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Veterans Underwhelmed By Top VA Coronavirus Advice, ‘Get A Flu Shot’

VA Coronavirus Advice

VA’s top recommendation to help anxious veterans “get ahead of” novel coronavirus was to “Get a flu shot”. The rest of the coronavirus advice was likewise underwhelming.

Yes. The agency charged with providing health care for disabled veterans recommended we get a flu shot to get ahead of coronavirus. And, it suggested we consider getting those vaccines from Walgreens.

Will Walgreens also be running triage for coronavirus?

Figures. You can’t fix tone deaf.

I’ll get back to VA’s advice in a bit.

Like many of my readers, I’ve been searching the web to see what is out there as we watch COVID-19 spread across the world.

Last week, the news media reported a senior Iranian official reportedly died from coronavirus as well as at least 6 people in Washington state. The numbers have since climbed to around 20 known deaths and likely many more unknown deaths since the government was well behind the 8-Ball on this outbreak.

Two Coronavirus Camps

There seems to be two camps forming in the US.

One camp says the news media is needlessly hyping up outbreak to create hysteria during the election cycle. The other camp says the condition is dangerous and Americans need to be ready with adequate supplies to weather a quarantine or other disruption.

Personally, I am hoping for the best – – news media hype to sell magazines – – while also planning for the worst. Either way, it seems obvious that the food supply chain, as well as global production, will be disrupted for some time.

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Given the massive flooding of the Midwest last summer that wiped out billions in American food production, it stands to reason Americans should be cautious and prepared for a disruption of some kind just in case.

Have some form of backup food storage of at least a couple weeks if not more. Store up some money if you can. Take steps to limit your activity in public. This seems obvious.

If you are late to the game. Toilet paper is sold out in some cities. You cannot buy 90% rubbing alcohol at any store, maybe Amazon. Face masks apparently only work if you’re a doctor. An all the emergency food storage companies sold out their supplies to the government.

Fantastic. Meanwhile, all our drugs are made overseas – – China being the main supplier of penicillin and other pharma drugs. It is apparently cheaper for pharmaceutical companies to mistreat Chinese workers than American workers.

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So, we don’t make drugs in the US anymore. Fingers crossed that changes.

This leaves people buying food from normal grocers, Costco, Target, Amazon, etc. Amazon is now rationing how much of a particular canned good you can buy.

Let’s hope this is all hype…. But, if you have kids like me, you cannot risk their ability to eat. And anyone saying it is dumb to get prepared is a complete idiot.

Even if the virus peters out, given how much the US has become dependent on China, as well as practically every other country, you cannot risk supply chain disruptions.

Known For A While

It sounds like the government has known this was coming for some time.

Locally, I witnessed local police running a training operation with local Guard military soldiers conducting a sweep through our neighborhood wearing night vision gear. They must’ve been practicing terrain familiarity drills. No one really noticed.

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At our office, a deputy showed up unannounced asking us to provide the county Sheriff with the names of all people working in the suite. It seemed odd at the time. I asked why, and the deputy did not try to explain other than saying he was new.

I have heard the various state Guard units have ramped up training since Thanksgiving for a quarantine.

Coronavirus And You… According To VA

That aside, I wanted to share with my readers some of the advice I found on VA.gov that frankly made me a little concerned.

Given that many of us have compromised immune systems, respiratory diseases, etc, we need to be watchful of how our caregiver, the VA, will provide that care.

You can imagine my disappointment when reading VA’s leading medical advice to veterans.

To “Get ahead of it” veterans should – – insert drum roll – – “Get a flu shot” followed by a list of common strategies to limit exposures like washing your hands and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

And, it advises veterans can get that vaccine at Walgreens using a VA partnership program.

Good luck finding alcohol-based hand sanitizer right now. And getting Walgreens to provide vaccines per VA’s program is reportedly impossible.

Even if you got the flu vaccine, wasn’t that vaccine less than 30 percent effective last year?

Compounding matters is the reality that many veterans with neurological disabilities and other afflictions may be contraindicated for flu vaccines.

How is VA anticipating such complications? Will the clerk at Walgreens asses the veteran’s medical records for contraindications?

Duck And Cover

VA’s advice appears to be the duck-and-cover nuclear blast advice from the Cuba missile crisis. When you check the agency’s coronavirus page, it claims the agency is closely following the development of the crisis but links to a January 31 VA blog post.

How close? The page was last updated January 31, 2020. It promises, “The immediate risk to the U.S. is currently low.” Is it current?

