Commentary

COVID refugia?

A near-perfect forest path through the birch north of the Alaska Range/Craig Medred photo

You can’t run from the potentially deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus, but you might be able to hide in the forest, according to some research coming out of China.

In one of the stranger studies of the now 18,112 pandemic-linked investigatoins published on the MedRxiv website, researchers from the University of Hong Kong looked at infections in counties across the U.S. and concluded that “green spaces, especially forest, (are) linked to lower SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.”

This should come as especially good news to Alaskans living in a state where green space abounds. It might also help explain in part the state’s low death rate from COVID-19, the disease that has killed nearly 612,000 of the almost 36 million U.S. citizens known to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization.

The Alaska death rate of 53.4 per 100,000 since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020 is the third-lowest in the nation, according to the Worldometer tracker. Only Hawaii and Vermont are reported to have lower death rates.

All are states with a lot of readily accessible green space as is Maine, which is fourth-lowest in the nation with a death rate of 67 per 100,000, according to Worldometer.

For comparison sake, the rate in New Jersey – where deaths have been concentrated in the urban areas surrounding New York City (NYC) – has now hit 300 per 100,000. More than half of those deaths have taken place in the half-dozen heavily developed counties nearest the Big Apple.

The city itself has led New York state to a position of the second deadliest state in the nation with a tally of 279.3 of every 100,000 residents dead from COVID-19.

That is more than five times the death rate in Alaska, where COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 391 people. The pandemic has for reasons unclear largely spared the 49th state.

Last Frontier hideout

The state’s overall case fatality rate (CFR)  – the number of people who are known to have had COVID-19 and died – is around 0.5 percent. Nationally, Worldometer puts the U.S. rate at 2 percent.

In New Mexico, which reports an infection rate almost identical to that of Alaska (10,258 infections per 100,000 residents versus 10,260 infections per 100,000 residents), the death rate is near four times higher than in Alaska.

Why Alaska has fared so much better than other states is a phenomenon yet unexplained.  The state’s 17-month death count of 391 COVID-19 victims is lower than the state’s accident death count of 439 for the 12 months of 2017, the last year for which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has complete records.

It is possible the low COVID-19 death race could have something to do with all the open space and good, old-fashioned fresh air in Alaska.

As the Hong Kong researchers noted, “outdoor environments often provide much stronger natural air movement, significantly reducing virus concentrations compared to indoor settings” and “outdoor environments, including large areas of green space, can support safer physical distancing, which reduces infection risks.”

Whatever the case, the researchers said that once they controlled for the many confounding factors – age, obesity, co-morbidities, race, socioeconomic status, access to health care and more – that have been shown to make people more susceptible to COVID-19, they came up with five major correlations between COVID-19 and open space:

  1. As green space increased, infections rates decreased.
  2. Forest had the strongest “negative association with infection rates.”
  3. The connection between green space and reduced infections was greatest in “counties with a moderate level of urbanicity although the association remained significant for all five levels of urbanicity.”
  4. “The association between forest and infection rates became stronger over the five time periods examined, and was strongest for the most recent time period when infection rates were at their highest.”
  5. The associations appeared largely linked to forests within a “moderate walking distance,” generally 12.5 to 17.5 minutes, of where people lived.

The study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, proves nothing. Correlation is not proof of causation no matter how powerful the correlations. But the study suggesting a walk in the woods is good for people does align with others that have shown causative links to activities reducing the risk of COVID-19, such as exercise, or increasing the risk of COVID-19, such as obesity.

“Previous studies have reported that green spaces can promote physical activities, both prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the researchers wrote. “Numerous studies have found that access to green spaces can
reduce the risk of obesity, and individuals with obesity have been found to be more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Lastly, studies have suggested that physical activities in green spaces can enhance general health and immune function, which may promote resistance to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

They went on to hypothesize that forested areas might be especially protective against COVID-10 because of their documented role in removing particulates from the air and some developing evidence that forest environments might boost natural immunity.

