Doctors save lives from ‘sinister’ virus

| 24/04/2020 | 86 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): A panel of doctors from the public and private sectors outlined the challenges presented by COVID-19 during a presentation and Q&A with the media on Thursday. Addressing a range of issues regarding what HSA Medical Director Dr Delroy Jefferson called the “sinister and mischievous” nature of the virus, including evolving treatments, the panel made it clear that the health services here are coping with the outbreak because of the measures taken to curb its spread and save lives.

Dr Jefferson was joined on the panel by Dr Stephen Gay, an anaesthetist and pain management specialist from CTMH Doctors Hospital, and Dr Archita Joshi-Bhatt, a consultant in pulmonology from Health City Cayman Islands.

With just twelve hospital admissions for the coronavirus since ‘patient zero’ arrived at Health City Cayman Islands on 29 February from a cruise ship, doctors here have been able to give all patients the support they need to get through the potentially fatal disease.

The panel described a wide range of symptoms, some very serious, even in the few patients they have seen here. Dr Jefferson said the virus is unlike anything he has ever seen because of the diversity of the symptoms and in some cases the range of very serious impacts it has on those it infects, from organ failure to blood clots.

Of the 66 people who have tested positive in the Cayman Islands, the ages range from 14 to 83, with over 52% being men. A significant number have had either no symptoms at all or very mild ones. But those who have become ill and admitted to either Health City or the Cayman Islands Hospital were all over 50 and, with the exception of one patient, they all had underlying health conditions. All three patients who needed critical care were men.

Healthcare professionals at all three hospitals here are helping and supporting each other over management and treatment. The doctors said that they and other medical professionals that have been treating these patients are coping well, despite the unprecedented nature of this virus.

Although there have been very serious cases, the system has not been overwhelmed, and these patients have now been through the worst and are all recovering. Dr Jefferson expressed significant confidence that the local health services will continue to cope with the levels of patients.

He explained that in accordance with the plan to manage a pandemic, we remain in phase one and he intends to keep things that way. But if there was an overwhelming and sudden “critical surge” of sick patients, Cayman is well prepared all the way through to phase four, which would be where all of the hospitals are full and potential over-spill facilities would be in use.

With around 40 ICU ventilator beds ready for use and with staff to cover them, Cayman has the capacity to handle many more serious patients. But given the decreasing numbers of people presenting to the hospital or calling the flu hot-line with symptoms, the doctors all believe the shelter-in-place orders are working to suppress the virus.

With only three patients so far reaching the critical care stage where they needed oxygen or ventilation, Dr Jerfferson explained that these patients received the round-the-clock care they needed to save their lives. So one result of the success of the curfew measures has been that these three people who were very ill survived COVID-19 because the health service providers were in position to focus all their attention on them when they needed it most.

But the doctors all agree that to ensure that the health system is not overwhelmed and that Cayman’s health system never passes from phase one, the curfews need to remain in place and, more importantly, the public must follow the isolation and hygiene protocols.

See the full Q&A session on CIGTV below:


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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (86)

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  1. Anon says:

    Doctors have now become the arbitrary experts in every aspect of our lives! Economics be dammed the only way to save lives is to adhere to their (Medical experts) advice. Less than 150 years ago these same experts would have advised that the only way to cure a person was to bleed them with leeches.
    Yes we have progressed far beyond that but please give me the name of any medical practitioners or experts who can give advice on the economic disaster we are now facing.
    Too many people with very narrow views giving sage like opinions!

    • Anonymous says:

      Bleeding with leeches worked. This is the only way to remove excess iron from the body. Now they draw your blood with needles.
      But I agree about doctors. They are no more than educated guessers. Some exceptions of course. But you won’t find such a doctor with a torch in daylight.

    • Anonymous says:

      If Donald Trump had listened to his scientists and doctors in January and February America would not be in the state it is today. The PM of New Zealand listened to her experts and took action by late January. Today New Zealand is out of their mess because they acted fast.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hang on. All you left wingers we’re crying that Trumps ban on travel from China back in early March was zenophobic, fascist and racist. Which way to you want it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, much better to take advice from Donald Trump,and his cronies, the most anti science President in American history. The one who cut $30 million from the Centre For Disease Control in Atlanta last year, abolished the Pandemic Task Force in the White House a year ago because it was set up by Obama 8 years ago, and made major cuts to scientific research budgets at major research universities throughout America.

      Who needs doctors and science when one has a brilliant real estate guy who calls himself a “stable genius” and went bankrupt 3 times. Of course, he knows everything about economics too.

      America has completely lost it’s way.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can everyone stop comparing us to other places? We’ve flattened the curve. We must start to open things. Take precaution, but we can’t continue to hide from something that isn’t going away.

    Our hospitals aren’t full. We have enough beds to deal with the small amounts of required hospitalizations that will come.

    If you don’t feel like leaving then please continue to self isolate. People with compromised immunities will have to take precautions, but they already do anyway.

    Stay safe, and just try to be logical.

    • Anon says:

      I agree entirely. Given the numbers in Cayman and similar numbers in the USA, and especially in Sweden, which had no lockdown and similar numbers, it is obvious that this China plague, while horrible, causes little injury to most people. It would make much more sense to provide locked down shelter areas to those in harms way, that being the old already unhealthy. Let the young and healthy go.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed, 100%

      • Anonymous says:

        40,000 people have died in New York State and New Jersey the past month, and you say “causes little injury to most people”???????

        You sound like Trump, and his happy talk about the virus every day at his news conferences.

        • Anon says:

          Firstly, your numbers are wrong. To date, according to Worldmeters.info,
          The deaths for New York are 22,866,
          And for New Jersey are 6,442. That is a total of 29,308 China virus deaths for all time (not 40,000, and not in the last month). New York City has a population of 8.39 million. Even if all of the 22,866 CV deaths in New York State had occurred in New York City, the death rate would still only be about .27%. (29,309 divided by 8,390,000 = .0027, or .27%) That is, 2.7 tenths of 1%. I believe that this is a little greater than a bad flu year.

          Secondly, New York City is an extremely congested place. But there are no densely packed subways and commuter trains or sidewalks, or packed elevators carrying thousands of people each, in Cayman.

          Finally, If you want to really reduce the death rate in Cayman I suggest that you institute an immigration moratorium on immigrants from countries with very high crime rates. You will save more Caymanian lives with that than with the present madness.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:53, Yes, do not compare us with other places because we are an exceptional people. We have a unique culture and love our turtle stew. So we know so much about epidemics. Our medical people are world leaders dealing with epidemics.

      Give me a friggin break. You should try to be logical as we are not as smart as we like to think we are. We sure as hell better learn from NYC and New Jersey.

      • Anonymous says:

        Certainly right 6:28. Every time I hear the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education speak, I realize we have a long way to move ahead as a people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why have a curve at all? Death is the wrong yardstick. The virus can affect every major organ in the body, including brain, and there isn’t necessarily any immunity conferred to those that are lucky enough to survive. If you want to go out and volunteer as skeptical guinea pig, do it elsewhere.

      • Anonymous says:

        7:47, I put money on it you would not want you father, mother, son or daughter to be a guinea pig volunteer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Our biggest paradox right now is enforcement of the 6 ft personal distance mandated by law. It’s not a request, and yet, still not remotely happening in practice, especially inside the supermarkets. It’s barely 6 inches several times during a regular shop, with blithely un-adhering bearing in from all directions. It won’t matter how many masks people are wearing if they still can’t maintain the minimum distance required by law. Uniformed ticketing officers need to be deployed immediately inside the essential food supply stores, holding a 6ft tape measure and writing tickets – including the store staff, or we just surrender to ongoing community transmission. We aren’t even trying right now. Just luck that the hospitals aren’t clogged with bodies, given the lack of proportionate enforcement.

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously feel very strongly about this virus and you seem concerned that people passing each other a little too closely in the supermarket will result in more than negligible community transmission. I would suggest to you, however, that almost zero people want to live in a society where you can be written a ticket inside a supermarket because somebody walked by you a little too closely. You have to remember that 6ft isn’t some magic number that will protect you from getting sick. It’s based on a rough approximation so that people aren’t generally cramming into small places which makes transmission more likely.

      What you are suggesting is not proportionate to what we are facing here. It’s highly disproportionate. You are going to have to accept that there will likely always be some community transmission of this virus. Just like the flu now. We may get lucky if there is a vaccine that wipes this out in a year or two. But there is no guarantee of this. You’re going to have to get used to living life again.

      • Anonymous says:

        The law isn’t being enforced in the only place where it really matters. Consequently we all have to stay locked up longer because of dunces like you that can’t figure out the objective is not having a curve at all.

        • Anonymous says:

          when you can show that there has been one instance of transmission in that manner you might get some support. Otherwise the idea of police hiding behind a pyramid of cans waiting to arrest me for walking buy you while you are browsing the tinfoil section is not something I can get behind.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you have a mask and wash/sanitize your hands after vising the supermarket you have very little chance of catching the virus. Stop being paranoid, use common sense and live you life..

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yeah, 11:50. Have all the people in your supermarket been tested for the virus.? If the answer is no, then you are just being plain stupid.

        Enough examples already in the U.S. where people picking up the virus have acquired it in supermarkets.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Funny how everyone is only dying of covid now. Now one just has the flu they have covid. A tiger tested positive for covid. Some ones cats tested positive for covid. People who died before covid tested positive for covid. Lots of people who have no symptoms test positive for covid. Time to think about what these test are really showing and not showing.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not just no dying of the flu, in the US, many deaths are been attributed to covid regardless of pre-existing conditions. This has artificially inflated the death numbers.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Any of these doctors want to weigh in on the upcoming disaster with mosquito borne illness? Anyone want to find out why cops stopped island supply from bringing in chemicals so they could deliver to households THAT THEY ALREADY DELIVER TOO? Seems odd to me. But guess no one cares enough to consider the fact that we are being controlled.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sad how much effort these scientists put into saving lives only for a sky fairy to be credited after many are discharged from a hospital.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL, “Fairy” gonna judge you, tough guy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. And nobody wonders how thse millions of sick people have been chosen.
      Not to mention the 200,000 dead people. God must have some systems in place.
      Lets ask anthony, he seems to have a direct line to upstairs.
      Science solves the problems, religion takes the credit.
      People are just stupid.

      • Anonymous says:

        To 4.16pm Stupid is as stupid does. Heres your sign.Stupid

      • Anonymous says:

        Same way he chooses the innocent kids he strikes down of cancer etc. His infinite wisdom. Please…

      • Anon says:

        If you read the article you will see that they were not “chosen”. They were old or already ill with another condition. All of us will walk that path someday, China virus or no China virus, if we die of natural causes.

    • Anonymous says:

      And if you look at the names of many if not most of those hospitals you will find the name of a saint or other religious figure associated with the “sky fairy”. I don’t see the global athiests alliance building hospitals in the holy name of the spontaneous life fairy.

  7. Doctor Aybolit says:

    2 minutes of passionate fighting words from a pair of USA doctors who are on the front-line of coronavirus – dealing with it, and they are experts in virology/immunology to boot.
    Well worth a listen, whether they right or wrong…

    They are waiting on Gavin Newsome…….lots of luck with that.

    Full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfLVxx_lBLU&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0-NyU5MNruPOSWTNXuwL-X5GX2U5cFh4YChz0zBUROpRzJ17HaWE6V7Ac

    Dr. Erickson COVID-19 Briefing
    506,229 views•Apr 22, 2020

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the comments. Cayman islands is mentioned.

    • Anonymous says:

      We would be so lucky to have Gavin Newsom as our leader. He has done a wonderful job.

      Comparing us to California is like comparing Coachella to Kaboo. We should have lite opened our economy a week ago considering the small amount patients hospitalized.

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone should tell Premier and Governor watch this.
      They must release hotel “prisoners” and bring back siblings stranded in Miami.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cases up in California up 6% today over yesterday. Long battle still ahead.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s still a very small death rate. People are dying from other things because they aren’t going to see doctors. Try watching the video. You have time.

    • Anonymous says:

      And yesterday California had a record number of deaths for one day 115. On top of that a record number of new cases for one day. The situation is deteriorating by the day with the virus in California.

      The battle has just begun with the invisible enemy. Get tough people. This is not going to be easy.

      • Anonymous says:

        You get tough. You just want to hide from something that will get you one day. You may find you even survive it!

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s still a very small amount.

        • Anonymous says:

          Is 56,000 deaths in America today a small amount?

          2 million deaths?

          What is a small amount of coronavirus deaths in America.

          We are certainly on our way to 1 million deaths.

          • Anonymous says:

            Today 50 flowers are starting to bloom in America because of a total lack of direction by Donald Trump and Washington.

            America is headed for a massive depression because 50 flowers are blooming. This is not going to work in America.

            A total dereliction of duty by Trump and his brown nosers in Washington.

        • Anonymous says:

          Trump said last month if we get to 60,000 deaths then we will “have a great victory”. We are now at 57,000 deaths. Perhaps on Friday, he will say 1 million deaths in America will be a great victory. Just can’t take all this winning with Trump. Sick of winning now.

  8. Anonymous says:

    There’s something seriously wrong with you 5.51pm and anyone else if they think this is not a serious situation the whole world is facing now. You need to be in the U.K. with 20,000 deaths in hospitals alone and double that with Nursing Home and community deaths through this virus. The average death age is 58yrs old not people 100yrs old!! So you carry on with your disbelief and see how you all end up. Maybe if one of your family’s life will be taken you’ll realise how serious this virus is. No one likes this lockdown it’s driving us all insane but what’s the alternative? …..an early death! If it wasn’t for the idiots who think this is “exaggerated” we wouldn’t have lockdown. You start lifting restrictions and there’ll be another spike and another after that.

    • Anonymous says:

      More people will die in car accidents and/or giving birth. Do you propose to ban cars and sex too? As for your statistics, they are presented in a vacuum without context. Meaningless fear mongering as usual. Not to suggest that Covid19 isn’t dangerous to some people, but taking necessary precautions is sufficient. Much like reckless drivers are more likely to have an accident than careful drivers, if you practice safe distancing and hygiene, you can go to ALT or to the beach without fear. That’s all people are saying. Nobody wants to go out and lick handrails! I’m so tired of irrational black or white, wrong or right arguments. This is a complex issue and needs thoughtful solutions- not simpletons making up rules as they go along without any common sense or pragmatism. The whole world has learned a great deal and the curve has been flattened. Hospitals are empty and the case death rate is clearly at .4 to .1 or barely worse than the flu. So, let’s be a bit more realistic. The average case is 58 years old, but that’s not who dies from this. I have detailed graphs and charts that are clear. So, while I agree it’s serious, it’s not Armageddon so hide if you want, but give people their rights back and open the island for business internally at least. Tourists can wait, but in the face of all the evidence, the rest is just becoming absurd

      • Anonymous says:

        I want to high five you. With no gloves.

      • Anonymous says:

        Keeping in mind that the majority of the island will get infected one or another way with this virus over the next 18 to 24 months. We will have to learn to deal with it as the virus is here to stay. So why don’t the government put regulations in play and open up certain businesses so people can sustain themselves.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah 1:51, you do realize that car accidents and giving birth are not contagious?

        The curve has not been flattened in American states. Every major / senior epidemiologist in the USA says testing is essential and tracing is required if we are ever going to kill this.

        Hospitals are NOT / NOT empty in NYC, New Jersey, Boston. Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, etc. What are you talking about simpleton? Just look at what is going on just north of here. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT.

        Perhaps to you, 1 million deaths in America is not Armageddon but that number is where we are headed and will push us into a depression if we don’t practice social distancing.

        Short term pain for long term gain. So suck it up big boy and don’t give me the BS that the death rate is the comparable to the flu. No flu every progressed this fast besides the 1918 / 1919 Spanish influenza.

        • Anonymous says:

          Flattening the curve is only delaying infections, not preventing them. The purpose of this was to make sure the hospitals were not overwhelmed. Stop looking at the daily rate and start looking at the big picture.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not as serious as you would like to think. You can stop staring down your nose at the non-religious types. I am not sure they care.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Gay, Dr. Jefferson, Dr. Lee are all pain management specialists. Anesthesiologists basically. Not sure why this is forbidden information.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was in the article

    • Anonymous says:

      Dr. Delroy Jefferson Medical Director of Cayman Islands Health Services Authority/Consultant Anaesthesiologist and Intensive Care Specialist.

      Dr. Gay holds the Fellowship in Anaesthetics from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and gained considerable expertise in specialist anaesthetics and pain management while working in a number of centres in the UK. These included Obstetric Anaesthesia and Analgesia, Intensive Care, Cardiac Anaesthesia, Adult and Paediatric Cardiac Intensive Care, Chronic Pain and Palliative Care.

  10. Roger Davies says:

    So far it seems we have been lucky to be in the Cayman Islands during this pandemic. We have excellent prevention measures in place and a first class medical establishment looking after our covid patients. Congratulations to all for a job well done.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh, sod off. There is no great emergency. Shelter those who are at risk, and let’s get open.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go somewhere else please.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop watching FOX NEWS 5:51. They messin with your brain.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not just Fox News darling. I’m no fan of anything republican but I am a fan of doing my own research and it’s alarming that we actually may be freaking out for nothing. But that doesn’t mean to not take it seriously. It means to be careful. We are fine and should start to open and relax more things because our hospitals aren’t over run. They won’t be either. But other places have a high density of people so the hospitals can’t handle it.

        Cayman, we are fine. Open up. Stay hiding if you want. We will respect your right to lock yourself up.

        • Anonymous says:

          9:48, Your research skills are obviously very limited due to probably a poor education. Just look at the statistics put out every day for America by Johns Hopkins Medicine on deaths, new cases and testing. Tell me I should not be concerned. Just look at the facts. Believe me, the statistics are not hard to interpret.

          I do not believe you have done any research at all other than perhaps anecdotal research on Grand Cayman. I urge you to stop watching Fox News.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sinister literally translates to ‘left’. Failing to consider the people of these islands is more sinister than this virus. And shows the lack of education that is far more sinister, and rampant than this virus.

    • Anonymous says:

      Huh? You’re so weird. Not in a “hey, you’re weird, I like you” kind of way.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, you are missing a huge part of that. Left-handed. It meant left handed then dum dums decided that left handed persons were touched by the devil, thus the term evolving to mean evil. I can only assume that person who came up with that assumption is somehow related to Alex Jones.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The curfew can’t stay in place much longer. That’s just ignorant and myopic. Clearly these are mouthpieces for the government. What about the growing body of data that shows Empty hospitals and suggest a case death rate that may barely amount to one tenth of one percent, according to USC researchers? Time for the so-called authorities to stop feeding their own God complex and start dealing with reality. Time for intelligent pragmatism Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone is a virus/illness expert until Covid shows up. Continue your life as usual and do not adhere to the protocols established and see how long you’ll last. Only problem is you’ll take some innocent souls with you….

      • Anonymous says:

        They were on their way out anyway. Like us all. But let’s continue to get zero enjoyment out of what’s left of life.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stupid reply, like so many of the ignorants who parrot the fear mongering nonsense. More people will die of car accidents and giving birth than Covid19 19. Do we ban cars and sex too? Ignoring facts and everything that’s already known about the virus isn’t helpful. Always with the dramatic b.s. 🙄 If you’re in an at risk category. YOU hide, don’t take the rest of us down with your irrational cowardice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just look at the new cases and deaths in Los Angeles County in California last week. The hospitals are not empty in Los Angeles so your sources are incorrect.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The best COVID-19 comment I’ve read so far came from a senior doctor in the NHS. Praising the efforts of the staff working for him he said,’It’s like fighting a war against an enemy you cannot see.’ That ‘invisible enemy’ theme has since been picked up by a number of others but I still think his version sums it up best.

    • Anonymous says:

      But yet our fighters are pretty free to fight…..

    • Anonymous says:

      It is generally accepted that all diseases are enemies of human kind and indeed, one can’t literally see them. Cancer is not “running” around waving a red flag.

      But what is disease from the evolutionary biology point of view? For example, why should there be genetic diseases at all? Diseases are negative traits and reduce the likelihood of offspring. So shouldn’t evolution have removed them?

      Why would nature (or evolution) “attack” people, who are genetically (seemingly) healthy, with infectious diseases? Doesn’t make any sense to me.

      I accept diseases of aging, I accept my mortality, but have hard time understanding the purpose of other diseases that affect humans in their prime.

      If nature weeds away that which is not needed, according to the theory of evolution, why modern humans who are supposed to be the best-adapted or fittest variants remain so vulnerable to acquired diseases?

      One explanation I understand is “epigenetics” of disease(s) origins. The emergence of various and new complex disorders is epidemic. To put it simply, we, the people, have created unhealthy living environment for all biological species.

      But what about others, more fundamental reasons?

      >Is the purpose of natural selection to maximize reproduction, not health?
      >Does disease arise from the mismatch of our bodies to modern environments?
      >Do pathogens evolve much faster than humans, so infection is unavoidable?

      To fight a war is not enough to “know” your enemy. We need to understand its origin, purpose and strategies.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ll go through your questions one by one.

        “Why should there be genetic diseases at all?” The process of replicating our DNA, both continuously in our own bodies and by meiosis for our progeny, is very complex and sometimes goes wrong. Nature is not perfect, and neither is this system, which can be exacerbated by the effect of small genetic pools, allowing the “bad genes” to continue to be passed.

        “Diseases are negative traits and reduce the likelihood of offspring so why shouldn’t evolution have removed them?” The answer to this one is more complex, and has to do with the base understanding of the concept of evolution. Evolution in its simplest definition relates to how suitable an organism is to reproduce, so in that sense you are correct. If an organism cannot reproduce, its genes are removed from the gene pool, and evolution of a type occurs. However, diseases do not necessarily reduce reproductivity from the outset. This takes on two forms:
        1. An inherent disease, which is encoded in someone’s genes and is guaranteed to happen, may have no bearing at all on whether a person is going to successfully reproduce. For example, the BRCA gene until recently invariably resulted in the death of the individual who had it, but in this disease progression death would occur long after the individual was able to reproduce, so this gene is unfortunately passed on. Huntington’s is also another famous example of this, where the onset of symptoms occurs a long time after the person will have passed their genes on to their children.
        2. A pathogenic disease, lets say an infectious one, may affect an individual at any point in their lifetime. Prior to the use of vaccines, smallpox may have affected an individual at any point in their life. Thus the same problem as in 1. happens, someone may die of an infectious disease long after they pass their genes onto their children

        Another problem that this question raises is the fact that humans are not the only things subject to evolution. Diseases in of themselves evolve, and are just as concerned with passing on ‘their’ genes as we are with ours. As hard as humans fight to make offspring, so do pathogens, only they do it far faster.

        “Why would nature attack people who are genetically healthy with infectious diseases?” Why do humans kill healthy cows? As said previously, pathogens are just as concerned with passing their genes as we are. A healthy host provides a perfect opportunity for a pathogen to not only pass it’s genes down, but also for the descendants of the original pathogens to evolve better strategies to kill healthy hosts. In the same way that humans evolved to become more and more insightful and critically thinking, pathogens will always evolve to be more and more lethal to their hosts, ‘healthy’ people be damned.

        “If nature weeds away that which is not needed, according to the theory of evolution, why modern humans who are supposed to be the best-adapted or fittest variants remain so vulnerable to acquired diseases?” Assuming you mean pathogen based diseases, then the point still remains that pathogens are just as able to evolve as we are, except they do it extremely quickly. You could pick out the most ideal, fit and well, genetically optimal human that ever existed, and in the time that that human would take to make one offspring with half of their perfect genes, a bacteria will have made millions of generations of better suited pathogens. Humans evolution is too static to compete with the evolution of pathogens, so humans will never be in a position to be completely immune to diseases, no matter how fit we are. Another aspect of this is phylogeny, a human that appears fit and well may have extremely subtle miscodings in their DNA, and all it takes is one strain of a pathogen to find that miscoding for it to completely ruin that human. This miscoding may be something that would have absolutely no bearing on the outward appearance of ‘fitness’ and the ability to produce offspring, but pathogens always find a way. Many species have gone extinct over such issues.

        “Is the purpose of natural selection to maximize reproduction, not health?” Simply yes. But if you have a species which is not reliable enough to remain healthy through puberty, you will not have a species for very long. Natural selection is a complicated process, and is fickle. It is not as deliberate as I think you might think it is, and there are no set laws or principles it constantly follows. It is different for every class of being there is, and changes throughout the ages.

        “Does disease arise from the mismatch of our bodies to modern environments?” Yes actually. The moment homo sapiens started creating fixed settlements was the moment we began our problems with pathogens. They spread much quicker in denser environments, and while modernity has improved things, waste removal and overall dirtiness are perfect environments for pathogens to spread efficiently. Globalization has exacerbated this problem further, and explains the frightening spread of COVID-19. “Mismatch of our bodies” would fit with what I said before, about humans evolving far slower than pathogens.

        Do pathogens evolve much faster than humans so infection is unavoidable?” Yes, this is unavoidable.

        I am sorry this got so long, I’m afraid with all the misinformation about COVID-19 running rampant I simply couldn’t allow further misinformation about evolution to be mixed into the bunch.

        Please stay safe.

      • Anon says:

        But the point of this article is that this virus doesn’t affect people in their prime. Many don’t even know that they have it. Imprisoning the young and healthy makes no sense. Instead, protect the few that are actually in harms way.

        • Anonymous says:

          So you propose to lock up our elderly? Is that what you would want to happen to you? Our elderly is the best of us. The younger generation not much to talk about.

          • Anon says:

            Our elderly ARE locked up now. I am 69 and was recently on the Brac, and I felt quite locked up.

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