Growing US COVID-19 Infection and Death Toll
Much about the virus remains to be learned. What’s known isn’t comforting.
According to Thailand Medical News (TMN), “COVID-19 should not be regarded as a single disease, but rather as distinct diseases, according to specific mutated strains.”
Its ability to mutate into new strains was underestimated, each one with varying “potency, characteristics and properties,” complicating treatment and development of remedies.
While it’s unknown at this time, there’s “speculation by many medical researchers and doctors on the frontline that the COVID-19 disease is even much more serious that what they are being told and are witnessing, and that certain top government officials actually do know the real truths but are withholding crucial information from the public,” said TMN, adding:
“(E)merging research on how the (virus) evolve(s) and mutate(s), coupled with its ever growing potency and evolving modes of attack coupled with newer clinical manifestations and gradual revelations about its characteristics and properties are all painting a very grim future.”
According to China’s National Center for Bioinformation, scientists sequenced over 10,000 strains with over 4,300 mutations.
Professor Zhang Xuegong warned that current “understanding of the virus remains shallow. There are many unanswered questions.”
A new Lancet study found that about 5% of infected individuals took two weeks or longer to show symptoms.
During this time, they’re likely infecting others unwittingly because COVID-19 is “an extraordinarily transmissible virus,” epidemiologist Michael Mina explained.
Individuals in close contact with others risk infection. For young otherwise healthy people with strong immune systems, contracting the virus may cause minor illness or at worst something similar to a nasty case of flu, lasting a number of days before fully recovery.
It’s unknown how many Americans may have been exposed to the virus.
Through Thursday, 1,095,000 US cases were reported, nearly 64,000 deaths, surpassing the top level of annual US seasonal flu/influenza deaths, exceeding the official number of US combat deaths during a decade of Southeast Asia war in the 1960s and 70s.
US infection numbers are around one-third of the global total — twelvefold the number in China with over four times the US population.
It shows Trump regime failure to deal with the issue responsibly, festering throughout 2020 with miles to go before containing it because of flawed policies pursued so far — compared to China’s success in eliminating most outbreaks in around two months.
Instead of going all out to combat COVID-19, Trump proved he’s indifferent to human health and welfare.
He’s concerned only about increasing his personal wealth, serving the nation’s privileged class, stock market prices, and getting reelected — while falsely blaming China for his own failures.
The same goes for Congress and the Wall Street owned and controlled Fed — handing trillions of dollars in free money to favored financial and other business interests while countless numbers of Americans in need line up in bread lines nationwide for food to prevent starvation.
Federal indifference to ordinary Americans, including record numbers out of work, assures longterm pain and suffering for countless millions, including growing numbers infected with COVID-19.
Doctors and nurses on the front lines of treating virus-infected patients are vulnerable to contagion and emotional stress.
New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital’s ER director Dr. Lorna Breen, aged-49, took her own life in Virginia with family.
Her father, Dr. Philip Breen, said “(s)he was a doctor, every bit of the word that a doctor should be.”
“She put her life on the line to take care of other people. She was in the trenches, so to speak, right in the front line as people were dying left and right around her.”
She contracted COVID-19, recovered, and returned to work, then was sent home for further recuperation.
She and fellow healthcare professionals were putting in 18-hour days, sleeping in the hospital’s hallways.
“(S)he felt an overwhelming sense of wanting to help her colleagues and her friends who were still fighting the good fight and so she strapped on her harness and took the bit in her mouth and she went back,” her father explained.
She had no history of emotional problems. An associate said the grueling routine day after day “broke her.”
Her father explained that he sensed something was wrong. She described the onslaught of infected patients, some perishing before treatment could be administered.
The 200-bed hospital she worked at is in northern Manhattan, a community facility for area residents, at times in recent weeks treating mostly COVID-19 patients.
Its ER serves around 45,000 patients annually. It’s been overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
A statement by the Charlottesville, VA police department said she “succumbed to self-inflicted injuries,” with no further elaboration.
A Physician Support Line, staffed by psychiatrists, takes calls daily without appointment and free of charge from doctors in the US seeking peer support.
At a time when many doctors are dealing with stress from treating COVID-19 patients, psychiatrist Mona Masood said the following about doctors calling in:
“(T)hey…talk about the patients they’ve treated, the anxiety of going to work, and not having the proper PPE (personal protective equipment), about feeling overwhelmed, and not feeling like they have the support of the healthcare system.”
Some callers are already “hanging by a thread, and then the coronavirus happened.”
“All those things that were weighing them down before had to be put on the back burner when COVID-19 happened, and then it all burned.”
Dr. Lorna Breen is a casualty of the coronavirus that overwhelmed her emotionally.
Co-founder of the Physician Support Line psychiatrist Smita Gautam said Breen may be one of many casualties before the public health crisis ends.
“Physicians tend to be perfectionists who find it hard to ask for help,” she said.
Masood explained that “(s)ome doctors (feel vulnerable) and have no place to express” it to others.
Psychiatrist Margaret Seide, not affiliated with the hotline, said “(m)any physicians may be feeling unworthy of praise.”
“Even if they’ve saved 10 people that day, they’re thinking about the one person who didn’t make it. They may not be feeling very heroic.”
A hotline staffed by doctors offering peer support is an important outlet for healthcare professionals to relieve stress by talking in confidence with another physician there to help.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”