Breathing in the good stuff

“Several studies have demonstrated a beneficial effect of forest therapy on
human’s weakened immune function,” they wrote. “These effects might be due to plant-derived phytoncides, which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have been shown to reduce blood pressure, alter autonomic activity, and boost immune function by increasing the concentrations and activity of natural killer (NK) cells, among other
effects.”

Good natural defenses are why an estimated 36 percent of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 never get symptoms. The so-called “asymptomatic” basically get infected without the infection progressing to COVID=19.

Another sizeable segment of the population fights SARS-CoV-2 off well enough that despite developing COVID-19, their symptoms remain mild.

A recent study out of Sweden concluded that up to 62 percent of Swedes could have been protected from COVID-19 by some sort of “pre-immunity” linked to naturally strong immune systems.

The range of severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections is now well-documented as are the increased risks of serious infection based on age and co-morbidities. The value of open-air has also been known for a long time now.

That the seeming protective value of open spaces has increased as the pandemic has worsened, the researchers said, could be tied to two possible
reasons:

Increased testing has done a better job of finding the actual number of infections, or there has been a shift from infections “spread mainly via intimate social gatherings or institutional activities, such as family gatherings, parties of close friends, or school activities” to infections spreading at a broader community level.

The researchers added that a lot more work needs to be done to pin down the apparent link between open space and good health, but in some regards the study reflects what was learned during the last great, global pandemic – the Spanish Flu – almost exactly a century ago.

And that was that fresh air matters.

‘Keep your bedroom windows open!” public health authorities preached then. The flu, they later concluded, was a “crowd disease,” and one of the best ways to avoid it was to avoid crowds. 

The newest study is in line with that old, old finding and comes at a time when another study is adding to the evidence of the aerosol spread of SARS-CoV-2.

A study accepted last week by Clinical Infectious Diseases, a peer-reviewed publication, found that when people infected with SARS-CoV-2 exhaled into a breath collector “fine aerosols constituted 85 percent of the viral load.”

Most masks don’t block fine aerosols, as Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease, Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota told both CNN and PBS last week. Osterholm is one of the country’s most respected authorities on infectious diseases.

His comments were largely ignored by the mainstream media and the CNN video is now almost impossible to find using Google, but the transcript can still be found here: https://transcripts.cnn.com/show/ip/date/2021-08-02/segment/01

In it, Osterholm noted, that “if you’re in the upper Midwest, right now, anybody who’s wearing their face cloth covering can tell you, they can smell all the smoke that we’re still getting.”

The smoke smell is transmitted by fine aerosols going through the mask. SARS-CoV-2 viruses are small and can do the same thing. Osterholm took his comments on masks even further on PBS where he accused public-health officials of doing “a disservice to the public.

“When you actually look at face clothing coverings, those clothing pieces hanging over your face, they actually only have very limited impact on reducing the amount of virus that you inhale or exhale out.

“And, in fact, studies that have been done show that if an individual might get infected within 15 minutes in a room, by time and concentration of the virus in the room, add a face clothing covering (and) you only get about five more minutes of protection.

“I’ve been really disappointed with my colleagues in public health for not being more clear about what masking can or cannot do.”

Osterholm said that if masking is expected to do much, people need to equip themselves with N-95 respirators that block particles down to the size of 0.1 to 0.3 microns. 

His comments come at a time when the discussion of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is shifting from droplets, first believed the chief carrier of the virus, to aerosols.

Droplets, basically human spittle from talking or singing, are generally considered to be five microns or larger. 

“Cloth masks not only effectively block most large droplets (i.e., 20-30 microns and larger), but they can also block the exhalation of fine droplets and particles (also often referred to as aerosols) smaller than 10 microns,” according to the CDC. 

How well various masks block particles smaller than 10 microns is, however, unclear, and a new study conducted by researchers in Singapore, is reporting that it now appears that when people infected with SARS-CoV-2 shed virus into the air 85 percent of the dangerous particles are 5 microns in size or smaller.

“Our study demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 can be aerosolized in the absence of coughing, sneezing, and aerosol-generating medical procedures,” those researchers reported. “More than half of our study participants emitted
detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in respiratory aerosols,” and some emitted as much virus while talking as singing, which has been previously red-flagged as a dangerous activity.

