Category Archives: medical news

COVID compounds our sorrow

I just received a tragic bit of news from a friend who lives in Amarillo.

His wife died this past spring. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She also had tested positive for COVID-19. My friend told me this: The worst part of it was that I didn’t get to see her the last 4 months. Her nursing home was in total lock down.

That statement, right there, should tell us all plenty about the terrible nature of the pandemic that has killed more than 152,000 Americans. More deaths will follow. We are not experiencing, as a senior Trump administration official said, a time of “triumph” in the fight against the pandemic.

This story has created an unheard-of phenomenon in many respects. One of them involves the isolation that COVID patients must endure. They cannot have family near them as they struggle for life. No friends. No loved ones. They die separated from those who cherish them the most.

Which arcs back to another aspect of this disease. It is the special relationships that nurses, doctors and care facility staff develop with these patients. Think of this for a moment. These medical responders become “surrogate loved ones” for the people in their care.

How many stories have you heard since early this year about nurses and physicians sobbing at the death of patients who cannot feel the embrace of their spouse, their children, their parents? I have lost count. Yet every story I hear told fills me with heartache that tugs just a little harder than the previous time.

Then there are the stories of patients who are released from medical care and reunited with the people who love them. The happiness we see and hear from the medical personnel is as joyous as the sadness felt at the end of the tragic stories.

My friend’s story is not unique to the larger world. To him, though, it is unbearable, unspeakable and unimaginable. It hurts to hear this news because of the unique misery it brings to those who must endure it.

Take it seriously, folks!

The death of one-time Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain ought to be a wake-up call to those who think the COVID-19 pandemic is some sort of “hoax” cooked up by Democrats to harm Donald Trump’s re-election effort.

Same for the infection of Rep. Louie Gohmert. Or perhaps the positive test registered by Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien.

Let’s shut the hell up with the conspiracy nonsense, shall we?

Cain’s death is particularly poignant in this regard: He attended that Tulsa, Okla., rally where the sparse crowd piled into the arena, most of whom were not wearing masks or maintaining social distance. Cain was one of them.

Then he got sick. Now he is dead.

The Godfather’s Pizza mogul ran for president in 2012, touting his economic wizardry and assorted cures for what he said ailed the U.S. economy. He now will be known, arguably forever, as one of Donald Trump’s staunch minions who didn’t heed the warnings of medical professionals to take measures to protect himself and others from the killer virus.

Yet, there remains that cabal of goofballs who insist the pandemic is a made-up matter. It ain’t real, they say. They contend it’s part of some Deep State plot to deny Donald Trump a second term as president.

Those who foment that lie are full of sh**. They know it and so should the rest of us.

Herman Cain’s death is a sad but profound reminder that the best medical and scientific minds in the world are trying like the dickens to find a cure for this menace.

As a friend of mine in Amarillo — who, along with her husband has recovered from a positive COVID-19 test — has told me, she is in “take no prisoners mode” with regard to the conspiracy theorists. She vows to shut down anyone who refuses to take this killer seriously.

So will I.

Quack now advising POTUS?

Where in the name of Hippocrates did Donald J. Trump find the quack who’s saying masks won’t help stop COVID infection and talks about “alien DNA”?

Her name is Stella Immanuel, and even though she has a medical degree, I won’t put the “Dr.” in front of her name.

According to the Daily Beast: She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens.

Joe Biden calls her a “disgrace.” He is correct.

Immanuel, who resides in Houston, has become a star on right-wing media. She also has Donald Trump’s ear.

God help us.

Oh, Louie … how did the mask avoidance work out?

I am no fan of Louie Gohmert.

In fact, I am embarrassed that he is a member of the Texas congressional delegation. Gohmert, a Republican from Tyler, happens to have been an obnoxious opponent of mask-wearing in light of the coronavirus pandemic. That is just one of the things that angers me about this guy’s presence in Congress.

Well, this just came in: Gohmert, who represents the Loony Bin Wing of the GOP, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Karma is a bitch, man … you know?