It reminds me of the now not-so-funny meme circulating Facebook spoofing a Navy Corpsman giving his magic cure to the all-too-well-known Corona Virus (hangover)… not to be confused with the very real COVID-19.

Veterans are becoming worried VA is not taking our concerns seriously.

The most actionable advice was VA’s general advice addressing the spread of germs, generally, which is a cut and paste from CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you’re sick or becoming sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (not your hands) and throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

That makes sense as far as general advice goes, but it would be better if VA provided more specific information about this particular virus including how VA will address veterans believed infected.

Missing from the advice?

Dietary recommendations. How VA will address a partial or complete government shutdown with our benefits payments.

You know, things like that.

Veteran Comments

Meanwhile, veterans questioned about the advice. Here are a few comments from my Facebook page:

  • I got the flu shot and still got Flu a. Hubby developed pneumonia and VA response was, you missed your pneumonia shot. However, I contested and had them look in the records which it must be taken every five years and he did take it two years ago! Ha
  • Hey VA, deflect much?! 🙄 I mean we get they don’t know what to do, but damn they couldn’t deflect much more if they tried. Yes this is deadly, BUT SO IS THE FLU, look away!!!!!
  • It has already been said that this years vaccine just isn’t working. Surprise! Most flu vaccines are a hope and a prayer. They watch other countries flu periods and hope that the ones they have chosen will work for us. Most of the time they don’t. Most people are exposed to a virus before they get the shot but, blame the shot for their sickness.
  • Technically, VA is accurate, but insufficient(if this is their only advice). The C-virus has the most critical impact on the immunocompromised, for the most part. So, if you are already weakened by flu symptoms, C-virus might have a greater impact. The number one thing to put out, is everyone needs to be DOING general precautions, washing hands for at least 20 seconds often, cough into the inside of an over-shirt or sweater, and I hate to say it, avoid large ever fluctuating international crowds…airports, etc.
  • Completely idiotic. The flu shot is 37% effective against THE FLU- at best…. it weakens your immune system so you’ll actually be more susceptible to other viruses.
  • As for getting a flu shot to ‘beat’ COVID-19 considering this idea is coming from VA, sounds about par for course. Not that I’ll rush out to get one, but the illogic of the advice is par for VA.
  • The poison in some versions of the flu shot are toxic for our systems. Including the pneumonia shot. Last time I let the Va give me one of them I was sick for 6 months. Since then, I’ve learned that using garlic is more effective than those shots. It’s been 5yrs since I had “their” shots and increased using garlic and I have only had sinus issues due to seasonal allergies. I’m not a medical professional but my advice is increase your garlic intake. It’s healthier and non toxic!

Thoughts?

What are your thoughts on VA’s advice? What steps are you taking to ensure your family is prepared and safe during this period?

We are taking steps to minimize our risks, anticipating at least a 1 month quarantine.

I’ve been praying the God spare our country but use the crisis to wake up Americans to the need for our country to go back to its roots – – make things – – not support Communist countries – – spread the Christian faith.

It never ceases to amaze me how silent Christian churches are when it comes to the policies and politics that are gutting the country without recognizing the clear connection between good policies supporting economic growth and the ability to tithe to fund missionaries.

You’d think the Church would be more outspoken.

Anyway, that is where I am at.

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36 thoughts on “Veterans Underwhelmed By Top VA Coronavirus Advice, ‘Get A Flu Shot’”

  1. Ben,
    As a retired Air Force person actually a Lab Tech, turned PA, turned network engineer less arguments with clients. Can say one thing about this virus and all viruses. Everything they have said is correct about keeping yourself safe. I will add one more piece of advice. Since having pneumonia twice meaning I am really susceptible to this virus. I keep my house clean with a 1% bleach and water mixture that will kill any virus and bacteria on any surface. We have know this for decades as we used it when HIV first came out. This is our go to defense in the lab next to the autoclave. I know my house is anti germ and virus free.

  2. I went to Walgreens with my veteran health ID to get a flu shot back in October. The pharmacist tried 3 times to enter the required info on his computer, but failed to accept the veteran ID info online. He said he couldn’t do it, so he asked for my medicare card instead, and had no problem with the shot being paid in full by medicare. So much for using your vet healthcare ID at Walgreens.
    Speaking of failures, how ’bout that weird looking mess of a scumbag Robert Wilkie folks !

