COVID-19: evidence shows that transmission by schoolchildren is low

By Nic Lewis

Much fuss has been made in the UK, not least by teachers’ unions, about recommencing physical school attendance. As this issue applies to many countries, I thought it worth highlighting research findings in Europe.

While it is evident that school age children can be infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it is extremely rare for them to become seriously ill with COVID-19, and their risk of dying as a result of infection is almost zero. The relevant issue is therefore how much children’s contribution to the spread of COVID-19 to adults, by themselves or via other children, is affected by school attendance.

A report last month “COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in COVID-19 transmission” by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control analyses evidence from many countries and throws light on these questions. Some key summary conclusions that it reaches on various important issues are as follows:

Overview of outbreaks and transmission in childcare school settings: experiences from Member States[i]

In summary, clusters in educational facilities were identified in several of the 15 reporting countries, however those that occurred were limited in number and size, and were rather exceptional events. Several countries specifically said that they had no indication that school settings played a significant role in the transmission of COVID-19. Secondary transmission in schools, either from child-to-child or from child-to-adult, was perceived to be rare. Countries where schools had re-opened by the time of the survey stated that they had not seen an increase in cases in these settings.

Overview of outbreaks and transmission in school settings: evidence from the literature

What is the evidence of transmission between children within the school setting?

The conclusion from these investigations is that child-to-child transmission in schools is uncommon and not the primary cause of SARS-CoV-2 infection of children whose infection onset coincides with the period during which they are attending school.

What is the evidence of transmission from children (students) to adults (teacher/staff) within the school setting?

Where COVID-19 in children was detected and contacts followed-up, no adult contacts in the school setting have been detected as SARS-CoV-2 positive during the follow-up period. The conclusion from these investigations is that children are not the primary drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to adults in the school setting.

What is the evidence of transmission from adults (teacher/staff) to children (students) within the school setting?

While there is evidence of transmission from adults to children in household settings, there is little evidence of this occurring within the school setting.

What is the evidence of transmission between adults (teacher/staff) within the school setting?

The conclusion from these investigations is that adults are not at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 within the school setting than the risk in the community or household.

What is the effect of school openings on transmission to the community/household?

There is limited evidence that schools are driving transmission of COVID-19 within the community, however there are indications that community transmission is imported into or reflected in the school setting.

There was one outbreak in Israel after school reopening, however the sequence of infection was not reported.  Although Ireland closed schools relatively early in the epidemic, data there suggests that schools would be a minor source of infection for children:

An analysis of the probable origin for transmission of COVID-19 infection in outbreaks that have involved children in Ireland indicated that the most common setting was the home, followed by workplaces, travel and residential institutions, with none of the childhood cases linked to outbreaks in schools.

Evidence from EU/EEA countries that kept pre- and primary schools/day care open or reopened schools early on

The ECDC report includes the following information:

Iceland kept both childcare institutions and primary schools open throughout the spring term and the rates of SARS-CoV-2 in children under 15 years old remained low compared to rates in the older age groups. Physical distancing rules did not apply to childcare institutions and primary school children.

Similarly, the Netherlands did not see a sudden increase in their reproductive number or detect significant outbreaks, when primary schools and childcare facilities opened on 11 May, with moderately high notification rates at national level. Children up to and including 12 years did not have to keep 1.5 metres apart from each other or from adults, and this measure was applied in childcare and primary education settings. Children aged 13 to 18 years did not have to physically distance from one another.

Denmark reopened childcare and primary education on 15 April, with moderately high overall notification rates at national level, and did not report any increase in the reproductive number, or detect important school outbreaks. Denmark recommended splitting classes into smaller groups, keeping two metres between children, hand hygiene, and teaching more classes outside.

Comparison between Sweden and Finland

As in other areas, some of the most useful evidence involves Sweden, which never closed schools for children under 16. In July its Public Health Authority published a report (English version here) comparing COVID-19 in children between Sweden and Finland, where almost all physical school attendance was stopped from mid-March to mid-May. Key findings in the study are:

Closing schools had no measurable effect

There is no difference in the overall incidence of the laboratory confirmed covid-19 cases in the age group 1-19 years in the two countries and the number of laboratory confirmed cases does not fluctuate with school closure or change in testing policy in Finland.[ii]

Closure or not of schools had no measurable direct impact on the number of laboratory confirmed cases in school-aged children in Finland or Sweden.

Transmission by children seems low

Outbreak investigations in Finland have not shown children to be contributing much in terms of transmission:

In the contact tracings in primary schools in Finland, there has been hardly any evidence of children infecting other persons. The Swedish comparison of number of reported cases among staff in day care and primary school to number of cases in other professions does not show any increased risk for teachers.[iii] This also indicates that the role of children in propagating this infection is likely to be small. Various papers on contact tracing have also found that children rarely are the first case in family clusters.

Impacts of school closures on the health and well-being of children

The ECDC report also highlights some negative impacts of school closures on the health and well-being of children, on top of the harm to their education, saying:

A number of organisations have identified various negative impacts on children’s wellbeing, learning opportunities and safety caused by school closures. These range from the interruption of learning and the exacerbation of disparities and mental health issues to an increased risk of domestic violence. The negative impacts particularly affect children from vulnerable and marginalised population groups.

Other health aspects, both physical and mental, also need consideration. For many students living in poverty, schools are not only a place for learning, but also for healthy eating, and therefore researchers warn that school closures will exacerbate food insecurity. Research has highlighted that the active social life that children aged 2–10 years have at school helps them to learn from peers and has a positive impact on their personality and sense of identity, while disruptions of close peer relationships have been associated with depression, guilt, and anger in children. Furthermore, school and extracurricular activities provide structure, meaning and a daily rhythm for children and youth. For those suffering from anxiety and depression, the loss of such activities can worsen symptoms and reinforce social withdrawal and feelings of hopelessness.

Conclusions

The evidence shows that concerns about recommencing physical school attendance are misplaced, at least if moderate social distancing measures (not requiring mask wearing, and only for child-adult contact) are mandated.

It also seems pretty clear that the original decisions by almost all European countries to close schools were, in retrospect, ill-judged measures that caused more harm than good, at least in relation to children under 16 years old.

 

Nicholas Lewis                       10 September 2020


[i] Based on a survey of EU/EEA and UK countries, 15 of which responded.

[ii] In Sweden, the number of laboratory confirmed cases is affected by change in testing policy.

[iii] The relative risk of teachers catching COVID-19, compared to that in other professions,  was 0.9 for day care, 1.1 for primary school (in neither case being statistically significant), and 0.7 for secondary school (just significantly lower than 1).

Originally posted here, where a pdf copy is also available

273 responses to “COVID-19: evidence shows that transmission by schoolchildren is low

  1. “Much fuss has been made in the UK, not least by teachers’ unions, about recommencing physical school attendance.”

    Teachers are people.
    They have families and grandparents.
    If other groups of adults are in lockdown to reduce transmission does education really qualify as an essential service?

    Your points are all valid.
    Negligible death rate, low infectivity, low transmissibility, .

    The fact remains that large groups of children will be quite capable of being another vector of spread of infection. Moreover teachers dealing with 30 children for hours in a closed classroom setting is a perfect incubator for the adult teacher. Think cruise ships.

    Did teachers really sign on to serve in the trenches and risk their lives?

    “Where COVID-19 in children was detected and contacts followed-up, no adult contacts in the school setting have been detected as SARS-CoV-2 positive during the follow-up period.“

    An amazing claim.
    Unbelievable in the context of a true pandemic infection.

    • Joe - the non epidemiologist

      The essence of the teacher argument is the government should protect them from all the perils of life while getting paid at the same time with taxpayer money.

      • Nicholas John Adams

        Not ALL the perils of life. And not sure what being a public employee has to do with it.

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        “And not sure what being a public employee has to do with it.”

        Its the prevalent mindset of the government industrial complex employee

      • I believe there are both state and federal regulations for a clean and safe work environment. In the case of covid, there are cdc guidelines as well. This includes ventilation, social distancing, maximum density, disinfecting protocols, etc… You should not, for example, be forced to work in a place which is known to be dangerous and companies and other institutions can get penalized for violating these regulations. The problem with the return to school is that adherence to these regulations varies widely across school districts and even buildings. In my area, there are some schools that I would say are well-prepared to handle the covid situation to keep students, teachers, and administrators safe. There are other schools that are doing so little, mostly due to budget and personnel constraints, that it is little better than simply ignoring the disease altogether. In those situations, teachers and administrators should have the right to demand a safe environment.

      • What does the “the right to demand a safe environment” look like? Do the teachers’ unions have the right to determine what’s safe? If the schools are opened and teachers don’t show up, they need to get their butts fired. Free them to find work somewhere where their demands are accommodated.

    • angtech –
      “An amazing claim.
      Unbelievable in the context of a true pandemic infection.”

      Why accuse the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control report authors of lying here, rather than to their face?

      “Did teachers really sign on to serve in the trenches and risk their lives?”
      You evidently place your preconceptions above what the evidence shows.

      • “An amazing claim.
        Unbelievable in the context of a true pandemic infection.”

        Why accuse the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control report authors of lying here, rather than to their face?

        “Where COVID-19 in children was detected and contacts followed-up, no adult contacts in the school setting have been detected as SARS-CoV-2 positive during the follow-up period.“

        , “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

        You are making good points of the low infectivity and low illness rate in children. All well and good and statistically supported.

        Then try to make the point that kids cannot / should not infect teachers because … we have no statistics showing this.

        Yet we all intuitively know that a child or teenager with Covid is infectious.
        In fact I would say quite infectious.
        Proof is hard to supply of the statistical sort.
        I would wager there is not one Hospital prepared to treat children with Covid without full protective gear. Why is that?
        Teachers do not want to go back to school. Why is that?
        Children do catch Covid off adults, otherwise there would be no cases.
        All agreed on that.
        Children have passed Covid onto adults.
        All agreed on that.
        But somehow, when they go to school with Covid not one teacher anywhere has caught it?

        Let us agree that that is on the face of it nonsensical.
        An amazing claim.

        How to reconcile this incongruity?
        Your call.
        Feynman et al.

        With regard to the studies cited you have to consider when the studies were done.
        How much testing of contacts was done, availability of kits, did they test all or just symptomatic people?
        Were sick children kept at home, were well children kept at home, Did teachers go to school and how did that affect class size?
        What was the actual infectivity rate in the communities at the time of the studies.

        Did they lie?
        No.
        Did they use dubious statistics to support an unsupportable supposition?
        I am surprised and disappointed that someone who is well used to deciphering this sort of behaviour in scientific studies just accepts a by authority assertion and study from that group that on the surface seems highly improbable.

      • Nic, I appreciate your arguments that children are at low risk of illness from the infection and have some difficulty both in catching the infection and passing it on and should be at school if possible.

        “Why accuse the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control report authors of lying here, rather than to their face?”

        There are lies, damn lies and statistics, not my observation by the way.

        “An amazing claim.
        Unbelievable in the context of a true pandemic infection.”

        The claim being made is that there is no proof of transmission of Covid to a teacher from a young student, age range 5-18 years in the statistics available to and presented by ECDPC.

        The problem is simply this.
        Children do catch Covid. fact.
        Children can pass Covid on to other people, adults and children. fact.
        If they did not then we would see children with Covid being treated by doctors and nurses without protective equipment. As far as I am aware this is not the case. fact.

        The problem with the ECDPC is that it is helping to push a narrative to reopen schools with data that is not fit for purpose.

        You as an eminent statistician know this and if this data was presented to you as an ECS problem you would take it apart in a flash.

        To summarize the problems. Scarcity of data. School closures and holidays just after the pandemic started developing. . Parents not sending sick young children to school [reduces chances of infection to teachers]. Parents not sending well children to school [reduces risk as well by lower classroom numbers/transmissibility. Risk to children is always lower than adults due to less social transmissability in a family unit, not doing the shopping, traveling on trains mixing socially for prolonged periods etc]. Lack of testing kits available at the time of these studies to prove their contention one way or another.

        Let me put it in a simple way. Would you as a teacher teach a class of 30 children knowing 6 of them are Covid positive if you have children of your own, have elderly parents you wish to keep seeing or 55 Years old with diabetes or a heart condition because of the ECDPC contention?

        Answer, No.
        Trust the EDCPC statistics to put the right slant on the matter? No.

      • You make a good case for everyone staying home, ang. I am going to the supermarket, for the last time. Telling all those people shopping and working in there to run for their lives. Get home and stay home. Nobody signed up for this pandemic ____.

    • “If other groups of adults are in lockdown to reduce transmission does education really qualify as an essential service?”

      By far the dumbest thing that our usually sensible friend angech has ever uttered in the blogosphere, as far as we know.

    • Kids are better off in school. Especially the disadvantaged. Home life is killing them.

      Watch a couple of episodes of “Last Chance High School”. As many as you can take. It will open your mind and break your heart:

    • “no adult contacts in the school setting have been detected as SARS-CoV-2 positive during the follow-up period.
      An amazing claim.
      Unbelievable in the context of a true pandemic infection.”

      I’m not sure whether this is particularly amazing and unbelievable. In any event, I have heard a number of plausible explanations as to why children seem not to be the same as adults when it comes to susceptibility to Covid-19, and are not very effective vectors. It is certainly the case that “true pandemic infections” usually hit the young, the old and the sick particularly badly, with healthy adults beings the least vulnerable. However, all the evidence points to children being relatively immune to the current plague.It seems eminently plausible to me that whatever special mechanism is protecting them from health-threatening infection is also working to make them less infectious. If they are special cases in the first respect, why should they not also be in the second, and for related reasons?

    • Angech, we know wuhan is much more serious in older populations. This means teachers older than 40 definitely need to be careful, especially if they have health problems. Younger healthier teachers can take vitamin D, zinc, wear a mask, and work in well ventilated class rooms. Ventilation requires installing large fans to circulate air in and out of the classroom.

      I have a daughter who works as a psychologist/therapist in special education, she is now covering five different schools, because older coworkers have retired or quit, but her workload is acceptable, and she makes more money. She prepared during the summer making sure she stayed out in the sun, took vitamin D and zinc supplements, made sure her cholesterol was low, and she will ve soldiering on. She says the meetings with her students were moving, many of them cried when they saw her, because they had been so isolated and depressed (she tried using remote and videos, but it wasn’t the same). The main problem she reports is that some autistic children spit when they are upset, so she wants a young aide to be hired to be wiping surfaces constantly with alcohol, because that can cause a serious infection.

      The move to keep children isolated at home seems to be mostly political. It’s evident the left is trying to delay and hinder economic recovery. This is why we see constant riots and vandalism, their attempts to instigate racial hatred, efforts to bad mouth or outlaw medicines such as hydroxychloroquine, convalescent plasma, and vaccines. My bottom line suggestion is that teachers with health problems should be exempted, receive 60% of pay, and new teachers and staff willing to work should receive a 10% bonus until a vaccine is available.

      • wuhan is much more serious in older populations.
        older coworkers have retired or quit,
        The move to keep children isolated at home seems to be mostly political.

        Politics is involved.
        I believe they should go to school.
        I do know a lot of people who want to keep their kids home out of safety concerns however, not politics.

      • The teachers I know are primarily concerned about their potential to be a vector for infecting other people in their family.

        What’s truly interesting is how so many people who recognize the political context of covid and the associated biases think they only apply to people that disagree with them.

        Some even call themselves “skeptics.”

      • I bet teachers lose a lot of sleep at night worrying about the multitude of American vectors, who are going to work every day.

      • Joshua: The teachers I know are primarily concerned about their potential to be a vector for infecting other people in their family.

        What’s truly interesting is how so many people who recognize the political context of covid and the associated biases think they only apply to people that disagree with them.

        In Los Angeles, the teachers’ union voted not to go back to work unless the city agreed to defund the police (they had other demands, but that will do for now.)

      • followup, here is a source:https://dailycaller.com/2020/07/13/la-teachers-union-demands-reopen-schools/

        The source is in the right half of the political spectrum; the left half seems to be trying to avoid reporting on this, at least as revealed by my searches. Perhaps NYT or WaPo has a report that I missed.

    • Where does one find 30 pupil classrooms? In many places it’s less than half of that. That’s actually one good result from union rules that benefits both teacher and student.

  2. Another point, which I don’t see discussed is the potential long-term effects. These are largely unknown right now, but strong indicators toward heart and lung damage months afterward — possibly permanent — even in otherwise healthy individuals. The effect on children is completely unknown, as far as I can tell.

    “schools are not only a place for learning, but also for healthy eating, and therefore researchers warn that school closures will exacerbate food insecurity”. The in-person experience now is nothing like it was before, so the comparison is largely moot. Food is grab and go, the interactions are all stifled, and the kids are immobile for long periods of time due to social distancing. Virtual has the benefit that they can walk around, they can go outside sometimes, open windows, etc… I agree that in-person pre-covid is better than virtual, but that’s not what the reality is.

    I also have some issues comparing schools in Finland to, say, schools in urban US settings — the covid situation and poverty situation is completely different.

    • Joe - the non epidemiologist

      “These are largely unknown right now, but strong indicators toward heart and lung damage months afterward — possibly permanent — even in otherwise healthy individuals.”

      Is there something unique about covid ? That somehow turns off the human body’s healing and recuperative powers? Likely not,

      This is argument is similar climate warming tipping points – only because todays warming (which is less than many prior warming periods) is caused by CO2
      only because it is Covid ! is it permanent
      Only because it is CO2 is ti permanent

      • Actually, yes…covid seems to attack organs and lead to damage far different than other corona or flu diseases. So, yes, covid is different. It could turn out that the effect doesn’t last longer than a year (no way to tell right now!) but it seems unlikely given the recent data.

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        Brian’s comment “Actually, yes…covid seems to attack organs and lead to damage far different than other corona or flu diseases. So, yes, covid is different. It could turn out that the effect doesn’t last longer than a year (no way to tell right now!) but it seems unlikely given the recent data.”

        Only a small percent of the youths the catch covid are symptomatic, a much smaller number than youths that get sick from the flu. The vast majority of youths that catch covid are asymptomatic which means they are unlikely to have any heart and/or lung damage that is even temporary much less permanent.

        Far greater damage is done to the youth in the form of retarding the development of their immune system. An underdeveloped immune system is likely to be far more damaging long term to all the youth population than any minute fraction that develops “permanent ” damage from Covid (if any).

      • > Is there something unique about covid ?

        I’m certainly no expert, but this seems fairly unique to me:

        -snip-

        According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 still have symptoms weeks later. The survey of nearly 300 adults found that about 35% said they were not back to their “usual state of health” 2-3 weeks after testing. Among those aged 18-34 years without underlying medical conditions, 1 in 5 said they hadn’t completely recovered. Those who have had months-long issues have been called “COVID long-haulers.”

        A research letter from Italy published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 87.4% of 143 previously hospitalized patients had at least one persistent symptom 2 months or more after initial onset and at more than a month after discharge. Nearly a third of the patients had one or two symptoms, while 55% had three or more. More than half (53.1%) still had fatigue.

        A British study found that 81 out of 110 discharged patients who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 were still experiencing breathlessness, excessive fatigue, and muscle aches 3 months later. Although most patients reported improvements in initial symptoms such as fever, cough, and sense of smell, a large number still had significant quality-of-life issues. The findings are part of the hospital’s DISCOVER project, the first of its kind to assess the longer-term effects of coronavirus.

        Although the immediate effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection remain a primary concern in many areas, long COVID is an area of increasing focus. As is evident by this week’s top trending clinical topic, research findings and detailed information are likely to be met with much interest.
        -snip-

        https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/936937

      • Also, a very interesting discussion of vaccines
        (Trump cult members, please avert your eyes), with a short discussion of “long covid.”

        https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/936937

      • Longer term damage, such as blood clots, has been observed in a few older patients, and younger patients who were very sick due to comorbidities and/or high viral inoculation. Healthy children do not show such problems. A tiny fraction develops auto immune complications (Kawasaki). Be careful when looking information, because the pandemic is now a political battleground, and the left is making strong efforts to hurt the economy. In a sense, they use children and wuhan patients as cannon fodder in a deadly war. The information in the media is usually fake, or highly biased, so I wouldn’t bother to read it. Even scientific journals such as Science and The Lancet are participating in this deadly propaganda campaign.

      • Fernando

        > Be careful when looking information, because the pandemic is now a political battleground, and the left is…

        Thanks. Such an excellent point. Much better I go with what some dude on a blog says about “long covid” and vaccines than expert virologists who are on the front lines working with the research.

        Of course, Offit is pretty right wing so it’s probably OK to look at at least look at what he says. But as a check, since I can be sure that YOU have no political views that might influence your opinions, please come back and let me know what you found about how Offit and.Topol Medscape distorted the facts about “long covid” to advance the cause of making the pandemic seem worse than it really is to hurt Trump.

      • Joshua: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/936937

        Thank you for the link. Offitts summary is “we’re good” regarding progress toward a vaccine.

    • Joshua wrote:
      “A British study found that 81 out of 110 discharged patients who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 were still experiencing breathlessness, excessive fatigue, and muscle aches 3 months later.”

      That evidence, even if representative, relates purely to hospital patients, who are a very small fraction of those infected by SARS-CoV-2.

      My understanding of the current UK findings is that about 60,000 people still had health problems 3 months later. That is about 1% of those who have been infected, based on the 42,000 recorded COVID-19 deaths and a (perhaps overpessimistic) population IFR estimate of 0.7%.

      While not negligible, 1% is a pretty small fraction.

      • Nic –

        > My understanding of the current UK findings is that about 60,000 people still had health problems 3 months later. That is about 1% of those who have been infected, based on the 42,000 recorded COVID-19 deaths and a (perhaps overpessimistic) population IFR estimate of 0.7%.

        Who is it that did follow-up with everyone who was hospitalized? Can you provide aknk?

      • Sorry – I mean everyone who was infected.

      • A link. Not aknk!

      • And BTW – more accurately, I didn’t “write” that – I excerpted it from an article that excerpted it from a study. Here’s a link to a write-up of the study:

        https://www.nbt.nhs.uk/news-media/latest-news/southmead-hospital-publishes-pioneering-research-long-term-effects

      • Joshua asked for a link supporting my figure of 60,000 people with longer term COVID symptoms. One such link is: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/08/60000-may-have-long-covid-for-more-than-three-months-uk-study , where it says:

        “up to 60,000 people in the UK may have been suffering from “long Covid” for more than three months.”

        I realise that the Guardian may not always be a reliable source on subjects that have a ‘political’ dimension, but I also read the 60,000 figure in other sources.

      • Nic –

        > Joshua asked for a link supporting my figure of 60,000 people with longer term COVID symptoms.

        Actually, what I asked for was a link that followed up with people who were hospitalized.

        As for the link you provided… I can’t access the Spectator link but a quick Google gave me a Guardian link…

        > Up to 60,000 people in the UK may have been suffering from “long Covid” for more than three months, unable to get the care they need to recover from prolonged and debilitating symptoms.

        >> Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London who runs the app-based Covid symptom study, said around 300,000 people had reported symptoms lasting for more than a month.

        >> A minority have been suffering for longer; up to 60,000 people have reported having symptoms for more than three months. Some cases are mild, but others are seriously debilitating, with breathlessness and fatigue. Some people have had to use wheelchairs. Others say attempting to carry out everyday tasks such as shopping or even climbing the stairs can leave them bedridden for days.

        >> “There’s a big danger these [people] might up end up being forgotten,” said Spector, who told the BBC’s File on 4 programme he was “frustrated” that data from the app was not being more widely used.

        >> The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has accepted that some people are still experiencing symptoms as long as six months after contracting the virus. “Long Covid, where people six months on are still ill, is prevalent among younger people,” he said on LBC radio on Monday

        Is there any way to estimate how many people have long covid but haven’t reported it (epidemiological surveying). Are that 300k and 60k mutually exclusive or are at least some of the 300k long covid sufferers in the first month of a longer illness? Seems like if there’s that many known there might well be many more, especially going forward.

        And of course, just an overall number doesn’t tell the full story anyway. It would also be I really mportant to know how severely they’re suffering now and going forward.

      • -snip-

        . Methods: Consecutive patients hospitalised with COVID19 were prospectively recruited to an observational cohort with outcomes recorded at 28 days. All were invited to a systematic follow up at 12 weeks, including chest radiograph, spirometry, exercise test, blood tests, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaires. Findings: Between 30th March and 3rd June 2020, 163 patients with COVID19 were recruited. Median hospital length of stay was 5 days (IQR 2 to 8) and 30 patients required ITU or NIV, 19 patients died. At 12 weeks post admission, 134 were available for follow up and 110 attended. Most (74%) had persistent symptoms (notably breathlessness and excessive fatigue) with reduced HRQoL. Only patients with disease sufficiently severe to warrant oxygen therapy in hospital had abnormal radiology, clinical examination or spirometry at follow up. Thirteen (12%) patients had an abnormal chest X-ray with improvement in all but 2 from admission. Eleven (10%) had restrictive spirometry. Blood test abnormalities had returned to baseline in the majority (104/110). Interpretation: Patients with COVID19 remain highly symptomatic at 12 weeks, however, clinical abnormalities requiring action are infrequent, especially in those without a supplementary oxygen requirement during their acute illness.

        -snip-

        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.12.20173526v1

    • brianblais: Virtual has the benefit that they can walk around, they can go outside sometimes, open windows, etc… I agree that in-person pre-covid is better than virtual, but that’s not what the reality is.

      My experience with my grandchildren (and their parents’ experience with those same children) is that the children ignore the virtual school and don’t learn anything unless there is adult supervision.

      the math modules were especially awful. I thought “It’s a good thing they don’t teach farming that way, or everyone will starve.” Math workbooks you can buy at bookstores can be pretty good, though, almost as good as Kumon Math. Again, adult supervision and “encouragement” are required.

  3. Pingback: SARS CoV2 transmission in children – Markets Fail

  4. DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
    8/26/2020 42,233 3,158 8.1 666,860
    8/27/2020 44,153 1,920 4.5 806,571
    8/28/2020 47,557 3,404 7.7 816,858
    8/29/2020 40,720 -6,837 -14.3 855,560
    8/30/2020 33,540 -7,180 -17.6 727,085
    8/31/2020 37,560 4,020 12 714,128
    9/1/2020 40,853 3,293 8.8 783,791
    9/2/2020 40,083 770 1.9 745,791
    9/3/2020 43,318 3,235 8 739,104
    9/4/2020 51,252 7,934 18.3 1,030,104
    9/5/2020 40,718 -10,534 -20.6 848,865
    9/6/2020 29,847 -10,871 -26.7 806,722
    9/7/2020 25,149 -4,698 -15.7 605,508
    9/8/2020 26,310 1,161 4.6 523,156
    9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
    34,109 is 5.1% of total.
    Testing has cut back over the last 3 days. WE are beginning to lose it again.

    • Not sure I follow the logic of testing without knowing who is being tested. When testing is limited due to availability or policy, only those who are symptomatic are tested; under those conditions, testing only tells you how many people who think they are sick are really sick. Since the Annals of Internal Medicine has reported that 40% of people with Covid are asymptomatic, more testing may result in more positive test because you may only be uncovering existing asymptomatic individuals. I don’t see how you can draw conclusions or make policy based on testing of people who self-select themselves to be tested.

    • There are 2 facts I believe about the virus:
      1.From the time a healthy individual is infected, it takes about 18 days for the body to build enough antibodies to kill the virus.
      2. From the time the individual is infected with the virus, it takes 4 days for the virus to grow enough to be detected by the test. For those 4 days the individual can infect others.
      The purpose of the testing is to find infected individuals and get them to self-isolate, thus removing them from the general public. Remove more infected individuals from the general public than the virus makes and the percentage of positives to total goes down
      The tracers must understand that those in contact with those that tested negative, they must be self-isolated and have a second test 6 days later.

      • “1…. it takes about 18 days for the body to build enough antibodies to kill the virus.
        2…..it takes 4 days for the virus to grow enough to be detected by the test. “
        Thanks for the reply; good information I was not aware of.

        The purpose of testing may be, as you say “to find infected individuals and get them to self-isolate.” That is not, however, how test results are being used. An increase in % positive is being interpreted as an indication that the virus is spreading; in reality it may only mean that the more you test the more you find already existing infections. Without controls or a consistent methodology, such as testing everybody, there is no way of knowing how to interpret tabulated test results. Primarily testing is being used to impose mask and lockdown requirements.

      • Killer T cells can react faster than antibodies. This means the virus can be defeated without the individual having symptoms. My wife was being tested periodically and eventually was positive. So we isolated her, and she reported some symptoms for two days. About 8 days later I was tested negative, but five days later I ran a slight fever, felt bad, had diarrhea, and some indigestion (I think I caught it at the testing lab). I took lots of hot fluids, made sure I kept windows open, doubled my vitamin D supplement and two days later I had no symptoms. I never coughed, so as far as i can see the probability of infecting others was extremely low.

        I had a food and medicine stash, but had to take out the garbage in the elevator, so I decided to take out at 4 AM. Our elevator logic was modified to allow for nonstop travel, meaning they didn’t stop for anybody on the lower floors as I went down. The elevators doors are programmed to stay open on the ground floor, where we set up to have high wind circulation. I wiped the surfaces with alcohol. Nobody else got sick in the building. I conclude the testing is indeed a bit clunky, but if one is healthy the disease isn’t such a big deal.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/2/2020 40,083 770 1.9 745,791
      9/3/2020 43,318 3,235 8 739,104
      9/4/2020 51,252 7,934 18.3 1,030,104
      9/5/2020 40,718 -10,534 -20.6 848,865
      9/6/2020 29,847 -10,871 -26.7 806,722
      9/7/2020 25,149 -4,698 -15.7 605,508
      9/8/2020 26,310 1,161 4.6 523,156
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      36,360 is 5.1% of total tests. Same as yesterday. Up each of the last 3 days.
      MORE TESTS

      • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
        9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
        9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
        9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
        9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,91935,
        9/13/2020 30,435 -6,985 -18.7 766,728
        9/14/2020 37,311 6,876 22.6 825,024
        9/15/2020 35,582 -1,729 -4.6 718,570
        35,582 is 5.0% of total tests.
        At 7:00 PM CDT yesterday the CDC said the total tests from day 1 was 93,208,856.
        This morning CDC said the said the total tests from day 1 at 7:00 PM CDT yesterday was 92,890,322.
        We will see tomorrow where we are.

      • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
        9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
        9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
        9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
        9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
        9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
        9/21/2020 33,881 1,364 4.2 750,701
        9/22/2020 34,884 1,003 3 760,936
        9/23/2020 41,616 6,734 19.3 939,272
        9/24/2020 44,738 3,122 7.5 930,086
        9/25/2020 51,159 6,421 14.4 903,131
        51,159 is 5.7% of total tests.
        Tomorrow is the result of the 21st. Monday it should start down.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/2/2020 40,083 770 1.9 745,791
      9/3/2020 43,318 3,235 8 739,104
      9/4/2020 51,252 7,934 18.3 1,030,104
      9/5/2020 40,718 -10,534 -20.6 848,865
      9/6/2020 29,847 -10,871 -26.7 806,722
      9/7/2020 25,149 -4,698 -15.7 605,508
      9/8/2020 26,310 1,161 4.6 523,156
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      44,658 is 5.2% of total tests.
      Total tests are still rising. Does this mean the AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE BACK? Let’s keep the total tests rising. Hopefully the tracers are getting the second test after 6 days done.
      In a few days total positive should start dropping. We will see how far below 20,000 positives it will go.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/2/2020 40,083 770 1.9 745,791
      9/3/2020 43,318 3,235 8 739,104
      9/4/2020 51,252 7,934 18.3 1,030,104
      9/5/2020 40,718 -10,534 -20.6 848,865
      9/6/2020 29,847 -10,871 -26.7 806,722
      9/7/2020 25,149 -4,698 -15.7 605,508
      9/8/2020 26,310 1,161 4.6 523,156
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,9914.7%
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,919
      37,420 is 4.7% of total tests. Yesterday was 5.1%.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/2/2020 40,083 770 1.9 745,791
      9/3/2020 43,318 3,235 8 739,104
      9/4/2020 51,252 7,934 18.3 1,030,104
      9/5/2020 40,718 -10,534 -20.6 848,865
      9/6/2020 29,847 -10,871 -26.7 806,722
      9/7/2020 25,149 -4,698 -15.7 605,508
      9/8/2020 26,310 1,161 4.6 523,156
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,919
      9/13/2020 30,435 -6,985 -18.7 766,728
      30,435 is 4.0% of total tests. Tests staying high. Higher would be better.
      In the 29,000’s and % in high 3’s tomorrow?

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/2/2020 40,083 770 1.9 745,791
      9/3/2020 43,318 3,235 8 739,104
      9/4/2020 51,252 7,934 18.3 1,030,104
      9/5/2020 40,718 -10,534 -20.6 848,865
      9/6/2020 29,847 -10,871 -26.7 806,722
      9/7/2020 25,149 -4,698 -15.7 605,508
      9/8/2020 26,310 1,161 4.6 523,156
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,919
      9/13/2020 30,435 -6,985 -18.7 766,728
      9/14/2020 37,311 6,876 22.6 825,024
      37,311 is 4.5% of total tests. 4.0% yesterday.
      CDC is in the news tonight. Keep the tests high.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,919
      9/13/2020 30,435 -6,985 -18.7 766,728
      9/14/2020 37,311 6,876 22.6 825,024
      9/15/2020 35,582 -1,729 -4.6 718,570
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      37,798 is 5.2% of total tests.
      We are treading water. More tests will increase the rate of the lowering of the %. I do think if we hold 800,000 daily tests or higher it will start down in the next few days. The CDC is ???!
      Tomorrow is another day.

