I wrote my first column on the subject of Covid on March 26, 2020. This column was followed by 12 columns in a row on the topic. Covid swept the world and it was everything everyone wanted to talk about.
The stock market crashed. The world stood still. Blockings have been initiated. Church stopped. Restaurants closed. We sat scared and isolated in our homes. Many people believed the apocalypse was near.
During this time, I became fanatical and obsessive about everything I could learn about viruses and the viral world. Not to pretend to be a doctor, but to be a good journalist. A journalist should be familiar with the big issues of the day and write from an objective, big perspective. That was my goal and I pounced on it.
I have rarely written about Covid since then. After reading these 12 articles, I felt like I had written everything that could be written on the subject.
Now, almost two years later, Covid is back in the news. It’s the main topic of conversation. The infections are at an all-time high.
I went back and checked my articles from two years ago to see what I did right and what wrong. I got it right most of the time. Much of it is still valid today.
In my first column on March 12, 2020, I wrote: “If you live long enough, you expect such panics. I remember doing nuclear attack drills as a first grader. We were told to go under our desks and cover our necks with our hands. I was only six, but I knew that in this situation, the better strategy would be to just kiss part of my anatomy goodbye. ”
I quoted President Calvin Coolidge, who was criticized for his laziness. His answer: the less I do, the better for the country. Coolidge said, “Four fifths of all our problems would go away if we just sat down and stood still.”
In my March 19, 2020 column, I advised sick people to stay home, encouraged people to practice good hygiene, and urged people not to panic. I wrote, “Viruses mutate quickly. Viruses that kill their hosts don’t fare as well. Over time, this new coronavirus will mutate into something far less lethal. This will be a wake up call to come up with a plan to speed up vaccines and other antiviral treatments. You can bet that our medical community will acquire a tremendous amount of expertise as this epidemic progresses. ”
I wrote: “Since this is a new strain of coronavirus, there are unknowns. The medical profession is very careful. That is their job. Our job is to be sensible and not panic. Let’s practice proper hygiene and social distancing measures until we get more data. Then let’s all get back to our lives. ”
On March 26, 2021, my innate optimism led me astray. I wrote, “Look for deaths to stabilize in the first week of April.” They did. Unfortunately that was only the first of several waves. I wrote, “All living will die. There is no life without death. You cannot live when you are huddled in fear of death. We need to prepare mentally to return to our normal life in a few weeks. Keep calm and move on. “I predicted the shutdown would create their own death rates, with increased deaths from suicide, crime, stress, and people too afraid to go to hospital for treatment for common diseases.
On April 4, 2020, I wrote about Farr’s Law: This means that the number of falls starts small, gradually picks up, then slows down as it climaxes before declining roughly symmetrically as it approaches the climax. eventually die to the point where there are still a few cases. ”
The main wave of Covid actually complied with Farr’s Law, as did subsequent waves. What was unusual was the number of independent waves that passed over two years when the virus mutated. These multiple waves could have been caused by more advanced modern testing and analysis, or maybe because Covid was an artificial, man-made virus.
I wrote, “If the virus is spread quickly by asymptomatic people, there are likely millions more people who have become infected but never become ill. If so, the death rate from COVID-19 may end up being comparable to a nasty flu virus. . . We need to keep the economy going and get food on the table. Every second generation faced some kind of major health crisis and the world survived. ”
On April 9th, I complained that the bans were extending weeks beyond the original target and that this was a bug. I wrote, “Would this have happened if we hadn’t done anything? As with all big questions, we will never find an answer to it. Some will say we dodged a bullet through a heroic national effort. Others will say we completely overreacted. In any case, we need to get back to normal after April. If we haven’t contained it by then, it won’t be lockable. How can you contain a virus that does not cause symptoms in half of the people it infects? ”
I closed the column by saying, “In years someone will catch a cold. ‘Are you all right, honey?’ the spouse will ask. “I’m fine, dear. It’s just a mild case of COVID-19. ‘”
Other columns dealt with the importance of your own immune system and staying healthy: avoiding stress, eating right, getting enough sleep. I was talking about the human virome, that every human body contains 30 trillion viruses at any one time, including thirty percent of all known viral pathogens.
I have written extensively on the need for vaccines combined with herd immunity to overcome this crisis. I argued that no on-site protection could stop the virus. I encouraged everyone to get hold of the mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine (MMR) (which turned out to be good advice).
I said avoiding hospital overcapacity was the main goal. When the vaccines came out, I urged everyone to get them, despite warning of the unforeseen consequences of such a groundbreaking vaccine.
My predictions of the total number of deaths were about half what they were at the end, but still better than the pessimistic expert predictions in the first few months. It will take years to fully determine the final balance. For every two Covid deaths, there is one additional non-Covid death. We try to understand all of the factors that have caused the undeniable excess mortality of the past two years.
The overwhelming topic of my columns has been to calm down, trust God and his immune system, move on and persevere. This too will pass.
That advice was good two years ago and is good today.