Long Covid – What is It?

Excerpt From: We need to start thinking more critically — and speaking more cautiously — about long Covid

“Long Covid has no universal definition. It is instead often used as a catchall to describe individuals whose symptoms last more than a few weeks or months after the onset of Covid-19. That many individuals experience protracted symptoms after infection with SARS-CoV-2, however, should hardly be surprising. After all, critical illness of any cause can be devastating…

The symptoms of this condition are often, if not predominantly, non-respiratory in nature, and the people most affected seem to be relatively young, whereas those most susceptible to severe acute Covid-19 are, on average, older and sicker…

Reporting on long Covid needs to be more cautious for several reasons… First, at least some people who identify themselves as having long Covid appear never to have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus… a survey organized by a group of self-identified long Covid patients that recruited participants from online support groups reported in late December 2020 that around two-thirds of those surveyed who had undergone blood testing reported negative results…

The symptoms reported as consistent with long Covid are associated with many conditions. Gastrointestinal symptoms, confusion and forgetfulness (“brain fog”), severe fatigue, hair loss, and headaches are surprisingly common, even in the general population… Add to that the fact that the past year has produced skyrocketing levels of social anguish and mental emotional distress… there’s no question that mental suffering can produce physical suffering…

But make no mistake: the suffering described by long Covid patients is debilitating and real. There will be, as is often the case, lack of clarity about the distinct cause of suffering in each individual; there may often be multiple causes, stretching from the virologic to the psychosocial.”

– Adam Gaffney – pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Mass., and an assistant professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School –

Excerpt from What is Long Covid?

I don’t think it’s any different from post-viral syndrome, a condition that affects some people after a viral infection but that usually clears up within a few months. I’ve been generally sceptical of claims of long covid as some distinct entity for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s generally impossible to separate out cause and effect from anecdote and observational data. If you have a respiratory infection and then you continue to feel tired afterwards, was it the respiratory infection that caused it or something else?

For those who have been seriously sick with covid and required intensive care, PTSD is also something that could easily be misinterpreted as long covid (PTSD is actually quite common after intensive care, affecting one in ten patients). Apart from that, some studies have found that almost 60% of people treated in intensive care (for any condition, not covid specifically) still have cognitive impairments twelve months after being discharged.

Second, covid is not some magical entity, it’s a coronavirus, and it behaves like other coronaviruses, and other respiratory viruses more generally.

Maybe it will turn out that long covid is a real entity after all (distinct from post-viral syndrome, PTSD, anxiety disorder, and so on) when better research is done down the line, but we can’t just assume it based on anecdote, fear-mongering, groupthink, and low quality science. That doesn’t benefit anyone, least of all people with other underlying health issues that are not properly investigated because it’s so easy to just blame everything on covid.
– Sebastian Rushworth M.D., junior physician in Stockholm, Sweden –

DoodleChaos – Line Rider Race (Video)

DoodleChaos artist, Mark Robbins, draws with Line Rider, an online application that allows you to make videos by drawing lines on which, Bosh, a little person on a sleigh, slides along the path you draw. In this video, he synchronized the William Tell Overture (by Rossini) to 8 Line Riders racing down the track to victory.

If you want to experience just how difficult and time consuming it was to make this video, go to the Line Rider site (click play to start) and try drawing a few lines! See if you can keep the little sledder from crashing!

I tried it:

This is the track I drew (after a lot of tries…)
And this is what happened to the Line Rider as he attempted that last climb…

Crash…

The William Tell Overture was composed by the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. The opera premiered in 1829.

The music has been used many times in popular media. It as the theme song for ‘The Lone Ranger’; Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘The Band Concert’; a Flintstones episode “The Hot Piano”; advertising for ‘Reebok’ and ‘Honda Civic’ and the movie ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

Clifton Duncan – on Vaccination Choice – (Video)

COVID-19 Vaccination choice – two views:

If you are healthy and refuse to take the vaccine when your chance comes, you are a free rider. You are gaining the benefits of living in a community without paying the minimal cost. And, in the middle of a health emergency, this is shameful.
– Michael Gerson, The Washington Post, April 15, 2021 –

Who really are the ‘free riders’? The people who choose not to get the vaccination? Those who have been able to stay employed and work safely at home while others, the essential workers, have been ‘on the front line’? Those who were deemed non essential, can’t work from home and received government subsidies (some who now choose not to go back to work as long as they can keep getting the subsidies)?

