Monday, November 15, 2021

Is vaccine efficacy a statistical illusion?

Just a twitter-ish one liner:


Insight delivered on a plate. A clear explanation of the John Dee's Almanac concept. Look how the sizes of populations shift with time on a fixed death rate giving the illusion of efficacy. And also of apparent waning efficacy with time. So elegant, so neat, love it.

Peter

Addendum if it helps:

EDIT Just to clarify, there is no need for the "vaccine" to do anything, you can even assume it's a placebo injection. The effect still occurs. END EDIT

After a chat with Raphi on twitter this might make it clearer. Campaign starts at day one. No results are collected for a week 'cos that's how long it takes. No one know exactly when a given person died because mortality stats are like that and this is not a controlled study situation we're talking about.

The numbers of deaths collected a week after the campaign started are attributed to week two because that's when they are recorded. This is the source of the error.

If 15 people a day die during week one but are recorded as week two they will be put in to incorrect population sizes because the vaccinated population is rising rapidly and the unvaccinated population size is falling rapidly. A week is a long time in a vaccine roll out.

So the small number of deaths in the initially tiny vaccinated group of week one will be attributed to the significantly larger vaccinated group found in week two. Very few deaths from a very small population are now spread out over a now larger population.

The much larger number of deaths from the much bigger unvaccinated population of week one will be attributed to the now smaller unvaccinated population of week two. The population is smaller because vaccines have been given, which rapidly reduces the size of the unvaccinated population.

In the vaccinated group too small a number of deaths is spread through too large a number of people, hence a low incidence/person days. Vaccine appears to work.

In the unvaccinated too many deaths (it was a very big group in week one) are attributed to a population reduced by the number who have been vaccinated by the rollout. So a much higher figure per person days is found.

Don't start me on how this makes being unvaccinated intrinsically dangerous and how the 'rona vacc appears to protect agains all cause mortality. Just more artifact.

The graphs come out as in the linked blog post.

The need for graphing mortality curves by date of death vs date of reporting is well known from plotting peaks of waves from peaks of deaths. If a study uses date reported rather than date of occurrence, it's possibly junk. It can take months to get death numbers by date of occurrence vs reported in the real world. Some mortality data from the UK ONS will be delayed by the time needed for a coroner's inquest.

Peter

94 comments:

altavista said...

It was a science-communication issue, you see? lol

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-11-12/cdc-shifts-pandemic-goals-away-from-reaching-herd-immunity

Peter said...

Haha indeed. I guess it depends more on what you mean by "immunity" than by herd!

Peter

xgo.rogue said...

Indeed https://twitter.com/RandyDEasley/status/1456093294765776896

Peter said...

Hi xgo.rogue, having a vaccine which stops people getting infected/transmitting has top be the first step. Sadly a bit of a booboo there.

Peter

Malcolm said...

Lies, damn lies, and statistics!

Or to be more charitable, some problems are just hard.

This shows how important it is to verify with simpler data where possible, e.g. the body count: Euromomo (scroll to the bottom for z-scores by country and choose the ones you want). The first wave was clearly bad, and the second perhaps about the same in total, although much more spread out in time. Will the third one even be visible?

cavenewt said...

Malcolm beat me to it with "Lies, damn lies, and statistics!" As we have seen over many years of reading Hyperlipid, interpretation of data can be twisted into unrecognizable forms to support almost any desired conclusion. One has to wonder if this particular illusion was intentional or not. Seems to me people who are professional statistic wranglers would be aware of the dangers.

cavenewt said...

altavista, above, linked to an LA Times story headlined "CDC shifts pandemic goals away from reaching herd immunity." That article includes the sentence

"But it’s become clear that neither vaccination nor natural infection confers lasting protection,"

and the phrase "confers lasting protection" is a link to another LA Times story entitled "Study shows dramatic decline in COVID vaccine effectiveness" at https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-11-04/study-shows-dramatic-decline-in-effectiveness-of-covid-19-vaccines

I just read that entire second story and it does not anywhere refer to natural immunity; it's ONLY about vaccination. The word "infection" only appears when referring to breakthrough infections and vaccinated people.

So that statement is a very misleading implication. Not being a subscriber, I can't post an outraged comment about that bit of misdirection. I know this kind of thing is not unusual, it's just another example of groupthink assumptions accepted as fact.

Passthecream said...

"people who are professional statistic wranglers would be aware of the dangers."

A statistician's fate: drowning in a lake, the average depth of which is 1/2".

Passthecream said...

Malcolm, in general that is interesting data at Euromomo but there is something strange in the weekly graph of excess deaths -- the numbers at the end of eg 2020 are discontinuous with those at the start of 2021. This suggests there is some number wrangling going on that I don't have the patience to unravel!

Malcolm said...

Pass, are you looking at e.g. Excess Mortality, set to Weekly, All Ages? If so, I think I see what you mean. Perhaps the initial zero is the error, if we ignore that one, the last value for 2020 is reasonably close to the second data point for 2021.

Malcolm said...

Pass, also the Daily Deaths graph on https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ looks like a falling trend. That could just be a fall since last Jan's peak and maybe this Jan will be similar or worse, we can't tell at the moment. Hopefully half the population having had covid by now (wild guess) means that any future waves will be much lower and we are over the worst of this thing.

Jay said...

Interesting. I was reading that blog article yesterday, which I found via Twitter and then 'switched over' to check your blog, Peter, and snap! found you reporting on Norman Fenton's work.
Interestingly in Ireland they are trying to exploit (whether deliberately or not who knows) that kind of effect by reporting all their statistics on deaths and ICU admissions as cumulative totals from 1 April 2021 to a given date (weekly reports). This has had the effect, until recently, of making it look like unvaccinated were dominating both categories. They further 'replace' all weekly reports when the next one arrives and it is only due to various independent data analysis people on Twitter that any light is being shed on the true numbers at all!

altavista said...

We should know in 2076 lol

https://aaronsiri.substack.com/p/fda-asks-federal-judge-to-grant-it?justPublished=true

cavenewt said...

Yeah, it only took the government 108 days to grant an emergency use authorization based on that evidence, yet it's going to take 55 years to Xerox everything.

Robin said...

