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.
The NON COVID corner, with a reflection on the well-rounded scientist
Covid numbers update
Nationally, the seven day average figure is fairly stagnant with the number sitting in the 72-75K range for daily cases. Last week was the same. The previous week the average was 85K cases per day down from 100K cases per day the week prior. Colder weather might be part of the failure to flatten faster phenomenon.
The Massachusetts 7 day average has also stalled in the 900 to 1,000 cases per dayrange, down from 2,300 cases 7 weeks ago, the peak of our Delta related increase in cases.
The Berkshire case load remains at over 200 cases diagnosed for this last week. We tallied 209 cases over the last seven days after last week’s 218 cases. That was up from 190 cases the week prior. Before that there were 133 cases and 140 cases. Please recognize that the virus continues to circulate in our area at elevated levels.
Strong evidence in support of the early use of a re-purposed, cheap medication in the effort against COVID surfaced this week . Fluvoxamine, an inexpensive generic SSRI antidepressant has a unique anti-inflammatory effect. None of the other SSRI’s in the class have the same property. Leading clinician groups have long suspected it to be active against COVID. FLCCC’s protocol for acute COVID and Long COVID have included it for many months.
New data shows that when taken within 7 days from the onset of symptoms in mild to moderate COVID cases in at risk population fluvoxamine reduced the incidence of developing complications.
Zero (0%) of the 80 patients treated with fluvoxamine deteriorated, whereas six (8.3%) of the 72 patients given a placebo saw their condition get worse. This was a good quality study (called TOGETHER) and it further showed that in COVID-19 outpatients at high risk for complications hospitalizations were cut by 66%and deaths were reduced by 91% in those who took fluvoxamine.
How cheap is it? 10–15 dollars per course. Contrast that with hundreds of dollars for molnupiravir and thousands for remdesivir. It should be an interesting one to watch.
Is Delta Plus a nightmarish killer? Short answer: No. The Covid incidence is rising again in the UK (😳) and the sequencing data shows “Delta plus” (a slightly more contagious version of COVID) is becoming a predominant strain. The good news is the Delta Plus is not expected by many Pandemaniacs to drive a new wave in a big or scary way. Delta Plus sounds like the name of a personal hygiene product, doesn’t it? (Is it pH balanced?)
Notable in the data used to make an argument to vaccinate children is that no benefits were observed in the small trial.
There were under 3000 children and no one in the either arm of the study got seriously ill or died (thankfully). So many are trying to understand how to calculate the benefits.
That is one aspect of the significant pushback from critics saying the Pfizer vaccine fails any reasonable risk benefit analysis in connection with healthy children. Polls show that a majority of parents are concerned about administration.
As always I say it should be individualized. For a person to choose the path in life that suits them is an ideal that I hold in high esteem. It’s how I see it.
Sweden has extended the pause of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 30 and youngerdue to rare heart-related side effects, their public health agency said this week.
“The health agency said earlier in October that data pointed to an increase of myocarditis and pericarditis among youths and young adults vaccinated with Moderna vaccine, and paused the use for all born 1991 or later.”
It’s important to note these news items, I think.
I conclude the Pandemic Update section with a somewhat exasperated thought:
I can’t believe this whole thing is threatening to linger on. The challenges are robust. Determining the best way forward is not a black and white affair. If I thought throwing a temper tantrum would help, I would consider it.
I’m not so sure it would help. What is clear is that we are being asked to engage in it. There’s no escaping it. We need to do the work of our lives and remember we need to support each other.
NON COVID Corner
This week we have the Science Minute in the NON COVID Corner!
Are you in?
…but we need to make a couple of clarifications regarding what we mean by “trust science.”
Surely we aren’t talking about political science or social science. And I know we are not talking about the informational sciences and certainly not about science fiction.
Furthermore, we can’t mean the science of behavioral modification (aka mind control)? No, but we have to realize this has become a finely tuned science. And we have to trust that we can withstand it only by recognizing the power of the handheld thought boxes we carry around and stare at for much of the day and night.
By “trust the science” do we mean…
industry sponsored science? Be careful there. Many editors of scientific journals have written commentaries on the poor quality data they are routinely seeing. Science isn’t immune to trickery and techniques to gain advantage. Humans are tempted to cheat for at the pole position. Morality is not always in abundant supply. Skepticism is healthy.
What do we mean by “trust science”?
We must mean “trust the scientific and technological advancements that have come out of the fields of the life sciences and natural sciences and the efforts to safely improve our lives through implementing the advancements.”
How science and technology will impact society is the question that everybody knows we have to face. The changes in society are accelerating over the last hundred years and promise to bring unrecognizable conditions over the next hundred and beyond.
Scientific and technological advancement is the elephant in the room. In many ways the benefits we have seen from applying them to address illness have enhanced comfort for many people. It comes with compromise though. Advances in earth science aren’t necessarily linked to progress for what is essential to mankind, for our wholeness, for our spiritual nature. Like many things, technology is a fairly neutral tool. Our ability to use it for good is the difference maker. Our self advocacy will either be there for our true advancement or not.
When we say,”trust the science,” we don’t refer to the science of intuition, unfortunately. In fact, we feel the need to exclude the subjective from the scientific.
“I didn’t arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe through my rational mind.”
These are the words of a scientist who represents the type of expansive thinking that our typical educational and cultural approach does not recognize. It’s the type of thinking that points to a different perspective on science. They, of course, are the words of Albert Einstein.
“I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.”
“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”
Do you see how the scientific starts to merge into a spiritual outlook when taken to a certain point?
“Our separation from each other is an optical illusion.”
“When you examine the lives of the most influential people who have ever walked among us, you discover one thread that winds through them all. They have been aligned first with their spiritual nature and only then with their physical selves.”
“The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.”
Science can be trusted when we remember who we are and are intentional with what direction our progress is taking us.
“One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike. We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us. It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware.”
So in the meantime we should look to discover more about ourselves and how to advance the whole human initiative. I trust that. Like I said earlier, I’m in.
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”