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The Cytokine Storm Response to Covid-19

Last week this page discussed the irrational state of panic that had gripped the country in response to Covid-19. Sadly, this week, the state of panic has become worse rather than better. In a wonderfully descriptive statement of irony Dr. Zubin Damania during an interview with Dr. Paul Offit (Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) described our societal response to Covid-19 as the "Cytokine Storm" that is now threatening our Country.

For those that aren't fully up to speed on this, the deadliest component of the Covid-19 virus is that once the infection takes hold in the lungs and is identified by the immune system, the immune system goes into something of an "overdrive response" destroying large amounts of healthy as well as infected cells. This overdrive response of the immune system has been named a "Cytokine Storm." In short, the virus itself hasn't done the worst damage to victims - but rather the "Cytokine Storm" caused by the immune system response that has caused irreparable damage to the lungs and sometimes heart of victims. For those with about 50 minutes to spare, we've linked to the discussion below...

At this point, it's difficult to argue with the premise that the destruction of the U.S. economy is more damaging than the effects of the virus. Currently we have 26,747 confirmed infections, of which will result in about 6,000 serious illnesses - while 10's of millions are unemployed (at least temporarily) to prevent a further spread of this virus. The loss of employment is only a part of the Societal Cytokine Storm that's been created in our irrational response to this virus. Home Health Care visits to the elderly (the most at risk segment of the population) have been ended in many States. Yesterday we delivered meals to two elderly neighbors who called explaining their Home Health visits were ordered cancelled to "protect" them against Covid-19. Surely, this is madness. In one case, it's an 85 year old with Parkinson's disease who has very limited ability to cook and feed herself. 

The panic at the grocery store is worse this week than last week. Most grocery stores in the Austin Texas area (6 known cases of Covid) have limited hours of operation and implemented strict purchasing limits. Yesterday at 7:30 am, there was a line approximately 1/4 mile long to get into the HEB which opened at 8:00 am.  The Sams "Wholesale Store" limited purchases of ribeye steak to 1 package at a time. Both of the above serve to create both additional panic, and additional crowding which is supposedly the worst thing we can do to spread this virus.

Guns and ammunition are almost impossible to buy. About 2 months ago I placed an HK-P30 in lay-away at "Bud's Guns," a large online gun store. I didn't really need it, but it was a great deal, and I didn't want to pass it up. I pretty much forgot about it until I received an email from Bud's reminding me about my lay away. Realizing we were in panic mode - I quickly paid up my lay away and had the gun shipped to a local Gun Dealer to complete the FFA transaction paperwork. I got notice from UPS on Thursday that the gun had been delivered. When I arrived at Elite Guns in Austin on Thursday afternoon, I encountered a line that looked like the grocery store - and shelves that looked even more bare than those in the HEB. The single working employee was being inundated with phone calls to which he answered with the greeting, "Elite Guns - we're out of 9mm and 12 ga. amm" - and then usually hung up. After waiting about 30 minutes to speak with the employee, he advised me that there was no way he could go through today's arrivals and that I'd have to come back tomorrow. 

I did go back. I did get my super cool HK P30. I do have several hundred rounds of ammo stored. I'm really glad that I'm not shopping for guns and ammo in the middle of this Zombie Apocalypse. On the bright side, I did get to speak with a few of the patrons hopeful of buying their first firearm. Both were young black women. Both seemed surprised that they could "legally" buy a gun after passing a background check, and both seemed surprised that they were so well received and welcomed into the family of gun owners. Having more armed and self sufficient Americans is a potential upside to this current madness.

I started this wanting to delve a bit deeper into the actual mechanics of the Cytokine Storm caused by Covid-19 and what one can do to decrease the possibility of creating such a reaction - but I've already rambled past the attention span of most readers - I'll try to get to that tomorrow - if anyone is still alive.