We All Need A Plan to Deal with COVID

Blog #105-4/14/22

By Richard Davis

It’s more than two years since we were first confronted with a new pandemic. There have been very difficult times and less difficult times, but most of us have reached the point where we want this whole COVID thing to be over. But COVID will most likely be with us forever and we need to learn how to deal with it.

People have started to act more “normally” in the past few months because the number of COVID cases and deaths has been decreasing and the number of vaccinated people is high. Unmasked is the more common attire these days and it scares me.

The odds of getting COVID may be decreasing but the disease is no less ominous. People with compromised immune systems and some chronic diseases are more likely to have a severe case of COVID, but the vaccine is helping to prevent disease progression and death in many people. Is that enough to let our guard down? It is a decision each of has to make.

I read three to four articles a week from medical sources about the current state of COVID. The recommendation for a second booster is a good one because most researchers have determined that vaccine protection begins to decrease within six months. Until we have a yearly vaccine or a forever vaccine we will need periodic boosters.

Keep in mind that vaccines do not make it impossible to contract the virus but they decrease the odds and there is abundant evidence that vaccinated people have fewer severe symptoms. Most people I know who have had COVID have had mild cases that did not require hospitalization but that should not provide us with any assurance that things will never get worse.

I do not want to have a case of COVID, not because of the acute illness but because of the possibility of developing the symptoms of long COVID. Long COVID is what makes this disease so debilitating and all of the research I have found indicates that there is no way to predict who will develop long COVID. It happens to people who test positive and are asymptomatic as well as to people who have has mild and severe cases.

According to the CDC, “In a nonprobability-based sample of U.S. adults tested for SARS-CoV-2, symptoms often associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection were common; 65.9% of respondents whose SARS-CoV-2 test results were positive reported symptoms lasting >4 weeks compared with 42.9% of those whose test results were negative. More persons who received positive test results (76.2%) reported persistence (>4 weeks) of at least one initially occurring symptom compared with those whose test results were negative (69.6%).

The CDC makes it clear that while they can report data on cases of long term symptoms of COVID they have not figured out how or why it happens. They note,” Among respondents who initially reported symptoms during the month of their first positive test results, >75% reported persistence of any symptoms >4 weeks, with hair loss, cognitive dysfunction, shortness of breath, and postexertional malaise persisting in approximately one half of respondents. This finding is consistent with findings from other studies reported in a systematic review and provides patient-level perspective on long-term symptoms associated with COVID-19; taken together, these studies highlight the importance of continued monitoring and clinical care for long-term symptoms among patients who have these symptoms early in the course of their illness.”

This all makes we wonder if our approach to treating COVID is not short-sighted. The vaccine deals with the acute episode of COVID but does not have much of an effect, if any, on what the virus does in the body after contracting it.

The virus is creating havoc for body systems and we do not know much about how this is happening or how to stop it.

Until we have figured out more about long-haul COVID I will continue to mask in public spaces, keep up to date with vaccine recommendations and hope I never have a positive test.

Comments | 3

  • Maskers unite! : )

    I’m still wearing a mask when I go into stores/see people. It’s such an easy thing to do for me because it is only a couple of times a week for a short period of time. I’m sure if I was wearing one all day every day I’d be sick of it. But this schedule suits me fine. We’re also doing pretty well avoiding human contact. ; )

    Plus, Vermont’s positivity has been rising dramatically. Yesterday it was over 10%. Vermont’s in the red again. This is no time to take risks.

    I’m like you, though – I see mostly maskless people out and about.

  • The next wave is starting

    This article by Dr. Eric Topol (a highly respected professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research) outlines where he sees us now:


    If you’re technically minded I’d recommend following his Twitter posts:


    If you don’t like Twitter you can read anything on Twitter via the Nitter service without all the tracking:


    “Your Local Epidemiologist” is great source for “where are we now” updates as well, she posts a “State of Affairs” summary once a week:

    (just click on the “Let me read it first” link there).

    It’s pretty obvious the next wave is starting in New England, including Vermont (just look at the Vermont dashboard). Long covid is indeed the big unknown. It is, in part, probably responsible for some of the current worker shortages.

  • When in doubt, Mask-Up

    The number of human viruses is like looking at the Milky Way of the “human virome.” Viruses inhabit all surfaces both inside and outside of the body, the blood, skin, lungs, stomach, urine, you name it, viruses are always there with us, a part of our living bodies. Like the Milky Way, scientists can only guess at the number of viruses, with trillions being a good start. It’s referred to as a living war every moment of our lives.

    So, the issue of “fighting” them one at a time, or when they’re dangerously symptomatic, as in the Covid variants, it turns out that humans are far better at fighting each other than they are fighting the human microbiome of bacteria and viruses. Some need to be fought off, some are benign, and others are necessary to human health.

    Our armaments against the infamous coronaviruses, as an example, are pretty simple. Wash your hands often, wear masks when you’re in close contact, especially when the closer you are to other human respiratory systems or in a closed environment and atmosphere with other humans, mask-up.

    Aways, when in doubt, mask-up.

Leave a Reply