When the news initially broke about the Wuhan virus (subsequently named SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it spawns (COVID-19), I became suspicious. The illness reported by the press seemed awfully familiar, but something was missing. So, I did some research and, sure enough, my hunch was right.

I understand why the medical community didn’t tell the whole story. They felt that you and I, average consumers of news, would not understand. They felt that the detail would be too complex. “Keep it simple for the masses”, they reasoned.

As I said, I understand WHY they did it and are CONTINUING to do so, but that doesn’t make it right. Not only are they lying by omission, but they are forfeiting a colossal and precious opportunity, for a global awareness campaign, that would be in the best interest of medicine and the people it serves.

The key point here is that people don’t die from SARS-CoV-2 or the disease it produces, COVID-19. When people become infected with the virus, SARS-CoV-2, they die from an overreaction by their immune systems. These overreactions lead to ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), Septic Shock, then MODS (Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome).

How do I know this? Because I watched ARDS and its consequences nearly kill my wife. Then I wrote a memoir, TWO WEEKS IN WINTER, about what I had learned from the experience.

Please do yourself a favor and watch the first five minutes of the following video from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The entire video is eleven minutes long and informative, but you only need to watch the first five minutes to get the point.

Click to watch video

Now that you’ve listened to an expert, I must ask: Is this the first time you’ve heard someone explain the biomechanics by which the Coronavirus kills? My assumption for most, if not all, of you is that the answer is “Yes”.  That disturbs me and it should disturb you. Let me explain.

No matter how bad this COVID-19 pandemic becomes, it won’t kill nearly as many people as ARDS and its sinister sister, Sepsis, kill each year. Yet which ailment is getting all the attention? Why is that?

Well, I mentioned complexity. I do believe that the medical community doesn’t want to overwhelm the masses. They need to mitigate panic and that is best accomplished by keeping things simple. If COVID-19 is kept simple, the ability to produce a cure will seem likewise. After all, it’s only a virus. People get infected by viruses all the time. Why worry?

Because ARDS is what kills you, not the virus, and medicine doesn’t understand why—why some people’s immune systems overreact and drown their lungs with liquid protein (aka cytokines). If medicine understood ARDS and its pathological cousin, Sepsis (when the blood becomes toxic due to an overreaction by the immune system), finding a vaccine for every viral mutation that manifests would not be so critical, and far more people would be saved.

I don’t know why ARDS and Sepsis are still so relatively unknown to the public though they are responsible for 20% of deaths worldwide. No, that’s not a typo: 1 in every 5 deaths across the globe is due to an overreaction by the immune system resulting in ARDS/Sepsis.

And this doesn’t apply merely to the elderly, ill, and immunocompromised. Evidence suggests that ARDS/Sepsis caused many of the deaths in the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed a disproportionate number of young people. For this virus, a robust immune system may have been a liability rather than an asset. ARDS/Sepsis is also the culprit for many young deaths in the SARS epidemic of 2003, the bird flu of 2008, and the swine flu of 2009. When ARDS put my wife on life support, she was 52, middle-aged, not elderly; and, she had no underlying co-morbidities.

 Could it be that the medical profession does not want the public to know the maladies about which it is ignorant, thus impotent? Perhaps, again, to quell panic?

I don’t know. But I DO know that it makes zero sense to be throwing more research money at illnesses which are far less lethal. Why isn’t ARDS and Sepsis getting the funding it deserves? If it did, further progress would be made towards finding a cure and reducing the panic that the medical community seems so intent on suppressing.


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