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Pandemic gets worse, vaccines finally come on line: but you already know that. I tell everyone I know to wear a mask, but no-one listens anyway.

2020-12-20

In the earlier stages of this pandemic, I posted frequently and even repetitively about the coronavirus, when information was new and fresh and I thought someone might be listening. “It’s highly contagious, spread by aerosols and droplets; wear a mask, isolate yourself from everyone, wash your hands frequently.”

The people who have to go out, can’t isolate themselves, or live in a big household with little space to isolate themselves– they can’t help but be exposed. They’ve already gotten sick and died, or got over it (mostly.)

I have discovered, finally, that no-one is really listening anymore, and there is little new information to be had. Most of the scientific work on coronavirus has been done, at least that which could be done quickly. Now the research is taking longer and people are becoming more and more burned out. This coincides with a worsening spread of the virus, with worrisome new mutations that enhance contagiousness, and hardening of attitudes.

We could have controlled it better if we were following the rules and sequencing every infection that we could to help with contact tracing. We could have done better if we had done sewage monitoring to detect the spread of virus early on. We could have done a lot of things. Now it’s nearly too late. At least 50 million– maybe 75 million– people have been infected already. It’s the leading cause of death throughout the US.

A large proportion– fortunately less than half– of the American population has completely blocked out the information which was readily available about how to protect yourself and how to support the needy. The Senate has failed to even consider stimulus measures that the economy desperately needs and that have been enacted in other advanced countries.

The rich are getting richer quickly and the poor are either dying or becoming homeless.

China appears to have gotten away with harsh measures to stop the spread of the virus within its own boundaries (or else they’ve managed to censor it to death.) A few other countries, mostly isolated ones like New Zealand and Taiwan, have escaped with few infections. Some countries with strong social bonds and powerfully controlling governments have also gotten away with it, like perhaps Vietnam (although we have heard very little about them recently.)

What we do know is that the situation is getting worse and worse right here in the US. Over three thousand people a day are dying and well over 200,000 people a day are reporting new infections. How many people are really succumbing is unknown, and I suspect that things are even worse than they appear to be. How many people are dying at home, with no access to medical care, alone?

The Intensive Care Units are full, including those in rural counties like San Joaquin, CA (where I happen to be), meaning that people with severe disease are going to die for lack of intubation or even just lack of 100% oxygen at 15 liters a minute.

This is the end stage. From here on in, if things continue to get worse (as they surely must) people will start dying of treatable disease. There is no monoclonal antibody for the people who need it; only a hundred thousand doses were on hand– they take a long time to make and are very expensive. People need monoclonal antibody at the earliest possible moment during the infection– and they are waiting until they get so sick that they can’t hold out any longer, when it is too lack for the monoclonal antibody to do any good. The only thing that helps at that stage is dexamethasone or some other immune inhibitor (that’s too expensive anyway.)

Poor people are going to die, and the man “in charge” for the next 31 days couldn’t care less.

(EM of coronavirus courtesy of NIAID)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Eric permalink
    2020-12-21 8:07 AM

    Do not despair, brother. Some people listen. You yourself may have chosen animosity over reconciliation, but that does not mean everyone stops listening and looking up. Yes, perhaps most. But even one is reason for a smile. Even when you might not have earlier seen any reason to smile.

    Like

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