Cold-cloudy and breezy this early-evening here in California’s Central Valley. The weirdness of life cornered in a pandemic continues.
Yesterday I was mistaken in our local COVID-19 confirmed cases, and even worse today — 12 added in the last 24 hours, bringing our total in Merced County to 52 with three deaths (Merced Sun-Star).
This shit ain’t-no flu. (h/t BJ):
One month ago. Trump was downplaying the virus, comparing it to the seasonal flu.
Two days later states were closing schools, travel from Europe was suspended, the NBA shutdown their season, and the stock market tanked. https://t.co/85i0tCB5oE
— andrew kaczynski? (@KFILE) April 9, 2020
Yeah, let’s think about that — 546 cases, 22 deaths just 30 days ago (according to the ignorant T-Rump), today a month later, our death toll is near-about 16,500 with 461,400 ‘confirmed‘ cases (and way-many unconfirmed) and across the world, 1.5 million infected, more than 93,400 deaths. In a month, asshole!
Flu season, by the way ‘“for all intensive purposes,”‘ is at least winding down to a finish. Although times vary, flu is predominate in the fall and winter, starting usually in October, peaks between December and February, and can continue in bad spells until May.
According to the CDC toward the end of last month: ‘Laboratory confirmed flu activity as reported by clinical laboratories continues to decrease sharply and is now low. Influenza-like illness activity, while lower than last week, is still elevated. Influenza severity indicators remain moderate to low overall, but hospitalization rates differ by age group, with high rates among children and young adults.‘
How different are the seasonal flu and COVID-19? Speed and mystery are a couple. The nearly-brand new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 arrived in late 2019, created a respiratory illness called COVID-19, and hasn’t stopped yet. Slowed in some places, sped up in others, some places like South Korea and Singapore have seemed to have gotten some handle on it. Others, like the US, are having trouble getting a grip.
Huge, giant, grip-less problem is the T-Rump, on many, many levels.
COVID-19 and the flu are similar, they’re both contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, have similar symptoms, and spread alike from people, or from surfaces. Although both can cause greater damage to older people, the flu seems attracted to kids more (notations via the CDC).
Incredible difference between the two is immunity and speed on influence.
Covid-19 or winter cold? (Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday): ‘Gregory A. Poland, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist who acts as a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said the question always comes up when he does radio talk shows: “Isn’t this just the flu or a ‘bad flu’?‘
Deadly contrast, however:
John J. Zurlo, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Jefferson Health, thinks the answer is clear. Both diseases can kill, but the scale of the coronavirus problem, he said, is “much, much larger.”
A huge difference is that there are vaccines for flu each fall.
They’re not perfect, but when well-matched to the circulating strains of flu, which change every year, they reduce the number of cases and the amount of serious disease.
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, which can cause a disease that no one in the world had before it emerged in China in December.
Unlike the flu, there are no proven antiviral treatments for coronavirus.
“I hate to think of what flu seasons would be like if we had no vaccinations,” Zurlo said.
And another distinction (HealthLine): ‘COVID-19 also appears to cause more severe illness compared to the flu, with a larger percentage of people requiring hospitalization. The virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, also seems to transmit more readily in the population.’
And speedily, too — one state’s record: ‘In fact, the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the last nine days alone exceeds the average 1,285 flu-related deaths a year over the last decade in New Jersey, according to State Health Assessment Data.‘
And so it goes…(for some reason, to listen to the following song, you have to click on the YouTube link):
I wonder every day…
(Illustration: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here).