Recalibrating COVID

Wednesday, 12 May 2021 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Why also are we so graphically showcasing arresting people, breaking up merriment, pulling people out of their cars? If we need to do these things, surely we are doing them as gently as we can, as reluctantly as we can, seeking to enrol cooperation, and not creating an atmosphere, where people just “stop”. We can’t “order” them to start and stop as if they are automatons – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara 


 

Let me flag some of the most egregious, recently alarmist reporting, address this, and provide a “just the facts” review of our dire pathogen, based on 14 months of ongoing research, consulting, and fact checking around the globe. 

  • 26 deaths are cited in a single day (globally a non-event). The small print confirms though they were from 3 to 10 May! A seven-day period being aggregated. 
  • A recent news report characterised the one day 2,000+ “positive tests” still called “cases” (in defiance of scientific common sense re “symptoms” being the only unambiguous demonstration of a “case”) as “staggering.”

We need to confirm if there is a national amplification standard for the PCR tests (Ct) of 30 or below, or as per the US CDC now 28 or below, or as per epidemiologists at Harvard and in India, 24 or below. But south of 30 certainly. Otherwise, we do not know we are picking up actual infectiousness. And so we are then firing blind. If this is not the case, especially as WHO has confirmed this too, clearly stating that a PCR test by itself does not confirm diagnosis, then we have a scandal. And if this IS the case, why not say so, and then take our bows? Whether it has been or not, surely we can and must ensure this is the case as of today?

Speaking of “staggering”, these people “stagger” easy. Germany had 8,000 “positive tests,” they and much of Europe had 30,000 to 50,000 daily when in crisis, yes that may be “staggering.” Yesterday, 6,500 for Netherlands and Canada on that front; 7,000 for Philippines; 3,733 for Malaysia, not unusual. Nepal had 8,777 and yet a very tame 88 ascribed deaths (many times anything we’ve seen mercifully) which is what really matters.

*University of Virginia’s IHME, one of the citadels of global panic porn, has forecasted we may have as many as “20,000” COVID ascribed deaths in Lanka by the Fall, and we are told they were “accurate” re the US, and we should follow the US and UK playbook in dealing with this.

IHME forecasted “doom” for all the US States that opened up, kept schools open, removed mask mandates, and they were catastrophically wrong. Texas is the latest demonstration, now being over-run by traffic, as Californians are moving there in droves! 

Just as with Imperial College, their models have continued to misfire. The US total they approximated, is highly controversial to this day, given the death certificate confusion of “from” COVID (directly from COVID and only from COVID is a small percentage, under 10%) and “with” COVID. There are also scientific disagreements as to the numbers out of the US 600k “COVID deaths” that came from the impact of COVID policies rather than the pathogen, lockdowns, suicides, opioid overdoses, deferred care and more. And 40% to 45% came from care homes regardless, a catastrophic policy failure, and without indicating that, this is smoke and mirrors.

This same, Gates endowed University of Virginia “research” piece, just as India seems to be gradually plateauing – having failed to ignite further global mass panic – is alleging vast undercounting, claiming the US deaths were “really” 900,000 based on their modelling of “normality” and “excess deaths.” That may be a fascinating debate for how we log things, but not as a basis for public policy. Age adjusted all-cause mortality in 2020 in the US, has been confirmed to rival 2003…nothing apocalyptic there.

Looking at actual facts, Lanka despite current surge, has 36 deaths per million, slightly better than Australia. 

India, for all the Cassandra-like doom hysteria, has 136 per million. France has 1,487 deaths per million! Even Germany, a poster child for reduced European mortality has 959 per million. The US has about 1,700 per million, the UK had swelled to 1,900 per million. Anyone who suggests we should follow that “playbook,” of the most catastrophic COVID stats in the world, had best be given statistical smelling salts at the first opportunity.

