The Wuhan Virus is here to stay, so we need to live with it, not hide from it
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University's School of Medicine, conducted an antibody study of Major League Baseball employees. He sat down with the Hoover Institution's Peter Robinson to discuss his findings. They are both disheartening and, in a peculiar way, heartening.
The MLB study is interesting because it spans the entire U.S. Dr. Bhattacharya was able to survey the antibody status of more than 5,600 MLB employees. What the doctor found is that this cohort is nowhere near having acquired herd immunity. Only 0.7% (or 7/1,000) of the MLB employees tested positive for antibodies.
Admitted, said Dr. Bhattacharya, this is a lower rate than most other tested American populations, but, except for New York, no communities seem to have antibody rates higher than 5%. New York is unusual in having a 25% antibody rate (no doubt thanks to that subway system). Herd immunity, though, kicks in only when 70–80% of the population has antibodies.
Another bit of bad news is that we're not likely to see a vaccine anytime soon. Those politicians threatening lockups until there is a vaccine might find themselves imprisoning citizens for years.
The good news is that the disease (as Trump speculated) has a relatively low mortality rate, clocking in at around the rate of the ordinary flu after people have had their flu vaccinations. Moreover, most people are pretty asymptomatic.
At the end of this horrible social and economic experiment, it turns out that all that the lockdown has done is to delay the inevitable. The inevitable, whether it plays out quickly or slowly, is that a lot of people will get the Wuhan Virus, some will get very sick, and a small number will die.
The takeaway from watching the interview is that the Wuhan flu is here to stay. It's another risk in a dangerous world — and a lesser risk than destroying the world's economies by shutting everything down. Moreover, flattening the curve actually did do what it promised, which was to gain the medical system time and knowledge. With that goal achieved, it's time to end the lockdowns.
What we've also learned from this lockdown experiment is that Wuhan Virus modeling, just like climate change modeling, isn't worth squat. There are too many hypotheticals, variables, and biases to result in a reliable, useful outcome. As just one example, Minnesota's models grossly overstated the risks, even after a lockdown was implemented.
Indeed, I can't think of a single correct model — and, more significantly, all of them, as was the case with the Minnesota model, significantly overstated the risks. The fact that all the models erred in one direction shows how biased the modelers were, intentionally or not. It's the GIGO principle (garbage in, garbage out) writ large.
Here's some more news: masks may not work. Additionally, masks cause their own problems: headaches, airway resistance, CO2 buildup, and impaired oxygen intake. This last problem negatively affects the immune system. Masks can also increase the virus load in asymptomatic people by causing them constantly to inhale the virus they just shed, pushing them into serious infection territory.
However, one bit of potentially useful information has emerged:
[A]ccording to a Yahoo Life report, researchers from Trinity College Dublin have a new study out that indicates that vitamin D deficiency could be linked to higher mortality rates from COVID-19.
According to the report, the study "analyzed vitamin D levels of older people in countries heavily affected by coronavirus," and they reportedly found that the areas with the higher death rates were also the areas with higher rates of vitamin D deficiency.
The great thing about vitamin D is that we all need it anyway. There's no downside to taking supplements. Both Bret Weinstein and Scott Adams saw the possibilities in this study as well as the continued lunacy of lockdowns:
It is insane that, as the evidence for Vitamin-D's protective effect mounts, and though it appears the virus is very rarely transmitted outdoors, we continue to instruct people to stay indoors, where CoV2 is easily transmitted and where they can't make Vit-D. cc: @HeatherEHeying https://t.co/TmVm37tpEV— Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) May 14, 2020
Is every risk factor for #COVID19 a Vitamin D deficiency in disguise? Google it: old, overweight, black, diabetic, smog dwellers, nursing homes, prisons, shaded NYC streets, Chinese urban dwellers, covered body parts (Iran). All would have vitamin D issues.— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) May 8, 2020
Maybe we only think the heat and sunlight and humidity are what makes most viruses fade in summer. I believe science is not entirely sure why summer helps. All four variables seem promising, including Vitamin D. But the latter explains more observations.— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) May 8, 2020
Does the Vitamin D correlation work In reverse too? Who is doing unexpectedly well at keeping COVID19 at bay? Texas, Florida, other outdoorsy states. How about kids. Do your kids wear sunscreen every time they go in the backyard or street? Probably not.— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) May 8, 2020
It sure would be nice to know if China is using Vitamin D supplements to keep things under control. Or maybe shutting down Wuhan cleared the smog enough to bring Vitamin D back to the residents who came out of lockdown.— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) May 8, 2020
I realize there has been LOTS of vitamin D speculation on the Internet about its potential for treating COVID19. All I'm adding here, after brainstorming with @kristina_basham, is the pattern recognition. Did I miss an example or counter-example?— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) May 8, 2020
Update: Prisons are showing high infection rates but low deaths. Just learned that prison meals are engineered with vitamin D supplements. Makes sense.— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) May 8, 2020
Bottom line: Do what you can to buff up your immune system, because the virus will be part of the American landscape for a long time.