Tuesday, August 31, 2021

This Virus Shouldn't Exist (But it Does)


Moderna Creates Twice as Many Antibodies as Pfizer, Study Shows - Bloomberg

On Tue, Aug 31, 2021 at 9:21 AM Albertwrote:
Some good news for those who have taken the 2-shot Moderna vaccine.

Moderna Creates Twice as Many Antibodies as Pfizer, Study Shows - Bloomberg


On Tue, Aug 31, 2021 at 1:59 PM John wrote:
It appeared that people had more reactions to the Moderna vaccine, so I wanted Pfizer.

The number of antibodies isn't the whole story.  Your body creates memory T-cells that provide long-term immunity.

From: Albert 

Most likely these are all moot points since we are just about to authorize booster shots for the original COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, for us, COVID-19 will continue to mutate and we will have to stay ahead of the mutations. When the true "killer mutation" comes into being, our vaccines may be impotent and unable to save us. Thanks, China!

Sunday, August 29, 2021


So today a friend tells me about a former coworker I knew who went to a family reunion with 25 people. The two people who were vaccinated had no problem, but most of the attendees got sick and many had to be hospitalized. The father died and the mother is in bad shape.

COVID is real. People tend to not take it seriously.


CNN: “There is no room to put these bodies,” Alabama health official says as COVID-19 deaths climb

"There is no room to put these bodies," Alabama health official says as COVID-19 deaths climb
The rate of Covid-19 deaths has increased in 42 US states in the last week, according to new data, as the spread of the more virulent coronavirus Delta variant has upended a spring of reopenings and led to increasing concern headed into autumn.

Read in CNN: https://apple.news/AWTntWpaaQOGf5U7Ub2n_fQ

Shared from Apple News

N95 masks

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John 

There is misinformation that has been around since the beginning that claims that trying to stop a virus with a mask is like trying to stop mosquitoes with a chain-link fence due to the submicroscopic size of the virus.  However, N95 masks are designed to stop 95% of all particles.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQmZou7TaVc&t=261s

In addition, all masks help stop infected people from expelling water droplets that carry the virus.

On Wed, Aug 25, 2021 at 3:20 AM wrote:
If you can smell a fart through your mask, how is it going to stop a microscopic COVID-19 virus? It's not. Your most likely to get covid by touching a covid infected surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Fwd: Report: CDC Downplayed Scientific Finding that Masks are Not Effective in Schools

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John 

There is misinformation that has been around since the beginning that claims that trying to stop a virus with a mask is like trying to stop mosquitoes with a chain-link fence due to the submicroscopic size of the virus.  However, N95 masks are designed to stop 95% of all particles.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQmZou7TaVc&t=261s

In addition, all masks help stop infected people from expelling water droplets that carry the virus.

On Wed, Aug 25, 2021 at 3:20 AM Albert wrote:
If you can smell a fart through your mask, how is it going to stop a microscopic COVID-19 virus? It's not. Your most likely to get covid by touching a covid infected surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

US Coronavirus: 'There is no room to put these bodies,' Alabama health official says, as Covid-19 deaths climb - CNN

The state activated two of its four refrigerated trailers for the first time since the pandemic began, Harris said, in Mobile and Baldwin counties this week.

"These are typically held in case of a mass casualty event for example, when a large number of bodies appear at one time. This is actually a situation that is happening in Alabama hospitals now," Harris said.

Antibodies waning? The immune system has a backup plan for that

The team noted that antibodies gradually ebbed, but that the shots generated durable immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 in the form of B and T cells that increased over time to help ward off serious illness.

He Was On The Fence About The Vaccine, Then THIS Happened

Monday, August 23, 2021

What immunity did having COVID give me? Do I need a vaccine? - WHYY

A prior infection offers protection in the range of 80%, compared to about 95% for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, said Dr. John Wherry, director of the Institute for Immunology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. That means about 15 to 20 out of every 100 people who have previously had COVID-19 could get reinfected, while 5 out of every 100 people who got an mRNA vaccine might get infected.

It is not clear to me why a prior infection wouldn't be more effective at preventing the disease.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Rev Jesse Jackson in hospital with Covid-19 | Jesse Jackson | The Guardian

re: Peak COVID cases

On Sun, Aug 22, 2021 at 3:51 PM Albert wrote:
 I keep hearing more and more reports of people transmitting the disease unaware that they are infected by COVID. This worries me a lot. I enjoy playing chess, but not at the expense of getting sick while doing so.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John 

The vaccines are still effective at preventing serious illness, or at least mostly effective.  I am counting on a combintion of vaccination and caution.

I think that it is likely that we will get a new spike in cases worse than anything we have seen before.  If this happens, we might have to shut down the chess club temporarily.  At the very least, mask mandates will come back and many hesitant people will get vaccinated as the death toll goes up.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, August 21, 2021

An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19 | PNAS


Our review of the literature offers evidence in favor of widespread mask use as source control to reduce community transmission: Nonmedical masks use materials that obstruct particles of the necessary size; people are most infectious in the initial period postinfection, where it is common to have few or no symptoms (45, 46, 141); nonmedical masks have been effective in reducing transmission of respiratory viruses; and places and time periods where mask usage is required or widespread have shown substantially lower community transmission.

The available evidence suggests that near-universal adoption of nonmedical masks when out in public, in combination with complementary public health measures, could successfully reduce ReRe to below 1, thereby reducing community spread if such measures are sustained. Economic analysis suggests that mask wearing mandates could add 1 trillion dollars to the US GDP (32, 34).

Models suggest that public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high (39). We recommend that mask use requirements are implemented by governments, or, when governments do not, by organizations that provide public-facing services. Such mandates must be accompanied by measures to ensure access to masks


During past national crises, persons in the US have willingly united and endured temporary sacrifices for the common good. Recovery of the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic requires the combined efforts of families, friends, and neighbors working together in unified public health action. When masks are worn and combined with other recommended mitigation measures, they protect not only the wearer but also the greater community. Recommendations for masks will likely change as more is learned about various mask types and as the pandemic evolves. With the emergence of more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, it is even more important to adopt widespread mask wearing as well as to redouble efforts with use of all other nonpharmaceutical prevention measures until effective levels of vaccination are achieved nationally.


I suspect that mask-wearing is marginally helpful, mostly to prevent the infected from spreading droplets, but not near as good as vaccination.  I find that wearing a mask for more than an hour to be pretty uncomfortable around my ears.  I am going to try to see if I could find a more comfortable mask.

Fwd: Peak COVID cases


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John
To: Albert

My friend in Utah and his wife have suffered terribly with COVID.  I suspect that the anti-vax people are in for a reality check.  All of them.

I was shocked when my barber told me that she wasn't vaccinated.  Then she called me two weeks ago to cancel my hair appointment. She has COVID.  This thing is spreading like wildfire.


Peak COVID cases


On Sat, Aug 21, 2021 at 12:22 PM Albert wrote:

It's just a matter of perspective. If you've been following the fall of Afghanistan, you may have noticed, no one in that country seems to be worried much about COVID-19 nor its variants. No one in Afghanistan seems to be wearing masks.  Just saying. The C-17 cargo jet had 600+ Unmasked passengers. There wasn't a single mention about mask mandates, vaccination requirements, social distancing, etc. Oh, wait a minute maybe I'm confusing this with Obama's 60th birthday party at Martha's Vineyard. He had 600+ unmasked guest, no social distancing, unvaccinated, etc. What about the plane load of Texas Democrats who went to Washington DC ? - the same: unvaccinated, no social distancing, a COVID-19 spreader event, etc. Nearly, a million illegal immigrants from our southern border, unvaccinated, untested, unmasked, no social distancing, transported throughout our country by our government, etc.

I'm sure the government appreciates you and I taking COVID-19 seriously. However, it's easy to see why people don't take the government seriously. Rules for thee, but not for me. The government's shotgun approach to requiring vaccines isn't going over very well the anti-vaxers. 

I'm in no hurry to get the booster. While other people are fearfully waiting to get access to the COVID booster shot. I'll just wait a few weeks and let the anxious ones get their booster and observe. If there are no apparent side effects and it proves useful in slowing the spread of COVID-19, I'll take the booster. 

From: John 
To: Albert

Because people find the government guidelines/mandates inconvenient, uncomfortable, and an infringement on freedom, they seem to latch onto any inconsistency to rebel against these guidelines/mandates and declare them illegitimate.  However, people lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with a deadly pandemic that has killed 4.4 million people   Things changed over time, and as more studies were done, the government guidelines changed and this was completely appropriate.  The fact that some people in power have been inconsistent or hypocritical doesn't by itself invalidate the recommendations.  

The reality is that things have gotten much worse, just because of the Delta variant.  We should be taking more steps to stop the spread of the virus.

You say that other people are fearfully waiting to get access to the COVID booster shot.  I have reason to be fearful.  I have family members to protect.  Also, I personally have had a very difficult time with respiratory illnesses, which according to my allergy doctor is because of asthma.  I feel like I am more at risk.  I know that the vaccine protects me to a certain degree, but according to a specific study, this protection is going to significantly decline over time.  So I am going to get the booster at my first opportunity, although that is still 3 months away.

The government isn't requiring everyone to get the vaccine, nor can they.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, August 20, 2021

Hospitals pen letter to unvaccinated Tennesseans

As the healthcare systems of Middle Tennessee, we are banding together in one unified voice to ask you, to beg you, to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We have seen, firsthand, the unnecessary suffering this horrible disease wreaks on the human body. We have had many patients in our ICUs, with machines keeping them alive, who wished they had gotten the vaccine but at that point it's just too late. They, along with their families, are living with regret. Our caregivers are growing more and more saddened and frustrated that simple steps that could greatly reduce the loss of life are not being embraced.

Our clinical leaders strongly support the vaccine. They have studied the science behind it, and it is safe and effective. The likelihood of getting seriously ill, becoming hospitalized or even dying as a result of COVID-19 is greatly diminished if you are fully vaccinated.

Peak COVID cases

Indiana has 4,000 new cases daily. That is approaching peak pandemic levels. One out of 8 people in Indiana has had COVID. Bartholemew county is 1 out of 9.5. Nationally it is 1 out of 11, with 102,000 new cases daily.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Rate of death

Heart disease1 in 6
Cancer1 in 7
All preventable causes of death1 in 24
Chronic lower respiratory disease1 in 27
Suicide1 in 88
Opioid overdose1 in 92
Fall1 in 106
Motor-vehicle crash1 in 107
Gun assault1 in 289
Pedestrian incident
1 in 520
1 in 543
Motorcyclist1 in 899
Drowning1 in 1,128
Fire or smoke1 in 1,547
Choking on food1 in 2,535
Bicyclist1 in 3,825
Sunstroke1 in 8,248
Accidental gun discharge1 in 8,571
Electrocution, radiation, extreme temperatures, and pressure1 in 13,394
Sharp objects1 in 29,334
Cataclysmic storm1 in 58,669
Hornet, wasp, and bee stings1 in 59,507
Hot surfaces and substances1 in 63,113
Dog attack1 in 86,781
COVID Vaccine
1 in 138,849
1 in 62,400,000


Monday, August 16, 2021

Fwd: Booster shots


---------- Forwarded message ---------
On Mon, Aug 16, 2021 at 9:18 AM Albert wrote:
Most of the people I've spoken with have shown little interest in taking a booster. In their minds, the benefit of getting a booster is: you still wear a mask, you social distance, and you still get sick. So there are no benefits? What the heck!?

From: John 
To: Albert


Most areas are not requiring a mask.  Getting a vaccine provides much more freedom to do things that are much more dangerous without a vaccine.  If the vaccine starts to wane after 6 months then getting a booster is going to be part of that.

This sounds like defeatism to me.  It is like saying just because something is difficult, we're not even going to try.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Delta variant: Pfizer Covid vaccine 39% effective in Israel, prevents severe illness

Fwd: COVID-19 argument

From a discussion on Facebook.  This person from Utah takes the same position as someone I know locally...


I mean no offense, but I think that everything that you have assumed about this issue is wrong. You have it all backward. You way overestimate the danger of the vaccine, which is essentially harmless, and you way underestimate the danger of the virus. You assume that your immune system will protect you.

The real choice is to get the vaccine or get the disease. The Delta variant has an R factor of 8 to 9. Among the unvaccinated, it is spreading like wildfire.

I have a close friend in Farmington who is anti-vax, and he said that he would rather get the disease than take a chance with the vaccine. Well, he and his wife have had the Delta variant for 4 weeks and they have found it completely debilitating. He is sleeping 15 hours a day and his wife is worse. He doesn't respond to emails, phone calls, and texts because he feels so bad.

A friend of mine in Indianapolis said that he got the vaccine because he doesn't want to inadvertently kill someone else. I completely agree with this reasoning, and the anti-vax people seem selfish to me because they want to make the issue just about themselves. You might be fine if you catch COVID, although I doubt it, but you could spread the disease to other people.

Not everyone who gets the vaccine is fully protected, I have an 81-year-old mother who is the nicest person in the world, but she has leukemia and is immunocompromised. She has been told that her immunotherapy diminishes the effectiveness of the vaccine, and she has also been told that she would not likely survive COVID.

If you make this issue just about your personal freedom, then you might be refusing the vaccine for the wrong reasons. The only way that we are going to get past COVID is if the vast majority get vaccinated or if the vast majority contract the disease. The cost of the latter is too high. Immunity might only last 6 months to a year, which means that people will have to keep getting one or the other.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Determining truth

If a person were to say that he had a UFO that was going to take people to a paradise on Neptune, then there would be people who would believe this and follow him. I know this because this kind of thing has happened. Usually, the crazier the claim, the more eager people are to believe it. This is how you end up with Jim Jones convincing his followers to kill themselves.

People, in general, have a defect in their logical thinking called Confirmation Bias. If something fits with what a person already believes or wants to believe, then that person will take this new information as gospel. For this reason, you can't really determine the truth unless you are willing to question everything you know.
To determine if something is true, it must also be falsifiable, which is a fancy way of saying that it must be testable. For example, I could say that there is a parallel dimension where Leprechauns exist, but if we have no way of detecting this dimension then we have no way of determining if it is true. I could speculate all day about Leprechauns, but it would be meaningless.

I would have thought that a worldwide deadly pandemic would have brought us all together and unified our thinking somewhat. Actually, the reverse has happened and we have never been more splintered. In response to a youtube video emphasizing the need to vaccinate, the vast majority of comments in the comment section were anti-vaccine. The comment ranked most popular, claimed that a rare blood clot that happens in one out of million vaccinations proves that the vaccine is unsafe. The dumbest comment I saw claimed that the vaccine causes the disease.

Another almost universal human defect is that people overestimate their own competency. People who know very little about biology, or virology, think that they are experts on the subject.

Friends have sent me incredibly wild claims about COVID-19 vaccinations. There are no microchips. It is not going to permanently rewrite your DNA. It is not going to damage your organs. It is not going to cause infertility or miscarriages. You can't pass the spike proteins to other people. It is not the Mark of the Beast. Every single anti-vax claim that has ever been made, including the ones about the COVID-19 vaccines, has been disproven.

These vaccines are no longer experimental. They passed all three phase trials, and hundreds of millions of doses later we have a pretty good safety record.

The bottom line is that there is a minuscule risk with any vaccine. Your risk of catching COVID and having serious illness or death is far greater. The COVID-19 vaccines are incredibly successful at lowering the risk of illness, and are almost 100% effective at preventing death from COVID.

Best wishes,

John Coffey


Thursday, August 12, 2021

Should You Get Vaccinated NOW? | A Doctor Explains

The Genesis of the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic

This is interesting.  It is long, but I found it interesting.

Placebo instead of Vaccine

Based on witness testimony, police investigator Peter Beer said there was "a reasonable suspicion" that the rogue medical professional had administered shots of saline solution to up to 8,600 patients who were slated to receive the COVID jab, Reuters reported.

"I am totally shocked by this episode," Sven Ambrosy, a local councilor, said of the alarming switcheroo, which reportedly occurred in March and April in Friesland in northern Germany.

It's unknown why the shot-blocker — reportedly a Red Cross nurse — had injected people with blanks; however, she had reportedly broadcast anti-vax views on social media, investigators reported.

And while the faux jab was harmless, it may have disproportionately affected elderly people, who are at a greater risk of contracting the virus.

Anti-vax nurse gave 8,600 people saline, not COVID vaccine: police (nypost.com)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

MIC: These are the wildest vaccine conspiracy theories, debunked

These are the wildest vaccine conspiracy theories, debunked
Earlier this month, we awoke to a sobering New York Times headline about how the U.S. probably won't reach herd immunity, that long-awaited milestone when enough of us would be immune to the virus that we could return to normal, or something like…

Read in Mic: https://apple.news/AToXrZlHtSJyt6hT55qaWNg

Tuesday, August 10, 2021


A couple of people I know have just caught COVID-19. I take this as evidence that the disease is surging. The news reported that Texas pediatric hospitals are about to be full with COVID-19 patients.

Sunday, August 8, 2021


I read that only 50% of the eligible U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, which makes me wonder what is the problem with the other 50%? The vaccines have been available for about 8 months, and anyone who wants one can get one easily. Many pharmacies are allowing people to just walk in and get it.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

crazy anti-coke ad

Yes, maybe you can blame obesity on sugary drinks, but personal responsibility has to assume part or most of the blame.

I'm trying to eat healthily, but I have a tendency to want the foods that I grew up with.  In the 1960s and the 1970s, people ate fried foods all the time and thought nothing of it.  It was normal for us to go out to Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, or McDonald's.  We ate a variety of foods at home, but my mother also made really good fried chicken and this was my favorite.

I grew up drinking sugary soft drinks and didn't start drinking diet soda until I had a weight problem.  The diet soda didn't help, and it caused acid reflux so I had to give it up as an adult.

It wasn't till 2008 that I started listening to Dr. Robert Lustig who said that sugar is a poison.  Sucrose is a disaccharide that consists of one part glucose and one part fructose.  He claims that fructose gets processed in the liver the same way alcohol does.  The body can't use it directly and converts it to an unhealthy form of fat.  Too much of this can damage the liver, and sugar consumption is associated with a variety of health problems.   (He is actually not against fruit, because fruit has a variety of benefits.  Fruit is nature's candy.)

Prior to this, I thought that it was okay to have sugary snacks as part of my diet provided that I count calories.

We used to have long meetings at work, and sometimes they would bring in donuts or snacks as a way to keep people happy.  When meetings would finish, other people would raid the conference room for leftover snacks.  I used to do this too, and there was an informal network of people who kept each other informed, usually by email, about snacks available in the conference rooms.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Larry

Sunday, August 1, 2021

1.5 years of COVID

I wrote this on Facebook...

I was very much aware of how devastating the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was. It is estimated that 500 million people got the disease, which was one-third of the planet. The exact death toll is not known, but it was estimated to be between 20 and 100 million people. It was worse for children, and in some areas, half the children died. They were stacking coffins in the street because they couldn't bury people fast enough.

This caused me to always wonder if something like this could happen again? I imagined a situation where people might have to seal themselves in their homes for a couple of months. I thought that it would be a good idea to have some food stored away.

In March of 2020, we went from fifty thousand known cases of COVID-19 to a million known cases in just 30 days. Looking at the numbers available on March 31st, which showed rapid exponential growth, I was predicting Spanish Flu levels of infection and death. Like many public officials, the horrible events of 1918 caused me to take this new pandemic very seriously.

I "sheltered in place" for slightly over a year. Initially, I had almost no human contact. I shut down my chess club meetings and encouraged people to play each other online. After a year, I was sick of playing online and desperately wanted to meet in person again. I resumed my chess club meetings once I got fully vaccinated.

For that year, I told people that I was living like a hermit, which was somewhat true. I didn't see family very often. Sometimes we would meet to share resources, like toilet paper and other supplies, but we would keep our distance as much as possible. After a few months, we started to get together more often, like maybe once per month.

In the evenings I would go for walks. I would see my neighbors, and we would talk to each other from a distance of 30 feet.

As result, I spent much time on the phone and on Facebook as a way of communicating with people.

This year of semi-isolation kind of took a toll on me. I was desperate for it to be over. I was so happy to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 is not done with us yet. We have new variants that are more infectious and possibly more dangerous. I have talked to a large number of people who don't want to be vaccinated and I find this very concerning. This creates a greater probability that new variants will arise.

The very contagious Delta Variant has an "R" factor of 5 to 8, meaning that each person infected might infect 5 to 8 other people.

One of my closest friends in Utah and his wife have caught the Delta Variant of COVID. For them, it is totally debilitating and they are into their third week with no sign of it getting better. My friend is worried that he is going to be one of the people who have symptoms that linger for months.

Best wishes,

John Coffey


Mask wearing and conservative talk radio

I always enjoyed listening to conservative talk radio, but the universal conservative response to the recent CDC recommendations that everyone wear a mask in public places is one of defiance.  People are saying that they are not going to cooperate.  Without exception, they see the mask recommendations as government overreach to take away their freedom.  They are unwilling to entertain the notion that the government is trying to save lives.  Naturally, they prefer to make their own decisions and not be told what to do.

The situation has changed.  It was pretty reasonable for vaccinated people to not wear a mask a couple of weeks ago, but right now the Delta Variant potentially threatens everyone.  Whereas the alpha variant had an "r" factor of around 2.5, which means that on average an infected person would infect 2.5 other people, the Delta Variant has an "r" factor of 5 to 8.  It is also much more likely to infect vaccinated people.  The reason for the change in the CDC recommendation is a study that said that with the Delta Variant vaccinated people can have as much of viral load in their nasal cavities as unvaccinated people.

I don't particularly like wearing a mask either, but if it becomes a mandate, I am not going to resist it.  Right now, I think that there are good reasons for wearing a mask.

My chess club meets at a Kroger store.  I saw an article saying that both Kroger and Walmart were going to start requiring masks for all customers and staff.  I called the Kroger to confirm this, but they haven't yet seen the change in policy.

BTW, one of my closest friends in Utah and his wife have caught the Delta Variant of COVID.  For them, it is totally debilitating and they are into their third week with no sign of it getting better.  My friend is worried that he is going to be one of the people who have symptoms that linger for months.


Concerned about the uptick

The masking requirement is likely to change.  This article claims that Kroger has changed their mask requirement.  I called Kroger and they said that they have not yet seen a change, but there is an upcoming "conference call" that might result in a change.