The Fool’s Gold of Zero Covid

We have been bombarded with a couple of COVID narratives recently, first, that COVID is out-of-control again and we all need to go in the back yard and run in circles, and secondly, that the COVID problem is easily solved and we can all go back to normal and forget about our COVID worries if only more people would get vaccinated. Both narratives are facile and ignore a lot of relevant facts.

COVID cases have risen significantly in the U.S. the last seven weeks. That much is true. Also, the most recent rise is surprising because we expected that as vaccinations increased and we inched closer to the holy grail of herd immunity, the virus would remain a low-level threat. President Joe Biden thought we would be back to normal by July 4, but now wants to extend the crisis because we are heading in the wrong direction at the moment and we still appear to be a long way from zero COVID. He and others won’t say it directly, but zero COVID is their goal, or at least the goal that they are now tied to. This creates more problems because it is clearly an impossible goal.

The one-channel media, big tech, public health officials, and government leaders can’t accept that we’ve learned a lot, made many mistakes, and government has done about as much as it possibly can to combat the virus. They’ve tied their own hands, however, because they have been so dogmatic about something they didn’t really have control over or understand all that well. They tell us: I am following the science and my political opponents are leading you astray. There is no in between. They have actually manipulated this virus to polarize the American people and consolidate their own power. If the public learns that the situation isn’t always clear and certainly isn’t as black and white as they make it out to be, it would reflect badly on them.

Remember when the goal was “15 days to slow the spread” and “don’t overrun the hospitals”? Those, at least, were achievable goals, and once they were met, a new goal was needed so that a villain (namely Trump) could be blamed for not doing enough (Biden actually blamed every COVID death, every single one, on Trump’s policies) and so that the new super-hero (namely Biden) could promise us Nirvana if we followed his policies. In 2020, we flattened and then crushed the curve (multiple times) but then the goal posts kept moving to more and more distant goals until now we have the impossible goal of zero COVID.

If they admit there is only so much they can do to stop the spread of COVID, then their past promises seem hollow. Usually, politicians are quick to jump in front of parade and declare victory, but they can’t seem to do that in this instance because they’ve tied themselves to zero COVID. Any other goal would lack empathy, and their rhetoric and polices are based more on showing empathy than they are on science. If you say you just care about your neighbors and you are just trying to protect us all (and, by extension, you imply your neighbor who is resisting is a heartless SOB), you are deemed good, even if the policy advocated achieves no good results. We’ve known from the start that vaccines are not 100% effective and that a significant percentage of the population would not be vaccinated. Ask yourself why our leaders now seem so surprised, outraged about these obvious truths? Do you think they are trying to cover up for their own inadequate policies? We have known all our lives that zero flu has never been obtainable for those same reasons. We’ve adapted to that reality.

Instead, Biden makes an impossible promise: “I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m going to shut down COVID.” Well, we’ve had more than 200,000 deaths on the Biden watch, so it doesn’t appear he has shut it down. COVID is a new fact of life, but they can’t admit that because it would highlight that they never had a comprehensive plan to begin with.

The Reasonable Approach

I prefer politicians like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who openly admit that the mitigating measures we (he included) have imposed have been largely ineffective.

“We are not shutting down,” he said. “We are going to have schools open. We are protecting every Floridian’s job in this state. We are protecting people’s small businesses. These interventions have failed time and time again throughout this pandemic, not just in the United States but abroad. They have not stopped the spread, particularly with Delta.”

source: ‘Don’t let us be your nurse’: Health care worker describes Florida surge (yahoo.com)

This is the only reasonable approach in my opinion. We were willing to give “15 days to slow the spread” a chance at first because it had a definitive end, but the folks running the country today apparently want to keep us in crisis mode forever; they don’t want to be pinned down to a definitive end date. All we can do though is protect the most vulnerable and let the rest of us go on with our lives, taking the precautions we each deem appropriate for our individual circumstances. It is becoming increasingly apparent that COVID isn’t going away, just like the flu and hundreds of other public health risks that we’ve known about and lived with for years. The public wants it to just go away and believes it can because they’ve never been told the truth.

