The Saddest Covid-19 Statistic

“For those of us in public health, it’s nothing short of amazing,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, the chief health officer for Seattle and King County, told me the other day. I had called Duchin to ask about a startling claim he made recently. At a weekly health briefing, he offhandedly remarked that of King County’s recent COVID-19 cases, 97% had occurred in unvaccinated people. It effectively meant the only people still catching coronavirus here in King County are people who haven’t gotten the shots. It also means the disease that just a few months ago threatened the entire nation is now almost exclusively circulating among a shrinking few.

“We’re getting to the point where it’s a tale of two societies,” says Dr. Umair Shah, the state health secretary.Shah reported this past week that unvaccinated people between ages 45 and 64 are now being hospitalized for COVID at rates 21 times higher than the vaccinated.

The ‘two societies’: 97% of new COVID cases are among people who haven’t gotten the shots — https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/the-two-societies-97-of-new-covid-cases-are-among-people-who-havent-gotten-the-shots/#comments

At the Seattle Times website for this article you’ll find over 500 comments. After reading several comments I had to stop. Every comment I read made me sad about all of the things we have gotten wrong during the pandemic. One of the worst things that has happened was the politicization of Covid-19. Sometimes I just wish it would stop.

If for whatever reason you choose to refuse the vaccine I have no interest in debating your decision. I’ll present some facts and we can remain cordial.

More Retirement Income Ahead!

Total individual life insurance policy sales increased 11% in the first quarter, compared with first quarter 2020. This is the highest growth in the number of policies sold in a quarter since 1983. New annualized premium also experienced significant growth, up 15% from prior year, according to LIMRA’s First Quarter U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey.

LIMRA: First Quarter U.S. Life Insurance Policy Sales Highest Since 1983 — https://www.limra.com/en/newsroom/news-releases/2021/limra-first-quarter-u.s.-life-insurance-policy-sales-highest-since-1983/

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson in the film Taken

I had my annual wellness visit earlier this week.

5.10 168 130/84 BMI 24.14 O2 sat 98%

CHOLESTEROL 175 mg/dL
TRIGLYCERIDE 69 mg/dL
HDL 65 mg/dL
LDL CALCULATED 96 mg/dL
NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL 110 mg/dL

All of my other labs were normal too.

I have multiple relatives who have lived well into their 90’s. My maternal grandmother lived to 100. I’m going to need another source of retirement income. And for all of my friends and colleagues who never thought I would make it this far…

AST 23 U/L

ALT 7 U/L

GGT 36 U/L (12/2015)

PSA 0.7 (9/2020)

Obvious but not Proven – PCOS and Covid-19

Roach’s and Gotluru’s research, published in the March issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, shows the potentially higher risk for PCOS patients comes down to “comorbidities, androgens and lipotoxicity.

“People with PCOS often have higher levels of and sensitivity to androgens, male sex hormones. This could “potentially directly affect the susceptibility to COVID-19,” Roach and Gotluru wrote. Androgens work as a “gateway,” in very simple terms, to let in Covid-19, Roach says.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/23/health/women-covid-pcos-high-risk/index.html — The women possibly at higher risk for Covid-19 that no one is talking about

Many thanks to Ol Red Hair for directing my attention to this article.

The Bottom Line – Got PCOS? Get vaccinated.

Type 2 Diabetes Risk and…Sardines?

Older people with prediabetes who followed a diet rich in sardines for 1 year show significant reductions in risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those placed on a similarly healthy diet but without the sardines, results from a new randomized trial show.

 “A 1-year, sardine-enriched type 2 diabetes-preventive diet in an elderly population with prediabetes exerts a greater protective effect against developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events, by improving anthropometric parameters, blood chemistry profile, lipid composition in erythrocytes membranes, and metabolomics data,” report the authors in research published in Clinical Nutrition by Diana Díaz-Rizzolo, PhD, of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues.

Sardines Linked to Reduced Type 2 Diabetes Risk — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/951528?src=rss#vp_1

Very small study with very interesting findings.

If I only liked sardines.

New Source For Jet Fuel



Researchers have developed an innovative way to convert plastics to ingredients for jet fuel and other valuable products, making it easier and more cost effective to reuse plastics. The researchers in their reaction were able to convert 90% of plastic to jet fuel and other valuable hydrocarbon products within an hour at moderate temperatures and to easily fine-tune the process to create the products that they want.

Washington State University. “New technology converts waste plastics to jet fuel in an hour.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210517124937.htm (accessed May 18, 2021).

Yeah I know this has absolutely nothing to do with mortality risk but it was SO COOL I had to post it.

Eating Leafy Green Vegetables (just a wee bit) Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Researchers examined data from over 50,000 people residing in Denmark taking part in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study over a 23-year period. They found that people who consumed the most nitrate-rich vegetables had about a 2.5 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and between 12 to 26 percent lower risk of heart disease.

Lead researcher Dr Catherine Bondonno from ECU’s Institute for Nutrition Research said identifying diets to prevent heart disease was a priority.

“Our results have shown that by simply eating one cup of raw (or half a cup of cooked) nitrate-rich vegetables each day, people may be able to significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease,” Dr Bondonno said.

Edith Cowan University. “One cup of leafy green vegetables a day lowers risk of heart disease.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210504112604.htm (accessed May 9, 2021).

One cup raw or a half cup cooked daily. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t leafy greens on a daily basis. But now since my awareness level is higher I simply need to try harder.

I love spinach.

I don’t understand kale at all.

I have a package of organic baby bok choy leaves in the fridge which I actually bought before I read this article.

I wonder if parsley counts?

Alcohol (just a wee bit) Lowers CVD Mortality Risk

Moderate alcohol intake – defined as no more than one alcoholic drink for women and two for men per day – may be associated with a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease when compared with individuals who abstain from drinking or partake in excessive drinking, according to a new study. Of the 53,064 participants, 7,905 (15%) experienced a major adverse cardiovascular event: 17% in the low alcohol intake group and 13% in the moderate alcohol intake group. People who reported moderate alcohol intake were found to have a 20% lower chance of having a major event compared to low alcohol intake (in adjusted analysis), and also had lower stress-related brain activity. Kenechukwu Mezue, MD, the study’s lead author, cautions that these findings should not encourage alcohol use, but that they could open doors to new therapeutics or prescribing stress-relieving activities like exercise or yoga to help minimize stress signals in the brain.

SOURCE: American College of Cardiology, news release, May 6, 2021 accessed 05.08.21 — https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2021/05/05/14/48/new-acc-21-research-explores-flu-vaccines-sleep-htn-secondhand-smoke-alcohol-and-stress-acc-2021

My liver understands but does not necessarily agree with the findings of this study.

Third Places and Spaces

The term “third place” was first dubbed by Ray Oldenburg, a world-renowned sociologist who wrote The Great Good Place in 1989. In his book, which was a direct response to the privatization of home life that came with the increase in suburb growth, he claimed that if our homes were the “first” place, and our offices the “second” place, then the “third” place was most everything in between- or the more informal places where community gatherings would occur. These spaces are easily accessible by all and serve as anchors to modern society.

The Future Workspace That Isn’t the Workplace — https://www.archdaily.com/960896/the-future-workspace-that-isnt-the-workplace?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=webfeeds&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ArchDaily+%28ArchDaily%29

A nice look at the future of work from Kaley Overstreet. Kaley has a B.S. in Architecture and Master of Architecture from Ohio State Knowlton School and is a Senior Contributor at ArchDaily. Third spaces and places have been happening for some time. The pandemic merely accelerates the trend.

How will your workforce work?

Covid-19 and Young Adults – You Are Not Invincible (a gentle reminder)

Whistler recorded 1,120 COVID-19 cases from the beginning of January to March 28, with 218 of them last week alone, driven by the P.1 variant most commonly associated with Brazil. The majority of cases – 83.2 per cent – are in people aged 20 to 39.

Variant that forced B.C. ski resort shut is rapidly spreading, sending more young people to hospital — https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-covid-19-variant-spreading-rapidly-in-bc/

Young adults age 18 to 34 years hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced substantial rates of adverse outcomes: 21% required intensive care, 10% required mechanical ventilation, and 2.7% died. This in-hospital mortality rate is lower than that reported for older adults with COVID-19, but approximately double that of young adults with acute myocardial infarction.4 Morbid obesity, hypertension, and diabetes were common and associated with greater risks of adverse events. Young adults with more than 1 of these conditions faced risks comparable with those observed in middle-aged adults without them. More than half of these patients requiring hospitalization were Black or Hispanic, consistent with prior findings of disproportionate illness severity in these demographic groups.5,6

Clinical Outcomes in Young US Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19 — https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2770542

Please get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible. This is a gentle reminder before I start getting a bit harsher with my messaging.

Covid-19 and Young Adults – You Are Not Invincible

Nice map from WAPO. Dr. Gandhi’s bird app post caught my eye. But for all you youngsters reading this it ain’t just Michigan.

Young adults age 18 to 34 years hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced substantial rates of adverse outcomes: 21% required intensive care, 10% required mechanical ventilation, and 2.7% died. This in-hospital mortality rate is lower than that reported for older adults with COVID-19, but approximately double that of young adults with acute myocardial infarction.4 Morbid obesity, hypertension, and diabetes were common and associated with greater risks of adverse events. Young adults with more than 1 of these conditions faced risks comparable with those observed in middle-aged adults without them. More than half of these patients requiring hospitalization were Black or Hispanic, consistent with prior findings of disproportionate illness severity in these demographic groups.5,6

Clinical Outcomes in Young US Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19 — https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2770542

No politics. No religion. No conspiracies. No bullshit. Please get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible.