Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 9 December, 2021


Something I’ve half-expected for months finally happened earlier this week.  But – a bit like the death of an ailing loved one – no matter how prepared you think you are for the actual event, it is still a shock when it occurs.

As you can see, Twitter labeled one of my tweets as misleading and prevented people from liking or sharing it.  As you can also see, my tweet merely summarized an article that appeared on Yahoo – here’s the link to the article itself.  My summary of the Yahoo article was not misleading.

Maybe you’re thinking that what Twitter was trying to label as misleading was the underlying Yahoo article.  But that too is merely a factual description of a known situation and court case and outcome.  It too is also fully factual.

Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever other social media you use, what we like to think of as “community billboards” are increasingly becoming closed rather than open in terms of their approach to debate and discussion.  Ironically, this is all done under the guise of “protecting us”, while invoking the aura of “fact checkers” – an Orwellian term that, as all Orwellian terms do, actually means the exact opposite.  These “fact checkers” in truth are not subject matter experts, and don’t check facts at all, but rather impose filters of dubious accuracy on discussions and prevent people from getting a full and fair understanding of both sides of an issue.  Suppressed claims don’t go away – they fester and they grow in the dark, without rebuttal.  A better response is always to expose falsehoods in public, taking the life out of their fallacies.

But perhaps that hints at the darker truth behind the fact checkers.  They are not seeking to “protect us”, they are seeking to protect the causes they support, and feel their causes would founder and fail if people were allowed to openly question and debate them.

I know many people cheered when Twitter “de-platformed” (a nicer term than “censored” or “banned”) former President Trump.  But if that includes you, please keep in mind that he was our lawfully elected President.  Sure, lots of people hated him, and lots of people disagreed with him, but those aren’t reasons to ban either the President or anyone else.  These days, it is increasingly the case that we’re becoming a nation of “sore losers” with more and more people not just disliking but actively and aggressively hating “the other guy” and the other side of any policy issue.  If you’re happy with our lawfully elected former leader being banned from social media, keep that in mind if/when “your guy” ends up getting the same treatment, too.

This rush to judgment and refusal to openly and fairly debate issues is literally killing us.  How many of the 815,000 Americans now dead from Covid have died unnecessarily by the refusal of our “experts” to fully and fairly consider treatments for Covid that don’t place billions of dollars in drug company pockets?  How can anyone in their right mind, with or without an MD after their name, honestly say the best thing to do when suffering an infection that could cause death is to just to helplessly wait, hoping for the best, but doing nothing?

In this refusal to treat early-infections, they have been aided and abetted by the social media “fact checkers” who gleefully endorse the FDA’s description of ivermectin as a horse dewormer but claim the 134 studies of ivermectin, 87 of which have been peer-reviewed, and 69 of which were involving treatment and control groups are “insufficient evidence” of its value.  In the next breath, the single studies by (of course biased) drug companies to support their vaccines are accepted as all the proof that is needed.  No-one comments on how the FDA is now trying to delay for up to 70 years the release of the data they relied upon to justify approving the Pfizer vaccine, even though they’re required by law to share that as part of their decision.  We’re all supposed to pretend that the vaccines are working as promised, while at the same time lining up for our third and soon enough fourth shots of vaccines and continuing to wear masks and socially distance – strange requirements if the vaccines are indeed working as promised.

People who advocate for ivermectin are vilified as anti-science – which is ironic because the science has overwhelmingly supported its use.  It is the people refusing to acknowledge ivermectin’s benefits who are the anti-science ones.  The epithet of “anti-vaxxer” – which may have been a deserved appellation prior to 2020, in the context of other traditional vaccines that are incontrovertibly safe and beneficial – has been used to silence any possible acknowledgement of the failure and danger of the current mRNA drugs – saving such people from the need to openly and directly address the growing evidence against such vaccines.  Vaccine advocates refuse to even admit there are cogent concerns that need to be considered and addressed, dismissing it all as anti-vax anti-science fake-news.

