Surprise, Surprise, Surprise at the latest findings!

Most of us love surprises, especially when the surprises are good!

Older television audiences know the expression, Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Private Gomer Pyle used it along with Shazam! and Golly! Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! (in Gomer Pyle’s voice) is also heard on the 1979 Pink Floyd record, The Wall – again a surprise.

However, today, decades after Gomer Pyle and Pink Floyd, we are reading daily about the invasion of the Omicron variant. I noticed that the Omicron variant appears to infect the fully vaccinated more than other groups (unvaccinated, single-shot, and those with naturally acquired immunity).

The Omicron Variant Conundrum in the United States

https://www.aol.com/news/most-reported-u-omicron-cases-182642515-202805440.html. CDC reported that most Omicron variant infections are in people today who are fully vaccinated. Nearly 80% of Americans infected with the COVID-19 Omicron variant are in people who were fully vaccinated. Over 40% of the newly infected had received their booster shots.

The numbers at this time are small and may not indicate future infections. However, it is startling and surprising that the fully vaccinated are becoming infected by the Omicron variant.

Pandemic Status

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. Worldwide statistics show that the new cases of the pandemic virus are increasing at a level slightly less than the three previous surges. Seven weeks ago, the worldwide new case rate of COVID-19 infections bottomed out around 400,000/day. This week, the infection rate is over 620,000/day based on a seven-day average.

However, the daily deaths are at the lowest level in thirteen months. For the past six weeks, the seven-day average of daily deaths from COVID-19 is fluctuating around 7,000/day. New cases are increasing dramatically, and daily deaths are static. That is good news!

South Africa and the Omicron Variant

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/. The silver lining in the new case rate of COVID-19 appears to be the Omicron variant. It was found in South Africa in November and has spread to many countries since. However, the virulence of the Omicron variant appears to be much more benign than the Delta variant (still dominant in the United States – nearly 99% of all new cases).

In less than a month, the new case rate of COVID-19 (mostly Omicron variant) has risen from a seven-day average of under 300/day to over 15,000/day. The daily death rate attributed to COVID-19 for the past six weeks has been around 25/day.

Conclusion

The Omicron variant is more transmissible than the Delta variant but not as deadly. That is a great surprise! It is great news. If (and when) the Omicron variant supersedes the Delta variant as the prime variant of COVID-19, the world will have a hiatus from the deadly effects of the pandemic virus.

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

 

 

Records Are Made to Be Broken – Or, Are They?

Records in sports are broken often. However, records with pandemics should not continually be broken.

Over 60% of Americans (nearly 200 million) are fully vaccinated. Over 70% have received at least one dose. Yet, new cases of COVID-19 are rising daily in states that have the highest numbers of fully vaccinated citizens. Why?

New COVID Records

https://www.newsmax.com/finance/streettalk/virus-outbreak/2021/12/08/id/1047856/. What is hiding in plain sight is that many, if not most, of the new cases of COVID-19, are occurring in fully vaccinated people. The protection afforded by mRNA vaccines wanes after six months.

The protection from being fully vaccinated starts around three out of 100,000 in the month or two after administering the second dose. Six months later, the protection falls to around one in 500. The vaccines are not protecting people from becoming infected.

The good news is that many of the fully vaccinated are not showing symptoms and therefore are not being hospitalized. However, being asymptomatic increases the spread of the virus. Infection is spreading asymptomatically from one fully vaccinated person to another. The public is not aware of the dangers of being infected six months after they get the second dose of vaccine.

Booster Shots

https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/press-release/nearly-a-quarter-of-vaccinated-adults-received-a-covid-19-booster-shot-up-sharply-from-october-most-other-vaccinated-adults-expect-to-get-a-booster-though-about-1-in-5-say-they-likely-wont/. Nearly 50 million (25% of fully vaccinated Americans) have received booster shots. This extends the infection protection for another six months.

No plans are being bandied about for a fourth shot (second booster). Most booster shots are allocated for the elderly or most vulnerable. Shortly, booster shots will be available for anyone wanting one. But, what happens after the next six months?

The Next Wave

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2300375-omicron-looks-set-to-cause-a-huge-wave-of-covid-19-around-the-world/. The CDC tells us that winter weather and family gatherings are causing the bulk of new coronavirus cases. There was no mention in the original link of this article discussing the falling effectiveness of vaccines to protect against infection.

The Delta variant is still alive and well. The Omicron variant is causing headlines as new cases are found daily worldwide. The silver lining is that the Omicron variant might be more infectious but less virulent than the Delta variant.

