Tag: covid-19

My COVID 19 Experience

Like most people, I am about worn slick with this COVID 19 virus. I am not a fan of wearing a damn mask everywhere I go, and always feeling the need to be on guard to try and protect myself from this nasty little bug. I am more that ready for our lives to go back to normal. However, it appears we are going to be living with this bug for who knows how long before there is a cure and or vaccine to protect us. I totally get where some people are coming from when they express the resistance to wearing masks in public.  However, I am going to guess that most who are resistant to taking the mandated precautions have not yet been touched by COVID 19. Maybe some of these people do not have anyone in their lives who have compromised immune systems or comorbidities where the virus can be deadly to them. I agree that we cannot keep our society shut down forever because of COVID 19, however, as I have said in another article or two, we do need to approach this new sickness with rational thinking and plain old fashioned common sense. Until we have a proven vaccine and or treatments, it is only wise to continue taking precautions to avoid getting it. Wear your mask when around other people. If not for yourself, just do it for others. I know that a piece of cloth is not going to stop a microscopic virus, but it can stop your infected spittle from flying through the air when you speak, cough or sneeze. Keeps your hands clean by washing often, and just be courteous to others with social distancing. None of these things are hard to do, yet for some people it seems as if they are being unreasonably inconvenienced. Trust me, a little inconvenience is nothing compared to being sick with this bug. I know this first hand now, I am quarantined to my home now by the Leavenworth County Health Department because my wife and I both have it.

I have maintained from the early days of this virus – even before we knew as much as we do today – the best line of defense against it would be to keep our immune systems as healthy as possible through good nutrition and exercise.  COVID-19, in those with underlying health conditions or comorbidities, has an increasingly rapid and severe progression, often leading to death. From what is known at the moment, patients with COVID-19 disease who have comorbidities, such as hypertension or diabetes mellitus, are more likely to develop a more severe course and progression of the disease. Furthermore, older patients, especially those 65 years old and above who have comorbidities and are infected, have an increased admission rate into the intensive care unit (ICU) and mortality from the COVID-19 disease. This virus is no joke, and with my dear wife Loraine having breast cancer, my worst fear has been that she would contract it since the cancer has had a negative effect on her immune system.

Wearing a damn mask was only a small inconvenience compared to this…

I’m not stupid enough to believe that wearing a mask is foolproof, but with Loraine’s compromised immune system, it has only seemed to be a wise choice to me when I have been out in public and in close proximity to others. Last week, she received word that she had been exposed to COVID 19 while at work, and sure enough, on Saturday she became quite sick to her stomach and had a headache. Sunday morning, Loraine went to a local testing station and got tested while I went on to work delivering construction and industrial supplies for my employer.

I had a pretty good day, despite my load being one that really caused me a lot of extra work getting all of my freight delivered. Once I had dropped off the last of my freight and was facing a 3 hour drive home in my semi truck, I all of a sudden began feeling really fatigued. In less than a half hour after the fatigue had set in, my entire body began hurting. Every joint and muscle in my body became quite painful, I actually have a high tolerance for pain being as I live with chronic sciatic pain from a spinal injury 11 years ago. Today is Friday, and my body is still hurting, although it has subsided a great deal.

Monday morning I knew as soon as I got out of bed that I was sick and I felt pretty confident that it was COVID 19. Loraines test results had not come back yet, but she was still quite sick and I was having a difficult time even putting my thoughts together enough to call into work and let them know I could not work that night – calling in is something I rarely do – I did not feel as if I would be safe behind the wheel of a 80,000 pound truck on the highway. At about 11:30 am, I went back to bed and did not get up until my cat woke me up at about 5:30 am Tuesday morning. At 8:00 am I made an appointment to be tested too. I have to say, testing is not as gruesome as some would have you believe. It was simply a matter of swabbing out one nostril and then the other with a cotton swab and then putting it into a vial which contained some type of liquid. There is no reason to be intimidated about getting tested should you feel the need.

I do not want to get political, but I honestly believe that our government and researchers, as well as others worldwide, are doing their best to come up with a cure and or a vaccine to COVID 19. I believe part of their difficulty is this virus is so different from others in the past, symptoms and severity can be different from person to person, almost as if there is little uniformity to this disease such as can be found with others. While I have not vomited as Loraine has, my entire body hurts really badly, and the fatigue has been horrible. I have bad pain in strange places such as the connective tissues at my ankles and both sides of my hips constantly hurt. Sometime Wednesday, I began noticing that I could smell something strange, and that everything I ate or drank had a taste just like what I was smelling. This odor is emanating from my sinuses. Loraine and I have been fortunate in that the virus has not impacted our lungs as it does so many. The wife of one of my friends has been hospitalized for quite some time now and has had to be on a ventilator.  Another friend of mine recently lost his mother to COVID 19, and another friend of mine had this along with her son. Her son has been displaying mental health issues now that were not there before he had this sickness. He was sick with COVID 19 about 3 or 4 months ago, and the damage done to his mental health has not subsided. Another friend of my friend who had this has been hospitalized for months now, and has specialized treatments to keep her blood oxygenated that cannot be done by ventilator alone. This sickness is serious business for a great many who do go on to survive it as most of us will. I feel fully confident that Loraine and I will both return to work once our quarantines are over. We are both feeling better than we did in the first few days of this, and we will continue to improve. All I ask is that people use a little common sense and courtesy to others during these trying times. How about instead of being defiant in regards to mandated precautions, just consider that even if you are healthy, you can be a carrier among people who have immune system weakness and other comorbidities where this virus can be fatal. Until we have a vaccine or a cure, this virus is obviously not going to go away on its own. God bless all of you and please, as a society, lets try and look out for each others wellbeing.

