Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 17 January, 2021


I wrote on Thursday about the constant and consistent thread of official incompetence running through every element of our public health officials and their mishandling of our virus crisis.  I lightly touched on the strange contradiction between the leisurely pace at which the vaccine candidates were approved and the sudden panicked (and very wrong) decision to urgently get all vaccine doses out there asap, holding none back for the second doses every person needs.

Two new facts have come to light since then.  The first is rather ironic.  It turns out that by the time the decision was made to release all the held-back second doses of the vaccine, there were no held-back doses to release!

The second is this piece by the Wall St Journal, lamenting how the slowness in getting people vaccinated after vaccines were approved is due to an astonishing oversight by this equally astonishingly inept group of over-paid officials.  No-one had thought to create a plan for how to distribute the vaccines quickly once they had been approved and started being received.

How can the need to actually get the vaccines from the manufacturers all the way to into the arms of people come as a surprise?  How is it unexpected?  How is it no-one thought about this and had a ready process already identified and prepared?

Actually, the massive incompetence may have one good feature.  If these fools can’t distribute the vaccine efficiently, maybe there will be doses available when we all need our second doses.

On Friday we broke through 24 million cases in the US, and also passed the 400k deaths point.  Worldwide, we’re now over 2 million deaths, and nearing 100 million cases.

Talking about numbers, I heard from an ICU nurse last week.  She revealed two interesting things.

1.  Say you are tested for Covid and get a positive test.  You ask for a second test to confirm the first test.  It also shows positive.  So it is probably realistic to consider you’ve come down with the virus, and to add one more person to the list of people who have been infected, right?

Well, apparently, at least in some parts of Washington state, that counts not as one new case but two.  Every positive test is being counted as a new case, no matter if it is the same person as a previous test a day or two ago, or two different people.

Mind you, Washington is also the state that has famously counted gunshot victims as Covid cases….

2.  She said that in her ICU unit, there are six Covid patients at present.  But – and she is an experienced nurse – she says only one of them really needs to be in ICU.  The other five, she says, don’t seem to belong there at all, and she has no idea why they are in ICU.

So are we inflating numbers and the seriousness of cases, at least in some scenarios and some states?  I am told, but have not confirmed for myself, that healthcare organizations get a $13,000 payment from the government for every case they report, which surely doesn’t encourage a narrow definition of who has the virus and who doesn’t.

On the other hand, here’s a fascinating article that says many people who have “recovered” from the virus are readmitted back to hospital – almost one-third of all “recovered” Covid cases – within the five months subsequent, and overall, one in eight “cured” people will end up dead within 140 days.

Because Covid is only considered the cause of death if a person dies within 28 days of coming down with the virus, none of these people are being counted as Covid related deaths.  Does that mean actual Covid deaths perhaps should be twice what they are officially counted as being?

Lastly in opening comments, here is an interesting contrast.  First, consider this case, where a seriously ill patient in the Buffalo NY area had to get a court order in order to be allowed to take ivermectin.  She was on a ventilator, on her deathbed, but improved within 24 hours of being allowed to take ivermectin.  She was taken off the ventilator, went back to a regular ward, her condition worsened again, and the hospital refused to give her a second dose of ivermectin (two doses a couple of days apart is the recommended practice).  After the court order and a second dose, she improved again and now is expected to live.

Why are doctors so ridiculously refusing this totally safe drug?  WHO describes ivermectin as “safe and can be used on a wide scale”.  Objections to ivermectin sure can’t be because of the cost.  A dose of ivermectin probably costs about a single dollar, and because it is in simple pill form, there is no costly dosing regimen to further complicate matters.

Let’s compare things.  Let’s talk about two different medical treatments.  One has been in use for decades, has been proven, over the course of bazillions of doses to be perfectly safe with no side effects, and has been the subject of 18 peer reviewed recent studies and another 33 more recent articles, every one of them reporting positively on its value as a Covid treatment.

The other is a brand new type of treatment.  It has had a single trial, has been subject to very little review or scrutiny, has had several dozen people die after taking the treatment, and many more people become ill, either severely and life-threateningly or more moderately.

One of these two medical treatments is enthusiastically being rushed to as many people as possible.  The other can require a court order to force doctors to allow their patients to take it.

One of these two medical treatments is ivermectin.  The other are the new vaccines.

Can you guess which is which?

Most of all, can you explain the double-standard here?  People are dying from the vaccine – most tragically in Norway where an Old Folks Home, that had no casualties to date from the virus, then had 13 – 23 people die from vaccination Afterwards, the Norwegian authorities said perhaps they shouldn’t vaccinate old people.  Shouldn’t we have known that already, rather than requiring people to die from the vaccine first?  Wasn’t that the whole point of the vaccine testing – to determine and confirm it is safe to take?

As for ivermectin, the only people dying are those are refused it.  Why are we being rushed to accept an experimental and dangerous vaccine (remember it has not yet been fully approved, it is being dispensed under an “Emergency Use Authorization” exception) that is sometimes killing people, when doctors won’t touch a drug that is proven to be safe and they are 100% allowed to prescribe on a white-label basis to anyone they choose?

