What causes long Covid?

A lot of clever people are chasing the cause of long Covid, but so far the virus is outrunning them–and we’re talking about a virus, remember, that doesn’t have a degree in either science or medicine and that’s rumored to be illiterate.

Not that I’m making fun of those clever people. Long covid scares the bejeezus out of me and I’m grateful for the work they’re doing, but I’m also painfully aware that they haven’t even found all the puzzle pieces yet, never mind gotten them in the right place. 

Puzzle pieces? What happened to the chase metaphor? 

I couldn’t keep up with it and had to grab something else off the shelf where I store my cliches.

Irrelevant photos: Morning glories–or as the British call them, bindweed.

But back to our actual subject: The clever folk are at the stage where they have theories, but that’s not all bad. Theories open up possibilities and they’re a good place to start. Let’s check in with a few of them:

Pediatrician Danilo Buonsenso noticed that some of his patients–these are kids, remember, with their habit of showing up at pediatricians’ offices and licking their fingers before touching the toys–

Where were we? Some of his patients who’d had mild Covid cases were left short of breath, exhausted and sporting a variety of other symptoms. That’s not common in post-Covid kids, but what with him being a doctor and all, and one who specializes in infectious diseases (I know, I didn’t get around to mentioning that earlier)–well, the kids he’s most likely to see are the ones who are sick, which skews the sample.

As the article I stole this from explains it, “He now suspects that, in some of them, the cells and tissues that control blood flow are damaged and the blood’s tendency to clot is amplified. Minute blood clots, leftover from the viral assault or fueled by its aftermath, might be gumming up the body’s circulation, to disastrous effect from the brain to joints. ‘In some patients we have specific areas where no blood flow comes in’ or the flow is reduced, Buonsenso says. 

Another theory comes from  microbiologist Amy Proal: that the virus hangs on in the body after the acute stage of the infection is over. Studies show that “the virus is capable of persistence in a wide range of body sites,” she said. 

A third theory comes from Chansavath Phetsouphanh, who’s observed that the immune cells of long Covid patients are still on high alert as much as eight months after they first tested positive. 

A fourth theory comes from Nick Reynolds, who found amyloid clumps in the brains of people with the neurological symptoms of  long Covid. They’re similar to the clumps that cause Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. That doesn’t necessarily mean the patients will have lasting damage or that the drugs used to treat those diseases help in these different circumstances. On the other hand–well, who knows at this stage? It might.

Are any of the theories right? Are all of them showing us a small piece of a large picture? Tune in sometime later–possibly a lot later–for the next exciting episode of What’re We Going to Do to Get Out of This Mess? And keep in mind that once the clever people figure out what’s driving long Covid, they or some colleagues still need to figure out a treatment.

Don’t you just feel better after you hang around here? 

In the meantime, an assortment of studies are following up on the possibilities these theories raise. Wish them well, please. It won’t make any material difference, but it might make you feel like you contributed to the effort.

 

Numbers

How many people actually have long Covid? Answering that depends on how we define long Covid, but let’s set that aside. We’re not scientists–or most of us aren’t and anyone who is must be slumming. We can get away with being hazy when it suits us. 

In May, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rampaged through the medical records of some 2 million people and reported that at least 1 in 5 people who’d had Covid came away with long Covid symptoms. For some of them, that meant struggling but hanging onto their normal lives. For others, it meant struggling, only with nobut at the end of the sentence.  

In the UK, some 2 million people have long Covid according to the Office for National Statistics, which does have a definition of the thing but never mind what it is. We’re not scientists, remember? Or else we’re slumming and will have to put up with the way other people’s minds work. 

Proal (remember her?) said, “I consider Long Covid to be a massive emergency.”

 

Who’s most at risk of long Covid?

A small study from Japan found that being over 40 increased the odds. So did being over 60. Since I’m over both (it took a while, but I got there), this is not good news where I live. 

In contrast to other studies, it didn’t find sex to be a big factor, although long Covid seemed to have a harder psychological impact on women than on men. 

In contrast, a UK study found that being female, being in poor pre-pandemic mental and physical health, being obese, and having asthma all increased the odds of long Covid. 

Do the two studies contradict each other? Partially. The data they’re working from is sketchy, but the issue’s important enough to use it anyway. Take them for what they’re worth.

The UK study finds that between 7.8% and 17%of the people who reported having Covid also reported symptoms that lasted longer than longer than 12 weeks, and between 1.2% to 4.8% reported  that the symptoms were debilitating. 

Why the range? I haven’t a clue. I find numbers debilitating.

The numbers were lower when they worked from doctors’ records as opposed to self-reports, but that could be because doctors weren’t reporting long Covid before November 2020.

 

A shred of good news

The omicron variant may be less likely than delta to cause long Covid–20 to 50% lower. To put that another way, with omicron, 4.4% of cases turned into long Covid. With delta, that was 10.8%. But that’s still a shitload of people.

 

More numbers: What have vaccinations ever done for us?

Well, in the first year they were available, they prevented an estimated 19.8 million Covid deaths. That’s based on excess deaths in 185 countries and territories. 

Excess deaths? It’s the figure you use when you don’t have any other consistent or reliable way to count the pandemic’s impact. In rough terms, it compares deaths during the pandemic to deaths in some pre-pandemic year. It’s imperfect, but the other systems are even more so. If you don’t use it, you end up counting the number of people who (if they weren’t dead) could brag about having Covid listed on their death certificates. You miss a lot of people that way. You can also count the number who are known to have had Covid and who then went on to die, leaving you counting people who died because a brick fell on their head and missing some who died undiagnosed. Or you can count people who die within 28 days of a diagnosis and miss the ones who took too long to die as well as include a few who had unfortunate encounters with bricks.

The UK switched methods midway through the pandemic, probably because the government wanted it to look like fewer people had died and the new way yielded a lower number. 

Yeah, I have absolute faith in the people leading the country. They’ll do whatever works best for them and to hell with everything and everyone else.

Not only is none of the systems accurate, different countries rely on different definitions of a Covid death, raising hell with international studies. 

But let’s put death on the shelf for a minute and go back to vaccines and lives saved, which is what we’re pretending to talk about. The study estimates that 599,300 more lives would’ve been saved if the world, lower case, had met the World (upper case) Health Organization’s target of getting  two or more vaccine doses to 40% of the population of every country by the end of 2021

By now, 66% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

 

More numbers

In 2020 and 2021, Covid was the third leading cause of death in the United States, crossing the finish line after cancer and heart disease. So it gets a bronze medal and modest bragging rights, but not as much glory as it was hoping for. 

18 thoughts on “What causes long Covid?

  1. I have heard of steeply rising childrens’ death rate among vaccinated children.
    A well kept secret. I have also heard, I don’t know if it’s true, there are no international data banks recording and measuring the side effects of the various vaccines and boosters. The conspiracy mongers will say this is because big pharma is contra…

    Liked by 2 people

    • A lot of misinformation is being circulated about the vaccines. Here are a few fact-checking articles on child mortality and vaccines, all debunking claims that the vaccines are hazardous. I could find more but three should be enough. If you want more, they’re easy to find.

      https://factcheckni.org/topics/health/are-children-who-take-a-covid-19-vaccine-52-times-more-likely-to-suffer-an-early-death/

      https://fullfact.org/health/covid-vaccines-infections-children/

      https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-coronavirus-vaccines-idUSL1N2UT0RC

      As for side effects, I don’t know if any one organization is tracking them worldwide, although if anyone is it would probably be the World Health Organization. Any decent conspiracy theorist could argue that a single agency tracking side effects is suspicious and also argue that no single agency tracking them is equally suspicious.

      I do know that many countries are tracking them separately. I could make that sound suspicious too if I were inclined to, but any competent researcher can put the statistics together. Here’s where they’re reported in the UK. https://www.sps.nhs.uk/articles/reporting-suspected-covid-19-vaccine-side-effects-product-defects-and-counterfeit-products/#:~:text=The%20Medicines%20and%20Healthcare%20products,dedicated%20coronavirus%20Yellow%20Card%20site.

      It’s worth noting that self-reports can become the basis for inaccurate claims about problems with the vaccines. If, for instance, I get vaccinated and then am diagnosed with, say, gallstones, I may blame the vaccine but the cause is likely to be something else. The side effects of the vaccines are hardly being kept secret.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do stop lying Ellen, it won’t do you any good. It is quite simple.

        I used to think vaccines in general did some good.

        But then I thought about it in 2020.

        Vaccines have always caused some harm across the decades. This is well documented.

        Vaccines have always caused some deaths. This is well documented

        So when we are told vaccines, any vaccines, do some good is this so?

        The truth is no, they never have, because poisoning the body produces anti-bodies but this is normal reaction of a healthy immune system. These anti-bodies disperse once the poisons are out.

        Until the next time we put poisons into our bodies such as with vaccines.

        The only so-called good they do is make lots of money for big pharma etc. whose god is money.

        Most of big pharma drugs are neuro-toxic and pointless if not harmful. This is because of the nitrogen atom in the chemistry.

        I avoid vaccines like the plague, because if I were to have one it might give me the plague. Giving them to children is evil, pure evil. Perhaps you hate children, although you were one once.

        And long Covid is the ‘flu for a long time; any fool should see that by now.

        Liked by 1 person

          • And what about the other points? I would have thought any sane person would have woken up by now to the scam that Covid 19 is the ‘flu re-branded to help big pharma make more money.

            But if you want my full argument, this is it. Standard text adapted as required.

            “I have had my fair share of vaccines, including polio I believe. I used to think vaccines were of some use until, at 60 years of age in 2020, I researched properly. I changed my mind.

            Covid 19 is the ‘flu, dressed up as a monster to scare people, re-branded if you will. This helps big pharma etc, control the populace and make more money.

            The ‘flu is the internal toxicosis of the body, mainly via urea, partly due to metabolism of food and partly due to the many poisons in our environment which can and do enter our bodies in the air, food and water. The ‘flu cannot be transmitted to someone else as it is individual to each person.

            Unless your blood is given to someone in a blood transfusion, for example.

            In essence urea is a neuro-toxin due to the nitrogen which the body may use up to a point but must ultimately excrete as it is from ammonia which is highly toxic.

            Injecting poisons such as via vaccines merely adds to the toxicosis problem. Vaccines have never been of any use, it is merely that constant and persistent ‘advertising’ persuaded people that they were of use. The various deaths and harm have been well-documented over the decades. It is being documented now.

            Vitamin D deficiency is the true pandemic due to indoor working and living away from the sunshine which, if we do the right thing things, will give us vitamin D (free!). Big pharma etc. are not keen on free as they don’t make much money out of it.

            Vitamin D levels drop in the winter months, depending on latitude, due to reduced sunshine levels and as any gains in the summer months are depleted.

            Vaccines are neuro-toxins, if there is anything in them at all, as are most big pharma drugs. The toxic drugs contain nitrogen and can be readily identified as a consequence if you know the chemistry.

            Therefore they are at best pointless, suppressing symptoms and not dealing with the real issue. Indeed, they usually merely add to the issues, hence the ever increasing cycle of drugs to treat side effects of drugs etc.

            This ever increasing cycle is good for big pharma business, but not for the human body.

            If your immune system is in good order then by and large you will tolerate a poisonous vaccine. If weakened you will suffer various side effects. If your immune system is very poor you may die.

            Boosting your immune system with vitamin D can go a long way to protecting you against the toxicosis, but vitamin C is very good as an anti-oxidant to help flush the toxins out of your system. By and large you should be able to gain your vitamins etc from good, untainted food. Highly processed foods will not help.

            I have seen the statistics on Australia since February 2020. These show a close correlation between Covid cases and vaccination. It is abundantly clear the vaccines are causing the case numbers rise, as would be expected. Look at other statistics and you will no doubt see the same correlation. It is not rocket science.

            Vaccine makers will say that correlation is not causation, although try telling that to those who fall ill immediately after the shot (or die!).

            However, they use the same argument for justifying that vaccines do any good, that because people don’t fall ill or not so badly, it is the vaccines which have helped. Pure nonsense, and unsubstantiated at that. Lots of factors change over time and each person is an individual, not a herd.

            I have done much on Covid 19 etc., here is my link to my summary. That gives access to the various other issues. I cover the statistics in the UK and USA and more recently those in Australia.

            https://alphaandomegacloud.wordpress.com/covid-19-summary/

            The following explains the variants. These are merely fear techniques to fool the gullible.

            https://alphaandomegacloud.wordpress.com/2021/12/02/various-variants-covid-19/

            The following explains the media fear campaign.

            https://alphaandomegacloud.wordpress.com/2021/09/26/fear-is-the-key/

            A useful website on the deceit.

            https://timefortruth.blog/2022/02/01/how-the-media-lies-about-covid/

            Fear is a major problem in health. It should be noted that fear tends to ‘freeze’ the body’s immune system from functioning correctly and can stop people doing sensible things. Like avoiding having foreign bodies injected into their systems.

            So when your soul or spirit is at peace your health will tend to be better. However, this does not mean you will avoid the side effects of chemical poisoning on your body if you don’t eat and drink cleanly.

            And I wonder how many people would choose to have a vaccine if they had to pay for them directly rather than via their taxes (vaccination is not free)?

            As regards vaccinated/unvaccinated I gather the goal posts keep changing so unvaccinated currently means not fully vaccinated in at least some countries. This means people who have had vaccines are lumped in with those who have not had recent vaccines. Therefore the people of the world are being duped into having something nasty put into their bodies.

            Unless they like playing Russian roulette with their bodies of course. But then that is both sad and mad.

            As regards reasons of variance of symptoms, if any, between those who are vaccinated the problem lies in not knowing what exactly in each vial; sadly people will sell nothing for something and the vial might contain only saline, it is impossible to tell without testing each vial.

            Vaccines are causing the issues by and large nowadays and case numbers and deaths will rise as a consequence. I recommend avoiding vaccines like the plague.

            Please note I do use humour as necessary on posts and pages to lighten the mood and help make the points. I will use strong salty language if required. I am not PC.”

            People keep blundering about in the dark about what Covid 19 is and how to deal with it, but I worked it out in 2020 and I did think that most others would have done the same by now.

            Perhaps i have an advantage with a degree and a professional qualification but I don’t count those as up to much.

            What I do count is common sense and observation and an inquiring mind which I do have after about 40 years in a working life of analysing defects and coming to a reasonable conclusion and summary, writing detailed reports for clients.

            It has been said we are what we eat. Poisons in, poisons out. And vaccines contain, in anything at all, poisons.

            And no one in their sane minds would advocate that.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I read your other points and don’t find them worth addressing. I’ve argued the issue with people in the past and it ends up with us shouting past each other. I don’t have the time to waste and have no interest in giving you a platform.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. There was some news today about new variants causing an uptick in cases – but nit necessarily in hospitalizations and deaths. I couldn’t find a link that mirrored the reporting – there are others about new variants but I figured they would be easy to find if anyone wanted to hunt…but there are several variants to Google.
    All we can do is stay sane I guess…of course yesterday I went shopping maskless – though almost everyone else was too.
    Good luck with your “custodial” prime minister. Larry needs to take over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Larry’s too smart, I think, to accept the position. Sometimes you can do more good on the outside.

      I haven’t seen anything lately on new variants–new new ones, that is, although sooner or later it’s bound to mutate again (she said cheerily).

      Like

  3. I’d not heard the one about the amyloids (deep sigh) more joy.

    I, too, only trust Larry. Sadly the party won’t take his views into account when they decide which of the absolutely shower of shite they’re going to vote on next. The only joy I’ve had recently was the joke tweet suggesting that Nadine Dorries was running and her campaign hashtag was #GoNads. If only eh?

    Liked by 1 person

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