The anti-science crowd is pushing the dangerous policy of “herd immunity” at the White House again.
Herd immunity to Covid-19 is a myth, and a deadly one. Let me explain . . . . .
A recent study (one of many) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows why herd immunity is a deadly approach.
It sampled healthcare personnel who work directly with Covid-19 patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Researchers found that 58% of those who tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in April tested negative only two months later.
In other words, their antibody levels had dropped so much, they were no longer detectable.
Even the 42% of personnel whose antibody levels remained above the threshold level still experienced a significant decline.
Scientists that have studied coronaviruses know that reinfection is a signature move for the coronavirus family. Documentation of this dates as far back as the late 1970s.
SARS-CoV-2 is both more lethal and more transmissible than its seasonal cold-causing cousins. It would be naive to assume that it wouldn’t be more adept at weaponizing its “dirtiest trick.”
Add in the real possibility that over two million Americans will die from Covid-19 if the virus is allowed to run unchecked, as in herd immunity.
That makes herd immunity a most dangerous policy for our health.
The Big News
Some Countries Still Have Covid Contained
Coronavirus cases are surging again in the U.S. and parts of Europe. Yet some countries still have the virus relatively contained. In Canada, the per capita rate of new cases is less than half as high as in the U.S. And in Australia and New Zealand, as well as large parts of Africa and Asia, the rate remains near zero.
The Virus Goes to the Symphony
There is interesting news from University of Minnesota researchers. Apparently, playing a wind instrument in the age of Covid is dangerous. The findings were published in the Journal of Aerosol Science. The research was done on Covid in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. It found that the playing of trumpet, oboe and bass trombone is considered a “high-risk” activity. Most other wind instruments pose an “intermediate” risk.
Another Covid Problem – ADE
Antibodies are produced by the immune system to fight foreign invaders like the coronavirus. But a new study in China suggests they could make the infection worse in some cases. Researchers found that some of the 222 patients in the study had specific antibodies that helped the virus invade their immune cells. The antibodies were found in 76% of those that had recovered from severe Covid. The medical problem is known as antibody-dependent enhancement or ADE.
Covid Tackling the SEC
The coronavirus has not gone away. Just ask the SEC college football conference. Nick Saban – head football coach at Alabama – tested positive for the coronavirus. Two other colleges in the conference, Florida and L.S.U., had to postpone their next game. That was due to more than 20 Florida players contracting the virus.
China’s Economic Rebound
China initially was in denial about the virus. But then it faced reality and took stern measures to contain it. Its economy has thus rebounded strongly. For example, look at the number of passenger flights in China last month. There were 371,000 domestic passenger flights in September, up 3.5% from a year earlier. This is according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China and confirmed independently.
The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Thursday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 38,564,176 Infected Worldwide
- 1,092,968 Deaths
- 7,917,189 Infected in the U.S.
- 216,904 Deaths in the U.S.
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There is a strong risk-off tone to today’s trade.
Fading stimulus hopes and rising virus cases in the U.S. and Europe make for nasty cocktail for risk appetite after stocks fell on Wall Street yesterday.
It looks a retest of the 50-day moving average is in the cards.
Fears of a second coronavirus wave leading to restrictions on people’s activities is certainly affecting confidence today.
Nevertheless, the broader landscape for the stock markets remains supported by monetary stimulus.
We know, too, that another fiscal stimulus package is coming. The question is only really one of when and how much.
Another 10% of GDP is a real possibility.
That would turbo-boost stocks once again.
Yours in Health & Wealth,