“We have to admit: the information being delivered is full of conflicting evidence.”
Before any task is performed it is best to have a reliable pathway towards completion: the saying “measure twice and cut once” is a sound advice. For COVID-19 it seems that we have been cutting and cutting without any measurable documentation in place without fully understanding the consequences of our actions. What if the health authorities got it wrong? Of course, in their defense, it can be said that this is a novel virus and we are doing our best in treating this viral attack, at least till we will have a vaccine to inoculate the world. We have to admit: the information being delivered is full of conflicting evidence starting with the ‘wear masks—don’t wear masks’ discussion, continuing with social distancing and airflow of water droplets, not to mention gloves which—instead of preventing contamination—turn into a Petri dish thanks to everything touched on multiple surfaces. What was necessary yesterday does not apply today, as for tomorrow? If your life depends on it, you may have better luck checking your horoscope.
The World Health Organization (WHO) first estimated that the death rate from Covid-19 would be 3.4% of those contracting the virus, and due to the high death rate it caused massive fear and panic and was the cause of the lockdowns. Now the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is admitting the numbers are much lower, under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26%. Officials estimate a 0.4% fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35% rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26%. If we were to adjust for the 50% asymptomatic the rate would drop the fatality rate to 0.2% – less than the possibility of dying in a car accident and exactly the rate of fatality Dr. John Ionnidis of Stanford University projected.
One of the most important information implies that coronavirus may be other than a virus; it may also be a bacterium and blood issue, and we may have been treating it completely wrong from the beginning.
A lot of information is coming from all over the world, with researchers trying to find out what might be behind and beyond coronavirus. Some of them claim that there is no real threat out there. “In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo, head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, the capital of the northern Lombardy region. “The swabs performed over the past 10 days have showed a viral load that is absolutely infinitesimal in quantitative terms compared to those carried out a month or two months ago. Someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country”. Another doctor from northern Italy also thinks that the virus is weaker now. “The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength that it has today,” said Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in the city of Genoa. “It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different.”
Others are doing their best to find out what the link between the coronavirus deaths and other health issues really is. “We need those tissues to determine what is killing patients affected by COVID-19,” says pathologist Roberto Salgado of the GZA-ZNA Hospitals in Antwerp, Belgium. “Is it pneumonia? Is it blood clots? Why do they develop kidney failure? We have no clue.”
Based on the autopsy reports of those who died from COVID-19 in Italy, it seems that all had a blood disorder. Desiree Marshall, a pathologist at the University of Washington, says that “it’s often the cascading organ failure triggered by acute respiratory distress syndrome—or ARDS—that causes elderly people to die from influenza, and firefighters to die from smoke inhalation, and cancer patients to die from reactions to chemotherapy.” According to the Science Talk by W. Wayt Gibbs and Steve Mirsky from April 23, 2020 Gibbs says that “the pressing question we need to answer for COVID-19 is whether it’s just ARDS that makes the disease deadly, or whether this new disease is different and even more complicated to treat than what doctors have seen before.”
These tie into the blood clots. “Jeffrey Laurence, a haematologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and his colleagues examined lung and skin samples from three people infected with COVID-19 and found that the capillaries were clogged with clots. Other groups, including a team led by O’Donnell, have reported similar findings. “This is really very new.” This might help to explain why some people have critically low blood-oxygen readings, and why mechanical ventilation often doesn’t help. It’s a “double hit”, says O’Donnell. Pneumonia clogs the tiny sacs in the lungs with fluid or pus, and microclots restrict oxygenated blood from moving through them.”
The reason behind clotting is still unclear and so are other complications of COVID-19. Researchers are now working on their hypotheses behind the frequently occurring phenomena so we are gaining new information and perspective every day. But how does our future really looks like?
We have been told that the virus can’t survive on surfaces of heat and humidity, and with temperatures rising, the virus is slowing down. Though it sounds like the WHO has downplayed it, there is evidence for this in each and every flu season. Also Vitamin D helps kill the virus and speed recovery, and since it is “the sunshine vitamin” there may be some truth to the fact.
Despite the dropping numbers and the positive effects of the upcoming summer months mentioned above, there is still mostly fear that has been projected on us. Apparently, we should be expecting a second wave in September. But should we really? And mainly: do we have the right information about what’s going on? The answer is: most likely not.