Hi there,
I'd appreciate some analysis/thoughts on this study (https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/9/2127/htm#app1-nutrients-11-02127), which compares the effect of different fats on weight gain in mice fed diets 60% in fat. The fats studied are lard, corn, beef, hydrogenated coconut oil, linseed, olive, soybean and cocoa. Unfortunately, all the diets are 4% soybean oil by weight, which equates to approx. 6.7 % of calories for the high fat diets and 10% of calories for the control diet. I still find the results a little surprising though. Apparently mice have trouble absorbing the stearic acid in cocoa butter and it may bind to minerals in the gut causing lower bone density, which I read in this twitter thread (https://twitter.com/matthewjdalby/status/1310966867566178307).

Could it be possible that the alpha linolenic acid content of the soybean and linseed oil diets somehow makes them less obesogenic? Should we be getting all of our fat from grass-fed dairy for the 1:1 omega 6 to 3 ratio?

cavenewt said...

Robin—Tucker just put up a long post about different fats and a lot of studies, which I am slowly plowing my way through. Maybe it's helpful toward the question at the beginning of your comment. http://yelling-stop.blogspot.com/2021/11/does-linoleic-acid-induce-obesity.html

The Twitter thread you referred to is very interesting. I've peripherally looked at positions of fatty acids in triglycerides but never knew that much about it. It's rather dizzying on top of everything else. I never heard of that Tweeter before, but I see George follows him.

Passthecream said...

Cavenewt: The more I read, the more convinced I am that the human industrialised "food" chain is utterly whacko from top to bottom.

Depending on the source and conditions of growth, various fatty acids can be almost randomly positioned on their glycerol backbone in raw fats and oils (with a few modal exclusions). However I recently discovered that many processed fats are "dismembered" ie the fatty acids are ripped off the backbone then carefully reassembled with different FAs attached at the 1,2,3 position of the glycerol to give fats with more predictable or "desirable" properties. Eg an extra pufa might be attached where there originally was an sfa or a mufa, or an extra mufa attached similarly. I'm pretty sure that some of the spreadable "butters" are built this way. All of the fatty acids involved might be derived from butter but some of the waxier ones are removed and replaced with less waxy or in such a way as to give a less waxy fat overall. The leftovers would be fed to stock or used to make other food chemicals. Nothing is wasted.

The cacao solids in most chocolate are "dutched" to make them more palatable. This is a polite way of saying: treated with alkali, in other words made into soap-like substances. It makes them less bitter and more easily emulsified when the fat components are blended back in.

On the mouse versus stearic acid position I guess it's obvious that mice <> men. It's worth pointing out an interesting chemical distinction between calcium and sodium when combined with any fat by whatever pathway : the result is a soap or a grease but calcium being divalent (Ca++) as opposed to sodium being Na+, calcium binds two fatty acid molecules into a boomerang shaped calcium soap molecule but sodium only binds one to make a classic soap. Thus the calcium soap is less soap-like, less able to bind fats to water because of the stereochemistry. Calcium soaps are hardly water soluble but they do dissolve in oily non-polar solvents.

Cows versus mice: mice don't seem to be equipped to deal with them but cows can digest the calcium soaps of fatty acids in their rumen which is why intensive dairy cows are fed great quantities of dehydrated calcium soaps of linoleic acid. This works to our detriment since milk and cheese made from these cows contains a much higher level of linoleic acid. It's not just the grains in feed that lead to this.



Hmmmm, could be useful, that might save some additional processing when making those spreadable butters. I'm sure that if it's possible then some agro-industrial chemist already has it going through a reactor. These people are a long way ahead of us!

Peter said...

Hi all, I think that in 2020 all governments basically f*cked up. They have now had some time to work out how best to do the impossible, ie hide this. They do the best they can using the public health officials available but ultimately people who get to be government advisors tend to be the excrement which floats upwards, so they lack ability in all fields (other than that of rising through the civil service, see any episode of "Yes, Minister"). Also the people who want to "run" countries seem to have been revealed as intrinsically sociopathic, which you could have guessed but it's fascinating to see it displayed so publicly. Like looking in to a bucket of offal and seeing the maggot population seething.

Jason, yes the position of a given fatty acid in the glycerol backbone undoubtedly matters. See "interesterification" as an alternative to partial hydrogenation. ALA appears to be much better at uncoupling than LA. I have to agree with Matthew Dalby that position may well explain the cocoa butter vs beef fat but would need some time to think it through. I've read snippets from Matthew Dalby before, he thinks well.

cave, I need to read Tucker's opus. I suspect he, Brad and I are the most anti PUFA people currently active on t'internet (and Ray Peat?) but we fundamentally diverge on mechanisms for obesity generation. Less so on (eventual) toxicity. I think we all agree on "Just say NO". And I don't mean nitric oxide.

Peter

Peter said...

Oh! Clarification: "Like looking in to a bucket of offal and seeing the maggot population seething". The difference being that the maggots are doing something useful on a biological basis. Please don't think I'm anti maggot!

Peter

cavenewt said...

Passthecream, here's how to home-process a spreadable butter: 1. Take butter out of the fridge. 2. Let it come to room temperature. 3. Spread.

cavenewt said...

Peter—"...in 2020 all governments basically f*cked up. They have now had some time to work out how best to do the impossible, ie hide this."

You've put your finger on it. I know experts have pooh-poohed Jon Ronson's wonderful book "The Psychopath Test", but it made a big impression on me. Accuracy of numbers aside, I don't think there's any question that the percentage of sociopaths in corporate leadership and politics is much higher than the general population. (My personal theory is that the number of naturally occurring sociopaths in any given human population makes us unable to sustain living in groups of more than about 50 – a certain critical mass of sociopaths will upset whatever system of government is created.)

Yes, Minister has been in my mind a lot lately and I am grateful somebody finally mentioned it. You've inspired me to dig out my DVDs, of which I have the whole collection, for a re-watch.

It's very interesting how we've been conditioned toward polarization. I looked at all of Matthew Dalby's recent Twitter feed, observing my reaction dispassionately on running across his pro-vaccine tweets. It made me less inclined to accept his observations about triglycerides. Looking in from the outside, I was thinking 'Hm! Why? That has nothing to do with vaccines, really.'

cavenewt said...

"A Fantasy of Virus-Free Air" introduced to me a wonderful phrase: "safety worship". https://stemplet74.substack.com/p/a-fantasy-of-virus-free-air

Excellent piece, especially the way it touches on the hygiene hypothesis. For those who are interested, also look up Helminthic Therapy.

