Ask a NY paramedic how we’re doing

Feel the rage.

Some of us can’t stop thinking about it. I woke up this morning to about 60 new text messages from paramedics who are barely holding it together. Some are still sick with the virus. At one point we had 25 percent of EMTs in the city out sick. Others are living in their cars so they don’t risk bringing it home to their families. They’re depressed. They’re emotionally exhausted. They’re drinking too much. They’re lashing out at their kids. They’re having night terrors and panic attacks and all kinds of outbursts. I’ve got five paramedics in the ground from this virus already and a few more on ventilators. Another rookie EMT just committed suicide. He was having trouble coping with what he was seeing. He was a kid — 23 years old. He won’t be the last. I have medics who come to me every day and say, “Is this PTSD I’m feeling?” But technically PTSD comes after the event, and we’re not there yet. It’s ongoing stress and trauma, and we might have months to go.

Do you know how much EMTs make in New York City? We start at $35,000. We top out at $48,000 after five years. That’s nothing. That’s a middle finger. It’s about 40 percent less than fire, police and corrections — and those guys deserve what they get. But we have three times the call volume of fire. There are EMTs on my team who’ve been pulling double shifts in a pandemic and performing life support for 16 hours, and then they go home and they have to drive Uber to pay their rent. I’m more than 15 years on the job, and I still work two side gigs. One of my guys does part-time at a grocery store.

Heroes, right? The anger is blinding.

One thing this pandemic has made clear to me is that our country has become a joke in terms of how it disregards working people and poor people. The rampant inequality. The racism. Mistakes were made at the very top in terms of how we prepared for this virus, and we paid down here at the bottom.

Remember that when some asshat tries to tell you that capitalism is meritocratic. How much do Wall Street bankers get paid? How many lives do they save?


  1. raven says

    Scientists just beginning to understand the many health problems caused by COVID-19
    Reuters June 26, 2020 Julie Steenhuysen

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts.

    Besides the respiratory issues that leave patients gasping for breath, the virus that causes COVID-19 attacks many organ systems, in some cases causing catastrophic damage.

    “We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” said Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.

    I’ll put this here because it is relevant.

    The Covid-19 virus is like polio.
    A few deaths, a lot of asymptomatic cases, and a large number of people with permanent disabilities.
    The main targets are lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain.
    These patients are going to need followup care and rehab for years at the least.

    The number of maimed isn’t too well established yet, but 16% of cases is a reasonable estimate.

  2. raven says

    Guardian June 26,
    US coronavirus cases hit new one-day high as states backtrack on reopening

    Experts say there’s evidence Covid-19 is making a comeback, including rising deaths and hospitalizations in parts of the US

    The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the US hit an all-time high of 40,000 Thursday, according to figures released by Johns Hopkins on Friday, eclipsing the mark first set during one of the deadliest stretches in late April.

    The USA hit an all time record for Covid-19 cases yesterday.
    Says it all.

    The federal government didn’t do much of anything to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Then in early June, the feds got bored with it and just decided the pandemic and all those sick and dead people weren’t worth dealing with.

    We are paying the price for that incompetence and inaction, right now.
    They want to bring the economy back to normal.
    It’s looking like you can’t have a healthy economy and a raging pandemic at the same time.

    There is no end in sight either.
    People are saying maybe things will be different in 2021.
    Why 2021?
    No real reason except hope, mostly because we have no idea what 2021 will be like right now.

  3. wzrd1 says

    PTSD can be prevented if one looks for acute, or worse, chronic stress reaction. If addressed early on, recovery without sequelae is highly probable. It requires superiors to know the signs and immediately pull the injured worker from “the trenches”, assign light duties as close as possible to where they normally operate while they are treated by a competent mental health care professional and one mandatory prescription is plenty of rest and decompression time.

