Biscuit checks out!

Biscuit told me that he is tired of the pandemic and wants to go back to the way things were before all this happened. He refused to give me any insights this week, so I had the turn to Nindy for help. The more aggressive dog, she was happy to provide me with a few tidbits that irritated her this week. 

Breakthrough research by press releaseThis week Dexamethasone, a cheap and readily available steroid drug, was touted to be almost a wonder drug for COVID-19 that could reduce deaths and help seriously ill patients by 35%! Of course, this was announced in a press release without any data supporting the conclusions. Several of the comments made by the investigators suggesting this drug could be used in “all COVID-19” patients added to the confusion. A true breakthrough deserves a scientific presentation with data that everyone can review. 

The politicization of wearing masks. The most effective tool for preventing a respiratory infection like COVID-19 is a face covering. Since most young people (<50 years!) are asymptomatic in their infection, they cannot even tell they’re infected. Wearing a mask will protect others from COVID-19 and should not be considered a political statement or a sign of weakness! 

Incessantly forcing people to decontaminate surfaces. This is a respiratory virus, and forcing people to decontaminate surfaces, especially outside where they are exposed to ultraviolet light (which kills the virus), is not an efficient means of preventing infection. Most people can focus on only one action to prevent infection, and they’d be much better off wearing a mask than constantly dousing the environment with Lysol. 

Relative risk lists of common activities. Trying to rate the relative risks of catching COVID-19 from everyday activities Is truly ridiculous given the variables involved. A single activity undertaken with appropriate precautions, even if it involves more interaction between people, may be less likely to transmit COVID-19 than a “safer” activity where precautions aren’t taken. Risk also involves age and health!

Predicting large numbers of COVID-19 infections resulting from the black lives matter protests. It is interesting that so many pundits predicted enormous COVID-19 outbreaks as a result of the protests. Not only have these outbreaks not happened, but many of the protesters who’ve been screened for the virus do not appear to be infected. This suggests that young, healthy individuals–even in crowded outdoor settings–are less likely to transmit COVID-19 than was thought. 

Department of State travel advisories. The Department of State continues to advise all U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Given the widespread disease in the United States, maybe it’s time we reconsider the relative risk of travel to other countries? 

Nick Watney is first golfer infected!

Identifying every athlete who becomes infected with COVID-19. Why identify these individuals when so many people are becoming infected? While many are public figures, as long as they’re not putting others at risk, they deserve some privacy If they desire it. 

Wearing your mask while swimming! Did the CDC actually have to warn people that you can’t breathe through a cloth mask when it becomes wetSince some brides drown every year after jumping into the water in their wedding dresses, I guess it probably made sense. 

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

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