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jimmy m
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04 Apr 2021, 12:45 pm

Aerosol Transmission

The guidance from WHO and the CDC is at odds with the Basic Science

The WHO says that big droplets of human exhalations are the primary mode of transmission for the virus. The agency calls them respiratory droplets and defines them as anything larger than 5 micrometers, about the size of a red blood cell.

But WHO’s definition of respiratory droplets is wrong, said Jimenez. Cloud droplets are around 20 micrometers and they don’t fall to the ground, he said. That means that droplets of larger size could be airborne longer than the WHO acknowledges.

“It’s just absurd,” said Jimenez. “This still is the official statement of the WHO, and they have refused to correct it for a year.”

The break in identifying transmission droplets should be 100 micrometers, argued Prather in a letter in Science last year. The argument isn’t just semantics: It directly affects safety measures.

But CDC and WHO guidelines emphasize that most transmission is passed through close contact, not airborne transmission. “The balance of attention must be shifted to protecting against airborne transmission,” Prather wrote.

Source: Aerosol Scientists Try to Clear the Air About COVID-19 Transmission

The CDC has acknowledged that people could contract COVID-19 through inhaling particles, they haven’t updated their guidance. For example, the agency recommends that health care workers wear surgical masks, even when the United States has more effective N95 masks available.


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04 Apr 2021, 1:08 pm

New Variant

Another article about how a new variant is attacking younger people in Brazil.

“Before, the risk factor to dying from COVID-19 was being older, having some co-morbidity,” said Domingos Alves, a professor of medicine who’s part of the national monitoring group. “Now, the risk is being Brazilian.”

Jaques Sztajnbok, helps run the ICU at Emílio Ribas hospital, one of Brazil’s main facilities for infectious diseases. Sztajnbok said it’s not unusual now to see people under 40 or even in their 20s without any risk factors needing intubation and life support. Before, he said, patients were mostly over 65. “The first time that happened, we were shocked,” he said. “We were also shocked the second time. Now we are not anymore.”

Brazil has become the epicenter of the pandemic, recently reporting records of more than 100,000 cases and 3,650 deaths a day. The shift to younger victims means that pregnant women are getting infected, said Fatima Marinho, an epidemiologist and senior adviser at Vital Strategies. The virus has also killed more children under 10. They tend to have different symptoms, leading to a wrong diagnosis, she added.

Source: Younger Brazilians Are Dying From COVID in an Alarming New Shift


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07 Apr 2021, 12:22 pm

Here in Hungary, we reached the 2.5M (25% of the population) first dose of vaccine and 1M (10%-of population including me) got both 2 doses of vaccine still 311 people died into the infection and the number of people in hospitals raised by 200 to 12200 in the last 24 hours.



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07 Apr 2021, 4:24 pm

A third of COVID survivors suffer neurological or mental disorders: study

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One in three COVID-19 survivors in a study of more than 230,000 mostly American patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months, suggesting the pandemic could lead to a wave of mental and neurological problems, scientists said on Tuesday.

Researchers who conducted the analysis said it was not clear how the virus was linked to psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression, but that these were the most common diagnoses among the 14 disorders they looked at.

Post-COVID cases of stroke, dementia and other neurological disorders were rarer, the researchers said, but were still significant, especially in those who had severe COVID-19.

“Although the individual risks for most disorders are small, the effect across the whole population may be substantial,” said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford University who co-led the work.

Max Taquet, also an Oxford psychiatrist who worked with Harrison, noted that the study was not able to examine the biological or psychological mechanisms involved

A previous study by the same researchers found last year that 20% of COVID-19 survivors were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within three months.

The new findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal, analysed health records of 236,379 COVID-19 patients, mostly from the United States, and found 34% had been diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric illnesses within six months.

The disorders were significantly more common in COVID-19 patients than in comparison groups of people who recovered from flu or other respiratory infections over the same time periodthe scientists said, suggesting COVID-19 had a specific impact.

Anxiety, at 17%, and mood disorders, at 14%, were the most common, and did not appear to be related to how mild or severe the patient’s COVID-19 infection had been.

Among those who had been admitted to intensive care with severe COVID-19 however, 7% had a stroke within six months, and almost 2% were diagnosed with dementia.

