Showing posts with label Healthcare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Healthcare. Show all posts

February 21, 2021

Better Covid Mask


Now that's a better Covid mask.

Full coverage. 

Nice golden shine. 

No need to brush your hair or put on makeup. 

And no one can tell your sleeping in meetings. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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February 12, 2021

Forecast 2021 By Andy Blumenthal




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January 3, 2021

It's 9/11 Every Day in The U.S.


For the last 4 weeks now, we've had about 3,000 deaths a day from Coronavirus in the U.S., this number is eerily similar to the number of fatalities in the horrific terrorist attack on this country on 9/11.

Moreover, we have reached over 350,000 dead in less than a year, with the projection by April 1 to be 567,000 dead or another 217,000 gone in just the next 3 months!

Despite numerous pharmaceutical companies coming up with a Covid vaccine, the distribution here is being botched every day. 

In December, we vaccinated less than 1% of the U.S. population with a first dose, despite having been promised that 20 million people would be vaccinated, while another country like Israel has vaccinated 12% of their population.

So while we are experiencing the equivalent in terms of deaths of another 9/11 just about every day now, our government and their partners are pathetically slow in reacting to save lives!

  • The Federal government is punting to the state governments.
  • The State governments are punting to the local governments.
  • And the local governments are not sure what they are doing and there is inconsistency and conflicting, confusing guidelines in the system currently.

Recently, I contacted my local authorities and received a form email back that basically told me they still know virtually nothing:

"We are currently focused on the registration of vaccination sites, the distribution and administration of vaccines in Phase 1, storage and handling, and overall communications, including ensuring patient follow-up and second dose reminders. We expect additional updates on increased vaccine production in early 2021 from our federal partners. As we learn more from the federal government, we will adjust..."

I am appalled to see so many sick people and families and friends affected and people needlessly dying every minute of every day. 

I am wondering why there is not more of an uproar and outrage from the people (even as a new more contagious variant is spreading) or is a 9/11 every day now an acceptable casualty count?

I can virtually guarantee you that if/when this is done, there are going to be how many lawsuits, investigations, and commissions looking into how this got so mishandled and resulted in so much suffering and loss of life. 

(Credit Photo: Pixabay)


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January 2, 2021

Covid May Be Over When Pigs Can Fly


Don't be fooled by the Covid vaccines. 

Aside from the very disappointing and dysfunctional rollout so far (less than 3 millions first doses in the time that they promised 20 million), the virus is mutating!

Hence the new yet more contagious Covid virus now going around. 

I wouldn't get my hopes up too high on the results of the vaccine quite yet. 

Hype is the opioid of the masses. 

Like the flu, Covid may be over when pigs can fly.  ;-)

(Credit Photo:  Andy Blumenthal) 


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January 1, 2021

Horrors in U.S. Healthcare

 

So I have been sick the last 9 days, and don't really know what it is (bad cold, flu, or Covid). 

But I am hearing that Covid is spiraling around just about every family that I know now. 

The new most contagious Covid variant is in at least 3 states, but I would suspect it's in all of them by now.  We'll find that out way after the fact. 

G-d only knows whether the Covid vaccines will work on the mutated Coronavirus and how this will impact the runaway pandemic.  Will it be back to the Vaccine drawing board?

While many healthcare workers have been extraordinary during these difficult times, I've been appalled at some recent cases of horrible care. 

Example 1:

Went to CVS Minute Clinic, they gave me some antibiotics, but said go this afternoon for a Covid test, which I had already booked prior at another CVS location that does the tests.  

I drive 10 miles sick to go there, and when I arrive they tell me, they don't have my appointment anymore even though I show them "black and white" my confirmation!  "The system must've kicked you out because you were at another CVS earlier in the day." I said, I need to be tested, and they were adamant that there was nothing they could do.  Their completely incompetent store manager told me to call and make another appointment for another day.  I said, I waited two days for this appointment, drove ten miles, and waited a long time on line.  He said, that's too bad and I should call the 800 number if I wasn't happy. I said, it's your mistake, so you call the 800 number.  I told him I wasn't leaving the line until they resolved this. The manager was a rude SOB, but finally one of the pharmacists said the nurse can put me back in the system and they would in fact see me. 

Well, lo and behold, a day passes, and I get a call the test didn't work.  Make another appointment.  Ok, now I really have no choice.  I go to another CVS, this one was actually much better and gave comprehensive instructions on how to take the Covid test. So much for good CVS and bad CVS!  

Example 2:

Someone else in my family was sick and also goes to the CVS Minute Clinic.  They give her not much more than Tylenol.  But tell her to make another appointment to take care of her ear.  She makes an appointment, and I take her to yet another CVS location the next day.  Well guess what, the Physician's Assistant refuses to treat her ear.  He sits us down and tells us that he has a wife and kids at home and doesn't want to possibly get Covid since she was at the Minute Clinic the day before.  I explain that all they gave her was Tylenol.  He says, "Anything can be Covid!  And I'm not going to go in the room to clean out the ear for maybe 20 to 30 minutes."  Well then why in the hell did this guy go into the medical profession?

Example 3:

I contact another pharmaceutical outlook (not CVS) for a prescription.  They quote me $2,500 dollars.  I say "That's 10 tens what they usually charge me so there must be a typo."  Oh no, that's the price for the branded drug.  Maybe you meant the generic which is only $250!  Same drug but ten times the price!

I'm sorry folks our healthcare system in the U.S. is very broken indeed.  By calling attention to these things, I hope to bring positive change for all our sakes.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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December 28, 2020

Vaccine: Too Little Too Late


So just about everyone I know now has Covid going all around them. 

Heard from 2  people in the last 2 days, and yet a 3rd person that died miserably from it this past week. 

Aside from almost 120,000 currently hospitalized, including 20,000 in the ICU, this thing is spinning rapidly out of control!

I am now convinced that by the time they get the vaccine out (and it's going awfully slowly so far), it will be too little too late and almost everyone will already have had Covid. 

Incredible how many billions of dollars have been spent on the vaccine research, manufacturing, and now on the distribution, and frankly it will have been another great big wasted boondoggle.

Vaccinate away...despite the valiant efforts by many, it's basically a throwaway for this round of the virus, and it all points to our woeful state of unpreparedness to begin with! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Pixabay)


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November 19, 2020

Vaccine Fears

So I was talking with someone about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines coming out to protect again Coronavirus. 

They tell me that the news is reporting 95% effectiveness and then they pull out their smartphone and show me a cartoon of someone taking the vaccine and their face is all deformed (I won't go into the details). 

So I ask him:

Are you going to talk the vaccine?

He says:

"No!"

I ask:

Do you take the flu vaccine?

Again he says :

No, it's poison!

He thinks some more and says (jokingly, I believe):

And if some big burly guys try to hold me down and make me take it, I'll tell them I'm gonna go out and get a gun and come back tomorrow and shoot them. 

Bottom line: there is some real fear and apprehension out there about these vaccines. 

And surely, some people do have negative effects--whatever that percentage is. 

Personally, I will take the vaccine. I would rather try and fail (hopefully not), than never try at all!  

How long the vaccine is effective for--that's another matter all together. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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October 17, 2020

Don't Forget To Brush

How's that for a great reminder to brush your teeth.

Not so subtle though, right?

Man, what a pair of choppers!

I'm brushing. Believe me.  

Don't have to show me twice!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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August 22, 2020

No, It's Not Fort Knox

Did I just walk into Urgent Care or is this Fort Knox's repository for gold bullion?

I don't think I've ever seen this many surveillance cameras in one relatively small room that's not related to national security! 

And there were even more cameras around me--they were freakin everywhere. 

I get that people are afraid and want security, but seriously over a dozen cameras in the entry/waiting room to see a doctor!

Did someone go a little overboard here?

Maybe they had a bad experience, who knows.

Still, this is beyond dystopian and never a private moment shall one have!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 31, 2020

Helping The Elderly

Thought this was an incredibly beautiful photo.

Someone playing ball with an elderly lady in a wheelchair! 

Too often, I think we forget or neglect the older, disabled, and disadvantaged population.

These were once the people who cared for us! 

As we grow older, life can get so much harder in terms of health, disability, finances, and even loneliness.

It is so important to show compassion, kindness, and care for the people who need us, and not to forget anyone along the journey of life!  ;-)
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July 29, 2020

Good One for Rosh Hashanah

It's Tisha B'Av tonight.

But this is a good one for Rosh Hashanah in 2 months. 

Got to contain the spray from the blowing of the shofar. 

It's a coronavirus time of year.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Facebook)
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July 25, 2020

Even Dogs Wear Masks

Even Sophie the dog wears a mask against Coronavirus.

- If giver doesn't wear mask and receiver does - 70% chance of transmission

- If giver wears mask and receiver doesn't - 5% chance of transmission

- If giver wears mask and receiver wears mask - 1.5% chance of transmission

That's doggie good statistics to avoid the Coronavirus plague.

People can learn just like dogs.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 2, 2020

Forgot To Bring Blood

So I go for some blood work today.

Lady pokes my arm, and nothing comes out. 

She moves the point of the needle around and around-- still no blood. 

She says: "Hey, it's your fault!"

I say: 
You're right, no one told me that I was supposed to bring blood with me today. 

She looks up and says, "Okay let's try the other arm!"

Then she spanks the arm...and I blurt out laughing, "hey do that again!"

Then poke, poke, and the blood easily fills a half dozen tubes.

She's said, "You see that worked!"

I said:
I only brought blood in my right arm today!

If I could read her mind: "Ok, get the F*** out of the office."

But she was nice and actually says, "You can get your results in about 3 days."  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 18, 2020

Keep The F*** Away From Me

Social distancing is the new norm.

Shaking hands is a no-no!

Even in the park yesterday, they had a sign prominently displayed that read:
Thank you for practicing social distancing. Please stay 6 FT apart.

We might as well all just wear t-shirts or little reminder signs on each of us with:
Keep the F*** away from me!

That about sums it up without putting up a specific distance range. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 6, 2020

Lockdown In Coronavirus

This photo is sort of what it feels like to be in lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

You're stuck inside, but still have to keep everything moving anyway!

As we enter the next phase with people itching to go back out and "restart" life and the economy and the second wave where more people unfortunately get sick, we are really as they say:
Stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

And that's where bad things can happen (G-d forbid) and it's never a good place to be. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 27, 2020

The Doctor Is Out!

So one huge downside to this Coronavirus shutdown is that you can barely get any help for other medical conditions or elective surgeries. 

I just heard this morning from a relative about family members that can't get shots they need for pain control or surgeries for breathing problems.

Everything now is COVID-19.

That's the priority (maybe all of the top ten priorities)!

But does it really make sense to completely triage COVID-19 above Cancer, Heart Disease, Respiratory Disease, Strokes, Alzheimers, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, Parkinson's, and more. 

Coronavirus patients are who the hospital and ICU beds are for now. 

And the respirators. 

The testing. 

The new research dollars. 

Perhaps, the global medical community has gone a little Coronavirus crazy, extreme, radical, overboard in their singular focus, panic, and chaos over just one virus to the exclusion of everything else!

Apparently, our totally "overwhelmed" medical system can't "walk and chew gum at the same time."

Certainly, we have a lot to be grateful for to the dedicated and selfless doctors and nurses in the medical community for everything they are doing to help people with Coronavirus under very trying circumstances.

The problem is that in the meantime, people that have new or other chronic conditions are being left out and sometimes to rot. 

Unless of course you are a big fan of telemedicine, which may be good to get something routine looked after, but something major, and I think you're in big trouble. 

After this Coronavirus (assuming there is an after), there is going to be a lot of pent up demand for medical care. 

I think a lot of people are suffering now with conditions that they were waiting to take care of until they were absolutely necessary, but unfortunately when it became necessary, then the care was not there. 

Makes you wonder whether and when you should do or put off medical procedures in the future: just because the care is there "today," doesn't mean it will be there tomorrow. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 24, 2020

The Great COVID-19 Lie

We have been told that the first case of Coronavirus/COVID-19 death in the U.S. was in February 2020. 

First, we were told it was February 29 in Kirkland, Washington. 

Then that is was earlier on February 6 and 17 in California. 

But I and others who I have spoken to believe that the first cases of COVID-19 were with us many months earlier. 

Both I and my wife developed extreme coughing around the September/October timeframe. 

The coughing didn't go away for months!

As is now being reported with COVID-19, it was like it reactivates again and again, 

I went to the MinuteClinic and was prescribed antibiotics. 

The cough lingered and got worse a second time. 

I think I went another time to Minute Clinic or to Urgent Care and got a stronger antibiotic. 

The cough lingered and got worse yet a third time. 

As I become weaker and more sick (with fever at some point(s)), I found myself waking up and barely able to even get out of bed. 

I forced myself back over to Urgent Care again. 

I was given the flu test and it was not the flu. 

And no one seemed to know what it was!

They told me that they were getting so many cases...I believe they said each location was seeing about 100 patients a day!

I was so weak I just laid on the doctors exam table half falling asleep and barely able to move to get up. 

I was given yet an even stronger antibiotic and I believe some steroid medication. 

After about 3-4 horrible months and almost near collapse, it finally started to get better. 

I don't remember ever getting anything like this! 

I hadn't traveled anywhere either. 

Lots of people seem to have had a similar experience. 

Was this COVID-19 or some precursor to it?

I/We may never know the truth. 

But these symptoms and sickness was not normal.

And the high number of cases I was hearing about was beyond anything I can remember. 

As we know everything about this COVID-19 is not normal as we can all attest to after weeks and months of global lockdown. 

The reason that you are hearing all the confusing and contradictory communications and crisis from the "experts" and in the media is because the professionals are confused!

And we are left to wonder: when will we find out the truth about what this is, when it started, what the real dangers to us are now and into the future, and whether there will really ever be a cure for it? ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 22, 2020

Free COVID-19 Cure

This sign was just too great. 

Advertisement with the little slips at the bottom to tear off. 
Free Cure for COVID-19.
Please take an information strip below

And what do the strips say:
Stay the F**K at home

I wonder why no one took any of the strips? LOL

Like every meaningful issue, we have people on both sides of the aisle fighting it out what is the right thing to do. 

And when it comes to life and liberty, passions certainly run high. ;-)

(Credit Photo to my son-in-law Itzchak for sharing this with me from his friend in California)
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April 19, 2020

Coronavirus: A Modern Leprosy

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Coronavirus: A Modern Leprosy."
What an interesting time this week during the coronavirus for my bar-mitzvah parshas of Tazria and Metzora, where we learn about how to handle someone with the plague of leprosy...What’s fascinating though for our times is that right here in the Torah, long before medical science understood germs, washing of hands, and disinfectants, we have the first instruction on quarantining someone who is sick. The person with leprosy is deemed impure and is put outside the camp in quarantine, repeatedly checked (e.g. tested) by the Kohen, until they are healed, at which time they are purified before being allowed back in. What we don’t see with leprosy is that the whole community is put in a state of quasi quarantine as we are doing now globally with the coronavirus.

In the end, I see this coronavirus blowing up with some people forever anxious and germophobic and others becoming complacent and careless about the whole thing. Either way there will be more sick and dying people, as well as anger at the system that over time repeatedly failed us. This week’s parsha is a good reminder to go back to the ultimate wisdom of the Torah and read again how we handle the leper and manage with a thoughtful risk-based management approach and an eye on the ultimate purity—physically and spiritually—of the individual and the community.

(Free Photo via Pixabay)

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April 14, 2020

Plan To Restart The Economy WILL Look Something Like This

What will restarting the economy after Coronavirus look like?

Well Israel has a well-thought-out 4 Phase Plan (pending approval) and I would imagine that the U.S. plan will look something very much like this:

- Phase I: Tech and Finance, some Import/Export industries, 50% of Public Sector, and Preschool

- Phase II: Commerce/Retail Stores, Elementary School (ages 6-10)

- Phase III: Cafes, Restaurants, and Hotels, and most of the rest of the Education system

- Phase IV: Leisure and Entertainment: Culture, Sports, Large Shopping Malls, and Flights

There are 4 additional key provisions to this plan:

- 2 Week Buffer between phases to review and evaluate success before moving forward with the next phase. 

- "People over 60 and at-risk populations will not resume normal activity throughout the four phases."

- Resuming these activities occurs with the exercise of continued caution (e.g. social distancing, testing, etc.)

- Expect 2nd outbreak in the Fall and therefore continue to build up healthcare capabilities in preparation for this. 

This sounds like an excellent plan as a basis to reopen and one that we can and should build upon. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and thank you to my sister for sharing this with me)

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