Omicron in South Africa

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/. The Omicron variant is invading South Africa with the sharpest increase in new cases compared to the three previously recorded surges. However, the daily death rate has not increased over the last five weeks. Deaths usually occur ten days to two weeks after a new case is recorded.

United States COVID Statistics

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/. Since the first week of November, the number of new COVID-19 cases has increased from 70,000/day to over 120,000/day. During the last five weeks, the death rate has remained below 1,200/day. Huge increases in new cases with no average increase in daily deaths.

Conclusion

Yes, new cases are increasing. Hospitals are being challenged in some states, ironically in those states with the highest fully vaccinated rates – again, thanks to the waning protection of mRNA vaccines. The Delta variant is more virulent and deadly than the Omicron variant.

Over 50 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus and have naturally acquired immunity. One would think that 200 million fully vaccinated and 50 million with naturally acquired immunity would stop the spread of the virus because of herd immunity. But, alas, that is not happening.

Yes, the unvaccinated are contributing to the spread of the disease. However, they survived nineteen months without catching the virus. Yet, the fully vaccinated are now part of the problem, and we are not being told to take extra protections because of vaccine failure. The fully vaccinated believe they are immune from infection and are living pre-pandemic lives without personal safety restrictions.
Recently, a party was held in Baltimore with thirteen fully vaccinated epidemiologists.

Unfortunately, eleven of the thirteen became infected. Tracing the infection, it was discovered that the host, the head epidemiologist, was responsible for infecting his staff. Who would have thought?
https://vtdigger.org/2021/12/03/vermont-ends-november-with-record-breaking-streak-of-severe-covid-outcomes/. While researching this article, I noticed that extra attention was given to the number of unvaccinated versus the vaccinated, especially regarding infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

However, the statistic that stood out blatantly is that the death rate per 100,000 people is nearly the same for the unvaccinated and the fully vaccinated over the last two weeks of November. We are told that the mRNA vaccines protect people from hospitalization and death.

But it now appears that the mRNA vaccines are waning in the hospitalization and death protection levels at roughly eight months after the second dose was administered. People must know what is happening to adjust their lifestyles to reduce potential infections.

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

 

A Biomarker Can Predict Lethality Early Enough to Act

How can you tell the difference when so many things are similar?

Two patients of, same age, same gender, same health conditions can have two different outcomes, especially with COVID-19. What tests could be given to determine which one is in more danger of death or recovery? To date, there are not many. However, recently a test, a biomarker, used in HIV detection can provide insights into coronavirus and anticipated recovery.

Viral RNA

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/blood-biomarker-may-predict-mortality-in-covid-19-patients?fbclid=IwAR1nrH9W2zLkWnhOLgnFwKVRBX9uwSty0htqvy1eiKRvGSFFKTsI-OrXlbQ. Prognostic biomarkers predict future outcomes of disease. COVID-19 is an RNA virus. Viral RNA (vRNA) has been studied to determine if it can effectively be a prognostic biomarker for COVID-19 mortality.

The Study

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abj5629. A patient can expect a full recovery when diagnostic testing provides medical professionals with enough time and a high degree of correlation as to the outcome of a disease. Immune interventions can be timed with appropriate doses that can effectively fight the advance of the disease.

The study published this past week in Science Advances shows that profiling COVID-19 plasma can predict a patient’s outcome. Nine months ago, blood protein profiling in COVID-19 patients isolated five proteins predictive of potential increased inflammation that can affect future recovery. Give a patient the right drugs/treatment at the right time, and the inflammatory aspects of the virus are mitigated. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-5-blood-proteins-predict-critical-illness-and-death

Today

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-021-00289-8. Scientists want simple, reliable blood tests that pinpoint the highest risk of fatality. Many patients have similar health conditions along with age, ethnicity, etc. How do you know one person is more at risk than another? vRNA varies in people with similar medical and demographic backgrounds. The amount of virus in the body is relative to the level of immune function and what reaction the body takes to combat the virus. Some patients fight off the disease well and have little vRNA, while others have higher levels of vRNA. Those with high vRNA levels are at increased risk of death from COVID-19.

Conclusion

Yes, protein profiling works to a degree, as does antibody levels in the body. However, the vRNA level appears to be the simple, reliable test that can provide predictive results in time for better care and treatment to reduce coronavirus fatalities.

Other tests can allow time to be on the front edge of treatment to tamp down inflammation before it becomes critical and possibly life-threatening. vRNA testing might be the silver bullet that allows more prompt treatment so that the progress of the disease is thwarted early enough to save lives. Every piece of the puzzle solved early adds to the overall success of any treatment.

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

 

Doubling Down on Procedures That Will Increase Risk Is Always Wise?

Einstein is given credit for his definition of insanity!

Einstein is credited with saying insanity is doing the same repeatedly and expecting different results. Before COVID-19 vaccines, maybe a wise move was to isolate those spreading the disease. Governments around the world locked down everyone to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

For almost two years, the unvaccinated have been getting better and better about avoiding infection from the COVID-19 virus. Whatever they are doing, it is working very well. However, breakthrough infections contribute to the spread of coronavirus that many want to admit.

Lockdown – Again!

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/virus-outbreak-germany/2021/12/02/id/1047121/. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced today that Germany is implementing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by locking down the country to unvaccinated citizens. Why? Because of the rise in new cases of COVID-19. Daily records are being set far greater than anything previously seen.

I remember the headlines in the United States many months ago. Record numbers of new cases of coronavirus appeared in many states. Yet, the death count remained static. The same thing is happening in Germany. Many people are becoming infected, and some are dying, but not at the rate one would expect.

German COVID-19 Statistics

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/germany/. In late December 2020, the height of new cases toppled just over 25,000/day. A few months later, the new case rate rocketed from around 7,500/day to just over 20,000/day. This week, new cases are exceeding 75,000/day. So the first question I ask when I see headlines without COVID-19 death statistics is, ‘how many people are dying from coronavirus?’

In January 2021, there were several days with over 1,000 deaths attributable to COVID-19. The seven-day average approached 900/day. Death rates went down below 200/day and rose slightly to over 220/day during the last surge. This week, the COVID-19 daily deaths have exceeded 400/day on a couple of days. The seven-day average is approaching 300/day.

Yes, the death rate from COVID-19 usually lags new cases by ten to twelve days. Toward the end of the first week of November, the new daily cases exceeded 35,000. Two weeks later, the death rate is under 200/day. The demographics of who is succumbing to the virus are not reported. We do not know if they include the elderly with compromised immune systems, young adults, or those fully vaccinated.

Hospitalizations

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/11/world/europe/germany-covid-unvaccinated.html. Hospitals report increases of unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 in the range of nine out of ten. One-third of Germany’s population is fully vaccinated. Germany has also opened their hospitals to other countries because their pandemic urgent care cannot support the influx of new cases. Most of those countries have double the vaccination rate of Germany.

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/dutch-covid-19-patients-transferred-germany-hospitals-struggle-2021-11-23/ This link referenced Dutch COVID-19 patients being transferred to German hospitals last week.

Conclusion

Germany has a lower vaccination rate than its neighbors. What prompted the latest surge in coronavirus? Who knows? I am confident it is a combination of bullet-proof mentality that fully vaccinated feel super-protected and resume normal activities resulting in infections other fully vaccinated people. It is happening around the world.

More than 80% of the fully vaccinated are asymptomatic and never know they are infected or passing the virus on to others. As a result, the unvaccinated are caught up in a new petri dish of viral particles leading to increased numbers of contagious people.

It is a numbers game. Infect a few, and they will infect a few more. Before you know it, you have another surge to deal with before you can take any effective measures. Why blame the unvaccinated for the increase in new cases? Germany was a bit behind the United States in getting vaccinated.
https://www.google.com/search?q=germany+vaccination+rate&source=hp&ei=-VepYcruJfKmrgThzpDQAQ&iflsig=ALs-wAMAAAAAYalmCQoG_7ddTZj4uKkgKwqseCO0MUWF&oq=germany+vaccina&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAMYADILCAAQgAQQsQMQgwEyCwgAEIAEELEDEIMBMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyCwgAEIAEELEDEIMBMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQyBQgAEIAEMgUIABCABDIFCAAQgAQ6EQguEIAEELEDEIMBEMcBENEDOggIABCABBCxAzoICC4QsQMQgwE6DgguEIAEELEDEMcBEKMCOgsILhCABBDHARDRAzoICC4QgAQQsQM6BQguEIAEOgsILhCABBCxAxCDAToICAAQsQMQgwE6CwguEIAEEMcBEKMCUABY_w9gyxhoAHAAeACAAcoCiAHHDpIBBzkuNC4xLjGYAQCgAQE&sclient=gws-wiz.