    I had one of my subordinates suffer from an acute stress reaction. He arrived to the unit three hours late and we were ready to move out to the field for training. Rescheduling training was only authorized by brigade or higher due to abuse of call outs. I was fuming over such tardiness, each man is needed to load our battalion aid station and have it ready to hit the ground rolling!
    He was in my office, as I was about to begin with a “What in the hell were you thinking coming in so damned late, you nearly missed movement”, I got out Wwh and went silent.
    A normally jovial, energetic young man, with a touch of rebelliousness was utterly silent, so silent I was looking for signs of respiration! Stone silent, fixed gaze upon the distance I knew not what.
    Shit, this looks like an acute stress reaction, whatever I do next if I’m right could get him back to normal or fuck him up for life!
    So, what happened that made you so late? Didn’t address nearly missing movement, that’d add stress, as missing movement is a very serious offense. I was also aware that he was a volunteer EMT, doing much the same at a more advanced level with the USAR.
    He related that he was on his way, on time, when his alert radio alerted him of a motor vehicle accident, woman and child involved. As it was on his way in and he had time, he responded.
    Motor vehicle rollover, which is nightmare inducing to begin with, mother in shock with no apparent injuries was covered with blood. Turned out to be psychogenic shock, as he noticed in the middle of the intersection a small object.
    Baby wasn’t secured in a baby seat and with the initial impact with the pole, continued to move forward, impacting the windshield, the head proceeding on to land in the middle of the intersection as the vehicle had swung around from the off center impact.
    I summoned one of my peer NCO’s and told him to watch him, try to keep him talking, keep it light and soft, stress reaction. I went upstairs to the personnel office and violated at least a half dozen regulations, found his 201 file (personnel file for military), found his station chief’s number and called him, advising of the severity of mental health crisis that was ongoing.
    The chief couldn’t come out to the unit, as he was on alert rotation, but at home. I took down his address, then violated a few more regulations by picking my junior medic up in tow, drove him to the chief’s home to copious thanks.
    Got a letter from him thanking me, he was in extremely bad condition, but was recovering.
    Two months later, he reported for duty none the worse for wear.
    That call would’ve fucked me up too, it’d fuck anyone normal up. That’s why departments retain a mental health care professional on an on call basis.
    And a good commander or supervisor knows to take care of his people.

  4. davidc1 says

    Sometimes i wish there was a hell so twats like bojo and the snatch snatcher could rot there forever ,same with all tories and repubs .bojo wants the UK to get back to normal on the 4th of July the true number of deaths over here is around 50,000 .

  5. says

    I truly envy those who were locked down and laid off. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since March. The nightmares have been very intense. For me this only stops when the virus is gone and that’s not going to happen if these asshats continue to ignore social distancing and refuse to wear a damn mask. JUST FUCKING DO IT!

    I’m god awful tired every day and we’re headed straight for the shittiest part of this epidemic. Where is the testing and tracking we were promised? Trump just stood on a stage, said “We flattened the curve, it’s all over”, and walked away and ignored the rest of the job. Not surprised, but very angry.

  6. says

    Damn. That’s sounding like Combat Stress Reaction alright.
    What wzrd1 said above is correct. Rapid response, coupled with supportive peers and supervisors can make a huge difference. Obviously you’d want professional counselling to go with that but even if that’s not available (I image the counsellors are just as overwhelmed as EMTs) just some basic empathy can work wonders and mitigate a lot of harm down the road.
    My tour in Afghanistan (Canadian Forces) there was a heavy emphasis on providing support for psych casualties. Even then a lot of people were coming back in bad shape. I wasn’t even in the top 50% and I had a sudden bout of psychosomatic nausea during decompression leave, followed by basically not sleeping for four days straight. And I was (by far) one of the lucky ones.
    I can’t imagine what the EMTs are going through right now. If there isn’t psychiatric help getting PUSHED to them it’s going to be an absolute nightmare that’s only going to get worse.
    Just the thought of it all…
    …it’s monstrously negligent.

    Also, what wzrd1 did was exactly right. Follow procedures when they work, but if they don’t, then throw the book out the window and get the casualty help NOW. Better to get a blast of shit from higher because you failed to get permission, than to live with the knowledge that you could have helped, but didn’t.

  7. A. Feesh says

    I don’t wish what they’re going through on rural America, but I just had a former coworker say, “The virus will go away as soon as the election is over.” sigh

  8. says

    We must acknowledge the reality of this disease where I work. I’m wondering how much longer before the conspiracy asshats come out of the woodwork. How much longer before they start sounding like the flerfs. It’s inevitable before they start denying the actual casualty reports. They want to live in a fantasy land. A land where C-19 is a conspiracy. Those of us in reality are fucked as long as they continue this delusion.

  9. KG says

    the true number of deaths over here is around 50,000. – davic1@4

    More like 65,000 – that’s the figure of excess deaths (excess over those expected over the period the epidemic has been in progress), which is considered by medical statisticians to be the best measure of the actual death toll. Almost 1 in 1000 of the UK population. The USA still has a long way to go to match that – although I haven’t seen excess deaths figures for the USA. The UK figure also gives us a lower limit for the IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) for the virus, in a rich country with universal health care (which has at no stage been overwhelmed in terms of intensive care beds or ventilators) but quite an elderly population: even if everyone in the country has been infected (antibody tests still come out positive in well under 10%, but not everyone who’s been infected develops detectable antibodies), the IFR is no lower than 0.1%. And of course the number of survivors with permanent organ damage is likely to be several times the death toll.

  10. says

    @#8, Ray Ceeya:

    They’ve been doing that all along, to one degree or another, but the more worrisome trend is for the people in charge to fiddle with the numbers in order to pretend things are getting better.

    Russia famously denied that there were any significant numbers of COVID-19 cases for a very long time, and is still suspected of underreporting. The government of the UK has deliberately been fudging the numbers — sometimes outright lying about them in public briefings, at which they have repeatedly been caught, and sometimes playing games such as pretending that deaths in care homes are not part of the overall statistic in order to lower the numbers by a large chunk at a time.

    Rebekah Jones, the woman who was fired from the Florida Department of Health after she refused to help them fiddle the numbers, reports that her contacts in the department are saying the orders are coming down not only to stop reporting deaths but to actively alter the counts in order to justify re-opening the state. (See her three Twitter threads from June 23 beginning with the word “Breaking” here.)

    And that, of course, is merely one state’s localized fiddling — as the NY Times reported some time ago deaths reported from COVID-19 are significantly less than the excess number of deaths over the statistical average, meaning that the numbers are pretty certainly being fudged, or at least not properly reported, on a wider basis. The states pushing for re-opening are all seeing massive surges in deaths with “not otherwise specified” cause (i.e. mystery causes) — so much so that there are approximately six times as many mystery deaths in the latest week of the year for which the CDC has complete data as there were in the same week last year (6067 deaths in week 23 of 2020 vs. 1095 in week 23 of 2019; it’s R00-R99 in the list of options if you use the visualizer). As somebody else has pointed out: this doesn’t actually help make the case that those states should reopen, because something is killing 5000 extra people each week and if it isn’t coronavirus it’s something else we know nothing whatsoever about!

  11. dianne says

    The thing I find most disturbing about the CDC data: It’s clear that the recent data are incomplete. Look at the row for malignancies. Deaths due to malignancy are pretty constant, at about 11K/week, so they can be used as a marker of data completeness. Thea last value that is >11K is 4/25/20, so that’s the last week with even arguably complete data. It’s probably not quite complete, but close enough for this purpose. By 5/30 (third to last week reported), the data are really incomplete, with malignant death about 1/5 to 1/3 decreased from its probable true value*. The other categories reflect similar decreases in the last 3 weeks reported–except signs and symptoms, which increase steadily up to 6/13, which is clearly very incomplete. The absolute value at the week of 6/6 is roughly 3K. Prior to 2020, the average number of cases of signs and symptoms being listed as COD was about 600/week so this number, which is still an undercount of roughly 1/3 of the true value, is already 5X the usual value for this time of year. These are almost certainly covid related deaths that are not being counted–and they are outnumbering the documented covid cases. This is…bad.

    It looks to me like there might be an increase in cerebrovascular and cardiac deaths as well, though I’d have to run some statistics on that to make sure it’s not my imagination.

    *It’s possible that deaths due to malignancy are decreasing because people with cancer are dying of covid first, but I certainly hope not to that extent and prior weeks suggest that the effect is not that great, maybe a 10% effect overall.

  12. John Morales says

    dianne, quite likely there are indirect effects, such as decreased access to medical diagnoses or treatment due to restrictions. And, of course, it’s the USA, so if one has no insurance…

  13. dianne says

    @12: True, but I don’t think that accounts for the specific rise in signs and symptoms. Some of them might be due to lack of diagnosis due to not going to the hospital either because of concern about COVID or concern about the bill, but deaths that occur in the home in a person not under medical care are, at least in principle, ME cases and should result in autopsies, so that would lead to higher rates of death due to heart disease, stroke, etc more than to signs and symptoms with no diagnosis. Unfortunately, the chart doesn’t break down by place of death, so it’s hard to say for sure. I do note that the increase in s/sx deaths appears to be greater in states that are reopening aggressively (Florida, Texas) compared with those that aren’t (NY, NJ).

