I’m sorry 2021 has been off to a slow start with regards to my blogging. Admittedly, 2021 has had quite an infamous beginning, with lots of subject matter for blogging! We've had riots in the capital, an impeachment, an inauguration, riots out west, and an executive order that basically destroys women's athletics as we know it. This last one really hurts as I played college sports and my daughter is an aspiring NCAA tennis player. Years of effort to advance women's rights down the drain. I'm struck by the irony of this order as the first female VP was sworn in last week. Please Click this Wall Street Journal link....this will explain this in greater detail :) And then there’s Covid, the gift that keeps giving. Given the Thanksgiving experience, it was not surprising that after the holidays early January has saw huge new Covid case numbers. The reporting of these case numbers were in line with the typical delay in onset of the disease symptoms and testing that occurs after exposure. The case numbers this past week remained high, but the good news is that the 7 day rolling average is lower.
In fact, this holds true across the nation. And while you may not trust Dr. Fauci because of his inconsistencies over the last year (totally understandable, especially if you watch the linked video below), he stated that he believed we reached a “plateau“ last week. Roper reported numbers last week that were very interesting and encouraging. I had actually started sounding some Covid alarm based on what I saw regarding the hospital (and ICU bed) utilization about 2 weeks ago; high daily case numbers being reported statewide and the hospitals were already busy, and I was concerned about hospital capacity issues.
However, last Wednesday, Roper actually reported a total inpatient number of 75 patients (6 on a ventilator and 14 in the ICU), versus a census of 156 Covid inpatients back on July 14 (the highest Covid inpatient number during the pandemic). Admittedly, the hospitals both in the lowcountry and the state are very busy, but the Roper system appears to be managing these demands (I don't have the stats for East Cooper or MUSC). These findings along with the rollout of vaccines are promising. Hopefully, the production and supply chain issues that have hindered the distribution of the vaccines will be solved shortly. The continued rollout of vaccines along with the huge case numbers will hopefully get the country to that her immunity status, and I believe we're closer to this than we think! Questions remain about the impact of Covid on our daily lives and when to expect a return to normal. Once we're vaccinated and closer to that herd immunity, will we be able to shed our masks? As of now, the CDC still advises the use of masks after vaccination. And despite some of the silver linings I just outlined above, don't get too excited about Dr. Fauci's "plateau" comment as a sign that the end is near.
While I hope the worst may be over in terms of new cases, as I write this blog, new
travel restrictions have just been issued for travel abroad. Unfortunately, even with a new President in office, the politicization and inconsistencies over Covid remain, despite my high hopes for something different. International travel bans have been reinstituted, but caravans are set to cross our southern border. The travel restrictions are likely due to concerns over fears over the new Covid variants.
However, I fear that these variants are already here and are more widespread than is being reported. Florida and Disney World are open, but California and Disney Land are on lockdown. On a local level, the City of Charleston has ramped up efforts to fine those noncompliant with the mask ordinance, but an LA Times article describes some of the problems with masks (https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-11-20/face-masks-didnt-stop-coronavirus-spread-in-danish-clinical-trial).
I implore everyone to watch the following segment aired on Fox last night. Even if you hate Fox News or its political leanings, this segment gives credence to my belief all along that the Covid virus was man made, came from a lab, and originated as part of a larger program for viral and scientific research. It is a much watch! If we don't have transparency over the origin of the pandemic, then how can we trust the experts on the management of the virus?
Steve Hilton investigates origins of COVID-19, links to US commissioned research CLICK HERE TO WATCH STEVE'S VIDEO! And while I'm on the topic of videos, I also want to provide a link regarding the Covid vaccine in pregnancy. Since I have many patients who are of childbearing age, I feel that this video from a Yale OBGYN may provide some useful information about vaccine safety since there is a lot of misinformation about the vaccines out there. ACOG Reccomendations for Pregnant Women Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine: Are Concerns About Vaccines Causing Infertility Warranted? I hope everyone has a great week, despite these surreal times. I am going to truly just focus on the things I can control, and not worry about the things I can't. I am going to wear my mask concentrate on the family and my patients, and just power on!
Dr. Heidi Williams MD