COVID: New Variant, New Milestone, and What to Expect

The COVID case average has declined dramatically since January 13, dropping from 821,000 per day to just under 28,000 per day (as of Friday, March 25), a 97% decline in ten weeks. However, the rate of decline has slowed (down to just 7% the last seven days) and will likely level off soon, maybe around 25,000 cases per day. The death rate, thank God, is falling very rapidly now; it has fallen to about 650 per day, a quarter of what it was at the end of January, although, it is not yet near the very low rate it was last June. The death rate should continue to decline for several more weeks and fall well below 500 per day.

There is a new variant in town, Omicron BA-2, which has taken hold elsewhere in the world and will almost surely to spread to the U.S. as well. We will likely see COVID cases rise again in early Spring as is already happening in South Korea, Germany, France, and Italy to name a few. However, Omicron BA-2 is closely related to the original Omicron BA-1, so it is less deadly and natural immunity from BA-1 should continue to benefit us. We probably will not see a significant rise in deaths. In fact, world-wide deaths are as low as they have been since the very early days of the pandemic.

Here is a bit more on this new variant from our pediatrician:

Omicron’s sibling, the new variant BA.2, does not appear to be doing anything interesting. Current Covid cases remain 90% Omicron BA.1 and the remainder BA.2. Disease remains mild compared to the tough Delta strain for both BA.1 and BA.2. BA.2 is very contagious, but it appears that so many people have been exposed to BA.1 that there is no naive human tissue for BA.2 to take hold in.

COVID Milestone

U.S. COVID Deaths reached the significant 1 million mark on March 22, 2022. President Biden held a memorial after the country reached 500,000 deaths, ostensibly to highlight the failures of President Trump during that period. No such memorial has been planned for this arguably more significant milestone. I wonder why.

  • Prior to March 23, 2020, the U.S. had about 1,000 deaths
  • Between March 23, 2020 – March 23, 2022 – 1,000,000 U.S. COVID deaths / 24 months = 41,666 deaths per month for the entire pandemic.
  • Between March 23, 2020 – December 31, 2020 – 370,00 deaths / 9.25 months = 40,000 deaths per month for 2020
  • Between January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021 – 477,000 deaths / 12 months = 39,750 deaths per month for 2021
  • Last ten months of Trump Administration: 431,000 deaths / 10 months = 43,100 deaths per month under Trump.
  • First fourteen months of Biden Administration: 570,000 deaths / 14.1 months = 40,425 deaths per month under Biden
  • Between January 1, 2022 – March 23, 2022 – 153,00 deaths / 2.75 months = 55,636 deaths per month so far in 2022
  • Between January 1, 2021 – March 23, 2021 – 193,00 deaths / 2.75 months = 70,818 deaths in early 2021

Here is the most remarkable takeaway regarding the numbers above: the death rate has been consistent the last two years, averaging right around 40,000 deaths per month for both 2020 and 2021, and just slightly more than 40,000 per month during the entire pandemic. The rate also averaged a little over 40,000 deaths per month during the Trump Administration and a little over 40,000 deaths per month during the Biden administration. The rate was a little over 40,000 per month when we had vaccines and a little over 40,000 per month when we didn’t have vaccines. Can you see the pattern here?

Another interesting point is that deaths have declined less than 4% in the fourteen months since Biden took office, despite the wide availability of vaccines during the Biden term (vaccines were available only the last month of the Trump term). That’s a job well done for the man who said he was “going to shut down COVID”. At least President Trump never made such a claim.

In fact, these numbers clearly demonstrate that not Fauci nor Biden nor Trump nor the vaccines nor the mitigating COVID measures nor mandates nor the “American Rescue Plan” had a significant impact on COVID. U.S. per capita death ranking has actually risen during the last year; we are now the 17th highest worldwide. Many countries, especially third world countries, have under-reported COVID deaths, but even still a country as affluent as ours should be doing better.

