Coronavirus Chronicles — Are There Grounds for Ignoring COVID-19?

Needless to say, we are interested in the coronavirus as both a result of obesity and as a contributing factor to it. Many people want to pretend that COVID never happened, and more importantly, that it is not happening now. Can this point of view be justified?

Have a look at the COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where the information is conveniently broken down into categories. In the USA, the weekly average number of new cases has definitely been shrinking. Hospitalizations are declining, with only about 2,500 new admissions each week. Deaths have gone way down. An estimated 40% of Americans are fully vaccinated, not nearly enough to achieve the ever-receding mirage of “herd immunity.” How soon might the vaccinated require booster shots? No one knows.

And the bad signs

COVID-19 and its brothers are not good for pregnant women, who risk more severe illness and pre-term births. And their babies can catch it. In the U.S., members of the 12-to-17 year age bracket are not doing well, although almost six million kids in this group have had at least one shot of vaccine. Their hospitalization rate went down in the first two months of 2021, but went back up again in March and April.

Granted, teens who catch it are not hospitalized as often as grownups, so they are not as likely to wind up in the ICU on a ventilator, but many feel that is not a satisfactory standard, because…

Recent increases in COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates and the potential for severe disease in adolescents reinforce the importance of continued prevention strategies, including vaccination and the correct and consistent use of masks in those who are not yet fully vaccinated.

New variants of the virus spread more easily and may elude whatever antibodies we have managed to cultivate, and they find children quite yummy. Infection rates, hospitalization rates, and death rates due to them are going up. Just ask Brazil.

Is the government trying to kill us?

A lot of crazy talk is going around. People complain about being a guinea pig for the vaccine, but don’t seem to mind being a guinea pig for the virus. Many individuals act in ways that display the welcome mat for the virus, and they don’t care who knows it. An elected official makes the dangerous claim that the virus is definitely an engineered biological weapon.

Anti-vaxxers stir up controversy about alternate treatments that supposedly work, and imply that by withholding them, the government is trying to kill us. Information on treatments successful throughout the world is supposedly being kept from Americans. On the other hand, primary care doctor Dave Austin says:

Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine were both drugs that showed promise against SARS in vitro, meaning cultured human cells grown on media in a flask. Both HAD to be given a fair trial…

Hydroxychloroquine is well known. Numerous studies have found it to be ineffective in living people…

Ivermectin has also received numerous trials without showing significant benefit. Ivermectin […] kills parasites, not viruses.

Meanwhile, a seaside hotel that was meant to house the German visitors to the G7 economic summit had to close, because staff members tested positive.

We are told that the current Brazil crisis is “the result of the government’s failure to take adequate public health measures to limit the transmission of the coronavirus, as well as inadequate supplies of vaccines.” In many parts of the world, people make strenuous journeys and wait in long lines for their immunization opportunities.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., people turn up their noses. Or maybe, if offered a lottery ticket or a free beer, they will condescend to be vaccinated.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Covid Tracker Weekly Review,”, 06/04/21
Source: “There was a peer-reviewed paper,”, 06/03/21
Source: “UK PM Johnson says G7 summit is a chance to learn COVID lessons,”, 06/11/21
Source: “Why Are So Many Children in Brazil Dying From Covid-19?,”, 06/04/21
Image by Mike Finn/CC BY 2.0

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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