2 cents: Pandemic

Emily’s COVID update, March 25, 2022

I’m not going to lecture (because lectures never convince anyone) and I’m not going to link to the official state and federal COVID websites because they are not consistent.

I personally intend to wear an N95 mask whenever I’m indoors with people other than my family, until COVID is really gone, because:

· N95 masks are not THAT uncomfortable.

· They work better than cloth or surgical masks (by a lot. Cloth and surgical masks are only a tiny bit effective against Omicron).

· I live with someone who is high risk.

· Vaccines on average prevent acute symptoms and death. However, vaccinated people still catch and spread COVID easily.

· I know that the vaccines wear off – that’s why we are told to get boosters – and I know that natural immunity from having the disease ALSO wears off. “Breakthrough” cases are happening everywhere and I have no way of knowing who might be infected and contagious and how well my own vaccine is still working.

· I am worried about getting “mild” COVID because “mild symptoms” include migraine headaches, brain fog, depression, aggressiveness, and total exhaustion, along with permanent damage to heart, lungs, brain, liver. “Mild” is how the medical world describes anything that doesn’t put you in the hospital. I wish they had another word for it, because “mild” is how normal people describe pleasant weather.

· Roughly 1/3 of those who get “Mild” COVID end up with Long COVID.

· I lost my taste/smell for a few days when I got COVID in December (while vaxed, while wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask), and it is the pits. I enjoy good food and essential oils too much.

· There is already a new variant spreading in Hong Kong, Australia, and the UK: Omicron BA.2. It seems no more *deadly* than original flavor Omicron, but it spreads even more easily, which will certainly lead to another surge in hospitalizations soon, in the US. Omicron BA.2 seems to be manifesting as diarrhea and vomiting, resembling stomach flu, and is hard to find with COVID tests.

· I worry the next new variant (and the next new virus after COVID 19) might be deadlier. We’ve learned that pandemics sneak up on us quickly, and it pays not to let our guard down.

· Your mileage may vary.

· It is also possible that the Omicron BA.2 virus (or the next variant) is so contagious that it doesn’t matter – we’ll all get it anyway, unless we wear hazmat suits.

· It could be worse, we could be dealing with COVID *and* an invading Russian army. One day at a time, one day at a time….

COVID News highlights:

One third of all US child COVID deaths occurred during Omicron surge

Even mild cases of COVID can cause brain damage and shrinkage, study finds. The tissue damage occurred in the parts of the brain that control the sense of smell, which could explain why some people lose their ability to smell.

An Omicron “subvariant” is doubling in NY, just as mandates lift. Wastewater surveillance in NYC is showing an increase in COVID readings.

Roughly one third of patients who suffered from COVID, and then recovered, developed new symptoms that required medical care in the following months.

Being prepared…. for more than COVID.... March 25th, 2022

(paraphrased from an article by Paul Herscu ND, MPH)

This is a prudent cautionary suggestion, related to the war in Europe now. It may not happen, I hope it will not happen, but human errors and mistakes are always possible. The use of nuclear weapons, or damage to a nuclear power plant, could cause radiation to be released into the air, which would spread around the planet. We would be helpless to do anything about most of this radiation. However, one form of radiation that is released from a nuclear explosion is radioactive iodine. Our bodies need iodine and we take it up readily. Radioactive iodine travels to the thyroid and causes serious health problems including thyroid cancer. However, if our bodies are full of normal, non-radioactive, iodine, the receptor site in the thyroid is “taken up” and the radioactive iodine has no effect. In other words, taking nonradioactive iodine into the body protects us from absorbing radioactive iodine. It does nothing for the other radiation, but it does protect us against this one particular hazard.

For this reason, it is suggested by all medical authorities that people take potassium iodide pills if there is a nuclear accident or explosion. (It should not be taken otherwise, as too much iodine can be toxic.) It is best to take it within 3-4 hours of exposure. Our local health care systems would do well to stock up on potassium iodide and have a plan for distributing it rapidly and efficiently.

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/bioterrorism-and-drug-preparedness/frequently-asked-questions-potassium-iodide-ki – Can KI be used