several months back, i posited that the low covid deaths in pac rim could not possibly be from lockdowns or masks.

the differential was simply too large, the policies across the region too varied, and the results to internally similar.

it has to be pre-existing resistance.
i'd like to now revisit this hypothesis as quite a bit of new evidence has emerged and i think it has been increasingly supportive of this idea.

the gaps are simply too large and too geographically consistent.

i am becoming convinced that this is the only plausible explanation.
i'm going to use deaths as a metric because testing in asia has been very low in many places (1-10% of western per capita levels) and trying to adjust for that makes gibberish out of the data.
with the exception of microstate French Poly, all have 1/10th to 1/1000 the deaths of the west.

there is just no way that masks and distancing magically worked that much better in places with such stunning population density

provocatively, pac rim is 85% lower than rest of asia
but the step function from asia and africa to the west is stunning.

deaths jump by 50X from the pac rim.

but behavior was not that different.

peru and argentina locked down hard and early, before any deaths. both mandated masks.

both are world leaders in per capita deaths
this is simply not NPI's. it has to be something biome specific and generalized.

it's certainly not that there was no covid in the region.

these studies showed IgM/IgG sars-2 seroprevalance in japan rise from 5.8% to 46% over the summer.

medrxiv.org/content/10.110…
yet japan has 15 deaths per million. they also never really locked down. this simply cannot be some cultural quirk about "being better at washing your hands."

you don't get <1 death per mm in 6 countries with hand sanitizer or masks while others doing same get 1000.
this looks to be biome specific pre-existing immunity.

there is LOTS of data on pre-existing cross resistance in 40-80% of the population.

t-cell mediated prior resistance was widespread.

but i got some real pushback on "yeah, but it would never be this localized."

this would seem to definitively argue otherwise.

2 african countries had sig levels of antibody response to sars-2 in blood from before the epidemic.

the US did not.

this is clear evidence of biome specific pre-existing immunity that was generated by previous exposure to something similar enough to sars-2 that it generated actual antibodies, not just t-cell recognition.

this can only be from previous virus that was in africa but not in US.
this looks to be a convincing and parsimonious explanation for the data. it fits very well and i suspect if one were to go looking in asia for pre-2019 blood samples, that this test could be repeated and confimed.

this strikes me as a worthwhile study to do.
frankly, i'm surprised it has not already been done.

it's REALLY important. if we're going to try to figure out what works, we need to focus on what's possible.

"have had lots of previous exposure to sars-like viruses" is not an option one can adopt now.
but ignoring it is dangerous. if you miss the key variable when assessing what worked, you wind up doing bad post hoc ergo propter hoc analyses.

you look for "masks" or "shelter in place" and look for examples to bolster your case while ignoring those that don't.
you wind up missing the real picture.

in this vein, i'd like to address a few possible confounds to my hypothesis.

1. different counting. most of asia and africa are using the WHO covid death measure. it results in MUCH lower reported deaths than those used in the west.
based on this analysis (which looks correct to me) US deaths would be ~45% lower if we followed this standard instead of reporting "death with positive covid PCR test."

this is likely significant, but 50% drop in western deaths still leaves 25X variance

that's still far too wide a gap to just be "adherence to NPI strategies" especially given how polyglot the pac rim responses were.

2. genetics. this issue has been repeatedly raised and may have some bearing esp around ACE2 receptor expression.

but overall, i'm struggling to find this persuasive as an explanation for the pac rim. this happened long enough ago that such genes would be expected to be widespread in the asian diaspora.

but, to my knowledge, such immunity has not accrued to US asians.
that would seem to pose some challenges for the idea that the low pac rim death rate is predominantly genetic in nature.
3. age/diet/obesity:

all possible confounds, but quite varied across the pac rim and i have not been able to see any clear pattern (though i have not drilled into it enough to really assess with precision so it does seem a possible contributor)
but, at the end of the day, "pre-existing resistance" really does seem to fit the data best.

we know it exists, we know it's biome specific, at least in some cases, we know it's highly effective when present, and the geographic and population percolation of the pac rim fits.
even in asia, as you get further from the pac rim, per capital deaths rise by 6-7X. that's an awfully big jump to just be behavior and the outcomes on the pac rim are awfully uniform despite wide behavioral variance.

i cannot see a more plausible explanation.
and this is important as it informs policy choices globally.

if i'm correct, there is nothing to mimic.

this is heavily supported by other data.

masks, lockdowns, travel bans, it's all ineffective.

covid hits seaonally/regionally.

when it's your turn, you get covid. everyone thought masks and SIP were working in peru and argentina, then, they stopped.

it did not stop disease spread in japan, seroprev looks very high.

something just stopped it from being severe/deadly.

that's immunity, not NPI.
so let's stop making the same mistakes over and over again as out panic to "do something" sets off another down-spiral of self-harm.

it's not helping.

it never did.

even militaries have repeatedly failed.

there is a reason that all the longstanding international pandemic guidelines contra indicated lockdowns and masks.

we knew this did not work.

we threw this all out the window to take a $10 trillion joyride with the global economy and the lives and livelihoods of billions of people.

this was never "the science"

so let's stop this derangement.

it's gone much too far already.
addendum:

for reference, this was my piece on this topic from july:

addendum:

this was my original piece on this from july.

