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Old 03-28-2020, 07:46 PM
RivkahChaya's Avatar
RivkahChaya is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 10,855

Coal Miners and Covid-19

Coal-mining is notorious bad for your lungs. My maternal grandfather, who was never a smoker, got the black lung benefit, because he'd been diagnosed with it, albeit, he lived to 83, and was actually quite healthy, and never needed surgery, respiratory therapy, oxygen, or anything. He was unusually fit as a young man, as he played baseball in the minors for a number of years, and was recruited by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but this was when ballplayers got paid crap, and spent a lot of time away from their families in buses without AC, or the cheap seats in trains. He had gotten married about 18 months earlier, and his wife was just pregnant. He chose to work a union job with benefits and regular raises, where he couldn't get fired for having an off day. And where he could go home to his family every day.

But enough about that.

I never noticed a single sign of black lung from him. He did lose his hearing, beginning around age 45, and becoming severe by 50, which was also a result of mining, so he took the black lung benefit, even though he thought he might have been misdiagnosed, because the mining had cost him his hearing. There was no benefit for hearing loss.

That doesn't mean that black lung disease isn't very real, and lots of people with it don't suffer, or that the hearing loss among miners isn't also a problem and ought to be addressed.

This is the job that Trump made a campaign promise to save.

I wonder if miners, especially older ones with other risk factors of age, are especially vulnerable to Covid-19. I wonder how many people with black lung have actually contracted Covid-19, and how they are faring.

My grandfather had miner friends who had horrible (disgusting, really) coughs, that I won't describe-- they we so gross. That should not happen to people. Some of them were smokers, some were former smokers, some had had laryngectomees. I can't ignore them.

Anyway, has anyone heard if miners are at special risk?
"There's always a non-Voodoo explanation for everything." ~Adrian Monk
Old 03-28-2020, 09:04 PM
nearwildheaven is online now
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 14,229
Hadn't thought about that, but it did make me wonder if this was a factor in West Virginia not reporting cases until very recently.


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