Mystery of Coronavirus Timeline Deepens

Mystery of Coronavirus Timeline Deepens

Mystery of Coronavirus Timeline Deepens

Are you one of many Americans who’ve wondered if they had COVID-19 earlier this year? Or maybe even late last year? You’re not crazy: despite what scientists, relying on China’s reports, have said, SARS-CoV-2 may have infected the world earlier than thought. So the mystery deepens.

A new British genetic analysis pooh-poohs that theory, saying that the virus launched in December of 2019, but spread extremely rapidly. Sorry, but there are no months of undetected infection leading to greater immunity, which is what doctors have been hoping for.

But the genetic researchers may be wrong like other scientists whose data have imploded, since for months doctors have been baffled by mystery illnesses.

For example, on Monday, French scientists released the case of a man who presented with a pulmonary illness in December. Doctors admitted him to the hospital, uncertain of what was causing his chest pains, breathing difficulties, and a cough which brought up blood. They told him, “It’s not normal flu.”

The man, a native of Algeria, had not traveled outside France since August. What’s more, one of the man’s children was sick with an unusual pneumonia prior to the father’s illness.

So the French doctors checked testing samples taken on December 27 and found coronavirus. December 27 is four days before China reported its Wuhan cluster. And because the French resident had not traveled outside France since August, researchers wondered: where did he — or maybe his child — contract COVID-19? It may have been circulating in France long before.

Canadian researchers are also delving into the mystery of the coronavirus timeline.

Here in the US, researchers now believe that SARS-CoV-2 landed stateside prior to the first known patient, a Seattle man who returned from Wuhan in mid-January. As Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said:

“It wouldn’t surprise me if it was here in December. There was so much connection between Wuhan and here, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. The horse was long out of the barn before anybody thought to close the barn door.”

Other researchers in New York, Seattle, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, are on the hunt to find the earliest COVID-19 deaths. Plus, in Chicago, the Cook County medical examiner’s office will be scouring old records to determine if residents there died as far back as November. The first known death in Chicago occurred on March 6.

Matthew Memoli, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, is also working on such data. His words are startling:

“It’s possible that there were deaths before what is understood to be the first death. Some of the earliest reports in China are from the fall, and you have plenty of people traveling back to the U.S. all the time.”

Remember when the media called President Trump a “racist” for shutting down travel with China? Just asking. . .


Credit: FolsomNatural/CC BY 2.0.

How many of you have heard friends or relatives tell of a strange illness they developed at the start of 2020? Of perhaps it even happened to you? And maybe you wondered if it could’ve been COVID-19, but the media and “experts” kept telling you that the first two COVID deaths in America were on February 26 in Seattle. And that there’s no mystery to your sickness — it’s just a bad flu season. Listen to the World Health Organization, they said. Trust the Chinese data, they said.

Yeah, right.

Both my husband and I had a strange illness in January. Mine started on December 29, and his began shortly after mine ended. They followed the same path: heavy cough, fatigue, aching ribs, wheezing on inhalation, and, in my case, a negative flu test. It seemed endless, too, lasting at least two weeks. But neither of us developed a fever, which seemed weird since we both felt like we were hit by trucks. Plus, both of us had flu shots. I finally visited a doctor — not my regular physician — but I needed to see someone. That doctor just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Bronchitis? Maybe?”

My illness began the day after my family went home after visiting us for a week at Christmas. My granddaughter had arrived sick with a slight fever and cough, but recovered within a day or two.

Oh, one more thing: they flew in from Seattle.

Then last week we talked to my brother-in-law in Dallas. In February, he became sick with the same symptoms as we did, although he did have a fever. His doctor was also perplexed, but diagnosed it as “bronchitis.”

Personally, I think I probably had a mild flu, since I did have some immunity from an earlier flu shot, as did my husband. Plus, swabs for flu can result in false negatives. But when I visited my regular physician, she said it’s possible that it was COVID. Her opinion was that the virus was circulating around the West Coast long before anyone knew.

So who knows? But the only way the world will solve the mystery of the origins and true spread of SARS-CoV-2 will be through our own research. Ignore China, which has destroyed laboratory evidence and made whistle-blowing researchers mysteriously disappear. They have proven that they are not worthy partners in the fight against this virus.


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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • pkudude99 says:

    It’s now believed to have been in Las Vegas possibly as early as November, likely spreading via tourists and conventioneers.

    • Dennis J L says:

      So why not overwhelmed hospitals, cruise ships, etc. in the fall/winter?

      • steveH says:

        Possibly due to what is increasingly seen as a large fraction of those infected showing no, or very mild, symptoms.

        Give it a few months to get moving, and when we saw an apparent spike of infections early this year was a relatively small fraction of total infections that showed more serious to fatal reactions, being part of a much larger total number of infections.

  • Scott says:

    We had a big spike in respiratory calls in late November / December, with the shame shrugging by the ER docs wee were taking them to. pretty much our whole department had “the crud” during that time frame, with very similar symptoms. It would seem foolish to discount out of hand the possibility that it was Wuhan lung rot.

