Bad News from Hong Kong
Cases and DEATHS exploding despite "Zero Covid" and Vaccination
Something very strange is happening in Hong Kong. I am not the first to write about it, but I wanted to do a good job compiling the information and informing my readers so this post is somewhat complete. I will include additional reading below.
Hong Kong’s stringent “Zero Covid” policy, stopped to work in mid-February and a “wall of cases” curve exploded in the territory.
Now, we have seen such “walls of cases” before, but nothing close ever happened to deaths:
You can see that deaths per million in Hong Kong are basically three TIMES the highest death rate in the US or Israel.
Cases between Feb 13-Feb 17: 18,493
Deaths between Feb 28-March 4: 895
Calculated Case Fatality Rate: 4.83%
The relevant case fatality rate in the US for our recent Omicron peak is roughly 0.3%, or 16 TIMES lower.
Slow down and let it sink in: the case fatality rate in Hong Kong is 16 times HIGHER than in the US. That should make you curious.
Hong Kong is vaccinated just as much as the United States or Israel, sitting closely between them:
Clearly, something else is in play and not the vaccine.
New Variant in Hong Kong
Just as cases and deaths in HK skyrocketed, a new sub-variant called “BA.2 + S:I1221T” has taken over:
Not much is known about that variant, other than it is minimal elsewhere.
Every Hong Konger who is diagnosed with Covid must be taken away and isolated for 21 days in a very bleak and sad place called “Penny Bay”, where they do not even have working wi-fi.
This, naturally, creates an incentive to NOT report a case of Covid and hide out at home with working wi-fi, for those lucky enough to be able to do it. This creates a bias of healthy people with mild cases not being reported, and may explain a part of high mortality.
Would you like to eat this black corn patty for lunch?
Zero Covid means Everyone is a Target
Here in the West, most people already had exposure to Covid. It is a mystery who gets infected first and why some people do not get Covid until later in the pandemic. It is possible that here in the US or UK, the least healthy people already caught Covid and some, sadly, died. Thus, subsequent waves seem to be less deadly, partly because several waves of Covid already went through the population, and some immunity already exists. Not so in HK, where everyone is now vulnerable.
While, so far, I have not seen any evidence of ADE affecting anyone, it is possible that such incredibly high mortality rates are due to ADE from this new variant. The S:i1221T mutation does change a spike amino acid and it is possible that vaccine spike antibodies are assisting infection instead of suppressing it.
While it is still speculation, such a possibility need not be dismissed.
Overall, Hong Kong is a story worth watching.