Doctor's 7 Predictions for 2021
My 1st prediction is that we will have better medication to treat severe Covid. So far, its been extremely frustrating that we don’t have a great medication to treat patients with severe or critically-ll COVID. We have dexamethasone, which helps to reduce mortality, but it’s far from a miracle drug. So many therapies just haven’t panned out. Convalescent plasma, Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, and so on. But there are 2 drugs that come to mind, that I think will have a chance at improving mortality, which I’ll be talking about in upcoming videos. One of which is Ivermectin.
My 2nd prediction is that this will be the best flu season in decades. Masks, social distancing, hand-washing. All of these are effective at minimizing the spread of not just COVID-19, but influenza and other respiratory viruses. And it seems to me more and more people have been getting the flu shot this year. And so far, number of influenza cases, hospitalizations, and deaths??? I have not had a single patient with flu, and don’t know of anyone personally how has had the flu. But we’ll have to wait for the official statistics to come out once flu season is over.
How Doctors Can Predict Who Dies From COVID
Prediction: Vitamin d deficiency will be much less prevalent in 2021 and beyond, because everyone and their mother has been taking vitamin D since the pandemic started. There are lots of studies showing that the people who do worse with COVID tend to be vitamin D deficient. How much of that is causation vs correlation is still TBD. Regardless, its important not to be vitamin D deficient. And on a related not, I do think that this pandemic will result in more and more people taking their health more seriously.
Prediction: doctors will be able to predict with a high degree of accuracy which people with Covid will have severe disease. We already know the general risk factors for those who are at higher risk of having more severe COVID. Older age, being a male, medical co-morbidities like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, Type A blood, but there are more and more studies being done that can better predict severity of disease for a given individual. This takes into account specific lab measurements that are done when they have bloodwork at the time of hospitalization.
Prediction: Vaccine will remain effective against new strain. The SARS-CoV-2 virus incurred some mutations, and as a result, formed a new strain of SARS-CoV2, called the B.1.1.7 variant. It was first identified in the UK, and is basically everywhere in the world now, and has been spreading faster compared to its counterparts. The mutations that it has incurred slightly altered its spike protein. Given the importance of the spike protein in developing immunity, it’s a fair question to ask, does that mean the vaccines will be less effective against this new variant of B.1.1.7 variant. Well, preliminary data from the UK suggests that the vaccines in use there remain effective, and the US is conducting its own studies. The CDC provides updates on its website for all known coronavirus mutations and ongoing efforts to sequence and understand their implications. While SARS-CoV-2 is statistically expected to mutate every couple of weeks or so, most of the subsequent changes to the viral structure are minimal. Some other viruses, like HIV, are way more likely to have meaningful mutations on a regular basis, which is the big reason why an HIV vaccine has been so hard to develop.
Prediction: I am getting my second vaccination shot tomorrow, the one from Pfizer. My prediction is that my second shot will go smoothly, just like it did the first. Knock on wood (head). Even though side effects from the vaccine are more likely to occur in younger people (I’m 40 say what you will), and they are more likely to occur after the 2nd shot, overall, most people will not experience side effects, other than a sore arm for a day or two. So hopefully all goes well, and I think it will. And based on the statistics of the Pfizer vaccine study published in NEJM, my confidence level will mirror that. So, 9/10. Related to this, I also predict that I will make a video on me getting the 2nd shot. But not just another video, a music video. 9/10.
Prediction: The pandemic will be over by fall. This mainly depends on the number of people who get the vaccine. We need probably 80% or so of the population to get it in order to reach herd immunity. This also means we still need to mask up and distance. But before we get to the end of the pandemic, we first have to get through the worst of the pandemic, which is January. Because of people travelling for the Holidays with indoor gatherings and parties, because of the cold/dry air, because of the new strain that is more contagious. January already is bad, and will only get worse. This past week we are seeing crazy number of covid cases and deaths in my hospital, and this is going on throughout the country.