I reported earlier in this article that Germany had a one-third fully vaccinated rate for COVID-19. That was pulled from the reference link in that paragraph. However, it appears the official rate for Germany for being fully vaccinated is over 68%.

There is a double whammy about to hit Germany. Half the population was fully vaccinated in July 2021. In December 2021, that entire group of people – nearly half of the German people will become superconductors of coronavirus because the mRNA vaccines – https://www.statista.com/statistics/1199666/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccinations-manufacturer-germany/ – will degrade to a point where protection from infection becomes minimal.

The Omicron variant is spreading by leaps and bounds around the world. Even though it is more infectious, it is not as virulent, and more people become
sick but do not die from the viral variant. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/

Lockdowns might have been effective nearly two years ago. Everyone was susceptible and hospitals were being overrun with new COVID-19 patients. Locking the unvaccinated out of society will allow the asymptomatic fully vaccinated to begin an earnest program of contagious propagation without any warning. I may be wrong. I hope I am.

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

 

Do Laboratory Results Mean Success When Given to Humans?

A member of the carrot family is deadly and may provide a solution to the pandemic.

Sometimes the results obtained in the laboratory do not translate to the real world of the human body. For example, this week, a report published in the journal, Virulence discussed thapsigargin (TG), a molecule found in the thapsia plant, also known as deadly carrots. These plants are found in the western Mediterranean.

TG Research

https://www.sciencealert.com/molecule-found-in-poisonous-plant-blocks-all-sars-cov-2-variants-in-cell-cultures?fbclid=IwAR3Ho23bW8FDSnzdZCanDKHf6lakJz1WmRzXxmclzeu8zurWdjgCx0iSXXo. TG has been tested in laboratories and found to be effective in destroying many viruses. Could TG be effective against coronavirus? https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/13/2/234

Yes, based on a study done nearly a year ago. Our COVID-19 vaccines attempt to prepare the body to see the virus as it enters our body. When this happens, immediate action can be taken by our immune system to combat the invading virus (or bacteria or fungus).

Results of TG Testing and Coronavirus

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21505594.2021.2006960. Test results show that TB can block the many combinations of coronavirus – single and multi-variant viruses. TG does not prevent the virus from entering the host but disrupts the replication process once the virus begins to set up home and expand operations in the host’s body.

TG effectively destroyed the reproduction cycle of Alpha, Beta, Alpha/Beta, Alpha/Delta, and Beta/Delta variants of COVID-19. Previously, TG also disrupted the growth of other viruses – influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and other coronaviruses.

Power of Delta!

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html and https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/5-things-to-know-delta-variant-covid. The Delta variant not only spreads faster than other variants, but it also causes the faster distribution of other variants when a person has more than one infection – e.g., Alpha and Delta, Beta and Delta variants.

The Alpha variant spreads four times faster when the Delta variant is present also. Transmission of the Beta variant is nine times faster in the presence of the Delta variant. TG shuts down all currently known variants of COVID-19. The Delta variant acts as a booster for other COVID-19 variants.

TG Clinical Trials

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/clinical-trials/search/v?id=NCI-2014-00435. TG is currently in clinical trials to evaluate efficacy in treating various types of cancer. Based on the study published in Virulence, clinical studies are being discussed.

Conclusion

Antivirals worked far better than anyone would ever imagine in shutting down the spread of the Delta variant in India earlier this year. Without access to enough vaccines, India used an antiviral to halt the explosion of Delta in five weeks.

Before Delta, their death rate from coronavirus was under 100/day. A couple of weeks after Delta entered the picture, and COVID-19 deaths rocketed upward to over 35,000/day. Using an antiviral drug as a treatment resulted in COVID-19 deaths under 100/day in just over 30 days.

Effective vaccines might work to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, the hope promised with the mRNA vaccines expires after six months. When I think of a vaccine, I think of longer-term protection than six months. Antivirals might be the real answer for conquering the global pandemic.

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

 

 

Having a Bullet-Proof Mindset May be Hazardous to Your Health and Others

Our mindset can get us into trouble when we are programmed incorrectly.

Everything we see and hear is that the vaccine is the best protection against becoming infected with coronavirus. This was probably very sound advice several months ago. And, it is still good advice for a couple of months after you get the second shot. However, the mRNA vaccine degrades quickly and opens the door for infection six months later.

When we get the vaccine, we feel bullet-proof. We can return to our everyday lives. Yes, we might have to comply with some mask and social distance restrictions when we are out. But, at home, we can do what we want with our fully vaccinated family and friends. That bullet-proof mindset might be the reason for new COVID-19 cases.

Why? Because every day, more fully vaccinated people are losing their vaccine protection. The vaccine is very good at reducing symptoms and hospitalization. However, the reduction in symptoms also increases the risk of infecting others. Asymptomatic fully vaccinated people can infect others without ever knowing it.

The unvaccinated have done an excellent job keeping themselves free of the virus. Unfortunately, the vaccinated, with a bullet-proof mindset, may take more chances. We just passed the Thanksgiving holiday, and Christmas is closer than we thought.

Intimate family gatherings are planned for the end of this year. Do a vaccine check of family and friends and see how long ago each one had their last vaccine shot. If it was more than six months ago, that person is at high risk for catching and spreading COVID-19.

Reinfection

https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/24/health/covid-19-reinfection-is-rare-severe-disease-rarer/index.html. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that reinfection from COVID-19 is rare. Qatar has had coronavirus surges as every other country has during this pandemic. The population of Qatar is small, and over 40% of its citizens contracted the disease before the Delta variant showed up.

Reinfection has always been an unknown since the beginning of the pandemic. But, could a person get infected a second time? Would the symptoms be worse? And more.

To add to the difficulty in determining reinfection rates was the high false-positive rates of early testing. To accurately assess reinfection, researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar examined over 350,000 records of early surge infections and excluded nearly 90,000 of those who were subsequently vaccinated. The result was a hair over 1,300 reinfections with a median time of nine months from initial infection to reinfection.

The Good News

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2108120. Only four cases of reinfection resulted in hospitalization, and none of them required ICU treatment. There were no deaths in the group of reinfections. Scientists proposed that if these results were typical in Qatar, they were probably typical in other countries. Not every scientist agrees. However, it is hard to disagree with four hospitalizations in 1,300-plus reinfections.

Mutations occur. We are in the waning phases of the Delta variant, and a couple of days ago, the Omicron variant from South Africa was reported as a variant of concern. Where would we be without something else to worry about. Regardless, mutations make early assessments less predictable in future planning.

What About Natural Immunity

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2776810?guestAccessKey=3e87dda5-1626-4a94-8716-5b73e3534d44&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=022421. I find it interesting that the focus on vaccines almost disregards natural immunity from surviving the virus.

An mRNA vaccine views a tiny sliver of the coronavirus spike. The spike contains around 1,300 glycoproteins (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.576622/full). Vaccine manufacturers have not announced how many glycoproteins are present in their mRNA vaccines.

The vaccine trains our immune system to see a specific sequence of glycoproteins and immediately identifies it as an invader that needs immediate attention.

This tiny view of the coronavirus spike can become a problem when the virus mutates. The increased infection rate of the Delta variant is blamed on the vaccine not being as successful in recognizing it when the virus enters the body. No mention of the degradation of the vaccine over time was ever suggested as a cause of the Delta surge.

A person with naturally acquired immunity has an advantage over the vaccine. The immune system of a survivor has seen the entire spike and the body of the invading COVID-10 virus. This view is held in the immune system archives.

A minor change of 30 glycoproteins as seen in the current Omicron variant would not be seen in a survivor of COVID-19. However, those 30 mutational changes might be a problem for an mRNA vaccine with only a limited view of the viral spike. There was talk a while back about modifying boosters to replicate the mutations of severe variants to enhance the vaccine’s protective ability.

Another interesting point is the absolute authority the FDA/CDC states the vaccine is superior to naturally acquired immunity. No one knows how long the vaccine lasts. We do know it is less than 50% effective after six months. The booster shot is probably no better. Yes, there has not been enough time to determine how long natural acquired immunity exists, but to say that it gives little value is disingenuous.

Immunity varies by individual and by the severity of infections. The level of antibodies required to ward off future COVID-like infections is unknown, whether from a vaccine or naturally acquired immunity. Time will tell, but now we do not know for sure. We know from the Qatar study that reinfection occurs, severe symptoms are rare, and hospitalizations are even rarer.

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

 

Is the Boogie Man Trying to Frighten Us Again?

New variant spreading rapidly in South Africa!

Another day, another variant. Viruses mutate often. Many times, the variant fades away because it cannot sustain itself. Other times, many people become infected, and the virus lives to see another day.

India was one of the first countries to feel the effects of the Delta variant. The death toll increased from under 50/day to over 35,000/day within a few weeks. With no vaccines available, India used antiviral medicines to conquer the virus. Within five weeks, the death count from COVID-19 was under 100/day.

