Emergent reports, albeit nascent and anecdotal but nevertheless vitally important (and will be clarified and defined in time) regarding the manufacture of masks, where, “many of them (face masks) are made of polyester, so you have a microplastic problem…many of the face masks would contain polyester with chlorine compounds…if I have the mask in front of my face, then of course I inhale the microplastic directly and these substances are much more toxic than if you swallow them, as they get directly into the nervous system.”
There are also reports of toxic mould, fungi, and bacteria that can pose a significant threat to the immune system by potentially weakening it. Of particular concern to us is the recent report of breathing in synthetic fibers in the face masks. This is of serious concern. “Loose particulate was seen on each type of mask. Also, tight and loose fibers were seen on each type of mask. If every foreign particle and every fiber in every facemask is always secure and not detachable by airflow, then there should be no risk of inhalation of such particles and fibers. However, if even a small portion of mask fibers is detachable by inspiratory airflow, or if there is debris in mask manufacture or packaging or handling, then there is the possibility of not only entry of foreign material to the airways, but also entry to deep lung tissue, and potential pathological consequences of foreign bodies in the lungs.”
In a bad year for flu, we can lose 20,000-25,000 people. With a largely vaccinated population, there are likely to be about 30,000 Covid-related deaths over the next 12 months, an average of about 80 deaths every day. This is about half of one per cent of the deaths we would normally expect to happen in that period.
And not all of these will be additional deaths. In many cases, Covid will just substitute for another respiratory infection.
Dr Susan Hopkins, an epidemiologist consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology from Public Health England, has pointed to the possibility we will suffer a bad flu season in 2021/22 because the level of population immunity has been pushed down by Covid restrictions in 2020/21.
Late Monday, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) notified NIAID, BARDA, and AstraZeneca that it was concerned by information released by AstraZeneca on initial data from its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. The DSMB expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data. We urge the company to work with the DSMB to review the efficacy data and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date efficacy data be made public as quickly as possible.
- About 78% of people who have been hospitalized, needed a ventilator or died from Covid-19 have been overweight or obese, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new study Monday.
- Just over 42% of the U.S. population was considered obese in 2018, according to the agency’s most recent statistics. Overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or more, while obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more.
- “As clinicians develop care plans for COVID-19 patients, they should consider the risk for severe outcomes in patients with higher BMIs, especially for those with severe obesity,” the CDC wrote.
- December 9 – UK authorities confirmed 2 cases of anaphylaxis after vaccination
- December 18*, 2020 – CDC has identified 6 case reports of anaphylaxis following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine meeting Brighton Collaboration criteria for anaphylaxis
- Persons with anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccination should not receive additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Scientists in Italy have identified a sample of the novel coronavirus collected from a young boy late last year that they say is genetically identical to the earliest strain isolated in the Chinese city of Wuhan almost a year ago.
The sample was collected on December 5, 2019 in Milan from a boy who was first thought to have contracted measles, according to the researchers from the University of Milan.
It was a “100 per cent match” of a genome segment of the first Sars-CoV-2 viral strain collected from a seafood market worker in Wuhan on December 26, they said.
“These findings, in agreement with other evidence of early Covid-19 spread in Europe, advance the beginning of the outbreak to late autumn 2019,” said the team led by Professor Elisabetta Tanzi.
We identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA in an oropharyngeal swab specimen collected from a child with suspected measles in early December 2019, ≈3 months before the first identified coronavirus disease case in Italy. This finding expands our knowledge on timing and mapping of novel coronavirus transmission pathways.
The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.
The harmful consequences of public health choices should be explicitly considered and transparently reported to limit their damage, say Itai Bavli and colleagues
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge for governments. Questions regarding the most effective interventions to reduce the spread of the virus—for example, more testing, requirements to wear face masks, and stricter and longer lockdowns—become widely discussed in the popular and scientific press, informed largely by models that aimed to predict the health benefits of proposed interventions. Central to all these studies is recognition that inaction, or delayed action, will put millions of people unnecessarily at risk of serious illness or death.
However, interventions to limit the spread of the coronavirus also carry negative health effects, which have yet to be considered systematically. Despite increasing evidence on the unintended, adverse effects of public health interventions such as social distancing and lockdown measures, there are few signs that policy decisions are being informed by a serious assessment and weighing of their harms on health. Instead, much of the discussion has become politicised, especially in the US, where President Trump’s provocative statements sparked debates along party lines about the necessity for policies to control covid-19. This politicisation, often fuelled by misinformation, has distracted from a much needed dispassionate discussion on the harms and benefits of potential public health measures against covid-19.
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- Credentials: Megan Mansell is a former district education director over special populations integration, serving students who are profoundly disabled, immunocompromised, undocumented, autistic, and behaviorally challenged; she also has a background in hazardous environs PPE applications. She is experienced in writing and monitoring protocol implementation for immunocompromised public sector access under full ADA/OSHA/IDEA compliance.
- E-mail: [email protected]
- Twitter: @mamasaurusMeg
A Rational Reopening Guide
A framework for operating any facility or business during COVID
The United States already has a body of law that requires making accommodations for persons with disabilities; if we start from the premise that Americans should be able to determine the level of risk they’re willing to take, all of those concepts can be extended to provide accommodations to anyone who is concerned about exposure to COVID, whether because they are vulnerable or because they live with someone who is vulnerable.
The first step is to ask everyone whether or not they consider themselves immunocompromised (IC). This can include people who themselves are immunocompromised or who live with someone who is immunocompromised. Allowing people to identify whether or not they consider themselves immunocompromised allows us to create reasonable accommodations for accessing the public sector. Some people cannot mask, and others prefer not to, but we can still allow them to safely access shared spaces if we know how many individuals are truly in need of accommodation.
Those who cannot or prefer not to mask should be free to assess their own risk, especially for a contagion with a 99.6% recovery rate.
If we ask everyone to identify the population they belong to, it all falls into place.
Read the full article on Rational Ground.
Note: This article, published on 5 February 2010, originally appeared in Forbes. It was removed sometime in mid October 2020 with no explanation.
While you can find a capture at archive.org, we have saved a copy here to protect against censorship and for easy sharing.
The World Health Organization has suddenly gone from crying “The sky is falling!” like a cackling Chicken Little to squealing like a stuck pig. The reason: charges that the agency deliberately fomented swine flu hysteria. “The world is going through a real pandemic. The description of it as a fake is wrong and irresponsible,” the agency claims on its Web site. A WHO spokesman declined to specify who or what gave this “description,” but the primary accuser is hard to ignore.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), a human rights watchdog, is publicly investigating the WHO’s motives in declaring a pandemic. Indeed, the chairman of its influential health committee, epidemiologist Wolfgang Wodarg, has declared that the “false pandemic” is “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century.”
Even within the agency, the director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Epidemiology in Munster, Germany, Dr. Ulrich Kiel, has essentially labeled the pandemic a hoax. “We are witnessing a gigantic misallocation of resources [$18 billion so far] in terms of public health,” he said.
They’re right. This wasn’t merely overcautiousness or simple misjudgment. The pandemic declaration and all the Klaxon-ringing since reflect sheer dishonesty motivated not by medical concerns but political ones.
Unquestionably, swine flu has proved to be vastly milder than ordinary seasonal flu. It kills at a third to a tenth the rate, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. Data from other countries like France and Japan indicate it’s far tamer than that.
Indeed, judging by what we’ve seen in New Zealand and Australia (where the epidemics have ended), and by what we’re seeing elsewhere in the world, we’ll have considerably fewer flu deaths this season than normal. That’s because swine flu muscles aside seasonal flu, acting as a sort of inoculation against the far deadlier strain.
Did the WHO have any indicators of this mildness when it declared the pandemic in June?
Absolutely, as I wrote at the time. We were then fully 11 weeks into the outbreak and swine flu had only killed 144 people worldwide–the same number who die of seasonal flu worldwide every few hours. (An estimated 250,000 to 500,000 per year by the WHO’s own numbers.) The mildest pandemics of the 20th century killed at least a million people.
But how could the organization declare a pandemic when its own official definition required “simultaneous epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness.” Severity–that is, the number of deaths–is crucial, because every year flu causes “a global spread of disease.”
Easy. In May, in what it admitted was a direct response to the outbreak of swine flu the month before, WHO promulgated a new definition matched to swine flu that simply eliminated severity as a factor. You could now have a pandemic with zero deaths.
Under fire, the organization is boldly lying about the change, to which anybody with an Internet connection can attest. In a mid-January virtual conference WHO swine flu chief Keiji Fukuda stated: “Did WHO change its definition of a pandemic? The answer is no: WHO did not change its definition.” Two weeks later at a PACE conference he insisted: “Having severe deaths has never been part of the WHO definition.”
They did it; but why?
In part, it was CYA for the WHO. The agency was losing credibility over the refusal of avian flu H5N1 to go pandemic and kill as many as 150 million people worldwide, as its “flu czar” had predicted in 2005.
Around the world nations heeded the warnings and spent vast sums developing vaccines and making other preparations. So when swine flu conveniently trotted in, the WHO essentially crossed out “avian,” inserted “swine,” and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan arrogantly boasted, “The world can now reap the benefits of investments over the last five years in pandemic preparedness.”
But there’s more than bureaucratic self-interest at work here. Bizarrely enough, the WHO has also exploited its phony pandemic to push a hard left political agenda.
In a September speech WHO Director-General Chan said “ministers of health” should take advantage of the “devastating impact” swine flu will have on poorer nations to get out the message that “changes in the functioning of the global economy” are needed to “distribute wealth on the basis of” values “like community, solidarity, equity and social justice.” She further declared it should be used as a weapon against “international policies and systems that govern financial markets, economies, commerce, trade and foreign affairs.”
Chan’s dream now lies in tatters. All the WHO has done, says PACE’s Wodart, is to destroy “much of the credibility that they should have, which is invaluable to us if there’s a future scare that might turn out to be a killer on a large scale.”
