The Covid 19 Red Ink Blue Ink Problem

Herd immunity is a pipe dream. Lose weight.

Trump was recently booed and heckled for telling his supporters to get vaccinated. The amnesiac media pretended this was some sort of flip flop. The amnesiac public pretends that conservatives have been anti-vaccination this whole time. The only explanation I have for this behavior is that people have stopped using their brains to remember things, and instead are using their media feeds as a cognitive replacement.

Let’s refresh our memories of the actual truth, examine the vaccine’s politicization on both sides, and talk about what to do going forward both with vaccine sensemaking and sensemaking in general. By the time we’re done, I hope to give you a good look at what the future looks like and what you need to do to prepare for it, because there’s basically only one thing you can do. Vaccination is fine but it won’t solve the problem, and the single most important thing to do is lose weight.

Actual Truth

Trump was the most pro-vax president we’ve ever had. Trump literally attempted to buy BioNTech in March of 2020 to get a lock on their worldwide vaccine production. Trump issued an Executive Order in December of 2020 to seal the country and require that all doses manufactured in the USA didn’t leave our borders until we were all vaccinated. This is why US vaccination rates outstripped most of the rest of the world in the spring. All those liberal Karen Facebook vaccine selfies in the spring were because of Trump. Trump was banking on his October Surprise being the announcement of the vaccine, and medical professionals worked tirelessly behind the scenes to delay him from announcing it, supposedly for the health and well being of the public, but that’s not true at all. It was delayed to affect Trump’s vote totals in older populations. They didn’t want Trump taking credit for it. Proof:

For a thousand more such documented images of this Blue Tribe behavior, go here:

The vaccine “isn’t safe” if it’s announced the day before the election, but it’s “safe and effective” if it’s announced the day after the election.

Read that again.

The FDA is not to be trusted if Trump is the president, but the FDA is to be trusted if Biden is the president.

Read that again.

They literally said these things. I cannot trust people who say these things.

This is a problem bigger than Covid-19. This problem is fundamental to the way people in 2021 make sense of the world around them. The fundamentals of crafting a model of reality necessary for living life itself are now based on partisan signaling spilling through a smartphone. The truth of a thing is not related to reality, it’s related to whether the thing was written in red ink or blue ink.

Mandates and Counterfactuals

If the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) had been approved during Trump, then all the Red Tribers would have lined up to be the first to get their TrumpVax and a very large number of Blues would have continued to hide under the bed saying they didn't trust the vax, as evidenced by the vast majority of media behavior captured above. It would be an exact inverse of what we have now.

The current FDA approval is in fact rushed per their own guidelines because their guidelines require data collection until at least 2022, because the Phase III trials won’t be done until then. All the people saying “don’t rush it” pre-election are now rushing it.

Why?

Under the current Emergency Use Authorization, anyone who wants to take this drug can take it. I even know people who have vaccinated their children, regardless of whether that’s recommended or not. It’s freely available without restriction. Which means that the only reason to issue the FDA approval now, before all the data is in and the trials are complete, is to have that approval in their back pocket to push a vaccine mandate, because they can’t mandate a EUA drug.

It was political in the beginning, political in the middle, and still political now. Politics driving science does not make good science, regardless of which politician is driving it.

I did choose to be vaccinated, because I did my own research, I understood what an EUA means, and I figured I'd done enough experimental drugs in college that one more wasn't going to do me any harm. I'd have signed up to be experimented on mid 2020 if they let me. I do think it works, for probably a six-month window at the minimum, versus Covid Classic, and it works less well against Delta but it’s still probably worth taking.

But I do not see the value in vaccinating my children when the numbers aren't in yet on brand new untested technology, when the IFR for children is a fraction of the IFR for the ordinary flu. Vaccinating children is taking a risk with no real reward.

Flu IFRs are very difficult to calculate, but this is the best I or anyone else could do with the available data. If you have a better approach, put it in the comments.

