Get your life back on track.

You don’t have to live with chronic pain. If you want results rather than endless treatments, then schedule a free initial phone consultation by clicking “Help me, Dr. Doug!” and filling out our brief questionnaire.

facebook feed

Our weekend briefing:

*What is a Covid-19 "case" for CDC public reporting purposes?

Answer: A confirmed OR "probable" case of Covid-19.

**What is a COVID-19 probable case?

Answer: A "probable case" meets one of the following (3) criteria:

1) Meeting clinical criteria AND epidemiologic evidence with NO confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19.

2) Meeting presumptive laboratory evidence AND either clinical criteria OR epidemiologic evidence.

3) Meeting vital records criteria with NO confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19.

So, here we go:

The population of Contra Costa County is currently reported to be 1.14 million people.

As of May 24, 2020 there have been:

1) 29,667 county residents TESTED for the SARS-CoV-2 virus since testing began. (+6,950 more people tested since last week)

2) 1,321 total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Contra Costa County since testing began. (+176 since last week).

a) Contra Costa County now reports that 1,084 of these
confirmed cases have "recovered." (+115 since last
week)

3) 11 people are currently hospitalized in Contra Costa County with Covid-19. (-8 since last week, with 5 prior weeks of continued decline.)

4) The TOTAL accumulated number of coronavirus-related deaths in the County has now reached 36. (+3 since last week)

a) At least (1) person under the age of 51 has now died in Contra Costa County in connection with Covid-19. No information has been made available to the public in regard to the medical circumstances or possible co-morbidities associated with these deaths. Previously, no one under the age of 51 had died in Contra Costa County in association with Covid-19.

DISCUSSION:

If our Contra Costa County resident friends can not find reason for optimism based upon these statistics and trends then nothing will lift their spirits.

We have been continually bombarded by our news media with reports of various mathematical models predicting frightening numbers of future infections, most of them wildly exceeding what we ultimately have witnessed around us.

It is time that we demand that our sanitation districts start monitoring SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in primary municipal sewage sludge. A very interesting study about to be published (I will post it below) monitored the coronavirus concentrations of sewage sludge in a metropolitan area of Connecticut and compared it to Covid-19 hospital admissions in the area. These sludge concentrations were a seven (7) day indicator ahead of compiled Covid-19 testing data and led hospital admission data by three days.

This kind of data collection, if confirmed by other studies, might better predict future outbreaks and better guide decisions to relax or tighten public heath measures than the "mathematical models" currently used. Monitoring of coronavirus in sewage sludge is already being done in the Netherlands. (I will also post a link about the Netherlands sewage testing program below)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

"Be Safe" = Be Afraid

Columnist Peggy Noonan with the Wall Street Journal recently opined that "those who are anxious to open up the economy have led harder lives than those holding out for safety." I do not know if that is a true or fair statement. But one thing is clear: matters with regard to Covid-19 are not going away anytime soon. We do we have to find a way to live with this "thing," manage it the best we can, and muddle through. Summer may give us a break. Late fall *may* bring a possible resurgence of some mutated viral strains. Time will tell.

Ms. Noonan is probably right that vaccines are likely far off, new therapies/treatments might help a lot, but keeping things closed up tight until there are enough tests isn’t a viable plan. There will never be enough tests. For a variety of unfortunate reasons testing was botched from the beginning. And if we ever catch up and perform the numbers of tests some of our "experts" and policy makers demand it will probably be at the point that tests are no longer urgently needed.

So, for those sitting on "the fence," I suggest it is time to pursue your life, your future, and your dreams. Don't rely on ANY politician to design your life for you. Remember, Americans always find a way to overcome challenges. We wish everyone an enjoyable holiday weekend.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Our weekend briefing:

The population of Contra Costa County is currently reported to be 1.14 million people.