Michael Fumento is director of the nonprofit Independent Journalism Project, where he specializes in health and science issues. He may be reached at [email protected]
The CDC has long maintained that the coronavirus is transmitted through droplets spread among people in close proximity to one another. On Friday, it updated its guidelines, adding that the virus also spreads through “respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes,” adding that this is the main vector of infection.
The guidance no longer says COVID-19 can be spread through the air, and the agency said it will update the language once its review process “has been completed.”
But where did this one percent figure come from? You may find this hard to believe, but this figure emerged by mistake. A pretty major thing to make a mistake about, but that’s what happened.
In order to understand what happened, you have to understand the difference between two medical terms that sound the same – but are completely different. [IFR and CFR.]
CFR will always be far higher than the IFR. With influenza, the CFR is around ten times as high as the IFR. Covid seems to have a similar proportion.
Now, clearly, you do not want to get these figures mixed up. By doing so you would either wildly overestimate, or wildly underestimate, the impact of Covid. But mix these figures up, they did.
…we’ve had all the deaths we were ever going to get. And which also means that lockdown achieved, almost precisely nothing with regard to Covid. No deaths were prevented.
Last weekend the CDC drastically downgraded the number of COVID deaths and noted that in truth less than 10,000 died of the virus.
The media is in love with the idea that 200,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, but last weekend the CDC drastically downgraded the number of deaths and noted that in truth less than 10,000 died solely of the virus.
As it turns out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website recently reported that very few died solely of the virus. Out of the 161,392 deaths in the CDC data, just six percent (9,700) were attributed to the coronavirus alone. In all the rest of the deaths, COVID was either only one contributor to death or was merely present in the system at the end.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer recommending testing for everyone who’s been exposed to Covid-19, saying people who don’t have symptoms “do not necessarily need a test.”
The CDC has quietly revised its guidance on coronavirus testing to say that people without symptoms who were exposed to an infected person might not need to be screened.
The agency previously recommended testing for anyone with a “recent known or suspected exposure” to the virus even if they did not have symptoms.
The CDC’s previous guidance cited “the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission” as a reason why people without symptoms who were exposed to the virus be “quickly identified and tested.”
More than 180,000 Americans have died of coronavirus as of Monday
The CDC’s latest fatality data shows that COVID-19 was listed as the sole cause of death for just 6% of those killed by the virus
94% of fatalities were in people who also suffered at least one chronic health condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity or heart disease
On average, people who died of coronavirus had 2.6 additional underlying health conditions
A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold.
Regardless of whether you test positive or negative, the results do not confirm whether or not you are able to spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
Persons who are diagnosed with influenza…should remain at home until the fever is resolved for 24 hours…and the cough is resolving to avoid exposing other members of the public. If such symptomatic persons cannot stay home during the acute phase of their illness, consideration should be given to having them wear a mask in public places when they may have close contact with other persons.
No recommendation can be made at this time for mask use in the community by asymptomatic persons, including those at high risk for complications, to prevent exposure to influenza viruses.
From January 21 through February 23, 2020, public health agencies detected 14 U.S. cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), all related to travel from China (1,2). The first nontravel–related U.S. case was confirmed on February 26 in a California resident who had become ill on February 13 (3). Two days later, on February 28, a second nontravel–related case was confirmed in the state of Washington (4,5). Examination of four lines of evidence provides insight into the timing of introduction and early transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, into the United States before the detection of these two cases. First, syndromic surveillance based on emergency department records from counties affected early by the pandemic did not show an increase in visits for COVID-19–like illness before February 28. Second, retrospective SARS-CoV-2 testing of approximately 11,000 respiratory specimens from several U.S. locations beginning January 1 identified no positive results before February 20. Third, analysis of viral RNA sequences from early cases suggested that a single lineage of virus imported directly or indirectly from China began circulating in the United States between January 18 and February 9, followed by several SARS-CoV-2 importations from Europe. Finally, the occurrence of three cases, one in a California resident who died on February 6, a second in another resident of the same county who died February 17, and a third in an unidentified passenger or crew member aboard a Pacific cruise ship that left San Francisco on February 11, confirms cryptic circulation of the virus by early February. These data indicate that sustained, community transmission had begun before detection of the first two nontravel–related U.S. cases, likely resulting from the importation of a single lineage of virus from China in late January or early February, followed by several importations from Europe. The widespread emergence of COVID-19 throughout the United States after February highlights the importance of robust public health systems to respond rapidly to emerging infectious threats.
There were 3 influenza pandemics in the 20th century, and there has been 1 so far in the 21st century. Local, national, and international health authorities regularly update their plans for mitigating the next influenza pandemic in light of the latest available evidence on the effectiveness of various control measures in reducing transmission. Here, we review the evidence base on the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical personal protective measures and environmental hygiene measures in nonhealthcare settings and discuss their potential inclusion in pandemic plans. Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. We similarly found limited evidence on the effectiveness of improved hygiene and environmental cleaning. We identified several major knowledge gaps requiring further research, most fundamentally an improved characterization of the modes of person-to-person transmission.