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COVID comeback? It never left.

John Bell

August 25, 2023

In July, Bronny James, son of NBA star LeBron James, suffered cardiac arrest during basketball practice with his college team. Young James was a top prospect. Now his career, and possibly his future life, is in question.

This is not to insist that James’ condition is a direct result of COVID-19. There are incidents of cardiac issues sideling young athletes before COVID. The multi-billion sports industry has plenty of ways of exploiting and abusing young athletes.

But there is scientific consensus emerging that contracting COVID – especially multiple times – causes long term damage to organs, particularly the heart.

As early as 2020, the magazines Scientist and the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on studiesof young players who had contracted COVID. Scans revealed an abnormal level of inflammation of their hearts, called myocarditis.

Although the sample size was small, a 2020 German studyfound that 60% of the 100 athletes studied revealed post-COVID myocarditis. Prior medical conditions were ruled out.

More recent studies reinforce and amplify these early findings. And they reveal other deadly repercussions from COVID besides cardiac issues.

A 2022 report from Johns Hopkinsconfirms that even “mild” cases of COVID relate to an increasing number oc cardiac issues. 

This study also refutes anti-vaxxer misinformation claiming that health issues are caused not by the virus, but by vaccines. Studies prove that un-vaccinated COVID patients have at least as high high levels of cardiac issues.

A new studyfrom the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, based at the University of Minnesota has reported that there is a link between COVID and increased incidence of blood clotting among cancer patients.


In February, Chicago Blackhawks veteran centre Jonathan Toews announced he was “stepping back” from hockey to try and recover from the effects of long COVID. Toews developed Chronic Immune Response Syndrome. This progressive disease takes advantage of a compromised immune system and can result in inflammation of a number of organs, and can become debilitating.

There is a growing mountain of information and researchabout the long-term effects of repeated exposures to COVID. Yet it is rarely referred to in the media, making headlines only when a celebrity like Toews is effected,

The fact is that the science surrounding long COVID directly contradicts the corporate and government strategy for dealing with disease: to let people just get it, and then get on with it. “Herd immunity”, and more recently “hybrid immunity” allows them to do nothing, to get on with business as usual. They gamble – with our lives – that what doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.

COVID didn’t get that memo. Infection breaks down the immune system, making the body the target for multiple diseases: cancer, myocarditis, circulatory problems, joint inflammation and loss of mental acuity have all been connected to long COVID. Chronic fatigue and mental health issues also result.

As a result of governments’ herd immunity strategy, especially allowing school kids to catch and spread COVID multiple times, is a ticking time-bomb. We are at the beginning of a great wave of disabilitywhich will worsen in the coming years. 

Media are already reporting “mysterious” rises in death rates, not just among children, the elderly and disabled demographics, but also among young adults with no known prior health issues. As with this USA Todayarticle, most stop short of connecting this to long COVID. 

New strains and old cover-ups

What is worse, COVID is a rapidly evolving organism. Left to its own devices – “get it and get on with it” – it will continue to return with new variations. This means the “herd immunity” you may have gained from the last variety may not protect you from the next.

The UK is a country that embraced the “herd immunity” strategy early in the pandemic, allowing COVID to rip through much of the population. Yet with each successive wave, with each new mutation, hospitalizations sky rocket and death rates spike. These are reported as “excess deaths”.

Get used to hearing that term. It will be a major tool to dismiss and normalize deaths from COVID and long COVID.

It becomes difficult to track and report on this new wave because governments have simply stopped counting and reporting in a timely, transparent fashion. Maria Van Kerkhove is an epidemiologist working with the World Health Organization. She recently tweeted: “Clarification: in our COVID19 global epi reports, we provide into on # of countries reporting cases to WHO. This does NOT mean there are no cases in countries, it means they are no longer reporting this to WHO. Big difference. Take care.”

But someone is counting. Enter the insurance companies. Just as actuaries and insurance adjusters were among the first corporate entities to blow the whistle on climate change disasters, now they are reporting on COVID.

In the US they report that beginning in mid-July hospitalizations rose sharply. And not just in crowded urban centres. In parts of Oklahoma hospital admissions are up around 450%, according to the Center for Disease Control.

All this is already putting a strain on our under-funded healthcare. In Ontario, the Ford Tories are so intent on transferring wealth to their friends and supporters through privatization that hospital services are visibly suffering.

A recent CBC storyreports that the city of Hamilton is in need of 473 new hospital beds and 3,348 more staff.

This is widespread. I have personally witnessed regular, open squabbles between overworked nurses and administrators trying to get them to work even more shifts. Hospitals have bowed to political pressure, and dropped all public health requirements in general areas of their buildings. They maintain the fiction that all is well, but the cracks in the system are wide open. 

Governments and big business downplay or even cover-up evidence of the continued risks of new variants and of the results of long COVID. It is worth noting here a damning report in indy-media outlet The Maplewhich has charted the political affiliations of members of the boards of Toronto’s hospitals, thanks to the fact that donations to political parties must be made public. 

It will come as no surprise that hospital board members overwhelmingly donated to Doug Ford provincially, and John Tory municipally. How much our hospitals are guided by health considerations, and how much by political expediency, is a subject for a public debate that is not happening.

As we head into another school year, there appears to be no new government plan to protect kids, to require masking, to decrease crowding, and to maintain a campaign of vaccination. The new variant is already upon us and cases and deaths are on the rise. And summer is supposed to be the safest season.

COVID is far from over. Take precautions. Take care of yourselves, because the system won’t.




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