Covid: “The Narrative Is Crumbling”

Our Covid brain trust had a wee discussion of how the dogs are no longer (much) eating the dog food of vaccines as the magic bullet for all problems Covid. Even if the press is hammering away at the story line, we’re seeing more and more defections…including from those inside the media tent.

Bear in mind that until recently, Kim Iverson was of the “let ‘er rip” school of thinking. Now she’s declaring that the vaccines, even boosts, do perilous little to stop Covid. She tears into the public health establishment for being “hyperfocused” on the vaccies , and the degree of neglect and misinformation amounts to crimes agains humanity. Mind you, our GM has been giving a more cool-headed version of this argument for over a year….but to see a version of it in the mainstream media?

Further consider: the media is a hothouse. Iverson would not dare take a line like this and risk career damage and being shunned socially unless at least a substantial minority of her peers felt the same way.

Iverson also tears into the officialdom for the lack of any guidance about what to do if you get sick except go hide and hope you don’t get so debilitated that you need to call 911. Recall that this isn’t just a problem for lowly patients. IM Doc has repeatedly inveighed against the CDC for failing to give advice to clinicians…one of its most important responsibilities in past infectious disease outbreaks. It’s completely punted with Covid. The US should be ashamed that third world countries are doing better by sending diagnosis and treatment kits to citizens, with care packs including thermometers, blood oximeters, test kits, zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, OTC meds for fever, and sometimes the I drug.

But Iverson’s self-described rant hasn’t fully abandoned her previous view that getting Covid might not be terrible. She highlights “natural immunity” (as opposed to “Covid-induced immunity”) as her #2 topic, and it takes a while for her to work around to her point: If you have gotten Covid, how long are you unlikely to get it again and infect others? She frames it as important to know in terms of being able to care for others. But let’s not kid ourselves: the officialdom has been so fixated on vaccines as the one and only approach to Covid that they’ve been unwilling to concede that having gotten infected some protection.1

And speaking of treatments, IM Doc, who flagged the Iverson video, in recent weeks sent along a discussion of two cases where he was certain the cause of death was remdesivir. His explanation, using one as an example:

This patient although with a high BMI – had not ever had any kind of renal disease in any way but died of acute tubular necrosis – and this is almost always secondary to drug toxic effects. The patient had a CREAT of >7 – (normal being 05.-1.2). Almost assuredly killed by the remdesevir….

Another patient earlier this year shared the same fate.

Did COVID kill them? – No – as there is no evidence that COVID or any other respiratory virus causes this level of renal failure. And this is especially so in the absence of multiple systemic organ failure – when the heart, lungs, liver and brain appear relatively intact – the chance of COVID or any initial infection being the cause of renal failure in isolation is laughably low.

But were they killed by a drug that was being used for COVID? – almost assuredly.

And just try to report that to the FDA – they laugh out loud in your face. And remdesevir is known to nuke kidneys. It happens in up to 1/3 of the patients and was the cardinal reason it was suspended in Ebola. Unfortunately – it does absolutely NOTHING – for the patients – there is no benefit that I have ever been able to see – NOT EVEN ON ONE PATIENT. Almost every country on earth has realized this – and no longer use this agent – except the USA.

However, Iverson makes the mistake of treating mild and asymptomatic cases, particularly among the young, as inconsequential. For starters, an estimated 20% of asymptomatic cases end up with long Covid.

And as GM predicted, Omicron, by not being as well suited to attack the lungs and instead going over ACE2 receptors, which are all over the body, is not much reducing lungs to bloody pulp but instead can producewidespread organ damage which takes a while to manifest.2 Martha r sent this example from a full year ago:

An Eagle River family spent 10 days in an intensive care unit, including Christmas Day, while their 6-year-old son battled a syndrome that presents in some children who have had COVID-19.

All four members of the Dye family tested positive for COVID-19 in November, parents Jerry “Heath” Dye and Hailey Dye said. The Dye children, 2-year-old Lucas and 6-year-old Cameron, barely had any symptoms while Heath Dye and Hailey Dye said they were exhausted.

“The COVID part wasn’t all that bad for us. It seemed like we had the most common symptoms that you hear about and stuff like that. It was more four weeks after — when we — when Cameron got sick and things changed drastically,” Heath Dye said.

In December, Cameron Dye was running a 104.5-degree fever. A large rash started to spread from his ankles up his entire body. The family took him to urgent care, which treated him for strep throat and scarlet fever. The treatment didn’t relieve his symptoms, and in a few days, he was admitted to the ICU at the Children’s Hospital at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

He had congestive heart failure and fluid in his lungs. The doctors said Cameron Dye had multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a new condition that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says comes with inflammation of the major organs in some children four to eight weeks after a COVID-19 diagnosis.

From Mayo’s listing multisystem inflammatory syndrome, dated last November:

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a serious condition that appears to be linked to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Most children who become infected with the COVID-19 virus have only a mild illness. But in children who go on to develop MIS-C, some organs and tissues — such as the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, digestive system, brain, skin or eyes — become severely inflamed. Signs and symptoms depend on which areas of the body are affected….

Rarely, some adults develop signs and symptoms similar to MIS-C. This new and serious syndrome, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A), occurs in adults who were previously infected with the COVID-19 virus and many didn’t even know it. MIS-A seems to occur weeks after COVID-19 infection, though some people have a current infection.

Note that the Alaska case occurred with the wild type virus, which had neither the brute replication force of Delta or Omicron.

With Omicron being more severe in children and hitting other organs proportionally harder than the lungs than other variants, it looks likely that we’ll see higher levels of multisystem inflammatory syndrome and other long-term ailments than we did in the past.

Returning to the official narrative, GM opined that it still can be spun to serve our putative leaders:

Vaccination has been used to shift the frame of thinking about COVID and that shifting continues.

First, it was a way to shut down any discussion of eliminating the virus. We were going to solve this with vaccines alone, and remember that what was actually peddled was that vaccines stop transmission and that once we vaccinate enough people, transmission will stop. That was known to be false by all that were actually paying attention, but the trick was played very cleverly – people are mortally afraid of being called anti-vaxxers, because that threatens their social class status, so the majority of voices calling for actual infection control went quiet once we had vaccines.

Saying that the vaccines suck and that they have been oversold was enough for you to be labelled anti-vaxxer. I myself have experienced it on numerous occasions.

That has continued ever since but the frame has been gradually shifting — as the vaccines have been eroding it has been still socially unacceptable to say they suck and we cannot rely on them, but meanwhile we moved from saying they stop transmission to saying they are there to prevent you from getting sick, not getting infected, and now to saying that yeah, you can still get sick, but that’s OK, as long as you don’t die. But as that progression has unfolded, most people were successfully accustomed to the view that getting infected and sick is something normal, and the idea that we can actually stop transmission with public health measures was almost completely forgotten.

Also, notice how nobody realizes how quick that has happened — when has previously a vaccine gone from offering insufficient but still pretty good protection to offering very little? Except for flu, but everyone knows flu vaccines sucks, and even if they don’t, they’re only good for a few months. This one, however, was advertised as one-and-done, and even when eventually it had to be acknowledged it will be an annual vaccine (false too, it’s a 3-shots-a-year vaccine right now), that it might suck really bad some years because you can’t reliably predict antigenic drift, as with flu, is never ever mentioned.

But that wasn’t enough, people had to be made happy about getting infected and resistance to corporate pandemic policies had to be completely crushed.

Artificially creating the vaxxer/anti-vaxxer opposition helped to do that with up to a third of the population — for those that whether for political reason or due to previously held anti-vaxxer beliefs didn’t want the vaccine, if they weren’t exactly happy about getting COVID annually before, it now became a personal matter of sticking it to their enemies and oppressors.

But you still have much of the rest of society. Part of it was taken care of once the mainstream media started the campaign that hybrid immunity is the best immunity.

But the vaccine mandates and green passes came into play in order to shift the frame even further. It’s a ridiculously inefficient epidemiologically measure, but it has a repressive character to it.

So what happens? People rail against these things as they see it as impinging on their freedom and as useless because everyone around them is getting it regardless of vaccination status. And that moves them towards being happy to get infected, because they have never been told what that means in the long term.

That effect was also used to sneak in new monstrous policies such as the 5-day isolation — lots of people are genuinely happy about that because apparently few are capable of running the consequences through their heads a few moves ahead and realizing that this does not mean they will be “free” from restriction but that they will be forced to go to work even when they can’t get out of bed and power over their bodily autonomy has been taken away from them and put into the hands of their bosses.

And finally it was used to neuter opposition from the supposedly non-mainstream voices, who turned out to be ignorant about the situation both scientifically and socioeconomically, but who are now openly advocating for letting it rip and ending of vaccine mandates, as if the two things are somehow linked. Because the frame of discourse was moved to present those as the only two possible alternatives.

So now we have this perverse situation in which infection control is seen by many as corporate-driven oppression, when the reality is that corporate interests sabotaged infection control from the start.

But with the potential to further fray official credibility, any Omicron retreat be followed by a new wave:

So brace yourselves for a wild ride.


1 The reality is Omicron is so different from previous variants that as we have seen, it greatly diminishes the efficacy of vaccines even among the boosted. And we are now flying blind with how much protection having gotten a previous variant (and then charitably assuming one has a good guess as to which variant it was) vs. Omicron.

1 As GM previously said:

The problem for all of us is that COVID is really three diseases at once:

1. The acute URT infection
2. The hyperinflammatory reaction in the alveoli that causes ARDS
3. The systemic infection that damages hearts, kidneys, beta cells in the pancreas, endothelial cells, the brain (though perhaps not directly), etc.

People mostly die immediately from #2.

They also die from #3, and will be dying of it in very large numbers in the future, but that does not enter the official statistics and thus can be ignored politically.

With Omicron we get worse #1 (high ACE2 in the bronchi and above them in the URT), less severe #2, and we have no direct data on #3, but logic says it is worse, for the same reasons #1 is worse.

But because #2 happens to be the immediate killer that grabs attention, the rest can be ignored with a sufficient amount of propaganda.

And that is what happened.

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  1. DJG, Reality Czar

    Thanks for this posting. I’m a tad leery of Kim Iversen, who claims to be on the left as a skeptical leftist and then gives reports that make sense for a while, till she zooms off into plain old U.S. libertarian ideas that there is no collectivity. This seems to be her style, which you note.

    GM sums things up brilliantly. Thanks for the long quote from the esteemed GM. I’d highlight this:
    “the idea that we can actually stop transmission with public health measures was almost completely forgotten.”

    The point isn’t that the vaccines are imperfect. They are a tactic, and they were working moderately well for a while, much as the yearly flu vaccine is a tactic. Would that all vaccines were as effective as those against smallpox and polio. But they aren’t.

    We all know that there is vaccine hesitancy: Consider the shingles vaccine, which has a reputation for being fairly nasty. Does one do the vaccine? Or does one hope for the best? So there’s that.

    The ugly side of the vaccines has been that they were rushed out without sufficient testing. The irony is that only Moderna seems to be able to back up its claims. Astra Zeneca was a symptom of Brexit–a Monty Python skit about twits gone terribly wrong. Pfizer has never been as good as the claims.

    And there has been much too little stress on treatment. Where is the TheraFlu?

    For months, my chiropractor and his non-AMA colleagues have been pushing vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc. Yet the liberal Democrat crowd hasn’t heard a thing about preventive care. Why not?

    A writer here in Italy pointed out that one reason for the politicization of the science (which means the results as reported) is that the scientific endeavor normally is slow. The general public hardly notices: This is certainly the case with ivermectin, which had a long history of development and has long been in use (millions of doses)–normal and slow. Yet the circumstances of Covid are so politicized that we can’t seem to get a good drug trial for ivermectin as a Covid treatment–the results tantalize but may / may not indicate a way. So let’s think about politicization of science as “research pouring out almost too fast”–something that happened with HIV / AIDS.

    In the U S of A, what we see is regulatory capture. There’s Boeing. There’s Covid. There’s whatever you want to call what is happening to the post office. What could possibly go wrong?

    The scandal here, too, is that “reform” of the health-care system has meant all kinds of barbarity: cost-benefit analysis, use of managers to diminish care, use of managerial ideas to lessen the numbers of hospitals and clinics, the lingering bad effects of Obamacare (deductibles up!), and propaganda as health care: “Ask your doctor about Viagra.”

    Back to GM: The “Swiss-cheese approach,” of all kinds of tactics used together, could have and still can work.

    But not in a society that lives by fantasies of the “free market”–I don’t even have to wonder whatever happened to Nancy Pelosi. She’s off somewhere managing her stock portfolio and her stash of overpriced gelato.

    1. Cirze

      Thank you for a concise, intelligent discussion of facts long missing in the public media.

      Blessings on ye!

    2. Code Name D

      The thing with Kim Iversen is that she is very well read on the subject, and I would argue have always had a healthy skepticism regarding CDC claims. That said, I have noticed the “let-er-rip” conclusion she has been expressing of late.

      It’s a testament to just how effective censorship, propaganda, and social pressure can be shaping your perspective. While she was always skeptical of CDC claims, she still always gave them a light of weight and still found ways of “reading into” CDC claims in regards to observed reality. And this was something I could tell she always struggled with.

      I think her biggest problem was that she focuses on the back end of the science, which focuses more on the conclusions offered by the CDC and other pharmaceutical institutions, most of which happen to fall under Fouchi’s umbrella of influence and suffered from his media campaign to control the narrative.

      If she had an ear to the front line, like IM Doc or just ordinary people struggling with covid, she would have been given cause to be more skeptical of CDC claims.

      I recently heard of a call-in-program on NPR where a CDC official took questions. I kid you not, one of the first calls was someone saying their children got covid, now what. CDC said – they should have been fascinated. But the teens WERE fascinated, but the younger kids are still too young for the vaccine, and they still got Covid. The best CDC could do is recommend they contact their physician – as if that hadn’t already been done. And as IM Doc points out, even the front line doctors do not have good information on what to do next.

      1. Pelham

        Iversen’s “natural immunity” in many, many cases also may entail “natural lifelong disability” with Long Covid — at least after one’s “natural immunity” fails to protect against the second, third, fourth or fifth reinfection with ever-evolving variants.

        1. HotFlash

          So, does vaccination protect from long Covid then? Never heard a claim one way or another, nor even a speculation.

      1. Expat2uruguay

        You can look at the protocols on the website that can’t be named. If I name the website my comment will disappear. The first two words are Front Line. The next three words are Critical Care Coalition. Put those five words together and find their website with those initials.

        1. Bart Hansen

          30-40 mg. The top tolerable level is 40. The RDA is around 10. My daily pill from Costco has 15.

          Thanks for the reference.

            1. SES

              In particular, supplemental zinc can impede absorption of copper. Note the following recommendation from Mount Sinai Hospital: “Zinc reduces the amount of copper your body absorbs, and high doses of zinc can cause a copper deficiency. For that reason, many doctors recommend that you take 2 mg of copper along with a zinc supplement.”

        2. Mantid

          I must say that “here” at NC, your comment regarding Ivermectin or the FLCCC is seldom disappeared, thank heavens. And thought DJG’s comment is spot on, there is one inaccuracy “The irony is that only Moderna seems to be able to back up its claims.” Actually, Moderna is even “worse” than the Pfizer. Not to nit pick, just to clarify. A quote:
          “In general, the rate of myocarditis or myopericarditis was about threefold to fourfold higher for mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccination than that for BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccination,” the study said.

  2. Mike

    This whole last two years has been an unmitigated clusterfamilyblog for just about everyone. I would really like to see an investigation as to where this thing came from (Yes, I understand it doesn’t help treat the disease or stop its spread), but the psychological catharsis is necessary. There’s a guy on twitter, Havard2thebighouse that has a pretty well thought out essay on it (and yes, he has a bit of checkered past, to say the very least). But if what he says is halfway accurate, there should be hell to pay for both American and Chinese scientists. Hell, as in hell that makes Madame Defarge look like a true bleeding heart liberal.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      that guy should probably avoid small aircraft, dark alleys and shark enclosures.

    2. Ignacio

      Sounds like the typical BS “blame this guy or another”. Preferably scientists, thank you.
      Seen this so many times since it erupted!

      1. Sawdust

        We have a right to know the truth. And it’s important to know because what has happened once can happen again. What if it’s smallpox next time?

          1. tegnost

            Thank you ignacio. I put the gain of function thing right next to “is there a god”
            For one thing it doesn’t really matter where it came from, it’s here, and for another and this may be the larger point, it assumes that nature is under our control, which I find hubristic at best. The mutability of covid is awe inspiring, just not in a good way.

            1. Ignacio

              If at least the Chinese had done veterinary controls on their wild animal meat, scales, leather etc supply chains we might have foreseen this coming…

              But not. We have this ‘gain of function’ phantasmagoric version which makes a better Netflix argument.

              1. MonkeyBusiness

                Ehrm, no? How then do you explain Indonesia? Some Indonesians eat bat meat, heck in the island of Sulawesi, you can get bat meat at the local wet markets. Veterinary controls? ROFL. That will always be a foreign concept in Indonesia.

                Basically the same conditions that you see in China also exist in Indonesia, but when was the last time a pandemic has a clear origin in Indonesia? Never?

                  1. MonkeyBusiness

                    Good catch. Learned something new today. Still, one expects a lot more pandemic originating from Indonesia given the conditions on the ground.

                    1. Ignacio

                      You will try hard to rationalize your fear&hate but never go beyond that. You will always find ‘strong reasons’ to find a guilty no matter if you have not a single idea about viral or bacterial diseases and epidemics.

                      Because, Vibrio cholerae, great reason!

                1. FluffytheObeseCat

                  “Conditions” in and around Indonesia are not identical to those in and around China. China has 5x the population. It’s population is wealthier and travels more extensively, both within and outside of China. Less of China is tropical, and therefore more people are indoors or in cold season environments more of the time. China has (unavoidably porous) land borders with nearly all of Central Asia and Russia. Respiratory pandemics* have raged out of Central Asia repeatedly over the past 15 centuries for these obvious reasons.

                  There are more reasons than these as to why an airborne respiratory disease would more easily go pandemic from China than Indonesia. These are just the screamingly obvious ones.

                  I’m in agreement with Ignacio; the top comment is a very clear, conspiratorial-minded attack on scientists and science. The gain of function research argument is a now-fashionable anti-science trope, and just about every time I see it cited in an argument…. poorly concealed xenophobia shows up hard on its heels.

                  *(I.e. 2 major outbreaks of Black Plague, which likely spread in pneumonic form during the most severe phases, and the 1890s Russian flu).

                2. Ignacio

                  Because they did not make an industry of this MonkeyBussiness. If you can understand what it means. It is the commodification of wild meat into bussinessess what increases the risks of zoonosis but nobody pays any attention. The Netflix argument is way sexier than dull veterinary and HC controls.

            2. Ignacio

              The mutability of covid is awe inspiring, just not in a good way.

              This is it. We apparently need someone to be put in the arena and then throw him/her stones (even if virtual stones) as we have done for centuries. Primitive but might be good group therapy.

              1. HotFlash

                Ignacio, I probably speak for a large number of us here when I say that your generous contributions to the NC’s Covid braintrust has been greatly valued by us groundlings. Sparked by Yves formidable antennae and amazing connections, we readers knew what was likely to unfold early on. I did not interpret this chain of comments as an attack on science, or scientists, and particularly not on you. However, just as a matter of not having it happen again, esp if the origins were, um, intentional. So many things we are being told just don’t add up.

                If we don’t understand how it did and didn’t happen, we are not in any position to prevent a recurrence.

            3. Mantid

              Reading this thread, perhaps I should stay out … however, it IS important to know where it came from. In a few months, IF Omicron has mellowed out, the creators of this virus will create another to keep the control narrative going. But, if someone went to jail because of the (previously unseen in nature) furin cleavage creation in Wuhan, a creator of the next version might have second thoughts.

