College Students and CV19

I do want people to know that I was all in on the shelter-in-place bandwagon in March. Did it help? Not sure. Here is an article to debate that. Hindsight is 20/20 and we know this virus (man-manipulated from Wuhan?) is very contagious and kills the old. Yes, there are cases of younger people dying but in the BIG picture, it is minuscule. So, if we went back in time I don’t think we would have closed the country. It looks like Florida did fine and their graph “flattened” the curve.

Now comes the fun part. Can we have a civil discussion on this? There are 1.3 million active military members. Four have died to date. We have seen no deaths of young, professional athletes. The graph up top shows NO hospitalization of college students, even though some have been infected. I cannot source this so I will give you this reference from the CDC. If you are younger than 18 then the chance of hospitalization (NOT DEATH) is 8 in 100,000.

Here is where I get to my point. Why the f%ck are colleges sheltering students? Just keep them there, incubate them, and not let them off-campus? They are being “vaccinated” by each other and getting herd immunity. Done. Instead, these asshats are dismissing students and taking their money!

Okay, I know there is an election coming up so every decision is magnified and used against the authority who makes that decision. I also know that ONE death is NOT acceptable to a lot of people. But that is life. People die. I don’t want to come off callous here but young people have a much higher chance of dying from other things than CV19. Stop the nonsense! Let them free!!

I await your thoughts?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  19 comments for “College Students and CV19

  1. arf
    September 22, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    I’m wondering, with all these cases on college campuses.

    By Christmas, I wonder if the safest place to take Grandma for Christmas dinner, will be a college campus somewhere.

    Everyone will have contracted and recovered from COVID-19

  2. Holly
    September 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Okay, spouse is psychiatrist in private 100+ bed psych-only hospital. They continued to see and treat the same number of patients pre- and post-covid 19.

    Their patient population is derived primarily from any place in our state but also adjoining South Eastern states. Many do not come from the most hygienic of living situations, to put it politely.

    How effective do you think masks mandates and social distancing regulations on a demented, psychotic or drug addled population?

    Staff have worn masks and social distanced, as best as possible. To date: one provider has antibodies, no staff quarantined due to positive tests, and maybe 2 patients transferred to med/surg for Covid between January and September. Again, all while they conducted business as usual.

    Has any psych hospitals in US have been closed or forced to limit services? It would be interesting data to compile, especially for those doctors who were forced to limit life saving services.

  3. Natalie Newman, MD
    September 12, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    You make good points Doug.

    I am ambivalent because this is a novel virus. There is much we still don’t know; however, I am now realizing that continued isolation with no end in sight is no longer a viable solution. At some point risk has to be taken so that herd immunity can begin. IMO, enough people have been exposed anyway.

    I am not reassured by the graph. No hospitalizations does not equate to not being ill, and there is a lot between life and death. There is morbidity, short- and long-term. How long is long-term for COVID 19?We are not at a place to have “proof” because “evidence” is still evolving. People are putting up blogs or writing articles/tweets describing symptoms they are having since being ill, > 6 months out. Difficulty breathing, generalized weakness, cardiac issues….will those sequelae still be present 2 years or more from now? Time will tell.

    The closure and isolation have now created a precedent. I think if the schools demand students return and the students become ill, lawsuits will ensue. If they don’t demand and leave it up to the students and their families, they may be more protected. I’m not a parent, but if I were, would I feel comfortable sending my kid back to college and rely on the fact that herd immunity will protect him/her? I don’t know that I would. Tough decision for all.

  4. John
    September 12, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    A google search of “college students hospitalized with COVID” turns up at least a couple of articles to show the chart is wrong or at least outdated. That being said, Google search for “college student hospitalized for drug overdose” brings a much higher number for a typical year. Whether COVID can be dangerous should not be the question (it clearly is), the question is how do we proceed with life in a world with COVID…and my experience with the mental health of students forced into isolation at home after having freedom at college would argue COVID may not be what carries the greater risk.

  5. Some Guy
    September 9, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Could you provide the sources for the chart?


    • Douglas Farrago MD
      September 9, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Having trouble finding it, hence, why I mentioned it. From Twitter but we know how that goes.

      • arf
        September 10, 2020 at 2:47 am

        I saw it on a Twitter feed too. Unsourced, so I have a BIG problem with it. Thing is, it reflects a big frustration I’m having, same as you likely. Breathless articles of coronavirus blazing through college campuses.


        As best as I can tell, they’re doing a prevalence study.

        And I have no reason to think any of the college kids are sick. What I mean is, I’ve seen a few meningitis cases on a college campus, in a few states where I’ve lived. I don’t mean I had to manage them, just lived in a community that had the case. The case was trumpeted in the news media, big panic on campus. They do have a big problem, having to treat all the contacts, etc.

        Kids that age, at least in my experience, tend to think they are invincible. Fair enough. When proof of their mortality hits home, they tend to get pretty anxious. The classmate dead in an accident or sudden illness, it gets their attention.

        So if any of these college kids really were critically ill from COVID, you know damn well we’d be hearing about it incessantly.

        I say the fact that we’re hearing blaring news of all the zillions of college kids testing positive for COVID-19, and NOTHING about any college kids SICK from COVID-19…..speaks volumes.

  6. fran
    September 9, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    100% correct on all fronts Dr Farrago.

  7. Pat
    September 9, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Lance, you’ve made very compelling arguments regarding your experiences in a very populated area, and I don’t dispute any of them. However, I think the “US of NYC” mentality that was rapidly projected coast-to-coast and is now being inflicted upon and through colleges is doing greater medical harm by delaying herd immunity, and greater psychological harm by continuing to encourage unreasonable fear. Beyond that, it is an accepted invitation to serious contract and civil rights abuses in the part of colleges as in loco commissars, and their attached municipal governments. The ghost of Dean Wormer haunts us still.

  8. Sir Lance-a-lot
    September 9, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Pretty much what I’ve been saying lately, Doug.

    I’m not sure what the 17-23yo death rate is, but I believe it’s somewhere south of 0.01% (ie: less than one in ten thousand).

    The question is, How many deaths are acceptable to the average college administration, its student body, and their parents?

    Personally, I believe that the colleges, with the help of laws or health regulations, should essentially imprison their students for a semester, not let them out at all, for any reason, cancel all off-campus coöperative learning for a semester, etc., and figure at the end of it, they’re probably all immune and non-contagious.
    If you want to institute the usual contact restrictions, such as masks and distancing, test frequently, and isolate the infected, sure, great, go ahead.
    But don’t let ’em out.

    However, this means that in a large school of, say, ten thousand students, one is going to die of the virus.

    Now, in the average school year, how many students die?
    You usually get a suicide, or someone who falls off a roof drunk, or something like that. Nobody likes it, but it seems to be accepted.
    Would a death from the ‘Rona be accepted? I don’t know.
    I could picture the lawsuits and ugly media coverage if it’s not, and college administrators don’t like either of those things.

    In addition, infection of professors and staff is a very real concern.
    Even people in their forties are at higher risk of death, and professors in their seventies, of which there are plenty, should absolutely not be anywhere near other people for the duration.
    These folks need to take a semester- or year-long sabbatical, or the schools need to construct some fairly elaborate isolation devices to allow them to teach certain classes in person, but remain isolated (what’s the point of being on campus if all your classes are on Zoom?).

    I don’t know the answer, but, as with the rest of this epidemic, it will revolve around deciding how much loss of life is acceptable to society (which we cannot know until we know what the actual death rates are, as they seem to be declining, if you compare Italy’s, Spain’s, and New York City’s experiences in the Spring with what is going on now).

    I’m ready for a vaccine right about now, but I don’t think I’d trust one until after the election.

    • arf
      September 10, 2020 at 3:14 am

      How many college students get meningococcal meningitis? Rare enough but not unheard of.

      My point is, I know I’ve seen news reports in a couple of states where I’ve lived, where the area college had a case. One student died, the college has to contact-trace a lot of students and there’s massive panic on campus. The news media are all over the story. Always.

      I have heard ZERO about any college students SICK with COVID-19.

      We have a news media almost uniformly contemptuous of the current President, to the point where they have lost any pretense of objectivity. They would LOVE the opportunity to take any critically ill adolescent college student with COVID-19 and lay the blame on the White House, screaming Orange Man Bad.

      The fact that you are not hearing this, speaks volumes.

      • PW
        September 11, 2020 at 8:21 am

        The media has zero credibility with me right now.

      • joanne
        September 12, 2020 at 4:43 pm

        My niece, who goes to a university in Idaho, has tested positive, has headaches, cannot smell or taste. Her roommates have the same symptoms.

  9. D. Mittman
    September 9, 2020 at 9:59 am

    There is real chronic illness associated with Covid-19. Tat football player may have SOB that lasts for years, or muscle or joint pain. Math major-brain fog. There are real sequelae. It’s not the flu.

    • Douglas Farrago MD
      September 9, 2020 at 10:25 am

      There is ZERO proof of your statement. Show me studies where asymptomatic or very low symptomatic patients have chronic illness.

      • arf
        September 10, 2020 at 3:05 am

        Doug, even if it were true, would this be the only postviral syndrome in your experience?

        Do we shut down college campuses over mono or EBV?

        And “it’s not the flu”……thanks. Nor is gonorrhea I suppose. Geez, I get sick and tired of “it’s not the flu”. Influenza can also cause a postviral syndrome with brain fog, etc., it is not unique to COVID-19.

        When I was in college I ended up in the hospital with influenza, and I was not the only college student in the ward. The hospital handled multiple area colleges, and they were all well represented.

        My sister got her influenza during finals week, same college. She ended up in the hospital as well, and took incompletes on that whole semester. It derailed her college for some time before she got it together to try again. Fortunately my flu was early spring semester, I could make up classes, my sister got hers right at finals week. Trashed her whole semester, well into the spring before she got past it.

        Not denying that COVID-19 is a problem, but still observing that the last person to die in my practice, died of influenza.

      • Kurt
        September 12, 2020 at 7:53 am

        Sorry, There is early evidence that it might predispose persons for some chronic issues. It’s hit the mainstream media. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s a setup for malingerers but this virus can attack multiple organ systems and if severe, I could see it causing residual problems with some.
        I had a patient in his 50’s some years ago I had to transfer to a tertiary care center for a viral pneumonia. Was on a vent for 10 days and danged near died. Recovered but he had significant cognitive impairments. Was a hazardous materials truck driver before he got sick. Wanted to get back to driving badly because that’s what he used to do. Unfortunately, couldn’t concentrate anymore. Had several neuropsych evals and not one suggested he was malingering. Had to be labelled “disabled”. Took care of him many years after the event and am convinced this was a result of the viral insult he suffered. Took care of him for several years before he was affected and there was no tendency to malinger or “make up” symptoms. Just a regular guy who wanted to make a living and take care of his family. Be careful Doug of what you say as it is early in this pandemic/disease process. There are probably going to be some survivors who have some long lasting effects of the disease depending upon what organ system was effected and how severe it hit. Hoping for an effective vaccine! Sheesh, I just found out there is a vaccine for the Ebola virus! I think we’re going to get there with Covid-19 eventually.

        • Mamadoc
          September 12, 2020 at 4:04 pm

          We really don’t know at this point, do we?

    • Pat
      September 9, 2020 at 10:57 am

      Plenty of football players have gotten viral myocarditis, some with lingering sequelae. Don’t recall the need to shut down the sport before. And they would be just at-risk at home in their own neighborhoods if not more so than in a controlled environment. This argument doesn’t hold water b

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