      • Congress is giving us 4 days to get the % very low. Try for 1,000,000 tests per day and show them the AMERICAN PEOPLE have the virus under control. The State Governments will open up the country.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,919
      9/13/2020 30,435 -6,985 -18.7 766,728
      9/14/2020 37,311 6,876 22.6 825,024
      9/15/2020 35,582 -1,729 -4.6 718,570
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      42,228 1s 5.2% of total tests.
      A few more tests, but the same % as yesterday.
      MORE TESTS! Hoopefully it starts down tomorrow.

      • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
        9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
        9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
        9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
        9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
        9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
        9/21/2020 33,881 1,364 4.2 750,701
        9/22/2020 34,884 1,003 3 760,936
        9/23/2020 41,616 6,734 19.3 939,272
        9/24/2020 44,738 3,122 7.5 930,086
        If this is computer problems is like, it is worth it. KEEP UP THE HIGH TEST NUMBERS. Remember it takes 5 days to show up. 23rd on the 28th. I will keep the pile of numbers up to date.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,919
      9/13/2020 30,435 -6,985 -18.7 766,728
      9/14/2020 37,311 6,876 22.6 825,024
      9/15/2020 35,582 -1,729 -4.6 718,570
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      49,343 is 4.7% of total tests.

      !!!!! WOWW !!!!!

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,919
      9/13/2020 30,435 -6,985 -18.7 766,728
      9/14/2020 37,311 6,876 22.6 825,024
      9/15/2020 35,582 -1,729 -4.6 718,570
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
      42,354 is 4.3% of total tests. % down a little and tests close to a million.
      Tomorrow is another day.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/9/2020 34,109 7,799 29.6 665,991
      9/10/2020 36,340 2,231 6.5 712,315
      9/11/2020 44,658 8,318 22.9 855,992
      9/12/2020 37,420 -7,238 -16.2 791,919
      9/13/2020 30,435 -6,985 -18.7 766,728
      9/14/2020 37,311 6,876 22.6 825,024
      9/15/2020 35,582 -1,729 -4.6 718,570
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
      9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
      32,517 is 3.5% of total tests Yesterday it was 5.1%.
      Out of the last 3 days only 1 was over a million.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
      9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
      9/21/2020 33,881 1,364 4.2 750,701
      33,881 is 4.5% of total tests.
      On the 20th testers found 32,517 with 941,916 tests. On the 21st testers found 33,881 with 750,701 tests. The number of tests can not be correct on the 21st.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
      9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
      9/21/2020 33,881 1,364 4.2 750,701
      9/22/2020 34,884 1,003 3 760,936
      34,884 is 4.6 of total tests.
      More tests. We will wait few days and see which way it goes.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
      9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
      9/21/2020 33,881 1,364 4.2 750,701
      9/22/2020 34,884 1,003 3 760,936
      9/23/2020 41,616 6,734 19.3 939,272
      computer problems

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
      9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
      9/21/2020 33,881 1,364 4.2 750,701
      9/22/2020 34,884 1,003 3 760,936
      9/23/2020 41,616 6,734 19.3 939,272
      9/24/2020 44,738 3,122 7.5 930,086
      9/25/2020 51,159 6,421 14.4 903,131
      9/26/2020 43,067 -8,092 -15.8 1,092,237
      43,067 is 4.3% of total tests.
      Next week will be very interesting.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
      9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
      9/21/2020 33,881 1,364 4.2 750,701
      9/22/2020 34,884 1,003 3 760,936
      9/23/2020 41,616 6,734 19.3 939,272
      9/24/2020 44,738 3,122 7.5 930,086
      9/25/2020 51,159 6,421 14.4 903,131
      9/26/2020 43,067 -8,092 -15.8 1,092,237
      9/27/2020 33,102 -9,965 -23.1 750,652
      33,102 is 4.4% of total tests.
      Tomorrow is 5 days since the 23rd. It should show the results of removing the 41,616 infected individuals.
      MORE TESTS!!!!.

    • DATE ISOLATED increase % # TESTS
      9/16/2020 37,798 2,216 6.2 730,030
      9/17/2020 42,228 4,430 11.7 810,027
      9/18/2020 49,343 7,115 16.8 1,052,870
      9/19/2020 42,354 -6,989 14.2 987,446
      9/20/2020 32,517 -9,837 23.2 941,916
      9/21/2020 33,881 1,364 4.2 750,701
      9/22/2020 34,884 1,003 3 760,936
      9/23/2020 41,616 6,734 19.3 939,272
      9/24/2020 44,738 3,122 7.5 930,086
      9/25/2020 51,159 6,421 14.4 903,131
      9/26/2020 43,067 -8,092 -15.8 1,092,237
      9/27/2020 33,102 -9,965 -23.1 750,652
      9/28/2020 34,775 1,673 5 982,679
      34,775 is 3.5% of total tests.
      Looks good.
      MORE TESTS

  5. Weird that there virtually no mention of the influence of the rate of a community’s transmission on the rate at which a community’s children might transmit the virus to teachers, school staff, their fellow students, and thus their communities.

    Given that there is evidence both that children get infected and that they can infect others, simple logic says that the rate of community spread is an important variable to consider when people in a community consider whether to open their schools.

    Other factors might also be important considerations and should be taken into account, such as the quality of a school’s ventilation system or other aspects of the physical environment,

    The impact of school spread in Sweden is of limited utility for deciding ether to open schools in Oakland or New Orleans or Bozeman.

    • BTW, there is a significant question as to the amount of tracking and record keeping was done in any of these countries?

      I don’t think Sweden kept records. How much in Malta, Romania, or Latvia?

      So if you don’t track it or have a record of it, it doesn’t exist.

      • James –

        > So if you don’t track it or have a record of it, it doesn’t exist.

        Gee.whwre have I heard that kind of logic before?

        My guess is that the relative #’s of children who are cared for by, or even live with, grandparents in Sweden is very low as compared to Oakland, or New Orleans, or even Bozeman, and that the differences would be even more dramatic when comparing to minority communities in those cities.

        I would think that the impact of opening schools on the fatality rate in association with community spread is significantly affected by the #’s of children who live with their grandparents.

        Weird that Nic never mentioned that. I wonder why?

      • Without good tracking and record keeping, you can’t draw any conclusions with confidence. Without even basic tracking, the likelihood of tracking back to number of people living in a household is almost nil. So you cold be completely right but there is probably no evidence to support it.

      • “My guess is that the relative #’s of children who are cared for by, or even live with, grandparents in Sweden is very low as compared to Oakland, or New Orleans…”

        You don’t have to guess at all about the quality of education in Sweden compared to Oakland or New Orleans even pre-Covid. Today’s conversation is about how much worse you’re willing to make Oakland and New Orleans schools and the basis for that decision.

  6. Less than half of the countries in the survey responded to a two question survey.

    The respondent were: Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom

    How many of these countries have essentially had schools shut down or with primarily remote learning during this time?

    How many have had significant reopenings as of the time of the survey (July)?

    Still some interesting conclusions:

    Symptomatic children are likely as infectious as adults.

    We don’t know how infectious asymptomatic children are.

    There may be significant outbreaks we don’t know about.

    If appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures are applied, schools won’t be any worse than other settings. Well, that is comforting!

  7. Post-SARS (~2003), there was extensive research in virology on the vulnerabilities of enshrouded-RNA viruses, a category that applies to this virus, SARS, MERS, and influenza: such viruses are mildly sensitive to temperature, quite sensitive to humidity, and very sensitive to UV. US Homeland Security’s research labs have confirmed that vulnerability for SARS-CoV-2…

    One Mayo Clinic study found that increasing in-school humidity to 50% decreased influenza by a factor of 2.3 (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0204337; see also this Forbes article https://www.forbes.com/sites/leahbinder/2019/10/17/harvard-researcher-says-this-inexpensive-action-will-lower-hospital-infection-rates-and-protect-us-for-the-flu-season/#211f81618247)

    Perhaps what should be done is to put humidifiers in all public buildings. Factor-of-two reduction in transmission of both flu and other such viruses could turn pandemics into exponentially-decaying non-events.

    • The influenza virus per se is not affected much by humidity. Its means of transmission is. It spreads mainly via inhaled aerosols: this is significantly less true for COVID-19, else social distancing would be ineffective.
      Aerosols dry out rapidly in winter low humidity, so remain airborne for much longer and can travel greater distances. That is why influenza is winter seasonal, and why Mayo’s suggestion to humidify winter school air makes perfect sense.

      • Curious George

        “Aerosols dry out rapidly in winter low humidity.” In California, winter is the wet season, summers are dry. Did you mean a low humidity indoors?

      • Rud

        I live by the sea in southen england and we have a naturally high humidity inside and outside the house.

        . Interestingly covid deaths are extremely rare here and our neighbouring coastal counties also have a very low incidence. Now that could be because there is a naturally cautious older population or it could be that most of the homes would be warm in winter and have high humidity which i Guess would be two big positives.

        As a matter of interest are you finding the same effect in your Florida condo which is surrounded by sea will presumably have high humidity and will be naturally warm?

        Best regards

        Tonyb

      • NOT TRUE: *read* the Mayo Clinic paper!

      • tonyb,

        Yeah, Rud, tell us how that warm humid air in Florida has practically reduced the infection rate to almost nothing.

      • False.

        See :Absolute humidity modulates influenza survival, transmission, and seasonality
        Jeffrey Shaman and Melvin Kohn

  8. Joe - the non epidemiologist

    “Symptomatic children are likely as infectious as adults.”

    Likely true – but the percent of of symptomatic children is significantly lower than the Aysmptomatic children

    “We don’t know how infectious asymptomatic children are.”

    Likely much less infectious that symptomatic children precisely because they are asymptomatic. Hint – they are asymptomatic because their body is controlling the virus, thus less viral load and thus less infectious.

    • Joe,

      I’m just restating the conclusions of the study. If we don’t know, we don’t know is my view.

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        “I’m just restating the conclusions of the study. If we don’t know, we don’t know is my view.”

        The statement “We dont know ” implies a much wider range than is actually known – with the implication that aysmptomatic children “could be as infectious as symptomatic children.

        However, we do know the asymptomatic children are likely to be only 10-20% (high range) as infectious as symptomatic children.

      • Curious George

        Do we know how infectious asymptomatic adults are?

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        Curious George comment – “Do we know how infectious asymptomatic adults are?”

        most likely significantly less that a symptomatic individual, precisely because they are asymptomatic, their body has control of the virus which in turn means less viral load which in turn means less infectious.

        My reasonable estimate is asymptomatic individual is almost certainly less than 20% as infectious and probably around 5-10% as infectious. but that is a reasonable educated guess.

      • Joe – I’ll shorten your answer to “We can only guess”.

      • James I’m just restating the conclusions of the study. If we don’t know, we don’t know is my view.

        The comment from Joe,
        “However, we do know the asymptomatic children are likely to be only 10-20% (high range) as infectious as symptomatic children.”
        seems to miss a rather important caveat.
        “[but that is a reasonable educated guess.]”
        I guess.

        Being asymptomatic in no way guarantees a lower viral load, they might be on steroids or panadol for other conditions, they might just be tougher. They may be in the early stage of the disease, still infective with the symptoms coming in the next 2 hours. Whatever viral load they have the longer you spend with them the more chance you have of catching it.
        Whether they cough or not they are still breathing out billions of viral particles.
        Whether the air is humid or not they can still reach you quite easily of you are in close proximity.

  9. From the ozone hole and nuclear winter to runaway global warming and Covid 19-infection, it’s often difficult to distinguish between concerns grounded in science versus behaviors stemming from fetish, superstition, ignorance, misadventure, socio-political advantage and mental aberrations like, Hot World Syndrome.

  10. As a person with school age kids and a spouse who used to teach and several friends who do:
    -Staff interaction and parent drop-off, pickup are the transmission concerns most have.
    -older teachers, those with older or sicker family members, and those who regularly interact with their elderly parents are opting not to return to class.
    -There are big problems with virtual school. For far too many, it means no school. Kids don’t show up and don’t have any parental supervision. That will be very very bad.
    -People who thought they could work from home while their young children went to virtual school at home are discovering that is not the case. In addition to technical issues, the kids constantly need help with this or that. It’s a serious problem. We’re talking here about grade k-5. People are quitting work to handle the new homeschool reality, many are forming “pods” where several children gather at one family’s home where there is a stay-at-home unemployed adult. And I know some whose job type allowed them to shift their hours to late at night and early in the morning to be free during the school day.
    In other words, if you want your kids to learn and you have a one-income family (hi single moms) virtual school means you have to find, and pay, someone to take your child, assume all the risks of in-person school as a result, and accept the lower quality of education that comes naturally from trying to teach kids by Zoom meeting. This is just the dilemma facing highly engaged parents. Those who aren’t are basically ignoring school.

  11. Nic –

    > Much fuss has been made in the UK, not least by teachers’ unions,

    That’s the kind of rhetoric that undermines the good faith that I assume you have in wanting to deal with these issues. “Fuss’ has a negative connotation. And for sure it’s not only the unions that express concern.

    I’ll assume that you don’t have children, or if you do then they’re grown, of if you do and they are school-aged, you can send them to a fancy school where the risk to them and yourself can be largely mitigated.

    I doubt that you know a single parent of school-aged children who isn’t concerned about the implications of sending them to school amidst the pandemic. And my guess is practically none of them would be members of teachers’ unions.

    • I am with little NEA drone PS #whatever teacher-left loon propagandist joshie, on this one. Teachers are probably a little bit concerned about the students, but their first priority is to leverage the pandemic to get their left loon political fantasies and their greedy pension and salary demands met, before they will go back to indoctrinating the children. They are on strike, with full pay and benefits.

    • There is no concern sending children to school. Not a rational one at all.

      If “older teachers” are worried, then it is time they were given the option to retire. Which solves several problems all in one go.

      Nothing is more important to the future well being of society than children in school.

  12. As I (now rarely) read some of the stuff on these blogs, it occurs to me that the viewpoints expressed on climate change, corona virus and politics are closely correlated. There seems to be two religions: (1) the dominant one on the blogs of right wing politics, denial of human contribution to climate change, denial of serious impacts of climate change, and denial of the seriousness of corona virus; and (2) left wing politics, belief that human activity contributed mostly to climate change, belief that climate change poses a serious threat, and belief that corona virus if unchecked by active opposition, will exponentiate (as it has in India to 100,000 new cases per day). And as these various proponents of one religion or the other, voice the tenets of their religions, I find a lack of honest search for truth in the fuzzy, sparse, incomplete data, but rather, a preconceived belief that is continually repeated on the blogs. It seems obvious to me that human activity has set in motion a potentially dangerous climate change, but the dimensions of that climate change appear to be less than most of the models predict; and that the corona virus is potentially extremely dangerous, but can be reduced to acceptable proportions by a combination of testing, contact tracing, distancing and masks, and the politics on both left and right are unable to provide effective leadership and efficient management. And bloggers can try to talk around these obvious observations forever, yet the obvious stands out.

    • “It seems obvious to me that human activity has set in motion a potentially dangerous climate change, but the dimensions of that climate change appear to be less than most of the models predict; and that the corona virus is potentially extremely dangerous, but can be reduced to acceptable proportions by a combination of testing, contact tracing, distancing and masks,”

      The good news is that there is actually unanimity on both those positions, one side just pretends otherwise.
      The left wing supports for president the guy who doubled oil and gas production in the US from 2008-2016 and has now rejected all of his “climate” promises made during the primary. This is because left and right agree climate is less serious than the models predict but the left finds the models useful to scare voters.
      Likewise, on Covid, the left and right accept reopening, but the left will scare voters until November. This is why we have the laughable political/media-driven claim that three months of nightly Dem protests in every city had no impact on case or death counts, but a one-week motorcycle rally in South Dakota is supposed to have infected a quarter million people (none of whom can be located, of course.)
      Left and right agree you are safe to gather with friends in the city tonight, they just disagree on whether you should have a beer at the restaurant or destroy it.

      • “The left wing supports for president the guy who doubled oil and gas production in the US from 2008-2016 and has now rejected all of his “climate” promises made during the primary”.

        Biden did this all by himself. Wow!

      • “Biden did this all by himself.” Now he just needs to hold a press conference with Fox News there with no notes or telepromter and no one telling him it’s time to leave.
        I like the latest line of attack. He sold our jobs to China, enriching his family. He’s the establishment, and all of this was legal. But the establishment can only loot so much.

      • “all by himself”?

        Translation: “vote for Joe, he can’t actually do anything!”
        Not that it matters to you that he changed his mind and now promises to increase oil and gas production and use- just like he did from ’08 to ’16. Because, as I noted, there is bi-partisan agreement that there isn’t any reason to limit them. Global agreement actually – Nordstream2 is online soon, yes?
        I wonder why nobody asked Greta about Biden and Harris’ flip-flop on the fracking ban they promised. Just kidding. We all know why CNN wont call Greta until November.

      • Don’t blame old senile sleepy joe for flip-flopping. It’s the teleprompter what does it.

    • “…the corona virus is potentially extremely dangerous, but can be reduced to acceptable proportions by a combination of testing, contact tracing, distancing and masks…”

      You failed to define what it is. Potentially extremely dangerous has no meaning. Climate change is the same thing. Almost anything is this. Life is. We can’t say what is, but both sides are wrong and extreme.

