2024-03-01 General


This paper from USA (2024-02-07) found that vapes with propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin — with or without nicotine — increased the risk of COVID-19. However, vapes with benzoic acid added didn’t give any higher risk than not vaping.

This preprint from China (2024-02-23) found SARS-CoV-2 virus in fluid in the middle ear. (Fluid in the middle ear is not uncommon with respiratory diseases.) This is yet another place they have found SARS-CoV-2!


This paper from UK (2024-02-29) looked at a huge number of participants that they run through a bunch of detailed cognitive tests. They divided the participants into three groups: never-COVID, COVID (but not Long COVID), and Long COVID. Unsurprisingly, they found that the Long COVID group did the worst. In some areas, the difference between the COVID (but not Long COVID) group and the never-COVID group were not that different, but usually the COVID-only group did worse than the never-COVID group.

The biggest differences were in memory tasks, reasoning tasks, and executive tasks.

Note that this survey was voluntary, so the data will not reflect people who were too sick to participate.

They also found that people who had gotten infected with COVID Classic or the Alpha strain did worse than people who got infected later, and people who had been hospitalized did worse than people who had not.

This Correspondence from Norway (2024-02-29) found that, in a very large survey, people who had had COVID-19 infections had worse memory functions than those who did not. Not only that, it got worse over time.

Note that, as above, this survey was voluntary, so the data will not reflect people who were too sick to participate.

This article from USA (2024-02-14) found that people who had COVID-19 were 68% more likely to have fatigue and 4.3 times as likely to have chronic fatigue.

This paper from USA (2024-02-12) found that two-thirds of children who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 had new or persistent symptoms at follow-up (an average of 43 months post-discharge).

COVID-Related Excess Sickness and Death

Under the heading of “is there anything that COVID doesn’t harm?”, this paper from USA (2024-02-22) found that COVID-19 caused bone loss in mice.

This paper from USA (2024-03-01) found that veterans who had documented COVID-19 were 50% more likely than those who had not to say they could do less than what they felt they could do at the beginning of 2020. On the other hand, the two groups didn’t differ when it came to describing specific losses: both group reported losses. (Me, I wonder how much of that had to do with an older population just getting four years older.)


This report from USA found that the XBB.1.5 monovalent vaccine worked pretty well against what was circulating September 2023–January 2024. Compared to not getting a XBB.1.5 booster, the vaccine effectiveness for adults was:

AgainstDays after doseVE
ER/Urgent Care visit7–5951%
ER/Urgent Care visit60–11939%
hospitalization42 (median)52%
hospitalization47 (median)43%

This paper from Denmark (2024-02-26) found that the XBB.1.5 vaccines were safe. There weren’t any increased risks of any of the 28 adverse effects they looked for.

This poll found that 17% of Canadian parents now are against vaccinating their kids, up 4x from pre-pandemic. Canadian parents have also dropped their support for mandatory school vaccinations from 70% in prepandemic to 55% now.


This paper from Poland (2024-02-28) found that patients who had been treated with anti-platelet medications (aspirin or clopidogrel/ticagrelor/prasugrel) before they were hospitalized with COVID-19 did better than matched controls who were not, despite the anti-platelet groups having worse cardiovascular health. (I think that they happened to be receiving it for other things, not that they were prescribed it specifically as an anti-COVID-19 measure.) They did have more strokes, but as I mentioned, they had crummier cardiovascular systems to start with. The percentage of each cohort with various outcomes was as follows:

3-month mortality31%39%

The effect was even more pronounced for people who had had one (or more) of several significant cardiovascular events — heart attack, stroke, coronary revascularization (intervention to open up the arteries or veins, like angioplasty), or peripheral artery disease:

3-month mortality37%56%
6-month mortality42%57%

Stopping antiplatelet medication when the patient went into the hospital was a really bad idea. From the group above that had significant cardiovascular events, this

In-hospital mortality19%43%
3-month mortality30%54%
6-month mortality33%54%

This makes me wonder if aspirin would reduce COVID-19 harms for all people, not just people with cardiovascular issues.

This paper from USA (2024-02-27) found that the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 is 78% lower in those who have gotten three doses of vax and Paxlovid than those who were unvaccinated and didn’t get Paxlovid. (Unvaccinated with Paxlovid had a 53% lower risk than unvaccinated without.)

This paper from Hong Kong (2024-02-26) found that there was about a 5x higher risk of mortality during the acute phase of COVID-19 infections for unvaccinated patients as for people who had gotten complete vax plus a booster.

Mental Health

This paper from USA (2024-02-26) found that anti-depressant prescriptions went up by 129.6% after March 2020 for girls aged 12-17, and by 56.5% for young women aged 18-25.