glass" .... just in case ...

Kashmi, I'm curious but I cannot see the video you posted.

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On 1/14/2021 at 10:48 PM, Matt said:
On 1/14/2021 at 10:48 PM, Matt said:

One of the main points of the lockdown is to reduce the number of people in critical care... If there is no lockdown and no changes in the way people live and work, who is going to treat people when all the nurses and doctors are working in ICU to deal with coronavirus patients? Do you want them to work 24/7 a day with almost no end in sight for months or years?

The NHS here was already running at close to capacity before a recent lockdown and the lockdown has once again worked to reduce the number of people catching the virus.

The alternative (no lockdowns) would result in massive deaths from both COVID and non-COVID patients. ...

 

Really?!  What exactly is the basis for your statement that "The alternative (no lockdowns) would result in massive deaths from both COVID and non-COVID patients?"

The facts certainly don't support it. If it was true, we would see a dramatic difference between locales with strict lockdowns and mask requirements, such as the UK, Spain, Italy, New York and California, and locales that have no such restrictions, such as Sweden, Belarus, or even Florida, despite its significantly older and thus more "vulnerable" population. But in fact, where there are differences, they are overwhelmingly in favor of locales that din not impose lockdowns or mask requirements. Sweden and Belarus have no excess deaths compared to past years, while New York and the UK do.

Here is a new study on the subject, which not even acknowledged by the media:

Assessing Mandatory Stay‚Äźat‚ÄźHome and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of COVID‚Äź19

"While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions."

Moreover, the reasons justifying the lockdowns keep changing.  One has to have a particularly short memory to forget that  first call by WHO for the West to follow the Wuhan example of lockdowns was justified by the claim that Covid-19 was NOT highly contagious and unlike the flu, it can be stopped by imposing lockdowns. This call by WHO was used by the Left and the media to attack any politician or scientist who objected to "the scientists" and Italy imposed lockdowns, starting a domino effect.

But when it emerged that Covid is actually a bit more contagious than the flu, the lockdowns were not lifted. Instead, the narrative was changed to "flattening the curve" so as not to "overwhelm" emergency facilities.

The result was that emergency rooms saw a dramatic drop in visits, due to the fearmongering driven by the media, left-wing politicians, and their handful of scientific community darlings. We saw up to 40% reductions in people seeking help for heart attacks, strokes, and cancer tests and treatments, which likely resulted in significant increases in mortality.  But, then the Left introduced the "new math" of counting Covid deaths and as Michael Levine and others noted, many of these excess deaths likely went into the Covid column, which was then used to amplify the Left's fear narrative and launch even more fierce attacks on their political opponents.

Now that tests are more widely available, many do flock to the emergency rooms at the first sign of fever. But some emergency rooms in major metropolitan areas get overwhelmed virtually every year, and this January is not dramatically different. For example, here is an article from 2018 "N.H.S. Overwhelmed in Britain, Leaving Patients to Wait". 

Based on your claim, I was curious and looked up NHS ER waiting times. They have been increasing every year for at least a decade, with a significant jump in 2017-2018, and then going even higher in 2019.  Looking at current NHS information on waiting times, they are in fact not all that long: Emergency department average waiting times. In some ERs in major metropolitan areas in the US, waiting times can be easily 8 hours and more during the flu season, especially on weekends.

While there is no good evidence to justify the lockdowns, even if one believes otherwise, the larger point is that before imposing the most draconian restrictions on civil liberties since WWII, and before crashing the economies of the liberal democracies, we should have had a reasoned debate. We did not. Instead, the Left used fear to implement unprecedented societal changes and censorship, as well as to punish its political critics by "canceling" them, getting them fired, pressuring advertisers to drop them, and banning them from public forums, and is imposing political conformity through intimidation. The foundations of our liberal democracies are being rapidly eroded and many of the recent developments are ushering traits found in totalitarian states.

Edited by Ron Put

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On 1/14/2021 at 10:48 PM, Matt said:

As for masks, what about Asian countries like South Korea and Japan?

I have always liked the fact that many in Asia wear masks when sick as a courtesy to others.  But the key is "when sick."  That way they don't sneeze or caught on others when in close proximity, especially indoors.

Now, some in Asia use masks to hide stuff like blisters, redness, etc.. Much like one wears sunglasses indoors to cover up black a Botox black eye.  Some also wear masks as beauty aids:

Let's Talk About Japan And Sickness Masks

But none of this has any relevance to the fact that enormous political pressure, not science, overturned established medical practices based on reputable data, and forced the WHO, the CDC, and many other major medical authorities to make 180¬ļ turns in their long-standing recommendations within the course of a couple of weeks.

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The latest JAMA paper on asymptomatic transmission is beyond garbage*:

Cue to 39:00 in this podcast:

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS80MjQwNzUucnNz

 

* But not beyond politics, research $$ infusion, all supported by that prestigious, glossy journal cover.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2774707

 

Edited by KHashmi317

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COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink

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‚Äôs movements, work, education, gatherings, and general activities in attempt to ‚Äėflatten the curve‚Äô 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. Controversies and objections about the main points made are considered and addressed. I close with some suggestions for moving forward.

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Celebrity Doc, Dr. Drew got covid with severe symptoms, just got out of bed for the first time in 13 days and did this interview while still sick. He talks about the latest treatment recommendations. 

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16 hours ago, KHashmi317 said:

The latest JAMA paper on asymptomatic transmission is beyond garbage*:

My takeaway from the podcast discussion is the paper is deceitful.  The result is the product of assumptions.  Two of the references for assumptions are explicitly contradictory and the third is weak at best support for a hypothesis but not for an assumption.

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Hi all!

As I've noted previously, I have been a participant in the Pfizer vaccine study, Phase 3.  Half of the many thousands in the study received two shot of the vaccine, 3 weeks apart, and the other half received two injections of saline.  I was sure that I received vaccine.  

I was recently informed by Dr. Walsh of RGH, who directed the study in our area, that I received placebo.  Last term, I taught two courses at UR in-person.  I remained perfectly healthy.

All participants in the Pfizer study who received placebo are invited by Pfizer to rejoin the study as vaccine recipients.  I of course accepted the offer.  Dr. Walsh's staff gave me my first vaccine shot last Tuesday.  My second shot will be on Tuesday, Feb 2.  Classes resume at UR on Feb1.  I'm teaching two courses again next term.

  --  Saul

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My wife is an NP specialized in gastroenterology; she works at a RRH, which is centered about Rochester General Hospital.  She, and two of her colleagues working in the same office were enrolled in Phase III of the Astrozenica/Oxfond phase III vaccine study.  (This vaccine uses a viral agent, requires two doses, has been approved in the UK, but not yet in the US).  All thought that they'd received the vaccine -- again, half of recipients receive vaccine, half placebo.

In fact, all three received placebo.  Since all three are medical practitioners, they were all promptly given their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine -- about a week before I got it.  Their second dose is three weeks later.

SO:  What is the probability?  Each of us 4 had a 1/2 chance of getting vaccine or placebo.  Therefore the probability of all 4 of us getting placebo is (1/2)^4 = 1/16.

Go figure!

ūüėÄ

  --  Saul

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On 1/14/2021 at 8:05 PM, Ron Put said:

For those interested, here is a three-part story from The Times of India that provides a mostly coherent overview of related events from a geopolitical perspective:

Xi Jinping‚Äôs use of hysteria as warfare ‚Äď Part 1

Xi Jinping‚Äôs use of hysteria as warfare ‚Äď Part 2

Xi Jinping‚Äôs use of hysteria as warfare ‚Äď Part 3

That was interesting reading for conspiracy theorists, but I think it gives Xi way too much credit, I don't think he's that bright.  Also note that China is STILL doing the lockdowns, this just happened:

A year after Wuhan, China locks down another city of 11 million people to contain a coronavirus flare-up

210107203426-shijiazhuang-covid-testing-
In Shijiazhuang, authorities declared last week that the city was entering a "wartime mode" to fight the spread of the virus. A city-wide coronavirus testing drive was soon rolled out for all of its 11 million residents.
 
