Covid-19: is omicron less lethal than delta?

This study provides the most conclusive evidence to date that infection with the omicron subvariant BA.1 was inherently less deadly than delta when controlling for a number of key covariates. Combining death certification records with molecular surveillance is the main advantage of this study, which avoids previous biases in covid-19 death designations. Accounting for a broad array of standardised covariates, including sociodemographic variables, pre-existing health conditions, and previous immunity, is another strength.

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o1806 (Published 02 August 2022)

Quote from the BMJ editorial. Here’s the link to the study:

Risk of covid-19 related deaths for SARS-CoV-2 omicron (B.1.1.529) compared with delta (B.1.617.2): retrospective cohort study — BMJ 2022; 378 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-070695

A Plan is Not a Strategy – Update 08.03.22

A few months ago I was thinking about retirement. The funny thing about life at “retirement age” and still working is you think about retirement a lot. See Thinking About Retirement (or just another fine Saturday Morning) While catching up on news I came across several articles on unretirement. I learned the word unretire is actually in the dictionary. See https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unretire. Rather than retire then unretire I decided I needed a plan. The more I thought about coming up with a plan the more I realized I needed a strategy instead.

So now I’m working on strategy only to realize I’ve had a strategy for many years. I’ve just never taken the time to write it down. It might be time to document my strategy. But it’s been too hot to write and Too Hot to Blog.

Take Home Message: A Plan is Not a Strategy.

Update 08.03.22

For an excellent example of strategy read this piece https://www.noceilingsnba.com/p/the-art-of-presti on how Sam Presti the General Manager of the OKC Thunder epitomizes this definition of strategy.

SIDD, SIRD, MOD, AND MARD – DM2 Subgroups

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) was recently reclassified into severe insulin-deficient diabetes (SIDD), severe insulin-resistant diabetes (SIRD), mild obesity-related diabetes (MOD), and mild age-related diabetes (MARD), which have different risk of complications. We explored whether DNA methylation differs between these subgroups and whether subgroup-unique methylation risk scores (MRSs) predict diabetic complications.

Novel Subgroups of Type 2 Diabetes Display Different Epigenetic Patterns That Associate With Future Diabetic Complications — https://doi.org/10.2337/dc21-2489

More acronyms!

Don’t Let Your Cat Sneeze on You

Researchers say the results are convincing. They are surprised that it has taken this long to establish that transmission can occur, given the scale of the pandemic, the virus’s ability to jump between animal species, and the close contact between cats and people. “We’ve known this was a possibility for two years,” says Angela Bosco-Lauth, an infectious-disease researcher at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

First reported case of a person getting COVID from a cat — https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01792-y
Photo by Kirsten Bu00fchne on Pexels.com

Deer too. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01112-4

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Don’t forget about hamsters. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00322-0

Photo by Faris Subriun on Pexels.com

Or mink mutations…

Fonager says researchers in Denmark have sequenced viral samples from 40 mink farms and identified some 170 coronavirus variants. He adds that in viral samples from people — representing about one-fifth of the country’s total COVID confirmed cases — they’ve found some 300 people with variants that contain mutations thought to have first emerged in mink. “That is something we really want to keep a close eye on.”

COVID mink analysis shows mutations are not dangerous — yet — https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03218-z

Protein Blobs!

The African turquoise killifish lives in transitory ponds in East Africa that form during the rainy season. As the fish nears the end of its 4- to 6-month life, it develops a range of age-related diseases, including cataracts and brain-related changes that resemble neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s in humans. Its brief life span — much shorter than that of a lab mouse, for example — and rapid natural aging make it an ideal model for studying aging in vertebrates. The Stanford team conducted an extensive analysis of the proteins in killifish at various stages of youth and maturity. In the aging killifish, they discovered protein aggregates in all the tissues that they looked at: not only the brain but also the heart, gut, liver, muscle, skin and testis. More than half of the aggregating proteins seemed to show an intrinsic tendency to aggregate in further experiments.

Protein Blobs Linked to Alzheimer’s Affect Aging in All Cells — https://www.quantamagazine.org/protein-blobs-linked-to-alzheimers-affect-aging-in-all-cells-20220628
Photo Credit: MDI Biological Laboratory; Itamar Harel

Fascinating article. And regarding the video clip, sorry I couldn’t resist.

The Labor Force Refuses to Grow – Age Discrimination?


Ageism?

Ageism is a real problem. And it could also be responsible for the low labor force getting stuck at this level. Boomers are now between around 56 and 76. This is a huge generation. And in tech, when the hiring manager is 32, and you’re 56, it’s tough getting that job. And when you’re 62, it’s even tougher just to get anyone’s attention. Some succeed. But many don’t.

Many of these people, often with a superb job history, may never get a job in their field again. Many of them made enough money to where they don’t have to work. They’d like to work, but it’s tough getting ignored or rejected time after time because of age.

And they give up “actively” looking for a job, and thereby they’re removed from the labor force. They were dropped from the labor force due to ageism, not because they wanted to retire. And they might tell everyone, after they give up looking, that they’re “retired,” when in fact, they’d love to work in their field but are locked out.

I Want to Add a Word about Ageism in this Bizarre Labor Market and How it Hits Labor Force & Unemployment Numbers — https://wolfstreet.com/2022/07/08/i-want-to-add-a-word-about-ageism-in-this-bizarre-labor-market-and-how-it-hits-labor-force-unemployment-numbers/

The entire post from Mr. Wolf is worth reading. Obviously there is no data to support ageism as one of the causes for the lack of labor force growth. But it certainly is an interesting hunch.

At last count there were 240 comments on this article.

Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/50-years-ago-houston-we-ve-had-a-problem