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Showing posts from July, 2021

No Death Reduction, Little Benefit in Vaccine Study, but Employers Demand Jab

Update : Twitter suspended writer Alex Berenson , who  accurately reported some of the disappointing results of Pfizer's COVID vaccine trial described below. The message stated, "we require the removal of content that may pose a risk to people's health, including content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information." His account has been reinstated with the "misleading" label removed from the tweet. If you still think tech censorship is fine, I'm not sure what to say. The vaccine evangelists have been spreading more than the good news about sanctification through injection. The incidents of breakthrough cases in vaccinated people have piled up to the point that the CDC has gone back to recommending masks even for fully vaccinated people. If you can get COVID, you can spread COVID. Of course, nobody has spread it intentionally, and I'm not faulting anybody who got a vaccination and went

Vaccine Mandates May Make Healthcare Worse

"It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.” -John Ioannidis on lockdowns Such is the case with vaccine mandates for health care workers. California, New York City and the Veterans Administration--among the worst-run states, the worst-run cities, and the worst-run federal agencies in the US--are either requiring employees to get vaccinated or requiring frequent testing for non-vaccinated employees. No matter what your stance is on COVID vaccines, it's important to think beyond stage one before making a policy, which nobody in charge seems to have done.  The first problem is that some--perhaps many--of the vaccine records are fakes. There's apparently a big black market for forged shot records. Given how easily they could be forged--I could whip one up on the computer in five minutes--it's surprising that people want to buy a pre-printed one.  The second problem is th

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 CafĂ© AmĂ©ricain 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

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

Herd Immunity and the Delta Variant

I was sad to hear that southwestern Missouri, where my grandparents lived, is a delta variant hotspot. My mom and I used to go there every summer. It was hot and sticky, the water smelled like sulfur, and the ground was soggy. But it was leafy with orange sunsets, berries for the picking, and friendly neighbors with chickens and bright green homemade pickles. It had Grandma and Grandpa, too, and Aunt Annie. One reason I love Indiana is because it reminds me of there.  Route 66, Missouri. Photo from Pixabay . Going by Scotland's numbers, where the delta variant accounts for almost every COVID infection, I didn't think it was cause for concern. Then I checked Missouri's dashboard. How can different places have such different responses to the delta variant? It raged through India, where it originated, killing thousands more per day than the original virus. Then it descended on Scotland, where it infected lots of people, but didn't send many of them to the hospital. Now it&

New Blogger Worth Reading; Read Michael Eades' Tweets Here

Sebastian Rushworth, MD has been reading studies so you don't have to. He's a Swedish junior doctor whose blog was recommended by Malcolm Kendrick, MD and is the author of COVID: Why Most of What you Know is Wrong.  The book covers long COVID, masks, Sweden's handling of the pandemic, and includes a basic primer on scientific studies. It's a short book crammed with information.  Sebastian Rushworth MD.  His latest post is called " Is COVID a Danger to Children? " His conclusion based on statistics from Sweden and the US is that "Children do many things every day that are more likely to kill them, and we don’t bat an eyelid" and therefore "Since it is at present far from clear that vaccination is less risky to children than infection, it is deeply unethical to vaccinate them." Not all of his conclusions are popular with his entire readership. In a post on Vitamin C , Rushworth concludes, "The best available evidence at this point in ti

Herd Immunity: Are we There Yet?

Happy Independence Day, and happy herd immunity. Yes, I know our betters keep harping on us to get a COVID shot, keep haranguing us about variants, and keep the hysteria going. They loved knowing better than the rest of us and telling everyone what to do. But going by all-cause mortality rates and actual science, their fifteen minutes of fame needs to fizzle out. Yes, a virulent new variant could emerge later, but it looks like it's time to enjoy some normalcy and have the coronabros go back into obscurity.  Hoping you're healthy as a horse! Picture from Pixabay . All-cause mortality rates are now at or below the 2015-2019 average for all age groups in the US. They've been close to that average for months in both the US and UK, even though the delta variant accounts for almost all cases in the UK. Click to enlarge images. Weekly number of deaths by age in the US. Source: CDC . The first chart shows deaths from all causes plunging from January 2021 on in the US. (It also sho

Vaccine Hesitancy and Odds of Going to the Hospital

In the great push to get everybody jabbed with the experimental COVID vaccine, people in the wait-and-see camp have been painted as conspiracy theorists and anti-science morons--the sort of people you'd see at the recent Redneck Rave where 15,000 people came and some ended up impaled, choked or badly cut. Dozens were charged with crimes. Won't it be interesting to see Edmonson County, Kentucky's COVID stats in a few weeks. Surely the local hospital will be full of rednecks, and not just to have fingers sewn back on...right? Use this, plus your region's dashboard, to calculate your odds. Photo from Pixabay . Maybe not. Humans are inherently bad at estimating odds. Several news outlets report that 99% of COVID patients in the hospital are unvaccinated, so does that mean you're almost a hundred times more likely to end up in the hospital if you haven't had your shots? Not quite. Looking only at hospitalized people rather than the whole population is relative risk

Independence Day in Indy; Vaccine Victims Find Little Help

It feels like Independence Day came early to Indianapolis: almost all COVID restrictions have been lifted here as of July 1. In a few days there will be fireworks downtown and the air filled with the smell of barbecue and gunpowder. Fittingly, the state of Indiana became a little freer as several laws went into effect today : The state or a local unit cannot issue or require a COVID-19 "immunization passport" (a document concerning an individual's immunization status). The state may not restrict the right to worship or to worship in person during a disaster emergency. The state may also not impose restrictions on the operation of a religious organization, or religious services that are more restrictive than the restrictions imposed on other businesses and organizations that provide essential services to the public. Facilities should allow patients who are in end-of-life situations, those with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or a related cognitive disorder or other sit