Saturday, July 18, 2020

Coronavirus - It's Not Just How Many Die

There is so much happening in this time that I am finding it hard to write much about it. I let an entire month slip by without writing anything here; almost two months. I have been writing quite a bit, thank you for online writing workshops with Ariel Gore's Literary Kitchen and "Multiplicities" with Daniel Elder under the umbrella of Corporeal Writing. I don't write a lot about the killings by cops, the demonstrations and protests calling for police reform and Black Lives Matter and related concerns. I haven't written about the riots and police violence and the invasion of Federal cops into Portland and them snatching up peaceful protesters with unmarked cars wearing unidentified uniforms. The Federal cops who are escalating the protests; who shot a protester - a guy holding up a sign? a radio? (I don't remember right now) over his head and who was standing across the street - they shot him with a trajectory, right in the face; he was in critical condition and required facial reconstructive surgery and is having brain damage issues right now. That is completely uncalled for. They are literally kidnapping people from the streets and spraying with a banned chemical and more. They are not "quelling" the protests, they are instigating and stirring whipping the situation to critical. We were not a city "under siege" as the WH administration commented before he sent unwanted Federal cops here; we are under siege right now - by them. And the coronavirus is raging again, with predictions of it going higher and higher. Because people are quibbling about a face covering, a face mask. I am not going to climb into that one right now. Just as I am not going to climb into the inanity of our government in regards to the virus. Or the utter stupidity and cruelty of the push to get teachers and children back into schools when there is no plan for their protection, testing, treatment when the inevitable virus spread happens. I cannot believe some of the lies and the ignorance I have seen them spout. So, before I devolve further into my fury or anxiety producing rage at the pre-COVID virus which begins with T and is supported by R, who were destroying our country ahead of the pandemic, I want to share something I typed up and put out on Facebook.

... I have another concern regarding our current status ...

 I see some people who seem to be minimizing the impact of COVID-19 based on the percentage of people who die. This concerns me. Yes, the death rates are currently low, but are just beginning to increase, again; this is to be expected because of the spikes in infections following various stages of re-opening over the past weeks. (Currently, around 4% of those who become infected do die.) But it is important that we not only focus on the infection and death numbers. We must also be aware of other associated risks for those who get the virus; even those who are asymptomatic. I do not see people talking much about the potential long term effects for those who do recover from COVID-19. Yes, many more people recover than die. But it is becoming apparent that many who have recovered are experiencing or may experience health effects requiring treatment for months or years; it is unknown at this point what continuing effects are permanent. It also is starting to look like the antibodies may not protect those who have recovered for very long - and health care providers are seeing more cases of people who have recovered becoming reinfected. These findings should be taken into account when making activity decisions involving other people. Some of the current long term effects being observed in those who have recovered from even "mild cases" of COVID-19 include: - stroke (even in people age 30-40); - blood clotting (same age group); - significant lung damage, which may worsen over time and is probably permanent; even asymptomatic people may experience lung inflammation; - dangerous rashes in young children (part of a syndrome which is being linked to COVID-19); - heart damage: 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients experience cardiac dysfunction; - kidney failure; - liver abnormalities; - neurological manifestations - brain health is at risk; - fatigue and muscle weakness. According to current data available, the reported cases in the USA (July 17) are: -- deaths = 140,888 [projected to be around 225,000-240,000 by October 31] -- confirmed infections = 3,677,453 -- recovered cases = 1,076,823