Apologies in advance, this section is kind of a bummer.

But I think sharing up-to-date COVID information is important, so that you can make your own informed decision.

This is what it looks like to live with long COVID
5min video of a series of clips of people talking about their experiences with long COVID. Hair loss, foggy memory, tremors, difficulty eating and/or sleeping, distortion of taste and smell, etc. Long COVID is no joke.

Covid (@UCSF) Chronicles, Day 838
Excellently detailed thread by Dr. Bob Wachter, Chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine.

  • BA.5 is different than other Omicron sub-variants: it has enough spike protein alteration that immunity from either a prior vax or prior Omicron infection doesn’t offer much protection.
    • “We’re seeing folks (vax plus infection) get reinfected within 1-2 months.”
  • Despite not providing much protection against reinfection, boost #2 is still useful: 4-fold mortality reduction in people >age 50.
  • To get a feel for the risk of maskless indoor gathering, we can consider the asymptomatic test + rate, which has been 5-6% for a few months.
    • If 1 in 16 people who feel fine actually has Covid, spend enough time maskless indoors & it’s near-certain that you’ll get it.
    • If 6.5% of an asymptomatic population has Covid, in a crowd of 50 people, there’s a 96% probability that someone there is positive.

How to calculate risk in the era of long covid

  • Most studies find ~10% - 20% of people who get COVID get long COVID.
  • Even with mitigating factors, the best-protected person still likely has at least a 1-in-20 chance of lingering symptoms if they get COVID today.
  • Up-to-date vaccination — in addition to its other benefits — lowers the odds of long covid by 15 to 50 percent, depending on the study.

In addition to symptoms that last for several months or more, there’s also a risk of other long-term complications that are set in motion by the original case of covid-19. For reasons that aren’t completely understood, people who have had covid have a significant increase in heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and blood clots, measured at least one year from the time of their infection. There is evidence, too, of brain shrinkage, although the implications of this are not yet clear. These findings mean that, on top of the risk of chronic symptoms, a case of covid may increase the long-term odds of several diseases that are among our leading capuses of death and disability.

Heart disease after COVID: what the data say VA Finds Cardiovascular Issues After Covid

A VA study of 150,000 people who’ve had Covid found they faced a higher risk of multiple cardiovascular problems, even if they weren’t hospitalized and had minor symptoms. But symptoms were worse for people who were hospitalized and/or went to ICU. More