- Virus– a type of germ that consists solely of a bit of genetic material (DNA or RNA) wrapped in a protein coat. The coat gets the genes into the target cell where the genes force the cell to make zillions of new viruses, and on it goes.
- Coronavirus– a species name of a number of different viruses. Called corona because its protein coat is studded with spike shapes that form a crown, halo, or corona of spikes
- SARS-CoV-2– the specific name of the new coronavirus
- COVID-19-the name of the illness that the new coronavirus is causing
- Endemic– an illness always present in a region. One could say strep throat is endemic in the US
- Epidemic– a sudden burst of an illness that comes and goes over a limited time
- Pandemic– an epidemic that bursts across the world not just one region
- Spreadability– how contagious is the disease, how many people will end up infected
- Symptoms- the experience of being ill, for example- fever, cough, headaches, loss of smell etc.
- Asymptomatic– literally means “without symptoms”. For COVID-19 it refers a person infected with the virus but has no and will have not symptoms
- Presymptomatic– This is a person who was infected with SARS-CoV-2, and will feel sick, but hasn’t yet
- Severity– what harm does the disease cause, in terms of how sick you get and how many it will kill
- Mask- a mask is a loose-fitting cloth or textile that covers the mouth and nose loosely. A surgical mask is a mask used in surgery
- Respirator- for the purposes of the COVID-19 pandemic and other respiratory illnesses, a respirator is a mask that fits very snugly or tightly to the user’s face. An N95 mask is a respirator.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- PPE are any item that covers any part of the body with the design and intent of keeping viruses in the environment from infecting the wearer of the PPE. PPE’s include all masks (which includes respirators), face shields, eye shields, gloves, gowns.
- Ventilator- a ventilator is a machine that can force a person unable to breathe to inhale and exhale and control both effectively. They are sometimes called respirators, but during this pandemic the word respirator is now reserved for reference to a tightly fit mask.
- Live Virus Swab– this is the swab which attempts to swipe live virus from one’s nose or throat to see if you are currently infected.
- Antibody Test- (aka serology test) this is the blood test which looks for antibody to the SARS-CoV-2 virus to see if you have been infected in the past.
- Vaccine Terms
- Vaccine or Immunization– a dose of a substance that activates your immune system, as if you have the actual infection you are hoping to prevent, leaving you in fact protected from having that infection.
- Efficacy– the percentage of people immunized with a particular vaccine who will not get infected if exposed to the target infection. For example, a COVID-19 vaccine will be said to be 95% effective if 95% of people immunized with that particular COVID-19 vaccine will not get COVID-19 if exposed to COVID-19
- mRNA– DNA works by dictating exactly which proteins your cell will make. The message on how to construct each protein is delivered to the cell machinery that makes proteins by a piece of genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA
- mRNA vaccine– an mRNA vaccine places a small bit of mRNA code that makes your cells make a protein that is the protein from a virus that alerts your immune system and activates it to make protections against you being infected
- Viral vector vaccine– a viral vector vaccine takes a harmless virus that is known to infect people reliably and places that weakened virus in a person where that virus will in fact infect the person. The virus is not only weakened, but also attached to a set of genes that makes your cells make a protein that is the protein from a virus that alerts your immune system and activates it to make protections against you being infected.
The Evidence Is Now Overwhelming Around the World:
Get Vaccinated! It Works! It’s Safe!
Here in America the COVID vaccine has demonstrated its awesome power and safety.
As of June 3, 2021, the US has given almost 300 million doses, 293.8 million to be exact.
That puts us at 41.5% of the entire nation fully immunized.
Has it worked?
The evidence here at home is overwhelming. No matter how you count them, the cases of COVID are plummeting rapidly towards negligible. Count be positive tests, or by people hospitalized, or people dying from COVID, and every week since mass immunizations began to really take hold, the numbers are dropping and dramatically.
The evidence from Israel remains overwhelming, the number of cases is actually nearing zero, even though their immunization rate has stalled for months at 55%. This strongly suggests that once a nation hits 55% the ability of the COVID virus to spread truly gets stymied. And this during a time huge mass gatherings have happened across Israel.
The evidence from India, South Asia, South America, and now Africa, is tragically overwhelming. Any community that is not vaccinated that gathers while the virus is spreading widely will see a fury of outbreaks that kills thousands and thousands of people, bringing communities to their knees every time.
The campaign to stop this virus for good, everywhere, is ramping up around the world, it is the only path that can save vast numbers of lives, the only path to keep dangerous mutations and variants from emerging. That campaign has led to the world achieving 2 billion doses given in over 230 nations. Extraordinary.
And also overwhelming is the evidence that after nearly 300 million COVID vaccines given here in America, and over 2 billion doses have been given around the world, this vaccine is astoundingly safe. So very few people have really been harmed by this vaccine, it is far safer than we could have dared to hope, such welcome news.
We are so close, 41.5% fully vaccinated. The evidence suggests that if we hit 55% of America fully vaccinated the pandemic can truly be halted. And, it’s extremely safe.
So, if you know anyone who is 12 years old or older who is not yet fully vaccinated, it really is time, this June, to get this done. The vaccine is easy to get, it’s free, let’s get this done, let’s keep this very deadly danger to us all halted.
To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin