The Logic of Forever COVID

 

With summer turning to autumn, the local paper of ill repute is warning of a “twindemic”:

The one thing [epidemiologists] fear is the possibility that the flu could spiral out of control this winter and if COVID does the same, doctors could be dealing with a “twindemic.” A twindemic is a situation where there are two pandemics or epidemics going on at the same time, such as the flu and COVID-19.

In such a scenario, the flu could reach historically high levels and along with COVID could swamp hospitals even more so than last year when the flu was kept at bay.

Why might this “twindemic” happen?

With less natural immunity in the community because fewer people were exposed to the flu last season, it’s possible cases of the flu could rebound dramatically this year, [OSU epidemiology professor Bill] Miller said.

“It sort of sets us up for an increase this year,” Miller said. “I think a significant return of influenza this year is a real possibility.”

With the flu season approaching this year, there is no state-mandated COVID mask requirement and distancing rules as there were last year. So unless they’re put back in place in individual communities as they have been in Columbus and several Greater Columbus suburbs, they could allow the flu to run rampant, Miller said.

Catch that? The flu is coming. It could be bad. Nobody has natural immunity this year. We’re not prepared. We’re in for trouble . . . unless, of course, we submit ourselves to the health-and-safety regime:

“So much depends on what happens with COVID and when we say in different parts of the country that it’s back under control,” Miller said. “… It’ll depend on when people let their guard down.”

One possibility, Miller said, is that places with masking and social distancing requirements may see their flu season delayed until COVID again recedes and mask mandates are again eased. For some places that could be February or March, Miller said.

Last year, COVID-related restrictions disrupted the ordinary cycles of disease transmission. This has left us more vulnerable to diseases. RSV surged this summer. The flu might surge this winter. We can delay the inevitable a bit longer, right? What’s six more months after a year-and-a-half of this? We can’t let our guard down now! And we can’t let our guard down in the spring, either. The flu could be even worse then.

The logic is clear: Forever COVID is here. We’ll be wearing masks and attending Zoom “parties” forever.

Unless we decide not to. Unless we choose to return to normal whatever our betters tell us, whatever the diktats say, and whatever the social costs might be.

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The sad part is that we are going to have to fight both the government and our fellow mind-controlled citizens to get out of this mess.

    • #1
  2. Hammer, The (Ryan M) Member
    Hammer, The (Ryan M)
    @RyanM

    Exactly.  The covid hystericals have no end game.  The mask zealots have no end game.  These “emergency orders” will never end, because the “emergencies” will always be with us.  The end result is tyranny, plain and simple.  We either accept it or we reject it.  I suggest the latter.

    • #2
  3. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    The word went out from above. We had a similar article on a local TV website. 

    • #3
  4. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    I will be interested in the nation’s mortality figures for 2020. I have a feeling that, since it seems that all deaths in which a person tests positive for Covid is counted as a Covid death, the total number of deaths will not be much different from other years. 

    • #4
  5. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    I will be interested in the nation’s mortality figures for 2020. I have a feeling that, since it seems that all deaths in which a person tests positive for Covid is counted as a Covid death, the total number of deaths will not be much different from other years.

    If you can believe the figures.

    • #5
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    I will be interested in the nation’s mortality figures for 2020. I have a feeling that, since it seems that all deaths in which a person tests positive for Covid is counted as a Covid death, the total number of deaths will not be much different from other years.

    I did a post on this a couple of weeks ago.  My own calculation of excess deaths closely tracked reported Covid deaths.  At the time, total reported Covid deaths were about 628,000, while my calculation of excess deaths was about 800,000.  The time period was not just 2020, but was March 2020 to August 2021.

    I just checked my Excel spreadsheet, which I had saved.  Here are the figures for total deaths:

    • 2017 – 2,751,037
    • 2018 – 2,772,759
    • 2019 – 2,794,267
    • 2020 – 3,353,766

    The reported 2017 figure is a bit low, as the data set excluded the first week.  The average was about 50,000 deaths/week, so it was around 2.8 million.

    The total reported deaths for 2020 was about 518,000 higher than the average for 2017-2019.

    • #6
  7. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    I’m curious, are we being encouraged to take the Corona vaccine and the standard flu shot? Asking because I do neither, standard Fall flu shot promotion seems to be waning, and if the narrative is to be believed, the mask wearing and social distancing we did last year eliminated the regular flu.

