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  1. #1

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    Twenty days ago my wife went to her doctor for her routine annual exam, something scheduled several months previously. She mentioned her throat was a little sore on one side. Her doctor didn't see anything really troubling but added a COVID test to the usual blood work. Surprisingly the COVID was positive two days later. By that time my wife felt like she had mild flu symptoms.

    I got the text from her about the positive COVID while I was working in the hospital. I am on the COVID team, among other duties. I was immediately quarantined at home but worked remotely. I felt fine at first.

    Four days later I have a COVID test, which was the first available time and actually wasn't crucial to get performed immediately. I had a few body aches by then. Two days later my results showed I had the virus.

    My personal choice was to avoid the hospital if at all possible. I needed to help take care of my wife while she was on bedrest. Further, being in the hospital means losing a lot of control and is among Dante's rings of hell. I set my threshold of sickness before I'd consider asking my doctor about admission. I never crossed that threshold, for which I'm grateful.

    I have the advantage of being able to do and understand a lot of hospital monitoring in my home. I set up my protocols before my storm and followed them. My wife and two friends who are professionals in critical care were in the loop.

    There is no specific COVID therapy to be given at home. Nothing. If I needed remdesivir, I had to be hospitalized. I could address fluid needs, oxygenation, vital signs and temperature management fairly easily.

    The experience was much like a bad flu only it lasted longer. My temperatures often were 102 degrees and went up to 104.9. I had corresponding sweats and chills. I could not sleep more than a few minutes at a time. The thought of any food was just disgusting. I spent about a week with elevated temperatures, sleep deprivation, and starvation. This was very interesting in a way. It induces the altered consciousness of the oneiric state. This state has been used by shamans for thousands of years to contact the dead, get spiritual insight and have vision quests. It is an admixture of the waking and REM sleep state. It's not unpleasant and can be shut off in a moment of concentration. Caffeine also blocks it. In this state I relived brief moments of my life as if I were there. For example, I felt the texture of the carpet of my childhood home on my bare feet from when I was three. I smelled the lawn as I mowed it and saw the sky and trees from a snippet when I was 16. There were countless flashbacks to the very ordinary with rich sensory detail. There was my mother at the stove cooking. Then I was touching our family dog who has been dead for decades. Then I was sitting in my car going somewhere and could hear the usual motor and traffic sounds. In a word, these were experiences of the mundane, the filler of life, the time between the important times.

    I watched Netflix. Three seasons of Yellowstone went by too quickly. I probably saw 20 documentaries I never would have otherwise seen on many topics. It's amazing.

    Today I'm about 80% back to normal. My energy is returning. My wife is about 100% now.

    I want to share my story because many hear different things about COVID, all of which can be true. Many will have no symptoms ever and will achieve immunity from an infection they didn't suspect they had. Many die. Had I developed respiratory failure, that could have been me. Many have an intermediate course like me. The virus is not going away. I am hopeful we are on the brink of several effective vaccines. Time is crucial. A potential public health disaster this winter is the co-existence of COVID and influenza. That will be the peak wave of death.

    I don't want my story to be a platform to debate science or politics. The latter is is seductive to jump into but is not productive and is generally moronic. The smartest minds on six continents still can't agree on the proper balance of economic bleeding vs. public health. These are shifting sands and one size will never fit all. It frustrates me to see dissent marketed on commercial TV with paid pundits set up to joust and excite the audience. This is just shameful.

    I recently spent time in Appalachia. There are families that arrived in the 1600s from Scotland, England and Ireland. They lived in "hollers" between mountains. It was unusual to run into a neighbor because of the terrain and distances involved. But when that happened they generally sat together for 30 to 90 minutes to gab. They may not see another neighbor for weeks or more. It was precious to have a full conversation and just sit with someone you didn't see daily. Throughout history people often were isolated and stuck talking with their families. But now we have virtual identities that don't even require a human body in most respects. This is a brave new world where we cannot predict where it is going. Take a look at this. Nomophobia - Wikipedia

    My very recent experience with the oneiric state has me reconsidering life balance. I wonder about the future of democracy, the overabundance of physical pleasure and intensity, and the ability to healthfully adjust to all of that. All bets are off. Time will tell.

    One of my flashbacks was from the movie The Way We Were:

    The name of the story is "The All-American Smile" by Hubbell Gardiner. In a way, he was like the country he lived in. Everything came too easily to him, but at least he knew it. About once a month he worried that he was a fraud. But then most everyone he knew was more fraudulent. Sometimes he felt he was... there's really no reason for us to change. But of course by then, they were too lost or too lazy. It had always been too easy.

    So to come to a point, I hope my tale has some meaning for some of you. My COVID journey was wicked but taught me a lot that cannot be put into words. There is not a tidy slogan or cute meme on the other side. This will take a while for me to resettle.

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  3. #2

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    Thanks for sharing. TO hear some people talk, COVID19 is a mere binary: Die-Not Die. But in fact, the "Not Die" side is much more complex and can involve long periods of greatly reduced function and even significant suffering weeks on end. When people say "it's just a bad flu" I actually wonder if they've ever really had a bad flu? To be at 103?+ for very long periods, days on end, repeatedly over weeks, is miserable and dangerous. IN addition, some consequences of the disease are not obvious so that "asymptomatic" does not mean "unharmed.'

    I'm so glad you and your wife are coming out well from this. You have too many good years, and good deeds to do within them, to be gone now.

  4. #3

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    This is extremely valuable and helpful, thanks very much for sharing. Did you monitor your oxygen saturation ?

  5. #4

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    Thank you for sharing this.
    I appreciate your candor and openness to experience.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    This is extremely valuable and helpful, thanks very much for sharing. Did you monitor your oxygen saturation ?
    That was my biggest worry. My lowest saturation was 90% but generally was 94%.

  7. #6

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    Thanks Marty. And all the best to you and your wife !

  8. #7

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    Glad you two are on the mend!

    May I ask how you got food when both of you were sick? This could happen to us too.

  9. #8

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    Thanks for sharing your experience. I take care of a lot of COVID patients, but as a rule don't have a chance to talk to them about the details of their experience. (This is unfortunately true for most diseases.)

    My girlfriend's son had a "mild" self-limited case of COVID--very similar to influenza. He was with us for a few days before getting tested. Neither my girlfriend nor I have had any major illness, other than my allergic rhinitis is the worst it's ever been. Makes me wonder if I in fact had COVID last month.

    In any event, in addition to the obvious public health work that still needs to be done, we have to acknowledge the experiences of those who survived and those who died before we can "move on", even if the virus went away tomorrow.

  10. #9

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    Thank you, Marty, for your narrative, understated, touching, wide-ranging and authoritative. I hope your physical health catches up to your admirable psychic health.

    My COVID-19 Experience-e2d829b2-f113-47c0-90a7-29e93845515e-jpg

  11. #10

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    Sorry to hear about you and your wife, Marty.

    I have had Covid too, but without your medical background. I lost taste and smell one day - 3rd May - before it was mentioned as a symptom. Then followed hot headaches for days, heavy sweating, nausea, dizziness, complete loss of balance for a while, and a few other things. Having been an asthmatic for most of my life, I feared my life could be in danger, but thankfully I never got any respiratory disorders.

    There were no tests back then, but I phoned the helpline, spoke to a doctor, and then my own doctor, and they both told me to just self isolate for ten days, then I'll be right as rain. Not so. For sure, most of the symptoms disappeared after a couple of weeks, but I was left with complete exhaustion...for 17 weeks! I am only now beginning to recover from that. I have good days, like today, where I feel great, and only slept once during the day. Then there are days like yesterday when I slept three times, and suffered massive headaches all day long.

    I teach from home for a living, and early on put all my students on Zoom - about a third of them left me, promising to return for face-to-face lessons when this is all over. Then I was too tired to teach four or five a day, going down to one or two, and actually took a few weeks off with no students. Obviously this impacted on my income, but I have had help from the government as I have had self-employed tax records for 30 years. Without that help I would have sunk. But that's come to an end now. Luckily I'm up to two students every day now, with the possibility of three on the good days. My students have been great, and are aware I could abandon the lesson half-way through if things get bad.

    From what I can gather, there are many Covid scenarios. At the beginning the authorities weren't interested in you unless you were hospitalised. But now we are discovering how many people are experiencing longterm recovery.

    I count myself one of the lucky ones. I have had no pain at all, just exhaustion, and lots of it. Many have had it a LOT worse.

    Wear a mask.

  12. #11

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    Wow! I didn’t know you were working in the hospital much less infected. Happy you and the Mrs are on the mend. I’ve read horror stories of those in their 40’s who were very fit who’ve died 10 days after being tested. Least this story has a happy ending. Is it true that you can get infected 3 months after being infected.

  13. #12

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    Mark, glad you made it through.A 63 year old college friend of mine died (with no co-morbidity) from this. He lived in NYC where it seems they got a very bad strain.

    I am wearing a mask in public, socially distancing and when I remember to, hand washing. My wife is a senior pharmacist at one of San Francisco's largest hospitals, so I get some inside information (there is some "cooking of the books" going on) and some unwanted exposure (even with the safety protocols, she is in the presence of others and can get infected and infect me).

    I am ready for this all to end like the psychic said it would

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Glad you two are on the mend!

    May I ask how you got food when both of you were sick? This could happen to us too.
    We were fairly well stocked in advance. But we really had no appetites. We also have three daughters living in the area.

  15. #14

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    That was an intense read. I'm glad you're both well, or getting there.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    We were fairly well stocked in advance. But we really had no appetites. We also have three daughters living in the area.
    Fantastic. Kids can be a huge help.

    We are stocked too, but not with a lot of stuff we would prefer to eat. Wifey and I discussed this today, so thanks for sharing your story. Turns out there are grocery stores in the area that deliver or have curbside service.

  17. #16

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    Marty, thanks for sharing this experience. God Bless you and your wife!

  18. #17

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    all the best to you and yours mg

    hope looking at some of your beautiful guitars (and the surrounding thoughts with them) cheers you up a bit!

    cheers

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Mark, glad you made it through.A 63 year old college friend of mine died (with no co-morbidity) from this. He lived in NYC where it seems they got a very bad strain.

    I am wearing a mask in public, socially distancing and when I remember to, hand washing. My wife is a senior pharmacist at one of San Francisco's largest hospitals, so I get some inside information (there is some "cooking of the books" going on) and some unwanted exposure (even with the safety protocols, she is in the presence of others and can get infected and infect me).

    I am ready for this all to end like the psychic said it would
    Interesting, I also have friends who work on the inside of hospitals and they corroborate the cooking of the books but probably in the opposite direction from what you are intoning...

  20. #19

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    Mark,

    Thanks for sharing. We are all glad that you and your wife pulled through this.

    Very insightful.

    GT

  21. #20

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    Thanks to both you and Rob for sharing your experiences. One possible piece of good news that I've read recently is the hope that the social distancing that's being practiced because of Covid19 may also result in lower than usual incidence of influenza. One can at least hope so.
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 09-04-2020 at 02:19 AM.

  22. #21

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    Recently some of my in-laws (seven from ages mid 60s to young schoolchildren) have all tested positive. The "family" , 17 or so have a big Christmas git together every year. I announced to my wife I would not be attending this year. Huge fight followed. Rock and a hard place as they say but I'll take the hurt feelings and insults over risking my life for their big get together. I'm 67 and hope to make it through this virus to enjoy what retirement I may have left. Glad to hear some of our members are getting through this and best of luck to all...

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaco
    Recently some of my in-laws (seven from ages mid 60s to young schoolchildren) have all tested positive. The "family" , 17 or so have a big Christmas git together every year. I announced to my wife I would not be attending this year. Huge fight followed. Rock and a hard place as they say but I'll take the hurt feelings and insults over risking my life for their big get together. I'm 67 and hope to make it through this virus to enjoy what retirement I may have left. Glad to hear some of our members are getting through this and best of luck to all...
    we have the same issues in our family. Part of extended family are virus deniers who think the pandemic is a global conspiracy by left-wing marxists. Sadly, their daughter has an auto-immune disease so I pray that they manage to escape infection. But they are already planning for thanksgiving and christmas festivities and think that if they just seat everyone a few feet apart and wear masks when not eating, everyone should be fine. I'm in my '60s and also looking forward to being able to have many years of guitar playing and life after retirement without extended lung or heart issues so I've already told me wife we are not going...

  24. #23

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    "This was very interesting in a way. It induces the altered consciousness of the oneiric state. This state has been used by shamans for thousands of years to contact the dead, get spiritual insight and have vision quests. It is an admixture of the waking and REM sleep state. It's not unpleasant and can be shut off in a moment of concentration. Caffeine also blocks it. In this state I relived brief moments of my life as if I were there. For example, I felt the texture of the carpet of my childhood home on my bare feet from when I was three. I smelled the lawn as I mowed it and saw the sky and trees from a snippet when I was 16. There were countless flashbacks to the very ordinary with rich sensory detail. There was my mother at the stove cooking. Then I was touching our family dog who has been dead for decades. Then I was sitting in my car going somewhere and could hear the usual motor and traffic sounds. In a word, these were experiences of the mundane, the filler of life, the time between the important times." Marty Grass


    Hi, M,
    Very interesting. This, of course, is reminiscent of "The Interpretation of Dreams," by Sigmund Freud as well as "The Teachings of Don Juan," by Carlos Casteneda whose focus was dreams and the altered states of mind. We have visited the moon, climbed the world's highest peaks, created technology that has changed the way Man lives and perceives human life but we've yet to understand the complexities of the human mind and what philosophers call consciousness. I have a science-based view of life but have experienced, on numerous occasions, unexplained mental phenomena/experiences that were quite profound and disturbing. And, I still have some memories of early life experiences that I am not certain are fact or fiction. Recently, I took a break from playing and was thinking about a friend I hadn't spoke with in over a year. Within seconds, the phone rang and it was him. The first thing I said was that this was a shocking call and explained what happened. He told me he had the same experience and that's why he called. Coincidence? Perhaps.
    The mind, not space, is the last great frontier for Man. Perhaps, one day, Science will unlock its mysteries. Interesting post, Marty.

    Play live . . . Marinero

  25. #24

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    Wonderful post Marty, I really appreciated it, and am happy you and your's are on the mend. I was quite interested to read of your oneiric experience, the most lucid description I've yet read of one of the virus' symptoms, and now makes me wonder if I had this damn virus myself in mid March, for two and a half months.

    I didn't get a test because the tele doctor said I shouldn't unless I have all the symptoms, the main one being dry coughing apparently. I had every other symptom in spades, but only coughed occasionally, or if I breathed deeply. But that drifting in and out of consciousness thing is exactly how I was for weeks, unlike any flu, or bronchitis I've ever had. I consulted with doctors twice and was given antibiotics one time (which did nothing), and a chest x -ray the second time (all normal apparently). But my throat and chest were not normal, with constant discomfort such as Ive never known. I also seemed to lose my voice for quite a while.

    After 3 months I had the test, and was all clear, but felt quite recovered by then anyway (I'm still not 100% btw). I'd like to get an antibodies test, but I don't think I can. I'm quite curious now to know if I did in fact contract covid, and not just some "chest infection" I put it down to. It got pretty bad for a while there, like I had holes in my lungs, even got "wheezy" for a week or so even though I've never had asthma. My sleep deprived psychological effects were the worst though - some nights laying awake thinking I was dying, and some nights not even caring if i did!

    So even if it wasn't covid, I can certainly sympathise with those of you that have gone through this. Throw in media hysteria and fear of the unknown, you get the fright of your life, even if it turns out to be just a "chest infection" ....

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    Interesting, I also have friends who work on the inside of hospitals and they corroborate the cooking of the books but probably in the opposite direction from what you are intoning...
    Well lets hope that if the books are being "cooked" in opposite directions (and that would not surprise me as politics have infected all aspects of American life in a toxic way) that the two set of "cooked" books cancel each other out.

    The only thing that is certain in this life (as has been said) are death and taxes and Covid 19 is pretty clearly on Team death.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    we have the same issues in our family. Part of extended family are virus deniers who think the pandemic is a global conspiracy by left-wing marxists. Sadly, their daughter has an auto-immune disease so I pray that they manage to escape infection. But they are already planning for thanksgiving and christmas festivities and think that if they just seat everyone a few feet apart and wear masks when not eating, everyone should be fine. I'm in my '60s and also looking forward to being able to have many years of guitar playing and life after retirement without extended lung or heart issues so I've already told me wife we are not going...
    Jack you and I likely disagree on a vast range of issues, but I'm 1000% with you on this. If there is a conspiracy around COVID19, it's the conspiracy of denial. This thing is real. It's not that hard to beat it, but it requires discipline, which is in short supply in our society. I think of the virus as a shark. No thinking or feeling, no beliefs, no emotions, simply a need to feed. Put up a barrier, it feeds somewhere else. Lower the guard, it feeds on the nearest and easiest target.

    Our school has mounted a significant effort to resume instruction live, but we have been informed there will be no exceptions on distancing, masking, classroom barriers, etc. And we are all ready to move to remote learning on very little notice. But the admin is putting credibility and cash behind the recommendations, so I'm guardedly optimistic.

    One thing that helps here in Kentucky... I point out that COVID attacks the ACE2 receptors and that a good many of these are found in testicles. No Kentucky boy wants his balls whacked by a virus!

  28. #27

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    Mark, thank you for sharing you and your wife's incites and experiences with this insidious virus. Your post will surely help others. None of us know our future, but if COVID infection becomes part of it, you have done your part to possibly prepare us. Is that also part of the Hippocratic Oath? If not, it should be. Your experience sounded very similar to CNN's Chris Cuomo's battle with COVID. And like you, he came through it safely, but with latent side effects. Glad you too made it through, my friend. Bless you and your wife.

  29. #28

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    Mark, my friend.........and I say that because you have been very nice to the deacon, but also because of your sincerity. Thank you for the story and the information. I take this very serious with you background and experience. It comes from the heart and mind with no other agenda, I shall hold you and your work up in prayer my duty. The work you do in the hospital is wonderful and on the front lines.

