With the onset of the Covid pandemic, my in-person social interactions ground to a halt in March of 2020. Some of the things that stopped happening were dining out, live theater and movies, musical performances, in-person work in community organizations, time in the local library, attending live medical CME. Drastically restricted were things like personal interactions associated with relatively necessary tasks like shopping, medical and dental appointments and procedures, and automobile maintenance.
My blog represents my personal experiences and perspectives. This includes many anecdotes from my medical practice. I have been scrupulous to anonymize these anecdotes and to avoid ever belittling or making fun of patients. (I often make fun of and criticize myself, my colleagues, and the institutions where I have worked.)
I was invited to a New Year's Eve Day gathering of some friends who have met annually for a couple decades or more, but who had not met during the pandemic. Our group number 25-30, all in our 70s now. The invitation said masks were 'welcome' but said nothing more about precautions. I was thrilled and excited, but also puzzled at the lack of mention of testing.
From a historical perspective, a broadly empowered citizenry has never been a feature of America. It was not part of our Founding, which reserved power to educated, wealthy, white males. It wasn't until the 19th Amendment in 1920 that women could vote. Although the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments after the Civil War abolished slavery, guaranteed all citizens equal rights under the law (excepting Native Americans), and prevented abridging the right to vote, it wasn't until the Civil Rights Act of 1965 that these principles were enforced in any consistent or meaningful way.
A friend recently shared online that he was at Day Seven of a flu that had been ‘kicking my butt all week’. With fever, sweats, cough, fatigue, muscle aches. He’s a smart and responsible guy and had RAT-tested himself twice at the onset of his symptoms and assumed because his two RATs were negative and his symptoms were consistent with Influenza A which was known to be present in his areas, it meant it he didn’t have Covid.
I suggested he retest himself (the explanation is below) and he reported a definite and nearly immediate positive:
Today is Thanksgiving, when we celebrate the day that Americans fed illegal immigrants from Europe.