  14. davidc1 says

    @9 Thanks for the reply ,and with all those dickheads heading for the coast such as occurred during this past week ,plus all the illegal gathering that have been happening ,i think 100.000 will be the final total .

  15. markme says

    I’ve heard it explanned that there might be a lot more cases than reported with most of them non symptomatic and unreported. This might create some herd immunity and a peak in deaths. Not sure thought, it’s still too early to say.
    But what is clear is they are pooh poohing effective treatments to either drag this on longer, or to promote their darling remdesivir. Hydroxychloroquine seems to have great results but it is politically shunned.
    And one cannot really blame the social inequity on capitalism. Of course “capitalism” is a dynamic that has factored in but the reality is much more complex than the bone headed one dimensional slider scale between socialism on the left and capitalism on the right. One could just as easily argue that this is the effects of socialism since Wall Street has now merged with the government.

  16. dianne says

    Markme@15: Hydroxychloroquine seems to have great results but it is politically shunned.

    What? HCQ failed several trials in mild, moderate, and severe disease and as prophylaxis. And it’s still being used in multiple ongoing clinical trials. And it had DJT behind it. (Not to mention Novartis). How was it “politically shunned”?

  17. markme says

    From what I understand we have not had a proper study behind it, they are all critically flawed. It is now banned from use in treating Covid 19 in most countries. I’m interested in seeing the trials you mention, do you have links?

    Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that it is highly effective as prophylaxis and during early stages of the disease. For example, thousands of Indian police officers were given the option of taking HCQ. About half took it and half declined. Those that took it had much better results. There are lots of accounts of this kind of effect.

  18. markme says

    “And it’s still being used in multiple ongoing clinical trials.”
    So why is it taking so long? I think the idea of using HCQ against Covid first came up way back at the beginning, probably back in Feb / March or earlier. How long does a properly executed clinical trial take? A month maximum to get some real results? This should have been done and dusted by now; written up in the history books. It isn’t rocket science. It’s a simple question: you give HCQ along with some other recommended substances like zinc, Vitamin C etc. to a few groups: the general public, newly infected, and those with further progressed stages of the disease. Then a month later you compare the rates of infection, hospitalisation, serious illness and death in those groups. Bam, done. Instead it’s being dragged out month after month.

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    markme @17, an NIH press release that states:

    The Outcomes Related to COVID-19 treated with hydroxychloroblockblockquoteuoteuine among In-patients with symptomatic Disease study, or ORCHID Study, was being conducted by the Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Clinical Trials Network of NHLBI. The data from this study indicate that this drug provided no additional benefit compared to placebo control for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

    The plural of anecdote is not data. Homeopathy relies in anedotes, but controlled studies show it is ineffective.

    After assessing more than 1,800 studies on homeopathy, Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council was only able to find 225 that were rigorous enough to analyze. And a systematic review of these studies revealed “no good blockquoteuality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating health conditions.”

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    mrkme@18How long does a properly executed clinical trial take?Link Synopsis: From several months for phase 1 to several years for phase 3.

  21. markme says

    What does this have to do with homeopathy? Of course it doesn’t work.

    “From several months for phase 1 to several years for phase 3.”
    If that’s the case then why are any doctors treating anyone with any drugs, since that apparently isn’t enough time to get some usable data. Why is it that these other drugs get the A OK green light despite not being “properly tested” but HCQ gets the big N O?

  22. markme says

    Your NIH link doesn’t seem to work. From your quote this seems to be one of the studies that gave it to advanced cases in hospitals. I think the whole point here is that proponents of HCQ aren’t suggesting that it is effective in such cases, and that it is better suited for use as prophylaxis and in early stages of the disease.

  23. markme says

    I searched and found the proper link you provided above:

    From that link, “A data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) met late Friday and determined that while there was no harm, the study drug was very unlikely to be beneficial to hospitalized patients with COVID-19. After its fourth interim analysis the DSMB, which regularly monitors the trial, recommended to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH, to stop the study.”

    So they admit that there was no safety risk from the drug in this study. This is a far cry from all the media hype about it causing sudden death. And it has been previously prescribed millions of times for malaria so I fail to see how setting it free into the general population is risky, especially compared with all the deaths we are seeing from Covid.

  24. dianne says

    So why is it taking so long?

    Probably because it’s neither working nor doing a lot of harm. The trials aren’t being stopped early for clear improvement in one arm and aren’t being stopped for toxicity. Some might be being stopped for futility.

    In answer to your earlier question, a couple of examples (by no means comprehensive):

    An observational study

    A randomized prophylaxis study

    A randomized treatment protocol.

    If you have any specific issues with the methods, results, or conclusions, please present them.

  25. dianne says

    @Markme 23: The quote you provided shows no benefit to giving hydroxychloroquine. The trial was stopped for futility. Note that patients on a clinical trial cannot receive other experimental treatment at the same time. Thus, stopping the HCQ trial frees patients to go on trials of medications that might be more useful. It also frees up HCQ to be used in conditions where it dose work like SLE and malaria. Why would the trial continue at that point?

  26. consciousness razor says

    an assortment of ideas from markme:

    But what is clear is they are pooh poohing effective treatments to either drag this on longer, or to promote their darling remdesivir. Hydroxychloroquine seems to have great results but it is politically shunned.

    From what I understand we have not had a proper study behind it, they are all critically flawed. It is now banned from use in treating Covid 19 in most countries. I’m interested in seeing the trials you mention, do you have links?

    So they admit that there was no safety risk from the drug in this study. This is a far cry from all the media hype about it causing sudden death. And it has been previously prescribed millions of times for malaria so I fail to see how setting it free into the general population is risky, especially compared with all the deaths we are seeing from Covid.

    It’s not clear that it’s effective treatment, much less that it has great results. There have been studies, flawed or not. And when you actually get one, you have no trouble immediately accepting what it apparently says about the risks, as it’s something you wanted to hear. Yet they don’t recommend a non-effective treatment, which also promptly reject. That brings us back to where we started, but now effectiveness is no longer a criterion you care about.

    There’s also no risk to the patient if they’re told to sacrifice a goat to cure themselves of the virus. (The goat faces more risk, however.) Have you considered that? It won’t work, but compared to all of the deaths we are seeing from Covid … no, never mind, that was going to be pure bullshit.

    Anyway, it may be that wasting time, money, resources, etc., giving seriously ill people a dubious treatment (“setting it free” as you put it) will bring risks of its own, independently of the effects of the drug itself. If we put that much into giving people a Flintstones chewable instead, I would expect a higher casualty rate then as well, and it’s not because of what’s in the vitamin. That does harm, and my understanding is that first they do no harm.

  27. consciousness razor says

    And yeah, malaria is definitely still a thing. If those patients need it and you don’t, then in my mind that pretty much settles it.

  28. dianne says

    Consciousness razor @26: Good point: You can’t say that a study is reliable for safety but fatally flawed for efficacy…at least not without explaining what the flaws in question that made one unreliable were. In general, it’s harder to prove safety signals, since the studies aren’t powered to show differences in, say, QT prolongation, but are powered to show efficacy. At least, one hopes they are.

  29. dianne says

    Mark@23: And it has been previously prescribed millions of times for malaria so I fail to see how setting it free into the general population is risky, especially compared with all the deaths we are seeing from Covid.

    Millions of people have been prescribed cis-platin for cancer. Does that mean that it’s not a risky drug and that it would be reasonable to try treating people with COVID or Lou Gehrig’s disease or Alzheimers? Those are all nasty diseases with no curative treatment (in some cases no treatment at all). Might as well give them a random drug, right?

    Any drug has risks. Use of a given drug is justifiable only when there is reason to believe the benefits of giving it outweigh the risk. If the benefit-risk ratio is unclear, it should be given in the context of a clinical trial. That’s the point of a clinical trial. HCQ was given on clinical trials and is still given on clinical trials. But there’s no evidence that using it is helpful and so giving it to unmonitored patients isn’t helpful or safe. See the difference?

  30. markme says

    “If you have any specific issues with the methods, results, or conclusions, please present them.”
    Your first and third links are for studies dosing HCQ to advanced Covid cases in hospital, which I have said several times is not relevant since the effectiveness of HCQ seems to occur earlier in the infection or before initial infection. In more advanced cases, other treatments should be used.

