Our Scientific Crisis

In the wake of this lighting striking all over the world, there’s been a level of social (media) distancing I can appreciate. I haven’t written since my break because I don’t just want to talk about COVID. It’s just that everything else seems so irrelevant now. So, I have something very simple to say.

We are in a SCIENTIFIC CRISIS.

What does this mean?

It means we’re not focused on the task at hand: containing a rapidly spread, generally mild but sometimes very severe illness. Instead, we’re focused on our infrastructure, media reporting, fear mongering, and blame-gaming.

How many people have actually went to the CDC website and read up on what a Coronavirus is versus how many people went out and hoarded N95 masks to the point healthcare workers are falling short of the protection they need? I’m not saying self-preservation is bad. I’m saying stupidity is bad.

I’m sick of the fear mongering, in particular. I follow The Mighty, although I’ve never been published by them, probably because for my previous blog Mental Truths I email-interviewed the C.E.O pertaining to questions about the outrageous amount of funding they suck down from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for all the pro-medication ads on their website. If you want to know my stance on biological treatment, give this and this a read (i’m not against it). In my email this evening, a new article came in from one of The Mighty’s editors, summarizing this idea that doctors across the states are considering DNR’s for all COVID patients.

CHRIST! A title like that would scare me too. If I didn’t know any better. The comments were full of immuno-compromised and chronically ill people TERRIFIED. Utterly TERRIFIED. And for GOOD REASON! A breakdown of ethics of THAT magnitude would mean all hope is lost.

Doctors have indeed been discussing DNR’s in relation to those having severe respiratory reactions to COVID. These matters are discussed on a case-by-case basis with the family as they have always been since the dawn of DNR in western medicine. There are no current guidelines for COVID treatment, one of the reasons this has become such a scary time. What makes it scarier is when a website dedicated to chronically ill and vulnerable people can’t cite their sources or present an argument objectively, not even when the argument pertains to peoples’ livelihood, health, and well-being.

I’m seething behind my keyboard.

As other doctor’s have stated (you can find the quotes in that linked CNN article above), the DNR discussions have not been blanket DNR’s–essentially the statement “every COVID patient who’s respiratory system has failed will be left to die for the sake of health care workers and other patients” is the message The Mighty and other media giants like The Washington Post have been spreading. While it IS a concern for a healthcare worker to climb on a failing patient and give mouth-to-mouth when they’ve tested positive for COVID, killing all respiratory distressed COVID patients not only isn’t practical, it’s reprehensible. Two good reasons why it would never happen.

Okay, there is ONE CASE in which this would become a reality in the United States: hospitals in all states are overrun with the infectious disease, there aren’t enough doctors to care for patients because ALL the doctors are sick too, and bodies are piling up in the street. Then it’s safe to say ethics are out the window and the survival of those well enough to survive become precedent because it would be happening in all other countries as well. Luckily, COVID is not going to be the virus to drive us to extinction. Imagine more of a virus that causes the symptoms of Ebola but spreads like the Bubonic Plague. That will be our demise, surely.

What’s going on in Italy and Spain are examples of this: overrun hospitals, bodies having to be stored in people’s quarantined homes (Italy) and on ice rinks (Spain) because there is just no safe way to handle them, or any businesses open to do so. Will this be a reality for the entire world? I strongly doubt it. Is this reality for those countries horrible? I couldn’t even put into WORDS how absolutely sorrowful their experiences are right now.

We are in a SCIENTIFIC CRISIS because funding has been cut to the CDC, the WHO has made countless mistakes, researchers are ignored in favor of big business, and NOW, in the quarantine, people are forced online and what’s online? Secondary, third, fourth, fifth sources that are easy to read but entirely misinformed and not very analytical. People aren’t paying attention to the exponential growth curve of the spread of COVID, nor have they reasoned that the lack of tests (one of the reasons we in the U.S have now become the leader in contracting COVID cases) means many more people have the disease and many more people have recovered at home.

I suggest staying off of Apple News and instead read updated information on the CDC website. I suggest reading your own county information in your own state (if you’re in the U.S). I suggest straying from Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for reliable pandemic information. I also HIGHLY SUGGEST JAMA Network, a website of specialty journals that are consistently uploading studies and scientific information about SARS-CoV-2, aka COVID-19. If you struggle reading this kind of technical information, read this about how you don’t need to be medicine-inclined to get something reliable and important out of these studies. The reason why the media is so misinformed is because the people who report on experiments do so incorrectly, misunderstand conclusions, and often know nothing about the scientific process. That article will give you just enough basics to read a scientific paper, think critically, and extract the important information. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. And this time, the life of your mother, father, aunt, uncle, and cousin with or without underlying health conditions may be on the line. That’s some good encouragement to READ.

Want some information NOW? Read this article published by Louisiana State University that, with further research, may help us understand why “underlying conditions” can post a threat for coronavirus patients. Hint: it has more to do with the medications they are taking than the actual conditions.

Many people are unaware of what the tiniest bit of misinformation can do in this pandemic: it WILL make or break us. If we are not informed, if we are not reasonable, panic will consume us and all the N95 masks. Please, for the sake of your neighbors, for your coworkers, for your kids, your family, yourself, for my dad who struggles with high blood pressure, seizures, COPD, and congestive heart failure, keep yourself informed, stay indoors, limit or eliminate your contact with non-essential people, and wash your hands. If you’ve ever needed a purpose, this is a time for you to contribute to the health of the globe. You make the difference.

If something in this article hit home for you, if you want others to inform themselves about this pandemic and stay on top of relevent information, please share on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any other social media. The people who look to those sites for information could use this more than you, perhaps.

Stay healthy everyone, please. Someone in the world dearly misses their loved ones because action was not swift enough, because people thought this was the flu, because people didn’t take this seriously. Let’s not make the same mistake twice.

I’m not putting my normal blurb at the end of this article. The only thing I ask is that you share this and think scientifically.

If you have a surplus of PPE or N95 masks, gloves, or disinfectant wipes, please donate some to your local medical facility. Check your county website to see if they have set up protocol for donations. Mine has.

Be safe, stay home, and stay informed.

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