The Nuances of Covid [UPDATE]

Omicron in particular can be difficult to detect. According to Medscape, if there are symptoms, many of them are similar to the common flu:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea(1)

However, you might not have symptoms at all. This causes skeptics, mistakenly, to treat the virus as no big deal.

However, the virus seems to have the ability to interact with and amplify medical conditions that a person already has and of which he or she might be quite unaware, That’s why the hospital are past full again, although the virus might not be listed as the primary cause of admission. It’s also why we continue to see a spike in medical spending, which, frankly, is unaffordable.

—-

16 January 2022 UPDATE: There’s a news report today of the “sudden” death of a 45-year-old entertainment industry executive from “complications from pneumonia and COVID-19”.(2) Classically, the flu is most dangerous for the elderly and children. Covid is the game-changer, and suddenly healthy people in the prime of life are vulnerable. Like it or not, that’s what’s happening.

I had the chance tonight to listen to an online broadcast of a school board meeting. While the district is quite large, serving a population of not quite one million, only a few hundred listed to the meeting online, and a handful of nutcases chose to speak in the public comment portion of the program. We heard the usual:

  • Covid is a myth.
  • The schools need to be open.
  • Mask requirements reduce oxygen supply, harming kids. (Someone did write a paper on that, which has been widely discredited. People read the original headline and not the followup.)
  • There’s no such thing as asymptomatic transmission. (What rock has this person been living under?)

Again, the hospitals are full and the healthcare system is stretched to breaking. That needs to be the focus. If Covid doesn’t matter, why are hospitalizations through the roof? The skeptics have no answer for that.

The other issue is the economic impact of Covid.

  • Covid drives inflation. When massive numbers of workers are out sick, supply chains fail and companies have to hire additional workers often at higher wages in order to function.
  • Covid drives spikes in healthcare spending. From and economic standpoint, those are dollars not being spent to expand the economy or create businesses. This is essential but nonproductive maintenance spending.

Right now, Covid is a drain on the US Medicare system. In the long run, that may be offset by having fewer people alive to draw on Medicare.

However, Covid is slamming companies providing under-65 health insurance, as well as life insurance companies. We’re seeing insurance companies revise health policies to place more of the cost burden back on the consumer — the 40% and 50% co-insurance found in many policies for 2022, meaning that the consumer picks up 40% or 50% of the cost of care.

You need to look at Covid from all the angles, not just from one perspective. Covid is complicated and nuanced, and not done yet.

Sources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/omicron-infection-what-are-the-symptoms#What-symptoms-does-Omicron-cause?
  2. https://news.yahoo.com/todd-whiting-longtime-nbcuniversal-peacock-031536129.html
As grim as the topic is, we need some fun, right?

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