We have amazingly complex and efficient immune systems that have developed over millions of years. Yet we insist on cudgeling and browbeating our immune systems rather than working with them.

Peter said...

cave, back in the day when I accepted all Faceache friend requests I accumulated a lot of people from across the political spectrum. Some of those have gone to become absolute vaccinophiles. It's amazing to see how far an intelligent person will commit to an incorrect paradigm. Generally there appears to be some convergence between insight in to metabolism and insight in to vaccine assessment. But not always. George Henderson seems quite hopeful of the vaccine but I can't share his point of view. NZ should end up much like Israel. Israel's first vaccinated autumn wave went very badly and their second, true winter wave, is due about now. We will see. I still respect his point of view and realise he views certain issues differently from myself. I think this is helped by having been aware of his overall thinking for some years.

But yes, spill over of categorisation of a person from one field to another can be hard to avoid, especially if you don't know them very well. Opposite to confirmation bias I guess...

Peter

Peter said...

cave, we live in a sea of bugs from 6 raw fed cats, two goats and 15 chickens. I don't spend all my life (outside of work) washing my hands!!!!!!

P

Puddleg said...

Again, in the raw data NZ reports, we get daily death updates from people dying the day before, and if they died of say gunshot wounds, as has happened, or with trauma we are told this too. Also the vaccine roll out even at speed was a bit slower than that and it's relatively easy to take its history into account while interpreting the data here.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/450874/covid-19-data-visualisations-nz-in-numbers

Gyan said...

All kinds of alarming reports/pteprints circulating in dissenter sites about mRNA causing hike in all-cause mortality. There was link to Telegraph paper about 9000 excess mortality in UK a couple of days back.
Now today Swedish study linked by Dr Eades in his newsletter about 20 percent increase in mortality following vaccination.
Is it possible? Happening?
Is on-field deaths among football players/athletes really 60 times this year?

Peter said...

That’s great George. What I can’t un-see is that Israel successfully *completely* vaccinated itself out of any PCR positive test results by April 29th 2021, after having had ICUs full of the “non vaccinated” during rapid vaccine roll out in the previous mid winter. This success lasted until June 21st 2021. I am expecting NZ to similarly eliminate/reduce PCR positives during the summer of 2022 until your next autumn. I keep thinking that seasonality has finally arrived in NZ but I see today number are back at 204, a plateau but no drop yet…

Peter

Peter said...

Gyan, I have written to my son's headmaster specifically to point out that I absolutely do *not* give permission for him (14y old) to receive the 'rona vacc. But the dead footballers are certainly coincidence. In Israel there are no/minimal side effects from the vacc. Phew.

Peter

Passthecream said...

CN --- I just leave it out on the bench until about this time of year when temps go above the low 20C's but hard butter is my favourite, I slice it and use it like cheese. Also only ever buy organic butter from boutique cows.

Kevin FST said...

Don't you just love statistics. There is a strong possibility that none of the research, whether showing vaccines to be effective or useless, is really worth a fig (this would have come as no surprise to my MSc Stats tutor who prided himself on being able to destroy the stats used in any paper!). Norman Fenton explains: https://www.normanfenton.com/post/paradoxes-in-the-reporting-of-covid19-vaccine-effectiveness

cavenewt said...

Passthecream—my helpful comment was for those who feel the need for spreadable butter. If you don't eat bread or bagels, you have no need for spreadable butter. I mostly just cook with it.

Kecin FST—"Lies, damn lies, and statistics" seems more relevant now than ever. Thanks to my decade of LCHF training in unraveling (to some extent at least) the abuse of statistics, in nutritional research and with statins, etc., I have attempted to scrutinize more skeptically what's presented in the mainstream, and reading various criticisms of the interpretation. My conclusion is to throw up my hands and say Well, it will be interesting to see how it all comes out.

cavenewt said...

Oops. sorry Kevin.

Kevin FST said...

cave, I do not spread butter on breast or bagels, only on broccoli, carrots, and ... cheese, but only on hard cow's cheese (which really does need spreadable), not on sheep or goat!

Captain Sunset said...

@ Kevin/Cave, This discourse is getting... interesting.

Kevin FST said...

Captain Sunset, I've just spotted a typo in my last comment. What could I possibly have been thinking of? I use a PC, not 'smart'phone, so it wasn't predictive, although it does remind me of some things I may have got up to 50 years ago!

Passthecream said...

This is an interesting animation fwiw.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2021/nov/23/australias-covid-pandemic-in-60-seconds-victoria-and-melbourne-map-video

Notice how the cases vanish as you go west over the border from Victoria to SA? Thats about to change today. They're lowering the barricades. We will see a great deal of red dots cropping up here now.

Captain Sunset said...

@ Kevin FST... Ha, ha! You devil you!!
Anyway, a good article on Omega-3's and BPD. Could there be other co-morbidities? My go-to favourite foods are Brown Crab, Mussels (Mytilus edulis), and Pandalus borealis shrimp/prawns in the shell (can't get enough of them!), and steak, of course! On which, I seem to be doing very, very well. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/955369?uac=370826HJ&faf=1&sso=true&impID=3819292&src=mkm_ret_211123_mscpmrk_psych_bpd#vp_1

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Just to chime in on butter, in my experience, the texture and taste of the butter will depend on the feed and the processing. I prefer butter that is pretty light in color, is made from milk that has been allowed to go slightly sour, has an incling of cream in taste and can be spread with some effort straight out of the fridge.

Of my preferred brands in Germany, one comes from a chain of organic supermarkets and is derived from pastured cows from the Alpine region. Two other, more upmarket (in that they are not the captive supermarket brand and get some advertising) brands of Alpine organic butter are harder out of the fridge and don't have that creamy taste and texture.

My other preferred brand is not organic and comes from a local dairy farmers' association in the Northern marshlands. Given the topography of the land, one can be pretty sure that the cows are mostly pastured. The butter is even a tad creamier than my preferred organic brand, and I know several other Northern coops that make a very similar butter. Danish silver Lurpak is also very similar except it is salted.

Now, Irish butter should be much the same if pasturing in a sea climate were key, however, I keep buying Irish brands and getting disappointed (hard, brittle or yellowish and turning into a tasteless mush when warm). Similarly, butters from Normandy are all over the place, from exactly to my taste to some farm or coop butters that are brittle and have an off taste.