Again, for perspective, our exclusive fascination with this one peril, means we are ignoring economic devastation and acting as if we never dealt with a virus before! We hear from WHO that we can expect a global 20% increase in TB deaths and we have been set back at least 12 years in our fight to eliminate it. Where are the headlines regarding this, or the cost-benefit analysis, which is the basis of any sane leadership in public health or otherwise? 

The UN estimates the disruption of healthcare services by C-19 may have led to an estimated 239,000 maternal and child deaths in South Asia. The sharpest increase in maternal deaths has been in Sri Lanka, a “truly staggering” 21.5%. Where are the headlines, analysis, corrective action? Why is this less relevant than an alleged death toll which has had no impact on excess mortality here at all, despite ladling in comorbidities galore by which to embellish the mortality impact of COVID?  

And finally, over the period three million have allegedly passed globally from COVID, for context 80 million people have passed from all-cause mortality. And again, why our suicidal, fevered fascination, with this one cause of death, crowning it as the only “gate” for human autonomy, dignity and freedom?

*CDC report is cited confirming what MIT research recently demonstrated, that transmissibility is primarily via airborne means. In its confusing muesli of prescriptions, our misreporting indicates that we “still” need to be aware of distancing, still need to mask (maybe double mask so we can render oxygen flow or not breathing one’s own waste, optional), AND need to be outdoors and have good ventilation, and perhaps move to an igloo.

Under “prevention of C-19 transmission”, the CDC actually confesses, “…transmission from contaminated surfaces does not contribute substantially to new infections.” And though it doubles down on its dated remedies, it also says, “…the relative contributions of inhalation of virus and deposition of virus on mucous membranes remain unquantified and will be difficult to establish.” English translation: we don’t know.

However, we do know ultraviolet radiation from the sun, oxygen enriched air (no masks outdoors for sure), well ventilated spaces are key. Ergo, any suggestion to “lockdown” is mad, as potentially infected people will infect each other and the pathogen will still waft through the air. And we will finish off the economic viability of the country at the same time while helping nobody other than feeding a superstition.

And re the mad masking cult, just ask yourself this: would anyone recommend using cloth masks in a room full of anthrax, smallpox, TB, black mould, wildfire smoke, radioactive dust particles (all the same size or larger than coronaviruses) or even asbestos, 50 times larger than COVID?

 

Recalibrating: basic covid facts (all verifiable) Lethality?

99%+ below 65 without serious pre-existing conditions recover. Start there always. Above 75, recovery rate is still excellent, at 95%. It gets really lethal above 80 with serious comorbidities. So, we can see where “care” is most needed. Holding the whole economy or planet hostage is deranged.

Stanford Professor John Ioannidis for the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, from seroprevalence studies worldwide found the “Infection Fatality Rate” to be around .15%, in Africa and Asia .05%.

Economist John Appleby writing in the British Medical Journal indicates every year prior to 2009 was more deadly than 2020 in England and Wales once size and age of population is adjusted for. He also points out all past pandemics or “waves” have been restrained not by vaccines, but the normal, naturally evolving increasingly less deadly relationship between immune systems and virus.

 

Transmissibility

From latest studies, via aerosols that build up in the air of a room, rather than larger droplets or through contact. MIT says “6 feet or 60 feet” doesn’t really matter, quality of ventilation does. Outdoor transmission virtually zero. JAMA study finds catching the virus indoors with sustained contact as in a home about 16.6%.

This low number suggests pre-existing immunity due to experience with other coronaviruses and the ability of healthy immune systems to “shrug off” the infection and suggests the danger of locking people away to “infantilise” their immune systems, leaving them far more vulnerable to future scourges.

 

Asymptomatic vs symptomatic transmission

Fauci before his political fortunes dictated otherwise, said in the history of viral infections, symptomatic infections were overwhelmingly the driver. WHO has said they found no real evidence of asymptomatic transmission, dialling it back to saying it was “rare”.

