Why are children not getting COVID-19?

This paper points to a possible reason why children below the of 14 may be protected against COVID-19: The MMR (Danish: MFR) vaccine.

Specifically, the mumps (Danish: fåresyge) vaccine, of which seropositivity decreases substantially over time, the paper finds that it is possible that while the mumps titer stays above a certain level, a person is far less likely to contract COVID-19 and if he does, the case will not very severe.

In the chart, notice the higher prevalence at ages before the MMR vaccine is given and then again after the seropositivity falls below a certain point.

In USA, the cut-off would happen at about the age of 14, while in Denmark, as we give the second MMR vaccine a year earlier, it would happen at about the age of 13.

There is other research that connect the measles and rubella vaccines to better protection against COVID-19, but this could explain why so few children are getting ill.

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Imagine being awarded the Nobel Prize…

Imagine being awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and still be the the second-most succesful and famous economist in your house.

That’s the life of George Akerlof, married to Janet Yellen, who, despite not getting a Nobel Prize, is even more celebrated that her husband and on her way to even be the first person to hold or have held all three of the most important positions of economic governance in the USA; chair of the Federal Reserve, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors and United States Secretary of the Treasury. The last one is still in the works, though.

I imagine dinners at the Akerlof-Yellen residence might be a bit nerdy.

And regarding the president-elect’s choices for government:

Overall, Biden looks like he’s trying to fulfill his unstated-but-obvious goal of making the U.S. government boring again.
Perry Bacon Jr.

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Chances of conflict

When social cues for settling a status dispute are unavailable or ambiguous, the chances of conflict increase. Both parties are more likely to endure long disputes because no clear way exists to settle the matter
— Rob Henderson, “A Primal Struggle for Dominance

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I have to watch “The Queen’s Gambit”

I hear great things about the TV series “The Queen’s Gambit” but this interview with chess master Garry Kasparov finally made me decide to watch it soon. The whole interview is great, including the details about KGB, and Kasparov found the games they would play:

Most of the games, it was not difficult, but the biggest challenge was the last game, because the last game is just, it’s a full game. And the problem is that the last game had to be played by the Queen’s Gambit. Of course I could pick up games from other openings, but it would be very much against the spirit of the book. How did I find a good game that will be played for 40 or so moves adjourned in a complicated situation? And then you have this very important element of Benny and his team calling from New York. It means the position had to be complicated. I found a few games and picked up one: Patrick Wolff against Vassily Ivanchuk, Biel Interzonal, 1993. Wolff sent me a note a couple of days after the show was released: “I recognize the game.” It was quite an obscure game. He said, “Garry, how on earth did you find it?” I said, “I had certain parameters, with the gambit, the number of pieces left, so basically, I ended up with 700 games.” It’s not perfect, because it’s not exactly as complicated as I want it, but it fit the book description: game adjourned, complicated position. And even with all the ruckus, he’s pushing the rook. The rook is trapped in the center. I preserved most of the game description and I think it helped, because that’s a climax, and the climax is something that people always recall.

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Great catch

I don’t normally watch American Football, but most sports are interesting in my opinion. This video was forwarded to me and I agree – that’s a great catch:

(Youtube)

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More than 10 years of blogging

Well, September 1st passed and I could have celebrated 10 years of blogging by then, at least 10 years on this blog. This is the first blog I started that I actually managed to keep going and at 10 years, that’s OK. I’ll just call the other 2 blogs I started before that my “false starts”.

I have another blog elsewhere, but I only post there when I some very specific technical information I wish to share. It’s so specific that Javascript, C# and Perl seems mainstream in comparison.

I was a bit obsessive about my reach in the first couple of years, but I found that I actually write this for a completely different reason; I write to write. So I no longer look at statistics, except I did today as I got a message that yet another writer had referenced my 2019 post “The Toolbox Fallacy“. I have little reason to be proud of that post, as it is basically just a quote and links to 2 youtube videos, but the content is important – if you haven’t read and seen it, please do. You might learn something that I am still learning.

But back when I cared about statistics I got a lot of traffic from cross-posting to Facebook. I can now see that when Facebook stopped accepting cross-posts, and I subsequently deleted my Facebook account, my traffic fell significantly. But today I get more traffic than ever. Almost, that is, as I remember I had 2 “hits” early on. One was my posts about the insurance company TopDanmark, starting almost innocently about (non-)hacking but continuing with their illegal surveillance of a former client, got quite a bit of attention. Including from the client, whose case I covered; I hope she was satisfied by the conviction of those that broke the law.

The other was my post about the Danish social security numbers (CPR) and their lack of security; back then I had just found the “super-secret” last 4 digits of the Danish Minister of the Interior, so I wrote about the problems we have, relying on this supposed security. I even suggested a product that I thought there would be a market for, but the digital signature system, NemId, made that product obsolete. Which is great.

Anyway, I don’t know how long I’ll keep this blog running but let’s see if I can’t at least finish my six seasons commentary. And if I continue on for another 10 years I’ll probably forget the anniversary then, again. Maybe I’ll even get the follow-up to the order of adjectives done?

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Regarding the Nobel Peace Prize

I have written about the Nobel Peace Prize before, and about a year ago I suggested that

Maybe it would be better to wait a couple of decades before awarding the prize, as with the scientific prizes […]

But, the sentence just before that was

[The Nobel Peace Prize] was this time awarded to Abiy Ahmed, who at least at this time seem to deserve it.

Ah.

This headline from the AP, “Peace was swift in Ethiopia under Abiy. War was, too“, kind of tells you how that went.

I’d like to point to my suggestion of waiting a couple of decades, and add that my reservation unfortunately seems justified.

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Benzinpriser 1970 – 2020

Jeg så forleden en graf over prisudviklingen på benzin i Canada og var overrasket over hvor stabil den var, justeret efter forbrugerprisindeks, over tid. Så jeg tænkte, det kan jeg da også lave for Danmark.

Der er en hvis cirkulær slutning i dette, da brændstof indgår i forbrugerprisindekset, men jeg tillader mig at nu alligevel at bruge det. Det er prisen efter skatter og afgifter, ift. forbrugerprisindekset totalt:

3 udslag er værd at bemærke; det økonomiske kaos i regeringerne Anker Jørgensen IV og V‘s tid, finanskrisen i 2008 og så COVID-19 i 2020. Men ellers er benzinprisen relativt stabil, nok fordi den udgør en stadig betydelig del af forbrugerpriserne i det hele taget.

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Christopher Krebs is a smart man

Also, he is apparently a man of integrity so he got fired by the current American President who is neither of these things.

Krebs was Director of Cybersecurity in USA, until he declared that there had been no widespread voter fraud in the presidential election. Confusingly, he is not related to Brian Krebs, an investigative journalist covering cybercrime.

As the director, he could be fired by the President and so can his deputy and currently acting director. But before this happened, Krebs had created a career civil servant position as the third in line, the Executive Director, who cannot be fired without cause. That means that there will be a continuation in place, while transitioning to a new leadership and, soon, a new President.

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Vaccines

The first vaccine does not fit into this graph, as it was developed before we knew which infectious agent caused smallpox – but here is how long it took to develop a vaccine after we knew what caused the disease:

We may have a vaccine for Ebola soon, but consider then how fast we are approaching a potential vaccine for COVID-19; it might be developed within a single year!

That is impressive and barely believable.

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