Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The real question about ending the Covid-19 Lockdowns.

The issue is really more like can we afford to wait until there is a vaccine or treatment. Especially if the time we need to wait is until the end of 2022.

The optimistic predictions on a vaccine are that it won't be available until 12-18 months. But that's optimistic since there has been research into a coronavirus vaccine since the 2002-04 SARS outbreak. I'm not going to get into issues surrounding developing a vaccine since that is way more than a blog post.

Likewise treatments aren't out there. While Trump can take a hit for his musing: he is expressing the frustrations anyone with any familiarity of this feel now.

Herd immunity is controversial since some people feel it relates to immunisation. The real issue is getting enough people infected with the virus to render it "harmless". That raises the issue that quite a few people who are infected could be asymptomatic (I've heard it could be 50-90%). Toss in that 80% of those we do know have been infected don't require hospitalisation to get better according to the WHO.

The whole reason behind "flattening the curve" is to make sure that the health system isn't overburdened. But that also raises issues.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43,000 healthcare jobs were lost in March 2020, and the job losses in healthcare have increased as shutdowns persist through the pandemic. The HealthLandscape and American Academy of Family Physicians issued a report estimating by June 2020, 60,000 family medical practices will close or scale back, affecting 800,000 workers. Source
That means the US health care system LOST personnel as the pandemic was gearing up. Add in the hypocrisy of Andrew Cuomo who was wrecking New York's health care system until he decided to become the media darling for how he is handling the problem.

The Anti-lockdown protestors would be better served by pointing out they were  being prevented from working. Even more useful would have been for them to ask those "health care" counterprotestors why they weren't working or resting if they are so overworked. Knowing that the health system made cutbacks during the "crisis" is much better ammunition than 5.56.

So, we need good and accurate information as the debate rages as to how and when the lockdown should end. But saying "who would you kill?" isn't really valid since people will die in this pandemic. The question is at this point is timing since there isn't the vaccine, treatment, or immunity out there.

Also, lockdowns prevent addressing the real issues which are being raised by the pandemic. That's ironic since the pandemic is putting them into the spotlight. But it's easier to call the protestors "covidiots" and dismiss them than it is to have a conversation.

And now is the time for conversation and cooperation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Covid-19 is "no worse than the flu"

What a politically charged statement these days,

Saying that Covid-19 (AKA SARS-CoV-2) is like the flu can be horribly misinterpreted by people who aren't aware that influenza can cause 24,000 – 62,000 deaths per season. Likewise, the common cold (rhinovirus) can lead to complications particularly in people who have a weak immune system.

Common human coronaviruses, including types 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with one or more of these viruses at some point in their lives. This information applies to common human coronaviruses and should not be confused with coronavirus disease 2019 (formerly referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus).

The thing is that influenza and colds are so "ordinary" and treatable that most people don't really consider that there can be serious consequences if those diseases aren't treated. On the other hand, some people like to trot out the 1918-20 "Spanish Influenza" as an example of how bad a pandemic can be.

The Spanish influenza is caused by the H1N1 virus, and you might see where I am going with this. The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. To recap if you missed the first episode:
Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older. The high mortality in healthy people, including those in the 20-40 year age group, was a unique feature of this pandemic. While the 1918 H1N1 virus has been synthesized and evaluated, the properties that made it so devastating are not well understood. With no vaccine to protect against influenza infection and no antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections that can be associated with influenza infections, control efforts worldwide were limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly.
The surprise to the story is that you may have had this horrible disease. That's because:
In June 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new strain of swine-origin H1N1 as a pandemic. This novel virus spread worldwide and had caused 18,500 laboratory-confirmed deaths with an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 deaths total by August of 2010. On 10 August 2010, the World Health Organization declared the H1N1 influenza pandemic over, saying worldwide flu activity had returned to typical seasonal patterns.

There are a few reasons why the 2009 outbreak differed from the 1918-20 one. First off, there was a vaccine available. Secondly, there are the treatments mentioned above: antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections that can be associated with influenza infections.

