A Strawberry a Day Might Impact Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Strawberries contain fisetin, a flavonoid that disrupts several pathways for Alzheimer’s disease to grow.

As we age, our risk for neurological disorders increases. It is part of life. Why do some people live past 100 years of age and never lose an ounce of brainpower or memory, and others can develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in their 50s? We may never know. However, we know a lot and are learning more all the time.

Each disease has a pathway for development. Almost everyone starts with chronic low-level inflammation that grows over time. Oxidative stress results from untreated inflammation, and then a whole world of disease development can occur – depending on the specific disease. When we know that a particular molecule or compound effectively blocks a pathway, that regimen is adopted and refined to address that disease.

Fisetin and Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

https://content.iospress.com/articles/brain-plasticity/bpl200104. This article is lengthy and contains valuable information on fisetin and other neurological disorders – Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). This article will concentrate on fisetin and AD.

First, we must know a bit more about fisetin before going into the pathways of AD and what fisetin can do. Fisetin is an antioxidant that increases glutathione (GSH), a reduced molecule because it is an electron donor that can act as an antioxidant. It also maintains mitochondrial function when oxidative stress levels increase. Fisetin has anti-inflammatory traits that inhibit the 5-lipoxygenase protein enzyme (5LO), which is key to treating AD. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3689181/

Fisetin and AD Pathways

Fisetin effectively shuts down and prevents the development of AD pathways in preclinical trials. Anti-inflammatory and oxidative stress are two common pathways for AD to grow in brain tissue. Fisetin consistently prevented cognitive function loss in laboratory animals. Synaptic proteins were maintained at functional levels, and markers of inflammation were reduced. In addition, multiple markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation were noticeably reduced.

Reducing lipid peroxidation is critical in controlling the advancement of AD. Peroxidation of lipids causes changes in membrane permeability and fluidity that impact mitochondria function in the brain. It also alters and inhibits other metabolic processes. https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/1269/impact-of-lipid-peroxidation-on-the-physiology-and-pathophysiology-of-cell-membranes

Fisetin also activated the ERK pathway. An extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) is one pathway the brain uses for signaling and memory. ERK regulates many aspects of cellular function – proliferation, cycle regulation, differentiation, tissue formation, and cell apoptosis (cellular suicide – a normal function over time). https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/etm.2020.8454

Fisetin also has a proven role in neurotrophic factor production. BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is critical for the brain’s nervous system to develop and function properly. BDNF promotes cell survival and differentiation needed in different brain cells. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2019.00363/full

5LO (5-lipoxygenase) modulates oxidation and inflammation. The 5LO pathway in AD promotes increases in inflammation in the brain. 5LO and arachidonic acid are interwoven and affect the development of beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4294160/ and https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2014.00436/full

Conclusion

Fisetin was one of around 30 flavonoids studied as a neuroprotective compound that can prevent a specific type of cell death. Typically, cellular death is termed apoptosis. However, in this case, fisetin stopped ferroptosis (formerly known as oxytosis).

This flavonoid, fisetin, is being clinically evaluated in multiple studies to determine the effectiveness at various dose levels and in conjunction with other compounds – quercetin, isorhamnetin, and luteolin.

Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials in China are evaluating fisetin and ischemic stroke recovery. There are no clinical trials in the United States currently evaluating fisetin in neurological disorders. The most significant amount of fisetin is found in strawberries. So, would it hurt to add a few more strawberries to your diet? I think not!

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

Why Are We Gambling with Our Health Daily?

I think most people think that life is a gamble. However, there are some potent hold cards in your pocket.

Gambling means that we take risky actions for the desired result. What is the desired outcome for our health? It is not having someone change your diaper for the last five or ten years of your life. It is about living life to the fullest – doing things when you want to – no restrictions.

This morning, I was listening to Kenny Rogers sing his 1978 song, The Gambler. It was written by a 23-year-old songwriter named David Schlitz a couple of years before. The lyrics are as much about life as they are about gambling. Health is the most significant risk factor we face daily – especially living in a pandemic world.

We may remain six feet from others, wash our hands a dozen times a day, wear a mask, and more. That is to protect your body from the outside invaders. However, it does not stop other invaders from making a home in your body. The soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, and more have toxins. Over time, they can create health problems.

However, the most significant risks we take relate to the lyrics and our dietary choices. If we are going to play the game of life, we need to play it right. So, how do we know when to hold them and when to fold them – know when to walk away and when to run?

I write and publish daily – as best I can. I research the human body at the cellular level, chemically speaking, looking for cause and effect relationships. You are successful when you treat the cause of a problem. Otherwise, you are always treating symptoms. Our medical profession is based more on corrective actions than preventive ones. Medical solutions are typically aligned with treating symptoms.

What are common symptoms of old age – the visible ones? Aging skin, thicker glasses, difficulty hearing, using a cane or walker, etc. We do not live sixty or seventy years and suddenly need a walker to get around. Bone density and muscle strength are things we never worried about in our earlier lives but become limiting factors in just a few decades.

According to the song, The Gambler, the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and what to keep. I provide awareness and education in my writings. Unless you are interested in a career in nutrition, our schools teach none of it. Our medical professionals know little of the nutritional needs and the interactions within our bodies.

For example, you want strong bones; you must have calcium. Unfortunately, drinking milk does not do the job. It might provide calcium as a source, but unless you have a body with adequate amounts of magnesium, the calcium from the milk you drank ends up in the toilet. Magnesium makes calcium more bioavailable for absorption.

Once the calcium passes from the stomach into the duodenum, it cannot enter the bloodstream unless you have enough vitamin D3. Many, if not most of us, do not have adequate amounts of that vitamin. The calcium bypasses the bloodstream and ends up in the toilet. When calcium enters the bloodstream, it can go to your bones when you have adequate amounts of vitamin K2. If not, the calcium goes to your heart valves and arteries to form plaques – another issue for aging!

When my wife was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer, her oncologist wanted her to take more calcium because he was concerned about her bone density with the drugs she was taking. I mentioned, matter-of-factly, that eating more foods with calcium or taking supplements would not improve her bone density.

