Ada Fisher: More to come from coronavirus

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 3, 2020

To open or not open, that is the question. Whether it is nobler to save a nation’s economy and essence for its survival in reopening job options or continue distancing its peoples and killing off industries to try to save the masses is its perplexing dilemma.

Providing paycheck protection sounded good without appreciating the need to ensure ample opportunities for minority communities.  Stimulus checks were to put money in people’s pocket without appreciating the wolves at the door to claim this morsel of sustenance.

So let’s do it again and get it right. The coronavirus isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Social distancing reveals too many believe that, like Superman, they are invulnerable. Some believe that it is Biblical and the Lord’s design. So, they do as they may without appreciating what my father, the preacher, once conveyed: the Lord helps them who help themselves.

Many are obfuscating the issues, clouding the picture with unclear information.

One note to public health: if you want to control worldwide disease, start simple. While vaccinations may be important, clean water and sanitation are primary. This requires an understanding of aquifers and how to maintain their purity.

The second wave of information is now showing that the destruction of the initial attacks is far from done and its effects will be felt by some for a while. It is clear that the coronavirus is more than a respiratory disease. It is a multi-system disease, which is also attacking the nervous system, kidney and brain with strokes as a complication and hallucinations whose longterm prognosis isn’t clear.

When to truly open up society will not totally rest on the advent of a vaccine.   Medicine alone cannot dictate such a time. It can only give parameters to consider. No one has been clear as to when one is infective and how many asymptomatic carriers are out there. The evidence doesn’t clearly define if positive antibodies mean personal immunity from further infections or the ability to transmit the disease to others. The money for testing and all other bailouts probably now exceeds the gold in Fort Knox.

With AIDS, which still has no cure and can only be prevented in changing behavior, it has been the individual viral load which has been a predictor of infectivity. Some medicines used to treat that disease have been shown over time to have some side effects which compromise the individual.

A most impressive work for the coronavirus is that which few are talking about involving community viral loads taken from examining sewage. This may prove helpful in determining environmental exposure to this virus.  If the community’s viral load is high, it may show a need for continued social distancing. But we don’t have the data yet to do such.

Van Jones, an often bombastic African-American political analyst, is being excoriated by the media and black community for rightly suggesting that lifestyle choices severely impact society’s expression of disease. Though, the inequality of opportunity and lack of access to basic services may worsen such among minorities.

There is no doubt that alcohol consumption and smoking negatively impact on one’s immune system. Multiple sexual partners and other alternative sexual choices increase one’s risk for other viral diseases that are killing us. The old adage of “you are what you eat” has implications for those who consume non-domesticated animals, which expose them as well as the human food chain to viral diseases.

What the second wave of the coronavirus will spawn is unphantomable. What the economic disasters of prolonged unemployment and loss of work are doing could be worse. As in war, non-perfect decisions are made. We are at such a point in time.

Salisbury’s Ada Fisher is a licensed teacher, retired physician, former school board member and current N.C. Republican national committeewoman.