What Should Anyone Believe About The Coronavirus And Its Mutations?

12 08 2021

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]


In June of last year, an article of mine was published nationally about the Coronavirus.[2] I have kept abreast of the developments ever since, right up to and including today.

I received both doses of the Moderna vaccine in January and February of this year, without any noticeable ill effects. I only did so because a friend—who has had at least two open-heart surgeries—went ahead and was vaccinated with the same vaccine, again with no noticeable ill effects.

I have two friends who have steadfastly refused to be vaccinated. One is a law school classmate of mine; and the other is a retired engineer. For a while, I was alerting both as to where they could be vaccinated for free; and then I stopped, because I sensed that I was alienating them. This is the last thing that I wanted to do. Every American has freedom of choice, or at least they should have.

Since its arrival in the United States, the Coronavirus has mutated into the “Delta variant” and now the “Lambda variant,” and it is anyone’s guess how many more mutations will occur. Perhaps the biggest issues today are how to curb the Coronavirus’ spread, and whether small children should be vaccinated.

Because the vaccines were rushed into production, adequate multi-year testing has not been completed yet. Also, they are said to be “gene-altering,” which is an assumable risk for Senior Citizens, but not for little kids—much less for pregnant mothers, because of the risks to their fetuses.

All of this presents an enormous conundrum for Americans, regardless of their skin colors, ethnicities, religious or political persuasions. Indeed, my friend who prompted me to get vaccinated says that he doesn’t know what to believe anymore, which is true of vast numbers of Americans. 

 

 

© 2021, Timothy D. Naegele

_____

 

[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams; and he can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See Naegele, “The Coronavirus And Similar Global Issues: How To Address Them?”or https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/timothy-d.-naegele.pdf (Timothy D. Naegele, “The Coronavirus And Similar Global Issues: How To Address Them,” Banking Law Journal (June 2020)) 


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21 08 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.npr.org/2021/08/20/1029837227/demand-covid-antibody-drugs-soars-regeneron-florida (“Antibody Drugs Are In High Demand As Delta Variant Drives A COVID Surge”)

Trump was correct, and it saved his life.

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21 08 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9914579/US-COVID-19-cases-hit-record-high-Florida-records-150-000-week-data-dump.html (“COVID-19 cases hit record-high in the U.S and deaths surge 300%: Florida releases data dump which shows there were more than 150,000 new infections in a week as hospitals in the state buckle under pressure”)

Any American who believes that the Coronavirus pandemic has run its course, and that life has returned to “normal,” has not been following the latest news. The “Delta variant” mutation is being followed by the “Lambda variant,” and Americans need to resume their vigilance. The life you save may be your own or that of a loved one.

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22 08 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See also https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-los-angeles-this-covid-19-surge-is-different-from-earlier-outbreaks-11629558004 (“In Los Angeles, This Covid-19 Surge Is Different From Earlier Outbreaks”)

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24 08 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9922455/Pregnant-nurse-refused-vaccine-unborn-baby-die-COVID-19.html (“Pregnant nurse who refused vaccine and her unborn baby die of COVID”)

What a tragedy.

Because of the Coronavirus vaccines’ potentially gene-altering effects, two groups have been at risk in taking them: (1) young kids, and (2) pregnant women whose fetuses might be affected adversely.

This article underscores the risks either way: of being vaccinated or not being vaccinated.

See also https://www.thedailybeast.com/ultra-vaccinated-israels-debacle-is-a-dire-warning-to-america (“Ultra-Vaccinated Israel’s Crisis Is a Dire Warning to America”)

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2 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.nytimes.com/article/breakthrough-infections-covid-19-coronavirus.html (“Worried About Breakthrough Infections? Here’s How to Navigate This Phase of the Pandemic”—”If you’re vaccinated, you should think about a number of variables, including your overall health, where you live and the risks you take”)

This article by Tara Parker-Pope provides some useful advice, as follows:

Many people are seeking definitive answers about what they can and can’t do after being vaccinated against Covid-19. Is it OK to travel? Should I go to a big wedding? Does the Delta variant make spending time with my vaccinated grandmother more risky?

But there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to those questions because risk changes from one individual to the next, depending on a person’s overall health, where they live and who they spend time with. The bottom line is that vaccines are highly protective against serious illness, and, with some precautions, will allow people to return to more normal lives, experts say. A recent study in Los Angeles County showed that while breakthrough infections can happen, the unvaccinated are 29 times as likely to end up hospitalized from Covid-19 as a vaccinated person.

Experts say anxiety about breakthrough infections remains pervasive, fueled in part by frightening headlines and unrealistic expectations about the role of vaccines.

“There’s been a lot of miscommunication about what the risks really are to vaccinated people, and how vaccinated people should be thinking about their lives,” said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “There are people who think we are back to square one, but we are in a much, much better place.”

While the Delta variant is causing a surge in infections in various hot spots around the country, including Florida and Louisiana, there will eventually be an end to the pandemic. Getting there will require ongoing precautions in the coming months, but vaccinated people will have more freedom to enjoy life than they did during the early lockdowns. Here are answers to some common questions about the road ahead.

What’s my risk of getting Covid if I’m vaccinated?

To understand why there is no simple answer to this question, think about another common risk: driving in a snowstorm. While we know that tens of thousands of people are injured or killed each year on icy roads, your individual risk depends on local conditions, the speed at which you travel, whether you’re wearing a seatbelt, the safety features on your car and whether you encounter a reckless driver on the road.

Your individual risk for Covid after vaccination also depends on local conditions, your overall health, the precautions you take and how often you are exposed to unvaccinated people who could be infected.

“People want to be told what to do — is it safe if I do this?” said Dr. Sharon Balter, director of the division of communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “What we can say is, ‘These are the things that are more risky, and these are the things that are less risky.’”

Dr. Balter’s team has recently collected surveillance data that give us a clearer picture of the difference in risk to the vaccinated and unvaccinated as the Delta variant surged from May 1 through July 25. They studied infections in 10,895 fully vaccinated people and 30,801 unvaccinated people. The data showed that:

The rate of infection in unvaccinated people is five times the rate of infection in vaccinated people. By the end of the study period, the age-adjusted incidence of Covid-19 among unvaccinated persons was 315.1 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period compared to 63.8 per 100,000 incidence rate among fully vaccinated people. (Age adjustment is a statistical method used so the data are representative of the general population.)

The rate of hospitalization among the vaccinated was 1 per 100,000 people. The age-adjusted hospitalization rate in unvaccinated persons was 29.4 per 100,000.

Older vaccinated people were most vulnerable to serious illness after a breakthrough infection. The median age of vaccinated people who were hospitalized for Covid was 64 years. Among unvaccinated people who were hospitalized, the median age was 49.

The Delta variant appears to have increased the risk of breakthrough infections to vaccinated people. At the start of the study, before Delta was dominant, unvaccinated people became infected 10 times as often as vaccinated people did. By the end of study period, when Delta accounted for almost 90 percent of infections, unvaccinated people were five times as likely to get infected as vaccinated people.

What’s the chance of a vaccinated person spreading Covid-19?

While unvaccinated people are by far at highest risk for catching and spreading Covid-19, it’s also possible for a vaccinated person to become infected and transmit the illness to others. A recent outbreak in Provincetown, Mass., where thousands of people gathered in bars and restaurants, showed that vaccinated people can sometimes spread the virus.

Even so, many experts believe the risk of getting infected from a vaccinated person is still relatively low. Dr. Jha noted that after an outbreak among vaccinated and unvaccinated workers at the Singapore airport, tracking studies suggested that most of the spread by vaccinated people happened when they had symptoms.

“When we’ve seen outbreaks, like those among the Yankees earlier in the year and other cases, almost always people are symptomatic when they’re spreading,” Dr. Jha said. “The asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic spread could happen, but we haven’t seen it among vaccinated people with any frequency.”

Another study from Singapore looked at vaccinated and unvaccinated people infected with the Delta variant. The researchers found that while viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated workers are similar at the onset of illness, the amount of virus declines more rapidly in the vaccinated after the first week, suggesting vaccinated people are infectious for a shorter period of time.

Is it still safe to gather unmasked with vaccinated people?

In many cases it will be safe, but the answer depends on a number of variables. The risk is lower with a few close family members and friends than a large group of people you don’t know. Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings. What’s the community transmission rate? What’s the ventilation in the room? Do you have underlying health issues that would make you vulnerable to complications from Covid-19? Do any of the vaccinated people have a fever, sniffles or a cough?

“The big question is can five people sit around a table unmasked if we know they’re all vaccinated,” Dr. Jha said. “I think the answer is yes. The chances of anybody spreading the virus in that context is exceedingly low. And if someone does spread the virus, the other people are not going to get super sick from it. I certainly think most of us should not fear breakthrough infections to the point where we won’t tolerate doing things we really value in life.”

For larger gatherings or even small gatherings with a highly vulnerable person, rapid antigen testing using home testing kits can lower risk. Asking people to use a test a few days before the event, and then the day of the event, adds another layer of protection. Opening windows and doors or adding a HEPA air cleaner can also help.

How can unvaccinated children go to school safely?

Children under 12 probably will not be eligible for vaccination until the end of the year. As a result, the best way to protect them is to make sure all the adults and older kids around them are vaccinated. A recent report from the C.D.C. found that an unvaccinated elementary schoolteacher who didn’t wear a mask spread the virus to half of the students in a classroom.

Studies show that schools have not been a major cause of Covid-spreading events, particularly when a number of prevention measures are in place. A combination of precautions — masking indoors, keeping students at least three feet apart in classrooms, keeping students in separate cohorts or “pods,” encouraging hand washing and regular testing, and quarantining — have been effective. While many of those studies occurred before the Delta variant became dominant, they also happened when most teachers, staff and parents were unvaccinated, so public health experts are hopeful that the same precautions will work well this fall.

Dr. Balter noted that masking in schools, regular testing and improving ventilation will keep children safer, and that parents should be reassured by the data.

“The level of illness in children is much less than adults,” she said. “You do weigh all these things, but there are also a lot of consequences to not sending children to school.”

Can a vaccinated person visit with an elderly vaccinated person indoors without a mask?

In many cases it will be relatively safe for vaccinated people to spend time, unmasked, with an older relative. But the risk depends on local conditions and the precautions the visitor has taken in the days leading up to the visit. In areas where community vaccination rates are low and overall infection rates are high, meeting outdoors or wearing a mask may be advised.

If you’re vaccinated but have been going to restaurants, large gatherings or spending time with unvaccinated people, it’s a good idea to practice more social distancing in the days leading up to your visit with an older or vulnerable person. Home testing a few days before the visit and the day of the visit will add another layer of protection.

Gregg Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, said he recently visited his 87-year-old mother and did not wear a mask. But that is because both of them are vaccinated and he still works mostly from home, lives in a highly vaccinated area and has low risk for exposure. He is also investing in home testing kits for reassurance that he is not infectious.

“If I just came back from a big crowded gathering, and I had to go see my mom, I would put on a mask,” he said.

Is it safe to work in an office?

The answer depends on the precautions your workplace has taken. Does the company require proof of vaccination to come into the office? Are unvaccinated people tested regularly? What percentage of people in the office are unvaccinated? What steps did your company take to improve indoor air quality? (Upgrading the filters in ventilation systems and adding stand-alone HEPA air cleaners are two simple steps that can reduce viral particles in the air.)

Offices that mandate vaccination will be safer, but vaccination rates need to exceed 90 percent. Even an 85-percent vaccination rate is not enough, Dr. Jha said. “It’s not going to work because one of those 15-percent unvaccinated is going to cause an outbreak for every single person in that room,” he said. “You do not want a bunch of unvaccinated people running around your offices.”

