What are Covid-19 cases on the decline? Here is why.

In the beginning of January 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it was changing its covid-19 lab testing parameters.  The new lab protocols were to change the cycle threshold of the polymerase chain reaction from 45 CTs to 35 CTs.  The World Health Organization found that 45 cycle thresholds produces too many false positive covid-19 tests. Starting in January 2021, the new cycle threshold parameter will be 35 CTs.  Lowering the cycle threshold parameters by 10 will dramatically decrease the reported Covid-19 cases.

 

As of today, February 5, 2021, 4 weeks after the lab protocols were changed to a lesser number, the headlines on the news and in the newspapers are “Covid-19 cases on the decline.”  Ok, well that isn’t too hard to figure out why.  But now since the vaccine has rolled out during this same time period, one can actually predict that the general population will give credit to this early decline in case numbers to the vaccine roll out not the change in covid-19 testing lab protocols.

 

Statistics are important.  It is a shame that they can be manipulated.  The two main statistics that we hear about on a daily basis throughout the pandemic are covid-19 case load and covid-19 death rate.  The WHO example above shows you how case load statistics can change at the drop of a hat or at the whim of a procedural change.  The death rate statistic is another statistic that needs explanation. First off, no dispute at all, 100% factual, covid-19 is a deadly disease and people are dying from this disease every day, lots of people.  This is one of the most tragic illnesses to effect the globe in the past century ( Spanish flu, HIV, Ebola virus, etc).  Absolutely horrible.  I have lost patients to covid-19 and I have friends that have lost family members to covid-19.  My heart goes out to every person who has lost a friend or family member to this deadly virus.

 

That being said, I wish the death rate statistic was explained better and possible divided into subcategories. The news reports the death rate with a running number, almost like a stock market ticker.  So while watching the news, the daily covid-19 death rate increases in the box on the screen, hour by hour.  Some people say that a percentage of people that have died of covid-19 is less than is exactly reported on.  How much less? No one seems to be sure. Even if it is only 20% less, the death toll is still staggering.  Even its 40% less, the number still surpasses our wildest nightmare of people dying.  I have heard stories that if a person dies of a motor vehicle accident and also tests positive for covid-19, that person is listed, in addition to the motor vehicle death, as a covid-19 death.  The same with dying of a heart attack or even a gunshot wound.  And I have also heard stories that hospitals receive payments for covid-19 deaths from the federal government.

Research has shown that the majority of these anecdotal stories are false.  According to CDC guidelines, "If COVID–19 played a role in the death, this condition should be specified on the death certificate. In many cases, it is likely that it will be the UCOD [underlying cause of death], as it can lead to various life-threatening conditions, such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In these cases, COVID–19 should be reported on the lowest line used in Part I with the other conditions to which it gave rise listed on the lines above it.”  Also, hospitals do not receive federal government payments for covid-19 deaths. Hospitals do or did receive payments for patients with covid-19 that were placed on ventilators.  According to Medicare, "Providers can get additional reimbursement through Medicare. This was a component of the CARES Act that was passed by Congress and signed by the president as a partial offset to all the extra costs that providers are incurring. The cares act reimbursement is only for services provided, not deaths.”

This doesn’t help us, the general public watching the news from suffering with “death rate anxiety.”  It would more prudent if the death rate statistics  were broken into sub categories.  For example,  Death solely by covid-19, Death with preexisting conditions and covid-19, Asymptomatic covid-19 present, death by another cause. Etc.

 

For my own sanity, I try not to focus on the death rate statistics and the case load statistics ( as seen in the example above, that number can inflate and deflate on a whim).  The main stat I pay attention to is hospitalizations.  This is an irrefutable stat.  If someone has covid-19 and is sick enough to go to and be admitted to the hospital, that is of major concern.  If hospitalization admissions are going up, the infectious virus number must be going up.  If hospitalizations are going down, less people are being infected with severe covid-19.

 

The case numbers of Covid-19 will be decreasing each and every week.  In part because of less false positives from Covid-19 testing.  In addition, I would like to think that people are doing their best to be healthier (eating right, proper immune system vitamins, exercise, enough sleep, holistic health care like chiropractic, acupuncture and homeopathy).  Also not hanging out in large groups, especially indoors where viral spread is an issue during the winter months.  For those choosing to get the vaccine, I hope that the vaccine delivers the results promised to you with less and less negative reactions.

 

That being said, as part of informed consent for your personal information here is the latest reported events from the CDC vaccine adverse reaction reporting system (via their website) to help you make your own health care decision concerning the vaccination.

 

As of 2/6/21, 25.5 million people have been given at least one dose of the vaccine.  Adverse reactions total over 11,000 (Of the 11,000 reported events, common reactions such as arm soreness and swelling, fatigue, fever, body aches and headache are included. Also included are the more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis). In addition, it has also been reported on the CDC page that over 300 people have died after receiving the vaccine. 

 

Prenatal Chiropractic Care:  Prenatal care is the health care you get while you are pregnant. It includes your checkups and prenatal testing. Prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. It lets your health care provider spot health problems early.  Prenatal chiropractic care is designed to help the pelvis stay in proper alignment during pregnancy.  Prenatal chiropractic care lessens tension on the round ligaments that support the abdomen and baby.  In addition, during pregnancy, chiropractic care has been shown to lessen aches and discomforts that are associated with having a baby.  Also, preventing and caring for pregnancy related sciatica, back pain and neck pain.  Prenatal chiropractic care should start by the 2nd month or 8th week of pregnancy.

Author
Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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