Now, I do not wish him ill. I do not want him to suffer the kind of agony that has befallen hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans, about 150,000 of whom have died from the virus. However, just maybe this startling news about this outspoken critic of a known effective measure that helps stem the tide of infection will awaken this clown to the obvious need to do what the doctors keep telling us.

It is that we should wear masks; we should practice “social distancing”; we should wash our hands frequently.

Gohmert took part in a U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing this week in which he yelled and bellowed his support for Attorney General William Barr. He obviously ignored warnings about how infection spores spread more rapidly when we raise our voices. And, of course, he did all this without wearing a mask.

Get well, Louie. When you do and when you are to return to work, then shut your skeptical-sounding pie hole and follow the doctors’ orders. While you’re at it, you should advise your fellow GOP lunatics to do the same.

Shut … up, Mr. POTUS!

I cannot stand the sound of Donald J. Trump’s voice, or the sight of his face on my TV, which I know is no big flash to readers of this blog.

I especially cannot stand the sound and sight of him when he discusses things about which he knows nothing. Hmm. By my figuring, that’s just about anything under the sun.

So, when Donald Trump strides to the podium in the White House briefing room and declares that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t quite as serious as docs keep saying, or when he declares that wearing face masks is an overrated measure to fight the infection rate, I tend to want to pull my hair out by the roots.

Trump was in his usual bloviating form today when he dismissed mask-wearing and talked — yet again — about the benefits of that anti-malaria drug he keeps touting as a potential cure for the killer virus. You know, the drug that doctors and researchers say could kill you if ingest it.

My version of a perfect pandemic world would be for Donald Trump to stand down, to leave the communication solely to the doctors he enlisted ostensibly to conduct the federal government’s response to the pandemic. Then he steps all over their message, seeking to downplay the grim news they deliver, which is that we’re still not even halfway through the first round of infections.

What does it take to shut this guy up, to keep him off our TV screens, or to push him to the sidelines, leaving the real analysis of this crisis up to the experts who have all those MDs behind their name?

Oh, wait! I know! We have an election coming up in November! That’ll do it! Right?

Waiting on the vaccine

I have concluded something about this pandemic and to be honest it doesn’t make me feel all too comfy.

It is that I now believe that the only “end” to this crisis will arrive when a vaccine becomes available to every human being on Earth. Prior to that, we had all better get used to wearing masks, to keeping our “social distance” from friends and even loved ones, to a decided lack of recreational activities such as arena sports with fans jammed shoulder to shoulder, and with our children studying “virtually” at home.

Why the wait? Two reasons: a lack of discipline among billions of us who don’t follow the rules and a lack of leadership from the highest levels of government in the United States of America.

I am dismayed at the sight of all those morons who cannot or will not keep their distance from others. Or those who refuse to wear a mask because, they contend stupidly, that they infringe on their civil liberties. Those dipsh**s are taking their cue from — dare I say it — the White House or from right-wing media that continue to insist that the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax, a conspiracy cooked up by people with some sort of nefarious political agenda.

Sinclair Corp., a right-wing media company that owns a chain of TV stations around the country, is fomenting that hoax with a fake “documentary” that accuses Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, of being at the center of that conspiracy. What’s shocking is that so many Americans believe that BS.

So I am going to wait on big pharma researchers’ work on their fast-track search for a vaccine. It’s going to take time to ascertain its effectiveness; then it will take more time to get it certified by drug regulators and then kick into massive production.

I am willing to wait.

Mother Nature deals cruel blow

Mother Nature can be the cruelest of elements.

Our friends and fellow Texans in Nueces County have been struggling against the COVID-19 virus. Reports of a spike in infections among infants has been particularly alarming. They’re running out of morgue space and are receiving refrigerated trucks to store the remains of those who have died from the virus. Good grief.

Then comes Hurricane Hanna, which blasted ashore south of Corpus Christi on Saturday. It was a Cat 1 storm, which isn’t catastrophic by definition … but it might as well have been a Cat 5 or worse, given the heartache that has struck that part of the state.

I am left while sitting up yonder in North Texas to offer my sympathy, condolences and, yes, “thoughts and prayers” to those who suffer from the pandemic and now to those who are battling storm surge, flash flooding and 100-mph wind.

What’s more, we should lift up first responders and the medical professionals who have been risking their health, their lives and those of their loved ones even before Hanna blew down the front door along the Gulf Coast.

Will any of this ever end? Can we get some help from our government and, by all means, from Mother Nature herself?

This is winning the COVID war?

The rate of infection in the United States from the coronavirus pandemic is increasing.

Yep. We’re getting sick at a faster rate now than we were at the beginning of the pandemic. Consider this tidbit from U.S. News and World Report:

The United States took 98 days to reach one million confirmed cases of COVID-19 but just 16 days to increase from 3 million to 4 million, the tally showed. The total suggests at least one in 82 Americans have been infected at some point in the pandemic.

The average number of new cases is now rising by more than 2,600 per hour nationwide, the highest rate in the world.

Roll that around for a moment. It took more than three months to record 1 million COVID-19 cases, but just 16 days to log another million to reach the 4 million mark.

Is that how you define “success” in the fight against this killer virus? Donald Trump says he is doing a great job. His team is doing a fantastic job of fighting the virus. He tells us that our testing program is the best in the world; I do not quarrel with that final point.

But wait! How can we declare we are winning this fight when the infection rate is accelerating? Meanwhile, other parts of the world, in Europe and in Asia, are reporting virtually zero new infections from the virus.

How is it that the world’s most advanced nation, with the world’s most skilled medical and scientific researchers is still logging more infections from this virus than the rest of the entire planet?

We are not winning this fight. We are losing it. Hopefully, though, the losing won’t continue forever.

Cancel the RNC, but send kids to school?

The Stable Genius continues to baffle me.

Donald J. Trump insists that our children must attend school in classrooms. It’s better to put the students in classrooms than to require them to study at home via online instruction.

What, then, shall we do about the scheduled Republican National Convention that will nominate Trump for a second term as president? He cancelled the RNC in Jacksonville, Fla., citing health concerns. “It’s not the right time” to have a convention with delegates crammed into the same arena, he said.

Mixed messaging anyone? Anyone?

This is part of a much larger problem associated with the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. At one level, Trump says one thing. At another level, he says something quite different.

He scoffed at masks. Now he’s all for them … more or less. He called the pandemic a “Democrat hoax.” Now he says the worst of the pandemic is yet to come before it gets better.

Trump ignores advice from medical experts. Then listens to talk show hosts and acts on their “advice.”

Trump says he’s doing a “fantastic” job, but the rate of infection is accelerating, not slowing down.

The latest bit of news involves the GOP nominating convention. Trump is concerned about potential health hazard to politicians and delegates. I applaud his decision to forgo the in-person gathering in Jacksonville.

If only, though, he would express as much concern about the health and safety of our children, their friends and families and the teachers who educate them.

This guy confuses the daylights out of me.

It’s worse than ’embers,’ Mr. POTUS

Donald Trump keeps using the term “embers” to describe what is happening in the country with regard to the coronavirus pandemic.

He tells us that the “embers” stay hot while infections continue to spiral upward. I want to suggest that the problem is far worse than “embers.” It is, as Fox News reporter noted in an interview with Trump, like a “forest fire.”

Donald Trump has just concluded his “briefing” on the response to the outbreak, a term I use guardedly. I don’t even like the word, as these White House appearances turn immediately into a campaign-style riff from the president.

I will Trump credit for this, however: He did say the pandemic is going to worsen before it gets better. Good. At least he is acknowledging what scientists have been saying for, oh, months!

It’s also clear to me why Trump didn’t invite Dr. Anthony Fauci to attend this event. Reporters gathered in the room would have asked Fauci to comment on the performance of the White House response task force and I am quite certain he would say something quite different than what Trump keeps saying. We can’t have that now, can we.

I am not clear about why I bothered to watch and listen to the Liar in Chief’s statement today. He didn’t offer a single nugget of new information, he didn’t tell me something we haven’t heard ad nauseum about the “fantastic” job he is doing.

So, Trump has returned to the White House briefing room to tell us … nothing. Stay tuned. We’ll have more of the same.