COVID-19 experts: Mountains from Molehills?

Ed Park, MD aging, chakras, culture wars, dr ed park, economics, News 30 Comments

Let’s talk about your actual risk of dying in the time of Corona-phobia. Are you afraid of getting old? Probably not. But you should be because it not only is the main determinant of dying from Corona but it also contributes to all the other causes of dying. Which problem is the mountain and which is the molehill?

It is clear to me from some of the negative reactions to my first post about COVID-19 and public health that most people are scared although some are skeptical of the dramatic changes we have seen in civilization in just a few days.

It is clear from my second post about the emerging apocalyptic death cult that the religion is strong. 

So I’m a tripling down on my appeal to reason in this blog. Get your “with all due respect” and “you can’t honestly believe” and “you’re an ass hat” responses ready because I am going to again argue that creating an apocalypse is no sensible way to prevent one that is just the common cold.


Deep within the human psyche is the need for safety. Maslow and the Vedas agree: if you don’t feel safe, nothing else matters and you can’t function like healthy person.

Everyone knows because everyone believes. It is a religion. In a few days, we went from mocking those hoarding toilet paper to “can you spare a square?” and Googling “DIY bidets” or what leaf makes for the best TP replacement.

People feel very unsafe these days. They are bathing 24/7 in fear generated by the media (both mainstream and social) and now it has saturated and short-circuited their reasoning systems. The only people who feel safe are those administrators who realize that pulling the trigger on harmful draconian measures doesn’t threaten their job security in the current climate. Yesterday, the Governor of Hawaii shut down all of the islands in his state to foreign travel for 30 days despite having only one confirmed case acquired from outside the island of Oahu. For that economy, this was tantamount to cutting off the nose to save the face because someone may have seen a leper. Two days ago, the people running San Francisco ordered everyone to stay at home. All around the nation, meetings, churches, schools, restaurants, and bars are being closed.

The larger repercussions of such decisions are that politicians are suddenly willing bail out the markets with $2.2 trillion non-existent fiat dollars, lower interest rates to zero, forgive debt, shelter the homeless (as in California), and write universal basic income checks. We have swung the pendulum way past Bernie’s minimum wage and Andrew Yang’s UBI to uncharted socialist territory as a result of the poor judgement of those in power.

Agoraphobia is a term for fear for going to the agora, or the public meeting space. People feel it and the authorities are legally compelling agoraphobia now. The sad thing is that the risks for increased economic disruption, social disorder, suicide, and crime are now enhanced.

And what benefit did we gain from this? We avoided the impending collapse of the health care system and saved countless lives, experts on Facebook’s echo-chambers reassure each other. 

Firstly, the herd feels safer generally because everyone “knows” this is pandemic like no other. How do we know this? It is not from the absolute numbers, which are dwarfed by the 1000X greater spread and death toll of the annual seasonal flu. Both are exponentially growing and kill the elderly, but the flu actually kills children- that is even more scary, right? But you scream about unprecedented death rates, not enough ventilators, Italian corpses, front-line doctors and 21-yo soccer coaches dying and I agree, it is quite terrifying! But there are reasons that we have six other chakras to work with besides the lowest fear-based one. What are the data that should inform serious policy choices with genuinely apocalyptic repercussions?

Before we explore the contrarian views of three public health experts, let us consider your real risks of dying? In the US, these thing are most likely to kill you and all are related to aging because it weakens immunity and degrades physiology. At the present time, your risk of dying from aging is 99.9% over your lifetime. 

Aging does this primarily, I believe, via three mechanisms:
1) stem cell epigenetic changes- primarily gene silencing
2) stem cell mutation from telomere erosion leading to chromosome breaks
3) stem cell depletion from the previous two processes

Here is a diagram from my first non-fiction book, Telomere Timebombs: Defusing the Terror of Aging. It visualizes my stem cell/telomere theory of aging and you can learn this simple mechanism by picking up my book.

Why don’t people freak out about aging like they do this old Coronavirus? I deal with this quite a lot and I will list the top 10 reasons.

10) No one takes it seriously
There are many scientists who do take it seriously although most of the effort and funding pours into mitigating disease for profit (i.e. drug companies). If you are doing research refuting man-made climate change, how much money do you think you get these days?