              1. Ignacio

                If this makes you happy… let’s jail any scientist that has researched CoVs during the last 20 years.

                1. chris

                  Could we start with politicians first? Perhaps do an RCT to determine which sacrifices have the greatest effect on viruses, volcanoes, and earthquakes?

  3. Basil Pesto

    and following on from GM’s longer remarks, consider this globe and mail article linked to yesterday (and my remarks that follow).

    That is to say, the problem we’ll be facing now is that malign charlatans of a slightly different hue from the malign charlatans than have been running the show, are going to capitalise on the poor ‘Mainstream Media’ performance/obvious and unavoidable vaccine failures, and lead us even further up the garden path of uncontrolled disease spread, while those advocating for disease control continue to be slandered, preposterously, as fringe extremists.

    Healthcare workers are a finite resource that take several years to train, so that should be interesting. About as interesting as living through a point in time that future
    students will read about in a history textbook and wonder “what in the holy hell were they thinking?”

  4. Ignacio

    The fact that vaccines barely protect against omicron infection should have been clear long ago when Denmark released early Omicron incidence data by vaccination status showing no differences at all.

    This was ignored but then everybody went for the NAb-level-boosts-after-repeated-shots narrative as if this was more important than real life incidence. This was in particular the sales pitch of Pfizer’s CEO. Forgetting to mention there were NO data on NAbs levels vs. omicron infection risk except that NAbs usually correlate with protection though the correlation curve for Omicron was inexistent.

    I partially blame this incessant push for vaccination on anti-vaxxers. But more specifically on anti-anti-vaxxers (as irrational as the former). If Antivaxxers didn’t exist we would be more focused but it is really the anti-anti-vaxxer the most responsible for this outcome. I have personally had several discussions on this and this anti-anti-vaxxer feeling is difficult to extricate. Very much like anti-vaxxer idiocy.

    Our ability to think rationally on this theme has gone nuts.

    I would avoid trying to make any prediction on what Omicron has to bring relative to some outcomes: long Covid, multi inflammatory syndrome etc. It is quite a different disease in many aspects so as to be cautious about what is to come. My fear is that while we are in this vaccine, vaccine push, it is preventing, or at least diverting efforts to demonstrate hooooow goooood are the vaccines, instead of analysing and understanding the disease properly as it was done during the first wave.

    Am I alone with this feeling?

      1. SKM

        thanks Ignacio for all your above comments – wish you would comment more to help counter some of the wilder stuff going on here re Covid. I can`t just now at least. There is that California study and also a very revealing Danish household study cited by Christian Drosten in his last podcast – showing that the huge competitive edge of Omicron is almost entirely down to immune escape (altho it seems likely it could also be, literally a bit more intrinsically “contagious/infectious” (terms need defining here). This immune escape (at the level of antibodies – the T cell protection is still high) means that we are as naive to the virus as we all were before the vaccine roll out. Vaccinated or recovered or unvaxxed we are all equally susceptible to infection (though NOT to a severe outcome) It seems clear that Omicron is quite a different beast ( a big change in its entry mechanism) tho still Sars-CoV-2, and that we as yet don`t have the full data on its pathophysiological effects. – these things take time – a lot of time…..

      2. Kris Alman

        From the article:
        “We analyzed clinical and epidemiologic data from cases testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection within the Kaiser Permanente Southern California healthcare system from November 30, 2021 to January 1, 2022”

        This timeline is far before the s*&^ hit the fans with omicron in the US (and specifically SoCal). Moreover it’s still too early to make conclusions regarding hospitalization and mortality, which lags by a couple of weeks. Then there’s the question of whether there are accurate measures of who has been vaccinated or not and whether genetic lineage is accurate.

        Would love to see what the data looks like at the end of this month.

    1. Irrational

      No, you are not alone, but politics seems wedded to this approach and have co-opted the health ministries, at least in Europe.
      Thanks for all your comments.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    GM’s very last paragraph is a brilliant summation.

    Just as a little insight into the way things are being manipulated, yesterday the people I follow on twitter were sharing some very disturbing information on the new variant of omicron, right on the weekend we’ve removed all restrictions here in Ireland (yes, there were crowds and a crush outside a nightclub on Saturday night). I expected to see something about it in the newspapers this morning. Instead, the Guardian had a headline which, from memory, said something along the lines of WHO stating that the endgame is in sight as omicron recedes. I couldn’t bring myself to read it. An hour later I saw that the headline had been changed and when I looked at the article, WHO had said nothing of the sort – in fact the spokesman was quite specific that he thought were were only half way through the pandemic. It seems there is a lot of wishful thinking (or deliberate misinformation) from the media, even the allegedly left of centre media.

    In my darker moments, I’ve been wishing that someone should have the guts to say that any medical doctor who has promoted ‘herd immunity’ or ‘its just the flu’ should be disbarred from practice. Its hard to know what penalty could be given to all the public health officials and scientists who have chosen to go with the narrative than follow the evidence, whether through laziness, ambition, stupidity, or ideological conviction.

    I’ve been doing some intermittent reading up on past public health crises to see if this situation is unique. There is certainly a long history of scientific failures over the past two centuries (often solutions are found to problems, and then promptly forgotten), and there are numerous examples, especially with TB, of solutions being ignored for decades before some crisis changes things or, occasionally, some leadership is shown out of the blue. Most of the failures around covid are by no means unique and you’ll find plenty of historical precedents. But I do think that the contrast in response between the west and Asian countries is very striking. It has exposed a real rot in our institutions that may take decades to fix, if indeed they are ever fixed. I don’t see any appetite in any country to do anything but gaslight us and ‘move on’. Maybe another wave or two will do the trick, but I’m not so sure.

    1. vlade

      I wrote it here before. Many people are sick (bad pun intended) of the pandemic, and just want to go to whatever “normal” was there before. Given that omicron has relatively few dramatic short-term effects, there’s just about nothing that would persuade them in the effort to ditch everything – and would likely riot if any elimination strategy was attempted.

      Realistically, covid is with us here to stay. Not because it had to, but because of the many small choices most of us made. Which, TBH, is the usual way to end up in a creek w/o a paddle – gradually, and then suddenly.

      1. Basil Pesto

        I sadly agree. It looks like a pretty hopeless situation, as it stands.

        and would likely riot if any elimination strategy was attempted.

        I think that is the case now for many countries, but these positions are not formed in a vacuum. Propaganda can theoretically be used for good, and if the importance and benefit of elimination can be disseminated then people can be won over. That involves the major media all pulling in the same direction, though, and it’s hard to imagine that happening any time soon.

        1. vlade

          Elimination strategy, at least in Europe, was IMO possible in early 2020, when the lockdown was hard, and even borders were fairly okish closed.

          That was, I’d like to say, before vaccine.

          Unfortunately, there was a significant push for normalisation after the initial sacrifices people made. Especially for renewing the ability to travel, as summer and summer holidays were coming up. Since the cases seemed to go down to close to nothing in many places, few were heeding warnings on second waves and what have you.

          From then on, it went haywire. And I’m really reluctant to blame pols only. Yes, they had the “experts”, but since the experts themselves could not agree on many thigns at the time (or even later), it’s pretty hard. And most pols will refuse to act on a danger that is not clear and present.

          Yea, you can run a PR campaign. But there are directions towards which people are more easily swayed, and other directions where it’s harder. And, unfortunately, most of the real solutions tend to skew the latter. Given the short-termism we have, as society, encouraged for the last half a century, is it really a surprise that the riskier but simpler and easier solution was taken?

          1. Expat2uruguay

            You should consider the care packages that were sent out to all citizens in some countries. India, Brazil, Mexico I think are among the examples. That was a simple and inexpensive solution that it wouldn’t have taken a lot of PR to put in place. So that’s an important data point, the difference between treatments in the advanced economies and in the resource strained economies.

            1. vlade

              Care packages are an immediate response thing. They do not go ahead and explain that even with asymptomatic covid you run a quite high risk of life-long complications.

              In Europe etc. the issue wasn’t the lack of basic support for people who had to stay at home. That got (to various levels) sorted in the first lockdown in early 2020.

              The real issue was really that after that lockdown, it was all a victory parade, meaning from Sept onwards another wave came in. Which was much scarier, but by then vaccine-as-a-silver-bullet was already making inroads, so there was way less willingness to kill travel and do a hard lockdown.

            2. clarky90

              The fervent repudiation and trivialization (merely a “horse wormer”) of any/all, Non-Pfizer therapeutics that have been used sucessfully, by non European societies (Brown people, FI, Uttar Pradesh, Japan, Mexico, Africa…….), are blatant, orchestrated examples of white racism…….

              (“Widdershins”- turn the truth, inside out and upside down. Voila! The powerful magik spell!)

      2. Glossolalia

        Realistically, covid is with us here to stay. Not because it had to, but because of the many small choices most of us made.

        I’m curious what you mean by this. What could have been done differently? Even in China where put millions of people under strict house arrest for weeks they still haven’t managed to get rid of covid.

        1. Basil Pesto

          If the rest of the world had followed China’s (or, if China gives you the heeby jeebies, Australia’s) lead (which is really the west’s lead, as they are disease control techniques honed in the west over a long time), then the pandemic would have ended in 2020. We wouldn’t be talking about C19 if we had, except maybe in the context of gaudy memorials to those who died. But we couldn’t come together to solve the problem because freedom, or something. and now as a consequence we have no chance of returning to the 2019 standard of freedom we once enjoyed for the foreseeable future. Oh well, we had a good run.

            1. Nothing

              What you don’t realise is that in late 2020/early 2021, Covid was effectively eliminated in Australia. Same as New Zealand.

              Covid had to be reintroduced to Australia in the form of Delta and Omicron (remember these originated in India and Sth Africa) to create the situation Australia is in today. But if it didn’t exist outside of Australia, it couldn’t be reintroduced…

              I believe Basil’s logic is that if everyone did what Australia did and they did it in 2020, Covid would be gone. Delta wouldn’t exist, Omicron wouldn’t exist.

              You are conflagrating the highly infectious current variant which is almost impossible to contain with vanilla Covid which was much less contagious, and ignoring the fact that not containing the initial Covid virus on a worldwide scale leads to the current situation.

