Friday, June 11, 2021 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

There won't be any nontrivial Fall 2021 Covid wave in CZ, UK, most of Europe, US...

I can guarantee it for you, insure you

The numbers of new positive tests have been dropping in Czechia since early March and this time, it is obvious that this quasi-exponential decrease is the last one. Technically speaking, it is right to say that Czechia has enjoyed the herd immunity (towards the latest, most contagious, variants) since early March (even though the daily casualties were huge and the fraction of infected surely counted as an epidemics) because the quasi-exponential decrease has been statistically guaranteed since that moment because \(R_0\lt 1\) was true, even with relaxed restrictions. But only these days, the number of deaths has dropped to "roughly one or two" and the herd immunity has clearly done an overwhelming fraction of its hard work.



Dr Zdeněk Hostomský, the director of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (and a former boss of cancer research at Pfizer!), became the latest competent Czech scientist who has communicated the vital scientific knowledge to the media. For months, he has emphasized that the lockdown didn't work and should have been terminated.

In more recent interviews and essays, he says that lives may still be saved by vaccinating the people in the risk groups (my estimate is that we would have had 40,000 casualties instead of 30,000 if there had been no vaccines; but now, only dozens of lives will be saved by new vaccinations) and it's a good idea to spend energy by persuading them. Also, he says that in the summer, there will be almost no Covid virus in Czechia because we've achieved some sort of herd immunity that will show its muscles.



Also, Hostomský said it was absurd that kids were robbed of their education, or that they had to wear the face masks in the classrooms up to very recently. The absurdity is particularly high when the face masks were even forced on children who just received a negative test (and over 99.9% of tests at schools were negative during this campaign). Note that Covid-19 poses virtually no risk to children and children were also shown to be insignificant sources of the infection for others.



Hostomský has also made it clear that he would never sport a face mask again because it is a symbol of fear and submission. Amen to that!

In the Novinky.cz interview about the summer, he made it clear that a significant new Fall 2021 wave of Covid-19 is virtually impossible. I agree with everything. We simply have enough Czechs with the immunity (which has already been demonstrated to last for years) and this high number guarantees that in average, fewer than 1.00 people get it from an infected one, and the disease is therefore guaranteed to drop.



The exponential drop at the end is really organic and pretty. Well, the exponential increase at the beginning was almost equally beautiful but we weren't quite allowed to publicly appreciate this beauty LOL.

Our statistical page shows that over 15% of the people have received a positive PCR test. In reality, the fraction of those who have had some form of the Covid-19 disease and who have the immunity is much higher, between 60 and 90 percent, I don't want to be very precise because it's not really needed for the conclusions we want to draw. I can be nearly certain about this statement because I know that an overwhelming majority of the people who have been sick with Covid have escaped the "PCR positive test" system and it's very likely that many more people have hidden their disease even from me because it's so much safer!

But when the new cases already started to drop in early March, it was very clear that the natural immunity trumped the artificial one from vaccination (the vaccination campaign was just getting started). I am confident that the natural immunity still trumps the artificial one but the vaccination has become significant and may be 30% of the reason that \(R_0\sim 0.7\) now; the value could be \(0.85\) with no vaccinations at this moment (but without vaccines, the previous Covid dynamics would have peaked a bit higher and would have been faster in going up and down, too). In our nation of 10.7 million, there have been 6.3 million vaccinations so far (still a lower rate per capita than the average European nation: some 40% Czechs – the highest fraction in all nations of the world – find this vaccination redundant or dangerous and the persistent stream of pro-vaccine commercials may have converted some 10% of Czechs in the undecided group; but we're among the 8 least infected EU nations now, anyway, that's clearly due to the mostly natural herd immunity) which is the sum of 4.3+ million who have received at least one dose; and 1.9+ million who have received both. About 1/2 of Czechs have registered for vaccination so far. This fraction won't go up too much now; and indeed, Hostomský also agrees with me that it is premature to consider the vaccination of kids.

At any rate, the disease is clearly collapsing hugely, quasi-exponentially, but the halving time is getting shorter which means that the decrease becomes "faster than the exponential drop", something between the exponential and linear drop. As I summarize in the daily Twitter reports like this one, the number of cases is really dropping by roughly 50% every week (the Thursday-to-Thursday drop was 55% yesterday; the halving time was closer to 2 weeks just a few weeks ago). Our society is almost completely unlocked by now... and we get a halving in less than one week. The warmer weather obviously plays some role in the decrease. But the colder weather in the autumn and winter won't be enough to turn this "drop by 50% a week" to an increase every week. It is impossible simply because the colder weather doesn't quite add a factor of two per viral generation. On top of that, the number of people who are vaccinated will increase further, relatively to the present. Also, the last Covid cases exist in "pockets" where the percentage of the immune people is low for random reasons (especially the places which have "successfully" avoided epidemics in the past simply get some traces of it now).

With Dr Hostomský, we may also compare the known evolution in Fall 2020 with the future evolution in Fall 2021. They are completely different because we have a completely different population. As we know by now, the immunity was held by roughly 1% of the population after the Spring 2020 miniwave and hopes about the possible "hidden immunity" and avoidance of the Fall 2020 wave were a wishful thinking, just possibilities that ultimately didn't materialize, and I always emphasized those were just possibilities.

The situation will be very different in Fall 2021. The natural immunity of most people is a fact; and the vaccine-induced immunity of some ~50% of the rest will also be a fact. (The radio just announced that among the millions of vaccinated Czechs, 20,000 got a post-vaccine Covid positive test, all of them were asymptomatic, however! Indeed, vaccines almost always prevent transmission.) As a result, the overwhelming majority of the people have either natural or vaccine-induced immunity and the seeds of the disease will be destined to shrink. Also, it is unlikely that some very different variant of the virus will emerge (the virus has had enough opportunity to try all the helpful mutations and the low-hanging fruits have been picked) but even if it were the case and a truly new variant emerges in coming months, the existing vaccines may be modified to be effective against the new variant and the process would take just 2 months or so (the bureaucracy is ready to speed up the approvals). In effect, the new vaccines could be ready at the moment when the new variant sufficiently spreads.

There is some required minimum of scientific competence that you need to understand the math of herd immunity and its application to the present problems. But some people just have it, some don't. And the director of a Biochemistry Institute naturally has more than "just the bare minimum". That is why I was disappointed by a new statement by Karel Havlíček, the otherwise reasonable deputy prime minister and the minister of trade, industry, and transportation. He said that no sensible person can give us guarantees that there won't be a major Covid-19 wave in Fall 2021. I am sorry, Mr Havlíček, but you are not a competent scientist. It is normal that you can't calculate the correct answer to the question whether the Fall 2021 Covid wave is going to take place – and that's why you shouldn't give any guarantees (you really know that you don't know the answer). But the fact that you are incompetent and uncertain doesn't mean that everyone else has to be scientifically incompetent and uncertain as well.

What is unreasonable isn't Dr Hostomský's near guarantees that the Fall 2021 will be at most an insignificant one. What is unreasonable is for a scientifically incompetent layman such as Mr Havlíček to declare his extremely modest understanding of science to be the allowed maximum. Competent scientists (and they surely include lots of "amateur scientists" who still understand these matters totally correctly even though they have never received any similar degree!) are vastly smarter and more well-informed than you are, Mr Havlíček, which is why they can guarantee the validity of many statements that look like black magic to the likes of you, to avoid the overly technical term "morons". You are an arrogant moron if you really find it OK to brag about your ignorance. You don't have the credentials to insult experts like Dr Hostomský and tell them that they are not sensible just because they are way smarter than you are. Science mustn't be bullied by politicians in this way. And indeed, this bullying has been a constant of the Covid epoch – and all the scientists who were spreading fear and memes about the mandatory obedience were just politically installed pseudoscientists and hacks because their falsehoods were so convenient for politicians and many others.

Add to del.icio.us Digg this Add to reddit

snail feedback (0) :

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-1828728-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview');