PaulL thank you. I agree. I think dialing it down a little is quite in order now. A bit of grace and mercy.
While reading, I couldn’t help but remember hearing something recently on a podcast (I think it was Peter Attia’s) that made me realize how little we really do know. Peter has had a number of world-class scientists on the show to speak on the pandemic.
Just a cursory search on what we know about, for instance, the 1918 Influenza (arguably the worst pandemic of - at least - the past couple of centuries of human history), I turned up an NIH article (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720273/) in which the authors stated that “Studying the extent to which the 1918 influenza was like other pandemics may help us to understand how pandemic influenzas emerge and cause disease in general. On the other hand, if we determine what made the 1918 influenza different from other pandemics, we may use the lessons of 1918 to predict the magnitude of the public health risks a new pandemic virus might pose.” This article was published in 2006, and is musing over the needs to continue studying a virus and a pandemic from 100 years ago.
One hundred years ago.
My point is, that we need to throttle down a little. From my perspective, it seems that we are on the front end of this thing. There is much we don’t know. Yes, we have some stats. But we don’t know (pardon me) jack about the range of the nuances of this virus and the strains of it.
Let me explain on a practical level.
I work for a very small pest control company. Total staff is ten people. Early on, one of my service techs’ wife tested positive, and had to stay home. Her case was moderate, and she recovered, but the tech was out for two weeks, and the entire family was quarantined. He lost two weeks of pay, and we temporarily lost a top tech. Soon after, another tech’s wife tested positive, and he was out for over a week until they came back negative. Four weeks ago, my boss’s wife, who is an admin at a local nursing home, tested positive, and was asymptomatic. She is still asymptomatic. My boss tested negative, as well as everyone else in the household. At that same time, my office manager developed a fever and cough and had to stay home until test results proved that she did not have the virus. Our little company has survived the ups and downs, but it was a stressful and crazy few weeks.
Early on in the pandemic, I was a maniac about sanitizing, masks, distancing, and the whole lot. Since my business is an “essential” one, we never skipped a beat and have been out working in it all. We work outdoors and never come in close contact with a client, so it is super minimal in any social contact. The most contact I had in public was the gas pumps and grocery stores.
My mania waned eventually, and my desire to sanitize my credit card and hands to the point of being raw was lost to the acceptance of the reality that I cannot know where the virus is, aerosol droplet or bead of sweat on a gas pump handle. I accepted the fact that I would probably eventually get it. Many people depend on me every day for many things. I had to make the choice to stay the course or let it drive me crazy.
As for my own health and lifestyle, I have been low carb, keto, carnivore, or some iteration thereof since 2004. I’ve been an endurance runner since 2010, and this year have logged over 400 miles. I work a very physical job, and the days can be 12-15 hours, easily. I have no problem getting my exercise, and religiously supplement Magnesium, Vitamin D3, and on and on. That’s the long and short of my health background. Nothing supernatural or fantastic here, but I try hard to take care of myself. I can’t remember the last time I was sick enough to stay home from work. I haven’t had a flu shot in 25 years, and haven’t had the flu in 30. Gratefully, I haven’t had more than a sniffle or tinge of sore throat since January, and just chalk that up to seasonal allergies.
With all the hoo-ha and COV2 stuff at work, I wondered about the possible unknowns within my own little circles. I went on the LabCorp website and ordered an antibody test. I had the blood draw last Monday, and got the results the next day. Positive. “Recent or prior infection with SARS COV2.” There was never a symptom. So, I got suspicious that it was a false positive, although the report assured me that false positives were infrequent with the IgG test. So I ordered test number two. Same result. Positive for SARS COV2 antibodies.
After all that, I’m still no farther ahead, in my opinion. To me, this tells me nothing definitive. I don’t know when I “had” the virus. My body produced the antibodies, and apparently fought the infection. But what does it all mean? It would be easy for me to feel that low carb has provided some mythical protection or conferred some superpowers. I don’t believe that. But I think that’s where we are in all this. Really brilliant experts often disagree, and I have heard many examples of the experts disagreeing on many points regarding the present pandemic. My own experience has provided not a lot to help clear it up.
To me, it appears we know a lot less than we think we do. If we’re still learning the implications of Influenza 1918, then certainly we’re only on the tip of SARS COV2 iceberg.
I think time will tell.