I wrote about the relatively low COVID numbers earlier this fall https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/11/07/covid-october-surprise/. At the time, I mentioned COVID rates had declined into the first week of November, a surprising result for the respiratory virus to end all viruses. Since then Omicron! has invaded the U.S., but as I watch the numbers roll in, it seems likely that Omicron! will not go down in infamy like the black plague or the Spanish Flu. Again, it is surprising that the COVID virus is not surging more this late into the virus season. Nevertheless, our public figures continue to cry wolf.
Dr. Pierre Kory of the Front Line Critical Care Alliance (https://covid19criticalcare.com/) has been watching and analyzing Omicron! as well. In a Newsmax interview this week, he describes it as “mild”. Perhaps it will replace Delta as the dominant variant in the U.S., he speculated, but Dr. Kory doesn’t seem too worried about that possibility (unlike another doctor we all know).
Our pediatrician in his newsletter this past Monday, talked about Omicron! as well. He too seems optimistic that while more contagious, Omicron! is probably less deadly than earlier strains of COVID:
Omicron! is outcompeting Delta based on early evidence from Europe and South Africa. It also appears to be as much as twice as contagious as the Delta variant. How it interacts with the US population is coming online in the next 2 weeks. I am quite fascinated by the reality that the new reproductive rate could have jumped to the land of measles. Quite amazing for an organism to mutate this quickly and so effectively to make itself omnipresent in the globe. Thank God this almost always portends a weaker kill rate!
There is very good early evidence that it is likely less deadly as the early reports out of South Africa and elsewhere show a younger infected population and less hospitalization and death. It is primarily infecting the under 45 year old age group because they are the least vaccinated group and most interactive. However, the morbidity and mortality reality for the US will only be understood when we have a few weeks of Omicron! induced disease in our population.
Both Dr. Kory and our pediatrician hedge their bets by saying we need a little more data before we can be completely sure of Omicron!’s impact. Below are the numbers from South Africa, the place where Omicron! made its debut. In fact, the case numbers are off the charts in the last month, but deaths are not up, a result which confirms what these two doctors tell us. The situation may change, but for God’s sake, let’s wait until the data comes in before panicking everyone.
One thing I know for sure is that Omicron!, like everything COVID, has been hyped. Senator Ron Johnson blamed the hype on Dr. Fauci, the greatest of all doctors, science incarnate. Of course, Dr. Fauci was incredulous:
“Jake, how do you respond to something as preposterous as that?” Fauci asked host Jake Tapper during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Overhyping AIDS that’s killed over 750,000 Americans and 36 million people worldwide? How do you overhype that?”
“Overhyping COVID that’s already killed 780,000 Americans over 5 million people worldwide. So I don’t have any clue what he’s talking about,” Fauci added.
“I don’t think he does, either,” Tapper responded.
I agree it is quite a feat to hype a virus that has killed 5 million people worldwide, but Dr. Fauci, greatest of all doctors, appears to have pulled off that difficult feat.
Maybe Senator Johnson is referring to Dr. Fauci’s role in derailing one of the best economic periods in U.S. history while scaring people to death over a virus which has a case fatality rate of around 0.5%, 60 times less deadly than that of smallpox. Maybe he is wondering why Dr. Fauci insisted on masking and vaccinations for school-age kids whose risk from COVID is on par with being struck by lightning. Maybe the senator is wondering why Dr. Fauci, the greatest of all doctors, has ignored the low risk to other demographics and demanded quarantining the healthy. Maybe the senator is wondering why Dr. Fauci, science incarnate, has ignored the benefits of natural immunity which have repeatedly proven better than the vaccine immunity that he cannot stop talking about. Maybe Senator Johnson is wondering why the world’s greatest doctor has ignored all the excess deaths and the negative consequences which resulted from poor public policy, or why someone trained as an MD and an unelected bureaucrat believes he is the public policy expert for the entire country (and, unfortunately, not a very good one, if you ask me). Maybe he is also asking why the greatest of all doctors, has ignored therapeutics which have saved lives and could have saved even more. Does any of this sound like hype? Does it? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
By the way, I’ve shared much about therapeutics in prior posts from many responsible and highly credentialed doctors talking about HCQ, Ivermectin, and monoclonal antibodies; here is yet another link to an interview of Dr. Harvey Risch, Yale epidemiologist:
(try this website as well: https://www.earlytreatmentreport.com/)
Maybe Senator Johnson has grown weary of all Dr. Fauci’s flip-flopping guidance on masking, lockdowns, remote learning for kids, and vaccine mandates? Maybe he wonders why control groups in Florida, Iowa, Texas and other states demonstrate that none of these measures are controlling the spread of the virus in the least, yet Dr. Fauci, greatest of all doctors, keeps pushing tactics unsupported by empirical data. Maybe, he wants to know why the world’s greatest doctor continues to double down and follow the same playbook for the Omicron! variant which is now in the U.S. and appears to be less deadly than earlier strains.