In addition to his certifications in oncology, he has a specialty in blood diseases. We had a very short discussion in which my tact could have been a bit more controlled when I told him that calcium does not automatically go to the bones. It needs other chemicals and vitamins to get there. So even getting calcium into the bloodstream did not guarantee that it would go to the bones. Once it is in the bones, it may not stay there unless you track your pH – another article.

We did not converse during the subsequent two visits. My wife would always defer to having me listen and respond to his recommendations. I heard but did not respond because of the tension in the room. Time healed old wounds, and we were back on friendlier terms within a year.

When were you taught that you need more magnesium, more vitamin D3, and more vitamin K2 to have strong, healthy bones? Probably never. Do you know natural sources of magnesium or vitamin K2? Probably not – for most of us. Vitamin D3 is the sunshine vitamin, and we do everything in our power not to have extra sunlight hit our skin – long-sleeves, hats, indoors mostly, sunblock, and more.

So, according to the song, the best that we can hope for is to die in our sleep. In this case, the ‘best’ means there is no walker in the room and no extra packages of diapers in the drawer next to the bed. We want to surprise everyone that dying in our sleep was unexpected and that it was an excellent way to go!

Assisted living, hospice, drugs, limited visitors (especially during pandemics), etc., do not make our final weeks, days, and hours a great and fun time. On the other hand, there are tons and mountains of information available to nearly every one of us via Google and YouTube. So if you want to know something about Alzheimer’s disease you might find the relationship between fisetin and Alzheimer’s – you can look it up or wait for my next article on it. A hint – consider adding more strawberries to your daily diet. Oh, by the way, I have a book on Alzheimer’s coming out shortly based on over 40 articles I have written on that subject.

I strongly recommend that you go to your doctor armed with information about what can help you overcome whatever health problem you have. Sometimes, prescription medicines are mandatory; however, are there natural remedies that will work as well. Most prescription medicines were developed from natural sources.

I will be going to my cardiologist early next year. I mentioned that I had a plan to remove plaque from a blocked artery in my heart. He had never heard about our bodies’ ability (or any protocol) to remove plaque naturally. I told him that I had many references and would provide them to him on my next visit. He was genuinely interested.

As we look at our later lives today, we should not be counting our current health (our money on the table) as what will be in the future. Instead, we will become fully aware of it (hopefully not painfully) when the dealing is done on our death bed.

So, here is an ace you can keep. You are in control of your health. It is wrapped in many factors you can control – even those with a hereditary predisposition. Epigenetics controls many aspects of the genetic markers– the ability to turn on or off the genetic switches that may affect our lives.

Stress, toxins, inflammation, radiation, diet, and even expectations control our health. Each of those is in your control. However, it is not the stress that affects your health – it is holding on to it. Toxins are identified by reading labels and understanding the ingredients and what happens when you allow toxins on or into your body.

Radiation is not much of a factor unless you sit in a room with lots of electric wiring for hours at a time. How many pieces of electrical equipment are turned on in your environment? How close are they to you? How long do you remain nearby?

Inflammation is easily known by getting a simple blood test (no doctor needs to approve it in advance) called the c-reactive protein (CRP). The test will tell you the level of inflammation in your body – not the location. The closer to zero, the better off you are. Chronic, low-level cellular inflammation is the genesis of over 95% of all diseases.

Diet – what more can be said? You are what you eat. You need over 30 nutrients daily to be in optimal health. I strongly recommend the Wahls Protocol regimen to obtain those 30+ nutrients. My wife went on Dr. Terry Wahls’ protocol after months of chemotherapy and just before radiation therapy. I have written numerable articles attesting to months of chemo-fog being removed within a couple of days and having no effects from radiation therapy.

Knowing when to hold the right cards early in life will give you an advantage, a huge advantage, later in life!

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

Suppose There Was a Pandemic and No One Got Sick

What is stopping the solution to kill the pandemic virus?

The more I research the pandemic, the more fear and panic appear on stage. However, I live in Houston, Texas, and most of the time, I would never know there was a pandemic in my life. Therefore, other than visiting a medical facility or a government office, I am not required to wear a mask.

I see others wearing them – outside, in their cars, shopping, etc. More power to them. I was at a military funeral yesterday. The cemetery staff had masks on, but only one of over 100 guests wore a mask. At the party afterward, he was no longer wearing it. Only the wait staff at the hotel resort wore masks.

Something today got me to thinking about the 1970 movie starring Brian Keith, Tony Curtis, and Ernest Borgnine called Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came. The analogy is not perfect, but the thought process is similar – at least in my mind.

Current World Stats

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. The new cases of COVID-19 hit around 1 million/day yesterday. I track the seven-day averages because it smooths out the ups and down from one day to the next. The trend for new cases of COVID-19/day is the highest since records have been kept – just under 900,000/day.

Yet, and it is a big yet, the daily death statistics show just over 6,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19. The last time the death toll was that low was the last week of October 2020. We have had three surges since that time. Is the pandemic waning? I do not think so. People are still dying from the virus.

However, the death rate is around 42% less than the winter 2020 surge when we hit just under 750,000 new COVID-19 cases/day. So we have significantly more new cases today and less than half the deaths? Ponder that for a brief moment.

The second coronavirus surge in the United States peaked at the end of April 2021, with around 825,000 new cases/day. The death rate for that second surge was over double what it is today for that surge. The Delta surge in August of 2021 did not go much, with over 650,000 new cases of COVID-19. The current average death rate/day is 40% less than the Delta surge.

United States Stats

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/, The winter surge of 2020-21 peaked out at just over 250,000 new COVID-19 cases/day. The subsequent surge in April/May 2021 was slight, at best – barely exceeding 70,000 new cases/day. The new cases/day of COVID-19 during the Delta surge in late summer of 2021 narrowly passed 160,000/day. The current surge (Omicron) is still escalating, and figures released yesterday show daily average new cases slightly, very slightly, under 250,000/day and continuing to climb.

The deaths in the United States nearly reflect the same trends worldwide. The COVID-19 deaths in the winter of 2020-21 peaked at 3,500/day. The late Spring 2021 surge was barely noticeable because the daily deaths rate continued to drop during that surge. The 2021 Delta surge recorded daily deaths at the 2,000/day rate. This week the COVID-19 daily death rate average is below 1,200 and continuing to descend.