    Your second link is more in line with what I was asking for since it investigates HCQ treatment before the onset of serious illness. However there are several problems with it. Firstly, they only administered HCQ sulphate. There are other prescriptions that should go along with it: the “Math+ protocol” which includes HCQ (antiviral), zinc (demonstrated synergist to antiviral drugs), Vitamin C (anti-oxidant), Methylprednisolone (steroid to mute the body’s cytokine storm immune response which is what actually causes so much damage), Heparin (anti-coagulant since Covid-19 is actually a blood clotting disease which is why people have such problems in their lungs), along with Vitamin D.

    Since it seems that Covid 19 infection often (most of the time??) goes several days asymptomatically before presenting itself, by this time it’s already well established in the body and the anti-viral effects of HCQ would be less effective. In this case, the body’s immune overreaction is what presents the symptoms, not the viral infection, and since no other drugs were administered along with HCQ in this trial, it stands to reasons that taking HCQ by itself was “too late” to hold back the virus. Since this study looked at health care workers who already had a high likelihood of infection at the beginning, many of the positive cases in this study could have already been well on their way even though no symptoms were present. And the results did show a higher rate of “Covid illness” for the placebo group (58 vs. 48).

    This is probably why the anecdotal data from the Indian police officer situation suggests contrary results to this study — since it was administered to the “general population” (yes, I know police officers aren’t exactly the general population but close enough), the vast majority of which were not infected at the beginning of the trial, so HCQ had effective anti-viral effects for those who did end up exposed to it. So as I said before, a proper trial should provide HCQ along with all those other drugs to a larger section of the general population, with very low initial infection rate.

    Chris Martenson thoroughly critiques this study at around 7:40 of this video

  31. markme says

    “Any drug has risks. Use of a given drug is justifiable only when there is reason to believe the benefits of giving it outweigh the risk. If the benefit-risk ratio is unclear, it should be given in the context of a clinical trial. That’s the point of a clinical trial. HCQ was given on clinical trials and is still given on clinical trials. But there’s no evidence that using it is helpful and so giving it to unmonitored patients isn’t helpful or safe. See the difference?”

    There is lots of anecdotal evidence that HCQ works. So let’s get on with some trials that investigate it properly. It will only take a few weeks to get results.

    The risks from HCQ-related drugs concern QT interval prolongation which may lead to sudden death via heart failure. However, HCQ has been prescribed millions of times to travellers who then took off into the boonies of the third world (where medical treatment is poor) to self administer. The risk of sudden death is very low.

    See Page 19 of the WHO report showing 0 sudden deaths attributable to Chloroquine, out of 23,773 participants in malaria treatment trials. And on Page 20, “no deaths were reported among 11 848 participants receiving chloroquine for vivax malaria”.

    So… even in people suffering from malaria, there were zero drug-caused deaths out of 35,000 participants.

    And on Page 9, “Hundreds of metric tonnes of chloroquine have been dispensed annually since the 1950s, making
    chloroquine one of the most widely used drugs in humans. ”

    So it doesn’t sound like HCQ is all that dangerous, especially since HCQ is a milder version of Chloroquine.

    @consciousness razor: ” If those patients need it and you don’t, then in my mind that pretty much settles it.”

    Are we not capable of cranking up production of HCQ to provide it to everyone?

  32. markme says

    Those symptoms sound like what they tell you about on those funny drug commercials on American TV. They show someone blissfully prancing through fields of flowers and enjoying all the good things in life that the drug will provide. Meanwhile at the same time the narrator is telling you about all the bad things the drug may do, including horrible death from a variety of causes. Yet they’re trying to sell you the drug… lol

    The bad effects of Covid are pretty ugly too.

    The CDC says: “Hydroxychloroquine is a relatively well tolerated medicine. The most common adverse reactions reported are stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache. These side effects can often be lessened by taking hydroxychloroquine with food. Hydroxychloroquine may also cause itching in some people.”

    “Some other drugs can interact with hydroxychloroquine and cause problems. Your doctor is responsible for evaluating the other medicines you are taking to ensure that there are no harmful interactions between them and hydroxychloroquine. In some instances, medicines can be adjusted to minimize the interaction. You can also ask your pharmacist to check for drug interactions.”

