Thursday, October 29, 2020


Here's a series of tweets from Ben Shapiro:

"IFR" means "infection fatality rate." That's what most people are focusing on, inluding many of us who aren't dismissive of the pandemic the way Shapiro is.

Maybe we need to talk about the survivors more:

And here's one response to Westerfeld's tweets:

These are people whose COVID left them with physical ailments that require surgery. Then there are others are with significant cognitive impairment:
After contracting the coronavirus in March, Michael Reagan lost all memory of his 12-day vacation in Paris, even though the trip was just a few weeks earlier.

Several weeks after Erica Taylor recovered from her Covid-19 symptoms of nausea and cough, she became confused and forgetful, failing to even recognize her own car, the only Toyota Prius in her apartment complex’s parking lot.

Lisa Mizelle, a veteran nurse practitioner at an urgent care clinic who fell ill with the virus in July, finds herself forgetting routine treatments and lab tests, and has to ask colleagues about terminology she used to know automatically.

“I leave the room and I can’t remember what the patient just said,” she said, adding that if she hadn’t exhausted her medical leave she’d take more time off.

“It scares me to think I’m working,” Ms. Mizelle, 53, said. “I feel like I have dementia.”
Or breathing difficulties, like Mara Gay, a 33-year-old member of the New York Times editorial board who was a runner before her infection and went on to write:
I am one of the lucky ones. I never needed a ventilator. I survived. But 27 days later, I still have lingering pneumonia. I use two inhalers, twice a day. I can’t walk more than a few blocks without stopping.
The virus is less deadly than it was now, because we know more about treating it. It's quite possible that the current wave of infections won't result in as much death as previous waves, for that reason:

But death rates aren't the whole story. Right-wingers want them to be the whole story, and we've inadvertently given them an opening to weaponize medical science's increased ability to save COVID patients' lives. The president is talking about death only when he talks this way:
“It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems. That’s what it really affects,” the president said. “In some states, thousands of people — nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody. They have a strong immune system, who knows? Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”
But there's much more to this disease than that.

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