And I want to know what the goalposts are for vaccine mandates. People pushing mandates need to establish these now. The vaccine was originally 90% effective versus Covid Classic, but its effectiveness (at least versus Delta) drops significantly over time. If the vaccine is only 60% effective is it still worth mandating? What about 40%? What about 10%? The pro-mandate crowd must answer this question with a number, not platitudes, and must stick to this number when the Covid-19 Tango Uniform Variant shows up and the vaccine is only 17.2% effective versus it.

Let’s talk about this graph. I put in a trendline so we can forecast how bad this is going to get, and a projection that far out without better data is not trustworthy. But the R^2 value of the trendline is 1.00. It doesn’t get any better than that. If this is to be believed, and we want to keep immunity above 70%, we are all going to need booster shots at least three times a year, for the rest of our lives, with emergent, questionable technology.

The bulk of vaccination in the United States wrapped up around May. Somewhere around ninety days ago. And immunity from recovering from a natural infection doesn’t last either. I know at least two people who contracted Covid-19 a second time nine months or later after their first infection.

This is not a viable path to herd immunity. And as the virus mutates, it’s highly likely that new mutations will be even more vaccine resistant, for the same reasons that antibiotic resistant bacterial strains emerge from environments that heavily use antibiotics. Nature finds a way. Here’s a graph of nature finding it:

Each little dot is a mutation. Colored clusters are “variants” similar enough to group. Here’s a graph of the net ratio of variants versus Classic Covid, by ratio of total infections world wide:

Apolitical Sensemaking

First and most importantly, herd immunity to Covid-19 is a pipe dream because the vaccines don’t last long enough and the virus keeps mutating. A vaccine mandate is not going to stop it, although they’re definitely going to try, and then blame its failure on people who don’t take the vaccine.

If you have not caught Covid-19 yet, prepare to catch it because you are going to catch it. If you have caught it already, prepare to catch it again because you are going to catch it again. The only way you can prepare to catch it is by reducing your comorbidities. From the CDC:

Preexisting comorbidities significantly associated with increased odds of in-hospital mortality were:

  • Metastatic solid tumor, 57% increase (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] =1.57; 95% CI, 1.20–2.05)

  • History of myocardial infarction, 47% increase (aOR=1.47; 95% CI, 34–1.62)

  • Cerebrovascular disease, 39% increase (aOR=1.39; 95% CI, 1.25–1.56)

  • Congestive heart failure, 37% increase (aOR=1.37; 95% CI, 1.26–1.49)

  • Hemiplegia, 34% increase (aOR=1.34; 95% CI, 1.05–1.72)

  • Any malignant neoplasm, 27% increase (aOR=1.27; 95% CI, 1.09–1.47)

  • Dementia, 20% increase (aOR=1.21; 95% CI, 1.11–1.32)

  • Diabetes, 20% increase (aOR=1.20; 95% CI, 1.12–1.28)

  • Chronic pulmonary disease, 16% increase (aOR=1.16; 95% CI, 1.08–1.26)

  • Hyperlipidemia, 11% increase (aOR=1.11; 95% CI, 1.03–1.19)

Bolded emphasis is mine. Some of these things you can do nothing about. Some of them you can. You are more likely to die from this thing if you’ve had a heart attack, if your heart is gummed up with crud, if you have diabetes, if you have high blood pressure, or if you have high cholesterol. Every single one of the bolded conditions is tied to your weight and your eating habits.

I speak to Covid ward nurses. They are worn out, tired, frustrated, and angry with the number of insanely fat people who are showing up in Covid wards, who never looked after their health or their bodies, some of which are so gigantic that they can’t even fit in the ICU bed. There’s not much you can do to avoid cancer or dementia, but you can control your weight. The absolute best way to prepare to catch Covid-19 is to lose weight. There was never a reason to believe Wokeist “healthy at any size” rhetoric, but in light of Covid-19 becoming a systemic, permanent fixture of the landscape that is never ever going to go away, everyone has to try to lose weight, and do so as fast as possible.

If that puts “fat shaming” back on the table for socially acceptable behavior, so be it. And if we want to lock down the economy, maybe we should try locking down McDonalds first and taxing the sugar industry. Sorry, but science is science.

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