We were alerted this past week about a new variant, the Omicron variant, from South Africa. Everyone is jumping through hoops to address the potential effects of this coronavirus variant.
Countries are shutting their doors for passengers from South Africa. Vaccine manufacturers are gearing up to make modifications to prevent the spread of Omicron. Headlines generators are telling the world to standby for the worst possible scenario.

The Truth?

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/omicron-southafrica-covid-symtoms/2021/11/28/id/1046428/. Do we ever know the ramifications of a new variant within the first few days of discovery? No! It takes time to ascertain if a viral variant poses a real threat or not. The Omicron variant was first detected less than 20 days ago in Botswana, S. Africa.

Symptoms were like earlier COVID-19 variants, but just a little different. Different enough that doctors were not sure it was coronavirus. The symptoms were mild and affected many people of different ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, etc. Intense fatigue was the most common symptom.
Healthy people suddenly felt tired. It did not matter if you were unvaccinated or vaccinated. Sometimes, a high pulse rate and temperature were detected. Loss of smell and taste were not noticed.

Younger people seemed as susceptible as others. It is unknown what will happen when the variant works its way through those with co-morbidities (obese, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc.). Speculation is that the symptoms will be more severe in the older generation with health issues. But, again, it is speculation based on earlier variant reactions in that demographic.

Infections Elsewhere

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/south-african-doctor-raised-alarm-omicron-variant-says-symptoms/. The United Kingdom, Israel, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Belgium have positively identified the Omicron variant inside their borders. Cases of the Omicron variant have zoomed from around 500 new cases/day to over 4,000/day within one week.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/botswana/ – It may be too early to tell, but there was a brief spike in new cases in Bostwana on the fourth of November and nothing since. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 have been in the low single digits for over the past two months.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/namibia/. Namibia shows similar COVID-19 statistics as Botswana – few if any new cases and averaging less than two deaths/day from COVID-19 since the first of October.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/lesotho/. Lesotho shows more resiliency than Botswana and Namibia. Since August, there have been few cases or deaths from coronavirus.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/swaziland/. Swaziland’s new name is Eswatini (Land of the Swazis in the Swaziland language). They did not want to be confused with Switzerland. Regardless of the name change, there recent history of COVID-19 tracks other bordering countries.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/. The Omicron variant appears to be making headway in South Africa. New cases of COVID-19 are increasing from under 500/day in the past five weeks to over 1,500/day this week and continuing to escalate sharply upward.

However, COVID-19 deaths have remained under 50/day for the past month and have shown no increase this week. So maybe this variant is not as lethal as other variants, or not enough time has elapsed to know Omicron’s lethality.

Conclusion

Is it wise to stop air travel from South Africa to other parts of the world? Maybe? If this variant spreads rapidly and produces fatigue, higher pulse rates, and higher body temperatures without increasing hospitalizations and deaths, that sounds like a reasonable tradeoff for naturally acquired immunity.

Herd immunity appeared to be a viable option twelve months ago. Then, we hoped that vaccinations and infections would top out around 65-80%, and the virus would die a natural death – unable to infect enough people to remain alive.

However, the vaccines have an expiration date for effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 infections. So that part of the equation did not live up to its billing. As a result, more fully vaccinated people are becoming infected with coronavirus and surviving – most without symptoms. This helps to achieve herd immunity in the long run.

When people do not know what the details are about a potential threat, the worst-case scenario is always offered as the most likely. Fear is better than education. South Africa may erupt as the next India with horrendous death rates from Omicron.

However, we should be vigilant, prepared, and keep everyone aware. As always, protect the most vulnerable.

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

 

 

Year-Old Solutions Will Not Fix Today’s Problems

The time clock for booster shots is six months – every six months!

A year ago, the pandemic was expanding daily with no vaccines or other effective methods to control coronavirus spread. As a result, lockdowns were imposed along with other personal protective measures.

This week, Austria announced a nationwide lockdown for all unvaccinated people over the age of 12 starting November 15. https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/19/europe/austria-national-lockdown-intl/index.html. Additionally, they are making vaccines compulsory for all citizens starting February 1, 2022.

Effective Solution?

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccine-effectiveness. Why isolate the unvaccinated when fully vaccinated people are primarily responsible for the new surge of COVID-19 cases? How can I say that? The unvaccinated has been fighting infection by several methods and has successfully stayed infection-free for over 18 months. In addition, the remaining unvaccinated have perfected their ability to avoid coronavirus.

Yet, the fully vaccinated (breakthrough cases) continue to rise. The CDC reports that the Pfizer vaccine (mRNA) started in January of this year with around 91% effectiveness in preventing infection. As such, fully vaccinated people are taking more risks than the unvaccinated – parties, social interactions, indoor events, etc.

The vaccine reduces the symptoms of COVID-19. When the vaccine’s ability to prevent infection degrades enough, fully vaccinated people can become infected and have no symptoms. They may infect other vulnerable, fully vaccinated people without knowing it. As a result, a surge in new asymptomatic infections can develop, and few would know.

Over time, the twenty percent of people who are not asymptomatic are reported as new cases. It is a numbers game – the more infected, the more hospitalizations, and the more deaths from COVID-19.
The link above tracks the effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine since the first of 2021. The time clock starts when people complete both doses of the vaccine. Assume for a moment that you received both doses of the mRNA vaccine in January 2021. The effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent infection was measured to be 91%. By March/April, infection prevention dropped to 73%.

Two months later, the efficacy of prevention ran around 70%. By mid-summer, the vaccine’s ability to deter coronavirus dropped to 59%. Half of the vaccine’s prevention capability fell nearly 50%. We are past the middle of November, and a person fully vaccinated in January has less than a 50% chance of being protected from contracting COVID-19. The mRNA vaccine is viable for about six months, and then a booster is needed to get through the next six months. It is a never-ending battle.

Isolating the unvaccinated, as Austria is doing, will keep the unvaccinated safe from infection and allow the fully vaccinated to continue to infect other fully vaccinated people. As a result, the number of breakthrough cases will continue to escalate with higher demands on hospitals and healthcare professionals.

Forcing compulsory vaccinations might be a deterrent, but it must be done semi-annually for every citizen. Is that realistic? Over time, the number of people infected with the virus will continue to rise, and eventually, herd immunity might be a possible result.

Conclusion

The mRNA vaccine is not a vaccine in the historical sense. It is like a flu shot. The vaccine shot will become a six-month evolution until enough people have had the virus. Governments appear not to want to recognize the window of protection is six months. Israel is an exception to this rule.

Any person entering Israel must show proof of vaccination within the previous six months, including those previously infected with the virus. Good, bad, or indifferent, it is an effective way to control the spread of coronavirus. But, unfortunately, allowing anyone with a vaccine passport that shows a date over six months permits that person to become part of the new pool of contagious people who can walk freely through the country.

At first, I thought that the failed vaccine was a catastrophe. Why spend all the time and money trying to get everyone vaccinated when the viable life of the vaccine is six months. Every six months from now on, a person will have to get a booster shot to be protected.

However, as more asymptomatic cases grow, the population of those surviving the virus grows – hopefully to a level that herd immunity is achieved. So, it may be a blessing in disguise!

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

 

 

Study Supporting Sunscreen and Shade to Prevent Osteoporosis Is Wrong

There are many factors associated with bone density.

More people are protecting themselves from exposure to sunlight to prevent skin cancers. Does that prevention increase the risk of reducing bone density?

JAMA Study

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2785540?resultClick=1. Studies can prove almost anything you want if you structure them appropriately. When I read this headline (Sunscreen and Shade Won’t Weaken Your Bones), I thought this was one of those studies.

The Department of Dermatology did the study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. They looked at government records (questionnaires) of over 3,400 adults averaging 40 years of age associated with personal behavior and sun exposure.

Limiting Factor

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/sun-vitamin-d-sunscreen-shade/2021/11/18/id/1045214/. Why would a study concentrate on a group of people (average age of 40) not likely to have bone density problems? That made little sense to me. Why look at questionnaires? Though they might provide insight into personal behavior, the demographic is questionable.

The study should have concentrated on those over 70 years of age to understand better how sun exposure over time can affect bone density loss. Did this study group live in Minnesota their whole lives? Or should those living in Miami be a better test case? https://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/guide/vitamin-d-for-osteoporosis

Other Studies

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/aging-vitamin-d-deficiency-ages-bones-prematurely-071013. In less than a minute of searching, I found this study. We can get vitamin D from several sources other than exposure to sunlight. This study used synchrotron radiation-based micro computer tomography (CT scans) to measure bone density in the nanometer to micrometer range on a group (30) of people with an average age of almost 60.

Everyone in this group was deficient in vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin). All were deceased. The significance of this study is the in-depth look at the mineral deposition on the bone’s surface and immediately underneath. They found that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of bone fractures by over 30%.

