So, it has been a busy week. As I prepare for getting on a plane to head back to Virginia from Austin, Texas, I am taking a moment to try to breath and to write down some thoughts.
Yesterday, I had to take an antibody test in order to get into the studio in Austin. The good news is that my natural immunity from my last round of COVID is robust - with IgA and even IgM Antibodies present.
This brings me again to one of my biggest issues with the public policy response. Natural immunity equals or trumps immunity from the genetic vaccines, because the natural immune response is broad (against the all 29 proteins of the SAVS-CoV-2 virus) and appears to hold up better against Omicron. This sustained and robust natural immunity also applies to children. We all know it. Why won’t our government and the main stream media admit it?
Why is it that the CDC website that lists 146 million people having already had COVID-19 in the USA has not been updated since October 2, 2021? A quick, back of the napkin calculation projects at least another 20-30 million have had COVID since then. Bringing the number of people who have had COVID to around 170 million. Well over half the people in the USA.
So, now comes a more transmissible but weaker version of the virus. We should all be celebrating! Over half of us have natural immunity. Over half of us are vaccinated. Unless we are elderly or have significant other co-morbidities, we will be fine. For many, if not most, will seem like another cold, if we notice it at all. Even the unvaccinated or COVID-19 naive person should be just find, if they don’t have significant co-morbidities.
Of course, one isn’t actually allowed to suggest these ideas on many social media platforms. One can’t be at all critical of the government pandemic response or the fearporn - such talk will get you banned, censored and branded with a scarlet letter “AV” (the dreaded “Anti-Vaxxer” label). I am not an anti-vaxxer, but I will wear this label with pride - speaking truth to power always has consequences.
So, yes back to my thoughts on Omicron – please keep taking that vitamin D3 and get your levels tested, if you haven’t already. Use a formulation that combines the D3 with Vitamins A and K. Please keep up with the zinc, vitamin C and magnesium. Work on weight control, glycemic control and please exercise! All are important.
But also celebrate! If you have had COVID– Omicron is going to be a milder version. In fact, you may not even know that you were infected.
Focus on the Research
Characteristics and Outcomes of Hospitalized Patients in South Africa During the COVID-19 Omicron Wave Compared With Previous Waves. JAMA. Published online December 30, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.24868
More good news from South Africa! A new paper just out with data from hospitalized patients. The study compared hospitalized patients from Omicron (“wave 4”) compared to earlier waves.
Remember, this is hospitalized patients- so a group of people probably more like the hospitalized cohorts found in the USA. Not the general population of South Africans.
The number of patients treated in the hospitals during the same early period of each wave differed (2351 in wave 4 vs maximum 6342 in wave 3).
This implies fewer hospitalizations, as we know that Omicron is highly transmissible.
68% to 69% of patients presenting to the emergency department with a positive COVID-19 result were admitted to the hospital in the first 3 waves vs 41.3% in wave 4.
Showing that Omicron is resulting in fewer hospitalizations.
Patients hospitalized during wave 4 were younger (median age, 36 years vs maximum 59 years in wave 3; P < .001) with a higher proportion of females.
This is interesting and will need to be explored in more depth. Is this due to natural immunity of the elderly or that Omicron is a milder disease for the elderly than previous variants? Another hypothesis is that Omicron is not infecting deep lung tissue, so the elderly are having more mild disease compared to other waves. Few elderly might mean fewer overall hospitalizations but with a young median age.
Significantly fewer patients with co-morbidities were admitted in wave 4, and the proportion presenting with an acute respiratory condition was lower (31.6% in wave 4 vs maximum 91.2% in wave 3, P < .001).
Again, this is good news all around!
Of 971 patients admitted in wave 4, 24.2% were vaccinated, 66.4% were unvaccinated, and vaccination status was unknown for 9.4%.
How this relates to the population of vaccinated and unvaccinated is a little difficult, because the SA vaccine program has significantly increased the proportion vaccinated this fall.
The proportion of patients requiring oxygen therapy significantly decreased ( 17.6% in wave 4 vs 74% in wave 3, P < .001), as did the percentage receiving mechanical ventilation.
Again, very good news!
Admission to intensive care was 18.5% in wave 4 vs 29.9% in wave 3 (P < .001).
More mild disease, even in the severe cases!
The median length of stay (between 7 and 8 days in previous waves) decreased to 3 days in wave 4.
Another super indicator of mild disease!
The death rate was between 19.7% in wave 1 and 29.1% in wave 3 and decreased to 2.7% in wave 4.
This also, should make us all very happy!
Again – remember this data is for HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS ONLY!
So, don’t let the fear-porn get to you – Omicron is coming to a town, village, city, restaurant, or grocery store near you. But for the vast majority of us, we will be fine. We have tools to fight this more mild variant, and there are life-saving treatments. Just work to stay or get as healthy as you can, eat your vitamins, eat real food and go get some exercise!
I will end with a quote from F. A. Hayek, (1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences )
“'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded -- and once they are suspended it is not difficult for anyone who has assumed such emergency powers to see to it that the emergency persists."
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Truth to power.