    • #7
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    I’m curious, are we being encouraged to take the Corona vaccine and the standard flu shot? Asking because I do neither, standard Fall flu shot promotion seems to be waning, and if the narrative is to be believed, the mask wearing and social distancing we did last year eliminated the regular flu.

    I’ve been seeing “Get your flu shot!” promotions this fall.

    I never do. I certainly won’t this year. I fully expect they’ll try to sneak a COVID vax into me along with a regular flu shot. My wife always get a flu shot. She’s going to skip it this year. Like me, she just doesn’t trust our “experts” anymore.

    In fact, thanks to the COVID-vax pushers, I’m going to be suspicious of anyone who comes near me with a needle.

     

    • #8
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    I will be interested in the nation’s mortality figures for 2020. I have a feeling that, since it seems that all deaths in which a person tests positive for Covid is counted as a Covid death, the total number of deaths will not be much different from other years.

    I did a post on this a couple of weeks ago. My own calculation of excess deaths closely tracked reported Covid deaths. At the time, total reported Covid deaths were about 628,000, while my calculation of excess deaths was about 800,000. The time period was not just 2020, but was March 2020 to August 2021.

    I just checked my Excel spreadsheet, which I had saved. Here are the figures for total deaths:

    • 2017 – 2,751,037
    • 2018 – 2,772,759
    • 2019 – 2,794,267
    • 2020 – 3,353,766

    The reported 2017 figure is a bit low, as the data set excluded the first week. The average was about 50,000 deaths/week, so it was around 2.8 million.

    The total reported deaths for 2020 was about 518,000 higher than the average for 2017-2019.

    Thank you for that information, Jerry. I must have missed your earlier post.

    • #9
  10. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    I will be interested in the nation’s mortality figures for 2020. I have a feeling that, since it seems that all deaths in which a person tests positive for Covid is counted as a Covid death, the total number of deaths will not be much different from other years.

    I did a post on this a couple of weeks ago. My own calculation of excess deaths closely tracked reported Covid deaths. At the time, total reported Covid deaths were about 628,000, while my calculation of excess deaths was about 800,000. The time period was not just 2020, but was March 2020 to August 2021.

    I just checked my Excel spreadsheet, which I had saved. Here are the figures for total deaths:

    • 2017 – 2,751,037
    • 2018 – 2,772,759
    • 2019 – 2,794,267
    • 2020 – 3,353,766

    The reported 2017 figure is a bit low, as the data set excluded the first week. The average was about 50,000 deaths/week, so it was around 2.8 million.

    The total reported deaths for 2020 was about 518,000 higher than the average for 2017-2019.

    But what percentage of those excess deaths were due to COVID, and how many were suicides, cancer patients who were not treated, etc.?

    That’s the real question. Not simple “excess deaths”, for crying out loud.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    I’m curious, are we being encouraged to take the Corona vaccine and the standard flu shot? Asking because I do neither, standard Fall flu shot promotion seems to be waning, and if the narrative is to be believed, the mask wearing and social distancing we did last year eliminated the regular flu.

    My wife and I just signed up for boosters, which we’re scheduled to get tomorrow.  (This is being done through our regional health care system.)  We were asked if we wanted to get a flu vaccine at the same time. I elected not to.

    • #11
  12. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    With summer turning to autumn, the local paper of ill repute is warning of a “twindemic”:

    Pikers.

     

    • #12
  13. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):
    I fully expect they’ll try to sneak a COVID vax into me…

    Well it already happened in Baltimore…to a four-year-old.  From the Baltimore Sun (article linked),

    But relief soon gave way to panic when the pharmacist realized she injected Colette with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine…

    [Snip]

    Olivier called the pharmacist’s admission of error a “record-scratch” moment that she feared could have dire implications for her daughter: Did Colette need to go to the hospital? Would she develop life-threatening side effects from the adult dose? Did they now need to schedule a second-dose appointment for her?

    [Snip]

    “It’s part of growing up now,” she said. “We tell her we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves. Sometimes she’ll ask, ‘When is the end of the pandemic?’ and the best I can say is, ‘We need more people to get the vaccine.’”

    That’s why Colette delighted in her unexpected immunization status. She felt special, her mom said, knowing she did her part to help the world heal. She hopes to get her flu shot soon.

