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the Covid Page
Scrub and spray everything with chemicals, bathe in Purell, mask up, stand no nearer to anyone else than six feet, stay away from crowds, douse yourself with alcohol, wash your hands and face raw, protect yourself from germs at all costs.
Some nations are closed completely. No one in or out.
We panic about “cases” even when they say nothing about severe consequences. Avoidance and finally suppression are the watchwords of the day, for a virus that is relatively mild by any historical standard, as Holman Jenkins just explained:
U.S. government scientists now estimate that 40% of cases are asymptomatic and 80% of symptomatic cases are mild—in short, 88% of subjects don’t know they are infected or have no great incentive to find out if they are suffering from Covid or some more familiar bug.
We could also mention the 99.9% survival rate, and that doesn’t consider the wildly disproportionate risk between the sick and healthy.
Is this an experiment? Yes, and likely a deadly one.
What precisely are we doing to ourselves? What are we doing to children?
Early in the pandemic, doctors went on the national stage to frame it up clearly: we are wrecking our immune systems and making ourselves vulnerable to more serious pathogens later.
The great discovery that viruses must be owned to be controlled was an achievement of 20th century cell biology. It’s the Godfather rule: keep your friends close but your enemies closer. It’s counterintuitive, which is precisely why it took thousands of years to discover, and a century to educate people about the problem of the conduct of public healt
A few weeks back I wrote an article about an observational study published in Lancet that, among other things, looked at whether there was any correlation between stringency of lockdown and the number of people who died of covid. It didn’t find any correlation, which suggests that lockdowns don’t work. That study did have some major limitations however.
First of all, it was observational, based on analysis of statistics, and so can only show patterns (or lack of patterns), not cause and effect, and retrospective, meaning that the researchers based their analysis on existing data that had been produced for other purposes. This is a relatively low quality form of evidence. Second, the follow-up period was short, with data only being gathered until May 1st. It could be argued that this is too short a time period to see an effect of lockdown on mortality.
Now, however, we have some new data that addresses both of these limitations. The first comes in the form of a prospective cohort study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. A prospective cohort study is a study in which a group of people are recruited and then followed over time to see what happens to them. This is better than a retrospective study, because there is no way of looking at the end result before you begin, and thereby less scope for “cheating”. It’s not as good as a randomized controlled trial (the gold standard in terms of scientific methodology) because you’re not in control of all the variables, and you don’t have a control group, but it is a big step up from just looking at national statistics and trying to draw conclusions from them.
The study was funded by the US Defence Health Agency and DARPA (the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency), and the purpose of the study was to see if quarantine rules that had been implemented in the US Marine Corps were effective at preventing spread of covid-19. The intervention involved many different parts, so we’re going to go through it in some detail. The group that was studied was new Marine Corps recruits, who were going through their initial training period.