News for week of 2023-02-20

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.


  • Comments (28)

    • 1

      Trust Big Pharma:

      I know sometimes people don’t like seeing articles that question their beliefs. I get that. But reading the MSM-approved narrative can jeopardize our situational awareness and readiness, in some cases.

      More information about COVID vaccines seems to be published almost every day. Much of it conflicts with the MSM-approved narrative. Only time will tell where the truth lies and who knew what and when.

      I took the vaccine too.

      But how reliable and trustworthy is big pharma?

      Bloomberg link


      • 4

        Big pharma is not a single entity and is to be no more nor less trusted than all of our major industries.  Like all human enterprises it has good and bad parts.

        Valisure is an independent laboratory that’s bringing to light problems, and positive changes, to the pharmaceutical industry.

      • 2


        Valisure is an independent lab that touts their Harvard and Yale trained scientists and their proprietary analytical technologies.

        Glaxo didn’t seem to need that service; they knew about the risk to customers and covered it up for 40 years – and made billions. Many are suffering from cancer. Glaxo needed an ethicist, at a minimum.

        Be skeptical and make them earn our trust. That builds resilience.

      • 6

        Corporations protect their money at all costs. We learned about the Ford Pinto explosions in school back in the day (not sure if they still do). Ford spent millions for the privilege of being able to keep killing its customers, as it thought it was cheaper than fixing the issue at factory-level. 

        As for Big Pharma, I don’t think anybody loves or trusts Big Pharma, esp. those who need it most. At least in American where the price gouging is insane. The other problem with drugs is that sometimes you have to work at which medication is correct for you, which can be a trying process. And sometimes they don’t, or there are no easy ‘regular’ answers. 

        With Mainstream Media and vaccines, I think they were in a position of reporting on the news and also advocating for General Health. They did report on the issues with Astrazenica during Trials, I remember that. As it is, thanks to Anti-Vaxxers, most nations never did reach the level of vaccination needed for Herd Immunity in the first round of vaccines. And it’s gotten worse since then, even though COVID19 rarely makes the news anymore (my state still has about 500 plus deaths from COVID reporting on a ticker tape on one channel) and mandates have evaporated. 

        Vaccines are not a failure if they don’t work 100%. What they do over time is get the system familiar with the virus in question, and primed to attack it. This is generally regarded as safer than say, contracting small pox and getting ‘immunity’ that way. Were the vaccines timed too early for COVID, who knows. But MRNA technology is built for easy changes for boosters, etc. It’s probably going to be used for treating cancer very soon. I’m guessing nasal vaccines are going to be a big new option for people that don’t want shots. But globally speaking, a lot of nations did their own lab work and their own vaccines. There are many different COVID19 vaccines out there, not just the MRNA ones. 

        While vaccines can have bad reactions in people (including paralysis or death), the majority of people won’t have extreme or even mild reactions to vaccinations. The Anti-Vaccine pipeline has been politically infected with Neo-Nazis, dark money and disinformation, if they ever had good information to begin with. I’d be extremely careful with any “information” from the Anti-Vaxxer Grifter Pipeline. There might be ways to get more in-depth information on vaccines and COVID vaccines in particular, but you have to make sure it’s not part of The Grift and is reasonably neutral. 

      • 2

        Agreed, skepticism is alays warranted.

    • 5

      Devastating flooding in Brazil yesterday and New Zealand last week:

      The highway connecting Rio de Janeiro state with Sao Paulo’s port city of Santos was blocked by landslides and floodwaters. Gov. de Freitas said the damage was so extensive, the highway may no longer exist.

      Precipitation in Sao Sebastiao had surpassed 600 millimeters (23.6 inches) during a 24-hour period over the weekend, among the largest such downpours ever in such a short period in Brazil.


      Cyclone Gabrielle struck the country’s north on Monday and has brought more destruction to this nation of 5 million than any weather event in decades. . . 

      A weather station in the Hawke’s Bay region recorded three times more rain over Monday night than usually falls for the entire month of February, authorities said.