      If we can’t even define the problem, solutions should not be imposed. Is do nothing a religion? It’s probably a benign one if it is. Prepare for the second coming. No.

    • Donald Rapp Sept 10 at 10:30AM: “It seems obvious…”

      I believe the full quote is “It is intuitively obvious to the casual observer.”

  13. Beijing Biden exploiting COVID by lying again; stating to the press that over 6k in the military have died from the Wuhan virus. It’s actually only 7; someone should tell BB. He might have asked his crew to move his prompter with pre-fab answers to reporters pre-fab questions closer, sooner; so he could see, and not have to ad-lib. Though history shows he still fumbles when he sees his prompter.

  14. Best of luck convincing the raging hysterics with trivia such FACTS! They are collectively on their way to self imposed hell. Too bad for the kids who have to grow up in a world of fear and isolation.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  15. The first comment I made on this website about COVID19 was that we don’t seem to be able to deal with risk anymore. This issue doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I am not sure how it ends. We seem to care nothing about what our risk averse behavior is doing to us and others.

    • I hope it doesn’t spread to our economics. Some finance ministers in socialistic countries have expressed concern that the decline of entrepreneurship is hampering economic growth in their countries.

    • > The first comment I made on this website about COVID19 was that we don’t seem to be able to deal with risk anymore

      Yeah. Let’s go back to when they knew how to deal with risk.

      Sacrifice a few people at the alter and gets get it over with. Maybe a rain dance or two if the situation gets really bad.

      • The risk faced from COVID19 is a small fraction of the integrated risk we face from infectious disease in a lifetime. The risk we face from COVID19 is similar to the risk we face from accidental death in any given year. How do you manage to get out of bed in the morning?

      • “How do you manage to get out of bed in the morning?“

        lol. May be the most frequently asked question on this website……followed by does he ever get out of bed in the morning.

      • dougbadgero,

        Actually the COVID risk is in addition to the other risks we already face. I’m interested in reducing my risks which is why I wear a seat belt, don’t drink too much, don’t smoke, and when I get out bed in the morning I try to go for a run.

      • Joshua,

        You’re on to something with the sacrifice angle.

        Human sacrifice may have helped the elite consolidate its position

        “One study makes an interesting hypothesis based on historical records: human sacrifice has repeatedly worked in favor of the ruling elite to consolidate their position in stratified societies. In egalitarian societies, human sacrifice was less wide spread and also less impactful.

        The researchers then ran complex statistical models to see how the cultures evolved over time and what the role of sacrifice was in this respect, if any. Apparently, political authority was strongly linked to human sacrifice with the destined victims often being those of lower status”.

        https://www.zmescience.com/science/human-sacrifice-elite-society-0543/

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        Josh comment – “I’m interested in reducing my risks which is why I wear a seat belt, ”

        But you dont wear a seat belt when sitting on the couch do you – Yet that is the equivalent of the risk aversion strategy that is being advocated to avoid infecting and killing grandma.

        wear a mask all the time
        keep schools closed
        hide until vaccine is developed

      • Joe,

        That’s a pretty ridiculous characterization of what is being advocated.

        I don’t wear a mask sitting on the couch or even when outdoors and not in a crowd. I wear it when I go to the grocery store. It isn’t a question of keeping schools closed or keeping schools open. It is about adopting policies and approaches that fit with the infection rates in the community and capabilities of the school. It isn’t a matter of hiding but a matter of reducing illness and death through reasonable measures until a vaccine can provide enough immunity to eliminate the virus or reduce the infection rate to a minuscule level. Since that vaccine is coming any day now (or so we’re being told), it would seem to make a great deal of sense to avoid unnecessary illness and death now.

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        Josh – except when you cut through all the “science based language” it is a good analogy of what is being advocate –

        Mitigation steps to reduce illness and transmission until a vaccine is developed “soon”

        Whats the difference from what I said “hide until a vaccine is developed”

      • Since apparently I say things that James says, I may as well chime in.

        The purpose of masks is not directly to reduce the risk to the individual wearing the mask, although that is a secondary goal. So the seat belt analogy is rather inapt.

        As for this…

        > Whats the difference from what I said “hide until a vaccine is developed”

        Good point. And there’s no difference between wearing a sear belt and hiding out in a concrete bunker 24/7, with a rifle under the bed, and wearing a seat belt or locking your doors.

    • Absolutely concur that our concept of risk aversion has been well and truly bitterly twisted by SARS-CoV-2, weather and climate change. Have we become a species of control freaks?

      • The idea is to impose the correct amount of order. With the rioting, the Right does want more order. We are looking for a balance of chaos and order.

    • People decided to be better parents than their own parents. So they started removing risk. To spare their children some of the pain they went through as youths. They went too far. Maybe Greta T is that. You didn’t remove enough risk and I hate you. Failed parenting. The children are good at pointing to someone else as the problem, absolving themselves. Same with my corporations. Racists are the problems. Not us. Climate change is the problem. Not us. Rednecks are the problem. Not us.

  16. Human sacrifice? Stupid to go there in this discussion. You boys don’t exhibit good sense.

    • Quote : “Stupid to go there” ?? We’ve been hearing about the pensions problem for decades now. In what I, as a pre-boomer, see as an increasingly egoistic society, that thought did pass through my mind. But maybe that’s not bad; makes me take extra precautions.
      Take care; stay safe.

      • Put a VOTE BIDEN sign in your yard. If you go out to eat and the BLM mob comes around demanding you raise your fist and recite the BS, do it enthusiastically. You should be safe, until the election is over.

  17. Feynman
    “When two high school teachers developed minor respiratory symptoms in early February, no one suspected COVID-19. It was cold and flu season, and health officials still assumed the novel coronavirus was mostly confined to China. It wasn’t until 25 February, after one of their contacts was hospitalized in Paris, that the teachers realized they had been infected with SARS-CoV-2. For at least 12 days before the start of winter break on 14 February, and before France instituted precautionary measures, the virus had been spreading freely at the school.

    Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist at the Pasteur Institute, and his colleagues started an investigation in Crépy-en-Valois in late March to see whether they could piece together the virus’ reach in the town and its schools. In the high school, antibody testing showed that 38% of pupils, 43% of teachers, and 59% of nonteaching staff had been infected. (By then, several people associated with the school had been hospitalized with COVID-19 complications.)“

  18. The Sept 2nd CDC report lists 170,566 “deaths involving Covid-19” and “for 6% [10,200] of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.” For the other 160,000, there were an average of 2.6 comorbidities, including “malignant neoplasms,” “intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning,…,” and “cardiac arrest.”
    On average, during each 7 month flu season in the US, there are an estimated 30-40 million flu infections, while after a similar 7 month period there are only 6.5 million reported Covid-19 infections. But wait, Covid-19 is more infectious than the flu!
    Based on antibody testing, the Covid-19 infection rate must be an order of magnitude higher than the 6.5 million reported. Assuming 170,000 deaths and 6.5 million infections, the death rate per infction is 2.6%. Assuming 65 million infections, and anything lower than 170,000 deaths (were all of the “cardiac arrests” really caused by Covid-19), than Covid-19 is no more or even less deadly than the flu. The quality of the data is such that everyone can pick their own number and prove they are right.

  19. I recall that a finding of the very detailed track and trace regime operated in Iceland was that parents infected their children whereas there was no case of a child infecting a parent. Of course, that may have been down to a flaw in the system, but it may also have been a genuine point of interest for epidemiologists to ask how and why.

    Perhaps this virus really does rely on transmission load as in the amount and intensity of the infecting dose to cause the most ill health in the infected person, but is very benign in general circumstances. This might have led us to conclude that using general hospitals to deal with COVID-19 patients was never a good idea and that we should have used Nightingale Hospitals from the start for those who needed medical intervention.

  20. I think you must be mad if you believe any of this.

    “While it is evident that school age children can be infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it is extremely rare for them to become seriously ill with COVID-19, and their risk of dying as a result of infection is almost zero.”

    Is it an infectious disease or no? We’re all made of cells, right? How can it be possible that the disease distinguishes by age? It cannot. Every cell in your body is replaced after 7 years apparently. What is the tell that a virus could use to distinguish age?

    “What is the evidence of transmission between children within the school setting?
    The conclusion from these investigations is that child-to-child transmission in schools is uncommon and not the primary cause of SARS-CoV-2 infection of children whose infection onset coincides with the period during which they are attending school.”

    How can child to child transmission for Covid be uncommon? Is transmission for colds uncommon too? Or chicken pox? It may be asymptomatic (no symptoms) but it has to occur.

    Honestly, people don’t to engage their brains and just go along with whatever rubbish the TV is spewing. They are told one thing (masks are no good) then in the next breath the opposite (masks are good).

    The TV and media are a control mechanism, as is the government. To get through life, you need to own your experience and act on it, even if this goes against what is expressed on TV. Good luck!

    • ‘I think you must be mad if you believe any of this.’
      How many times have I heard that in my lifetime!

      I cannot offer answers for the virus but maybe this is a very distinctive difference between a child and an adult –

      Normal respiratory rates (at rest) for children in breaths per minute are as follows:
      birth to 1 year: 30 to 60
      1 to 3 years: 24 to 40
      3 to 6 years: 22 to 34
      6 to 12 years: 18 to 30
      12 to 18 years: 12 to 16
      Over 18 and adults is 12 to 20.

      This suggests that lung capacity dictates our respiratory rate and that children need shorter, sharper breaths than adults to stay alive. A virus cannot differentiate by age but it may be more successful in transmissions through deeper and longer breaths.

      • So much so that the virus is not transmitted and it is safe for children to be around it, but unsafe for adults?

        The virus is a gourmand!

    • That children are not at serious risk for COVID19 should not be in dispute. The CDC data makes that clear.

      https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku

      Since February 1:
      88 pediatric deaths from COVID19
      279 pediatric deaths from pneumonia
      123 pediatric deaths from influenza
      18631 total pediatric deaths

      This is based on data filed with the CDC through 9/5/2020

      • Yes.. The CDC says so, must be true.

        Didn’t they also just say only 6% of deaths didn’t have serious underlying conditions?

      • Yes they did, and that is also true. It confuses me why people have trouble understanding that reality. There is nothing inconsistent with the twin facts that most people who have died have other underlying conditions and excess mortality is about 10% in the USA….equating to about 200000 excess deaths in the USA.

      • YouCanCallMeAl

        Does this not start to sound like a massive overreaction then? We don’t normally respond so radically for 10k deaths by flu. This suggests that the virus is fairly benign. And that it is used as a pretext. Its a pretext for greater control and management of the people.

    • The reason why children generally are less susceptible is at least partially understood. It’s also the reason some people are asymptomatic and others get so sick they can even die; “Residual immunity” is the amount immunity you have to a pathogen that you have not been exposed to. When we are born we have a broad immunity – antibodies that fit the chemical bonds of pathogens. They exist in relatively equal number and over time they are replaced only by antibodies to pathogens that we regularly encounter.

      In fact, we get our first set of antibodies to common environmental pathogens via our mothers breast-milk. It confers passive immunity, which is not as long-lasting as active immunity, but buys us time. As the passive immunity subsides, exposure to pathogens help us build up our library of antibodies. It’s why it’s vital for kids to be outside playing the dirt.

      Over time, antibodies for pathogens we don’t encounter don’t get replaced, so we lose residual immunity. Some people may lose more, and some less. If we then encounter a pathogen – in this case the virus – that we have not been exposed to, all the defence we have initially is our residual immunity. If we get a heavy viral load – a big infection, we are playing catch up. If the load is small, or our residual immunity is enough, we can cope with the infection as we build up our immunity.

      If we have had the virus and we have built up good levels of immunity, then should we be exposed to it, we simply destroy the virus before it can replicate and be passed on to others. If have a large load or our immunity is not so good, we can become infected again and be infectious.

      So the reason why children don’t transmit it is likely because their residual immunity combined with their fast immune response, means that if they were infectious it probably is only for a very brief period. It doesn’t mean they cannot transmit the disease, it just means they can’t transmit it easily.

      “This suggests the virus is fairly benign.”

      In many respects that is true, but it is also what makes it dangerous. Being benign means that for most people, their symptoms are mild. That means it can be transmitted more easily (generally by older people who are starting further back in building up immunity and take longer to do so) because their vectors don’t get sick. So it can spread around really fast, and because it is novel, people can get very very sick from it, and die. A small percentage for sure, but because it is so infectious that small percentage translates into big numbers.

  21. The Sept 2nd CDC report lists 170,566 “deaths involving Covid-19” and “for 6% [10,200] of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.” For the other 160,000, there were an average of 2.6 comorbidities, per death. Comorbidities listed includes “Malignant neoplasms,” “Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning,…” and “Cardiac Arrest.”
    On average, during each 7 month flu season in the US, there are an estimated 30-40 million flu infections, while after a similar 7 month period there are only 6.5 million reported Covid-19 infections. But wait, Covid-19 is supposed to be more infectious than the flu!
    Based on antibody reports (multiple sources), Covid infections may be low by an order of magnitude. Since there is no way of knowing how many deaths were caused by Covid (it is somewhere between 10,000 and 170,000), and based on antibody tests, the Covid-19 infection rate must be significantly higher (an order of magnitude ?) than the 6.5 million reported. If I use the 170,000 and 6.5 million, the death rate per infection is 2.6%. If the 6.5 million is significant low, and the 170,000 is significantly high, than Covid-19 is no more or even less deadly than the flu. The quality of the data is such that everyone can pick their own number and prove they are right.

  22. Feynman
    “When two high school teachers developed minor respiratory symptoms in early February, no one suspected COVID-19. It was cold and flu season, and health officials still assumed the novel coronavirus was mostly confined to China. It wasn’t until 25 February, after one of their contacts was hospitalized in Paris, that the teachers realized they had been infected with SARS-CoV-2. For at least 12 days before the start of winter break on 14 February, and before France instituted precautionary measures, the virus had been spreading freely at the school.
    Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist at the Pasteur Institute, and his colleagues started an investigation in Crépy-en-Valois in late March to see whether they could piece together the virus’ reach in the town and its schools. In the high school, antibody testing showed that 38% of pupils, 43% of teachers, and 59% of nonteaching staff had been infected. (By then, several people associated with the school had been hospitalized with COVID-19 complications.) In six elementary schools, they found a total of three children who had caught the virus, likely from family members, and then attended school while infected. But, as far as the researchers could tell, those younger children didn’t pass the virus on to any close contacts.”

    I notice the emphasis on this report was on the the younger children some what overlooking the probable proof of transmission at school in the slightly older 13-18 group still technically children, to teachers.

    Data about the outcomes are scarce. ” says Kathryn Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who is advising the Nashville school system, which serves more than 86,000 students, on how to reopen. Her research assistant spent 30 hours hunting for data—for example on whether younger students are less adept at spreading the virus than older ones, and whether outbreaks followed reopenings—and found little that addressed the risk of contagion in schools.

    Early this spring, school gates around the world slammed shut. By early April, an astonishing 1.5 billion young people were staying home as part of broader shutdowns to protect people from the novel coronavirus.

    • The Sept 9 CDC report lists 62, under 15 deaths “involving Coved-19” and 422 “involving pneumonia, influenza, or Covid-19.” Subtracting the Covid-19 deaths leaves 360 under 15 whose deaths involved pneumonia or influenza. A total of 0.03% of Covid-19 deaths were under 15 yet that group represents 6% of the population. Pneumonia and influenza deaths for those under 15 were 600% higher than Covid-19 deaths. Maybe the wrong problem is being worked.

  23. Do we know enough about the virus to make scientific recommendations? We don’t even know the number of deaths. Can we compare deaths in New York to California or Sweden?

    • Good questions.
      “Can we compare deaths in New York to California or Sweden?”
      Yes.
      “We don’t even know the number of deaths”
      We have ball park figures for all the above. You have to start somewhere. Some things will be clearer with time, others will be more vexed.
      “Do we know enough about the virus to make scientific recommendations?”
      Never stopped a scientist or expert before.

      Cancel all 70th birthdays seems a very sound recommendation, it might save someone.
      Store up some tonic water, 80 mgms of quinine per litre without a script. Just enough per day.
      Probably not much use.
      Avoid going to hospitals and doctors clinics if possible.

      • Curious George

        https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-deaths-in-us-17-times-higher-canada-europe-20200729-zd5fuq7drbclth32xzdawsz26i-story.html
        Coronavirus-related deaths are more than 17 time higher in the U.S. than in Canada or Europe, when adjusted for population.

        Difficult to accept. Probably a different definition of “coronavirus-related”.

      • Curious George

        On a second thought, it allows Joe Biden to blame Trump for thousands and thousands of deaths.

      • Angech Sept 11 @ 11:03: “Cancel all 70th birthdays seems a very sound recommendation.”

        The CDC Sept 9th weekly update, lists 174,470 “deaths involving coronavirus.” “For 6% [10,468] Covid-19 was the only cause mentioned. …on average, there were 2.6 addition conditions or causes per death.” Age “per se” seems less a factor than comorbidities; health issues do, however, seem to accumulate with age.

