Natural immunity (high antibody levels) may not last more than a few months, a study from England suggests. It’s just the latest study to report such findings.
That means that so-called “herd immunity” is a myth and will not happen.
So, what’s an efficient and cost-effective way to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus? It’s what we’ve known since the beginning of the pandemic: masks work.
For proof, look to a real-world experiment with masks that has taken place in Kansas.
In early July, Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly issued a statewide mask order. However, she was forced though to let counties opt out of it by law.
So, only 20 of the state’s 105 counties enforced the mask mandate to wear masks in public. And guess what happened? According to a study from the University of Kansas, those 20 counties saw half as many new coronavirus infections as the counties that did not have the mandate in place.
Cellphone tracking data confirmed that there was little difference in people’s mobility in those counties.
This is not just a one-off, either.
In Arizona – less than a month after mask-wearing was enforced and bars and gyms were shuttered – there was a 75% drop in coronavirus cases, according to a recent report from the CDC.
Similar results have been seen from local mask-wearing mandates in Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and South Carolina.
So, please, wear a mask and protect your loved ones . . . as well as others.
The Big News
Masks Could Save 130,000 Lives
Universal mask use could save 130,000 lives in the U.S. in coming months. This is according to a forecast that warns the country’s Covid-19 death toll could reach 500,000 by February. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), said masks were an “easy win” to save lives. Masks would also delay the imposition of restrictions. The Researchers at IHME said California, Texas and Florida would face particularly high levels of disease and death unless something close to universal mask-wearing happens.
Antibody Deterrent: Cost
Researchers have been racing to develop therapies to harness antibodies. These are a key component of the body’s natural immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Antibody treatments have shown promise in small, early studies of people with mild symptoms. The big problem: antibodies are both difficult and expensive to make.
Antibody Covid Protection Fleeting
A study suggests only limited immunity to Covid-19. A survey of 365,000 adults in England showed a 26.5% decline in the proportion of positive antibody tests from June to September. That suggests any natural immunity to the coronavirus may be short-lived.
Consumer Staples Bargains
Procter & Gamble and other major consumer goods manufacturers are offering shoppers a different “pitch.” They are touting lower-priced brands, smaller packages and discounts to woo consumers struggling through the worst economy since the Great Depression. These companies worry that consumer spending levels are not going to recover until at least the end of 2022.
Mail-In Voting = Record Turnout
The pandemic is affecting U.S. politics. A record number of votes are expected to be cast by mail before election day on Nov. 3. Research suggests that voting by postal ballot could increase overall voter turnout. The good news is that fraud is rare in mail-in voting. That is thanks to security measures including identity verification, ballot tracking and law enforcement efforts.
The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 43,561,060 Infected Worldwide
- 1,160,389 Deaths Worldwide
- 8,704,968 Infected in the U.S.
- 225,739 Deaths in the U.S.
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Stimulus talks seem dead. Pelosi and Mnuchin failed to reach agreement on a call on Monday. And Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until Nov. 9.
Normal pre-election market volatility is to be expected. But it is being made worse by the pandemic. The average number of daily new cases in the US. is hitting record levels.
Former FDA boss Dr. Scott Gottlieb and others are warning of an exponential spread of the virus.
Sadly, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s apocalyptic projection is coming true. He said it was possible, in a worst-case scenario, that the U.S. could see 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day. That looked so impossible just a few months ago when he first issued the warning.
Election jitters, no progress on a stimulus package and surging case numbers resulted in a stock market capitulation yesterday. The S&P 500 declined almost 2% and finished under the 50-day simple moving average at 3,408.
I suspect we’ll see a bounce today. But the trend will remain flat-to-down until after the election.
Today is a big earnings day. Microsoft, Pfizer, Merck, Lilly, 3M, AMD and Caterpillar are all expected to report results.
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Yours in Health & Wealth,