The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Respiratory Infection Hospital Admission 6X Standard Deviations Up

In Ontario, Canada:

Meanwhile, in China there’s a huge respiratory disease outbreak that the Chinese government refuses to give details on. Could be something new, but it equally it just could be standard respiratory disease: a LOT of standard respiratory disease.

I hate to keep hammering this issue, but it’s important. There is NO immunity debt, what there is is immune system damage from Covid infections. Every Covid infection has a chance to degrade your immune system and to damage basically every organ, including your brain.

Every additional Covid infection can and often does do more damage. This damage is often imperceptible (until it isn’t): your body is hurt, but you can’t feel it—yet. When you do, well, that’s Long Covid.

Meanwhile you get sick more often. We’ve also seen huge increases in children with heart and respiratory ailments, since schools are a primary vector for infection.

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When China stopped their Zero Covid policy, I said a lot of people would die and suffer. We don’t know the immediate death toll because China isn’t talking, but estimates put it between 1.4 and 2 million people in the first two months. But, as I wrote at the time, it was the long term consequences which would really matter.

They show up easier in China because China has fewer hospital beds per capita and it’s harder to conceal when hospitals become swamped.

We could still wipe out Covid if we really wanted to, though it would be a big and worldwide effort, but so far we’re mostly just pretending it’s over “because we say it’s over.”

Alas “because I say so” doesn’t work with respect to nature and the knock-on effects of the pandemic continue, and they are very very nasty.



Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 3, 2023


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  1. jsn

    On Friday, Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism posted this:
    “On mycoplasma pneumonia (“walking pneumonia”), or whatever it is, reasoning by analogy, I wrote:

    I don’t think the case is iron-clad, but it sure seems that way, vs. alternative explanations like seasonality and so-called immunity debt. I think the precise mechanism is under discussion, but IMNSHO “immune dysregulation” is the right idea at a high level. FWIW!

    People who were close to the AIDS crisis may correct this blue sky speculation, but IIRC, AIDS symptoms were originally “mild” [***cough***] and only over time did the “ID” (Immune Deficiency”) aspect become clear, what with Kaposi sarcoma, thrush, etc. /p>

    So far, SARS-CoV-2’s trajectory is unnervingly similar to AIDS, even aside from the sudden eruption of mysterious diseases. Culturally, condoms = masks; “safe sex” = ventilation. In terms of response, CDC and the political class are now what they were then. I am hawkish on this, and I believe that in a year, “Airborne AIDS” will start reaching the mainstream, and rightly. In effect, we’re collectively opening a market for expensive pharmaceuticals at least an order of magnitude greater than those for AIDS. Silver lining!

    Laying down a bit of a marker, here. Now you know my priors!”

  2. Troy

    Well, life expectancy has dropped for the third year in a row as well. More Canadians died from Covid in 2022 than in years prior. The worst case scenario also becomes more likely every year it is allowed to “burn” through the population that a variant that is both more transmissible and highly fatal appears.

    Then again, perhaps instead what could happen is Covid burns through the population, and another virus appears —such as a flu variant— that is a bit more transmissible and quite a bit more fatal that fulfills the same possibility as my previous prediction. I often muse the Russian Flu (likely a Covid variant) laid much the same sort of groundwork that allowed the Spanish Flu to become so fatal.

    Then again, I imagine our PMC believes the fat will be burned off from society if they allow for private handling of the virus. That people in the know will buy air filters for their private dwellings rooms and workplaces, which along with the new ventilation requirements for new buildings will mitigate the worst of transmission for them and them alone. There’ll be a lot of foot dragging on changing building requirements to even match the 5 air changes per hour as recommended by the CDC, and only certain States and provinces will ever bother to do so, and they’ll do so quietly.

  3. Timeline:
    Late 2019: Covid becomes widespread
    2020: There was no massive increase in cancers, heart diseases, young people/athletes dropping, neurological diseases, non-Covid infections etc.
    Early 2021: Mass Covid vaccinations occur
    2021-present: Massive increase in heart diseases, cancers, young people/athletes dropping, neurological diseases, non-covid infections etc.

    In the Clinical trials compared to the placebo group the Covid vaccine group had as high as 4 times more Severe adverse events including hospitalization, and death.–1811.pdf

  4. Geoffrey Dewan

    “In the Clinical trials compared to the placebo group the Covid vaccine group had as high as 4 times more Severe adverse events including hospitalization, and death.”

    OK, maybe I’m being trolled here but this strikes me as misinformation at best. It doesn’t square with any rigorous collection, presentation and analysis of the data.

    Personally, I know of no one who has been vaccinated who has died – while three convinced anti-vaxxers are the only three people I know who actually have died.

