Some Are Trivial; Others Dangerous

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An individual who did not believe that COVID exists became sick and went to see the doctor. After some testing was done, he was informed that he was infected with the coronavirus. Saying “that is not possible,” he intentionally coughed in the nurse’s face and walked out. This is a true story but, unfortunately, it is not an isolated story.

Others do recognize the existence and the seriousness of Covid-19 but spread misinformation, blatant anti-science concepts, and some frankly conspiratorial theories about the virus’ origin, treatment, and why the vaccines are dangerous, at best.

Here are just a few minor…

Plant-Based Beef — An Oxymoron or The Real Thing?

Author’s Original Photo

I’m not a major hamburger lover but when I have one, I like it to be a really good one — thick, juicy, pink on the inside, and seared on the outside. The very best hamburgers I’ve had have been at our cabin in the mountains of West Virginia when our grandsons came to visit.

We would go to the store and buy a piece of chuck, come back and cut it up and the guys would put it through Grandma‘s old meat grinder. They make nice thick patties and slice up some summer squash and cook them either outside…

But Are Cause For You To Be Cautious!

Artist - Carol Schimpff

A friend told me about an acquaintance that was fully vaccinated but still developed mild Covid and a teacher, also fully vaccinated, who died of Covid. These are uncommon occurrences but they do happen.

Consider the Yankees. As of May 17, 2021, nine people, 5 staff, 3 coaches including the pitching, first, and the third base coaches along with one player were tested positive for the coronavirus. All had been vaccinated; the player, Glyber Torres, had Covid last year. All but one have been asymptomatic. Presumably, these are individuals with healthy immune systems yet they still got infected.

The authorized…

It’s Time To Appreciate A Great Success Story

Photo by Ivan Diaz on Unsplash

From innovation in early 2020 to approved vaccines in later 2020, what has been accomplished is awesome and demonstrates what America can achieve when it comes together to aggressively respond to a serious threat.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization to three vaccines against the virus that causes Covid-19, and all three have been extremely effective with no hospitalizations and no deaths among the vaccinated volunteers. Home runs. Two more vaccines are nearing home plate with no reported hospitalizations or deaths among the vaccinated individuals. Progressing from…

Derek Story via Unsplash

The vaccines prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Preventing severe disease and death is the greatest value of a vaccine and a very personal benefit to each one of us. Achieving herd immunity — that is, stopping or at least greatly diminishing transmission of disease — is also a great value and a benefit for the entire community. On both scores, the three FDA-authorized COVID vaccines deserve to be called “home runs.”

The Pfizer- BioNTech Phase 3 trial enrolled over 43,000 volunteers; half of the volunteers received the vaccine; the other half received a placebo. Over a third of them were at risk for serious disease.

The “primary…

Can you throw away your mask and go back to pre-pandemic activities? No.

Author’s Photo

Caution is still the byword, and you will need to be cautious for many months to come both to protect yourself and to help quell the pandemic.

You may be wondering if you can go to a restaurant, hug your grand-kid, feel safe in the supermarket, go to a movie, and in general, just go back to normal living after a year of the pandemic upheavals. These are important questions about daily living. Here are some of the facts to help you make informed decisions.

There are two vaccines authorized in the US by the Food and Drug Administration for…

Pfizer BioNTech Vaccine Efficacy vs Placebo, FDA Presentation

The light at the end of the tunnel is certainly shining brighter. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and the very similar-based technology Moderna vaccine. Both have demonstrated excellent efficacy — 95% and 94% protection. But and it is a major but, there is a lot of concern nationwide and internationally about vaccine safety.

My message today is that the FDA’s emergency use authorization is an assurance of safety but it is important to note that safe does not mean there are no side effects. More on side effects later.

Covid Related “Compression Syndrome” — Don’t Let the Media Drive Up Your Stress

The Scream by Edvard Munch, Photographed by Borre Hostland, National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design

“Compression Syndrome.” You probably have never heard of it. It may not be a formal medical syndrome but I suspect once defined you will not be surprised.

Nine months into this pandemic and we’re all tired. We’re all frustrated. There’s so much frustration and the stress just keeps building and building and building. And it’s not just what we’re facing concerning the coronavirus — the masks, the social distancing, giving people more space, avoiding crowds, no restaurants or movies, and so on. It is also the other…

Jessica Tan via Unsplash

What is Covid-induced caution fatigue? Let’s get started by remembering that this pandemic began back in March so it has been March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and now December and it will continue beyond. That is a long time to be frustrated, to be tired, to be bored, to be scared, and even a bit angry. These are all emotions that are building up inside of us, and as they keep layering some new stressor means an additional layer. It’s like a layer cake with more and more layers and the layers seem to be getting…

krakenimages via Unsplash

You may be thinking about getting together on Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year’s with a group of your close friends or family, now often dubbed as your “bubble.” This is probably not a good idea. Let’s remember that the virus is disbursed especially in settings of crowding, prolonged contact, poor ventilation, or where there is loud talking, singing, or heavy breathing. Does all that sound like a holiday gathering?

We all have “caution fatigue.” It’s a very real phenomenon, resulting from all the stresses that you are under — the necessity of wearing a mask, social distancing, and keeping…

Stephen Schimpff MD, MACP

Quasi-retired physician, academic medical center CEO, professor & researcher. Author of 6 health & wellness books.

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