Menstrual cycles & covid

Did you know that many women with covid have abnormal menstrual cycles? Some don’t have periods for months. Some women, myself included, also have horrible cramps, even if normally they don’t have any cramps. Covid also affects blood vessels and blood coagulation.

Women often are late OR don’t have their periods. Some doctors say it’s because your body does NOT want to ovulate when it’s going through a massive immune response.

It’s not clear if all of this is due to covid or stress from covid.

When docs can’t help patients, covid support groups do

This is so true!!!

1 out of every 20 patients have lingering symptoms for many months, even young healthy people like me. Joining Fb covid support groups and the “Stack” text chat has helped me immensely.

[Doctors couldn’t help these COVID-19 patients with their endless symptoms. So they turned to one another.
Connecting with others online has brought “relief, excitement, sadness that somebody else knows what you’re going through.”]

Reopening is extremely dangerous

I didn’t know I had covid for at least 2 weeks before I was diagnosed . I realize now that I had it weeks before I went to the ER bc I had random metallic smells and taste. I also had digestion issues. The week before I was diagnosed, I felt out of breath while walking but I just thought it was anxiety.

Luckily, during this time, I wasn’t going around ppl and I wore masks when I took walks with my roomie.

This reopening is extremely dangerous. Illinois’ cases are still increasing. Most ppl are asymptotic. Studies of covid in Iceland found 70-80% of the population had covid and most were asymptomatic.

You are feeling lonely and want a drink? Imagine every breath hurting.

Imagine only being able to walk 2 steps and you get winded.

Imagine buying a home-urine kit so you could urinate in your room because it’s too difficult to get up.

Imagine feeling like you ran a marathon and your heart rate tripling after you walk up stairs.

Imagine begging your ER doctor to keep you in the ER because you are worried your oxygen will drop too low in your sleep and you will die. And then you spend $150 on an oxygen monitor to wake you up when your oxygen dips too low.

Imagine going from a 125 pound athlete to having an enlarged aorta in your heart bc your heart is desperately trying to pump oxygen to your body.

Imagine crying in your room multiple times a week bc after 38-50 days, you worry you will never get better.

Imagine, sending your family your will and final thoughts because you feel so close to death.

If you are okay going out, then you should be okay with choosing which family members will die after you spread it to them.

If you are NOT okay with all this, then stay home.

And to clarify, I am not saying be closed forever or wait for a vaccine. I’m saying we shouldn’t reopen until the curve has flatted a great deal and it hasn’t flattened in IL. And when it does flatten, we should reopen in phases like California did.

And wanting to open up because you “want to go back to normalcy more than keep people healthy is not okay.”

We are the richest country in history. It is horrible what ppl are going through financially (our country’s systemic racism and economic inequalities are showing even more) but it’s not worth people’s lives to reopen. There are lots of resources out there too:
Schools give out 3 free meals a day, there are food stamps, $600 per week of unemployment on top of state unemployment which usually equals $4000 per month, there’s an eviction freeze law and food stamps.

Opening up too early is unsafe and not worth your health or others’ health. And getting sick and having hospitals bills or permanent lung or heart damage is much more costly than staying closed for a month or two longer. There are also tons of orgs giving out money and supplies.

I made a giant document of 40+ orgs in Chicagoland area. Try metropolitan family services first. People should also contact their aldermen, state rep or senator for help with local orgs. I included a link on how to do that. The document is below.

Also, covid is very serious. 1 out of 20 ppl have covid for over a month and many are healthy and young like me with no pre-existing conditions. The article on that is here:

Stay safe, stay home. We should wait to reopen in phases until the curve flattens in a month or two.

Here is the doc I made with resources for finances, utilities, etc:

#StaySafe #StayHome

Possible good news supporting covid immunity

This is written by Jennifer Kasten, a pathologist with degrees in epidemiology and infectious diseases. She has also done field work in epidemic control. She just posted an article with good news about covid immunity.

[One paper, two bombshells, and some staggeringly good news about immunity, vaccines, and protection against COVID.


When thinking about immunity to COVID, we’ve mostly discussed antibodies (what do they have against bodies, anyways?), those little Y-shaped guys which are pumped out by B cells.

Antibodies can bind to free virus, circulating around outside cells, but since each infected cell pumps out thousands of copies (and then explodes- goes supernova), it’s sort of a mop-up operation, a little behind the 8-ball.

It would be even better to take out the nest, the queen bee, and kill the infected cell directly. In order to do this, they need a little help from their friends- the T cells.

When a cell is infected with a virus, it sends out little distress signals. Sort of like a panic room button. Essentially, it chops up bits of virus and displays those bits on the outside of its cell membrane, waving like a flag.

Lurking in the shadows, waiting for that distress beacon, are killers. The good kind of killers (not the band, though they’re good too)- sort of like vigilante justice. Cytotoxic (killer) CD8+ T cells bind to the viral panic flag, which activates a death response. The host cell dies, but it would have anyway (supernova viral burst) and hey, to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs. Viral replication stops in its tracks.


Till now, we hadn’t proven they existed. But a paper published in Cell last week by Crotty, Sette et al (1) proved that, in 20 recovered COVID patients, 70% showed active circulating killer CD8+ T cells.

Even better- 100% showed active circulating CD4+ T cells*. Those are the “helper” T cells. Kind, caring and considerate, the helper T cells are definitely better boyfriend material than the killers, and in some ways they’re even more important.

Helper T cells help (of course they do) both B cells make antibodies, and killer T cells find their targets. They’re a bit like traffic cops in that they secrete signals- cytokines and chemokines- to tell everyone else what to do. And they can recognize viruses, even if they don’t kill them directly. In SARS-CoV-2’s case, 100% of patients showed helper T cells specific to the spike protein. Since they tell B cells what to do (but in a nice and supportive way, to make the B cells feel really empowered), we SUSPECTED they’d be there, and voila, they are.

This is ultra-important because it shows 1) viral immunity to COVID is straight up, plain vanilla NORMAL and EXPECTED and humming right along. And 2) Helper T cells are very important in the VACCINE immune response (they hang out as immunological memory, just being supportive, sending encouraging notes to the B cells that hey girl! you got this). This gives us great hope that a vaccine will be effective.



The researchers pulled blood from 2015-2018, before this virus slithered the earth, and from California and Italy, where essentially no one would have been exposed to SARS and MERS. A full 50% of these historical samples showed some CD4+ T cell activity against SARS-CoV-2.

What? How? Infection with the common cold coronaviruses has some protective effect. It could explain, partially, why a novel virus with a R-naught over 2 has shown the relatively muted, dampened epidemic curves we’ve seen the world over. And it could lower the Herd Immunity Threshold a bit, too, if a sizable chunk of the population already has some protection against COVID.

*For fancy types worried about Antibody-Dependent Enhancement: NOT OBSERVED. Classical Th1 response here, folks.


1) Alba Grifoni, Daniela Weiskopf, Shane Crotty, Alessandro Sette et al. Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals. Cell. May 14, 2020. ]

Tuesday, May 19th covid update. Positive thoughts

Tuesday Covid Update: yesterday was a very bad day. I basically had to stay in bed the rest of the day and constantly check my oxygen levels. For a couple hours, I had to lay on my belly.

I just need to keep reminding myself it’s 5 steps forward 10 steps backwards.

Luckily, I’m feeling a lot better today! I slept 9-10 hours. My oxygen levels were good, 99% average. It only dipped to 96% for a second which is fine.

My heart rate was good too, an average of 63.

I did reiki yesterday and EMDR today. Both helped me a lot. I’m going to increase my EMDR to 3x per week and do reiki every night. I’m also in contact with someone who works with chakra healing. I’ll try anything to get rid of this virus.

Even though yesterday was a bad day, I am staying positive today. Today, I’m still way better than I was a week ago. A week and a half ago, I could barely walk. I had to use rolly chairs everywhere. Even rolling on rolly chairs wore me out. I couldn’t feed my cats and sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed until 4pm. I had to lay on my belly for hours just to breathe and every breathe hurt. Weeks ago, I didn’t shower for 6 days straight bc I couldn’t get into the shower.

Now, I can walk to the bathroom on my own and some days I can walk the stairs. My oxygen is usually 98-100% while sitting. My chest pain is reduced. My heart rate isn’t increasing as fast. I still have to be careful though not to walk more than about 20 seconds because then it will go high. My headaches are mostly gone. I’ve been sitting in the shower 1-2x per day and doing breathing exercise for 30 minutes in the steam.

Overall, I am improving. I just need to keep reminding myself that. I will be healed soon! ❤️ 💪🏼😊

#MindOverMatter #StayingPositive #ImStrong

Monday, 5/18 covid update

I definitely overdid it yesterday and today.

Yesterday, I tried doing some yoga while sitting in the shower. I also walked in the house about 10 seconds more than I usually do. My heart rate jumped from 55 to 165, and it took a while to come down.

Today, I went to lay outside in my backyard, so I could get vitamin D. I almost got stuck outside because my oxygen kept dipping too low to walk. I kept doing the breathing exercises but it would go up a little and immediately back down. I think it’s due to me overdoing it yesterday and the humidity and bad air quality. I was also stressing out due to the articles people sent me about covid lasting forever (please don’t send me those).

I need to be more careful and not push myself too much.

Covid is 5 steps forward, 10 steps back. 😔 #CovidTeacher