This article on Covid 19 was written by Arthur Ahrens of Branchport and is published here with permission. Views expressed by contributors are their own.
With the daily number of new coronavirus infections surging to a record high yesterday of over 55,300 cases, now is a good time to talk about what we know about this pestilence.
We are still making new discoveries about this disease. There is still much that is unknown. Now is a good time to catalog some of our hard-won knowledge.
COVID-19 is typically signaled by three symptoms: a fever, an insistent cough and shortness of breath. Sometimes loss of smell and taste. But older adults — the age group most at risk of severe complications or death from this condition ― may have none of these characteristics. Instead, seniors may seem “off” — not acting like themselves ― early on after being infected by the coronavirus. They may sleep more than usual or stop eating. They may seem unusually apathetic or confused, losing orientation to their surroundings. They may become dizzy and fall. Sometimes, seniors stop speaking or simply collapse.
COVID-19 not only attacks the respiratory system. It ravages the circulatory system also, attacking the spleen, the heart, the liver and clotting. It can and does cause strokes. Blood thinners have proven to be an effective treatment.
The effects of a COVID-19 illness linger beyond the acute stage of the illness. Patients may leave the hospital with scarring, damage or inflammation that still needs to heal in the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver or other organs. This can cause a range of problems, including urinary and metabolism issues. Recovery will take a long time.
The coronavirus is mutating. The original version has been almost completely replaced by a mutation that is 10 times as infectious as the original.
Masks are the most effective method we have of controlling this disease.
The today’s fatality rate is less than that at the beginning. Treatments have become more effective, seniors have gotten better at protecting themselves. It remains to be seen if today’s fatality rate will continue, or start to rise as hospitals become overwhelmed and quality care becomes hard to receive. And then of course there are the problems survivors encounter as mentioned above.
Other facts associated with the disease….
The US response to the pandemic is the worst in the entire world. In the US, the worst responses are those in states with Republican leadership, ie Florida, Texas, Arizona. NY Governor Cuomo’s response was effective.
The European Union has banned American travelers as a self-protective public health measure. Trump turned us into a s**t-hole country that represents a significant health risk to the population of the entire planet. Our 330 million citizens are now pandemic pariahs.
Some additional thoughts…
The virus, at its previous height of 40,000 new daily cases produced 2000 daily fatalities. Dr. Fauci says that he would not be at all surprised to see 100,000 new cases appearing daily. One can use these figures to calculate the ultimate butcher’s bill. Months ago, I saw an estimate of 2,000,000 deaths which I found to be too fantastic to repeat. I am no longer so optimistic.
Today’s numbers and predicted numbers clearly show that Trump’s response has been an abysmal and catastrophic failure, resulting in many injuries, fatalities, and incalculable damage to our country.
Trump’s refusal to wear a mask gave cover to knuckleheads who declared that requiring masks to be worn somehow infringed on their constitutional rights. This is proof that some people cannot correctly evaluate the rights of being a citizen versus the responsibilities of being a citizen. The responsibility of your not causing harm to your fellow citizens will always trump your right to not wear a mask.
Arthur Ahrens (Richelieu/D’Artagnan/Athos/Porthos/Aramis)
Branchport, NY 7/1/2020