Some People Don't Get Covid. Here's Why.

A news roundup.

Some People Don't Get Covid. Here's Why.
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

It's been quite a week already.

Let's jump in.

Some people don't get sick with Covid.

Many of us have wondered why some people just don't get sick with Covid, even if they didn't get the vaccine.

Well, they're lucky.

A new study in Nature by researchers at Cambridge Stem Cell Institute has found that a certain group of patients didn't get infected with Covid, even when directly exposed, while other groups did. The lucky group had an especially active immune system gene called HLA-DQA2. The gene plays a role in the production of interferon, a protein that directly attacks viruses and inhibits replication when they try to invade your body. You can read the full thing here.

The study identifies 7 out of 36 individuals who didn't get sick with Covid, most likely thanks to their HLA-DQA2 gene activity. Extrapolating, that could mean that as many as 20 percent of the population legitimately didn't get sick with Covid, and now we know why.

I know, that number is hard to swallow. There's a lot to qualify in this study. We all know asymptomatic infection explains the vast majority of the "I never had Covid stories" we hear. But still, some people probably do manage to produce an interferon response that prevents infection.

So when someone (like a troll), uses their own personal experience to dismiss disease precautions, insisting they don't get sick no matter what, we now have another tangible counterpoint.

Hey, good for them.

If they're lucky, their bodies really do mount an early interferon response. If they're just living in denial, then they're getting an unknown number of asymptomatic infections every year causing unknown damage. Either way, there's no excuse for mocking precautions.

It's great that some people don't seem to get sick with Covid. That doesn't mean they can ridicule the rest of us for wanting precautions in place. Plus, nothing guarantees that something about a particular virus in the future, or their body's own genetic expression, won't change.

It's a weird thing to bet your life on.

Louisiana mandates the Ten Commandments

Louisiana has become the first state to require public schools to post the Ten Commandments in their classrooms. The governor has signed the bill into law. The ACLU has already filed a lawsuit. Nobody can predict how things will play out here, but it's a sign that radical conservatives are getting bolder and more brazen in their attempts to erode democracy. Given what we've seen from the Supreme Court lately, I'm not holding my breath.

Of course, we know this isn't really about the commandments. It's yet another example of the far right pushing boundaries and slashing a path for the incursion of religion into the public realm.

They aren't going to stop.

Global agriculture could collapse by 2050

UN Food Chief Martin Frick has warned us that desertification and degradation will cause worldwide crop failures by 2050. In fact, droughts and floods have already made agriculture impossible in parts of Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Sarah Connor has a great piece on the history of famines and what it feels like to actually starve. She also has another great piece linking to a documentary titled The Grab, about how world powers are increasingly using access to food and water as a weapon. On a related note, Bill Gates is now the #1 private owner of farmland in the U.S.

I wonder what he'll do with it.

It's easier to fire union organizers now

The corporate news isn't reporting on this, but the Supreme Court recently struck down a lawsuit by Starbucks workers who were fired for leading efforts to unionize. The workers presented pretty clear evidence of what happened, but the chain denied their actions based on technicalities and semantics. The Supreme Court sided with the chain. Big surprise.

This news comes on the heels of ProPublica's coverage of Clarence Thomas and the staggering number of gifts he's received over the years, including a number of lavish vacations and college tuition for his family members. The court has been utterly compromised and corrupted.

Who trusts them now?

Militaries need soldiers

The U.S. House recently passed a bill that automatically registers men age 18-26 for the draft. It's got a lot of people rightfully upset. I don't know about you, but I don't want men going to die for pointless causes.

(Or women, if it comes to that.)

As an article in Vox explains, militaries are hungry for soldiers. In the U.S. and Europe, recruiters aren't meeting their targets. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues saber-rattling with China over Taiwan. That's not surprising. Taiwan is a powerhouse of knowledge and skill when it comes to making computer chips, which western countries crave for everything, including their relentless pursuit of artificial intelligence. The U.S. has been encountering significant obstacles trying to ramp up its own production of computer chips. They cite "lack of expertise" as their primary problem. Chip production was supposed to take off this year. Now it won't get underway until 2025 or even 2026. Even if it were going well, our tech overlords would want unfettered, exclusive access to Taiwan's talent pool for skilled workers. As you might expect, endless waves of Covid combined with a severely underfunded education system have left us with something of a brain drain. As politicians lay down billions upon billions of dollars for tech moonshots, officials say "nothing has failed yet."

Always encouraging words to hear...


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