We Should Prepare for the Future By Focusing on Us and Not the Virus

April 24, 2020

From Ahvie Herskowitz, MD

According to the USA data today, in all States, the median (mid-range) number of deaths per one-million population is 42 deaths per million (DPM). California is slightly lower at 39 DPM, while NY State has 1,063 or 28 times more than California. So, regional differences require regional solutions.

An example of states restarting their economies include Texas with 20 DPM, South Carolina with 30 DPM, Florida with 47 DPM — they are all fairly low. However, Georgia is the outlier at 85 deaths per million! We hope that Govenor Kemp has made the right decision!

Random antibody testing in New York suggested that 14-21% of people were COVID-19 positive. This means that in the highest testing State of New York, 10-times more people are infected than now known, and the fatality rate is roughly 10 times less, about 0.5%.

The Importance of Pre-existing Conditions:

For the few people that have experienced severe disease and subsequently died, the importance of pre-existing conditions is illustrated below. It is rare to die of COVID-19 without pre-existing conditions.

  • According to the JAMA article “Presenting Characteristics, Comorbidities, and Outcomes Among 5,700 Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19 in the New York City Area,” 88% of 5,700 patients hospitalized patients in NYC had greater than one comorbid condition, and half of them had four or more (the highest numbers are with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity); 84% NEVER smoked; only 9% had asthma; and 5% had COPD.
  • This virus does not target patients with pre-existing lung problems, but rather those with pre-existing tendencies towards inflammation.
  • The way the virus enters the body via the ACE-2 receptor explains all of this and gives us our main lesson: THE BEST WAY TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE, ANY FUTURE, IS TO FOCUS ON US, THE HOSTS, NOT THE VIRUS!!!

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About Ahvie Herskowitz, MD

Dr. Herskowitz’s extensive training includes a medical degree from The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, residencies in Anatomic Pathology and Internal Medicine, and Fellowship training in Cardiology at The Johns Hopkins Medical Center. During his 12 years at Johns Hopkins, he became Associate Professor of Medicine and Immunology and Molecular Microbiology and led a research team in the study of molecular and immunological mechanisms of inflammation, autoimmunity, ischemia, heart transplantation rejection and congestive heart failure.

Dr. Herskowitz’s latest academic appointment was as Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco. To learn more about Dr. Herskowitz, you can read it bio here.


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