2022-01-15/16/17 General


HOORAY!!! As this article reports, Health Canada approved Paxlovid (an oral treatment for COVID-19 which cuts hospitalizations by almost 90%) today! Not only that, there are already about 30K doses in-country!

Supplies are going to be limited for a while. Until then, Health Canada recommends prioritizing severely immune-compromised patients, people over 80 who don’t have all their vaccines, and people over 60 living in remote and rural locations, long-term care homes and First Nations.

Paxlovid is actually a combination of two others drugs (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir), and ritonavir is known to have a ton of drug interactions, so vaccination is still better idea than depending on Paxlovid.


This article says that Israel’s experience is that a fourth dose doesn’t actually help much against Omicron.


This preprint says that they had huge success treating Long COVID patients with anti-coagulants, and suggest that capillaries being clotted prevents enough oxygen to get where it needs to go.

This preprint says that people in Israel with at least two doses of vax were no more likely to have Long COVID symptoms than people who never had tested positive for COVID-19.

This paper found that levels of biomarkers of dying brain cells were higher (short-term) in COVID-19 patients than in Alzheimer’s patients without COVID-19. 😬 (They don’t know about long-term yet.)

I ran across this old paper (2013) which says that delerium (like, oh, frequently happens when you are in the ICU for a long time, like on a vent) by itself is a risk factor for brain damage.

I have said a few times that I thought that Omicron might cause less Long COVID because people didn’t lose smell as much from Omicron, and I thought the olfactory bulb was the path SARS-CoV-2 took to get to the brain. Something I had not appreciated the first time I read this preprint on the similarities of COVID-19 brain fog to cancer brain fog was that it showed that a respiratory-only case of COVID-19 can cause brain damage. 🙁

Recommended Reading

This article is a really good explanation of the immune system. It explained several things that I had not understood. For example, neutralizing antibodies are ones which interfere with the virus’ function (e.g. jamming up the part that fits into the ACE2 receptor). Non-neutralizing antibodies stick to the virus — thus signalling to T cells, “HEY! COME EAT ME!” — but don’t interfere with the virus’ functioning.

This article talks about people worrying that tactical retreats in the face of overwhelming numbers of COVID-19 cases could turn into surrender (some flavours of “live with it”).