“Our results demonstrate the potential for fine respiratory aerosols to play an important role in community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which is in agreement with other expert views suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 transmission
events are driven by the airborne route and could explain the difficulty in containing the virus,” the researchers concluded.

They recommended continuing universal masking and social distancing while improving room ventilation and adding high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners in indoor environments. They also suggested the use of  “upper-room ultraviolet air disinfection, and the use of fans to control airflow patterns within a space.

“For situations involving talking, determining airflow patterns and minimizing exposure through seating and furniture configurations, distancing, and air movement alteration (such as fans, including desk fans) would be practical options,” they wrote.

Given the difficulty of studying sub-microscopic-size particles, the study, unfortunately, did not break down the size of the most dangerous SARS-CoV-2 aerosols. The virus itself is reported to measure about 0.1 microns, but it is attached to water vapor or dust of some size when exhaled.

Watet vapor particles, a normal part of exhalation, can be under 1 micron, various forms of dust under a half micron, and smoke particles under 0.1 microns.

The Singapore exhalation study did not require participants to breathe through masks, so it is unknown what percentage of small aerosols would have passed through a mask or whether large particles blocked by the mask would have been aerosolized by the force of exhalation.

Osterholm and others have noted that in many places infection rates only went up after universal masking was instituted. A widely ignored study out of the University of Vermont might have explained why that happened.

The study published in the peer-reviewed JMIR Public Health & Surveillance in May reported that as the number of contacts people had with each other went up so did the number of COVID-19 cases whether people were masked or unmasked.

“We found that seeing more children per day does not increase the probability of getting COVID-19,” they wrote, “but having more daily contact with adults and older adults does. We further identified factors that have an increasing effect on the number of daily contacts, such as living in an apartment and wearing a mask.”

The latter two factors, living in an apartment and wearing a mask, might help explain the extraordinarily high infection and death rates in NYC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36 replies »

  1. Nobody trusts anyone else’s facts or opinions on this subject anymore so what’s the point of this or any other discussion?

    • Way, way, way too much truth to that observation, Frank. A lot of scientists can’t even seem to have civil conversations these days, and some of them now appear to believe they can accurately predict the future.

      Sort of like when some scientists predicted “peak oil.” Predicting the future is hard, although I think Anders Tegnell in Sweden made a pretty good prediction (all be it a rather safe one) back at the start of this:

      “It’s a marathon not a sprint.”

  2. Craig, that was a good, in-depth analysis of the various studies out there. Now, would you pursue why the CDC has seemingly purposefully recommending the over-cycling of the PCR tests causing massive false positive rates to occur which then give the moronic legacy media to constantly focus on the “positives”? And would you look into the fact that the COVID-19 virus has never actually been truly “isolated” in the scientific sense of the word? And would you begin to refer to these deaths as “WITH COVID” instead of “FROM COVID”? This disease may be the final “nail-in-the-coffin”, no pun intended, for these victims, or it much more likely just “one of the nails in their coffins”. The fear-mongering of the elderly, the less informed, and minorities by the media is downright criminal. And Dr. Fauci is the criminal #1 for lying to Congress about being involved in Gain-Of-Function research with China. Rand Paul nailed Fauci to the wall with the facts and Fauci crumbled and made a fool of himself.

  3. Steve-O, point taken. But come on, you don’t really think 650,000 people actually died of Covid do you?
    Basically it is someone who actually dies in a car accident within 30 days of testing Covid positive, well, they actually died from the accident and NOT Covid even though they are labeled a Covid death.. which then brings us to the bogus testing..
    If what I say is “stupid shit” then why all the lies, censorship, threats, yadda for the liars to push their narrative? As my good buddy Joesph Stalin Biden used to say “come on man, you’re sounding ‘stupid as shit'”..
    Maybe this will help for clarity.
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/cdc-director-walensky-criticism-updated-guidance-coronavirus-deaths

    • Bryan,

      “Come on man”, we’ve already been over this too! As I said back in November If a person would be alive if it weren’t for covid then their death is covid related…It’s a simple question, if they hadn’t contracted covid would they be alive with all their pre-existing conditions…if the answer is yes then it’s a covid related death.