     

    • #13
  14. Jack Shepherd Coolidge
    Jack Shepherd
    @dnewlander

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):
    I fully expect they’ll try to sneak a COVID vax into me…

    Well it already happened in Baltimore…to a four-year-old. From the Baltimore Sun (article linked),

    But relief soon gave way to panic when the pharmacist realized she injected Colette with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine…

    [Snip]

    Olivier called the pharmacist’s admission of error a “record-scratch” moment that she feared could have dire implications for her daughter: Did Colette need to go to the hospital? Would she develop life-threatening side effects from the adult dose? Did they now need to schedule a second-dose appointment for her?

    [Snip]

    “It’s part of growing up now,” she said. “We tell her we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves. Sometimes she’ll ask, ‘When is the end of the pandemic?’ and the best I can say is, ‘We need more people to get the vaccine.’”

    That’s why Colette delighted in her unexpected immunization status. She felt special, her mom said, knowing she did her part to help the world heal. She hopes to get her flu shot soon.

    Four-year-olds cannot make decisions like this. This is awful.

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    I have always taken the seasonal flu shot, following 3 decades of military mandates. I see no reason to change that habit. There will be no sneaking in of COVID shots because the lab coat left at each level wants credit for more vaccinations.

    AND.

    We knew this panic porn posturing was coming when Fraudci and the Great Scarfini said the quiet part out loud in a COVID Task Force press briefing, talking about masks and anti-social distancing every flu season.

    • #15
  16. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    It’s also amusing to see “twindemic” and “tridemic.” I guess we’ve been experiencing a Unidemic. 

    The logic is clear: Forever COVID is here. We’ll be wearing masks and attending Zoom “parties” forever.

    We’re in an odd place: Zero COVID is the goal, which somehow requires Forever COVID. 

    “Flu season” used to be a normal part of life. Wash your hands, don’t rub your eyeballs after you touch a door handle. I am something of an authority on this, having won a local Emmy for a humorous instructional video on flu prevention. TRUST THE EXPERTS. If you got the shot, you had a good chance at avoiding it. If it was a really bad year, a lot of people might get sick, and it might affect the young. So wash your hands and stay home if you’re sick, you idiot. 

    Now The Flu looms like COVID’s associate, riding in the sidecar, hootin’ and hollerin’. All the more reason to mask up and retreat.

    Unless we decide not to. Unless we choose to return to normal whatever our betters tell us, whatever the diktats say, and whatever the social costs might be.

    I have returned to normal. I don’t wear a mask, and I go where I have always gone and done what I always did. In my neighborhood, however, there are parallel cultures – the maskless, with their shameless naked faces, and the perpetually masked in the same grocery store, all convinced it’s a public duty, because they could be gusting out death-aerosols without knowing it. You wonder if they’ve been permanently rewired. They will get the booster (as will I) and still mask. The idea of being in a public space without the impermeable shield of pliable adamantium is unnerving.  

    I’m taking an airplane trip in a few weeks and bridle at the idea of re-entering Compulsory Mask World. It’s like being pitched back to April 2020, where the very air sings with peril. 

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    In my neighborhood, however, there are parallel cultures –

    I haven’t worn a mask since early April.  But today I was at the DeKalb interstate oasis (“rest stop”) in Illinois and almost everyone was masked. Pretty sure I spotted one other guy without one. That felt a bit strange, but nobody hurt me or gave me any dirty looks that I noticed.

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    My wife and I just signed up for boosters, which we’re scheduled to get tomorrow.  (This is being done through our regional health care system.)  We were asked if we wanted to get a flu vaccine at the same time. I elected not to.

    By the way, the reason i elected not to get a flu shot at this time is that if i have a reaction, i want to know which shot I   am getting a reaction to. I did get a flu shot last winter, for the first time ever. I haven’t yet decided about this year.

    • #18
  19. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    James Lileks (View Comment): I have returned to normal. I don’t wear a mask, and I go where I have always gone and done what I always did. In my neighborhood, however, there are parallel cultures – the maskless, with their shameless naked faces, and the perpetually masked in the same grocery store, all convinced it’s a public duty, because they could be gusting out death-aerosols without knowing it. You wonder if they’ve been permanently rewired. They will get the booster (as will I) and still mask. The idea of being in a public space without the impermeable shield of pliable adamantium is unnerving.