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More from @boriquagato

22 Nov
how to lie with correlations: harley davidson limited edition.

there has been a lot of aggressive talk about how sturgis was a massive super spreader event

charts like this make it tempting to agree.

but be very careful about doing so: there's a big issue with this graph Image
it's from 5000 miles away and across an ocean.

as one can rapidly see "cases" measured here are in eastern europe, not the american midwest.

hard to imagine the harley folk having caused this no matter how hard they partied. Image
interestingly enough, south dakota and czechia look incredibly similar in terms of disease curve (deaths per million population) despite having totally different responses.

(the CZE data is real day of death, so it lags. the last 10-14 days are likely incomplete) Image
Read 8 tweets
21 Nov
anyone still presuming that a + PCR test is showing a covid case needs to read this v carefully:

even 25 cycles of amplification, 70% of "positives" are not "cases." virus cannot be cultured. it's dead.

by 35: 97% non-clinical.

the US runs at 40, 32X the amplification of 35. Image
a lot of people still seem to not understand what this means, so let's lay that out for a minute.

PCR tests look for RNA. there is too little in your swab. so they amplify it using a primer based heating and annealing process.

each cycle of this process doubles the material. Image
the US (and much of the world) is using a 40 Ct (cycle threshold). so, 40 doublings, 1 trillion X amplification.

this is absurdly high.

the way that we know this is by running this test, seeing the Ct to find the RNA, and then using the same sample to try to culture virus.
Read 19 tweets
20 Nov
what's most disappointing about the pics of lockdown gavin standing around maskless at french laundry w/ his pals is not that he'll doubtless find some epidemiologist to say "it's safe because proles can't get reservations anyhow"

it's that no one can even muster outrage anymore
stop and think about that.

does this even surprise you one, teensy eensy little bit?

complete moral bankruptcy and frank, forthright hypocrisy have become the base case for american politicians.

it's a noise so deafening we cannot even hear it anymore.
you only notice the rare cases when it stops for a minute.

how many stories of "pulled own mom out of NH then filled it with covid patients" or "imposed lockdowns but kept work going on their lake house" or "banned salons but went anyway" or have you heard?
Read 6 tweets
19 Nov
i see we have reached the "aztek priest" stage of the mask superstition

demand sacrifice!

if the rains do not come, demand a bigger sacrifice!

if the rains do not come, bigger still!

eventually, it will rain.

claim you caused it and demand a promotion
breitbart.com/politics/2020/…
this is literally what epidemiology and public health has become.

just keep using bigger hammer theory and pretend that lockdowns and masks do anything at all to stop covid (they don't) and wait for the natural gompertz curve of community resistance/seasonality to bail you out
ignore the fact that lockdowns and masks are probably making it worse and that there is anything resembling a "cost" side to this cost-benefit equation and that it's massive to the point of "great leap forward" bad.

speak only in moral absolutes.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
the real world, randomized controlled DANMASK study is out.

it shows no meaningful efficacy in masks and a p value of 0.38 which is means it's really just noise.

it's pretty much a nothingburger.

but there is one thing that interests me:

what they left out
it looks to me like they nerfed this study.

the protocol had a significant number of measures for adverse events:

bacteria, psychological, full healthcare, sick leave, infection in the household, other hospital diagnostics, etc.

NONE are included in the study.
on its own, that's a comment-worthy matter, but in the current climate of suppression and propaganda, it becomes far more suspicious especially in light of comments from the folks who ran the study.

"as soon as there is a journal brave enough?"

this report is bland pablum.
Read 9 tweets
18 Nov
croatia is open. no lockdowns, no curfews, no mask laws.

open.

life there is normal. people are trying to claim this is causing a covid spike. it's not.

they look, gasp, just like every other country around them most of whom are locked down, masked, etc.

NPI's do nothing.
that graph gets a little cluttered, so here is croatia w/ just the 4 countries with which it actual shares a border.

serbia looks to be a bit behind temporally and bosnia esp bad, but the clustering of hungary and slovenia (locked down, masked) and croatia (open) is striking.
there is no argument here that there is meaningful NPI driven divergence or, really, any divergence at all.

if anything, it's the neighbors swamping croatia/making it worse.

here's the traffic jam of slovenians fleeing to croatia.

Read 11 tweets

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