      From the CDC site, that once upon a time you linked to:
      Cause of Death and COVID-19
      When COVID-19 is reported as a cause of death on the death certificate, it is coded and counted as a death due to COVID-19. COVID-19 should not be reported on the death certificate if it did not cause or contribute to the death. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/covid-19.htm.

      Just out of curiosity, how do you explain all of the excess deaths over the last year and a half or so? Do you acknowledge that we had record numbers of excess deaths or do you think that those numbers are all lies too?

      As far as why all the lies, censorship, threats, yadda for the liars to push their narrative…because that’s what people do to try and prove their point or garner attention, fame, and/or power. This is nothing new for mankind, sadly our history is full of people lying, censoring, and threatening others. Even sadder is that so many of us have yet to learn from history.

      • Thanks for proving the last sentence of my previous post. A thoroughly debunked claim from an article from December of last year before the excess deaths report was published…I take it from that you believe the record number of excess deaths are all lies.

        In April Fox news had a different take on it than you do. “NEW YORK – New U.S. government data show the country saw around 600,000 more deaths than usual during a 13-month span.
        COVID-19 was blamed for most of those deaths.” In what both you and Steve S might find an interesting bit of information the article toes on to say “This week CDC released provisional data through the end of September 2020 that suggested drug overdose deaths for the year were far exceeding tallies seen in any previous year. The CDC said more than 87,000 deaths were reported over a 12-month period.” https://www.foxnews.com/health/covid-19-blamed-large-increase-us-deaths But then if they are lying about covid deaths, they are probably lying about drug overdose deaths too, right?

      • Steve-O, you can keep the rosey glasses on and believe all those deaths were due to Covid and that no chenaigans were going on. I mean, we are talking about trillions of dollars up for grabs right? What was the cost again to treat a flu patient compared to a “Covid” patient?
        Oh, that is right, the flu disappeared. Silly me. I agree with a lot of what you say generally, but forgive me if I question the legitimacy of the CDC, Fauci, politicians, the media, or Federal gov..

      • Bryan,

        We both know there’s a lot of nonsense floating around out there, but to say that the deaths of well over half a million Americans is somehow wearing rose colored glasses is a completely absurd misuse of the idiom.

        I’m right there with you when it comes to questioning the CDC, Fauci, politicians, the media, or Federal gov. However the CDC death statistics are thoroughly researched and vetted, they are methodical and consistent in their approach, they are clear, transparent, and open with how they count and record covid (and other) deaths. Once again from the CDC “When COVID-19 is reported as a cause of death on the death certificate, it is coded and counted as a death due to COVID-19. COVID-19 should not be reported on the death certificate if it did not cause or contribute to the death.”

        It’s one thing to question, but it’s quite another to stick your head in the sand and ignore the patently obvious. The CDC, and virtually all levels of government have mishandled this pandemic from the get go. Pretending it’s all a hoax or a conspiracy of heretofore unknown and unfathomable size and scope takes an amazing amount of faith in the abilities of people who have demonstrated repeatedly they do not possess even a fraction of the ability to pull off something on this scale.