Earlier today a Democrat friend went as far as to describe Senator Ron Johnson’s advocacy of mouthwash products as a Covid treatment as the Republicans trying to kill us.  The science suggests that povidone-iodine provides a 71% improvement if used in the early stages of a Covid infection; I’ve written about this a number of times over the last 15 months or so.  But, because a Republican cited one of a number of studies supporting this, my friend claims the GOP is “a death cult”.

Here’s an example of the type of person who is being vilified as anti-science and possibly a “death cult” member – although in this case it seems the doctor is probably a Democrat rather than Republican.  Please read the article, accurately headed “The Despicable Defamation of a Lifesaving Doctor“.

I just can not understand how our society is encouraging and permitting this situation to occur, even at the same time that we’ve suffered over 800,000 deaths.

Which brings me back to my Twitter-constrained tweet.  The situation was a man dying on a ventilator, and the hospital refused to allow him access to ivermectin.  His wife managed to get a court to order the hospital to allow his doctor to give him ivermectin (I think this was the case where the hospital told the judge “it might be dangerous to give him ivermectin” to which the judge rightly asked just how dangerous anything could possibly be to a dying man), but it took the hospital two more days to “study” and “interpret” the very simple court order before it would allow the man access to ivermectin.

How is this fair, right, decent behavior?

We rightly and publicly mourn the death of a bunch of children in a school shooting, and large parts of the population demand we turn our backs on the Constitution and ban guns from everyone, including safe sane sensible adults, in response.  But where is the similar outrage and activism in response to the Covid deaths – is it the every day nature of another thousand people (1,366 yesterday) that has numbed our shock and horror?

Talking about headlines, here’s an article with the headline “Omicron variant ‘almost certainly’ less severe than Delta: Fauci“.  But if you look in the article, this is what Fauci actually said

It’s too early to be able to determine the precise severity of the disease, but inklings that we are getting — and we must remember these are still in the form of anecdotal, but hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll get a much clearer picture — but it appears that with the cases that are seen we are not seeing a very severe profile of disease.

In fact, it might be, and I underscore might, be less severe.  [My emphasis throughout]

So, a sensible expression of uncertainty with a guarded hope/perception that it might be less severe becomes, in the headline, “almost certainly less severe” – and with quote marks around the “almost certainly” even though they are words Fauci didn’t say.

It increasingly seems the Omicron variant is no more severe than Delta (which in turn seems to have been no more severe than the original variants), and possibly might even be a bit less severe, but the extent of any reduction in lethality remains open to immense conjecture.  The big ambiguity is whether the people getting infected by Omicron have been previously vaccinated or had an earlier Covid infection or not.  If they have been previously infected or vaccinated, and with Omicron’s ability to evade immunity, they are more likely to have been either or both of those, then maybe the weaker cases are not because Omicron is less lethal but because people already have partial immunity which makes their infections less severe (the one remaining probable benefit of vaccines).

Another factor is the average age of infected person.  In South Africa, with a much younger population overall, perhaps the infected people are trending younger than in much of the western world with its slower growing and aging populations.  Because we know the virus is much less impactful in younger people, that would also skew the observed outcomes.

Most of all, keep in mind it takes a week or two from infection to a severe case, and another week or two (or more) from that until death or recovery.  As Dr Fauci rightly says, we don’t yet know for sure one way or the other.  It is interesting – we’d quickly be more certain if the variant was more serious, but it takes more time to discover if it is the same or less serious.

This article suggested that the NIH and CDC are failing us yet again, this time with their passive approach to the Omicron variant.  But does that really surprise us now?  Here’s another article from this week, reminding us of the staggering incompetence and failure of the CDC in the early stages of the Covid disease.

The CDC has no excuse whatsoever for messing up any part of its response.  The CDC is a bit like an airport fire department.  Many of the firemen might go their entire life without ever having to attend an airplane crash/fire, but they are practicing all the time, every day, for when the event occurs, to ensure they’ll be ready and at the top of their game if/when one happens.  In theory, it is the same with the CDC, and they too practice – they even have role plays and “war game” type scenarios where they act out a theoretical outbreak and how to respond to it.  But when a real outbreak came along, they were wrong-footed right from the very first day.