Now I know that a couple of dozen deaths is a very small number compared to the many millions of vaccine doses being given, and I’m not saying “don’t get vaccinated, it is too dangerous”.  But I most definitely am saying “how can we use the fear of side-effects, which have been conclusively proven over decades to not exist at all, as an excuse not to give ivermectin to already-infected sick people, when we are ignoring the proven clear danger of death while rushing vaccines to people not yet sick?”  That makes no sense whatsoever, indeed, it is so egregiously stupid and lacking in any justification that it destroy one’s faith in the healthcare system and encourages people to seek out ulterior motives for this inexplicable behavior….

Current Numbers

No major changes in the US.  I was surprised, as I always am, at the huge difference in case rates between the best and worst states, and in particular, seeing how quickly numbers go from VT’s 16k to fourth place OR at 32k and twice as many.

Nothing too startling internationally, although Sweden has now entered the death list.

US Best and Worst States

A week agoNowA week agoNow
1 BestVT (14,370)VT (16,117)HI (218)HI (227)
2HIHI (17,200)VT (250)VT (261)
3MEME (24,966)AKAK
4OROR (31,582)MEME
5WA (36,123)WA (38,366)OR (381)OR (427)
47IA (93,971)RI (98,591)SD (1,792)SD (1,872)
48UT (95,447)TN (100,352)RI (1,809)RI (1,893)
49TNUT (101,011)MAMA
50SDSDNY (2,035)NY (2,108)
51 WorstND (124,289)ND (125,796)NJ (2,244)NJ (2,305)


Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Andorra (111,029)Andorra (117,453)
2Gibraltar (94,104)Gibraltar (108,951)
4San MarinoSan Marino
8LiechtensteinFrench Polynesia
9French PolynesiaLiechtenstein
10Georgia (60,031)Georgia (62,185)


Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (77,538)Czech Republic (82,945)
2USA (69,021)USA (73,709)
3Belgium (57,049)Belgium (58,293)
4NetherlandsPortugal (54,006)
6Portugal (47,509)Sweden (51,658)
7UK (45,132)UK (49,881)
8Spain (43,844)Spain (48,159)
11ArgentinaArgentina (39,611)
12Italy (37,681)Italy (39,417)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Belgium (1,725)Belgium (1,756)
2Italy (1,304)Italy (1,360)
3Czech Republic (1,223)Czech Republic (1,338)
4UK (1,196)UK (1,311)
5USA (1,154)USA (1,226)
6Peru (1,153)Peru (1,170)
7Spain (1,109)Spain (1,140)
8France (1,037)Mexico (1,081)
9Mexico (1,027)France (1,075)
10Argentina (980)Sweden (1,019)


The rest of this newsletter is for the very kind Travel Insider Supporters – it is their support that makes all of this possible, and it seems fair they get additional material in return.  If you’re not yet a Supporter, please consider becoming one, and get instant access to the rest of the Diary Entry, additional material on previous diary entries, and much extra content on other parts of the website too.

If you’re a contributor, you should make sure you’re logged in to the website, and when you are, you’ll see the purple text and balance of the newsletter below on the website.  If you’re not logged in, or reading this via email, you need to log in on the website first.

Items below include more on new super-infectious virus strains, and if past infection gives immunity, some stunning research (not!) about American attitudes and preferences for vaccines, and more that we don’t know about vaccines and what they can and can’t do.  Also, some possible good news in the US, and countries that have been largely spared the virus.






Please stay happy and healthy; all going well, I’ll be back again on Thursday.

3 thoughts on “Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 17 January, 2021”

  1. The article about the Ivermectin lawsuit was shocking. Ivermectin has more peer reviewed studies and better Covid results than either Remdesivir or Regeneron. It has been an important part of the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) Covid protocol for months (yes, they must be some hicks in Virginia, ignore them). It’s not voodoo, but it is starting to be put in the same category as HCQ by our medical Gods.

    What massive foolishness and malpractice by people who claim that it’s “experimental” and “not FDA approved”, when literally EVERY treatment is experimental and not (fully) FDA approved.

    When “do no harm” means do nothing, it needs to be re-evaluated. The do-nothing option with Covid literally kills people. Where are the medical ethicists?

    And the old canard of not having judges or lawyers prescribe medical treatment, when they are literally killing this poor woman by withholding treatment. Our medical system seems to have evolved from a care-based process to a money-making death factory. How can a patient’s wishes (via her family) be ignored, and a safe, inexpensive (a few dollars worth is all you need), and effective treatment be withheld?

    I remember from history, how our first doctors evolved from butchers and barbers and primitive chemists. It seems we have come full circle. Perhaps the good folks at Millard Fillmore Hospital will reach for their box of leeches next. Lord, please keep me from their helpful clutches. Where they’re shuffling off (this mortal coil), in Buffalo.

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