I don’t fully blame either administration for the poor results with COVID; there were limited actions available (although, I do scoff greatly at Biden’s claim that he could shut down the virus and that all deaths prior to his administration were Trump’s fault, and I am most concerned about government health officials who have lied to us and burdened us with unnecessary restrictions for two years). Still, much of what we experienced may have been inevitable; it was a disaster waiting to happen. Our death rates are high, in large part, because Americans are not in good health. Collectively, Americans are as overweight and out-of-shape as we have ever been, and that makes us more susceptible to COVID as well as many other communicable diseases. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/08/covid-cdc-study-finds-roughly-78percent-of-people-hospitalized-were-overweight-or-obese.html

America’s poor health is the real crisis that has been exposed the past two years. We know what we need to do; we always have. We just have grown lazy and complacent. We should learn this lesson yet again and do better to manage our own individual health.

It is also not hard to figure out the actual factors which are causing the rates to rise and fall at various times of the year. The death rates have clearly been highest in the Winter, just as with the flu and other respiratory diseases. The Winter increases were not a result of low vaccination rates nor of scofflaws not wearing their masks at all times, but because the Winter weather forces more people inside and COVID is far more likely to spread indoors. We also saw an increase in deaths in dead of Summer in the Southern states, again for the same reason: stifling hot weather forced people inside.

The death rate this past Winter was much less than it was the prior Winter (there was a 21% drop in deaths this past Winter) which highlights another major factor: lethality of variants. Clearly, we did not control the spread of COVID this past Winter as the case rate skyrocketed (another serious limitation of the vaccines), but, at the same time, deaths are lower because the Omicron variant, prevalent this Winter, was far less deadly than the original variant prevalent last Winter.

There are your two factors that have made most of the difference to this point: weather and lethality of the COVID variant, not vaccines nor masks nor the American Rescue Plan. You may claim, as so many do, our local and national mitigating measures have had a sizeable impact, but, as demonstrated above, the death rate throughout the last two years has been consistent, rising during Winter and mid-Summer and falling other times of the year, showing that any mandated change was marginal at best.

It seems obvious to so many folks that if you wear your mask and get vaccinated, you are better protected. How could it not be? Suspend your disbelief for a moment and look at the facts. The case rate and death rate went up and down when people were vax’d and it went up and down when people were unvax’d; the rates went up and went down in Florida with its relaxed COVID restrictions, just as the rates went up and went down in New York which has only just recently loosened restrictions and mandates. In fact, Florida’s per capita death rate (measured over the entire two-year period) is lower than New York’s despite far fewer COVID restrictions and far more susceptible seniors living in Florida. Sweden had virtually no COVID restrictions (kids went to school mask-less for the last two years!) and they rank 57th in per capita deaths compared to the U.S. rank of 17th. How could this possibly be? How come all our various COVID restrictions did not yield better results?

If you think I am gaslighting or spreading misinformation, and you believe instead that mitigating measures have actually had a positive significant impact on the overall numbers, please provide evidence to the contrary; however, please provide numbers, results, clear empirical evidence to back your claims, not just the reassurances of Dr. Fauci or Dr. Walensky who have destroyed their credibility through continual flip-flopping and misleading guidance.

Natural Immunity

When trying to predict the future, the third factor to consider today is natural immunity. Natural immunity has had an impact to this point, although it is hard to tease out how much the small declines to date are related to the various factors. But 2022 is the year natural immunity finally pays big benefits.

Maybe you still believe vaccine immunity is a major factor, but folks like me who were vaccinated eleven months ago, no longer have any measurable benefit from vaccinations, and given all that we have learned in the last year many of us are not going to get boosted. Dr. Malone told us back in Summer 2021 that vaccine efficacy was limited to six months; he has been proven right:

https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/08/03/covid-two-questions-answered-some-good-news-and-a-reason-for-pause/;

A Chaotic Day | Guest: Dr. Robert Malone | 8/3/21 (rumble.com).

There are a lot of the vaccine hesitant out there. The U.S. rate of vaccinations has fallen considerably. During the first year of the vaccines (December 2020 – December 2021), 480 million vaccines were distributed in the U.S. , 40 million per month. The rate has dropped almost by half the last three-and-a-half months (to 22 million per month), despite the push to vaccinate our kids and to have everyone else boosted.

Throughout 2021, we had the vaccines for protection, and we experienced a very slight drop in deaths. Now, in Spring 2022, we have natural immunity for protection. Why does natural immunity matter more now? Well, because in the last four months, since Thanksgiving, we have seen a massive run-up in reported cases. Forty percent of all reported cases have occurred just in the last four months, the time period when Omicron exerted its influence. This finally provides the threshold needed for herd immunity to provide significant levels of protection for the entire population. The final leg of the stool, the one that will lead us back to normality, is natural immunity. A wide variety of studies show it is the superior, longer-lasting immunity.

Given the less virulent strains and higher levels of natural immunity, we will this year, without a doubt, see a much larger decline than 4%. Both the Omicron BA-1 and BA-2 variants, the only strains currently present, are less deadly than the any of the prior variants. 2022 will be a good year for COVID; President Biden will finally have a COVID parade he can jump in front of.

Why End the Pandemic Now?

Many states and locales are just now lifting COVID restrictions, but, ironically this was done at the very point in time, during the middle of Winter, when death rates peak. New York City, embarrassed by a basketball player two weeks ago, is finally jumping off the crazy train as well.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/landonmion/2022/03/13/kyrie-irving-attended-basketball-game-in-brooklyn-still-cant-play-due-to-nyc-vaccine-mandate-n2604504?msclkid=1958227ead2911ec9f83cb66fa167341.

Mr. Irving, what a genius move! Thank you. You have most effectively shown the emperor has no clothes; facts and figures are disputed and twisted, but they couldn’t ignore your appearance as a spectator at your own team’s game. Why did it take a basketball player to highlight their silliness and break through the façade of dishonesty? Even Trevor Noah, who has been all in for all other COVID games, questioned the city’s policies for athletes.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/trevor-noah-new-york-city-vaccine-rules-kyrie-irving-nets-games

All our experts were telling us last June, when the death rates were very low, that we are not safe and they tell us in late Winter, when deaths are at relative highs, that it is all over. This past Winter, there were an average of 55,000 deaths per month while during Spring 2021 there was a total of 56,000, one-third the Winter rate. Yet, now was the time to announce an end to the pandemic. Hmm.

I am not complaining about the lifting of restrictions, but why did we maintain the panic all last year, and then calmly lift restrictions at a moment when deaths were three times higher than they were last Spring? Political science, not science, tells us those supporting restrictions are going to get wiped out in November. End them now, so maybe a few people will forget about them in eight months. Please don’t forget the last two years when you vote later this year.

Here is the thing we should all know by now: if you are a minor or a young adult and in good health, you have never had much of a COVID risk. You didn’t need to be quarantined and separated from other young and healthy folks. Yet, we, including our kids, are still reminded of the importance of the COVID measures continually. Why did my school officials remind me a month ago that my kids are not vaccinated? Why does the school continue to recommend it? Here is the direction provided in the school newsletter:

As the pandemic evolves, the most effective and appropriate public health tools for the current phase of the pandemic should be applied. The best tools right now are:

  • Getting vaccinated & boosted when eligible
  • Masking
  • Testing after exposure
  • Ventilating areas
  • Staying home when sick

Yes, stay home when sick; however, vaccinations have been marginal at best for the population as a whole. Where is the evidence they have benefited healthy kids at all?

Bloomberg News is still saying the following:

The Uncoupling of Cases and Deaths in the U.S.

Effective vaccines and milder Covid variants led to significantly higher survival rates by 2022.

They are still spouting the party line as well. Why do they keep saying it? The first claim is true: milder COVID variants have led to significantly higher survival rates, but that’s been only in the last four months since Omicron established itself. The survival rate was virtually the same in 2020 and 2021. In fact, in 2021, the year of the vaccine, deaths declined less than 1% from the prior year. Despite what Bloomberg says, the vaccines did not lead to significantly higher survival rates in 2021. They certainly may have helped some individuals, but they were not the silver bullet we had hoped for. The higher survival rate in 2022 is due strictly to the less lethal variant, not the vaccines which are being distributed at half the rate they were the year earlier.

I have the past few months provided a few nuggets which have shown that negative outcomes are actually more associated with higher vaccine rates. Here is yet another. These may be anomalies, but they certainly do not point to the fact that vaccines are effective. Where is the evidence that Bloomberg has to show effectiveness? What am I missing?

https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-record-infections-in-super-vaxxed-uk-seniors-as-double-vaxxed-show-negative-efficacy-against-covid-death

I received the vaccine pitch not only from my children’s school, but from officials at work who have just this week made the major decision to require folks to come into the office again (after two years of working strictly from home). This decision comes with the same standard language:

We want to assure you that the health and safety of our workforce remain our top priority. With over 90% of our workforce fully vaccinated, along with other basic workplace safety practices and protocols to reduce potential workplace exposures, the return to office approach is designed to be flexible to accommodate varying local conditions, while enabling workgroups who can resume in-office operations to do so in a structured, safe and efficient manner.

