The unsustainability of constant reinfection

“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.

27 Comments

  1. The Euromomo data is likely a lot worse in 2022 due to Pull Forward Effect.

    Is Paxlovid becoming less effective against the virus? If so, what about Ivermectin? Thanks.

  2. In my neck of woods in Germany (near Heidelberg) it is exactly the blue collar types who aren´t vaccinated and the PHD idiots who took the 4th shot. Let them stay in panic at home. The common sense “normal” population will survive

  3. Some anecdotal evidence for what it is worth. I did not get any shot, my wife did get the single-dose J&J. We both had COVID once during the first Omicron wave in late 2021, and it was not bad. She got it again once, recently, whereas I did not (obviously there was no distancing of any kind). People at work have also had it several times (all boosted at least once, some twice) in just the last year, and I have been around them when they have had it, and did not get it.

    I think they have been generally sicker this year, but I can’t say how much of that is reasoning from my bias against this thing. But I have been around too many people who have gotten COVID too many times and not gotten it myself to be worried that bias is clouding my judgement. I am immune in a way they are not. (The non-boosted people seem to be doing fine, though).

    Obviously my concern is for my wife, and I hope one dose of the “least effective” won’t totally inhibit aquisition of a competent immune response. (There have been other side effects too, side effects that I am certain are related and have come close to diagnosing, but not well-reported, though hopefully surmountable).

  4. The most common response I still hear is: vaccine works, because
    most cases are not serious and people are not dying anymore.

    Most people discount the problem of getting a couple of covids per year and
    then maybe a another cold or a flu…

  5. Single episode covid has stopped being an issue leading to hospitalization and death in large numbers. However persistent reinfections are magnitudes more widespread and although each episode isn’t devastating the cumulative result will be. We are in that doldrum just waiting for the vaccinated to slowly incrementally erode their immune systems and soon we will start to see super infections with other agents or neoplasms which will result in their demise. How long this will be is anybody’s guess. How much of an issue this is to the unvaccinated is up in the air. Certainly brief exposure to covid infected individuals only boost immunity however exposure to an immunologically crippled vaccinee with tuberculosis could be fatal.

  6. Do you have any information on whether those constant reinfections happen more among the vaccinated/boosted? Or is it pretty much the same despite vaccination status?

    Here in Alberta, Canada, our ambulance service is collapsing. Thousands of unfilled shifts per month.

    Our emergency rooms, right across Canada, are also in the same state. People are waiting up to 11 hours in emergency departments – and patients are dying before they are even properly triaged.

    My ex-wife works in a small-town hospital and reports that they are overwhelmed – but not due to more patients, but due to so many workers calling in sick. These observations support your thesis.

    But, I believe it’s because the front line health care workers are vaccinated. Am I blaming the vaccine for what the infection itself is doing all on its own? Or perhaps it’s a combination of both? A case of confirmation bias on my part?

    Interestingly enough, my career is in oil and gas, so we did not participate in any lockdown. But my partner had to stay home. Eventually, she was fired for refusing a vaccine.

    She’s now working elsewhere for a lot less money, so I deliver food on the side to keep us afloat

    Neither of my two jobs require or ever have required vaccinations. I’ve been sick once in the last three years. No repeat infections. My o&g coworkers who chose to get vaccinated are constantly sick…

    • If you check out Igor Chudov, Alex Berenson, Robert Malone on Twitter and substack you will see them posting data that shows that each booster increases the chance of reinfection. There is a clear relationship in the data now between number of boosters and odds of being infected. So we can say that reinfection is skewed towards the boosted. Variants are evolving to optimise for infecting the boosted.

      I think Rintah posted some of this data in some prior posts a month or so back also.

  7. The constant reinfections are disturbing. And not many appreciate the cumulative damage that you’ve highlighted.

    The mRNA jabbed seem to have a harder time clearing & sterilizing the virus. Thus, they do not contribute to herd immunity.

    What do you think of Geert’s view that the virus will reach herd immunity by becoming more deadly? He is careful with his words on the subject, but it seems to be what he’s getting at.

    XBB1.5 is said to be worse than prior omicron variants. If this turns out to be true, we may be seeing the start of Geert’s prediction coming true.

    • “…Geert’s view that the virus will reach herd immunity by becoming more deadly…”

      There’s a vaccine for chickens that appears to be the same sort as the covid vax. Leaky. Read this and tell me it does not frighten you a little. If it’s like the chicken vax things could get very bad.

      https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/tthis-chicken-vaccine-makes-virus-dangerous

      I know mask are not perfect, and I do not wear one now but I have some saved because it’s possible to have some sort of flare up from this that could be deadly.

  8. I just read that complete UK 2022 data is out, and minus covid deaths, according to a jab lover, mortality is as expected taking trends into account. (Have tried & failed to find where I read it.)

    Surely there’s going to be some difference with AZ vs mRNA?

    • It doesn’t produce IgG4, only BNT162b2 was confirmed to produce IgG4 in that study.

      Look closely, they mention a smaller sample that had had ChAdOx1 and then later BNT162b2 boosters that didn’t show IgG4 and mRNA-1273 wasn’t used in Germany.

  9. I know four groups of people, either first hand or one step removed.

    The first set is those who are not vaccinated and have not gotten covid. They do exist, although there aren’t many of them (I’m one, I think). These are mostly people who have gone to some effort not to catch it (nasal spray, N95s, avoidance of crowds). Of course there must be some who are naturally immune. They seem to be doing fine.

    The second set is those who are vaccinated and have not gotten covid. This is also a small group. I have two friends in mind who are in their 70s. One is out and about a lot, and does eat out, outside. But he always wears an N95 when he goes out. The other teaches large classes of sickly vaccinated college students. She uses claritin, Xlear nasal spray (at my advice), and wears an N95. These two people seem fine. So does that set as a whole, except for the three I know who have developed really aggressive cancers all of a sudden.

    The third group is those who are vaccinated and have caught covid. They are doing horribly. For the most part they really dove into catching covid. They had choices but they wanted to think that the vaccine was the answer, and they wanted to believe that partly for political reasons. There are a lot of them. They have aged and have chronic coughs and are catching covid a second time now. Today I was in the pharmacy and an elderly lady was getting a heavy duty cough prescription for her husband. He had just had a hip replacement and that was fine but he had a cough he couldn’t kick. The pharmacy cashier empathized; she had it too. She and the elderly lady agreed that the cough lasted a long, long time. When it was my turn at the counter I could see that the pharmacy cashier did not look well. Of course she was vaccinated; that was the law in CA.

    The last group is the most disturbing to me – the unvaccinated who have caught covid. My mom’s friend who she also hires for home help is one instance. She is a nice Christian lady who concluded that God would sort it all out, so she does all the usual things she would do with no effort to avoid covid. She caught it for the first time about five months ago, and it was no big deal. But suddenly she is a mess. She has now had strep throat (in her 70s!), respiratory problems, now an ear infection. One thing after another. Yes, I know you’re saying “well, she’s in her 70s.” But no, she is of French Canadian descent and should be healthy til age 95. The same thing is happening with a friend of hers who is a co-religionist who is in her 60s, who is also not vaccinated.

    I don’t feel an obligation to catch covid as a way to demonstrate empathy for people who have blue collar jobs. Here in the U.S., plumbers and appliance hauling guys and food delivery people can reasonably easily avoid catching covid using the means I’ve described above (N95, Xlear, claritin; adding intermittent ivermectin is good too), since they are out in the fresh air a lot. It is harder if you are a cashier but still possible. In the U.S., if you have a blue collar job in most cases there is no pressure on you to show your face; everyone is fine if you mask (and sorry, but N95s do help) and no-one expects you to party. It is the office workers who are screwed. There is huge social pressure on them to wander around with no masks and to go to conferences and eat out, and almost all of them embrace that and embrace the stupid view of what is going on that leads them to do that, as demonstrated by our political leaders (“the pandemic is over”). To hell with that, I am not going to catch covid in order to demonstrate solidarity with someone who is flying to Vegas for a conference next month. I am going to stay well long enough to see my vaccinated loved ones (and maybe some random others) through their final illnesses, if I can; this gives me some purpose. I did have outliving my dog as my goal but actually there are others who will need tending, too.

    • You would’ve probably been best off just catching the original Omicron or BA.2, which had low intrinsic virulence.

      As everyone catches SARS2, its intrinsic virulence will increase.

      If you’re not getting exposed to other respiratory viruses either, then your lungs won’t have training that allows them to cope with SARS2. The lung microenvironment chances through infection, even from other viruses.

      So eventually you’ll end up trapped, like uncontacted tribes that can’t cope with the viruses the rest of us are producing.

      • Yes, but if I’d caught Omicron I could have killed off the two other humans in my household, one of whom is 98 years old and one of whom is obese. Or at any rate, that appeared to be a serious risk at the time. Or, as it turns out, since they are vaccinated and boosted, I could have flipped them from IgG3 to IgG4 with an Omicron infection. So that wasn’t an option. I can’t ethically bring respiratory viruses home.

        From what I see (per above), the unvaccinated who have caught Omicron (or BA5) are suddenly now in horrible shape. So far I’m doing better than they are, although it is true that it is an extremely small sample. It is possible that they have caught covid again since their first bout in July of 2022. Maybe they (and I) are in a Marek’s situation already? That would be interesting.

        • Kareninca, I caught BA.5 in July. I’ve been fine since. My vaxxed father whom I live with caught Covid for the second time a few weeks ago, and neither me or my mother (who is 82) caught it from him even though we were in and out of his room while we were treating him. He mostly had fatigue for 5 days.

    • kareninca:
      How do you plan to square your plan to care for your vaccinated loved ones in their final extremis with your determination to avoid close contacts lest you catch covid?

      • I’m around other people. I go grocery shopping, take my 98 year old father in law to medical visits, take my dog to the vet, have traveled to the east coast (I’m in CA) to visit my elderly mom. When I wrote above “avoidance of crowds” I meant avoidance of pointless stuff like eating out or attending church in person. So far, with an N95 (etc.) it is working. I’ve tended loved ones in final extremis already in this life, and I don’t see how this would make it much harder. I was given a very hard time for not being vaccinated the last time I took my father in law to the ER, but they finally relented and let me come in with him, since they had no-one to sit with him so they were stuck with me. There is a real shortage of medical workers, of course.

    • My spouse and I both caught covid right when the vaccine came out, so early 2021. My kids and vaccinated parents also got it at the same time. My parents had just finished their two rounds of the vaccine when they caught a mild version of covid with us. None of us were very sick. I had a mild fever.

      My husband recently had covid again. This time he sounded much worse (very congested), but insisted he didn’t really feel that bad. I took Zicam all week and managed to avoid it. My kids also managed to avoid it. My husband is in generally worse health than I am, but neither one of us are vaccinated and we’ve caught it twice. I’ve been exposed multiple times in the interim, but I figure getting covid once about every 18 months (what it took for my husband to get it again) is probably not that big of a deal. Getting it every other month would certainly be a problem. I don’t know of anyone in this situation, although the internet seems to be full of them.

    • India has quite a high vaccine uptake too. So do SEA countries like Thailand and they aren’t getting hit hard like Western countries are.

  10. About half of Indians were vaccinated with AZ and the other half with the locally produced inactivated virus vaccine.

    None with any mRNA vaccine.

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