Bear in mind the Holier Than Thou writer of this op-ed and those agreeing, have been content to ignore: deaths of despair; domestic violence; child abuse and suicide; ruination of kids’ education & mental health; overdoses; undetected ailments, and other costs of our mitigation.

They’ve been content to ignore the destruction of livelihoods, stupidly reducing economic concerns to crass venality, narcissistically viewing themselves as good citizens as their ignorance wrecks the futures of the lowly plebs fulfilling their GrubHub and Amazon orders.

Their ignorance extends further to a cult-like worship of what’s dictated to them as “The Science”, denigrating and dismissing the data-driven opinions of incredibly accomplished scientists from around the world if such opinions disturb their apocalyptic vain gloriousness.

In a final absurdity, remember these sanctimonious midwits spurn others as “free riders” even as they’ve spent the year either privileged to work from home, or demanding that the government pay them for NOT working.

The vulnerable deserve our compassion and protection; but catering to paranoid delusions, stoking further divisions in our society, has to be one of the WORST public health strategies imaginable.

– Clifton Duncan, on Twitter –


Clifton Duncan
is a black, classically trained actor who believes there needs to be more variety in opinions to balance the current trend to greater mono-culture.

Bulwer-Lytton Quotations #2 (2011-2016)

The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982. It is a literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence for the worst possible novel. The following submissions are the ones I liked best from the years 2011-2016.

As Farmer Brown’s train pulled out of the station at 10:00am traveling east at 50 mph, he had no idea that at that very same moment Farmer Green was 100 miles away on a west-bound train heading straight for him at 60mph and that because of a tragic track-switching mistake he was going to die in a fiery head-on train crash at exactly … uhm … well … err … sometime later that day.
— Shanon Conner, San Angelo,TX –

As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue.
— Mike Pedersen, North Berwick, ME –

As the sun dropped below the horizon, the safari guide confirmed the approaching cape buffaloes were herbivores, which calmed everyone in the group, except for Herb, of course.
— Ron D Smith, Louisville,KY –

Corinne considered the colors (palest green, gray and lavender) and texture (downy as the finest velvet)and wondered, “How long have these cold cuts been in my refrigerator?”
— Linda Boatright, Omaha, NE –

Morgan “Bamboo” Barnes, Star Pilot of the Galaxia (flagship of the Solar Brigade), accepted an hors d’oeuvre from the triangular-shaped platter offered to him from the Princess Qwillia –lavender-skinned she was and busty, with two of her four eyes what Barnes called “bedroom eyes” – and marveled at how on her planet, Chlamydia-5, these snacks were called “Hi-Dee-Hoes” but on Earth they were simply called Ritz Crackers with Velveeta.
— Greg Homer, Placerville, CA –

“One cannot easily shake off old habits,” was all that retired Detective Tim O’Hara could say when, after rifling through the dead old man’s pockets (which, as he expected, were all empty), inspecting his throat,and forcing open his cold, stiff hand to get his fingerprints, he was gently but firmly pulled away from the coffin by his brother Harry and piloted out of the parlor under the perplexed stares of uncle Mel’s friends and relatives.
— Jorge Stolfi, Campinas, SP, Brazil –

On March 5, 1836, Lieutenant Colonel William Travis stood before his rag-tag revolutionary army, unsheathed his sword, and drew a line in the sand, followed by a smiley face, some crude stick-figure men, and a few choice words about Mexicans that the State Board of Education has deemed unfit for publication in this 7th Grade Texas History Textbook.
– Gwen Dallas, Austin, TX –

Their love began as a tailor, quickly measuring the nooks and crannies of their personalities, but it soon became the seamstress of subterfuge, each of them aware of the others lingual haberdashery: Mindy trying  to create a perfectly suited garment to display in public and Stan only concerned with the inseam.
— D. M.Dunn, Bloomington, IN –

The life of a mountain man like Jedediah Buckman is a simple one, a campfire to warm the person as well as the soul, a full moon to illuminate the forest as well as the mind, and game to nourish the body as well as the spirit, though one wonders how he could stomach beaver without mint jelly and a bold, young pinot noir.
– John Hardi, Falls Church, VA –

To Juliet’s mind, he was just a small town Romeo, and – bummer – a Capulet to boot, but the men pickings in Verona were slim, so even though her daddy would have a cat, she decided, “What’s the worst that could happen?” — John Hardi, Falls Church, VA –

