Monday, August 2, 2021

Delta, Epsilon, ...

We seem to be introducing some more Greek into this world that is "Greek to me".  (Epsilon is after Delta)

Naturally, as with all things Covid, it is complicated ... there appear to be a plethora of variants. 

"Gamma" may be the next bogeyman. 

Kimbal starts out with a great Covid "fact". 

The great thing about COVID, I like to quip, is that has abolished death from old age. Also the flu. That malady typically claims 30,000 to 40,000 scalps per annum in the US, many more in a bad year. How many flu deaths were there last season? According to the Scientific American, 700.

Seven HUNDRED? Naturally we don't KNOW that, have you ever been tested for a flu other than Covid?  

Here is a little indication from CDC on how accurate old flu death estimates likely are: 

Why doesn’t CDC base its seasonal flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that specifically list influenza?

Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has been recognized for many years that influenza is underreported on death certificates. There may be several reasons for underreporting, including that patients aren’t always tested for seasonal influenza virus infection, particularly older adults who are at greatest risk of seasonal influenza complications and death. Even if a patient is tested for influenza, influenza virus infection may not be identified because the influenza virus is only detectable for a limited number of days after infection and many people don’t seek medical care in this interval. Additionally, some deaths – particularly among those 65 years and older – are associated with secondary complications of influenza (including bacterial pneumonias). For these and other reasons, modeling strategies are commonly used to estimate flu-associated deaths. Only counting deaths where influenza was recorded on a death certificate would be a gross underestimation of influenza’s true impact.

In other words, flu is always around, nobody until Covid really tried to figure out how many deaths it "caused", because there was really no reason to. Old age, other underlying conditions, etc. were almost always involved (as they are with Covid). Old people die of SOMETHING, is it that important to identify the specific straw that "broke the camel's back"?

Not unless your purpose is to create a "crisis". 

It’s Rahm Emanuel time now and forever: never let a good crisis go waste, he advised, and rest assured, they — the alphabet-soup pod-people who we put in charge of our lives — they have run with it big time. A couple of days ago, the White House (how long before they change the insulting name of that edifice) announced that because of the ‘Delta variant’ they would not be lifting travel restrictions ‘at this point’. They hope, of course, that they can maintain, and perhaps stiffen, the restriction indefinitely, maybe forever. After all, as the White House press secretary demanded a week or two back, ‘Why do you need to have that information?’

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