            2. Basil Pesto

              Australia stopped trying to contain Covid in June last year, with the exception of WA to this day and some the less populous states holding out for a bit longer.

              Before that (and before vaccines), the virus was mostly kept out except in Victoria, where I live, in a July 2020 outbreak, which threatened to spiral out of control.

              The virus was eliminated then by the containment measures we took. They weren’t easy but they worked, and life returned mostly to normal, including a blissfully normal Christmas 2020 when the rest of the world was suffering terribly.

              That is the example to follow.

              Australia abandoned this successful elimination policy when vaccines were used as a rationalisation for introducing the virus and abandoning NPIs last year.

              Re: China – yes, they are trying to contain Covid. This is assumed within the technical definition of ‘elimination’ – periodic struggles to try and contain flare-ups. The point is that if more of the world is pulling in the same direction, you’re not going to have one hold-out country trying to stave off introductions of the virus from all over, all the time. The virus becomes that much easier to manage when everyone’s pulling in that same direction. Better health, liberty and economic outcomes are the result.

          1. Objective Ace

            I dont think much of Africa has the capabilities to act as Australia did. Granted, Covid could have perhaps been eliminated from the “Western” world, but we would need to constantly be vigilant against it as China and West Australia are now

            1. Basil Pesto

              No, the need for constant vigilance is diminished when the whole world is pulling in the same direction. Vigilance would be required to be sure, but not on anywhere near the same level. Moreover there are lockout strategies you can use such as implemention of a system of green/yellow/red zones, a system we saw a little bit of (unofficially) in the pandemic’s first year. Green zones (such as Australia and NZ in the first half of last year) can have unrestricted travel with each other; travellers from yellow/red zones should be subject to quarantine (all countries should be building purpose-built air-gapped quarantine facilities).

              Resources and aid should be diverted to developing countries that need assistance. This is not a new concept (see West Africa ebola epidemic) and is a core WHO mission I believe? I’m actually a bit surprised that China has not offered Covid control expertise & resources to other countries, particularly neighbouring ones, as part of Belt and Road.

      3. chris

        That’s it really. And so many opportunities to help our society for the better were squandered.

        It’s just like the arguments Thomas Frank has been putting forth, that Trump running to the left of Clinton on a number of issues should have been seen as an opportunity. We the had the same opportunity to improve indoor air-quality, outbreak response, community level testing, etc. Here was also a real example to show what big government could do when run by competent people. All of that wasted.

        I have this image in my head of a room of strung out pols, being told the enormity of what could happen and how ill prepared we are, leading the room into a brainstorming session of how this could be a net positive for the US. “Less mouth breathers!” “Less strain on SS!” “Reduced green house gas emissions!”

        Short of an authoritarian government taking over and enforcing all of the necessary societal controls we cannot implement any of what we need to do now. People don’t want to wear masks and even if they do they’re likely to get counterfeit versions because it’s hard to get high quality masks. People don’t want isolate because they can’t afford to anymore and because they don’t see the benefit or the point behind it anymore. We’ve given up on testing and our data collection is a joke. Schools can’t be closed because we don’t have an alternative and because so many parents do not have leave or WFH policies to permit it. Joe Biden is on track to be Hoover 2.0 – A monumental failure that everyone saw coming. Despite so much of this being so obvious no one seem capable of changing course. And yet I have zero confidence that clear failures in this regard will reduce the size of government or our reliance on the Feds. We’re on track to become like Mexico where the Feds are just another gang that you hope to avoid in your daily life. Except this gang will also be blowing up people all over the world when it’s too busy to ruin lives at home.

        What a terrible waste. What a horrible thing to leave to our children to fix. If they can.

        1. Jeff

          “Here was also a real example to show what big government could do when run by competent people”

          I have no doubt there are competent people in government. But competent people do not rise to positions of leadership in government. Seemingly only the selfish do, whether they are elected or appointed.

          The lack of trust, the incompetent political and medical mouthpieces, the obvious hypocrisy of “leaders”…. It’s an entire ecosystem that rewards all the wrong incentives and leaves citizenry either gaslit, full of confidence in the useless propaganda we’re fed or so distrustful that even when we’re told the truth, our bs meter is so sensitive it’s difficult to separate the truth from yet another professional class liar.

      4. T_Reg

        Which, TBH, is the usual way to end up in a creek w/o a paddle – gradually, and then suddenly.

        You could be talking about the environmental apocalypse (“climate change”). I know that seems like it’s off-topic, but I think the COVID disaster and the environmental apocalypse are very similar, especially in how they are being addressed; by doubling down on the behavior that got us here in the first place; hypercapitalism and always placing a higher importance on money than on life, concentration of wealth and power to an insane degree, endemic corruption, etc.

        1. Expat2uruguay

          And then there’s the third major threat to human existence. Nuclear war. We are not all making small decisions that lead us towards Extinction in that case. We’re just so exhausted we can’t consider all the dangers in front of us. Everyone should be in the streets to make sure that war doesn’t start, but they’re too worried about Omicron. I predict that Omicron will be destroyed in the event of a nuclear war, ….along with human and animals. So I guess we can count that as a win?

          1. T_Reg

            I couldn’t agree more. The world would be far better served, and have a greater chance of survival, if the entire political class in Washington, D.C. were removed and sentenced to life in a Supermax prison.

      5. LilD

        We will never get back to pre 2020 “normal”

        Most haven’t realized that yet

        First, we are in a probably permanent pandemic (see what I did there?)

        Second, institutions are breaking and changing

        Third, powerful people will take advantage of the crisis to grab bits of power and further the privatization of public goods

    2. Ignacio

      I let a comment that took me too long to write so it went to moderation.

      I am seeing that most scientific publications are on the sort of “vaccination status & omicron” but very little is being published on real hospital outcomes and characteristics of the disease that omicron brings. Too many efforts have been directed to see how vaccination works (or doesn’t work) and the fundamentals forgotten.

    3. Cirze

      Yes, sadly, gaslighting seems to be the order of the day now.

      Doing science correctly, which means questioning the science, is verboten now

      We seem to be headed into another horrible self-directed Dark Age.


    4. Jason Boxman

      This is what NY Times reports WHO is saying this am:

      The pandemic that has convulsed the world for more than two years is entering a “new phase,” and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant offers “plausible hope” for a return to normalcy in the months ahead, the World Health Organization said in a statement released Monday.

      Dr. Hans Kluge, the director for the W.H.O.’s European region, warned that it was too early for nations to drop their guard, but he said that between vaccination and natural immunity through infection, “Omicron offers plausible hope for stabilization and normalization.”


      If they mean normalizing death and morbidity, they might be onto something…

      1. chris

        I love that his last name is Kluge… as in a cobbled together repair when you don’t have all the right parts and the best you can get out of using it is 75% function. If that’s not a metaphor for where we are right now, I don’t know what is!

        I expect to hear from Drs. Killjoy and Dethtouch soon :)

  6. Samuel Conner

    Yesterday there was a geopolitics item that noted that US has ‘no tools in the toolkit’ with which to achieve a favorable resolution of the conflict with Russia.

    CDC seems to have voluntarily relinquished tools for control of contagion.

    Fed’s tools cannot control supply-side originating inflation.

    are there other examples?

    1. Guild Navigator

      There is no way to control or hold our politicians and spooks accountable for the endless lies, wars, insider trading, for selling us down the river, we are all familyblogged, and there is nowhere to escape.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      There are plenty of tools in the toolkit, the problem is that our leadership/elites would rather most of them not to be used.

  7. LAS

    GM’s item number 3 is indeed too rarely addressed. It calls to mind my own experience. I had covid-19 in March 2020 before people had latched upon the standard public health narrative about vaccines and masks — other than washing of hands and distancing. I was a female in her mid-60s who worked at the time as an evaluator of community health programs. I reported to a community health doctor who jumped into helping me through this. He brought a big bag of over-the-counter cough-cold-flu meds and PPE to my home and checked in every day how things were going. He also urged me not to lie down but get upright as much as possible; keep the windows open and take deep breaths. Through it, I did not have much cough or mucus but a lot of racing heart/anxiety, chills, fever, nausea, GI issues, and coordination issues, etc. However, oddly enough, I soon discovered that taking Mucinex DM with water was one thing that would stay down and also make me feel better with the heart palpitations, coordination, etc. After about 3-4 days, I asked my community doc why this particular med was effective when cough/mucus was not really the obvious issue. His opinion about this medication was that it included a drug that had the action of relaxing smooth muscle tissue throughout the body. Consider my report nothing more than an individual case with minimal understanding, and I’ve never seen science or medicine consider the merits of relaxing smooth muscle tissue, but it has converted me to keeping Mucinex DM in the medicine cabinet for use again if I get re-infected. I don’t really know if this is a defense against outcomes in GM’s item #3. Maybe I’m just confusing the natural course of the disease, but I really wonder.

    1. LAS

      Let me add that vaccine and masking are STILL important protective measures people should take against severe disease. Until more is known, there are few more protective measures than this today. Nothing has changed that. The real problem is how the public is informed and what they can rightly expect from it. People can still acquire the infection and every person has their own individual immune system response to it. But if you want to maximize your probability of survival and minimize morbidity then you should have the Moderna vaccine if at all possible.

      1. Expat2uruguay

        if you want to maximize your probability of survival and minimize morbidity then you should have the Moderna vaccine if at all possible.

        The whole mistake everyone is making is focusing on the vaccine!! To achieve what you described, you need to lose weight, eat healthy food, get plenty of sleep, supplement with vitamin C and Zinc, get sunlight so that your body can make vitamin D. And let me say again lose weight! Control whatever comorbidities you already have, diabetes hypertension etcetera. And for god sakes, don’t be afraid of ivermectin, it’s literally the safest drug in the world, and it has shown real world effectiveness, multiple times, at preventing and treating this disease.

        But we can’t talk about any of this because it has been labeled as anti-vax and the vaccines must be pushed at all times. Basta!! Enough!

