Category Archives: Public Health/Coronavirus

60% of Covid-19 cases trace back to household family members and close social contacts.

40% come from household family members and 20% from close social contacts:

An epidemiologist says even though most are exposed by a household member, that household member contracted the virus outside the home

Source: Clark County’s most likely sources of COVID-19 exposure | kgw.com

This is inline with estimates from Utah early in the summer, which found 66% were from household members or close social contacts (today, Utah estimates about 50%).

An obvious conclusion is that we must mandate the wearing of face masks inside your home, 24 x 7, or else you are putting your own family members at risk and should be publicly shamed.

Continue reading 60% of Covid-19 cases trace back to household family members and close social contacts.

Contact tracing apps do not track surface or air contacts across time | Coldstreams Business and Tech

Re-running this post with a few minor updates. Contact tracing apps do not track surface or air contacts across time | Coldstreams Business and Tech

Bluetooth-based contact tracing apps are incapable of detecting close contacts across time.

Example: Some sits on a bus or at a coffee shop seat, coughs, and then leaves, 30-60 seconds later a new person takes that seat, has direct contact with the seat, plus inhales the aerosolized viral particles and droplets expelled by the person who coughed. BLE-based phone apps are 100% incapable of detecting this close contact.

Great Resource: WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard 

Positive test case counts, body counts, by country, and you can see historical trend curves too. Just click on a country on the map.

World Health Organization Coronavirus disease situation dashboard presents official daily counts of COVID-19 cases and deaths worldwide, while providing a hub to other resources. Interactive tools, including maps, epidemic curves and other charts and graphics, with downloadable data, allow users to track and explore the latest trends, numbers and statistics at global, regional and country levels.

Source: WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard | WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard

80% suffering mental health problems due to pandemic policies

Sadly, public health, as in my state, never made any plans other than to shut everything down: Nearly 8 in 10 report pandemic is causing mental health strain, poll shows – UPI.com

The pandemic policy was never informed by evidence, but by fear of worst-case scenarios.”

(2011). “Health is More than Influenza”. Bulletin of the World Health Organization  2011;89:539-540. doi: 10.2471/BLT.11.089086

2 weeks ago was World Mental Health Day, sponsored by WHO. They said what the world needs is “Hope”. But based on pronouncements every day from public health, there is no hope.

Continue reading 80% suffering mental health problems due to pandemic policies

An early warning system for Covid-19

Also tells us where the disease “wave” is dying off too – based on data, not models, not assumptions:

Kinsa predicts where COVID-19 cases are likely to accelerate, by combining temperature data from our network of smart thermometers with COVID-19 case data.

Source: Kinsa HealthWeather™

I watched their charts last spring – and it was indeed an insight into where Covid-19 was, is and is going to be. Then, it was apparent that NY’s outbreak was already subsiding – although it took about 4 weeks for others to notice the decline.

Experts knew this in 2006: Pandemic fatigue has set in

The NY Times writes that pandemic fatigue has set in and people want to get on with their lives – and are getting on with their lives.

Back in 2006, a group of epidemiologists wrote a paper explaining why all of these public health mitigation steps do not work in the real world. This cannot go on forever, and what cannot go on forever, will not go on forever.

Empirically, public health measures have generally failed as new “positive test” counts climb rapidly higher. Places with mask mandates starting in April did well for a few months – until cases exploded in late summer and fall.

Most of the public discourse centers on an assumption that these Orders actually work – they often didn’t and most are not sustainable. This was well known from long ago.

Continue reading Experts knew this in 2006: Pandemic fatigue has set in

It’s only a little lie: UK Health Secretary lied about vitamin D trials

Ministers are to reconsider vitamin D as a potential weapon against Covid-19 after Matt Hancock wrongly claimed that government scientists had run unsuccessful tests.

The health secretary told the Commons last week that he had ordered a trial that showed vitamin D did not “appear to have any impact”. Officials now admit that no trials took place.

Source: Hancock wrong to say government scientists ran coronavirus trial on vitamin D | News | The Times

The UK has now reversed its stance and is recommending that everyone take vitamin D supplements. More background on that here.

“The Coronavirus Experts Were Wrong, Now They Need Scapegoats “

We don’t know how well the China Model worked for the People’s Republic of China, but it failed in every free country that tried it. Lockdowns eventually gave way to reopenings and new waves of infection. This was always going to happen because not even the more socialist European countries have the police state or the compliant populations of a Communist dictatorship.

