Oct 1, 2022·edited Oct 1, 2022

"but even if it did, that would only mean we are selecting for fitter viruses. Viruses that can spread with less and less breath."

Good point.

And regarding cancer, we do know that having had certain childhood illnesses decreases risks of certain cancers.

There is a group of people who aim for a world with "no disease". It's a really good question whether such a world can exist for human beings. Are we playing whack-a-mole where getting rid of viruses only increases risks of diseases that come from our own body like cancer? Has anyone ever done research into this even with mice?

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Spot on: "Long pandemic" and "magical thinking".

You've got patience to deal with these characters.

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Seems sensible, but one follow-up question: Each of us needs to decide what measures to take to avoid colds and flu. Are you arguing the right amount of avoidance is zero? I would guess not, but to help determine that: Should we wash our hands when we come back to the house from running errands? Should we ask our kids to wash hands if we see them rubbing their runny nose on their hands? Seems like some level of avoidance is sensible. And that’s a spectrum that includes masking, and plenty of things well beyond that. If you’re saying “don’t mask”, then where on that spectrum are you saying we should be? Or perhaps not “we” as everyone might have different risk factors, but for you yourself? What’s sensible and what is not? The reasons you outline in the article to me would seem to argue that we should take zero measures against common cold and flu viruses, but I’m betting that’s not your position. Not trying to pull some sort of “gotcha” here, but just trying to understand your position.

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We really don't know as much as we think we know about our immune system. Was it wise to vaccinate against various childhood diseases or would recovering from those diseases be better long term. Humans have been around for quite some time and have evolved to cope with threats nature throws at us. There are good arguments suggesting we are less well prepared to deal with illnesses created by fools in some laboratory so need to develop counter measures. But SARs-CoV-2 seems to have a tolerable IFR for those in good health, even many elderly.

Masking has done little to prevent spread as evidenced by Ian Miller's work (https://ianmsc.substack.com/) and his book "Unmasked". But we still have those who believe masking has an effect. The discussions are now tedious.

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The first paragraph is a worded a little awkwardly, but this post is a masterpiece.

The final paragraph is gold. Also, this is very perceptive and applies to far more than just colds and Covid.

“First, there is our unyielding arrogance that humans can control the natural world”

Apply this to people who are arrogant enough to believe man can actually understand and control climate. Consider the fact that maintaining a climate for a habitat within a tank for a lizard is almost impossible and then extrapolate that to a world….a world where we can’t control the climate in our own homes. Lol

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The lack of appropriate RCT’s at the beginning of the pandemic, the lack of big thinking then was unforgivable. Fundamental reforms on how we define holes in our knowledge base and what holes then need filling with causally interpretable facts. We need Judea Pearl’s help with the onslaught of observational data as well. We need a DAG or some generally agreed upon definitions of the knowledge base. What don’t we know and know we need to know? Start there, fill in the gaps, get busy with inventive causal designs, pseudo RCT’s, but find some agreement on how to interpret those results. I was an early fan of a CovidCorps, where young healthy people over 18 could volunteer for countless types of human challenge trials, using hotels as the proving grounds. Vaccine testing, antivirals of all types, metabolic and dietary interventions, masking vs ventilation, effective low cost masks, speed up low cost at home rapid test development and development, etc... I could easily see 1million volunteers sign up to willingly infect themselves, which would have rapidly pushed the early variant through the young healthy population who could handle it with mortality below that of active military duty, with guaranteed VA care for any and all complications of participation, including large life insurance payouts. Now that naturally immune population of Gen Zers and Healthy Mellenialls could be working with high risk individuals at nursing homes and elsewhere, those whom we would have been Focusing Protection on most effectively with this strategy. This virus offered us an incredibly skewed risk curve and we failed to take advantage of it with appropriate focus protection strategies.

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