Articles to 2021-11-29

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


The most striking result of Axfors & Ioannidis is just how much the environment of nursing homes has harmed, infected and killed residents.


Looking at figure 1 in Chapman et al. vaccination has only about halved the IFR on average. That is far less than we have been led to believe in general. One point standing out[1] is the exceptionally low value for England. From the way the NHS is generally being maligned and prime minister Johnson disparaged in a way unheard of before the similar treatment of president Trump, one would have expected quite the opposite.

In figure 3a let’s look at Germany and Romania. First the totals of all bars sum to much less than 100 %, probably giving a misleading picture. Second in Germany all the yet unimmunized cluster at the age below 35 with very few in the next higher group. So why is the epidemic not over here? In Romania there are far fewer vaccinated but nearly everyone has already been infected. The one exception are the very old, so Romania alone seems to have succeeded in shielding its most vulnerable. By all reports and studies, recovery from a symptomatic infection confers a much stronger and longer lasting immunity than vaccination does. It seems Romania has already achieved true herd immunity and their aged are safer than just about anywhere else. The very high toll of severe cases yet to come estimated in the article seems wrong to me.

Looking at fig. 3c and disregarding England and Romania there seem to be two bands of similar outlook, both totally independent of the vaccination rate. Germany in the upper band looks like one of those, who have only delayed the inevitable at great social and economic cost with the worst yet to come, while others are already coming out on the other side.


If Ledford is right, the vaccination confers protection against severe cases and death, but very little against Long Covid. If true we’ll suffer the outcomes for a long time yet.


If Nordström et al. are correct, the vaccination effectiveness wanes far more quickly than so far assumed. This is not only true for the effectiveness against infection and transmission but also for severe illness and death except for those younger and fitter groups, where these rates were low anyway.


There has long been a controversy about whether language coevolved with tool production and if teaching tool making required language in the first place. If de Marco et al.’s result is human-specific, it might show another route towards acquiring complicated manual abilities from teachers.


I find Wittenberg et al. minimally reassuring at best. As any rabble rousing preacher knows, the emotional arousal (“behavioural intentions”) is short-lived and decays quickly. Changing people’s world views and what they believe to be true has much deeper and longer lasting implications. On the other hand the pervasive presence of state controlled television has rendered the question moot anyway.

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There is little more that can be said. With ten percent of all male readers being more or less colour deficient we might expect a bit more consideration, especially as it costs nothing. All the lines have only three different colours, two of which are nearly indistinguishable, leving two, red and blue. It’s impossibkle to match the legend to the lines in the diagram.     Zurück