Desperate, the public health experts adopted China’s compulsive mask wearing, a cultural practice that predates the virus, as if wearing a few flimsy scraps of fiber would fix everything.

It hadn’t and it didn’t.

Source: The Coronavirus Experts Were Wrong, Now They Need Scapegoats | Frontpagemag

This is true:

The daily coronavirus reports have become the equivalent of Soviet harvest reports. They sound impressive, mean absolutely nothing, and are the pet obsession of a bureaucracy that not only has no understanding of the problem, but its grip on power has made it the problem.

In the U.S. we blame political leadership for high counts and frequently point to other countries as having done things right. How do you explain this?

Effect of school closures on mortality from coronavirus disease 2019

It’s only a model. In fact, its the useless ICL model but whatever – study concludes that shutting schools has led to more deaths.

Some assert that public health pandemic mitigations mostly converted a shorter pandemic into an economically devastating longer pandemic that may end up killing more people.

Results

The CovidSim model would have produced a good forecast of the subsequent data if initialised with a reproduction number of about 3.5 for covid-19. The model predicted that school closures and isolation of younger people would increase the total number of deaths, albeit postponed to a second and subsequent waves. The findings of this study suggest that prompt interventions were shown to be highly effective at reducing peak demand for intensive care unit (ICU) beds but also prolong the epidemic, in some cases resulting in more deaths long term. This happens because covid-19 related mortality is highly skewed towards older age groups. In the absence of an effective vaccination programme, none of the proposed mitigation strategies in the UK would reduce the predicted total number of deaths below 200 000.

Source: Effect of school closures on mortality from coronavirus disease 2019: old and new predictions | The BMJ

CDC study finds most people who contracted Covid-19 wore masks all the time

In the 14 days before illness onset, 71% of case-patients and 74% of control participants reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public

Another 14.5% of those who contracted Covid-19 reported they “often” wore a face mask. Together, up to 88.5% of those contracting Covid-19 always or frequently wore a face mask. See table on page 1261, bottom of table figures, link below. Only 3.9% said they never wear a face mask and another 3.9% said they rarely wore a face masks.

This means that

  • there is extremely high compliance with face mask mandates,
  • and as shown in numerous other examples, face masks are not working. Why?

A common explanation has been “well people are just not complying” but that assertion is false per the CDC and numerous surveys.

A related point: The news media excitedly reports about persons who opposed mask wearing but who then contracted Covid-19 as if this was a meaningful correlation. As we now see from CDC’s own data, there is a strong correlation between wearing a face mask and contracting Covid-19. However, the news media never reports that a person who believed strongly in face mask wearing contracts Covid-19. The danger of this, as seen in numerous online photos, wearing a face mask does not mean you should stand shoulder to shoulder or lie on top of one another (as has been done at protest “die ins”).

Finally, public health has failed to provide a unified theory to explain why face masks work and do not work at the same time. I have asked them to explain how face masks were the definitive solution in jurisdictions that had low case counts for month – until cases literally exploded. Why did face masks stop working? That is a reasonable question. I have asked OHA, OSU and CDC about this and none have replied.

Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities —United States, July 2020

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6936a5-H.pdf

UPDATE: Snopes weighed in with an odd fact check: “Did CDC Report ‘Majority’ of People Wore Masks?” which seems to have invented a straw man to declare “mostly false” when the gist of the claim is actually true, even by their own analysis. At most, this met their criteria for “Mixture” rather than saying it is “Mostly False”.

What’s True

Nearly three-quarters of people interviewed in a non-peer-reviewed study conducted by the CDC said that they had worn a mask or cloth face covering while in public in the weeks leading up to their COVID-19 diagnosis. The report concluded that although people were wearing masks, that does not mean they were wearing them properly, and that “masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use.”

What’s False

The CDC report did not suggest that masks and face coverings are ineffective at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Hilariously, they further note that the CDC thinks that people are not wearing masks properly and effectively – which gets to the crux of the problem with face mask studies. Virtually all assume use of a properly designed, constructed, and maintained (washed at least daily) face mask, made of proper materials.

At this point, however, it is not permitted to question face mask orthodoxy. When a news report begins “There is no question that face masks work….” they have shut off all discussion. It is the argumentative equivalent short hand of calling your opponent a Nazi. If you question any aspect, you are obviously a Nazi.

CNN tried to take down the CDC claim on face masks with a bizarre fake news article. Sorry, I didn’t save the link and don’t intend to go find it again.