    1. Benjamin,
      what I am about to say here is true in my situation. I have zero kind words for the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are truly off track. I could not be paid enough to enter a VA facility ever again. Ben, I am serious. They are truly wrong;
      but, they believe they are correct. No agency is going to be paid kickbacks for getting me a job.
      Get my own employment. I sick of the brushing of each other’s backs.
      All requirements have to have been completed by the application deadline when in reality I could do the jobs after completion of the requirements and probably even before. Yes, Ben, I could.
      Ben, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been truly a disgrace. Yes I will say it for all eyes to view. See Ben I spent a lot of time straightening up after the VA when I could have applied the time to helping myself to get the requirements completed. Not only correcting behind in my situation but others as well. The VA in my opinion is really not attuned.

      1. A lot of what I am speaking too has happened under the Trump administration directly under Secretary Wilkie to whom is under President Trump.
        The happenings were before with carrying on into the Trump administration.
        Ben, I will say that the situations are abuse of human rights and most certainly do not represent Capitalism of which the VA Secretary so claims he stands for. 👎

      2. Ben, did you see how the VA cut some Universities out of enrolling veterans on the GI Bill? Well, the VA probably needed too because those schools are for profit schools and just rip the vets off. Not saying that all for profit schools do this though. There is another part of this issue though. I have zero assistance with any type of education and retraining benefits. Where I am headed to with my comments is that the VA reaches over everywhere to sabotage veterans. They do from not being consistent with payments to whatever. It is kind of hypocritical by the VA to remove these schools with acting concerned for the vets when the VA may all of a sudden not pay the veterans for a month or even longer. Look at the court case now that is going on. The VA is thwarting the veterans from being able to apply the Montgomery GI Bill into the Forever Bill. VA is fighting in court now about this. Now here they are taking from veterans who paid into the GI Bills. Looks like to me they are stripping money from everywhere Ben when the money belongs to the veterans who have paid into the programs.
        Do you see this? Then, in my case, I have tried to move forward. They have been obstructive here too. So please tell me what is their deal? They evidently do not want veterans doing anything; but, exactly what the VA tells them they can do. Now, Ben, this is far from Capitalism of which the VA Secretary claims he stands for. Veterans with mental whatever the VA aims for physical labor jobs.
        Now , bringing myself into this, with having the past mental happenings, the situations created by them to keep me with the mental issues so they claim underhandedly. In other words, they claim this career path or that career path would not be feasible for me. Ben, I honestly do not see how they can claim that I am not able to work in a career that requires higher functioning. They try to steer it this way though.
        Keeping me unable to hold higher functioning employment by not allowing the pursuit of say an Accounting profession or Data Analytics or IT or any of the higher functioning professions. And how do they do this? I can write a book. Here is the bottom line.
        They block it if under them or not under them.
        But you see they are cheap.
        They do not want to pay to retrain the veterans in the higher functioning career paths because when the vet is fully successful this will dispute their claims.
        Veteran has reached point the mental deficits are no longer there due to having developed compensatory skills or now in remission; but, the VA does not believe this. So VA still steers vets towards labor positions. When in reality, the mental has now become A number 1 and the physical being is good but not great. I mean no lifting etc. Most labor positions require lifting.
        VA just dumps without taking responsibility unless the situation is to a nursing home. The VA just cannot admit improvement and retrain the veteran into a higher functioning profession.
        If Veteran doing him or herself, the VA over reaches to block it.
        See how the VA shut down the schools. Ben even if the veteran is not under the GI Bill or Voc Rehab, they reach here too.
        This is if the veteran is drawing any type of money from them.
        So Ben what is the deal? They block veterans rights indirectly and directly. This agency is truly pathetic. I can prove they are wrong. Sad Ben.

      3. Last comment and I am out of here.
        Israel has developed a vaccine for the CoronaVirus.
        So Ben what is the VA’s deal other than messing up vets’ lives even more?
        I would paint the picture but decided not too.
        Put it like this, going through the grocery line and one writes a check on top of the grocery amount of the bill. Well, what is wrong with this picture when I had already calculated my check amount added to the amount of the grocery bill in my head while the person at the register is still looking for a calculator, a pencil, and piece of paper to add it up. True. Person at the register is young. People behind me smiling.
        I am not being a smart ass. I am just making a point in relation to how messed up the disability system is in and out of the VA.
        People once having landed there get crapped on to no end.
        Yes, can save lives but the crap that comes with it is over the top.
        But yet the VA has??? is????

