Thursday, November 18, 2021

We Should Know A Lot More In Three Months

Where are we going with Covid?

That question has been asked a lot over the last 22 months. However, the next three months might provide us with better perspectives than we have ever had on that question.

The public health experts and the political class have essentially placed all of their bets on the vaccines.

Of course, I should remind you that they previously had placed all of their bets at various times on washing your hands, social distancing, masks, school closures and lockdowns.

Vestiges of all of those still exist but for the most part it has become all about the vaccines now.

Do you remember hearing this?

IMMUNE means not being able to be infected or transmitting the virus to someone else.

Vaccines were going to allow people to take their masks off and socialize again when we got enough vaccinated.

At least, that is what we were told six months ago.

There was little talk of the need for boosters. In fact, when it was mentioned it was stated that it was unlikely since the vaccines were so effective.

Do you also remember this?


Any suggestion that vaccines would be mandated were dismissed as out of hand.

At that time Biden stated that if people worse masks for 100 days along with the coming vaccine distribution we would see deaths "drop off the edge".

Dr. Fauci is now saying that the new standard might very well be that you will not be considered fully vaccinated unless you have had the Covid booster.


I predict you can take that to the bank. Roll up your sleeves. That will be the next mandate.

Let's look at the facts.

Did deaths "drop off the edge" as Biden predicted?

CDC data shows that we have had more Covid cases ( +34%) in 2021 (with the vaccines) than we had in 2020.

The CDC data also shows that we have had more Covid deaths (+11%) in 2021 than in 2020.


In fact, looking at recent data, for almost all of the last 90 days we have had more Covid deaths on each day than we had on the same day last year.

The vaccines clearly did not improve the situation. Deaths increased rather than dropped.

However, the policy makers have now decided that boosters are the answer.

And vaccinating 5-11 year old children.

Remember that boosters were first recommended only for those that were immunocompromised or over age 65 by the FDA advisory panel.

That was then expanded by the CDC and FDA to include those who were deemed to be at higher risk of infection (health care workers, teachers, grocery store workers, etc).

It appears certain that boosters will soon be recommended (required?) for everyone 18 and older within the next week. This will be done without going back to the FDA advisory panel.


I sense increasing desperation as the policy makers ramp up their calls for action whether it involves vaccine mandates or boosters, or vaccine passports in some parts of the United States.

In Europe, vaccine passports and lockdowns are being pushed even harder.

A big reason for the panic among the policy makers are the increasing cases in northern climates as the seasonality of the virus once again reveals itself.

Remember several months ago when Joe Biden, Tony Fauci and the mainstream media were excoriating Governor Ron DeSantis because he was opposed to lockdowns, mask mandates and vaccine mandates?

We were told that Florida was heading to irreversible disaster.

We were told that it was irresponsible to not require school children to have to wear masks in school this Fall.

There was going to be an explosion of cases and deaths in Florida in the Fall.

Do you hear about that any more?

Note that cases starting going down in that state when schools opened this year in Florida.


The most recent 7-day average Covid death rate in Florida is 2!



That is in a state with 22 million people of which 21% are age 65 or older. This is the second highest percentage of senior citizens in the United States (Maine has .1% more seniors).

We are in the beginning of what looks to be an increasing number of cases nationally driven by case counts in northern states.

Cases are up +23% in the last 14 days.

You can see the uptick in cases in the chart below.

Interestingly, this Fall case surge is starting about two weeks later than last year.

Some of the increased cases in 2021 compared to 2020 can surely be attributed to the fact that the U.S. is far more open than it was last year. More people are traveling, shopping, eating out and attending concerts and sporting events than they were a year ago.

However, we were told that vaccines and other mitigation strategies were going to shut down the virus while allowing people to get back to normal.

Remember when Joe Biden said this right before last year's election?


Looking at the numbers, Joe Biden did not deliver on what he was promising for 2021.

Will the vaccines blunt a Winter surge or are we going to see something similar to last year despite the all-out vaccine effort?

Where are the largest Covid case increases coming from right now in the United States?

Here are the Top 10 states with the highest per capita daily cases.

Notice that all are in the northern half of the United States.


Vermont is the most highly vaccinated state in the nation.

98% of those age 65+ are fully vaccinated.

82% of those age 12+ are fully vaccinated.

Vermont is now seeing its highest level of cases in the pandemic. The most recent 7-day average is almost double its previous high.

