Sunday, July 26, 2020

More Than Death Rate

                                                                                                    written 19 July 2020
                                                                                                published 26 July 2020

            After creating the world's worst pandemic response, Trump and his Republican sycophants are concerned about their re-election.  Pretending everything is normal, they claim Covid is like the flu (it isn't), that 99% of people survive (actually 4% die), and children are less affected (relatively true).  Trump wants schools to open, tweeting the CDC is "lying" about the pandemic.  Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany expanded: "When the president says open, he means kids being able to attend each and every day at their school.  Science should not stand in the way of this."  Interesting priority.  However, medical science keeps discovering the virus's own truth.
            "People who recovered from Covid-19 may lose immunity to the disease within months, suggesting the virus could reinfect people.  Levels of virus antibodies peak about three weeks after the onset of symptoms then swiftly declined, confirming a growing body of evidence that immunity to Covid-19 is short-lived.  'Most importantly, it puts another nail in the coffin of the concept of herd immunity,' said Prof Jonathan Heeney, at the University of Cambridge."  (The Guardian, 12Jul20, by Ian Sample)
            "According to the World Health Organization, about 80 percent of infections are mild or asymptomatic, bolstering the belief that only the sick and elderly need isolate themselves.  But thousands of people say they have been wrestling with serious Covid-19 symptoms for months.  Many people reported 'brain fogs' and concentration challenges.  Some have experienced hallucinations, delirium, short-term memory loss, or strange vibrating sensations when they touch surfaces.  Others have problems with their sympathetic nervous system, which controls heartbeat and breathing."  (The Atlantic, 4Jun20, by Ed Yong)
            "The death rate from Covid-19 is not the whole story.  When looking at patients who had survived a critical encounter with Covid-19, British researchers found that almost two-thirds suffered strokes, and over a quarter were left with damage resulting in dementia.  From limb amputations to heart attacks to permanent brain damage, the blood clots caused by infections with Covid-19 are often devastating.
            It seems that no matter how many news stories run at this point about teenagers dying, people in their 20's losing a limb, or young people left with lasting lung or heart problems, the idea that this is an 'old person’s disease' has been so baked in that it can’t be dislodged."  (Daily KOS, 26Jun20, by Mark Sumner)
            "Yet another bizarre symptom of Covid-19 is ischemia of the fingers and toes, a reduction of blood flow that causes red or purplish lesions at the ends of the digits.  Dubbed Covid toes, it can be painful and can lead to tissue death.  It’s showing up mostly in younger people."
            "Some people with Covid-19 develop dangerously low levels of oxygen in their blood but otherwise don't feel sick.  The condition, called silent hypoxia, can quickly cascade into serious breathing problems and damage to other organs."  (Elemental Medium, 17May20, by Robert Britt)
            "Clinical experience has shown the pathogen does much more than invade the lungs.  It attacks the heart, savages the kidneys, crawls along the nervous system, occasionally reaching the brain, creates blood clots, and inflames blood vessels throughout the body.  It mostly spares the young, but doctors have reported an inflammatory reaction with cardiac complications among children.  'We were all thinking this is a disease that kills old people, not kids,' said David Reich, of Mount Sinai Hospital."
            "The disease’s devastation comes from two intertwined causes.  The first is the harm to the endothelial cells that line blood vessels, leading to clots that can range from microscopic to sizable.  Patients have suffered strokes and pulmonary emboli as clots break loose and travel to the brain and lungs.  Inflammation of the endothelial cells lining blood vessels may help explain why the virus harms so many parts of the body."
            "The second is an exaggerated response from the body’s own immune system, a storm of killer 'cytokines' that attack the body’s own cells along with the virus as it seeks to defend the body from an invader.  'Our hypothesis is that Covid-19 begins as a respiratory virus and kills as a cardiovascular virus', said Mandeep Mehra, of the Harvard Medical School."  (Washington Post, 12May20, by Bernstein and Cha)
            Covid-19 is a serious problem.  America deserves competent national leadership.  Instead, Republican support of Trump's fragile ego keeps killing people.