    2. Ben, do you know the most detrimental position that any governmental agency can take is one that is never genuine and never sincere. The VA always holds back information and acts with such stupidity. More than likely they know; but, claim to not know. All the VA employees all have different answers for everything and even different answers for one issue by itself. They are never consistent with anything.
      Ben, I could never work in the federal government for this reason. I do not care what they think about me. The system is there to screw people around particularly if one lands there on disability.
      But, if they do not get approved for disability, then they are for sure really screwed. Either way the person is on a path to death. The path for not being approved for disability just lands the person in the grave quicker if they should have cancer or another life threatening condition. My ass did not land me there by me? I did not go beating down the doors? Honestly, what happened was against my will. Do you realize this? I have the feelings still of yesterday. Do you know Ben I have been trying to move off the disability for awhile? All I could receive was a bunch of lies and be on the receiving end of a bunch of false narratives. A few years ago, quality VA employees left the system because they could not tolerate the actions of the VA leadership. All true. Also, many of the politicians fit the same bill in my opinion. I could never serve as a politician at all. I do not appreciate how many of these senior people intentionally harm Americans by not acting with direct transparency which delivers the truth.
      Ben, we are all glorious precious creations from the God above. Life is Life. Life is beautiful and good. Life could be even more beautiful if people would act and carry themselves with and in common decency.
      Do you know Ben and I have often said and what I am saying is absolutely true, what happened to me happened because of sick individuals. Disgusting and criminal acts from others. Abuse of power and negligence too. A person can only take so much. I am referring to how one’s psyche responds to the happenings.
      But for the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue down the path of crap, it is really hard to understand. One would think the agency could show a little compassion for the veterans. How can they? They operate to serve themselves.
      Ben, I had a AA sponsor many years ago who had retired from Raytheon and this lady was truly an inspiration. A glorious child of God. This is how she always referred to herself. She was African American. We all are glorious childs of God.
      The Department of Veterans Affairs today has no idea what compassion even is. I do not know if VA Secretary Wilkie knows the definition. The VA today is fake.
      Mr. Wilkie and his administration are just going through the motions to try to do what needs to be done. When the VA strips from the veterans when they have earned whatever, this is truly wrong and out of character for a real leader. This is not the VA of yesterday.
      I will say this. It is far from being the VA of yesterday. All goes hand in hand with the cultural decline. Benjamin, when I was first brought into the VA system, it honestly had character. The people as in the VA employees made the character. An agency of concern, warmth, and compassion. The VA employees really and truly cared about the veterans. Ben, they did.
      Now all the agency wants to do is strip this way and strip that way while delivering poor care. President Trump claims to have fixed the VA. No, Ben the VA is far from being fixed. Look at what is going on in the rest of the country.
      I mean the media and all the attacks on the president. There is no way none of this is not fluent in the VA culture. So in my opinion, the VA is not fixed and displays poor character.
      As for my situation, I am stepping out from the disability. However, it falls; it falls. Or however it rises; it rises. Best.

    3. I was not sure Ben if you still had this blog open. But I wanted to come back to add. Back track to before the Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation Extended Evaluation, I had contacted and had spoken to the Social Security Administration Ticket to Work program coordinator. I went to a face to face appointment. Ben, at this time, the Ticket To Work representative gave me the cold shoulder. There were also a couple other times this individual would not engage. Ben, all of this happened say 2013 before I was denied in 2015 by VA Voc Rehab.
      And this topic about retirees on SS. When the Social security administration makes errors in payments, they come back and take it back from the SS retiree with documenting it as an overpayment. SS retirees do not receive that much as it is. Ben, the federal government has made everything so complex in dealing with anything that the American citizens honestly cannot manuver in the maze. The citizens wind up getting penalized when the problem had to do with the federal government not the citizens. Do you see this Ben?
      The VA does the same thing.
      Instead of fooling with the SS in their overregulations, it would be an easier process to just stop the payments from them. I am serious.
      The federal government has no idea how being on the receiving end is just a forest. And they do not care either.

  3. I am not writing to debate the pros and cons of flu vaccines. That’s a story for another day.

    There are more Brand names and types of the flu vaccines than pockets in a carpenter’s bib overalls! That being said, here are a few brands and types:

    Flublok Quadrivalent is a vaccine immunization of persons 18 years of age and older against influenza subtype viruses and influenza virus subtypes A type B viruses contained in the vaccine.

    Fluzone is indicated for active immunization of persons 6 months of age and older against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.

    Fluzone Intradermal indicated for active immunization for use in adults 18 through 64 years of age against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.

    Fluzone High-Dose is indicated for active immunization of persons 65 years of age and older against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.

    FLUAD is an inactivated influenza vaccine indicated for active immunization of persons 65 years of age and older against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.

