Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Five Facts You Need To Know About Covid

1. With the new, more infectious strains of Covid, you are increasingly likely to contract it at some point.

2. There are no known significant harmful effects of the vaccine, aside from causing a tendency to take selfies. On the other hand, there are several very serious known long-term harmful effects of Covid, including damage to the lungs, heart and brain.

3. A week after taking both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, you are 95% protected. Even if you still get Covid, the data shows much less severe disease.

4. The stories about people who died from Covid after being vaccinated are people who got it before the vaccine took effect, or who died from other causes.

5. Life can only go back to normal when a sufficiently large proportion of people have been vaccinated.

Get vaccinated. For your own good, and for society’s good.

(Can someone make this into an attractive graphic?) 

On another note, my new book Rationalism vs. Mysticism is available for pickup from several locations in Israel. Order online and the office will contact you with a list of pickup locations, unless you prefer to have it mailed to you.



54 comments:

  1. Unfortunately it seems like a pipedream. Nearly 30% of the population is under 16, so automatically that makes the goal of 70% very difficult. They've opened up < 35, when that age group only has a 35% vaccination rate, because of no demand. To me that sounds like rest of that group are either anti-vaxxers or chareidi, and are not interested.

    Of course, it's likely that many of them "had it" already, and are not elligible to get the vaccine, at least at this point.

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    1. What are the guidelines in Israel with regard to previously infected people getting the vaccine?
      Here in the US, they are vaccinating people regardless of previous infection.
      Shlomo

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    2. For now, nobody in Israel who contracted the virus (i.e. tested positive at any point) is eligible to get the vaccine. I even know people who tested positive after receiving the first dose who were then refused the second dose.

      Delete
  2. "All the stories about people who died from Covid after being vaccinated are people who got it before the vaccine took effect"

    Baloney!

    Reb Yitzchok Shiener who was reported in the media as having died from Corona actually was tested a couple days before he died and confirmed negative. He took the vaccine and two days later he was gone.
    If you don't believe it make the effort to come into the Yeshiva and ask someone instead of just lapping up everything being spewed out by the biased media.
    Someone I know personally took the vaccine and within a couple of hours started acting totally crazy. B"H after around 24 hours he started to revert to his regular self.
    Tell me its better to take it than not to take it, one thing don't tell me is that no one died from it. These are two cases that I know of, and I don't know that many people who got vaccinated at all!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Your rediculous conjecture is precisely why r Slifkin wrote this post.

      Delete
    2. "was tested a couple days before he died and confirmed negative."
      Let's clear up the facts. BHOL reported on the 24th that he was sick with covid-19. There is a delay between infection & symptoms. According to the BHOL story he had received the first dose of the vaccine some two weeks before becoming ill. But it could take days between infection, symptoms & diagnoses. Perhaps there wasn't enough time for his immunity to build up. (And it's been expected that some people won't be helped by the vaccine.) A week later he was gone. Now the negative test could have been a false negative or it could be his immune system did in fact destroy the virus. But he was already ailing and the damage done by covid may have already been irreversible.
      So no, you've proven nothing from your speculative anecdote.

      "Someone I know personally took the vaccine and within a couple of hours started acting totally crazy."
      1) He was just acting crazy.
      2) He had an underlying condition and was taking medication. Why would he tell you his sensitive & private medical history?
      3) The episode was unconnected with the vaccines.About 3% of the population suffer from a psychotic episode sometime in their lives. Of those vaccinated so far in Israel, that translates to 160,000 people. Further (off the envelope) calculations based on life expectancy, reveal that we could expect 5 people to suffer from a psychotic episode within 24 hours after the first vaccine dose without the vaccine being the cause. Maybe he was one of those five people.
      4) Some anti-vaxxer recommended him some "natural" remedy to offset the imagined "danger" from the vaccine. The remedy was adulterated with psychoactive compounds
      5) Ultra-rare side effect
      6) Vast conspiracy. 99% of גדולי ישראל who consider vaccination obligatory are in fact immune to nothing except דעת תורה.