 

Re-Evaluating Health During COVID-19

All around the world today we are living in a truly bizarre time with COVID-19. We have stay at home orders and quarantines in place for the sick. Our grocery store shelves are empty of cleaning supplies, toilet paper and boxed foods, yet good healthy whole foods are still available in abundance. I have now seen multiple news stories where people wear rubber gloves when out shopping, only to discard them on the ground outside instead of in trash receptacles where they belong. People are living in fear of this cold virus pandemic as if there has never been deadly pandemics before which have killed far more people than the current COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been nine serious pandemics over the last one hundred years with the HIV/AIDS pandemic still ongoing.  Seven of these have occurred over the last fifty years. This pandemic is not the first, nor will it be the last. I wish I knew a way to get people to quit living in fear of the unknown factors behind this virus and be more positive about what we do know. What we do know is that world wide there have been about 132 million cases diagnosed, almost a quarter million people fully recovered and a death rate of just under 60 thousand for a mortality rate of under 1 percent.

Yes, this virus is highly contagious. We do need to be cautious!

But no, we do not need to live our lives in fear. Most people only display minor symptoms. Do yourself a favor and quit watching 24/7 news all day as you sit in the confines of your home. Tune out those on social media who do nothing but help spread bad information and blame. There are far too many armchair quarterbacks calling plays in this pandemic who are not armed with medical knowledge. Beware the politicians who are taking advantage of the current events solely for political gain.

What we do know about COVID-19

People who have chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease and heart disease, face an increased chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19 and put into intensive care, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is consistent with reports from China and Italy. The CDC analyzed more than 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country in which health officials had a written record about the presence or absence of any underlying medical condition. The preexisting conditions covered in the records include heart and lung diseases, diabetes, chronic renal disease, chronic liver disease, immunocompromised conditions, neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental or intellectual disability, pregnancy, current or former smoker status, and “other chronic disease.” Almost every one of these maladies can be avoided through good nutrition and exercise which keeps you fit, trim, and healthy. Of the 7,160 patients whose chronic illness status was known through health records, 184 died, and 173 of them had an underlying condition, the CDC said. None of the deaths were among people under age 19.

With the entire world in a state of worry around COVID-19, it’s not surprising that people with pre-existing conditions — like obesity — are more afraid than people who are in good health. If that’s you, your fear is of course natural and understandable. The virus swiftly took over the globe, leaving researchers scrambling to understand how it works, who is most at risk, and how to control its spread. It is a virus that is new to the world’s health care professionals.

As this COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, you should consider how being overweight or obese might affect you if you were to contract this virus.

According to the World Obesity Federation, “Obesity-related conditions seem to worsen the effect of COVID-19; indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that people with heart disease and diabetes are at higher risk of COVID-19 complications.” This is because on the physiological level, there is a plethora of reasons why excess fat is risky for your well being.  Even patients who are metabolically healthy despite being  obese need to be concerned because of the excess adiposity based upon angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). What this means to you is the ACE2 enzyme binds well to viruses, like severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The risk of serious illness increases even more if you have multiple  illnesses or conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, or heart failure. Again, each of these are within your control if you choose to live a healthy life. These ailments usually accompany, or are a direct result of excess body fat in the form of obesity. So please, before you jump on social media and begin pointing the finger of blame on others who you believe are not doing enough to protect your safety and well being, just stop already.

Take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself what more can you do for yourself.

No one forces you to eat an unhealthy diet. You do this on your own. I’m pretty sure no one else is putting that fork and spoon in your mouth for you.

Except in the case of severe disability, most everyone can perform some kind of exercise.

No one forces you to consume alcohol, nor to smoke cigarettes.

You, and you alone are primarily responsible for your health. Your doctor might give you treatments and cures, but at the end of the day, your health is on you!

As you practice social distancing while sitting in your home,  please re-evaluate how you live your life. This pandemic is not our first, nor will it be our last. There could be another come along in the future that is much worse than this one.