Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Here Is What We Can Expect With the Omicron Variant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIx3x9P0RVU

I agree with Ben Shapiro that there is a short-term overreaction to the Omicron variation.  The stock market took a short-term beating.  This is mostly out of fear of what the government is going to do in response to the variant.

However, I think that Fauci is accurate when he says that we don't know yet how much of a problem this variant will be, but we should be prepared just in case.  If I had Fauci's job, I would be trying to maintain accuracy, so I would emphasize what we do know and what we don't.  This means making qualified statements.  Many people want absolute answers from Fauci that he can't provide, but he tends to err on the side of caution because that's his job.  I don't agree with those who denounce Fauci as either a liar or as some sort of dictator.  The commentators use him as a convenient punching bag because he is the most visible.

This pandemic has produced a difficult situation, and despite all the rhetoric, I think that (most) public officials are trying to do the best that they can.

I agree with those who are against further lockdowns and vaccine mandates.  We should give free choice a chance.  I am very pro-vaccine, but I don't want the government forcing people to take something that they don't want. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Ted Williams on Ahmaud Arbery verdict: 'Justice was in fact served'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgdKVsv9RxY&t=289s

I am a little bit uncomfortable with the verdict because reportedly Ahmaud Arbery tried to grab the gun that killed him.  It appears that the motive of the men convicted was to make a citizen's arrest and not to hunt down and kill a black man.  Ahmaud Arbery had five times trespassed on property that had been burglarized.

The video perhaps demonstrates how emotion decided this case.

If I am wrong, I'll be happy to look at the evidence to the contrary.


The lesson learned here is to never put yourself in a position where you might have to use a gun.

A new Covid-19 variant could show immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility, South African scientists warn - CNN

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Friday, November 12, 2021

Fed's Money Making Machine

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Larry

Please watch two minutes of this and pass on to your friends
This is an amazingly clear description of what is happening

Pay attention to the numbers 36% and 336%


Re: Facebook's Odd "Metaverse" Move

This is an interesting take on the future of the "metaverse."  

I think that it overestimates the advancement of technology.  It might be a long time before we are all living in a virtual reality, however, we will problem see different degrees of this happening in the near future with augmented reality.  

I saw something a few years ago where you could rent a robot in a tourist location and drive the robot around from your computer at home.  However, the real thing has to be much better.  I enjoy riding my bicycle outside much more than I enjoy using my stationary exercise bike in front of my TV set.
 
https://youtu.be/2b9-tsND40g

White Tail Covid

A new study has found widespread COVID-19 infections among deer populations in Iowa.

Researchers from the Penn State University found that more than 80 percent of white-tailed deer sampled in parts of Iowa between December of 2020 and January of 2021 tested positive for COVID-19, according to an announcement from the university on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

"We found that 80 percent of the sampled deer in December were positive for SARS-CoV-2, which proportionally represents about a 50-fold greater burden of positivity than what was reported at the peak of infection in humans at the time," said Suresh Kuchipudi, Huck Chair in Emerging Infectious Diseases and associate director of the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Penn State. "The number of SARS-CoV-2 positive deer increased over the period from April to December 2020, with the greatest increases coinciding with the peak of deer hunting season last year."

COVID-19: New Study Finds Significant Virus Spread Among Deer Population | Middlesex Daily Voice


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Monday, November 8, 2021

Re: Natural Immunity vs. vaccination

My friend wrote:

"John, my friend,

 

It appears that what we have here "is a failure to communicate" as said by Paul Neuman in the movie "Cool Hand Luke".  It is probably my fault.

 

I was not arguing for or against vaccinations in the beginning of this email stream but rather for natural immunity in a smaller percentage of the population after the majority have been vaccinated.  In other words, I was making an evaluation of circumstances as they are at the present time not at the beginning of the pandemic.  However I will make my case for natural immunity over immunity from vaccinations later in this epistle 😊

 

I have listened to several virologists and epidemiologist who are experts and very respected in their field of viruses and epidemics, etc. who claim the very worst thing that can happen to create variants of a disease is to vaccinate a population that is already suffering to a large extent from the disease.  Natural selection will then select the mutations that can resist the vaccine in the population that is currently infected with the original variant(s).  They claim that it is the vaccinated that are creating the variants.  Who knows ?  This is one reason we try to anticipate the next flu virus and offer flu vaccinations before the next flu season hits, not after the flu season is fully underway.  Now I do not want to get into a debate as to whether this is true or not.  I just throw it out there as one point of view.   

 

All I was saying previously is that any new cases of COVID at this point in time add to the herd immunity as a whole as long as the infected person does not die.  Those that are compromised should take measures to be extra careful to avoid infection.  The rest of the population does have a death rate well below 1%.  And the death rate in children ages 5 thru 12 is so small it is almost not existent.  The first rule of medicine is to do no harm.  The probability of blood clots, heart failure, and other  adverse reactions to the vaccination in children though very small is still greater than the probability of these children dying from COVID.  I agree with the researchers and doctors who say that vaccinating children for COVID given the risk of side effects with no significant benefit to these children is medical malpractice or malfeasance.  Leave the children alone.  99.99 % percent of them will be just fine.  The other 0.001% or so can be treated effectively with medications that are now available to treat COVID.

 

 

As for "Natural Immunity":  there is a raging debate about which is better, natural immunity or immunity from the COVID vaccination.  One does not encounter both sides of this debate on the Main Stream Media, establishment, and government sponsored adds that seem to have just one objective in mind above all other points of view and that objective is to get everyone (100%) vaccinated.  This has driven them to censor all of the debate to the contrary.

 

However on "free speech media" one hears the other points of view of very excellent experts trying to get the truth out to the public.  It is a very daunting task given the power of the Main Stream Media.  Historically, almost 100 % of virus epidemics have achieved natural immunity that lasts for years and even for a life time according to many experts who have worked in this field for their entire careers (i.e. decades).  I personally believe all of the effort to malign natural immunity is once again a singular focus to vaccinate 100% of the public and any arguments to the contrary are seen as a threat to this effort.  In other words, "extreme bias".    The experts who support the superiority of natural immunity compared to the vaccination describe the science and process by which this is achieved with the B cells and the T cells that maintain memory of the virus long after the antibodies fade away. Antibodies can then be created again very rapidly the next time the same virus or a variant presents itself in the future.   I do believe this science and these explanations.  I do not believe those who try to demean natural immunity due to their agenda and heavy bias.  Sure I have confirmation bias as well, but I am not a fool and I study the science very critically as it is presented.  I find all kinds of flaws in narrative from Big Pharma, CDC, FDA, AMA, WHO, HIH, and Main Stream Media who are all "hell bent' on getting us all vaccinated.  Their arguments when examine closely are often shallow,  outdated, or sensationalized to create urgence for the COVID vaccination and sometimes the information they present is an absolute lie given the current knowledge about the pandemic.  For instance: the adds on KSL Channel 5 New etc. that say the Phizer vaccine is 95 % effective, when Phizer themselves now claim it is only 65 % effective and dropping every day.  This is why so may of the vaccinated are coming to hospital with COVID.  In Whales, Israel, Iceland, etc. who are heavily vaccinated, over half of those coming to the hospitals with COVID are now the vaccinated.  The promotors of the vaccination are now saying that to  achieve permanent immunity the public may need to continue getting booter shots for the unforeseen future to counter all the future variants.  I would much rather have natural immunity against all of the variants that may last me for years and probably the rest of my life depending on who you listen too.  The fact is however that a lot of the vaccinated don't appear to have they immunity they were promised by the promotors of the COVID vaccinations as proven by current events.  I've said enough.

 

Thank you for your concern about my health.  I wish the best for you as well."

 

Your friend"


I wrote:


I understood the nuances of your original email.  Knowing that you are anti-vaccine, I was trying to point out that relying on natural immunity alone is a bad way to go.  There haven't been enough infections to develop any kind of herd immunity.  We are not going to get herd immunity with only 10% of the country recovered from COVID.  Experts were saying that it would take at least 80% of the population to have herd immunity.  Such a scenario would result in the death of millions just in this country.

Saying that we should be glad to see more active cases seems like bad logic.  It is like saying that in order to avoid getting the disease and risk dying, we have to get the disease and risk dying.   It is like saying that we should be glad that more people are going to die.

I was really hoping that you would see the logic in my argument.

I expect both "natural" and vaccine immunity to wane over time.  (It is not clear if COVID is actually "natural", although it probably is.)  The fact that it wanes is not an argument against vaccination.  I can get a new vaccination every 6 months or so, and I already have.  However, I don't want to get COVID once or twice a year just to stay immune.  Even if the natural immunity lasted 2 or 3 years, which is way beyond what experts are predicting, getting COVID every couple of years is still a bad tradeoff compared to the vaccine.

I have had three vaccinations with no side effects other than a sore arm for about a day and a half.  It is not quite as bad as the shingles vaccine, but it is more intense than other vaccines and I'm okay with that.  (Normally the flu shot is no worse than a mosquito bite, but for some reason, it was worse this year, and the nurse who gave me the shot even acknowledged this.)

I question some of the sources that you look at, especially the ones you have sent me already.  There are people who either make a living or promote themselves by telling people what they want to hear.

I was talking to a local friend last night and I asked why he did not want to get vaccinated.  He quoted just about every form of corruption that you can think of, some of which don't have anything to do with the pandemic.  However, corruption doesn't matter.  Who gets rich doesn't matter.  What matters is if the risk of the vaccine is lower than the risk of getting COVID and suffering from it, which it is by many orders of magnitude.  The exact amount of risk of debatable, but the evidence shows that vaccine risk comes nowhere close to the risk of COVID.

--
Best wishes,

John Coffey



Sunday, November 7, 2021

Fwd: Natural immunity versus vaccination

---------- Forwarded message ---------

My friend (who does not believe in vaccines):

"In my opinion, we should be glad to see more active cases which produce more natural immunity and herd immunity given that over 99% of active cases recover from the disease. Most serious research shows that natural immunity provides protection against all of the COVID variants. So the statistic that really matters is not how many cases of COVID exist but what percentage of deaths occur from COVID, especially in those that are not compromised in some way, like the children who show hardly any symptoms even when they are COVID positive."


Me:

My friend,

I'll start by saying that it is difficult to change people's beliefs because people associate their beliefs with their identity. Because of this, some people interpret ideas counter to what they believe as a personal attack, or at the very least take a defensive posture.

Please try to keep an open mind.

I have always looked at this pandemic from a mathematical perspective. Even in the early days, when I saw the number of cases rising exponentially, mostly just in China, I figured that this was going to be a big problem. The early estimates were that every infected person infected 2 to 4 other people, which is an R Factor (reproductive rate) of 2 to 4. Usually, anything greater than 1 is considered to be a problem. Recently, a few countries have gotten the R factor to be less than 1 by enacting strong measures. (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/covid-19-what-is-the-r-number/), However, if anything the R factor has gotten worse because the Delta Variant is more infectious. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html https://states.aarp.org/west-virginia/the-delta-variant-is-40-more-infectious-than-the-original-covid-19-strain) Recently the U.S. CDC updated their estimate to reflect the Delta variant having an R-naught of 8.5. (https://health-desk.org/articles/how-contagious-is-the-delta-variant-compared-to-other-infectious-diseases)

So when people made the prediction that barring any preventative measures the entire world would get COVID, this seemed reasonable. As infectious as the Delta Variant is, I feel somewhat confident that anyone who is not vaccinated or does not have natural immunity is going to get infected.

Of great importance is the death rate from the disease. Although it was fairly high in the beginning, it hasn't changed much over the last year. Every time I run the numbers comparing cases to fatalities, I get a death rate of about 2%. (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/) If the death rate were closer to say the flu, at around 0.1%, I think that we would have an entirely different scenario, although the R factor of the flu is only about 1.5 Officially only 14% of the U.S. population has gotten the disease, but I'm seeing claims that it might be as high as 30% (https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2021/09/07/covid-19-infected-many-more-americans-in-2020-than-official-tallies-show/), which would affect the death rate, but the number is still significant.

Therefore I take big issue with many people in the conservative media who try to claim that the death rate is only 0.2% or even 0.1%. One out of every 429 Americans has died from the disease, which by itself is greater than 0.2%.

There are reasons to think that faith in natural immunity by itself is misplaced. (https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/covid-19-studies-natural-immunity-versus-vaccination)

Since we are looking at 193,425,862 fully vaccinated people in the United States (https://usafacts.org/visualizations/covid-vaccine-tracker-states/), and an additional 30 million partially vaccinated people, versus 33 million recovered cases, it is the vaccine that is primarily resisting the disease. Suppose there was no vaccine? We could be looking at 200 million cases with 2 to 4 million deaths. We are already up to 775,000 deaths with a fairly strong vaccination program. I actually think that the disease would not stop at 200 million cases, and everyone would get infected.

There is no way that relying on natural immunity by itself makes sense mathematically or logically. The additional deaths, whatever that may be, are just not acceptable.

You caught the Delta Variant and you recovered. Good for you. But were playing Russian Roulette with your health. The death rate for people in their 70's is 4.28%. For people in their 80's, it is 7.8% (https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200331/covid-19-death-rate-drops-still-deadly-to-seniors) These percentages were almost double a year ago. (https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/30/what-explains-coronavirus-lethality-for-elderly/) I do not think that your natural immunity is going to last you more than a year. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/coronavirus-reinfection-how-long-might-natural-immunity-last) Some estimates have said 3 months. That means that you are going to be playing the same Russian Roulette every year, with your odds getting worse every year.

