COVID19 and More
A week in review
Welcome to my first (real) substack post
This installment is just a summary of things I’ve worked on, or I’ve enjoyed this week.
1. Podcast with Bari Weiss
Bari Weiss is one of my favorite journalists, and her substack and podcast consistently offer thoughtful views. We talked for 90 minutes about COVID19, vaccination, errors in messaging, ivermectin and more. Check it out here:
2. Also on Bari’s substack, I contributed a few hundred words with my thoughts on Biden’s push (via employers) to get people vaccinated. I am skeptical of just how many people this will motivate—my argument is purely empirical.
3. In my weekly column on MedPage Today, I argue that it is time to start accepting it: sars-cov-2 is an endemic virus. This means that all of us will eventually (in next decade or so) get exposed to the virus. All you can do is optimize your chances when you get exposed—that means for adults, getting vaccinated. And beyond that, there is not much one can do. Asking vaccinated college kids to abide by strict restrictions is a policy that makes no sense, when one truly understands the virus is endemic. Read the full take here:
4. I have been busy on my youtube channel. And put out 8 videos in the last week. Here they are.
a. My thoughts on the FDA booster vote – clearly this was under massive political pressure and clearly it makes no sense at all. There is no credible evidence that a 20 year health care worker needs a 3 dose of Pfizer vax. Why not run a trial?
b. John Ioannidis has a new paper on what considerations apply to vaccinating adolescents and kids. Check it out
c. Sars-cov-2 is endemic: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance
d. Pfizer announced top line results of vaccinating kids 5 to 11. The press release literally said nothing other than geometric mean titers are non-inferior, but you would not know that from reading twitter. So much unknown. We have to move cautiously.
e. J&J finally announces some booster data. What gives? Who wants a J&J booster? Has the CDC delayed guidance on J&J boosters just to give Johnson & Johnson first crack at keeping their market share? My thoughts
f. COVID19 has destroyed Science. It won’t survive. It is slowly dying infront of our eyes
g. Testing vaccinated college kids with asymptomatic weekly or biweekly testing – is entirely unproven. Assertions it has to “work” are false. It also boggles the mind.
h. Follow the science is an empty broken slogan. Science can never guide policy alone. It requires values. The slogan practically means follow the values of wealthy professors who can live their normal life via zoom.
5. My plenary session podcast episode with Dr. Dan Morgan, ID Doctor
6. Dhruv Khullar has a lot of guts to point out that long covid has many open scientific questions. There is so much we do not know. I was glad to be quoted in the piece https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/09/27/the-struggle-to-define-long-covid
7. Nice video by a doctor I admire: Kwadwo Kyeremanteng
8. Great interview with Anders Tegnel on why Sweden’s policy choices were the right idea, and ZeroCovid is a delusion https://unherd.com/thepost/anders-tegnell-sweden-won-the-argument-on-covid/
9. My colleague Monica Gandhi makes an argument in Washington Post on the end of the pandemic. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/09/21/covid-pandemic-end/?tid=ss_tw
10. A new article in the Atlantic on Follow the Science, reminds me of what I wrote last fall. We are in perfect agreement. New Atlantic article: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/09/following-the-science-democracy-experts-covid-19/620138/ My two cents from last year: https://www.medpagetoday.com/opinion/vinay-prasad/89856
11. A great slide by Adam Cifu on why surrogate endpoints are often unreliable
12. An op ed pointing out that ZeroCovid is a dangerous fantasy https://www.wsj.com/articles/zero-covid-coronavirus-pandemic-lockdowns-china-australia-new-zealand-11628101945
13. An interesting tweet by Ryan Horath pointing out that people who believe in outdoor cloth masking suffer from many problems in reasoning that are also present amongst those with other irrational beliefs
14. An article in Reason Magazine on why student quarantines are destroying education and unlikely to serve any purpose. https://reason.com/2021/09/21/quarantined-l-a-schoolkids-have-lower-covid-rates-than-vaccinated-teachers/
15. COVID19 may be impacting kids mental health https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2021/09/22/vanderbilt-doctor-covid-19-driving-mental-health-crises-kids/5811071001/
16. A great article on why college campuses are the craziest places on earth. https://reason.com/2021/09/21/college-campuses-have-the-craziest-covid-19-restrictions-of-all/
Bapu does a podcast on a paper we did together
Ending with a kind plug