July 21, 2021 Message from Dr. Patel:
To the dismay of many, Southern California has once again mandated the indoor use of masks. Although I don’t love the idea, I’m not entirely opposed. Here’s why…
1. Although the vaccines seem to be fairly effective against the OG virus as well as the Delta variant, we are still seeing vaccinated patients getting sick. Just yesterday, I learned that a patient’s vaccinated girlfriend tested positive and was symptomatic. This is a young and otherwise healthy patient. The good news is that most people aren’t getting as sick if they have been vaccinated, and the mortality rate is not rising as much as the rate of infection since we are treating patients more effectively. However, my close friend – an internal medicine physician here in LA – brought up a good point… if people that are already vaccinated get infected by the virus, that virus is figuring out how to get around the antibody-mediated immune response created by the host’s vaccine. That is how mutations occur and how more variants get created.
2. Although our hospitalizations and deaths are remaining low, I am still concerned about the after-effects of infection. I have several patients now, who have had lingering effects after having been infected with COVID. In fact, I just had a patient yesterday who developed severe spine pain into the arms and legs after recovering! There is something to be said about the pro-inflammatory nature of COVID and how it can trigger things that we already have going on in our body, and ultimately, we’re still learning about “long COVID.”
Overall, I don’t like our return to a mask mandate, but I do think we need to be cautious. We don’t need to panic. We don’t need to spread fear. But we need to recognize that we should still be careful.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.
DR. SHOUNUCK PATEL