Remember the coronavirus?
For those who may have forgotten (as the media seems to), it was made out to be a once in a 100-year global pandemic that was hyperbolized to wipe out like 10% of our population. Really scary stuff. But, it turns out that might not be as much of the case. For example, Germany’s Interior of Ministry claims we set off a “global false alarm,” but deep down I think it’s still too early to tell.
Before I get too into it I want to point out that these non-spikes could be a result of seasonality for the virus. Maybe we’ll have to wait and see once flu season reappears.
Naturally, I’m acknowledging that I could be wrong.
But still as we have seen with these protests and riots in the streets, many people have been defying social distancing mandates, and there hasn’t been a nationwide spike in cases, hospitalizations, or deaths.
And rightfully, coronavirus has taken a back seat in the past week. But will it come back to the forefront of the news cycle? That is a real question. After months of quarantining and forced shelter in place orders, pretty suddenly the floodgates opened to mass crowds in the streets. When coronavirus becomes a story again will that story really be of how we greatly overreacted?
And for the record, I think when these crowds of protesters are peaceful they are justified. But still, should we be concerned?
Yes, people are dying, and it is incredibly sad. To put it in politician speak, “one life is too many lives”, but in all seriousness it is too bad that a disease that seems like the only thing we knew/know to be concrete was how deadly it is to our older generation, those above the age of 65. We did a terrible job of protecting them. Of those that I know who tragically passed from the virus, they were all in this demographic. Estimates are about 33% of the deaths in this country come from people who reside in senior living facilities.
When looking at the stats, the actual mortality rate for this disease in the US is 0.057% as of 4:30pm on Wednesday June, 4.
This rate really only increases exponentially if you are above the age of 65 and/or have an immunodeficiency disorder. Regardless of any smokescreen, political view, or data point, this was known to be true since the very beginning of the pandemic. You can’t deny that China told the truth about who was dying, even if the amount of people actually dead is false.
So what happened in the subsequent few weeks of the lockdowns?
Well no one became bigger self proclaimed medical experts than users on twitter after President Trump endorsed the drug Hydroxychloroquine as a potential remedy for the virus in April.
If you are a conservative, it was a gift from above to save us all. If you were a liberal, it was an irresponsible and evil recommendation that gave people the right to drink fish tank cleaner. It really is pathetic, yet kinda comical (in a dark way), how quickly medicine got turned political while people were dying regardless of if it was effective or not.
Having been FDA approved since 1955, it seemed completely rational, regardless of party, to think that there couldn’t be much of a downside to testing the drug and getting a clear idea as to its effectiveness in response to covid19. Initially a ton of anecdotal evidence became available as patients were being treated, and cured with the drug. I may have missed it but I haven’t heard any “anecdotal” evidence of the drug making someone worse off.
After the media then threw a hissy fit about how it was irresponsible to tout an “unproven” drug, it kind of went back into the shadows and we stopped hearing about it for a little bit. That was until Trump announced in a press conference on May 18 that he had been prescribed the anti-malarial drug as a potential preventative measure.
This led to people questioning his decision, as they have the right to, and saying that the President was putting his “life at risk” by taking the drug (that has been prescribed to people for over 65 years).
Then, just 4 days after this announcement one of the most prestigious medical journals in the country, The Lancet, published a study that concluded that taking hydroxychloroquine led to an increased chance in death for people who have covid. So it “confirmed” Trump really could be putting his life at risk. Governments and medical organizations changed, and even stopped, their clinical study research on the drug as a result of this paper being published.
But now that we are 13 days out from that study being published, The Lancet has RETRACTED it. The data they got was made up. Talk about fake news.
The Guardian reported an entire expose yesterday on how the company that was “collecting” the data is completely fraudulent. Today The Lancet confirmed that report and retracted the study. It’s scary how these numbers were used in a real, scientific research study. During these confusing and trying times, it’s our doctors and medical community that we need to have the most trust and confidence in.
This doesn’t vindicate hydroxycholorquine completely, but it does keep the opportunity alive for it to save lives and prove to be an effective treatment for coronavirus. We will have to wait and see, but I think if you are on team humanity then you should be rooting for the drug. At what point does real anecdotal evidence just become hard evidence? I guess that’s up for the doctors to decide. Hopefully they use real data.
Well, I guess stay safe out there and keep trying to social distance. A Stanford report estimates that over 50% of people who are positive to the virus are asymptomatic anyways. So, really make sure you are protecting the elders and vulnerable in your life.