Archive for July 7, 2021

Some Thoughts on Potential Etiology of the ‘Long COVID’ Phenomena

July 7, 2021 12 comments

So.. here is another post which I considered writing months ago, but was too lazy and bored to finish at that time. It is no secret that ‘Branch Covidians’ aka COVID Doomers keep talking about how everybody who got and recovered from COVID-19 will somehow get a nebulous chronic disease condition known as “Long COVID”. Of course, it turns out that even the most ardent believers in “Long COVID” lack a proper definition of this alleged condition. Then again, these are almost always the same idiots who kept shouting that the Orange Buffoon was an “existential threat to democracy” rather than an incompetent moron whose only real skills lay at trolling LIEbral idiots and entertaining others with his buffoonery.

With that out of way, let us talk about the potential etiology of a bunch of disparate symptom clusters that are popularly referred to as “Long COVID” by LIEbral idiots.

1] Let us start by talking about prolonged symptoms of unwellness in people who ended up in the ICU or hospital due to COVID-19. Here is a fun fact.. a pretty high percentage of those below 60 who ended up in the hospital or ICU had chronic diseases, serious obesity or had received systemic treatments for some form of cancer. But wait.. there is more! See.. even a healthy person who ends up in an ICU for over a coupe of days will experiences some degree of chronic unwellness ranging from the purely mental (anxiety, PTSD-lite, depression) to physical symptoms (fibromylagia type symptoms, neuropathy like symptoms, migraine-type headaches etc) for upto 1-3 months after leaving the hospital.

To make matters worse, the excessive use of ventilators on hospitalized patients in first few months of pandemic is associated with even higher rates of residual symptoms of chronic unwellness as well as real physical damage to organs such as the lungs. And yes.. even non-COVID patients who end up on ventilators for as little as a couple of days experience some degree of lung damage due to the use of those machines. Having said that, the vast majority (over 95%) of these people will be back to normal by the 6-month mark. Unfortunately, there is always a small percentage (typically 5%-10%) of those who end up on ventilators who will have residual symptoms past the 6-month mark.

2] Here is another poorly known but important fact about systemic infections.. about 10-20% of those who recover from any systemic infection will experience some residual symptoms that feel like fibromyalgia-lite for about 1-3 months after clinically verified recovery. This is especially common in aftermath of intra-cellular bacterial infections (systemic salmonellasis, various ricketssial infections etc) and viral infections. That is why you keep hearing about people who still feel a bit ‘off’ even a month or tow after recovering from influenza. That is also why about 20% of people have residual respiratory symptoms (dry cough etc) even after they recover from the viral infection which caused it in the first place.

The vast majority of these symptoms will resolve by themselves by 2-month mark. There is always the option of using a short course of steroid inhalers and non-sedating antihistamines to treat bothersome respiratory symptoms or NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen of Indomethacin to treat more systemic issues. The point I am trying to make is these minor post-infection symptoms will resolve themselves in 1-2 months or they can be easily treated with fairly safe drugs. There is always a very small possibility (less than 1%) of even successfully treated infections triggering a latent auto-immune condition, but as I said before- that is pretty rare.

3] It is however my opinion that the majority of those claiming to suffer from “Long COVID” have psychosomatic issues. Diseases, even those displaying fairly vague or broad symptoms, tend to have a fairly well-denied core of symptoms and pathology. For example- lupus, which famously presents with a wide variety of symptoms, has a fairly defined set of core symptoms and pathological changes. This is why you can diagnose and stage even a notoriously slippery diseases such as Lupus. Now contrast this to the state of affairs seen in patients claiming to have ‘Long COVID’. Let us, for a minute, ignore that over half of them do not have the right set of antibodies to indicate previous infection with COVID-19.

With over 10% of the american population definitely infected (and recovered from) COVID-19, one might have seen tens if not hundreds of thousands of people with such conditions and consistent lab findings to back their contention. But we haven’t seen anything along those lines. Did I mention that the likely figure of those infected with COVID-19 in this country is closer to 30-40% once you realize the fact that most infections (especially in younger age groups) are almost totally asymptomatic. And yet we have no consistent pattern of evidence for such a non-specific pathology. It is also odd that the median “long COVID survivor” is far more likely to a white female and between 30-50 yrs of age- a group also over-represented among those prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.

I have a feeling that this particular post is going to attract a lot of comments and attention.

What do you think? Comments?