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Should we learn to love Omicron?

06/12/2021
Don’t rush out to get this season’s fashion in plague disease. Yet.

The short answer is it’s too early to say. But there’s reason to hope. There’s plenty we don’t yet know about the Omicron variant of Covid-19, but a picture is beginning to emerge from the clouds of our ignorance.

Researchers were initially alarmed by the number of mutations on the spike protein, fearing it would have greater transmissibility and ability to evade the immune system than earlier variants. Their concern seems to have been vindicated. Omicron has rapidly become the dominant strain of Covid in the areas it’s taken hold, displacing earlier variants in the same way Delta displaced Alpha and Beta.

There are also fears existing immunity will offer little protection against Omicron. While there’s not yet enough data to draw firm conclusions early indications are that this is also true. Many of those infected with Omicron have been double vaccinated or recovered from earlier strains. It’s possible these infections are the result of naturally waning immunity – like its coronavirus cousin, the common cold, Covid immunity in humans seems to be short-lived, with sharp drops in antibodies from around five months and probable drops in B and T-cell mediated resistance a few months later – but the number of immunised people contracting Omicron suggests it’s able to shrug off both vaccine induced resistance and resistance gained from infections with earlier variants.

The big question is how dangerous Omicron is and so far the news looks hopeful. Although hospitalisations are rising in the areas where Omicron is spreading most rapidly, as of this writing there is yet to be a confirmed death from the new strain. This is no reason for complacency. Omicron detection is in its infancy. People could have died without receiving a confirmed diagnosis. Perhaps the disease takes longer to develop and we’ll see a spike in fatalities in coming weeks. Perhaps the ‘long Covid’ form of Omicron will be particularly debilitating or it will leave behind cellular or organ damage that will increase mortality and morbidity among survivors for decades to come. We just don’t know yet.

We also don’t know whether specific groups will prove more susceptible to the disease. The elderly? Children this time? Certain ethnic groups? The immune compromised? Those with comorbidities?

But ignorance hasn’t prevented anointed experts from making unfounded claims about the new variant that are amplified in the media.

We’re told Omicron emerged because of low vaccination levels in Africa. That it probably initially evolved in an immune compromised person – such as someone with untreated HIV – before spreading to the general population. These claims have no evidence supporting them and there’s good reason to believe they’re false.

Omicron seems admirably adapted to thrive in the systems of those with a robust immune response to other variants. Its mutations have given it an evolutionary advantage in such environments. That would be unlikely to be the case in the bodies of people with no immunity to Covid. It’s far more likely that Omicron developed in someone whose body was mounting a reasonably effective immune response to the earlier variant Omicron mutated from. Its resistance to that response gave it a natural selection advantage that enabled it to overwhelm its ancestor variants and dominate its human ecosystem. From there it spread to new frontiers in other people and the rest is history. It’s unlikely to have emerged the victor of a struggle in which its immunity evading mutations gave it no advantage.

It’s far more likely Omicron developed in a vaccinated person than in an unvaccinated one. Even before Covid emerged it was known that ‘leaky’ vaccines – those that promote resistance but don’t prevent infection – are likely to result in more virulent strains of viruses emerging. All currently available Covid vaccines are leaky. And because coronavirus immunity is short-lived and varies in strength between individuals there will always be people with partial immunity to offer ideal environments for the evolution of new variants.

So should you avoid Covid vaccination?

Absolutely not. While they don’t prevent the spread of the virus they do reduce it – at least for pre-Omicron variants. More importantly they make infection more survivable and less likely to land you in hospital or an ICU. If you don’t want to die of Covid, get vaccinated. If you don’t want to infect your loved ones with it, get vaccinated. There’s no guarantees here, but for the vast majority of people vaccination will probably help protect them, their families, their communities and the health systems where they live.

The fact that pro-vaccine ‘experts’ often lie doesn’t mean anti-vaxxers are telling the truth. They’re not; though many have the defence of <i>not knowing</i> they’re lying. Vaccines may not be what they’re cracked up to be, but they’re way better than nothing.

But why should we love Omicron?

Well, I don’t know that we should. But the way pathogens co-evolve with their hosts makes it possible Omicron is just the variant we’ve been waiting for.

It’s not in the evolutionary interest of pathogens to destroy their hosts any more than it’s in the interest of the human race to destroy its ecosystem. Some symptoms, such as the coughing and sneezing common among respiratory diseases and the increased genital sensitivity caused by some STDs, help to promote transmission and ensure the pathogen proliferates. But anything likely to take the infected person out of her community – whether through isolation, disability or death – reduces the ultimate survival chances of the disease.

When the coronaviruses we call ‘the common cold’ first began infecting humans back in the mists of prehistory they were likely much more lethal pathogens than the ones that makes us feel miserable for a week in winter. But the nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes who were wiped out by them failed to pass them on, so both the hosts and the viruses were eliminated from their respective gene pools. It was the people most suited to living with the viruses and the variants most likely to allow their hosts to live that survived. Both us and the current common cold viruses are descended from those who successfully adapted to life with each other.

Probably the reason humans have such short ‘immune memories’ for coronaviruses is because there was little point developing life-long immunity to the common cold. Doing so not only increased the metabolic load on the immune systems of those anticipating defence against a relatively benign infection – potentially weakening their response to more dangerous pathogens – it also would have encouraged the emergence of even more virulent variants of the cold in those unable to mount fully developed immune responses. Those variants would have eventually learned to evade the defences of healthier people and spread through the population with consequences potentially more severe than those of existing cold viruses. Better that we accommodate the virus and the virus accommodates us. Better the devil we know …

So should we be complacent about Omicron? Should we attend Omicron parties to encourage the spread of the new variant?

As I said, the facts aren’t in. It would be irresponsible to adopt either of these approaches until they are.

Researchers say it will be several months before vaccines targeting Omicron have been developed. By then we’ll know a lot more about it. But it’s now widely understood we will never eradicate Covid. Even if we’re able to eliminate it from the human race there’s many wild and domestic animal reservoirs that would result in reinfection – with all the dangers that come with cross-species transmission. Just because your cat gets along well with its version of Covid doesn’t mean you will.

But once the Omicron facts are in and Omicron vaccines are developed we will need to think hard about whether to roll them out. Leaky Omicron vaccines would promote the emergence of yet more variants of Covid. Some may be far worse than Omicron.

_________________________________________________________________________

Update 18-Dec-2021: According to the Guardian the NSW government may have adopted a strategy to let Omicron spread through the community to produce herd immunity. This is what I’m suggesting may be the best strategy for dealing with Omicron. But if authorities are doing it now they’re criminally irresponsible idiots.

The post above has many caveats centred on how little we currently know about the Omicron variant. Despite the very low fatality rates registered so far it’s entirely possible serious longer term consequences are yet to emerge. Even if a very small proportion of those infected with Omicron develop severe illness allowing it to run rampant in a disease naive community will almost certainly result in a spike in patients requiring hospitalisation.

It’s currently the festive season, which always puts a strain on hospital resources. People are gathering together for family celebrations, flocking to retail outlets and entertainment venues, partying and traveling long distances. Conditions are ideal for a surge in infections that will leave hospitals unable to cope with the usual seasonal uptick in accidents, violence and drug and alcohol overdose. Even if no-one dies of Omicron there will be avoidable deaths from other causes as medical services are overwhelmed by the additional load.

Now is the time to reimpose measures aimed at slowing the spread of Covid, but the NSW government is relaxing them instead. Such policies will deliver many NSW families the worst of Christmas gifts.

Update 20-Dec-2021: Change.org now has a petition calling for the NSW government to reverse its irresponsible course of removing measures aimed at slowing the spread of Covid. Naturally the government has its eye on the commercial desires of its corporate overlords rather than the health and well-being of its constituents. It’s not about to reimpose restrictions until the seasonal celebration of consumerism is over, regardless of how much illness and death that causes. But I’ve signed the petition anyway, to try to alleviate my own feelings of helplessness in the face of corporate greed and official bastardry.

Update 23-Dec-2021: Looks like some of my pessimism was unwarranted. In the face of record daily Covid infections and a chorus of outcries from public health experts across the country the NSW government has relented by reintroducing some restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease. Unfortunately these don’t include what would be very unpopular bans on movement around the state, so over Christmas we can expect infections from hotspots like Newcastle – where I live – to spread to regional areas which lack the public health infrastructure needed to deal with them.

In the meantime NSW Health has offloaded responsibility for dealing with ‘low risk’ Covid patients to already overstretched private GPs as the Federal government revisits its cock-up of the vaccine ‘stroll-out’ by insisting it’s the personal responsibility of all eligible Australians to get boosters while failing to make sufficient vaccine doses available for them to do so. The waiting list for booster shots here in Newcastle currently stands at 3-4 weeks. The NSW government is considering cutting the post-vaccination eligibility period for boosters from five to four months, but without enough doses available that would mean the privileged and advantaged would get their boosters sooner while the disadvantaged and vulnerable would have to wait even longer. The NSW Health minister has floated the idea that the unvaccinated should be forced to pay for their own healthcare (which very few could afford), earning him widespread condemnation from medical ethicists. This circus is being run by clowns.

From → unclassified

10 Comments
  1. monica permalink

    Very well-written. This is what Dr Vanden Bossche warned about in March 2021, why mass vaccination is dangerous for promoting virus immune escape.

    You say “taking the vaccine is better than nothing”, but there is still no clinical evidence that the novel covid vaccines will not have long term side effects, like an increased risk of auto immune diseases. Reports on VAERS and EudraVigilance indicate that adverse effects are much more wide spread than they are admitting publicly.

    You fail to mention the other protocols mentioned on FLCCC and World Council for Health for effective early treatment of Covid at home. It was never a ‘vaccinate or die’ scenario, as the media and govt’s made it out to be.

    Like

    • You say “taking the vaccine is better than nothing”, but there is still no clinical evidence that the novel covid vaccines will not have long term side effects, like an increased risk of auto immune diseases.

      Well, I think adverse events and side-effects from the vaccines are being played down, yes. So you hear a lot about the very rare fatal blood clotting from the AZ vaccine but far less about those who are permanently disabled by it – still very rare but over an order of magnitude more common than the fatalities.

      You also hear about the rare myocarditis effects of the mRNA vaccines, but less so that they’re most common in the young men and teenage boys who are particularly unlikely to die of Covid. In fact though it’s still a very rare adverse event, they’re more likely to die of the vaccine than of the virus. That’s definitely something that needs to be publicly discussed as they roll out vaccination to younger cohorts, but it’s not.

      As I said, both sides of the vaccination debate are misrepresenting the facts so I can understand why those who’ve been successfully ‘educated’ to not apply their own critical thinking to problems and merely choose an ‘expert’ to trust might buy into a lot of dangerous nonsense – whether pro-vax or anti-vax. Maybe my autism has ‘immunised’ me against group-think, but I’m regularly shocked at how many people would rather be wrong as part of a flock than right as an independent thinker. But hey, that’s how we run our education systems and I guess we wouldn’t do it that way if it didn’t work with most people. It’s easier to stand outside the tent pissing in if you were never allowed inside in the first place.

      But while there’s no evidence against long term side-effects for the vaccine there’s also no evidence for it. OTOH there is evidence for serious short- and long-term effects from the most common strains of Covid and that vaccination can reduce the risks of some of the most serious ones. So, as I said in the article, “There’s no guarantees here, but for the vast majority of people vaccination will probably help protect them, their families, their communities and the health systems where they live.” If you’re a young man or teenage boy offered an mRNA vaccine you might have to think hard as to whether the increased risk it represents to you personally is worth the decreased risk you may pass a serious disease on to your loved ones. It would be nice if health authorities would give them the wherewithal to make an informed choice rather than failing to let on about the relative risks.

      I think the most important policy to push right now is abolition of intellectual property rights over existing Delta vaccines. That would not only expedite the elimination of this particularly nasty variant in countries that can’t afford to pay ransoms to the likes of Pfizer, it would also remove the profit incentive to big drug companies to play down the risks of vaccines and overplay the dangers of Covid variants. Either IP laws that abolish patents when development costs have been recouped or government funded research into new vaccines would be appropriate replacements for the extortionate IP laws currently governing drug patents. But a portion of drug company profiteering goes into the pockets or campaign funds of legislators who decide on IP laws and an even bigger portion goes into PR and lobbying aimed at protecting profitable patents, so reform is a very big ask under our current plutocracy.

      What’s also still only beginning to be acknowledged – despite good reason to assume it from before vaccines were even developed – is that Covid vaccination is a life-long project. To maintain immunity we’re probably going to need two shots a year for the rest of our lives – with all the increased risks of side-effects and cumulative damage that goes with that. Never-ending revaccination is very good for Pfizer shareholders, but not so good for the rest of us. It’s also unsustainable for poor countries’ health budgets under current intellectual property laws and ultimately unsustainable for the human race. This civilisation has a use-by date and when it collapses it’s unlikely it will be possible to keep manufacturing and distributing hi-tech vaccines. So if we as a species are ever going to learn to live with Covid it will have to be through non-industrial means. An endemic, fairly benign strain of the virus that many people would catch every year would be a natural way to maintain the level of population-wide resistance needed to minimise serious illness or death from it. So far Omicron is looking like the best candidate, so it would potentially be a catastrophic error to wipe it out with an Omicron specific vaccine and open a path for a more lethal relative to replace it. But as I keep saying, we still don’t know enough about Omicron to make a call on that sort of public health policy.

      As for the vitamin regimes and ivermectin recommended by the FLCCC and World Council for Health, there’s no good evidence for either. The studies cited on their websites promoting ivermectin have been shown to be erroneous or fraudulent and more rigorous studies attempting to replicate them have come up blank so far. Of course drug studies are often systematically gamed by drug companies but if the ones debunking ivermectin are a scam it would be an unprecedented act of blatant scientific misconduct on a very large scale requiring a vast conspiracy to keep it covered up. Even ivermectin’s manufacturer has released multiple statements saying there’s insufficient evidence to support its use against Covid, so if it’s untrue they’d have to be part of a conspiracy against their own product.

      The FLCCC and WCH are offering only debunked studies and cherry-picked anecdotes to support their positions. The in vitro anti-viral properties of ivermectin are at concentrations that would require a lethal dose in humans – in fact it kills the cell cultures it eliminates viruses from. So I’m going with the ivermectin skeptics on this.

      TBH, I think the biggest danger of getting vaccinated is that you’ll contract Covid while waiting in the clinic and die before the vaccine has a chance to work.

      Like

      • monica permalink

        You seems to be assuming that Omicron could possibly be wiped out by a vaccine. We know that’s not the case. It wasn’t the case with Delta, why would this be different? It seems more and more like ‘vaccines for life’ was the intention behind all this in the first place. Now, the mRNA code can easily be modified for another variant. Good business for big pharma.

        Your critique of the FLCCC sounds like the mainstream narrative.
        I’m attaching a link to the meta study that shows benefits of Ivermectin. Also, there are also hundreds of doctors who have seen benefits in their patients using Ivermectin.

        There was a fraudelent study published in the Lancet that squashed ongoing clinical trials with Ivermectin and was subsequently withdrawn because it was fraudulent. So yes, there is definitely nefarious activity going on from big pharma.

        I’ve decided on my position, not because I’m anti-vax, but because of the unsavoury and really, fraudelent, methods used to force these vaccines on the population.

        https://ivmmeta.com/

        Like

        • You seems to be assuming that Omicron could possibly be wiped out by a vaccine. We know that’s not the case. It wasn’t the case with Delta, why would this be different?

          Not by a vaccine alone, but quite possibly by a rival Covid variant operating in conjunction with an Omicron specific vaccine and infection mediated resistance. Omicron already looks to have pretty much wiped out Delta in the regions of South Africa where it was first detected.

          Also, there are also hundreds of doctors who have seen benefits in their patients using Ivermectin.

          Yes and there’s hundreds of homeopaths who’ve seen benefits in their patients from homeopathy, thousands of researchers who’ve seen benefits in their subjects from placebos and thousands of doctors who’ve seen benefits in Covid patients from their own immune response with no treatment whatsoever. “Data” is not the plural of “anecdote” and a majority of researchers reaching a particular conclusion doesn’t automatically make it wrong.

          [Correction to a para in which I misread the study to be an earlier, debunked one by Ferreira due to his name being at the top]

          I’m attaching a link to the meta study that shows benefits of Ivermectin.

