Random Thoughts on Covid-19

I have suspected from the very beginning of the pandemic that SARS-COV-2 is a biological weapon. Can’t prove it, don’t know it, and won’t say it, but the suspicion stays with me.

The strangest thing about the response to the pandemic has been our retreat from established epidemiology. For example, we used to quarantine the sick and let everyone else go about their business. This was known to be effective for the development of non-pharmaceutical herd immunity. Now we try to quarantine everybody and don’t want to let anyone escape until they have been “jabbed.”

We want children to wear masks and be vaccinated (both!) despite knowing their risk of being harmed by the virus is all but non-existent. This is a missed opportunity to raise a whole generation of naturally Covid-resistant adults.

Public health officials, politicians and media figures who compared Covid-19 to the common cold or influenza were widely and abusively criticized, but they were correct. Shame on the critics.

That Covid-19 affects different demographic cohorts differently is one of its most ignored characteristics.

Lots of people seem to understand that the Covid vaccines are a little less than 100% safe and effective, but they underestimate the significance. This is the same problem as overestimating the dangers of the disease.

People say the Covid vaccines are imperfect but effective and should be taken. Prophylactics like Ivermectin and Hydoxychloroquine are also imperfect but effective. Should they not be taken?

Economists often talk about “externalities,” meaning costs created by Agent A but borne by Agent B. It will never make sense to me to think of sick or vulnerable people as Agents A.

The Delta variant signals the possibility that Covid-19 may become endemic but harmless.

Reported high infection rates among the vaccinated, if verified, signal the possibility of Antibody-dependent Enhancement (ADE). It has long been theorized that ADE might occur with the Covid vaccines since it had been observed in other coronavirus vaccines that were not approved for public use for this very reason. This potential issue is a good example of the time lag between hypothesis and discovery.

Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the public to use a drug before it is fully vetted. A rigorous vetting process is supposed to continue throughout the EUA period, but I have seen little media reporting on how well the EUA vetting protocols are being performed with the Covid vaccines. Do journalists even know that the EUA vetting protocols exist?

One can say all kinds of ugly things about the vaccine hesitant, but it makes perfect sense to be hesitant about injections.

That Covid-19 is a vascular disease that begins as a respiratory infection should be more widely appreciated. My medical opinion is that vascular diseases are nasty boogers.

22 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on Covid-19

  1. “My medical opinion is that vascular diseases are nasty boogers.”

    Where did YOU go to medical school, Joe’s Garage and Internal Medicine Clinic in Bumpkin, Arkansas?

    “I have suspected from the very beginning of the pandemic that SARS-COV-2 is a biological weapon. Can’t prove it, don’t know it, and won’t say it,”…

    But it appears you just said that it is, Dr. Semantics.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So this “biological weapon” was first tested on the people working on it and their friends, families and neighbors in the city of Wuhan?

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

    Your constant attempts to justify the refusal to join the fight against the virus by the simple, free, painless and nearly risk-free act of getting vaccinated is very revealing. It is as if you are trying to convince yourself.

    I would be interested to know which highly infectious disease was brought to the state of “herd immunity” by quarantining the sick while everyone else went about their business?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “So this ‘biological weapon’ was first tested on the people working on it and their friends, families and neighbors in the city of Wuhan?”

      I didn’t say that.

      RE: “I would be interested to know which highly infectious disease was brought to the state of “herd immunity” by quarantining the sick while everyone else went about their business?”

      I had influenza in mind.

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      1. No you did not say it was deliberately tested on Wuhan, That is true. But you stated that you believe its existence was deliberate and to be used as a weapon. A weapon that is just as likely to kill you as to kill your enemy is a shitty weapon. In the absence of ANY evidence that it was man-made and was to be a weapon, your “suspicion” is more like a slur than a rational thought.

        The Spanish Flu epidemic did not reach herd immunity through quarantine. It came at the cost of infection and death – an estimated 50 million dead world-wide. Not exactly a model of what we should be doing now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “In the absence of ANY evidence that it was man-made and was to be a weapon, your ‘suspicion’ is more like a slur than a rational thought.”