9) It is depressing
Not thinking about your number one contributor to death is one strategy but people without prejudice should work through the stages of denial, depression, anger, and bargaining to get to acceptance.

8) I don’t want to have false hope
This is a fear of feeling like a fool for being tricked. I rarely get this response from users of adaptogens like TA-65 or Recharge. They recognize the benefits and some, over the course of time, take for granted that they don’t feel older. Some will stop but few feel they were tricked.

7) Aging is natural
This illogical stance gets traction from both atheists and theists alike. Of course the naturalists wear clothing, drive cars, take antibiotics,

6) I don’t want to be sick and old anyway
A little misunderstanding here because of the normal coupling of the two. We are talking about getting older without losing function or becoming decrepit. We all see folks in their 70s who look amazing but what if their immune systems and internal organs were as good as their outsides? That is the goal of anti-aging.

5) There are a lot of charlatans
No argument here. Buyer beware when it comes to anyone selling anything. Try things for yourself and if there is no benefit, then drop them.

4) No one understands what causes aging
Hard to say if that is true. There are many camps and some overlap, agree, or are openly hostile. That is just tribalism. The truth is that stem cell depletion and dysfunction are universal signs of human aging and although people differ on the causes and remedies, there is a fair amount of agreement on this subject.

3) I have more important things to worry about
No one is safe from aging and it contributes to all of the leading causes of mortality…so what exactly could be more important to your safety in the grand scheme of things? I’m not saying to buy my products or books but without health and time, you soon won’t have any more bills to pay or social obligations to worry about. The only way to avoid the risk of dying is….(wait for it)… is to die!

2) I can’t afford it
$100 a month may be too much for many but if it is not, go to www.rechargebiomedical.com or www.lokahi.guru to learn about adaptogens that can help fight colds and flu. If you want to invest once to learn about antiaging, you can order my book on Kindle, The Telomere Miracle: Scientific Secrets to feel great, fight aging, and turn back the clock on aging. In it, you will learn the ways in which understanding the six “pistons” of health maintenance work and can be optimized. They are breathing, mindset, sleep, exercise, diet, and supplements.

1) What will I do with more time anyway?
That is a good question and the answer is totally up to you. I am thinking of a life with good health, fulfilling relationships, and freedom. What you do with your time is your own business (and pleasure).


The fact is that when this Corona fear has lessened and to the level fear from Ebola, Y2K, or shoe bombing, the biggest threat to humanity will still be there. Aging is the common enemy as the COVID-19 situation has revealed. Your 10 assumptions about why you don’t need to learn about slowing or halting it are a defense mechanism. If you want to take all this extra shut in time and put it to good use, you could binge watch my videos on YouTube under the channel “drpark65”. There you will find a new way of thinking about aging and hear from people who have already taken steps to slow the spread of the real killer that we allow to stalk us.


Back to Corona now…

The Italian population was disproportionately old so the death rates were higher. The most important thing you need to understand is that given the hysteria over this diagnosis, there is widespread under testing, especially among your people with mild or no symptoms and very high penalties for positive results. Most importantly, in the early part of the perceived crisis, testing kits were not widely available in outbreak areas.

Lack of testing inflates the mortality statistics. People don’t think clearly about this cold outbreak because they haven’t considered that it is more similar than different to other colds. We never had daily death toll posts and 24-hour hysteria about the flu but if we did, the actual death tolls would be 1000X worse, the exponential growth would be the same or worse, and the mortality would be even more terrifying as it also takes the lives of young people without developed immune systems.

But you wonder…”why would talking heads and the media exaggerate the risk?” Well, if you ask a public health expert whether you should panic, what do you think they will say? If you ask an FBI agent whether domestic terrorism is a problem, what will they say? If you ask a retirement specialist whether you should have a 401k, what will they say? If you ask an arms maker whether more weapons make the world a safer place, what would they say? 

I agree that the Covid-19 “pandemic” is now the worst calamity that we have ever seen but that is because of the overreaction to it. Every year 600,000 people die of the incurable, exponentially-spreading flu and yet with 1000x less the impact the entire world is on lock down with the reshaping of economy and society over this new religion. Yes, COVID-19 is already the worst plague we have ever faced but as with the “cytokine storm” that destroys the lungs of the seriously ill, it was our reaction to the fear of pandemic that did us in.