      So no, you've proven nothing from your speculative anecdote.
      The odd thing is that deniers love to claim that covid deaths are exaggerated and that people died of something else. But when someone actually dies of something else, the deniers say they he died of the vaccine.

      "and I don't know that many people who got vaccinated at all!!!!!!!!!"
      Yup. That says it all.

      Delete
    3. Another fine example of Haredi "education"?

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    4. Some people get side effects for a day or so. It can make people irritable, I'm sure.

      Delete
    5. Ephraim -

      You say there have been no vaccine-related deaths, and then go onto give a number of excuses for why this man had a strange episode immediately after the vaccine. It's no wonder people are skeptical, when this dogmatic attitude is prevalent.

      Personally, I too know someone who got the vaccine after he already had coronavirus several months earlier. He told me he felt like he was going to die the day after, and that it was worse than when he had coronavirus. This lasted only 24 hours. He has not yet had his second jab, but supposedly the side effects are worse the second time. He is young, and as far as I know, healthy. On a side note, it's entirely plausible to me, that if a young person can feel this way after taking the vaccine, that it can be deadly for an elderly person or someone with co-morbidities.

      My intent is not to opine one way or the other on the vaccine. But your determination to dismiss a side effect as fantasy, seems to reflect a desire to be right more than a desire to have an honest discussion.

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    6. "He told me he felt like he was going to die the day after, and that it was worse than when he had coronavirus. This lasted only 24 hours."

      Sounds about right. The CDC has warned that temporary flu like symptoms may occur after vaccination. The same warning is given for now routine childhood vaccinations. (Though the expected side effects may vary for different vaccines)

      "But your determination to dismiss a side effect as fantasy"
      This is not true. I haven't lost a drop of sweat dismissing denier theories. No determination needed, when it's shooting fish in a barrel (with a missile.)
      You have to show that a certain complaint/condition/illness occurs in the vaccinated at a rate greater than that expected for a similar population. I assume this has been achieved for sore arm & temporary fever & flu like symptoms.

      " honest discussion."
      Generally speaking, I've found the deniers to be rather honest. They're not concocting fake evidence or arguments. They're just repeating them. Without critical thinking.

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  3. Although from a medical standpoint one may be better off taking it over not taking it, Halachically the q is not as simple as it sounds. Supposing 1 in 10 people die after vaccinating as opposed to 8 out of every ten people who die from covid due to not vaccinating, Although from a medical standpoint one should obviously vaccinate, Halachically it may not even be allowed. To actively self harm is Assur even in order to save oneself from a greater harm.
    I am not a Posek, though with all due respect nor are you. there have been enough respected Halachic authorities who have expressly forbidden taking the vaccine for the reasons stated above.
    Not "Dass Torah Godol answers" but thoughtful Rabbonim who of their own accord have forbidden it' even without the pressures of "Party affiliation.
    Unless you were unaware, not being a halachic authority gives you no right to make these sweeping statements to people trying to do as they are required to by the Torah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "there have been enough respected Halachic authorities"

      They're not respected.
      They're not authorities.
      They're not Halachic.

      But you are right. There are "enough" of them.

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    2. there have been enough respected Halachic authorities who have expressly forbidden taking the vaccine for the reasons stated above.

      Show me such an authority and I'll show you someone ignorant of both medicine and statistics.

      Delete
    3. There is a pamphlet published during the initial introduction of Jenner's smallpox vaccine in 1785 called 'Aleh Terufah' by Rabbi Avraham ben Shlomo Nansich, who lost some of his own children to smallpox.

      According to the pamphlet, the smallpox vaccine of the time (which was to deliberately infect children with cowpox, a milder form of the disease) has a mortality rate of 1/1000. That may or may not be accurate but that was the Rav's premise. The pamphlet urged parents nevertheless on the grounds of PKN.