One surge saw 250,000 average new cases with daily deaths around 3,500. The next surge was barely discernable in recent cases. Daily deaths continued to fall during that surge. The Delta surge peaked in the 160,000 range, with daily deaths accounting for merely 2,000/day. This week, the new cases are being reported as records – and they are! However, the daily deaths are also at records levels – not reported.

Headlines

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/28/us-new-daily-high-covid-526223?fbclid=IwAR30XjwDamA-z6YfXiLtK7PkNt97GgkJ4LQam9cC6Y1CC-24UehRP6g5uzo. “U.S. sets new daily high for Covid cases.” This tally represents a grim new milestone in the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by the CDC. Higher numbers are expected because of the holidays. All of this is despite the constant push for vaccinations.

Big story not unreported – vaccines do not last long. We are rapidly approaching a new vaccine program – The Shot of The Month Club! The Omicron booster lasts about ten weeks, and its infection prevention capability starts to fall by double digits.

My daughter’s roommate received two vaccine doses during Thanksgiving and was randomly tested today at work and found to test positive for COVID-19. How can you get a double dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and get infected less than six weeks later? Vaccines are not the savior many thought they would be.

Omicron in the United States

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/28/cdc-drops-omicron-prevalence-estimate-526210. AP News reported eight days ago that the Omicron variant was responsible for 73% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States. (https://apnews.com/article/omicron-majority-us-cases-833001ef99862bd6ac17935f65c896cf)/ A week later, we are not – not so fast! – the latest infection rate blamed on Omicron is only 58.6%. However, do not worry, because more new cases are coming.

The CDC model shows more cases about to be reported because of holiday visiting and air travel (at pre-pandemic levels). The fear level must be maintained because health officials do not understand Omicron’s severity. FEMA surge facilities are being prepared along with additional vaccination sites.

Conclusion

Is this pandemic only present on paper with specific criteria – new cases and hospitalizations? Every state has its programs to protect its citizens. For example, I track the Texas Medical Center website (https://www.tmc.edu/coronavirus-updates/overview-of-tmc-icu-bed-capacity-and-occupancy/) to see what impact the pandemic virus is causing at a local level.

The latest data shows 150 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds. At the Phase I Intensive Care Hospital Plan, there are over 1,300 ICU beds. The current impact is 11%. When those 1,300 ICU beds are full, Phase 2 and Phase 3 plans can accommodate almost another 1,000 ICU beds.

The Omicron variant is not benign. It can kill. It can hospitalize people (even those fully vaccinated – and even those with a recent booster – see last week’s headlines about the CEO of Southwest Airlines becoming infected). However, the hospitalization rates are significantly lower than the Delta variant, and the death rates are continuing to fall – as if there is no marked increase in new cases of COVID-19.

Is this a case of selective pandemic reporting? Unfortunately, no. It has not changed since the virus entered the news realm two years ago. So instead, maybe it is a case of not reporting what might be critical for people to know regarding the pandemic virus.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

 

Why Is It Impossible to See the Silver Lining Behind the Storm Clouds?

Denmark may be the Omicron benchmark for the rest of Europe

Omicron, the current bogeyman of our pandemic, does not seem to fit the mold of how dangerous coronavirus can be. Yes, there are some very virulent issues with the Omicron variant, but there is a lot to rejoice about at the same time.

Denmark & Omicron

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/denmark-sees-initial-signs-that-dire-omicron-surge-can-be-avoided/. Over 77% of Denmark’s citizens have had two vaccine doses, and over 35% have had a booster shot. That is impressive!

At the same time, the world is experiencing increased new cases/day of COVID-19 (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/) with the current level over 750,000 (seven-day average). However, the daily deaths are decreasing to below 6,200/day. That is excellent news!

99.4% of Danes have survived COVID-19

(https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/denmark/) Less than 100 Danes today have severe/serious cases. The weekly average of new cases, mostly Omicron, is over 10,000/day and appears to be stabilizing. This level is nearly three times the previous record surge of new COVID-19 cases. However, daily deaths are less than half of the last surge and are barely double digits. Again, great news!

Denmark tracks hospitalizations rates (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1105720/patients-hospitalized-due-to-coronavirus-in-denmark/) more carefully than most countries. Denmark planned for up to 250/day hospitalized with the Omicron variant and is currently averaging around 125/day.

Data from South Africa, where the Omicron variant first appeared, are meager – half or lower the rate of the Delta variant at its peak. A Scottish study indicates that the Omicron variant accounts for 60% fewer hospitalizations. A new English study suggests that the real Omicron threat is that infected people requiring hospitalization is around 20%, with 40% of those remaining over one night.

Denmark & 2022

Denmark is ahead of the power curve with vaccinations and boosters, especially compared to South Africa. The daily deaths are negligible, with the number of new COVID-19 cases skyrocketing. I think that is something to celebrate.

However, we hear that it is too early to relax. Or the Danish data is too early to measure the Omicron variant’s severity directly. More tracking and study must be done with other emerging data. There are still too many uncertainties. Even if the risk of hospitalization is lower, the sheer number of new cases will cause healthcare issues. Disruptions abound, especially with the young.

Denmark has controlled the Omicron variant in the areas that matter most – daily deaths and hospitalizations. New cases are continuing to rise steeply, but we will know in another week if they have plateaued. Should other countries in Europe be concerned? Yes, it is never time to take the pandemic less than seriously. However, we can rejoice occasionally when the news is positive.

Conclusion

We have been in this viral conundrum for over two years (since the first recorded case). Everything we read or hear is doom and gloom. When positive news occurs, there are disclaimers and cautions. We cannot even enjoy a few days of a positive trend.

Silver linings are rare. I see the Omicron variant as a silver lining in our pandemic world. More COVID-19 infected people are and surviving. That means more people will acquire natural immunity.

Some say that naturally acquired immunity is not as good as being fully vaccinated. However, most of those studies were conducted during the first month of being fully vaccinated when vaccine protection levels were three out of 100,000. It is hard to compete with numbers like that. However, six months later, the infection rate dropped from 3/100,000 to 1/500.

mRNA vaccines see a sliver of the coronavirus spike. This thin slice is what our immune systems should recognize as a threat. It worked well for the Alpha and Beta variants, not for the Delta variant. And it is not working to any significant degree for the Omicron variant. Survivors of the pandemic virus have seen the entire spike plus the rest of the viral molecule. Their immune systems have recorded significantly more data about the viral threat – regardless of variant.