I believe the reason for the alarming death rates is that clusters like Italy and the Diamond Princess have older, sick people and that testing is not being done. Mass screening in Korea showed the mortality rate was around 0.6% which may still be way too high. It is actually probably much lower because most young people won’t get tested because of fear of stigma and quarantine. This public health doctor explains the denominator problem well. She writes:

  • If you don’t test, you have no cases. 0/0 = 0% mortality
  • If you test only people who show up really sick at the hospital, you’ll have a few cases but a high mortality rate. 5/10 = 50% mortality
  • If you test everyone with cold symptoms going to the doctor, you’ll detect a ton more cases but now have a lower mortality rate. 10/100 = 10% mortality
  • If you stand at the entrance of every building and test everyone going in and out with a fever, you will find even more cases, lower mortality still. 20 deaths / 1000 confirmed infected people = 2% mortality (This is what China is doing now February 28. As of mid-March, they are only scanning temperature once a day when people report to work in the Shenzhen area, where there have been no new cases lately.)
  • If you test every single person in a town, we can only guess that there would be even lower mortality. 20 deaths / 1500 confirmed infected people = 1.3% mortality South Korea has come closest to this, so we will look to their mortality rates to make projections.

Take a look at the WHO data from today (3/18/2020) with countries that are admittedly early in their spreads. The death rates are single digits and below 1% for many of them although they will rise because most deaths take 2-3 weeks to manifest and they do so in the elderly. Thankfully, many people are using supplements and other medications to shorten the severity and duration of this illness. The fact is that most of the curves from other nations have single digit deaths and 99+% survival. That is because of under testing and under diagnosis in many cases but it really seems that the Diamond Princess and the Italy cluster are exceptions when comparing the live data.

The truth that is rarely mentioned is is that most people who are exposed, will not contract the clinical disease. Most people who get the clinical disease do not become seriously ill unless they have existing medical problems like being old (and diabetic, hypertensive, COPD etc.). In Italy, 99% of those that died had other illnesses which are are related to aging. Sadly, if you are making policy decision based on the horrors of watching old people die, then the world would not have been functional for decades due to the flu. The flu is, by every objective measure, worse and yet humanity never destroyed itself over it. Can you imaging what the morbid daily death posters would have done with 5 million serious cases (and 500 million non-serious cases) resulting in 600,000 influenza deaths globally? The answer, strangely, is that they would have been roundly ignored because people wrongly consider the flu to be like bee stings and paper cuts despite affecting 1000X more people. That’s why I say Coronavirus exceptionalism is a religion; no amount of data will convince true believers that the flu is worse and that we have faced Coronaviruses like this before. 

Consider this article written by an Israeli infection disease epidemiologist, who has 30 more years of experience than the posters on Facebook, who only recently became experts on exponential growth, survival of viruses on fomites, asymptomatic transmission of epidemics, and ICU ventilator utilization.

It is precisely because this cold virus is just like all the others that young people carry it and don’t succumb that the numbers people are using are horribly wrong. The only thing new here is that hysteria has led to a faulty denominator and wildly inflated mortality.

If you tell someone you had a cold last week, they will say, “so what? I had it three times this year”. But them you have Coronavirus, they will pity and shun you and feel horrified….But now tell them you had a cold virus, commonly known as the Coronavirus, and they will think you are a crazy idiot because of cognitive dissonance. The Coronavirus is one of the cold viruses we face every year and just because it got all this press, it is far from proven that this is genetically or phylogenetically different. You may already have gotten it many times in your life! 

Coronavirus exceptionalism is based on inflated mortality statistics from two instances (one a confined cruise ship with old people and another from an elderly, very physically intimate culture that often greet by kissing both cheeks. The sad thing is that when all is said and done and the final impact in terms of lives lost is one thousandth that of influenza, you true believers will say “thank god we took measures to make sure it wasn’t worse!”

If you don’t believe we have a denominator problem producing inflated mortality, read this article by a Stanford professor and epidemiologist who called it a “once-in-a-century fiasco”.

Stanford Professor: Data Indicates We’re Severely Overreacting To Coronavirus

You may find me less than credible but at last, these three public health experts are clearly speaking about an alternative reality in an attempt to diffuse the hysteria that has already brought about an apocalypse worse than the one we conjured in our imaginations.

I realize that, as with proposing a cure to aging, for most people the idea that the Coronavirus countermeasures have been blown out of proportion are bordering on dangerous disinformation at best and irresponsible lunacy at worst. That is because your risk assessment and intuition been clouded by the group consensus and the activation of your amygdala/root chakra. It is the power of COVID that compels you and its time to exorcise those supernatural beliefs. Yes the situation is evolving and no, it will probably not rival the flu. If you think absolute numbers are irrelevant, then ask yourself why you are protecting this apocalyptic narrative. What is in it for you? We have already lost too much. If your mind is free, I challenge you to read the above articles by the three public health experts and ask yourself whether they seem credible. Choose which experts you believe based on common sense and intuition, not fear.
 
Here is an info-graphic I made to illustrate the relative sizes of the epidemic curves to date. The mountain is the flu and the molehill is the Corona-curve. To borrow a phrase from Game of Thrones “Summer is coming” and the warm weather will reveal this is not the terrifying army of White Walkers that you were promised because it is not a very “novel” Coronavirus; the only thing new was how we got drawn into the pandemic narrative by fear of the unknown, 24-hour cable news, and a whole lot of ‘something I read on the internet’.
 

Comments 30

  1. Bravo, Dr. Park! Panic and invoking fear are two things that will inevitably lead to controlling a populous to a negative end. Being calm and having the ability to “think outside the box” will allow productivity and creativity to prevail. Having more compassion for our fellow humans will hopefully bring out a more benevolent nature in humanity and propel us into a better time. If not, we will continue to repeat this insanity and risk succumbing to a lesser power and intelligence.

  2. Stop it. You are being irresponsible to equate COVID-19 to a common cold. Maybe everyone is now over-reacting. But, at least they are reacting to a pandemic tsunami that will kill thousands of people. Yes, your adaptogens may improve and possibly extend our lives. But, not by much.

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    2. I agree . My female friend in her twenties has been severely ill for two weeks even though she has been taking antibiotics for two weeks. They will not give her the test

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        It would depend on her medical history and current symptoms. I suggest checking out the website at http://www.coronavirus.gov for a list of symptoms. If she has them, most states should be able to test her but keep in mind that unless she has pneumonia or signs or respiratory failure, they may not hospitalize her. Maybe the new chloroquine+zitromax treatment would be helpful if she were positive so I would think she should be a little more insistent on getting tested ASAP.

  3. Thank you for this post and your common sense and wisdom. You confirm what I feel. The reaction by the governments of the world and the media is what is terrifying. And the fear that these temporary measures to stem the spread of this virus become permanent.

  4. Hello I enjoyed reading your book “Telomere Timebombs” recently, it was highly informative at the same time entertaining. I also enjoyed this article, absolutely spot on! I am sure you are aware a decent number of people share the same point of view stipulated clearly in this article, thank you for taking courage to share your opinion based on the solid facts. This is very important. The consequence of this COVID-19 collective hysteria placed the viruses(eventually may as well come to include germs) on “the enemy of the state” list, now citizens around the world gave away a greater power and authority to a country to control and manipulate the way we live and socialise. On the other hand, I do witness a rising group of population go about independent from their environment and mass hysteria, simply observe the situation so that we can turn the ship around for the creation of the better world. Thank you again for your great dedication, passion for the pursuit of the wellbeing of people!

  5. Thanks for this sensible article. This craze is the greatest madness and delusion of crowds ever seen in our lives. You haven’t touched on any speculation as to what may be brewing under the surface of this which is wise. But most thinking people not gripped by fear are wondering why the hysteria and what is the real purpose.

    1. I know but I would not delve into that because it is also our choice whereas which reality we want. It is our inner state which creates the reality. I hope each one of us create a peaceful & joyful world.

  6. Another great blog Dr. Park! I like how you ended this blog with the graph which made me think “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

  7. Thanks, I mostly agree, not that I have any knowledge of viruses. Just a question, why does this Covid 19 appear to be spreading much faster than normal flu and the possible chest infection worse. Isn’t this the actual problem?