A JAMA study on household “secondary attack” rate (SAR) found asymptomatic infections came in at .7% versus 18% for symptomatic. And even here, as WHO showed, asymptomatic infectiousness was conflating “pre-symptomatic” or “mildly symptomatic” with “asymptomatic.” Those that never developed any symptoms have not been shown in any way that can be corroborated, to be a source of transmission. Even taking pre-symptomatic people, being aware viral load peaks just before symptoms appear, from a recent extensive study from Singapore, we come in at 6.4% of spread. Hardly major drivers of the epidemic. 

Hence all this masking, and hospitalising people who don’t need it, is counterproductive and unscientific and medically far from substantiated.

 

Lockdowns

Over 35 studies (archived on the website of the American Institute for Enterprise Research, AIER), show that restrictions on social contact, stay-at-home orders, business closures and gathering limits, have repeatedly been shown in peer reviewed studies to have no significant impact on infections or deaths. A recent exemplar is, “Evaluating the effects of shelter-in-place policies during the COVID-19 pandemic” by Christopher R. Berry, Anthony Fowler et al, Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the USA, 13 April 2021.

Almost every contrary study has been based on modelling, rather than data. Again, Sweden and Belarus demonstrate this, non-locked down Taiwan does, and more recently US States like Florida, Texas and South Dakota provide living proof.

But lockdowns do harm! Without lockdowns, models asserted at least 2.2% of the population would die. Sweden with very lax restrictions, lost less than .14%. But in terms of other harm, the UK economy shrank by a record 9.9% in 2020. UK public sector net debt has swelled to 2.1 trillion GDP. Sri Lanka estimates this may be the worst economic crisis since Independence. The UN estimates 207 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty in the coming decade flowing from the noxious “nonscience” of lockdowns.

 

Vaccines

There are risks, as these were rushed through, safety trials for most won’t be complete until 2023, so we are engaged in “human trials”. The mRNA “vaccines” are “symptom suppressors” by their own admission, more prophylactics, and may require annual doses! The bad news to date, is that countries that immunise en masse, seem to see a mass spike of infections (India being the latest, along with Seychelles as the most vaccinated nation on earth). In fact, Tamil Nadu which is locked down, was one of the most vaccinated regions in India. 

Secondly, these “vaccines” seem less effective among the most vulnerable. The Pfizer vaccine seems to be the best performing overall, but in nursing homes in Denmark, they found its efficacy to be 64% in preventing C-19. A German study has found a third of those over 80 fully vaccinated with the Pfizer jab didn’t generate antibodies. 

Coming to safety issues, the US vaccine adverse effects reporting system (VAERS) has generated reports of deaths linked to C-19 vaccinations at a rate of 30 times greater than flu vaccinations. Thousands of deaths in aggregate seem acceptable. Back in the ’70s, 56 deaths from a swine flu vaccine in the US was enough to stop roll-out, as that was enough to merit full review. Today, panic, greed and mania are heady intoxicants.

 

Other effective treatments

We need here to arm ourselves with treatments used by clinicians around the world that clearly have beneficial impact in treating C-19. Perhaps the most promising is Ivermectin, extensively detailed in Lancet. The safety profile is well-known and not controversial.

Why are they not FDA approved? Well, the current vaccines are only approved on “emergency authorisation” assuming “nothing else is available.” If it were demonstrated that something else is actually available, the whole global pharmaceutical, “vaccinate the planet” crusade would come crashing down.

One of the critiques is that Ivermectin is known as an antiparasitic drug. Dr. Elvind Vinjevoll, a leading physician from the front-lines of COVID Critical Care clarifies that Ivermectin is a “molecule” produced by nature, we have used it effectively against parasites. If isolated today, he says, it would be the anti SARS-CoV2 drug. It clearly dances with viral evils as well.

There are a dizzying number of reports chronicling the successes of Ivermectin (among other treatments), the most recent was even showcased on the US Weather Channel, has been peer reviewed by three US  Government senior scientists and published in the American Journal of Therapeutics. It encompasses 27 controlled trials, 15 of which are randomised controlled trials (the gold standard). Similar breakthrough findings have emerged from UK, Italy, Spain and Japan, all highlighting a large, statistically significant reduction in mortality, time to recovery, and viral clearance re C-19.

