The Playground

  • Their findings are nothing short of shocking to those of us who are hearing the continuing urgency for vaccination. “Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States”. The article goes on to draw some [interesting] conclusions:


    The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined

    Just two points:


    (1) anyone who has followed the science knows that correlation is not causation, and that one paper does not prove anything - you need the whole picture with context.

    (2) The writer here conflates COVID-19 (infection?) with adverse consequences of COVID-19


    It is true that vaccines do not prevent high COVID-19 infection rates. In fact they allow them - without intolerable stress on Western health systems - by reducing disease severity.


    I know there are people who say vaccination is a tool to reduce COVID rates. It could be that - with a vaccine adapted to the variant - but delta and omicron are so infectious I think that is a tall order -certainly current vaccines do not get R below 1 without some other help. I guess if you had everyone double or more jabbed with last jab within two months they would do a lot better, but that is not practical. Countries like the Uk are still only 77% vaccinated.


    I think arguments like this TSN letter are juts poor. Not sure if the writer does not understand - or is just wanting to make political points.


    1. Vaccines can dampen otherwise catastrophic surges in infection

    2. Much more importantly, they allow countries like the UK to run at a high infection rate with not too many people dying. Vaccines change COVID from a disastrous infection to something close to bad seasonal Flu.


    (for those who are alert - those 23% unvaccinated in the UK include very very few of the high risk people. Even so they are mostly the ones that die, but things would be much much worse otherwise. 23% unvaccinated is not as bad as it sound in terms of overall disease burden).

  • Heterologous Vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 Spike saRNA Prime followed by DNA Dual-Antigen Boost Induces Robust Antibody and T-Cell Immunogenicity against both Wild Type and Delta Spike as well as Nucleocapsid Antigens


    Heterologous Vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 Spike saRNA Prime followed by DNA Dual-Antigen Boost Induces Robust Antibody and T-Cell Immunogenicity against both Wild Type and Delta Spike as well as Nucleocapsid Antigens
    We assessed if immune responses are enhanced in CD-1 mice by heterologous vaccination with two different nucleic acid-based COVID-19 vaccines: a…
    www.biorxiv.org


    ABSTRACT

    We assessed if immune responses are enhanced in CD-1 mice by heterologous vaccination with two different nucleic acid-based COVID-19 vaccines: a next-generation human adenovirus serotype 5 (hAd5)-vectored dual-antigen spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) vaccine (AdS+N) and a self-amplifying and -adjuvanted S RNA vaccine (SASA S) delivered by a nanostructured lipid carrier. The AdS+N vaccine encodes S modified with a fusion motif to increase cell-surface expression. The N antigen is modified with an Enhanced T-cell Stimulation Domain (N-ETSD) to direct N to the endosomal/lysosomal compartment to increase the potential for MHC class I and II stimulation. The S sequence in the SASA S vaccine comprises the D614G mutation, two prolines to stabilize S in the prefusion conformation, and 3 glutamines in the furin cleavage region to increase cross-reactivity across variants. CD-1 mice received vaccination by prime > boost homologous and heterologous combinations. Humoral responses to S were the highest with any regimen including the SASA S vaccine, and IgG against wild type S1 and Delta (B.1.617.2) variant S1 was generated at similar levels. An AdS+N boost of an SASA S prime enhanced both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to both S wild type and S Delta peptides relative to all other vaccine regimens. Sera from mice receiving SASA S homologous or heterologous vaccination were found to be highly neutralizing of all pseudovirus tested: Wuhan, Delta, and Beta strain pseudoviruses. The findings here support the clinical testing of heterologous vaccination by an SASA S > AdS+N regimen to provide increased protection against COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 variants.

  • Can you imagine for a moment if every American was taking these supplements daily and how that might be helpful if one’s body was exposed to Covid-19? The science supports the fact that these vitamins would provide help to the body if one were infected with this novel virus.

    The science shows plenty correlations.


    Unfortunately all these vitamin levels correlate with good health generally.


