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What is the Exit Plan?

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said last year that we were about to have a "Pearl Harbor" moment. It didn't feel like World War II then, but now, I feel like I'm sipping Veuve Clicquot at Rick's Café Américain in Casablanca as the world burns. New Zealand just ended a stay-at-home order , while  officials in Australia told citizens not to even have a conversation with neighbors they come in contact with . (No, these aren't links to the Babylon Bee .) Six hundred thousand people were "pinged" in the UK and asked to stay home. Meantime, I spent part of my day at the office deciding whether to have the bison fajitas or the new beef parfait (shredded beef on mashed potatoes) at the upcoming state fair and then wondered where to stay on vacation in West Virginia. It felt decadent. Going to a fair and planning a vacation should feel normal .  State Fair. Source: Pixabay . West Virginia  is done with restrictions;  Indiana , pretty much so. But what is the ex
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Metal Health Muddle

Given all the warnings, terms and conditions of "Freedom Day" in England on the 19th, maybe I should have chosen this song for inspiration. Enjoy!

Freedom Day, Crap-Nesium, Fantastic Potassium

Magnesium Supplements Corrupted? I've finally gotten to the bottom of the diarrhea, fatigue, and pounding heart that's plagued me off and on since February: magnesium. I've taken magnesium supplements for years and was making Dr. Davis's magnesium water recipe until all available milk of magnesia contained sodium hypochlorite, also known as bleach. When I ran out of milk of magnesia, I started taking magnesium citrate tablets, which I've taken before without any ill effect. In fact, my favorite electrolyte mix contains magnesium citrate, and it had never bothered me before. I don't remember when I started taking the tablets, but I didn't associate them with the diarrhea. I wondered if my yogurt got contaminated, so I started a batch with new bacteria. I took Candibactin, an herbal remedy for bacterial and fungal overgrowth. I tried sulfur tablets. I got a stool test that turned out negative.  Then I started getting fatigue, a pounding heart and insomnia. I k

Relative Risk Confusion Everywhere

I keep seeing the same error in the news: you're 25 times more likely to end up in the hospital if you're unvaccinated! It's due to a misunderstanding of relative vs. absolute risk.  From Pixabay . For readers who aren't familiar with the concept, I've made a visual aid based on actual figures from Indiana:  Dates: April 15, 2021 through July 13, 2021 Hospitalizations due to COVID: 4,045 Percent of hospitalized COVID patients who were vaccinated: 2% Population of Indiana: 6,500,000 Going by the high portion of unvaccinated COVID patients, it makes it sound like you're 50 times more likely to go to the hospital if you haven't had the shot. That's relative risk. If you're at a high risk of getting a bad case of COVID, that's meaningful. But if you aren't, you're reducing a tiny risk to a minuscule risk.  I didn't forget to add the first two columns--they just don't show up in the context of a population of 6.5 million. Likewise, the

The Right to be Left Alone

Someone asked on a message board the other day of a person who wasn't vaccinated, "What makes you think you can do anything you want?" It's a philosophical question worth answering.  The Founding Fathers believed the people had rights, through God or Nature. They described them in the Constitution and later the Bill of Rights--and they are basically rights to be left alone. I don't have the right to go cough on the person who asked this question, but she doesn't have the legal or moral right to insist that healthy people stay home or take an experimental medicine, nor is she entitled to a risk-free life.  This question made me start imagining what it might be like if the shoe was on the other foot. * * * * * Photo from Pixabay . Imagine it's April 2022. Another new variant is going around, but the vaccines aren't stopping it. In fact, everyone getting sick has had a vaccine and rumors start flying that the illness is, in fact, a long-term side effect.

Is the Delta Variant a Threat to Kids?

 The latest COVID news is out of Mississippi: Delta Surge - be careful. Now with 12 children in ICU with 10 on the ventilator (life support) pic.twitter.com/SQEfTFLS3I — thomas dobbs (@TCBPubHealth) July 13, 2021 This is disturbing--nobody wants to hear about kids in intensive care. But it's important to stop and think and do some research before reacting. Since I don't see any reporters asking pertinent questions, I will.  Are the kids in ICU only because of COVID or for another illness as well? Unknown.  As we saw last year , several reports of kids dying of COVID turned out to be misleading: the kids died of unrelated causes, but had a positive test for COVID. In one case, a baby that was miscarried didn't even have COVID , but its mother did. Do these kids have comorbidities? Unknown. Is this typical? This, we can answer: no. The CDC reports that as of July 3, there were 18 people age 0-17 in the The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-Associated Hospitalization Surv

Who's More Connected to Reality: Elites or Rednecks?

I've been stunned by the stupidity today. How do the editor-at-large of the Wall Street Journal , an emergency physician , and the people running an elite school in Washington, DC lack common sense and applied arithmetic skills? It's getting exponentially dumb, as Tom MacDonald puts it. A Wall Street Journal editorial published today said, "If thousands of people were dying from the vaccine, the evidence would be piling up in hospitals and morgues."  No, they wouldn't. Six thousand deaths--the number reported to the VAERS system for COVID vaccines over the past six months--amounts to less than one death per state per day. That's why we have an adverse events reporting system: nobody would notice patterns otherwise. Unsafe drugs get taken off the market without bodies piling up in morgues. Elsewhere in the Journal , a mother writes that her daughter's camp, run by the exclusive Sidwell Friends School, made her nine-year-old daughter wear a mask while pla