Tag Archives: COVID-19

Happy New Year

A few thoughts to start the New Year. 2020 was an annus horribilis – the worst since 1968; a year that had riots, the murders of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, and a presidential election accompanied by civil unrest about as bad as the year just ended. COVID-19 appeared and kindled both the best…


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Brief Medical Updates

Three recent medical reports. The first is from Science. A conference held by Biogen in February of this year was a superspreader event. Phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in Boston highlights the impact of superspreading events reports the spread of SARS-CoV-2 following an international business conference in at the Marriott Long Wharf on Feb 26-27. By…


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Asymptomatic Subjects Do Not Transmit the Coronavirus

Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China is the title of a paper published in Nature Communications. First, a few caveats. The article is from China and its content was obviously scrutinized by a repressive regime before it was allowed publication in a western journal. Second, Nature Communications is…


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Effectiveness of Masks

Those who advise, sometime with the threat of jail time, that everyone use masks as a palliative against the coronavirus are usually the same who proclaim that we should follow the science. Well, when it comes to masks and the current pandemic there isn’t much science. The Annals of Internal Medicine has just published Effectiveness…


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Thoughts on the 1918 Flu and COVID-19

A little over a century ago the most lethal epidemic in human history began. It was caused by a virulent form of the H1N1 influenza-A virus. It’s origin is uncertain. Originally thought to have first appeared in Kansas, it may even have originated in China. Regardless of where it started it rapidly spread throughout the…


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COVID-19 Immunity

I’ve tried to resist the urge to write more about the COVID-19 epidemic. Afterall, there are only so many ways to say that we’ve done just about everything wrong that’s possible. Turning politicians and journalists loose on the disease was certain to make a hash out of a serious, but not world ending, problem. Even…


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False Positive PCR Tests For COVID-19

I got tired of writing about the problem of false positive tests for the coronavirus, so I gave up. Now the New York Times has suddenly become aware of the problem. When a PCR test is run the virus is amplified in proportion to the number of cycles run. Typically 40 cycles are performed. Thus,…


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COVID-19 Six Months In

It’s just about half a year since we recognized that the coronavirus had taken residence in the US and just about everywhere else. We took a while to realize that the bug was going to stay longer than The Man Who Came to Dinner. Though epidemics have been a feature of human existence ever since…


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Einstein, Insanity, and Models

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This quotation attributed to Einstein, was said by him (if he really said it) in the context of quantum mechanics, where doing the same experiment repeatedly does give different results. But in the macro world the same experiment properly performed does give…


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The False-Positive Panic over COVID-19

The title above is that of an article by me published today in the Mises Wire. It deals with the problem of false positive tests for COVID-19 that will be found if a large population is tested which has a low prevalence of the virus. It also deals with the issue of frequent tests of…


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