Health Society

May 2022 COVID Updates


US likely ‘dramatically undercounting’ current COVID-19 resurgence, experts say (April 13)

“We’re probably only picking up one in seven or one in eight infections. So when we say there’s 30,000 infections a day, it’s probably closer to a quarter of a million infections a day,”

— former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb

(emphasis mine)

An upper bound on one-to-one exposure to infectious human respiratory particles (Dec 2021)

Our results show that social distancing alone without masking is associated with a very high risk of infection, especially in situations where infectious is speaking. High infection risks are also expected when only the susceptible wears a face mask, even with social distancing.

“[Katelyn Jetelina, epidemiologist who studies COVID risks at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston,] considers community risk high when there are more than 50 weekly cases per 100,000 residentsOthers suggest a slightly higher risk threshold of 10 daily (or 70 weekly) cases per 100,000 residents.*” — How to Judge COVID Risks and When to Wear a Mask by Devabhaktuni Srikrishna (

COVID impacts

More evidence that COVID causes cognitive impairment:

Cognitive impairment from severe COVID-19 equivalent to 20 years of ageing, study finds

☝ Impairment still apparent six months later

SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant is as Deadly as Previous Waves After Adjusting for Vaccinations, Demographics, and Comorbidities (preprint, not yet peer-reviewed – May 2022)

Huh fancy that, politicians took the message they wanted — that Omicron was NBD — and ran with it, but it was a lie that caused much suffering and death. Yet most people still believe this because it was hammered home in the news and by politicians so much. The power of lies.


Long COVID may be more common than what was thought earlier:

The so far largest meta-analysis of more than 1.5 million infected individuals puts the global prevalence of #LongCovid at 43%. Some additional key findings. 1/

— Jonas Kunst (@KunstJonas) April 17, 2022

(paper referenced in tweet above) Global Prevalence of Post COVID-19 Condition or Long COVID: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review — Chen et al, Journal of Infectious Disease, April 2022: “50 studies were included, and 41 were meta-analyzed. Global estimated pooled prevalence of post COVID-19 condition was 0.43 (95% CI: 0.39,0.46). Hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients have estimates of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.44,0.63) and 0.34 (95% CI: 0.25,0.46), respectively.” Fatigue and memory problems most prevalent.

Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome (PACS) in Adults by Public Health Ontario, April 2022: “The literature identified that approximately 50% of patients with COVID-19 may experience PACS [Long COVID].”

Long COVID among hospitalized patients – more than half of those participating in the study still had at least one symptom two years later:

Health outcomes in people 2 years after surviving hospitalisation with COVID-19: a longitudinal cohort study (The Lancet, May 2022)

The proportion of COVID-19 survivors with at least one sequelae symptom decreased significantly from 777 (68%) of 1149 at 6 months to 650 (55%) of 1190 at 2 years (p<0·0001), with fatigue or muscle weakness always being the most frequent.

Survivors with long COVID symptoms at 2 years had lower HRQoL, worse exercise capacity, more mental health abnormality, and increased health-care use after discharge than survivors without long COVID symptoms. COVID-19 survivors still had more prevalent symptoms and more problems in pain or discomfort, as well as anxiety or depression, at 2 years than did controls.

This is damning. 1 in 12 triple vaxxed infections develop into long COVID. The vax lowers your chance of long COVID, but critically, it doesn’t eliminate it. That’s an incredibly important point for your quality of life. Source: UK’s @ONS ONS self-report data May 6 2022

Megan Ben Dor Ruthven, 9:10 AM · May 6, 2022 (emphasis mine)

Society’s response

Rampant ableism in society’s refusal to mask:

“The broad rejection of masking as a solidaristic act, and the turn of the United States’ Covid response towards individualistic frames of personal responsibility, is ultimately a rejection of the right to “social life” for all those who are well within their rights to refuse to consent to needless and repeated Covid infections.”

“When I say “social life,” I don’t just mean the right to socialize, though that is certainly also part of it. I am instead speaking in terms of what sociologist John Marshall called “social rights,” as in economic participation which predicates the inclusion of an individual in society.”

and , Mask Off

Structural violence = “social arrangements that put individuals and populations in harm’s way.” (Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung, via Gregg Gonsalves)

“Those whose lives are rarely touched by structural violence are uniquely prone to recommend resignation as a response to it.”

— Paul Farmer, Social Medicine for a Better Future

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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