“Miss me yet?”
As I said on Twitter, I feel like we’re reaching the point where there’s nothing left for me to warn about or prove when it comes to vaccination against SARS2. The problem we’re dealing with is here. We can’t cope with a situation where the majority of the population is infected multiple times per year by this virus. And yet thanks to the mass vaccination experiment, that’s the situation we will be stuck with for years to come.
You can see the result here in the United Kingdom, one year into the constant reinfection era:
This is not a sustainable situation, at least not if you wish to maintain our present life expectancy.
The problem we’re dealing with, is that reinfections are just not mild: They cause cumulative damage. To illustrate this, I wish to discuss a new study found here. To start with we have to look at the demographics. The average age of their overall cohort is 49, the reinfected people are 44 on average. In other words, these are not elderly people with all sorts of predisposing health issues.
I don’t care much about discussing studies that looked at reinfections before the Omicron era. Back then reinfections were rare, so the sort of people who got reinfected were just not going to be very representative of the general population. We already know it’s a bad time to be an elderly person with chronic illness, what I want to know is whether we’re looking at an existential threat. We now have data up to august 2022, which does interest me. That’s enough data to give us some clue in regards to what the future may look like.
So now we’ll look at what the impact is of reinfections on risk of hospitalization first:
Similar to previous studies measuring severity of reinfection through hospitalization, we find that most individuals did not require an ED visit or hospitalization for either first infection or reinfection. We also find that the total proportion of individuals requiring an ED visit or hospitalization or passing away is similar between first infection and reinfection.
In other words, the impact is similar, this despite the novel Omicron variants that lead to most reinfections being “milder”.
Next, we’ll look at this graph, that gives us the risk someone who is reinfected is diagnosed with long COVID:
We see here that risk is highest for reinfection by the new Omicron variants (Omicron BA). This fits another study I posted a while ago, where BA.5 led to long COVID symptoms in 21.5% of infected people. Most people with long COVID don’t get better, they tend to get worse as they get reinfected.
I would be more optimistic if that dark pink line of Omicron BA reinfections was somewhere near the top, but it’s clearly at the absolute bottom beneath the others. And you can apply all sorts of “what if’s”, but it’s just very hard to reconcile these sort of numbers with SARS2 moving towards becoming just another common cold virus.
And again, I can’t emphasize this enough, it fits the other data we have, where 3042 random people simply received a phone call, asking them whether they had tested positive for COVID and whether they still had symptoms more than four weeks afterwards. That data found 21.5% of people still had symptoms after four weeks.
You can also look at Twitter, where people also increasingly report vaccinated family members who are stuck with basically chronic colds that seem to last for weeks on end. The virus has evolved very far away from the vaccine by now, so eliminating it from the body may now be harder than it ever was with previous variants.
And while we’re at it, it’s Thursday, so Euromomo just dropped. You can see 2022 has officially been deadlier than 2021:
It will actually be slightly worse than this, because Hungary still needs to update those last two weeks.
Just like the vaccines, the constant infections seem to be affecting men’s fertility too. Maybe you’re an optimist, maybe you think it’s just a consequence of the fever. But at two infections per year, you’d be looking at men spending most of the year subfertile. And as I illustrated, in a highly vaccinated population, reinfections during the Omicron era just don’t seem to be substantially milder. And we seem to be seeing a substantial impact on RSV and Influenza infections.
If I thought I had the ability to change consensus reality with my words, in violation of the laws of physics, I’d tell you something like “the virus doesn’t exist” or “it’s just a cold” and then while I’m at it I would tell you there’s a whole additional island off the coast of Indonesia where the orangutans still live out their lives in peace without guys showing up to turn their forest into palm oil plantations. But I don’t think that’s how any of this works.
My recommendation is to use the time we have left in a meaningful way. You can lock yourself up in your home, but the Ubereats guy is going to get constantly reinfected too, as is the guy who fixes your plumbing, the guy who packs your groceries, the guy at the power plant and the guy who carries your washing machine up the stairs for you. There’s something ugly about trying to avoid infection from a virus that most blue collar people stand no chance of avoiding.