Updated May 7, 2020
Regarding Coronavirus (CV) strategy, the media continue to confuse the words slowing and stopping. They are related but not the same. Slowing is simply slowing the spread, which means that while the same number of people will get infected, there will be less sick people at any one time. This decreases the overload on the health care system at any one time, ultimately allowing more lives to be saved. However, it also means this process will take much longer, months, with its consequent effects on world economy and sanity.
Stopping the virus literally would mean that no one would get another case. We can stop it from moving to an individual if that person is completely isolated. This would require no external contacts including humans, packages and probably food. Not easily achievable.
Another way to stop the CV would be to find an agent that kills the virus close to 100%. It would also have to cause minimal damage to whatever is treated, such as food, packages, and human surfaces. For example, taking a bath in chlorox might kill the virus but the consequences would not be worth it. In addition, killing present virus does not prevent re-innoculation minutes later.
There might be a drug developed that can kill the CV, similar to antibiotics for bacteria. However, at present, there is none, and it will not be 100% effective. Also, like antibiotics, there would be allergic reactions and some loss of life, side-effects, and some resistant organisms.
Utilizing the immune system will be the best way to prevent CV and minimize its severity. Immune support includes vaccines, antibodies, and natural ways to enhance immune system function (or by removing things that impair the immune system).
A vaccine for coronavirus, they say, is 12 months away. The reason there is no such agent for the common cold, another coronavirus, is that it changes (mutates) so rapidly, that no vaccine so far has been effective a year later. Similar issues exist for the influenza virus, but it mutates slower so the prior year’s viruses can be used to formulate a vaccine that is effective over the range of 10-70%, depending upon the year. The same would probably be true of any CVs vaccine.
Extracting antibodies from the blood of patients already recovered can work. These antibodies can be then given to very sick patients to help the immune system fight the virus (which it eventually does if the lungs do not fail). How many people can be helped by this technology is uncertain at present.
COVID-19 is up to 10x more contagious and 10-30x more lethal than influenza. CV can live on certain surfaces for days. While hand washing and sanitizer can kill the virus if proper technique is used, and there is maximum social isolation there are innumerable opportunities to re-innoculate over days, weeks and months.
Severity will ultimately rest squarely upon an individual’s immune system. From the data, 80% of cases are mild, while those with compromised immunity are at greater risk for severe illness. This group include the elderly, those with certain medical conditions, and a surprising set of young people.
There is not enough discussion of how to support the immune system. For Dr. Cheikin’s article on immune boosting, click here. There are unverified reports that China used vitamin C to decrease the spread and intensity of the virus. Some doctors in New York are using IV vitamin C for their sick patients. To see how the media are missing the boat (intentionally?) and only focusing on pharmaceutical interventions, see the 3/24/2020 article from the New York Times (here) which does not mention individual preventive measures such as good sleep and nutrients. Subsequent articles also fail to report on the use of Vitamin C. More on the numbers here. More on Vitamin C (pending).
The Center for Optimal Health will remain open for essential medical visits for privately insured patients, since telemedicine visits are not covered. For those that wish to cancel their appointments, we ask that you continue to give us two business days notice. For information on Office and Tele-visits, click here.
Yoga classes are suspended for now.
Specific testing for immune functioning is available after individual factors are considered.
Here are a few helpful articles and links: