Asking good questions is the precursor to scientific, rational thinking. So let’s dig right in to some inquisitions regarding the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
Can you rely on the mortality numbers given by the media and the government?
Probably not. Of course, one death from this virus is too much. But when a physician documents the death of a hospitalized patient, if he/she adds COVID-19 to the list, it immediately gets placed at the top and gets reported as a COVID-19 death. This physician can add COVID-19 even if they were not even tested based on their symptoms. For instance, if someone dies of a heart attack and they exhibited flu-like symptoms and were never tested, the death can be attributed to COVID-19 if the physician chooses to code it.
The federal government started out telling us that 2 million people would die if we didn’t follow their mitigation process, then they said 150K, then 60K, and today it’s probably something else.
There is a lot at stake. The government has shut down the whole nation putting our economy at the brink of collapse when it is only specific parts of the nation that are being impacted severely.
Do all masks work to protect you from the virus?
Probably yes. In the laboratory surgical masks and cotton masks do not protect from this virus, only n95 masks do. But if you look at Japan where the population put on masks right away there have been much fewer cases. So I believe any barrier to respiratory droplets can be helpful, even if it’s wrapping toilet paper around your face (that’s for you TP hoarders).
Why has everyone all of a sudden become an infectious disease expert and try to cajole you to do the silly things they are doing:
- Wearing a mask and gloves while they are driving alone in their vehicle.
- Using hand sanitizer on their latex gloves as they touch everything in sight at the grocery store and touching their face all the while.
- As I said from day 1, the most likely way to get infected is from receiving respiratory droplets from the coughing and sneezing of an infected intimate, not casual contact.
What is “herd immunity” and how does it contribute to flattening the curve of infections?
- Herd immunity supposes that an infectious strain flows through a region with varying degrees of illness bringing about an immunity to those infected but not symptomatic, meaning they have memory cells to prevent re-infection. This is being proposed in places like California where the number of cases began waning even before social distancing had a chance to impact the community and many people there are testing positive for antibodies. I’m not saying that herd immunity alone could protect us from the coronavirus.What I’m inferring about California is that this virus may have been here as early as the November of 2019 and the Chinese have been covering this up for much longer than perceived.
Why not use Hydroxychloroquine?
- There’s no reason not to use Hydroxychloroquine for severely ill patients. And it has been used internationally and even locally and I can tell you it has been mostly successful to quicken the disease’s resolution.It should be avoided in people who have some heart rhythm conditions (QT prolongation). Otherwise it’s very safe.I’ve been prescribing it for years for rheumatic diseases (RA, Lupus, etc.). It may be too late to employ its usefulness at this time but if the virus comes around again we can have it ready.
Are we all going to die from the coronavirus?
No. 7,400 people die every day in the US from things other than the coronavirus. About 430 die from lung cancer every day. The CDC says up to 60,000 Americans will die from the regular flu this year in spite of the flu shot and Tamiflu. I am on staff of two local hospitals and I can tell you there are a lot of empty beds. It’s not just that there are not many elective procedures going on now, it’s that people are not falling prey to this illness as hyped in the media.
I believe when it’s all said and done, what I had stated from the beginning will be validated:
The media panic and hysteria, and the government overreach is far out of proportion to the public health risk. And we could have done things much more intelligently than sequester all of society and allow the country to go trillions of dollars more into debt. But common sense continues to be a super-power in this day and age.
We will survive. Keep calm, stay well, sooner than you think it will be business as usual again. Mark my words.