The devil is in the details, even with negative news. Fewer people are dying from COVID-19. More are becoming naturally immune. The most vulnerable are still those over 60 years of age with health issues. They must be protected.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

My Unique Christmas 1998 Started with a Bus Fire Before a 10-Mile Tunnel

Michelangelo’s Moses with horns.

It was the last couple of years of my military career. I was on active duty in Stuttgart, Germany, supporting operations in Bosnia. My wife and son joined me for the Christmas holidays. USEUCOM (United States European Command) gave everyone a few extra days off during Christmas week.

MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) tours were available to go to Italy for six days and seven nights – starting with midnight mass in the Vatican. Seventy-six of us signed up, and off we went on a 76-passenger bus. As we neared the long 17-kilometer (10.5 miles) Gotthard Road Tunnel, some of us smelled smoke in the bus. It was concentrated near the back end of the bus.

We notified the bus driver. He soon discovered that the insulation protecting the engine exhaust had come off (disintegrated) and had baked an unprotected portion of the engine compartment that started to smolder. He called his boss, and we were told that it would be eight hours before two busses could rescue us. It was after midnight, freezing and snowing. Did I mention that it was cold – icy?

The bus engine was shut down. We had options of sitting in the bus with a strong smoke aroma or standing outside in fresh air. It seemed that most everyone took turns inside and outside the bus that night. We had dressed warmly for our departure from Germany but not for an all-nighter in the mountains of Switzerland.

Eight hours later, two buses show up, and we continue our bus tour of Italy. Our appointment for midnight mass at the Vatican was in jeopardy because of the eight-hour delay. With pitstops for food and bathroom breaks, we arrived at St. Peter’s Basilica before midnight, but not in time to claim our reserved seats. They had been given away thirty minutes earlier. We did manage to gain entry to the Basilica and heard the mass in the background.

Things happen for a reason. I am convinced of that. Many times, we never know why. The bus was all military and families. No one complained, which was strange to the bus driver (who was also an owner/operator). I guess Germans complain when accidental fires happen on their bus tours.

Our guide reminded me of a class I took in California history. It was like listening to a National Geographic each night of class until the professor said there would be a test next week. I had barely taken a note. I was mesmerized by the presentations and information.

The guide would go into intimate detail about the history of everywhere we stopped on tour. Two tour-guide presentations held me spell-bound. One was about the Pantheon in Rome – its history, construction, and more. The other was about Michelangelo’s Moses with horns.

Being within reach of the statue and listening to the master storyteller describe the history of Michelangelo and this statue was one of the highlights of my life. History was living in front of me.

We visited many other memorable tourist spots before returning to Germany. However, I could not imagine the dire straits at the beginning that turned into a beautiful Christmas vacation with my wife and son. It turned out to be my last Christmas in the military. I retired in less than a year – 01NOV99 – with 31+ years.

My best friend and I went to Dallas, Texas, to take a Navy Aviation Aptitude Test and flight physical. We both passed the test. Unfortunately, he did not pass the physical. That Sunday afternoon, 30JUN68, I said, “I do!” to the Navy. The following Wednesday, my best friend was my bridegroom, and I said, “I do!” to my wife – now 53 years.

 

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

Say It Aint So for All of 2022 and Beyond!

Who can really forecast what is to happen in 2022?

Weezer, in 1992, sang, “Say it ain’t so – your drug is a heartbreaker.” Our current pandemic has broken a lot of hearts – in many, many ways. Unfortunately, the vaccine drugs are Band-Aids that must be replaced much more often than seems reasonable. Vaccines should last more than six months.

Booster shots are being recommended – without a replacement date. Medical researchers do not know how long the effectiveness of a booster shot is currently. Maybe six months – like the second of two vaccine doses? Maybe more? Maybe less? Probably.

Boosters & Omicron in 2022

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-does-booster-protection-omicron-covid-last-study-2021-12?fbclid=IwAR1Zwo-CNRBDHPtwhYnbq-pv-nue8HuYPJeIjP1lRkb7Of5HBstNpJmIc3g. The latest study indicates that the powerful, but less deadly, Omicron variant thwarts booster shots in ten weeks. That means everyone will have to get a booster shot every two months to be protected from Omicron.

In just over two months, the booster shot loses about 25% potency to protect against Omicron infection. That is what the study results show. Yet, in the same article, medical scientists are telling us that it is not clear whether everyone will need further doses in 2022. I find that amazing!
Initially, the vaccines were our way out of the pandemic. Get everyone vaccinated, and herd immunity would be achieved, and we would welcome 2022 without fear and enjoy near-normal lives again. But, unfortunately, the vaccine’s effective lifespan (expiration date) is roughly six months.

Vaccine Effectiveness

https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211105/covid-vaccine-protection-drops-study#:~:text=The%20Johnson%20%26%20Johnson%20vaccine%20showed,age%2C%E2%80%9D%20the%20study%20said. At the beginning of November this year, the journal, Science, published a report about the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent infection. Just under 800,000 veterans were evaluated in this study. The three primary vaccines available in the United States provide about the same level of protection at the beginning (last March).

But, six months later, all that protection is out the window. The Moderna mRNA vaccine went from near 90% effective in blocking infection from the pandemic virus to just under 60%. The Pfizer mRNA vaccine dropped from under 90% to 45% in six months. The J&J viral vector vaccine fell off the edge of the cliff by going from just over 85% to 13%. The AstraZeneca viral vector vaccine’s protection went from around 60% to 30% in six months.

The statistics are worse as you go through the report. In three months, the vaccines’ ability to protect against death for veterans over the age of 65 was gone. No wonder that breakthrough cases started skyrocketing after six months.

The vaccines were touted to prevent infection, reduce the severity of symptoms if infected, and minimize the risk of death from coronavirus. To be upfront, the vaccines were developed when the Alpha and Bravo variants were in vogue. The Delta variant kicked all other variants to the curb and assumed the role of #1 Bad Guy in Town!

