Thursday, August 12, 2021

COVID-19

Brief one-liner:

There was a question in comments about what tweaks people might apply to themselves to minimise the risk of severe COVID-19 when they get around to being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as we all will.

For subtleties anyone could do a great deal worse than follow George Henderson on Twitter.

For myself I rather like his tweet related to the Virta Health intervention:















which has been reinforced by this AI facilitated mining operation of the morass of published "risk factors" for severe COVID-19, with thanks to James for the link:

A Machine-Generated View of the Role of Blood Glucose Levels in the Severity of COVID-19

Clearly in 2021 DMT2 is currently due to either a lifestyle choice or to a lack of (accurate) information.

So for COVID-19 my specific medical advice to minimise serious illness is still the same.

Try not to be elderly. Try not to be diabetic.

Peter

73 comments:

valerie said...

Does that 44% seem plausible to you?

There have been 36M COVID cases in the US.
There have been 200K hospitalizations among those 36M COVID cases.
That's a rate of hospitalization around 0.6% for the general population.
A rate 70 times higher for people with type-2 diabetes seems rather extreme, no?

But maybe people with type-2 diabetes really do have super high risk. So let's check reasonability another way.

10% to 15% of the US population has type-2 diabetes.
If they are about equally likely to catch COVID than other people, that would mean around 4M of the 36M COVID cases were people with type-2 diabtetes.

With a hospitalization rate of 44%, that would give more than 1.6M people with type-2 diabetes hospitalized with COVID. That's 8 times the total number of hospitalizations so far in the US.

Am I missing something?

Peter said...

Hi Valerie,

I think they are two different populations, although they may well have started off as similar (we'll never know). But obviously a mainstream USA endcrinologist has the task set of cultivating as many profitable co-morbidities as practical while these co-morbidities melt away on a ketogenic diet, with devastating financial loss to the supervising hospital.

I'd need to spend days on the full texts re patient selection to make more sense and I've got 24h left to load the car and sort the house so...

Peter

cavenewt said...

Specific numbers aside, it's a really common anecdote among low-carbers that they just don't get sick. I've only had one (very mild) URI since 2010, and that was after attending a crowded movie during a local whooping cough epidemic, hopefully an indication of a functional immune system.

After the Moderna shots in March and April, and aside from the expected sore arm, I only had delayed headaches as a result. I don't know if that's a good sign or a bad sign about immune response.

I've been waiting for some information to come out about Covid morbidity among people on the spectrum of lifestyle-caused chronic disease. "A Machine-Generated View of the Role of Blood Glucose Levels in the Severity of COVID-19" is a start.

Justin said...

Have fun Peter! I had to cancel my camping trip due to my oldest making to many sports teams and and heavy practice load this summer. Hard to complain when something like that happens. Lol!!!

Chad said...

Valerie,

Your 200,000 hospitalizations number is incorrect. Average daily COVID hospitalizations as of August 13 stood at 72,000.

valerie said...

Hi Chad,

Daily hospitalization numbers count how many people are in the hospital right now. If someone spends 10 days in the hospital, they will end up being counted 10 times.

The hospitalization rate is the number of people hospitalized at all (1 day, 10 days, 20 days, doesn't matter, they are counted once) divided by the number of cases.

I took the 200K figure here:
https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/covidnet/COVID19_5.html

Reading the fine print, I think those numbers include only one hospital network. I searched a bit more for the real US total. I found 2.5M "new admissions" in the US. I think that's the number I should have used.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html

Makes more sense this way (or at least it is not impossible now). Thanks!


I looked at the dates of the two sources for the 44% and 11%, and I think that could explain why the 44% is exaggerated (but not impossible).

The 44% for people with diabetes came from an early cohort in the pandemic, when people were probably tested and diagnosed only if they were quite sick.

The 11% comes from a later cohort in the pandemic, when way more tests were done, so more people were diagnosed, even if they had little or no symptoms.

Well, at least that's how things were done where I live. But I am not in the US.

Steve Cooksey, Diabetes Warrior said...

"So for COVID-19 my specific medical advice to minimise serious illness is still the same.

Try not to be elderly. Try not to be diabetic."

And if diabetic, yet *ANOTHER* reason to obtain and maintain truly normal blood sugars.

Thanks Peter!

Jay said...

The revelation (to me) regarding GRP78 (glucose-regulated protein 78) and CD147 in the machine learning paper is astounding. Festive get-togethers where sugary carbohydrate-laden desserts are consumed are more unhealthy than I had previously thought, from a COVID perspective, and what about Halloween?

karl said...

I knew from somewhere in my past reading that it has always been thought that viral replication was dependent on BG - long before the CoVid hysteria. Could be - I have not seen papers on viral load vs BG - but I wonder if people with high BG transmit more virus? It is possible to reduce BG in just a day or so by changing diet and exercise.. should be part of public policy IMO.

The other bit - there are two types of ADE -

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-00789-5


Several hints that they are seeing some of it:

The absolute worst cases are in vaccinated.. This is new - not yet published - on ADE.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.08.20209114v1.full

So I'm getting old - and I would have this all figured out when I was younger - so I am slow at understanding this - so please correct me if I get something wrong. The idea that asexual reproduction selects for ADE had me scratching - until I saw that there is something called 'Clonal interference'..

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10481012/

I'm thinking this must be the mechanism that would drive to select ADE strains?

It seems obvious that there is selection pressure for vaccine escape - so in the same way, a variant that has ADE would also be selected for - and ADE types would obviously spread faster - but what is scary - I can see where they might me more deadly as well.

There is early-grain-of-salt numbers out of Israel that the very worst cases are in vaccinated - smells like a whiff of ADE to me?

I choose to do the first 5 items on the FLCCC prevention protocol https://covid19criticalcare.com/ - (I was already doing 4 items on the list for other reasons) my take is it is more effective in both me not getting sick nor spreading it than the current vaccines - at least for delta. I'm not at super high risk anyway, but this prevention is very low risk and it gives me the chance to mention I'm less risk to people than those vaccinated based on studies you can find linked here: https://ivmmeta.com/


My hunch is there are a lot of people that have long CoVid - long covid may turn out to be a bigger problem for the world than the deaths long term. I know long-influenza is not a trivial problem either.

The joint US and China effort to develop this virus was obviously not "worth the risk".

Pierre said...

My wife and I have long Covid and have started taking Ivermectin, Fluvoxamine and Prednisone along with D3, NAC and several other supplements. We are following a protocol developed by Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. She is in worse shape than I in that she will develop a fever if she has a stressful day at work. She often has those given her line of work. This is the third day of the protocol and I have high hopes...

What really has me worried is that my daughter got the vaccine, contrary to my advice to her. Now I find out it may be weakening her immune system by LETHAL RECIPROCATION: THE IMMUNE RESPONSE TO THE SPIKE PROTEIN VS. THE SPIKE PROTEIN'S INACTIVATION OF TELOMERASE - AN EXPLANATION FOR THE RECENT EVENTS IN ISRAEL

Does this make any sense?
https://twitter.com/Parsifaler/status/1426720994367057920?s=20

Chad said...

Pierre,

It does not make any sense. I read through the study that Walter Chestnut cites. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/sarscov2-spike-and-telomerase-rnarsquos-compared-to-arrive-at-an-explanation-for-increased-ageing-in-alveolar-cells-in-severe-covi-68646.html

The study does not conclude that viral mRNA has an impact on the telomere length. What was found was shorter telomeres in people with severe covid infection. It's an association, not causation. Apparently, the same thing happens in people with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Additionally, mRNA does not enter the nucleus and the spike protein is for entry of viral RNA into the cell, so the idea that there is causation for a reduced telomere length due to either of those does not match with known biological events.

cavenewt said...

@karl "My hunch is there are a lot of people that have long CoVid - long covid may turn out to be a bigger problem for the world than the deaths long term. I know long-influenza is not a trivial problem either."

Nor chronic Lyme. With all the attention long Covid has been getting, chances are better that treatment and insurance coverage will be available (at least here in the US), unlike chronic Lyme, which the CDC refuses to acknowledge even exists. I have several close friends and family members who suffer from this.

Andreas said...

@cavenewt

Chronic Lyme is at least starting to be recognized.

Carnitine supplements work for some people. It worked for my SO. In that case it was carnitine tartrate, acetyl-carnitine might work better for people with neurological symptoms.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26943315/#:~:text=Serum%20carnitine%20concentration%20is%20decreased%20in%20patients%20with,of%20early%20supplementation%20with%20carnitine%20should%20be%20considered.

Carnitine should in my opinion be part of the standard treatment of Lyme along with antibiotics.

Basti said...

Hi Peter.
Off topic question, but I wonder what your view on galactose is...
Do you think it behaves similar as glucose or is there something special about it?

cavenewt said...

Slightly off-topic.

"Governments commonly fund research with specific applications in mind. Such mechanisms may facilitate ‘research translation’ but funders may employ strategies that can also undermine the integrity of both science and government. We estimated the prevalence and investigated correlates of funder efforts to suppress health behaviour intervention trial findings." This is about suppression by governments, not industry.

“He who pays the piper calls the tune”: Researcher experiences of funder suppression of health behaviour intervention trial findings. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0255704

Eric said...

Study from Berlin Charité hospital as to why children rarely get severe Covid. It is way too long to post a translation, but feel free to use deepl or google translate:
https://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/medizin/coronavirus-darum-haben-kinder-seltener-schwere-covid-19-verlaeufe-a-4f40045c-8cd9-47ea-948c-b5d5e31d9351

In a nutshell
- children have a more active innate immunte system
- in particular, they have more pattern recognition cells in their mucuous membranes
- thinking about giving at risk adults interferon nasal sprays

Methinks developing a vaccine spray would also be a good idea.

Justin said...

Pretty sure "Bat Girl) developed some sort of nasal spray that inhibited the virus. I'll share the paper as soon as I can dig it up.

Justin said...

Eric, here you go.

"lipopeptides, EK1C4, exhibited highly potent inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion and PsV infection, about 240- and 150-fold more potent than EK1 peptide, respectively. EK1C4 is also highly effective against in vitro and in vivo infection of some live HCoVs, such as SARS-CoV-2, HCoV-OC43 and MERS-CoV, suggesting potential for further development as pan-CoV fusion inhibitor-based therapeutics and prophylactics for treatment and prevention of infection by the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV, as well as future reemerging SARS-CoV and emerging SARSr-CoVs."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7104723/

Passthecream said...

This crew are already marketing a supposedly effective Nasal spray in the UK now.

https://biotechdispatch.com.au/news/uk-launch-for-starpharmas-covid-19-nasal-spray

Kevin FST said...

Is this the latest?
https://www.bioworld.com/articles/508600-starpharma-halts-sales-of-covid-19-antiviral-spray-viraleze-in-the-uk-following-mhra-rebuke?v=preview

ChrisErHam said...

Thanks Peter, I believe you were referring to a comment I made.

I checked out George Hendersons twitter and was largely underwhelmed. His tweets on selenium deficiency in covid were interesting. Other than that, he seemed fairly pro-vaxx, which is fine of course, but I was surprised you mentioned him from some of your previous posts which weren't so enthusiastic about them.

Justin said...

Kevin, that looks to be behind a paywall. Care to summarize?

cavenewt said...

Here Justin—https://starpharma.com/news/603

"Melbourne, Australia; 21 June 2021: Starpharma (ASX: SPL, OTCQX: SPHRY) advises that its UK retail partner, LloydsPharmacy, has received correspondence from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in relation to specific promotional claims made for VIRALEZE™ antiviral nasal spray. The correspondence relates to promotional claims, including references to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, and the interrelationship between these product claims and its categorisation. The MHRA correspondence does not question or relate to the safety or quality of VIRALEZE™, but relates to allowable promotional claims..."

cavenewt said...

While investigating a fascinating Twitter handle (Mitochondriac Dog), I ran across this interesting nugget:

"Linoleic acid binds SARS-CoV-2 spike protein" https://www.news-medical.net/amp/news/20200924/Linoleic-acid-binds-SARS-CoV-2-spike-protein.aspx

'"We were truly puzzled by our discovery and its implications. So here we have LA, a molecule which is at the center of those functions that go haywire in COVID-19 patients, with terrible consequences. And the virus that is causing all this chaos, according to our data, grabs and holds on to exactly this molecule – basically disarming much of the body's defenses," Professor Berger said.

'The researchers also explained that in other illnesses, interfering with the metabolic pathways of the linoleic acid can induce systemic inflammation, pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). All these health problems are seen in patients with COVID-19. The study findings provide the first direct link between LA, the health consequences, and the virus itself.'

Mito Dog's comment: "Scientists scratching heads over linoleic acid's (seed oil) direct role in covid but stubbornly conflate linoleic acid with its derivatives...Linoleic acid is NOT essential, its derivatives are, however, Western diets have overdosed on it:..." https://twitter.com/PedantDog/status/1375760574601162753

karl said...

@cavenewt

Yes - one of the things I consider to reduce my risk... low PUFA diet, vit-D, BG below 110, and perhaps prevent worms and then all of this is becomes very strange theater.. but I would like to travel someday.

This has been out there - ignored - as is other interventions.

,.,.
Very strange - they are saying that Pfizer shot has been approved - but the letter keeps EUA in place.. not really an approval?

5 years ago - if this had been an influenza vaccine - no way it would be approved - so the news is not the approval - it is the end of FDA credibility - total regulatory capture. I can't find an updated monograph - should be out - should have AE tables... so strange.

,.,

This happened right after the EU data came out.. They want to provide legal cover to compel people.

https://www.technocracy.news/shock-european-union-reports-1-5-million-vaccine-injuries-15472-deaths/

If this was fiction - people would complain it wasn't believable..

I think unemployment will go up - many people will refuse - most people have are not being told how to reduce their risks.

Here is the problem - high risk people appear to have a good trade off getting vaccinated - but doing universal vaccination causes evolutionary pressures that have reduced the efficacy to 39%.. Bad policy - and vaccinating people that have already had Covid creates needless risk - Several papers show having had a case offers BETTER immunity than the vaccine. So a small group of sophists inflict tyranny.. can this stop? Is it possible to return to democracy?

The two policies above destroys the credibility of the agencies - then the long list of lies - the government dis/misinformation will likely cause high risk people to skip the vaccine.

They think the public is so stupid we can't spot the attempts to gaslight.

,.,.
One last concern - I am hearing - anecdotal evidence - people getting vaccinated are having long coVid symptoms? Will it be long term? And long CoVid seems to be creating a lot of disabled? How many?

"worth the risk" Fauci is the face of regulatory capture..

cavenewt said...

@karl

One thing you left out re: EUA still in place – maybe so that it allows them to keep suppressing information about alternative treatments like ivermectin, Vit D, etc. An EUA can only exist if there are no pre-existing or new effective treatments. I was hoping one possible silver lining of vaccine approval would be that they might finally start admitting that there are some effective treatments for Covid.

From some of the credible immunologists and vaccine experts that I'm reading (vanden Bossche, for example), the scary thing to me is that having been vaccinated might actually increase your chances of getting severely sick in a breakthrough infection – ADE etc. I reluctantly got the Moderna shot because I was unlikely to get a natural infection, short of traveling to North Dakota and hanging out in bars. I would have vastly preferred actually getting sick, smugly trusting my superior lifestyle to minimize risk. So maybe I shot myself in the foot, so to speak?

Never mind that a non-sterilizing vaccine in a pandemic is probably driving accelerated evolution of the virus toward vaccine resistance.

I have a little to no patience for the political/"freedom"/wingnut arguments, but I am pissed about the suppression of legitimate scientific discussion.

karl said...

@cavenewt

Hard to say - Making predictions about ADE or most anything is a fools errand in the end - "Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge." (Lao Tzu)

They dissolved the control group - unvaccinated remain to provide embarrassing statistics - sort of a control group.. I think it is obvious that they are doing some sort of military grade psych-opp on the public - but I also think they seriously overrate their own competence. I would call this the 'tyranny of the sophists' - they think they are experts - beyond being mortal, so they close the doors to other points of view. It is really not a choice between vaccines or not - many other paths are possible. The stench of regulatory capture is rather strong - all over the public sector. But we are presented with a false dichotomy by these fools.

So you get a group of bright - ego driven people that don't think they can learn anything from the 'unwashed'. For these sophists - top down control ends up seeming like a good idea - they have read so little history. The door is closed to ideas that come from little people like ICU MDs that tried various interventions - including repurposed drugs. Only the chosen few are smart enough. The purse strings become the reality - no debate is needed - some people replace fact with opinion and sell bits like "worth the risk". No one that stood up to speak out will get new funding.

It isn't just the CDC where this 'tyranny of the sophists' is blowing up in their faces - This hubris crises is a political pattern where they ignore the masses - and it is leading things like the huge mess created by 'expert sophists' in the middle-east (they knew better than the little people that warned them) - economic stability (They know better than the natural market forces). Both political sides think they can do this top-down magic - like nation building - not realizing it has to come from the bottom up. It isn't just the CDC - it is the FDA, CIA, NSA, (pick any three letters) - they think they should tell people what to do - or game them into doing things.. install a new culture from the top. Change the law of supply and demand.

So the unanswerable question is how this plays out - current period of democracy appears to be failing - will the last few hundred years end up as a blip in history - a time where many people had a lot of freedom? Will we enter a new dark age and go seriously backward?

Is the culture that produced our world ending? Or will the tides of values shift to something bottom up that once again pretty much works - never perfectly - but works anyway?

Passthecream said...

Off topic -- looks like someone has worked out how to emulate something like cristae for enhancing energy storage. They might eventually reinvent the whole mitochondrion!

https://newatlas.com/science/dust-sized-supercapacitor-voltage-aaa-battery/?itm_source=ocelot&itm_medium=recirculation&itm_campaign=ocelot_e079a01&itm_content=recommendation_2

Schuyler said...

Something I've been wondering about ... When one gets a covid antibody test in the US, the result is reported in a unit of "U/mL", which I assume means "units per milliliter." The test is described as "semi-quantitative"; I wasn't familiar with the term, but from reading a description, it sounds like maybe the number doesn't actually correspond to an actual quantity ...?

Less than .8 and you are considered antibody-negative; greater than .7 is positive. That's some weird overlap -- i.e., what does one make of, say, .75 which is both <.8 and >.7 ? They don't say anything about what it means if it's in the overlap.

Anyway, the question I have is: What exactly are these mysterious "units"? Not specifying what the units are makes it seem like the powers that be are intentionally obscuring the results. I'm getting a vibe of paternalistic nonsense -- "Oh, no, we mustn't tell the unwashed masses what we are actually measuring; they might try to interpret the result themselves instead of deferring to their doctor, and we can't have that, now can we." That was the thought I had ... but maybe I am missing something.

Does anyone know something about what the units mean?

cavenewt said...

Let the backpeddling begin?

Appeared in today's STAT News email. This is a pretty pharma-centric organization.

'Covid-19 vaccines flirted with perfection at first. Reality is more complicated
With the more transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 circulating, it is increasingly apparent that, even if mRNA vaccines like Pfizer’s and Moderna’s offer impressive protection against severe Covid infections, they aren’t going to prevent infections in the upper respiratory tract of some vaccinated people. The vaccines are wondrous weapons, but they aren’t impenetrable armor, STAT’s Helen Branswell reminds us (1). For some experts, the jury is still out on what is behind the increase in cases among vaccinated people, and how big a threat it poses.“It all comes down to: Is it waning immunity against severe illness, hospitalization, and deaths, or is it waning against mild illness? And I don’t think we’ve answered that yet,” Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota tells Helen.

'In that vein, the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines at preventing infection fell from roughly 90% to 66% in one study of U.S. frontline workers as the Delta variant emerged and became dominant in the country, the CDC said yesterday in an updated report. The study includes more than 4,000 health care workers, first responders, and other frontline workers in eight locations across six states, all of whom have been tested weekly for infection with SARS-CoV-2. STAT's Andrew Joseph has more (2).'


1. https://www.statnews.com/2021/08/25/covid-19-vaccines-flirted-with-perfection-reality-more-complicated/

2. https://www.statnews.com/2021/08/24/as-delta-spread-covid-19-vaccine-effectiveness-against-infection-fell-from-90-to-66-in-one-key-study/

JasmineJohend said...

Any thoughts on this prion disease, as if ADE wasn't bad enough https://covidcandy.net/coronavirus/this-is-how-they-tell-me-the-world-doesnt-end/

Puddleg said...

Thanks!

You might appreciate this -

Selenium, as selenite, prevents adipogenesis by modulating selenoproteins gene expression and oxidative stress-related genes

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900721002860



Conclusions
Selenium, as selenite, prevented adipogenesis through increasing antioxidant selenoproteins expression, leading to decreased inflammatory markers and, subsequently, to decrease in differentiation and lipid deposition. These findings, if demonstrated in vivo, could provide valuable data for novel dietary approaches to prevent obesity.

https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0899900721002860-ga1_lrg.jpg

Possibly mediated by an interaction with PUFA?

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02785435

Hap said...

D12331, Research Diets

Peter...Are you familiar with this model rodent diet...and would you consider it a good diet for providing saturated fats without artifact? I understand it is mostly hydrogenated coconut oil.

Hap

karl said...

The effect of fructose is a good example of multiple confounded variables controlled via nested feedback loops - It is easy to think one can understand what is going on - but complex systems easily make fools out of the best of us. (Not saying this paper is off - just lots of effects from eating a high fructose diet - which effect dominates? I am happy I can tell you with absolute certainty --- I don't know. )

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02195-1

@Cavenewt

The last data I saw (all of the current vaccines are quite similar - using the same spike protein) was with Delta - under 40%. I never believed the 95% number anyway when they wouldn't publish the whole of the data they had. - EUA - back when sane people ran the world - required 50%.. not sure it matters what the law is - the rule of law is some old fashioned idea that doesn't matter to the enlightened sophists that are running things top-down.

You would think a few of these people had a clue about the history of authoritarian failing every time it is tried.. No one is as smart as a collection of people that can argue freely - little groups of highly educated experts fall in to insane confirmation biased 'group think' that an average plumber might find doubtful.

Bottom-up is not perfect - makes errors - but wouldn't do stupid things like bypass a moratorium to engineer infectious viruses that regularly escape labs. ("Worth the risk" Fauci). Such plans, if passed by others outside the field - say a clean-room tech who runs particle counts on HEPA filters - he would know it isn't a case of IF - but only WHEN - the escape happens.

Authoritarian rulers make really bad policy - Where are the class-action law-suits?





Stan Bleszynski said...

Hi Peter,
A discussion thread on FB [quoting names such as Lynn Wright, Jordan Grant, Andrew Kaufman, Dr. Tom Cowan, Amanda Vollmer] prompted me to ask this: did you come across a study or stuff on the above-average iron level in covid and vaccinated people, and the role of ferritin in it? Does ivermectin lower ferritin?
Regards,
Stan (Heretic)

Peter said...

Hi Stan,

No, I've not really looked in to therapies for covid, I keep my approach very, very basic.

I'm not enamoured of either HCQ or ivomec (though obviously I have a bottle of parenteral ivomec for worming the goats) as neither does anything about susceptibility to infection and, while ivomec appears to be a magic bullet in some studies, medium term it will simply drive escape mutations.

Having a functional immune system seems like a better idea.

Slightly off topic, I recall reading accounts of the first usages of simple sulphonamides in hospital medicine. One account of a surgeon watching his patient develop (almost invariably fatal at the time) post operative bacterial pneumonia. Next day she was almost 100% recovered. His response to the effect of one dose of sulphonamide was "miraculous". I guess that level of efficacy of simple sulphonamides probably lasted for a few months, if that. Now we have MRSA and beyond.

The blame culture of the medics, as antibiotic resistance developed, is being recapitulated in the blame culture against the non-vaccinated today. The understanding of evolution and evolutionary pressure appears to beyond the ken of our modern politicians such as Whitty and Fauci, even if they were once medics. Or perhaps because medico-politicos are just particularly bad medics with a power bent? I guess you could say that medicine has not changed much!

All the best

Peter

Mac said...

"Sars-Cov-2 induces adipose tissue disfunction" --
https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(21)00428-9#relatedArticles

Peter said...

So SARS2 turns your adipocytes in to an Intralipid infusion (if you have avoided saturated fats and replaced them with linoleic acid)... Nasty!

Peter

cavenewt said...

From today's STAT News (9/16/21):

'1 in 500 Americans have died of Covid-19
As Washington Post journalists Dan Keating, Akilah Johnson, and Monica Ulmanu write, "At a certain point, it was no longer a matter of if the United States would reach the gruesome milestone of 1 in 500 people dying of Covid-19, but a matter of when.” And that grim calculus is worse for some people than others. Death rates for younger people are lower, but racial disparities are deeper. Among people 18 to 39 years old, Covid killed Black and Hispanic individuals more than three times as often as white people, and Native Americans almost nine times as much. It didn’t have to be that way, Jeffrey Klausner of the University of Southern California told the Post. “We’re kind of where we predicted we would be with completely uncontrolled spread of infection.”'

This 1 in 500 number is pretty meaningless. We have to know how many of those 1 in 500 people would've died of something else in the same time period, if there was no Covid pandemic, for this to have any significance at all. In other words, how many excess deaths were there because of Covid? Actually what does does illustrate to me is what percentage of those various populations have metabolic dysfunction.

And think about this statement: "At a certain point, it was no longer a matter of *if* the United States would reach the gruesome milestone of 1 in 500 people dying of Covid-19, but a matter of when.” What a disingenuous thing to say. Of course if you wait long enough eventually you will get to 1 in 500, because you're adding it up cumulatively. Might take 2 years, might take 15 years. But eventually you will get there.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is: things probably would not have been much different no matter what various world governments did or who was in charge. People say Trump was responsible for millions of deaths. Someone else being president may not have made any difference. Talking like that is just opportunistic grabbing of headlines to make political or idealistic points. Obligatory disclaimer: of course that doesn't mean that I approve of anything Trump did! Just that in terms of a pandemic virus he was irrelevant.

People are going to die of whatever. Virus is gonna virus. This whole pandemic is nothing unusual in the grand scheme of things. The only thing making it different is that somehow we think we have control over it, or that we *should* have control over it. Hubris.*

/rant

* Actually we might have been able to do something useful absent the political posturing, opportunism, etc.

Peter said...

Back in spring of 2020, before lockdown 1, I advised the older members of our family to skip the final meeting of the gardener's society before lockdown kicked in.

I had no expectation that this would stop the virus. My logic was that, if you were ill enough to need a ventilator, it might be best if there wasn't a queue for the last one in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

So 'flattening the curve" seemed worthwhile, for a few weeks anyway. Sadly, if you follow real data scientists (and there are some pretty good modellers out there) it's pretty clear that "flattening the curve" actually increases the death rate.

My bad.

I have to agree with the essayist, we've pretty much achieved nothing. Though I guess some people are a lot richer, though not anyone I know!

Peter

valerie said...

@cavenewt, I don't see the article on the StatNews site right now, so maybe this is explained, but... How can the US have 0.2% of their population dead from COVID?!? That's the infection fatality rate for COVID. It's the number you'd get if *everyone* got infected.

Unless the more vulnerable (older) people got *more* infected then the less vulnerable (younger) people?


@Peter, how does flattening the curve increase the death rate?

cavenewt said...

@valerie—the bit I quoted was directly from the STAT Morning Rounds email newsletter. The article it references is https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/interactive/2021/1-in-500-covid-deaths/

I didn't even bother trying to check the numbers.

Peter said...

Without the math, which is beyond me, there is a population which is going to have the infection, become immune and no longer pose any sort of risk to the vulnerable. Once enough people are immune they will protect the vulnerable without trying. Delaying the generation of significant immunity extends the time before community protection sets in.

Clearly, shielding the susceptible while the less susceptible get over the infection minimises the death rate in the susceptible, so selective lockdown whilst population immunity rises would help limit fatalities.

I am currently unable to locate a particular study from the UK. It compared two care homes. In one 40% of the staff were seropositive (ie immune) and there were no "successful" inroads of SARS2 to the residents. In the other all staff were unexposed and there were multiple episodes of actual COVID in residents carried in by staff. It struck me that nowhere near 100% immunity in the healthy population was needed to largely protect the vulnerable.

Equally obvious is that even with a largely immune population an endemic virus will occasionally pick off susceptible individuals, but large waves of infection would cease. The worst would be what we get from a flu season, in the long term. Also bear in mind that most people who survived the original SARS virus still have solidly responsive memory T cells today, about 18 years down the road. They will be fine until their immune system becomes senescent in old age. SARS2 will be similar.