As of May 17, 2020 there have been:

1) 22,717 county residents TESTED for the SARS-CoV-2 virus since testing began. (+4,516 more people tested since last week)

2) 1,146 total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Contra Costa County since testing began. (+98 since last week).

a) Contra Costa County now reports that 969 of these
confirmed cases have "recovered."

3) 19 people are currently hospitalized in Contra Costa County with Covid-19. (-2 since last week, with 4 prior weeks of continued decline.)

4) The TOTAL accumulated number of coronavirus-related deaths in the County has now reached 33. (+2 since last week)

a) No one under the age of 51 has died in Contra Costa County in connection with Covid-19.

DISCUSSION:

Much of what we were told about Covid-19, particularly the statistical disease predictions turned out not to be true...certainly in Contra Costa County those predictions did not materialize. Many of our assumptions about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, based upon what was told to us in news media and social media posts were inaccurate.

But before we lay blame on people and politicians for this, let's attempt to be thoughtful and reasonable. At the beginning, our leading scientists and front line medical providers didn’t know what we were dealing with. Learning about a new disease on the fly, our medical care providers had little solid research to guide them, even though the World Health Organization’s database already lists more than 14,600 papers on COVID-19. It didn't help matters that much of this research was flawed or incomplete. Even the world’s premier public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, constantly altered their advice to keep pace with new developments.

Of the millions, perhaps billions, of coronaviruses, six were previously known to infect humans. Four cause colds that spread easily each winter. The fifth was the SARS virus. The 6th was the MERS virus. And now comes the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Experts say it will be years until it is understood how Covid-19 damages organs and how medications, genetics, diets, lifestyles and distancing may affect its course. And there are many, many unanswered questions. After all, this is a virus that literally did not exist in humans six months ago.

We didn't know why this virus largely spares young people...until we started reading about unusual cases of young people getting sick. Otherwise, it picks on the elderly, people weakened by previous disease like high blood pressure and diabetes, and, disproportionately, the obese. It harms men more than women.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus can attack many different parts of the body. We don’t understand why it causes some problems for some people and different problems for others. And we have no clue as to why this virus presents no problem whatsoever for a very large proportion of our population.

We initially understood Covid-19 to be a respiratory infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus infiltrating both the upper and lower respiratory tracts, eventually working its way deep into the lungs, filling tiny air sacs with cells and fluid that choke off the flow of oxygen.

But many scientists have come to believe that much of the disease’s devastation comes from two intertwined causes. The first is the harm the virus wreaks on blood vessels, leading to clots that can range from microscopic to sizable. Patients have suffered strokes and pulmonary emboli as clots break loose and travel to the brain and lungs.

The second is an exaggerated response from the body’s own immune system, a storm of pro-inflammatory chemicals called “cytokines” that indiscriminately attack the body’s own cells along with the virus as it seeks to defend the body from an invader.

For the information of our patients and friends, we present the currently known symptoms of COVID-19:

Strokes from blood clots, neurological issues.
Pinkeye
Loss of smell and taste (anosmia)
Unexpected blood clotting; damage to the lining of blood vessels
Vomiting and diarrhea in some people
Clogged and inflames alveoli (air sacs), hampering breathing; pulmonary embolism from breakaway blood clots, and microclots.
Weakened heart muscle; dangerous arrhythmias and heart attacks due to small clots
Damage to structures that filter waste from blood.
“COVID toes,” or fingers, a purple rash from the attack on blood vessels
Widespread immune-system impact, including overactive immune response that attacks healthy tissue.

Conclusion:

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Certainly not our existence. In a moment our earthly existence can come to an end, for any reason. It has been said that we are given two lives: the life we learn from and the life we live with.

Pursue your life and your life's goals. Do so responsibly and not at the expense of others. Do good things for others and make that your legacy. Think for yourself. Resist the efforts of others to form your opinions for you. Be inquisitive. Take the time to learn something new each day. And remember this: your best defense against Covid-19 is to be as healthy as you can. Exercise. Eat properly. Get sunshine. Pursue healthy relationships. Dream big. Be well.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook