Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 7 November, 2021

I can understand how a person walks along a street with a mask on.  I can understand how a person walks along a street with a mask off.

I can understand how an unmasked person, upon approaching a group of people, might put a mask on, either as a courtesy for the other people, or for self-protection.

But I can not for the life of me why a person, walking along the street with a mask on, then takes it off upon approaching a group of mainly unmasked people.  (Click link for video clip.)  Sometimes, “following the science” takes you to strange places, doesn’t it…..

I must be overlooking something, because there has been no comment or criticism in the mainstream media about this puzzling act.

Here’s yet another example of some tangled logic that goes to great lengths to avoid stating a simple and increasingly self-evident truth :

Isn’t this just another way of saying “the vaccine isn’t working, so we still need masks, distancing, and ventilation”?

I continue to search for the advice, a year and more ago, that the wondrous vaccines, promised to rid us of this pandemic, would still require mask wearing, social distancing, and extra ventilation if indoors.

Why are we all unquestioningly accepting that these are normal and expected outcomes after being vaccinated?  They are not.  Sure, the vaccines seem to be reducing virus deaths, but they are absolutely not what we were promised a year ago.  Yet again, why are we not rushing to develop new better vaccines that are safer, long-lasting, and more effective?

I’ve started to look at claims about the inadequacy of natural immunity a bit more carefully after realizing the vaccine manufacturers had as much motivation to argue against natural immunity as they do to argue against cheap effective safe virus treatments.

Here’s an example of a study that purports to prove that vaccines are more protective than natural immunity.  But do you spot the bias built in to the study to guarantee its finding?  It looks only at people who have been vaccinated at least three months ago, and no more than six months ago.

This is close to the period of maximum vaccine effectiveness.  We know the first month or so after being vaccinated, protection is still building up, and we know that after a short period of “full” protection, it starts to drop off again, to the point we’re now being urged to take third shots.  Comparing natural immunity with vaccine immunity during the 3 – 6 month period after vaccination is biasing the outcome, because it chooses the time when the vaccination is most effective.  How about a comparison at 9 months or 12 months, too?

Talking about biased studies designed to create a desired outcome, this excellent article raises some credible and concerning questions about the adequacy of the trials to test the safety and effectiveness of the new “wonder drug”, molnupiravir.

Lastly in these introductory comments, one of the first things that most countries do when trying to control the spread of the virus is restrict movement of people.  So, given that, wouldn’t truck drivers be one of the more socially threatening groups when it comes to potential virus spreaders, and therefore, one of the groups to be given priority focus when it comes to encouraging (requiring?) vaccination?

So why has our Secretary of labor announced that most truck drivers will be exempt from the federal vaccine mandate?

Current Numbers

Some swaps of position in the minor country list, and Lithuania entered at the bottom, pushing Bahrain away.

No changes in the major country list.

Romania climbed another place on the death list.

The countries with most active new Covid cases over the last week showed generally higher numbers.

In Europe, the continent as a whole suffered another 8% rise in the rate of new cases.  Countries with the highest growth rates included Greece (up 66%), Austria (63%), the Czech Republic (59%) and both Ireland and Poland with 51% rises.  Germany had a 31% rise, and France had a 23% rise.  The UK had a pleasing 13% drop (as did Spain), with biggest drops going to Sweden (41%), Romania (32%) and Latvia (23%).

In North America, Canada experienced a 12% drop, and Mexico had a 19% drop.   The US probably had about a 5% drop.

The world as a whole had a tiny 0.9% rise in cases.

Top Case Rates Minor (population under 10 million) Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Montenegro (229,736) Montenegro (236,526)
2 Seychelles Seychelles
3 Andorra Andorra
4 Georgia (180,762) Georgia (189,215)
5 Gibraltar (177,920) Gibraltar (182,706)
6 San Marino Slovenia
7 Slovenia San Marino
8 St Barth Maldives
9 Maldives St Barth
10 Bahrain (155,525) Lithuania (159,912)