      • PMHinSC –

        Do you know what % of people who die from complications of diabetes have co-morbidities? Should we not disorder diabeties a serous illness if that humber is high?

        Should we just not consider heart disease a problem since 80% of the people who die from it are over 65?

      • JOSHUA Sept 12 At 11:43:

        I have no response to your straw-man arguments which had nothing to do with the CDC data I quoted.
        The data says 10,468 otherwise healthy people died out of 174,470 deaths listed. The other 164,000 had an average of 2.6 comorbidities. A reasonable interpretation of the data is that for people who are otherwise healthy, Covid-19 may be no more a threat that other infectious diseases. As we age, most people accumulate health issues including cardias, pulmonary, diabetes, etc. Covid-19 combined with any of these comorbidities can be deadly; consequently a much higher percentage of deaths are for those over 65. Although I might have missed it, I have seen nothing in the data too indicate that a healthy 76 year old is at significantly any more risk than a healthy 26 year old. I would be happy to look at that data you are aware of.

      • > have no response to your straw-man arguments which had nothing to do with the CDC data I quoted.

        As I understand the term, in order to assign to you a straw man argument I’d need to assert that you made a a particular argument. What’s funny here is that I didn’t assert that you made a particular argument. So your assertion that I made a straw many argument is ironically, actually a straw man argument.

        You might well say that I offered rhetorical questions. But I’m actually interested in reading your answers even if I was making a rhetorical point by asking you to answer those questions. I’m curious as to how your logic works. So if you could bring yourself to answer those wuedjons if appreciate it.

  24. This is instructive:

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/09/11/trump-rally-attendees-michigan-ctn-vpx.cnn

    I’m not going to wear a mask because I’m not concerned about dying (ignoring or not realizing the direct purpose of wearing a mask).

    I’m not worried about Covid. There is no covid. It’s a hoax to ruin the American economy and I know because 90% if people who die have 2.6 – 2.8 other “mordalities”

    I don’t wear a mask because I can’t understand other people if they wear a mask. (I’d rather potentially infect then than insult them by asking them to speak more loudly?)

    • Joe - the non epidemiologist

      joshua – CNN – always good for a laugh – typical characterization of a believe that exists only in the minds of progressives.
      Most telling is that you provided the link

      • Yeah. Good point.

        Because CNN filmed it, the Trump supporters didn’t actually say what they said

      • And BTW, we’ve seen the same way of thinking countless times here – except for the last one.

      • You could stand outside old sleepy senile joe’s rallies and find a few goofballs to make fools of themselves on TV. Wait, no you couldn’t. Nobody shows up to see old sleepy senile joe struggle to read BS left loon propaganda off a teleprompter, except CNN, MSDNC and the rest of the self-discredited fake news dummies.

    • Joe Rogan summed up Sleepy Beijng Biden well: “Biden, to me, is like having a flashlight with a dying battery and going for a long hike in the woods.”

      The U.S. under a Biden administration, beyond representing a dark age of democracy; would take the world on a long, bewildering walk into the dark woods of statist appeasement. Thus Beijng Biden.

      Those with insight see China’s globalist statist ambitions as representing the potential fall of democracy globally if their power is left unchecked beyond Trump. Biden’s long slobbering love affair with China’s rise in global dominance is satiation to the twinkle in the Lefts eye. Fill in the blank.

    • Go buy a box of surgical masks and read the box. What does it say they block? What is conspicuously missing on that list?

      At least on all the boxes of masks I have bought.

  25. -snip-

    Of 26 competitive athletes, 4 (15%) had CMR findings suggestive of myocarditis and 8 additional athletes (30.8%) exhibited LGE without T2 elevation suggestive of prior myocardial injury. COVID-19–related myocardial injury in competitive athletes and sports participation remains unclear. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging has the potential to identify a high-risk cohort for adverse outcomes and may, importantly, risk stratify athletes for safe participation because CMR mapping techniques have a high negative predictive value to rule out myocarditis.4 A recent study by Puntmann et al2 demonstrated cardiac involvement in a significant number of patients who had recovered from COVID-19. A recent expert consensus article recommended 2-week convalescence followed by no diagnostic cardiac testing if asymptomatic and an electrocardiogram and transthoracic echocardiogram in mildly symptomatic athletes with COVID-19 to return to play for competitive sports.5 However, emerging knowledge and CMR observations question this recommendation. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging evidence of myocardial inflammation has been associated with poor outcomes, including myocardial dysfunction and mortality.6 Study limitations include lack of baseline CMR imaging and variable timing of CMR imaging from a positive COVID-19 test result. Athletic cardiac adaptation could be responsible for these abnormalities; however, in this cohort, mean (SD) T2 in those with suspected myocarditis was 59 (3) milliseconds vs 51 (2) milliseconds in those without, favoring pathology. Additionally, the rate of LGE (42%) is higher than in previously described normative populations. To conclude, while long-term follow-up and large studies including control populations are required to understand CMR changes in competitive athletes, CMR may provide an excellent risk-stratification assessment for myocarditis in athletes who have recovered from COVID-19 to guide safe competitive sports participation.

    -snip-

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/fullarticle/2770645

    • You are really on a roll, frank. How do you know so much?

      College students are not generally considered to be “schoolchildren”. We consider college students to be adults around here, frank. But in way too many cases we are disappointed. I skipped the rest. Your style has become joshielike.

  26. Nic: I think there are several problems with your post. The first problem is that you don’t differentiate between different groups of “schoolchildren”. Starting at the older extreme, IIRC college students are believed to transmit about as effectively as adults. High school students (grades 9-12, ca 14-18) may transmit as efficiently as adults; IIRC Israel had an enormous high school outbreak that forced re-closing schools for that age group. There is lots of evidence to show that lower school students (grades K-6, ca 5-12) almost always have been infected by a family member and rarely have brought the virus home. Then there are pre-school students who we know have immature immune systems and when infected have viral loads about 10-fold higher than adults. Lower school students begin with relatively immature immune systems and gradually grow out of the problem. They are sick much less often in the second half of lower school. So it seems safe to assume that viral loads are unusually high among infected kindergarteners and gradually decline in a few years to levels observed in adults.

    Now we need a mechanism/hypothesis that explains why a school child in one of these age groups is less likely to transmit virus to another people than adults. The main mechanisms of transmission are presumably sprayed droplets and/or exhaled aerosols. As far as I know, schoolchildren are at least as likely as adults to transmit and be infected by influenza and other respiratory viruses. What is different about SARS-CoV-2, which infects the same locations as other respiratory viruses?

    Well, there are an unusually large number of asymptomatic or barely symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections and the proportion of asymptomatic cases is higher for children than adults. Symptomatic people can spread droplets more often, especially by coughing. So my first guess would be that all but the youngest ASYMPTOMATIC schoolchildren (with highest viral loads) transmit as effectively as ASYMPTOMATIC adults. Children don’t cough as violently as adults, so SYMPTOMATIC children may spray fewer droplets a shorter distance than SYMPTOMATIC adults. However, children’s hygiene may be worse. Hopefully someone has or will be quantifying the differences in the infectiousness of sprayed droplets and aerosols produced by schoolchildren (of various ages) and adults with varying degrees of illness for both COVID and influenza.

    Until we MEASURE differences in emission of infectious droplets and aerosols between symptomatic and asymptomatic schoolchildren and adults, I’m forced to consider the hypothesis that the unusual lack of transmission among schoolchildren and from child to adult was caused by behavior. Despite early reports that children were “not effected” by the virus, parents confronted with any new disease would take extreme precautions with their children. Anecdotally, I rarely saw a child outside in my neighborhood until late May. I’d guess that most parents were extremely protective of their children and gave them much less opportunity to be the first to be infected in their family, and therefore much less likely to be the one that transmitted first within the family. It is also possible schoolchildren were more likely than adults to have activatible T-cells from earlier coronavirus infections.

    In any case, my innate skepticism (or perhaps irrational stubbornness) makes me want to understand WHY transmission by schoolchildren is low before accepting that it really is low. The failure of some US colleges to return to normal fall classes was totally predictable and I expect similar problems in high schools. There is reason to hope that young students can return without an explosion of cases, but that may depend on how effective precautions are. The few schools that I ancedotally know about here have no more than half of the usual density of students due to allowing only half the students to attend at any time or to parents voluntarily keeping students as home all of the time. And increasing ventilation and filtration could have a big impact on transmission by aerosols (that disappears as it gets colder?)

    • Differentiate what represents the schoolchildren demographic, Frank? Most have the ability to delineate between schoolchildren, K-12, from those 30 somethings still living in their parents basements. But then again, maybe that’s why Biden feels so at home in his basement; he’s simply channeling among this very late stage adolescent snowflake electorate.

      • Jungletrunks: You are absolutely correct, most of us have the ability to differentiate between schoolchildren and 30 somethings. Unlike you, most of us also have the ability to comprehend what we read, the decency not to misrepresent what we read and, the intelligence to reply with relevant information

    • Very early in this pandemic we knew that the COVID19 virus binds to the ACE2 receptor as the route of infection. We also have known for some time that the ACE2 receptor occurs in children at a lower rate than in adults. IMO this likely explains why children are less likely to have a severe case of COVID19. It also explains why the “protection” from severe disease appears most pronounced in young children.

      • Note the ACE2 receptor is also related to hypertension which may help explain the link between hypertension and severe COVID 19.

      • dougbadgero: Thanks for the reply. Do you have a reference for your assertion that ACE2 receptor expression is lower in children that adults. I found many papers saying that ACE2 expression decreases with age, but that receptor expression is up regulated by use of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. However, not everyone with hypertension is treated with these drugs. Many papers therefore suggest ACE2 has a mixture of effects.

        https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fped.2020.00206/full?utm_campaign=ba-cov-sci-fpedi&utm_medium=f-nlt&utm_source=em

        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32558150/
        “Our findings revealed a negative correlation between ACE2 expression and COVID-19 fatality at both population and molecular levels.”

        https://arxiv.org/pdf/2004.07224.pdf “I show that these variations are strongly correlated with the levels of the ACE2 protein in the lungs but surprisingly, despite ACE2 is the viral receptor, higher levels lead to lower fatality.” But …

      • Here is one article from JAMA. The effect is quite complicated and I am by no means an expert. What we know is that children are at much lower risk of severe disease. ACE2 expression is one plausible physiological reason for this difference. I doubt there are many children on ACE inhibitors or ARBs.

        https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766522

        “In this issue of JAMA, Bunyavanich et al4 identify a possible factor that may be related to lower rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. The authors evaluated gene expression in nasal epithelial samples collected as part of a study involving patients with asthma from 2015 to 2018. The nasal epithelium is one of the first sites of infection with SARS-CoV-2, and the investigators probed for the expression of the cell surface enzyme angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which has been proven to bind to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and promote internalization of the virus into human cells.5 Among a cohort of 305 patients aged 4 to 60 years, older children (10-17 years old; n = 185), young adults (18-24 years old; n = 46), and adults (≥25 years old; n = 29) all had higher expression of ACE2 in the nasal epithelium compared with younger children (4-9 years old; n = 45), and ACE2 expression was higher with each subsequent age group after adjusting for sex and asthma.”

      • dougbadgero: Thanks for providing the link. FWIW, the increase in expression of ACE2 levels with age in nose is slightly less than a factor of 2, while other sources show the opposite in lung. This could make it somewhat more difficult for an infection to become established in the nose, but it doesn’t stop nasal swabs from children from showing high viral titers. For some reason, the large amount of virus that is present does not appear to be infecting other people. Given that high levels of virus are found in the noses of children, it is challenging to explain what role ACE2 receptors play in transmitting that virus to others.

    • Frank

      ‘The first problem is that you don’t differentiate between different groups of “schoolchildren”.’
      In case you didn’t realise, I am quoting statements from an ECDC report and a Swedish public health authority report. It is those statements that don’t differentiate by age group Their statements apply to schoolchildren as a whole, just like the overall IFR often quoted relates to the population as a whole.

      ‘Now we need a mechanism/hypothesis that explains why a school child in one of these age groups is less likely to transmit virus to another people than adults’
      I disagree. We don’t NEED to know the mechanism that is responsible for children not being efficient transmitters of SARS-CoV-2 in order to establish from epidemiological evidence that that is the case. Similarly, it was (IIRC) epidemiological evidence that established smoking was a cause of lung cancer, well before the mechanism was known.

      • Nic: You may not deserve blame for the indiscriminate use of the term “schoolchildren”, but there are large differences between different populations of schoolchildren. This causes much confusion.

        Changing behavior has a major and poorly characterized impact on the course of pandemics. We should be cautious about accepting epidemiology evidence (which is always complicated by changing behavior and public health measures in the face of contradictory mechanistic evidence. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be experimenting with the critical task of returning children and young adults safely to school. We certainly can’t do that by pretending they all are equally good at transmission and equally susceptible to infection.

        The chances are significant and improving that we will have a vaccine early next year. I’m not sure how that influences what we should do this fall. Spain and parts of the US show that the pandemic can re-ignite within a month and threaten the ability of hospitals to provide care for everyone who needs it. I suppose I need to study more carefully the circumstances under which schools outside the US were successful re-opened. I’m skeptical has been successful in places where up to 1% of the population is infectious at any moment. (100 new cases/100,000 in the past 7 days, is roughly 0.1% of the people confirmed as being infectious. Multiple by your preferred factor for undetected cases. In general, 1% is likely an exaggeration, but not for hot spots. I see North Dakota is the new US leader with 238 per 100,000 confirmed infections in the last 7 days.

        If 1% of the people are becoming immune each week, it still takes a long time to reach herd immunity. Cumulative confirmed cases in many recently hit states have exceeded the 2% of population seen in NY and match hardest hit counties of NY at 3%. I’m still search for that mythical “second surge” that will prove the “first surge” was halted by behavior and not approaching herd immunity. (:))

        The NYT has data on 88,000 cases on US colleges. With 1,900 cases in 35,000 students at the University of South Carolina in only a few weeks, some universities may soon rival cruise ships and prisons as hot spots. The young adults who attend them clearly don’t behave like optimists hope upper school students will, but I doubt they magically stop being “schoolchildren” when they go to college.

        Respectfully hoping you don’t prove me wrong (again?) and that you do (so all lower schools can re-open). Frank

      • I am somewhat concerned about a resurgence during the NH winter. The concept of herd immunity is poorly explained and considered IMO. Herd immunity is a function of the social connectivity of the “herd”. From the very beginning transmission within the household seemed to be an important aspect of this disease. I would expect household transmission to increase during the NH winter.

    • I refer you to my post here: https://judithcurry.com/2020/09/10/covid-19-evidence-shows-that-transmission-by-schoolchildren-is-low/#comment-926656

      The reason why children (generally – not just with CV19) don’t get as ill with a novel pathogen is at least partially understood. They have higher levels of residual immunity and a more responsive immune response. As we age, we lose that residual immunity.

  27. Conclusions I draw so far from all this:

    Testing is unreliable with far too many false outcomes and these are not being used to the best advantage at keeping society in some kind of normality rather than a state of constant fear and anxiety.

    Track and trace systems seem to be very fragmented and hit and miss and there seems to be a complete lack of an experienced expert’s ttouch on much that is going on.

    We cannot know how this virus affects children in a comparable way to other infectious outbreaks since we schools were shut and we stopped treating them normally

    It’s a complete dog’s dinner..

  28. Alberto Zaragoza Comendador

    Sweden’s latest weekly report is fascinating as regards the different respiratory viruses (credit goes to somebody on twitter for pointing this out). Page 15 of the “Veckorapport” shows the % of people reporting symptoms compatible with respiratory infections. Over weeks 34 and 35, which is to say the second half of August, this has soared. But Covid cases kept dropping over the period.

    This other report suggests the increase is essentially due to rhinovirus:

    Click to access rapport-influensa–och-rs-virus-och-andra-luftvagspatogener.pdf

    The school year started in early or mid August so an increase in rhinovirus transmission makes sense. The lack of corresponding increase in Covid cases suggests that either Sweden has built up herd immunity to that disease or children are insignificant for Covid transmission.

    • Did they actually test to confirm rhinovirus vs covid? Or, are they just guessing or assuming?

      I’m becoming a tad skeptical of some of the stats coming from Sweden.

      • James Cross: I’m becoming a tad skeptical of some of the stats coming from Sweden.

        Why now? Was there a change in reporting standards or something that makes current reports less reliable than earlier reports?

      • “If you test positive for the coronavirus you may now be given instructions to call people with whom you have been in contact and may have infected, instead of healthcare staff doing the job for you, or it not being done at all.”.

        https://www.thelocal.se/20200720/sweden-reveals-new-coronavirus-test-and-trace-strategy

        “It is not yet clear how this will work in practice or whether authorities will check up on this do-it-yourself arrangement”.

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-sweden-tracing/sweden-says-people-infected-with-covid-19-should-do-contact-tracing-themselves-idUSKCN24L28P

      • And there is also this specific to schools.

        “There’s nearly universal agreement that widespread, long-lasting school closures harm children. Not only do children fall behind in learning, but isolation harms their mental health and leaves some vulnerable to abuse and neglect. But during this pandemic, does that harm outweigh the risk—to children, school staff, families, and the community at large—of keeping schools open and giving the coronavirus more chances to spread?

        The one country that could have definitively answered that question has apparently failed to collect any data. Bucking a global trend, Sweden has kept day care centers and schools through ninth grade open since COVID-19 emerged, without any major adjustments to class size, lunch policies, or recess rules. That made the country a perfect natural experiment about schools’ role in viral spread that many others could have learned from as they reopen schools or ponder when to do so. Yet Swedish officials have not tracked infections among school children—even when large outbreaks led to the closure of individual schools or staff members died of the disease”.

        https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/how-sweden-wasted-rare-opportunity-study-coronavirus-schools

        So any conclusions about infection among children in schools in Sweden is based on NO data.

      • James Cross:

        “So any conclusions about infection among children in schools in Sweden is based on NO data.”

        Sweden is fine. They don’t fit our model of how things should be. Having reams of data hasn’t helped us a lot overall. It created a bunch of new stuff of little value. It was used in some cases to impose lockdowns and tank the economy.

        Look at all the research going into global warming. How has that helped improve anyone’s lives?

        My conclusion about Sweden is they are fine. And you shouldn’t always do what our elites say. And you should be skeptical of what they say.

      • > It created a bunch of new stuff of little value. It was used in some cases to impose lockdowns and tank the economy.

        Actually, Sweden tanked the economy without “locking down.”

        https://ourworldindata.org/exports/economic-decline-in-the-second-quarter-of-2020_v16_850x600.svg

        https://ourworldindata.org/exports/q2-gdp-growth-vs-confirmed-deaths-due-to-covid-19-per-million-people_v61_850x600.svg

      • No drastic shutdown Trump-Sweden seems to be doing well with the Covid, so drastic shutdown economy destroying left loon jimmy joe biden is disappointed and suspicious of the stats.

        Little jimmy joe found some BS about Sweden allegedly wasting a rare opportunity to study the schools. They say Sweden allegedly “failed to collect any data”. But Swedes knew which schools to close, when there were large outbreaks and they knew when staff members died of the disease. How did the Swedes know with no data? Seems like a ludicrous smear of the Trump-Swedes. Probably because in a fit of Trumpian defiance of the left loon norm they didn’t fall in line with the drastic economy destroying shutdown regimes.

        U.S. left loons are obliged to be appalled at Trump-Sweden’s no drastic shutdown Covid policy, because Orange Man Bad and must be disparaged and defeated. They are going to crying again.

      • > seems to be doing well with the Covid.

        Sweden mortality = 57.55 per 100k. South Korea = 0.67 per 100k.

        Yeah. Sweden did just swimmingly.

      • content://com.android.chrome.FileProvider/images/screenshot/16000987650461738779232.jpg

      • I forgot to mention that Trump is responsible for the fires burning on the Left Coast (he pissed off some antifa arsonists), the riots which are mostly peaceful and the shooting of the deputies in Compton that was mostly peaceful except for the shooting part.

        And I see that the left loon PS #whatever child indoctrinator is piling on the Swedes. Their economy suffered too, tho. Presumably it wouldn’t have suffered as much if they had locked it down a lot tighter. Makes sense when you are a desperate left loon and Orange Man Bad.

      • Global warming is boring. No death counts. They found something that does sell, death. Sweden can go its own way. It’s Okay. They are an adult country. We deal with death pretty well. Until about 7 months ago. Then we went into a panic. It’s time to meditate. Grandma is going to die, she’s 88 and had a good run. You didn’t visit her before she was locked down in a nursing home. And as kind as she was to you when even your dog betrayed you, you never paid her back for all that. But that’s not Trump’s fault. And your tears aren’t helping. And Biden isn’t going to save you or Grandma or even himself. You screwed up. Now please don’t destroy our country.

  29. Pingback: COVID-19: evidence shows that transmission by schoolchildren is low |

  30. -snip-

    Comment
    Published: 09 September 2020
    COVID-19 herd immunity: where are we?
    Arnaud Fontanet & Simon Cauchemez
    Nature Reviews Immunology (2020)Cite this article

    820 Accesses

    260 Altmetric

    Metricsdetails

    Herd immunity is a key concept for epidemic control. It states that only a proportion of a population needs to be immune (through overcoming natural infection or through vaccination) to an infectious agent for it to stop generating large outbreaks. A key question in the current COVID-19 pandemic is how and when herd immunity can be achieved and at what cost.

    Download PDF
    Herd immunity is achieved when one infected person in a population generates less than one secondary case on average, which corresponds to the effective reproduction number R (that is, the average number of persons infected by a case) dropping below 1 in the absence of interventions. In a population in which individuals mix homogeneously and are equally susceptible and contagious, R = (1 − pC)(1 − pI)R0 (equation 1), where pC is the relative reduction in transmission rates due to non-pharmaceutical interventions; pI is the proportion of immune individuals; and R0 is the reproduction number in the absence of control measures in a fully susceptible population. R0 may vary across populations and over time, depending on the nature and number of contacts among individuals and potentially environmental factors. In the absence of control measures (pC = 0), the condition for herd immunity (R 80 years have substantially less contacts than those aged 20–40 years), the herd immunity threshold drops from 66.7% to 62.5%. If we further assume that the number of contacts varies substantially between individuals within the same age group, herd immunity could be achieved with only 50% population immunity. However, in this scenario, the departure from the formula pI = 1 − 1/R0 is only expected if it is always the same set of individuals that are potential super-spreaders. If super-spreading is driven by events rather than by individuals, or if control measures reduce or modify the set of potential super-spreaders, there may be limited impact on herd immunity. Another factor that may feed into a lower herd immunity threshold for COVID-19 is the role of children in viral transmission. Preliminary reports find that children, particularly those younger than 10 years, may be less susceptible and contagious than adults3, in which case they may be partially omitted from the computation of herd immunity.

    Population immunity is typically estimated through cross-sectional surveys of representative samples using serological tests that measure humoral immunity. Surveys performed in countries affected early during the COVID-19 epidemic, such as Spain and Italy, suggest that nationwide prevalence of antibodies varies between 1 and 10%, with peaks around 10–15% in heavily affected urban areas4. Interestingly, this is consistent with earlier predictions made by mathematical models, using death counts reported in national statistics and estimates of the infection fatality ratio, that is, the probability of death given infection1,5. Some have argued that humoral immunity does not capture the full spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 protective immunity and that the first epidemic wave has resulted in higher levels of immunity across the population than measured through cross-sectional antibody surveys. Indeed, T cell reactivity has been documented in the absence of detectable humoral immunity among contacts of patients6, although the protective nature and the duration of the observed response are unknown. Another unknown is whether pre-existing immunity to common cold coronaviruses may provide some level of cross-protection. Several studies reported cross-reactive T cells in 20–50% of SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals7. However, whether these T cells can prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection or protect against severe disease remains to be determined7. Preliminary reports of surveys in children show no correlation between past infections with seasonal coronaviruses and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection8. Clearly, no sterilizing immunity through cross-protection was evident during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, where 70% of the young adult sailors became infected before the epidemic came to a halt9.

    […]

    Taking these considerations into account, there is little evidence to suggest that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 might stop naturally before at least 50% of the population has become immune. Another question is what it would take to achieve 50% population immunity, given that we currently do not know how long naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 lasts (immunity to seasonal coronaviruses is usually relatively short lived), particularly among those who had mild forms of disease, and whether it might take several rounds of re-infection before robust immunity is attained.

    -snip-

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-00451-5

    • “Taking these considerations into account, there is little evidence to suggest that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 might stop naturally before at least 50% of the population has become immune.”

      This is nonsense. Several studies have shown that once population heterogeneity is taken into account, the herd immunity threshold is hugely reduced, possibly to as low as 10% (for a country, not for an individual city or district).

      • Of course it’s “nonsense.” They disagree with you, don’t they? So then it’s axiomatic that their opinions are “nonsense” !

        ******

        Simon Cauchemez joined Institut Pasteur in 2013 to head Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit. The main research objective of his unit is to develop state-of-the-art statistical and mathematical methods to address these challenges, with the aim to increase the understanding of how pathogens spread in human populations as well as the impact of interventions, to support policy making and optimize control strategies. His approach is highly multidisciplinary, looking at infectious diseases through multiple perspectives (statistics, modelling, epidemiology, surveillance, Public Health, policy making, microbiology), multiple scales and multiple data streams. Before joining Institut Pasteur, Simon Cauchemez was working in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London.

        *******

        I am a medical epidemiologist (MD in 1988 at Paris V, specialisation in rheumatology in 1990, Paris V, and DrPH from Harvard School of Public Health in 1993) specialized in infectious diseases epidemiology. After working at WHO at the clinical research unit of the Global Program on AIDS (1993-1994), I spent five years in Ethiopia and two years in the Netherlands working as the Program Manager of the Ethio-Netherlands AIDS Research Project (1994-2001). In 2002, I joined Institut Pasteur to launch the Emerging Diseases Epidemiology unit. There, my focus has been on viral hepatitis C (North-Coordinator of the ANRS research site on viral hepatitis; http://www.hepnile.org) and emerging infections such as the SARS (Scientific Coordinator of the EPISARS project which aimed prevent the re-emergence of SARS through the control of its animal reservoir) and the MERS-CoV. I also have a strong teaching involvement, as co-Director and founder of the Pasteur-Cnam School of Public Health (http://ecole-pasteur.cnam.fr), and coordinator of a master in public health with strong focus on infectious diseases. In 2014, I was appointed as Director of the newly created Pasteur Centre for Global Health Research and Education.

  31. Pingback: COVID-19: evidence shows that transmission by schoolchildren is lowClimate- Science.press | Climate- Science.press

  32. “The two numbers—which are about equal—need to be adjusted for population, which reveals that there are 665 excess deaths per million people for the covered European area, compared with 622 excess deaths per million in the U.S., using the midpoint CDC value.
    That works out to Europe having around 7 percent more excess deaths per million than the U.S. The percentage rises as high as 26 percent if the lower CDC value is used. Perhaps it is from this calculation that Atlas derives his comparison figure. On the other hand, if the upper-end CDC estimate is used, then the U.S.’s excess mortality rate is 7 percent higher than that of the E.U.”

    https://reason.com/2020/09/09/is-the-u-s-handling-the-covid-19-pandemic-better-than-europe/

    The normal way is the lower resolution excess deaths. Then you turn up the resolution. Then you make arguments about how Trumps sucks. The Republican turn up the resolution and say Andrew Cuomo sucks and South Dakota doesn’t suck.

    How many normal deaths per million? More than 10,000. Toughen up buttercups.

    When the data sucks, don’t turn up the resolution. What is the GMST? Then wildfires on the West Coast are the result of climate change. Don’t turn up the resolution. You’d think they’d teach this stuff.

    • Of the people who claim to be furious at Trump’s handling of Covid:
      – how many are furious at the leaders of European nations that performed much worse- like France and Belgium? None.
      -how many are furious at Cuomo, who performed worse than any other governor? None.
      -how many are actually furious at Trump for any discernible reason? None.

      The amazing thing in all this is that people with a pretense to education actually think the third one isn’t obvious.

      • > -ow many are actually furious at Trump for any discernible reason? None.

        I’m not “furious.” But I see no reason to pretend that there aren’t easily “discernable” reasons to assert that he screwed up, that his administration has screwed up, or that there aren’t many easily “discernable” indicators that are indictments of his leadership.

        Primarily:

        He has lied, often and consistently about the failures in testing. There is simply no way to spin this. He has lied about the testing. He has made a long list of promises about testing that haven’t materialized. He has outlined goals for testing that his government did not met.

        He has failed to accept and responsibility for the inadequacies of the testing.

        He has consistently, and often, spun the assessment of how we have done, in the eay you would expect of a used car salesperson or a con artist.

        He has made deceptive and irresponsible claims about the effectiveness of what he has done – again as we would expect of a used car salesperson or a con artist.

        He has undermined the advice of experts and public health officials and the capacity of public health institutions to enact public health policy, for the sake of political expediency. Then he has hidden behind public health officials and experts to avoid accountability for the ways in which he has undermined their ability to inform and influence public policy.

        But cult members will simply not accept any of that and just defend dear leader to the end. No degree of fallibility can be acknowledged.

        That is the way of a cult of personality.

      • Let’s talk about “lying” for a minute:
        Was the CDC lying when it said there was no human to human transmission? Was Fauci lying in January when he told the media he wasn’t worried and that masks don’t really work?
        Was Cuomo lying when he told DeBlasio there was no need to shut down the schools yet?
        The CDC said they would provide a functional test kit in volumes everyone could use- was that a lie?
        Or were all these people – from Emil Macron in Paris, to Fauci, to Cuomo and even to Trump doing the best they could with the information they had?
        Political cultists pick and choose (based on their political need) who to label as liar and who to give a pass to. They use the term liar advisedly, because it tears down not just people but whole institutions. Oh, to be sure, some of the cultists are simply ignorant and assume that they can successfully insist the rules don’t apply to anyone they support politically. Emil Macron can slaughter Parisians and perform half the tests of the US and be a hero while the Americans are total failures. Cuomo can turn in the worst performance on the planet, but the local NY rag- the NYT – will babble something something about South Dakota.
        But the educated understand the damage they’re doing. They know people will decide that if the label ‘liar’ is accurate it will apply it to Macron, Cuomo, Fauci, Trump etc and determine the WHO, the White House, the CDC and the EU are hopelessly corrupt and incompetent and pick which of incompetents would do the least damage. Or they’ll understand the label is silly and treat everyone who uses it accordingly.

      • Lol. Cult members gotta deflect.

        If the sun comes up in the morning, a cult member’s gotta freakin’ reflect.

        Trunk shoots someone on 5th Avenue, cult members will deflect.

        First rule of the cult club is that fearless leader must remain infallible.

        Fearless leader outright lies, over and over, about something as consequential as testing?

        Deflect.

        Deflect.

        Deflect.

        Did the sun come up this morning? Let me check.

        Trump lied about the testing.

      • You are killing the little weasel, jeff. He’s reduced to stuttering and blubbering. Almost totally defenseless. Protected only by his sad and total lack of self-awareness.

      • Yah.

        Jeff’s killing it… deflecting about Macron while this is going on:

        -snip-

        WASHINGTON — The top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus made outlandish and false accusations on Sunday that career government scientists were engaging in “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

        Michael R. Caputo, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump, even if that opposition bolsters the Covid-19 death toll.

        […]

        This weekend, first Politico, then The New York Times and other news media organizations published accounts of how Mr. Caputo and a top aide had routinely worked to revise, delay or even scuttle the core health bulletins of the C.D.C. to paint the administration’s pandemic response in a more positive light. The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports had previously been so thoroughly shielded from political interference that political appointees only saw them just before they were published.

        -snip-

        Nothing to see here. Just keep moving along.

        Hey, look, Macron!

      • The smart folks have become immune to fake news. The DNC serving seditious media’s “publishing accounts” of BS from anonymous sources is not working:

      • Folks by the gazillions turn out to see the great POTUS, wherever he ventures. Old sleepy senile joe emerges from his basement rarely and has to be told where he is and where he is going. Take note of the feeble Parkinson’s gait:

      • >Joshua,
        The industrial strength propaganda is here – don’t take your eyes off the ball.
        “HHS hands D.C. consultants $250M to ‘inspire hope’ with pandemic campaign”
        https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/hhs-awards-d-c-consultancy-250-million-coronavirus-public-health-effort

        I’m pretty sure my Qanon decoder translates “D.C. consultants”= deep state/swamp critters.

      • Don –

        That’s great. I point out that dear leader, about to be reelected president, has appointed a deluded man to manage the CDC’s communication during a pandemic, and you show up to show that you couldn’t care less and that his cult following remains intact notwithstanding.

        Yes, that’s exactly my point. Thanks once again for helping me to make my point

        And yes, large percentages of the public think that neither candidate is mentally fit to be president – and I totally agree with that.

      • Your stupid game is you claim it’s black, I say it’s white and you proclaim that I made your point. I am pretty sure only a someone very stupid would be fooled by that.

        My point is that all the BS anonymously sourced-made up accusations and the constant bombardment of the irrational TDS hatred directed at POTUS Donald J. Trump that you spew here are not working for you left loon weasels. If I missed something and that is in fact your point also, then I will graciously admit to making your point. Go ahead, weasel.

      • Don –

        This is bad. Inexcusable. Caputo us a lunatic.

        Hard to imagine why you’d flail away in pathetic denial except cult membership – and so that’s how your making my point about Trump cult members being incapable of seeing that dear leader isn’t infallible.

        So thanks for making my point yet again.

        -snip-

        The health department’s politically appointed communications aides have demanded the right to review and seek changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly scientific reports charting the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, in what officials characterized as an attempt to intimidate the reports’ authors and water down their communications to health professionals.

        In some cases, emails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump’s optimistic messages about the outbreak, according to emails reviewed by POLITICO and three people familiar with the situation.

