We Need to Take Care of the Growing Number of Long-Term COVID-19 Patients

Time – The Coronavirus Brief, August 12, 2020

We are also only starting to get a picture of the hidden toll of long COVID. The most common symptoms are tiredness, shortness of breath, chest tightness and pain, headaches, muscle pain, and heart palpitations. We know from research that this virus is not just a “respiratory virus.” Evidence suggests that it affects the brain, heart, pancreas, skin, thyroid, gut, kidneys and musculoskeletal system. For some people, the symptoms repeatedly come and go. Many people, including physicians with long COVID have been unable to return to work, care for their kids, or even do light exercise. Some patients with long COVID have fallen through the cracks of the medical system, which has generally been slow to acknowledge their suffering, provide support, or even recognize the illness. Stories from online support groups suggest that while some doctors have been empathic, others have been dismissive of patients who still have symptoms many weeks after their positive coronavirus test, labeling them as anxious and not taking their concerns seriously. Such dismissive attitudes might be because health professionals themselves are facing burnout from huge workloads during the pandemic. They may also feel ill equipped to deal with this new chronic illness, since there has been so little published guidance on how it should be treated.

UK: New slogan

Time: The Coronavirus Brief, September 8, 2020

The United Kingdom has an informal new slogan meant to keep people mindful of social distancing and mask wearing: “Don’t kill your gran”. The quote in full came from Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who said on a BBC radio show aimed at young audiences yesterday, “Don’t kill your gran by catching coronavirus and then passing it on.” Hancock—and the nation’s grans—have reason for worry. Three thousand cases were reported on Sept. 6 and again on Sept. 7, a tripling of the 1,000-per-day caseload that held throughout August, and the highest figures since May.

Depression Is Skyrocketing During the Pandemic

Time: The Coronavirus Brief, September 4, 2020

Logically, people were more likely to suffer symptoms of depression during the pandemic if they experienced “COVID-19 stressors,” including losing a job, the death of a loved one or financial distress. People who said they had less than $5,000 in savings were also about 50% more likely to suffer from depression than wealthier people, the researchers found. In keeping with usual demographic trends, women were more likely to experience depression than men, and single people were more likely to experience depression than married couples.

Slavoj Zizek’s ‘Brutal, Dark’ Formula for Saving the World

haaretz.com

We are more and more disoriented. There is a little good news, but at the same time there are new dimensions to the virus, and new variations that might turn out to be more dangerous. We now have this fake return to normal. The really frustrating thing is this lack of basic orientation. It’s the absence of what [the philosopher and literary critic] Fredric Jameson calls ‘cognitive mapping’ – having a general idea of the situation, where it is moving and so on. Our desire to function requires some kind of clear coordinates, but we simply, to a large extent, don’t know where we are.

We Need to Take Care of the Growing Number of Long-Term COVID-19 Patients

Time – The Coronavirus Brief, August 12, 2020

In a newstudy done in Germany, researchers studied the hearts of 100 patients who had recently recovered from COVID-19. The findings were alarming: 78 patients had heart abnormalities, as shown by a special kind of imaging test that shows the heart’s structure (a cardiac MRI), and 60 had myocarditis. These patients were mostly young and previously healthy. Several had just returned from ski trips. While other studies have shown a lower rate of heart problems—for example, a study of 416 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, found that 20% of patients had heart damage during hospitalization—clearly, SARS-CoV-2 commonly damages the heart.

Starlight Memories, Misadventures in Moviemaking

by Dov Fedler, Tafelberg, 2020

I don’t spend much time musing about the future Dad has planned for me. He’s as vague about dentistry as I am passionate about movies. But he insists that dentistry is a career that will provide a guaranteed income and will make me happy. Art is a respectable hobby for a doctor, but artists cannot be respectable. They get consumption and die young, as they do in the opera La Boheme. But Dad has the same aversion everyone has to dentists. He staggers home one day with a towel over his mouth, having had most of his teeth pulled. He spends the next day at home vomiting. Is that what he wants me to do with my life? Not only do I want to be an artist, I want to be cartoonist. What do they die of? Just listen to the word. Cartoon. How can you take such a word seriously? It rhymes with baboon and balloon. It’s a nonsense best forgotten. That it is not a career for a Jewish boy … When I am older, Dad is certain, good sense will make me want to be a dentist.

Om te stol tot gladde, glinsteremde pêrels

deur Daniel Hugo, Beeld, Maandag 16 Maart 2020

Die letterkunde is ʼn outydse koninkryk met sy eie adelstand wat hier en daar ʼn hofnar en ʼn towenaar duld. Maar dit is beslis nie ʼn sosialistiese welsynstaat nie.

Swartskaap

deur Odette Schoeman, Kwela Boeke, 2009

Tannie Erna het haarself op ʼn Maandag geskiet. In haar bad, drie weke voor die skool gesluit het vir die Desembervakansie. Die nuus het tweede pouse soos ʼn veldbrand deur die skool getrek.

Death Flight: Apartheid’s Secret Doctrine of Disappearance

by Michael Schmidt, Tafelberg, 2020

The experience of having to strangle the detainees to death had been, he said, “very traumatic. That wasn’t the way I preferred to see my enemy go. It was for me totally unacceptable . . . and it is the last that we ever used it to [kill] people.” This traumatic series of intimately brutal killings outraged both Theron and Kriel, who later strongly recommended that the anaesthetics and/or poisons used were properly effective.

Starlight Memories, Misadventures in Moviemaking

by Dov Fedler, Tafelberg, 2020

I come to the audition like I am wearing a pair of Elton John’s sparkly specs. I see nothing. Reality has left the building. My expectation is of a hall, nay an auditorium, with hundreds of hopefuls lining up outside, waiting to be discovered, while I sit like a Caesar, passing sentence from a plush front-row seat. The auditions for Timer Joe Part 3 are held in a space that has standing room for fewer than ten people. It is the front of Moe’s movie-hire shop, too small to even call a lobby. It is a space divided by a counter. The twenty or so applicants spill out onto the pavement. It is like a school assembly. All that these people have had to do is show up, mumble ‘Present!’, get ticked off on the list and depart. In little or no time, it is over. They are officially featured actors … This is not the group’s first such audition. Mine is the only unfamiliar face. I suspect that they were all here for TJ 1 and 2. I look at the checklist I am ready for this. Like it or not, I have my players.