Should I get a booster shot, and will it help protect me against Delta?

The people who have the most to gain from booster shots are older people, transplant patients, people with compromised immune systems or those with underlying conditions that put them at high risk for complications from Covid. People who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine may also be good candidates for a second dose.

But many experts say healthy people with normal immune systems who received a two-dose mRNA vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna won’t get much benefit right now from a third shot because their vaccine antibodies still offer strong protection against severe illness. That said, the Biden administration appears to be moving ahead with offering booster shots to the general public starting as soon as the week of Sept. 20.

See also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9956313/Boxer-Oscar-La-Hoya-48-tests-positive-COVID-despite-fully-vaccinated.html (“Fully vaccinated Oscar De La Hoya, 48, is hospitalized with COVID and pulls out of his comeback fight against Vitor Belfort”) and https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/coronavirus-excess-deaths-estimates (“The pandemic’s true death toll”) and https://deadline.com/2021/09/mu-variant-los-angeles-first-cases-new-covid-1234827340/ (“Mu Variant: First Cases Of New Covid Strain Identified In Los Angeles”) and
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9957753/COVID-cases-four-times-higher-Labor-Day.html (“US now has more than four times as many cases of COVID and twice as many in hospital as this time last year with deaths up 80% – despite 62% of population with one shot amid Delta surge: Mu is now in LA”)

The UK’s Economist estimates that the true death toll is approaching 20 million globally. Approximately 50-100 million died as a result of the “Spanish flu.”

See also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9960361/Fans-flock-college-football-stadiums-country-amid-COVID-surge.html (“Saturday gamedays are back! Incredible scenes as fans flock back to college football stadiums across America with no masks or social distancing despite surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations”)

This is irresponsible on the part of the Athletic Directors and other campus officials at each of the schools. If anyone contracts the Coronavirus’ “Delta variant” or other mutations, as a result of such “super-spreader” events, class-action lawsuits should be filed.

Yes, Americans are frustrated with the Coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, and loss of freedoms. And in a very real sense, they are celebrating at such sporting events; and it feels like a return to normalcy. But it is illusory, and potentially dangerous.

See, e.g., https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-mu-variant-covid-19-us-coronavirus-vaccine-20210906-4aslq6ueqndb5myst5blsynqoq-story.html#ed=rss_www.nydailynews.com/arcio/rss/category/news/ (“New ‘mu’ COVID variant now found in 49 U.S. states”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9995283/Los-Angeles-imposes-vaccine-passport-mandate-bars-nightclubs.html (“Los Angeles imposes vaccine passport mandate for bars and nightclubs: Dodgers and Chargers fans will also have to show proof of shots or negative test to attend games”) and https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/idaho-declares-statewide-hospital-resource-crisis-covid-surge-rcna1997 (“Idaho declares statewide hospital resource crisis amid Covid surge”) and https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/politics/biden-measles-quarantinable-diseases/index.html (“Biden signs executive order adding measles to list of quarantinable diseases after outbreak among US-bound Afghan refugees”)

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7 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9964415/Mu-variant-detected-U-S-state-except-Nebraska.html (“Mu has been detected in EVERY US state except Nebraska: COVID variant which scientists fear is more transmissible than Delta and vaccine resistant hits US with Florida and California recording the most cases”)

Here comes Mu, with a vengeance . . .

