In California, the percentage of vaccinated patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is “effectively zero”. Recently, a physician in a COVID unit published an op-ed in the LA Times about compassion fatigue; namely, that they are beginning to develop it for their patients–who are, again, entirely unvaccinated. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard such an opinion […]
Why arguments about COVID survivors don’t actually convince anyone to care
Y’know how a common adage in pro-COVID response communities is that it’s not just about deaths but about how many people will suffer in the process? How many people will get long COVID, end up with permanent respiratory damage, etc? This is one of those things that often goes in one ear and out the […]
The world’s most famous “But you don’t look sick!”: JFK
The subject of former President John F. Kennedy’s health was one of great fascination both when he was alive and the president, and posthumously. During his campaign for president, JFK denied rumors of his poor health, while opponent Richard Nixon assigned his staffers to steal medical records from doctor’s offices; they were unsuccessful. This article […]
Gendering health anxiety: why is it “weak” to fear sickness, but “brave” to fear treating it?
Here’s a potential research question I’ve had all day. Is it possible that the stigma surrounding health anxiety exists because we associate health anxiety with being feminine? We know, based on the data that we have about health anxiety that it’s common, with conservative estimates putting it at 4-5% of the population (it may perhaps […]
Travel vaccines are nothing new. Don’t be alarmed!
It looks like some articles are floating around about potential future travel policies requiring travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Such policies are not new, only the disease these vaccines are designed to prevent is new. As a child I have fond memories of attending travel clinics before our summer trips to the Philippines, where […]
When COVID-19 kills someone society actually tries to save, simply change the cause of death
Unfortunately, a 41-year-old man, husband, and father, has passed away from complications of COVID-19. He was also a Republican recently elected to Congress, who spoke out against pandemic-responsive policies in Louisiana. It should go without saying that, regardless of their political persuasion or personal opinions about COVID-19, nobody deserves to die of this disease. Luke […]
The cost of herd immunity: some hypothetical numbers
So I put some numbers together. Here’s my reasoning. Based on the results of Indiana’s antibody study, the IFR (infection fatality rate) for COVID-19 in Indiana is .6%. That means, for every 1000 people who get COVID-19, 6 of them will die. A whole bunch of them will be fine, even asymptomatic, but 6 will […]
Hill: withholding knowledge is withholding lifesaving care.
Growing up, my father worked as an EMT and then later as an ER nurse. One of my most vivid memories from childhood was my father going to provide emergency care to a gunshot wound survivor at the Woodman’s grocery. We were just buying groceries, having a regular day, and this guy needed lifesaving care. […]
The inauthentic college experience
A friend of mine recently brought up the point that it’s unfair to suspend/expel students for throwing house parties. This is because college administrators have made it pretty clear that they likewise don’t care if faculty/staff die–UT-Austin, anyone?–and that they’re ultimately responsible for luring 18-to-25-year-olds back to campus for the “real” college experience. Piggybacking off […]
Reopening schools: a potential second orphaning
In my community, we have lots of children who are raised either partially or totally by their grandparents, whose families have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. This is a pretty common story here in Indiana and in other places across the country. While it’s unlikely that these kids will themselves succumb to complications of […]