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      This is an artifact of group think and media focus. In fact the flu grows exponentially as well and every year it infects 600,000,000 and kills 650,000 people globally. We don’t watch and report that annual pandemic. What you focus on, appears to grow fast. If you ignore it, it doesn’t seem like a problem

  8. This is a horrible article and you are a horrible person for writing it. Please go spend some time in a hospital dealing with an influx of COVID-19 patients, and then come back and tell us all this is no worse than the flu or common cold. Do you think doctors and nurses in Italy relating stories of desperately trying – and failing – to save thousands of lives are just being dramatic? Please. You are doing an intense disservice to anyone who believes this piece and to society at large. Harbor factually incorrect beliefs if you must, but don’t go spreading them around to others and encouraging people to act irresponsibly. Literally tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of lives are at stake, real people with families and loved ones and just…people. Christ, have some basic human compassion, if nothing else.

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      I am not saying this is no worse. I am saying it is much less impactful by the numbers.

      Over 50 million people have been told to shelter at home for 30 days. They are also deserving of compassion for their fear and suffering, aren’t they?

      23 deaths and an a lot of fear shut down my state of California

      You have your own opinion about the magnitude of the threat and what is justified.

      Where was your moral outrage when 35000 Americans died a miserable death from flu this year and every year?

      Why so upset about 265 deaths now? Something other than reason and compassion for human suffering is compelling your remarks.

      I am not a horrible person. Your remarks aren’t kind and don’t specifically refute my facts. Did you even read the articles by the three public health experts?

      1. Dr Park, you may not be a horrible person, I can’t tell, but you are making a very serious mistake calling the novel Coronavirus and COVID19 nothing more than the common cold, and maybe less than the flu, and making light of the efforts of others who are responsible for safeguarding the public. This a responsibility you do not bear, so it is easy to be glib about the issue. Here is a reply/rebuttal to the article by John Ioannidis: https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/18/we-know-enough-now-to-act-decisively-against-covid-19/ I hope that the numbers that balloon daily are showing you your error, or at least beginning to. Your mistake could well cost lives indirectly, and someone who chooses to follow the implications of your writing and ignores the pleadings of many many professionals and people who are tasked with making life or death decisions, may directly cause deaths by infecting others while not yet themselves showing symptoms. Of course, you will have an out. If the measures being taken “flatten the curve” and the pandemic is not as bad as feared you can say, “See? That wasn’t so bad. Too bad people ignored me and did such terrible damage to our society, etc.” and if it is truly horrible and devastating you will be able to say, “Well, I told you that the things you were doing would cause a meltdown, and they didn’t really help anyway.” I have been told that your *real* message is about aging. Well stick to that, and stop getting in the way of people dealing with the COVID19 pandemic. Precautions are not necessarily fearful. Aging is not a fearful thing. Death is not something to fear. Dying in agony while suffocating, sucks big time, so don’t belittle and condescend to people who are trying to save themselves, much less people who are trying to save others. You owe it to your oath to do no further harm. I would think you would want to be cautious in such a rapidly changing environment and to avoid making such statements when your words may be overwhelmed by developments. How do you apologize if you are mistaken and more lives are lost due to what you write?
        By way of a disclaimer: I am just a layperson, but I am over 70 with seasonal asthma and a past heart attack, but otherwise pretty healthy. Just a New England chimney sweep. But I know how to read closely. Do yourself a favor and stick to telomeres. And if you hired someone else to do the writing you should fire them.

        1. … And if you are correct, and it is no different from the common cold or the annual flu, then I’ll be back with an acknowledgement and an apology for harsh feelings. We will see.

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            I really think you misunderstood my writing. I never said no different, not serious, or even not capable of overwhelming local health care.

            I am saying aging is the common pathway to dying, many experts believe the reaction is disproportionate, and that flu is result in many more deaths

            I am not advocating civil disobedience to public health mandates. I am starting that reason not panic should inform our decisions because risk is also incurred from overly draconian measures.