      The modern vaccines are much much safer than that - nobody died of the vaccine in all trials with a typical phase 3 trial being 15,000 people. I'm reasonably confident the safety is 1/10,000 and likely better than that given that millions of doses have been given.

      Despite the usual adage that shev v'al ta'aseh adif, such was the improvement in mortality from actively vaccinating that the author urged all to vaccinate their children notwithstanding that many would die as a direct result. I am not aware of any opposition to his views, and all the more do with a far more safe vaccine available nowadays.

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    4. My intention was never to claim that the general consensus of the Rabbonim was not to take the vaccine, my point was that taking one may POSSIBLY involve halachic debate, despite their being absolutely no question that from a medical standpoint vaccinating would be the correct course of action.

      As for the very rational replies of both Avi and Ephrayim, the sad news for you both is that there actually IS at least one major Posek that i am aware of who has expressly forbidden taking the vaccine - I STRESS AGAIN NOT IN CONTRADICTION TO MEDICAL OPINION BUT RATHER DESPITE OF IT as I wrote clearly above.
      Avi seems to have missed the point entirely, and Efrayim seems to be able to argue on Halachic grounds despite not knowing the relevant halachic issues nor the name of the Posek i refer too.
      Very Rational Indeed!

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    5. Israel has very good records here. There have been no excess deaths due to non-virus causes among people taking the vaccine- there are less, in fact. (And that is certainly true of virus-related.)

      Delete
    6. For these people, one is "enough." Even if that one is themselves.

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    7. " Efrayim seems to be able to argue on Halachic grounds "
      Thanks for the undeserved compliment but I wasn't arguing on halachic grounds. I was engaging in a hyperbolic polemic. And it was fun.

      "one major Posek"
      We don't pasken by a rejected דעת יחיד. Such responsa have their place (beyond להגדיל) in limited situations. We can safely ignore him here.

      "To actively self harm is Assur even in order to save oneself from a greater harm."
      Taking a vaccine during Phase IV is not active self harm.

      Delete
    8. "For these people, one is "enough.""

      Bingo! It's like psak shopping. With enough בקיעות one can find a תשובה for any purpose. Centuries of precedent and consensus- vs. one דעת יחיד. Mesorah & common sense don't stand a chance.

      Delete
    9. I too am aware of a major posek who has expressly forbidden taken the vaccine. However, his "essay" on the subject clearly demonstrates that he does not understand the facts, in which case his psak is worthless. (That would be like saying that the Aruch HaShulchan permitted using electricity on Yom Tov! He is indeed the most major of poskim, but his understanding of electricity renders his psak moot.)

      Delete
    10. We don't pasken by a rejected דעת יחיד. Such responsa have their place (beyond להגדיל) in limited situations. We can safely ignore him here

      Correct in some situations, although not here. considering that the rov i refer to is the Moro Deasra of one of the larger cities in israel in which case the thousands of people who follow his pesak in every other aspect of halacho may have to follow him in this case too.

      Centuries of precedent and consensus- vs. one דעת יחיד. Mesorah etc don't stand a chance.

      as a matter of interest in the lengthy teshuva that was published, the rov actually referenced a very interesting sefer habris (if i recall the name of the sefer accurately) which discusses something on the lines of vaccines (obviously not the modern day version) and he used it as backing for his pesak. although i will admit that i also found it interesting as the medication of today is unlikely compared to that of a couple centuries ago. his teshuva was not actually based on that sefer itself and therefore one can argue with his "TzuShtell and his Teshuva at least within his scope of HoRoh still stands.

