Virology & Mythology 2
For the Children & Like Virus, Like Virion (7/20/20)
Should we open schools or not? Is COVID-19 losing momentum through mutation?
(3) To School, or not to School?
Remember when we shut down schools to stop the spread of Smallpox? Mono? Chicken Pox? H1N1? Polio? The Opioid
Crisis? Me neither. Every year, older teachers are at risk of influenza-triggered pneumonia, and the NEA never managed to discover that connection. That is an actual double standard, and I hope that school districts will do more to protect at-risk teachers in the future; however, a majority of teachers and 99.8% of students are safer than during flu season.
Perhaps I have too much faith in America, but I believe we are capable of protecting vulnerable people while putting kids back in school. The physical stress of a parent who is stuck and unable to earn their normal income (surrounded by kids on an eternal summer
break) probably just makes them more susceptible to infection by weakening their immune system. The hard truth is that COVID-19 will probably be here for at least six more months, but our economy won't be if parents can't work. The hardest-hit jobs have been lower-wage positions that can't be performed remotely, and all size businesses have either gone bankrupt or started investigating ways to increase automation. I refuse to believe that high-risk populations are safer in a closed economy - subsidize all 55+ workers/employers that can't work from home, and have Amazon provide Prime and Fresh services for free until the pandemic ends.
If we don't put our kids back in school, it becomes less likely that they will grow up having enough common sense to think of simple answers, like that. I'm not sure what that says about Congress.
(4) Is the Virus getting Weaker?
No. I've only made it through about 250 of the 31,000+ COVID-19 articles that the NIH has gathered and provided free to the public, but several recent studies show almost no mutation, relative to typical virus outbreaks. I will be laying out the latest research in a separate article, because the origin and evolution of COVID-19 is becoming clearer (and has disturbing implications). To preview, the stability of the genome indicates a direct bat-human transition with severe infection prior to the start of the pandemic. Viruses evolve much faster when their environment requires it for survival, but COVID-19 has been so effective and transmissible that not much tweaking has been necessary. The last CFR update:
Along with new developments in looking for origins, there's actually evidence that survivor's antibodies are losing their effectiveness within months; if true, that would nullify the possibility of herd immunity and greatly reduce the impact of most vaccines. The primary reasons that case fatality rates (CFR) have been declining across the globe are the increasing quantities of tests and a faster rate of exponential growth among countries in the southern hemisphere - i.e. the part of the globe currently in winter. One small silver lining is that the US trend is exploding because of simple math - the three most populous states took months to begin peaking, and all three (Texas, California, Florida) have maintained fatality rates much lower than the East Coast states in April.
Russia has the lowest CFR of any large country in the world; must be nice to fabricate statistics. If I were a member of the media, I'd stop holding up Russia or Europe or China as examples just to make President Trump look bad; if the US CFR was as high as most of the big European countries, we'd have 420,000 dead instead of 140,000. It's a lucky break for the vocal opposition, then, because by the time Denmark/UK/France/Italy/Spain/etc. get overwhelmed by 14% CFRs again our election will already be over.
(C) rixanalytics.com 2020