Things that we know about Coronavirus SARS CoV-2 pandemic
Written by: Dr. Fred Harvey, MD
It genetically resembles a common cold virus. It spreads easily and rapidly from human to human. Masks and distancing and handwashing prevent spread of the disease. Outdoor spread as minimal. Indoor spread depends on the density of occupancy, air circulation and concentration of viral particles and duration of contact.
This virus is different from the common cold because it triggers an overly aggressive immune response in some individuals called Covid -19. COVID-19 is known as an auto immune event because the body's normal infection defense system runs amok and attacks the body destroying the vascular system and multiple organs including heart, kidney, and brain.
Certain individuals are more susceptible to develop this uncontrolled reaction known as a cytokines storm. These people are the elderly, those with medical illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease, and those with type a blood and the impoverished or malnourished because they have no resilience to this virus.
This virus spread like a wave over the planet beginning in China in December 2019. The earliest cases documented in America were in January 2020. Due to political gamesmanship and a fundamental denial of science, our current government administration chose to ignore the facts and delay implementation of a shut down and use of basic common public health policy actions to avoid the devastation to the economy and loss of hundreds of thousands of American lives.
From the very start there has been a secondary pandemic of disinformation intended to distract us from doing the right thing to stop the pandemic as has been done in many other nations. Many so-called medical experts have challenged common sense use of masks. Many still talk about it being less of a problem than the flu or a cold. They state that mortality is low, but they ignore the auto immune condition that is causing chronic morbidity.
The viral pandemic can be controlled. We see the countries that understand cooperation and love have eliminated the virus. The countries that live with the most divisiveness and disinformation have the most virus. The countries with authoritarian leaders have the most virus. The countries with arguments for libertarian freedoms have the most virus.
New Zealand is an example of a compassionate nation that contain the virus. Containment as possible in January and February, when, for political reasons, our president chose to ignore science and allow Americans to suffer and die. Some politicians have suggested that the elderly are expendable.
The White House Chief of Staff has given up completely on containing the pandemic. They are depending on a vaccine to return to "normal". This lackadaisical approach will result in hundreds of thousands of more American deaths: carnage in America.
Mitigation is still possible in America if we had strong leadership. We need a leader to promote masking, distancing, and handwashing. We need to immediately begin a robust contact tracing program (something that the White House ignored during the super spreader event for the supreme court justice). There needs to be enforceable quarantine for those identified contacts. Continue testing is necessary to find the infectious and isolate them. If we do this, we can reduce and eventually contain the pandemic.
We need to contain the pandemic because mortality rates globally remain at 5%. In America we have been better able to manage the auto immune disease, thus reducing the mortality rate. Even if the mortality rate remains in America around 1%, the president’s policy to achieve heard immunity will result in at least 3 million American deaths. In addition, we may have 30 million people with chronic illness due to the autoimmune organ damage.
Many people are concerned about vaccines that have yet to fully developed or approved. Some of these are novel genetic interventions that are not vaccines. In fact, most of the products being developed are not yet proven safe in humans. Currently one, Novavax, is a standard protein vaccine. However, if we contain and mitigate, we will not need a vaccine that has yet to be approved, and we can stop worrying.
Wear a mask - Wash your hands - Watch your distance
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