Loose Ends (120)

Happy new year everybody. Some stray thoughts to get us started.

Stock market had a bad first day of 2021. I wonder if nervousness about the outcome of the Georgia Senate runoff election tomorrow might explain some of it? If Democrats sweep, then punitive tax hikes are back on the table.

I’ve been predicting for years that sooner or later a reverse-migration from the expensive coasts to the cheaper heartland would arrive. Looks like it is happening now:

Home prices are rising faster in the middle of the U.S. as Covid drives people away from coasts

Home values have historically risen most sharply in large cities on the coasts, where supply is leaner and demand is stronger. That is no longer the case.

Smaller metropolitan markets like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Boise, Idaho, Austin, Texas, and Memphis. Tennessee are seeing some of the strongest price gains in the nation now, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Prices in those cities are now at least 10% higher than with a year earlier.

I very much enjoyed the Spitting Image folks back in the 1980s, though you did need to put aside their generally left-of-center politics. They are staging a comeback right now, and this five-minute bit on Greta Thunberg released yesterday gets the tiresomeness of the climatistas pretty good:

Another COVID treatment story that we don’t hear much about:

Existing antihistamine drugs show effectiveness against COVID-19 virus in cell testing

Three common antihistamine medications have been found in preliminary tests to inhibit infection of cells by the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, University of Florida Health researchers have found.

Their findings, based on laboratory tests of cells and a detailed analysis of nearly a quarter-million California patients’ medical records, are published today in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The data may support the launch of a randomized, controlled clinical trial to determine whether the specific antihistamines can treat or even prevent COVID-19 in humans, the researchers said.

Earlier this year, Leah Reznikov, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physiological sciences in the UF College of Veterinary Medicine and the study’s principal investigator on the study, began collaborating with David A. Ostrov, Ph.D., an immunologist and associate professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine. They and other colleagues set out to identify approved drugs that can interfere with the way the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds to cells. Blocking that connection essentially locks a cellular doorway that inhibits the virus’s transmission to the respiratory system.

“We discovered epidemiological data showing that the usage of specific drugs was associated with a reduced likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. We then found that these specific drugs exhibited direct antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in the lab,” Ostrov said.

Interesting. I’m sure Fauci will be right on it.