      • Steve o , your logic fails the test . You confidently say over over half a million deaths yet in same thread you acknowledge the same parties are untrustworthy under many circumstances. Why would you trust their analysis if they are consistently fallible? The largest logic fallacy is accepting those 600 k deaths as correctly classified when is same paragraph you qoate cdc as saying death by covid should not be on death certificate if covid did not cause or contribute to death. ( contribute is a huge defining factor that confuses the issue and could / does include comorbidities – obese – other injuries or fatal illness.) after an inevitable heart attack would it also be justified to say death by long term heart disease when you had covid? Which one comes first? Or a car wreck. Man with covid dies in car wreck- how to classify. What if he had not been in a wreck and would have shook off covid the next day ? You are blinding yourself to the fact that the number of deaths specifically by covid is a factually unknown variable. It could be more it could be less . We can guess and say it’s about 600k but it’s factually just a guess. Brians right. Money influences classification. Human nature to take advantage of opertunity when its hard to tell anyway. Guessing is good enough for some people but it’s really hard to develop quality science and a successful plan when variables are not analyzed carefully enough. If you are right and cdc said what you said it said ,this opens the door for inaccuracies. Or over classification of covid. That’s discounting the fact cdc has proven fairly untrustworthy and might have even screwed up their counts like they just did in Florida x 2.5 . Aprx . We do get your drift though. People died of covid. To bad the cdc does such a poor job or more people would trust cdc statements. Wallensky is such a dramatic emotional doctor she looses credibility for cdc . She plays on emotion versus hard data . In short maybe less than 600 k and maybe way more deaths . There were so many inaccurate tests that we really know little worth arguing about. Does the cdc and associates have the ability to pull the wool over citizens eyes ? History would suggest so . Even moderately incompetent organizations can distort the truth snd confuse the masses . As has been historically factually proven by our government in general throughout history , cia, fbi ect ect . You know their acts . Its fallacy to say cdc or government is to incompetent to pull a distortion of truth off . It just takes a few lies , exaggeration and fear .The press plays on that fear for money. Fear sells . Fear will usually do the trick. Or just plain obsufucation . Very cheap to lie and cherry pick data . I know i am not going to convince you to change your mind as you have fully set yourself into stone on opinion. Was their collusion between the parties? Yes according to various paperwork/ emails. Does it matter if it was collusion? Not really as the result was the same . Lack of accuracy, lack of clarity, poor execution and response . Loss of liberty for marginal medical gains . Rarely is the most expedient option the best long term option. Be honest. Fix it thoroughly, do as little harm as possible and don’t destroy your honor and reputation with lies . ( cdc / fauci / press / ect ) not you . I know you think you are doing right by yourself.

      • DPR,

        Thank you for your comment. I can assure you that I am open to changing my mind given a sound argument, however you have yet to put forth any information that could be construed as such. When you can bring anything closely resembling the statistical information put forth by the CDC I am more than willing to hear you out. Until then your insults, emotional pleas, and ignorance based information do not sway me in the least.

        If you cannot accept that the excess death total was and is through the roof, that covid deaths are real, and that covid is a pandemic based upon all of the information available to you then I don’t know what to tell you…other than do some research. Do you think it’s all fake or is some of it real and based in truth? If some of it is based in truth what amount? What number of the excess deaths do you accept as being caused by covid 5%, 50%, 75%? Look into the methodology of how deaths are recorded and calculated, it’s very informative and will help you understand how the totals are where they are. Fauci and Walensky aren’t the CDC, they don’t pour over the death certificates and tabulate the final numbers, that’s just not how it works.

        You, I assume, are completely against communism. Communism is, and always will be, a failure for many reasons but chiefly among those reasons is because politically appointed government bureaucrats are involved and generally speaking those who do the bidding of those in charge find their way to the top of the bureaucratic food chain. Currently our system of government isn’t that far off in how it functions from all of the failed communist states that have ever existed. Certainly we can agree that even in some of the worst communist states there were some government employees who were able to do their job and add 1+1 or 2+2, or even drill the deepest hole into the mantle of the earth that was ever drilled, or launch the first satellite into space, or even the first living being (which happened to be a dog) into space But denying the patently obvious only helps their side, confronting the opposition with their own data on the other hand…well that’s a whole new ballgame now isn’t it!

        Covid is real, people are dying from it, the vaccines are preventing people from dying from covid. The sooner we can all understand these truths the sooner we can move on from this pandemic…maybe some of you don’t want to move on?