We've just strung it out and strung it out, have done massive damage to all aspects of health care in the process and pinned our hopes on a vaccine which is not exactly marvellous. We even reverse-sheltered the susceptible for wave one. Matt Handcock.

Peter

valerie said...

@Peter, your scenarios differ in two main ways:
1- Speed of the spread in the non-vulnerable population.
2- Successfully protecting the vulnerable population during that time.
My guess is that #2 is way more relevant than #1.

Peter said...

Quite possibly. Yet Sweden, without any Matt Handcock equivalent, had a catastrophic failure in care home protection. Plus there was significant social distancing on a voluntary basis, so they applied modest slowing of the development of immunity, probably necessitating their second wave (despite waves at odd times I still feel there is an underlying seasonality to human susceptibility to the virus). They are still very average among the European death rate numbers despite these two problems.

BTW I have to concur with Mike Eades' view that while almost everything to do with mitigation is pure theatre, social distancing might actually slow spread. In the healthy population I consider this to be a mistake.

Peter

cavenewt said...

Just as a point of reference, my Utah, USA county of population 9600 has had a total of 4 covid deaths. I believe that is 0.04167%, or 0.2083 per 500. That's about 20% of the "1 in 500" claim. Admittedly, we are a very small sample, but on the other hand this is a tourist town with a lot of influx from all over the world.

Mac said...

More on the effect Sars2 has on adipose tissue. (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.09.18.460895v1)

From the abstract: "Our study shows for the first time that white adipose tissue (WAT) serves as a reservoir for CoV2 and the persistence of CoV2 in WAT alters adipose tissue morphology and adipocyte physiology. Our data demonstrate a correlation between the loss of fat cells and the pulmonary adipogenic signaling and pathology in CoV2 infection. The viral load in the lungs is inversely proportional to the viral load in WAT, which differs between male and female mice. Our findings also suggest that adiponectin-PPAR signaling may differently regulate Chagas cardiomyopathy in coinfected males and females. We conclude that adipogenic signaling may play important roles in cardio-pulmonary pathogenesis during CoV2 infection and T. cruzi coinfection. The levels of adiponectin isomers differ between male and female mice during CoV2 infection and coinfection with T. cruzi, which may differently regulate inflammation, viral load, and pathology in the lungs of both the sexes. Our findings are in line with other clinical observations that reported that males are more susceptible to COVID-19 than females and suffer greater pulmonary damage."

altavista said...

We have folk working on everything. At this very moment :)

https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2021/09/spartacus/

cavenewt said...

1. The 1 in 500 number is actually correct for the US as a whole.

2. My 78 year old stepmother who was vaccinated last February has now been infected and, currently, sounds moderately sick.

3. Poor Australia.

cavenewt said...

Correction: The 1in 500 number is correct for the US as a whole, assuming the "Covid deaths" number is accurate.

Justin said...

Altavista, that is perhaps one of the most interesting Covid write-uos I've read up to this point. Not sure if there is any situations/references, but it's still one hell of a read.

Justin said...

Sorry for all of the typos. That meant to say citations. Trying to post while doing chores. Lol

Eric said...

https://academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ije/dyab207/6375510

Can't keep myself from seeing the trend that countries that introduced restrictions and mask mandates early and maintained them long had the lowest decline in life expectancy.

cavenewt said...

"Studies show that certain common medical conditions put people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These include metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes and obesity, as well as heart conditions like high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. People with these four conditions are more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19.

"This research further highlights the burden of heart and metabolic diseases in the U.S. Almost 3 in 4 U.S. adults is overweight or obese. Nearly half of people have prediabetes or diabetes."

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Yet the world has been focused on vaccines, rather than confirming and then encouraging better lifestyle choices in the population to prevent illness.

But, of course, where's the profit in that?

"Most COVID-19 hospitalizations due to four conditions" March 9, 2021 https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/most-covid-19-hospitalizations-due-four-conditions

Eric said...

Very true, Cave!

Justin said...

Finally finished reading the Spartacus article. I see the references now. Lol!!!!

cavenewt said...

Here's a pretty interesting suggestion for why there are so many infections despite mass vaccination.

'these [breakthrough] cases have massively high [viral load] in often asymptomatic superspreaders that pass on high loading doses to the unvaccinated and greatly worsen the overall pandemic.

'this further inflates apparent [vaccine efficacy] by subjecting the unvaccinated to a more profligate and severe disease vector than they would have been had no vaccination campaign ever been undertaken...

'perversely, if the vaccinated comprise a spread vector that accelerates deaths in the unvaccinated, that would make it look like vaccines work.'

https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/the-vaccinated-superspread-hypothesis

Incidentally, I think about the only statistic we can trust anymore is excess all-cause deaths. Case numbers definitely are not trustworthy. Hospitalizations due to Covid, that number might be OK. Covid deaths? Many are arguable.

Peter said...

Hi cave, I'm not sure that "enjoy" is quite the correct word, but this might be interesting

https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.39.2100822

Note that the CT value for the index case was 13.59 (I'm not sure how you get a fractional number for CT cycles but apparently you can, it may be related to the parameter the machine actually measures not being an integer). This value is unbelievably low and suggest a viral load of enormous proportions. Massive.

Only two patients were unvaccinated and they were amongst the least affected, PPE is ineffective and it never occurred to the medics for days that an elderly, coughing, pyrexic patient might have covid (vaccine overconfidence)!

This is coming to an ITU in Australia or New Zealand if they ever get vaccine percentages up high enough to even think about sort of "opening up", even to Israeli levels.

It also makes my jaw drop listening to Biden's rhetoric about 98% vaccination...

Peter

YME said...

https://news.weill.cornell.edu/news/2021/10/covid-19-may-trigger-hyperglycemia-and-worsen-disease-by-harming-fat-cells
Seems covid causes hyperglycemia by insulin resistance!