    The point is that there are some flu vaccines that are specifically recommended for persons 65(+) years old. My wife and I are both veterans over the age of 65.

    In October 2019, we both went to a local Walgreen’s to get the (VA authorized) flu vaccine, but they were out. My wife then called around and eventually located a Walgreen’s that had the vaccine. When she arrived to get her flu shot, she was informed that the VA would only cover the regular dose vaccine (@$41.00). My wife opted to get the high dose vaccine (@$70.00) using our private BC/BS insurance with a $15.00 co-pay (the reason for my wife’s $15.00 co-pay was a glitch in her TriCare coverage). I later got my high dose flu shot during a scheduled doctor’s visit at no charge using our private BC/BS insurance and TriCare for Life coverage.

    Walgreen’s offers both (high and regular dose) of these vaccines. However, the salient point is that the only vaccine (free to vets) is the regular dose vaccine, regardless of age. The big question is, if the VA is going to provide this service, then why are they not offering the high dose vaccine to those 65 years and older (the most vulnerable and with a higher mortality) at no charge?

    Not meaning to sound too much like a conspiracy theorist, but my opinion regarding the COVID-19 is that it was intentionally leaked virus in China; China largely controls the “piece work” and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry (read as create a crisis, drive up demand, withhold production and reap the profits; it is being “hyped” by the media, which fuels the narrative; I believe that the “Kings of Wall Street” were poised with their “sell orders” when the Market turned south (3.4-3.6 $Trillion dollars lost in one week-there were so a few winners). Frankly, I do not think it is beyond possible.

    As for protection, just follow your common sense: frequently wash your hands for @20 seconds (“Happy Birthday to You” twice); use a hand sanitizer; avoid hand to face contact in as much is possible; use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing and promptly discard it; avoid large crowds where possible; eat healthy; maybe take some Vitamin C supplement and; I just read, use disposable gloves to handle and read your mail – think about that one.

  4. Here’s what’s on the “cover page” of the DAV March|April 2020 magazine:
    “We’ve unintentionally POISONED an entire generation of veterans”
    “Antimalarial drugs and the cost of prescription”
    [pg 18]

    The title reads:
    *”Mefloquine miscues”*
    Quote:
    “Despite known risks of antimalarial medication, the Department of Defense issued mefloquine to U.S. troops for nearly a quarter century. Now, VA disability examiners may be misattributing its chronic adverse effects to PTSD!” unquote!

  5. Let me repeat that:
    -Coronavirus: 11 deaths (US in 2020), 3300 deaths (China in 2020).
    -Influenza: 30,000 deaths (US in 2019).

    We have to project that this virus might be a bit tougher than the last, so if we estimate 40k deaths, it would probably be a bit high, but not that far from what we see every year. The problem is that major media appears to be putting a spotlight on it for a political agenda.

    It is still smart to protect yourself, don’t get me wrong, but this is another fabricated national emergency that probably will result in squat. Liberals thrive on anything that they can connive a use out of to grasp the strings of power by using fear to get elected. Don’t be fooled.

      1. Affecting some people who have an underlying condition. You have probably noted this.
        In my opinion, among all medical conditions if the conditions are not attended to, any person can suffer consequences. From what I understand, the Corovirus has been around for awhile. With saying this, disregard should not be apart of the equation though. People are panicking; but, this is a Chicon problem that is luring everyone else in. Happenings surrounding the virus are all about the 2020 election. My thoughts on this situation.

    1. #JS,
      I’ve been saying the same thing about this since it first hit the medias.
      There’s a saying:
      *”don’t let a good crisis go to waste!”*

  6. Marc Serota (one of our former allergy fellows at Childrens Mercy) posted this on facebook. I think it is the clearest statement regarding Coronavirus I have seen per one of our Current Asthma/allergy Doctors:

    From an MD immunologist:

    I don’t post a lot on facebook but I would like to give my perspective and context on the coronavirus outbreak. I hope I can be a more reputable source of perspective as a physician who specializes and is board certified in immunology (as well as pediatrics, allergy and dermatology).

    1. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses. “coronavirus” is not unique to this particular strain. Everyone reading this has likely had another different coronavirus infection. This particular strain has been named COVID-19.

    2. Every upper respiratory virus has the potential to be lethal. Patients unfortunately die from many upper respiratory viral infections every year – most prominently the influenza virus. 30,000 people died from the influenza virus in 2019. The media didn’t report each one. They have reported all 11 coronavirus deaths. Not telling us about the people lost but rather keeping a death “toll”.

