Update on my COVID-doomed/vaccine-saved friend

  • Day 1 of COVID for my friend: fever of 102 (chronicled in Why is it still almost impossible to schedule a COVID-19 test? (at least in Maskachusetts) Note that he had been feeling less than 100% for a few days prior, so this technically could have been considered Day 3)
  • Day 1, evening: temperature down to 100. Friend in our chat group recommends monoclonal antibody treatment, available to anyone in Florida and to a subpopulation identified by technocrats in Massachusetts. The enthusiast for this emergency use authorized IV drug: “Make up a condition if you need to. Don’t risk dying.” I chime in: “I don’t think an IV drug is the right thing to do. Not unless it seems like it is getting worse. Most new medicines work a lot less well than initially claimed and have more risks than initially claimed.” Our mutual friend: “You have to get it right away! Don’t wait for it to get worse. Tomorrow!” We seek advice from a cardiologist mutual friend in a separate chat: “Nope. [Regeneron is] overused in Florida. No hard core data but people favor 30 days of aspirin. At least 81 mg. It’s thought to cause pro inflammatory, pro coagulatrice [?] state.”
  • Day 2, morning: Right now about 100F in each ear. Throat doesn’t hurt as much, coughing subsided. Although now that i wrote that it subsided i needed to cough. I can feel the vaccine working.
  • Day 2, afternoon: Gone. It was pretty much gone this morning.

One thing I learned: at least in Massachusetts, it is essentially impossible to figure out what to do with a K-12 child when a parent is sick. I visited the web site of the $25,000-per-student-per-year public school that my diseased friend’s kids attend. You’d have to spend at least 45 minutes pulling down disparate documents and reading through them to get a high-level understanding of the policies. At the end of this, however, you’d still be uncertain regarding what to do with children whose parents are on track for death via COVID. You’d think they would have a little web form asking “Are you vaccinated? Is the young scholar vaccinated? Is the young scholar symptomatic? …” and then a red or green answer appears via the miracle of JavaScript.

(It turns out that Day 2 of my friend’s Inexorable March Toward Death coincided with a TikTok panic regarding violence on 12/17 (see “Schools across US cancel classes over unconfirmed TikTok threats”) and, thus, kids all around the country spent the day learning from Professor Xbox.)

Since we all, I hope, #TrustScience and #ListenToDoctors, how about asking a doctor whether children of a COVID-positive parent should go to school? A physician friend copied/pasted this from one of her all-doc discussion groups:

I have had three pfizer doses, booster was in mid-September. My three kids were 14 days post pfizer #2 on Saturday. Today I watched one of my daughters compete at the state gymnastics championships, and I was wearing a kn95 the entire time, cursing all those around me who were blatantly disregarding the mask requirement. As we left the gym, I felt slightly sneezy. I thought it was just from wearing a tight mask for over three hours. I went to pick up one of my other kids who had spent the night with my mom and stepdad. We ate pizza together. Later in the evening, I felt a little sniffly, so I did a binax now and it was instantly positive🤬 My husband is also vaxxed and boosted, binax negative, and plans to go to work tomorrow. What do I do with my fully vaxxed kids this week? Must they quarantine if asymptomatic? I will get us all pcr tested tomorrow and plan on testing the kids/husband again in five days if negative. Can anyone give me any assurance that my mom and stepdad (both fully vaxxed and boosted with pfizer) will be okay if they get this from me? I am freaking out at the thought of them getting sick.

Note that this physician implies that the incubation time from exposure to symptoms is only a few hours. And the doc sends the husband out from the plague-infested house into the workplace where he/she/ze/they can infected dozens of others after what could easily be a false negative test. And the doc is just as confused as the rest of us regarding what should be done with the kids.

Speaking of COVID and symptoms such as brain fog, we removed the front license plate from our Honda minivan yesterday and discovered that the dealer had made two attempts to screw it into the plastic bumper, thus leaving six ugly holes. I had an email exchange with a company that specializes in paint-matched plugs for just this application. I sent the following photo:

The expert’s response: “Is the dealer tech who did this still alive? That’s insane.” But perhaps it was long COVID brain fog that can be blamed, rather than insanity? I could reinstall the bracket (a third set of holes?) to cover this ugliness. I asked The Google for “decorative front license plate”. Here’s the first non-ad result:

(How is it legal to sell a hate-filled license plate with inflammatory language, as shown above (i.e., shouldn’t that last one read “Boy Birthing Person”?))

I’m thinking a custom photo-printed plate with an image of Mindy the Crippler. Now that my friend’s brush with death seems to be over (until the next variant emerges), what do readers suggest for the nose of the minivan?

12 thoughts on “Update on my COVID-doomed/vaccine-saved friend

  1. Not enough context to see how bad the bumper is, but no bumper is as bad as the lion kingdom’s bumper. The paint has long ago perished & it’s becoming 1 of many bald cars.

  2. Phil often refers to (or quotes) interactions with or among his doctor friends.

    Most people revere doctors as oracles with unique, hard-won, and presumably ongoing access to medical truth. For a long time I was in this camp, too.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that nine out of ten practicing physicians are nothing more than certified bureaucrats who have no more curiosity about medicine, science, and pandemics than most people have about the world at large. They do what they’re told because it takes too much effort to do otherwise.

    How better to explain the “🤬” reaction that we see all too often, most recently in Phil’s quote above, from some multi-jabbed Doctor Karen who, beyond all credulity, winds up C19 positive? And then goes on to thank the gods that they were jabbed because, My God, what would have happened if they weren’t?!

    How better to explain the near universal mania for injections that temporarily improve my chances of survival by fractions of a percent in absolute terms, with zero knowledge of potential long term effects? (Yesterday: J&J good. Today: J&J bad!) Is that really the most rational choice? For everyone? Or is this just the simplified remedy that institutions/bureaucracies tell bureaucrat practitioners (aka “doctors”) to recommend?

    The more time goes on, the more an old joke comes into sharp relief: What do we call the person who graduates last in their class at medical school? “Doctor”.

    • “Or is this just the simplified remedy that institutions/bureaucracies tell bureaucrat practitioners (aka “doctors”) to recommend?”

      Really it’s worse than that. The ABMS has sent out letters telling doctors they could lose their certification for spreading “misinformation,” which is not clearly defined.

    • fb: One thing that I learned while teaching at Harvard Medical School is that it has historically taken more than 10 years for a best practice as identified by researchers to be adopted by the majority of physicians. Doctors are not “doing what they’re told” in the sense of following a manager’s instructions. According to the med school folks, they’re typically doing whatever they did when in residency.

      I think continuing education is supposed to speed this up, but it apparently doesn’t.

      Also remember that docs are justifiably skeptical of published research, roughly half of which ultimately proves to be false. A doc who loves to “follow the science” would have killed you with Vioxx after a complaint of knee pain (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rofecoxib where #science now says maybe Vioxx won’t kill you!).

      Given what we know of biology, it isn’t reasonable to expect miracles from medicine. How well would electrical engineers do without Katherine Clerk Maxwell’s equations?

  3. > I can feel the vaccine working.

    Alternatively, your friend could feel a mild illness fading out. The vaccines don’t come out well from a comparison among New England states. The states that had more plague last year have less this year, and vice versa, and vaccination rate is irrelevant.

  4. So many questions. Aren’t you burying the lede? Honda expects people to attach license plates the same way they would mount a cabinet to a wall? They don’t include threaded holes for this purpose?

    And why are there six holes? Doesn’t a license plate need four? Did the dealer have to start over after the first two? And what went wrong to make him/her/zir conclude that he/she/hen needed to start over?

    • Mitch: The license plate bracket was screwed into the bumper and then the license plate itself was screwed into the bracket. The bracket was held in with three screws. I don’t know why he/she/ze/they decided to start over!

      What about stickers? Magnets won’t stick to the plastic bumper, presumably, but are there high quality stickers? I should be able to sand the holes smooth. Maybe an alligator sticker!

      I had a huge collection of Biden/Harris stickers that I brought down from Maskachusetts with me, of course, but to win friends at the local drag strip ( https://www.racepbir.com/) while strolling around the pits and trailers I applied them all to the drag racers’ cars. I tried to do this quietly, but the drivers/owners were not as grateful as I had imagined they would be.

      (We actually went to the drag strip today and discovered that kids as young as 5 and 6 are allowed to drive low-power dragsters (5 to drive; 6 to race). Perfect redneck family activity! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junior_Dragster (but note the exclusionary language: “Drivers may be male or female”))

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