    The science on interventions helping (e.g. take a supplement to increase level, rather than juts have better level because of health generally) is poor, alas. I'm not dismissing it completely but most of the RCTs have been negative.


    However I can imagine that TSN's backers - those health food billionaires who sell supplements - would be very happy to have every US citizen taking all kinds of supplements.


    I'd say - do it anyway - it can't do harm - except that rare safety issues for something that we get everyday anyway in food are almost impossible to diagnose. If there are adverse consequences to artificially boosting the levels of some of these things we would not know. So I'd be cautious.


    I take vit D supplementation (not enough in diet, no sun) but not at super-high levels.


    THH

  • you might want to up your dose to 4000-10000 units a day during the winter months


    Non-linear Mendelian randomization analyses support a role for vitamin D deficiency in cardiovascular disease risk


    Non-linear Mendelian randomization analyses support a role for vitamin D deficiency in cardiovascular disease risk
    AbstractAims. Low vitamin D status is associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Although most existing linear Mendelian randomization (M
    academic.oup.com


    Abstract

    Aims

    Low vitamin D status is associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Although most existing linear Mendelian randomization (MR) studies reported a null effect of vitamin D on CVD risk, a non-linear effect cannot be excluded. Our aim was to apply the non-linear MR design to investigate the association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration with CVD risk.


    Methods and results

    The non-linear MR analysis was conducted in the UK Biobank with 44 519 CVD cases and 251 269 controls. Blood pressure (BP) and cardiac-imaging-derived phenotypes were included as secondary outcomes. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was instrumented using 35 confirmed genome-wide significant variants.


    We also estimated the potential reduction in CVD incidence attributable to correction of low vitamin D status. There was a L-shaped association between genetically predicted serum 25(OH)D and CVD risk (Pnon-linear = 0.007), where CVD risk initially decreased steeply with increasing concentrations and levelled off at around 50 nmol/L. A similar association was seen for systolic (Pnon-linear = 0.03) and diastolic (Pnon-linear = 0.07) BP. No evidence of association was seen for cardiac-imaging phenotypes (P = 0.05 for all). Correction of serum 25(OH)D level below 50 nmol/L was predicted to result in a 4.4% reduction in CVD incidence (95% confidence interval: 1.8–


    7.3%).


    Conclusion

    Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of CVD. Burden of CVD could be reduced by population-wide correction of low vitamin D status.

  • Many of the people here are convinced LENR is real and reckon mainstream science is wrong in not realising that.

    You have that backwards. I am convinced that LENR is real because mainstream science and mainstream scientists demonstrated that. Fleischmann, Bockris, Storms, McKubre and the others are as mainstream as they come. As Fleischmann said, "we are painfully conventional people." The vast majority of mainstream, peer-reviewed experiments show that cold fusion is real.


    People have the mistaken notion that "mainstream science" says cold fusion is not real. That would only be true if you say "mainstream science" is limited to a few editors at Nature, the Scientific American, and some some decision makers at the DoE. If you read what those editors and decision makers wrote, or speak to them in person, you will see that they are blithering idiots. They have no idea whether cold fusion is real or not, and no way to discover that, because they do not know the first thing about the experiments. They have no idea what instruments are used, what results are obtained, or what hypotheses these results support.


    The rest of the mainstream science establishment knows nothing about cold fusion. Many members of it assume cold fusion is wrong, but they know nothing more about than your average newspaper reader, or someone who has skimmed the Wikipedia article on cold fusion, which is bunk.


    In short, when you say "mainstream" or "establishment" you have be careful to define who and what is mainstream, and you have to look carefully to see what that person or institution has actually said, and what it is based on. You will find that in this case, regarding this subject, Nature is not mainstream. It is far out in the lunatic fringe, like the antivaxxers. The Nature editors do not realize this, because, as I said, they are idiots. See, for example:


    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJhownaturer.pdf

  • I know there are people who say vaccination is a tool to reduce COVID rates. It could be that - with a vaccine adapted to the variant - but delta and omicron are so infectious I think that is a tall order

    Vaccinations have eliminated COVID in Japan and reduced it very low levels in Chile and other countries. These places have 75% to 80% vaccination rates. The delta variant has been eliminated. I do not know why this has not happened in the UK, with 88% vaccination. Apparently, vaccinations are necessary but not sufficient. I do not know what is missing in the UK. I am sure vaccines are necessary. In 2020 many countries such as Taiwan and Vietnam were able to control the pandemic without them, with things like case tracking and quarantine. This year, with delta, they lost that ability. They are now beginning to control the pandemic again with the vaccine.

  • Yes, well anyone serious about this should check blood levels and dose based on that. And without checking anyone not out in sun should have a daily dose.


    In that study what worried me was that the mendelian randomisation involved different metabolic pathways being switched on that included cholesterol - so I could not see how it would give a clear signal for effect of Vit D levels when the same thing was also affecting metabolism in other ways relevant to cardiovascular disease. Maybe I am missing something? In addition when you have to go nonlinear to see effects there is a lot of room for false signals.


    My gut feeling is still that (other than v low levels - to be avoided) vit D does not do what is claimed.


    That gut feeling is not anything I put strong belief in - the evidence is just not there, so it could be helpful. There is muhc less negative evidence on its help than for ivermectin vs COIVID, for example, where the big negative RCTs are depressing.


    It is frustrating that it is so difficult to get clear evidence on all these things related to diet. We will only haev clarity when exact biomolecular mechisms are identified and quantified - a very difficult task. And then, the results will probably be dependent on individual genetics - not one fits all.


    THH

  • Vaccinations have eliminated COVID in Japan and reduced it very low levels in Chile and other countries. These places have 75% to 80% vaccination rates. The delta variant has been eliminated. I do not know why this has not happened in the UK, with 88% vaccination. Apparently, vaccinations are necessary but not sufficient. I do not know what is missing in the UK. I am sure vaccines are necessary. In 2020 many countries such as Taiwan and Vietnam were able to control the pandemic without them, with things like case tracking and quarantine. This year, with delta, they lost that ability. They are now beginning to control the pandemic again with the vaccine.

    UK is 82% (double dose or more) of the over-12s. Less if you count whole population and it should be noted that the under-12s have been driving spread of COVID for a while here.


    Yes, these differences between countries are big. The factors I can see are:

    (1) level of indoor mixing in poorly ventilated places (which tends to be seasonal)

    (2) level of public compliance with mask-wearing and social distancing

    (3) less so delta where transmission happens so quickly - level of public compliance with self-isolation


    The UK does v badly for all three of these.


    It is funny - people talk about mask wearing in terms of personal protection when mostly it is that you protect the environment - and specifically indoor air. Countries where people have a strong sense of social duty can buy into this in a way alas that the UK does not. Though I think maybe we would if we were led better.


    The Mark U's of this world are not going to wear masks regardless - and danger they pose to others is something they will brush aside as (a) everyone might as well catch COVID - it is good for them - and (b) masks don't work. Many fewer Mark U's in Japan.


    The real danger is not to people - it is true most people will end up catching COVID anyway - but to health systems that cannot survive surges in infection. In addition, as we live with COVID for longer, treatment goes on getting better, so fewer people, catching it for the first time, die. (Obviously vaccination reduces risk of death a lot as well - but health systems have to deal with everyone including those who can't or won't be vaccinated).


    THH

  • After Another Lawsuit, Ivermectin is Administered


    After Another Lawsuit, Ivermectin is Administered
    In what seems to be a nationwide legal trend, there has been yet another victory in court for the use of ivermectin on a COVID-19 patient. The latest
    trialsitenews.com


    In what seems to be a nationwide legal trend, there has been yet another victory in court for the use of ivermectin on a COVID-19 patient. The latest ruling occurred in York, Pennsylvania. According to local media, Keith Smith, a 52-year-old Structural Engineer, was admitted to UPMC’s Memorial Hospital on November 19th and put on a ventilator on the 21st. Smith had been diagnosed with covid on November 10th.


    Smith’s wife Darla requested the hospital treat her husband with ivermectin after her husband was first admitted. The York Daily Record reported Darla was told by a nurse practitioner the hospital doesn’t use ivermectin because “the science was unproven and that it wasn’t an approved treatment for COVID-19”. However, Darla had consulted with Dr. Tarik Farrag who is affiliated with the Front Line Covid Care Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance. Farrag had written a prescription for ivermectin to be administered to Keith Smith but the hospital didn’t fill the prescription, reports Fox43 WPMT in Harrisburg, PA.


    With few options, Darla contacted the patient’s medical choice attorney Ralph Lorigo who has been profiled by TrialSite. Lorigo has successfully pursued litigation against multiple hospitals so patients can have access to ivermectin. He filed a lawsuit just before Thanksgiving and the following Monday York County Judge Clyde Vedder heard the case. On December 3rd, Vedder ruled no doctor in Memorial Hospital could administer ivermectin to Smith but Dr. Farrag could if he was licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. The hospital’s attorney questioned whether or not Farrag was licensed in the state but after Darla Smith undertook some research, she discovered the doctor had a temporary physician’s license in Pennsylvania.


    After much confusion, a lot of legal back and forth with the hospital, and Keith Smith’s health going downhill, ivermectin was finally administered. This happened after a conference call between Farrag, Farrag’s attorney, hospital personnel, and Memorial’s head of infectious diseases.


    TrialSite has done extensive reporting on ivermectin-focused litigation with hospitals. In many cases, the administration of the controversial drug has saved lives. Whether or not Keith Smith will walk out of the hospital remains to be seen. But the delay in administering ivermectin apparently didn’t help. Yet, if the drug works even just sometimes, why is it controversial

  • The Mark U's of this world are not going to wear masks regardless - and danger they pose to others is something they will brush aside as (a) everyone might as well catch COVID - it is good for them - and (b) masks don't work. Many fewer Mark U's in Japan.


    I wonder about Mark U's masking efforts...


    He had a habit of linking to his favourite science paper regarding the benefits of masking: probably posted it here five or six times since it was published.


    He thought it showed that masks only reduce transmission by 1%, and hence there was no point in wearing them.


    After it was pointed out that the reduction was 1% daily - which multiplies out to a 3700% reduction in cases annually*, I believe he started wearing a mask on every possible occasion, and extolling the benefits of mask wearing to his friends and neighbours.


    Or more likely, judging by the fact he hasn't posted his formerly-favourite paper once in the intervening 6 months, he has managed to somehow rationalise away this potential U-turn, in the way only a true believer can.


    What U sayin' Mark?



    * approximately explaining the difference in Japanese case numbers...

  • And yet you take the one fits all strategy for vaccination

  • Vaccinations have eliminated COVID in Japan and reduced it very low levels in Chile and other countries. These places have 75% to 80% vaccination rates. The delta variant has been eliminated. I do not know why this has not happened in the UK, with 88% vaccination. Apparently, vaccinations are necessary but not sufficient. I do not know what is missing in the UK. I am sure vaccines are necessary. In 2020 many countries such as Taiwan and Vietnam were able to control the pandemic without them, with things like case tracking and quarantine. This year, with delta, they lost that ability. They are now beginning to control the pandemic again with the vaccine.

    When I posted earlier that Chile, being well vaccinated was experiencing a large increase in cases, you said the Chinese vaccines didn't work well, now all of a sudden they brought Covid under control in Chile? Doesn't make sense

  • When I posted earlier that Chile, being well vaccinated was experiencing a large increase in cases, you said the Chinese vaccines didn't work well, now all of a sudden they brought Covid under control in Chile? Doesn't make sense

    I found a paper by a Chilean public health doctor that explained this. I posted it here . . . Anyway, she showed that the Sinvac Chinese vaccine does not have much effect after the first dose. I recall it only reduced infection by about 5%. However, after the second dose given a month later, infections are reduced by 50% to 60%. Initial reports from Chile expressed disappointment. She said they did not realize there was such a big difference between the doses.


    Ah. Here is one of the reports about this. The doctor's name is Cortes. The report says:


    A study published by researchers at the University of Chile on 6 April, in which Cortés was not involved, found that the CoronaVac vaccine was 56.5% effective in preventing infections two weeks after a second dose but only 3% effective after a single dose.


    Covid-19: Spike in cases in Chile is blamed on people mixing after first vaccine shot
    Cases of the novel coronavirus are surging in Chile despite the country having one of the most successful vaccine rollouts in the world. Chile reported 7370…
    www.bmj.com

  • Source...

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/12/05/late-stop-spread-omicron-covid-variant-warns-science-adviser/



    The omicron variant is “spreading rapidly” in the UK and could soon become the dominant Covid-19 strain, experts have warned, after case numbers surged by more than 50 per cent in a day.

    The number of confirmed cases in Britain rose to 246 on Sunday, the UK Health Security Agency confirmed, a rise of 86 in 24 hours, while “hundreds” more are likely to be circulating undetected.

    There were 18 new cases in Scotland, with a rapidly escalating outbreak in the west of the country and the first confirmed case in the Edinburgh area, while the remaining 68 new infections were recorded in England.

    While there is still uncertainty about the transmissibility of the strain and the extent to which it could prove resistant to vaccines, scientists warned that there was growing evidence that it spread far faster than the currently dominant delta variant.

    Professor Mark Woolhouse, a government scientific adviser, told the BBC the omicron variant was "highly transmissible" and was spreading "very rapidly" in South Africa.

    "The early signs are that it's spreading pretty rapidly in the UK too," he added. “If those trends continue then, over the course of the coming weeks and months, omicron could come to replace delta entirely, right around the world.”

    Prof Woolhouse said he expected the confirmed UK figures were likely to be an underestimate, as genetic sequencing appeared to show the number of cases with S gene dropouts - a trait likely to signal omicron - were also "increasing quite fast".

    "So the absolute number of cases in the UK, I would still suspect is more in the hundreds than in the thousands. The point is that they're growing and they're growing quite fast."

    While some evidence has emerged to suggest that Covid-19 illness caused by omicron could be milder, experts have warned it is too early to draw firm conclusions.

    The variant was first confirmed in the UK on November 27.

    It was announced at the weekend that travel restrictions for those entering the UK would be tightened, with pre-departure testing to become mandatory from tomorrow.

    However, Prof Woolhouse said the new rules had come "too late" to make a "material difference" to a potential wave of the omicron variant in the UK.

    Professor Willem Hanekom, the director of the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa, said the virus was spreading “extraordinarily” quickly in South Africa.

    “The increase in cases is much steeper than it’s been in the past three waves so it seems that omicron is able to spread very easily and virtually all the cases that we see in South Africa right now are omicron,” he said.

  • Beyond Omicron: COVID’s viral evolution

    How SARS-CoV-2 evolves over the next several months and years will determine whether the virus morphs into another common cold — or something more threatening, such as influenza or worse. Scientists are searching for ways to predict the virus’s next moves by looking to other pathogens for clues. They are tracking the effects of the mutations in the variants that have arisen so far, such as Delta and Omicron. And they are warning that letting SARS-CoV-2 spread gives it more opportunities to make significant evolutionary leaps.

    Nature | 9 min read
  • The omicron variant is “spreading rapidly” in the UK and could soon become the dominant Covid-19 strain, experts have warned, after case numbers surged by more than 50 per cent in a day.

    Now in Switzerland 3.5% Omicron of the last 7 days so far decoded = 20..26 November, what means 10%-30% already today....

    Up to 20th November 2021 we had 0 cases...

    How SARS-CoV-2 evolves over the next several months and years will determine whether the virus morphs into another common cold — or something more threatening, such as influenza or worse.

    So far about 50 mutations are in Omicron. The rules of the game are easy. 4 different nuclear acids --> 450 possibilities. Then we have about 20'000 places that can mutate... So this will need a very clever approach...