  • George V says:

    If there were folks showing up at their doc’s office or the ER with Covid-ish symptoms, I gotta wonder if there’s any data on hospital admissions, need for ventilators, or death rates. If it was circulating last fall, why no hot spots? I’m not doubting the virus could have been in the USA already, just wondering why there were no spikes or hot spots like we saw in March in NYC and Detroit. Seems like the type of thing that data mining software is supposed to be good at.

    • GWB says:

      Might have taken time to infect vulnerable clustered individuals. Nobody went to see Grandma in the home until Christmas….

    • GWB says:

      Oh, and CDC does show a spike of “influenza-like illness (ILI)” this past fall and into December. Those are people reporting flu-like (or Wuhan-like or SARS-like or…) symptoms to a doctor, but it was NOT the actual flu.

  • GWB says:

    So who knows?
    Get a serological test? And specifically ask your doctor to report it to national and state health services.
    Seriously, the more data they have to work with, the better. (And, the less they can bend the numbers.)

    And I know folks were talking about it on Sarah Hoyt’s blog back in January. And we all (that is, her blog readers) know she was sick, because it impacts her blogging (and she talks about it).
    Others there were mentioning their strange illnesses, too.

  • The earliest known death from COVID-19 was on Febvruary 6th, implying that there was community spread by mid-January.

  • Beans says:

    My wife had non-normal pneumonia, taking a very long time to cure with antibiotics, caused by a not-seasonal-flu/not-flu-but-it-acts-like-flu starting late November.

    And we live in a college town. With a huge population of students from…. Communist China. Who we now have found out were having family members come ‘visiting’ for months at a time because they couldn’t get medical care in Communist China for… a strange not-flu pneumonia.

    But there’s no connection between my wife’s not-flu pneumonia and theirs.

    And this is actually a common theme amongst the not-totally-healthy in this town. Lots of people came down with a walking-pneumonia that just hung on and took multiple courses or extended courses of antibiotics.

    But Wuhan didn’t get here till January.

    Right… Yeah…

    • GWB says:

      So, they were sick, with a contagious disease, and they traveled her to see a doctor?

      Where the hell are our border controls?!

      Besides keeping out the contagion, seeing this with proper border controls might have given us a heads up to the whole issue of Winnie The Flu.

      • Beans says:

        You mean the border control that was controlled by the democrats and those that control the democrats? The ver same people who have fought the current administration every time the current administration has tried common sense border control?


        And, yes, came here to get treated for what they weren’t being treated for or didn’t want to get treated for over there.

  • Ampleforth says:

    In January and February, a small college about an hour away from where I live had an illness that swept through the campus. Students ran low fevers, suffered congestion, and developed nagging coughs. None of them were terribly sick, some missed classes. The school considered canceling classes for a couple of days but didn’t. The illness came and went.

    How do I know? One of my children goes to the school and had a touch of the illness. After the school shutdown due to the Wuhan Flu panic, at supper one night I was reading about the symptoms of Wuhan. My child said glibly, “I’ve already had that.”

    Coincidence? Maybe. I won’t say that it wasn’t a similar virus because Wuhan Flu is very similar to a cold for the young and healthy. Here’s why it may have been the virus that has the entirety of the nation in a tailspin. The school is known for its students and professors and administrators doing missionary work overseas and many students study at foreign universities for a semester. Those who worked as missionaries or studied abroad returned to the United States over the Christmas holiday.

    All students returned to the campus near the middle of January.

  • suburbanbanshee says:

    Yup, had it in December. Didn’t go away until I spent a couple days huddled under the blankets with a heating pad over my chest, and with the heat cranked up in the house. The disease baked out, and the weird wheeziness and weakness that Mucinex did not help enough did go away.

    Meanwhile, most hospitals are cold, do not provide patients with enough blankets, and think that it is bad to fight diseases with heat. And old people have trouble staying warm.

  • Ta Kubish says:

    I visited my sons college city in Spain in late November. We did a bunch of touring and remarked to each other how many chinese tour groups we saw… did not think anything of it at the time. 3 days after arriving i came down with a runny nose the like of which i have never experienced. This was accompanied by a dry cough and fatiuge. I recovered in about a week… did I have it… the symptoms fit in retrospect

  • GWB says:

    For all those who thought you had it, please see if you can get your doctor to authorize a serological test! See if you really had it. Then we can improve the dataset, and maybe get better answers for the future.

    • Scott says:

      If you can get one. They’re not being recommended, or even really offered in Colorado at this point. One issue is that there are a number of ways that the body might fight the virus, and each of those antibodies have to be tested for individually, so at this point, the tests are minimally accurate. (plenty of false negatives. A positive result from one can be trusted)

  • Brian says:

    In mid-December we had a elderly man in my neighborhood…who was know for being unnaturally healthy and active for his greatly advanced age…suddenly die. I spoke to the late man’s son at the end of December and he told me that his father had gone out to drink beer with friends and caught a “bug.” Nothing was strange because 1. he was very elderly and 2. no one had even heard of coronavirus at the time. Anyhow, the man, who had survived all sorts of horrors during his lifetime succumbed to this “bug” in only a week. One night out drinking beer with friends, a few days later sick…then on oxygen…then in a coma…then deceased. Unfortunately they cannot exhume him and test his body as he has been cremated. But I would bet a large amount of money that if they did, they would detect evidence of Covid-19.

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