Coronavirus Chronicles — More Caring Is Needed

Some very fresh news is that a new COVID variant has shown up in South Africa, and there is little doubt that it will soon be found around the globe, despite whatever measures may be taken to prevent its spread. This is especially ominous in the COVID-weary emotional climate that presently exists. Everybody is just sick of being careful, and several winter holidays make people feel that their personal travel plans are of the utmost urgency. The Guardian reports,

Dr Susan Hopkins said the R value, or effective reproduction number, of the B.1.1.529 variant in Gauteng in South Africa, where it was first found, was now 2. For an R of anything above 1, an epidemic will grow exponentially.

The U.K. Health and Security Agency’s chief medical adviser says this variant is “the most worrying we’ve seen,” an opinion shared by numerous authorities. For a quick refresher on the meaning of “exponential,” we refer once more to the Legend of the Chessboard. So, this is the kind of world we are going to inhabit for a while yet.

Those who care for us

As long as obesity continues to exacerbate COVID, and as long as COVID continues to exacerbate obesity, each condition needs to be curbed not only for its own sake but for the sake of the people who are affected by the mutually assistive nature of the two conditions.

One of the most relevant possible topics is the well-being of healthcare professionals. This concern should also extend to receptionists, cleaning staff, volunteers, and indeed anyone who works with people who either suffer from coronavirus or who are being tested for the disease.

Once again, we turn to the first-person reports made by people in and around the medical field, and the indignant complaints from their spouses and parents, and from the respectful and cautious patients who witness horrible behavior. Social media are replete with sharp comments from those who are disheartened and angered by the lack of consideration shown by some patients and some family members, in healthcare environments.

In an office setting, unmasked visitors will populate the waiting room, and only mask up when their turns come. Worse yet, whether because of purposeful defiance or unfathomable ignorance, they will cover their mouths but leave their noses uncovered. When filling out paperwork, they lie about COVID symptoms. They cough on receptionists. Is it any wonder that normally empathic and helpful office staff become disgusted?

Worse yet, this can go both ways. For instance, an anonymous social media user wrote, “Went for blood work at my doctors office. The medical assistant was not wearing a mask. No signs posted about mask wearing.”

In the hospital

Patients who couldn’t even walk themselves through the hospital door will scream about what a hoax the virus is, right up until the moment when they are intubated and can no longer vocalize their thoughts. Hostile relatives will show up to say goodbye to a dying person, and curse the staff, yelling out sincere wishes that they too will die from COVID.

Nurses, doctors, all kinds of specialists, and even ward clerks go through excruciating routines at home, disinfecting themselves, observing disrobing rituals as elaborate as those of astronauts, or even isolating from their families for weeks at a time. They are fanatically conscientious about not bringing disease either to or from their workplace. Then, at work, they are subject to shabby treatment and indifference to their wellbeing.

Another thing you learn from social media is how, at a company with a vaccine mandate, employees will advise each other on how to obtain exemptions and avoid vaccination. You also find links to stories about, for instance, an actual nurse (in Louisiana) who warned patients that the vaccine “manipulates your DNA at the tiniest molecular level,” who told them not to get vaccinated, and who subsequently died of COVID taking an unknown number of victims along with her. Just imagine, there are adult Americans who believe that anti-COVID vaccines contain all kinds of crazy stuff — despite being reassured that microchips cannot be made from aborted fetuses.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “B.1.1.529 Covid variant ‘most worrying we’ve seen’, says top UK medical adviser,”, 11/26/21
Source: “Legend of the Chessboard,”, undated
Image by Marco Verch/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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