Bolding=mine

There has been a lot of speculation that with the vaccine COVID-19 will become endemic like the flu with booster shots and life returning to something resembling 2019. These findings suggest that should this occur social distancing, mask wearing and localized restrictions and lockdowns will become the new normal.

This also makes the question of if or how much vaccinated people can spread the virus urgent.


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SabbraCadabra
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08 Apr 2021, 12:31 am

jimmy m wrote:
Long Haulers

Is there a thread for Long Haulers, here? I tried doing a search, but this was the only semi-relevant thread I could find.


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ASPartOfMe
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08 Apr 2021, 6:09 am

SabbraCadabra wrote:
jimmy m wrote:
Long Haulers

Is there a thread for Long Haulers, here? I tried doing a search, but this was the only semi-relevant thread I could find.

There is not. Long Hauler articles have been put in this thread.


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SabbraCadabra
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08 Apr 2021, 2:53 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
There is not. Long Hauler articles have been put in this thread.

So no one else on the forum has caught it? Weird.
I figured more people here might have it, since it appears to be related to gut issues.


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ASPartOfMe
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08 Apr 2021, 8:07 pm

Two vaccine sites close after adverse reactions to Johnson & Johnson shot

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The race to vaccinate hit more roadblocks on Thursday, as several patients at a mass vaccination site in North Carolina suffered immediate reactions to the Johnson & Johnson shot. A day earlier, 11 people had adverse reactions in Denver, ranging from dizziness to nausea.

Both sites temporarily shut down.

"At this point we have no reason to believe there's anything wrong with the vaccine itself," said Dr. Shauna Gulley, a Centura Health chief clinical officer. "This is a temporary pause of one brand of vaccine so that we can investigate further."

The news comes as distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to fall 85% next week due in part to a factory mix-up.


Quote:
Meanwhile, the Midwest is on the verge of a relapse. In the last week, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased 11% on average among adults under 50 compared to the prior week. But in the Midwest, those hospitalizations jumped 42%.

The hardest hit state is Michigan, where one doctor tweeted a desperate plea on Thursday. "We need some help," Dr. Justin Dimick wrote.

Variants continue to complicate the country's recovery. Of all new coronavirus cases last week, children accounted for roughly one in five. Children are especially susceptible to the variant first found in the U.K., which was discovered at a recent outbreak at a Wisconsin childcare center.

"Prior to this time, young kids, particularly those in eighth grade or younger, rarely got infected or seriously ill with the virus and importantly did not transmit the virus in the community. Today that has been turned on its head," said Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

It's hitting college students, too. The University of Chicago said 50 students have tested positive. Some cases were linked to fraternity parties.


Canucks identity source of COVID outbreak as 21 players test positive
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The Vancouver Canucks have identified the source of a serious COVID-19 outbreak that has seen 21 players and four staff members test positive as of Wednesday.

The team issued a statement confirming that 18 players from the main roster, three players from the taxi squad and four staff members have tested positive for a variant of the virus since March 31, when the first case was reported.

An ongoing investigation by Vancouver Coastal Health and club contact tracing staff attributes the source infection to a single individual obtained in a community setting, which has since been identified by public health as a public exposure location," the statement read.

"Rapid spread of infection throughout the team indicates a link between contacts and the primary case."

Team doctor Jim Bovard and infectious disease doctor Josh Douglas said in the statement that a specific variant has yet to be determined but, according to NESN, it is believed to be the Brazilian variant that causes more severe symptoms, like vomiting, cramping and dehydration, in younger patients.


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10 Apr 2021, 4:58 am

As the US races to vaccinate the country, J&J vaccine distribution will slow down 84% next week

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Just as the Biden administration is moving up its deadline to make vaccine eligibility available to all adults by April 19, the supply of at least one of the vaccines, Johnson & Johnson's, is slowing down, and with some of its manufacturing challenges at an independent plant that has had problems in the past, it's unclear exactly when it will pick back up again.
Next week, the number of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines allocated to states and other jurisdictions by the federal government is expected to drop 84%, according to a CNN analysis of data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In contrast, the supply of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines remain steady for next week.

&J would not directly answer CNN's questions about why the supply has slowed down, but Jeff Zients, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator said at a briefing Friday, that the supply to states won't change until its independent manufacturing plant gets a green light from the FDA.

"Johnson and Johnson expects a relatively low level of weekly dose delivery, until the company secures FDA authorization," Zients said.

The Biden administration has consistently said the J&J supply would be "uneven."

The states are already feeling the impact of this uneven distribution. On Thursday, Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan confirmed at a news conference that there would be an 85% reduction in his state's allocation of J&J vaccine doses.

Hogan said this is a serious concern since it could mean that Maryland is about "a quarter million doses short."

"That's really difficult when you got three thousand points of distribution all counting on more doses," Hogan said.
Washington State's website also said Thursday that the federal government showed a "substantial decrease" in Johnson & Johnson's vaccine starting next week.

For the week of April 11, Washington state expected to see 12,900 doses, but by April 18 and 25, they would likely get only 4,300 doses each week.

Texas' Department of State Health Services said it too has seen a "major reduction" in J&J allocated doses, going from 500,000 doses this week to 130,000 next week.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said Thursday that it will receive roughly 6,000 J&J doses next week from its federal allocation instead of the initially anticipated 20,000 doses.

The problem seems to be with the company's supply of the drug substance it uses for the vaccine. J&J has been getting its drug substance from its vaccine arm Janssen in the Netherlands, according to the Biden administration, and it then goes on to fill and finishing plants that have been doing the final stage process of the vaccines.

The company has been trying to add additional manufacturing capacity in the US, but it has had problems with one of those manufacturers, Baltimore-based Emergent BioSolutions. In June, Emergent signed a $628 million contract with the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines. It has worked with AstraZeneca and J&J. So far though, it hasn't been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration to produce any vaccines.

Last week, Emergent told CNN there was a problem that affected a single batch of "bulk drug substance" used to make vaccine. The company's quality control sy
A person who is familiar with this particular manufacturing process told CNN Thursday that "batches are lost all the time in this industry, it's just the nature of the complexity of what we do."


Georgia site is fourth in US to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Quote:
A coronavirus vaccine site in Georgia became the fourth US location this week to pause its administration of the Johnson & Johnson jab after concerns over possible adverse reactions, a report said.

Eight people experienced lightheadedness after getting the shot Wednesday at the Cumming Fairgrounds, though health officials believe that could have simply been caused by the hot weather, WSB-TV reported.

“It was a fainting issue,” Dave Palmer, North Georgia Health District spokesperson, told the outlet.


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12 Apr 2021, 11:59 am

Study: Moderna immunity wanes 6 months in but still protective

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Wonderful. Awesome. Fantastic. Those are the adjectives Emory University researcher Mehul Suthar used to describe the immunity levels seen just after the second dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

But Suthar and colleagues at Emory’s Vaccine Center found that stunning immunity dulled after six months but not to such an extent that the vaccine was ineffective. In fact, Suthar estimated that in three age groups studied – 18-to-55, 56-to-70 and 71-and-older – neutralizing antibodies should linger for one to two years.

That is, neutralizing antibodies to the virus strain the vaccine was designed to handle, which is the only one that was circulating at the time of its development: the one from Wuhan.

Suthar said the question becomes whether normal-over-time reductions in antibody levels with current COVID-19 vaccines will leave hosts open to reinfection by variants with ‘escape antibody’ mutations.

Does that mean we need a booster to help us get back to the awesome fantastic level? It’s unclear,” he said.

Also unclear – and under study – is whether a booster of the same vaccine formulation will do the trick against variants or whether the vaccine would need readjustment to thwart a specific mutation.

As these issues are studied, COVID-19 is having the equivalent of a global field day.

“Roughly 75% of the vaccines that have been manufactured are only going to 10 countries in the entire world,” said Dr. Ingrid Katz of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who recently co-wrote a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine calling for a global vaccination effort.

Dr. Katz estimated at the current rate of vaccination, it could take four years to immunize the rest of the world.

“And I think that is a real problem when you think about the number of variants that can continue to come up,” she said.


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12 Apr 2021, 11:22 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:

They're saying that Pfizer is going to need yearly booster shots, as well.