          I believe I made it clear that my suspicion is irrational. In fact, that’s the point.

          RE: “Not exactly a model of what we should be doing now.”

          That’s debatable. Dr. Tabor may be correct that mRNA vaccines are the wave of the future and will transform the “standard model” of infectious disease control. Then again, the current pandemic is the first major test of the technology. We’re a long way off from the lessons learned phase of this experience.

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          1. So, a new euphemism for pushing an “alternative fact.” Merely indulging in stating irrational beliefs.

            “That’s debatable.”
            In the sense that ANYTHING is debatable. They did not have vaccines for influenza in 1918-1920 so had no choice but to let the pandemic burn itself out killing people in the tens of millions. We DO have an alternative – one that is proving to be safe and effective – vaccines. The idea that letting the pandemic run amok killing countless people when there is such an alternative is – what is the word – “irrational.”

            Liked by 1 person

          2. If you do not want your thoughts – rational and otherwise – subject to scrutiny and challenge then keep them to yourself. Do not publish them on a forum the purpose of which is to discuss ideas.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. “I prefer them to be competent.”

            I will match my “competence” with you any day of the week.

            This is a typical response from you. You post utter nonsense such as the idea that the preference for mass vaccination over mass death is “debatable.” Then when your “thought” is challenged you start your name-calling.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “You post utter nonsense such as the idea that the preference for mass vaccination over mass death is “debatable.'”

            That’s your incompetence showing. I neither said nor implied any such thing.

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  3. A lot there to comment on.

    If it was a biological weapon, it went off prematurely. More likely research into potential bioweapons that got away accidentally in the lab.

    Epidemiology must be tailored to the pathogen. Factors like mortality and latency periods must be considered. For example. if Ebola had a 2 week latency period, we’d be screwed.

    COVID is extremely lethal to elders, but not so much to younger people. But that doesn’t mean they get off Scot free. As you point out, COVID is a vascular disease that starts out as respiratory. It is very possible that those who survive COVID might have their lifespans shortened by 15 years or so due to the vascular damage.

    That is why the vaccine is important for those young, healthy people who rarely die of the respiratory part. They may all die before they get Social Security. The vaccine ends the disease before the full effect of the vascular phase hits.

    We may see 40 years from now(well, not ‘we’ strictly) that those young people who got vaccinated will live into their 80s while those who chose to ride out the disease die in their 60s.

    I don’t know if that will apply to children as well or not. we just don’t know enough about their vascular system’s ability to recover.

    As I have written many times, Trump’s biggest mistake was to not call for a drone strike on FDA headquarters a year ago. The vaccines were ready last October and should have been available to volunteers then. Those volunteers would have finished proving safety and efficacy in time to have prevented the winter surge that killed hundreds of thousands.

    mRNA vaccines are the future of health care. They are the magic bullets that can be tailored to their targets in days. I foresee vaccines tailored to take out not just cancer, but your specific mutation of cancer, within weeks of diagnosis and before the cancer has time to mutate ahead of it. They will be the Penicillin of the next generation, unless the FDA slows it down so much that they make it useless. It is not too late for that drone strike.

    Vaccines do not prevent infections. The prevent clinical illness and MAY prevent spread during the preclinical phase. The same is true of natural immunity. Get Vaccinated.

    There will be no herd immunity with COVID as it will circulate at a low level from now on. Retailored ‘boosters’ to keep up with mutation may be needed going forward for decades.

    People may disagree, but that is my opinion, guided by my education and 40 years in health care, reading the literature well beyond that needed for my day-to-day practice. HIV and Hep-C made us all take an interest in virology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are most fortunate that you share your knowledge and expertise.

      I have never really considered the implications of the idea that “Vaccines do not prevent infections.” That’s my eye-opener of the day.

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      1. It’s an important concept to understand.

        Obviously, antibodies and cell based immunity cannot take effect until the virus is in your body.

