Claudewell S. Thomas, MD, MPH, DLFAPA, is an established psychiatrist who is currently retired. He received his medical degree in 1956 at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and specializes in social psychiatry, public health psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Thomas was board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry... more
In a local neighborhood news post, I saw that someone was seeking me out for an explanation of a comment I made on infectivity or infectiousness of Covid-19 viral strains. It turns out that this person desperately wants to believe that as the disease spreads out in the population, it weakens and the disease process ameliorates just like increasing the batter amount for cookies reduces the flavor. She added the modifier "just like magic." I could hear the echo of MOM (aka POTUS) and the concept of 'gone like it never existed.' Sorry neighbor it isn't going away, it's getting worse. It is likely that the 4th of July weekend will lead to interpersonal contact and psychologically induced lack of caution in regard to masking and social distancing of greater magnitude than that contributed by Memorial Day weekend. SARS-CoV-2 is an opportunistic virus that uses most immune systems to gain a serious foothold on organ systems. It has a specific attack program determined by the entryway and age of the victim and those who "trust their immune systems" like MOM's press secretary may well be unpleasantly surprised.
The attack on responsible infectious disease specialists by this administration is ugly and dangerous. Hypocrisy, false modeling, and politicization of public health measures leave us out of the loop of innovation and the free exchange of ideas. Vaccines will be developed in 18 months or so. But by then the virus will have spread to underdeveloped nations and there will be new outbreaks in countries where it is deemed controlled. The absence of leadership in the USA in health matters, the undermining of world assemblies like NATO, WHO, the destruction of a functional CDC, USPHS, NIH, etc, may mean that the defeat of MOM in November may not stop the pillage. MOM still has until January to contest election results, unbalance SCOTUS, attack Medicaid and Medicare and continue to push for Russia's entry into the G7. Here is a situation where amelioration is not enough but undoing and redirection are essential.