Of course, the governor’s common sense approach is deemed callous and uncaring because there are still people dying from COVID. Remember, it is empathy that matters and gets you accolades, not telling the cold hard truth. If Governor DeSantis doesn’t do everything he can, or rather say that he is doing everything he can, to save every single life then, the narrative says he is letting people die unnecessarily. You would believe such a thing only if you thought we could save every life from COVID and actually reach zero COVID. You would believe such a thing if lockdowns and mask mandates and all the other restrictions had not already been tried repeatedly the last eighteen months. Nevertheless, many do still believe the mitigating measures work, but if they have worked, how come COVID is still alive and well around the world? If they have worked, how come COVID rises and falls on its own terms and not in synch with the imposition and removal of such mandates?

DeSantis has many critics. After all, he has replaced Trump as the new arch villain. Let’s hear from one of the medical experts criticizing him:

Dr. Bernard Ashby, a Miami cardiologist and Florida state lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care, told Yahoo News that DeSantis’s decision to ban mask mandates in schools is yet another example of the governor turning a public health issue into a political one.

“I really need him to get the message and understand that our lives are more important than politics. People over politics,” Ashby said. “We have tons and tons of data that indicate that masks decrease the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Yet he’s banning municipalities from making that decision, and that’s something that is reckless and actually detrimental, not only to the health of students but to teachers and the rest of the community, because these students can serve as vectors for further spread of this Delta variant.”

By now, everyone knows their options. If they choose not to be vaccinated or not to wear masks, they accept the risk that comes with those choices. The government’s job is not to make a vaccination decision for every single American. The calculus varies depending on your own individual circumstance; it is not one-size-fits-all. The government’s job is not to compel everyone “to do the right thing”. Who decides what the “right thing” is in any case? Why are we letting our leaders pretend they have the power to override the decisions we make for ourselves? We may make the wrong decisions, but then again, our doctors may be wrong as well. Certainly, we don’t trust our politicians to always have the right answer to provide us, do we? Everyone has the right to choose how they want to mitigate the risk of COVID; you accept the consequences for your own decisions. Why do we so many want to abandon these freedoms because of this crisis? Maybe they are okay with the loss of freedom for others because they agree with the government approach in this instance, but the next time they may be on the other side (and it may be too late to resist at that point).

There is another canard I hear now: others don’t have the right “not to be sick”, as my liberal friend recently said to me. I say he has the right to take all the precautions he wants to protect himself, but he has no right to impose his views on me and he has no right to determine my medical treatment, nor does Dr. Fauci, nor does any other of the awful crop of politicians we are stuck with today. Why does he think his opinion about how everyone should respond is better than my opinion or your opinion of how everyone should respond? Maybe he believes he has the science on his side and I don’t. In the end, the one who wins that battle is usually the one with the biggest stick. I want “We the people” to have the bigger stick, not our government. This is what the fight is really about. Who is going to yield the power in the future? Trust me, it should not be the government.

Follow the Science or Follow the Experts?

I called the doctor’s office the other day and the message while I waited I heard: “we recommend the vaccinated wear a mask to protect the unvaccinated”. I did a double-take. Huhn? How about the unvaccinated take steps to protect themselves? Folks, if this is to be our standard, we will all be wearing masks forever because the unvaccinated, like the poor, will always be among us. By this standard, we can never get rid of the masks. They will be with us for eternity. This argument for masking is ridiculous, yet it seems to be taken with great seriousness by the folks at my doctor’s office. I think we should follow the science, but I do not follow the expert just because has an M.D. beside his name.

We either follow the advice of experts like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky or we don’t. Either the things they say make sense or they don’t. Either they make the case for their policies or they fail to. If these doctors are wrong about the medical advice provided, they don’t have to live with the consequences; we are the ones who suffer because of their bad advice. Plus, they have often been wrong or deceitful, in any case. Again, follow the science, not simply the people with the M.D. beside their names.

In a couple recent posts with regard to transgenders, I said they have the right to live their lives as they choose. I think they are deluding themselves, but I do not want to prevent them from making such choices or impose restrictions on their freedom to make such choices. However, the same politicians who want to take away your freedom by issuing vaccine passports and imposing mask mandates and lockdowns and all the rest will, on the other hand, fight for transgenders to have the freedom to live their lives (while calling people like me transphobic). Why not follow the same principle here? They also fight for a woman’s “right to choose” (which is also a canard because it isn’t really a choice about her own body, but a choice about someone else’s). Well, how about our rights to choose to vaccinate or not?

Government by experts, my friends, is not a good thing. These days, the experts are often overtly partisan (e.g. Fauci and Walensky), but even if honest brokers, the experts themselves often disagree. Furthermore, the “experts” are usually experts in just one area and the decisions we need to make (like whether or not to vaccinate or to mask up) involve many competing factors.

