Update on Coronavirus

Dr. Shere Conway
Dr. Shere Conway

Primary Care Practitioner

Even with all the politicization of the virus, I do believe that this pandemic is far from over. What I have  observed is that when countries have tried to open up some then they have another surge in cases. I  think that the US based on the statistics are still at risk for another surge though we have not seen it  happen right now for which I am very thankful. I do believe we need to get more vaccinations and  continue to be cautious. Even in the US we still have only 30% average rate of vaccinations which is a far  cry from what the public health people want to see ie over 70%.

Unfortunately, even in the US where  we have seen a higher percentage of deaths over the last year, it is still not affected more than 10% of  the population. I know personally that numerous people feel that they had it (usually before it was seen  in the US) and all that I have tested in that situation, even with a good case, have tested negative for  antibodies for the virus. There certainly are other viruses in the community at that time that caused  significant illness.  

The case fatality rate is about 1.4% in Tennessee, and as high as 20-25% in Mexico and some other  developing countries. I am concerned about the statistics in India where 2% of the population has had  the virus and currently their case per death rate is still relatively low less than 2% if it continues to spread and they continue to have shortages of oxygen then that death rate will increase. 

This all brings me to my next point. Even though it is so politicized I do believe that the vaccine is safe  and effective and I did get one. It took me several months to get one mostly because I was concerned  about some long-term issues but when I found out that the mRNA is very short lived in the body, and I  could see the statistics, I felt that I needed to get it. I must say that I felt much better after getting the first dose and felt that there was light at the end of the tunnel.

After the second dose, I was not so sure (especially during the first 24 hours after the shot) when I had a fever for about 16 hours but it passed and the next day I felt well and was glad I got it and one day of feeling bad was certainly better than a couple weeks of feeling bad and possibly needing to be hospitalized or even dying. 

I do want to share a few other possible encouragements to get the vaccine. There have been statistics  that about 30% of people with long hauler’s symptoms improve after receiving the vaccine. Also, it will  allow us all to be able to take off the masks and communicate with others as well as eating with others  and show Biblical hospitality. On a positive note, I do believe all this use of masks and staying home has decreased the spread of other viruses and we have not seen as much illness in the communities but it  has wreaked havoc on people’s emotional health.

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