Maybe he wonders why Dr. Fauci, science incarnate, continues to tell the American people to adhere to his guidance or Grandma will die from COVID during the holidays. It is the same thing he said last year. We all wonder why the infallible Dr. Fauci believes Grandma should wait one more year before we can visit her for Christmas! Maybe we will be safer in 2022, so it is best not to take any chances for another year. Any of this sound like hype to you?
By the way, if Grandma is upset about Dr. Fauci’s guidance, tell her to listen the Hodge Twins: Families Should ‘Ask’ Maybe Require’ COVID Vaccine From Guests Before Indoor Gatherings. The Hodge Twins will put Grandma back into the right perspective and more into the Christmas spirit.
We know Omicron! is a variant significantly more mutated than Delta, and one that Dr. Kory and others are saying the current vaccines are unlikely to be effective at controlling transmission. Indeed, initial reports, per Dr. Kory, are that 80% of those infected with Omicron! are already vaccinated (although the death count remains low). If I hadn’t been vaccinated yet, I would wait to see where Omicron! takes us before proceeding. I am definitely in a holding pattern regarding a booster to protect against a virus that has mutated far beyond recognition since I was vax’d in April.
So, initial reports are that the current vaccines are ineffective against the spread of Omicron! and it threatens to become the dominant strain in the U.S., yet Dr. Fauci, the greatest of all doctors and science incarnate, is still pushing the original vaccines and supporting vaccine mandates? Maybe Senator Johnson wonders why Fauci continues to sing the praises of this one-hit wonder to the exclusion of all else. Maybe he wonders why the greatest of all doctors cannot update his algorithm as new information arrives.
Maybe Senator Johnson is asking why the Dr. Fauci the Great has hyped his own importance claiming he is science incarnate, something he has said not just once, but twice, this year (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/06/20/covid-fauci-is-the-science-check-your-mask-at-the-door-and-be-informed-on-vaccines/). Maybe Senator Johnson is also wondering why this man who has flip-flopped more than a buttermilk pancake is being lauded by every Trump-hating outlet in the one-channel media, is being featured as the hero in Hollywood films, is having glowing biographies written of him, and is being awarded million dollar prizes for saving humanity. Maybe we should turn the tables and ask Dr. Fauci how is that he so blithely accepts awards for his actions when nearly 5 million people have died worldwide?
It seems to me Dr. Fauci himself has been a bit overhyped as well. It must feel nice to be Dr. Fauci in those moments of acclaim, but shouldn’t we bring the world’s greatest doctor, science incarnate, back down to earth for a moment? Really, he is just a man, and all this celebrity seems to have corrupted him.
Maybe all this is the hype that Senator Johnson is referring to? It doesn’t seem that hard to figure out. Here is more from Senator Johnson in an interview with Steve Deace. Johnson is definitely one of the good guys.
https://rumble.com/vqdvwb-omicron-a-control-group-guest-senator-ron-johnson-12721.html Advance to the 49 minute mark for this interview (Let’s Go Brandon!)
If, instead of reasonable voices like Senator Johnson, you have listened to Dr. Fauci or if you live in New York City or Los Angeles, or God Forbid Australia or New Zealand, you might by now think COVID is a pre-cursor to the apocalypse. We are two years into this and it appears your nightmare will never end. Luckily, most of us have learned to put this disease in some perspective and have figured out how to live our lives while doing the best to prepare for COVID’s impact on us.