So if there were no vaccine, we could be looking at millions of deaths every year. The price of achieving herd immunity through infection means that almost everybody gets infected, with millions dying, and with no guarantee that this protection will last longer than a year.

As long as we have a large population of unvaccinated people, a higher number of variants will arise, a few of which could be worse.

--
Best wishes

John Coffey


Friday, November 5, 2021

Monologue: Let's Go Brandon! | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Bill Maher LIKES Red States Over Blue States?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJzeK5aktBw

I am intrigued by the idea of moving to Florida.

Chinese vs. American Political Philosophy (Linear vs. Lateral thinking.)

This is an interesting discussion about how Chinese cultural differences tie in with political differences.

The Chinese dream:


Confucisim:

Linear vs. Lateral thinking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyFZgIXucsQ&t=813s

Things improving, but still almost a record number of active cases.


Jordan Peterson teaching statistics to Ratina Omidvar

This is why I like Jordan Peterson.  He responds to things not just on an intellectual level, but a professional one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7DmjNkeO0k

Monday, November 1, 2021

COVID Deaths (Facebook discussion)

Jess Mickelson
Covid is an invented problem and medical professionals are bribed to keep calling everything a Covid death. People who were going to die anyway are the ones that are hypothetically affected. At least you see one of the reasons I have been singularly against the facemasks, social distancing, shutdowns, protocols, communism, the ruination of businesses, increase in suicide rates, vaccinations, booster shots, inflation, etc. Healthy people of any age just get over it. An increase in Covid deaths has always been accompanied by a decrease in other forms of death.
  • Like
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  • John Coffey
    Jess Mickelson This pandemic has shown me who the crazy people are. Two of my close friends have sent me some really wild paranoid conspiracy theories, so that tells me something about their mental states.
    All your premises are wrong. Dead wrong. COVID deaths have NOT been inflated. There was a 22.9% excess death rate. Many otherwise healthy young people have died.
    I have family members with cancer who are immunocompromised due to therapy. Their lives matter too. They might not live as long as they would have otherwise, but treatment has prolonged their lives, and catching COVID would be an immediate death sentence. I have gone to extreme lengths to not catch COVID and spread it to family members.
    Older people with no underlying condition have a much higher rate of dying. Their lives matter too. I am in an age group, over 60, where the death rate is around 3 times higher.
    To quote one of my friends, "I don't want to accidentally cause the death of someone else." We all have the potential to catch and spread the disease. It takes a special kind of asshole to not care that he might catch the disease and then spread it to someone else who then might die.
    COVID can have serious long-term consequences for those who get it.
    Study after study has shown that masks are at least partially effective at stopping the spread of the disease.
    "Between March 1, 2020, and January 2, 2021, the US experienced 2 801 439 deaths, 22.9% more than expected, representing 522 368 excess deaths."
    COVID-19 also has led to serious illness and even death in younger and middle-aged adults who are otherwise healthy. While most children have mild or no symptoms, some have gotten severely ill. As with adults, even if children have no symptoms, they can spread the virus to others.
    While most people recover in a matter of weeks, some adults and children experience post-COVID conditions known as "long COVID," which can appear weeks after infection and can include a range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems. These range from fatigue and muscle pain to—in extreme cases—autoimmune conditions and multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a condition where different body parts become swollen. Even people who had mild symptoms or no symptoms at all when they were infected can have post-COVID conditions.
    Types of Post-COVID Conditions
    New or Ongoing Symptoms
    Some people experience a range of new or ongoing symptoms that can last weeks or months after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Unlike some of the other types of post-COVID conditions that tend only to occur in people who have had severe illness, these symptoms can happen to anyone who has had COVID-19, even if the illness was mild, or if they had no initial symptoms. People commonly report experiencing different combinations of the following symptoms:
    Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    Tiredness or fatigue
    Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
    Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as "brain fog")
    Cough
    Chest or stomach pain
    Headache
    Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
    Joint or muscle pain
    Pins-and-needles feeling
    Diarrhea
    Sleep problems
    Fever
    Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
    Rash
    Mood changes
    Change in smell or taste
    Changes in menstrual period cycles
    Multiorgan Effects of COVID-19
    Some people who had severe illness with COVID-19 experience multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions over a longer time with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multiorgan effects can affect many, if not all, body systems, including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions. Autoimmune conditions happen when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (swelling) or tissue damage in the affected parts of the body.
    While it is very rare, some people, mostly children, experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) during or immediately after a COVID-19 infection. MIS is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed. MIS can lead to post-COVID conditions if a person continues to experience multiorgan effects or other symptoms.