A Way Out?

I spend my days studying the market, studying the economy, studying the virus, and being present to those whom I love. I’ve lost complete interest in politics. Politics is nothing about reality and it’s all about dueling narratives, none of which have any relationship to reality. Since there is no viable information in the narratives, it’s a waste of time at least and mind clouding beyond that to engage the narrative.

I came across an idea for the virus which actually would work. The bodies response to the virus is nothing like measles. In measles the body creates antibody immunity for life. COVID if it creates antibody immunity at all creates antibodies which wash out in a time frame measured months, not lifetimes. A vaccine to the immune system is merely a competing infection in terms of how the body responds and if the response is not long lasting the vaccine is not protective.

It looks like T cell immunity is the real arm of the immunologic system that successfully combats the virus. That would go along with why old people and compromised people tend to succumb. Over age 30 T cell immunity declines. So that’s the dilemma. B cell immunity is only partially effective for a short time, and T cell immunity is declining due to the biology of the human condition, and yet the virus is nothing if not relentless, because it’s driven by the Gibbs free energy equation, which is a state function. State functions only care about the beginning and ending states. The beginning state of ice melting is solid water. The end state is liquid water. The process of melting is agnostic to the path from solid to liquid. If the conditions for melting exist, melting will occur until melting is completed and the second state, the state of liquidity is achieved.

The virus, not impeded by a competing vaccination, will simply progress until it’s fractal is fully embedded into humanity. We have been focusing on “testing”. PCR testing is what we have focused on. It’s a poor test. It’s sensitive but takes way too long for a result. It’s like having really slow radar. The reflected signal finally reaches you 1 week after the plane crashed and that beep cost you $200. There is a concept in fighter jet dog fighting called the OODA loop attributed to Col John Boyd. OODA stands for Orient, Observe, Decide, Act. When you are in a dog fight you are strictly limited by the physics of your plane, compared to the physics of your opponents plane. If your plane has crappy physics you’re dead no matter how good a pilot you are. If your opponent’s plane has crappy physics, he’s dead. So it’s the physics of the plane and the ability of the pilot to use the physics of his plane to Orient, Observe, Decide and Act before your opponent OODA’s on you. PCA is not on the map when it comes to observing deciding and acting, so why bother? $200 and a sense of “doing something” no matter how ineffective is why.

The next is antibody tests. Antibody tests tell you that you had the virus and your body responded or maybe not, since antibody immunity seems a weak response to infection. Also expensive to perform the amount of information contained is pretty close to zero when it comes to OODA loop decisions.

The third test is a cheap $1 antigen test. It is a test that is printed on a piece of paper and is developed much like a pregnancy test. A little spit, wait 10 minutes, get a result. 10 minutes puts you inside the OODA loop, capable of making a real time decision. The decision is if positive self quarantine, if negative proceed with your life. The test is not as sensitive as PCA but it’s data point exists inside OODA. COVID it turns out is not extremely deadly. It is MORE deadly than flu but not as deadly as MERS or Ebola for example. It’s feature is it’s extremely infective. So you can get shot with a single .44 magnum, extremely deadly or you can get shot by a .22 caliber machine gun also extremely deadly. The machine gun just takes more bullets to do the trick of a single .44. By self quarantining you put the machine gun out of business, and by self quarantining you allow society to continue. Yes you have the disease, but once infected you have the disease 100% regardless.

The antigen test though not as sensitive may be sensitive enough to make a difference in the course of the illness. If PCA can detect a 10K viral load one week ago, the antigen may detect a 100K viral load in ten minutes. The time to go from 10K to 100K may be 5 hours so an antiviral treatment can be initiated very early in the course of the disease before the systemic damage s done. I’ve studied hydroxychloraquine and zinc for example and jf given early is does have a significant effect on survival. Late treatment is not effective, so once again acting within the OODA loop is significant to the outcome.

Antigen testing could as well allow a safer school experience. Testing can be performed daily and a judgement made on suitability for attendance. If attendance is denied the child would then be identified and treated according to best practice.

Would it be expensive? Why yes. 50.1M unemployed is quite expensive. Would it require buy-in from the citizens? Why yes, we would have to start acting as a county again instead of like a bunch of 5 year olds. Eventually the driving force will be satisfied and state 2, herd immunity, will be achieved with a minimum of damage. Oh by the way social distancing doesn’t work very well as a solution. It’s just the illusion of a solution. Hong Kong perhaps the most aggressive social distancer of them all now has out of control viral growth and people are exiting the country in droves.

Did you hear the latest? United posted a 1.6B loss. Stick that in your QQQ Robinhoodie V shaped recovery pipe and smoke it. Better yet think about OODA loops with respect to narratives. OODA matters in portfolios as well.

4 Replies to “A Way Out?”

  1. How are you concluding “herd immunity” in last paragraph, while also stating “immunity lasts only months” in the first?

    1. From yesterday: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-20/hong-kong-did-not-see-this-virus-wave-coming-and-it-s-not-ready. It’s interesting to note the old are now being infected whereas the young were the previous targets in HK. The old have a lower T-cell level of immunity

      T-cells eventually do confer immunity on those that survive but it’s not the classic B cell kind of immunity you learned in bio class, as the virus embeds itself into humanity. Social distancing and the old “hammer and dance” confers nothing but a rate of change difference. In other words it slows the burn but does not put out the fire. The fire will smolder until the free energy to embed is satisfied and turns from negative to positive. This is why Hong Kong has reignited. The potential for spread still exists. The other thing not mentioned is the morbidity of the disease. It may not be super deadly but it has a pretty high degree of morbidity causing necrosis in many different organs. The Hong Kong data from spring showed a 25% morbidity in various organ systems for infection survivors. Here is the latest on heart death with cell necrosis based on T-cell cytokines https://www.studyfinds.org/covid-19-patient-autopsies-reveal-unique-pattern-cell-death-in-hearts/. So you may get immunity only to get cell necrosis based on cytokines. Necrosis is seen in other organs as well like lung liver kidney spleen, brain and gut. It is unclear how deep morbidity goes but the key to being able to do anything in the face of no effective vaccine is going top be to intervene early before the cytokines happen. This means a 10 minute test early in the ramp up in the viral load. I read another article on the D614G mutation which stabilizes the S protein and makes the virus even more infective than the older mutations. The virus in FL is about 40% D614G when measured last month probably a higher % today. If we don’t correctly frame the problem and understand the dynamics of the disease, the virus will eat our lunch. The V will be removed from recoVery and WWWW will be substituted. Remember the virus has no hands and no legs and no will. It’s spread is entirely dependent on human behavior.

  2. Your HK example does not make sense as well. Infection rate in HK is one of the lowest in the developed world, on par with New Zealand.

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