    • 5

      Russia is “covertly mapping” critical infrastructure in the North Sea, including gas pipelines and wind farms, in preparation for potential acts of sabotage, according to a report by Dutch intelligence agencies. https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-mapping-critical-energy-infrastructure-say-dutch-intelligence-agencies/

    • 5

      (US) Power-grid attacks surge and are likely to continue, study find. Confidential analysis shows sharp rise in targeting of facilities with gunfire, intrusion and vandalism.


    • 3

      Baby formula recall due to possible bacterial contamination. Only affects ProSobee Simply Plant-Based Infant Formula manufacturered in Aug-Sept 2022.


    • 3

      A couple other recalls:

      FDA warns consumers not to purchase or use EzriCare Artificial Tears due to potential contamination


      nanoMaterials Discovery Corporation Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of its Alcohol Antiseptic 80% Alcohol Solution


    • 0

      I thought I was skeptical enough to protect my resilience. This story is depressing, but the journalism is inspiring:

      “Team Jorge”: In the heart of a global disinformation machine

      ‘Team Jorge’ at Haaretz – much better graphics

      Who is ForbiddenStories? (Since its creation, 60 news organizations and more than 150 journalists – from 49 different countries and five continents – have worked on the collaborative investigations coordinated by Forbidden Stories.)

    • -2

      Previous COVID-19 may slash severe illness at reinfection by 89%

      Vaccines recommended for at risk.


      • 5

        My main takeaway: “Vaccination is the safest way to acquire immunity, whereas acquiring natural immunity must be weighed against the risks of severe illness and death associated with the initial infection”

      • -1

        If you haven’t had COVID yet, especially if you’re older or suffering with comorbidities, get vaccinated or boosted. If not, the natural immunity after infection lasts around 10 months.

        If I had not had COVID yet, and didn’t have significant risk, I would want to get the mild COVID going around.

         “Decision makers should take both natural immunity and vaccination status into consideration to obtain a full picture of an individual’s immunity profile.” That’s the doctor/patient relationship.

      • 0

        @Erica said on the Community Challenge topic

        “My state currently averages around 504 COVID cases per 7 day average with about 5 deaths in a 7 day average. The interesting thing is that most of the state has low rates, but some counties are at medium and high rates. The most densely populated areas are low rated for cases, by the way.”

        At this point, no states have a meaningful method to measure positive, active COVID cases; at-home tests don’t make it into government or public health databases and so many cases are mild that people treat it like a cold and don’t call or go to a doctor.

        The most meaningful source of data to estimate COVID prevalence is hospital admission with/for COVID19.

        Some larger cities have the facilities to test wastewater and make an estimate but those systems are not widespread in the US.

        Serology studies (blood tests) are often used by epidemiologists to estimate how many people in an area had COVID (or other things) and whether it’s rising or falling. These studies are widespread and have become more useful since it’s so common for a doctor’s office or hospital/clinic to take a blood sample.

        Norovirus has been more common this winter too. It is a nasty gastro bug that usually lasts 24-36 hours. Most of my family, other than me and one son, had it this winter.

      • 5

        Personally, I haven’t had COVID and am not planning to. Too many risks associated with infection, tbh. 

      • 6


        The article’s advice is to get your next vaccine dose 6 months after the last vaccine dose or last infection, whichever is more recent, until you hit your legal limit. I have given the same advice to coworkers. And no, this advice doesn’t vary with age.

        Like Carlotta, I’m still at 0 COVID infections after all these years. And as a side benefit, my COVID precautions also mean no colds, flu, etc for the last three years. This is a huge win for overall health, reducing my risk of heart attack, stroke, and a variety of chronic disease onsets.

        Infection control is a core prepping skill. Always has been, but more so since COVID. Learn to use a respirator properly. Learn how disease spreads and how to protect yourself. It will pay off immediately in good health, and is a good drill for the next pandemic/outbreak/wildfire.

      • -1


        From the same CIDRAP article: “In a related commentary, Cheryl Cohen, MBBS, DPhil, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and Juliet Pulliam, PhD, of Stellenbosch University, both in South Africa, noted that the global percentage of people who had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by September 2021was estimated at 59%, with substantial variation in the proportion of those with immunity from infection or vaccination in different settings.”