        […]

        Caputo and his team have attempted to add caveats to the CDC’s findings, including an effort to retroactively change agency reports that they said wrongly inflated the risks of Covid-19 and should have made clear that Americans sickened by the virus may have been infected because of their own behavior, according to the individuals familiar with the situation and emails reviewed by POLITICO.

        […]

        -snip-

        https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/11/exclusive-trump-officials-interfered-with-cdc-reports-on-covid-19-412809

      • Joshua, write this down: comparing two like entities to determine the success or failure of an action is not “deflection”- it is actually the essence of science.
        It’s why you want (we all want) double blind studies of thing like HCQ- Observe person A who has been given the drug and person B who has not, try to detect any difference.

        No, no, to study more than one person in such a case is to…
        Deflect…
        Sayeth the cult.

        What makes it weirder is that in my example I don’t think anyone at all would be surprised if you wanted to study only the person who DID NOT get the drug, and you wanted to report in nature that the drug did nothing for them. Studying the person who got the drug would simply be “deflection.” From dogma.

      • J:

        So the Politico story says Trump is anti-science. Is that a newsflash? I am anti-science. Because some junior high science shut down our economy and is causing children not to be educated. The food pyramid was science. Look at us. We are dying from food. The science just told us not to re-open until some time late in 2021. Science is marching us off of a cliff. So let’s go with Politico’s science.

        We have Biden mumbling about suburban floods and telling us if he’s not elected, more suburbs are going to burn. His team in California is causing suburbs to burn. You and I agree the next 4 years of CO2 emissions aren’t going to make an immediate difference.

        We have the science of gender studies and critical race theory. GMOs. Shutdown STEM. Urban planning and how to educate children. I can see it was cultists that ruined science.

        I think you don’t like how Trump handled the Pandemic. Never mind it was the Governors doing this. I don’t like the way the Left handled climate change. Which was the bigger hit to the economy on middle to long term time scales? What Trump is trying to do is minimize the damage.

      • > What Trump is trying to do is minimize the damage.

        Trump is a politician like any other politician. What Trump is trying to do is to win reelection.

        The first sign of a Trump cult member is the believe that he’s not like all other politicians: He’s special. He cares about the little people. He’s noble and pure. He loves his country. He hugs the flag.

        You can see that the imdoctrination is complete when a cult member holds on to that belief despite volumes of evidence otherwise.

        Trump installs hacks who then politicize the science so as to strengthen Trump’s reelection campaign? In the middle of aoandeinic? Who craft scientific analysis do as to make Trump look good?

        Nothing to see here. Just keep moving along. Look, Macron! Trump wants to minimize the damage.

        Macron! Macron!

      • Don –

        And yes, there’s no why anyone would believe that Michael (sedition!) Caputo would be politicizing the science, when he writes emails sayjng that the communication coming out from the scientists at the CDC should be run by him for him to vet against a cabal to hurt Trump!

        No reason to think that at all.

        If you’re in the Trump cult.

      • Con’t…

        But I know that you don’t feel that way about Tilerson, Mattis, Cohen, Cohn, Fauci, Sessions,…

      • Sc*ram*cci, B*lt*n, P*rry, C*ats, Gotl*ib, McM*ster, Sh*lkin, McC*be, Port*r, Sh*rt, Bann*n, Ic*hn, Z*nke, P*uitt, N*wman, Pr*ce, Fl*nn, etc…

        Who were all fired for their lack of fealty or forced to resign because of a scandal (or in Fl*nn’s case the reason given was that he lied)…or actually kept on despite obvious incompetence and/or TDS (F*uci)…

        So how do you square Trump’s statement about the best people with that long list of people that you clearly don’t think are the best?

        As a cult member – fallibility on Trump’s part obviously isn’t an option for you.

        So what is the explanation? I’m actually curious. I can’t imagine how you rationalize this all to yourself and I’d love to hear what the answer is.

      • Nice back and forth with Joshua –

        Not much a president can do to overpower mother nature,

        Yet a president can really screw up the geopolitical world – think about how may world leaders have solved problems – Such as Chamberlians “peace in our Time” or Obama, payment to Iran & the joint nuclear deal with Iran in order to help facilitate Iran’s nuclear program.

        Josh – why would you want to belong to that cult

      • jJoe –

        > Josh – why would you want to belong to that cult

        Show me a world leader and I’d be happy to offer a critique. For ecsome, I’d be happy to criticize Obama on any number of policy fronts – if not every one that you think he messed up on.

        The thing about the cult members is that they’re incapable of seeing any flaws in dear leader. For example fornthem (1) Trump hires all the best people, then (2) forced many of them to retire or fired them or they quit and (3) then they’re incompetent or lunatics or suffer from TDS.

        It couldn’t be that Trump made a bunch of really bad hires. Errors in judgement. Even though he boasts about, and they credit him for, incredibly good judgement about people.

        See what I mean?

        Have you looked into the Caputo situation? Do you think it’s excusable that he’s putting his stamp on communications from the CDC – in the middle of a pandemic no less.

      • All the hysterical Orange Man Bad blah blah blah is failing. Old sleepy senile joe is not viable. What a disaster. Left loon PS #whatever propagandists in AOC land are sad and desperate.

        I should be out there stoking the boilers on the Trump train, but I have to wait for the fires around here to die down. Got responsibilities to look after my peeps and properties. When the smoke clears, I am headed to the Midwest. Heartland. Trump country. Victory!

  33. Pandemic?
    Dempanic.

  34. The response of politicians to Covid 19 was along the lines of ‘some men have contracted syphilis, so we will give vasectomies and oestrogen supplements to all men as a result’.

    There was no basis for shutting down schools in the first place as there was no evidence that children were getting ill in any numbers.

    There was no evidence that schools were promoting spread, but the schools were shut down anyway. Now that proper studies are complete, it is clear that shutting them down had no benefits and significant downsides.

    The Teaching Unions in the UK used the whole event as a political opportunity to play hardball. Nothing new there, then.

    The big question no-one is asking is this: ‘why is natural vaccination i.e. herd immunity so impossible but artificial vaccination so certain of success?’

    The ones who need vaccinations are the elderly. Not the young. The young can get natural immunity and the savings to Governments will be huge.

    Of course, pharma cannot tolerate such limitations to their monopoly profit making. They need everyone vaccinated no questions asked. And no come backs if things turn out pear-shaped.

    The Covid129 psyop is a perfect example of how destructive vandals knowingly destroy decades of human endeavour in building business, cultural and entertainment vehicles just to impose total global control of a species in order to practice eugenics.

    I marvel at how those vandals can possibly think that they are superior.

    I am amazed at how the only way they can win is through bullying cowards to submit to their will.

    And the saddest thing of all: unless people break the law and simply lock them up in a dictatorial manner, none of the shysters who are causing all the mayhem will end up in prison where they belong.

    • rtj –

      > The big question no-one is asking is this: ‘why is natural vaccination i.e. herd immunity so impossible but artificial vaccination so certain of success?’

      Well, thanks God you’re around and brave enough to ask the question no one wise will ask.

      > Of course, pharma cannot tolerate such limitations to their monopoly profit making.

      And also to provide an answer: its a conspiracy to kill millions and make a lot of money during so.

      > just to impose total global control of a species in order to practice eugenics.

      Oh yeah, and that too. Control of the species and practicing eugenics. Let’s not forget those.

      • New York’s Planned Parenthood will remove founder’s name over her views on eugenics
        Let’s bet on if more than 75% of their clinics are in areas of the lower 25% of income areas.

      • >Ragnaar,
        Forget abortion, The 1% are going to genetically enhance themselves giving them physical and mental advantages far beyond anything in the species today. Projects to isolate the genes to extend living to 150-200yrs and enhanced brain function are already in work.
        And nobody can stop it because that’s where the technology is taking us.

  35. Another possible antibody treatment: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31148-X

    It’s early in development, obviously. Lots of stuff works in hamsters and mice but not humans.

  36. One additional reference from France on this matter of children not being the most exposed to Covid19 infection –
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7447969/

    • Daniel: Interesting article, but the data don’t provide any unambiguous conclusions. What normal parent let their 1-5 year olds be exposed to many people from outside their family from February 28 to March 14 as the French pandemic was exploding and schools were closing? Children this young almost certainly had less exposure to infected people and therefore should have been expected to show fewer infections. We know that the immature immune system in children this age is less capable of fighting off infections than the immune system of adults and older children. So unless these frequently-sick children acquired immunity or resistance to infection from one of the coronavirus colds that are extremely common in this age group, their low incidence of infection can be explained by low exposure to infected people. When you remove the 1-5 age group from the data, the change in percent infected with age changes only a factor of 2 and not uniformly. If all school age children were less exposed than their parent, this small age effect would disappear.

      The authors also showed no systematic change in viral load with age, but the data is very noisy and few were in the 1-5 age group. At least one other study with much more data has shown that viral loads in patients 1-5 average 10-fold HIGHER than in adults and that difference was statistically significant. This is exactly what one would expect to see given that the immune system of children this age is less capable (explaining why they are sick more often).

      When front-line doctors report the data they experience during a pandemic, the results often aren’t particularly useful. When researchers start with a question or hypothesis and collect data under carefully controlled conditions intended to address that question or hypothesis, there is a much greater chance of obtaining useful answers. I derisively call the former “phenomenology” (characterizing what we observe) to distinguish it from the scientific method (testing hypotheses under carefully controlled conditions and exploring the range of conditions under which the hypothesis is valid). Front-line experience with HCQ, for example, has produced results that conflict with more definitive random assignment clinical trials where the only difference between treated and untreated group is the administration of HCQ. Furthermore, front-line doctors desperately want to believe their treatment is making their patients better. Given the ability to choose among end-points that define a successful treatment and to eliminate patients who with 20/20 hindsight wouldn’t be expected to benefit from their treatment, their chances of “successfully treating” patients improves dramatically. (Two centuries ago, this problem led to doctors to believe that bleeding patients would make them better. Today Donald Trump and his supporters desperately want to believe HCQ or convalescent plasma or a vaccine or self-confidence alone will bring this pandemic to an end, or allow children to safely return to school before the election. There is good phenomenology suggesting they may be correct about schools, but no one has a good explanation for why. Vaccines are a bright hope if people trust them.)

      • Thanks Franck,
        In my understanding of the French and other situation, a key assumption would be immunity from tradional, benign, yearly coronavirus. It looks quite clear that in many households, the parents were infected, not the children. I see many situations where childre were playing together in the street or in gardens without speading the virus. In Marseille, they had to treat a large jewish community after the “children day” : 95% of parents and other adults but only 15% of children were infected.
        Anyway, it is now admitted that children are less likely to get infected, and schools are no longer to be closed when there is a Covid19 case, but only when there are confirmed cases from 3 families.

        Regarding HCQ, it is now clearly the case that a vast majority of HCQ or HCQ+AZT leads to 50% decreased lethality. See the c19study.com site where 100+ trials worldwide are registered, demonstrating 100% efficiency on early, mild cases, and 65% efficiency on late, severe cases.
        Difficult to question so many converging studies. In the end, in Marseille, they have 0,4% fatalities on confirmed, HCQ+AZT treated cases, and it may diffficult to ever do better.

        As to vaccine, my personal understanding is very mixed, at least for next two years, due to the lack of hindsight on vaccine safety compared to actual Covid19 risk. In this opinion, the most recent mutation trend registered in France is decisive, as the disease is now very different from the Feb-April epidemic event ( Much lower hospitalization and ICU rate, lower blood circulatory issues, etc.), and one mutation is comparable apparently to one similar mutation of the Cov-1 virus before the end of its outbreack.

        An interesting point is also the flu vaccine point: should one get vaccinated or not ? On one side, we should vaccine young and adults to protect older people from flu infection (vaccine is not very efficient on older population); on the other side there are interactions between both vaccines which may be problematic: see the recent study done in the US within military forces, where it looks like flu vaccine is associated with higher rish of coronavirus infection.

  37. Wait –

    All along we were concerned that Trump was going for herd immunity, but he isn’t. Nope.

    He’s going for “herd mentality.”

    What a relief. No need to worry about Covid. We’ll reach herd mentality!

    • Here we go:

      -snip-

      “And you’ll develop, you’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be — it’s going to be herd developed – and that’s going to happen. That will all happen.”

      -snip-

      It’s found to be herd developed.

      • If the herd does not develop it, who does? It’s going to be team developed. Community developed. Is it a grammer thing?

      • > Is it a grammer thing?

        No. It’s a doesn’t give a sh*t about knowing what he’s taking about and just throwing excuses at the wall thing…as you’d expect from a politician.

        Your fealty to Trump is remarkable.

      • When I look at what you quoted, I get what he’s saying. It’s probably a slip. But herd mentality is a thing. We are supposed to question our own.

      • > It’s probably a slip.

        ? Probably?

        You think there was ANY chance he actually meant to refer to “herd mentality” with reference to the outcomes with the pandemic? Really?

        He was obviously throwing stuff at the wall, reflexively denying any responsibility for the failures in how his administration has dealt with Covid.
        Because the only thing that he cares about, w/r/t Covid, is the impact on his election chances. So he’s heard about “herd immunity” but hasn’t actually bothered to understand it. The only thing he cares about w/r/t “herd immunity” is that it might be leveraged as useful campaign rhetoric.

        And he’s heard about “herd mentality” as well. So as he’s just throwing stuff at the wall he tries to avoid any accountability by talking about “herd immunity”

        > But herd mentality is a thing.

        Of course it is. What does that have to do with anything?

        It’s remarkable how you’ll just defend anything he does (probably just a slip, herd mentality is a thing), even dumb (and relatively inconsequential) stuff like this. Apparently criticism of Trump is intolerable to you as it to folks like Don and Jeff.

        Meanwhile, the political operative that he installed to regulate and politicize the science coming out of the CDC, to make sure that the science doesn’t harm his election status, is taking leave because his unhinged ranting has gotten in the way of Trump’s campaign. And Trump has nothing to say. Zero accountability.

        Interesting that like Trump, you have nothing to say amidst your hand-wringing and snowflaking about the existential threat from left-wing loons.

      • J:

        Herd mentality. New phrase. He’s made up the best phrase ever. Joe Biden will be our next President. I’ve all ready hedged my investments and have accepted he’s the guy. It was painful to listen to him take questions this afternoon. I was trying to ignore it but it was on Fox News so what choice did I have? He seemed to be looking straight ahead before he took questions. I’ve been there. Trying to hang on to looking normal. But I fixed that problem for the time being and that’s another story. I think he was just reading off the teleprompter before the questions. Then he had to read who he was calling on. But the people will speak and he’ll win. And I’ll be fine. The Republicans lost this a long time ago and were lucky to get a free four years. The Democrats lost it I don’t know when. They have nothing but the money and the votes. So, while I had the most interesting election of my life four years ago, this one is over. Now I will have the most interesting four years during Biden’s term. These Rednecks ain’t going to be happy. Trump will be their martyr. We know how that’s going to go don’t we? The fact that Trump is whatever he is, I don’t care. I didn’t pick Joe the scarecrow or the establishment.

  38. Chinese Whistleblower to Tucker Carlson: Coronavirus Was Man-Made And Released Intentionally

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2020/09/16/chinese-whistleblower-on-tucker-coronavirus-was-manmade-and-released-intentionally-n2576273

    Pretty crazy. It has something to do with its signature. There are lab signatures, or something like that. We should be skeptical of her. But hasn’t science been quiet on this? They should be able to say if its origin is from a lab or from nature. If they can’t, what good are they? If at some future date, we are attacked by a virus, wouldn’t that be good to know?

  39. There is an interesting Financial Times interview with Swedish epidemiologist Tegnell at the link and some up to date comparisons between Sweden and other countries below:

    https://www.ft.com/content/5cc92d45-fbdb-43b7-9c66-26501693a371

    Tegnell has a broader view of what constitutes the “health” of a country during a pandemic and was lucky enough to never face the situation where hospitals were not about to be overrun with new cases. That was true of other Nordic countries (and many locations in the US that chose to lock down) and the article shows data for these countries. However, Sweden hasn’t let the pandemic run its natural course, Tegnell promoted other measures, especially social distancing, and Swedish behavior has changed radically as the pandemic evolved – but without harsh mandates from the government.

    Nevertheless, since Tegnell doesn’t advocate widespread use of masks, I tend to view him as an lucky contrarian rather than a genius. Clinical trials show that masks work in hospitals, but fail to provide significant protection in community settings against seasonal influenza because compliance is low. Masks provided significant protection against seasonal influenza in community settings for those motivated enough to wear them and would be expected to do so for COVID. People’s motivation, especially the vulnerable and their family members, should be much higher for COVID. And the economic and social costs of the pandemic could motivated socially concern members of the community, especially if it hadn’t unnecessarily become a political issue in an era when more people’s sources of information are highly politicized. (If a private business owner thinks more customers will buy from his store if everyone is required to wear a mask inside, the owner is entitled to do without harassment.)

    • Frank –

      > Our conversation ends with Tegnell again swimming against the tide, and warning that a vaccine — if and when it comes — will not be the “silver bullet”. He adds: “Once again, I’m not very fond of easy solutions to complex problems and to believe that once the vaccine is here, we can go back and live as we always have done. I think that’s a dangerous message to send because it’s not going to be that easy.”

      That seems like an odd thing to say. Of course a vaccine won’t be a “silver bullet.” But depending on when one is available and widely distributed, assuming it happens, it could make a huge difference that could allow countries like Denmark or Finland or Norway or Germany or South Korea or Taiwan, etc., to never even come close to approaching the deaths and illnesses per capita from Covid that Sweden has endured.

      • Joshua: You might be right, but we don’t have much information about how well a vaccine will work. We have vaccines for influenza, but they don’t stop seasonal influenza. They work against perhaps 50% of the strains circulating in any year and it isn’t clear how long immunity lasts. Tegnell would be right about a COVID vaccine that lasts provides immunity for only one year. Will we need a booster? How many people will get vaccinated and how long will it take to produce enough for “everyone”. A small country like Sweden may not be at the “front of the line”.

      • Frank –

        Agreed, and then there’s the issue in places like the US of people who don’t get a vaccine even if one becomes available. Yes, it’s dangerous to think that vaccines are a simple answer, or a “silver bullet.” And yes, long-term adaptive behaviors need to be a focus. But unless he was trying to send a message to Donald Trump and his cult following, who thinks of them in that way? Maybe I’m being unfair, but Tegnell has a reason to downplay the impact of as vaccine – as the bigger the imosct is the more likely that his short-term trade-off, of more deaths per capita for putative benefits of more infection, will be a losing policy.

  40. better than average critique of the “poor” response of the US to the COVID-19 challenge.

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2770891?guestAccessKey=e97f4bfb-4df8-45fe-8f28-5bc438628f9f&utm_source=silverchair&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article_alert-jama&utm_content=olf&utm_term=091620

    The national statistics are dominated by really poor responses in Boston, NYC/Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wash DC, NO LA, and Chicago.

    • ” The US is one of only a small number of high-income countries in the Index that received the lowest possible score on public confidence in the government. Poor confidence in the government can undermine the public’s adherence with disease-control measures, such as wearing masks or stay-at-home recommendations, and has been reported among the existing challenges to the US COVID-19 response.

      In addition, the US received low scores on important indicators pertaining to the strength of its health system and the ability of its people to access health care without barriers. For example, among the 60 high-income countries in the GHS Index, the US ranked 38th for its number of physicians per capita and 40th for its number of hospital beds per capita. On access to health care, the US was ranked 175th globally due to its absence of laws mandating universal health care coverage and large numbers of underinsured and uninsured individuals. A lack of guaranteed access to health care for all citizens leaves many individuals vulnerable during times of emergency. In 2020, the US Congress passed legislation to remove cost barriers for SARS-CoV-2 testing, but testing costs remain and have been cited as a barrier to expanding the number of tests performed in the US.”.

      • ””The US is one of only a small number of high-income countries in the Index that received the lowest possible score on public confidence in the government.”
        It’s corrupt and we know that. All this woke stuff and rioting is driving our score down. All those wars Bolton wanted to fight would’ve lowered the score more. Why should we have confidence in our government. My Senator Amy K just said it was her dying wish. How inane. And she has a job for life her. She’s an attorney and knows that a dying wish doesn’t have anything to do with who and when an associate justice is put up for the circus. Which is another thing. Do another Justice K hearing. That lowered our score too. All this is hopeful. We need more Democrats to have less confidence in the government, like the libertarians.

  41. Joe - the non epidemiologist

    But its Trump’s fault that the Dem governors and dem mayors screwed up so bad.

    Thanks Joshua – I learned that from you

    • Trump was not authoritarian enough. He should have told Minnesota what to do. And sent in the National Guard or some dark forces like he does every other week to crush our democracy while saving us. It was his fault for not making us do stuff.

    • No – you guys have it backwards.

      It was the governors’ fault that Trump lied about the testing, repeatedly, for months, and said that “Anyone who wants a test can get a test.”

      It was the governors’ fault that Trump has constantly pushed the message that testing isn’t important.

      It is the governors’ fault that Trump has made many, many promises about where and when and how much testing would be available that never materialized.

      It was the governors’ fault that Trump constantly spins the statistics to mislead the public about how well we’re doing in this country relative to other countries

      It was the governors’ fault that Trump didn’t launch. federal program to manufacture PPE.

      It was the governors’ fault that under Trump’s leadership, we lacked sufficient testing and the resources to test sufficiently.

      It was the governors’ fault that thousands of infected people travelled to NYC and other locations from China and Europe before travel was restricted.

      It was the governors fault that thousands of infected people traveled to NYC and other locations from China and Europe AFTER travel was restricted.

      It was the governors’ fault that Trump downplayed the virus and likened it to the flu.

      It was the governors’ fault that Trump alternately said that he was the one who could determine what governors could and couldn’t do, and then said he wasn’t accountable for anything that happened,

      It was the governors’ fault that Trump has made a point of not wearing a mask, that he has ridiculed Biden for wearing a mask, that he alternated between saying that that wearing a mask isn’t important and saying that it’s a patriotic duty.

      It is the governors’ fault that Trump has looked at the virus as a political issue

      It is the governors’ fault that Trump has criticized any public health officials that have said things that don’t support his reelection efforts.

      It was the governors’ fault that Trump turned the task force briefings into campaign events.

      • TDS not working
        four more years!
        get over it

      • “ It was the governors’ fault that thousands of infected people travelled to NYC and other locations from China and Europe before travel was restricted.”

        Haha! When Trump restricted travel from China and Europe he was ridiculed as being racist by numerous progressive politicians and pundits. And now you have the gall to say he was too late! What sophistry!

        Trump’s habit of overstating things is universally known; who amongst us was looking to him for medical advice? His actions have been about as good as they could be – sending hospital ships to NYC etc – and we should judge him by acts more than words.

      • Guy –

        > Haha! When Trump restricted travel from China and Europe he was ridiculed as being racist by numerous progressive politicians and pundits. And now you have the gall to say he was too late! What sophistry!

        It’s a simple fact that it was implemented AFTER community spread had already started. It’s also an evidemt fact that most of the deaths in this country were due to virus that came here from Europe (before travel restrictiins there). It’s also a simple fact that hundreds of thousands traveled here from China after the ban. Trump and his cult members seek to ignore these facts. Why do you suppose that is?

        At the time the restrictions were put on China, I (and MSN other experts) said it d too late to stop community spread, just as interventions in NY came too late to squash the stores there. Just simple logic.

        > Trump’s habit of overstating things is universally known;

        That’s beautiful. “overstating things. ”

        Truly a work of art and a thing of beauty.

        > – and we should judge him by acts more than words.

        Our testing has been woefully inadequate. His “action” was to lie about our testing. Repeatedly. Over months.

      • Don’t count on the Federal government to save you. I have a Facebook friend who was mad at President Obama for 8 years and is still mad at him. Don’t be that guy.

      • Trump is who he is. He’s a product of a cult mentality mixed with partisanship.

        My concern isn’t so much Trump pet se, but the blind eye among his supporters. Look at it right in this thread. Inane arguments presented just to protect from seeing Trump’s fallibility.

        Barr is actually far more concerning.

        The demz are troubling as well. They aren’t capable of promoting bipartisanship and stakeholder dialog. They spend too much time in-fighting. We should be looking to judicial reform, election reform, bipartisanship on health-care policy. But we have major structural problems. Put political structures are no longer adequate and we fail at trying to reform them.

        In the short-term, Trump is a problem because we have a pandemic and his only concern is his political status. Longer term, the willingness to go along with his authoritarianism among his supporters, because he’s one of “us” and not one of “them” is the real problem and it looks like it’s only getting worse.

        Sure, he’s the actual lying authoritarian, but he’s more a symptom of a disease that was festering prior to his election.

  42. The “Scientific American” is endorsing a presidential candidate for the first time in its 175 year history: Joe Biden. https://twitter.com/sciam/status/1305854127721910275

    More on the Biden empire here in this new 41 min. docu. “Riding the Dragon” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRmlcEBAiIs&pp=QAA%3D

    • Why not? Biden and Obama doubled oil and gas production in the US, smiling approvingly at the fracking revolution that has ensured fossil fuel dominance for the next 30-50 years. And Biden is an old hand at China appeasement- where the bulk of global CO2 emissions will continue to occur for the next century thanks to “international climate policy.”
      It’s not like Scientific American has any interest in science or America.

      • Matthew R Marler

        jeffnsails: Why not? Biden and Obama doubled oil and gas production in the US, smiling approvingly at the fracking revolution that has ensured fossil fuel dominance for the next 30-50 years.

        Obama took all legal means to restrict fracking and other means of oil and gas extraction. H. Clinton and J. Biden promised to end fracking completely.

        Obama took credit for the increased oil production that he tried to curtail, and proclaimed that we could not drill our way to energy independence.. H. Clinton echoed that proclamation.

        We might have the energy production we have today without a Trump presidency, but there is no good reason to think that H. Clinton would not have tried to curtail oil and gas production.

    • One can leave a comment on their Facebook page.

  43. Biden: Our Legal Team Thinks We Can Have A National Mask Mandate, “We Must Do It”

    We will do it. Not really going to do it. We must do it.

    Don’t do it Joe. The train has all ready left the station. Republicans are not social distancing. And you are the great unifier.

  44. Policy doesn’t matter. But we want to blame someone and just stick with our tribe. Why is South Dakota fine? It’s chance. Why does NY suck? Chance. But it must be something we can control. We must be able to control the climate. If we can’t it’s your fault. You don’t believe that we have the answers. But we can control you. That we can do.

    • No – policy is irrelevant.

      Who cares if we test? Who cares if we wear masks? Who cares if we have vaccines, regulate their usage, distribute them? Who cares if we supply PEE?

      Hasn’t the history of public health policy made it obvious that nothing matters? Snake oil sales? Who cares? Manufacturers polluting? Who cares? Dirty kitchens in restaurants? Who cares? Just hand out the clubs and see who wins. It worked for people living in caves for millennia, why not us?

      • J:

        The idea is policy will work. Joe Biden can save 10,000 lives. When did we think that climate change, housing for poor people, education for poor people, and student loan policies work? Now its going to work?

        And policies that are tribal to win the next election. It is policy to count lives and overweight them in proportion to economic well being and educating children.

        We have various vaccine policies. They didn’t work because of resistance. Trump’s will not work.

        We’ve had policies to deal with racism for 50 years. That’s didn’t work.

        It’s not a question of policy. They don’t have the silver bullet one. The problem is where they come from. Politicians. The answer is the same place it has always been. The individual.

      • > We’ve had policies to deal with racism for 50 years. That’s didn’t work.

        Classic binary thinking.

  45. https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/growing-body-research-indicates-many-confirmed-covid-19-cases-might-not

    “At issue is the method by which many COVID-19 tests detect a patient’s viral load within a given sample. Polymerase chain reaction tests, which have been widely deployed to determine if individuals are infected with the disease, function by amplifying DNA samples to the point that an antigen can be detected and classified.

    The “cycle threshold” is the number of amplification cycles a PCR test goes through before a target pathogen is detected. A lower cycle threshold means that a higher amount of the virus was present in the sample; a higher threshold means the machine had to work harder to detect the virus in the sample, indicating a lower viral load and more likely a non-infectious patient.”

    pre-print: Viral cultures for COVID-19 infectivity assessment. Systematic review
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.04.20167932v3

  46. Please President Biden: What is your position on masks today?

  47. Good catch. This is important:

    “Many otolaryngologic procedures may produce aerosols that can last in the air for up to 3 hours without rapid filtration.3-5 Recently, Hou et al6 showed that ciliated cells with ACE2 expression were the cells most susceptible to infection, rather than submucosal glandular cells. The infectivity of these cells was much higher than that of lower airway cells. This study highlighted a virus transmission pathway that involves infection of ciliated cells of the upper airway within the nose as the dominant site of infection, followed by subsequent aspiration and seeding of the lungs. The nasal-oropharyngeal axis involves nasal secretions swept to the oropharynx by mucociliary clearance followed by aspiration of infected fluid into the lower airway. It is hypothesized that this upper–lower airway route may explain the observed differences between detection, persistence of viral load, and transmission dynamics seen between previous SARS-CoV outbreaks and the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is thought that this process may also play a role in the variable expression of clinical severity.7 Of note, a recent work8 on the transmission dynamics for influenza A also provides an example of this nasal-oropharyngeal axis with subsequent seeding of the lungs leading to respiratory disease.”

    This could be very useful especially for healthcare workers. I have been using a solution of distilled water salt, xilitol and iodine for several years to ward off sinus infections. Has been very effective. I will carry the little bottle around with me, as long as the covid lasts.

    • What Matt posted.

      • bigterguy, wrong

        Hydrogen peroxide is too reactive, thus the fizzing. Especially not good for the sensitive parts inside the nasal passages. And this research endorses iodine. I’ll stick with iodine.

      • > I’ll stick with iodine.

        Anyone tempted to look to Don for covid advice (not that I think anyone would be) – I feel it’s my duty to tell you he predicted 6,000 deaths in the US from the virus.

        Being off by 3,300% hasn’t slowed him down a bit.

      • He’s a snide little varmint. But you all know that.

      • You must be doing a lot of wet chemistry at home:

        “ Aqueous and alcoholic PVP-I solutions are unstable at low concentrations. They readily engage in unpredictable disproportionation reactions into constituent equilibrium species with sensitive dependence on pH, temperature, exposure to light, counterion content, packaging material, atmospheric pressure, copolymer content, and a myriad of other factors that may be difficult for an individual health care professional to control. In order to ensure that a dilute solution prepared from a high-concentration (ie, 5%-10%) PVP-I product is safe for administration to the nasal cavity, there should be an analysis of the chemical ingredients of each freshly prepared solution according to the United States Pharmacopeia method for PVP-I assay,31 or only commercial preparations of PVP-I at the appropriate dose (if available) should be employed.”

        If the solution is too concentrated it seriously harms the cilia as well.

        Dilute H2O2 is much easier to handle and at least as effective. Commercial nasal sprays are safe and widely used and have been recommended for C-19.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7308628/

      • > He’s a snide little varmint.

        3,300% Don, 3,300%.

        What caused you to be so far off?

      • You got an obsession, snidely
        6000 a lot closer than 2,000,000

      • Not talking about a concentrated solution:

        “In this controlled in vitro laboratory research study, test media infected with SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated complete inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by concentrations of PVP-I nasal antiseptic as low as 0.5% after 15 seconds of contact, as measured by a log reduction value of greater than 3 log10 of the 50% cell culture infectious dose of the virus.”

        If it’s OK with you, I will go with the iodine. I have tried hydrogen peroxide in nasal wash. Did not like it.

        Any research on hydrogen peroxide and covid? I would be surprised if it would be more effective than 70% ethanol:

        “Results Povidone-iodine nasal antiseptics at concentrations (0.5%, 1.25%, and 2.5%) completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2 within 15 seconds of contact as measured by log reduction value of greater than 3 log10 of the 50% cell culture infectious dose of the virus. The ethanol, 70%, positive control did not completely inactivate SARS-CoV-2 after 15 seconds of contact. The nasal antiseptics tested performed better than the standard positive control routinely used for in vitro assessment of anti–SARS-CoV-2 agents at a contact time of 15 seconds. No cytotoxic effects on cells were observed after contact with each of the nasal antiseptics tested.”

    • “I have been using a solution of distilled water salt, xilitol and iodine for several years to ward off sinus infections”.

      Actually, for once, not a bad idea! Congratulations!

  48. thecliffclavenoffinance

    Nice Lewis consistently uses incomplete unverified Covid data in the middle of a pandemic to jump to conclusions that may be wrong. There are no Covid experts until AFTER the pandemic is over and data are checked for accuracy. Even then there may not be enough data for any solid conclusion — the virus in late 2019 and early 2020 may be different than the virus in the summer and spring of 2020.

    In addition, there is too much focus on deaths, perhaps 1 of 1000 people infected, and too little attention paid to the pain and suffering, sometimes very serious suffering, especially the people who go to the hospital or ICU. My guess is 600 of 1000 people suffer, so why are they so often ignored? This is not only a ” they lived or they died” disease. For perhaps 400 of 1000 infected, with mild or no symptoms — I wonder if people with no symptoms are really sick at all — could they cause anyone else to gey symptoms much stronger than they had?

    Many people go through life carryong the Herpes virus, and/or the HPV virus and would not say they were “sick” if anyone asked them.

    • Which of Nic’s conclusions are wrong? Nic is not claiming to be an expert on COVID 19. He’s talking on a blog.

      If you are correct and there are no experts on COVID 19, don’t you have bigger fish to fry? All those people whose non-expert opinions are influencing public policy. Go annoy them with your gratuitous dumb criticisms, questions and quite obviously inexpert guesses.

    • The other problem with the death rate is that we would expect it to fall with better treatments – corticosteroids, remdesivir – in addition to the fact that more susceptible likely to die earlier.

  49. Thanks, jimmy. For you I would recommend a mixture of half distilled water and half Drano.

  50. Pingback: COVID-19: Evidence Shows That Transmission by Schoolchildren is Low | US Issues

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