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13 Apr 2021, 8:50 am

U.S. Calls for Pause on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine After Clotting Cases

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Federal health agencies on Tuesday called for an immediate pause in use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine after six recipients in the United States developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination.

All six recipients were women between the ages of 18 and 48. One woman died and a second woman in Nebraska has been hospitalized in critical condition.

Nearly seven million people in the United States have received Johnson & Johnson shots so far, and roughly nine million more doses have been shipped out to the states, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the C.D.C., said in a joint statement. “Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”

While the move was framed as a recommendation to health practitioners in the states, the federal government is expected to pause administration of the vaccine at all federally run vaccination sites. Federal officials expect that state health officials will take that as a strong signal to do the same. Within two hours of the announcement, Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a Republican, advised all health providers in his state to temporarily stop giving Johnson & Johnson shots. New York State and Connecticut quickly followed suit.

Scientists with the F.D.A. and C.D.C. will jointly examine possible links between the vaccine and the disorder and determine whether the F.D.A. should continue to authorize use of the vaccine for all adults or limit the authorization. An emergency meeting of the C.D.C.’s outside advisory committee has been scheduled for Wednesday.

The move could substantially complicate the nation’s vaccination efforts at a time when many states are confronting a surge in new cases and seeking to address vaccine hesitancy. Regulators in Europe and elsewhere are concerned about a similar issue with another coronavirus vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University researchers. That concern has driven up some resistance to all vaccines, even though the AstraZeneca version has not been authorized for emergency use in the United States.

Mark D. Levine, a New York City councilman, lamented on Twitter that the pause would be a “huge setback” for the city’s vaccination program, which he said relies “entirely on J & J” to inoculate the homebound, reach small private doctors’ offices and supply mobile vaccination vans.

“NYC now has the biggest messaging challenge yet in vaccination,” he wrote. “We have to do everything possible to avoid a collapse in confidence in vaccination overall.”

Federal officials are concerned that doctors may not be trained to look for the rare disorder if recipients of the vaccine develop symptoms of it. The federal health agencies said Tuesday morning that “treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered” for blood clots.

“Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given,” the statement said.

In the United States alone, 300,000 to 600,000 people a year develop blood clots, according to C.D.C. data. But the particular blood clotting disorder that the vaccine recipients developed, known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, is extremely rare.

The decision is a fresh blow to Johnson & Johnson. Late last month, the company discovered that workers at a Baltimore plant run by its subcontractor had accidentally contaminated a batch of vaccine, forcing the firm to throw out the equivalent of 13 million to 15 million doses.

Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson use the same platform for their vaccine, a virus known as an adenovirus. On Tuesday, the Australian government announced it would not purchase Johnson & Johnson vaccines. They cited Johnson & Johnson’s use of an adenovirus.


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13 Apr 2021, 2:02 pm

States scramble to halt Johnson & Johnson vaccinations after CDC and FDA recommend pause

Quote:
"I know there are people who have gotten the vaccine who are probably very concerned. For people who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk to them is very low at this time," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.

"For people who recently got the vaccine within the last couple of weeks, they should be aware to look for symptoms. If you received the vaccine and develop severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath, you should contact your health care provider."

everal states, including Texas, Maryland and Missouri, have directed vaccine providers to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccines while also keeping those vaccines in the proper conditions.

In New York, everyone with Tuesday appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines a state mass vaccination sites will be given the Pfizer vaccine instead, the state health commissioner said.

The New Jersey health department will work with all vaccination sites to help reschedule appointments and make arrangements to give one of the other two vaccines, the state health commissioner said.

Both CVS and Walgreens will also stop giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for now, representatives for the pharmacy chains said.

Don't get lax -- hospitalizations keep rising
Nationally, Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, especially among young Americans who are less likely to be vaccinated, health officials say.

"Don't declare victory prematurely," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"We see so many pulling back on some of the public health measures: the mask mandates, the restaurant opening, the bars. We can't be doing that. We've got to wait a bit longer until we get enough vaccine into people that we will clearly blunt any surge."

If the US keeps vaccinating quickly and doubles down on safety measures, it could soon see a "turnaround," Fauci said.

To try to get out of this pandemic, "it's still about masks and physical distancing and ventilation and vaccines," said emergency physician Dr. Megan Ranney, director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health in Rhode Island.

