I have a confession..
First and foremost, I have purposefully avoided writing about the topic, COVID-19. My email is overwhelmed with post notifications about this very thing and I, with all of my heart, did not want to jump on the band wagon.
Secondly, I have been a scoffer or at least I was and for logical reasons. Reason this….on the day that the first person with COVID-19 passed away in the United States, in Washington State, the media went wild and thus ignited a widespread panic. What was not reported was that on the same day, in the same state, 10 others died of regular influenza. Furthermore, influenza claimed the lives of 12,000 – 20,000 in the US in a 2 month period between the end of November to February 1st. So what’s with the hoopla & hysteria? There’s by far less covid cases globally than those who’ve died from the flu in the US alone!
But, it was these same numbers for both viruses, coupled with the governmental response to them (or lack thereof) not in the US only but worldwide that formed an insidious question in the back of my mind that I have not been able to shake…. what are we NOT being told? The response = statistics simply did not make logical sense!
In the beginning, we were told that it had the same rate of transmission, same survival rate, but the demographic of severe risk was much smaller, being only elderly and those with serious pre-existing medical issues and seemingly not effecting children. This is becoming untrue. For one, the physician who first released the information has died from it at the age of 38. Four of the most dangerously ill people at a hospital in Massachusetts are between the ages of 41 – 52 and a child has been hospitalized for it in Kansas City, Missouri. Yesterday, Missouri had 5 cases of COVID-19, today there are 16 yet, we are still far below the average numbers for influenza. Continue to the bottom for the explanation of why the excessive response was warranted.
I have changed my mind, not only about writing about it but I am no longer a scoffer. It is important that we write about this time, we are witnessing history in the making. Never before, not in my lifetime, has our nation closed non- essential businesses, schools, gatherings of over 10 people, public events, parks, borders, air travel, told us to stock up on supplies to last 2 month and quarantine ourselves.
Never have we been told not to go to the hospital but rather call, set up triage tents outside hospitals and never have I seen the ravaged empty market shelves nor seen such rampant selfishness.
It is important that we chronicle this moment in history as it’s happening and unfolds, for future generations. These will be tales we tell, cautionary, tragedy, of panic, selfishness…but also tales of hope, survival, community and unshakable faith.
Always with Love, hope & prayers – Laura
From Julia Danklef
Feeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than Seasonal flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this helps. Feel free to share this to others who don’t understand…
It has to do with RNA sequencing…. I.e. genetics.
Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year… you get immunity two ways…through exposure to a virus, or by getting a flu shot.
Novel viruses, come from animals…. the WHO tracks novel viruses in animals, (sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only transfer from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1) (birds in the case of the Spanish flu). But once, one of these animal viruses mutates, and starts to transfer from animals to humans… then it’s a problem, Why? Because we have no natural or acquired immunity.. the RNA sequencing of the genes inside the virus isn’t human, and the human immune system doesn’t recognize it so, we can’t fight it off.
Now…. sometimes, the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human, for years it’s only transmission is from an infected animal to a human before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human… once that happens..we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion of this new mutation, thats what decides how contagious, or how deadly it’s gonna be..
H1N1 was deadly….but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the Spanish flu. It’s RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host differently, too.
Now, here comes this Coronavirus… it existed in animals only, for nobody knows how long…but one day, at an animal market, in Wuhan China, in December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At first, only animals could give it to a person… But here is the scary part…. in just TWO WEEKS it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”
This Coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we would all have some natural or acquired immunity). Took off like a rocket. And this was because, Humans have no known immunity…doctors have no known medicines for it.
And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus, changed itself in such a way the way that it causes great damage to human lungs..
That’s why Coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1 or any other type of influenza…. this one is slippery AF. And it’s a lung eater…And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal with, strain s, and strain L….which makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine.
We really have no tools in our shed, with this. History has shown that fast and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics. Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they were the hardest hit in the US during the Spanish Flu.
Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in his room and allowed no one near him, till the Black Plague passed…(honestly…I understand him so much better now). Just like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation…
And let me end by saying….right now it’s hitting older folks harder… but this genome is so slippery…if it mutates again (and it will). Who is to say, what it will do next.
Be smart folks… acting like you’re unafraid is so not sexy right now.
#flattenthecurve. Stay home folks… and share this to those that just are not catching on.
Faith in the midst
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Making Due: Feeding the family when the shelves are bare.
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Counting Blessings: Gratitude In The Moment