Deteriorating mental health in Dutch teenagers

I’m back home in the Netherlands and finally managed to fix my broken comment page. You can all comment again and most of your comments have been restored. This whole site hangs together with linen threads and duct-tape, it is forever one PHP update or database overflow away from imploding into a giant pile of rubble. Such is life.

Yesterday we looked at how there has been a sudden increase in memory problems in the Dutch population, a sign of accumulating brain damage from the constant COVID infections we’re now all suffering.

The lungs adjust quite well to this brave new world, the brain not so much. It’s a general principle of biology that nervous tissue is much worse at repairing itself than our other tissues. We also know that SARS2 is evolving towards greater neurotropism: The antibodies are bad at crossing a well-functioning healthy blood-brain barrier, so the brain is a great hiding place now that almost everyone has antibodies.

One thing we observed however, is that Dutch people under 25 do not report an increase in memory problems. This is relatively simple to explain: People under the age of 25 have increased cognitive reserve. The brain is overengineered, so that mild insults that can happen throughout life don’t mean that a 30 year old mother suddenly fails to remember to feed her children. It’s once we grow old, once we’ve moved past the age at which we can still contribute to the well-being of our offspring, when things start decaying pretty rapidly.

However, young people can be expected to suffer from other problems. As an example, what is depression? Severe depression is essentially an inflammatory condition in the brain. As the brain of teenagers is infected by SARS2 you can expect to see all sorts of inflammatory signaling, as the brain’s own immune cells try to stop the infection from spreading and clean up the damage. You may expect an increase in severe depression as a result. About 40% of people report developing depression within half a year after catching COVID.

What do we see in teenagers? Once again, we’ll look at the numbers the Dutch RIVM is reporting:

These are the numbers of teenagers reporting serious thoughts of suicide. There’s a clear rise visible in this data. It begins once we enter the Omicron era of constant mass infection (December 2021). Note how the elevation remains visible by march 2023. This is rather weird, if you want to attribute all this misery to the lockdowns. My explanation is pretty simple: A bunch of teenagers now suffer from severe immune abnormalities in their brains. In half a year, we saw a sudden doubling in the number of teenagers reporting thoughts of suicide. How can such a thing happen?

Here we have teenagers reporting they often feel stressed:

Again, it peaks in march 2022 and remains elevated afterwards. You can’t reasonably blame this on the lockdowns.

Instead, it’s time to acknowledge the simple fact that through a failed pandemic strategy, the world has bred itself a formidable foe.

With mass vaccination, you have created a situation in which there isn’t really any discrimination against virulent variants of SARS2.

The immune system is pretty picky about the regions it deploys antibodies against in the unvaccinated:

And importantly, the regions it picked differed from person to person, so that any single amino acid change would not suddenly give a massive growth advantage to novel variants. For the vaccine, it didn’t work like that.

So what sort of regions does it hit?

Well you can see that the RBD is hit at different places in the naturally immune in the image above, whereas the RBD isn’t really targeted in the vaccinated. The places where the RBD is immunogenic tend to resemble all sorts of nasty virulence associated proteins observed in other organisms. And you would expect those places to be associated with virulence for SARS2 too.

In other words, we could have expected antibodies to help discriminate against virulence, if we hadn’t caused the whole population to have very high levels of antibodies induced by vaccination.

More importantly however, strong NK cell immunity would discriminate against virulence, as amply documented on my blog. And unlike our antibody response, which is supposed to only last for a short while after mild infections so that variants can’t adjust to it, the NK cells will stick around.

What gave us the low virulence BA.1 and BA.2 variants was not our own success in fighting SARS2: It was a consequence of the virus jumping from rodent species into our species. A hundred percent of rodents that get the original COVID tend to die in studies, whereas zero percent die from Omicron. It’s difficult to pass on a virus with a 100% mortality rate, so Omicron really looks like it evolved so that the fatality rate in rodents would be lower. We simply got lucky.

Since BA.1, we have seen virulence steadily increase again, with XBB.1.16 particularly showing signs of high virulence (pink eye suggests high neurovirulence). Note: This high neurovirulence probably won’t show up in the form of hospitalizations with lung problems.

Rather, it shows up in the sort of mental health problems that we now see exploding in the Dutch population: Increased forgetfulness in adults, increased suicidality in youth, increased cases of dementia etc.

As other studies have demonstrated, in the absence of selective immune pressures, evolution of SARS2 moves towards greater virulence.

Well, guess what: You morons have DESTROYED the sort of selective immune pressure that favors mild strains over virulent strains. The reward you harvested is the neurovirulent BA.5 strain and now the neurovirulent XBB.1.16 strain preparing to hit the world as we speak. As long as the wall of antibodies succeeds at stopping these variants from spreading, the wall simply encourages the breeding of even more virulent variants, until the wall eventually wanes.