    What really bothers me is how many normal, almost-certainly-vaccinated people who were enjoying ordinary life two months ago are now glorying in pandemic theater again — merely out of a deference to “politeness.” The city has reimposed mandates, and the docile urbanites obey them. But even in places without any mandates, where sweet normality reigned in June, we facéd people are now a kooky minority. The bishop here begged Catholics to put on masks, and 90 percent of the 50 remaining unmasked percent of the congregations dutifully yielded. Even on a Catholic subreddit I follow, “HoW cAn YoU cAlL yOuRsElF pRo-LiFe WhEn YoU dOn’T wEaR a MaSk!!!!!” receives gobs of upvotes, whereas statements of common sense are met with opprobrium.

    I thought the “politeness” argument would fade away after the vaccinations began. But no. Virtue-signaling is just too appealing. Certain podcasters who won’t be named keep saying that people are getting tired of this. I don’t see it. The people who are tired of it are a minority, and they’re clinging to normality. Most people are indifferent, weak-willed, and willing to put up with it forever because Niceness™ is their lodestar.

    • #19
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):
    I fully expect they’ll try to sneak a COVID vax into me…

    Well it already happened in Baltimore…to a four-year-old. From the Baltimore Sun (article linked),

    But relief soon gave way to panic when the pharmacist realized she injected Colette with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine…

    [Snip]

    Olivier called the pharmacist’s admission of error a “record-scratch” moment that she feared could have dire implications for her daughter: Did Colette need to go to the hospital? Would she develop life-threatening side effects from the adult dose? Did they now need to schedule a second-dose appointment for her?

    [Snip]

    “It’s part of growing up now,” she said. “We tell her we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves. Sometimes she’ll ask, ‘When is the end of the pandemic?’ and the best I can say is, ‘We need more people to get the vaccine.’”

    That’s why Colette delighted in her unexpected immunization status. She felt special, her mom said, knowing she did her part to help the world heal. She hopes to get her flu shot soon.

    This child has been brainwashed properly.

    • #20
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    You wonder if they’ve been permanently rewired.

    I don’t wonder. They have.

    • #21
  22. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    The bishop here begged Catholics to put on masks, and 90 percent of the 50 remaining unmasked percent of the congregations dutifully yielded. Even on a Catholic subreddit I follow, “HoW cAn YoU cAlL yOuRsElF pRo-LiFe WhEn YoU dOn’T wEaR a MaSk!!!!!” receives gobs of upvotes, whereas statements of common sense are met with opprobrium.

    Will some please bring me a truckload of millstones and assist me with the distribution?

    • #22
  23. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):
    I fully expect they’ll try to sneak a COVID vax into me…

    Well it already happened in Baltimore…to a four-year-old. From the Baltimore Sun (article linked),

    But relief soon gave way to panic when the pharmacist realized she injected Colette with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine…

    [Snip]

    Olivier called the pharmacist’s admission of error a “record-scratch” moment that she feared could have dire implications for her daughter: Did Colette need to go to the hospital? Would she develop life-threatening side effects from the adult dose? Did they now need to schedule a second-dose appointment for her?

    [Snip]

    “It’s part of growing up now,” she said. “We tell her we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves. Sometimes she’ll ask, ‘When is the end of the pandemic?’ and the best I can say is, ‘We need more people to get the vaccine.’”

    That’s why Colette delighted in her unexpected immunization status. She felt special, her mom said, knowing she did her part to help the world heal. She hopes to get her flu shot soon.

    This child has been brainwashed properly.

    It does read like one of those “my toddler told me” pieces the NYT loves to publish.

    “This morning, between bites of Eggo waffle, my four-year-old son Lazlo turned to me and said, ‘Daddy, what steps are you taking to reduce systemic injustice in the world?'”

    • #23
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    This child has been brainwashed properly.

    It does read like one of those “my toddler told me” pieces the NYT loves to publish.

    “This morning, between bites of Eggo waffle, my four-year-old son Lazlo turned to me and said, ‘Daddy, what steps are you taking to reduce systemic injustice in the world?’”

    I am not kidding when I tell you that I have friends whose 12-year-old asked for the vaccine for his birthday.

    And they were so proud!

    • #24
  25. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The epidemiologists’ predictions about a bad flu year approaching are interesting. I’ve been following the flu since the outbreak of covid-19 started. The flu seems to have disappeared globally. I’ve been wondering about the interaction between the two viruses.

