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Coronavirus General Commentaries

December 2021

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

These Commentaries are continued from Coronavirus General Commentaries: April 2021.


A Then B

       Just because you do A then B happens, does not necessarily mean A caused B, as B might have happened even if you did not do A.

      I have tried to make this point in my recent Coronavirus articles in regard to claims of vaccine side effects. It also applies to proposed treatments for Covid. But now I have an illustration from my own life.

      I had surgery to repair two rotator cuff tears and a biceps subluxation in my left shoulder on August 20, 2021 (see Rotator Cuff Injury). I was progressing on schedule in a linear fashion until November 12th. But on that day, I aggravated my shoulder getting Christmas decorations out of the attic.

      Four weeks later, it was still hurting, so I went to the surgeon who did the surgery. That was on Friday, December 10. He recommended I get a cortisone shot. However, I could not do so since I was scheduled to get my Covid booster immediately after that appointment, and you cannot get both at the same time. I thus made an appointment for ten days later for the cortisone shot.

      But then a strange thing happened. By that Sunday into Monday my shoulder was beginning to feel better, so much so that I canceled the appointment for the cortisone shot. Mind you, it usually takes 2-3 days for a cortisone shot to take effect.

      That means, if I had gotten that cortisone shot on that Friday and then my shoulder began to feel better on Sunday and more so on Monday, it would have been logical to assume the cortisone shot was the reason for the improvement. But in fact, it would have had nothing to do with it. I know that since I did not in fact get the shot. My shoulder just began to heal on its own, and I was back on track for my recovery from the surgery.

      The point is, just because someone gets a vaccine then a week later develops a particular health problem, that does not necessarily mean the vaccine caused the health problem, as the person might have developed the problem anyway.

      Similarly, just because someone with Covid takes a particular drug and then begins to feel better does not necessarily mean the drug caused the improvement, as the person might have recovered just as well without the drug.

      The only way to sort all of this out is to do double-blind studies or at least demographic comparisons of people who got the vaccine or the drug and those who did not to see if that particular health problem or improvement occurs at a greater rate in the test group getting the vaccine or drug versus the control group not getting the vaccine or drug.

      Please remember this when hearing reports about alleged vaccine side effects or treatments for Covid, or for any other health malady for that matter.

      For more on these and related matters, see my two-part article Statistical Refutations of Covid Deniers and Antivaxxers.
12/16/21


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These commentaries are continued at: Coronavirus General Commentaries: January 2022.

Coronavirus General Commentaries: December 2021. Copyright 2021 By Gary F. Zeolla.

The above commentaries were posted in December 2021.

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