YME said...

Interesting?
https://news.weill.cornell.edu/news/2021/10/covid-19-may-trigger-hyperglycemia-and-worsen-disease-by-harming-fat-cells

altavista said...

Get vaxxed every 5 months for the rest of your life.
Ought to be called The Revenge of the Cows, not covid.

Around dose #17 the lights are turned on 24/7 to stimulate the milk production

cavenewt said...

YME: I hope they ruled out hospital food! (Only half joking.)

Peter said...

alta, there was a link on Twatter to a page in Japanese which, when google-translated rather quaintly, suggested that after boosters 7-8 in their lab animal model the virus was selected to sufficient lethality that booster 17 could have the lights left however the cows liked, there wouldn't be any humans alive to worry about it. This was a report from scientists in a Japanese university to their government, not a published study. In some ways that gives it more credence in the current climate. That's "scientists" with a small "s" and no trademark.

It's not very clear if they were talking about ADE or vaccine mediated selection for enhanced pathogenicity of SARS2 itself, which is partly why I didn't save the link. Probably the latter.

Also, in complete sarcasm, I can't ignore the link to the Gates Foundation. Would you accept a vaccine pushed by the idiot that gave us Windoze? Even my son is moving to Linux as games developers realise that there is an escape route from the dreaded operating system, which used to be obligatory for serious gaming until recently.

Peter

altavista said...

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/tthis-chicken-vaccine-makes-virus-dangerous

"To test the imperfect vaccine hypothesis in humans, you would need monitor the vaccine response for either a large or isolated population for a long time" and voila :)

Eric said...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/08/global-covid-death-toll-higher-pandemic

Contains a few links to valuable data compilation and aggregation sites.

cavenewt said...

Many vaccine skeptics focus on immediate and long-term side effects to the individual. What interests me is the overall impact of the vaccine on the global evolution of the virus. These are not incompatible concerns.

This pre-print apparently shows that whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, an infected person is equally infectious to others, among other things. Sounds like it has more to do with how symptomatic they are. However, infected vaccinated people are more likely to be infected with vaccine-resistant strains (which they can then pass on to unvaccinated people). Which will lead to even more efforts on the part of vaccine makers to keep up. The inevitable consequence is an arms race between the virus and vaccinators.

A comment on an earlier version of the article said they did take into account prior infection in one of the tables. So they're not ignoring them completely although I haven't looked at the details. Looks like the entire PDF is available for free.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.19.21262139v2

Peter said...

cave, this is evolution 101. We are expecting the virus to mutate spontaneously, as all RNA viruses do, although in coronaviruses this is little slower than other RNA viruses. The IgG generating vaccines provide an airway devoid if IgA which allows replication directly adjacent to pastures of plenty for any mutant which can evade systemic IgG. Such a mutant need not necessarily be more virulent than the parent virus, but could be. However if the spike-avoidance mutation comes at a cost to the virus then there may be reduced virulence. Certainly delta appears less virulent than alpha and the pattern of poor outcome still seems to be determined largely by metabolic syndrome and its co-morbidities.

I would expect vaccinated people who have subsequently been infected and recovered from the virus should to be immune and to stay that way until they develop metabolic syndrome. Makes me hopeful, unless repeated vaccinations drive virulence selection.

As an aside: have you ever been prescribed a course of an antibiotic and been told that you MUST complete the course? Now, there are some reasons why a long course of an antibiotic is better than a short course (improving tissue penetration of a large molecule drug is one, it takes time) but ultimately taking a long/full course provides a better selection pressure than a short course. Completing the course of penicillin for a strep throat (if one day alone had worked) actively encourages the development of penicillin resistant salmonella in your gut because it provides more time to kill off the competing (and innocent) e. coli. Then the resistant bug shares its resistance plasmids, as bacteria do.

This takes me back to my early days of disillusion with public health medicine. The rapid emergence of resistance to the early penicillin G was blamed on prostitutes contracting gonorrhoea as an occupational health problem, taking one dose, feeling much better, stopping the course and going back to work immediately. As far as I can find out this was an evidence-free conclusion, but that has never worried public health officials ever. At the same time hospital patients were being given full dose, accurately assessed and meticulously delivered penicillin for extended periods of time. That's what drives evolution. But prostitutes are a much easier target than hospitals.

The other place where the full dose is always given, all the time, for months, is in veterinary feed medication to control endemic bacterial diseases secondary to industrial farming. If the pig eats, it gets the full dose. They eat. We used to medicate pig food with lincomycin to suppress swine dysentery.

Ultimately the one, universal correlate to antibiotic drug resistance is antibiotic drug sales. Nothing else matters.

The same will happen with antivirals such as the original ivermectin (if it works, I haven't followed this) and it will equally apply to the new drugs like Pfizermectin and IverMercktin, whatever their real names will turn out to be. Pfizer and Merck want worldwide sales of an antiviral as a preventative. World wide, long term distribution of an antimicrobial. Probably supplemented by coercion to take it so to keep your job as a health care worker (or any other job if vaccine coercion is any indicator), as the vaccines will have been conclusively shown to be useless by then.

What could possibly go wrong?

Peter

Peter said...

BTW, did you listen to Scott Atlas promoting his new book about his time as a covid advisor while Trump was still president? His tenet is that all of the top advisors in the Whitehouse were uniformly and utterly incompetent. I see absolutely no reason to doubt this, based on my experience of the garbage they are spouting now and have over the previous decades. I recall listening to a Scott Atlas interviewed while he was still working at the Whitehouse and he spoke completely logically about the pandemic, pro focused protection and anti lockdowns. I'd already signed the Great Barrington Declaration by then so his ideas are in line with my own. There was a great hatchet job done on him by the Grauniad in the UK as he resigned, which confirms to me he is right on target.

cavenewt said...

"this is evolution 101..." Yes, a lot of my comments are probably really obvious to people who are more knowledgeable about these things.