Okay, so 90% of our workforce is vaccinated. Yet, the COVID case rate this past Winter was four times higher than it has been at any time during the last two years. How do you explain that fact while you press for going back to the office? Do you think some people, people who have been taught to fear COVID, might still be a bit leery? What about people like me who are skeptical for other reasons? Why are you trying to convince us the vaccination rate is the thing which makes all this return to normality possible? The vaccines were not quite what we hoped for.

Our pediatrician, one I trust to provide an honest assessment, shared the following:

3) In a study looking at vaccine effectiveness against the delta variant we see more reinforcing data that the antibody response to vaccines wanes after the peak at 8 weeks over the next few months leaving T cells as the main defensive reality against Covid. (Wright et. al. 2022) This again leaves us in a world of relying on our natural immune response moving forward against future covid exposure as the reality of boosting every 6 months makes little to no logical sense unless you have serious co-morbid or age related risk. This, of course, assumes that you have had natural disease or a two dose series.

My take remains the same, booster doses remain a great idea for the elderly, over 65, and all individuals with risk factors.

6) A very needed article reviewing what was done correctly and what was done poorly during the pandemic was published in the Journal BMC Public Health. Some highlights that made me smile: 1) Emphasize education and harm reduction approaches over coercive and punitive measures, 2) Reopen schools now COVID-19 has caused by far the largest disruption to learning in recent history. As the pandemic has unfolded, there is mounting evidence that the harm of keeping schools closed dwarfs any public health benefits, 3) Avoid lockdowns – the cumulative evidence suggests that “sledge-hammer” lockdown approaches, such as the closing of all non-essential workplaces and schools, should be avoided in favor of more effective, carefully targeted “scalpel” public health strategies. (Halperin et. al. 2021)

In my last COVID post, I discussed several items regarding vaccinating minors.  Among them was Florida’s decision to recommend against vaccinating healthy minors, breaking ranks with the U.S. national policy.   This decision was based on a medical paper from a team of doctors from well-known “gaslighting” institutions (Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Stanford, etc.).   Dr. Robert Malone was also on the panel; he is the mRNA technology inventor, but is better known as the “gaslighter” who was interviewed by Joe Rogan last December.

The team that Florida assembled to make this recommendation is not out of a Cracker Jack box. I believe DeSantis isn’t pushing this because it is what his base wants. On many issues, the past two years, he is leading and then the base is following. Among the participants were Drs. Robert Malone (mRNA technology inventor), Harvey Risch of Yale, Jay Battacharya of Stanford, Sunetra Gupta of Oxford and Martin Kulldorf, formerly of Harvard.

Dr. Campbell looks at the Florida paper and its conclusions in the video below.   He indicates the paper’s conclusions against vaccination healthy minors are well founded.   He finds more criticism for the British government who will soon begin vaccinating 5 to 11 year old kids; their professed reasoning for this policy makes little sense to him.  He also makes the statement I have heard directly from many other doctors: health care should be individualized.  We can extrapolate from this tenet that it is immoral to establish a “one-size-fits-all vaccinate everyone under risk of penalty” policy.  Yet, so many continue to press upon me and other parents the importance of vaccinating our kids.  Why?  Are they really following the science, really following the oaths they have taken?

Nanny State Survives

This is the only time in history that I know of that society has quarantined the healthy in order to protect us all. Usually, we quarantine only the sick. The nanny state which was out-of-control before, has exceeded its bounds in ways I never thought possible just two years ago.

Only when seeing its hold on power threatened, the nanny state has backed off COVID restrictions–but not completely. They continue to seek stealth methods to inject themselves in our decision making. Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate voted 57-40, mostly along party lines, to further a bill to end travel restrictions:

newsmax-biden-veto-no-mask-bill

The White House said on Tuesday President Joe Biden would veto a bill in Congress that would block public health officials from requiring masks on airplanes and in other transportation modes to prevent COVID-19 infections.