    Let me repeat that:
    -Coronavirus: 11 deaths (US in 2020), 3300 deaths (China in 2020).
    -Influenza: 30,000 deaths (US in 2019).

    *Influenza pandemic of 1918: 675,000! (US), 20-50 MILLION!! (worldwide) <—These people I think would have been in favor of receiving their annual flu vaccine.

    This is not meant to minimize any of these deaths but rather to give context and put some facts to the hysteria.

    3. If you're healthy, there is no need to walk around wearing a mask. In addition to looking silly and most of the time wearing/taking them off wrong – which would actually make you more prone to acquiring an infection, they don't prevent you from getting sick. If you're actually sick stay away from people and then, sure, wear a mask so you aren't spreading respiratory droplets every time you cough/sneeze. In medicine we don't wear the masks you're buying and we wear other protective equipment – not just a silly looking mask you found on Amazon. When you see doctor's walking around the world wearing a mask then you should too. Until then, stop.

    4. The symptoms are that of the flu. As doctors we don't test or know about most people with mild or moderate flu symptoms. That means most people will probably get it and just think they had the flu. That means you're only going to hear about the cases that get serious – not all the minor ones which will be the vast majority of cases.

    5. When it is said that people who are older or have other medical conditions are most likely to die – that is equally true for EVERY upper respiratory virus. There is nothing unique about that to this particular virus. It does mean that the only cases we tend to know about are the severe ones. Once a case is severe it then makes sense to test the patient to find out what virus in particular they have. That means you can easily overestimate how severe or lethal the virus is because the only cases you end up knowing about are the serious ones.

    In summary 30,000 people died from the flu last year. Another 30,000 died in car accidents.

    I remember: H1N1 (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (2014), Coronavirus (2020).

    Take it from me: The poor resident who stood at the door of the ER to triage people in 2009's swine flu (H1N1) hysteria. The over reaction is exponentially worse than the actual problem and in 2020 the over reactions I'm seeing are remarkable. In cold and flu season you'll probably get sick once or twice for about a week each. You might even get this particular coronavirus and most of you won't even know it. I've seen people raiding supermarkets, major meetings and sporting events getting cancelled and fear/racism towards Asian people. These reactions are totally unnecessary and panic based. Just do what you've always done during cold/flu season. Stay away from other people when you're sick, wash your hands and keep them away from your face, and only go to the ER if you feel your symptoms are more severe than a bad cold/flu (shortness of breath, high fever, etc.). And also realize you can't live on earth and not get viral illnesses from time to time. It's a part of nature.

    Please don't ask for antibiotics (those treat bacteria – not viruses). Thats like asking for a fire extinguisher when you're drowning. It can be a life saving device – but the wrong one for the problem at hand. Some doctor's don't want to fight about it when patients insist on antibiotics so they just prescribe them – but it doesn't mean its actually helping you and in some cases they can be harmful (resistance, infections, allergic reactions just to name a few). If you're one who asks for antibiotics every time you're sick, again, take it from me: ask for a flu shot each year and a doctor's note to stay home from work when you're sick instead. You will be much better off.

    The government is very proud that testing will be available to every American. Remember, we don't test for any respiratory virus other than the influenza virus routinely. The reason is thats the only virus that has a treatment (pill) you can take to shorten the duration of severity of the illness. I suspect if we start testing everyone with cold symptoms for coronavirus we're going to find lots of it. It's not going to change the recommendations to stay home and rest. And its not going to predict the small percentage of people who may develop more severe symptoms. Essentially whether someone has coronavirus 19 or some other cold/flu virus isn't going to matter to your doctor. What it will do is slam urgent cares, ER's and hospitals with every patient who has a cold so they can be tested. It is much more sensible to reserve testing for patients requiring hospitalization or more advanced treatments. Even that wouldn't change their management but would be more to confirm the diagnosis and to not waste time looking for other causes of the patients symptoms.

    In conclusion, yes there is a novel virus that our immune systems haven't seen yet so to get immune to it you will have to get infected – at least until a vaccine is developed to bypass the getting sick part and just jumping straight to immune. Most people's immune systems will do that effectively and be fine. A small percentage of unfortunate patients (primarily elderly, immune compromised etc.) will not be able to do that effectively and will need more advanced care. This is true of the cold/flu viruses we deal with every year. Follow normal cold/flu precautions and seek medical care if you feel your symptoms are severe. No need to get hysterical.