    I have been one to be a little thinking of overboard at times on the situation but realize under certainly circumstances covid is a death sentence or close. I myself need reevaluate given the situation you describe as fall and winter approaches. Take care of yourself and your bride.........you did well she is a %100.

  30. #29

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    Great post, thanks. We are barely halfway through the first year of what is likely to be a multi-year affair, and there is so much more to learn. This fall I expect we'll start to get some answers about current unknowns like length of immunity, compounded risk from recurrent infections, the likelihood of lasting effects from serious/mild/asymptomatic cases, etc.

  31. #30

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    Covid 19 seems so unreal. Until it isn't. Your post makes it more real and while I'm already quite careful, it helps me maintain that caution. Thanks for that.

    We've seen a lot and learned a lot. Too much of it negative in both biological and political arenas. And of course, the huge disappointment in all the idiots who can't seem to grasp the simple need to wear a mask. I miss the world I thought I knew.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Wow! I didn’t know you were working in the hospital much less infected. Happy you and the Mrs are on the mend. I’ve read horror stories of those in their 40’s who were very fit who’ve died 10 days after being tested. Least this story has a happy ending. Is it true that you can get infected 3 months after being infected.
    New data show sustained immunity for at least four months after infection.

  33. #32

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    Mark,
    Thanks for sharing your COVID experience. Glad to hear you and your wife are on the road to recovery. What I found compelling was the oneiric experiences you shared and how coming through this will likely change your outlook on life.

    We all need more balance in life - and need to get off this treadmill of life’s acceleration - exacerbated by technology and excessive consumption.

    I always say something good comes out of something bad.

    Thanks again for sharing your story - stay well.

  34. #33

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    Best of luck in your recovery Mr and Mrs MG!

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    "This was very interesting in a way. It induces the altered consciousness of the oneiric state. This state has been used by shamans for thousands of years to contact the dead, get spiritual insight and have vision quests. It is an admixture of the waking and REM sleep state. It's not unpleasant and can be shut off in a moment of concentration. Caffeine also blocks it. In this state I relived brief moments of my life as if I were there. For example, I felt the texture of the carpet of my childhood home on my bare feet from when I was three. I smelled the lawn as I mowed it and saw the sky and trees from a snippet when I was 16. There were countless flashbacks to the very ordinary with rich sensory detail. There was my mother at the stove cooking. Then I was touching our family dog who has been dead for decades. Then I was sitting in my car going somewhere and could hear the usual motor and traffic sounds. In a word, these were experiences of the mundane, the filler of life, the time between the important times." Marty Grass


    Hi, M,
    Very interesting. This, of course, is reminiscent of "The Interpretation of Dreams," by Sigmund Freud as well as "The Teachings of Don Juan," by Carlos Casteneda whose focus was dreams and the altered states of mind. We have visited the moon, climbed the world's highest peaks, created technology that has changed the way Man lives and perceives human life but we've yet to understand the complexities of the human mind and what philosophers call consciousness. I have a science-based view of life but have experienced, on numerous occasions, unexplained mental phenomena/experiences that were quite profound and disturbing. And, I still have some memories of early life experiences that I am not certain are fact or fiction. Recently, I took a break from playing and was thinking about a friend I hadn't spoke with in over a year. Within seconds, the phone rang and it was him. The first thing I said was that this was a shocking call and explained what happened. He told me he had the same experience and that's why he called. Coincidence? Perhaps.
    The mind, not space, is the last great frontier for Man. Perhaps, one day, Science will unlock its mysteries. Interesting post, Marty.

    Play live . . . Marinero
    The most interesting parts of life are those that are inexplicable and create wonder.

  36. #35

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    MG,
    I’m sorry I just saw this. Thank God you and Mrs G are on the mend. I am glad you are OK. Well,
    When they say healthcare workers are hero’s, they are not exaggerating. Willingly doing a job that could result in what you just mentioned is heroic at the least.
    I am really glad you are Ok MG.
    Now that your back in action the Archtop market will rebound. For sure..
    Stay well and strong MG. Good to have you back in action.
    Joe D

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    New data show sustained immunity for at least four months after infection.
    if true then we need to hustle on the convalescent plasma thing, because the overwhelming majority of infected Americans have recovered, or will recover.

  38. #37

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    Glad you and your wife are feeling better. Hope all returns to normal soon.

    Happy Landings,

    Tony D.

  39. #38

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    "Of 50 patients treated with calcifediol, one required admission to the ICU (2%), while of 26 untreated patients, 13 required admission (50%) "
    comes from here:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960076020302764