The surface of the bones studied showed less surface mineralization than just under the surface, where bone mineralization was higher. This indicates a higher risk of bone fracture and bone brittleness. Vitamin D deficiency leads to loss of bone density and the way that bone cells create bone.

Conclusion

Vitamin D is not the sole determiner of bone density, as the article maintains. Calcium is the primary chemical in the bone-building process. Magnesium assists the bioavailability and absorbability in the body. Vitamin D allows for calcium to enter the bloodstream. It is vitamin K that directs calcium into the bones. When vitamin K is deficient, calcium is deposited into the heart valves and arteries. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11684396/

There appear to be conflicts between too much sun exposure and the increased risk of skin cancer versus too little sun exposure and increased bone density loss. However, analyzing questionnaires of younger adults and basing study results on this scientific method to determine healthy long-term bone density seems a stretch for me.

Many factors are associated with loss of bone density, and history of wearing sunscreen/long-sleeved shirts is part of the equation. In addition, keeping a body in an acidic state will cause calcium to leach out of the bones, resulting in osteopenia and eventually osteoporosis.

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

 

 

What Other Pertinent Facts Are Being Held from the Public?

The dark side is becoming more clear as FOIA requests are answered.

Many times, we have been told that natural immunity from surviving COVID-19 infection is not as good as the vaccine. https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/covid-19-studies-natural-immunity-versus-vaccination tells us that natural immunity fades faster than vaccine immunity. It also states that natural immunity is less than half as effective as vaccine immunity and does not last as long. This is one of many articles affirming the superiority of vaccine immunity to that of natural immunity from surviving COVID-19.

Reality

https://aaronsiri.substack.com/p/cdc-admits-crushing-rights-of-naturally Breakthrough infections are causing many of the surges being seen around the world. Fully vaccinated people lose the vaccine’s protection from infection after six months. Fully vaccinated people are infecting both the unvaccinated and other fully vaccinated citizens.

Yet, those with natural immunity cannot infect others, even though that seems to be the theme of the pandemic news. The CDC announced this past week that it has no documentation of an individual surviving coronavirus and not having received any vaccines infecting other people.

Mandates Misleading

https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/cdc-admits-no-record-naturally-immune-transmitting-covid-19. If the survivors of COVID-19 cannot infect others, why are they being forced to become vaccinated by mandate? Those with naturally acquired immunity are being forced out of jobs, the military, schools, and more. Why, when they cannot infect others?

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have been answered by the CDC, and there is no proof in the archives of CDC of COVID-19 survivors infecting others. So why does it take an FOIA to find out something we all should have known months ago?

Another Reality

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/08/06/cdc_director_vaccines_no_longer_prevent_you_from_spreading_covid.html#! CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated that vaccines could no longer prevent transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for COVID-19. mRNA vaccines started with a stellar record of protection from infection – three out of 100,000. After six months, the level of protection is around one out of 500 and continues to fall.

Natural Immunity

https://brownstone.org/articles/79-research-studies-affirm-naturally-acquired-immunity-to-covid-19-documented-linked-and-quoted/. I was blessed with coronavirus infection in September of this year. It was a very mild case with only a cough and fatigue. My body was exposed to the entire spike of the virus, and not a short section replicated in an mRNA vaccine.

The link above tells me that I also have further protection from the virus’s outer coat proteins, not just those on the spike glycoprotein structure. Other diseases – chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, etc. confer natural immunity. However, the CDC has been preaching that COVID-19 innate immunity is not as good as vaccines.

https://brownstone.org/articles/natural-immunity-and-covid-19-twenty-nine-scientific-studies-to-share-with-employers-health-officials-and-politicians/ describes thirty studies confirming that natural immunity from COVID-19 is as absolute as natural immunity from chickenpox and other diseases.

Over 125 other studies confirm similar results – https://brownstone.org/articles/79-research-studies-affirm-naturally-acquired-immunity-to-covid-19-documented-linked-and-quoted/

Conclusion

Breakthrough cases are increasing daily. Breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths are increasing. People think they are bullet-proof because they are fully vaccinated. They do not realize that the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes over time.

Breakthrough cases are insidious because, most of the time, symptoms are asymptomatic. People carrying the virus do not know they can infect others. Many of the newly infected do not realize they have been infected. Numbers add up over time, and the ten or twenty percent who do develop symptoms are now sick with the virus and may end up in the hospital.

Sometimes it is what we do not hear that is just as important as what we do hear.

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