Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

New aspects to COVID-19 are reported almost daily

It is hard to keep up. It is hard to get a comprehensive picture.

Medicine is an empirical science. It is based on findings. My theory is that it makes such enormous progress (compared to other sciences) because every doctor tests hypotheses every day. The patient reports this and the doc finds things like that and if that’s the case, it should get better if X. She does X and waits. Not the expected result? Back to the drawing board!

One can speculate a lot about the novel coronavirus but what really counts are findings and results. We can compare it with other sicknesses. Insight into how the virus works are important for finding cures and preventing.

Some excellent reporting and some more gave me lots of information.

No patient will have all symptoms.

My father, who was a pulmonologist, used to quip: Patients haven’t read the books so they don’t know what symptoms to display.

Patients’ Complaints

These patient complaints have come forth:
Out of breath. (Keep an open mind why.)
Dry cough.
Fever. In many infections.
Very tired. No energy. Also in the Flu.
No smell, no taste. Also in Influenza and the common cold.
Dermatological symptoms such as pseudo-frostbite, hives and persistent, sometimes painful redness.
Neurological problems, including depression, confusion, stroke and seizures, tingling or numbness in the extremities.
Symptoms of a serious heart attack, but without any blocked arteries.
A strange, “buzzing” or “fizzing” sensation throughout the body.
Deep muscle pains.
Painful skin as if sunburned. Like with Shingles?

Physicians’ Findings

This, physicians found:
Ground-glass-like lung images.
Mini-hemorrhages in the brain.
Low blood-oxygen levels.
High blood-ferritin levels (damage of red blood or liver cells).
High blood-ALT levels (a liver enzyme indicating liver damage).
Patients look like having altitude sickness (low oxygen).
Damages to the kidneys, heart, liver, colon (some seems permanent).
Testicular damage and male infertility.

Brain Storming

There is a specific protein in human cell walls that the COVID-19 virus uses to enter them. This protein is found in the cell walls lining blood vessels and also in certain cells in the lungs, kidneys, testicles. (COVID-19 is twice as deadly for men — is there a relation?)

The cells lining blood vessels becoming infected could explain (in some patients) why oxygen in the lungs may have difficulty getting into the bloodstream. And a lack of oxygen damages heart and kidney cells first.

Damaged blood vessel walls make the blood form blood cloths that block blood flow which may hurt the brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys first.

It’s hard to find enough ventilators for every critical COVID-19 patient. But maybe ‘thinning’ (stopping it from making cloths) their blood could help. However, that increases the risk of strokes from bleeding inside the skull.

But there is more. That specific protein in cell walls is used by interferon, a molecule the body makes to fight off viral infections. It’s still unclear how this competition plays out in COVID-19. Add to this the finding that this coronavirus may attack the immune system (T-cells) like the AIDS-virus.

Ventilator pressure damages the lungs and thus can’t be applied indefinitely. Maybe an alternative could be to drown the whole body in oxygen by putting the whole patient in a hyperbaric tank?


One more thing. It’s not always clear how a microbe will slightly stroke one person and hammer down another. Sometimes baseless theories abound.

This happened with tuberculoses. Hypotheses varied from ‘constitutional weakness’ to ‘life in unhealthy city air.’ The arrival of working antibiotics made this all disappear. What determined the gravity of the illness was the viral load the patient had received. I was thinking if this could be the case with COVID-19 too. Some (young) medical personal have been hit so hard. A Yeshivah or Synagogue head shakes everyone’s hand so can be expected to have gotten a greater viral load too, which could be a risk factor.

There are frequent reports of who are more at risk from this infection. The newest one is: people who are overweight. There are some unconfirmed findings that smokers are more at risk for the infection turning deadly.

One study found that people from areas with more air pollution have statistically a greater chance to die from this coronavirus. That doesn’t mean that the pollution was a risk factor. It could very well be that Afro-Americans and the poor live more in such areas and they are more at risk.

Defeating COVID-19

The number of different types of therapies being developed is enormous:
Vaccine. Prevention is the best cure.
Passive immunization with serum antibodies from recovered patients.
Drugs that stimulate the immune system.
Drugs that make the body recognize the virus better.
Drugs that block components of the virus from being vital.
Drugs that block the virus from replicating.
Drugs to stop the virus from using the host cells for replication.
Drugs to fight the various bad symptoms the infection gives.

There are worries that getting over the infection might not be for good. That the virus might still be hiding and can reappear. At the moment, there is no way of knowing if this is true or that these are the results of people who seemed over it but were actually still sick with it (false-negative).

Early worries that this virus likely very easily can mutate seem confirmed now. Just like its sister, the flu virus. This may enable it to escape antibodies from previous infections. This virus is nothing to sneeze at.

In any case, the longer we succeed in not getting this virus, the greater the chance that it will never threaten us because: the epidemic would be over, we would be vaccinated or we then have drugs to stop it from harming us.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
Related Topics
Related Posts