Follow up: These 14 States Must “Be Careful” With COVID Now, Virus Expert Warns (as of May 1)

Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, PhD, is concerned about low vaccination rates and rising COVID cases in some states across the country.

Source: These 14 States Must “Be Careful” With COVID Now, Virus Expert Warns

Osterholm was wrong again.

“I just want us to be cautious here,” Osterholm continued. “I know others will say, it’s not going to surge, I’m blowing this out of proportion. But you look at the numbers yourself. And when we look at this, we see in so many instances the situation where we do have substantial gaps in vaccination. … Certainly some in the Northwest where we’re seeing vaccine hesitancies, others in the South where we’re seeing vaccine hesitancy. So I just raise this point right now that I think we have to be careful to assume we’re done.”

From the article, these were the states, as of May 1, which needed to be worried about rising cases because of low vaccination rates.

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Georgia
  4. Idaho
  5. Indiana
  6. Louisiana
  7. Mississippi
  8. Missouri
  9. Oklahoma
  10. South Carolina
  11. Tennessee
  12. Texas
  13. West Virginia
  14. Wyoming

Here is a Reuters graphic showing how all the states did. 2 of the 14 may have had small increases (hard to discern exact dates on the small graphs), and 12 of the 14 saw continued decreases.

Osterholm, who in January said over the next 6-14 weeks the U.S. would see a surge greater than anything the U.S. had seen so far, was wrong – again.

Epidemiologists lack self awareness that their projections have been wrong and useless much, if not most of the time during this pandemic.

Vaccinations are said to be why cases in the U.S. have fallen dramatically; however, the daily new cases in India also collapsed during the prior 3 weeks (after much media hysteria). Less than 4% of their population has been vaccinated – vaccines cannot explain that drop. The cases in India, on a per 100K population basis, are about 1/4th that of the U.S. Is that really sufficient to achieve natural immunity? If so, then that is why U.S. cases collapsed in January in advance of vaccines. The pandemic burned itself out just before many people had vaccines. Vaccines will help close out the pandemic but it looks – to this brain injured idiot – that the pandemic was burning out on its own.

Why masks had essentially no effect on Covid-19 spread

Why are masks so ineffective, even if we presume that they are effective? Because almost everybody that is wearing them does not have COVID-19. So in those people, there is no chance that they could provide any benefit, regardless of how effective they are.

Source: It Doesn’t Matter if Masks Work – Ricochet

Last summer I did a “number needed to treat” (NNT) calculation to prevent one new case and one death. Using the County numbers in effect at the time, and assuming masks were 100% effective and that no other mitigations (e.g. social distancing) were in use:

  • 1,000 people would need to wear a face mask to prevent one new case of Covid-19
  • Between 50,000 and 100,000 people would need to wear a face mask to prevent 1 additional death in my county.

Because face masks are treatment for the almost exclusively healthy who do not have Covid (and masks were to provide outbound protection, and virtually no inbound protection), they were an extremely ineffective way to fight a virus.

In the real world, masks were not 100% effective – some studies found them to be 0%, some perhaps 10-20%, and one CDC study found them to be perhaps 1-2% effective. When you throw those into the calculation, the overall effectiveness in the entire population – assuming 100% “Compliance”, is nearly zero percent.

If 1,000 people wore masks which, using the CDC’s reported number, were 2% effective, than 50,000 people had to wear a mask to prevent 4 cases. In my County, with just under 200,000 population and daily cases of 50 to 100 per day, at best, perfect mask usage might prevent 4 new cases.

If we compared this County with an identical County not wearing face masks, we would then see there 54 to 104 cases per day. If we draw these epicurves on the same chart, we see there is essentially no difference in cases between the two counties.

(Note – except for the 50-100 new cases values, which are real world data, all other values are based on assumptions and a simple model. Real world numbers will vary from this. This is a model, not reality.)

If properly fitted N95 masks, used properly and replaced often, were used, we would have seen inbound protection. However, the CDC ordered us not use N95s or certified surgical face masks and said we should use random bits of cloth, using random designs, assembled by person of unknown skill. Couple with extensive re-use without frequent changes and re-washing, these masks were likely useless.

This explains why it is that well after we had high compliance mask mandates in effect, daily new positive tests great by a factor of 10x or more. By the end of January, studies estimated 30% to 55% of persons in California (estimates varied by county) had anti-bodies to Covid-19. Which means the mitigations in effect – and California was considered among the strictest in the nation – had little or no effect.

American Airlines will not sell alcoholic drinks on board until mask mandate ends

Fort Worth-based American Airlines told crew members that it won’t reintroduce the sale of beer, wine and spirits to main cabin class passengers until at federal government officials drop the mask mandate aboard aircraft and airports. The mask mandate is currently set to expire Sept. 14. American was scheduled to bring back alcohol sales Tuesday.

Source: American Airlines joins Southwest in delaying alcoholic beverage sales due to bad passenger behavior

The Pandemic Made Kids’ Eyesight Worse, Doctors Say – WSJ

Public health failed to consider overall health effects of their Orders.

Eye doctors say they are seeing more children—many of whom were in virtual school—with new and worsening prescriptions for myopia, or near-sightedness. Rates of myopia in children were already increasing globally before the pandemic, but some research suggests the past year has exacerbated the problem. Doctors also report more cases of digital eye strain in kids.

A leading theory behind rising myopia rates posits that when children look at screens or books for prolonged periods, the eye adjusts to accommodate a close focus, which may change and elongate the shape of the eye, leading to myopia. Likewise, decreased outdoor time may increase and worsen myopia, as people tend to look farther away when they’re outside. Natural light and physical activity outside may also play a role. (Adults don’t tend to experience significant worsening of myopia because eye growth generally stabilizes after childhood.)

Source: The Pandemic Made Kids’ Eyesight Worse, Doctors Say – WSJ

Public health is – surprise – more than just Covid-19. But they did not care.