Coronavirus Updates

Update on COVID-19

As of April, 2021, there have been 136,742,405 Coronavirus cases worldwide.  There have been 2,951,427 deaths worldwide. Further 109,974,349 have recovered from this disease.

In the USA:        total cases 31,920,778

                          total deaths 575,831 

                          total recovered 24,480,631 

  Deaths/million population
USA 1,732
France 1,510
Spain 1,632
UK 1,864
Italy 1,892
Sweden 1,342
Canada 614
Worst States Death/Million population
New Jersey (highest death rate in the world) 2,800
New York 2,642
Massachuesttes 2,523
Rhode Island 2,490
Connecticut 2,228
Pennsylvania 1,993

If COVID-19 is not really spread by sneezing or coughing, then why the mask?  The reason is simple. When one coughs and covers his/her mouth with a hand, or sneezes into the hand or blows his/her nose with the hand holding a tissue, there is a huge inoculum now on the surface of that hand.  That inoculum can easily be transferred to a doorknob, a pen, paper, shopping cart handle, etc.  After you touch any of these items, if you now touch your mouth, nose, rub your eyes- bingo you just transferred the inoculum to your mucus membrane, and you are now infected.  The mask is a barrier to protect you, so please use it.  Also, it is strongly recommended to use hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers have been shown to be 99.9% effective within 6 seconds! These hand santizers “melt the spike” receptor on the virus so it cannot enter your cell. This serves as another layer of protection.

Currently, there are two vaccines in this country for use against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). These are based on the SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and Ebola vaccine (2019). The target for these vaccines is the surface of the spike protein.  The vaccines enable us to produce antibodies that cover the spike protein in order to stop the virus from entering our cells.

Note: a virus is not a life form; it is not alive.  It is nothing more than genetic material (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein shell.  For the virus to enter a cell, it needs a way to connect with the cell.  For COVID-19, that connection is the spike protein.  This acts like a magnet to attach to the cell.  When this happens, the cell thinks it is friendly and brings it inside the cell where the protein shell disintegrates and the RNA floats freely to do bad things.

The vaccine enables our body to produce antibodies that cover the spike protein and inactivate the “magnet,” so the virus does not attach to the cell and prevents illness. When the virus enters your body, you are infected with SARS-CoV-2.  If you get sick, then you have COVID-19, they are not the same thing.  Some are carriers of the virus, and not have COVID-19.

This is not really a “new” vaccine but a modification of previous ones.  It appears to be ~ 95% effective.

The Pfizer vaccine is indicated for individuals aged 16 years or older; the second dose is given 21 days later.  The Moderna vaccine is for individuals aged 18 years or older; the second dose is given 28 days later. Most do well with the first vaccine but may fell “out of it” after the second.  Do not take Tylenol for a fever, Ibuprofen is ok.

For both, the CDC favors the vaccines even in individuals who have had COVID-19 and it is not contraindicated in pregnancy.  Both vaccines appear to exert full effect 2 weeks after the second vaccine.

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