Long Covid

Lewis Hamilton is one of the most fit athletes on the planet.

Today the Formula 1 race was in Budapest. That’s Hungary in case you didn’t know. Not that I could have pulled it out of my ass. And when they showed an aerial picture of the Danube running through town, it all came together, like in BLUE DANUBE? These tidbits of information are buried in our brains, only to surface at unexpected moments, knitting together stories heretofore unknown.

So the truth is if you watch Formula 1 two things happen. You want to travel, go everywhere, and you want to go out and participate in sports.

As for the activity effect, that’s not limited to car racing. I had the same feeling after watching “Wide World of Sports.” When it ended, we’d go outside and throw the football, we’d heat up our bodies and drink up the atmosphere. And although it’s true I’d rather read than talk to most people, being out in the elements and being physical heats up not only your body but your mind.

As for travel…

I subscribe to skiing and travel sites on Instagram. I rarely post, but I love looking at the pictures from around the world. I’ve long loved trekkingtoes, but yesterday I came across earthbestshots and not only was I mesmerized, I longed to get on a plane to go anywhere! Anywhere that was different from here. That’s the thrill. Knowing that people thousands of miles away in a completely different environment live full lives in a world equal to our own, it’s stimulating and exciting.

Now if you haven’t yet watched today’s race on the DVR you can stop right here. But if you already did, if you don’t follow Formula 1 at all, let me say there was a major crack-up on the very first turn, a bunch of cars were eliminated and Max Verstappen’s car was damaged and Lewis Hamilton emerged unscathed, far ahead of the field.

And the Hamilton/Verstappen rivalry has ben the talk of the circuit for the last two weeks, after their collision at Silverstone. I don’t care which side you take, but what bugged me was Christian Horner, Mr. Ginger Spice, continuing to complain about it. Even Max O.D.’ed on the questions, preferring just to race. But everybody in life is just looking for that edge, they’re working the refs, what ever happened to  sportsmanship, gracious losers? Those seem to have disappeared with the sixties.

But that’s why I like Lewis Hamilton. He is always gracious, he is a good sportsman, he’s the opposite of so many lauded athletes.

But he drives the best car, a Mercedes. Red Bull was faster earlier in the season, but it looks like Mercedes made some tweaks and…

Valterri Bottas rear-ended Lando Norris, who hit Verstappen and then Valterri ended up running into Sergio Perez, taking him out of the race. Ultimately Bottas got a penalty, to be incurred in the next race, but the bottom line is Bottas’s Mercedes and Perez’s Red Bull were out, and Verstappen’s Red Bull was damaged.

And then they halted the race.

And in the time the driving was stopped, so did the rain. Such that when the race began again, everybody but Hamilton, the leader, came in for new tires, slicks, which are faster than the rain tires Hamilton was still on.

So Hamilton came in on the next lap and went from first to fourteenth, from ahead to behind, because you lose on average twenty seconds during a pit stop.

And then Lewis started catching up. There were still sixty plus laps left of this seventy lap race. And, as stated earlier, he had the fastest car.

But he had to battle Fernando Alonso for fourth, who was in a slower car but displayed incredible defensive maneuvers, and after finally passing Alonso and then Carlos Sainz, Hamilton ended up in third.

Do we care about anyone who does not win?

Yes, when there’s an annual driver’s championship, and a manufacturer’s too.

So ever since Liberty took over Formula 1 the operation has been lifted up to the forefront of international sports. It’s been professionalized. Previously, Bernie Ecclestone ran it with an iron fist, and made money, but he was so busy cutting corners he wouldn’t invest in making the sport bigger.

I was listening to a ski racing podcast last night and it was mentioned that a former executive at Head was the new head of the F.I.S. And he wants to bring the sport into the twenty first century. There are too many legacy elements holding it back. Like TV rights parceled out to the countries that hold the races. Progress happens. And if you’re not constantly looking over the horizon, reinventing yourself, you get left behind. On top today, beaten and forgotten tomorrow.

So, when the race is over, they talk to the drivers. Formula 1 is a cornucopia of information. Every car has a camera, every driver has a mic and so much data/information is exhibited to the public.

But something was weird here.

Esteban Ocon, the winner, was so giddy as to barely be able to talk, it was his first ever Formula 1 victory.

Sebastian Vettel, a former World Drivers’ Champion, finished second. In an Aston Martin. Which previously had been seen as less than competitive, a second-tier car in a sport where most of the action seems to reside in the second tier, since Hamilton has run away with the races for years. Vettel was smiling, he was happy, but he was far from ecstatic. Maybe it was his German heritage, maybe it just wasn’t that big a deal to him.

And then came Hamilton.

They’re talking to him and he’s not saying much. I figure internally he’s angry. Strategy kept him from winning. He wants to win, he’s not happy with third place. But although having a flat affect, he was congratulating Ocon, like I said, he’s not a sore sport. But he wasn’t saying much, he was different from how he normally is. I chalked it up to the less than spectacular result, after all winning not only gives you the glory, but the points.

And then they have the podium ritual. You know, the anthem and the passing out of trophies and…

Hamilton comes to the stage drinking. I wondered if it was a beer. But hi-def is so good you can see it’s water.

And then after the trophies are passed out, everybody involved, the three drivers and the representative of the manufacturer of the winning car, all have giant bottles of champagne. And they shake them and spray them. And Ocon is covered in fizz. But Hamilton is hanging back. He’s still standing on the podium when no one else is. Finally he shakes his champagne bottle, but he only squirts a little bit, a tiny spray. Ultimately Vettel takes a big swig from his bottle, Hamilton just a tiny one, and I’m wondering…does he not drink? Lewis seems so passive. He seems so tired.

But a Formula 1 race is grueling. And he came from the back of the pack to third and that’s a lot of hard driving and strategy, but no other driver seems so knackered. And he’s bending from the waist and he seems to have a problem getting air and…

Unlike too many outfits, Formula 1 has an incredible website, formula1.com, which updates constantly and gives you unbiased information so good you almost don’t even need to watch the race.

And I waited until after the race was over to check my device. I was fearful someone would tweet or e-mail me the result and therefore ruin my watching experience.

And first I checked Twitter. There were endless updates. Including that Hamilton had been taken to the doctor.

Huh? I mean he wasn’t in an accident. What exactly was wrong with him?

Well, I went to the Formula 1 site and read: 

“Lewis Hamilton saw his Mercedes team doctor after fighting back to second in the Hungarian Grand Prix, with his team saying he was ‘suffering from fatigue and mild dizziness’ and Hamilton himself later revealing he’d had blurred vision while on the podium.”

Whoa, that’s a mistake, right? I mean I watched, Hamilton came in THIRD! It really bugs me when they have low level employees working the website, how can we rely on the data? (Your website is your front door and must always be up-to-date and correct, you’d be stunned who relies on it, don’t sacrifice your credibility for stupid mistakes.)

But just making sure as I’m writing this screed I found this other story on formula1.com, posted since the race ended so many hours ago:

“Vettel loses second-place finish in Hungary after disqualification for fuel sample issue”: https://f1.com/3idch3w

It’s a sport of rules, and although too many want to argue them, substitute their feelings for those of the stewards, in this case Vettel was penalized for not having the necessary liter of fuel at the end of the race.

So, Hamilton is now second.

But, that’s not why I’m writing this. Back to Hamilton’s fatigue. The above quote is from an article entitled:

“Hamilton says he’s still suffering effects of Covid as he’s treated for ‘fatigue and dizziness’ after gruelling run to third in Hungary”: https://f1.com/2VtofNG

Hamilton got Covid at the end of last year.

This is what he had to say today:

“‘I’m ok, had real big dizziness and everything got a bit blurry on the podium. I’ve been fighting all year really with staying healthy after what happened at the end of last year and it’s still, it’s a battle.

I haven’t spoken to anyone about it but I think (the effects of Covid are) lingering. I remember the effects of when I had it and training has been different since then. The level of fatigue you get is different and it’s a real challenge.

I continue to train and prepare the best way I can. Today, who knows what it is? Maybe it’s hydration, I don’t know, but I’ve definitely not had this experience. Had something similar at Silverstone but this is way worse.'”

One of the wankers who won’t get the vaccine, even though she’s in the target demo, over sixty five, said worse case scenario she’d get Covid and recover, no big deal. But if Lewis Hamilton, one of the fittest men on the planet, is still being affected eight months later, what are her odds? Not good!

But she’s wearing a mask everywhere!

But then there were those women on cnn.com who were hypervigilant, said they wore their masks everywhere, but they got it. And we can question how vigilant they really were, but when you dive down it turns out almost no one is that vigilant, and you can catch the Delta variant in a matter of moments, it’s as transmissible as chicken pox!

Lisa’s sister still has not fully regained her taste and smell. Her mother is still fatigued. They caught the virus thirteen months ago, they survived but Lisa’s father did not.

It never affects you, you believe you’re immune.

As far as someone else having a problem? Keep telling yourself how healthy you are, how nothing will happen to you. Because you’re superior to Lewis Hamilton?

Another thing about Formula 1 is they wear masks. Everybody. And although sometimes people let the mask slide down from their nose, at least there’s an edict and everyone’s trying, unlike in our own House of Representatives…THEY DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ MASKS!

But it’s not only about you, it’s about us too. You get it and infect us. Some of whom got the shot but got no antibodies, like me.

But that’s not what you’re thinking about, you’re only thinking about yourself.

And at this late date there is still tons of misinformation. The truth can’t supersede falsehood and the reality is most people now have their own private truth, backed up by some cockamamie information they found online.

I’d say to have Lewis Hamilton do testimonials, ads, but the truth is the people Formula 1 appeals to have already gotten the message, Europe has better vaccination rates than the U.S! And there are other countries that just need more vaccines. But Arkansas has to throw out tens of thousands of expired doses because too many of the state’s residents prefer to play Russian roulette.

Get one of those six bullets and you die. Like those odds? I’d never play, not with the almost certain risk of a fatal result.

And, like Lewis Hamilton with Covid-19, you might not die as a result of getting it, but you may be hobbled in a world where no one other than your family and friends care if you die or are crippled. And then these same people who don’t want their “freedom” to be impinged beg to be compensated by the government. Is your head spinning yet?

Not that anything I write here will change anybody’s mind. That’s the truth, most of the unvaccinated are never ever going to get the shot unless they’re held down against their will and jabbed. Which would be the worst crisis of their lifetime, being saved from a potentially lethal virus!

But the problem is the elites are overeducated and think they know better.

Yes, sometimes they do.

Instead of rejecting science, living in a box, you’d be better off hoovering up information, seeing how the winners of this world make it and survive. I mean you want low taxes on the rich so when you make it you’ll have a financial advantage, why not emulate other behaviors of the elite?

But you’d rather rationalize.

Looks like we’ve got creeping vaccine passport requirements. It’s only going to get tighter. Let’s see if you can live without going to a restaurant, or flying on a plane to see grandma, never mind going to a concert

And when you’re experiencing fatigue from the virus you won’t have a team doctor to check you out instantly. It’s going to cost you as the mistrusted medical edifice rakes in profits that you feel must be maintained because otherwise we have socialism, medical care for everybody, and that can’t happen.

Meanwhile, they’re laughing in the rest of the world. While DeSantis keeps insisting his constituents have a right to die.

Oh, what a country!  

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