Friday, August 7, 2020

Who's Getting COVID-19 Now

Earlier today, Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, issued the following press release.
Following the news earlier this week of a COVID-19 outbreak within Columbia County, some are wondering why there has been no attendant rise in hospitalizations or deaths, as might be expected.
"I think that's an indication that it has been younger people being infected," said county Health Department Director Jack Mabb. "But for those who are not taking this or any outbreak seriously, I would caution them to think of others and of the possible long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection, regardless of age."
Among the possible long-term health impacts of a COVID-19 infection observed by public health officials include:
  • Permanent lung damage
  • Neurological issues
  • Cognitive and psychiatric impairment
  • Hearing issues
  • Fatigue
"Younger people need to remember that while they may have contracted the virus yet remain asymptomatic, it's not just themselves they need to worry about. Besides risks to their own health, the risk of passing the virus along to parents, grandparents, and other older members of the family, as well as those with chronic health conditions, remains high," said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell.
Although the CCDOH is not reporting any information about the ages of the people testing positive for the coronavirus (surely that could be done without violating anyone's HIPAA rights), it's easy enough to infer that those now being infected may be younger than those being hospitalized and dying from the virus in March and April. A question to which it is not so easy to infer the answer is this: If there have been eighteen new positive cases in the past week, how can there only be ten active cases? 

The press release from the chair of the Board of Supervisors also contained the news that Hudson Fourth Ward supervisor Linda Mussmann has donated $1,200 toward the purchase of 100 coronavirus test kits.


  1. It is possible that COVID is like chicken pox and shingles. In young people, chicken pox is a mild illness, but the virus remains dormant in the human body for decades. The immune system weakens as people age, until the virus is reactivated decades later as shingles, a serious debilitating illness. That is why it is imperative for everyone to maintain strict social distancing and to wear a mask until there is better treatment for COVID and, one hopes, a vaccine.

  2. One thing seems clear: the DOH is not being completely transparent. And at a time when schools will be "opening," information about the age of Covid-19 victims is especially important.