New Covid cases in Vermont

How do you explain this?

Minnesota has 94% of its 65+ population and 73% of its 12+ population fully vaccinated.

It now has the 2nd highest number of daily per capita new cases in the United States.

Cases have increased +62% in the last two weeks.

New Covid cases in Minnesota

The most recent report of the Minnesota Department of Health disclosed that almost 8,000 of the Covid cases in the previous week had been of those who were fully vaccinated.

Does it sound like a pandemic of the unvaccinated in Minnesota right now?

Of course, we are now told that no one ever said there were not going to be breakthrough cases.

Ooops! Who is this?  

What did he say in July?

We were then told you might get a mild case but you were not going to be hospitalized or die from Covid if you were vaccinated.

However, the most recent MDOH report on Covid deaths (for the period September 5-October 9) revealed that 41% of the deaths over that period in Minnesota were among those fully vaccinated.

I have to think that percentage is higher today.

Remember when we were told that 99% of the deaths were among those unvaccinated?

Are we anywhere close to the protection people were told they were getting when the vaccines were being rolled out initially?

How do you explain this?

Look at what is going on in Michigan right now in comparison to other parts of the country.

Michigan, like Vermont, is now seeing its highest daily case totals of the entire pandemic.


Where are cases the lowest in the United States right now?

These are the ten lowest in terms of new daily cases.

Which state has the lowest number of new cases??? 


1/12 of the per capita daily cases as in Michigan.

1/10 of the cases in Minnesota.

1/4 of the cases in New York.

1/2 of the cases in California.


No lockdowns, no school closures, no mask mandates, no vaccine mandates.

The cases came down without any overt public policy interventions.

How do you explain it?

The one thing that Florida did do was to stress the importance of early treatment including making monoclonal antibodies easily accessible to those at the most risk.

In the meantime, what is going on in Europe?

That is another area of the world in the upper regions of the Northern Hemisphere heading into colder weather.

Look at the surge in cases in these countries in Europe in comparison to the United States since July 1, 2022.

Which country is the big outlier?

The nation that did not close schools, use lockdowns, mandate masks or vaccines.


How do you explain it?

All of the countries in the chart above have higher shares to their population vaccinated than the United States.

Are those high vaccination rates helping them right now?

I have lost count of the number of times that Covid has confounded us over the last two years.

For example, you could even look at the data right now from Europe and conclude that Covid is most infectious if your country name ends with the letters -IA.

Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Georgia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Serbia and Bulgaria are all dealing with large Covid outbreaks. Romania just recently dipped below the USA numbers.

Back to the serious topic at hand, as we enter the period of time last year that presented the greatest risk of Covid in the United States, what can we expect?

Will the vaccine strategy protect us and put Covid behind us?

I have been looking for the data to support that proposition for the last 11 months when the vaccines were first introduced.

I have yet to see anything to support that the vaccines are the answer.

Yes, there is evidence that they can be beneficial in preventing some Covid deaths.

However, we still don't know the cost we may be paying in adverse effects and deaths from the vaccine to assess the cost/benefit relationship.

If we were seeing much fewer cases and deaths than this time last year there might be a good argument for the vaccine strategy.

I am not seeing it right now in the data.

The sad fact also is that Covid deaths in 2021 are higher overall than in 2020. Where is there any proof that the vaccines actually reduced deaths? We are told that it would have been much worse without the vaccines. How does anyone know? How can anyone prove that?

What are we going to see in the critical period coming up?

Is the vaccine or the virus going to win? Almost everything is being wagered on the vaccines. 

However, if the cases continue to climb at the same time that vaccine doses are multiplying, is there anyone with enough integrity to admit the obvious?

I would like nothing better than to find that my instincts on this were wrong from the beginning.

I had hoped to see data on something that proved to be overwhelming as a means to control Covid---masks, lockdowns or vaccines. Anything.

I have yet to see it.

In fact, the data has been underwhelming from almost every perspective.

Looking at where Sweden and Florida are right now, suggests to me that a solution that includes significant natural herd immunity in the population is the most enduring answer.

India (the most densely populated large country on earth) is another example. Only 27% of its population is fully vaccinated.

Compare current daily cases per million. (Country data from Our World in Data. US data from The New York Times).

United States.    261

Michigan.          840

New York.         300

California.         130

Sweden                83

Florida                 70

India                      8

A true test lies ahead as the winter season approaches.

We should know a lot more in three months.

Will it make any difference?

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