            Discussion of conflicting ideas is welcomed by the confident as it sharpens resolve and consensus. If there is no freedom to discuss then fear and fascism win the day

          2. I appreciate your reply. We clearly disagree about the meaning of what you said, but that is now neither here nor there. Certainly there is no argument about the role of aging, but that is a truism. I wanted to pass along this insight: hmmm, well the link (from reddit) was enormous when I tried pasting it, so I won’t post it here. The import of it was that draconian measures that flatten the curve and save lives can also lessen damage to the economy. The example they used was a spinal surgeon. The cost in money of training a new replacement spinal surgeon for one lost to COVID19 is huge in terms of dollars and also huge in terms of patients unable to have the option of her services. I am probably not doing it justice, but this post and many others are in a subreddit that is moderated by epidemiologists, pathologists, etc., and is devoted to rational and reliable coverage of the COVID19 pandemic that can be found here:
            https://www.reddit.com/r/Coronavirus

  9. Bravo, Dr. Park!! Your truth, especially when it may not be politically correct, is absolutely refreshing.

  10. Pingback: COVID-19: Origins, Detection, and Cures | Recharge Biomedical

  11. I am stunned at how quickly we are all manipulated into accepting this horror. I know people who would laugh at the prospect of some dystopian scenario playing out in their lives but seemingly eagerly accept sacrificing all freedom and go into the SHU (Segregated Housing Unit) , to borrow a prison term. I struggle to understand why a flu bug will be allowed to throw the global economy into global depression. There must be something they are not telling us, right? Perhaps this strain was engineered to attack our ability to reproduce and to save the continuum of humanity we must endure this insanity. I find myself rationalizing this absurdity. But that is just a coping mechanism. Is this the day of reckoning of our fiat money based economy? There are billions of bullets and very scared people. That seems to have the potential to destroy more lives than a flu bug ever will. I don’t know the answers but now that I am in this feces fiasco I must navigate it as best I can.

  12. Dr Park is correct. There are many other doctors who agree with him on this issue, but its not easy to find them on a internet search.

    There is a nice short animation showing how a virus works.
    You can search youtube for “Flu Attack! How A Virus Invades Your Body | Krulwich Wonders | NPR”
    The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpj0emEGShQ

    Also, I came across lozenges of zinc acetate which can be very effective at deactivating some viruses.
    This formulation creates ionic form of zinc in the blood. These zinc ions have an affinity for the virus proteins which allow it to enter the cell. Works the same way as the malaria drug they are now talking about. I’ve been using for many years and have seen it work on both myself and my friends, including against the this year’s flu.

    Importantly, it must be a specific formulation free of additives which will negate creating zinc ions.
    You can find this formulation at LifeExtensions website. Look for “Enhanced Zinc” which is catalog item 01961. For some reason their search engine doesn’t make it easy to find.

    I expect Dr Park will research this since he can access Pub Med.

    Background: The person who came across this is named George Eby. He found the research when his daughter was very ill. He was so excited about how well it worked, that he created a business selling it. Unfortunately, he got shut down by the FDA (something Dr Park can relate to). Anyway, that same formulation can be found at life extensions website.

    Hope you all find this helpful.

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      If an epidemic hits a vulnerable population suddenly, then local system can be overwhelmed. Other respiratory illnesses are endemic and produce “rolling” admissions. I would consider zinc/zithromax/hydrochloroquine and MSC exosomes since ARDS is so serious and the anecdotes are so promising.

  13. Dr Park, Like most things in this world of instant communication, we do not stop and think about the ramifications of the data. The late, great Dr Judah Folkman, (pediatric surgeon and angiogenesis researcher at Harvard Medical School), one of the wisest medical researchers I ever met, shared this approach when he would encounter a new finding, observation or “discovery” : 1) “If this is true, how does it fit into what we already know?” and 2) “What are the controls?” If you combine this with the old aphorism, “Knowledge is Power” then maybe we can take a deep breath and think this through.
    In the current situation, we have incomplete knowledge and a whole lot of people with conflicts of interest competing for airtime as they seek power in the form of greater social influence, TV ratings, political power and/or financial returns. The 15 day slow down, hand washing tutorials and social distancing measures were appropriate two weeks ago when we knew much less about the virus and concerns for the Spanish Flu, (2.0) seemed plausible. In two weeks, things have changed significantly. We can now think our way through this with sensible caution, directed resources and new strategies confident in the deployment of facts over fear and knowledge over knuckleheads.
    It was truly alarming when we first learned of the concentrations of high mortality in various regions. Channeling Dr Folkman, he may have asked, “How dangerous is this new virus compared to other viral scourges that we have studied and now understand through the retrospective analysis of virologists and epidemiologists?” He would then ask you a version of his second question dealing with the quality of the data (i.e. the controls). Q. Infectivity rate?, A> it seems very high but we do not know how many get infected because we have not tested any non-sick people. Q. What is the mortality rate?, A> I cannot answer that but my ICU is full and a lot of people are dying in my hospital. Without knowing the denominator we are rightly concerned about the high death rate.
    Fortunately, we now have a lot more knowledge about the viral menace and this perspective can help to modify many of the social restrictions that we have felt obliged to accept. We also have much better tools to diagnose and treat the virus.
    I trust in traditional American Ingenuity and Confidence as well as the Collaboration of smart people from around the world to solve this problem. There is the 30,000 foot view involving the logistics of how to mobilize resources to those areas hardest hit and, at the granular level, how to find something that will allow my struggling patient to recover. We can do this and we will do this.
    Specifically,
    1. PPE is available but pricey right now. I am not defending price gougers but a reasonable mark up can dissuade hoarders. If you need it and the government is willing to help pay for it one can find it now and, in 10 -14 days, expanding and repurposed production lines here and around the world will drive the prices back down to obey the inverse relationship of supply and demand. In the meantime judicious use and reuse of disposables may not be our standard protocol but follows the common sense frugality of most of the developing world that resterilizes and reuses all of their limited resources.
    2. Controlling the cytokine storm that leads to death by multi-system organ failure is critical to survival and is the constant struggle of ICU nurses and doctors the world over. The odds are stacked against old folks whose multiple comorbidities are waiting for this final storm that pushes them into the grave. Covid19 has overshadowed in infamy, publicity and perhaps effectiveness, the usual Reaper’s tools of influenza, heart attacks, stroke, bacterial septicemia etc. Many therapies are being tested. For example zinc, zithromax and hydroxychloroquine seem to control viral spread and expedite recovery. The use of plasma from Covid10 recoverers can also control viral spread. Exosomes from mesenchymal stem cells or from placental stem cell lines (KimeraLabs.com) have been shown in anecdotal cases to very rapidly control the inflammation that leads to lung failure. New monoclonal antibodies and proteins specifically interfere with the inflammatory pathways perpetuating the cytokine storm or help to repair these injured tissues and should be tested (e.g. http://www.Immunemed.co.kr/en, http://www.aqualungtherapeutics.com, https://axolopharm,com/regenerate). Many other therapies are being tested in this life and death struggle and hopefully will yield new protocols for non-Covid19 induced storms of the future.
    3. I am thrilled to learn of the new serology test available from many manufacturers. It is quick, inexpensive and can tell you if you were one of the “lucky” ones that survived being infected with this “Asian-sourced” novel corona virus. You may have remained asymptomatic, had prolonged cold and sniffles or thought that you had the flu but actually were infected with the Covid19 virus. I say “lucky” because this antibody test can confirm that you have been “naturally vaccinated” and you can get on with your life. These lucky folks can be the “First Returners” to reengage our idling neutralized economy, go to work and enjoy a draft beer with their pizza while sitting in the restaurant before they head home. They can also serve their community as plasma donors (see above).
    In two weeks, I believe that the fog of this war will have burned off substantially. I believe that we will have a “vaccinated” and well rested workforce to unleash, we will have better treatment protocols tested (but not yet perfected) in the reality of the clinical trenches. We will know where, what and how much to send to the next battlefields. This new found knowledge based on control-validated data interpreted in the context of historical viral epidemics will enable clearer thinking as we finish this fight and prepare for future challenges. In the meantime, I am still washing my hands a lot and bowing and smiling and perfecting the “air handshake” and “remote high five” when I greet my fellow citizens, be they friend, foe or father. I am also going to check my antibody status so I can freely hug my mom again.

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