It has been two years since Covid turned the world upside down. We still have much to learn about Covid, but it has been around long enough to learn a good bit. Here are some observations from one who has been in the middle of taking care of lots of people with Covid.
- It is way past time to drop the fantasy that we are going to beat Covid and eradicate it. Covid is now part of the permanent milieu of pathogens in our environment. The only virus we have ever eliminated is smallpox and that required a vaccine that was 100% effective over a lifetime and many years of vaccination programs. We have nothing even close to this. We need to live our lives, without Covid being the all-encompassing focal point. Life is too short and there are too many things to be enjoyed to have all of that withheld in our current obsession with this single disease.
- It does not matter how many vaccines you get, how many masks you wear and how much you avoid other humans, sooner or later, if your biology is susceptible, you will come down with Covid. The virus is carried in the air and since we need air to survive, it is inevitable you are going to breathe in air which contains particles of Covid virus. Accept the reality and stop living in perpetual fear.
- Mass testing is a worthless exercise in controlling Covid. President Biden seems to feel if we just constantly test people for Covid we will be able to get rid of it. If you are sick, it is helpful to know what we are treating, but even doing daily Covid tests on everyone will not reduce the spread of the disease. Covid is everywhere.
- The Covid vaccine is a useful tool. It lessens the severity of Covid symptoms, and I believe it has saved many lives. However, it has become obvious, it does not prevent infection or the transmission of Covid. This fact totally eliminates any justification for mandatory vaccines. The stated reason for mandating vaccines is to prevent spreading the virus to other people. It is quite clear that objective is not being met, so why are there vaccine mandates anywhere? Why are people being refused services, because they are not vaccinated, when having the vaccine does not prevent you from getting the illness or spreading it to others? The Covid vaccines are therapeutics, not preventive agents. We need to start thinking of it in that fashion.
- The vilification of those who have chosen not to take the Covid vaccine is misguided, at best. In what used to be free societies we were given freedom to make the decisions that were best for us. In no society will everyone come to the same conclusion about anything, but apparently when it comes to Covid, there is only one opinion that is acceptable. Anyone who does not have the correct opinion is described in the vilest of terms and in many countries have had their freedoms taken away. Why would one treat a fellow human being like this when one is protected themselves by their own vaccine? The unvaccinated are not preventing the eradication of Covid. It is their own lives being put at risk from Covid by not taking the vaccine, not others. Their concerns are legitimate. This is especially true, when it is clear that the government and pharmaceutical companies have been whitewashing the true risks of the vaccines with the all-encompassing “safe and effective” statement that leaves out a whole lot of concerning data. We each have to choose which risk we are willing to assume and there should be no denigrating of those who make a different choice than you.
- If one chooses to pursue a career in health care, you no longer have control over your own body. Based on the recent Supreme Court ruling, the government or corporate health care can mandate all health care workers in the country accept whatever intervention they declare beneficial. Whatever happened to the mantra of My Body, My Choice? Oh, that’s right, that only applies to abortion. More than 30% of health care workers have been opposed to taking the Covid vaccine. There is already a severe shortage of health care manpower. Do we really want to reduce their numbers by another 30%? Do you want to have to tell a gifted young future doctor, nurse, etc. that if they take that career path, Informed Consent over their own health will be denied them?
- For us to aggressively vaccinate children against Covid is insane. Thankfully, Covid is a minor illness in all but a very few children. We cannot prescribe cold medicines or Zantac to children because of rare theoretical dangers. However, we are expected to push a vaccine that has known significant risks in the short term and has absolutely no data on the risks long term. This makes no sense.
- The real danger with Covid is not the initial viral infection, but the lung inflammatory process that follows in some people. Fortunately, the current predominant strain does not seem to be causing this in most. However, the last spike in cases, this is what put so many people in the hospital and led to the death of a significant number of people. It also did not seem to manifest itself until the 2nd week of illness.
- I have chosen to treat people with a cocktail that includes prednisone and hydroxychloroquine. Both of these drugs are aimed at reducing the inflammatory lung reaction and it has been incredibly effective. We have treated hundreds of patients and have had very few of our patients, who have taken the cocktail, end up in the hospital and as far as I know, only one who has died. Many have told us they have felt significantly improved within a couple days of starting the medications. This is not the track record I am hearing from physicians who have been constrained by their hospital employers.
- Tying physicians’ hands, in their ability to treat patients with Covid is dead wrong. In my career, I would never have predicted we would come to the place that the only source of legitimate medical care is Washington DC. Lyme disease was making people sick for many years before the FDA approved any medication to treat it. Can you imagine if we physicians sat around all of those years and said, sorry you have to endure your illness until we receive guidance from Washington? Physicians treat conditions every single day that do not have specific FDA approved therapies. Why is this required with Covid? It is said these alternative treatments are not proven effective. They are not going to be proven effective, when no one is studying them. The only acceptable research being done revolves around new drugs being developed by pharmaceutical companies. I started using these medications because I had to start doing something to help my patients (I do not know how compassionate doctors can look their sick patients in the eye and say, “Sorry there is nothing I can do for you. Go to the hospital when you can’t breathe”). I was skeptical at first, because all of the thought leaders in medicine said the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin was the stuff of crazy people. Then as I used them, I started seeing amazing results. At the same time, the only one opinion allowed people started threatening doctors with license forfeiture for going off the reservation. The majority of pharmacies started refusing to fill prescriptions. I sometimes feel like I am in North Korea. (In my opinion, when you are speaking the truth, you do not need to censor other opinions.) The claim is that they have to stop harmful prescribing to protect the patients. I am not sure how giving patients with Covid no treatment is safer than using unsanctioned treatments. Can you imagine the anger of the general population, if down the road, there are good studies that show these medications make a major difference in outcomes? How many lives could have been saved, if we had tried. What is the harm in trying something?