Top Case Rates Major (population over 10 million) Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Republic (164,213) Czech Republic (169,169)
2 USA (140,366) USA (141,887)
3 UK (132,498) UK (136,058)
4 Netherlands Netherlands
5 Belgium Belgium
6 Argentina Argentina
7 Sweden Sweden
8 France France
9 Portugal Portugal
10 Spain Spain
11 Brazil Brazil
12 Colombia (96,938) Colombia (97,163)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Peru  (5,963) Peru  (5,966)
2 Czech Republic (2,865) Czech Republic (2,890)
3 Brazil Brazil
4 Argentina (2,535) Romania (2,662)
5 Romania (2,504) Argentina (2,537)
6 Colombia (2,466) Colombia
7 USA (2,297) USA (2,324)
8 Belgium (2,230) Belgium (2,242)
9 Mexico (2,206) Mexico (2,216)
10 Italy (2,189) Italy (2,194)


Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million) for Countries over one million population

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Estonia  8,986 Slovenia  9,680
2 Latvia  8,914 Georgia  8,447
3 Lithuania Estonia
4 Slovenia Croatia
5 Georgia Lithuania
6 Croatia Latvia
7 Serbia Slovakia
8 Slovakia Austria
9 Bulgaria Czech Rep
10 Romania Ireland
11 Armenia Serbia
12 Singapore  4,352 Bulgaria  4,401

I Am Not a Doctor, But….

Merck is rushing to get its overpriced mutagenic drug, molnupiravir accepted by and sold to as many countries as possible.  And now Pfizer is trying to catch up with its own “wonder drug”.

I term it a wonder drug advisedly, because I wonder exactly what the testing and trialing has been.  I wonder what it will cost.  I even wonder what it will be called.

But its supporters aren’t letting any such questions get in the way of their extremely positive commentaries.

Timings And Numbers

This is an interesting juxtaposition of charts.  On the top, the rising number of vaccine doses dispensed per 100 people, on the bottom, the varying death rate from the virus.  I zoomed in to the period from Feb onwards to get a clear match between vaccine rates and death rates.

If you look at the left half of the two charts, there seems to be a match between rising vaccination rates and falling death rates.  Yay for that.  But what can you see from mid-July?  High and still rising vaccination rates, but death rates???

The last refuge of the pro-vax people has been to tell us “okay, so the vaccinations don’t stop us getting infected, and don’t stop us infecting other people, but at least they do protect us against serious illness and death”.  There’s precious little confirmation of that claim in this pair of charts.

This is just one very simple matching of two different factors.  It would be foolish to draw any strong conclusions from it at all.  But, no matter what it might or might not show, it does not give any obvious confirmation that death rates are dropping in step with the rise in vaccination rates.  Perhaps the kindest thing that could be said is that it shows how the vaccines fade in their effectiveness?

The interesting thing is to note that when the vaccines seemed to be most effective in the EU – about 14 July – the vaccination rate was about 50%.  In the UK, all the way through the time series, the higher the vaccination rate, the steadily higher the death rate, and in the US, the death rate climbed very high before dropping again, and now looks like it might be thinking of rising again.

It is great to see, in the US, that our numbers of new Covid cases are now lower than they were at the same time in 2020.  But I can’t help noticing the steady drop in new case numbers each day has stopped, and indeed, there are some troubling twitches up in cases on some days now.

This is an interesting article about a gene potentially being linked to how much at risk people are from Covid.  But the part of the article that caught my eye was the reference to “the devastation wrought by COVID-19 in the Indian subcontinent”.

What exactly was/is that devastation?

As you can see from this chart, India (red line) has never been notably higher than other regions/countries, either in cases or in deaths.  I only showed a few other countries/regions to keep the chart easy to follow, but if I’d added other high rate countries such as the Czech Republic, India’s lack of “devastation” would become even more extremely obvious.

Why do news sources insist there was (is?) devastation in India?  It scores 136th in terms of countries with the most cases per million overall, and 127th in terms of countries with the most deaths.  With us in the US, as you can see in the tables above, near the top of both lists, I sincerely wish we’d had the same “devastation” that India has.

Virus?  What Virus?

A new coronavirus, according to this article (unrelated to Covid) might be passing from dogs to people.  Sophie (my German Shepherd) promises to be careful, but isn’t too keen on wearing a mask.

Please stay happy and healthy; all going well, I’ll be back again on Thursday.

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