That's right, 3,000 workers deployed to test ALL 11 million people in a city that is now closed off, roads barricaded, all transportation shut down.  That's how they roll in China.
 
"Last October, the eastern port city of Qingdao tested more than 10 million people in just four days over a dozen locally transmitted cases. In late October, the prefecture of Kashgar in the far western region of Xinjiang rolled out mass testing for nearly 5 million people and imposed lockdown measures after a single asymptomatic coronavirus case was reported."

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A couple of articles discussing some of the new variants.  In particular, the observed mutation rate of 2/month may be on the low end.

A Troubling New Pattern Among the Coronavirus Variants

three distinct versions of the virus seem to have independently converged on some of the same mutations, despite being thousands of miles apart in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil.

What is unusual about these three variants is that they also have an additional constellation of other mutations in other parts of the virus.

the South Africa and Brazil variants might have an additional advantage. … viruses with the E484K mutation might be better at evading antibodies from the blood plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients.

the United States is sequencing only a tiny percentage of its COVID-19 cases. (Standard COVID-19 diagnostic tests probe a few regions of the virus genome, but they don‚Äôt sequence the whole thing.) ‚ÄúSan Diego is one of the places in the country we‚Äôre doing well, and we‚Äôre sequencing 2 percent of cases. It‚Äôs laughable compared to the U.K. and Denmark,‚ÄĚ

Phylogenetic relationship of SARS-CoV-2 sequences from Amazonas with emerging Brazilian variants harboring mutations E484K and N501Y in the Spike protein

B.1.1.28(E484K), was subsequently detected in other Brazilian states and was further associated with two cases of reinfection in patients originally infected by the B.1.1.33 lineage

I realize that it’s only two cases but one of the stories on the radio this morning was that this is the anniversary of the first documented case in the US. 

It’s certainly too soon for me to stop wearing a mask, social distancing, etc.

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On 1/19/2021 at 6:16 AM, JohnBrown said:

To tell the truth I think injectable steroids can help many people.

Like they helped¬†Andreas M√ľnzer, Rich Piana and¬†Dallas McCarver?

Again JohnBrown continues the spambottish pattern of posts unrelated to the thread topic and unrelated to CR or longevity...

 

Edited by Todd Allen

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L.A. Suspends Air Quality Rules to Cremate Backlog of Covid-19 Victims

Los Angeles County has temporarily suspended air quality rules in order to allow covid-19 victims to be cremated, according to an executive order passed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District over the weekend. The rules will be suspended for 10 days as the region works through a ‚Äúbacklog‚ÄĚ of people who have died from the coronavirus pandemic, which is still uncontrolled in many parts of the country.

*  *  *  *  *

[...]Los Angeles County has 28 crematoriums, though those facilities are prohibited by law from running at full capacity in order to cut down on air pollution. But with over 2,700 bodies currently sitting in cold storage due to an influx of dead patients from the covid-19 crisis, local authorities have decided that dirtier air is the price Angelenos will have to pay if the backlog is ever going to be cleared.

As one 2015 study for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found:

...mercury in dental amalgams is known to vaporize upon exposure to the high temperature of cremation (1400 to 2000 ¬įF). It becomes airborne in the emissions at 674 ¬įF and contributes to environmental mercury pollution (Mari & Domingo, 2009). The potential health effects of exposure to mercury released from dental amalgam restorations during cremation have generated public concern and debate.

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B.C. health officials haven't found a single case of seasonal flu spreading in the community this winter
'I've been on the influenza beat for 20 years and I've never seen anything like this,' BCCDC expert says
CBC News · Posted: Jan 19, 2021 9:07 AM PT | Last Updated: January 19
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/influenza-remarkably-absent-in-bc-covid-19-pandemic-1.5878835

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