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    11. Shlomo
      that he does not understand the facts, in which case his psak is worthless

      if his pesak is based or factual errors or facts taken entirely out of context then you may have a point. if however it is based on his analysation of them in which case it is a matter of opinion then despite being against the generally accepted view his pesak still stands and his interpretation of the facts are all part and parcel of his Hoiroh
      i don't know which posek you are referring to, however if we are both referencing the same one, i think that EVEN if his facts may be argued with it is more about his analysation of them rather than him being simply mistaken.
      please do not post either the posek or his teshuva to this forum as it would certainly attract disrespectful comments about both the author and his Torah whether warranted or otherwise.

      Delete
    12. I conspicuously didn't mention the posek's name (just as you didn't). As I said before, the one I am referring to clearly doesn't understand the facts. (There's another major posek who famously "paskens" that vaccines in general are a "sakana." He too is mistaken and doesn't know the facts.) Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for even the greatest (and I meant the absolute greatest) poskim to rely on unreliable family members, friends, etc. This is not a secret.

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    13. I don't know what you mean that it's more about his analysis than about the facts. If the facts were that 1 in a million suffers an adverse reaction that would be halachically meaningless. Do you think bloodletting (which was at times done as a prophylaxis on healthy people!) didn't cause a negative reaction in 1 in a million?

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    14. he sad news for you both is that there actually IS at least one major Posek that i am aware of who has expressly forbidden taking the vaccine

      A Psak that has no connection to reality isn't a Psak. It's mental masturbation. It's unfortunate that such things pass for God's word in some communities, and I am equally glad that I am not a part of that community.

      Would you care to name the Posek and perhaps provide a link to the Psak? I understand he probably didn't publish online, but surely you have a copy you can put pictures of somewhere?

      Delete
    15. @ephraim
      In theory you are correct, we cannot cherry-pick and choose to pasken like single poskim just because it suits our agenda. But in practice it is done all the time.
      Here is an example, RNS in his article The Evolution of the Olive writes as follows.
      “The second factor is that this is not a case where the halachah was ruled unequivocally in one direction. There have always been those, such as Rabbi Chaim of Volzhin, the Avnei Nezer and others who maintained that the kezayis is the size of an ordinary olive. even the Chazo Ish acknowledged that this is the fundamentally correct position. It is thus an established view, which is merely given greater weight in light of new discoveries of manuscripts and new data concerning olives and eggs.”
      RNS admits that virtually all the contemporary poskim in the last few centuries pasken that the size of a kezayis is at least a third of an egg. But he found a few secondary sources that say b’shem some poskim that it is the size the size of an olive, and RNS does not even clarify if they said it as a matter of psak or just as a theory.
      In short, in practice כללי הפסק is ignored whenever it suits one’s needs.

      Moshe from BP

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    16. Comment to a posting earlier up this thread, how even one death would be enough: if this logic is sufficient to limit getting vaccinated, then kal vachomer ben b'no shel kal vachomer it should lead people to behave appropriately in terms of masks and lockdowns. Those who say "it's too much to bear" and "look, only a small percentage died" become hypocritical when they turn it around and say that we cannot use the vaccine because "even one death is too many"!!

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    17. In connection to the halachic pamphlet about smallpox mentioned above:
      Last month, RNS quoted Sefer Habrit by R' Pinhas Eliyahu Hurwitz (first published 1797) regarding the need to work and not just learn. R' Hurwitz's essay on the smallpox vaccine in that same book is equally remarkable (and a great snapshot of the time).
      He first mentions how Rabbanim of the time were opposed originally to the first attempts at inoculation against smallpox because the efficacy was low and the risks were high, but once Jenner's vaccine became well known and tested, the objections were dropped.
      He ends the essay by mentioning that the Shl"a promised Divine retribution on those who endangered their children by refusing to relocate when faced with smallpox outbreaks; R' Hurwitz then promises the same for those who refuse to vaccinate! Amazing how things can stay the same over 200 years later...

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  4. Big Mouth - what exactly about what i wrote is ridiculous. is it that I happen to have mentioned a couple facts that you find uncomfortable, or have you just chosen not to believe them for no apparent reason in which case you cannot expect anyone who does know of cases similar to the ones ive mentioned to actually listen to posts such as these ones.
    or do you simply just want me to shut up and not be a big mouth?