      • Steve o , you are making up the idea anyone insulted you . You Made up the idea of emotional pleas. Yah made it up – get it . You introduced a red herring in this discussion. A distraction from the discussion.
        As to your idea thst walensky is not the cdc – well she probably has a different opinion. Shes the director of the CDC . She makes policy and through the CDC has garnered enormous power. As its primary leader. She has the power to try and put Bans on evictions among a multitude of other health related decisions or currently evidently social decisions. Yah she isn’t responsible for all their mistakes but the buck stops with her as its leader . Shes the boss – period. Shes the cdc ruler ,decision maker and overseer . Ignore that information like you ignore most. Like i said your opinion is in stone regardless of facts others present and i don’t expect you to change . Thats not an insult its just an observation. As to the other red herring about whether I dislike socialism? Or am against it ? Whats it matter? Do you even know what pure socialism is ? You assume im against it . Why stick your neck out and assume? Get this – im not against socialism in its pure primitive form. So you are wrong again. Or the other red herrings- do I believe in covid deaths? Whats it matter? What I believe? They either happen or they dont regardless of my belief. Its a mute question. A red herring to the discussion unless your plan is to attack people personally. Yep I believe 100% in covid deaths. Surprise! My own sister was at deaths door from it . Per the doctor. I got the call to discuss last moments as she was unconscious, brain seizing multiple organ failures. then damned if they didn’t get an out of state specialist by luck a doctor who understood cyclotine storms / immune response. This was at beginning of pandemic,He gave her a one in a million treatment to supress the response ( I think he said it was actually one in three million treatment for similar disorders) then he separated her blood to take out what was attacking her cells and damned if she didn’t get off the ventilator in a week and walk out of there . When I brought her in she was at deaths door. So quit your assumptions and work harder to understand what’s being said . Stop assuming. Start learning. Thats not an attack. Its a simple suggestion. Gain from it not . As you wish. As to base pretense which you side tracked us from – im still not convinced the cdc is accurate in its counts . Up or down. It’s unknown because they are unscientific in data collection.

      • DPR,

        Take your obvious disdain for me out of the equation, then take your obvious emotional state out of the equation, then take yourself completely out of the equation and reread what was written by myself and the commentator known as Dread Pirate Roberts and try really hard to view it like you are an impartial person. A couple points to remember nowhere did Steve-O mention socialism, nowhere did the commentator known as Dread Pirate Roberts bring any facts to try and change Steve-O’s opinion, nowhere did Steve-O introduce a red herring. If the commentator known as Dread Pirate Roberts finds him/herself distracted and unable to follow the conversation between Bryan and Steve-O that’s not because of a non-existent red herring.

        And thanks once again for the reminder.

    • Steve o , you are correct, i made a minor mistake,you mentioned communism. Not socialism. Basically same point with it . In its primitive form im not against it . Politicly i am . Substandard intellectuals like marx and others corrupted it . As to disdain for anyone especially as regards you , you are distinctly incorrect. Wrong again on your assumption. You should look up a red herring and try to understand what was meant . I will do you a favor and tell you an african story. There was a bird who forgot to migrate at the appropriate time and was caught in a cold snap . He flew into a barn freezing to death where a cow pooped on him which kept him warm and alive all night. He woke up happy to have survived only to find himself being dug out by a fox and eaten . The moral is – not everyone who shits on you is your enemy or dislikes you and not everyone takes shit off you is your Freind. That applies from me to you . I actually like you . Doesn’t mean im nice or have the same opinions 😉

      • DPR,

        While we are waxing poetic about shitting on each other, I might as well come clean. I’ve been trying to gently coax you along to help you see how you can sometimes come across as a condescending, self righteous, know it all asshat. Now, I’m not saying that you are any of these things but there are times when you exhibit behaviors that fit into some of theses categories…I know because I’ve been told I have the same tendencies so I pay particular attention to try and not be a condescending, self righteous, know it all asshat. I’m not attacking you personally or insulting you at all by saying that you are a condescending, self righteous, know it all asshat since that’s what you are…but do you see how me saying that you are a condescending, self righteous, know it all asshat could be construed as a personal attack or an insult?

        If you do see how me repeatedly saying that you are a condescending, self righteous, know it all asshat could be construed as a personal attack or an insult then maybe you can think about how you correspond with myself and others in the future, if somehow you cannot see that then please reread this post until you do.

        I don’t post here to make friends, I post here to discuss ideas. Personal attacks and insults distract from the discussion. I can attack and insult with the best of them, but that’s not my interest here. Please try and refrain from personal attacks and insults regarding myself and others in the future. In other words stop shitting on others, whether they be friends or enemies.