When Glenn left the house, the sky was a satin Spinnaker Blue with White Feather clouds, the still-moist lawn and street were glossy Sunlit Glade and Bastion Grey, and, contemplating the to-do list jotted on Ivory Cream notepaper as he started the Sundance Yellow hatchback, Glenn knew he would go flat Condition Red berserk if his wife didn’t hurry up and select a color for the dining room.
– David Franks, Greenland, AR –

“Your eyes are like deep blue pools that I would like to drown in,” he had told Kimberly when she had asked him what he was thinking; but what he was actually thinking was that sometimes when he recharges his phone he forgets to put the little plug back in but he wasn’t going to tell her that.
— Dan Leyde,Edmonds, WA –

Last, but certainly not least is this one from one of the bloggers I follow: Al at The Cvillean

It was only after he accidentally shut off the engines and the plane nosed over and dropped like a rock, that the pilot realized the gravity of the situation and thought how this horrible performance was sure to get him grounded forever.
– Al Hood –

Part One of my favourite quotations in this series: Bulwer-Lytton Quotations

Thieves Steal Lumber

Only in Canada, you say…

Royal Canadian Mounted Police News Release:

May 11, 2021; Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan

On May 7, Porcupine Plain RCMP responded to a theft complaint in a rural area. An individual had left some posts piled on a property they planned on fencing, only to find they’d gone missing.

Officers began investigating the post-plundering, but the caper was quickly revealed when the posts were spotted in a nearby waterway.

“The stolen posts were located in a beaver dam,” explains Cst. Conrad Rickards of the Porcupine Plain RCMP Detachment. “A beaver – or beavers – helped themselves to the stash of posts and used them to help build a dam. I tried locating said beavers but they were GOA (gone on arrival).”

“None of the beavers will face charges”, he says. “Who could really blame these little bucktooth bandits, considering the price of wood these days?”

Porcupine Plain RCMP has now closed this extremely Canadian case.”

A beaver dam, containing the fence posts a beaver stole from a nearby property.

When I first saw this story I thought maybe it was a joke or satire. What were the chances that there is a Porcupine Plain RCMP detachment and that beavers ripped off a pile of fence posts!? Then I found the story repeated by some major news outlets – and then I found the Porcupine Plain RCMP report on their website. The only way this story could have been any better is if the report had been filed by the Beaverlodge Alberta Detachment.

Only in Canada – got me thinking about things I’ve said that are very Canadian:

The Car Guy got a dozen Timbits with a large double double while he was in town. (Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop donut holes and a coffee with double cream and sugar.)

The party crowd said a mickey cost about the same as a two-four last summer. (375 ml. -13 oz- bottle of liquor compared to a 24 bottle case of beer.)

I had ten loonies but no toonies in my pocket. (Our one dollar coin is a loonie, the two dollar coin is a toonie. The loonie has a depiction of a loon on it. The toonie has a Polar Bear… you would think we would call it a Bearie or a Polie…)

Daughter has been knitting up a storm – she has five touques now. (Touque or tuque is a very simple, pointed, knitted hat.)

It’s only 5 clicks to town. (A click is a kilometre.)

I’m done like dinner. (Too tired to work anymore.)


What phrases or words are unique to where you live?

For more Canadian Humour: Best Canadian Puns, Jokes and Observations
Canadian Snowbird Stories
Lighter Side of Canadian Governments
The Beery Best of Canada
Canada Thanks you Mr. Beaver

‘Rona Virus – We Got Shot

Vaccines are in short supply here in Canada – so The Car Guy and I decided we would delay getting ours (we are retired seniors who can easily continue to shelter in place). We hoped  that ‘our shot’ would go to younger, but more vulnerable people. (That part worked well – our younger siblings got their shots a few weeks ago.)

We would have kept delaying ‘shot’ time for several more months if the various governments and venues hadn’t  fouled things up a bit. Our Province decided to delay the timing for the second shot by up to four months. Other governments and service providers started to talk about two dose immunization as a requirement to travel or take part in normal life again. We started counting the months until we’d like to visit our home and friends in Arizona and decided we should book our shots.

We ‘got shot’ last Friday. Just in time to be locked down again.

The Province of Ontario is in lockdown too. The Police can’t actually come to your house, of course, but I’m sure there are a few people who wish that officers could do removals…

Hard to forget early 2020 – toilet paper was a major issue. This year, in some places, it is lumber. Prices have gone up by as much as 50%.

Also in 2020 – remember Flatten the Curve?

The goal, you might remember, was to keep the health care system from being overwhelmed. Fourteen months later, we’re doing it all over again. It’s like trying to staple jello to a wall.

