Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Covid-19 FAQ vs GBD (5): Youth and Long Covid

Anti-virus: The Covid-19 FAQ on the Great Barrington Declaration 
V: Youth and Long Covid

by George J. Dance

from "A Defence of the Great Barrington Declaration from Its Powerful Critics", The Daily Sceptic, 22 March 2021. 

6) Younger, healthier people don’t want this virus either. Just because younger, healthier people who catch the coronavirus die at lower rates than the elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions, it doesn’t mean that it’s fine for them to catch the virus.

Fair enough; while it is true that “For every 1,000 people infected with the coronavirus who are under the age of 50, almost none will die” and “The IFR [is] close to zero for people between the ages of 15 and 44” (according to the FAQsters’ own citation)(15) that does not mean that young people have no risk at all. It is prudent for them to manage their risks, too.

I wish I could tell those young people to also get vaccinated. Unfortunately, they are not legally allowed to do so at this time [March 2021]; governments have monopolised the vaccines, and nobody is allowed to have them until their government lets them. As not just a Covid libertarian but a full libertarian, and in light of my earlier vaccine comments: I would like to see a legal vaccine market for those excluded from the Government program. That need not drain vaccines from the Government program: one possibility is a Right to Try law, letting people import, buy, and sell vaccines that have been authorised in other countries; a ‘Dallas Buyers Club’-type solution. Alas, governments have put themselves in charge; and they have decided that no one can receive a vaccine without their permission.

I can only advise those who do not want the virus, and cannot legally be vaccinated, to take the common-sense steps I mentioned earlier:  limit contacts, give other people their space, avoid crowded and closed-in spaces, take extra vitamins and zinc, and discuss with your doctor what else you can do.

Many sufferers of the coronavirus have found it to be an unpleasant few weeks, have been hospitalised, or have developed “Long Covid” – symptoms that persist long after the initial infection. The evidence for “Long Covid” is growing, although it remains inconclusive. Doctors from intensive-care units have written about their experience of watching as even young patients die from the disease. Hospitalisation rates, although highest for the elderly, have been accelerating in the UK across all age groups. Even for young people, Covid risks being far worse than just a bad cold or bout of the flu.

I know little about “Long Covid”, but I suspect I am not alone. As the JSM puts it, “we still do not understand who might suffer from long COVID ... nor do we understand precisely what their suffering entails." “Long Covid” is used as a blanket name for a number of distinct syndromes and a whole host of symptoms, ranging from observed physical damage like scarring of the lung tissue, right through to purely patient-defined symptoms like “breathlessness, muscle pains, palpitations and fatigue”(20) (all of which I have suffered from myself through the lockdowns). The bottom line: the risks and harms of Long Covid are largely unknown.

Which appears to be the point. Normally one would expect extreme interventions to be supported by strong evidence; but if people are afraid enough of the unknown, a very lack of evidence can be used to justify extreme measures. That was the case in the March lockdowns, and it appears that a similar tactic is being tried here. Fortunately, this new variant of alarmism may not work as well. “We have to close everything, or millions may die!” has a certain cachet; “We have to close everything, or millions may have an unpleasant few weeks!”, not so much.

9All quotations in italics are from: “Claim: The Great Barrington Declaration gives a good alternative to lockdown”, Anti-Virus: The Covid-19 FAQ.

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