I wanted to share some insights into COVID-19, based on my research as well as experience in my own (intentionally-small) healthcare practice. Thus far, I've provided treatment guidance for several dozen COVID-19 cases in children and adults, including the Delta variant and long-hauler COVID. I have not treated many seniors with this illness.
Good News About Illness Severity
Overall death and hospitalization rates from COVID-19 are actually much lower than you'd think from the media reports. Although the Delta variant spreads easier, it is not proving to be any more severe or deadly than previous variants overall.
COVID-19 Survival Rates (based on CDC data)
Age 0-19 - 99.997%
Age 20-49 - 99.95%
Age 50-69 - 99.5%
Age 70+ - 94.6%
COVID-19 often has a different illness progression than other illnesses.
There is often a ~5-7 day initial phase during which the symptoms are mild.
After the initial phase, the symptoms can become stronger around day 5-7. This does not happen for everyone, but it is difficult to predict who it will happen to.
The symptoms during the initial phase of the illness can be very mild, and in some cases the illness is almost unnoticeable during that phase (especially in children). For instance, when my daughter had COVID back in July 2020, the first ~5 days of the illness she literally only coughed lightly once or twice a day. It was not until she started coughing a little more frequently around day 5-6 that we realized she was ill.
I am frankly frustrated by the lack of information about the initial mild phase. This is probably when most people accidentally transmit the illness, because the symptoms can be so mild that people assume they must not have COVID-19.
Differences Between COVID-19 and Influenza
Although it is hard to tell a difference between COVID-19 and influenza based on the typical symptom lists that are published, there are actually some notable differences from a practitioner standpoint:
Unlike influenza, the symptoms of COVID-19 may vary widely from person to person. Typically, with the flu, most people will have a certain set of symptoms on any given year. However, with COVID-19 there are often different prominent symptoms from person-to-person and within the family. For instance, one person may have a headache as the most prominent symptom, while another has mainly gastrointestinal symptoms, while another has primarily cough/respiratory symptoms, and another has primarily body aches, etc.
COVID-19 has much less effect on children in general than influenza. Whereas influenza can be particularly dangerous for both the elderly and children under age 5-years-old, COVID-19 tends to be noticeably milder than influenza for most kids. The CDC has acknowledged the fact that COVID-19 is less dangerous for children than influenza.
COVID-19 illness is sometimes accompanied by unusual symptoms including rashes, swollen joints, etc. These symptoms are more likely to be seen in children than adults.
Children and COVID-19
Children are generally not at risk from this illness (including the Delta variant), and this illness tends to be noticeably milder than influenza for most kids.
Children have a 99.997% survival rate from COVID-19 illness. Children have less than a 1% hospitalization rate from COVID-19 illness. These statistics only account for the children who tested positive and omit the many children who developed immunity without symptoms or testing.
Recent pre-print studies have found that adolescent children have a greater risk of developing heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than they do of being hospitalized with COVID-19 illness.
The COVID-19 vaccines are proving to be less effective against the Delta variant (with Pfizer effectiveness shown to be as low as 42%). That means that there are increased numbers of vaccinated people who are having symptomatic illness (including severe illness and death) than would have been expected based on the initial clinical trials.
It is difficult to get a complete picture of the effects of breakthrough cases in the USA because the CDC stopped tracking most breakthrough cases back in May 2021. However, the UK is tracking breakthrough cases. In the UK's detailed dataset ~2/3 of cases were in unvaccinated people, but ~2/3 of deaths were in vaccinated people.
The meaning of this data is not clear. It is possible there are other important factors; for instance, are vaccinated people more likely to be high-risk in the first place? Scientists should be looking closely at this to figure out why there is a much higher death rate from Delta variant in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated people, but instead this data is being largely ignored.
Disclaimer - I am not a doctor or licensed healthcare professional. I am a homeopathic practitioner whose services are considered complementary and alternative by the state of New Mexico. The uses of homeopathic remedies described herein are provided for educational use only.