Coronavirus variants are behind alarming trends in several states, including Michigan, which local officials say is in the middle of another surge, with both case and hospitalization numbers quickly rising.

The state has the second-highest number of cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state with the highest number of cases of the variant is Florida.

In New Jersey, where there are more than 950 cases reported of concerning variants, patients on ventilators and virus-related deaths have increased, state health commissioner Judy Persichilli said Monday.

About 48% of the state's new hospitalizations were people under the age of 60, she added.


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15 Apr 2021, 8:52 pm

Pfizer CEO says third Covid vaccine dose likely needed within 12 months

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people will “likely” need a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated. His comments were made public Thursday but were taped April 1.

Bourla said it’s possible people will need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus annually.

“A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role,” he told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs during an event with CVS Health.

“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” Bourla said.

The comment comes after Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC in February that people may need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 annually, just like seasonal flu shots.

Researchers still don’t know how long protection against the virus lasts once someone has been fully vaccinated.

Pfizer’s data was based on more than 12,000 vaccinated participants. However, researchers say more data is still needed to determine whether protection lasts after six months.


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16 Apr 2021, 5:13 am

So far, 5,800 fully vaccinated people have caught Covid anyway in US, CDC says

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About 5,800 people who have been vaccinated against coronavirus have become infected anyway, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells CNN.

Some became seriously ill and 74 people died, the CDC said. It said 396 -- 7% -- of those who got infected after they were vaccinated required hospitalization.

"So far, about 5,800 breakthrough cases have been reported to CDC. To date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in case demographics or vaccine characteristics," the CDC told CNN via email.

About 77 million people in the US are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, according to a CNN analysis of CDC data. The CDC's reports on breakthrough cases will lag day-to-day reports of vaccines given, so many, if not most, of those breakthrough cases will have happened weeks ago.

Nonetheless, the total represents a very small percentage of those who have been vaccinated.

Breakthrough cases are expected. The vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections and as tens of millions of people are vaccinated, more and more such cases will be reported.

"Vaccine breakthrough infections were reported among all people of all ages eligible for vaccination. However, a little over 40% of the infections were in people 60 or more years of age," the CDC said.

Most, 65%, were female and 29% of the so-called breakthrough infections were asymptomatic. "CDC is monitoring reported cases for clustering by patient demographics, geographic location, time since vaccination, vaccine type or lot number, and SARS-CoV-2 lineage," the CDC said.

Plus, samples from cases will be tested to see how many are caused by variants and if so, which ones.
"CDC has developed a national COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough database where state health department investigators can currently enter, store, and manage data for cases in their jurisdiction," the CDC said.

CDC also continues to recommend people who have been fully vaccinated should keep taking precautions in public places, like wearing a mask, staying at least six feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing their hands often."

Outside experts agreed.

The likelihood of these "very rare" infections depends on how much virus is circulating within a community, Dr. Kawsar Talaat, an infectious disease physician and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNN.


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18 Apr 2021, 2:15 pm

I suffered a major stroke two weeks ago. It affected me in two ways. My eyes changed. My right eye decided it was time for a vacation and shifted over to my left eye. So both my eyes became left eyes. The doctors figured out this problem and it was not difficult to fix. I blinded my left eye for around five days a week and my right eye began to move back about ten degrees per day. After 4 days it moved around 40 degrees and my eyesight returned somewhat back to normal.

The second way it affected me was my ability to read. This is really strange. I cannot read but I can still write. So right after the stroke, I couldn't read a single word. I lost around 300,000 words in a few minutes. What is so strange is that I can still write. I cannot read but I can write. Strokes can be really strange. As time went on I have been slowly beginning to learn to read again. But it will be a slow journey. After a few days I began to recognize my name. Then the next day my wife's name. Initially it took me 20 hours to read one word. But I am improving and can read a word in 1 to 2 minutes now. Still slow but it is a start. Strokes affect people differently. In my case this is the major affect. It will probably take me around 6 months to return back to normal or at least somewhat close to normal. It could be worse, far worse.

Now I think this stroke was a function of age and not COVID related. After all I am 72 years old and this condition affects old people. I came home around 3 days ago after spending a week and a half in the hospital. It will be a slow process.


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