Mitch is a hard stick is all I can say for sure. (I know that sounds like a character description but it’s a medical one)
Probably on anticoagulants too. Sometimes old fragile papery skin does that when the veins are elusive. But the lip argues anticoagulants.
Also clinically possible that he touched the cursed horcrux as others are suggesting on this thread. Just spitballing here so may as well keep the differential broad.
It would be unusual for horcrux contact to demonstrate non-contiguous involvement, but the literature is not broad enough to exclude it.
Ok, an anonymous commenter suggested the possibility that McConnell IS a horcrux himself. There’s only one other case report in the literature of this and it was a vastly different presentation so this possibility is kind of blowing my mind.
It’s very humbling to be a full professor and have a lay person suggest a plausible diagnosis that didn’t occur to you.
For McConnell to be damaged by a horcrux suggests he was attempting to destroy said horcrux, and that premise does not hold up. Diagnoses generally have narrative consistency.
So in the event this is a horcrux related disease and yet not incurred in the act of destroying the horcrux, two possibilities remain.

1. As mentioned, McConnell is the reservoir for a piece of the soul of another. We might expect that to have near zero physical manifestations
HOWEVER, this expectation is based on one case in a much younger person. McConnell may have relinquished his spiritual real estate decades ago, and / or the effects in his much older substrate are more visibly toxic. Or the occupying soul is more manifestly evil than Voldemort.
2. McConnell himself was *in the process* of creating a horcrux or horcruxes, ie, he himself is the soul-splitter, which as we have seen (again, N=1 so cautious generalization) is physically corrosive.
There may be divided opinions on this, but I favor the latter, after application of non-validated clinical decision tools.
First, can we reasonably rule out the possibility that he IS a horcrux?

- generally inanimate objects
- of high symbolic meaning
- when animate, a pet or
- an accidental horcrux of one’s mortal enemy
Horcruxes themselves do not have evil intent; the evil is from the cursed soul imparted to them. So overall, this seems not a good fit. I feel the impulse to jump onto “snake” as a match but here we should exercise some restraint, I think, as the operative word is “pet.”
Ok, can we rule IN the possibility that he was *creating* horcruxes? Let’s take a look at the criteria for a horcrux generator:

- thirst for power
- willingness to exercise unfathomable cruelty in pursuit of that power
- seeming interminable tenure in power
- zero empathy for children
- zero empathy for small animals
- zero empathy in general
- rule breaker of the highest order

Most clinical rules don’t even require one to meet all criteria but McConnell really wants to fill out that AUC.
So I guess the bottom line, as my pals @RyanMarino and @_HarryPaul_ might say, is who the f*ck cares about his health profile and I apologize for pointlessly propagating that original photo.

Final diagnosis: His actions have rendered him utterly soulless.

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More from @choo_ek

21 Oct
Scientists are trained to look for evidence of their own biases, and to consider the possibility that their hypotheses are wrong. In fact, hypotheses are framed in terms of the "null" - the baseline assumption that the thing you think is true is not.
In every grant, you have to:
- lay out your safeguards against bias, point by point
- discuss what happens if your initial hypothesis is wrong
- guard against linked Aims that rely on assumptions that your hypothesis is right
You basically can't get funded unless you show rigor and an ability to roll with unexpected findings.
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21 Oct
Medicine fails to acknowledge the depth of these losses from academia ... we lose talent, the leadership stays what it is, we reinforce the status quo. What is best for our patients? What is best for the science? statnews.com/2020/10/21/map…
Here's the direct link to the brave open letter from @AnuAnandaraja
After yesterday's Zoom session with @thenephrologist @kdc_md @DrAyanaJordan and @DrOniBee I am in mourning for what is lost when Black women and other WOC cannot stay and thrive in academic medicine. And I see all of you who stay but at cost to your own health and well-being.
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I took care of a patient who lived in a small apartment with a large family. They pasted together garbage bags to make tunnels through the hallways to try to isolate COVID+ family members. When we all do our best to keep rates low, we help those vulnerable to exposure.
If I get COVID, I have the luxury of isolating in an extra room or the basement. I have few comorbidities and access to healthcare. I have the financial reserve to take time off.
People with these privileges need to have enough imagination to see those who don’t have them, and enough compassion to act on their behalf.
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15 Oct
Deb was one of my first Twitter friends from 2013, a strong, clear, true and moral voice. If you go thru her tweets you’ll see how she always stood up for justice. I’ll miss her. The world lost some much needed goodness today.
She was warm and beautiful and brave and funny. I always laughed at her handle: “roseperson.” People who enjoy play on words like that are my kindred souls.
Her pinned tweet remains one of her best, but it is not unique or a fluke. She said this in so many ways over the years
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We have gone from underplaying the dangers of COVID-19 and crossed over to making infection a virtue, a valorous pursuit, a celebratory pastime.
This is why there are large gatherings of unmasked revelers. They aren’t ignoring Covid. They are going to go Presidential and dance in the virus.
I have to admit, I did not see this shift coming
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When I was little, if one kid got chicken pox, the mom would host a little superspreader event and put that kid together with siblings and cousins and have you play and share drinks etc. so they could all get over it together.
There was the odd meningitis / encephalitis / seizure / death, complication and mortality rates were relatively low and vaccine wasn’t available. People nearly universally got it by adulthood so wth, may as well go for it.
Here we are with a disease that is far from inevitable, that is more severe and deadly, with a vaccine on the horizon. This is not the occasion for superspreader sleepovers. Why are we having, celebrating, condoning sleepovers?
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