The population’s collective immune response needs to be selecting AGAINST virulence, through strong NK cell immunity and a modest mostly transient antibody response against virulence associated epitopes.

None of your previous vaccines had to take this into consideration, because those vaccines always succeeded at just wiping out a pathogen: Measles vaccination means no more measles, polio vaccination means no more polio, etc. With these vaccines that fail to stop transmission, you need to take into consideration how they affect the evolution of virulence. Well guess what: There has been exactly zero effort to make sure that once these vaccines fail to stop transmission they will still discriminate against virulent variants.

And now we’re reaping the reward for our stupidity.

10 Comments

  1. In my business, for over two decades, I have employed students from a local college for part-time help. In the past six months, I have noticed a remarkable change in their personalities. They seem extremely young, like 15 or 16 year olds rather than 20ish. They are also very passive and docile. I liken then to the Eloi people in HG Wells’ Time Machine. I don’t know if it was the lockdowns, the vaccines (which they were mandated to take), or repeated Covid infections. Likely some combination of the three. They all seem to have the sniffles all the time, too, without being terribly sick.

  2. Where I’m at, the number of people seeking mental health support has been increasing.The end of last week saw two young women in a shopping mall randomly stabbed to death by a man who was already suffering from schizophrenia. The incident just shocked the city because something like this almost never happens here. Maybe it’s confirmation bias but it does feel like people are getting more mentally unstable.

  3. If we assume the vaccines would decrease, but not eliminate, the ability of the virus to reproduce and transmit, then the mutations which overcome those barriers will spread more easily and define the new dominant lineages. That’s the mechanism behind the ‘evolutionary pressure’ in my understanding. But the current vaccines do not stop transmission! They even apparently enhance it. So how are they applying any evolutionary pressure at all then?

    • >the current vaccines do not stop transmission! They even apparently enhance it. So how are they applying any evolutionary pressure at all then?

      This is correct, vaccines enhance transmission, when compared RELATIVE TO THE NATURALLY IMMUNE.

      Compared to the now rare entirely naive people, I think the vaccines would still show some protection.

      The way the vaccines apply pressure is by leaving people with relatively strong adaptive immunity and poor innate immunity.

      That forces the virus to overcome adaptive immunity, without having to deal with innate immunity.

      Innate immunity is designed to select against virulence: NK cells are known to be more aggressive against virulent influenza strains than against mild strains, this has been studied. They’re also more aggressive when they observe symptoms of damage in a cell (damage associated molecular pattern). A CD8+ T cell doesn’t look at this, nor do your antibodies of course.

      A wall of antibodies doesn’t really select against virulence.

      Almost every tactic for dealing with our antibodies leads to side-effects that we humans don’t like. Example: Neurotropism works to overcome our antibody response, as the antibodies generally won’t enter the brain. But we like having brains without SARS.

      Equally important, any attempt by the virus to survive our antibodies will result in increased virulence, simply because antibodies are the immune system’s last available measure to deal with viruses. If the innate immune system is avoided by a strong virus, your body can deploy antibodies. But if your general way of responding to a virus is through antibodies, any success at overcoming those antibodies means you just used up your best card.

      • Bravo. This is the easiest to understand explanation on the matter. The whole thing is so complicated (even for experts), but you make it comprehensible here

  4. If it’s from the virus, why is it not tracking the ups and downs of viral concentration in wastewater?

    If brain damage is cumulative, why have the curves plateaued?

    • There’s likely to be some delay involved too: After the acute infection is over, the virus lingers in your brain. Your immune cells in your brain also remain highly active for quite some time.

  5. I am seeing a shocking cognitive deterioration in people. They do things that are crazy stupid or forget calendar appointments. Previously competent people stay in the same job positions but lose competence.

    I have a business, so I interact with many people and see that a lot.

    I also struggle with forgetting appointments, to be honest.

    There is also a lot of talk about SC2 being a “prion vector” and a prion-like domain in the spike protein. Prions take a long time to manifest themselves as mad cow dementia.

    The first stages of mad cow resemble long covid and brain fog.

    Just sayin’.

  6. What about excessive over stimulation and underuse of brain in most people?
    Most people are glued to phones/computers all day (and night).

    And deteriorating mental health (especially in teenage girls) has been linked to the rise of social media. Jonathan Haidt has written extensively about it.

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The patients in the mental ward have had their daily dose of xanax and calmed down it seems, so most of your comments should be automatically posted again. Try not to annoy me with your low IQ low status white male theories about the Nazi gas chambers being fake or CO2 being harmless plant food and we can all get along. Have fun!

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