One of issues with Covid-19 is that the docs don't have an accepted treatment, which is where the hydroxychloroquine "controversy" comes in. Well, hydroxychloroquine is controversial because Trump used it as an example. Otherwise, there has been a fair amount of experimentation with it, but there are mixed results. I would add that they are also testing massive doses of vitamin C and nicotine patches for Covid-19! See also this link.

Also, there are lots of Coronaviruses. The common human coronaviruses, including types 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with one or more of these viruses at some point in their lives. This information applies to common human coronaviruses and should not be confused with coronavirus disease 2019 (formerly referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus).

I would add that SARS and MERS are also caused by Coronaviruses. One of the issues in addressing Covid-19 was trying to figure out how virulent it actually is. My uneducated opinion is that the Docs don't really know since there hasn't been extensive testing. The testing out there says that there might be no symptoms in most people infected with the disease. Covid-19 might also be a disease of the immune system instead of a primarily respiratory disease.

COVID-19 is, in many ways, proving to be a disease of uncertainty. According to a new study from Italy, some 43 percent of people with the virus have no symptoms. Among those who do develop symptoms, it is common to feel sick in uncomfortable but familiar ways—congestion, fever, aches, and general malaise. Many people start to feel a little bit better. Then, for many, comes a dramatic tipping point. “Some people really fall off the cliff, and we don’t have good predictors of who it’s going to happen to,” Stephen Thomas, the chair of infectious diseases at Upstate University Hospital, told me. Those people will become short of breath, their heart racing and mind detached from reality. They experience organ failure and spend weeks in the ICU, if they survive at all.
The problem is that there are a lot of problems with the US reaction to this. One of which is that there isn't really the ability for the Feds to control how the states handle this. The states have reacted from how California and Washington made their strict lockdowns to downright lackadaisical. And neither party has really done the right thing.

 The problem is that the end to all the "lock down" may not be until there is a vaccine, which could be WAY OFF in the future.

When Covid-19 spread across the world, some countries reacted with alarm and thorough preparations, given their previous experiences with MERS or SARS. In these countries, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam, containment of the novel coronavirus became the imperative, regardless of cost. However, other countries chose to treat it as if it was a bad flu strain that would be unstoppable and spread across the population until some kind of immunity was reached. The responses depended on how seriously the governments took the threat. Or how prepared they were to handle the threat and the effort properly addressing would take.

My point is that the flu, or even the common cold, can be deadly if not properly treated. Some places were not properly prepared to address the crisis despite having had "Pandemic Threat assessments".

Now is not the time to blame or shame, but to act decisively. The real winner will be the person who can show leadership in addressing this and take the actions necessary to minimise the suffering.

Monday, April 13, 2020

I can't believe the Dumbocrats are running Biden Part 2

Running Biden demonstrates that the Dumbocrats learned nothing in 2016. One of the reason they lost in 2016 was that Clinton didn't campaign in the "close" states (MI, PA, and WI). Running a candidate who is absent is sure to be a losing strategy.

Also, no word from Burisma Holdings with a job offer. it's no surprise that my Ukrainian connection doesn't carry as much weight as being the son of the US vice president. I did tell Rep. Madeline Dean repeatedly about this connection, but she voted party line rather than reality.

I also said that they were prosecuting the wrong person by going after Trump. Ukraine is a cess pit of corruption.

Anyway,Hidin' Biden is going to be a loser no matter how bad Trump is: Biden is much worse.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

I can't believe the Dumbocrats are running Biden

I am so certain that Hunter Biden's job at Burisma Holdings was a bribe that I sent Burisma a job application.

I am far more qualified for the job than Hunter Biden is down to speaking Ukrainian.

And an even more unique qualification than Hunter has.

I thought about sending a copy of the letter to Trump and the White House, but the unique qualification is something I prefer to not talk about. it's something I'm not very proud of.

Which why I am not being explicit about it.

On the other hand, a good Ukrainian would see that qualification as being an asset. It is also about as slimy as Hunter Biden's (it's a family tie).

I may get the job anyway which is why I didn't want to pass it on to the White House. Maybe if there's a rejection because my reason isn't as politically useful as being the son of the Vice President of the United States.