Honestly, I am not sure which blogging day this. I will try to keep closer tabs. They seem to be blending into one. Friends are coming down with the virus. Patients are being diagnosed at my office. But regardless… we are at a place where the number of world-wide cases has passed 600,000. The number of cases in the U.S. approximately number 125,000 and the number of deaths doubled in just one day, surpassing 2000. And in all the uncertainty, one thing is clear, we are under-counting. To make things worse, people at the building where I live had a very loud party until midnight. Undoubtedly with friends that came to visit. I don’t want to write down what the worse part of my nature was thinking. But people… do you have to learn a lesson before you take this seriously?
The Scientific Method
The internet age has many advantages, also many disadvantages. One of them is that information may be disseminated too quickly. In research, we call unproven details, anecdotal information. The word anecdote means it is one person’s story. So nowadays when someone thinks that ibuprofen worsens a COVID infection they can write about it on the internet. Or when they see some possible correlation between hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin and improvement of COVID, the anecdote circles the world in a few seconds. People that are scared. People that are desperate cling to this information as if were factual. It is not. Ask that poor man who took a fish tank chlorine derivative thinking it would help prevent COVID. He is now dead. I must say, that I feel partially responsible. Being a pseudo “TV Doctor” has caused me at times to report on the sensational, not the factual.
Before something should be reported as medical fact it needs to be reproduced. It needs to be compared against a control group that is not receiving any treatment. Plus, nobody should know what any group is receiving. Ideally it is called a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Let’s take the information that came from France that showed hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin marked decreased the amount of SARS-CoV-2. Looks impressive at first glance. But is it true? Did this very small anecdotal report of twenty patients have value? It might. But how do we know that the group that received the two medications were not healthier to begin with when compared to the other groups? How do we know that the dosages were completely absorbed the same? How do we know that the group that improved would not have improved regardless? Now, don’t get me wrong, this combination of medications MAY prove to be valuable. But first it needs to be proven scientifically beyond what might be happening in chance. I remember during the HIV pandemic, AZT was offered to the sickest people as compassionate use. Though the reason was noble, to this day the same people that wanted the medication available ASAP, now say that the early release cause needless deaths. You can’t have it both ways.
The correct way is that all of these potential cures and theories MUST be proven as expediently as possible in a scientific manner. If not you might as well take a dead chicken, twirl it around your head, hop on one foot and swallow twelve grapes at the same time. No one has proven it will help… but you might get better anyway. So, half faith in science and the scientific method. There are thousands of dedicated people working tirelessly at this time to find treatment and or vaccines for COVID19
On the Bright Side
As strange as it is to be sequestered I find that my relationship with friends and family are becoming stronger. I video chat all the time now. I appreciate my loved ones more. I realize how fragile and mercurial life can be a bit more. If we carry that lesson forward once this is over, it would be great thing.
#Covid19 #Corona #Pandemic #Love #Quarantine