Discover more from eugyppius: a plague chronicle
BREAKING NEWS: Prof. Dr. Bob Wachter, Deranged UCSF Dept. of Medicine Chair, Finally Caught Covid, Fainted in Shower, Is Now Recovering at Home
We last encountered the Prof. Dr. Wachter back in January, on the august 1038th day of his widely read Covid Chronicles. It was then that he announced to his legions of Covidian followers that he was finally willing to resume indoor dining and airplane travel, but planned to continue an indefinite masking regimen in public. Thereafter he seems to have laid down the chronicler’s pen, considering his service to History complete.
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Alas for the good Dr. Wachtel, he has in the last week found that there is more Covid to Chronicle, as he himself finally acquired the dreaded virus despite all his precautions. Thus, with no little regret, does he depart the thinning yet noble ranks of the “NoVids” and join the ever-swelling columns of whatever it is that people who have had Covid are called.
Wachter is a double bivalent vaccinee, which I guess means he’s had at least six doses, but since his last injection was in April, he’s passed beyond the penumbrous “window of protection” that accrues to participants in the mRNA sacrament. He still masks “on planes & in crowded rooms,” but – and it is hard to imagine this level of recklessness – he confesses that he now drinks and eats inside.
In short, Prof. Dr. Wachter’s infection was overdetermined. On 9 July he developed a cough and a fever, and by the 10th he noted that he was feeling “Covid-y.”
At the height of his symptoms, he made the enormous error of showering, which according to Wachter is dangerous for anyone who may be dehydrated and feels “flu-ish,” since it can cause fainting as vessels dilate and blood pressure collapses.
Wachter does not actually remember fainting, so his certainty that he collapsed from syncope brought on by Covid-induced dehydration seems unfounded. All we really know is that he lost consciousness and fell down, or fell down and lost consciousness. In the process, Wachter’s head struck his simplehuman bathroom wastebin, resulting in lacerations and a minor neck injury.
(While I find Wachter’s virus hysteria incredibly noxious, and his self-important enactment of hygiene paranoia a peculiar kind of modern phariseeism, I will use these parantheses to say I regret that he fell down and hurt himself. None of this should be interpreted as taking delight in or making fun of his injuries.)
Our battered virus warrior spent 24 hours in the hospital, where his colleagues tested him for all manner of hidden spinal and neurological damage, before sending him home. As of Thursday, Wachter reported that he was in Covid “jail” for the reprehensible crime of being infected with a common respiratory virus, and feeling “90% better” but for some reason still on Paxlovid because it “lowers the chance of a severe case” (which he was already not suffering from) and “lowers the odds of Long Covid” (which the Prof. Wachters of the world are highly likely to develop in any event).
These experiences have given our Covid Chronicler a great deal to contemplate. For example, they have led him to question whether that old debate about hospitalisations “with Covid” and “for Covid” really makes any sense. After all, Wachter ended up in hospital “with Covid,” but “it all stemmed from Covid” in the first place. I’m sure all the other “with Covid” hospitalisations are much the same.
Although he is now no longer a NoVid, Wachter wants you to know that he’s still going to be “relatively careful” and that nothing will change his virus avoidance strategies, even though they’ve been proven totally useless.
It’s remarkable that Prof. Dr. Wachter still places so much faith in official infection statistics, but I’m sure in his boundless wisdom he has his reasons. He’s also learned to be cautious of a totally new thing, namely showering or bathing while dehydrated.