Health Mental Health Personal Growth Work

Assuming no change is an option

Replied to The devil you know | everything changes by Mandy Brown (everything changes)

I had spent months chewing on the various dangers and risks of each step I could take, and had not at all considered the dangers and risks of staying put.

I can see now that I was, in fact, making several mistakes. Principal among them was that I considered no change at all to be a viable option. It wasn’t, and not only because the present circumstances were untenable, but also because they were not static.

The second, related, error was that I assumed that all the risk was in moving, that by definition staying put was the prudent option.


COVID ongoing, COVID eternal?

Bookmarked The reality gap (

The failure to recognise the ongoing severity of COVID-19 is creating a reality gap that is being filled by groups peddling misinformation.

“You don’t want to get this disease once if you can avoid it, and you don’t want to get it four times for sure.”

— Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme



The pandemic isn’t over — or shouldn’t be, anyway

Bookmarked The Year the Pandemic ‘Ended’ (part 3) by Artie Vierkant and Beatrice Adler-Bolton (

On June 6th, 2022, Politico published: “How many Covid deaths are acceptable? Some Biden officials tried to guess.”

From the piece:

Biden officials in recent months privately discussed how many daily Covid-19 deaths it would take to declare the virus tamed, three people familiar with the conversations told POLITICO.

The discussions, which took place across the administration, and have not been previously disclosed, involved a scenario in which 200 or fewer Americans die per day…

Our opinion is that this reflects a broader issue: that, by this point, the Biden administration have clearly absorbed a central lesson, which is that as long as they attempt to make a good show of things––pretending everything is ok––the levels of illness, death, debility, and disability from covid that the US public will apparently just absorb without rioting is shockingly high.

Importantly though, one of the individuals cited says that the number of deaths floated, 200 a day, would be “aspirational.” And that individual was right: even with our now-restrained data reporting infrastructure, we’ve never gotten down to that level. In fact, the lowest we’ve gotten to for any significant stretch of time is still an average of 300 deaths a day, or over 110,000 deaths a year.

And in the UK:

COVID isn’t just infecting you—it could be reactivating viruses that have been dormant in your body for years by Erin Prater (Fortune Well) – Dec 26, 2022

A mild or even an asymptomatic case of COVID can cause reservoirs of some viruses you’ve previously battled to reactivate, potentially leading to symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome—a condition that resembles long COVID, according to a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology. 

COVID may suppress our immune systems:

What If COVID Reinfections Wear Down Our Immunity? by Andrew Nikiforuk (The Tyee) – Nov. 6, 2022

T cells are a body’s key line of defence against infection. COVID infections can cause them to prematurely age, harm organs and become exhausted, warns Dr. Anthony Leonardi.

The epidemiology of long COVID in US adults by Robertson et al. (Clinical Infectious Diseases) – Dec 21, 2022

An estimated 7.3% (95% CI: 6.1-8.5%) of all respondents reported long COVID, corresponding to approximately 18,828,696 adults…We observed a high burden of long COVID, substantial variability in prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and risk factors unique from SARS-CoV-2 risk…

Covid-19 and drug overdoses drive US life expectancy to lowest level in 25 years, CDC reports by Deidre McPhillips (CNN) – Dec. 22, 2022

Covid-19 was a major contributor to the decline in life expectancy, which is now nearly two and a half years shorter than it was at the start of the pandemic. After a drop of 1.8 years in 2020, another cut of 0.6 years last year brought US life expectancy down to 76.4 years in 2021.

[L]ife expectancy typically only changes by 0.1 or 0.2 years.

Health Science

New variant season!

Bookmarked These scientists traced a new coronavirus lineage to one office — through sewage (

Researchers are hunting through waste water for heavily mutated SARS-CoV-2 variants that could be the next Omicron.

Just in time for the boosters no one is taking anyway 🤪

Impressive sleuthing work from this team, supported by the good folks in Public Works. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to narrow your search to 30 people but not be able to figure out which is sick. Modern shades of Typhoid Mary with 40% not willing to be tested to see if they are carriers.

Big COVID-19 waves may be coming, new Omicron strains suggest (Science)

“The scale of immune evasion has never been seen before, and the virus is still rapidly evolving,” [Cao] says. “It’s very bad.”


4% of the population, 30% of the deaths


jUsT a CoLd 🤪


Where is COVID going?

Covid will be a leading cause of death in the U.S. indefinitely, whether or not the pandemic is ‘over’ (NBC News)

For COVID-19, endemic stage could be two years away (YaleNews)

How Quickly Can You Get Infected With Omicron After An Exposure? (HuffPost)




August COVID roundup

An organization making it happen — it is possible to put your community first and protect the people who are part:

Long Covid now has three types – and each has its own set of symptoms (The Independent)

  1. neurological symptoms including fatigue, brain fog and headache
  2. respiratory symptoms, including chest pain and shortness of breath.
  3. range of symptoms including heart palpitations, muscle ache and pain, and changes in skin and hair.


