I believe that medicine’s potential is much more than the version we see in the world today. A doctor should be an educator with the goal of bringing patients to a place of deeper understanding of who they are in the world. To me, medicine is ultimately about self-empowerment through self-knowledge and growth.
Whereas your algorithm might feed you a national headline saying:
we are close to peaking, but many states are still climbing. Don’t be too cheery.
and by the way, Omicron isn’t so mild!
and who knows what the scary future may bring!
I, on the other hand, am not afraid to paint a more hopeful picture.I think optimism leads to better futures. And there’s truly a lot about which we can be optimistic!
For example, by all indications, the U.S. and Europe — where a “west-to-east tidal wave” is unfolding —
…are following the South Africa–United Kingdom model. There, Omicron rose and fell fast, obliterating the more fearsome Delta, and leading to far lower rates of hospitalization and death, and high rates of natural immunity.
Studies are suggesting there are a lot of asymptomatic cases with Omicron, increasing the numbers of immune people.
This all adds up to non Pandemic-riddled times ahead on the horizon! After the UK peaked and cases came down, their government announced plans to end all mandates and vaccine passports. The vaccine performance and the future projections don’t warrant those measures, they say.
Anatomy of a Peak
And by the way, our local (east coast) numbers are clear. We peaked. Let me show you show you the anatomy of what a peak looks like in our home state, by the numbers:
7 day average cases counts in Massachusetts:
below 9,000 daily
Hospitalizations in Massachusetts
Omicron hospitalizations peaked at 3300 patients last week, now down to 3100.
For context, the largest peak for COVID hospitalizations was in 4/2020 with 4000.
Deaths, peak number, in each of the three waves we have weathered:
200 deaths per day at the peak
100 deaths per day at the peak
mid January 2022
50 deaths per day on average, now down below 40 daily now
Omicron is leading to less hospitalizations and less intense hospitalizations of shorter duration.
Omicron is clearly a game-changer. In a large new study by researchers from Berkley and Kaiser Permanente, just 1 in 52,272 Omicron patients died, compared to 14 in 16,982 Delta patients.
In other words, it would take nearly three-quarter million Omicron patients to equal the number who died in that sample of roughly Delta 17,000 patients. These numbers look good!
Here are a few universally good ideas supported by recent medical journal offerings:
D is protective; get some sun, consider supplementing if you can’t get to the Mediterranean Sea
Exercise hones the immune system, heating up the body is so important
Meditation turns down inflammation and optimizes immune system.
Now to break up the good news party for a second. Some unsettling news aired this week that in emails from February 2020 Health Agency heads were given the scientific intelligence that the Wuhan Lab was likely the source of the developing Pandemic.
Dr Collins, the former director of the US National Institutes of Health, warned that being open about that strong opinion could damage “international harmony.” I would add, “among other things.”
Viscount Ridley, co-author of Viral: the search for the origin of Covid, said: “These emails show a lamentable lack of openness and transparency among Western scientists who appear to have been more interested in shutting down a hypothesis they thought was very plausible, for political reasons.”
I don’t have a whole lot of experience running countries and advising 100s of millions of people on things, but it’s still wildly shocking that science and the Wuhan Lab likely are responsible for… the Pandemic! It makes my head spin. You really have to sit with that for a while. I nearly fall out of my seat when I ponder it. Plus no one wants to be lied to. Not at all. Trust who you say? Not really possible under that circumstance.
In the context of this lab origins thought, comedian Jon Stewart joked in a recent piece that the catastrophic end of the world, if it comes to that, will likely be immediately proceeded by a scientist looking up from his seat at the lab bench, proclaiming, “It worked!”
To say the least, I don’t envy the honchos being in a position where they can’t just seek out the truth and speak it. However, isn’t the truth always best for everyone?
More than being critical of the government for trying to figure out a very difficult job, I want to stimulate the reader’s curiosity and critical eye. So much is of what we see is curated and manipulated, whether it’s social media, advertising, or even official narrative on the evening news. With a thought influencing computer screen in your face for many hours every day, you better believe that people are vying to use it to make you think in certain ways about things. It’s unsolvable other than to know that in the unsolvable there is the need to stay alert and to be striving to strengthen our thinking, with our own efforts, in deepening our connection with our own self.
And finally, in the (?) too little too late department
“US Government Makes Free COVID-19 Tests Available (CIDRAP) Americans can order four free COVID-19 at-home antigen tests at COVIDtests.gov, 1 month after President Joe Biden said he was securing 500 million free tests for Americans. Last week, amid the growing surge in cases caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Biden doubled the number of tests to be made available, to 1 billion. The tests will be sent via the US mail and should arrive within 7 to 12 days, according to the website. Over the weekend, people with private health insurance were also able to begin submitting reimbursements for up to eight COVID-19 tests per month that are bought at pharmacies.”