Articles to 2020-11-09

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


Last weekend I was AWOL, so this list is fortnight’s worth.


Herd immunity has become a politically loaded term. so more and more recent publications talk about the disease becoming endemic instead. They mean one and the same thing. Any epidemic has two and only two possible end points. Either it becomes suppressed and exterminated or it becomes endemic. From the start nearly all experts were in agreement that for Covid it will have to be the latter. I have changed my opinion twice. First I concurred with the majority view, then the extraordinary and unexpected success of the first wave of lockdown worldwide proved me wrong. It could have worked, in New Zealand it has, at least for now. But then the politicians everywhere willfully threw away their win before the finishing line. By now that chance is over and gone. So this is the fact and that is where we inevitably shall be coming to. The only question left is how to get there with the least cost considering everything. Andersen in Aschwanden is quite correct that the cost will be high and the way a hard one. But lacking any alternative his denial is meaningless. One thing is absolutely certain: Stretching that course out indefinitely, as most countries are currently doing, is the worst route with the highest damage done of all. Coming up to Christmas as we currently are, wishful thinking may befit the season. When solutions are sought, it is of no help at all.

And of course it is complete and utter nonsense for Andersen to claim: “never before have we reached herd immunity via natural infection with a novel virus, and SARS-CoV-2 is unfortunately no different.” All our well known diseases were novel once and – as the American Indians demonstrated all too well – were absolutely deadly once. With its extreme skew toward old age Covid is set to become one of the more harmless childhood diseases once fully established. There is nothing new or unprecedented about it


Things look a bit strange. First cheap hydroxychloroquine retains its bad name in the public eye in spite of the study claiming its ineffectiveness having been discredited and now Cohen & Kupferschmidt report the ineffectiveness of expensive remdesivir, the earnings of which go from my tax expense to some very powerful people. It might all be honest mistakes, but how probable is that?


Contrary to Kupferschmidt’s claims there was no lull in the spread of Covid in summer. The official numbers clearly show a relentless and constant exponential rise from July onward. It was masked by low absolute numbers when viewed on a linear scale, but this is a science magazine, no tabloid. And people did not “lose their fear”, they were consistently being lied to and told everything was fine. No current numbers are significantly different from what could have been – and was by the non-innnumerate – confidently prognosticated from August at the latest.

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