This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
Follow The Science!
Sam Pearson 7/28/2021 5:03 AM
"Follow the science." I laugh when I hear that comment being made. I have been a member of the American Chemical Society since 1978. Great bunch of chemists who worked hard in high school and college to obtain arguably the most challenging diploma at most universities.
They typically go one of two routes: One into business to create and build a career developing products that the world needs. The other route is to go into government to "watch" after those who are creating what the world needs.
Over these 43 years I have been witness to the two groups move apart based on who funds their research. Industry funds research which can make the organization money by selling a product that the world needs. It is pursued in the direction that science principles dictate.
Government research is very different, the outcome is dictated by those who control the purse strings. Those who control the purse strings dictate what the outcome of the research will be and the funding goes to those scientist who can find the outcome desired by those who control the purse strings.
An example is from the 1970s, the Carter administration employed scientists and they went on a crusade against coconut oil and butter used in theaters and fast-food restaurants. In fact, they pushed for the more heart friendly partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, (margarine). Then everyone started dying from heart disease. and by the 1990s coconut oil could only be purchased as a hair product.
The truth is, there never was any good evidence that using margarine instead of butter cut the chances of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. Making the switch was a well-intentioned guess, given that margarine had less saturated fat than butter, but it overlooked the dangers of . Believe me, I tried it back then. But now, suddenly, everyone talks about both butter and coconut oils health benefits.
Today we have the same two groups discussing the Delta Variant of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The symptoms of the Delta variant are different than SARS-CoV-2;
According to the CDC, the coronavirus has a wide range of symptoms:
The Delta variant of the virus – the version that accounts for as much as 80% of new cases in the U.S. – seems to present slightly different symptoms, according to researchers.
“There have been reports of symptoms that are different than those associated with the original coronavirus strain,” said Dr. Inci Yildirim, a Yale Medicine pediatric infectious disease specialist and vaccinologist. “It seems like cough and loss of smell are less common. And headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever are present based on the most recent surveys in the U.K., where more than 90% of the cases are due to the Delta strain.”
Vaccinated people are typically asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms if they contact the Delta variant. Many of those people report symptoms more like a common cold, such as cough, fever or headache with a loss of smell. Ah, similar to a common cold or more specifically the common summer cold.
After careful analysis from CDC data over the last 7 years, I can confidently say that the Alpha variant of COVID was the annual winter cold (rhinovirus) and the DELTA variant of COVID is the annual summer cold (Enterovirus).
The reason that I believe this is the impact of the virus on kids and young people. A recent study from the In the United Kingdom, studies showed that children and adults under 50 were 2.5 times more likely to become infected.
People may be more likely to end up in the hospital if they have the delta variant just as is true of the difference between winter and summer colds. Studies suggest it might have almost double the risk of hospitalization than the alpha (winter cold) variant.
Data from the Zoe COVID Symptom Study, an app that allows people to track symptoms, shows COVID-19 symptoms in the United Kingdom may be changing as the delta variant spreads.
Top Delta symptoms are the same as the annual summer cold (Enterovirus) and include:
So, we have the issue of the Delta Variant and depending on who is performing analysis of the data. There is disagreement on what COVID variants mean and it is not uncommon to force conclusions from data.
I work with PhD candidates to understand how to use statistics (mostly regression) to analyze data. The average person thinks a professor gets paid by the school for teaching class.
That's not true. Many of them get paid by the government for research and projects, and the university takes a 60% kickback for "overhead".
Therefore, by definition, only professors that research government approved studies, or report government approved results, have a career.
That is the fact of our teachers today, they're all beholden to politics.
Follow the science? Better check who signs those the paychecks first.
Sam Pearson is a retired Army Colonel with a variety of experience in both government and private sectors. As arguably one of the World's foremost military logisticians, he has been responsible for the on time delivery of supplies and services worth billions of dollars. After service in Southwest Asia, he was hand picked to support logistics operations in support of earthquake relief operations in Haiti. Pearson now serves as a consultant and volunteer mentor for students seeking their doctorates in advance statistical analysis.
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