          Err, you’re not a little suspicious of a meta-analysis published by an unverified website with no indications of peer-review and which the researchers don’t even add their names to, much less a disclosure of conflicts of interest? In fact this is neither a meta-analysis nor a study of any kind. It’s simply a list of research – including retracted studies – that might serve to support the conclusion that ivermectin is a useful Covid treatment among those already inclined to believe it. It combines in vitro with in vivo studies, prophylactic with treatment studies and, in its primary analysis, RCTs with studies lacking any controls whatsoever. It doesn’t even consider whether or not they’re placebo controlled or blinded. Then it applies statistical analysis en masse to its gaggle of data, never mind the fact it’s comparing apples with oranges with things that aren’t fruit at all. And it offers no criteria for exclusion, though I note the major studies that debunk ivermectin aren’t on their list. It’s not research, it’s advocacy. Anonymous advocacy. However there is at least one responsible statement on the website. “While many treatments have some level of efficacy, they do not replace vaccines and other measures to avoid infection. Only 26% of ivermectin studies show zero events in the treatment arm.” In other words, even from behind the veil of anonymity they’re not so irresponsible as to claim ivermectin is any substitute for vaccination.

          Maybe you’d like to read this before buying into the conclusions of whatever is being anonymously represented as a meta-analysis on the internet.
          https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01535-y

          Yes, you’re right, there’s unsavoury and dishonest methods being used to herd the public towards vaccination and monitoring bodies such as the WHO and FDA have collaborated in the deceit. But that doesn’t make their critics either competent or honest. The two websites you endorse also use dishonest arguments and debunked or deliberately misinterpreted research to support their arguments for a completely unproven treatment that has already killed people.

          Liked by 1 person

        • monica permalink

          This is not a full paper, merely a “correspondence.”
          It probably raises good criticisms but the basic platform is that there is no evidence other than big clinical trials. This is destroying the art of medicine.

          The establishment would like you to apply the strictest scientific standards.
          (1) This means throwing out all non-RCT (but highly ethical) trials that studied live patients during the live pandemic.
          – One such trial was discounted because the placebo group was given multi-vitamins (not sugar pills).
          – Others were rejected because the treatment group was given multiple drugs including ivermectin.
          – The conclusion broadcast by the media and puppet fact-checkers was “absolutely no clinical evidence for efficacy.”

          (2) The outright rejection of anecdotes is similarly mypopic.
          – This means ignoring the fact that many different anecdotal reports from many very different situations report the same thing:
          – An African hospital ward on antimalarials wasn’t getting covid
          – African countries on WHO ivermectin program weren’t getting covid.
          – Uttar Pradesh 230 million people and low incidence of covid and low deaths.
          – The list includes 1,000’s of doctors who are seeing benefits with their patients.
          – You can try to ascribe this collection of anecdotes to mass psychosis.
          – On the other hand when the drug(s) involved happen to be among the safest in the pharmacopeia (ivermectin, HCQ) maybe you should change your attitude.

          (3) Finally, RCT trials during pandemic also suffer from inherent biases.
          – see trial below that showed no benefit to parachutes when jumping out of a plane.

          https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5094

          Stop being a puppet to reductionist science that plays to the interests of big pharma.

          Like

        • – Others were rejected because the treatment group was given multiple drugs including ivermectin.

          OK, you’ve got a bad headache. I get you to take two aspirins and swallow some shit from my pet rabbit. Viola, your headache improves. Should I be publishing a study implying that rabbit shit cures headaches?

          – This means ignoring the fact that many different anecdotal reports from many very different situations report the same thing:

          Millions of people wordwide have contracted Covid, Billions have been exposed to it. There will be many different anecdotes reporting anything you can imagine and many more reporting the exact opposite. That’s the difference between cherry-picked anecdotes and data,

          An African hospital ward on antimalarials wasn’t getting covid

          How many patients were in the ward? What about the other wards in the hospital? Was there even any Covid in the city at the time? What were the infection control protocols in the malaria ward? What drugs were they on? How many other malaria patients in Covid areas have contracted it? How many days did they go without getting Covid?

          Without knowing and controlling for all the variables there is no way of knowing what, if anything, that factoid proves. That’s why it’s an anecdote, not data. That’s why you don’t bundle it into a meta-analysis with real data and distort the final results with it.

          African countries on WHO ivermectin program weren’t getting covid.

          The WHO were secretly dosing entire countries with ivermectin? No wonder they never reported it. It would have been the medical ethics scandal of the century.

          Uttar Pradesh 230 million people and low incidence of covid and low deaths.

          Except that they started mass dosing with ivermectin in UP during August 2020 and saw big rises in infection and death rates through to April 2021 when they finally leveled out and began falling a month or so later. That corresponded more closely with measures like vaccination, increased social distancing and public mask wearing than it did with ivermectin dosing. But we don’t know what caused it. So people who claim it’s evidence for ivermectin are full of it.

          The list includes 1,000’s of doctors who are seeing benefits with their patients.

          I’m sure it does. And I’m sure it excludes many thousands of doctors who are seeing no such benefits.

          You can try to ascribe this collection of anecdotes to mass psychosis.

          No. I ascribe it to cherry picking stories from the billions of people exposed to Covid and doing little to independently verify them.

          On the other hand when the drug(s) involved happen to be among the safest in the pharmacopeia (ivermectin, HCQ) maybe you should change your attitude.

          LSD is one of the least toxic substances by dose known to man. The difference between an effective dose and a fatal dose is even greater than it is for water. Should I take some LSD, wait for a few weeks to see if I get Covid and if I don’t start loudly declaring it’s cure and/or an effective prophylaxis. After all, it’s pretty much the safest drug in our pharmacopeia. Unlike ivermectin and chloroquin it’s never been confirmed to have killed anyone.

          The problem I have with the website you link to is that it pretends to be following recognised scientific protocols but isn’t. If ‘reductionist science’ is no good they should renounce it, not pass themselves off as reductionist scientists to appropriate its credibility while ignoring its rigor.

          Double-blinded, placebo-controlled RCTs that pre-register their methods and datapoints and make their raw data publicly available upon publishing are the gold standard that’s seldom met. You can still gather information and draw conclusions from trials that fail to meet such standards. What you absolutely can’t do is mix a whole stack of studies that examine different things, use different protocols and meet different standards, aggregate their results and apply statistical analysis to them as if they’re all the same thing. That would be like adding together your GCSEs, your blood pressure, your house number, your phone number and your shoe size, taking the average and pretending it told you something about who you’ll marry.

          Yes, there are problems with reductionist science and bigger problems with the capture of researchers and journals by drug companies. But if you apply serious statistical analysis to the data and check for conflicts of interest you can at least know something about the limitations of any conclusions you can draw from it. The site you linked to does none of that. It just pretends to employ reductionist science, pretends to apply statistical analysis and pretends its findings constitute some sort of evidence. They don’t. It’s meaningless, dishonest, pseudoscientific bullshit.

          If they want to believe ivermectin is a treatment for Covid because their horoscope says it is or because they dreamed of a unicorn or because a pendulum held over the studies oscillates in a way that means ‘yes’ then let them say so. What they shouldn’t be doing is pretending to be someone they’re not doing something they’re not and claiming the data says something it doesn’t.

          Corporate science is corrupt. We can’t know it’s telling the truth. But we can know for sure the people who set up the website you link to are lying, though they may be too stupid to know it.

          If you don’t respect reductionist science why respect people who are dishonestly pretending to do it?

          Liked by 1 person

        • monica permalink

          Perhaps this is a good place to end this convo.

          Liked by 1 person

        • monica permalink

          thanks for this. informative but you’re not off the hook yet!

          Like

        • monica permalink

          ‘Cochrane Study to the Rescue!’
          – A few months ago, I had looked at the Cochrane study and decided that it was shameful.
          – I don’t mean the science which was holier-than-the-pope (all too pure–such as excluding trials that gave multi-vitamins to their placebo group–see below).
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          Cochrane exclusions (partial list):
          8 studies were excluded from Cochrane because there was an “active comparator.”
          – This means that the control group was not on pure placebo.
          – Instead the control groups received vitamin supplements or other medicines and these had “unknown effect on covid” thus spoiling the purity of the experiment.
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          Example exclusions (from CL’s exclusion list):
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          CTRI/2020/08/027282
          Active comparator: ivermectin compared to a control (vitamin supplements) with unknown influence on COVID‐19, which we did not consider eligible to determine ivermectin’s true effect.
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          Babalola 2021
          Active comparator: ivermectin compared to a control (lopinavir/ritonavir) with unknown influence on COVID‐19, which we did not consider eligible to determine ivermectin’s true effect.
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          – I mean that it was not appropriate to make such exclusions during a pandemic (Cochrane up-to date as of May 2021) and to promulgate a disingenuous and misleading message to the global community. The message: “There is absolutely no clinical evidence for… ivermectin.”
          – This is a partial truth that does not favour patient interests but rather corporate interests disguised as scientific purity.
          – The statement could have been: “some studies show interesting results but they require follow-up to disambiguate their data.”
          – Don’t forget that any of these studies were performed on live patients during a pandemic. Hence they ethically could not conform to full RCT standard.

          – I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But I do follow the money.
          – At the time Cochrane was entrenching bias against ivermectin in the medical community, the stakes for big pharma were very high.
          – Any treatment found to be efficacious could have jeopardized and even halted the Emergency Use Authorization of the new tech vaccines.
          – Thus the Cochrane study was finessed to say what the big boys wanted it to say.
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          The Lancet
          – Similarly something is seriously wrong your video dude’s analysis of the Lancet fiasocs.
          – He doesn’t mention the HCQ study Lancet retraction June 4th 2020.
          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/04/covid-19-lancet-retracts-paper-that-halted-hydroxychloroquine-trials
          – He selects a story that supports a conspiracy of the alternative medicine camp. In fact, the opposite is equally true.
          – The Lancet HCQ events unfolded at a very strategic time. By triggering ethical hot buttons the pre-print resulted in the abandonment of several legitimate, independent clinical trials.
          – The Lancet publishers excused themselves, calling the paper a huge fraud but their initial acceptance made no sense to many people.
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

          ivmmeta.com
          – Several criticisms of ivmmeta.com are erroneous and others are holier-than-the-pope in that same manner that favours big pharma.
          – Erroneous ‘cherry-picked’ studies: Elgazzar and Carvallo are addressed in the Discussion Section (do Ctrl f and search “Elgazzar”).
          – Holier than pope:
          – Inconsistent endpoints: it all depends on what your meta-analysis asks. If you want homogeneity of endpoints, you’ll need to wait another 10 years – 20 years for sufficient studies to appear. In the meantime, you do the best with what you’ve got.
          – Weightings not based on trial size: (to see justifications do Ctrl f and search “weight”).
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

          Criticisms of FLCCC:
          – Speaker makes it sound that FLCCC are a bunch of ivermectin addicts. In reality their protocols use may off-label drugs.
          – BTW there are other studies that show some benefits due to other drugs. See COLCORONA trial on colchicine below:
          https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(21)00222-8/fulltext

          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          Uttar Pradesh:
          – The criticism is superficial: ‘ivermectin role-out started at time xyz…’ What does this mean? flyers were posted at the corner bidi shops?
          – Bottom lines on Uttar Pradesh see below.
          – Also not that this is not the only example of epidemeological evidence: South American and African countries are also smoking guns.
          =-=-=-=-=-=

          – Bottom lines on Uttar Pradesh.
          – Comparison between Uttar Pradesh and Kerala (states in India).

          – Uttar Pradesh has much lower vaccination rate compared to Kerala:
          – Kerala: 20% of population fully vaccinated.
          – Uttar Pradesh: less than 5% of population fully vaccinated.

          – Uttar Pradesh has nearly 7x the population of Kerala (240M versus 35M).
          – With 7x population and 1/4 vaccination rate some might expect 7 x 4 = 28 higher covid cases and 28x higher deaths in Uttar Pradesh.

          – End of Sept 2021:
          – Kerala 170,000 active cases.
          – Uttar Pradesh (expected): 4.8 million cases.
          – Uttar Pradesh (actual): 345 cases.

          – August 25 2021:
          – Kerala 215 deaths.
          – Uttar Pradesh (expected): 6,020 deaths.
          – Uttar Pradesh (actual): 2 deaths.

          – The success story of Uttar Pradesh has been linked to widely distributed government medical kits that included ivermectin.
          – Needless to say, many ‘debunkers’ are trying to fight the above conclusion.
          – The burden of proof is on the pharma-government-medics to explain the discrepancy in India (and other countries).

          https://www.thedesertreview.com/opinion/columnists/indias-ivermectin-blackout—part-v-the-secret-revealed/article_9a37d9a8-1fb2-11ec-a94b-47343582647b.html
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          Conclusion
          – I could go on with Dr. Tes Lawrie’s meta-study.
          https://hopepressworks.org/f/ivermectin-meta-analysis-by-dr-tess-lawrie-nears-most-cited-ever

          – But I’m tired of arguing about this issue.
          – I’m not blaming you. I’m blaming the stinky system we are caught in where we cant believe anything unless we dive in and waste our lives in details that should have simply been presented to us from the outset under a sentiment of compassion and integrity.
          – Thus I’m looking for some ivermectin for myself.
          – It’s extremely safe and in my assessment it presents a high reward/risk ratio.
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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