week ending 2022-05-05 General

Mitigation Measures

This site has links to a boatload of studies on masking. 21 of 24 studies found masks to be effective; one was inconclusive and one found that masks were not effective. Ten of the studies date from Dec 2021 or more recently.


There were three studies I found last week which correlate Long COVID with stuff in the gut:

  • This preprint found that most of the people with Long COVID had SARS-CoV-2 RNA in their gut, up to 7 months afterwards. While they didn’t find COVID RNA in the gut of all of the Long COVID patients, they didn’t find COVID RNA in the gut of any of the non-Long COVID patients.
  • This preprint from Turkey and found that the gut flora was very different in kids with MIS-C than healthy controls. That suggests that microbiota treatment might help MIS-C (and maybe also Long COVID).
  • This preprint from the USA found changes in gut flora in both mice and COVID-19 patients.


This article says that Paxlovid leaves a truly awful taste in your mouth. (Note: it’s still better than being on a ventilator!)


This article reports that in the USA, it’s no longer the unvaccinated who are dying: it’s old people who didn’t get boosted. (The unvaxxed still die at higher rates, there’s just a lot fewer of them now.)

This paper suggests another benefit to masking: inoculation (or, more precisely, variolation).  The idea is that masks reduce the amount of virus you get, sometimes to a level that you can fight off which still priming the immune system.

This preprint says that they found antibodies in vaccinated adults’ masks, and in children of vaccinated adults. They theorize that aerosol transmission of antibodies might be happening. 😲


I try not to mention variants until it’s clear that they are an actual problem instead of a theoretical problem. I didn’t mention Lambda, Eta, and Mu for that reason.

Well, BA.4 and BA.5 are firmly in the “problem” camp by now. Rates in South Africa are spiking.


BA.4/5 is starting to trickle into other countries; this preprint says that BA.4/BA.5 grow about 8% and 12% faster than BA.2.

This preprint says that although most of the monoclonal antibodies which work against BA.2 work against BA.4/BA.5, cilgavimab (which is one of the components of Paxlovid) doesn’t work very well against BA.4/BA.5. This preprint, however, says that cilgavimab is still effective against BA.4/BA.5, so who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.


Bummer. This article reports that Paxlovid failed to show that it worked as a prophylactic. Patients in the Paxlovid arm of the study did get sick less, but it was not statistically significant.


This study analyzed the blood from kids with MIS-C, kids with ARDS, and healthy kids. They found 85 proteins specific to MIS-C and 52 specific to ARDS, which should help in understanding (and later, treating) the conditions.

You probably think COVID-19 symptoms are associated with breathing. I’ve been seeing things (including this article) which says that Omicron frequently has gastrointestinal symptoms. So if you’ve got diarrhea or vomiting, that might be COVID-19 and not food poisoning.

Recommended Reading

This article talks about the progress developing a pan-coronavirus vaccine. (It mentions ten different programs.)

COVID-19 is not the flu. However, this article has some interesting things to say about how COVID-19 is becoming more flu-like: less overdispersed, easier to treat, more predictable.