        1. Jeff

          Expat, your common sense explanation is easy enough to understand but look at the comment you replied to. That is what common sense is up against. The vaccines may help, may help, may help, but what definitely helps everyone’s immune system is to stop overloading it with terrible food, poor sleep, STRESS, inactivity, not drinking enough water and carrying too much weight.

          Dr. gain of function fauci or Walensky somehow couldn’t bring themselves to utter such facts. Just another in a congo line of reasons why they trashed any trust many might have had at one point.

          1. Basil Pesto


            so what happens in this utopian alternative world where all 8 billion of us have an ideal and optimum diet, BMI, water %, stress levels, vitamin D, C, Zinc, even Ivermectin intake, all at the same time, and the virus still continues to be a massive problem?

            This virus deserves a bit more respect than that.

      2. Mantid

        Actually, you have it backwards. A handful of scientists have been proposing for months that these vaccines at this time, during a pandemic, is a very bad idea. The primary reason Omicron evolved from Delta, evolved from Alpha ….. is because of the massive, inept, vaccination program.

        This was predicted. Here is an explanation:

        Also, Moderna, since it’s DARPA (US Military) financed beginnings, has never produced a treatment that was successful. This is it’s first “success” which was jammed down everyone’s throat or arm. Brief history – Emergent BioSolutions/BioPort changed it’s name and became Moderna. For example, in the case of their (BioSolutions’) anthrax vaccine, the plant producing it was shut down by the US government because they had mold in vials and obvious visual contamination. That vaccine was mandatorily injected into US servicemen and later, tied by several people to what is now known as Gulf War Syndrome when it was administered in the early 90s.

        The vaccines are not an “important protective measure” but are in fact heightening the sad story of this pandemic.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, your claim regarding Omicron is absolutely false. Omicron is the result of the high level of HIV in RSA combined with not enough people getting treatments (as in pretty debilitated with HIV, as opposed to say the US, where a lot of people function well despite HIV due to being on meds. So this is an indictment of Big Pharma in not giving poor countries a price break). RSA is a low vax country with a high level of prior infection, one of last places a new variant would emerge if your thesis were true. Its predecessor was observed in RSA 2020, before the vaccines were even available. Then no similar variant was seen until Omicron was observed. That makes it nearly certain it emerged as the result of a vey protracted infection in RSA an immunocompromised person.

          That isn’t to say that letting Covid infect billions via using vaccines that only stopped very severe infection was not going to lead to mutations. But infecting billions would have produced that outcome vaccine or no.

        2. Michaelmas

          Mantid: Moderna, since it’s DARPA (US Military) financed beginnings, has never produced a treatment that was successful … Emergent BioSolutions/BioPort changed it’s name and became Moderna … in the case of their (BioSolutions’) anthrax vaccine, the plant producing it was shut down by the US government because they had mold in vials and obvious visual contamination. That vaccine was mandatorily injected into US servicemen and later, tied by several people to what is now known as Gulf War Syndrome when it was administered in the early 90s.

          False. From start to finish.

          Emergent BioSolutions Inc. was/is this company —

          –headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with the shoddy history you describe — I see it’s right next door to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade — of manufacturing old-school vaccines and of involvement with the DoD.

          Flagship Pioneering, the biotech partnership that created Moderna in 2010-11 among forty-odd companies, is in Boston and is this outfit —

          Personally, I’ve some questions about a couple of Flagship’s companies because a couple of them walk right up to being genetic human enhancement without literally quite being that. But it has none of the history or shared relationships you claim and are entirely unable to document, and isn’t even really in the same game.

          Basically, Flagship takes bright MIT synthetic biology graduates as partners and staff, and creates bleeding-edge biotech startups. I’m sure plenty of people here have a beef about that because it’s advanced genetic engineering. Nevertheless, it has no relationship whatsoever to the Pentagon and the US military-industrial complex, and isn’t even really conventional Big Pharma.

    2. BeliTsari

      Some folks seem to have tried various nitric-oxide precursors for this, ED or circulatory symptoms. I was scared out of 81mg aspirin, from one French study (which turned out to be a social-networking feedback loop?) I’d SERIOUSLY like to thank all of NC’s COVID connoisseurs. Yves, this is getting to be the internet’s most astute, accurate & prescient source on this lethal bullshit pandemic (as well as what’s going on with SARS CoV-2, Catastrophe Capitalism’s current catalyst) Again, THANK you! The neighbor who’d accused us of alarmism for wearing KF-94 & gloves (to keep from infecting 1099 food delivery workers, 21 months ago) now admits, she too had it then & omicron now. Jumped back when I’d offered her Quercetin, Bromelin, zinc, D3, NRPT, etc. as if I’d just strode off a flying saucer? Still curious about testing!

    3. Big River Bandido

      Interesting. I began taking Mucinex seasonally around 10-15 years ago to prevent mucus buildup in my sinuses during allergy seasons (for me, spring/tree bloom season, and early fall when the ragweed pops up). Prior to that point, I would typically come down with one (or even two) sinus infections per year.

      Once I started taking Mucinex prophylactically, the sinus infections dwindled to one every two years…and then, none at all, for about a decade now. And now I hardly ever even need Mucinex, at any time of year, unless things get really stopped up.

      All this simply to say that off-label indications are a very real thing and it helps to have a doctor like IMDoc, who can actually think creatively and is willing to act in that spirit for the good of the patient.

        1. Big River Bandido

          No problem! although my routine was nothing special, and calibrated toward my own condition, so YMMV. Basically I went on Mucinex whenever any of the following happened:

          1) my first sight of trees flowering in springtime
          2) calendar between Aug. 15 and the first frost
          3) any of my classic childhood symptoms appeared (sneezing, congestion, etc.)

          I continue that regimen until the symptoms disappear or that particular pollen season passes.

          The other thing I started was learning to better read my own body signs for potential “seeds” of a sinus infection, and prevent it from getting worse. Mucinex, for me, loosened my nasal congestion — which helped prevent infections from spawning there in the first place. That done, the next step was to watch like a hawk for my prime “warning sign”: a post nasal-drip scratch in the throat. This always leads nowhere good for me. So now, at the merest sign of that I’m gargling with very strong hot salt water (3-6x/day) and (this is the hardest for me) going to bed at least 2 hours earlier until it’s gone. If I catch it immediately it will usually subside with those treatments within a day. I’ll also use saline nasal spray when under duress from a cold, and if I can motivate myself (and not clogged up) I’ll use the Neil-Med nasal rinse. However I’ve not yet managed to cultivate the discipline to use a daily nasal rinse, which would be ideal. I suppose if my condition gets worse, that would be the next step I’d take. Fortunately it hasn’t yet been necessary, as this whole “getting old” thing really adds a ton of work just to get up in the morning!

          An interesting side note: I must have been about 35ish when I started this routine. After a few years (with much rarer occurrences of infections), I noticed that my extreme, debilitating childhood symptoms subsided. The worst effect I now get is a strange type of dizziness which I eventually connected with my allergies. So now that’s actually my “leading indicator” of when to go on Mucinex. Some of this might simply be age-related changes. But I am quite sure I did my body a long term favor by getting rid of the frequent sinus infections. They are very rare for me now.

          1. CanCyn

            Thank you! Do you take 600mg per day? I read a British case study where they gave a person 1200mg per day.

          2. CanCyn

            I have been using fluticasone nasal spray for a chronic sinus problem for years. My sinuses are always worse in this dry winter weather and my vertigo tends to act up this time of year. The fluticasone is not really working anymore so I am going to try the guaifenesin. mucinex seems to be the only brand I can find with the high dose (600mg per tab) and sole ingredient. A lot of the cold meds have added decongestants and pain killers that I don’t need. My husband also has a chronic post nasal drip and tendency to bronchial problems when he gets a cold (former smoker). We started with 1200 mg each last night. My husband noticed a difference in his drip overnight – he has not cleared his throat once this morning! My head is still pretty stuffy. The pharmacist I talked to yesterday said it could take a while for me to notice a difference.
            Reading Urblintz’ note below, if the guaifenesin also adds some moisture, that can’t be a bad thing when it comes to COVID.
            Thanks all!

    4. Beth

      Interesting. Mucinex DM is a combination of two drugs: Guaifenesin, which is a mucolytic/expectorant derived from a tree bark; and Dextromethorphan, which is an antitussive and has a chemical structure somewhat like opiates which is why it suppresses cough. Its the guaifenesin which has centrally-acting muscle relaxant properties, I think its used in veterinary care for that. So interesting that this is what got you through a Covid infection.

      1. Anon

        I have wondered about the possible use of guaifenesin for Covid. I always take guaifenesin as soon as I get a common cold because of my tendency (since childhood) to have colds rapidly lead to pneumonia. I find that guaifenesin prevents mucous from settling in my lungs. It has kept me from developing pneumonia more than once. I take the plain guaifenesin. It is cheap. I use a simple generic store brand. I am not a scientist so I have no idea if it could help with Covid. Any thoughts from our experts?

      2. urblintz

        Guaifenesin was the go to drug for singers throughout much of my career because, as was explained by my ENT at the time, it introduces a small amount of histamine to produce a thinner, more viscous mucous to lubricate the vocal chords. I used it a lot early on but realized I was becoming dependent on it, psychologically. Still, it can be useful in extremely dry conditions. My last on-stage performance was Sharpless at Reno Opera. I’ve never experienced the lack of humidity as I encountered there and guaifenesin made a big difference for many in the cast.

  8. Roger Blakely

    My experience confirms GM’s comment when he wrote that the third most-important element of COVID-19 is the systemic infection that damages hearts, kidneys, beta cells in the pancreas, endothelial cells, the brain (though perhaps not directly), etc.

    The public health establishment currently manages COVID-19 by saying that an individual does not have COVID-19 unless the individual can generate a positive PCR test result from a nasal swab. Today we have situations where people are presenting with symptoms of systemic infection from SARS-CoV-2, but these individuals are testing negative. The clinicians don’t know what to say.

  9. Cirze

    Clinicians don’t know what to say about those occurrences?

    Always a day late and dollar short for the privatized USA USA USA no-healthcare-for-all system!!!

  10. Mikel

    Feet are still dragging on nasal spray vaccines that would have a chance of actually preventing infection and reclaim the word “vaccine”.

  11. Kevin Smith MD

    I suspect that when some of the unvaccinated wind up with Covid, they claim to be vaccinated when they get to a hospital, because they know that quite a few hospital personnel regard the unvaccinated as being the authors of their own misfortune / victims of their own stupidity.

    So … this might be skewing the ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated

    1. IM Doc

      I heard this same story this summer when the breakthroughs started showing up among the vaccinated.

      One doctor in our group openly stated in a meeting that all these vaccinated breakthroughs are actually unvaccinated lying and saying they are vaccinated because of social pressure. WE KNOW OUR VACCINES ARE PERFECT, THEREFORE, THIS IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE REASON FOR BREAKTHROUGHS.

      How did that work out for him?

      Within two weeks, his fully vaccinated wife was in the hospital with COVID.

      In brief, I think that the phenomenon you describe above is not happening at all. In fact, there are a few recently vaccinated or just one dose being called unvaxxed.

      1. GM

        What is also happening is that states are lying about vaccine protection by classifying everyone of unknown vaccination status (which is actually a lot of people because in the US there is no centralized system for tracking who is vaccinated and who is not) as “unvaccinated”

        So right now you have high-quality data from Denmark and the UK showing zero protection from infection against BA.1 while NY is claiming 80% even though the dominant variant there is BA.1.1 (which is even more immune evasive than plain BA.1), and also that protection improves over time (which is an artifact of the fact that they reclassify a lot of the unvaccinated as vaccinated eventually)

        Which one is more likely to be correct?

      2. urblintz

        Indeed. I think you mentioned, in yesterdays comment, that they were deliberately inflating the percentage/number of vaccinated. Neat trick to promote the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” lie.

        And it worked

      3. judy2shoes

        IM Doc,

        With all due respect, while I don’t believe that all the unvaccinated going to hospital would lie about their vaccination status, there’s no doubt in my mind that some would – perhaps many – and that would include me if I were unvaccinated (I’m not unvaxxed). One of my neighbors is a nurse practitioner whom I’ve known since 1990. I have had a lot of respect for her over the years, but that has changed since the pandemic started. A couple of months ago, she was ranting to me about the unvaccinated riding in the same elevators she used (along with vaccinated patients), and she said that they should be treated in tents outside the hospital because that’s where they belonged and what they deserved. I almost said (but stopped myself) that what we should do is make all the unvaccinated wear yellow stars on their shirts so we could identify them. Anyway, because of this conversation and ones with other health care providers I know, I can tell you that I would likely lie, too.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The hospitals I have dealt with who ask about your vaccination status want to see proof. They don’t rely on patient say so. Admittedly a sample of only two, but one was in AL.

          1. judy2shoes

            Thanks, Yves.

            I haven’t had to go to hospital emergency room, but I have had to go to an orthopaedic urgent care, followup MRI, as well as to the dentist and numerous visits for physical therapy. No one in any of these settings has asked my vaccination status. That surprised me (understatement).

            I wonder what would happen if one happened to show up at the hospital without written proof of vaccination?

    2. MT_Wild

      I could see how some of this might affect U.S. data a little bit, because our data is crap.

      But I seriously doubt this is the case in places like Israel, Denmark, the U.K., etc., where they had much higher vaccination rates and better data.

      1. Kevin Smith MD

        In Israel the UltraOrthodox™ are regarded with contempt by a lot of the rest of the population, so might be tempted to claim to be fully immunized when they present with Covid. But I think that with Israel’s quite good medical records system, immunization status might be quite easy to check.

        1. Kevin Smith MD

          Conversely, I have seen a report where some folks who loudly proclaim themselves to be anti-vaxxers have been found to quietly sneak away to another county to have Covid vaccine. I suppose if they escape serious disease they will attribute their good fortune to prayer, whiskey, ivermectin … anything but Covid vaccine!

          1. jeff

            Sounds like anecdata. Let’s rely on places like Denmark, UK, Israel and others that are good at data collections and reporting and not on outlier heresay stories like this.

              1. urblintz

                well… I do give you credit for the courage of trying to pass that off as anything but hearsay.

                Ultimately it’s just more propaganda supporting a failed vaccine…

    3. Miss Anthrope

      Back in the day – when I was young, I would have vehemently denied that most people would lie about such a thing. Now with more than 60 years under my belt, I am pretty damn certain that a large segment of the unvaccinated would actually lie in order to not be wrong. Took me damned long to catch onto human nature, but I think that I have finally developed an understanding of it.

      1. Hickory

        I don’t know if this really happens much or not, but remember the context if some unvaxxed really are lying – they’re suffering and believe the health authorities would consider them unworthy of quality care based on their vaccination decision, regardless how much sense their decision made for them personally. Especially if it was my wife or kids, if I had to lie to Someone to get life saving medical care, I wouldn’t think twice.

      2. Brian Beijer

        I am pretty damn certain that a large segment of the unvaccinated would actually lie in order to not be wrong.

        Being unvaccinated, I can speak as someone in this group (of course, I can’t speak for others). My initial response would be to not lie about my vaccine status. I know that a doctor needs all relevant information in order to provide the most effective medical treatment. I would be surprised if even the most lowly informed patients don’t know this. Depending on the attitude of the medical providers though, I might decide to lie if that meant that I would be denied treatment, or worse, mistreated because of my vaccination status. So, no, I wouldn’t lie “in order to not be wrong”. I would lie in order to ensure I received the same treatment everyone deserves regardless of vaccination status.

        I find this discussion of whether or not people are lying about being vaccinated very curious. I’ve not heard anyone discussing refusing treatment for the vaccinated who have high blood pressure, who are obese, have diabetes or have some commorbidity one associates with “lifestyle choices”. I have none of these factors because I have made different choices.
        Yet, more and more, I read in the press and see on Fbook people wanting to refuse medical care for the unvaccinated. This isn’t just an American phenomenon either. For me, it has become a legitimate fear that my vaccination status will determine whether or not a medical provider will give me adequate care. When did it become ok to deny someone the right to live by refusing medical treatment based on whether or not the patient made the “right” choices in life? Yet, despite this suggested threat being frequently spread in media, the idea that a person might lie in order to receive medical treatment becomes another example of the “moral failings” of the unvaccinated. Jesus, what are we becoming?

        1. MT_Wild

          So I agree that lifestyle choices (losing weight, watching blood pressure, diet, etc) are some of the biggest ways we can protect our health.

          But you can’t possibly be suggesting that losing weight is as simple as getting a shot? My total time invested to date for three shots is maybe 5 hours. If only maintaining a healthy weight and daily exercise was that simple.

        2. Carla

          “I find this discussion of whether or not people are lying about being vaccinated very curious. I’ve not heard anyone discussing refusing treatment for the vaccinated who have high blood pressure, who are obese, have diabetes or have some commorbidity one associates with “lifestyle choices”. ”

          I’m with you, Brian. The idea of refusing medical care to anyone because of decisions they may have made is repugnant. I hope you also agree that health care is a human right, and our current health care non-system is an abomination.

          When you say “I have none of these factors [comorbidities] because I have made different choices,” however, you kinda lose me… unless you mean you chose to be born to different parents, who raised you in a different socio-economic milieu, made sure you benefited from a superb diet and excellent medical care in the womb and throughout childhood (as they in fact had insured their own parents had done for them). And perhaps you chose to be grow up in an environment free of toxins as well.

          I am appalled by the cruel, judgemental and ignorant attitudes toward unvaccinated people, but no more so than by the same attitudes when they are expressed about smokers, overweight individuals, or those with other health challenges.

          1. IM Doc

            What you are saying above in your comment, Carla, was a fundamental tenet of medical ethics for generations.

            The only physician who ever won the Nobel PEACE prize was Albert Schweitzer. And on the road to his clinics and buildings in the Heart of Africa was a sign that stated simply – WE WILL TURN NO ONE AWAY.

            I have over the years taken care of countless scores of patients – hundreds – with whom I had big-time disagreements about the choices they had made. I was trained from day one that I was not to be the judge and jury – I was to be to calm in the storm. I see this vaccine issue as no different. It is my job to come to their level, inhabit their world and thinking, and come up with some way to exit the problems of their life.

            I have been taught by my elders all my life – THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GOETH I. I take that to heart every single day of my life.

            As you can imagine, I have been absolutely horrified by all the videos and tweets that younger physicians have been making this past year about the denigration of the unvaxxed. It is truly evil. It is not representative of the Hippocratic Oath – the Nuremberg Code – or the Helsinki Declarations. One of the first things done when all the billioinaires started buying off the medical schools was the perversion of medical ethics to fit their wants and needs. It is no surprise whatsoever that one of the loudest mouthpieces for “medical ethics” trotted out by our main stream media is Dr. Cohn of Langone (Home Depot) NYU Med School. I have seen him repeatedly on TV of late denigrating the unvaxxed and trying to suggest ways to take away their rights. To humble and humiliate them. I know it is hard for non-medical people to understand – but these ideas would have been considered evil and abhorrent just a generation ago – and are now being promulgated by ethicists from one of our premier institutions.

            For those who think that ethics should be suspended in a time like this – you are entirely wrong. Our medical code of ethics was largely constructed in the immediate aftermath of people like Mengele. They were written in good times – to be used in good times and bad. Especially the bad. So things like Mengele would never happen again. They were doing their best to protect future generations – us – from unspeakable evil. To throw all that out the window is an unpardonable sin.

            Some days, it is all too much for me to contemplate.

            1. Mantid

              Thank you IM Doc. As I read your comment to a friend, she mentioned “It’s as if, during a war, the medics would refuse to treat the opponent’s injured”.

              1. ambrit

                In many wars, enemy wounded are ‘finished off.’ No messy prisoners to take care of.
                Terran humans can be ‘programmed’ to do things, like kill perfect strangers, that they would not contemplate otherwise. Boot camp is basically the tearing down of a personality and the cultivation of another in it’s place. Now imagine Covid Boot Camp for True Believers of whatever stripe and faction.
                The veneer of Civilization covering us is thin at best.