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You didn’t refute what I said. The drug would never OTC. Just by prescription, and any doctor prescribing the drug to me to combat covid would be fired on the spot. No conclusively proven efficacy. Too many interactions True Believer™.

  34. logicalcat says

    This EMT also feels the rage and dissapointment. Number of cases are definitely on the rise. Im transporting way more cases. And do so making less than 25k a year.

  35. wzrd1 says

    @dianne, the virus seems to randomly attack various systems, with no clear progression, it’s hitting parts of the CNS that have ACE2 receptors, then it’s the kidneys, then it’s the heart, then it’s the gut, the lungs still having their party with the virus.
    Known issues, DIC around the mid-stage of illness, as clotting factors begin to be depleted. Anticoagulants are effective. I’ve yet to hear of anything to prevent kidney damage, but cardiac damage seems to either be limited or catastrophic with no middleground. The spread through the body seems essentially random, rather than something like lungs, GI tract, follow the enteric nervous system to its interface with the CNS and up, so it’s in the blood and whatever cells are susceptible, that’s the next contestant system.
    Convalescent serum is effective, some antivirals are being studied, dexamethasone has helped, suggesting much of the damage very well not be viral insult, but cytokine related.
    As you said, HCQ is rubbish, it’s amazing its lengthening the QT interval didn’t cause deaths, but apparently, patients were lucky. As I said when it was first being Trumped up, after the extremely dubious and retracted study, there is no pathophysiological, nor pharmacological basis for it to work and study after study found that it didn’t work. Amazingly, not even via immune system modulation.
    In the US, prevention via mandatory anything isn’t likely, due to the incompetence of the leadership and fear keeps one party’s governors in check as well, leaving simple things like mask usage mandatory inside of a business spottily enforced at best, unenforced is more common. Even in my state, where mask usage is mandatory per governor orders, around 2/3 of the customers at my local convenience store go in without a mask.
    So, it looks like we’ll get to see how bad bad can get, both here in the US and in Brazil. Once the health system is overwhelmed, we can expect a massive increase in the IFR and R0 looking around 5 – 6, unless I miss my guesstimate.

    Evil Paul @6, yeah, even if it was against orders, we did have standing orders on such cases and once the irate commander realized how bad he was, he thanked me for taking care of my men.
    Those guys would shovel shit with a rusty spoon for me, simply because I’d take the rustiest spoon and shove alongside them. It felt almost like a betrayal to retire, but frankly, it just started to hurt too damned much putting on the vest, LBV, water, radio, mission equipment, ammunition, primary and secondary weapon, helmet, DC-10, butcher, baker and candlestick maker (OK, the last four are a joke, but it does feel like you’re carrying a planet in your pack fairly quickly), so I felt I was more a hindrance than an asset toward the end.
    Take care of your men, they’ll take care of you. Sometimes, that means taking HEAT rounds from one’s commander, but that goes with the rank that’s velcroed on. My replacements were trained in each position I had assumed, long before it was time to move on, which is how it should be.

  36. markme says

    “As you said, HCQ is rubbish, it’s amazing its lengthening the QT interval didn’t cause deaths, but apparently, patients were lucky…. study after study found that it didn’t work.”

    Can you provide a link to one of these studies showing that it didn’t work? I’ve asked and haven’t yet seen a properly implemented study giving the results you claim.

    As for patients being “lucky” taking HCQ, I previously provided links from CDC and WHO for malaria treatment and prevention using HCQ. These reports / datasheets were made before HCQ became politicised via Covid-19 and therefore should be considered to be reasonably accurate. They showed zero deaths out of 35,000 malaria patients taking Chloroquine. The CDC datasheet didn’t even mention the higher risk for heart attacks, saying “Who can take hydroxychloroquine? Hydroxychloroquine can be prescribed to adults and children of all ages. It can also be safely taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers. Who should not take hydroxychloroquine? People with psoriasis should not take hydroxychloroquine.”

    So if you have a skin condition you shouldn’t take HCQ. That’s all they said about it. Can you provide a basis for refuting the CDC’s advice?

    How do you reconcile your “lucky” statement with the fact that HCQ and related drugs have been some of the most widely prescribed drugs for decades, yet we don’t see masses of people dying from heart attacks from them? But now we are to believe that they are dangerous? Something sticks fishy here.

  37. wzrd1 says

    @markme, saw that and my very first thought was that the insurance companies won’t cover it at all.