There have been a number of Anti-Lockdown Rallies in Alberta. Some people have been pushed to the limit of their endurance. There are concerns that these Rallies will be super-spreader events. The one that caused the most uproar was a Rodeo  that was attended by about 4000 people over the course of 2 days. It has been 10 days since it took place and no cases have been linked to the event so far.

Last June, 15000 people in Edmonton Alberta attended a BLM Rally. That rally, and all the BLM rallies across Canada did not result in an increase of Covid cases either, officials say.

I think many people understand that lockdowns are more damaging to some people than to others. The question being raised in some quarters recently – are lockdowns actually Systemic Racism?

I think we are going to see interesting ‘discussions about best pandemic practices’ once the virus and the world have come to a mutual understanding!

If Bible Characters had iPhones – Trey Kennedy (Video)

Imagined conversations about some of the major stories of the bible – if there had been cell phones:

Here are a few of the funniest bits:

“Aaww, Abraham and Isaac are on a little father son trip! What could go wrong”

“If NOAH Instagrams one more time about his DIY project…I’m done.”

“Jesus is coming – just order two fish and five loaves of bread.”

“Jonah went deep sea fishing a few day’s ago, have you heard from him?”

The actors in this video are Trey Kennedy (an American comedian and musician known for his YouTube and TikTok videos) and John Crist (a fast-rising stand-up comedian who also does videos.)

‘Rona Virus – Spike and the Variants

You can find many photos of ‘Spike and the Variants’ on the internet, but the pictures are kind of fuzzy and they make one variant look just like another. Not to worry. With a little imagination and a Pigma Micron No 03 pen, I think I captured their likeness very well.

My home province, Alberta, is currently a hot spot for the wild performances of the spike protein virus, SARS-CoV-2.

‘Spike’, having been booed off Alberta stages twice now, called for some fresh new faces to liven up the act. A group of  ‘Variants’ answered the call.

Experts say there are too many variants to count and most of them are functionally no different than ‘Spike’ the original. However, The WHO has clarified that there are seven variants “of interest” and three variants “with real potential”.

Variant B.1.1.7 from the U.K. has been the most active in Alberta; P.1 from Brazil has tried to make it onto the mainstage, but without much luck. Variants B.1351 from South Africa and B.1.617 from India have so far not been allowed to perform more than a handful of times.

On a more serious note, Government has reacted to ‘Spike and the Variants’ by locking us down for a third time (though in reality, we’ve been in some degree of lock down for over a year now.) Fortunately, the weather has improved considerably – we are ‘allowed’ to meet up with one other family, outdoors, social distanced, as long as there are no more than 5 of us…

All my other ‘Rona stories are at the virus link below.

What Does 28 plus 47 Mean to You?

quip cardToday on Twitter, someone asked the question, “What happens in your brain when you add 28+47? Tell me your process – let me see how your brain works.”

Here were a few of the responses. Which one is closest to how you would answer the question?

a. Add the 7 and 8 remember 5; carry 1 and add to 2+4 equals 75

b. 20+40= 60; 8+7= 15; 60+10+5=75

c. 28+2 + 47 -2 = 30+ 45 = 75. (Basically take one number to the nearest multiple of 10 by adding the deficit from the second number)

d. I hit the little circle in the bottom of my phone and then open the calculator ap. I switch back and forth several times because I’m dyslexic and don’t trust myself to hold the numbers in my head the right way around. And it tells me it’s 75 which is more than 60 and less than 80.

e. Me: “Alexa, what is 28 + 47?”; Alexa: “I’m sorry, I did not understand the question.” Me: “Alexa, I said, what is 28 + 47?” Alexa: “Here’s Yellow by Coldplay.”

f. Because 28 = 4×7 , the 3nd Cosine of the 4rd logarithm of π squared divided by the binomial coefficient can be used find the 2st normal form of the bending moment of the right angled trilateral …75 I can’t make it any simpler.

g. When I was 28 I thought 47 was ancient. Now I only hope I make it to 75.

h. 8 unicorns + 7 unicorns = 15 unicorns; 4 kittens + 2 kittens = 6 kittens; 6 kittens + 1 unicorn = 7 unikittens; 7 conkittenated with 5 = 75 unikittens.

i. It’s a bit of an age gap… I forsee the relationship lasting at least 5 years. If it’s long distance the entire time? Probably less. But then again — ya might be soul mates.. what would I know?

Click this link for all the best Math and Number Quotations.