Friday, September 03, 2021

The Atlantic has two big articles on coronavirus/Delta and vaccines/long haulers


second vaccination site 2021-3

Ed Yong’s long article in the Atlantic Sept. 1 “Long Haulers Are Fighting for their Future” needs a careful read.

Main takeaway, some vaccinated people are getting it, even after only mild symptoms from breakthrough infections.  That’s one reason to keep on masking.  On the other hand, some people with long hauler from pre-vaccine infections got better.  After my second Pfizer shot in March 2021, I noticed my sense of smell got much stronger, as I noticed odors in other people's apartments from the hall I had not noticed recently, as apparently I had some smell loss without noticing it -- which implies I had probably had very mild COVID with few symptoms or noticeable illness. 

Another is that there is no certainty as to whether the virus is hidden away somewhere, to be reactivated (that’s unusual for RNA viruses) or if it is an autoimmune disease.  It seems anecdotally to be more common in young women than young men, but college and pro football players have been stopped by it. 

Katherine Wu also brings us up to date on “What we know about waning immunity”.  Yes, Delta may hit faster than the memory cells left from an older vaccination can respond, and is a less perfect fit anyway.  Still, vaccinated people are staying away from ventilators and oxygen, although they may not be free of long COVID in some cases.

But the vaccines are going to need to keep up, just as they do with flu.

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