Let’s use Dr. Ashby in the article above as our example of an “expert” who we are told to listen to. I would ask Dr. Ashby what does he know about the Constitution and the rights it protects? Is he an expert on the Constitution and the law? Did Dr. Ashby ever make a decision that might affect the lives of 20 million people in his state? Does he have any appreciation that our government officials are limited in their powers (or are, at least, supposed to be)? Does he have any appreciation that his opinions need to be balanced with the opinions of other experts in his own field along with experts in other fields? As someone in a leadership position who needs to make decisions in my own job, I can tell you there are always many sides to a story and many are disappointed when I don’t follow their advice. Has Dr. Ashby had the weight of such decisions strictly on his shoulders? It’s easy to spout off when Yahoo! News offers you a chance to have your name in print. Maybe he can walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before judging the governor’s actions?

Furthermore, Dr. Ashby criticizes DeSantis’s politics, but what does Dr. Ashby know about politics? Is he an expert in politics too? Does he think he can delve into the field of politics and criticize those in that field, but others should not question his medical judgment? Maybe our “expert” Dr. Ashby should leave the job of making political decisions to people who have been elected to make them and stay in his own lane?

No matter what he decides, DeSantis can’t make any decision regarding COVID without having some expert with a different opinion thrown in his face. He has to make a decision one way or the other, but he can only satisfy the one-channel media if he sides with the “experts” they like. I think DeSantis is coming down on the right side because this debate as it is as much a matter of freedom and civil liberties than it is a matter of medicine and science. Should we or shouldn’t we have control over medical decisions that impact our lives?

Furthermore, what about the fact that someone who has any sort of medical condition or risk is allowed to decide upon their own treatment? What about the fact that we have the right to second opinions? Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky say you must wear a mask and get a vaccine, but how about if you want to ask the doctor you’ve seen for the last thirty years? Do the opinions of Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky trump your personal doctor’s opinion? Do their opinions trump your own? Perhaps the greatest of all doctors thinks so. Dr. Fauci said he “is the science” and an attack on him “is an attack on science”, so apparently those other opinions you may obtain, are wrong if they contradict his COVID: Fauci is the Science, Check Your Mask at the Door, and Be Informed on Vaccines – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com).

Doctors often recommend treatment and we often follow their recommendations. But we have the right to refuse treatment and reject their advice. I can tell you from my own experience with cancer that doctors are often wrong. A half dozen doctors misdiagnosed my condition over a period of six months before one smart lady doctor finally figured it out. But even then, I made my own decision about treatment, getting not just a second opinion, but a third opinion. The doctors I sought didn’t agree on my treatment; I was provided multiple options. Interestingly, none of them told me the science of colon cancer is settled. During this ordeal, I never encountered anyone as dogmatic and cocksure as Dr. Fauci. None of my doctors said you just need to do what they tell me and ignore the opinions of the other doctors I sought out. The bottom line is that it was my decision, not theirs. They were the experts and I considered all they said, but I was the one impacted and the only one who could weigh all the relevant factors.

For Your Local School Board

School boards all over the country are once again imposing mask mandates for the upcoming school year (although thankfully appear to be forgoing remote learning), ostensibly because they want to protect our kids. Of course, we all want to protect our kids; our kids are often the most vulnerable among us. But why impose this burden on kids again this year unless the true goal is zero COVID? In my state of North Carolina, there have been three COIVD deaths among minors. Soak that in. For a period of eighteen months in a state of more than 10 million, three children have died of COVID. Three deaths in eighteen months is apparently not good enough for our school board. For the entire country, by the way, COVID deaths for minors are at 337, an average of about 220 annually for a country of 330 million. Because these numbers are not good enough, the goal must obviously be zero COVID.

Maybe they also think their mask mandates saved a bunch of lives and it would have been more than three if not for them? As P.T. Barnum said: “There is a sucker born every minute.” Gosh, I wished I lived in Florida and didn’t have to put up with this nonsense. Here is what actually happens when you forgo the mask mandates.  The CDC’s Mask Mandate Study: Debunked – AIER. There is quite a bit of actual science in this article along with real world evidence provided, including this eye-popper:

  • Just look at the data from Jonas F. Ludvigsson that is emerging from Sweden in children 16 years old and under when preschools and schools were kept open and there were no face masks though social distancing was fostered. The result was zero (0) deaths from COVID-19 in 1.95 million Swedish children across the study period. The number of infections was exceedingly low, the number of hospitalizations was exceedingly low, and there were no deaths in children with COVID-19, all this despite not wearing masks due to no schoolwide mask mandate. Is this merely a perfunctory and legally prudent warning by the CDC that “your mileage may vary?” Or is it more like a hot mutual fund telling you that “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” What is the CDC really trying to say about face masks and why so much confusion?  