The vaccines were not designed to protect against all viral mutations. Yet, all health authorities keep hyping the need to get vaccinated. Why? I do not know. When fear is maintained, and you must show ‘paperwork’ to enter a bar or restaurant, there may be extenuating reasons why all that money was spent on vaccines. They were a good idea at the time, but…

Indeed, the clinical studies that were abbreviated to get Emergency Use Authorization to the American public (and the world in general) were tracked further and showed the vaccine manufacturing companies that the effectiveness of their vaccines would wane in six to nine months. Then, we began to hear that a booster shot might be needed for the most vulnerable. Then, everyone would need a booster.

Breakthrough Cases in 2022

https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/characteristics-of-vaccinated-patients-hospitalized-with-covid-19-breakthrough-infections/. I am continually amazed at the alternate interpretations of the same data. This article recognizes that breakthrough infections (people infected with COVID-19 even though they had two vaccine doses) were increasing from June to September. The report was published in mid-December. Vaccines were being distributed at the turn of 2021, and their expiration date would be around September. No mention of vaccine ineffectiveness is mentioned.

Regardless, about 15% of the hospital admissions were breakthrough cases during that time. The positive news is that fully vaccinated people with COVID-19 spent less time in hospitals, and fewer were put on ventilators. The not-so-good news is that breakthrough cases will continue to increase, especially with the Omicron variant.

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/stats/vbt.html. I find the COVID-19 breakthrough statistics from the Minnesota Department of Health easier to find breakthrough statistics than most websites, including CDC. Minnesota recognizes there is more than age to consider when analyzing COVID-19 data.

The population demographic of fully vaccinated (in Minnesota) are older, have more comorbidities, and work in higher-risk jobs. As such, they are in jeopardy of being a breakthrough case, needing hospitalization, and having a higher risk of death.

That same grouping applies throughout the United States – fully vaccinated, older, less healthy, and in jobs that expose them to more people daily. This is the cadre of people with waning infection protection and is at higher risk of becoming infected and infecting others.

Breakthrough cases continue to climb as weeks and months transpire from the last vaccine shot. From June through September, the rate of breakthrough cases was evolving from very few to a few cases/day. After November, the new cases of COVID-19 from the fully vaccinated group continued to climb. Approximately 15% of recent hospitalizations are breakthrough cases.

That 15% of people hospitalized is ironically about 15% of the total breakthrough cases – those with reported symptoms and tested. So if 15 people are hospitalized today, then another 85 people have breakthrough cases that did not qualify for hospitalization.

And, if over half the breakthrough cases are asymptomatic, there are another 100 breakthrough cases with no symptoms capable of infecting others. This is the future for 2022.

Conclusion

It is not the unvaccinated that most of us should be wary of. Yes, they pose a potential risk to our health and others. But those who are fully vaccinated and have no idea that they are at high risk, likely to be asymptomatic and can infect others – mainly family and friends, and maybe even the more vulnerable to COVID-19.

I read many articles daily, and the narrative is always, vaccines work. Get vaccinated and be protected. Yet, most hospitalizations and deaths are attributed to the unvaccinated. That is the theme broadcast daily. When people believe they are bullet-proof with two vaccine doses, they are likely to lower their personal protections. That is when rampant increases in new cases happen – both from the unvaccinated and the fully vaccinated.

Omicron is already here. Some think it will run its path by March. I believe it is a blessing in disguise. How else can many people become infected and gain natural immunity with little risk of hospitalization or death? We need medical research to kill the virus when it enters our bodies – not reducing the severity of symptoms – which seems to focus on COVID-19 antiviral research.

Yes, 2022 will get worse before it gets better. But, the good news is that huge increases in new cases with a slight increase in hospitalizations, and daily deaths are better than the alternative(s).
I cannot see the American public becoming anxious to get a booster shot every two months. Most of the unvaccinated will never get a vaccine shot for COVID-19. But, after a few booster shorts, that trend could apply to the vaccinated and boosted population.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

There Is Something About Best Laid Plans and Asunder

100% Vaccination Policy – How is that Working Out?

The military has a 100% vaccination policy. If you are not vaccinated, you cannot be in the military. The purpose is to ensure that its personnel can always be ready to meet our nation’s challenges.

Would you believe that one U. S. Navy warship is out of commission because the pandemic virus has compromised mission capability? Even though everyone is fully vaccinated, some sailors have become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

This was not hard to predict. mRNA vaccines are good for about six months. The military did not consider this (or were not aware of it) and did not insist on getting a six-month booster shot for everyone.

You might remember that the CEO of Southwest Airlines was fully vaccinated and had his booster shot and still became infected. Unfortunately, vaccines are not likely to end this pandemic. They have a short lifespan of effectiveness against infection, hospitalization, and death. Yes, fewer people will probably be hospitalized compared to the unvaccinated, but the vaccine is not stopping the spread of the pandemic virus.

This warship, the USS Milwaukee, has a crew of roughly 100. It was not published how many sailors were infected – only that they were segregated from the rest of the crew. Last year, the USS Theodore Roosevelt had more than 1,000 out of a crew of nearly 5,000 incapacitated with the pandemic virus. They were sidelined for two months.

Conclusion

I was in the Navy for 31+ years – 16 as a Naval Flight Officer with several patrol squadrons over sixteen years during the Vietnam and Cold Wars. My shot record is many pages long with the required vaccines and shots to keep current. When deploying to points offshore, I was always required to keep myself up to date with any needed immunizations.

I think the Navy (and the military, in general, as well as many other institutions – hospitals, care providers, fire and police, etc. – are short-sighted in taking fully qualified people and sidelining them (or firing them) because of the pandemic. Highly skilled people are needed in all our industries.

After nearly two years of enduring daily health crises, are we saying that we cannot protect those who work for us? We cannot safeguard female sailors from pregnancy aboard ships. We obviously cannot defend our sailors from the pandemic virus.

Our country operates on strict guidelines of the FDA/CDC/WHO and other public health authorities. Yet, what works in other countries to shut down the pandemic virus spread is not even tried in the United States. Why? My first guess is always – Follow the Money!

If a drug that works effectively at shutting down the spread of coronavirus for millions cannot be used effectively on Navy vessels, then something is wrong. Warships are closed communities, and containing and killing viruses should not be that difficult with effective antiviral drugs rather than weak, time-restricted vaccines that are worthless six to nine months after vaccination.

