Covid Advice #20 (02/10/2022):
Keep Masks on, Call if Covid, Answers to 4 objections
Keep Masks on, Call if Covid, Answers to 4 objections
- from Dr. Dennis Fong -
There seems to be a move by the media and many authorities to have us believe that, other than getting your Covid vaccine, everything should be back to before Covid days. Maks and proff of vaccine requirements are coming off most everywhere, and the media is talking as if Omicron is no worse than the flu and that Covid is over. Even more, some in the media are now telling people not to call the doctor when they get Covid, just stay home and rest. I say that's all wrong and dangerous to your health, both short term and long term. Masks don't have to mean lockdowns/isolation, and no masks means riskiknig long term sickness. (Nationwide, that translates to risking a long term sick America.) I am against both lockdowns/isolation and long term sickness, that's why I am for masks and for calling the doctor if you think you have Covid or might get Covid.
Here are four objections you might hear from friends and family, and my answers.
Objection 1: "But it's only the unvaccinated that get Covid now; why should the vaccinated bend backwards for them?"
Answer: No, with Omicron the vaccinated are also getting it.
With my patients, all my Omicron cases so far have been vaccinated except for one person, and almost all of them have had 3 shots. And there's been a lot more cases: in the 7 plus weeks since Dec. 22, 2021, the date of my first Covid case after 3 weeks of calm, I've had almost twice as many cases as in the last 2 years of Covid.
The point you don't hear from the media is that Covid is like the flu in becoming a new virus every so often, except it takes the flu a whole year to do it. Then, it's called a new flu season and both vaccines against the flu and infections with the flu from the year before don't protect you any more. Covid is acting the same, only difference is that it takes Covid only a few months to come up with a new variant. Hopefully I am wrong, but there will be a new variant after Omicron.
Also, although most deaths are non-vaccinated, about 15-17% of Covid deaths have been vaccinated. At an average of 2,619 per day in the US, that is not a small number.
Objection 2: "But Omicron is no worse than the flu..."
Answer: No, it's far worse than the flu.
Flu doesn't give you long term illness. Omicron, like all Covid, can. On the CDC website, it says that long Covid is at least 10%, and that it happens with both serious and mild Covid cases. At my most recent Mayo Clinic seminar, the estimate is at least 15%. Since 23.4% of the U.S. has been officially diagnosed with Covid, and many self diagnosed with home testing are not counted, then probably at least 2.34% of the U.S. population has or has had long Covid.
Besides long Covid, we don't know what other long term consequences Covid might have. Science doesn't know this virus long enough yet.
Flu doesn't kill more than 20,000 a year in the whole U.S. in the last few years, which means average 54 a day. Covid has killed 550,000 in the U.S. in 2021, which means average 1,482 a day. Omicron has killed 89,900 in the U.S. in 2022 to today, Feb. 10, which means 2,193 a day, even worse than the 2021 average. In California it's 140 a day in 2021 and 135 a day in 2022 to today. What's more, the daily deaths are still climbing, not decreasing, both in the U.S. as a whole and in California.
Objection 3: "But they say no need to call the Dr. when you get Covid, just stay home 5 days and rest..."
Answer: No, I tell my patients to call me when they think they've got Covid, or they have been exposed, especially if they have not been vaccinated, or if they know they have pre-existing medical conditions.
The key is that Covid happens in three pahses:
- Viral phase: this is like any virus - if it's mild you jsut get a cold-like or flu-like symptoms, and if it's severe, which is rare with Omicron, you get a pneumonia.
- Deranged immunity phase: this is usually the more dangerous: it's when the body's immune system becomes deranged and attacks, instead of the virus, the body parts that have been infected, the lungs and other parts. by the way, that's when your oxygen can go down within hours from normal to far lower than lethal levels for a regular pneumonia. That's why people need to self-monitor with a finger oxygen meter when they get Covid. 93% on a warm finger and you need to go to ER.
- Long Covid phase: this is where body parts remain sick, and if it's Covid's favorite three organs to infect that are sick, you can't function normally. These are the lungs, the heart and the brain. Both the lungs and the heart can give a person shortness of breath, fatigue and dizziness, and the heart can give a person severe heart pounding sometimes on minimal exertion. The brain gives people brain fog, inability to remember recent things, fatigue, sleepiness, depression, mood problems, and other psychiatric symptoms.
For everyone, even for those who don't have pre-existing medical conditions, you can still get problems in any of the above phases. So I tell my patients to call, so that I can assess their condition and help them prevent problems and help fix any that has happened. They may well need more than 5 days at home.
Objection 4: "But we don't want lockdowns, and isolation causes mental illness."
Answer: I too am against both lockdowns and isolation, that's why I am for masks and all those preventative measures.
Do get together with your family, friends, and relatives. Outdoors is safest, wear a mask and when not wearing a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart, maybe even 10 feet if it's going to be more than 15 minutes. So for eating, since masks have to come off, sit at different tables. If indoors then have as many windows and even doors opened as tolerable, and have a HEPA air cleaner going. If the place you are in doesn't have one, consider bringing your own smaller one and putting it next to you. Again, eat at different tables.
Do eat restaurant food from time to time (healthy dishes best), but either sit outdoors, or do take out.
Do go shopping, but keep your masks on. If you have to stand in line, since nobody seems to respect the 6 foot spacing any more, wear something to cover your hair so the person behind you isn't breathing on it, especially if they don't have a mask on or it's not on properly, and they are talking loudly and laughing. Worst if they are taller than you and all their sprays of microscopic saliva droplets drop down on your hair.
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I hav been working hard to prevent Covid among my patients and so far my patient Covid disease rate has been much lower than that in the Contra Costa County population. These measures do work. They are all on this website.
Wish you happiness! Stay healthy!
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