See also https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-06/overwhelmed-morgues-belie-u-s-illusion-of-a-defanged-pandemic (“Overwhelmed Morgues Belie U.S. Illusion of a Defanged Pandemic”) and https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-covid-numbers-up-since-last-labor-day-20210907-cb42e6polfehvldkhh43533wmm-story.html (“Daily U.S. COVID cases up more than 300% from Labor Day 2020”) and https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-health-pandemics-coronavirus-pandemic-north-carolina-b9012bd212ef28dcceec583eb3ca7612 (“COVID-19 surge in the US: The summer of hope ends in gloom”) and https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-flu-season-is-expected-to-be-worse-than-the-last-one-threatening-hospitals-strained-by-delta-11631179980 (“The Flu Is Expected to Make a Comeback This Year, Threatening Hospitals Strained by Delta”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9980015/26-Lancet-scientists-trashed-theory-Covid-leaked-Chinese-lab-links-Wuhan.html (“REVEALED: 26 out of the 27 Lancet scientists who trashed theory that Covid leaked from a Chinese lab have links to Wuhan researchers”) and https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/politics/biden-measles-quarantinable-diseases/index.html (“Biden signs executive order adding measles to list of quarantinable diseases after outbreak among US-bound Afghan refugees”)

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17 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See also https://www.timesofisrael.com/health-ministry-chief-says-coronavirus-spread-reaching-record-heights/ (“[Israeli] Health Ministry chief says coronavirus spread reaching record heights”) and https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/17/fda-panel-begins-voting-on-pfizers-covid-booster-doses-rejecting-shots-for-general-public.html (“FDA panel rejects plan to administer Pfizer’s Covid booster doses to general public”) and https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/17/politics/biden-measles-quarantinable-diseases/index.html (“Biden signs executive order adding measles to list of quarantinable diseases after outbreak among US-bound Afghan refugees”)

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20 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-covid-death-toll-surpassing-spanish-flu-1918-pandemic-coronavirus-20210920-y6rnbg2e6bbuzkin7ijg7mhin4-story.html (“COVID’s U.S. death toll on verge of surpassing Spanish Flu”)

Ultimately, it has been estimated that 50-100 million died globally from the Spanish flu.

See also https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/20/pfizer-covid-vaccine-is-safe-generates-robust-immune-response-in-kids-ages-5-to-11.html (“Pfizer Covid vaccine safely generates robust immune response in kids, Pfizer says”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10008837/Pfizer-BioNTech-say-data-COVID-19-vaccine-safe-protective-kids.html (“Pfizer says its vaccine IS safe and effective in low doses for kids under 12 and could be authorized by Halloween – despite children making up just 0.1% of all COVID deaths”) and https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/aviation/572971-flight-bookings-plummet-amid-delta-variant-fears (“Flight bookings plummet amid delta variant fears”) and https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/health/sydney-man-facing-heart-transplant-after-covid-leaves-him-with-chronic-health-issues/news-story/3945bbff23358e006574818ced69209e (“Sydney man facing heart transplant after Covid leaves him with chronic health issues”)

The problem is that a growing number of Americans do not believe in the vaccines, especially for young kids and pregnant women whose fetuses may be affected adversely.

See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-10009793/Mother-four-unmasked-unmuzzled-unvaccainated-dies-COVID-19-age-40.html (“‘Unmasked, unmuzzled, unvaccainated’ mother-of-four dies of COVID”)

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22 09 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

THE WORLD’S FIRST SUPER-SPREADER EVENT?

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10014895/Ex-Chinese-Communist-Party-insider-Wei-Jingsheng-speaks-Wuhan-theory-relating-Covid-19.html (“Chinese whistleblower claims first COVID outbreak was INTENTIONAL and happened in October 2019 at Military World Games in Wuhan – two months before China notified the world about virus”)

Did China launch its own 9/11-like attack on the United States and the world, as a bioweapon attack?

After all, Xi Jinping and China’s other civilian and military rulers have snuffed out Hong Kong’s fledgling democracy; they have enslaved a million ethnic minorities including the Uyghurs; they have used EMP weapons to “fry” Indian soldiers in their border war with that country; they have threatened Taiwan, Japan and Australia; and their goal is global domination.

See also https://www.nysun.com/foreign/witches-brew-starts-to-bubble-in-communist-china/91665/ (“Witches Brew Starts To Bubble in Communist China, as Xi Jinping Edges Into Maoism”)

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