Are experts really claiming the vaccine will make variants worse and increase the need for lockdowns? Sort of, because “The virus learns how to, sort of, adapt and mutate now to a vaccinated person. Exposing vaccinated people to the virus, you could start to inspire more and more mutations.” What does that even mean and why are we staying 6 feet a part based on a study from 1897?
CNN is very, very concerned about another coming wave of coronavirus and desperately wants Americans to remain under lockdown, presumably to watch more of the cable news channel. They are not nearly as concerned with logic, facts, and science, unfortunately. An article, report, analysis, or whatever from last week starts with an unprovable statement from the very first sentence: “Europe has missed its chance to stop the third wave of the coronavirus epidemic before it got out of control.”
Where to even begin?
Apparently, it never occurred to anyone at the supposed news organization that no Western country has succeeded in stopping any wave, from the first to the most recent. This, of course, is contrary to what our public health experts have been claiming the entire time. They continue to insist, without any hard evidence, that the virus can be stopped by implementing lengthy lockdowns. The logic here seems to be that if only Europe had locked down just a little tighter the virus wouldn’t have spread, but the thinking is flawed because few Western countries locked down tighter than Italy and Spain, and, guess what, it still spread.
This simple truth is too much for CNN and their experts to handle, however. As usual, they’re blaming politicians and people who want to get back to normal. “Critics say the new restrictions have come too late and that Europe’s current problems can be traced back to politicians too eager to start easing.” According to French epidemiologist, Catherine Hill, “The second wave did not end, the lockdown was interrupted too soon, to let people go shopping for Christmas.”
If you have ever wondered why many people, including me, do not trust the epidemiologists or the media, this is it. It’s freaking late March, and yet Dr. Hill is blaming people for shopping three months ago. This is completely false based on the data, nor does it make the slightest bit of sense. The seven day moving average of cases in France was 17,952 on January 15. It was 18,311 on February 15, meaning cases were flat for almost two months after Christmas. They started going up in late February and only recently spiked to over 25,000 per day on March 15.
Who in their right mind could attribute a 2-month delayed spike to a citizen’s shopping habits on Christmas? Even CNN notes that the likely culprit is the new, more contagious strain, B.1.1.7. At the same time, they continue to insist that more lockdowns and more stringent lockdowns are the answer. Alessandro Grimaldi, director of infectious disease at Salvatore Hospital in Italy explains, “It’s not easy to do lockdowns, because of the economic despair it brings…the life style change it brings. But they are indispensable in trying to make the virus stop.”
Except, of course, they aren’t, by his own reasoning. He cites a study by the University of Bologna that indicates that the most stringent lockdown measures reduced deaths by up to 91%. That may be true, though I have my doubts, but those stringent lockdowns require people to be shut in their homes and not leave for anything without the permission of the government. In fact, they were only implemented in designated “red zones” because the conditions were so draconian.
By the logic Dr. Grimaldi applies, Italy would have been in stringent lockdown for more than a full year. Conveniently, we’re supposed to forget that these measures were never intended to stop the spread. We were supposed to slow the spread to preserve hospital capacity, yet this straightforward objective has now been replaced by stopping waves. Well, you might as well stand on a beach in California and try to stop those waves from coming in as well.
Of course, CNN’s real target is the United States. You see, “American public health officials are worried the US is heading in the same direction — with some states starting to ease up on safety measures even as case numbers remain high. ‘When you see a plateau at a level as high as 60,000 cases a day, that is a very vulnerable time to have a surge, to go back up. That’s what exactly happened in Europe,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN.”
Whatever happened to case positivity rates? For months we were told the positivity rate was the important thing because it normalizes the data given the wide variety of tests conducted per day and the dramatic increase in testing after a slow start last year. 5% was the magic number according to the “experts” at the World Health Organization. We’re at 3.9% as of Friday, and yet it’s still too soon.
In addition, almost no attention has been paid to the simple fact the most recent, and worst wave, to hit the United States occurred while restrictions and mask wearing were already in place. Thankfully, that wave subsided in January, but how did it come about at all if everyone is wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart?
They never say, only blame some small gatherings over the holidays, just like in France.
Whatever happened to the vaccine? The United States is among the world leaders in vaccine distribution, with 118 million doses administered and 41 million people fully vaccinated, 14.6% of the population. Europe lags far behind with Germany, Italy, Sweden at only 3.8%, England at a measly 2.9%. The availability of the vaccine was, of course, the end goal merely a few months ago, but now, no matter how many, how fast, it’s not enough.
The experts have even shifted to worrying whether the vaccine might actually create mutant strains and make things worse.
In a truly bizarre exchange, Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN, tried to defend Fauci’s after he was pressed by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul about whether or not wearing masks after vaccination was mere political theater. “The virus learns how to, sort of, adapt and mutate now to a vaccinated person. Exposing vaccinated people to the virus, you could start to inspire more and more mutations,” he babbled. It’s impossible to make any sense of this: The vaccine is now a bad thing, a breakthrough that might spawn a mutant strain that kills us all?
Nor is Dr. Gupta isn’t the only one pushing this nonsense. In the original exchange, Senator Paul told Dr. Fauci, “you want to get rid of vaccine hesitancy? Tell them you can quit wearing your mask after they get the vaccine. You want people to get the vaccine, give them a reward instead of telling them that the nanny state’s going to be there for three more years and you got to wear a mask forever. People don’t want to hear it.” “If you have immunity, they’re theater,” he continued. “If you already have immunity you’re wearing a mask to give comfort to others.”
Fauci insists that the masks protect people from variants that are spreading. He explained to CBS This Morning on Friday, “Senator Paul has this message that we don’t need masks, which goes against just about everything we know about how to prevent spread of the virus.” “He was saying if you ’ ve been infected, or you’ve been vaccinated, don’t wear a mask — which is completely against all public health tenets. So he’s dead wrong. I mean, I don’t have anything personally against him. But he’s just quite frankly incorrect.”
Of course, what Fauci is claiming goes against every other vaccine, like ever, but what does that have do with anything at this point? Dr. Grimaldi is also saying similar things, cautioning that “The virus will try to survive despite the vaccine, so lockdowns are really the only way to stop the virus from circulating.” Has anyone tasked him how we can ever return to normal life in this scenario? If the vaccine causes the virus to mutate and the only way to prevent that is to lockdown, what’s the point of the vaccine in the first place?
Unfortunately, it remains impossible to make sense of a lot of things, from big to small. Speaking of small, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revised their 6 foot distancing rule for students to 3 feet. The measure seeks to allow more students in class for in person education and, in that sense, it’s surely a good thing. The only problem is: No one seems to know where the 6 foot rule came from in the first place. The World Health Organization’s guidance is 1 meter, or a tad more than 3 feet.
The 6 foot rule appears to have originated in the 1800s! According to a study published in The BMJ, “In 1897, for example, Flugge proposed a 1-2 m safe distance based on the distance over which sampled visible droplets contained pathogens.” They continue, “Despite limitations in the accuracy of these early study designs, especially for longer ranges, the observation of large droplets falling close to a host reinforced and further entrenched the assumed scientific basis of the 1-2 m distancing rule.”
Incredibly, the current director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, doubted the 6 foot rule once upon a time, advising a school district last summer, “it is quite safe and much more practical to be at 3 feet.” Perhaps needless to say, she’s since changed her tune, telling CNN that new research made her endorse the larger distance.
According to Stat News, however, the newest evidence actually argues in favor of the shorter distance. “The newest evidence actually seems to argue against requiring strict adherence to a 6-foot rule, however. First, it is increasingly clear that transmission of Covid-19 is not explained by the droplet model — the idea that bigger drops of secretion fall in the first few feet around someone, as was thought when the original social distancing guidelines developed. Second, a meta-analysis on Covid-19 and other closely related coronaviruses showed that the benefits of increasing the distance from 3 to 6 feet is marginal in contexts where the risk of infection is low, as would be the case in a classroom with universal masking.”
One wonders how it’s possible we’re only learning this a year into it. If you recall, the 6 foot rule was promulgated way back when we were told not to wear masks! How the times have changed, and yet still remain the same: Lockdown today, lockdown tomorrow, lockdown forever to prevent the hundredth wave!