Yet another aside: should I worry that olive oil that does not turn fully solid in a fridge has been adultered?

Captain Sunset said...

@ Eric, Sadly, bespoke butter is a bit of a rarity in the UK, and if you can get it a bit expensive, but my youngest daughter delights in the flavour of this butter from Estate Dairy:- https://www.theestatedairy.com/new-page-1

Years ago, in my pre-Aquaculture days, I worked for a small-ish Engineering Co., in Whitchurch, Shropshire, that sadly is no more, but it got its start waaaay back when in making blue cheese vat's for Cheshire Blue cheese. Cheshire Blue actually comes from Shropshire, and so I can attest to the wonderful milk and butter from that region. I envy your range of choices!

cavenewt said...

Eric—I recently read or heard where Tucker Goodrich said that test has been debunked. It may have been a podcast. I can't find it on his blog.

On the face of it, it certainly seems to make sense.

Passthecream said...

I'd much rather talk about butter but a recent yt video from John Campbell about the Japanese situation is interesting --- Japan only 76% vaccinated 126 million pop, cases have dropped way, way down near zero and delta variant just about extinct. (?)

https://youtu.be/E1GF0H9V_1g

He discusses some possible causes. I think it shows that we still don't have much of a clue about how this all works.

Just in time for this new African variant, wooohoooo!

Passthecream said...

Btw Captain, we are well supplied in Aus. with gourmet butters including some very good biodynamic varieties. We can also get the Kerry gold and Lurpak etc types but they can't hold a candle to the local produce. Or to the New Zealand butters. I'm more concerned that some of the budget cheeses from the supermarket might be a type of high protein linoleum.

Gyan said...

Negative vaccine efficacy in UK?
https://eugyppius.substack.com/p/ukhsa-vaccine-surveillance-week-46

Eric said...

Captain, these aren't marketed as besopke butter. It's just that every grocery store will have between 3 and 20 different kinds of butter. I'm sure this is similar in the UK. There's organic and regular, sweet, semi-sweet and sour cream butter, salted and unsalted, local and from other regions.

The only thing that is different is that about 90% of retail butter sold in Germany is Markenbutter which would naively translate as brand butter but really means that it has received a quality mark from a local food standards and safety authority (each state runs at least one of these). Markenbutter must be made from fresh milk or cream and must not be made from whey cream or centrifruged or recombined cream. It has to pass monthly tests for physical and microbiological parameters as well as a tasting panel. I had a mate in uni who came from the Holstein region who as a student intern at such a local authority had to perform a round robin qualification on an apparatus that measured how fast a wire would cut through a block of butter at a certain temperature.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterverordnung
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter#Buttersorten

The German butter grading system is stricter than the EU regulations, similar to the French AOC system, but different in that it does not require a particular origin. Even imported butter can be certified. Austria and Switzerland have a similar system, so maybe German speaking countries do obsess a bit about butter :)

As for bespoke butter, I have tried various farm butters from the Normandie and Franche -Compté regions available through French supermarkets or cheese shops and sometimes German gourmet shops and found them lacking. I suspect they use whey cream leftover from cheese making, and one needs to acquire a taste for them. That being said, there are specialty butters by big brands like Isigny which I like even more than my preferred German brands.

Eric said...

Edit: there are also some specialty butters from local coops in the Alto-Aldige region of Italy which are excellent. I buy them at a market stall that specializes in Italian and French cheese.

Eric said...

Pass, the late Wolfram Siebeck had a gourmet column in the weekly Die Zeit. I remember a piece from the 90s where he wrote that real cheese was a world apart from the rubberlike factory Ersatz produce people habitually buy in German supermarkets.

Eric said...

"Gyan: Negative vaccine efficacy in UK?
https://eugyppius.substack.com/p/ukhsa-vaccine-surveillance-week-46"

About infections, that could mean a lot of things, such as that we are seeing real vaccine fade, that the AZ vaccine used predominantly in the UK is causing this or the longer interval used between first and second vaccination - or that the vaccinated engage in riskier behavior. It could even be worse than the first graph shows if unvaccinated are not tested as often as unvaccinated. I am not sure who gets tested and if symptoms are required to count as infected.

In Germany, where most received a mRNA vaccine and where the interval was lowered from 12 to 4 weeks in July, we still have between 1:5 and 1:20 rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, depending on state. It is certainly skewed both ways. Vaccinated can and do dine in jam packed full restaurants which they can enter without an antigen test whereas unvaccinated can no longer enter restaurants even with a fresh PCR test in most states, so we probably have a higher chance of infection as well as a lower chance of detection in vaccinated. On the other hand, my kids (10th and 12th grade) get tested every day (pooled PCR test every day and additional antigen test on Monday morning as they don't want to take chances). 90+% are fully vaccinated, so this is picking up quite a few infections among the vaccinated that are completely without symptoms. Similarly, GPs are ordering PCR tests for headaches and sniffles now even if patient is vaccinated and just wants a certificate for a sick day. On the other hand, unvaccinated who do not go to school, work in person (rather than home office), want to use public transport or shop for more than groceries and other daily needs probably can go months without the need for even an antigen test, so all these sort of statistic should be taken with a grain of salt.

The second graph about death rates shows just that, vaccines still prevent death.

I don't know what the sinister secret is that Eugyppius says the third graph unveils. People will still die from other causes, and if 90% in the 70+ bracket are vaccinated, the absolute number of deaths in the vaccinated will be higher. One would have to compare to pre-Covid, and then one could still argue that Covid culled the frail so death rates for non-Covid causes should be lower now. Very hard to prove anything here.

Eric said...

More stupidity from Germany:
A new federal health law was passed last week and came into effect this Wednesday. It sets the framework and minimum standards that the states and counties use to set their local rules.

It requires that all medical personal and visitors (but not patients) to hospitals, care homes and doctor's offices must have an antigen test not older than 24 h. Antigen test kits (that were about € 2.50 for a set of 5 in summer) are running scarce now, and visitors require it to be certified by an official test center. Doctors may certify for themselves and their staff, but they have a hard time finding test kits and they are almost all triple vaxed because they were past the 6 month interval. The states have vowed not to enforce this rule for medical personel until the law has been amended. Pediatriacians argue that parents accompanying their kids are not visitors but the law is not clear about this. Pure stupidity, as this will keep parents from seeing a doctor with their kids!

Workplaces and public transport are now 3G, so you have to be recovered, vaccinated or have a certified antigen test not older than 24 h. This will not prevent unvaccinated from catching Covid from an untested vaccinated person, which is what you'd want to do when hospitals are at capacity and beyond.

In our state, as of this week, venues like cinema, theater, fairs, discotheques are 2G+, so you need to be recovered or vaccinated and you need a certified antigen test. There is growing anecdotal evidence that antigen tests have a false negative rate in the 10s of % for vaccinated (as opposed to low single digits for unvaccinated). But what this deluded approach misses is that you really want vaccinated to be exposed to live virus because it enhances immunity and will likely not result in additional load to the hospitals. There are no unvaccinated around, so what better opportunity to get on with real immunity?

I'd argue for strict testing (maybe double vaccinated + PCR) for clubbing, as your chance of inhaling a large dose and hence getting seriously ill there are increased, but certainly not in a movie theater.

Eric said...

The only reason I am posting this (from today's Spiegel) is that so far most experts have assumed that mortality rates post Covid will be somewhat lower than usual because the vulnerable have died. This gentleman seems to imply we will see a higher mortality for years to come because of persistingly poor health in survivors:

Turkey expects drastically higher mortality rate due to covid late effects
11.32 a.m.: Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca expects the mortality rate from late complications of Corona disease to increase significantly in the coming years. In the next three years, he expects an increase of three to four times in Turkey, Koca said. That is why it is especially important to get vaccinated, he said.

The Turkish statistical office has not yet published any figures on last year's death rate - and has received criticism for this, especially from the political opposition. Politicians of the pro-Kurdish HDP, for example, suspect that this is an attempt to cover up the actual extent of the Corona pandemic in Turkey.



According to official figures, about 73,000 people have died in Turkey so far in connection with Covid-19. By comparison, more than 100,000 deaths have been recorded in Germany so far. Both countries have similar populations.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

karl said...

This is no longer a partisan issue - only the authoritarian left - not liberals..

What I've been talking about -
https://freeworldnews.tv/watch?id=619daea08153a665791f3fb6

- I think over half a million people died due to denying early treatment - blocking repurposed drugs - this is genocidal.

https://odysee.com/@PANDA:3b/trustednewsinitiative:d?r=AmQ8Y7oC6S5SHw1f3TcoruFEPz2eNyhu

- As far as taking something to block the hazards of the vaccine - it is pure speculation - they would need to do real safety studies - and that is NOT going to happen with Fauci holding the purse strings. My best estimate is now that the vaccine no longer works to prevent spread - there is no need to take it - I would do early treatment instead or if I was at high risk I would do the prevention protocols at FLCCC.

Why? I think the 41x multiplier is the best number we have to see the risk - https://openvaers.com/covid-data

No way it makes sense anymore..

Cooked data:
https://brandnewtube.com/watch/peter-doshi-u-s-senator-ron-johnson-holds-panel-in-dc-on-covid-19-vaccine-mandates-and-injuries_LWTWpHPVdy2Ye6U.html​

Increase in excess deaths due to heart attacks :
https://odysee.com/@HacKerSonS:2/Heart-Attack-Data-Withheld:b


This insanity - fueled by the "worth the risk"Fauci team - has killed millions now - worse than Vietnam.

Captain Sunset said...

@ Karl, I concur. It's all something of a total crock of shite. But what to do? Filthy lucre does seem to run this shitty (side) show today. The corridor creepers do seem destined to be winning out, and if nothing else by force of (...cheap political) habit alone. Essentially, they, and their ilk, have no shame. None. It's a thing. I do get a bit angry, but more so, I get very frustrated as folk seem to want to walk, shoulder-to-shoulder, toward oblivion, and clap along loudly as they do so. I saw a post recently... 'Vaxx Macht Frei'. Kinda grim after all these years, but a bit on the button nevertheless. As a 50's & 60's BFPO forces brat I visited many of the hellholes of the Third Reich on 'educational' trips, and it did leave a lasting impression on me, but it's now all coming back to a place very close to us all. Edward Bernays should be churning in his grave.

cavenewt said...

I'm still an idealist because I search for a way to encourage people to use some critical thinking skills. This seems to mean avoiding anything contentious like side effects, ideology, or suspect motivations.

In the US, I would point out that the CDC acknowledges vaccinated people are getting infected; vaccinated people are just as infectious as unvaccinated; and there is evidence that vaccination can prevent disease severity. To a person who has bought into mainstream groupthink, referencing the CDC confers a degree of perceived credibility. Then pose this question (and this is where hopefully the critical thinking can engage): exactly what harm are the unvaccinated doing to anyone except themselves? And the further question: how can this justify vaccine mandates?

Of course, often than boosters are brought up. After that things get messier.

cavenewt said...

"high protein linoleum." Perfect description. Here in the US, almost all commonly available foods are some form of linoleum!

Here, unless you have access to a friend with a farm, about the best you can get in terms of butter is Kerrygold. I really envy you Europeans/Australians/NZers (is "kiwi" acceptable?) your happy cows.

I'm lucky enough to live in a rural area and have regular access to raw goat milk. From which it is difficult if not impossible to make butter, AFAIK.

Gyan said...

Eric,
If Germany is 90% vaccinated and vaccination does reduce disease severity and mortality, then why is Germany going to all this trouble -- daily testing, mandates and what not.

Passthecream said...

Cavenewt, if you have an old (or new?) Separator you can set them to run a bit faster and separate out the goat cream. They do scream a bit (the motors not the goats). It doesn't separate out at cow milk settings. I used to help out at a local goat dairy where he cracked the technique and sold goat cream which could be turned into other cream derivatives. They used to make a really tasty goat version of camembert, and ice cream. I think the difficulty stems from the fact that the micelles are smaller in goat's milk so the centrifuge effect needs to be increased. A larger diameter separator would work also I guess but the force increases as angular velocity squared as opposed to simply by diameter.

Gyan said...

Are there restrictions on unvaccinated in UK?
If not, then disparity in covid rates must have different causes than in Germany.