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    1. You leap from "he didn't die of COVID" to "he died from the vaccine". That alone invalidates anything you might have to say about anything, because you are not a credible source. For anything.

      Delete
  5. Point 4 is too strong. Here is a story I heard about two people (out of 668,100) who died from C19 > 1 week after second jab.

    https://twitter.com/ariehkovler/status/1355843080080019458

    Still, Rabbi Slifkin is right: get a jab

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    Replies
    1. I don't see the relevancy of that statistic. There is no information on when the two who died contracted COVID, and no indication at all that the vaccine played a part in their death.

      Delete
    2. Hi Avi

      1. Mr Kovler makes the fair point that date of testing positive doesn't equate to date of infection, as do you. Nevertheless the statistic does seem to cross the very low threshold you set of being relevant.

      2. I wouldn't remotely suggest that the vaccine was responsible for their death. For one, if you are going to have a bad aniphilactactic reaction to the vaccine it will probably be clear in minutes. Their death was despite and not because of the vaccine.

      The point I am making is this . When all available adults are all vaccinated if, as seems likely, a number of vaccinated, predominantly elderly people are continuing to die from Covid can we agree that after a maximal effort there is nothing more than can be done, lift the lockdown, restore civil rights and commerce and accept human mortality. If people are rich enough they can self isolate if they want to as a personal decision, and care homes should be compelled to keep masks and outdoor visits only as a matter of law.

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    3. " When all available adults are all vaccinated if, as seems likely, a number of vaccinated, predominantly elderly people are continuing to die from Covid "

      So far we haven't seen anybody vaccinated die from covid. It's assumed that the vaccine at least protects from severe covid illness. (None of this really challenges the point you made in your post.)

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    4. Ephraim: you are factually wrong.

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    5. To clarify: I should have said "So far we haven't seen anybody vaccinated get infected & die from covid after the time expected it take for the body to produce anti-bodies from the vaccine."
      But I stand corrected. People may have contracted covid before or soon after the vaccine before their immune system kicked in.

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    6. Still likely to be wrong given that positive test was more than one week after *second* vaccine dose and typical onset of symptoms is 3 days post infection.

      I think you are in ideological denial about what 95 percent efficacy means for the 5 percent - it doesn't mean a guarantee against death or serious illness - and ideologically wedded to the 100 percent being locked down for an excessive period as a result.

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    7. "I think you are in ideological denial about what 95 percent efficacy means for the 5 percent - it doesn't mean a guarantee against death or serious illness"
      I never said that. What I said was that beyond the 95% effectiveness rate for not getting infected, it has been shown that those who do get covid get a much less severe form of the illness. To be clear, the benefit of less severe illness wasn't the point of the trials to proof effectiveness. It's just a nice side benefit. (That being the case, it could be that while there were no deaths among the thousands in the Phase 3 trials, it could be that there will be a few deaths among the millions in the current Phase 4 trials.)


      " and ideologically wedded to the 100 percent being locked down for an excessive period as a result."

      I never said that. I've been for severe restrictions with real enforcement in order to prevent lockdowns. Restrictions should be location based. Lockdowns should be applied as a last resort- in cases where heath system is near collapse. Without enforcement, lockdowns are a farce and serve only to punish (and in some cases ruin) those who follow the rules without improving the overall health situatation. Basically, do whatever is necessary to bring R number below 1.

      Delete
    8. 1) The 95 percent is symptomatic disease. The efficacy against asymptomatic disease is unknown. Phase 3 trials do not involve prophylactic swabbing without symptoms.

      2) In the UK R has been below 1 for almost a month and schools for 5 year kids won't open until after Easter / Pesach. Apparently R isn't enough. Apparently patient numbers having peaked two weeks ago isn't enough. All the target elderly population being vaccinated isn't enough. Now we have to wait for new cases to be less than 1,000. The goals keep shifting you've bothered to pay attention.