              2. Joe Renter

                Well, that happened in WW2 from some of the parties involved. Japan never played by the Geneva Convention rules. I just finished reading a book from a WW2 solider who experienced the Bataan Death March.
                The Russians in WW2 were not so keen on treating the German POW’s as well.
                All wars sucks.

            2. Lupana

              A minor question but Home Depot owns NYU’s medical school? If so, is this true for most med schools now – where they are owned by corporations?

              1. IM Doc

                No, there are many medical centers that have now been subsumed with billionaire funding – they do not “own” them – but the administration faculty and staff sure know what orders from headquarters means.

                The Ken Langone who has given so much that they changed the name of NYU to NYU Langone was the founder of Home Depot.

                The Zuckerberg Hospital at UCSF is named for Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook who gave them hundreds of millions.. Please note how many of the vociferous pro-vaccine names are from UCSF. There may be a reason for that.

                It is even happening in the smaller tier medical schools all across the country – see for example – the Schusterman Medical Center at the University of Oklahoma –

                I could go on and on.

                This cash is not without strings. I have personally been at many meetings where the exchange was rendered despite extreme misgivings of the faculty involved.

                1. Sara K.

                  Minor correction: Zuckerberg Hospital is SFGH (San Francisco General Hospital), not at UCSF. SFGH and UCSF have a partnership, but they are separate institutions. Though it would not surprise me if Zuckerberg *also* funded UCSF in some way, the money for naming of Zuckerberg Hospital went to SFGH, not UCSF.

                  Your general point about billionaire funding and medical centers still stands.

                  1. JBird4049

                    San Francisco General has been a dump for a while, but it’s too bad that Mark Zuckerberg is the one who gave them that money with the name change. He could have just given the money on the sly without having his name attached to the hospital. People still donate either anonymously or ask not to be named, but how else does one get their ego fondled, if they did so?

                    However, as I remember, the hospital has been underfunded for decades. Too the city government could not bother to help correct that.

            3. Juneau

              I know this comment comes late but thank you for this post. I was trained the same way and like all healthcare providers work with people who are openly denigrated for making poor life choices ostensibly leading to their health issues. None of that matters when someone is ill, in pain, and needs help. Social media postings by younger physicians have been downright frightening, and a mob mentality is evident in the support from their peers. And the degree of conviction and certainty they express is overwhelming. I feel like I am in Bizrro World (everything upside down). when I look at these doctors’ pages on FB and Twitter. Thank you for affirming what is good and right. It is a light in the fog.

          2. Noone from Nowheresville

            @Carla, I agree. It’s an ugly ugly narrative.

            It’s also a purposeful, highly dangerous deployment by those in power. You don’t accidentally deploy a scapegoat and a who can be sacrificed narrative across all of Western culture during the 2nd year of an acknowledged pandemic during the initial 6 month period of multiple experimental drug cocktail rollouts.

            Such a narrative doesn’t begin and end with this virus, any of its variants, or even the pandemic itself for however long it lasts.

        3. Jeff

          Brian, this happened because health and political leaders chose to scapegoat the unvaccinated. Remember this from Biden?

          “We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm. But there’s good news: If you’re vaccinated and you have your booster shot, you’re protected from severe illness and death”

          It wasn’t just Fauci and Walensky that yammered on about noble lies. Biden pushed it as well.

          This nonsense gives cover to scapegoating and othering. Rather than pushing better health choices, they pushed this clap.

          1. Big River Bandido

            Thank you, Jeff, for providing that quote. I had been searching for the actual video but didn’t have the precise language to search for it.

        4. Miss Anthrope

          Good grief. Let me apologize since that came across wrong – I did not mean to make a connection between being unvaccinated and lying – I meant about the drive of human nature to cover up things so as not to be looked at as foolish to others. That is why I drew on my age. I have seen people do so many silly things in life to avoid looking foolish to others.

    4. Ghost in the Machine

      I also suspect this might be true. My MD relatives say to me that whatever amount of alcohol a patient confesses to use, they double it in their mind when thinking about consequences.

      1. Mantid

        Darn, but true. Over at least the last 10 years, since the heavy imposition of tracking, surveillance, and loss of personal – private information to big tech, big pharma ….. I’ve been confusing (hopefully) the data by giving false information whenever I can: job interviews; doctor appointments; emails; various applications for services, etc. What a sad state of affairs – especially if I get in a car accident and am presented to a doctor. I can imagine them reading my file. “This guy says he has three kidneys”!

      2. Vandemonian

        The flip side, of course, is that most estimations of the harms of alcohol are based on the levels of consumption self-reported by study participants, who also halve their reported intake. Probably balances out in the end…

    5. LAS

      Highly unlikely in New York state. Every vaccine is recorded. So it can easily be looked up in the administrative data. And I suspect most other states are also keeping a database of vaccines given.

        1. ISL

          I got my shingles vaccine at Rite Aid, and specifically indicated I did not want California to have my name on record (as is my right). My doctor had no idea whether I had or had not actually followed up on his prescription for a vaccine – it was not entered in my medical record until I confirmed for him that it was. That states are trying to track I have no doubt. That in this dysfunctional collapsing empire they are able to track is another story.

    1. MonkeyBusiness

      Hard to tell, but Winter Olympics is only 10 days away, so there seems to be a legit reason to take precautions. A nearby city, Tianjin has been locked down a couple of days now, so it’s also possible there’s been a community spread.

      Anyway, as I said, hard to tell.

  12. Anonymous

    Is “Long Covid” due to the non-elimination of the virus OR is it an auto-immune reaction?

    If the latter, then the current vaccines could, apart from any Covid infection, also trigger “Long Covid”? In which case, it would instead be “Long Covid vaccine” or maybe a combination, i.e. “Long Covid/Long Covid vaccine”?

    Anyway, based on what I read it seems like a distinct possibility given the VAERS reports.

    1. Larry Y

      We have a natural experiment with vaccines in New Zealand and Taiwan. Taiwan has modern national electronic health records, so can easily data mine it. Haven’t seen a study, but if such reactions were significant, probably would have heard something from my Taiwanese contacts.

      I’ve also read in the comments here that COVID fax reactions seem to be because it was injected into the blood. Have not seen a source on it though.

  13. Mikel

    “The reality is Omicron is so different from previous variants that as we have seen..”

    It’s important to keep focus and discussion on how this virus mutates, but it feels as though the thread gets lost because people in the media and elsewhere want to jump to wild speculations about “immunity” or repeat chants about non-sterilizing shot therapies.

  14. Nikkikat

    Really “Doctor” Kevin? Very ill people on the way to the hospital are cooking up a story for when they get to the hospital so that the “personnel” there won’t know that they are “victims of their own stupidity”, and that’s why the numbers are stewed? Is that what you think?

    1. Ben S

      probably more to avoid selective restrictions, worrying they might have less visitation rights, longer quarantines…
      even perhaps to avoid unconscious bias- despite your incredulity

        1. judy2shoes

          Thanks, Rob. None of us knows if Kevin Smith is a doctor (maybe he IS from Maryland), but the use of the quotation marks strikes me as an attempt to invalidate his comment by attacking him personally.

  15. Kevin Smith MD

    I wonder if that is the case in a subset of the covid patients. It would be a good thing for researchers to look into. We do know that patients will lie and misrepresent for a variety of reasons, why not immunization status?

  16. The Rev Kev

    Many things I can forgive and forget. But after reading this post and the attached comments, I know some things that I will never forgive – or forget. I will never forgive governments allowing what is still a deadly virus to spread so that they would not have to make any changes to the 2019 economy. I will never forgive the medical establishment siding with the government to spread not only dodgy reasoning but outright lies which led to me breaking trust with my own doctor. I will never forgive the business community for constantly undermining any effort at elimination of this virus but wanting it spread so that they could keep on raking in their profits, now matter how many of their customers got sick or even died. And as it turned out, their profits disappeared as the virus spread as people are hunkering at home. And of special mention, I will never, ever forgive the media which has done nothing but to spread misinformation and demand that everything be open in the middle of a pandemic – and criticize all those that try to keep it out. They say that trust is like a bank account that you can only make so many withdrawals at. As far as I am concerned all of those groups bankrupted that account. /rant mode disengaged.

    1. MK

      RE: The Media.

      Wait until this Ukraine issue blows up in NATO/US/EU/UK’s face. (Literally, and hopefully non-nuclear).

      That’s when the Western Media will be permanently out of funds to withdraw.

    2. Hickory

      Media: To say nothing of censoring vaccine research and research into alternative treatments like ivm

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Your rant captures my own feelings and thoughts. I would tack on the way the pandemic was used to slip in the CARES Act and the Fed money giveaways to Big Money, and the ongoing malstructuring of the economy. I would also tack on the way climate ‘change’ has been handled, and the many ongoing wars and the threat to instigate another even more dangerous conflict. The u.s. Empire is ruled by the insane.

    4. Mantid

      Very good observation and many of us feel the same way. However “I will never forgive governments” ……. remember that “governments” essentially don’t exist anymore. We vote for corporations and mega money makers – via a government. It will take a long time but we must change our vocabulary. City States aren’t in control any more. The Khan family is gone. The Pope is pointless. The Queen doesn’t run England. And we still say the Sun Rises, though we know it’s really an Earth Turn. Governments are not at the top of the food chain anymore. It’s Bezos, Pharma, WEF, Wall Street, google, Gates, f’book ……

      1. Joe Renter

        Mantid- I agree with everything you say, with the exception of the Pope. I my mind he is a voice of reason and compassion.
        Best Pope in my lifetime. I am 65 and not catholic.

            1. Kevin Carhart

              What, did they issue some press releases or something? You have to work pretty hard to snarl at a free laundromat. Once the PR wears off, it remains an everyday practical resource for poor people in a city.
              Popes have clout and some money and a bully pulpit. Unlike the last few, this one put his resources towards basic human needs. It’s nothing to do with whatever convoluted axe you are grinding; it just has to do with clean clothes, haircuts and sleeping bags.

        1. commit

          “I am 65 and not catholic.”