    In fact, the disappearance of the flu was so noticeable in 2019 and 2020 that in the back of my mind, I have been wondering if the researchers in Wuhan were working on a microorganism that could make that happen somehow. In 2017 and 2018, the influenza virus was very much on the minds of the World Health Organization and the CDC (two organizations that worked so closely together that some joked that WHO was just a department of the CDC). The numbers globally were staggering.

    My point in bringing up the flu prediction is that, whether by design or serendipity, it is very possible that this coronavirus makes the human being inhospitable to the influenza virus. Although some say the disappearance of the flu is a matter of testing and reporting, and although I’m sure that may be true to some extent, it cannot explain the disappearance of flu cases entirely. In fact, what lab technicians have reported is that they are seeing some influenza virus on slides that are showing the covid-19 virus as well. So the influenza bugs are still out there. They are just not multiplying sufficiently to make people sick. Or at least they haven’t been for the past two years.

    This is going to get even more interesting this coming flu season. If we have suppressed the spread of the covid-19 virus both through the vaccine and the natural spread of the disease that has occurred, then perhaps a suppressing factor for influenza has also been removed. Will it then resurge to 2017 and 2018 levels?

    Next year scientists should be testing for and studying the maps of the prevalence of these two diseases. We can learn a lot from tracking the two microorganisms together.

    The flu had disappeared even before the vaccine entered the stage. My guess is that the vaccine has nothing to do with the relationship of the influenza and coronavirus in a human host.

    • #25
  26. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The genius move of keeping kids home to unsuccessfully fight COVID spread also caused kids to get fat and fall behind both academically and immunologically.

    Bonus: the usual national colds-coughs-and-sniffles month from kids sharing what they collected over the summer so mom and dad could share it with the office was canceled last fall.  So we successfully prevented our traditional autumn dose, our annual immune system workouts–kinda like a negative vaccine–so we could instead pretend to combat a far more contagious, asymptomatic-spreading bug that was far less susceptible to closures etc.

    No matter the outcome, I am pretty sure it is all the fault of some unmasked, unvaxed guy in a MAGA hat named Earl. And climate change.

    • #26
  27. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    ..,

    I have returned to normal. I don’t wear a mask, and I go where I have always gone and done what I always did. In my neighborhood, however, there are parallel cultures – the maskless, with their shameless naked faces, and the perpetually masked in the same grocery store, all convinced it’s a public duty, because they could be gusting out death-aerosols without knowing it. You wonder if they’ve been permanently rewired. They will get the booster (as will I) and still mask. The idea of being in a public space without the impermeable shield of pliable adamantium is unnerving.

    You never know what people’s experiences have been with this.  I recently had a breakthrough case, which was fairly mild but with some symptoms. For a couple of weeks after my quarantine ended I still wore a mask around. I knew it was unlikely I could spread it, but I was still coughing occasionally and felt it was appropriate to do that.

    Now that I’m a few weeks out, and no longer coughing, I’ve stopped wearing one. But for awhile there if someone saw me in the store they might have assumed I’m some kind of “rewired” coward or something stupid like that.

    People are not necessarily basing their behavior on left wing news, you know. As Jerry’s calculations show, a lot of people are dying from this. Nearly as many as die from cancer. That’s not just an item on the news. 650,000 dead means tens of millions, maybe more, who personally know people who have died from it. Hundreds of millions, nearly everyone, within 2 or 3 degrees of separation. And how many more know people who had close calls?

    Earlier this year, a young father in our community died from Covid, one of my son’s 5th grade classmates’ father, in his 30’s. You never know if the person you see at the grocery store might have just heard about something like that.  Maybe it’s not doing any actual good for them to mask up, but I think the impulse is understandable and doesn’t justify some assumption as to how they’re wired. We’re all wired that way to some extent or another.

    My point is only that people’s experiences are going to affect their behavior, and often in ways that don’t necessarily jibe with statistical risk analysis or models of disease spread, etc.  Everyone does that.

