Omicron and the next variants & TE22

Expecting to do it, as pandemic becomes endemic. We’re seeing record-high numbers of COVID infections, 1.4 million last Monday alone nationwide, with record numbers in SB County. The actual number of infections is much higher: in many parts of the country anti-vax has morphed into anti-test. Butte County, here in California, has such social stigma around vaccination and even testing that the Chamber of Commerce is quietly telling small merchants to stay open and not report if they get COVID so the State doesn’t raise the quarantine level. If this is typical, as it likely is, many of the worst-hit areas will have low reported rates. In Congressional testimony, acting FDA head Janet Woodcock, MD, said, ‘I think it’s hard to process what’s actually happening right now, which is, most people are gonna get COVID.’

Some of the mechanisms are being elucidated. The clots that colonize lungs or brain are not only products of clotting proteins but encapsulate them, meaning the immune system’s anti-clotting ‘clean-up’ mechanism is stymied. (A dissolved clot immediately reforms.) A recent preprint found even mild COVID can interfere with the brain’s immune system, degrading the hippocampus’s ability to repair and create new neurons, which seriously impairs memory formation. (The ol’ region-specific multi-lineage cellular dysregulation.) Earlier in the pandemic UC Davis Medical reported up to 33% becoming long-haul. A recent JAMA-published meta-analysis found 50% of people who recovered from COVID report some long-haul experience. Although co-morbidities are a predictor for COVID death, neither age nor prior fitness is known to be a predictor for long-haul. Please don’t take for granted how nice it is to have the capacity to remember what happened yesterday.

We’e an outdoor event, we’ll wear (paper, not cloth) masks when not running, and for the first time I can recall I’m hoping it doesn’t rain—we don’t want closed car windows. As always, take care of yourselves, take care of each other.

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Hart K.

Average, but not so exceedingly average as to not be average.

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