Gene therapy is the new moon shot. And the space race of the 60s is a lot like the race for new vaccines, medicines and prescription drugs of today. Developing these new treatments and in some cases, outright cures, that the U.S. is known for takes a lot of work, a lot of risk and a lot of money. Read more
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times in the Bertaut household, and, oddly enough, both times were happening simultaneously.
On Wednesday, Oct. 7, I started feeling a bit puny. Sinus-y and a little fuzzy around the brain. Over the next couple of days, those symptoms stayed about the same and I started feeling fatigued. On Saturday, Oct. 10, my daughter, who lives with us, started feeling bad and had a fever. She got tested for COVID-19. Her result was positive. My wife and I decided to go get tested. I was positive; she was negative. Read more
It’s not that often I go after a specific, single behavior, but today I’m in a mood. And I just went through COVID-19, so I’m especially fired up.
Blessedly, my symptoms were not that severe, and I’ve recovered well. But while I was sick, I read a LOT about the impact of tobacco use on people trying to recover from COVID-19, and the news there is not good, especially for Louisiana. I’ve got several pre-existing conditions that could have made my bout with COVID-19 worse, but thankfully tobacco use is not one of them.
I was so blessed growing up. I was a small-town boy (Morgan City was a city in name only!), an oldest child with four brothers and sisters, and had an incredibly talented, hard-working mom who stayed home with us until I was in high school. I was raised with a hard-working, strong moral character of a dad who had a job that allowed him to spend two out of every four weeks at home. And just for a little spice, his mom, a hard-charging, widowed “Maw-Maw,” lived two blocks away and worked well into her 70s. My Paw-Paw, her husband, passed away three years before I was born, when she was in her 40s. She never remarried.
I’m taking a break from my series on COVID-19 data to talk about something more pressing – our state’s recovery from Hurricane Laura.
If, like me, you’ve spent many years in Louisiana, you’ve dealt with a lot of hurricanes that caused a lot of damage and destruction. I have memories of my childhood home in Morgan City being pummeled so hard by Hurricane Betsy in 1965 (I was a preschooler!) that water was blowing through the bricks and into the sheetrock. The walls of our brand-new house were flexing, like the house was “breathing,” and a telephone pole dropped right onto our roof. Terrifying. Let’s just say my family never stayed for any other hurricane after that one.
I’m not usually one to dive into topics that are just horribly grim, but everything I’m going to tell you next is important to how we are forecasting and tracking COVID-19, and, in my personal opinion, needs to be said.
As I write this (week of Aug. 20), COVID-19 is killing around 30 of our family, friends and neighbors in Louisiana every day. Nearly 4,500 Louisianians have died since we started tracking COVID-19 deaths in February. In fact, nationwide, COVID-19 is now the THIRD-leading cause of death in the United States, behind only cancer and heart disease. That means COVID-19 is now killing more people than accidents, injuries, strokes, lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many, many other causes. We have to take this virus very seriously, especially the trends of Louisianians dying from it. Read more