Bess Kalb Profile picture
May 3, 2020 21 tweets 4 min read Read on X
My dad is an ICU doctor treating COVID-19 patients. In the past WEEK he has set more “I’ve never seen a heart rate/RBC count/etc. like this” records than in his decades-long career. What this virus does to the body is like “sticking your finger in an electric socket.” Stay home.
He had a patient who needed 8 blood transfusions in a morning even though he wasn’t bleeding. The coronavirus was just eating his red blood cells faster than his bone marrow could make them. It’s fucking mystifying and brutal.
EIGHT. Eight blood transfusions.
If you are lucky enough to make it off a ventilator (the equivalent exertion required for that is running a marathon without training), you will likely get put on dialysis and a feeding tube next. It’s a nightmare. It’s hell. It’s what you’re risking on your beach day.
Young, healthy people are dying from a COVID-19 effect called a "cytokine storm." Basically, you make it off a ventilator (maybe!), you get your appetite back a little, you think you're turning a corner, and then your immune system rips through your lung tissue and you drown.
The other common way young people are falling off the face of the earth from this are the random strokes it causes. Talking one minute, stroking out the next, and then the nurses have to go through the cell phone to find "Dad" because "Mom" usually insists on coming.
There have been a few "Papa Bear"s or "Daddy-O"s in the cell phones who have tried to come in to hold the bodies.
They can't, of course. You die alone from COVID. And you will be buried alone. Stay home.
Send this thread to any idiot fucker who posts an Instagram at the beach or a crowded park. Tell them my dad says see you later.
Also have an advanced directive because a lot of fiancés and parents are being put in UNCOMFORTABLE situations deciding. Truly, before you head to the crowded beach or nail salon or bowling alley, decide if you're a chest compressions guy or feeding tube vegetable queen.
Healthcare workers: Share your stories (without identifiable details obviously) from the front lines. People are GALAVANTING out and about. Explain to them what they're facing. Or worse, what they're doing to a loved one.
@Dptheath47 He is doing telemedicine into under-staffed, overwhelmed hospitals that don't have the critical care support he can provide. It's worth mentioning that the nurses are universally amazing. And the COVID-recovered nurses are the ones donating blood for their own patients.
My dad wants you to know he made really good polenta tonight.
I woke up to a lot of Trump people saying this isn’t true. I wish you were right! Here’s Sanjay Gupta going over the case of an otherwise healthy baseball player in his 30s who was feeling fine then rapidly declined and died in his bed of COVID:…
We won’t know the body count for a long time because so many young people are dying at home and not being entered into an official tally. You feel fine, you get a little cough, MAYBE you go to the doctor, you get sent home (“you’re young!”), you recover, you take a turn, goodbye.
Even if it doesn’t happen to you and you’re just a carrier, since you’re spreading it, it could happen to a buddy, or to a stranger who walks by you, or someone who brushes up against something you touched. This is a once in a lifetime emergency and your boredom can be lethal.
What people treating covid patients know is that pictures of the packed beach means some people in that crowd are going to get pulled choking off a ventilator in about two weeks and either live or die and they could have avoided that by just taking a walk.
I’m not going to do interviews about this because I am certainly not the story, so here’s what I’ve said publicly about my dad’s work before I knew his observations would be so galvanizing:
@ThaStock Getting killed by a spouse is not highly contagious with an exponential growth curve. If you do not understand this, please let me know. This is a once in a lifetime health emergency and we have not done nearly enough to contain it.
The most devastating thing about this thread is the number of people who are desperately trying to deny it in the comments. This is happening in reality even if you insist it isn’t. Listen to doctors and scientists and nurses, not conspiracy theorists. For your own sake.
If your relatives or friends are pushing covid-denial narratives over reality, they can read more reporting about overwhelmed hospitals in Coronavirus hotspots here:…

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More from @bessbell

Dec 21, 2022
Can finally announce: I am humbled, honored, and frankly still in shock to be the new CEO of @twitter. Though we haven't always seen eye to eye (Edgelord memes! Verification fiasco! The "sink" joke being the full extent of his business plan!) I am thrilled @elonmusk took a chan
Whether he has failed to rescue people from a cave and then called the actual rescuer a pedophile, sent CPAP machines to hospitals instead of direly needed ventilators, or spent $44 billion to ruin his reputation and legacy, @elonmusk has always been on the forefront of
He is so much more than the apartheid profiteer heir of an emerald mine owner who openly hates him, he is a man whose current only friend is Jared Kushner. I know that with his level of know-how and unimpeachable foresight, @elonmusk will definitely go to Mars in his lifeti
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Dec 14, 2022
You just had covid and lived in New York City and have been in an immunocompromised/baby hermetically sealed bubble for 3 years and could suddenly do anything and go anywhere: What would you do? My brain keeps going back to "Dumplings." So I have made 3 plans to eat dumplings.
Does anyone have anything non-dumpling related? Just texted another friend about going "crazy in dumptown" and it seems like that's what I'm going to keep doing.
In the coming week and a half, four of the nights are entirely based around a different dim sum place.
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Dec 12, 2022
I am someone who just hired a nanny because she politely referred to a picture of my youngest son - a baby whose legs look like two recently exploded logs of crescent roll dough - as "Rotund!"
Would have accepted "Wow! That is a water balloon full of vanilla pudding!"
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Dec 11, 2022
One White Lotus thing: I do not think Cameron has any money.
If Lucia and Mia die so will I
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Oct 10, 2022
Hi! The global Jewish population has still not rebounded from the Holocaust. There were 16.6 million Jews in 1939, then 6 million of us were annihilated in a genocide that happened when "It's A Wonderful Life" came out in movie theaters, and now there are 14.8 million of us.
This was not an ancient blip. It was a coordinated systemic annihilation program born out of long-simmering antisemitic acceptance, grounded in the idea Jews are an all-powerful network keeping people down. It is all sounding very familiar!
Today I'm seeing a lot of tweets saying "Why is Kanye ONLY being censored when he comes after Jews?" A. That is conspiracy-mongering. B. One reason is very recent history (Reagan was in his mid-30s) shows us exactly what happens when people go death con 3 on us.
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