          Maybe that explains why you like him. But shouldn’t the Pope represent Catholics? Podesta’s emails contain evidence that he actually was installed by the global capital and that he *is* their puppet.

      2. Noone from Nowheresville

        Remember that government and government policies which helped create and continues to maintain those entities. It’s a self-licking ice cream cone on a certain level.

    5. Societal Illusions

      I will never forget the active suppression of creatively and responsibly offered early treatment options and the malignament of those who offered and then advocated for them, after having successes.

      How many have died with the “go home rest do nothing until you are so sick” advice? Pathetic and can only be intentional.

  17. Sutter Cane

    I have noticed a definite uptick in the past week of stories questioning how long China can possibly keep up their “misguided” zero-covid strategy. Of course western propaganda against China is usually bad, but this latest push to manufacture consent is more blatant than usual.

    To GM Doc’s point about how any attempt at infection control is demonized, it follows that China and zero-covid must be discredited at all cost. People cannot be reminded that there was any alternative to our current disaster.

  18. flora

    Thanks for this post.
    An aside: …he was certain the cause of death was remdesivir.

    The remdesivir debacle – compliments of Tony – is an almost exact replay of Tony’s AZT debacle back in the day to treat HIV/AIDS. Take a drug created to treat another disease that failed to safely treat original disease, has very damaging side effects, is still on patent, and repurpose failed drug to treat a new disease… with high profits, though with bad, very bad safety outcomes. At the same time deny early outpatient treatment with known safe drugs. Exact same play. Look up the history of AZT.

    (If you get the idea I’m angry about this you’re right.)

    1. HotFlash

      There are those of us who remember AIDS and AZT. I wonder, would it be possible to FOIA Dr Fauci’s stock portfolio records for the past, oh, 50 years? Perhaps this is something our famously free press could undertake.

  19. PKMKII

    Currently listening to a great interview with Justin Feldman, often linked to on here, on The Dig Podcast on the mismanagement of the pandemic response under Biden and in general. The part that really stood out to me was the observation that while McKinsey was being hired to handle a bunch of state and local governments’ COVID response, they were posting no job openings for people with epidemiology backgrounds. Echoed later with Biden hiring Zients as his COVID response coordinator.

  20. Bridget

    “Almost assuredly killed by the remdesevir….”

    And Medicare is paying hospitals handsome bonuses if they prescribe Remdesevir for hospitalized patients:

    I decided quite some time ago that under no circumstances would I go to Hotel California, (er a hospital) when I contracted COVID, as I believed I inevitably would. Yes, there are many self help therapeutics available. And they worked for me.

    1. antidlc

      Jan. 22, 2022 / 11:46 AM

      FDA expands authorization of remdesivir for use in some COVID-19 outpatients

      The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its authorization of the antiviral drug remdesivir to some COVID-19 outpatients.

      The FDA took two actions Friday to expand the use of the antiviral drug created by Gilead Sciences biopharmaceutical company “to certain non-hospitalized adults and pediatric patients for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease,” according to a statement.

  21. TBellT

    Uttar Pradesh gave out medical kits costing a few dollars with Ivermectin, vit D etc and within a couple of weeks the numbers dropped like a stone. HCQ and Quertecin also seem to work well.

    Good luck with that. See at this point everyone has their own solution to the virus. Some vaccines, others Ivermectin.

    What’s the issue?

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Uttar Pradesh

      I am about ready to declare this a canard. Please supply either (a) an Indian study showing causality or (b) evidence from the local press showing actual distribution in situ. For (a), news stories don’t cut it. For (b) press releases by Indian politicians don’t cut it, nor do putative photos of the home kits, without context.

  22. Alexandra

    The narrative mental cookies are crumbling.

    Every single person we know who is sick now or has gotten Covid in the last month or so was vaccinated, and has now has recovered. Our entire family fits that.

    Not one of the vitamin gobbling, alternate drug prophylactic touting loudmouths we know has gotten sick. It’s discouraging to people who rushed out and got all their shots.

    We will not allow our children to get any more covid injections. And the separate payments to our school district on our property taxes will be withheld until schools reopen in person.

      1. ambrit

        I suspect that all the “vitamin gobbling,” of which gustatory delights we two partake, are a more generalized form of ‘non-sterilizing vaccine’ analog. A better baseline health status is helpful to weathering and surviving the pathogen’s ravages. Since very few of us can boast of living fully “back to nature,” some form of compensation for the deficiencies of our modern diets is necessary.
        One of the main unpleasant discoveries that Phyl and myself have encountered is the fact of just how widespread is willful ignorance and stupidity.

  23. Jeff N

    My next fear is that people will start testing from home (a good thing), and the publicized case counts will go down. “Look, we’re beating this!”

    1. Raymond Sim

      Our local school district disappeared a bunch (~140 out ~800) of January cases from their dashboard.

      As with elections, the serious miscounting is official fraud, not anything down to individuals.

      Oh yeah, and our 8500 student district had over 800 officially detected cases in the first two weeks of January.

    1. CurtisJohn

      More like “how many excess deaths, adjusted for population growth, without fatal comorbidities, caused by Covid” are we going to accept?

      Fauci said 6% of Covid deaths were from Covid alone.

      Argue the numbers all you want, but the TENS OF TRILLIONS of dollars handed over to bail out bankers and failed speculators are the real engine and prolongation of this crisis, not the virus.

    2. Carla

      In all seriousness, antidlc, what are “WE” going to do about it?

      Although I am triple-vaxxed, I am not permitted to express doubts or reservations about Covid-19 vaccines and the vaccine-only approach even to most family members and close friends, let alone having any impact whatsoever on the powers-that-be. The rabbit-hole is too deep, and honestly, it has been for years. The pandemic just makes it obvious to more people than ever could see it before.

  24. Pat

    Had a conversation with my retired nurse second cousin the other day. She is also Covid free (I think I had a mild case early on before it became a part of the conversation except here and have no proof, but otherwise…).
    She was a caregiver for her daughter and grandchildren who did get it, so even being careful we know she has been exposed. We may not agree about the vaccines (she thinks they are more useful than I do), but we do agree that western leadership has been deeply negligent by not highlighting proper masking and ventilation and most particularly in not promoting health measures to increase immune response in general. We are both big advocates of D3 and Zinc. We also discovered that we were each looking into a couple of herbal supplements that have good clinicals.

    I think often of the interview when a local reporter asked Fauci what parents could do to protect their young children, and all Tony could talk about was getting them vaccinated as soon as the vaccine was approved for them. I can only hope that today that reporter (and the producer/editor) would follow up with, “forget the vaccines they aren’t available, what measures can they take right NOW!” and not let him get away with not actually answering the question. He could certainly have talked about ventilation, and even brought up increased mask use at home for people around the children, and for toddlers there are probably levels of C, D3 and zinc that could be used, but no.

    I would say that Tony Fauci, not only having a job but still having a medical license is one of the great failures of our system and our media. He should have been canned after his debacle of misleadership during the first decade of AIDS, instead we have poor deluded folks naming their puppies after him.

  25. marku52

    Dr Ostrov at the UF has been testing OTC compounds that might work on covid. Had good in vitro results with benadryl and lactoferrin, in synergy. Better together than either apart.

    A lot of the damage from covid is inflamation related. Things that suppress mast cell activation seem to help. Benadryl, Pepcid, astrelazine, all show promise.

    Started work on this back in 2020. Strangely, no he can’t get a pharma co to fund human tests.

    1. urblintz

      I saw this the other day and meant to post it. Interesting.

      Early in my war against allergies I used a nasal spray, Nasalcrom, which IIRC works by interfering with mast cells. It was very popular before Claritin and Zirtec came along. Perhaps it will make a come back if the research is good.

      I went looking for lactoferrin and found a lot to be “sold out” and “unavailable” but tracked some down and ordered a bottle. Hopefully there will be an indication as to how to combine it with benedryl should it come down to that.

      I do not know if I was infected with the virus, but the one odd health issue I experienced in the pandemic years was intestinal. It was similar to when I had a gall bladder issue years ago which, both then and now, I solved through diet (lean protein, BEETS (betaine)!, lots of broccolli and chick peas, no sugar, low fat… and pepcid. The pepcid seemed to really help. I have noticed that pepcid at Publix has been missing for over a month now… and that the infamous Dr. Malone (yeah I don’t like him much either but he has made some important observations, albeit often in exaggerated language) mentioned it early in the pandemic as a possible treatment. He was, of course, ridiculed for suggesting that an “antacid” could be helpful against a virus…

  26. Tom Stone

    If I substitute the phrase “Mud People” for “Anti-Vaxxer” the language seems familiar somehow…

  27. CoryP

    One thing that hasn’t been clear to me is whether the benefit of a booster is from having one’s immune system challenged an additional time vs. The time elapsed since the last dose. (Many vaccine series have 3 doses so I assume a bit of both)

    The public reporting rarely considers timing even though we know immunity wanes. If someone got their second dose at the same time I got my booster, is there much difference in vulnerability?

    I don’t want to give anyone an assignment, just saying I haven’t come across something clearly discussing this. The information environment is so toxic I’m not sure how to research a lot of things outside of slogging through primary literature, which i have to pirate which is even less convenient. And perhaps Omicron is too new for sufficient data

  28. commit

    The very existence of the “imperialist virus” is somehow connected to the “Great Reset of Imperialism”. If there was an intent to introduce corporate fascism, this type of pandemic with lockdowns, travel restrictions and mandated vaccination (whatever the vaccine is), would come handy. Journalists should investigate more about its origin, Event201 can be a good start.

  29. Gumnut

    I’ve posted this before, keen to hear some knowledgeable people responding:

    Searching the blast database for the 19 Nucleotide sequence: CTCCTCGGCGGGCACGTAG yields lots of covid genome results.

    Searching the same database for patents only, also finds a fair few hits, amongst others US 9587003 “Modified polynucleotides for the production of oncology related proteins and peptides”, owned by Moderna Inc & granted in 2017.

    I am no genetic expert, but hitting 4^19 match seems statistically a bit ‘out there’.

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