1 in every 20 people who catch Covid-19 have long-term smell or taste problems as a result, according to research published in the BMJ which reviewed data from 18 studies involving 3,699 patients.

I’ve had “pine mouth” where all food tasted revolting for two weeks after eating pine nuts, and I threw away homemade pie because I thought it had gone bad, and a few years later something else where I was convinced anything with vinegar in it was bad for a week — turns out a lot of stuff has vinegar, like mayonnaise. Both of those instances really sucked, and I can’t imagine them lasting six months.

Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune profiling, Klein et al. (Pre-print)

215 individuals were included in an exploratory, cross-sectional study to perform multi-dimensional immune phenotyping in conjunction with machine learning methods to identify key immunological features distinguishing Long COVID…Integration of immune phenotyping data into unbiased machine learning models identified significant distinguishing features critical in accurate classification of Long COVID, with decreased levels of cortisol being the most significant individual predictor.

Findings broken down by one of the study’s authors:


July COVID update


Post-acute and long-COVID-19 symptoms in patients with mild diseases: a systematic review (2022)

  • 9 studies – mostly post-acute = more than 3 weeks; few long covid (=more than 12 weeks)
  • “frequency of persistent symptoms in patients after mild COVID-19 infection ranged between 10% and 35%”

Invisible long COVID?
Immunological dysfunction persists for 8 months following initial mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection (Jan 2022)

Even mild COVID can cause cognitive impairment:

Selective visuoconstructional impairment following mild COVID-19 with inflammatory and neuroimaging correlation findings (June 2022)

  • Studied “adults at least four months after recovering from mild COVID-19”
  • “In approximately one-quarter of mild-COVID-19 individuals, we detected a specific visuoconstructive deficit, which was associated with changes in molecular and structural brain imaging, and correlated with upregulation of peripheral immune markers. Our findings provide evidence of neuroinflammatory burden causing cognitive deficit…”

COVID a leading cause of death for young adults too:

COVID hurts immune system T cells:

Possible to be reinfected with a new strain in 3 weeks:

CDC Identifies Covid-19 Reinfections As Soon As 23 Days Apart

Lol this looks bad. Yeah not published yet but do you want to bet an indeterminate time of disability on it being completely flawed? Combine this with our societal efforts to reduce transmission that influence how many times a year you’re likely to get COVID, and with our current schedule that’s not a whole lot of years…

Associated with increased rate of new diabetes diagnosed for six months after infection

The risk of heart and circulation problems, such as irregular heartbeats and blood clots on the lungs, was nearly six times higher in Covid patients than uninfected people of the same age and sex, and 80% higher for diabetes, during the month after infection, researchers found.

(Although causation is not necessarily the case:)

While Covid can cause direct damage to organs and the circulatory system, Rezel-Potts stresses that many factors could explain the findings. For example, the Covid patients in the study were more likely to be overweight and had more underlying health problems than the uninfected control group, predisposing them to the further conditions.

CDC finds reduced severe disease protection via vaccination against newer strains:

“When BA.2.12.1 became predominant, vaccine effectiveness with two doses was 24% against COVID-19 -associated hospitalizations and increased to 52%-69% after a third/booster dose.”

And “We have no vaccine effectiveness data yet for BA.5.


What’s the endgame? How long can we live like this?

Reducing transmission really is important if we don’t want a perpetual cycle of new waves:

How many disabled people can our society support? How many people dropping out of the workforce can the economy handle?

One of us! One of us!

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


Covid update April 2022

Long Covid:

In UK, 1 in 37 people has long COVID – 2.7% of population – 1.7 million people for more than a month, 780,000 for more than a year

People still getting long covid from omicron

ONS data

Let’s add blood clots to the risks! Yay!

An infection from the novel coronavirus increases your risk of serious blood clots months down the road, a new international study suggests.

Vaccination doesn’t appear to eliminate risk of long covid

CDC acknowledges in their own documents that many will be disabled

Biggest risk now from covid if vaccinated is long covid, either extended symptoms or other poor health outcomes like blood clots, brain shrinkage, heart problems


Shifts in symptoms:

Omicron strain more likely to have sore throat


Protection in buildings:

Far-UVC light (222 nm) efficiently and safely inactivates airborne human coronaviruses – Nature, 2020

A direct approach to limit airborne viral transmissions is to inactivate them within a short time of their production. Germicidal ultraviolet light… is effective in this context but… can be a health hazard to skin and eyes. By contrast, far-UVC light efficiently kills pathogens potentially without harm to exposed human tissues.

Air Disinfection for Airborne Infection Control with a Focus on COVID‐19: Why Germicidal UV is Essential – Photochemistry and Photobiology, 2021

Only two established room‐based technologies are available to supplement mechanical ventilation: portable room air cleaners and upper room germicidal UV air disinfection… SARS‐CoV‐2 is highly susceptible to GUV, an 80‐year‐old technology that has been shown to safely, quietly, effectively and economically produce the equivalent of 10 to 20 or more air changes per hour under real life conditions.