I believe that the rapid spread of the Omicron variant might become the panacea for our pandemic. People with naturally acquired immunity have innate protection from the entire spike of the virus and the overall molecular structure. Vaccines provide our immune systems a sliver of a look at the spike and are expected to interpret the entire virus based on that view.

Omicron is rapidly invading the planet. In most places, the new cases are skyrocketing, and deaths are static or declining. There are some exceptions, such as South Korea.

South Africa is going exponential with new cases, and daily deaths are significantly lower than one would expect. In addition, Israel will not allow anyone to enter its country without verifying a vaccine or booster shot within six months. That has effectively kept the spread of the pandemic virus under control.

India was decimated with the Delta variant and has yet to see any noticeable increase in new cases of Omicron. Is it because of the effectiveness of the unproved antivirals used to control and almost eliminate the virus just a few months ago? I do not know, but it appears no one is entertaining similar thoughts.

Our bureaucracies stymie fast, effective responses. We have a track record of two years of partial success that is being overcome by time because of viral variants. Will the following coronavirus variants be more lethal than the Delta one? We are not ready when all our hold cards have vaccines written across the top. Even the new antiviral pills are designed to reduce the severity of symptoms – not stop the spread of the disease.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

 

Just How Accurate Are Those Rapid Test Kits Anyway?

There are many factors that can influence the results of clinical tests.

Testing for COVID-19 has taken many twists and turns over nearly the past two years. A new virus showed up on our doorstep, and we had no method to detect or combat it. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) molecular tests are used to detect genetic material from specific organisms, viruses included.

A COVID-19 PCR test was developed that could detect the presence of the pandemic virus at the time the test was given. However, there are many concerns scientists have had over the preceding months regarding the absolute accuracy of the COVID-19 PCR test.

When you are no longer infected, your body may contain broken fragments of the coronavirus that will yield a positive test for COVID-19 even though you are no longer infected. The PCR test has been designated the ‘gold standard for many other viral detections. However, the technology that amplifies the sample is a two-edged sword.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045416/ identifies several pitfalls of COVID-19 PCR testing. It is a tool but not the ultimate authority to claim a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2 or not positively. Other testing should complement it.

When To Test?

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/21462-covid-19-and-pcr-testing. Fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body and muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, and other symptoms are common with COVID-19. I had a tickle in my throat for about a day that developed into a nagging cough. Initially, I associated my fatigue with the excessive use of Nyquil to tame the cough.

After a couple of days, it occurred to me that I might have COVID-19 (which I did just a couple of months ago). My wife and I searched for pharmacies to get a COVID-19 test, and all were out of testing supplies. We went to a couple of big box stores and pharmacies looking for home test kits, and they were sold out also. It delayed my test for one day.

That delay allowed major joint pain to confirm that I had COVID-19, and the evidence came less than 24 hours after we went to our local Urgent Care facility. We were tested for 26 different viruses and won the gold medal for SARS-CoV-2 (probably the Delta variant – it was prevalent when we became infected). Regeneron monoclonal antibodies were administered within hours after our test results, and we recovered very quickly.

Omicron Variant Symptoms

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/omicron-symptoms-covid-what-to-know-rcna9469. Omicron is a variant of COVID-19, and some symptoms are more prevalent with this variant than the Alpha, Beta, or Delta variants. The most reported symptoms are cough, fatigue, congestion, and runny nose.

Loss of smell and taste has not been confirmed as a primary symptom of Omicron. Age, health issues, vaccination status, and other factors can affect the number and severity of symptoms. Some early studies show that the Omicron variant is not as severe as earlier variants.

Lung damage is less damaging and more rapid. Infections appear to concentrate higher in the respiratory tract than earlier variants, where pneumonia left people short of breath. Omicron feels more like bronchitis with extra fatigue.

COVID-19 symptoms generally appear after five days to a week for most people. However, the Omicron variant has symptoms as early as three days.

Rapid Test Accuracy

https://www.businessinsider.com/false-negative-reasons-rapid-covid-test-may-show-bad-result-2021-12?fbclid=IwAR1BvkPxiQb6tTrs0K_PuE0jqjdDsugreCxly1ap5JxuVFXPcCenOtv5Bmc. Rapid testing is highly desirable. We all want to know now whether we are infected or not. However, a false rapid test result that indicates we are not infected could bring on many more infections with friends and family, especially over the next week or two.

The COVID-19 PCR test may take several days to yield results. Faster testing minimizes the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, not all rapid test kits detect the Omicron variant. Check Dr. Google before buying a rapid test kit to know the limitations of that kit. What may work well last week may not be in vogue this week.

Always check the expiration date. When you buy in bulk and stock up on COVID-19 rapid test kits, you might find that some have expired before using them. Some rapid test kits last only a few months before their expiration date is exceeded.

Temperature affects chemical reactions. A swimming pool is a perfect example. In the wintertime, you may need very little chlorine to control algae growth. Yet, during the summer, the pump must remain on longer to circulate pool water, and more chemicals are needed to maintain the pool’s chemical parameters. The same applies to rapid test kits.

Store your test kits as if they were batteries – in cooler locations. However, when using the test kits, ensure everything is at room temperature for several hours before opening the package. It will give your more accurate results.

Test kits may use a swab for the nasal passages or the throat. The food you ate could influence the test results. For example, coffee and soft drinks have exhibited false positives. Brushing your teeth or using mouth wash can also affect the results, which may be wrong. Allow at least one hour from eating, teeth brushing, mouthwashes, etc., before using any throat swabs. Read the directions before use. Some are also sensitive to smoking.

Rapid test kits were developed and distributed before the Omicron variant debuted. Test kit manufacturers are not offering positive advice about the accuracy of their test kits when the Omicron variant is dominant. Abbott BinaxNow and Quidel QuickVue have had success detecting the Omicron variant to date.

Conclusion

Testing is only as good as the person taking the test, the equipment used, and the procedures followed. In some cases, storage and transportation might also impact the accuracy of the results.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

 

How Dangerous is This Winter Season to Your Health?

Snuggle up with your sweater or with flu meds in your bed?

Nearly 40,000 people have died each year from seasonal influenza for the past eight years except for last year. Less than a thousand (748 deaths) were recorded from just over 2,000 confirmed cases of seasonal influenza. The Twindemic forecast for the previous winter never materialized. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2783644

Forecast for 2021/22

https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/12/14/state-health-officials-announce-first-flu-related-death-2021-22-flu-season. The first person of this winter season has died from influenza. Warnings appear nearly everywhere, begging people to get their flu shot. Last year’s history of almost no influenza season should apply again for this year.