CDC staffers get paid a lot more than airport firemen…..

Talking about Omicron, here’s a great article with excellent summaries at the beginning and end, although it gets a bit technical in the middle.  You’ll note the writer’s point that Omicron will have come (and largely gone) before any new vaccines have been approved, mass-produced, and distributed (which ties in to the claims above of the NIH and CDC failing us again).

This article refers to the UK, but is probably equally accurate in describing the US, and gives background to how the farcical suggestion, completely unsupported by either logic or facts, was allowed to remain unchallenged for so long about the virus origin being from an animal at a food market in Wuhan – a food market coincidentally directly opposite one of China’s coronavirus research facilities.

Current Numbers

A couple of position swaps in the minor country list.

Sweden finally got to go down a place in the major country list, being overtaken by France, and at the bottom, Turkey and Brazil swapped places.

Poland and Mexico swapped places in the death rate list.  And, as always, the wild swings in fortune in the last week’s new Covid case count list.

Europe as a whole enjoyed a 2% drop in new cases for the week, compared to the previous week.  Risers were headed by Norway with a 38% case rise and France at 29%, with Denmark close behind at 28%, and both Portugal and Spain at 23%.  Countries enjoying dropping cases started with Austria and a 46% drop in new cases, Hungary with a 24% drop, Serbia at 23%, and Slovenia at 21%.  Germany had an 18% drop, and the UK had an 8% rise.

In North America, Canada’s case numbers rose by 15% while Mexico had a 9% fall.  The US had about a 22% rise.

As you can see, Omicron-affected South Africa had strong growth in new Covid cases over the last week (I hand-plotted Thursday’s number), with a 195% growth in cases.  Larger increases were reported in other African countries, with Ghana going from zero cases for the previous week to 326 this week.  Zimbabwe had a 646% increase, and a number of other African countries had over 100% increases, with the continent as a whole reporting a 146% growth.

The world as a whole had a 3% growth.

Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Montenegro (251,312)Montenegro (253,453)
4Gibraltar (217,478)Gibraltar (221,605)
6Slovenia (204,530)Slovenia
7LithuaniaSan Marino
8San MarinoLithuania
10Maldives (165,864)Maldives (167,363)


Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Republic (204,271)Czech Republic (214,057)
2Netherlands (156,192)Netherlands (164,558)
3Belgium (153,196)Belgium (162,792)
4UK (151,028)UK (155,866)
5USA (148,962)USA (151,399)
6Sweden (118,754)France (123,788)
7France (118,719)Sweden (120,322)
12Turkey (103,239)Brazil (103,279)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Peru  (5,984)Peru  (5,991)
2Czech Rep  (3,103)Czech Rep  (3,178)
3Romania (2,975)Romania (3,014)
4Brazil (2,865)Brazil (2,871)
6Colombia (2,491)Colombia (2,496)
7USA (2,416)USA (2,442)
10Poland (2,240)Mexico (2,263)


Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million) for Countries over one million population

RankOne Week AgoToday
1Czech Rep  12,185Slovakia  10,986
2Belgium  10,927Czech Rep  9,758
3Slovakia  10,171Belgium  9,608
12Denmark  5,220Slovenia  5,323


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, all the 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 a new type of virucidal metal, a different set of symptoms to tell you if you might have an Omicron infection, how will we know when the pandemic is over, Covid’s seasonality, how well anti-viral drugs work against Omicron, a Covid wonder-drug (perhaps), a chewing gum to help combat Covid, two new over-the-counter common inexpensive drugs that might combat Covid, why are teachers not required to be vaccinated but children are (in California), a new vaccine from Canada, rates of Omicron growth, Covid on cruise ships, Britain locking down, and international flights where a mandatory pre-flight Covid test costs more than the flight itself.




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

Please click here for a listing of all our Covid-19 articles.

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