Professor dies of Covid during class

Professor dies of Covid during class


norman lebrecht

September 07, 2020

This post is not music-related. It is aimed at occasional deniers on this site who imagine Covid has gone away or is no worse than a bad flu.

Paola De Simone, a professor of modern history at Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) in Buenos Aires, collapsed and died during a class she was giving on Zoom. She had been suffering from Covid and was 46 years old.

Her lifeless body was discovered by her husband, a medical doctor.

Take care out there. Wear masks.


  • Petros Linardos says:

    “It is aimed at occasional deniers on this site who imagine Covid has gone away or is no worse than a bad flu.”

    Well done! SlippedDisc is doing its part in documenting Covid-19 in the music world.

    The most simplistic approach to quantify the effect of Covid-19 is by looking at excess deaths: number of deaths in excess of the average for the same time period in previous years. In the US, overall excess deaths since March have already topped 200,000, i.e. they exceed the official count Covid-19 deaths.

    In perspective: the CDC estimates 61,200 flu deaths for 2017-18.

    So, in the USA in six months, Covid already caused more than three times the death toll of one flu season. And we are not even close to the end, if we believe the scientists.

  • Well Wisher says:

    Yes. But be critical:
    Not everything done by your government, or broadcaster, or media/newspaper is good.
    Make yourself heard. You have a right to have your own viewpoint (which is probably shared by many others as well)

    • Bruce says:

      “You have a right to have your own viewpoint (which is probably shared by many others as well)”

      Yes. But be critical:
      Not everything believed, or espoused, or done, by your fellow humans is good (or true, or just).

    • Brettermeier says:

      “You have a right to have your own viewpoint”

      (Doesn’t mean you’re right, though.)

      • Joseph St. Martin says:

        Most choices are not about right or wrong.

        Those are then the choices of culture, belonging, identity, heritage etc.

        Either you say: “open borders, we are all the same.:”
        Or you say: “close the borders; don’t water down my unique traditional culture and people, by allowing massive entry of foreigners (cheap labour, foreign-looking, strong traditions with incompatible culture). I do not wish to be slowly replaced.”

        Either you say: “modernism all the way. Progress and future.”
        Or you say: “reduce modernism, since it leads to loss of tradition and identity.”

        Either you say: “Black lives matter…”
        Or you say: “those poor BLM protesters, who’ve been lied at their whole lives… about ‘being the same’, suddenly realize it is not so, and violently revolt. The dumb still buy into the lies, and believe people are discriminating against the blacks; the clever realize that they are different (and proud that it is so) and that no manner of trying to artificially ‘make everyone the same’ will ever succeed: they criticize the lie of equality-and-sameness. They say: embrace your culture and tradition. Stand proud.”.

        Either you say: “Rule, Britannia! is racist.”
        Or you say: “Rule, Britannia! is my tradition. I’m love the song. Britain never never never will be slain. Britain! My people!”

        There is no right or wrong in those particular aspects. It’s about culture and identity. And if the curve is not gotten soon, it’ll turn into a culture-war and identity-war.

        • Brettermeier says:

          “There is no right or wrong in those particular aspects.”

          Fun fact: You’re wrong.

          Want prove? Traditions can be racist! *mindexplosionsound*

          The question is: What do you do about it?

  • Hilary Davan Wetton says:

    Send not to ask for whom the Bell tolls.

  • Gustavo says:

    Stop smoking.

  • Gus says:

    I am not a denier, Covid is a new, worldwide infection about which we are still learning. However, it is absurd to take one case as representing what to do in the fight against Covid. This professor had been ill for 4 weeks and was pushing herself to take classes at 7.00am. when she should have been taking care of herself – she had pneumonia which is a serious condition. It is essential that proper care be instituted and adhered to if one is to emerge from a Covid infection and recover, most people do and it is not then more deadly than a flu epidemic.

    My condolences to her husband and family for their very sad loss.

    For a more representative account of the effect of Covid and seasonal influenza I attach the following from Lockdown Sceptics.

    “Distressing though COVID-19 associated MIS-C is, these cases have decreased from an already low population incidence and risk of fatality. While symptoms may persist in COVID-19 and may sometimes be serious, they are not typically so, and appear to measurably diminish with time, even within the short time frame of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In some years, epidemic – let alone pandemic – flu may lead to a broadly similar number of deaths to COVID-19, even given widely available vaccination.