Wow! Sweden actually reached the Nirvana of zero COVID among school kids without a mask mandate. How about we give that a try?

Of course, our board also says they want to protect others, not just the kids. While they may even agree kids are safe from COVID themselves, they could transmit COVID to teachers and administrators. But then, all of those teachers and administrators can make their own decisions, can’t they? They can get a vaccine or they can wear a mask (if they believe it makes a difference), and if they chose not to, why is it that our kids have to wear masks and bear the consequences of the decisions the teachers and administrators made for themselves? Furthermore, numerous studies have shown kids are not vectors of this virus and that asymptomatic spread is not a thing. But they’d rather be safe than sorry. I will point out yet again, it is empathy and emotion driving the decision, not the science.

Because I think there should be no mask mandate for kids, doesn’t mean I don’t care (of course, that doesn’t stop others from declaring how heartless people like me are). I could turn this same argument around on those advocating for mask mandates. What about the kids who die each year in car accidents, from drowning, from drug overdoes, from flu and pneumonia, from suicide and homicide, from sports injuries, and so much more? There are far more kids dying from these incidents and there is probably more we could do to reduce these deaths, but instead you focus your attention on something which is killing slightly more kids than lightning strikes? To be fair, I am sure school boards care about the kids dying from all the rest too, but they have realized they have relatively little control over preventing deaths in these instances. Why don’t they figure out then they are spitting in the wind with regard to COVID as well? Why have they also bought into the notion of zero COVID? Are they so afraid if just one kid in their district dies of COVID, they have blood on their hands? That standard is going to lead to all sorts of ridiculous policies in the future.

Finally, it’s no big deal to wear a mask, right? I may think they don’t work, but you say what’s the harm? Again, it is better to be safe than sorry, right? Putting aside my large concern regarding the freedom to live my life as I choose and the problems I have with the unlawful control that government leaders are trying to exert over me with their mandates, I still say that masks are not only ineffective, but counter-productive.

First, it is a simple fact that many medical treatments are totally ineffective, but safe. As a society, we have tolerated this forever and it is consistent with the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. The FDA’s primary job is make sure unsafe products don’t come to market, but there are plenty of over-the-counter drugs that don’t do what they are advertised to do. I’m sure you’ve tried some yourself. Want to lose weight in just ten days while you relax on your couch? Initially, I was inclined to put masks into this category: ineffective but harmless, but read on.

Dr. Ashby, who I tried to make famous above, says he has tons of examples of why masks are effective. I have been looking for those examples. The CDC conducted a study which showed a marginal impact at best, but I haven’t seen this study reproduced by anyone else (above I included a link which rebuts this study). Dr. Michael Osterholm said wearing a mask can be compared to a screen door on a submarine. It takes a little longer to fill up the submarine, but the screen door doesn’t prevent the sub from sinking.

The most compelling evidence against masking is empirical.

Sweden is a fascinating case study. Sweden can be compared to the state of North Carolina; both have a population around 10 million and both have two relatively large cities of comparable size, Stockholm and Malmo in Sweden and Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina. Sweden, unlike North Carolina, imposed no mask mandates and they allowed kids to attend school in-person all of last year. Sweden has the lowest mask compliance rate in all of Europe. Since the start of the pandemic, Sweden has had about 1,000 more deaths from COVID than North Carolina (14K vs 13K), but Sweden has done better this year. Since June 1, 2021 Sweden has had just 100 COVID deaths and just 12 since July 1. Life is back to normal for them; in fact, life was never altered that much for them. In contrast, North Carolina has had more than 700 deaths since June 1 and more than 300 since July 1. What have mask mandates, lockdowns, and the rest gained for North Carolina? Sweden’s overall COVID numbers are comparable to North Carolina’s but at a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, they are in a better place right now. It is hard to quantify, but I argue the mitigation strategies have actually killed quite a number of people on their own. These measures are not all that compassionate after all.

