Xeno or infection phobic?

So is Xenophobia a pathological fear of strangers or foreigners? Like agoraphobia or arachnophobia? The Mayo Clinic site has a listing for agoraphobia but not for arachnophobia or xenophobia. Perhaps agoraphobia is more disabling. Though with our world having more and more people, xenophobia might be terribly dangerous as well.

Current world population: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/.

Number of people with Long Covid: at least 65,000,000, though the talk I attended yesterday say that’s a low estimate. Nearly one percent of the world population.

This article in Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41579-022-00846-2 is about Long Covid, the research to date and the areas that need research. This is a very fast moving target with information exploding from multiple labs.

I attended an on line continuing medical education about Long Covid yesterday: https://hsc.unm.edu/echo/partner-portal/echos-initiatives/long-covid-fatiguing-illness-recovery/. This is a global monthly teaching session about Long Covid and current research and diagnosis and treatment. Yesterday’s talk was about immune cell abnormalities that persist and evidence is showing up that they are causing some of the problems. However, as one researcher said, the problems are multifactorial and any system in the body can be affected in more than one way.

Essentially some of the immune cells are puffy, sticky and enlarged. The suspicion is that the postexertional malaise is related to these puffy sticky cells. During exercise, or for some people normal activity, the muscles need more blood flow and more oxygen. The puffy sticky cells are stiff and won’t slide through capillaries easily. The muscles send a panic “I need oxygen!” message to the brain and the muscles do not work. The recovery can take a day or two days because of the food/oxygen deprivation. The researcher said that the same mechanism is suspected in ME-CFS (myalgic encephalopathy-chronic fatigue syndrome).

My muscles are feeling normal. My chronic fatigue is comparatively mild and happens with bad infections or with a vaccine that raises antibody levels, as it is supposed to. That’s how immunizations work. Do I have antibodies that shut down my muscles or do I have puffy cells? I would postulate the former but I can’t be sure right now. My home science kit is not quite up to that study.

When my fast twitch muscles are not working, are affected, it is very weird. They DO NOT WORK RIGHT. It is hard to describe: it is sort of pain, but it’s more of a very very strong STOP EXERCISING NOW message. And then I am exhausted for 1-2 days. In contrast, my muscles are a bit sore after a four mile beach walk 2 days ago and then an intense physical therapy session, but I am not exhausted. No naps the last two days. I have returned to my normal sleep patterns, less hours.

One of the researchers presented new technology that can make a movie of the microscopic cells going though a space with a narrowing like a capillary. Video electron microscopy. They are describing the cell shapes and whether they go through a capillary diameter normally or stick, for people with no Covid, diabetics, acute Covid and Long Covid. All are different. It is fascinating new technology.

I think I am more infection phobic than xenophobic. People all have the same basic blood cells inside, even with lots of different genetic patterns. So far infection phobia has not led me to agoraphobia, but the talk yesterday sure makes me want to keep my mask on.

There were over 350 attendees yesterday from all over the world. Lay people can sign up as well and the videos are stored for anyone to watch. I will watch yesterday’s a second time because five different scientists presented in 30 minutes and I ignored the chat which was going full speed with references to look up. Homework. And progress is being made.



For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: xenophobia.


I took the photograph two days ago from East Beach on Marrowstone Island. The distance between the sea lions and the container ship is much further than it appears, and this is taken with a Canon PowerShot SX40HS zoomed most of the way out.

6 thoughts on “Xeno or infection phobic?

  1. My neighbor is convinced that Covid 19 came from a lab in China where they were developing biological weapons. That is Xenophobia. Even if that turns out to be true, a more rational “phobia” is infection phobia because the virus is the danger not all of the Chinese people on the planet. She is NOT infection phobic at all. She considers wearing masks, shutting down businesses and getting vaccinated idiotic. She doesn’t see the problem in her thinking.

    Living here I’ve come to understand xenophobia and I really didn’t before. A guy who brought out my groceries a month or so ago said the biggest problem Colorado has is people from California. That’s xenophobia. It’s the mentality that thinks “Those foreigners are going to take something from me.”

    When I was reading from my China book at the museum a couple years ago the very woman who hated me so virulently that she scraped some of my painting off the window of the art coop to which I once belong listened raptly, sitting on the edge of her seat. I was reading about Christmas in China and Chinese New Year. I got to the part where I read about how the radio station in my city, Guangzhou, played American music on Christmas Day, one song “Home on the Range” in Cantonese. I read about how that made me feel so far from home and how it made me feel appreciated and understood. That woman wiped tears from her eyes. “They’re just like us!” she said, just like that. It was a huge moment.

    I really appreciate the information in your post — I go through a week or two of no symptoms and then Long Covid hits again. I know it’s slowly moving on, but good god. What fucked up mess and yeah, I’m infection phobic.

Comments are closed.