Sunday, January 31, 2021

It can't really be that I have nothing to say...

Say, or write.  
I do have things to say.  

People are dying.  There is a pandemic on, you know this.  
Vaccines are now available and already many, many thousands of people have been vaccinated in many, many countries.  

There is a lot of focus on death these days, now, let's add some perspective: the "excess deaths" in 2020, can you guess the percentages?  

...although millions of people have died in the pandemic and many more have been ill and otherwise harmed, the overall excess deaths, (the increase in death over the deaths of a non-pandemic year, like 2016, 2017, ...) were not close to 100% (that would be twice as many people dying than in a typical year), the increased death toll was far lower than that.  

So, maybe overall, in the whole world, human death in the 2020 pandemic year was 5% or 10% greater than it would have been without the whole covid/coronavirus thing, like, maybe just over 90 million people would have died in the year (including childhood deaths to old-age deaths, disease, accident, and so on) and instead nearly 100million did, something like that.  (Is this estimate reasonable?)  

We should all be doing the "public health" things that inhibit transmission, and we should be working on science and other developments to make life better, and ... we should get vaccinated as well, as soon as possible.  
The thing is seasonal, the thing is tricky, the weeks that are bad (in the epidemic) are really bad and can feel terrible.  
Hugs to everyone who is still here.  :(  

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t said...

This entire comment is copied from a "sticky-note" I wrote starting I think Sunday June 20, that is, less than one month ago. It's about my latest experience of covid-19 infection. Authorities are now reporting a so-called third wave of the disease in my country but we have been lucky and - just like the first two waves - this surge has not been catastrophic.

Exposed around 9:15am to coro hanging in the air of passageway near kitchen. In a panic, I used a finger rub of coconut oil in my nose.
Not sure what to do now, almost 30minutes later. Very fast replication, nose tickling went from source nose (inside right nostril) to other side (flesh of left nostril) in around 20 mins. Now it seems (maybe) tingling arm ALREADY, just within 30 mins.

I think I'll just stay calm, chew onions, assume that I've had continuous exposure (or why was my arm partly-paralyzed, not really, but switched off, days ago for maybe three days, and why was my period 5 days early which like never happens) and therefore won't develop proper disease symptoms, just a fast reaction to exposure that is forgotten very quickly.

About one hour and a half into this, itchy all over the face mostly, that wooly itch of your immune system hard at work. This is sooner than I expected. It suggests that some may have a very fast react and repel reaction to mild covid virus exposure. It is still good to keep viral load down for each person.

2 1/4 hours in, very itchy up deep in nose and also in body. I feel like resting. Now is also the time to grab that great vitamin thing heavy with antioxidants. I'm sure it's antiviral and helpful. Immune system is doing her thing, thank you Universe.

6 hrs in, mild pre-flu symptoms. Nose feels like some fluid building up, mild front-head headache like it's warm inside but I'm not feverish outside, also mild itching around the nose. It's a rainy day, around 23degrees, I took the vitamin thing hours ago, I estimate I won't really properly catch a cold/illness and the syndrome will all pass today. Minutes later, 3:20, I'm lying down, maybe ready to rest/nap, tongue is getting warm, it may become a fever, oh no. FOOD NOTES: I drank large mug full of hot chocolate (Milo) with large-ish breakfast of rice with stew this morning. Large-ish lunch snack of fried yam with two fried eggs, about to drink orange juice as well. Large meals, relative to my tiny eating haha, I need it.
It's 3:50 now and the itch has finally travelled to my throat area, just one bit of it, making it feel itchy and like I'm really going to develop a fever.
It's 9:20pm. At some point today I napped. I now feel very mildly feverish, a bit of a front-head headache, and a bit of that wooly itch in different parts of my body - inside an earlobe, on part of my scalp, and so on. Not sure what to do to help myself - ah, maybe onion, I haven't done that.
10pm, I chewed a fraction of a large onion, 5 to 10 minutes ago. Wow, it helped. Less itching already. I am thankful and I am happy to know this remedy. 10:45pm plenty itching you know, like allergies, nose eye neck everywhere. I don't understand why I don't just go to sleep.

Exactly seven days later, after 8am Sunday morning, all I have left of the encounter is a small bump/scar on my face that will be gone in a day or two. It was a tiny pimple that I worked up into a large pimple with a hard mass beneath the skin and I just kept pinching and pulling it. I suppose the junk from the virus's fight with onions formed some pus and went there. I washed my face a lot with my St. Ives scrub but it would have been far easier and with neater results if I had that perfect and clean-absorbing benzoyl peroxide treatment but I can't find any. There are also things called pimple patches which I suppose would work too. Bye coro.

t said...

There are no safe events.
It is now 9:22am on Sunday Oct 03. I noticed I had a large-spot-headache inside the head sort of behind the eye, probably super-early this morning. I had an instinct that I'd have to do the anti-coronavirus things but also do a bit of a fast too. By morning proper I got a small onion and ate half - that was maybe an hour ago. I noticed my father had drank some of his own coronavirus funnymedicine too because there was the cup in the sink.

The event was 1 3/4 days ago, a Friday lunch. It was what they call social-distanced - no pushing crowds or anything, seats about one meter apart and importantly not in an enclosed indoor space but in a specially prepared, high ceilinged, half-open-walled space. I had only been there 30 mins before I'd caught the virus, so to speak. Unlike the past, it was not one tingle or spots of tingles on my nose, it was just the whole nose itching - not enough that I had to scratch, but enough that I could feel it and know. Ok. People had been there for an hour at least before we got there, the number of people probably fewer than 100, which for Nigeria is small but for corona is not small enough. A lot of care had been taken, people had masks but they had to take them off to eat at least so, like I said, a lot had happened before I got there. Still, it was a superbly, well-ventilated semi-outdoor space.
Anyway, since there was nothing I could do, I enjoyed the event, ate, didn't overstress the mask-wearing, enjoyed a dessert, had a few nice talks with people, ...
was ok the next day, although now I think I was maybe a little tired yesterday in the evening, but this morning, the deep-bone fatigue in addition to the headache. It's a different feeling, this new feeling. It reminds me of what we call malaria. I have great resistance to malaria, but that doesn't mean I don't get ill, I just usually get semi-ill. In recent years back in Nigeria I was so shielded from mosquitoes that my encounters with this disease were few, few times a year maybe...I would get one mosquito stuck in the room and by the next day I would feel pre-ill, a bit like this morning's illness but not as fatigued maybe, but a feeling in my body as if my blood was sticking, not quite flowing well. Then I would take care of myself - say, pay attention to rest rest rest, or hydration or whatever it seemed I needed for sure, maybe food, and I would not get very sick - the poor feeling would have passed within a day or so. Also back in secondary school, the seasonal illness I got, now white people society would call them flus, then it was all called malaria, suffered really from, and after a while I'd learned to notice immediately I was pre-ill and to drink a giant mug full of hot-chocolate (Milo, Bournvita, Ovaltine were the popular brands, still are) and sleep it off and be back in normal life in less than one day; and when one got sick one got very sick, vomiting everything, fevers and chills, nearly passing out, too tired to walk, all those sorts of things. It was all called malaria. The weird thing was that it was season-dependent, it came with a certain rain-smell in the air. The same as now - it has been humid, rainy, including on the day of the event. Oh, also in the car on the short drive there with my father, I had a bit of air-conditioning which bothered my nose and I turned the vent away and I sneezed once or twice.

Continued below...

t said...

Continued from above...

Anyway, I stick with my summary - there are no safe events if staying covid-free is essential to you. You can't control the airflow well enough. It's possible if you have a small number of people maybe, and they're certified no-corona, maybe.
At this rate, we'll soon stop all the testing-theater and, I don't know, eat your medicine, get some rest, and hope for the best. Get vaccinated, obviously. Around here only a small percentage of people has been vaccinated. Maybe 5% in these rather elite/older circles, 1-2% nationally. How to do better than just rest, fluids, vitamins, and anti-virals TAKEN EARLY? Needs research. I've seen promising research in the news for some antiviral thing that may come available, yet it too helps if taken early. Take the vaccine. I haven't taken the vaccine. We keep getting these reinfections soooo...that's biologically more current than the vaccine unfortunately.

The disease is lousy especially because it manifests in so many ways: It's giving some people chronic/lifestyle diseases by impacting their organs. It's giving some people nuisance low-wellbeing states without hitting them hard in a specific way. It's giving some people ultimate death, obviously. It's making a lot of people have illnesses that are not easily traceable back to covid. It's a pain in the ass. Oh well. At least we're all learning biology, physiology and medicine. :-) Lung exercises. Receptors (ACE2 receptors). Flu symptoms, DNA, mRNA, vaccines, proteins...

You know who should pay for testing now? Somebody else. The test makers loool. Good for research signals. Good for public health and preparing for the next pandemic. Maybe good for developing therapies now. The time to test-trace-isolate was when the virus was a novice. Now it's gotten good and infectious and widespread and ... hope it doesn't become an even more terrible disease.

t said...

It's raining again.
All last week, it was rainy enough that I felt weird, sensitive, I DO LOVE THE RAIN, but I thought a bit about my nose/throat with the weather a few days ago.
So I guess that's the weather connection with infection. (One of many.) It primes you for infection. Your nose is already dry or itchy or runny or whatever, maybe that makes you more open to infection in the first place. Of course in other countries, they talk about how the weather may change behaviour e.g. from outdoor to indoor socializing in their winter, and there is another way weather applies.

Another important thing to say is to feel unashamed about infection.
Maybe by extension, to feel unashamed about infection with other diseases too. Shame is powerful and helps reshape behaviour, even for good. But look, maybe not now. If you catch the 'rona despite everything you did right, understand that it's not you, it's war (biological - the virus wants to succeed and replicate.) I was starting to think my adolescent/teen frequent illness had to do with me being unhygienic (in boarding school, which is by definition...oh well) but nope, it was good that I learned what worked for me to get well when I got a hint of illness, but it wasn't my fault for touching things and drinking water and catching whatever that was malaria or flu. Apparently there were outbreaks then of something similar, malaria-like but I guess now that it was flu - mid 1990s, just not shared so much in the news, mini-flu-epidemics but silent killers in those days before widespread global news. This is just a guess.

t said...

all of yesterday, the notorious mild flu-symptoms including a big headache. added the other half onion, different good vitamins, ate something nice at night with fish, slept well.

this morning extremely weak. not like flu-weak, like one has been ill for a while weak. took real effort to lift myself from lying down to sitting up. imagine if i had to go out to a job today...many people simply do. imagine if i had to rely on the cheaper fake vitamins.

ok, hope it's not serious. hope it's one day and fine. or half a day.

t said...

i felt a little ill yesterday but felt rather well by nighttime. instead of letting that be enough, I decided to do more, maybe a little onion top-up, hmmm but I saw some garlic so I decided to do that instead. I hate garlic. Well, I sliced a little from a section of a clove and kept slicing (thin slices) and eating the horrible-tasting stuff. Ewww, my body didn't want this. Within seconds I could feel it burning a path down my neck into my chest. Soon I felt like I had to throw up or at least not swallow the garlic in my mouth. The warning was so strong that I spat up what I had not yet swallowed. Then I went and tried to sleep, hoping for the best. Hoping I would not die of garlic loool.

I made it, but I'm never doing that again. It seems garlic, by volume, is onion times twenty or something, at least for me. So while I can eat a quarter of a small onion easily as medicine, I can't tolerate a quarter of a section of a clove of garlic, raw.

t said...

Recommended reading:
- a Popular antiviral medication for the seasonal flu is discussed here. Does it work?

- a new antiviral drug for covid for which early results are promising