Passthecream said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Gyan, Germany in not 90% vaccinated, that number was was for my kids' classes. According to our world in data, 68.1% of the total population are double vaccinated, compared to 68.8% for the UK. In surveys, the numbers keep turning out about 5% higher. It seems that due to data privacy issues and a number of different paths to get vaccinated (vaccination centers, mobile vaccination teams, hospitals, private practices, company doctors), the RKI has not been able to count all vaccinations, whereas the UK excels at having one national register that probably can keep track. So vaccination rates in Germany might even be higher than in the UK. Our state is actually a few percent below the national average.

The infection rates are remarkably similar: 63 per 100,000 and day in Germany, 65 in the UK according to NYT corona map, Spiegel is much the same.

Average deaths per day according to Spiegel are 260 in Germany and 130 for UK. Mulitply with 84/68 to adjust for population and you get 161. This might reflect a better job at getting the elderly vaccinated or more natural immunity as the UK has been running high incidence rates throughout the summer when numbers were extremely low in Germany.

It is more interesting to compare Germany to Denmark (76.6% according to our world in data though I seem to remember a far higher percentage) or Portugal (86.6%). These countries were doing very well until recently but now:
Denmark 69 infections per 100,000 and day according to NYT (higher than UK and Germany) and
Portugal 26, so still lower but increasing faster than either country.

Deaths in Portugal are 13 * 84/10.3 = 103 after adjustment for Germany's size. This presumably reflects the higher vaccination rate and the fact that the increase was very recent and deaths tend to occur after four weeks. Still, surprisingly high if both methods of counting deaths are equivalent (which might not be the case). Denmark is at 8 * 84/5.8 =
116. The huge push in incidence in Denmark was 3-4 weeks ago, in terms of two week growth, their rate is very similar to Germany's. One would have to look at vaccination rates in the higher age brackets to tell whether higher vaccination translates straight into fewer deaths. It might between Denmark in Germany but doesn't look to be the case for Portugal.

Peter said...

Pass, cmd D. Goats came home from the billie last w/e. Hoping to be making cream and cheese next spring!

Eric and Gyan, to me the difference between the UK and Germany is wholly explained by the spring of 2020. Germany got lucky, weather-wise. The UK had virus friendly weather in February which was combined with the active infection of long stay residential care homes with virus positive people being discharged, untested, from hospitals in to said care homes. There was this guy called Matt Hancock, remember him? We know it happened because he said it didn't, and his lips moved. There are only so many people in any population able to be killed by the 'rona. Matt killed most of ours. Now we have a pseudo epidemic of testing on top of an endemic respiratory virus. There will be some rise of deaths through the winter because it's winter but people can only die once, so we'll never find enough to get up in to 1000s per day.

Currently world leaders say things which are grammatically correct but don't make any sense. "Mandatory vaccines are our only way out of this pandemic..." would make sense if the vaccine stopped infection and/or stopped transmission. The fact it even blunts disease requires faith in Pfizer which I lack. My bad.

Peter

Gyan said...

By UKHSA report, prevalence of S antibody is 98% in UK and prevalence of N antibody is 20%
Which gives 78 percent of adults in uk as vaccinated (at least once). I don't see why we must only count only double vaccinated as vaccinated

Gyan said...

Given that many having N antibodies are also vaccinated, the fraction of UK adults that are vaccinated would be higher than 78 percent.

Justin said...

I just finished breeding my Nigerian does. Use the buck that came from the best dairy line out of the three I keep. Nigerian are supposed to have higher bf content, so I'm excited to start stealing some next spring. Just need to find someone with separater.

Now I'm getting all of the ewes bred. I have a bottle raised ewe that the local university gave me and I'm finally getting around to breeding her. Hoping she has a single so I can steal some from her as she should be the easiest milk. Anyone here ever had sheep's milk? Should be interesting to compare the two.

Jay said...

Hi Justin, Not had sheep's milk but have had sheep's yogurt. A small farm in Ireland was selling it via my local (upmarket) supermarket under the name of "Velvet Cloud". I tried it then it disappeared. It has that distinctive 'lamb fat' taste, which luckily I don't dislike, but I guess many people do (including the entire rest of my family). Am exploring goat and sheep dairy because bovine triggers inflammatory arthritis now.

cavenewt said...

Passthecream, thank you so much for the cream separator tip. That's what I get for believing the local goat owners!

Eric said...

Jay, do you also get the idea that someone is stalking you to see what you fancy and then have it delisted? :)

Jay said...

Eric, yes, sometimes!
My late mother-in-law was a great letter writer to supermarkets on that very topic.
Even more strikingly, recently in Ireland an entire yogurt factory burned down thus removing my access to the only readily available goat yogurt! (You can look it up, about a month ago, Glenisk - producer of organic milk and yogurt suffered a real disaster when their yogurt factory was destroyed by fire - it produced regular (cows milk) yogurt too and makes things very difficult for organic producers until they get it rebuilt.)

Justin said...

Jay, I remember seeing the sheep milk derived yogurt back in the day when I used to shop at the high end grocery stores. Kick myself for not buying it. I may try and see what I can dig up. My wife has been hounding me to start making kefir again and would love to try and make some with sheep's milk if I'm successful at milking this girl. We are in the process of clearing more property so we can run cows too. I always wanted to keep miniature jerseys. Would be the perfect size for a family. I

Justin said...

Pass, I just found an elecrem separator for goats milk near me for $425 obo on Marketplace. Never been used and still in box. I might just have to splurge. Lol

Justin said...

Couple of articles related to the omicron variant. My wife has an office in SA and they recruit a large number of employees/engineers from there. Should be interesting to see how her company is impacted due to this debacle.

https://m.timesofindia.com/world/rest-of-world/south-african-medical-association-says-omicron-variant-causes-mild-disease/articleshow/87949404.cms

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/26/south-africa-b11529-covid-variant-vaccination

Justin said...

This is my lamb ram crop from this year. Have my appointment for the 17th of December. He's going to hang them for a week and a half. I think I need to get another freezer. Lol

https://youtu.be/xhZ7QRMfy50

Eric said...

Regarding the Times of India article, if true, this is exactly what we've been waiting for: a rather harmless variant that crowds the earlier variants out. Isn't this what viruses do when they become endemic?

Sisifo said...

Seems easy enough, doesn't it?

When my nutritionist FB was still active (I'm permanently banned for the sin of linking Australian of the Year Dr. James Muecke opinions about carbs and diabetes) one of the most frequent questions was where to buy burgers made with only mince and no fillers.

