1. Covid Mysteries

In India — where the Delta variant was first identified and caused a huge outbreak — cases have plunged over the past two months. A similar drop may now be underway in Britain. There is no clear explanation for these declines.
2. In the U.S., cases started falling rapidly in early January. The decline began before vaccination was widespread and did not follow any evident changes in Americans’ Covid attitudes. Maybe it was just reverting to previous year's decline after the holidays-induced surge.
3. In March and April, the Alpha variant helped cause a sharp rise in cases in the upper Midwest and Canada. That outbreak seemed poised to spread to the rest of North America — but did not.
4. This spring, caseloads were not consistently higher in parts of the U.S. that had relaxed masking and social distancing measures (like Florida and Texas) than in regions that remained vigilant.
5. Large parts of Africa and Asia still have not experienced outbreaks as big as those in Europe, North America and South America.
6. How do we solve these mysteries? Michael Osterholm, who runs an infectious disease research center at the University of Minnesota, suggests that people keep in mind one overriding idea: humility.

“We’ve ascribed far too much human authority over the virus,” he said.
7. The experience with Alpha in the Midwest this spring is telling. Even Osterholm said that he had assumed the spring surge would spread from Michigan and his home state of Minnesota to the entire U.S. It did not. It barely spread to nearby Iowa and Ohio.
8. Britain is another example. The Delta variant is even more contagious than Alpha, and it seemed as though it might infect every unvaccinated British resident after it began spreading in May.
9. Some experts predicted that the number of daily cases would hit 200,000, more than three times the Britain's previous peak. Instead, cases peaked — for now — around 47,000, before falling below 30,000 this week.
10. True, you can find plenty of supposed explanations, like the end of the European soccer tournament, the timing of school vacations and the Britain’s notoriously late-arriving summer weather. But none of the explanations would explain a boom and bust in caseloads in India.
11. A more plausible explanation appears to be that Delta spreads very quickly at first and, for some unknown set of reasons, peters out long before a society has reached herd immunity.
12. Andy Slavitt, a former Covid adviser to President Biden, says, “It seems to rip through really fast and infect the people it’s going to infect.”
13. This is not a nihilist argument. Human responses do make a difference: Masks and social distancing can slow the spread of the virus, and vaccination can end a pandemic.
14. The most important step has been the vaccination of many older people. As a result, total British deaths have risen only modestly this summer, while deaths and hospitalizations remain rarer in heavily vaccinated parts of the U.S. than in less vaccinated ones.
15. But the plea for humility does have policy implications. It argues for prioritizing vaccination over every other strategy. It also reminds us to avoid believing that we can always know which behaviors create risks. That lesson has particular relevance to schools.
16. Many of the Covid rules that school districts are enacting seem overly confident about what matters. Reopening schools unavoidably involves risk. The alternative — months more of lost learning and social isolation — certainly involves more risk and greater costs to children.
17. Fortunately, school employees can be vaccinated, and severe childhood Covid remains extremely rare.
18. We are certainly not powerless in the face of Covid. We can reduce its risks, just as we can reduce the risks from driving, biking, swimming and many other everyday activities. But we cannot eliminate them.

The End

[P.S. The above essay by David Leonhardt of NY Times.]

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Sharma

Sharma Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @bansisharma

25 Jul
This tweet is willfully deceptive and dishonest AF.

Article says:

"Nearly all Americans (94%) – including 95% of both Republicans and Democrats – say it is important that people who are legally qualified to vote are able to cast a ballot, with 82% saying it is very important.""
Voting is not a constitutional fundamental right in the U.S. It is a privilege of U.S. citizenship and is contingent upon meeting reasonable and prudent requirements (e.g. an age requirement). There are other conditions (e.g. incarceration) that are not unreasonable to debate..
Most Americans (81%) say it is at least somewhat important to prevent people who are not legally qualified to vote from doing so.

However, Republicans are considerably more likely than Democrats to say it is very important to prevent this (78% vs. 44%).
Read 6 tweets
22 Jul
1. A Devastating Expose of the Corruption that is California Education Establishment
2. "Equity" is the demon seed of America's decline and ultimate destruction. Anything government does in the name of 'equity' is more likely than not rooted in some race-baiting hustle that will inevitably harm rather than help those in whose name the con is perpetrated.
3. California education establishment is racist to its core against the Asian students in their care, and California has a long tradition of stabbing Asians in the back in the name of sanctimonious ideals.
Read 6 tweets
21 Jul
1. WSJ: ‘Unintentional Injuries’ and the Lockdown

It may take years to accurately measure deaths from Covid and deaths from the reaction to Covid.

How devastating was the 2020 pandemic and how devastating was government’s reaction to the pandemic?
2. It will likely take years to reach definitive conclusions, but the latest annual federal report on U.S. mortality is a start in discovering the answers.
3. Along with the well-documented ravages of Covid, the government is reporting a stunning increase, especially among young people, in a broad category called “unintentional injuries” that demands further investigation.
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul
For about 10 minutes. Now he is back, intact and optimistic. Thank God!

Despite all the venom spewed at him by the liberal losers, Jeff Bezos, just like Elon Musk, is a national treasure. Being human, he has his flaws, but what an entrepreneur! And a pioneer par excellence! Image
Coolest Kid: The Boy Who Went To Space Before Going To College

Oliver Daemen, 18, becomes the youngest person ever to fly to space.

Wally Funk, 82, is the oldest person to fly in space.

Funk was personally invited by Blue Origin billionaire founder Jeff Bezos (best known for creating Amazon) to join him aboard the debut crewed flight of New Shepard.
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul
1. This is what has the legacy media wetting their pants.
2. Ben Shapiro drives more engagement on Facebook than all the legacy media outlets combined. And that is making liberal media apoplectic.
3. Not only Ben Shapiro. Look at this chart and you will know why Facebook is now in White House's cross-hairs.

'Vaccine misinformation' is the excuse they are using to torpedo Facebook, just as coronavirus was the excuse they used to torpedo 2020 election with mail-in voting.
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul
1. WSJ: Biden Retracts Facebook Mass-Homicide Claim
After rebuttal from social media company, president repudiates his misinformation.
2. What an ingrate. Facebook limited the spread of accurate and disturbing stories about Biden family business in the heat of the 2020 election campaign. And how does President Joe Biden return the favor?
3. Now safely ensconced in the White House, Mr. Biden accused the company of mass homicide on Friday—and didn’t retract his statement until Monday.
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!