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The Power in Your Own Immunity Update on COVID-19
While it seems that human beings have a propensity to underestimate nature, I find those inclined toward natural health and wellness tend to do so less often.
Remind yourself of the following:
- You have a powerful immune system
- It is the main thing standing between you and viral illness (or any illness/death, for that matter).
- Accordingly, support your immune system as your primary defense. Do so through diet, lifestyle and smart supplementation. The fact that so many are suggesting that vaccines are the answer is ludicrous. Consider the fact that there is a widely touted and available flu vaccination, yet the flu disease burden, as per the CDC, claims an "estimated" roughly 60,000-80,000 EVERY YEAR. For comparison, as purported by the CDC via their provisional death counts, COVID-19 has claimed roughy 98,695 as of June 12, 2020. Note: All things considered, these numbers of flu burden and COVID-19 mortality are very similar when considering accuracy in context of populations.
- Viral infections are quick and efficient
- Viral infections, in particular respiratory viral infections like COIVD-19, spread quickly and efficiently, and therefore are already widely disseminated. This means you are quite likely to be exposed if you haven't yet been. So, again, back to point one: support your immune system, especially if you are high risk. We have been seeing a "chesty" cold and flu clinically this entire cold and flu season—many have had this virus and didn't even know.
A word about prevalence and testing
We are learning, as more tests are given, that the virus is much more widespread than previously thought. This changes the projections on the deadliness of COVID-19, and further suggests that most who contract the illness are not sick enough to seek medical attention or even realize they are ill. Research out of Iceland suggests that half or so of those testing positive experienced no symptoms whatsoever.
A program of widespread testing is necessary to truly learn about the nature of the illness and promote movement away from fear and back to normalcy. Up until fairly recently, only those who were very ill were able to get a test, therefore skewing available data.
Evidence emerging from a study in Santa Clara County, CA demonstrates that infection rates and therefore seropositivity may be 50-80 fold higher than previous estimates. While it was limited in scope, the study represents a breakthrough: “the most important implication of these findings is that the number of infections is much greater than the reported number of cases.” These findings were echoed in additional areas including groups in California, New York and Florida. What this means is that our natural herd immunity is further along than previously believed.
New York City’s NYC Health, which tracks the current data, states, “We are discouraging people with mild to moderate symptoms from being tested at this time, so the data primarily represent people with more severe illness.” This, again, shows that the illness is likely more widespread than published data indicate, pushing the fatality rates even lower. Antibody tests are now being administered, and will soon be common, which will allow for more complete recommendations as more data is collected with regard to the prevalence and behavior of this virus.
We will continue to monitor reliable news sources, however, it is my belief that these data will further support what this original study in California indicates: COVID-19 is far less threatening than we’ve been told. Yes, you may get it, but you are really very unlikely to get severely ill.
Actual fatality rates
FACT: At this time, and with all available data, the fatality rate appears to be LESS THAN 1%. Based on calculations from New York and New York City, our worst case scenario hotspot, these data suggest a fatality rate of 0.2%. Even this is a high estimate, however, as studies are beginning to demonstrate, this is inflated due to the availability of testing as well as misinterpretation and combinations of data.
FACT: We will see this inflated figure continue to drop as testing continues. The falsity of the models in context of lack of data is what makes it seem so much more ominous. The fatality of COVID-19 is likely less than 0.1% or even 0.01% in reality, the fatality of COVID-19 is similar to mild to moderate cold and flu virus because, make no mistake, that is what this is.
FACT: The widely-referenced models have been consistently wrong. We don't need models at this time, we have real data with which to work. Let’s go through the basic mortality (the number of individuals who do not survive) calculations referenced above:
US shows confirmed deaths of 98,695 as June 12
US population estimate as of July 1 2020 is 332,600,000
New York State show seropositivity (those infected) of NYC roughly 21.2% and New York State 13.9%
Now taking New York state seropositivity data of 13.9% and extrapolating to the US population.
US with 332,600,000 people and based on the estimate of 13.9% have had the virus albeit the vast majority completely asymptomatically or mild to moderate and therefore not reporting to hospitals, gives us (332,600,000 x 0.139=46,231,400) roughly 46,200,000 infected and of those roughly 98,695 confirmed deaths. So that's (98,695/46,200,000 x 100=0.2%) 0.2% deaths of those infected. That's the entire US based on the most severe hotspot of New York State (including NYC) seroprevalence (those infected) data. Note: two thirds of all cases in the US were reported in New York and New Jersey. We will discuss environmental health intersections/policy at another time.
Who’s at risk?
It has been demonstrated that those of advanced age and/or those with underlying health conditions are at greatest risk—over 70% of those hospitalized worldwide had at least one co-occurring health issue. Again and again, we have seen that advanced age is by far the largest risk factor (and also shows the hospitalization rate at 0.1% for those over the age of 64). This is consistently the case across the world: elders and those who suffer from high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or other underlying conditions should remain vigilant as COVID-19 poses a far greater health risk to them. There is discussion that some reported deaths at this time are due to situations created by closures and restrictions on capacity and activity, as treatments are not readily available for those who need medical attention for reasons deemed "elective".
The wide-spread, prevailing social distancing and face covering/mask utilization recommendations for healthy people are not well-supported by science. Quite to the contrary actually, the evidence is clear—“both surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS–CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface.” This is due to both user error and the materials used to make the masks which most are wearing.
In addition, the proper use of personal protective equipment should be science guided as there are risks to excessive mask wearing as well including hypoxia (low oxygen), hypercapnia (high carbon dioxide), and immune system suppression.
Wash your hands and don't touch your face. That’s what works.
What does this mean for you?
Life can and should resume for the vast majority of us. For those who are high risk, do so as well albeit mindfully as always.
As with any viral infection, the most essential thing you can do is use your common sense (practice cleanliness with hand washing and other measures with consistency) and support your natural immunity (eat your superfoods, sleep well, drink plenty of water). If you do happen to feel ill, stay home, hydrate with plenty of fluids, rest, and call your doctor for supportive advice. Distancing yourself from those who are symptomatic is a good idea too. And, be sure you are taking a minimum dietary supplement regime of zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, probiotics and quercetin for their added value in immune support.
For those in a higher risk group, please take extra special care with the precautions all have been recently following. Others not at high-risk, mindful living and immune support will go a very long way. Please do not fear.
We must support optimal health and immunity. A healthy diet and lifestyle will lead to physical and mental health. This supports a strong immune system, which is your best armor against this virus. As the world begins to emerge once again, remember that you are not helpless: healthful diet and lifestyle inclusive of superfoods and smart supplementation as well as good old common sense are very likely to protect you from the worst-case scenario.
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