Corona-phobia, Facts, Fiction and Feelings
By Surgeon Charles Page, MD
Six months into the pandemic, there is hardly a sole on earth who isn’t in Coronavirus overload. What’s more, we don’t know what to believe! This is my attempt to intelligently discuss corona-phobias, facts, fiction, and feelings.
- Doctor, can you give us the big picture of where we are in the Pandemic? Answer: We are now at 5.4 million cases in the United States. The total number of deaths is reaching 170,000. The Infection Fatality Rate, or IFR, is extremely low. Less than one half of one percent. THAT’S GOOD NEWS. When we compare this number projected six months ago of four to six percent, clearly things are not as bad as we predicted.
Comparing these numbers to other diseases such as 650,000 deaths per year from Heart Disease, and 500 deaths per year from cancer, it gives us another perspective. Hospitals are busy but not overwhelmed with COVID cases. At present, there does not seem to be any lack of resources. To my knowledge no one is having to take the old and sick off ventilators to make way for younger COVID patients. We’re busy, but not overwhelmed by lack of resources.
- Can you give us your opinion on reinfection, vaccines, and new tests?
Answer: A new study on sailors showed no evidence of reinfection after previously contacting COVID. We are in phase 3 studies on the vaccines. Hopefully we’ll have a vaccine before the end of the year. SalivaDirect is a new $10 test, funded by the NBA and invented at Yale. It is easier, safer and quicker.
- Can you tell us about what we are learning about treading COVID?
Answer: We’re learning how to utilize our resources. Remdesivir, an antiviral, costs about 3000/dose and is being used in ICU’s only. Plasma, taken from COVID survivors, is being transfused for the really sick. Initially, most COVID patients were intubated early. Now we are learning to wait and try other measures--first.
- We are still hearing two opposing COVID narratives among the scientific community. Isn’t Science supposed to be objective?
Answer: Science is not as objective as we think. Everyone, including doctors and scientists, filters data through their worldview. We live in a culture of arbitrary absolutes, where those in power try to impose their relativistic assumption on the masses.
On one hand, the CDC rejects the new Henry Ford studies on Hydroxychloroquine, claiming they are not good (prospective, randomized) studies. On the other hand, they advocate—and impose--the wearing of masks. There are no definitive studies which show masks diminish the spread of COVID—especially in the community.
- Doesn’t the kind of mask you wear make a difference?
Answer: Yes. A recent study out of Duke University used lasers to evaluate the spread of respiratory droplets using different kinds of masks—N95, regular surgical masks, cloth masks and looser fabrics. The thinner masks fragmented the droplets into smaller ones, helping them to stay aerosolized in the air longer. THAT’S BAD. Once again, the studies show that masks sequester the respiratory droplets when people talk or cough.
- Doctor, if things aren’t as bad what’s portrayed in the media, then, why the corona-phobia?
Answer: If we’ve learned anything, we’ve learned that COVID 19 is unpredictable. I think this goes beyond a political battle. What’s more, it’s become a legal issue. Hospital administrators, School boards, and business owners are placed in a no-win situation. Everyone knows its not as bad as we anticipated. The ‘game’ now revolves around mitigating risk. Ponder this: Leaders are trying to cover the bases of if and when they will encounter a lawsuit.
Charles Page is a Texas-based surgeon and author of several faith-based books. One of which is A Spoonful of Courage for the Sick and Suffering.
Dr. Page has been called the best guy to see on the worst day of your life. A surgeon from Texas, his latest book is "A Spoonful of Courage for the Sick and Suffering."