Pandemic is not over.
Pandemic is not over. I know all of the news of vaccines may have caused a sigh of relief. That sense of relief is premature. A virus evolves as it infects more people and animals. In most viruses like the common cold evolves into less virulent forms. This does not seem to be the case with Covid-19. I think a short explanation of how a virus infects the body is useful.
Fool me once
A virus is not alive as we understand life. Humans, mammals, fish and plants reproduce sexually to ensure their offspring continue the species. Viruses do not reproduce in this way. A virus is nothing more than a shell and RNA. The virus reproduces by entering a healthy cell implanting its RNA which causes the now infected cell to make copies of the virus before the cell dies. A virus is able to infect healthy cells because our immune system has no memory of the Covid virus. Yes our immune system learns by way of what is called B-memory cells. These cells help the immune system make antibodies. Without the ability to create antibodies we have no natural defense against the Covid-19 virus. Pandemic is not over.
Evolution in real time
Even If you do not believe in evolution, evolution believes in you. As a virus infects more and more people the chance of the virus evolving (mutating) increases. This is a natural occurrence because of the differences in each human and other species DNA. The mutation that occurs as a virus evolves usually makes it less virulent. Viruses do not want to kill the host (humans). It is bad for the survival of the virus if there are no host to infect. This not always the case. Sometimes a virus will kill anyone that does not have some sort of natural immunity. Think of polio or smallpox. Until scientists created vaccines the world suffered countless deaths from outbreaks of these viral diseases. Fortunately these two viruses did not mutate significantly allowing for a vaccine to be developed. This is not the case for Covid-19.
Covid-19 doing the unexpected
A virus starts mutating as soon as it infects a living creature. As soon as the Chinese scientists sequenced the Covid-19 DNA other scientists around the world started seeing mutations in the virus. In March of last year there were at least seven known variants of the Covid-19 virus. Now there is the English variant that is more contagious but apparently less lethal. The variant that is worrying scientists is the South African variant. People studying this mutation of Covid are not sure if the current vaccine is effective against it.
What this means to you
As viruses mutate you are still at risk. You are at risk for all of the potential short and long term effects of Covid-19. Do not assume that the vaccine is going to work against all the mutations. The only way to minimize the odds of becoming infected is maintain social distancing and wear a mask around people that are not your immediate family. As my wife tells me she does not want the guilt of passing the virus to my elderly parents potentially causing their deaths. I hope you will be as unselfish as my wife. As Smokey the Bear says “only you can prevent forest fires”. This goes for Covid-19 as well. Only you can stop the spread of Covid-19. Pandemic is not over.
Pfizer Covid Vaccine Works
Pfizer Covid Vaccine Works. According to data released by the company this morning their Covid-19 vaccine is 90% effective. That is great news if the announcement is accurate. As is always the case the devil is in the details. Which age group does the 90% effectiveness pertain.
Who will receive the vaccine first
There are several groups that have been recognized as being at the front of the line when a vaccine becomes available. The federal government under the present administration has said that the vulnerable populations in nursing homes and extended care facilities will be one of the first group to be vaccinated. The other groups that will receive the vaccine are hospital staff, the military, police, fire and other first responders. The rest of us will be offered the vaccination after those first groups.
Twice the fun
The Pfizer vaccine will be given in two shots. The first shot will be followed by the second shot 21 days later. This means Pfizer will produce 600 million doses to vaccinate the population of the United States. It is unlikely that one company alone will be able to provide that many doses. Which is why there are multiple companies working on a vaccine. Not everyone is going to receive the same vaccine. This is normal. One vaccine may be better suited to children while another may be better for adults over 60.
Immunity is what counts
A vaccine is the first step to stopping the virus from spreading. The vaccine will help the body kill the virus making transmission impossible. When between 70% to 90% of the world population has some sort of immunity the virus will stop being a threat. This does not mean the virus will go away. The virus can linger in people and animals waiting for the momentary lapse in judgement that will allow it to spread once again. Just like Polio or the measles virus the Covid-19 virus has not gone away even with a vaccine. Only through constant vigilance and regular vaccinations can the human race keep the viruses and other microbes at bay from causing death and misery.
The CURE for Covid-19
The CURE for Covid-19. What did you think I meant? The CURE may not be the cure for Covid-19 their music may lift your spirits to get through the day.
Covid-19 causes heart problems
Covid-19 causes heart problems. There has been some reporting in the last several months that Covid-19 attacks different parts of the body leading to long-term inflammation. The newest studies from Germany tell us that even when people survive even a mild case of Covid-19 there is the potential for heart problems in the future.
Here is the link to the article of heart problems and Covid-19. https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/27/covid19-concerns-about-lasting-heart-damage/
Virus attacking organs is not unusual
There are viruses that attack every organ in the human body. The virus most of us have heard about is Hepatitis A,B and C. Hepatitis C is what you hear about because it causes scarring of the liver. The scarring causes eventual liver failure and death. Until Covid-19 the virus that worries doctors is Group Strep A throat infections which can lead to rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever causes permanent damage to the heart valves. Here is a link explaining how Group A strep can damage the heart. https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/rheumatic-fever-and-rheumatic-heart-disease
A mask and avoiding people can stop Covid and possible heart problems
Everything you have heard about not wearing a mask is false. A mask will help you not spread Covid-19 to others while other people wearing masks stops them from giving you Covid-19. There have been too many stories about people believing Covid-19 is a hoax or a mask will hurt them. This virus is real and will kill anyone that is susceptible to it. The virus kills the elderly, the young and those who have no apparent health concerns. Do not be the person who brings home the virus to your family causing the hospitalization or death of a loved one.
Covid-19 is here to stay
Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon. A virus does one thing and one thing extremely well. It infects the host to make copies of itself to infect others. There is nothing that will stop a virus unless there is a vaccine that provides long-term immunity. Think of the Covid-19 vaccine the same way as the Small Pox, Tuberculous and Polio vaccines. Those vaccines ended years of suffering and death for millions around the world. The Covid-19 vaccine may do the same thing for this generation.
Are you going out?
Governor Ducey is not listening to the CDC or the White House task force by opening the state of Arizona before we hit our peak of Covid-19 infections. Many scientists modeling our infection curve have said Arizona should not open before June 10th. Is going out to eat or to a bar or a movie worth the risk of contracting Covid-19? The answer may come down to trust. Are you going out?
Who do you Trust?
Are you going to make the intelligent decision based on science or the emotional decision that will put you and your family at risk? If you trust the science and the smart people behind the science you are going to continue doing the same thing as the last six weeks. Social distancing is the only way the American people have been able to slow the spread of this virus. Without social distancing the virus will continue to spread potentially killing more people and as we now know children.
The other choice is allowing your emotions to take over and jump into the deep end without a plan. Facts can help you make a less emotional choice. Scientists have estimated that anywhere from 25% to 80% of all people who contract Covid-19 are asymptomatic. Asymptomatic means you can have the virus with no visible symptom such as a fever or cough. You can spread the virus to your co-workers, friends and most importantly your family. All of those people can spread it to other people especially people with pre-existing conditions. Do you want the guilt of watching your infant children or elderly family members die because you went out and brought home the virus? How would you live with yourself if that happens? It is too late to trust the science once one of your children or parents dies as a result of your selfish, emotional actions.
Time to put on your big boy underwear and big girl panties.
Yes I am also tired of staying at home and not being able to see my siblings and parents. My siblings and I have all decided we are not going to be the ones responsible if our parents contract Covid-19. There is no hiking trail, no bar, no restaurant, no movie theater or other public activity I need to do right now. The risk is too great. I hope everyone else feels the same way. However as I have seen on the news many people all over the country are selfish. This selfishness is what will cause a second and third wave of the virus. Let’s all suck it up for just a little longer. Otherwise if you think it is bad now, it will be worse when the second wave hits. I ask again. Are you going out?
What the coronavirus means for the future. My wife and I watched a very good CNN townhall on the coronavirus. The hosts and expert guests gave excellent information and recommendations for people to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The number one recommendation is what every doctor and health professional tells the public every year during flu season. Wash you hands multiple times per day and do not touch your mouth, nose and eyes. Why not touch your face? Viruses can enter your body through mucous membranes. Your mouth, nose and eyes are all considered mucous membranes.
The coronavirus, Covid-19, is thought to have come from a specific species of bats. All wild animals have viruses that humans have no resistance. When humans eat wild animals like bats and monkeys the chances for an unknown virus to infect humans increases. This was such the case with HIV/Aids. HIV is a virus that lives in certain specifies of monkeys in Africa. It jumped to humans when those monkeys were eaten as food. This is the reason that western countries only eat certain animals that do not have unknown viruses.
The one idea that all the guest on the CNN townhall is that everyone in the United states will be infected with coronavirus. This is not a bad thing because it is from a family of viruses that the common cold is a member. Eighty percent of people who are infected with Covid-19 will experience little to no symptoms. The issue is even though one person may experience no symptoms they are still spreading the virus to others. This can be especially problematic for people who are at higher risks for complications. People at higher risk include those with underlying health conditions, impaired immune system or to young to receive vaccinations.
It is up to each of us to do what we can to stop the spread of Covid-19. Wash your hands frequently with soap, do not visit elderly people including your parents or grand parents and stay home if possible if you are ill.