      • Steve o,
        If im factually an asshat ect , then to call me such is not a personal attack, its just a descriptor of information. Now if it’s inaccurate slander and used to distract or damage someones ideas then its just a personal attack that enters into logical fallacy appeals.
        Personally I think you confuse difference in opinion or people who operate from a different angle of fact as a personal attack.Obviously just my opinion. When I point out your inaccurate statements you feel attacked.
        Ive been pretty gentle in my discussions. It’s been pretty rare i call names or utilize personality of a commenter as a reason not to give recognition to their idea or statement. I Have rarely if ever directly called anyone bad names on this platform. Except perhaps when im just being completely silly.
        Contemplate those ideas . Untill then i will wear my brown asshat with pride . Ive always loved hats ! Now i have one !

      • DPR,

        For the record, I’m not the first nor the only person to call you out for the way you comment to those you disagree with. You are however the only person I repeatedly point out for insulting and attacking those you disagree with. Other people manage to comment and disagree with me and my opinions but do not resort to personal attacks and insults the way you do. I do not feel attacked when you point out a difference of opinion, I feel attacked and insulted when you attack and insult. The reason I repeatedly point it out is because you have and can make your point without resorting to personal attacks and insults, but for some reason you choose not to. Maybe you do not realize you are doing so, just try and read your comments as if they were written by someone else and you will see it clear as day.

      • Steve o, i beg to disagree as to you receiving personal attacks from me . for scientific interest, where are you specifically attacked? Point me to the specific instance and words . Perhaps i can understand. Apparently im to blind to see them as personal attacks . Insult is a much broader word. Darn near anything can be taken as an insult if a person chooses to . Whether a person is insulted or construes a statement or occurrence as an insult is mostly up to them . Imo you take comments that defy your personal belief as a personal attack or insult. Especially if its pointed out in a public forum. You don’t like being wrong. Or even defied or confronted with a different set of opinions. Imo you have side tracked the discussion of covid into a personal analysis that could be construed as a personal attack. ( he always attacks me and other’s and is such an asshat ) thats ok . Let’s assume its not a personal attack. Yet I would prefer to discuss more worldly issues at hand . As it bores me . Do say ?

      • DPR,

        It’s not me, it’s you. You have a long history of trying to make “it” about me, but once again it’s not about me at all.

        Go read the vast majority of your response to me and/or anyone you disagree with, if you can’t see it read your response to those you agree with and pay attention to the differences. You resort to personal attacks and insults when you cannot make your point. Good luck on your endeavor of introspection.

      • Steve o , yawwn-
        Ya are putting me to sleep man .
        I will try to remember you are thin skinned if thats what you are getting at . Insecure comes to mind ( but don’t take insult!) do i hear eggshells around here ? Maybe be specific when it occurs and I will attempt to avoid it if I choose. Americans are becoming so sensitive. He called me such and such – hes a bad man . Nowdays , Everything is a personal attack or insult. Did you never work with cowboys or pioneers ? Or grown older men in general?
        Seems taking insult is for children and adolescents. Why carry that into adulthood? That’s almost like CRT.
        Separately-My Freind stuck up for me once . A man told him Dread Pirate Roberts stinks ! My friend loyaly and defensively replied in a loud angry voice -“like shit he does”!
        A great poet Robert service once said “when neither loving Freind nor foe can hurt you” you become a man and the world and everything in it is yours .
        That said – i have no interest in hurting your feelings.
        G day mate –

      • DPR,

        I just love when people prove my point for me, and you’ve done it in spades!

        It has nothing to do with thin skin, insecurity, eggshells or any other such nonsense. It has to do with being a pleasant person to converse with, something you’ve failed at more often than not. Once again your personal attacks and insults have done as you intended, they took the heat off of your inability to have an actual rational well informed conversation.

      • Steve o
        A pleasant person to converse with? Yes i will put down my sword and Pirate hat -you can serve tea on a doily. Shiver me timbers I think I joined the wrong vessel!
        Yeh your point was prooved like George Bushes “mission accomplished!”

  4. Many years ago, I read that those families that lived in “dead end” valleys in Europe avoided dying from the plague, while inhabitants of valleys used for travel suffered a similar death rate as large cities…..

  5. Carrying capacity of large cities has been reached,eh? Ha. Always felt most tragic thing happening in this country was and is loss of rural lifestyle.

