Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The Problem with Asymptomatic Cases

"The World Health Organization (WHO) weekly update on the global Covid-19 pandemic found that in the last four weeks, there was an 80% rise in infections."

This article, published yesterday, also points out that the numbers being tracked are likely quite a bit lower than reality - as much as 8 times lower - as many countries stopped reporting cases or hospitalizations or deaths as attributable to Covid. Lots of places, including my city, have stopped wastewater tracking, so we just have excess deaths - relative to 2018 - as a more accurate measure. But that gets complicated now with climate change adding to the death toll. We just don't really know for sure anymore. 

I think it likely that I will wear a mask forever when I'm in public buildings.

Lots of people are walking around, appearing perfectly healthy, but have an asymptomatic case that's capable of making others sick. It's the healthy person next to you that's a concern, not just people actively coughing.

Since most cases are asymptomatic, then why would we worry about Covid at all anymore?? 

Here's the thing: I'm not worried about an acute case of Covid, which are often relatively mild if you're even aware you have it at all. I'm worried about the Long Covid that hits as many as 20% of people who had Covid - even if they had just an asymptomatic case. Once it's in your system, it hunkers down in the blood stream, able to travel everywhere, and finds weak spots to attack and destroy, leaving you profoundly disabled. We're not tracking Covid-induced disabilities at all.  

And there is no cure once it's at that stage.  

ALL we have is prevention.  

Back in May, the WHO's Dr. Tedros declared Covid over as an emergency, but immediately clarified, 

"That does not mean Covid-19 is over as a global health threat. . . . The virus is here to stay. It is still killing, and it is still changing." 

In Canada, the graph of Covid hospitalizations looks somewhat seasonal, with dips in the summer, but researchers are now recognizing that the dips are due to schools being closed. Kids in schools are the number one driver of cases. We're looking at a possible quademic this fall: flu, RSV, Covid, and strep

We can also see that we didn't get that lovely dip in the summer of 2022 or since, quite possibly because we ditched masks in April 2022. 

The WHO prevention list is very vaccine-heavy, but they also advise to wear a mask if you might be sick or have been around someone who was sick or are going to be in a crowded or poorly ventilated area. If they could go just a smidge further, encouraging masking whenever in public buildings, and make it really clear that as many as 60% of cases are in people who appear not at all sick, that could really help. This is a vital piece of information that people are missing: it's not just sick people who are spreading the virus. If it were, it would be so much easier to contain.

Fauci made it very clear in a JAMA Network presentation last March that Covid evades immunity, it's commonly transmitted through asymptomatic cases, and aerosol transmission predominates (just check it out for 2 minutes or so; I didn't clip it):

The WHO advises self-isolation until complete recovery from Covid, but many employers are overriding that advice - even in hospitals: "Wear a surgical mask whilst symptomatic." 

At least give them N95s, geez!!

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