    These outbreaks can be instructive for overall knowledge of public health. In particular showing your immune system the uniform of a potential invader (virus) so that if it ever sees a soldier wearing that uniform it will immediately attack and neutralize it without you ever getting sick. That is a wonderful thing and probably the single biggest achievement in medicine throughout human history. That is what vaccines are. The benefit to risk ratio of them are off the charts in favor of vaccines. If viruses like coronavirus scare you, then stay up to date on your vaccines and your immune system will be running the latest software.

    If you still think you should be scared consider this: Doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff are going to hospitals every day. Crowded buildings with tons of sick people. They aren't walking around the halls of the hospitals wearing masks and they haven't stopped going to work. And they are all rolling their eyes at everyone else right now.

    Marc Serota, MD

    1. Why do you take the official Chinese numbers as facts without question?
      I know the MSM has not shown actual footage, but sites like Liveleak and other modern Samizdat sites have shown China lying time after time contrary to their public statements and cooked statistics.

      This “simple” fact makes it really, really tough to take anything else your wrote seriously if you are this naive or willfully ignorant.

      1. China stopped acting with transparency back in December 2019. Of course though, they are never that transparent to begin with. They just started acting even more barbaric.

      2. I say this about China because the President was trying to act on this situation back in late December 2019. Democrats were blocking him. Had to do with bans and shutting the border. Plus, the President even offered to send some of our best scientists to China but China refused the efforts from the president. This is when China became less transparent and around the time the journalists missing.

    2. This isn’t real. Dr. Serota did not write this. Link to his Facebook post… why would an immunologist call the virus strain COVID-19? The virus is SARS-CoV-2… the disease it causes is COVID-19… it literally means coronavirus disease 2019… an immunologist would know that.

      This is a fake post written to downplay the pandemic for political reasons. You can find it on Facebook, but always from a friend of a friend. Never linked to Dr. Serota and he is never tagged. It’s true he’s a real person, and an immunologist… but if he’s an immunologist and writing a PSA why would he not make it public?

      The fact is that eve Trump’s head doctor on the job, Anthony Fauci says that within the year 40% of the global population will have gotten sick with COVID-19… that’s 3 billion people. Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch has estimated 40-70%.

      The current Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is around 3%… but some argue this is because we don’t know the true numbers and the CFR could be as low as .2% … which still means 6 million people will die this year.

  7. Lengthy article but worth the read. It’s appalling our govt neglects its veterans so much.
    I do agree strongly NOT to get pnemonia or flu shots. I’ve Lyme disease for over 34 years last time l received a flu shot it re-activated the Lyme symptoms with s vengeance. The MERCURY used in shots to help bind the med with blood cells aggravated thexspirochetes out of remission and l had a full scale relapse!
    Please weigh out the odds before you get preventive shots.
    Wishing you well, stay healthy and God bless.
    P.S. you have my permission to repost any and all of my comment.

    1. Ben, you mentioned “veterans worrying VA is not taking their concerns seriously”.
      Ben, they never have. I am serious.
      This is nothing new.
      As for China and our manufacturing companies being glued to them, I had commented in one of your past blogs on this very topic. Many of these DC elites are in bed with China with making this part of the problem. As a matter of fact, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shifted left in regards to bringing in more legal immigration and adding to the massive spending while the coronvirus has taken most everyone hostage. While the coronavirus is at the forefront, Republicans are up to no good behind the backs of everyone.
      Chinese have had unsanitary lifestyles and used their same food sources for years. So why are people dying and becoming ill today?
      Look at the two journalists who disappeared in China when they were getting the truth out about this virus. So pay attention, more will surface about this situation with this virus. I mean the politicians are up to no good. When the VA seems nonshalent while managing with the lackadaisical attitude, I guarantee you there is more brewing underneath. Ben, as for the flu and the pneumonia shots, I do not get either one. I do not believe that I have had one since I was in the military. Yes, garlic is a good. I do not use garlic for this purpose though. It boils down to washing the hands, keeping cleaniness at the forefront, good diet, exercise, noting how food is prepared and where it comes from, and sleep. As for vitamins, if one is not getting the required amount from food, then people should add them to their lifestyle. Getting back to cleaniness, I have even listened to Mark Levin speaking about how he has observed that people do not put cleaniness as a priority. A cultural change coming from somewhere. He mentioned when he would be present in the men’s restroom and he would observe men after using the bathroom to not even wash their hands before touching the door handle when exiting. This is no joke. So Mark Levin uses a paper towel or something else to open the door with while exiting the men’s bathroom. He brought this up on his radio talk show last week. In my opinion, more going on than just the virus. The situation is about the 2020 election. 🇺🇸🗽👍🥇

    2. No mention of; diet changes, eliminating sugar, supplementation, even simple things of keeping nails short & clean.

      Wipe, wipe, wipe = one (1) ounce regular or scented bleach in 15-16 ounces of water is an effective disinfectant. I wipe down twice a day.