    Anecdotal? Yes. But I haven’t seen anything from the “Do your own research crowd” that convinced me otherwise. I wear a mask in public and have been vaxxed and boosted. I’ve had Covid twice with what I would call “mild ” cases.

    I’m alright so far so I guess I’ll keep on keepin’ on.

  5. Troy

    Oakchair, your conclusion neglects a pretty important reason as to why there was “no massive increase in cancers, heart diseases, young people/athletes dropping, neurological diseases, non-Covid infections etc” in 2020. In all honesty, your conclusion falls apart entirely with its inclusion into your data. I’m not going to tell you what it is because I want you to think on what you’re missing.

  6. capelin

    ” We could still wipe out Covid if we really wanted to, though it would be a big and worldwide effort ”

    There’s lots of things we could maybe do if ‘ we all tried really hard ‘ – eliminate hunger, provide basic health care, stop the Gaza murders, not having Canadians living in tents in the winter – but eliminating a corona virus (in all 35 host species) is not one of them.

    That’s city thinkin’.

    Ian – how can the unprecedentedly massive application of an quickie fudge-tested novel gene-therepy – by known bad actors – not be part of your query? There is no scientific line of inquiry which would not include that, because at the very least _we don’t know_.

  7. Ian Welsh

    I’ve said before that I don’t like mRNA vaccines and that I even think they do some harm. I don’t think they’re the main factor, however.

    And even at the start of the pandemic I noted that if Sputnik had been available here, I’d have taken it, not an mRNA vax.

    But again, not the main issue. Multiple Covid infections compounding damage is the main problem.

  8. Carborundum

    Statistics I’m seeing (World Bank) indicate that China has materially more hospital beds per capita than Canada. That’s… not comforting. We’ll file that one under D for disconcerting.

    I would take the estimates of Chinese COVID deaths with a grain of salt until validated by other data. Any time that someone tells me that a country the size of China went from relatively low levels of infection to 90% of the population being infected in the span of 35 days, I start wanting some empirical verification independent of the modelling. It doesn’t take much unaccounted for bias to lead one into some significant estimation excursions.

  9. Stormcrow

    I agree with almost everything in this post, with the single exception of “wiping out” Covid.

    We’ll never be able to do that, any more than we’ve been able to “wipe out” rabies, and for the same reason: an extensive collection of known reservoir hosts.

    In fact, with the existing toolset, including masking, ventilation, and *existing* vaccines, we can’t even marginalize it as we have rabies. It’s simply too damned contagious, and contagious in the worst possible way: through the air via aerosols from existing victims.

    We won’t be able to marginalize it that well until, at minimum, we develop and effectively deploy pan-coronavirus vaccines whose conferred immunities have really useful life spans. 3 to 4 months is an absurdly short span of time: it practically compels you to get 4 vaccinations per year, and the present lot of vaccines don’t even provide sterilizing immunity. Nor do they keep up with the breakneck rate at which this pathogen is evolving. Until one shot immunizes against nearly the entire spectrum of coronaviruses, we’ll continue to chase variants the way we do now, with the certainty that today’s vaccine is at least 4-6 months out of date.

    Given decent vaccines and a public health system that has some real clout, I suspect we ccould cram the prevalence down at least two orders of magnitude. I just mentioned the mess we have with our present crop of vaccines. And don’t even get me started about the public health systems we really _do_ have.

    Really good masks, combined with a zero-exceptions policy about their use, can work wonders. I know whereof I speak. I attribute most of the reason I have not yet been tagged, TTBOMK, to the really excellent protection afforded by a P-100 half-face elastomeric mask. Combined with the fact that I’m wearing it before I ever touch my apartment’s front door, and it stays on until I’m back inside with that door locked behind me.

    But considering the population as a whole, all of these goals will remain aspirational because at least one third of them are hopelessly barking mad and growing less sane by the day.

  10. @ Geoffrey Dewan
    I do agree that the Corporate clinical trials were not rigorous for several reasons such as:
    1- They used a passive adverse event reporting system that undercounts negative effects
    2- They excluded most deaths (there should have been around 300 deaths but they only reported around 15% of that number
    3- They were in practice unblinded
    4- They excluded a large number of people in the vaccine group
    5- They contain evidence of fraud. Such as:
    A) The corporate employees including Brook Jackson who’ve become whistleblowers alleging with documentation that systemic fraud was done.
    B) Specific cases such as labeling Maddie Garay who was paralyzed by the vaccine being misreported as having stomach problems
    C) The nearly dozen statistically significant data problems suggesting fraud was committed

  11. StewartM


    Back in the early AIDS/HIV days, I always argued that:

    1) AIDS research was really, really, really important, and not just for AIDS. For if we could find out how to turn “on” or turn “off” the human body’s immune system, and be able to ‘sic’ it on specific cells, not only would you cure AIDS, you could cure any other infectious disease and most cancers (save possibly brain infections/tumors). Moreover, you could also cure most autoimmune diseases like lupus.

