Category Archives: Healthcare

Pilobulus

This outside my usual interests but just saw that the dance company Pilobulus was in the news.

In my tech career, I worked with one of the co-founders of this dance group. Its neat to see that the group, founded in 1971, is still going 50 years later, now working on methods to help seniors exercise too.

The story focuses on delivering “balance exercises” to the elderly via streaming services and live over Zoom. Great idea!

That is of interest to me since, due to recent diagnosis of serious knee problems due, in part, to past injuries – much of my physical therapy exercises are focused on balance to strengthen many muscles in the lower half of the body. Two months ago I could not walk more than 200 feet due to the knee injury – yet two days ago I did a 4 mile walk and will soon be increasing that distance as part of recovery.

Physical therapists are miracle workers!

Study finds that lockdowns – in the real world – did not reduce deaths

SIP = Shelter in Place

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries implemented social distancing and SIP policies. These policies are designed to slow COVID-19 transmission by limiting physical interaction. While early U.S. and international evidence suggests that these policies did slow COVID-19 transmission (Aleman et al. 2020; Courtemanche et al. 2020), the longer-run and more comprehensive effects of these policies are not fully understood (Berry et al. 2021). We used data from 43 countries and all U.S. states and find the introduction of SIP policies did not lead to reductions in excess deaths.

….

Nonetheless, the implementation of SIP policies does not appear to have met the aim of reducing excess mortality.

Source: w28930.pdf

Lock ups did not reduce deaths but at least they put millions out of work, closed permanently up to 40% of small businesses, and destroyed children’s education. Guess we will call this a success then?

These findings had been observed pre-Covid-19, in the Henderson, et al, study from 2006, an 2008 ACLU report on the effects of pandemic lock ups, and the WHO report on pandemic influenza, published in October 2019.

But like so many things now days, the experts fell victim to the “But it’s different this time” mentality.

WHO Vaccine Advice for Children

June 3, 2021:

Children should not be vaccinated for the moment.

There is not yet enough evidence on the use of vaccines against COVID-19 in children to make recommendations for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults. However, children should continue to have the recommended childhood vaccines.

Source: COVID-19 Vaccines Advice

From their web page “children” is anyone under the age of 18.

From May 27, 2021, the “CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination…”

This is Schrödinger’s Vaccine – children should be vaccinated and not vaccinated at the same time.

If this mixed messaging is confusing to you, this is your fault for not following or understanding official guidance. You have probably been influenced by misinformation on social media.

Update: Now, WHO denies saying they implied children should not be vaccinated even though that is precisely what they said. Public health communication is a disaster of idiocy in a field run by idiots.

Reminder: I am a brain injured idiot with no relevant experience. I make observations and ask stupid questions. I am just passing this along from the public health professionals.

Why do we mandate that people with Covid antibodies get vaccinated?

We now know, from several studies, that those who previously had Covid-19 have natural immunity on par with vaccination.

Yet, nationwide, governments, health care employers, universities and others mandate that everyone be vaccinated even if they previously had Covid-19.

As a child, I had measles, mumps and chicken pox. Throughout life, this was recognized as having immunity. Indeed, I had a serology test in March confirming my immunity[1]. Because I previously had many of the childhood diseases before the availability of vaccines, I have routinely been exempted from vaccination requirements.

Why, then, do we require that persons who have proof of having had Covid-19 also be vaccinated?

Remember, I am a brain injured idiot with no relevant experience. I make observations and ask really stupid questions.

[1] Full disclosure: the serology test showed I had not had Rubella – the R in the MMR vaccination. Therefore, in early March, I received one shot of the MMR vaccine. The pharmacist remarked it is rare to give an MMR vaccine to someone at my age. I previously had measles, mumps, and chicken pox. As a child, I had only two vaccinations: smallpox and polio. The smallpox vaccination is no longer given as that disease is considered eradicated globally. Today’s kids are vaccinated against 14 to 17 different diseases. I am now in process of “catching up” – next up, the Hepatitis A/B vaccination, and then perhaps next fall or winter, pneumonia vaccination.

Insurance and ER use policy

ER access can be billed at $30 to $50 per minute, or more. They are extremely expensive points of care.

UnitedHealthcare’s new policy is “dangerous,” the American Hospital Association says. As many as 1 in 10 claims could be rejected.

Source: Insurance giant’s new ER policy called ‘dangerous’ by critics. It says as many as 1 in 10 claims could be rejected.

Thought does need to be given to which facility to use but this may tough for the public to know when it is appropriate and when not. Difficulty breathing, sudden onset extreme pain, uncontrolled bleeding, chest pains, likely bone fractures, etc, probably count as covered emergencies.

