So, who is this Dr. Blum and why should I read anything she writes. I’m kind of old-school (hopefully not that old though) in my sensibilities, in that saying doctor before my name should be enough, but I am aware this no longer means a whole lot.
To be specific, I have a bachelor’s in Literary Studies, a masters in Bioethics and a doctorate in Medicine. I spent 11 years after high school educating myself and then 3 more years in residency at Parkland Hospital (yes, where Kennedy died) the county hospital of Dallas. No one sees everything, but there’s not a lot that surprises me other than how people often treat each other.
I have now been in private practice for 17 years. I have a child, I have siblings, I have parents, I have nieces and nephews, I have their children also-I advise them all the same as I advise my
patients-they are my flock. I strive to always be an adequate shepherd, if not a good one. My interests are wide and varied-that is to say, I read, a lot. This doesn’t make me necessarily more equipped than any other human to deal with this situation (my training does
that), but it enables me to wade through volumes of information at a faster rate to discern what is important to know at any given moment. Perhaps, it helps with preparedness.
can help me disseminate concise information to all who read this, as it happens. Someone mentioned on the previous blog that they were not going to turn their TV off-which is fine,
however, the information received from your TV is not always produced with your interests at heart-keep that in mind. It is designed to improve ratings, and just like a for-profit insurance
company, does not often particularly care about individuals, or communities. If ever anyone has a specific question, I will answer to the best of my ability, and what I do not know I will find
out, from reputable sources.
Today’s topic-then is viruses, COVID-19 in particular, but you need to know what a virus is in the first place, as opposed to bacteria, mycobacterium, fungi, prions, etc… Pretend you
are back in science class, hopefully not as bored. Newscasters keep comparing COVID-19 to Ebola-they are so far removed from each other, it is a ridiculous statement. All viruses, like any other living creature, have a drive to reproduce as many of themselves as possible within their given natural circumstances. The success of any virus, think about the common cold, works because it replicates itself, but does
not kill many of it’s hosts.
If the common cold killed everyone, it would die off and disappear. Ebola, unless it really mutates, will never cause a massive pandemic. Yes, it’s a scary virus, but the chance of you dying of, or even contracting, one of the 5 strains is minuscule. Why? Because it it is so nasty, i.e. so virulent, it kills many of it’s carriers before it can even spread.
COVID-19 however, is a lower
respiratory virus in it’s current form. No one really know exactly where it came from, but corona viruses have a reservoir in horseshoe bats. OK, you’ve
heard this, but what does it mean-well, bats carry it, but do not express the disease-that is they are not running around with pneumonia, coughing and sneezing. The presumption is that
the virus mutated and was picked up by another carrier. Interestingly enough, In Hong Kong a dog was found to be mildly positive for COVID-19 (don’t ask me why they tested a dog with no
symptoms when there is a shortage of tests worldwide). In SARS in particular, an intermediary was found in civets, a type of cat native to Asia and Africa. The CDC and WHO do not yet
know the source of COVID-19.
Bored yet… I hope not, knowledge is a powerful thing. More to come…