Would not one think? The COVID-19 virus is not allowing any other viruses to become competitors. Scientists are hard-pressed to tell you why there was no seasonal influenza season last winter. South of the equator, seasonal influenza cases were like pulling hens’ teeth – very rare!

What About Omicron?

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/. South Africa is the source of the Omicron variant. Yes, new cases have risen off the chart higher than previous surges – and faster! For five weeks starting in mid-October, roughly 500 new cases of COVID-19 were reported. Since the last week of November, new cases of COVID-19 have been over 23,000 and still climbing.

Yet, the coronavirus death rate is unchanged – under 50/day since the middle of November. This week’s deaths have not surpassed 30/day. How can you have exponential increases in new cases and not have any increases at all in new deaths? The Omicron variant is not a killer. It is not even a variant that causes hospitalizations.

South Africa Omicron Hospitalizations

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-17/s-africa-says-hospitalizations-in-omicron-wave-much-lower. During the second week of the Delta wave surge, about 20% of the hospitalizations were confirmed as COVID-19. Barely over 1.5% of the new hospitalizations in South Africa after the second week of the Omicron surge are confirmed as COVID-19.

The Omicron variant infects people quickly, yet it does not immobilize enough to have a run on hospital services. Yes, in the United States, we are at the end of the Delta variant season and the beginning of the Omicron season. The Delta variant can increase hospitalizations and deaths. The Omicron virus is a weak-kneed stepsister in comparison.

Omicron Infecting the Vaccinated

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/omicron-vaccinated-delta-spread/2021/12/20/id/1049358/. Yes, infections, breakthrough infections, are occurring in the fully vaccinated. This past week, the CEO of Southwest Airlines contracted COVID-19 after having both vaccine shots and the booster. Is there any hope for the rest of us?

Yes, viral variants come and go. The Omicron is the latest entry into the pandemic arena. It will eventually push out the Delta variant. The good news for us is that far fewer people will die from COVID-19 with the Omicron variant. Is this the path to complete herd immunity? Maybe?

The pandemic vaccines are not working. The boosters have a shelf life that is rapidly approaching. The establishment will advise us to keep getting booster shots. And they will continue to implore all the unvaccinated to get their COVID-19 vaccines – which are suitable for six months at best.

The vaccine manufacturers cut short the clinical trials to quickly get the vaccine to the marketplace. They did save lives. They did reduce the congestion in the hospitals. They worked as advertised for the first few months. The clinical trials were still tracked after the distribution of the vaccines. The manufacturers knew that the viable life of the COVID-19 vaccine was much shorted than planned – or expected. Why were we not informed sooner? The booster shot – literally the second of two vaccine shots – was designated for the most vulnerable when it should have been for everyone immediately.

Lack of good faith is keeping many unvaccinated from getting inoculations. What else are they not telling us is a common thread in many people I talk to about why they do not trust the medical authorities. We hear a constant drumbeat of the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, yet many have heart and other issues attributable to the vaccine.

Deaths from COVID-19 Vaccine

https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/does-vaers-list-deaths-caused-by-covid-19-vaccines. Over 14,000 deaths have been recorded that are attributed to coronavirus vaccines. This figure is as of the first week of November. The statistics cited will tell you that this is an extremely low percentage. The VAERS report does not record deaths within two weeks of being inoculated. That number is more difficult to find.

No other FDA/CDC-approved vaccine has a safety record this reckless. Do the means justify the ends? Maybe. Many thousands (probably millions) of people successfully evaded hospitalization and death after getting vaccinated.

Now they await the opportunity to become a breakthrough case. The vaccines are not preventing infections, hospitalizations, or deaths – something we tend to think vaccines should do. What do we do now?

India Might Hold the Key

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/india/. India was devastated by the Delta variant. The new COVID-19 case average blew up from around 10,000/day to nearly 400,000/day in five weeks. Vaccines were not available, and India chose to use antiviral drugs. In five weeks, the new coronavirus cases have remained less than 50,000/day.

Some states in India used antiviral drugs, and others did not. Those using antiviral drugs had and continue to have high success rates of keeping people out of hospitals and graveyards.

Deaths from the Delta variant averaged less than 100/day before the variant became entrenched in Indian society. Daily deaths average just under 5,000/day at the height of the Delta surge to around 300/day (plus or minus a hundred) since the middle of August. The December daily death tallies average just over 300/day.

Why is India Not Becoming Infected with Omicron?

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/omicron-india-covid-cases-top-developments-7678292/. The Omicron variant has been detected in India this past week. Will it explode into memories of Delta? Maybe from a new case perspective, but not from daily deaths. The Indian population has a single-shot vaccine rate of around 60% and a two-shot vaccine rate of nearly 40%. In addition, many Indians have already been treated with antiviral drugs.

The research I have done does not recognize the antiviral drugs India used to break the back of the Delta variant. Instead, they are betting on future antiviral drugs to offset the severity of coronavirus infections. Unfortunately, there is no actual data – other than the current history of India – to substantiate when some over-the-counter antiviral drugs that demonstrated extraordinary effectiveness can also protect against future outbreaks of coronavirus variants.

Or, it could be that the virus has not made its presence known yet in India. Time will tell.

Conclusion

We know a lot more this winter than we did last winter. The Twindemic became an idle thought that disappeared quickly. I believe the same is true this year – no Twindemic to worry about. It is my opinion – not a medical fact.

I do see considerable increases in new coronavirus cases (Omicron variant). Unfortunately, medical researchers and scientists have no weapons in their arsenals to combat the Omicron variant. Fortunately, it is a mild version of the pandemic virus. Nevertheless, people will continue to get sick, and some will end up in the hospital. It is a numbers game.

Even at a two percent level of new cases being admitted to hospitals, the potentially disastrous high numbers of new cases can bring a health hospital to its knees, especially when hospital administrators have sent home those trained to take care of pandemic patients.

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. We continue to do the same things – wear a mask, stand six feet apart, wash your hands, get vaccinated, get a booster shot, etc. Yet, the fully vaccinated are getting infected (and infecting others), and some end up in the hospital.

