Heat Index in Brazil Hits 137F (58.5C)
It's official, red alerts have gone out across the entire country of Brazil as the heat index hits 137F. The high temperature combined with humidity has made it impossible for most people to carry out their normal lives. There's already reports of power outages. People can't work. They can't run errands. They can barely sleep. It's not even summer there yet.
The world should be focusing on Brazil and what it means for the rest of us. Instead, the media directs our attention everywhere else while putting words like unbearable and dangerous in quotation marks.
They seek to downplay, always.
Also today, the VP of the Covid Collaborative published a disturbing, disappointing piece calling for a "radical new approach" to Long Covid research that completely ignores the piles of studies on the ways Covid attacks your organs and blood vessels while disabling your immune system. In a move that's astonishing in its dismissiveness, Steven Phillips calls for treating Long Covid like myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, calling Long Covid itself a "new name for an old syndrome."
Even while calling for an end to research on "mechanisms," Phillips admits that ME/CFS "is not well-understood" either, and it's also chronically underfunded. He also admits that "scientifically and humanistically this may not be a welcome construct." In other words, it's not ethical or scientific.
It's just more convenient.
There's no science or ethics to back this stance. He's just using Harvard language to make it sound more palatable.
In his view, it's easier to throw your hands up and say it's too hard, and we should treat Covid like ME/CFS, which means to underfund it and focus on "care," which often translates into patients explaining their symptoms to tired doctors who don't do anything. It translates into their families paying thousands of dollars for tests and treatments that don't work. I know this strategy well. My mom suffered from schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis. She never got the help she needed, but her suffering made money for the medical industry.
In reality, researchers are making headway in understanding Long Covid as an umbrella term for specific damage and disruption the virus causes to various organs and systems. It's not easy to figure out exactly what Covid has done to a specific individual, but it's possible.
If you try.
As Laura Miers points out, Phillips has written a number of pieces calling for an end to the pandemic and a return to normal. This dismissive stance toward Long Covid fits with a wider agenda to push Covid completely out of public attention, leaving its victims to suffer alone, in silence, while pharmaceutical companies crank out expensive drugs that manage the symptoms without doing anything about underlying causes.
As we've seen, it's what they do best.
I'll be digging into both of these topics in more detail soon. In the meantime, we're still trying hard to get support. I'm going to spend the next couple of days thinking about OK Doomer's future.
Meanwhile, I hope you appreciate these new pieces:
If this work is worth nine bucks a year, please let me know. In the end, sometimes I wonder if I could stop writing even if I tried.
I've got too much to say.