If you have any doubts about the severity of COVID-19, have a read of colleague Bill Brownstein’s column on famed cellist Denis Brott.

“My kidneys were failing. My liver was failing. I developed a bacteria. I suffered viral and bronchial infections. My lungs turned white. I couldn’t breathe on my own. I lost 25 pounds. I lost such muscle mass I was unable to walk.”

Writes Brownstein: “Brott also suffered from terrifying hallucinations due to heavy doses of steroids and mind-altering meds like Haldol, Seroquel, Dilaudid and Propofol.”

There’s more suffering, and months later, Brott hasn’t completely recovered.

So Brott was less than impressed with Donald Trump’s “Don’t be afraid of Covid” statement this week, Brownstein reports.

It has been an extraordinarily headshaking week in the news in an extraordinarily headshaking year, since the first news reports started emerging from China about the coronavirus in December.

The virus has swept the White House now. And according to reports today, it is attacking members of the Pentagon. I’m not going to speculate here, but there are some what-ifs.

Here in Quebec, the second wave of the pandemic is picking up speed. The province has the unfortunate distinction of consistently posting the most new daily COVID-19 cases in Canada. And officials may not be on top of it.

And then there is cellist Denis Brott to remind us all of just how serious COVID-19 can be.

I don’t need to tell anyone that these are overwhelming times. Sometimes I’m at a loss for words, even dumbfounded by what I read — and see.

And uncomfortably numb.

I understand why some therapists advise people to limit their intake of news during these pandemic times.

But COVID-19 is the biggest news story of our times. It’s a sweeping drama, and it’s being played out on many stages.

“One person slays a bat . . . and all hell breaks loose.”

That was the title of one of my March posts here about the coronavirus, in which I underestimated it. No more severe than the flu was a common theory then.

But, hey, at least I got the headline right.

— Jillian