  6. Of course fresh air, open spaces & excercise are good for your health. That is why the lockdown mandates, masks & closing of gyms was exactly the wrong path to take. Our country’s health organizations have failed us miserably as evidenced by a Covid death rate of almost 600 deaths per million in the USA compared to India’s of less than !00. Where we had people lockdown & wait for a vaccine of arguably questionable efficacy, India largely relied on natural herd immunity & early treatment of symptomatic cases with cheap drug therapies which resulted in perhaps more cases, but less fatalities per million people then the USA, UK & much of Western Europe. The CDC, NIH & power hungry Governors have blood on their hands!

  7. Remember the Opioid crisis before the “plandemic” arrived?
    Well, I highly recommend the documentary “Crime of the Century” on HBO.
    Opioid deaths are up nearly 20 % since the media switched ALL it’s attention to the Wuhan flu.
    Big Pharma continues to pump out billions of pills (many of which come direct from China).
    See a pattern here? China unloads drugs like Fentanyl on America while the medical “authority” continue to write the scripts getting millions of new Americans addicted year after year.
    Don’t worry, just “trust the science”….I see many parallels b/w the covid hysteria & the lack of addressing the underlying mental health & addiction crisis affecting the population in society today.

    • These same people and doctors telling you to get the vaccine are the same people who told us opiods were non-addictive and then over-prescribed them to millions of people

      • Exactly!
        In the 90’s it seemed like all of my patients over 65 were on Vioxx for arthritis…then they discover this “wonder drug” is causing millions of people to get cardio vascular disease.
        Big Pharma always needs a new reason to drum up support for some new treatment scheme because their past looks like an active dumpster fire.
        The Opioid crisis hasn’t disappeared even though it lost media spotlight…the research actually tells me that it is getting worse by the minute with lockdowns & mandates causing more stress & poor mental health which leads to more drug abuse in America.
        The Washington Post reports that 76 BILLION prescription pain pills from the country’s biggest pharmaceutical companies poured into the US from 2006 through 2012.

  8. The benefits of masking study Osterholm refers to is a good one. You should include the link. The room with 15 minute limit on “allowable” exposure time is an extreme situation-worst case perhaps. Even then
    Osterholm is saying a mask will increase your “safety”
    by 33%. But in reality Osterholm is saying a mask will
    increase your safety more than 33% because if you are
    in the “danger zone” for 15 minutes or less.

  9. “Come on man”…. we know that 612,000 people did NOT die from Covid. Yes, 612,000 people may have died with an average age of 80 years old. Older than the average life expectancy. We also know most of them died of other underlying health issues instead of “Covid”.. We also know from the CDC that their testing was flawed and produced bogus results. I have seen 19,000 thrown out there of the actually number of deaths from Covid. Like most viruses,, the mutations/”Delta variant” are generally more contagious, but LESS LETHAL. The common cold if you will. Once again we hear “hospitals are filling up”.. just like we saw out of Kentucky this week, more of the same lies.. We have also seen the Biden Admin flooding Covid infected illegals into Florida and Texas and then blame the govenors for high Covid numbers. Again, more of the same lies from the usual sources..

    • Mr. Medred, Great compilation of important information! 5 microns might be the issue . Makes me wonder if masks are breaking up the droplets into smaller more dangerous particles via the forced substandard filtration of a mask both inhaling and exhaled . Makes me wonder if substandard masks might add to the problem beyond just their improper technique of the individual wearer and germ swab effect. Are they holding and then pushing through smaller particles that hang longer in the air traveling further? Thanks for information regarding forests.

    • Bryan,

      “Come on man”, we’ve been over this many times…if the person would have lived if it weren’t for covid, then covid caused their death. Saying that you’ve seen somewhere that someone said something about how many people “actually” died from covid isn’t really all that informative, to paraphrase what Craig said the other day…lots of people say lots of stupid shit.

      • Bryan, your comment is assuming that those people wouldn’t have died if they didn’t have COVID. About 3 million people a year due in this country each year. According to the CDC 3.3 million people died this year. This fluctuates from year to year.

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