    2) That despite the hysteria, the danger from HIV/AIDS was being overhyped. The estimates of 5 million people with HIV/AIDS to me wasn’t credible, nor was the claim that half or more gay men were infected (a bad interpretation of the data, you can’t extrapolate from the % of gay men showing up at clinics reporting symptoms to the general population. Despite it being labeled ‘the gay plague’ it wasn’t).

    This was especially true the more we found it when looking back at previous cases in 1969, or 1958, or even the 1930s. I said “if AIDS were really that easy to catch, then it would have exploded on us long before”. Now the estimates of Americans having HIV/AIDS is down to 1.2 million, and I suspect even that is high. Studies of at-risk behaviors show that even engaging in the riskiest sex act known (passive anal sex) with an infected partner results in only a 1-2 % infection rate. Most other sex acts have much lower, even orders of magnitude lower, rates. The widespread notion or example of “Bad Person X found out he/she had AIDS, and decided to spread it by having indiscriminate sex with as many people as he/she could”—well, doing that is actually a VERY inefficient way to kill anyone. Needle sharing among drug addicts (c. 10-20 % infection rates) and blood transfusions (near 100 %) were bigger drivers of infection, far above sexual activity.

    So I said “HIV/AIDS isn’t that much a threat. However, wait until we get something airborne, or which is spread like a cold or flu. THAT will be the health disaster”. Well, we may have just run into it.

  12. different clue

    If covid is a delayed-onset immunocytic disease of indolent progression, then the wave of vaccinations happened too soon in the slow progression of system damage inside people for it to have begun manifesting yet anyway. If you had a population of infected people who never got mRNA para-vaccinoided and an equal size population of mRNA para-vaccinoided people who never got infected, then you could meaningfully compare the slow-rolling disease-rates in the two populations.

    I think long-covid is the virus itself hiding here and there in the body and slowly destroying function as it lingers and slow-burns. Then again, some people may have zero viruses remaining from an infection they got and yet still have physical damage traces from covid’s passing presence. If you are blasted by gamma rays, you won’t emit gamma rays afterwards, but you will be physically gamma-damaged. Perhaps we should call that post-covid damage-itis.

    And yes, I think we will eventually be speaking of covaids ( or covidaids) , covidementia, etc.

    After having weighed all risks in my best amateur fashion, I got the Moderna mRNA para-vaccinoid twice, and then got a Pfizer mRNA para-vaccinoid booster. And then tried being careful, but not up to NaCap levels.

    And then got covid about a week ago. Home-isolated for the 5 days and tested negative at the end of it. Seemingly over it except a little tired yet. No after-coviditis? No long-covid? Tick . . . tock . . . tick . . . tock. . .

  13. capelin


    Yes, Covid, especially the first wave, was nasty for some people. Especially with the suppression of effective treatments.

    But the big spike in nasty stuff happening to the populace really follows the Injection rollouts pretty closely. See John Campbell re infant mortality etc. The signal is there.

    And given what we know about the Injections – it makes perfect sense. The switcheroo on the manufacturing process if nothing else, to the dirty type 2 process.

    @ DC

    “If you had a population of infected people who never got mRNA para-vaccinoided and an equal size population of mRNA para-vaccinoided people who never got infected, then you could meaningfully compare the slow-rolling disease-rates in the two populations.”

    We do, it’s “the West vs Everyone else”, to generalize. The non-mrna’d countries are not seeing what we are.

    That’s why they were so keen to eliminate any meaningfull control group, here.

  14. @Capelin

    South Korea experienced no increased mortality in 2020, then –for a reason we can’t talk about– in 2021 mortality rates shot up.
    Similar trends occurred in New Zealand, Seychelles, Ireland, Australia, Qatar , Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Mongolia and so on.

    But the evidence must be wrong because the industry that said opioids were safe, effective and non-addicting could never be corrupt let alone wrong or dishonest.

  15. different clue


    Since I was 65 years old at the time, pre-morbidly obese, chronic kidney disease . . . I decided getting the para-vaccinoid would expose me to the lesser risk than getting covid without it.

    So I don’t regret the choice. I merely accept that I have accepted some risk.

  16. capelin

    @ Oakchair

    Some of those countries Injected and saw excess deaths rise before there was widespread contact with The Cov.

    Multiple factors, of course – hello lockdown/isolation – but, yeah.

    @ dc

    Fair enough, that was a reasonable calculation given what we were told at the time. I might very well have made the same decision in a similar situation.

    Given what what has come to light since, under no circumstances would I take it or recommend it to anyone. All remaining inventories should be incinerated.

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