My answer was "make them, just grab a handful of mince and press it down on the pan", but invariably the reply was "too difficult" or "I don't have the time".

Sad times.

Peter said...

Eric, wow, milder than delta. Cooool. Let's shut down the world. Again. Oh and face nappies, yes, that's good. Lockdown before or after Christmas? Hmmmm. Then vacc passes for a vaccine which doesn't stop infection, transmission or probably even severe disease. Might stop a sniffle for 8 weeks in healthy individuals. No effect on all cause mortality. Yes please! Thanks Boris.

Has Wayne the COVID marshal already taken over from Bojo but his abilities are too awesome/terrifying for this to be made public yet?

Sisifo, hmmmm. I like my burgers well squished so I do actually spend 30-60 seconds flattening/balling/flattening before putting in the pan. I also waste a few seconds washing my hands before turning on the cooker. Definitely too much trouble for many........ 500g 20% fat beef mince = two burgers.

Peter

Peter said...

Here we go Gyan:

"Leading cardiologist says cluster of collapses in footballers likely to be 'coincidence' | Daily Mail Online"

Daily Mail, has to be true!!!!!!!!!

Peter

Eric said...

I couldn't help but notice that the reported Omicron symptoms are myalgia and fatigue - much like the vaccine. So if it proves to be mild in elderly or frail folks, that's nature showing us how do do a vaccine right.

cavenewt said...

Eric—

Uh. Um. Huh?

Sisifo said...

I'm highly skeptical of official figures. After all, they come from the same institutions that say men can menstruate, omicron will kill us all and saturated fats are bad.

And cow farts will melt the poles, let's not forget the cow farts.

Sisifo said...

Even the supermarket's home brands in Australia are still excellent, I knew a few managers of one of the biggest cheese factories in the country and I wouldn't touch their "cheese" with a barge pole, but butter is great.

The only concern is that I'm not sure if they remove the lactoferrin from the milk before making butter, they certainly do before making cheese, and just in one factory, the income from lactoferrin is over $1 million per week.

Sisifo said...

Sheep milk is excellent for cheese making, not only the resulting cheese is very tasty, but the yield is fantastic, much higher that cow's or goat's.

And then you haven't had ricotta until you try sheep's milk ricotta...

Eric said...

Cave: if (and that's a big if) we now have a virus that is even more contagious but essentially harmless, that is like a natural super-vaccine. It will crowds out previous variants like Delta by spreading faster and conveying some immunity to these, too. Kind of like a vaccine, only curtesy of nature.

On a side note, just saw that the official incidence rate for our county is 666.6 now. That will set some people off.

Passthecream said...

I have heard that this O variety has no new mutations, just all of the previous mutations rolled into one package. I'm sure that isn't 100% accurate however recently I have been wondering, for zoonotic viruses which jump from one species to another, are they inherently more unstable?

I'd like to know if this O variant also has the Japanese error correcting enzyme flaw? Or can we agitate for some loss-of-function research to make sure that this is engineered to happen ... ...

Eric said...

Do you have a link on Japanese enzyme flaw?

Not sure what you mean by loss of function research. Something like releasing gene-manipulated/sterile mosquitoes to reduce population of harmful mosquitoes? In theory, in might be a good idea to release a gene manipulated Corona virus but this is really a can of worms.

Passthecream said...

Loss of function research is my sarcastically framed reversal of "gain of function", now so popular with conspiracy theorists everywhere. However an attenuated poliovirus based vaccine could genuinely be viewed as the product of loss of function research. Ditto the mosquitoes you mention.

Here's hoping the virus does it's own function lossing --- that's how it will all eventually die away.

The repair enzyme mutation was mentioned on a recent youtube talk by Dr. John Campbell. I think I linked it earlier but if not, it is easy to find.

Justin said...

I would love to hear some opinions on deploying antipyretics, especially in the early stages of infection. I've never been a fan.

cavenewt said...

Justin: since the whole point of a fever is to try to cook the bad bugs, I've always felt that pharmaceuticalizing a fever is counterproductive, as long as the fever doesn't reach dangerous levels. I did observe one instance of a friend's child approaching this dangerous level and they put him in a tub of cool water. He didn't like it but it brought the fever down. Of course that was in the barbaric 80s.

Ariadne R said...

Just wanted to post a link to this video, since it seems it is being almost completely ignored. (Only ~1600 views, according to the counter on the page.) The NIH allowed Matthew Memoli, a top scientist who has major concerns about vaccine mandates, to give a presentation in a roundtable session. (His is the first, followed by another NIH person giving the same old "safe and effective" propaganda presentation, and then a law professor discussing the legal questions.)

Unfortunately, Memoli's talk was only about 12-13 minutes and there was no debate nor time to dig deeper. The issues he raises will be quite familiar to readers of this blog--but I think what is useful about this is that it's an example of a very senior person in the NIH disagreeing with the mainstream position. He's too high up for the media, etc., to dismiss him as a conspiracy theorist antivaxxer or whatever.

Probably the mainstream folks want this to just disappear; probably they're hoping it won't get much attention and everyone will move on. And so far that looks to be the case :-(

https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=44165

cavenewt said...

Ariadne R, thank you for that link! The most important point about all this is that it's an official National Institute of Health government agency event, and one of their highly credentialed scientists is actually speaking *against* mandates. A little glimmer of silver lining in the censorship context.

There are three speakers. They each get about 15 minutes. The first guy is actually arguing *against* mandates using almost exactly the same arguments I have distilled for myself. The second speaker is deploying statistics in a completely disingenuous and misleading manner (note that she only uses relative risk rather than absolute risk, which greatly exaggerates risk to layman's eyes). The third speaker makes some gawdawful arguments at the beginning – 'we already have imperfect vaccines mandated therefore it's OK to do it with this one' — and then gets into legal and ethical stuff that I didn't feel like mentally engaging with. There is no discussion after that to speak of.

cavenewt said...

Today's Bad Cat post about Germany versus Sweden https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/germany-vs-sweden precipitated some thing I've been thinking about that's relevant to Hyperlipidity.

IIRC, Sweden was famously, among low carb/high fat circles, the first country to stop officially demonizing saturated fat. To us lipophiles, it means that Swedes are less metabolically damaged. The metabolically damaged (overweight, obese, diabetic, heart disease – it's all on the same spectrum) are those who suffer more severe cases of Covid.