It is crazy, if encountering a “surge” not to get such early treatments, also shown to have remarkable impact on those on ventilators struggling to breathe, out across our medical network. India used it extensively. Then, stopped and switched to vaccines. Now, seemingly chastened has reinstituted its use.

In a nutshell (and being used by medical professionals in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Mexico and India), the medical summary is “rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality.”

 

Our current policies need calibrating too

Colombo is the GDP hub of the nation. Keeping it nominally “open” but terrifying people from heading out and engaging businesses makes no sense, paralysing them through lack of custom. Staying home we learn is not stopping the spread (airborne remember). So, let people out! Encourage them to do business. CMC had only 131 cases on our record breaking “positive test” day and deserves its own tier.

A few policies to reconsider:

  • Hospitality was hanging on by a thread, local tourism was fuelling this. By terrifying people, mass cancellations across the island, even in small hotels, or anyway hotels that could have kept to the 50% guidance. Lost income, and yet hotels stay “open”. When we do finally open for tourism, how many properties do we want barely eking out survival, who repeatedly get bookings, staff up and stock up, and then are left because of another “test surge” holding the bag, keeping no one any safer and just shell shocked?

  • Then to put a further nail in the coffin, the Excise Department says no hotel bars to stay open, no alcohol in hotel restaurants, room service until 10 p.m. This is utterly confounding on various fronts. First, if a restaurant is open, keeping to say 25% occupancy as currently stipulated, what can it possibly matter what a person drinks while sitting there? Wine shops are open, fortunately for the excise department, there isn’t an alcohol ban (why would there be, the issue is congestion and crowding), so why keep restaurants from being viable, earning money, and feeding the exchequer? If a coffee shop is allowed to open in a hotel, and they keep numbers as advised, why is it anyone’s business if a person drinks a coffee or a beer? But it matters to the establishment and their desperate need for some profits. What is magical about 10 pm in your own room by the way? At 10:01 lethality goes up? If the earlier idea was stand-alone pubs and bars which are hard to control and are congested should be closed for the two-week period, fine. But then let these desperate hotels function, and if 10 pm was a time after which, larger groups were to be discouraged, let’s ensure hotels don’t think they have to close their outlets at 10, or stop serving rooms at 10.

  • Why are meetings or brand launches, ways of doing business, banned? Surely, it’s a matter of occupancy and congestion, not nature of activity? This is how business is done, and we’re not “open” if all interaction, engagement, outreach is effectively shut off…due to a viral strain? And who will support the bankrupt person unable to salvage her or himself, when some other life challenge comes knocking?

  • Another weird manifestation, swimming pools being shut. Being outdoors is a boon. Sunshine, fresh air. If public pools, again, “maybe.” But in gated communities, buildings, hotels, why? Outdoor transmission is virtually unheard of, it’s a healthy environment for exercise, and getting out with children. What is the logic? Gyms are open. Rightly so. But then, why not pools?

  • Why also are we so graphically showcasing arresting people, breaking up merriment, pulling people out of their cars? If we need to do these things, surely we are doing them as gently as we can, as reluctantly as we can, seeking to enrol cooperation, and not creating an atmosphere, where people just “stop”. We can’t “order” them to start and stop as if they are automatons. 

To our leaders, let Lanka live, let it do business. Let the asymptomatic get care at home. Let’s avail of our global mortality stats and invigorate our economy. Let’s infuse courage and will, and not panic and cowering into the populace. Let’s let the MoH guidelines operate and mellow them where needed.

It’s simple now. If you need a vaccine or think you do, get one. If you’re in the vulnerable profile, take extra care. Wash your hands. Get out in the sunshine and air. Let’s get some early treatments flowing, including Vitamin D and zinc. Let’s live our lives and rebuild our economy, and trust that we can survive a pathogen with a 95-99% recovery rate that tracks normal mortality. We can transcend the virus. We need to transcend the viral thinking.

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