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Friday, November 19, 2021

#COVID19: And, here we go yet again

We'll easily get to more than 800,000 US Covid-19 deaths by year's end. New case incidence is again bounding back up in other nations as well.
Cheryl and I got our Moderna booster shots yesterday at Kaiser. Just have to continue to lie low. This is all getting real old, I'm sure you agree.

Then, there's this crap.

See my 2019 post "In Pain."
Still wondering whether this category of acute social/public health malaise should get its own top "Exigencies" line item?


Imagine waking up tomorrow, feeling a bit under the weather. An annoying pain in your throat, your nose is runny, you cough a bit. All in all, not bad enough to skip work, you think, as you step into the shower, pretty annoyed about how hard your life is. While you are totally not being a whiny little baby, your immune system is not complaining. It is busy keeping you alive so you can live to whine another day. And so, while intruders roam your body, killing hundreds of thousands of your cells, your immune system is organizing complex defenses, communicating over vast distances, activating intricate defense networks, and dishing out a swift death to millions, if not billions, of enemies. All while you are standing in the shower, mildly annoyed.

But this complexity is largely hidden.

Which is a real shame because there are not many things that have such a crucial impact on the quality of your life as your immune system. It is all-embracing and all-encompassing, protecting you from bothersome nuisances like the common cold, scratches, and cuts, to life-threatening stuff from cancer and pneumonia to deadly infections like COVID-19. Your immune system is as indispensable as your heart or your lungs. And actually, it is one of the largest and most widespread organ systems throughout your body, although we don’t tend to think about it in these terms.

For most of us, the immune system is a vague and cloud-like entity that follows strange and untransparent rules, and which seems to sometimes work and sometimes not. It is a bit like the weather, extremely hard to predict and subject to endless speculations and opinions, resulting in actions that feel random to us. Unfortunately many people speak about the immune system with confidence but without actually understanding it, it can be hard to know which information to trust and why. But what even is the immune system and how does it actually work?

Understanding the mechanisms that are keeping you alive as you read this is not just a nice exercise in intellectual curiosity; it is desperately needed knowledge. If you know how the immune system works, you can understand and appreciate vaccines and how they can save your life or the lives of your children, and approach disease and sickness with a very different mindset and far less fear. You become less susceptible to snake oil salesmen who offer wonder drugs that are entirely devoid of logic. You get a better grasp on the kinds of medication that might actually help you when you are sick. You get to know what you can do to boost your immune system. You can protect your kids from dangerous microbes while also not being too stressed-out if they get dirty playing outside. And in the very unlikely case of, say, a global pandemic, knowing what a virus does to you and how your body fights it, might help you understand what the public health experts say...

Dettmer, Philipp. Immune (pp. xi-xii). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

News you can use. Stay tuned.

 GOP "Conservative Political Action Committee."



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