      Delete
    9. " In the UK R has been below 1 for almost a month"
      Not true. I just checked the UK News.
      " Apparently R isn't enough."
      Of course it's not enough. If the R number is near 1, it will increase above 1 if restrictions are lifted. You want the R value to be below 1 & remain below 1. If you look at the graph for UK active cases, you'll see that the trend is downward, but only for a about a week. Can that downward trend be sustained if restrictions are lifted? Here's a handy (and crude) rule of thumb when dealing with exponentials: "If things are fine- it's too late."

      "All the target elderly population being vaccinated isn't enough"
      This is also a distortion. Less than 1% of the UK population has been fully vaccinated. But even that number is misleading, since it takes time before vaccination turns into immunity- the figure represents those who WILL be fully immune in a week or two.
      "The goals keep shifting"
      I don't know if the goals keep shifting. I do know that the original goals haven't been met.


      Delete
    10. These moral hysterical puritans who want to keep us locked up don't like facts.

      Fact: There have actually been 29 consecutive days of declining cases.

      Fact: That is 29 days with R less than 1.

      Opening schools for 5-11 year old children will have a negligible effect on transmission rates. We know that children are far less efficient transmitters than adults.

      You just blindly and blithely ignore facts. Far from following the science you follow the mob. And the weakest in society - children, victims of domestic abuse, addicts, the lonely, the suicidal, cancer patients, stroke patients - these are the collateral damage of your passion for flagellation. It's reprehensible that the richest in society buy their sense of psychological security by locking down the needs of the most vulnerable.

      Delete
    11. "Fact: That is 29 days with R less than 1."

      Incorrect conclusion. You can have declining cases and still have a R above 1. How? If the R is above 1 in several places and below 1 elsewhere. Initially cases will be in decline overall, but the damn exponential then takes over. So if we could "magically" make all cases disappear (R=0) in most places, but R>1 elsewhere you'll see a drop in cases followed by exponential increase. That's why you see R measured by an interval. The R interval has only dropped below 1 in the past few days- not month.

      "Opening schools for 5-11 year old children will have a negligible effect on transmission rates. We know that children are far less efficient transmitters than adults."
      That's more or less true. It doesn't mean that schools can open when the numbers are so high. It does mean that schools should open before other places. Perhaps, frequent pooled testing can be done affordably to shut done classrooms before serious outbreaks can occur.

      "moral hysterical puritans"
      Don't be silly.

      "blindly and blithely"
      I'm not sure those terms work well together.

      "And the weakest in society - children, victims of domestic abuse, addicts, the lonely, the suicidal, cancer patients, stroke patients - these are the collateral damage of your passion for flagellation. "
      This has been a concern. But has this "collateral damage" been measured? Have cancer patients been unable to get treatments? Here in Israel, one was allowed to get health & social therapies during the lockdown. If hospitals were postponing surgeries & treatments it was because they were overwhelmed with covid patients.
      "addicts" It's not clear that the increased numbers we see in regards to drug addiction is due to lockdowns or the pandemic in general. Probably both. But certainly, policy makes should take addicts into consideration. But it's not as simple as you make it out to be.

      "you follow the mob.... It's reprehensible that the richest"
      I've seen the mob & they are the ones who are spreading the virus. Whether on Balfour or Rechov Chazon Ish. You say "mob" and then say "the richest"- what's the deal with that?

      Delete
    12. You've just redefined your magical R. Now, 1 R is not enough. Apparently we need lots of regional Rs in case, as is abundantly clear, the R you originally defined is too low. You suddenly switched from singular to plural and thought we wouldn't notice. We did. Also regional Rs are also all without exception below 1 for a sustained period of at least two weeks, but why bother with science when you have lockdown fanatics.

      You keep changing the criteria to support lockdowns.

