Coronavirus May Be a Vascular Disease

In April, blood clots emerged as one of the many mysterious symptoms attributed to Covid-19, a disease that had initially been thought to largely affect the lungs in the form of pneumonia. Quickly after came reports of young people dying due to coronavirus-related strokes. Next it was Covid toes — painful red or purple digits.

What do all of these symptoms have in common? An impairment in blood circulation. Add in the fact that 40% of deaths from Covid-19 are related to cardiovascular complications, and the disease starts to look like a vascular infection instead of a purely respiratory one.

Blood vessel damage could also explain why people with pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease are at a higher risk for severe complications from a virus that’s supposed to just infect the lungs. All of those diseases cause endothelial cell dysfunction, and the additional damage and inflammation in the blood vessels caused by the infection could push them over the edge and cause serious problems.

It’s Over!

Went to get a pizza last night.

Our little downtown was as busy as it was in the Before Time. Also, absolutely nobody was wearing a mask, except me. Nobody in the pizza place. Not the woman ahead of me, wearing scrubs. Nobody waiting outside the other restaurants. Nobody inside in the restaurants (that I could see). Nobody outside the gas stations, the beer shop or any of our 85 auto parts stores.

I suspect there will be a reckoning in June.

New Phone. Who Dis?

There are a lot of people trying to reach celebrity entrepreneur Elon Musk. Sometimes, though, they get Lyndsay Tucker, a 25-year-old skin care consultant.

Tucker, who works at a Sephora beauty store in San Jose, Calif., had never heard of the Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO until a couple years ago, when she began fielding a steady stream of calls and text messages intended for him.

“I asked my mom, ‘Hey, I keep getting these text messages’ — and I was also now starting to get phone calls — ‘for this guy Elon Musk. I don’t know who this is,’ ” Tucker said. “And my mom’s jaw just dropped.”

Turns out, Tucker’s cellphone number used to be registered to Musk. On any given day, she receives at least three calls or texts intended for Musk, whom she has never met.

#1

My county currently has the highest number of C19 cases, per-capita, in the state!

It’s a pretty small county, only 70K people. But we have a nursing home with 100+ cases and a poultry processing plant with 140+ cases. And together, they account for almost half of our 490 current cases.

Let’s reopen!

Instant Classic

Here’s an actual headline / subhead on WaPo right now:

Democrats have proposed $100 billion for struggling renters. It may not be enough.
The plan was part of their $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which Republicans quickly rejected.

It goes on:

House Democrats included $100 billion for a national rental assistance program in their $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week.

Republicans quickly rejected the proposed legislation, and some tenant advocacy groups say $100 billion will not be enough.

That last ‘and’ sure is doing a lot of work, connecting two those completely unrelated items.

Would the Republicans not have “quickly rejected” it if the Dems had proposed more? OF COURSE NOT!

But, blame has been placed.

Open It Up!

What can one infected person do in one night of bar hopping in Seoul?

Health authorities have been on alert after a 29-year-old tested positive after visiting five clubs and bars in Itaewon on May 1-2, in the first local infection reported in a few days.

The case quickly swelled into an infection cluster, affecting not only the 73 who had been in Itaewon but also 29 who were infected through secondary transmission. No tertiary transmission has been reported yet.

One person may have given it to 102 other people, in one night.

We’re all getting it. Make sure your affairs are in order..

Vote By Mail!

Did you know that Donald Trump votes by mail? You’d be forgiven if you didn’t, especially if you’ve read any of his error-ridden tweets or watched his unhinged briefings trashing the practice.

Vice President Mike Pence also votes by mail. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has voted by mail for the last 15 years. Other senior members of the Trump administration, like Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, cast their ballots by mail, too.

Yet, for weeks, Trump has used the White House podium to denigrate the very practice he’s been taking advantage of, and he’s deployed his Republican cronies to spread mail in voting conspiracies to the public.

He’s called voting by mail “corrupt” while the Republican National Committee sent mailers to conservative voters in Pennsylvania urging them to send in their mail-in ballot and saying that “voting by mail is an easy, convenient and secure way to cast your ballot.” And those mailers were sent the same week that RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel penned an op-ed pushing the widely discredited claim that mail-in voting is akin to ballot harvesting. Even this weekend he went so far as to call for ballots cast by mail to be thrown out after California implemented mail-in voting statewide last week.

Well yeah. It’s The Law.

Wait. What?

As the Defense Department negotiates its way through the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout, military entrance processing stations are working with new guidance when it comes to bringing COVID-19 survivors into the services.

A past COVID-19 diagnosis is a no-go for processing, according to a recently released MEPCOM memo circulating on Twitter.

“During the medical history interview or examination, a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently disqualifying …” the memo reads.

Does the military know something we don’t?

With a Mad King at the Helm

Kevin Drum’s lament is where I’m at.

These are bleak times. In the middle of a historic pandemic we are about to give up the fight and commit collective suicide because we are ruled by a mad king. Everyone is out to get me, he broods late at night, fingers flashing over his smartphone. Nobody appreciates what I’ve done for them. The press hates me. The pandemic is a Democratic plot to turn people against me. A cure is just around the corner. They’re exaggerating the death rate to make me look bad. We don’t need more testing. What happened to my beautiful economy? Where are my rallies?

And while the mad king raves, his courtiers shuffle around not knowing what to do. Some enthusiastically support him. Some mutter to the press. Some try to ignore the madness around them and keep working.

And the rest of us sit around feeling helpless. We are on the cusp of needlessly killing tens of thousands because the mad king deems it so, and there’s nothing we can do about it. At times we begin to wonder if we’re the ones who are mad. Maybe we have beaten the pandemic. Maybe the death toll will keep going down. Maybe we really did overdo the whole social distancing thing.

No. We haven’t beaten the pandemic and we know it. But the mad king says we have, and his followers roar their approval. We are headed deep into the darkness, and we’re not doing it because we lost a battle that we fought to the last man. We’re doing it because we’re in thrall to a mad king who no longer belongs to the same world the rest of us live in and tells us that we are all honored warriors for dying in his cause.

Thanks, GOP. You’re the best.