    Like COVID-19, influenza poses an elevated risk to the over-65s. However, influenza presents a clearly greater risk to all other ages, including children and adults. While seasonal flu leads to higher mortality rates at the extremes of age, 2009 H1N1 flu, for example, may have posed a particular threat to ‘working age’ adults.

    Multi-organ complications, including myocarditis and encephalitis, occur in both flu and COVID-19. In both cases, these complications have the potential to be persistent and serious, but such instances are rare and may be complicated by pre-existing disease. Patients typically recover in a few weeks and where symptoms do persist, they diminish – if sometimes gradually – in frequency with time. The most persistent symptoms are predominately those such as fatigue, aches and pains, and shortness of breath and are not life-threatening.

    It is far from evident that COVID-19 presents a greater risk of complications or persistent symptoms than flu and – given the demographic most affected – COVID-19 does not present as great a threat as flu to children and younger adults and the otherwise healthy.

    Epidemiologically and clinically, flu may be as bad as COVID-19. In children, juveniles and productive adults flu appears worse.”

  • V. Lind says:

    Thank you.

    And thank you, BBC, fr till giving us some lovely concerts while taking care of public safety.

  • caranome says:

    it’s not a matter of deniers. This sounds like a heart attack, which conforms to vast majority of Covid deaths is due to comorbidities. US CDC just published that only 6% of Covid deaths in US is solely due to Covid. The rest are due to avg. of 2 other comorbidities, heart disease and diabetes being 2 top causes. A pure Covid patient doesn’t just drop dead like this.

    • Araceli says:

      caranome, you are a denier. If I have heart disease and/or diabetes and I get killed in a car crash, the cause of death is not heart disease and/or diabetes. If I have high blood pressure, whether controlled with medication or not, and I get shot by police and die, the cause of death is gun shot wounds, not high blood pressure. More than half of the U.S. population has comorbidities, such as obesity. Is it acceptable that we lose half of our population to Covid-19?

      I know you and tRump want to downplay the severity of his incompetence. Unfortunately, you can’t put a positive spin on the dead bodies piling up. We’ll have half a million by Christmas.

      • Dennis says:

        Funny you mention car crashes – exactly such cases were being counted as “Covid deaths” in some states. If you died of say, a fall from a great height, gunshot, or car crash, but were discovered to have had Covid, you were listed as a “Covid death”. Insane, but what the Narrative needs to drive up deaths and justify the fear and paranoia ravaging the world.

    • Ainslie says:

      Heart attack or not, your assertion is totally specious. When a COVID patient dies, the official cause of death is listed something like this: “Myocardial infarction resulting from COVID-19”. People who have an interest in denying the severity of COVID like to point to the first condition listed and pretend that the COVID infection was secondary.
      By this logic, NOBODY has ever died from HIV/AIDS. Their death certificates read, “Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia resulting from HIV”, or “Kaposi’s sarcoma resulting from HIV”.
      And you are wrong: “pure COVID patients” can and do drop dead. For reasons not yet fully understood, some otherwise healthy “pure COVID patients” develop cytokine storm syndrome and die from multi-organ failure. This is a condition they NEVER would have encountered were it not for COVID.
      Do everyone a favor and get your information from some source other than Fox News.

  • Ascending prayers for Paola De Simone and her family

  • Stephen Diviani says:

    It needs more information than you supply. Were there underlying health issues? To give the impression that Covid-19 kills healthy people is wrong and scaremongering of the worst kind.

    • John Borstlap says:

      And her husband was a doctor. Why did he let her go teaching? And then, what about the threat to the pupils? It all sounds very irresponsible.

      • Bruce says:

        “And then, what about the threat to the pupils?”
        She was teaching a class over Zoom. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

        (And – perhaps her husband thought the minimal physical strain of giving lectures while seated at a desk at home would not be too much for her? We don’t know if she had a history of heart trouble, or anything that might give him pause.)

      • Brettermeier says:

        “It all sounds very irresponsible.”

        It sounds more like you didn’t read the linked article. Or the HEADLINE:

        “Professor collapses and dies in front of virtual class amid COVID-19 symptoms”

        But yes, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been much trouble to include the word “virtual” in this article’s headline.

  • alan says:

    Terrible to read of this. RIP. COVID will be here for a few years yet, so take it seriously – colleagues of mine are testing positive for the second time; neighbours, friends and family have died…. this is no hoax. What will it take for some people to wake up to the stark reality of this?

    • Stephen Diviani says:

      I do not think that anybody believes Covid-19 is a ‘hoax’. Of course, there are and always will be extremist conspiracy theorists, but why would anybody take notice of them. You are setting up paper tigers. The ‘stark reality’, to use your somewhat over-dramatic locution, is that the vast majority of those who contract Covid-19 recover and huge number of those have no symptoms or mild symptoms. They also acquire immunity. What is unknown is how long that immunity will last, but nobody has contracted the virus twice and if there is no immunity then what would be the point of a vaccine! In the UK at present there is a spike in the infection rate because large numbers of young people are mixing together. And so what? They honoured the ‘lockdown’ and for the last six months have made a big sacrifice to protect the vulnerable and now face paying the economic consequences. Yet they are being demonized by some of the press and government ministers. This is shameful given that death rates continue to fall because vulnerable people are still taking precautions and young people are behaving responsibly. In comparison with other pandemics, like Spanish flu or Hong Kong flu Covid is not as dangerous a killer. Indeed, in the UK it has so far killed fewer people that die when then are virulent strains of influenza – cf. ONS website. Do I want to contract it? Of course not; although as a healthy 64-year old I very much doubt that it would kill me. We should end all talk of national ‘lockdowns’, observe social distancing and get on with our lives. And, most importantly, stop being needlessly scared. To that end I am this afternoon flying to Spain for a month to holiday with friends. Cheers!

    • Dennis says:

      “Friends, neighbours, family, colleagues” all falling ill and apparently dying in great numbers. Sorry, but I just don’t believe this claim. I’ve yet to meet anyone who has even tested postive, much less actually become ill or died from Covid. I take these hysterical claims about masses of friends and family ill with a grain of salt. Just contributors to the panic Narrative.

  • Garech de Brun says:

    Sars-cov-2 has not “gone away”, winter flu is seasonal, however we will be stuck with Cov-19 throughout the year.

    A recent paper in BMJ confirms another study in Texas on aerosol transmission in hospital wards, 5m not the initial 2m. Wear a mask, if possible n95 if in a clinical situation or if indoors with crowds. Avoid public transport, concerts will have to be done by web streaming etc. Maybe classical CD sales will mushroom due to cov-19. Who knows when this will end.

    The Russian vaccine “trial” reported in the Lancet was not an RCT and had no controls and the cohort was too small. I doubt any of the vaccine candidates will pass muster.

    The PCR swab tests cannot distinguish live from dead virus, so you could be getting a positive after recovery. The antibody test might be better, but even that has problems.

    • Dr Tonreihe says:

      One cannot compare coronavirus exposure in a hospital ward full of Covid patients to public transport or any other normal indoors situation.

      To the best of my knowledge, no medical body anywhere in the world is recommending N95/FFP2 in non-clinical settings. Individuals really should err away from presenting such “opinions/recommendations” in public fora!

      • Ainslie says:

        The reason officials aren’t recommending N95 masks is not because they don’t offer protection from virus aerosols — they do! The reason N95s are not recommended is usually stated: to preserve the supply of the masks for health care professionals.

    • Dennis says:

      PCR tests are a joke. Unreliable, and coupled with all positive tests being reported as “cases” (even when asymptomatic) just fuel fear and paranoia. What we have in the US now is a test-demic. No wonder, since current testing levels are generating over $1 billion per week for manufacturers. Covid testing has become a very Big Business. Just wait until the unsafe vaccines are rushed through. Ka-ching, Ka-ching! (BTW, did anyone see the news about Gates’ latest polio vaccines causing outbreaks in Africa and other side effects – but according to the mass media this guy is a world savior, and we should all sign up for the forthcoming Gates covid cocktail!). What a sick world.

  • Dr Tonreihe says:

    Anyone denying the existence of Sars-cov-19, or calling it a hoax, or explaining it as an result of 5G, Bill Gates, or Jews, or any such baloney, should not be given the light of day.

    But, contextualising Sars-cov-19 within past novel respiratory virus epidemics, expecting that public health measures are calibrated to minimise collateral damage such that the harms do not outweigh the benefits, expectation of accurate or truthful communication of people’s individual risks, demanding accurate reporting of the statistical likelihood of the rare events of unexpected severe harm, expectations that measures such as mask-wearing are utilised most only where evidence and logic supports it, and demanding that educational social and psychological harms to children are minimised – and so on, is not Covid-denialism. Covid-realism and Covid-centrism are the way forward.