No country has the silver bullet to address the pandemic’s spread effectively. Fully vaccinated (and boosted) people will celebrate Christmas and the New Year as carriers of the latest virus and infect many others. Unfortunately, putting the unvaccinated under house arrest will not stop the spread of the disease as we are seeing done in other countries.

Life Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOlaughlin.com

Who Decides How Much Risk is Enough for Each of Us?

Risks can be assessed and addressed. Cost, time, and other factors become part of the solution.

The pandemic has forced people to choose sides. On one side, the narrative is that everyone must, absolutely must, have a vaccine. Yet, this same position is held when scientific evidence demonstrates the vaccine degrades monthly after being inoculated.

The mRNA vaccines show substantial potency during the first couple of months and then decays to protect against the pandemic virus infection. The initial protection starts at around three people per 100,000 that might become infected after two doses of the vaccine. Then six months later, the protection level has slid to one out of 500 and is steeply declining.

The pandemic has been with us for nearly two years. Vaccines were developed much faster than expected and were designed to give our hospitals a break and reduce the death rate from COVID-19.
As the protection from infection was waning, we were ensured that the vaccines still protected hospitalization and death. A recent statistic I read this week showed that the death rate from fully vaccinated and unvaccinated are roughly the same.

Statistics can be interpreted in many ways. When we see how many people have died with coronavirus, it is not apples and apples. The numbers include everything from Day 1. Yes, when no vaccines existed, everyone was unvaccinated and added to the total number of deaths from COVID-19.

Yet, today, those early totals are still being used to show that if you were fully vaccinated, you are still in that powerful majority immune from death from COVID-19. A more accurate portrayal would be to compare deaths from September through December.

The vaccines would be effectively neutered, and the true nature or infection protection of fully vaccinated would be compared with the unvaccinated. While researching today’s article, I found a study comparing recent cases between the fully vaccinated and unvaccinated.

https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-health-watch/breakthrough-covid-deaths-illnesses-mount-boosters-lag-michigan. And, https://www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/20211116_Data_and_modeling_update_vMEDIA_741480_7.pdf. Slightly more than half the people of Michigan are fully vaccinated. Yet almost one-quarter of hospitalizations are patients who were fully vaccinated.

Over one-quarter of COVID-19 deaths are attributed to COVID-19. So how can a vaccine that purports to be effective at keeping people out of the hospital and reducing deaths be considered adequate when breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths are in double digits?

Some states have more freedom than others. Yet, all face the same pandemic virus. The states with higher vaccination rates are more heavily infected than states with lower vaccination rates. Vaccines do help. But, people are unaware that many, not most, but many of the infections are being caused by the fully vaccinated who are symptomatic.

The Coming Omicron Tsunami

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/12/15/1064202754/omicron-evades-moderna-vaccine-too-study-suggests-but-boosters-help. Do not hold your breath. The Omicron variant will replace the Delta variant, causing havoc around the United States.

Over 30 countries have reported cases of Omicron. The infection rate in some states in the U. S. has risen 700% in the past week. We can expect to hear horror reports of record-breaking new cases before the end of January 2022.

New cases are not an accurate measure that people should report. Yes, it is essential but not as important as hospital availability and deaths. The Omicron variant has a significantly lower rate of sending people to hospitals than the Delta variant. On top of that, the death rate from Omicron is nearly nonexistent.

https://www.newsweek.com/has-anyone-died-omicron-covid-variant-first-death-reported-uk-1658701. One person has died from Omicron in the United Kingdom. Ten people were in the hospital with confirmed cases of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant. However, nearly 5,000 people are currently listed as new cases of Omicron.

Headlines tell us that we should be prepared for massive new hospitalizations and deaths from Omicron. Up till now, deaths and hospitalizations in South Africa are exceptionally low, especially deaths from COVID-19’s Omicron variant.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-omicron-variant-south-africa-low-deaths-and-hospitalizations/

The Latest in the United States

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/spikes-covid-19-cases-sends-ivy-league-students-home-early-forces-final. Students at Cornell University have been sent home to stop the spread of the Omicron variant. Cornell reports a 97% vaccination rate for its students.

This past week, nearly 1,000 students tested positive for Omicron. One would expect an organization with nearly 100% fully vaccinated people to be immune from COVID-19. Based on this logic, universities may never have students attending classes on campus.

Vaccination rates may not be the best measure of health protection for everyone present. The university will require all faculty, staff, and students to get a booster shot before returning to classes.

Conclusion

The boogieman has no clothes. Nevertheless, the Omicron variant might be the best thing to happen in a long time. The current vaccines are waning, and boosters are being forced into society. A booster shot offers similar protection to the second dose of an mRNA vaccine – about six months.

I can envision the powers that be requiring everyone to get a booster every six months – like the seasonal influenza shots. The vaccine was supposed to protect us against infection. Unfortunately, it is a Band-Aid, not a vaccine. It protects you long enough for the scab to fall off, and then you are at risk for another injury.

Why are some states wide open with no restrictions on dining or drinking, and other states require absolute adherence to vaccine passports and no entry without proof of vaccination? Allow a bunch of fully vaccinated people into a bar (or other indoor activity), and the asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers will be passing the virus on to everyone in sight.

We do not want to talk about the risk of people becoming infected with COVID-19. Maybe Omicron is the solution. It is an extremely contagious modification of COVID-19 that has lower hospitalization rates and deaths. Will the naturally acquired immunity from Delta or Omicron be enough to protect us from future surges? I think it might.

There is no consistent risk assessment and action plan for the pandemic virus that has been infiltrating our society for nearly two years. One would think that a standard risk assessment

https://www.assp.org/news-and-articles/conducting-a-risk-assessment. Risk assessments have been part of the business structure from my military to my civilian jobs. We know the threats, sources, causes, impacts, vulnerabilities, and many other facets of life with the pandemic virus. Why is it so difficult to get a standard threat/risk assessment that is effective?

Surges come and go. Variants will always be on the horizon. It is time to have a coherent plan that works in Michigan and Florida – in Cornell University and Arizona State. A rapid increase in new cases without increased hospitalizations and deaths is not a good indicator of the risk to our health. Take two weeks off, stay at home, and then return to society. Am I being too cynical?

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com