        In August, 2022:“In a media briefing late last month, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha, MD, said more than 70% of the U.S. population has had the virus, according to the latest CDC data. That’s up from 33.5% in December (2021).”

        From the same source:

        • “In September 2020, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine said “approximately 40% to 45% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 will remain asymptomatic.
        • A follow-up analysis of 95 studies, published last December, reached similar findings, estimating that more than 40% of COVID-19 infections didn’t come with symptoms.“…the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that only 7% of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are being detected. That means case rates are actually 14.5 times higher than the official count of 131,000 new COVID infections each day, according to the CDC…”

        In November, 2022:“By November 9, 2022, 94% (95% CrI, 79%–99%) of the US population were estimated to have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 at least once. Combined with vaccination, 97% (95%–99%) were estimated to have some prior immunological exposure to SARS-CoV-2.”

        I applaud you for the effort to avoid COVID, but if these numbers are to be believed, it may be simply impossible at some point. You may want to ask for a blood test to check for antibodies to be sure you have not had a very mild case or an asymptomatic case.

        Read the research, especially of medical professionals that propose a different approach, talk to your doctor, and make a decision that’s right for you.

        But don’t make fun of people that do the same thing and come to a different conclusion for themselves.

      • 4


        I’ve made some effort to explain where your analysis went wrong in previous weeks. Those explanations are a waste because you ignore the details and go right back to cherry-picking and trying to convince people that the 3rd leading cause of death is somehow good for you. Nonsense.

      • 0

        I never said this:

        “trying to convince people that the 3rd leading cause of death is somehow good for you.”

        You are not in a position to “explain where your analysis went wrong”. You are a forum admin, not a SME. Read the links and either accept or reject the research. Don’t shoot the messenger.

        I have said many times to get vaccinated and I was probably vaccinated before 99% of the people at TP (Dec ’21).

        You continue to violate Rule 1. Personal attacks have no place here.

      • 3

        @Eric @Shaun with my moderator hat on: I’ve appreciated seeing both of your perspectives and think it was mostly worthwhile.

        It’s clear you two won’t agree on some of the takeaways on this topic. I do agree Eric’s last post was a little over the line. And Shaun has gotten close to the line on anti-vax stuff. So here’s my friendly ask to just disengage each other on this vax stuff, as you’ve both made your points and going further is diminishing returns / getting into ad hominem. Thank you 🙂

    • 3

      Heads up…some news outlets are reporting that Neo Nazi groups are planning a “Day of Hate” tomorrow Saturday 2/25 in Jewish areas across the nation. Marches, protests and potentially violence can be expected. 

    • 5

      Another bad sign regarding H5N1 bird flu’s risk to humans:

      An 11-year old girl just died from an H5N1 infection. Her father is also infected. The main concern is that the infection may have spread person to person, though it remains possible that they were both infected separately by the same bird. Contact tracing is in progress to determine if others were infected.

      The previous lack of person to person spread was the main reason for H5N1 to not turn into a human pandemic. If person to person spread is confirmed, that’s yellow alert for a pandemic. If person to person spread becomes common, then the pandemic has started.

      Still just something to keep an eye on. This potential threat does not yet require preparation.


      • 4

        Updated details on Cambodian H5N1 cases:

        Eleven close contacts were identified for the girl. Four of them had flu-like symptoms but none of them tested positive for H5N1. It is not yet known if either the daughter or father had close contact with an infected bird.


    • 4

      FDA approves release of a flu/covid test from Lucia. 


    • 3
    • 4

      DEA rule change will require in-person doctor visits for prescribing controlled substances, most of which are used to treat pain or ADHD (full list in article).

      Preparedness concerns:

      1) If you take one of these medications and currently receive prescriptions via telemedicine, you will need to find a doctor ASAP that can see you in-person.

      2) Some of these medications require a separate prescription each month and are never considered “refills”. If I take the AP article literally, that means 12 in-person doctor visits per year, which would be a substantial barrier to treatment. But based on the actual DEA announcement, I think you only need one in-person visit per medication type and can then go back to the usual telemedicine process.



    • 2

      “FDA panel narrowly backs Pfizer RSV vaccine for older adults”