The bill is currently with the House of Representatives, but the president has vowed to veto it because we just can’t get rid of masks everywhere. This despite the fact that most other countries have eliminated masking for air travel.

After more than two years, my family still cannot go on a cruise. My wife and I are cleared because we have been vaccinated (albeit more than six months ago, so we are past the vaccine shelf life). Our kids are not eligible due to their non-vaccinated status, yet, ironically, they are better protected than my wife and I, because of their age and their newly obtained natural immunity. Still, the cruise industry continues to follow the CDC guidelines and require vaccinations for virtually all cruisers. Does anyone think their policies through or do folks just follow the crowd, or in this case follow the “experts” who should know better?

More Stuff and Things

Below is an interesting admission from our own CDC that COVID deaths in the U.S. have been overcounted.

 The agency said that fixing this error removed 72,277 deaths previously reported across 26 states, including 416 pediatric deaths.

CDC: COVID-19 deaths ‘overcounted’ by 24%

I am not quite sure what to make of this story. It says the problem was due to a “coding” error, but that’s a fairly large number of deaths to be related to a coding error. 416 pediatric deaths would be half of all the pediatrics deaths during this pandemic. Maybe the U.S. ranking as the 17th worst in the world is a bit overstated or maybe someone is trying to protect politicians from the embarrassment of COVID failures. If we can’t trust the numbers, what can we trust? There have been other stories as well that have come out in the UK discussing overcounting there as well.

In the last year, I have found common cause with many progressives like TV host Bill Maher, former NY Times columnist Barry Weiss, British entertainer Russell Brand and others I rarely agree with. These folks are speaking sense regarding the senselessness of COVID restrictions and the dangers of restricting freedoms. In many ways, I prefer their brand of thinking as it is at least genuine, and not as two-faced as so many on the Republican side of the aisle (such as Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Kevin McCarthy, and a host of others). Bill Maher has been quite outspoken and has made the interview rounds, including with a couple of the conservative Daily Wire hosts: Adam Corolla and Ben Shapiro.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/03/24/maher_covid_is_fading_but_the_idiocy_is_not_weve_induced_mass_hysteria_with_the_science.html

If politics could only return to civil debate with respect for others opinions whom you disagree with. Maybe we should require people to provide a little bit more evidence before labeling their opponents a Nazi or a racist?

We also hear now that Dr. Fauci may soon retire, although he seems to be flip-flopping on this as well.

NY-Post-Dr-Facui-Hints-At-Retirement

My advice to him is to hurry up and do it because November is coming and he will be asked to account for his actions. He might be better off if no longer in office.

Many have done exposes on Dr. Fauci’s actions the last two years. The Daily Wire has just released a new series on the world’s greatest doctor:

https://www.dailywire.com/news/fauci-unmasked-daily-wire-releases-new-docuseries

Steve Deace and Todd Erzen wrote a #1 best-seller about him last year: https://www.amazon.com/Faucian-Bargain-Powerful-Dangerous-Bureaucrat/dp/1637581114

The following article discusses Dr. Fauci’s (and his boss’s) role in providing support and funding for the Chinese as they (through neglect or through actual malicious intent) released this virus upon the world. The true nature of this story needs to be examined fully; too many want to provide the answer before all is truly known:

https://nypost.com/2022/01/28/why-hasnt-fauci-been-fired-and-put-under-fbi-investigation-yet/

Let’s just say Dr. Fauci has been problematic. There is considerable smoke as well as much fire in his vicinity.

Folks are still sorting through stories on the Pfizer docu-dump regarding vaccine trials. Pfizer originally sought to withhold this information for up to 75 years, an action that ought to give us pause to begin with. Pfizer was sued and a federal judge forced them to release their documents. These documents show quite a bit of evidence regarding adverse vaccine effects and literally pages upon pages of reported side effects (although all may not be associated with the vaccine itself, just experiences of those vaccinated). There is a lot to sort through and I think it may prove a treasure chest for investigations into what happened.

Forward to the 29 minute mark of the link below to hear Steve Deace’s interview of Del Bigtree from High Wire (his organization brought and won the law suit):

Steve-Deace-Interview-Pfizer-Docu-Dump

Finally, please remember to pick your sources carefully and conduct a smell test on the information you are hearing. Are your sources telling the truth or do they have a hidden agenda? This is vitally important in this day of instantaneous information.

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