There is that big spike of excess Swedish deaths at the beginning of the pandemic. However, the previous year Sweden had a lower than average overall all-cause mortality, so 2020 was doing some catch-up; and I think in any country, the virus picked up the elderly and the sick who would have died soon in any case. So maybe that initial spike is not as significant as it might seem at first.

Anyway, in the arguments about whether non-pharmaceutical interventions are effective or not, I wonder how much a nation's overall metabolic health might be muddying the waters, pretty much overlooked by almost everyone.

Eric said...

Not sure that you can chalk it up to eating habits. Haven't been to Sweden in 15 years, but what I remember is that almost everything is sweetened, even meat dishes, and that they do like gooey sweet cakes made of emulgated vegetable oils and lots of marcipan. Might also be interesting to look at Italy, which used to have very healthy eating habits but now has high obesity rates which is quite visible on beaches etc. Almost everything contains sunflower oil instead of olive oil or palm oil these days. Sunflower oil pesto? Come on!

I was going to say this paragraph from bad cat was the key: "where we DO see variance is that sweden had a lot more covid in early 2020. thus, one might expect cohort depletion and greater acquired immunity from exposure and recovery." until I realized that last winter's peak was the same between Sweden and Germany and that Austria had a huge peak in the fall of 2020 that easily caught up with Sweden's spring 2020 peak and look where Austria is now.

Then look at Belgium and the Netherlands. The Netherlands are big on fried foods (fried in vegetable oil, of course) and artificial sweeteners. Even sodas have had half of their sugar replaced by sweeteners as mandated by law there. Anyway, they have been running high infection rates through most of 2021 (2-20x the rates of Germany), likely owed to early relaxation of mask and gathering rules, and their fall peak has been 2x worse so far in terms of infections, while vaccinations are virtually the same as in Germany, yet their fatalities remain surprisingly low.

Take Portugal, with pretty healthy eating (meat, fish, olive oil), much less vegetable oil laden products in supermarkets than anywhere else in Europe that I am aware of. They had terrible waves throughout but have then mounted the most effective vaccination campeign anywhere in Europe. Infections were very low until lately but have been creeping up in recent weeks and are now at 50% of Germany's rates. Their death rate is also at about 50% of Germany, which really should not be the case given that deaths usually occur about 4 weeks after infection an their rates have only recently gone up and that vaccinations should prevent deaths and their vaccination rate is about 20 percentage points higher.

So when you do pairwise comparisons of two countries, there will be correlations that make sense (historical infections, NPIs, vaccination rates, eating habits) but you can always find a third country that trashes this. The numbers have a frustrating way of wiggling out of any hypothesis you can come up with.

LeenaS said...

Nice idea that I've been wishing to share, while looking at our dear western neighbour. However, the scandinavian countries should probably be compared to one another, instead of the more densely populated European countries. This is even more interesting, since all the four countries in question (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and us Finns) have had somewhat different strategies, all of which all are now melted into one very similar strategy in all: vaccinations with only limited, local restrictions.

With all my high respect to the founder of LCHF I cannot see any success in Swedish way to doing it... exept for now. After the vaccinations all the four are finally following same low mortality trend, in spite of very, very different mortality rates during the first 14 covid months.

Also, we have our eastern and Balticum meighbors to look at, and situations there are very, very worrying...

Cheers,
LeenaS

Captain Sunset said...

I’m 70, unjabbed, and due to my youngest unjabbed daughter (still breast-feeding an 8-month-old), getting Covid, and confirmed positive on 27th Nov, I went along and got PCR tested on 28th. It came up negative 18-hours later. However, I developed an itchy throat 24 hours later, and then an annoying dry cough. The cough and throat issue died down 24/36 hours later, but I then got terrible back pain (myalgia). And, so much so, that I went back for another PCR on 3rd Dec. It came back positive just over 18 hours later. My daughter's Covid seems to be classic Delta, whereas my Covid appears very much more in line with the Omicron variant (...I’m in London, UK), but I was never informed which it is - despite asking to be informed. I take 10,000 iu Vit D3 in winter (5,000 iu in summer, on occasion), and daily winter liposomal Vit C. I also do a twice per day Neti pot type protocol with some salt, sodium carbonate, H2O2, and some DMSO (which I have done so for about 2 years, and mostly for rhinitis/sinusitis). I just snort it up my nose. Doing this has had a hugely beneficial effect on my health, as historically I more often was a mouth breather. Sleeping is bliss. I cannot recommend it enough. Anyway, despite feeling a little bit washed out, and having the $%^&*”! nagging backache, it is now 5th Dec. and I’m back to 100% me. I play golf at least 3 times per week and so get plenty of exercise and of course Vit D3 in the summer. I had thought that Vit D3 had fully protected me from Covid for the last 18 months, but seemingly no. However, I do believe that it has greatly helped alleviate my Covid symptoms. I have had far worse colds than this spell of Covid. I’ve had flu at least twice in my life. I have been LCHF for the last 2 ½ years. My BP, LDL/HDL, Trigs etc., etc. are all thankfully brilliant.

cavenewt said...

Just wanted to point out that I was wondering if national dietary habits could simply be a confounder, not a cause.

Also, I don't consider case rates at all because of the testing. Hospitalization and death are more relevant.

A common report among low-carbers is less susceptibility to respiratory infections in general. I'd be curious about how the Scandinavian countries compared to others in terms of respiratory infection frequency pre-Covid.

Ariadne R said...

Cave:
I keep hoping that if enough highly credentialed people speak up to offer divergent opinions, maybe it will embolden some others who have kept their mouths shut due to fear of reprisal. Maybe it will nudge things in a saner direction. ... And in the mean time, Memoli is another expert whom I can reference and be like, "Yo, I'm not spouting conspiracy theories over here--look, there's an NIH researcher raising these very concerns!"

Captain Sunset:
Thank you for sharing your covid experience! I hope things continue to look good for you and that your remaining symptoms clear up soon. I really do appreciate your sharing, since I am very interested in gathering anecdotes from low-carbers on how covid affected them. (I'm pretty sure I still haven't been infected, so I'm in suspense as to how it will turn out for me. I suspect I've been around people who had the ro, though not in close/prolonged contact, and it seems as though exposures often do not lead to infection--even of the asymptomatic variety.)