"have you ever been prescribed a course of an antibiotic and been told that you MUST complete the course? ...but ultimately taking a long/full course provides a better selection pressure than a short course." Which is exactly the opposite of what they always told us. I guess the assumption was if we took it long enough it would kill 100% of whatever the bad bug was.

"...encourages the development of penicillin resistant salmonella in your gut because it provides more time to kill off the competing (and innocent) e. coli." Interesting, just this morning I read an article about how treatment for Lyme disease by broad-spectrum antibiotic might contribute to chronic Lyme by damaging the beneficial bacteria in your gut. I got Lyme in 2017 and insisted on a full month of antibiotic (rather than 1 week) based on what I knew about it at the time; but the whole month I was also ingesting every available form of prebiotic and probiotic, both supplemental and food. I have to say it seems to've worked very well for me in terms of the Lyme going away and my overall health improving. That was the one exception I've made in about 10 years of avoiding pretty much all pharmaceuticals, including aspirin.

As for Scott Atlas… I pretty much avoid anything by anybody who worked in the Trump administration, considering them untrustworthy—"all of the top advisors in the White House were uniformly and utterly incompetent." All but him, you imply? It will be interesting to revisit that and see what his motivations might have been.

Peter said...

cave, evolution 101 is not something I would expect yourself to have considered, why on earth should you? No slur intended. However, I would absolutely expect the top level “medics” advising the government to actually understand how antibiotic resistance occurs in response to the pressures which are applied. In some ways it’s annoying that public health have gone from blaming sex workers to blaming people for failing to complete the course to now include reducing the total amount of antibiotic usage. The first two are total incompetence, the last is effective. A learning process? Simply luck, eventually?

Yes, one has to be careful re Trump’s administration. Atlas was invited by Trump himself, as far as I can tell, because Trump seems to have distrusted Fauci and co (can’t be wrong about everything!). Atlas claims to have gone to meetings armed with stacks of publications to back up his position on every point. He claims that no one else, ever, produced any scientific evidence to back up their ScienceTM throughout the time he attended. He resigned. He sounds honest and having written and now promoting a book does not automatically negate this in my view. What he says and what he did suggest some level of integrity.

Chris Witty and Patrick Valance in the UK could both have resigned in March 2020 when the UK totally abandoned 10 years of pandemic planning to embark on the disastrous policy we and most of the world have followed since. My wife suggested at the time, very kindly, that they stayed to help ameliorate and control the process from within. That’s not how they appear to have acted since…

Peter

BTW antibiotic resistance selection and viral evolution are probably only quite distantly related processes but the comparison is reasonable and seems helpful to me.

Peter said...

cave, evolution 101 is not something I would expect yourself to have considered, why on earth should you? No slur intended. However, I would absolutely expect the top level “medics” advising the government to actually understand how antibiotic resistance occurs in response to the pressures which are applied. In some ways it’s annoying that public health have gone from blaming sex workers to blaming people for failing to complete the course to now include reducing the total amount of antibiotic usage. The first two are total incompetence, the last is effective. A learning process? Simply luck, eventually?

Yes, one has to be careful re Trump’s administration. Atlas was invited by Trump himself, as far as I can tell, because Trump seems to have distrusted Fauci and co (can’t be wrong about everything!). Atlas claims to have gone to meetings armed with stacks of publications to back up his position on every point. He claims that no one else, ever, produced any scientific evidence to back up their ScienceTM throughout the time he attended. He resigned. He sounds honest and having written and now promoting a book does not automatically negate this in my view. What he says and what he did suggest some level of integrity.

Chris Witty and Patrick Valance in the UK could both have resigned in March 2020 when the UK totally abandoned 10 years of pandemic planning to embark on the disastrous policy we and most of the world have followed since. My wife suggested at the time, very kindly, that they stayed to help ameliorate and control the process from within. That’s not how they appear to have acted since…

Peter

BTW antibiotic resistance selection and viral evolution are probably only quite distantly related processes but the comparison is reasonable and seems helpful to me.

cavenewt said...

Sweden has turned into a ideological football. But here are the all-cause mortality numbers (IMO the only statistic that can't be fudged) for the flu year just ended. Pretty normal.

"sweden wins again—the all cause deaths data is in for the 2020-21 flu year" https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/sweden-wins-again

cavenewt said...

I've been provisionally reading this guy's substack. A lot of what he says takes serious concentration [for me] to grasp, but he seems reasonable. So I was happy to see today's post about Molnupiravir and how it works. But first, you should watch this short STAT News video that graphically explains the mechanism of function (said with maximum sarcasm):

https://www.statnews.com/2021/10/13/molnupiravir-merck-covid-pill-how-it-works/

Explains it very cogently, don't you think? And what immediately leaps out to me is — so what keeps this potent mutagen out of the RNA and DNA of, like, regular cells?

Addressing this is the substack I mentioned, Unglossed. He is admittedly not an expert in cellular biology, so his ideas should be taken with a grain of salt, on the principle that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Still, he cites more authoritative sources, and it's better information than we got from STAT News.

'To my eyes, after all, it’s just obvious that there can not be such a thing as interfering with a “viral replication” process; any named “viral” process must necessarily be endogenous and essential to cellular operation, as well...

'If disabling the core means of viral replication were a good idea, the immune system would do it....

'Within “anti-Covid-vaxx” world, Molnupiravir has been lambasted as a glorified, high-dollar ivermectin imitator. After all, Molnupiravir “stops replication,” and ivermectin “stops replication,” so they must be the same drug - hence the derisive moniker “ivermercktin” for the newcomer.

'But this is not really the case. Ivermectin is not a nucleoside analog, and thus is not similar to Molnupiravir in potential mechanism or harms...'

Incidentally, don't skip the footnotes. They're not just citations. They're informative and often funny.

https://unglossed.substack.com/p/doppelganger