        When a virus enters your body, it must come into contact with receptors on cells that allow the contents of the virus(RNA or DNA) to enter the cell, where it takes over the protein synthesis in the ribosomes to make copies of itself until the cell’s resources are depleted and the cell ruptures, releasing the new virus particles into the body to repeat the process.

        Antibodies latch on to those viral particles and prevent them from continuing the process. Cellular immunity detects infected cells and destroys them before they can complete the process of making new viral particles.

        Both of those processes take time to ramp up. There is a weak immune response that attacks anything that isn’t ‘me’ but the virus will overwhelm that protection.

        If you aren’t vaccinated, it takes about 10 to 14 days for virus specific antibodies and killer immune cells to become numerous enough to overwhelm the virus which is long enough for the damage to be done to the respiratory system.

        If you are vaccinated, or have already been exposed and recovered, that response takes 2 to 5 days depending on how long it has been and how strong your immune system is. The virus never gets ahead enough to make you seriously ill, but for a couple of days, the virus is gaining ground before it is overwhelmed by the immune response.

        So, that’s what the vaccine does. It teaches your body to mass produce antibodies and killer immune cells when they are needed instead of having to start from scratch and deprives the virus of that 10 day head start.

        Antivral drugs (rescemdivir, HCQ, Ivermection and monoclonal antibodies) do not irradicate the virus, they just slow it down and reduce your viral load during that period when the virus is winning while the immune response is ramping up. Given very early they greatly reduce the severity of the inflammatory phase of the disease. but given too late they could even make it worse.

        So, get vaccinated, it arms your immune response to be ready when you get infected, and sooner or later you will be.

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        1. It sounds like the antiviral drugs have the same practical effect as the vaccines (preventing severe disease). Why do you think FDA discourages their use?

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          1. There is a bit of a difference.

            Vaccines prepare your immune system to act quickly. Antivirals buy time for a slower immune response.

            The FDA is culturally overcautious.

            They won’t endorse the use of a drug for a new purpose until they have data proving it works. Since they rely on hospital based studies, things that only work if given early will never get the data the FDA wants.

            Physicians are driven by experience. If they have no directly approved therapeutics but they have had success with a drug for similar diseases that isn’t dangerous to use, they will give it a try. If it works, they keep doing it and tell their peers.

            The FDA calls such experience ‘anecdotal’ and discounts it.

            The FDA approach is fine for evaluating the next ED pill, or a slightly better blood pressure pill, but the physician’s approach works better in the face of a novel virus and pandemic.

            Prior to Obamacare, the FDA could not tell physicians not to use an accepted safe drug “off label” if they judged it to be worthwhile, out part of Obamacare gave the FDA the power to ban off label use as a cost cutting measure.

            Just another of those darling surprises we had to pass the bill to learn about.

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          1. This politicization of COVID treatment has killed more people than criminal use of firearms in the last decade. I wish you were half so concerned with bureaucratic meddling in patient care.

            The kind of double blind study demanded by the FDA is simply impossible for evaluating a treatment that must be started immediately on suspicion of infection. It would literally be too late buy the time the registration process was completed. Retrospective studies are the only possibility.

            The I-Mask+ protocol was not developed by Trump or a right wing think tank, it was developed right here at EVMS which has used it with great success. AS a result, Norfolk has a better case fatality rate than Chesapeake or VA Beach in spite of having a less healthy population,

            LET DOCTORS TREAT PATIENTS

            https://covid19criticalcare.com/covid-19-protocols/i-mask-plus-protocol/

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          2. Len, of particular interest to you.

            Should you suspect you may have been exposed, following the I-Mask+ protocol significantly reduces the chance you will transmit the virus to your immune compromised wife.

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  4. Did I mention that I despise the FDA?

    I just found out why full approval has not yet been given for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and why they are still on an Emergency Use Authorization after 190 million does have been administered.

    The FDA is waiting on data on shelf life.

    All these months while patients were waiting for the vaccine to arrive and get unpacked so it could be in arms in hours we’ve been on an EUA because they don’t have data on long term storage.

    It really isn’t too late for that drone strike.

    Like

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