(2022-05-05) ZviM Covid 5/5/22 A Lack Of Care

Zvi Mowshowitz: Covid-19 5/5/22: A Lack of Care. I haven’t written an additional China post because my sources have not turned up much additional information, and the situation does not seem to have dramatically changed

America does not care much about preventing or treating Covid. We don’t care about buying or distributing Paxlovid. We don’t care about updating our vaccines. We don’t care about much of anything else either. Nor does the public much care about any of this either

The good news is that most of us can safely ignore the whole thing and get on with our lives. Given the alternatives, ‘government does literal nothing’ is not obviously bad news

Executive Summary
New subvariants of Omicron that spread faster are taking over.
They are not deadlier.
Our government is acting as if it does not care about Covid at all.

The Numbers

BA.1,2,3,4,5 (Omicron Variant)

BA.1 gave way to BA.2. Now BA.2 is giving way to BA.2.1.12.

And so it goes, sub-variant gives way to sub-variant. There is no sign that BA.2.1.12 differs substantially in terms of case outcomes from BA.2 or BA.1.

Next up are BA.4 and BA.5

The news isn’t great. There is reason to think that BA.4/5 might be better able to re-infect people, especially those who were not vaccinated, and thus could cause an additional wave.

This has all largely been the pattern. New variants make it easier to get infected despite vaccination or previous infection, but protection against severe disease and death remains mostly robust. As a result, additional waves are possible, but they do not case as much proportionate severe disease or death, and the wise move is largely to ignore the wave and go about one’s life

Physical World Modeling

Bill Gates, always helpful, is here to warn us that the worst of the pandemic may still be ahead. “We’re still at risk of this pandemic generating a variant that would be even more transmissive and even more fatal...It’s not likely, I don’t want to be a voice of doom and gloom, but it’s way above a 5% risk that this pandemic, we haven’t even seen the worst of it.”

The intervention proposed by Gates is… aid to the WHO?

I am very much in favor of pandemic preparedness

I don’t think giving money to the WHO (or generally ‘foreign aid’) is The Way

When a pandemic did arrive, was the WHO helpful or did they actively get in the way of the most important prevention and mitigation measures while worrying about political implications?

Prevention and Prevention Prevention Prevention

Not only are we not allocating any funding for the pandemic, we are not even willing to approve updated vaccines in a timely manner, such that updated boosters continue to be delayed. Omicron emerged last year and it looks like we might get substantial supplies of an updated booster by late Fall.

So much for expedited reviews and approvals

Two Paxlovid tales. The first short and sweet, the second long and less so

Think of the Children

Even now that Moderna filed, the FDA is still going to stall for an additional six weeks before approving both vaccines for young children. At which point the school year, with its associated mask mandates, will be over for summer.

my real position is (of course) that it is always an emergency in the sense that someone being sick or in danger of being sick is an emergency, saving a life is a mitzvah even on the day of rest, and the FDA should approve anything that would ever get an emergency use authorization, whether or not there is an emergency.

I’d also take the position that yes, being forced to wear a face mask for months on end constitutes an impairment of life that rises to the level of an emergency, regardless of whether the mandate is justified or not, and thus justifies an emergency response. One can respond with ‘the mask mandate is dumb, kids are at minimal risk of Covid so we should fix the mandate not issue them vaccines’ and yes that would be good too.

Ministry of Truth

we are fully out of the ‘no we don’t want to restrict free speech’ into the phase of ‘yes of course we must end free speech.’ Usually with the justification of ‘otherwise those freedom-hating people will win.’

The government decided that days after the purchase of Twitter (Musk Buys Twitter) under the explicit goal of securing the right to free speech would be the right time to announce a new government division dedicated to the suppression of politically disfavored information

The timing of this decision seems intentional

That does not mean the whole episode will be consequential.

Indeed, rather than the symbolism here being botched, I think the symbolism was the point. As it usually is these days, it’s all such folks think exists.

Then again, sometimes this kind of thing is a prelude to a steady ratcheting up of restrictions and the beginning of the end of what is left of our rights. Can’t rule that out either.

And a poll of people who say by 62%-13% that Elon Musk will make Twitter better. I definitely agree that this is by far the most likely outcome

In Other News

The White House Correspondents Dinner seems to have infected a bunch of people with Covid

Was the dinner obviously going to spread Covid? Yes, absolutely. Do those who went to the dinner regret it? From what I’ve heard the answer is no. This is something that sounds stupid to regular people, but is super important to those who attend it.

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