I did a similar analysis back in March, comparing California and Florida. Florida had far fewer restrictions than California, but the two states had comparable COVID numbers to that point. Even today, the results are similar for the two states, with Florida, one of the freest states in the nation, ranking 26th in deaths per capita, while California, one of the most restrictive ranks 32nd. New York, another restrictive state, still ranks 2nd in deaths per capita. Refer to the Case Study in Adjusting to COVID – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com)

This past April, I highlighted this comment regarding Neanderthal thinking from Joe Biden: Texas and Mississippi recently lifted mask mandates, joining the ranks of 13 other states which had no mask mandate. Joe Biden says their governors are Neanderthals (by the way, I thought Biden was the anti-Trump and avoided such incendiary rhetoric). Biden slams governors for lifting mask mandates, calls it ‘Neanderthal thinking’ (cnbc.com)

Four weeks after he made that comment, COVID cases in both states had plummeted dramatically. Recently, cases have risen in these two states, but that has nothing to do with the removal of mask mandates which occurred months prior.

On July 19, 2021, the UK eliminated mask mandates and all COVID restrictions. COVID cases were still rapidly rising on the 19th, but two days later, on July 21, cases in the UK peaked and have since rapidly declined, heading down as quickly as they headed up. So, mask mandates are removed in the midst of the deadly delta variant onslaught and almost immediately cases rapidly decline. Go figure. 

There are countless other examples of mask mandates being imposed, extended, or expanded while cases continue to rise. You may be able to find examples of when mandates were implemented and cases fell, but that’s only by coincidence. If masks were effective, we would have studies showing a clear correlation between their imposition and falling rates and their removal and rising rates.

Ok, but what’s the harm in masking? If it saves just one life, isn’t that reason enough?

In a recent post, I highlighted an article from Town Hall regarding a group of parents who sent masks into the lab after an 8-hour school day. The masks were freshly laundered and given to the kids in the morning. At the end of the day, they were sent to the lab. COVID: Fauci is the Science, Check Your Mask at the Door, and Be Informed on Vaccines – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com)

A group of parents in Gainesville, FL, concerned about potential harms from masks, submitted six face masks to a lab for analysis. The resulting report found that five masks were contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and fungi, including three with dangerous pathogenic and pneumonia-causing bacteria. No viruses were detected on the masks, although the test is capable of detecting viruses.

Half of the masks were contaminated with one or more strains of pneumonia-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with one or more strains of meningitis-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. In addition, less dangerous pathogens were identified, including pathogens that can cause fever, ulcers, acne, yeast infections, strep throat, periodontal disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more.

The analysis detected the following 11 alarmingly dangerous pathogens on the masks:

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia) 

• Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis) 

Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis) 

• Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis) 

• Acinetobacter baumanni (pneumonia, blood stream infections, meningitis, UTIs— resistant to antibiotics) 

• Escherichia coli (food poisoning)

• Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme disease)

• Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria)

• Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires’ disease) 

• Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3 (severe infections—high morbidity rates) 

• Staphylococcus aureus (meningitis, sepsis)

Our pediatrician, the expert we listen to more than Dr. Fauci, also recommends against masking this year:

“Put the Kids First” – a Washington Post opinion piece hits the nail on the head for what we should be doing for children. The article states: “Here’s one simple recommendation: Children should return to their normal lives this summer and in the upcoming school year, without masks and regardless of their vaccination status.”

There have also been numerous studies which have highlighted the negative long-term psychological impact of wearing masks 8-hours a day for months on end. This is especially true for the younger kids, some of whom could also physically harm themselves (e.g. chewing or swallowing pieces of the mask, vomiting inside them, touching other kids masks, etc). Dr. Fauci and Dr Walensky are now recommending all kids over the age of two be masked and vaccinated. Do you still think they are the experts we should be listening to?

The Numbers

While others are running in circles in the backyard, screaming and shouting, let’s delve into the actual numbers. As I mentioned in the last post, despite the dramatic rise in cases, deaths in the month of July were the lowest of any during the pandemic. Seven weeks into the delta surge, deaths in the U.S. deaths are still 86% off their peak from January. Eight states are still averaging less than one death per day. Six more are averaging just one death per day. New York which at one point was averaging 956 deaths per day is currently at 10 deaths per day. New Jersey has gone from 315 deaths per day to 6 per day, and Connecticut from 114 per day to 1 per day.

Deaths have continued to rise in August and the numbers won’t be as good as July. Some states are not doing as well in this surge. Florida is back up to 90 deaths per day. The country as a whole now looks like it will blow past the 500 deaths per day mark in August. It is not good that we are seeing yet another round of COVID at this juncture. You could call it a crisis, even though throughout the month of July when we were at the low point of the entire pandemic, but we are not yet back to crisis level.

