Friday, 1 May 2020

"But there is one big question that has only gotten more mysterious in the weeks since: How is COVID-19 actually killing us?" #QotD

David Wallace-Wells writes 'We Still Don't Know How the Coronavirus is Killing Us.' A slice:
"In an acute column published April 13, the New York Times’s Charlie Warzel listed 48 basic questions that remain unanswered about the coronavirus and what must be done to protect ourselves against it, from how deadly it is to how many people caught it and shrugged it off to how long immunity to the disease lasts after infection (if any time at all). 'Despite the relentless, heroic work of doctors and scientists around the world,' he wrote, 'there’s so much we don’t know.' The 48 questions he listed, he was careful to point out, did not represent a comprehensive list. And those are just the coronavirus’s 'known unknowns'....
    "But there is one big question that didn’t even make it onto Warzel’s list that has only gotten more mysterious in the weeks since: How is COVID-19 actually killing us?...
    “'Despite the more than 1,000 papers now spilling into journals and onto preprint servers every week,' Science magazine concluded, 'a clear picture is elusive, as the virus acts like no pathogen humanity has ever seen.'
    "In a single illuminating chart, Science lists the following organs as being vulnerable to COVID-19: brain, eyes, nose, lungs, heart, blood vessels, livers, kidneys, intestines. That is to say, nearly every organ....

Source: Science magazine.
    "The degree to which doctors and scientists are, still, feeling their way, as though blindfolded, toward a true picture of the disease cautions against any sense that things have stabilized, given that our knowledge of the disease hasn’t even stabilized. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a reminder that the coronavirus pandemic is not just a public-health crisis but a scientific one as well....
    "In the space of a few months, we’ve gone from thinking there was no 'asymptomatic transmission' to believing it accounts for perhaps half or more of all cases, from thinking the young were invulnerable to thinking they were just somewhat less vulnerable, from believing masks were unnecessary to requiring their use at all times outside the house, from panicking about ventilator shortages to deploying pregnancy massage pillows instead. Six months since patient zero, we still have no drugs proven to even help treat the disease. Almost certainly, we are past the “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals” stage of this pandemic. But how far past?"

1 comment:

  1. The CDC (confirmed) data shows that at least 35% of the people who die testing positive for CoVid-19 also test positive for pneumonia so that both CoVid-19 and pneumonia are listed as the cause of death. The percentage could be higher since not everyone will be tested for both respiratory infections.

    One way CoVid-19 could kill us is to provide an opening to other opportunistic infections. If there are multiple microbes involved it would explain why we haven't figured it out yet and why it acts like no pathogen ever seen.


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