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At 15 years of age I was diagnosed as a Type I diabetic — 49 years ago. I had a genetic predisposition, but I’ve been told by several endocrinologists over the years that an “event” likely triggered the antibody response for which I was predisposed. The event was, in all probability, a viral or bacterial infection. The autoimmune response to that infection attacked the islet cells in my pancreas and destroyed my body’s ability to produce insulin. I’ve been dependent on external delivery of insulin ever since. Life goes on.

I relate this information to emphasize that it is not “novel” for a virus to trigger long-term “complications”. Recently, certain media factions have been shrieking about the long-term complications that might be triggered by the coronavirus (C19) even in those with otherwise light symptoms. Those are unfortunate, but again, this aspect of viral and bacterial infection is not uncommon.

We know, for example, that bacterial and viral infections often trigger autoimmune diseases like diabetes. Other examples are chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid conditions, celiac disease, Graves’ disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Sjogren’s Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and many others.

One condition that’s been cited as an especially dangerous complication of C19 is myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. This has been invoked as a reason to cancel sports competitions, for example. (See here for a denial of one rather hyperbolic claim regarding this condition.) Myocarditis has a long history as a side effect of influenza. Most people recover with no long-term complications, and others manage to live with it and remain productive. While C19 is “novel”, infection-induced myocarditis is not.

If you catch a virus or a bacterial infection, you might experience other complications with varying severity. Get used to the idea. It’s an unfortunate fact of life.