      Oh, and VA, you suck.

      VA = Veteran Assassin’s

      IF IT WERE LEGAL, many VA employees should be shot for treason.

      No threat here. BUT VA, STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM MY RESIDENCE, OR IF YOU DONT, AND STOP BY UNAUTHORIZED, IT’LL BE CONSIDERED A DIRECT THREAT.

      For fucking decades VA, you’ve been adversarial towards Veterans.

      VA, you’re incompetent, neglectful, full of malpractice (hiding behind the Tort Law), and you surely don’t take proper care of your own. Violating your own Policy’s from one end to the other.

      And FBI, you can kiss my damn ass (for entertainment purposes).

      BUT STILL, STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME, MY K9, MY WIFE, and MY FUCKING DOOR.

      VA you’re a disgrace, you cover-up wrong doings, and you’re treasonous.

      PRECISION MEDICINE? MY WHITE, HEAVY LADEN DINKLE-BERRIED ASS; YOU ARE NOT!

      Life over money.

      1. Typo… journalists went missing.

        ANutterVet, I agree with you on the care procedures such as the wiping down, the elimination of sugar, diet changes, supplements. You are right on with the suggestions. People taking responsibility for their health and people taking pride in themselves makes more for healthier living. Healthy enough that the evil coronvirus would be stopped in it’s tracks.

  8. I’ll try leaving a comment again!
    This is what I found on the 1918 pandemic Spanish Flu!
    *”The 1918 influenza pandemic was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus, with the second being the swine flu in 2009.” Wikipedia
    Start date: January 1918 Trending
    Location: Earth
    Death tolls
    “The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans.Oct 12, 2010”
    “https://www.history.com” › topics › 1…
    Spanish Flu – HISTORY

    Today, we have better knowledge, better communication, better medical care, better antidotes and more than in 1918!
    That’s why the 2009 swine flu was contained quickly.
    So far, this new flu – “coronavirus 19” is being contained better than what has occured in the past.
    I would suggest everyone stop panicking. This will play itself out in due time. Quit listening to our FAKE NEWS! They want panic to occur!
    Didn’t y’all learn anything in the military?

  9. Isn’t there some phrase about history not learned repeating itself??!

    Is the current administration creating another way to kill off more Veterans?

    In 1918, when the so-named Spanish Flu affected over 500M people worldwide and killed off roughly 50M of them (many being active military), W. Wilson’s response was that it was everyday flu and so, he forced through Congress the Seditions Act. Philadelphia went ahead with a well-attended planned march that resulted in mass grave burials of many of the estimated 14,000 victims. BTW it was named thusly, because Spain was the only country that was honest in reporting the consequential devastation.

    A word to the young ones out there. You were never taught factual history from your schoolteachers. There is great opportunity nowadays to research the truth you’d never been taught, and that, could be a life-saver.

    Remember that old saw, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help!”?

    Our community knows well, that VHA almost kinda-sorta provides ‘evidence-based medicine’ while going above and beyond all practical reasoning, to avoid finding (let alone documenting) even a hint of evidentiary fact. The rest of the American medical providers are forced by insurance companies to comply with similar idiocy. Therefore, all of us pay dearly in one form or another.

    Common sense is always going to be our best utility, even in matters of medicine.

  10. The virus last 9 hours on paper at room temperature according to CDC. Heat (summer recedes flu and colds) reduces effectiveness of the virus. Cold increases the spread. So then probably those cold trucks lengthen the time the virus lasts on paper.

    Wear surgical gloves to read your mail and handle Amazon packages. We are probably spreading flue, cocold(coronavirus for cold) and covid-19 by mail. If you are diabetic you have them already. Can’t get through to CDC to connect those dots.

    The flue shot raises your resistance to viruses. Even if it is a little off for the particular seasonal flue (the guess from birds which it will be) it usually makes it less severe. I haven’t had a severe cold or the flue since the late 1980s because I haven’t missed a flue shot. Most of those people in nursing homes have their flue shots. But some refuse them. So ask the CDC which group has the most deaths.

    Some advice from another Navy Corpsman with more stripes. 79 and going strong. Fewer hash marks from the brownie and more on the sleeve.

  11. Is that Flu Vaccine Mase in CHINA? I’ll pass again. Skipping the Flu Vax has been the best thing I have done for the past 5 years.

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