Having had more medical issues than I can remember (sometimes I make a list and try to remember everything, but I always forget something), I speak and understand “medicalese” pretty well. Not every word or every procedure or even all the normal diseases or conditions.
Nonetheless, on the whole, I’ve got a good grip on the difference between a virus and a bacteria, the nature of antibodies, and how they work as well as immune systems. If I haven’t had a particular disease, I’m sure I know someone who did.
This little plague of ours is different. It seems to have a lot of symptoms and may conjoin with other COVID-type illnesses. It wasn’t created in a lab and really, no one is sure where it came from. Testing on it started too late in China and much too late in the U.S. which means we are long past the point of being able to pin down the Alpha case.
There’s something very sneaky about this one. It’s supposed to be most lethal to the elderly with “issues” and relatively benign in younger people. It doesn’t seem to be all that clear on what it defines as “younger” people. It has killed a lot more young people than it should have yet left many seniors okay. Now they think they have found a related disease (parallel or just another version?) of COVID-19 which is specific to children, especially very young ones — babies and toddlers.
It bears a lot of resemblance to the flu insofar as it mutates quickly so it’s impossible to pin down from year to year exactly how it will present when it shows up. That’s why sometimes flu shots are more effective than others.
I think COVID 19 (and any other title they give the disease) may not be one disease but a variety of similar ones that are somehow passed along via a single virus. It may not produce lasting resistance even if you’ve had it. Many viruses don’t produce resistance, but most of them are less lethal than this nasty one.
All the terrible mistakes we’ve made and continue to make are not making it easier to pin this virus down. They may produce a vaccine that only works on some types of the disease, but not on others. As this country tries to “go back to normal,” the odds of a new wave of the virus killing hundreds of thousands more people is pretty good.
We aren’t going back to normal. We can’t. People will work until they look around and see their colleagues, friends, and family getting sick and dying. Then, all of a sudden, people will be a lot less eager to go out and play. Or work. This isn’t going to be a conveniently quick bubble that goes away when the sun comes out.
I’m not sure we’ve seen everything this virus can and will do. That we have the most mean-spirited, insensitive, greedy, narcissistic, dumbass as our president is not helping us either. We are short of tests, swabs, PPE. Everything we need to figure out where this disease was and where it is likely to go is absent or in very short supply.
I had a short, joyless laugh when the governor of Mississippi pulled back opening the state saying it simply was not ready. There is no more “Red” state than Mississippi. I don’t know how the election will go. I’m hoping people are not so blind that they prefer a murderer as president to any sane person.
But who knows? This country has a lot of issues, most of which have yet to be settled or even confronted.