Still, I don’t blame Dr Fauci for touting the vaccines. It is not an unreasonable position for a doctor and I believe the vaccines have a valid purpose if used properly. The true problem is our public vaccine policy that he has been so instrumental in shaping and our knee-jerk reaction, led again by Dr. Fauci, to any new COVID threat on the horizon. Thank God there are still responsible doctors like Dr. Kory, Dr Risch, our local pediatrician, and many others who are poring over the data and evidence, providing cogent analysis, and recommending what they truly believe is best for all individuals. Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci, the medical individual who has had undue influence over the country the last two years has not been responsible in the least.
We are two years into this pandemic and many states and locales are still treating COVID as if it is the return of the bubonic plague. Delta, Lambda, Omicron!. The hits keep coming. The last swine flu epidemic was only a dozen years ago; we didn’t hype it nearly on the scale we’ve hyped COVID. We adapted then and many states are adapting to the new reality of COVID.
I should also say a word about Jake Tapper who interviewed Dr. Fauci and gave him the softball treatment. Tapper and others in media are a huge part of the problem because they simply echo Fauci’s talking points. How consistent is Tapper on the topic himself? In the video below, Tapper sat mask-less, two feet from Senator Amy Klobuchar as he roundly criticized Ted Cruz for also sitting mask-less next to Senator Amy Klobuchar at Bob Dole’s funeral the prior day. Is there any self-awareness with Tapper?
How about this lady? I think she may be related to Dr. Fauci or maybe just another of his groupies.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared Monday that citizens are now allowed to visit family and friends indoors, and can even “use the bathroom” at their houses.
Ardern made the bizarre statement in a press conference in Auckland listing off COVID threat levels in various regions of the island nation in the wake of a new variant.
“You can now see family and friends again in their homes — and use the bathroom inside. Luxury!” Ardern said.
Would you have believed two years ago, the Prime Minister of a major Western Democracy would be telling her citizens that she had just cleared the way for them to use the toilet when visiting family and friends? No, there has been no hype here. Dr. Fauci and Jake Tapper may actually be right: the public discourse around this topic has been completely reasonable and rational thanks to them.
Sensible Voices from Unexpected Places
The governor of Colorado, unlike the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City, the president of the United States, and other Fauci acolytes, has figured out the government has done as much as it can already. In fact, he appears to realize more government action just creates more problems. He recommends vaccinations and says it is on you if you don’t get one, but he isn’t forcing them on Colorado citizens. Good for him.
Now mind you, this is the Democratic governor of blue state Colorado, not the despicable red state governor of Florida, and not another Trump-loving, anti-vax, horse medicine loving Republican. How about that?
Even the NY Times asked if maybe COVID will be around for a while and shouldn’t we try to get used to it? If the NY Times is asking questions, the rest of the one-channel media may soon follow; maybe the narrative is turning against them and they realize they need a new one. If only they would withdraw support for Dr. Fauci, the greatest of all doctors, science incarnate, along the way.
Follow The Crowd
It is not a stretch to say people will follow the crowd and do things they would not otherwise because the crowd appears to be going along. The classic case is Nazi Germany. Why did so many of the German people go along with evil incarnate? Were so many just glad that they weren’t the unfortunate ones persecuted? Were they afraid if they spoke up or helped the Jews they too would be targeted?
Regular German citizens’ behavior then is similar to regular Americans’ behavior now (human nature has not changed). Many Americans are just glad they aren’t the ones who remain unvaccinated and might lose their livelihood or means to support their families. They are afraid to speak out for fear of being canceled. In my organization, I see few leaders willing stick their necks out to advocate for the people they manage, people who want to retain their right to choose for themselves; our leaders fear being labeled a troublemaker and stunting their budding careers. They may be among the spared this round, but they may not be spared the next one. If you’ve been double-vaxed, when are you getting the next one and the one after that? Think you have a choice in the matter? You may be less eager to keep going with the jabs, but you may be compelled in any case. Are you okay with semi-annual boosters as far as the eye can see or whatever else might come next? Do you want the government to tell you what you can do in your own home as the PM in New Zealand is doing already?
It turns out that the Jews weren’t the only ones who suffered under the Nazi regime. The German people as a whole did not speak up when change was possible, but they too eventually paid the price. Very few Germans emerged unscathed or were better off by 1945. My father lived in Germany five years after the war and said it was still a bombed out mess even then. The Germans he encountered likely wished they had spoken up earlier when there was still a chance to stop the Nazi regime.
The following story on autism demonstrates what people, even smart people, highly educated experts in their field, will do to avoid bucking the trend. The author talks about what she went through raising her autistic child; her story follows the exact same pattern that has played out in in the U.S. and around the world the last two years and she draws all the parallels, only her story went on for more much longer. This is a fascinating and cogent analysis which explains our problems as well as much about our fallen human nature:
What happened to the author’s son and her family was an absolute tragedy. The doctor at the center of this story, Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, misdiagnosed autism for years. Today, he and his methods are called barbaric, but for decades he was lauded as the leading light in the science of autism. The parallels between Dr. Bettleheim and Dr. Fauci are frightening: both were experts given undue influence, both based opinions on little real science, and both abused their power to ruin families and destroy those who questioned their methods. Please, read this story or listen to the video recounting of it. We are repeating history yet again. Let’s learn from the past.
We are in mid-December now and it appears the next COVID wave is still not upon us. I have to ask when looking at the numbers today: is COVID burning itself out? The bubonic plague and the Spanish flu, two of the worst pandemics in history, burned themselves out naturally after a few years. We’ve thrown all kinds of mitigating measures at COVID and haven’t stopped it yet. The emergency phase, as the Colorado governor put it, must eventually come to an end as COVID fades into the background like the flu. Now is as good of a time as any. COVID is endemic now per all accounts (i.e. with us forever), but it is not the threat it was a year ago.
Last Fall and into mid-January 2021, COVID deaths increased five fold and peaked at 3,500 deaths per day. This year’s Fall and Winter surge began later (in early November) and now in mid-December may even be flattening out again.
The increase in cases so far this year is not enough to be called another COVID wave; it is more of a ripple so far. This seems odd to me. Cases are up 69% since the low point around November 1. That’s a fairly small increase compared to the major year-end surge in 2020. We are heading into Christmas 2021 and rates are much, much lower than last year; the trend is moving upward still, but not at pace we were moving upward last Christmas.
December 15, 2020: 2712 U.S. COVID deaths per day; 220,000 cases per day
December 15, 2021: 1229 U.S. COVID deaths per day; 120,000 cases per day.
Let’s ask Dr. Fauci, the world’s greatest doctor and science incarnate, to remind us again how bad it was last year, so we can all be scared like we were then. We all love being scared by a good horror movie after all, and frankly, Grandma and Grandpa are not scared enough at the moment, not enough for their own good. We need to remind them yet again how dangerous COVID is and how many have already died. We haven’t had enough hype this year, not yet at least.
Perhaps season three of COVID will be the worst yet, but until that plays out, let’s stop all locking down and waiting in dread for what may or may not come.
In the graphs below, you can clearly see the last two waves, last Fall/Winter and this past Summer. You can also clearly see the bump up since early November; it is a small hill compared to the mountains we see with the last two waves. Is the roller coaster ride over or are there more surprises in our future?
What is going on with These Numbers?
The current death rates in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, despite still being just shy of 50% fully vax’d, are lower than Vermont, Maine, Mass, New York, Virginia, and Washington, states with two-thirds or more fully vax’d. Really? Why is that? Is the difference weather related (Southern vs. Northern states), vaccine levels, COVID policy, or something else?
If we look out over the entire length of the pandemic, Mississippi and Alabama are number one and two in COVID per capita deaths (they have supplanted New Jersey and New York, which had early leads, but have now fallen to third and sixth, respectively). Louisiana is fourth in COVID deaths over the two year period, but right now, Louisiana along with Mississippi and Alabama are not seeing many deaths. Is this a situation of “you can pay me now or your can pay me later”?
|State||Overall Death Rate (last two years) per million||Daily death rate (last 7 days) per million||Vaccination Rate (and ranking)|
|Vermont||705 (rank: 51)||4.81||75.6% (rank: 1)|
|Maine||1,025 (rank: 49)||2.98||74.5% (rank: 3)|
|New Hampshire||1,336 (rank: 44)||5.15||66.1% (rank: 11)|
|Louisiana||3,208 (rank: 4)||1.72||49.6% (rank: 47)|
|Mississippi||3,477 (rank: 1)||1.34||47.5% (rank: 48)|
|Alabama||3,325 (rank: 2)||2.45||47.0% (rank: 49)|
Why are three of the highest vax’d states currently experiencing more deaths per capita than three of the lowest vax’d states? Remember the case of Sweden I discussed last week (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/12/03/curious-case-of-sweden-and-omnicron-too/)? They paid the price up front, but their numbers the last six months have cratered. Is something similar going on in the U.S, now as well?
Now, let’s look at the world as a whole. It gets curiouser and curiouser. Africa stands out as the mostly lightly vaccinated of all continents. The darker colors in the map show the more heavily vaccinated countries and the lighter colors are the less vaccinated. It is clear from the map below that Central Africa is lightest shade of the entire world. The entire continent has just 17% of its population fully vax’d.
Now, of the 100 countries with the highest per capita death rates, only seven are in Africa while forty European countries are in the top 100. Europe is far more heavily vax’d than Africa but has more deaths. Whatcha talking about Willis? Again, what does this mean? This is not what should be expected.
Perhaps the data in Africa is less reliable or perhaps the vaccines are not what is helping keep the numbers down in Africa. Here are the numbers for all the continents:
|Continent||How many Countries in Top 100 with Highest Per Capita Death Rate?||Percent in Top 100|
|South America||12 of 14 in top 100||85.7%|
|Europe||40 of 48 in top 100||83.3%|
|North America||25 of 37 in top 100||67.6%|
|Asia||12 of 49 in top 100||24.5%|
|Oceania||3 of 14 in top 100||21.4%|
|Africa||7 of 58 in top 100||12.1%|
Why do the more affluent countries in North America and Europe which have higher vax’d rates have a higher death rate than lightly vaccinated Africa? It is a puzzlement.
South Africa, the source of Omicron!, has 26.4% fully vax’d while the U.S. has 60.9% fully vax’d, yet South Africa ranks 55th in deaths per capita while the U.S. is 20th. Jake could you ask Dr. Fauci about these results? Jake? Earth to Jake. Come in, Jake. Maybe Jake is busy nominating Dr. Fauci for another award given the “stellar” U.S. results.
I will allow you draw your own conclusions from these data points. I am not entirely sure what they mean myself, although it certainly increases my skepticism about all the hype.
What’s to Expect Now?
Omicron! appears to be coming to a country or a state near you. I think perhaps one of three possible scenarios is on the horizon for us:
- Omicron! does not become the dominant strain in the U.S., In this case, it seems to me the current COVID numbers will remain well below last Winter’s levels and fall again further in the Spring. The numbers are already starting to flatten well into the cold and virus season and without a new dominant variant there wouldn’t be any new pressure to drive them back up this late in that season.
- Omicron! becomes the dominant strain in the U.S. This seems the more likely case. In this case, we should follow the same pattern as South Africa. So far, that has meant a steep rise in cases, but far fewer deaths than with the other variants.
- Omicron! variant is more deadly in the U.S. than it has been so far in less vaccinated South Africa. This is the potential wild card. COVID has been so unpredictable that something like this could actually happen. In this case, it would tell us much about our COVID policy and our vaccine mandate policy, but almost certainly our public health officials would ignore those lessons. Dr. Fauci, the greatest of all doctors and science incarnate, would then look again to the big pharma companies to save us yet again with a new Omicron! specific vaccine. We would all be told to run in circles and scream and shout until such time as Dr. Fauci orders the music stopped. The cycle of fear would continue. Rinse and repeat ad nauseum. No lessons will be learned. It is the story of Dr. Bettelheim, deja vu all over again.
I certainly hope and pray the latter case does not come to pass. Let’s all hope Omicron! is the mild virus that initial reports show it to be and that the peaks this winter will remain well below last year’s numbers (as they have to this point).