    Over-selling the long-term benefits of full lock-down – that is a form of Covid denialism in itself!

    • Hilary says:

      “expectations that measures such as mask-wearing are utilised most only where evidence and logic supports it”
      We have case studies to go on like the recent outbreak in a hotel in Switzerland. Staff with visors alone got CV19 and those with masks didn’t. Numerous scientific studies as well.

      Of course, there are situations where a mask will be of negligible value. I guess you’re referring to these.

  • David says:

    Tragic loss both for academe and her bereaved husband.

  • Bruce says:

    I recently finished reading “World Without End” by Ken Follett. It’s a sequel to “Pillars of the Earth,” set about 200 years later than that book.

    In the late 1340’s, the Plague that has been ravaging Europe comes to the (fictional) town of Kingsbridge. One of our protagonists is a nun and the head nurse in the cathedral hospital. She learns that Muslim physicians in Italy recommend isolating patients, wearing a strip of cloth over your nose and mouth, and washing your hands in vinegar between patients to reduce your chances of getting sick. She decides to try it and recommends to her nursing staff that they do it too. She can only recommend, since she is not the boss of them — only the mother Prioress can do that, and she’s busy dying of the Plague.

    The Prioress dies and an election to replace her must be held. Our heroine is one of the leading candidates; of course she has a rival, who tries to discredit her by dismissing her protocol because it’s not mentioned in the Bible, calling it a “heathen practice” since it was recommended by Muslim physicians, and even saying it’s witchcraft (still a burnable offense back then). The rival is steered from behind the scenes by a faction that is interested in retaining/ increasing power, not helping plague victims. Each candidate has her supporters. Those who support our heroine wear masks; those who support the other one, don’t.

    So the wearing/not wearing of masks in the midst of a deadly epidemic becomes a sign of political affiliation.

    “World Without End” was published in 2008, but it was interesting to read in 2020. Human nature, plus ça change, and all that.

    • Garech de Brun says:

      Bubonic plague requires a vector (flea) to transmit Yersina pestis. However once established in a population, it can go to pneumonic plaque via person to person transmission which was the real cause of the Black death. The treatment for YP is usually Tetracycline. I would avoid fictional novels, BMJ and Lancet are a better bet.

      • Bruce says:

        To be fair, the novel (that section of it anyway) is set in the 1340’s. The characters are working with the knowledge that is available at the time. (a) They don’t really know how the plague is spread, they’re just trying stuff that they’ve heard works, in case it works better than the current methods. There’s a name for that kind of approach in modern medicine, but the name of it escapes me 😉 Also (b) they don’t seem to have Tetracycline. In fact, they really don’t have any treatment for it, they just try to limit its spread. If someone catches it, all they can do is nurse them along with hot broth and clean nappies until they recover or die. Irresponsible of them, I agree; but there it is.

  • Garech de Brun says:

    The NHS is setting up post-covid-19 clinics to follow up on those patients who had Sars-cov-2 and who only partially recovered leaving them with with new symptoms such as reduced lung capacity, fatigue, etc. Reduced lung capacity is now quite a common occurrence as the virus can leading to pulmonary issues.

    This paper in BMJ by Watson et al on testing for sars-cov-2 antibodies is worth reading, very comprehensive.

  • Dennis says:

    “It is aimed at occasional deniers on this site who imagine Covid has gone away or is no worse than a bad flu.”

    One-off anecdotes of bizarre situations with no context (what was her health history, co-morbidities, etc.?) do not change the fact that for the vast majority (meaning about some 99.98%, given IFR is around .02%) Covid is indeed no worse than flu. Nor does it change the fact that constant, generalized public mask wearing by asymptomatic people does nothing to stop the spread of viruses, and is just an elaborate health charade and virtue signalling mass conformist exercise. The over-reaction to Covid has been, and continues to be, far worse than the disease, whatever bizarre one-off cases you manage to dredge up.

  • Garech de Brun says:

    This is not surprising. The 14 day cumulative data for Argentina from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, gives number of reported cases/100,000 population as follows, 478,779 (sum of cases), 9912 (Sum of Deaths) and 136,638 cases in the last 14 days.