      I'm not going to point you to the stated policy of the NHS to cancel cancer treatments. You are going to find the primary sources yourself.

      Back in March it was assumed that capacity of the NHS would be overwhelmed. Hundreds of furloughed staff from airlines with basic first aid training were drafted in to augment trained healthcare workers, this being an emergency. They were used - I promise this is true - to serve unionised staff tea and coffee. The blood of cancer patients is no less red than that of Covid patients and it is an example of the deadly moral panic of the same mob who inappropriately discharged Covid positive patients to nursing homes in March.

      I am literally not allowed to walk outside my front door without a good reason. Don't dare tell me my objection to this state of affairs is silly.
      You conflate what some Charedim in Israel do to justify irrational measures in the UK. Why? Because no oppression is too much for unscientific panic mobs.

      You really, really have got used to locking people down and it obviously fulfills a deep psychological need for a sense of control.

      Delete
    13. "You suddenly switched from singular to plural and thought we wouldn't notice. We did."
      You cited a statistic that R<1 for weeks & the UK media says otherwise. So I looked into your confident claim to see why the discrepancy. So I refined my opinion based on new knowledge. There's no reason to assume nefarious motives.

      "Also regional Rs are also all without exception below 1 for a sustained period of at least two weeks,"
      That's not the data I see here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/958827/R-and-growth-rate-time-series-05-Feb-2021.ods
      Pay attention to the figures for Jan 29 which was less than two weeks ago. Again if the figures are close to 1, they can easily exceed 1 again.

      "I'm not going to point you to the stated policy of the NHS to cancel cancer treatments."
      What are the numbers? Cancel or postpone? What % is being postponed and by how long?
      Reuter's reported a month ago:
      "NHS England said essential services were maintained at the end of the year and cancer treatments and referrals were back to usual levels.

      But there were 4.46 million patients waiting to start treatment in November, an all-time high although only slightly up from 2019 figures that pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic."


      "it obviously fulfills a deep psychological need for a sense of control."
      Now, tell me about my mother.


      Delete
    14. So far Ephraim, you have made 3 clear factual errors (the number of days cases have been declining, and the number of deaths > 1 week after 2 vaccines). You missed https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55546710 as error number 3. Cancer treatments have been stopped and hundreds of people have almost certainly died as a result, see https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/11/e043828

      You sent me the UK spreadsheet of R numbers, and you focus in on the one region with an upper confidence interval (but not median) R number above 1. The median R is below 1 for all regions. You keep grasping for intrinsically improbable evidence to buttress the case for lockdown and you think I won't notice. I notice every day I am under house arrest for no good reason.

      You haven't denied shifting the goals.

      You keep making these factual errors. The common factor in all your factual errors is that you keep erring on the side of repression.

      Why, Ephraim? You tell me.

      Delete
  6. I enjoy these posts and comments. Thank you. One thing to throw in the mix, why did new york restrict travel because of snow? Connected to lockdowns and socialism?

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  7. No problems from the vaccine? You kidding?
    https://prezi.com/i/gw4zv2c_cwrb/anecdotal-experiences-cvv/
    It's just media suppression.

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    Replies
    1. "It's just media suppression"
      Actually the media has been reporting a lot of these incidents. What the media has suppressed is to put these anecdotes into context.
      For example, the reporting of that case of anaphylaxis is sensationalism. The woman in question was given the vaccine after she neglected to mention that she once had a very bad reaction from a bee sting. Had the staff known her history they wouldn't have given her the vaccine. Anaphylaxis is a known & acknowledged reaction from vaccine. Fortunately, in most cases when it does occur, it can be treated on site & the individual recovers without lasting problems. The media has not suppressed the possibility of anaphylaxis.

      The media has reported on other incidents from the vaccine. But in every case the media suppressed the fact that the number of these incidents were below that to be expected in the general population. So if you look at the numbers of occurrences of Bell Palsy among vaccine recipients they are less or the same as you'd expect from the same amount of people who didn't get vaccinated. The same goes for heart attack rates.