ER’s have access to diagnostic and treatment options not available outside the hospital but their availability is expensive. ERs are extremely expensive points of care. A few hours in the ER might be billed at $5,000 to $10,000.

Seems important: “Covid-19 death rates 10 times higher in countries where most adults are overweight”

The risk of death from Covid-19 is about 10 times higher in countries where more than half of the population is overweight, according to a report released Wednesday by the World Obesity Forum.

Source: Obesity report: Covid-19 death rates 10 times higher in countries where most adults are overweight – CNN

Their initial list of “Example” countries – Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, etc also had low case counts per population. There may be other reasons for that – explanations previously included masks, efficient testing, efficient and comprehensive contact tracing, and so on.

Never the less, lower weight seems to be better for health.

The Pandemic Made Kids’ Eyesight Worse, Doctors Say – WSJ

Public health failed to consider overall health effects of their Orders.

Eye doctors say they are seeing more children—many of whom were in virtual school—with new and worsening prescriptions for myopia, or near-sightedness. Rates of myopia in children were already increasing globally before the pandemic, but some research suggests the past year has exacerbated the problem. Doctors also report more cases of digital eye strain in kids.

A leading theory behind rising myopia rates posits that when children look at screens or books for prolonged periods, the eye adjusts to accommodate a close focus, which may change and elongate the shape of the eye, leading to myopia. Likewise, decreased outdoor time may increase and worsen myopia, as people tend to look farther away when they’re outside. Natural light and physical activity outside may also play a role. (Adults don’t tend to experience significant worsening of myopia because eye growth generally stabilizes after childhood.)

Source: The Pandemic Made Kids’ Eyesight Worse, Doctors Say – WSJ

Public health is – surprise – more than just Covid-19. But they did not care.

Hospital at capacity, in part due to deferred procedures during the pandemic

The full capacity in the ICU is due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, but also an increase in patients who put off medical treatment during the pandemic and are now showing up to the emergency room with neglected illnesses. In addition, the hospital is seeing heart attacks and major injuries that will likely increase through the summer.

Source: Bend hospital at capacity with trauma, COVID-19 patients | kgw.com

On a personal level, public health denied access to health care last spring, which for me turned out – ten weeks later when health care was available again – to be a broken foot and torn tendon. Left untreated, that caused caused other problems – I am now unable to walk more than a few hundred feet max due to a knee problem. I am scheduled for an MRI of the knee next week Monday (expect out of pocket costs of about $1,500).

Public health lost all sense of the public’s health. To the “experts”, public health meant one disease: Covid-19. All other ailments and diseases were ignored. And so here we are today – many now have on going health problems caused by the actions of public health, and overwhelmed hospitals. Public health must include a lot more than a single disease.

If experts mandated you wear sunscreen every day, even if inside, would you do it?

The continued suicide of expertise:

It turns out that if you want to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh UVA and UVB rays, you’ll need to put on sunblock every morning, according to medical experts, even if you’re staying completely inside.

….

‘If you can see where you are walking without the use of a flashlight, there is enough light to require the use of sunscreen,’”

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Our phones, laptops, TVs and even LED light bulbs can emit blue light, aka high-energy visible light, which can impact the health of our skin as well.

Source: 18 best face sunscreens of 2021 | CNN Underscored

I thought only epidemiology was divorced from reality but dermatology is giving epidemiology world-class competition.

I thought the article was a parody of reporting (it’s CNN after all), but it is serious. What’s next? Experts advise you to wear a seat belt even when outside of your car?

Bike related head and brain injuries among adults remain high

“The fact is that bicycling leads to the highest number of ER visits for traumatic brain injury in the U.S.,” he said.

The threat to adults is especially dire.”With an increasing number of adults commuting to work in both urban and rural settings combined with escalating congestion in bike lanes, the potential for not just TBIs but multi-system trauma is the reality,” Glatter said. There’s the “potential for serious and life-threatening chest and abdominal injuries, including long bone, pelvic and rib fractures,” he added.

Source: Bike-linked head injuries plummet for kids, but not adults – UPI.com

The article goes on to note that many people have taken up cycling as adults, plus many are now riding e-bikes, where the injuries seem to be worse.

I suffered a fractured skull (5″ long) in a bike crash (due to a pot hole around a turn), and two knock out blows in separate crashes that broke my bike helmet and broke other bones. One of these two was a road way hazard and the other was on a large group ride were the group made a legal, free right hand turn, but the group was struck by a city bus turning from the opposite direction, throwing me off the roadway. (Two additional knock out blows occurred in falls.)

Under the advice of doctors, I no longer ride a bicycle.

I am not kidding when I write that I am a brain injured idiot.