We don’t know where COVID is headed the rest of this year or next, but we do know one thing with absolutely certainty: the virus waxes and the virus wanes. The virus has been waxing since June 21, going from 12,000 cases per day to 105,000 per day on August 6. It is going to peak; every single rise the past 18 months has been followed by a lengthy decline.

When is delta going back in its hole? Are we seeing any signs the turn is coming? According to our local news there is no end in sight; this could go on indefinitely; however, I see a few preliminary signs that the curve is flattening. Cases are still rising but the rate of increase has slowed three straight weeks. Between July 11-17 cases rose 68%. The first six days this past week, they rose 28%. Imagine decreasing the pressure on the gas pedal; you are still speeding up, but nearing your maximum speed so you begin to ease off the pressure. Also, if there is a flattening of that curve, we will start to see it in individual states before the nation as a whole. In the past few days, cases have dropped in five states: Louisiana, Alabama, South Dakota, Nevada, and Utah. Nevada’s curve appears to be a sustained drop; we will know about the others soon.

Next week, I’m expecting another increase in cases, but even less pressure on the gas pedal; we’re near maximum speed. If we see more states hit their peaks, we’ll know we’re headed back down soon.

Also, climate appears to have an impact on cases. Last summer around the exact same time we saw an significant increase in COVID cases. The same Southern states were hit hard last summer and again this summer. The weather heats up in the South and folks move indoors where COVID is more easily spread. By Labor Day, the worst of the heat is done and the weather is nice again. The Northern, cooler states are impacted more in the winter months.

I’m not saying this is all good or that it won’t get worse again as we head into Fall. We are, however, still doing better than we did all of last year. But let’s wait and see what happens before panicking and let’s take action only if that action is meaningful, not something symbolic to demonstrate how much we care. Let’s also come to grips with the fact that this may be as good as it gets.

Vaccines

The most effective mitigating measure we’ve had to this point has been the vaccines. Masks, lockdowns, and the rest are a drop in the bucket at controlling COVID. But there are a few data points we still need to monitor with regard to vaccines. We need to continue to ask how effective are the vaccines? They have done well to this point, but I am withholding final judgment until we get through this Fall.

A few weeks ago, we were hearing 99% of hospitalizations were among the unvaccinated. I am now hearing that the number is actually around 90% unvaccinated. Is that number going to continue to drop? You can’t keep throwing around the same number when we are such a dynamic environment.

Florida is one state that I want to keep an eye. They are in the upper half in terms of vaccinations with around 50% fully vaccinated and 60% with at least one dose, yet they have set new peaks for COVID cases and deaths have been rising faster than would be expected for such a highly vaccinated state. Maybe the heat is the more relevant factor at the moment; we’ll need to wait and see.

The U.S. is actually doing quite well with vaccination rates. All but four states now have 45% of their population with at least one vaccine (Mississippi is the lowest at 41.8%). That number is rising quickly now among the states with lower vaccination rates.

Delta has everyone scared, but delta is not the thing that worries me. We will be beyond the delta variant soon. The thing that really worries me at this point is the durability of these vaccines. If you have not seen the interview of Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of mRNA technology, please watch this video. Go to the last section, A Reason for Pause, from my last post and listen to this interview: COVID: Two Questions Answered, Some Good News, and a Reason for Pause – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com)

In this interview, he says quite clearly that the vaccines appear to be good for six months. He is shocked by this result. If you were one of the first to vaccinate back in January, your vaccine may have expired. I was vaccinated in April, so I may have just a few more months. I am going to continue to get antibody tests the next few months to determine if I am still protected or not. I will be extremely disappointed if six months is all we get.

Pfizer and Moderna are now recommending a booster shot after six months: Moderna study, following Pfizer’s, says COVID-19 vaccine remains strong after 6 months, booster shot is powerful – oregonlive.com.

Let’s end this post with a few questions. Why aren’t we hearing about the vaccine durability from Fauci, Walensky, and Biden? You think they aren’t privy to this information? Give it to us straight if you want us to trust you in the future. If I get a booster shot after six months, how long before I will need another booster shot and yet another after that? I need one flu shot a year, but why do I need three COVID shots in a year? We are learning now that the vaccines are not good at controlling infections and transmissibility, but what if, in the long term, they don’t control deaths and hospitalizations either?

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