      Now for homework: The CDC keeps records of deaths and causes. If the vaccine causes heart attacks, we should see an excess of heart attacks for the month of January- especially in areas where there has been a high vaccination rate among the elderly. So go ahead- check out those figures and post them here. Be a scientist! Follow the evidence!

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    2. Being a scientist and following the evidence generally gets you into trouble these days...
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Tnb1a8TXHj_jJCM2BDfGSriUgdn-2gec/view
      A review of US deaths by a researcher in Johns Hopkins found no excess, just a reclassification, of course the article was withdrawn and now published (after a lot of flack) with big 'retracted' letters posted all over it.

      They have taken down the live VAERS updates but you can see the figures and to date over 500 people have died from the vaccine. https://www.openvaers.com/covid-data There was one nursing home in Georgia where 21 people died in the couple of days after they vaccinated everyone in the home.

      Delete
    3. The article is garbage. It was written by an AMATEUR STUDENT!

      You get a ZERO for your homework. I asked you to look at the CDC site, and not cheat by copying the work of another student. And you made the mistake of plagiarizing a failing student!

      So try again. Go to the CDC website & show me that there has not been excess deaths in 2020.

      Delete
    4. @ ephraim
      Well thank you for the suberb putdown!! I stand in awe of your skill.
      In response I went back and looked at the CDC website, but to tell you the truth it was a bit complex to extract the data which I wanted, overall mortality.
      Then I went back and looked at the JH article. You are correct that it was written by a student (shock horror) but it was actually based on information extracted from the CDC themselves by a senior member of staff. I quote:
      "The study, titled "A closer look at U.S. deaths due to COVID-19," was conducted by Dr. Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the applied economics master's degree program at the university. Her analysis made the astonishing conclusion that "in contrast to most people's assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States."

      Dr. Briand compiled a graph from data on the CDC website representing percentages of total deaths per age category from early February to early September, which includes the period from before COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. to after infection rates soared.

      Remarkably, the deaths of older people were unchanged prior to and after the advent of COVID-19. Because COVID-19 primarily impacts the elderly, experts anticipated an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. But the CDC data didn't support this presumption. In fact, the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same.

      As Dr. Briand noted, "[t]he reason we have a higher number of reported COVID-19 deaths among older individuals than younger individuals is simply because every day in the U.S. older individuals die in higher numbers than younger individuals." She subsequently determined that the range of deaths among the older population was within the range of past years."

      Delete
    5. Nice, but what happens when you look at the figures differently? Why did she start at looking at data from February instead of January? What happens to the number when you look at the whole year?
      Consider the following table for deaths for all ages and all causes:
      2020 2019 % increase
      January 264000 258000 2.33%
      Febru 244000 233000 4.72%
      March 269000 255000 5.49%
      April 322000 235000 37.02%
      May 280000 237000 18.14%
      June 249000 225000 10.67%
      July 277000 229000 20.96%
      August 274000 227000 20.70%
      Septem 253000 223000 13.45%

      Note the big jump in April. Remember there were less than 1000 cases reported in the beginning of March, by April 1st there were 200,000 cases reported.

      Briand's credentials are minimal. From her LinkedIn page it appears she only authored three pages in journals in a period of eight years- the last one in 2008. She is however, a guru in Excel. Her paper has been critiqued elsewhere.
      She claims that "the deaths of older people were unchanged prior to and after the advent of COVID-19." Well, you see from the above table that total deaths did increase significantly after covid. If she's right about older people than these excess deaths had to be for younger people. And that is just silly.

      Delete
  8. 4. The stories about people who died from Covid after being vaccinated are people who got it before the vaccine took effect, or who died from other causes.

    No, this is absurd. The Israeli government data shows deaths from covid including in some cases more than 2 weeks after the second dose.

    ReplyDelete

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