    • #27
  28. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    My point is only that people’s experiences are going to affect their behavior, and often in ways that don’t necessarily jibe with statistical risk analysis or models of disease spread, etc.  Everyone does that.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily “experiences” that are affecting most behavior. It’s more the panic mongering of our leaders and the media that has people terrified. And they are also being led to believe that we are going to “beat” this and go back to whatever they think normal is if only we wear enough masks and get enough vaccines.  Covid is not going away and a lot of people are going to die. This is the new normal. Everyone should protect themselves according to their own risk assessment. We can’t live lives as a free people if we have to show our proof of health everywhere we go.

    ETA: And too many people think that getting Covid is an automatic death sentence.

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The epidemiologists’ predictions about a bad flu year approaching are interesting. I’ve been following the flu since the outbreak of covid-19 started. The flu seems to have disappeared globally. I’ve been wondering about the interaction between the two viruses.

    In fact, the disappearance of the flu was so noticeable in 2019 and 2020 that in the back of my mind, I have been wondering if the researchers in Wuhan were working on a microorganism that could make that happen somehow. In 2017 and 2018, the influenza virus was very much on the minds of the World Health Organization and the CDC (two organizations that worked so closely together that some joked that WHO was just a department of the CDC). The numbers globally were staggering.

    My point in bringing up the flu prediction is that, whether by design or serendipity, it is very possible that this coronavirus makes the human being inhospitable to the influenza virus. Although some say the disappearance of the flu is a matter of testing and reporting, and although I’m sure that may be true to some extent, it cannot explain the disappearance of flu cases entirely. In fact, what lab technicians have reported is that they are seeing some influenza virus on slides that are showing the covid-19 virus as well. So the influenza bugs are still out there. They are just not multiplying sufficiently to make people sick. Or at least they haven’t been for the past two years.

    This is going to get even more interesting this coming flu season. If we have suppressed the spread of the covid-19 virus both through the vaccine and the natural spread of the disease that has occurred, then perhaps a suppressing factor for influenza has also been removed. Will it then resurge to 2017 and 2018 levels?

    Next year scientists should be testing for and studying the maps of the prevalence of these two diseases. We can learn a lot from tracking the two microorganisms together.

    The flu had disappeared even before the vaccine entered the stage. My guess is that the vaccine has nothing to do with the relationship of the influenza and coronavirus in a human host.

    Or maybe the people are right who said that flu deaths were never documented and observed counts but merely the imputation of flu on any excess deaths that season.

    • #29
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    ..,

    I have returned to normal. I don’t wear a mask, and I go where I have always gone and done what I always did. In my neighborhood, however, there are parallel cultures – the maskless, with their shameless naked faces, and the perpetually masked in the same grocery store, all convinced it’s a public duty, because they could be gusting out death-aerosols without knowing it. You wonder if they’ve been permanently rewired. They will get the booster (as will I) and still mask. The idea of being in a public space without the impermeable shield of pliable adamantium is unnerving.

    You never know what people’s experiences have been with this. I recently had a breakthrough case, which was fairly mild but with some symptoms. For a couple of weeks after my quarantine ended I still wore a mask around. I knew it was unlikely I could spread it, but I was still coughing occasionally and felt it was appropriate to do that.

    Now that I’m a few weeks out, and no longer coughing, I’ve stopped wearing one. But for awhile there if someone saw me in the store they might have assumed I’m some kind of “rewired” coward or something stupid like that.

    People are not necessarily basing their behavior on left wing news, you know. As Jerry’s calculations show, a lot of people are dying from this. Nearly as many as die from cancer. That’s not just an item on the news. 650,000 dead means tens of millions, maybe more, who personally know people who have died from it. Hundreds of millions, nearly everyone, within 2 or 3 degrees of separation. And how many more know people who had close calls?

    Earlier this year, a young father in our community died from Covid, one of my son’s 5th grade classmates’ father, in his 30’s. You never know if the person you see at the grocery store might have just heard about something like that. Maybe it’s not doing any actual good for them to mask up, but I think the impulse is understandable and doesn’t justify some assumption as to how they’re wired. We’re all wired that way to some extent or another.

    My point is only that people’s experiences are going to affect their behavior, and often in ways that don’t necessarily jibe with statistical risk analysis or models of disease spread, etc. Everyone does that.

    Actually we do know what people’s experiences are, anecdotally, similar to your story here.  It’s the statistic that are given to us that we can’t verify.

    The only deaths I’m aware of were ventilator deaths, and the only disabilities I’m aware of were two to five day old post-vaccination hospitalizations with permanent cardiac injury.

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