Tag Archives: Covid-19

The Corona Virus Song :)

The Offspring and I have different tastes in music, but sometimes a song comes along that’s so much fun, well….

Have a great weekend and stay well!
Meeks


Vitamin D – why you want it and how to get it

The first part of this video is a little bit technical, but don’t be put off by all the scientific names. Keep watching and you’ll learn why Vitamin D may be useful against our favourite virus. You’ll also learn about its importance for other conditions, such as osteoporosis. I most definitely did not know that.

The thing I found most interesting was the explanation about why people in different geographic locations may be Vitamin D deficient. Apparently, it’s all due to the season, the angle of the sun as it hits the earth, and a country’s distance from the equator.

The video talks about the USA, but I was interested in Australia, so I went looking for a map of the world showing the equator. Then I copied the area from the equator to roughly the middle of the USA. This was the distance from the equator that gets sufficient Vitamin D in summer and winter.

Next, I placed the copy next to Australia. This is what it looks like:

World map taken from : https://mapuniversal.com/equator-line-countries-on-the-equator/

Zooming in on my home town of Melbourne, we get this:

Close up of Australia from https://mapuniversal.com/equator-line-countries-on-the-equator/

I drew the green line across from the subset map to see if Melbourne does, in fact, fall within the area that receives enough Vitamin D in winter. It does, but only just, and Tasmania seems to miss out entirely.

So yes, we all need Vitamin D, for a variety of health reasons, but no, not all of us can get it from the sun during winter. And if we go from house to car to office and back again, then there’s a good chance we won’t be getting enough Vitamin D, even in summer.

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, apart from how to bake bread, it’s that we can’t rely on technology to save us from everything. Sometimes, living an old fashioned, healthy lifestyle really is the best medicine.

cheers
Meeks


Covid-19 – To mask or not to mask?

I had no intention of posting today, but I believe this video by Dr John Campbell is so important, everyone should see it. And then perhaps we should demand that our governments do something useful to reduce the rate of Covid-19 infection. But first the video:

If you don’t want to watch the video, I’ve cherry picked what I believe are the most important points. First up, a study that shows we’ve been under estimating the distance the virus can spread:

According to this data, the 1.5 metres advocated by most governments is not enough, even just for breathing, especially in confined spaces like public transport.

Next up is a study using hamsters. And yes, they can get Covid-19 just like us. What the researchers did was to set up two cages, side by side. One cage was ‘masked’ and infected hamsters were placed inside [cage on the left]. Non-infected hamsters were placed in the second cage [cage on the right]. Then, a fan was used to blow air from the infected [but masked] cage across to the uninfected cage. This is what you see in the top row of the dinky graphic below:

The result was that only 15% of uninfected hamsters became infected. Remember that their cage was not masked.

The second row of the graphic shows a similar setup, except that this time, only the cage of uninfected hamsters is masked. The result is that 33% – i.e. more than double the previous number – of the hamsters were infected, despit their cage being masked.

The reason? Because ordinary masks aren’t fine enough to filter out the tiny droplets of the infection.

Now let’s extrapolate to you and me. If I’m infected and you’re not, but you are wearing a mask, there’s still a 33% chance that I’ll infect you just by talking to you, or by leaving droplets of infection on surfaces you may touch. But if I’m the one wearing the mask, almost all of the virus I breathe out will be trapped inside my mask, so it can’t reach you.

Now, if both you and I are wearing masks, the likelihood of infection plummets. You can find Dr John’s very good explanation at 13:26 of the video.

Still not convinced? Then look at the countries that have done best during this pandemic. Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand etc have all managed to protect both their people and their economies from the ravages of Covid-19, yet they don’t have vaccines or special treatments. All they have is what is available to us as well – good hygiene, social distancing, and a culture that’s okay with wearing masks in public.

If 80% of people wore masks [of any sort, even home made ones] in public, we could stop this pandemic in its tracks and reopen our countries safely. Instead, here in the West, we’re reopening on a wing and a prayer. We hope that people will continue social distancing and doing the right thing…pfffft.

Just last night I heard a really loud party going on here in Warrandyte. If the volume of screams and laughter were anything to go by, the party goers were drunk, and having a very good time indeed. Of course they were social distancing…yeah, right.

We’ve proved, time and time again, that we can’t be trusted to do the right thing. Yet governments are basing their hopes on us, and a dinky app that will, supposedly, make it easier to track infected contacts? Puleeze.

I believe that mask wearing has not been mandated because:

  • making self indulgent people wear masks would be like herding cats, and
  • the governments of our countries actually want us to keep infecting each other…just not too much. They don’t want our hospitals overwhelmed, they just want enough of us to get sick so we develop ‘herd immunity’.

But…

‘Researchers think that the R0 for COVID-19 is between 2 and 3. This means that one person can infect two to three other people. It also means 50% to 67% of the population would need to be resistant before herd immunity kicks in and the infection rates start to go down.’

https://www.webmd.com/lung/what-is-herd-immunity#1

The trouble is, even the places with the highest rates of infection so far, the so called ‘hot spots’, have nowhere near the 50-67% infection rate needed for herd immunity. For example, New York has an estimated infection rate of only 13.9%. https://www.chron.com/news/article/Cuomo-13-9-percent-tested-positive-COVID-19-15221278.php

This means that people will have to be infected for years in order to reach herd immunity. Years of continued deaths, years of the vulnerable having to live in a bubble because every single person they meet could be a spreader. Years of the hospital systems having to cope with an ongoing pandemic…and that’s the best case scenario.

The worst case scenario is that the virus will quickly slip its leash and spread like wildfire through the uninfected parts of our populations. Given how little immunity those populations currently have, that means pretty much everyone. At once. As Italy proved, no health care system can cope with such a demand.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. We could follow the example of our Asian neighbours and wear masks until an effective vaccine can be developed. Once there is a vaccine, reaching that magical 50-67% required for herd immunity would be a snap. We could all be protected, and no one would have to be sacrificed ‘for the economy’. This is the Plan B our governments want to ignore.

So the question is this, are we okay with the arrogant assumption of government that they can ‘control’ this virus? Or would we prefer to wear masks until plan B can take effect? I know which plan I prefer.

Meeks


A song for these times… lol

It’s late. I have to go to bed. But first…listen and laugh. 😀

night night
Meeks


The real face of Covid-19 – apology

Apologies everyone! The video /was/ available when I published this post but apparently it is now ‘private’. I’ve just tried a number of channels on Youtube and they’re all blocked. I have no idea what happened. Maybe Sky News waved the big copyright stick? 😦

This is the only still image I have:

I was trying to get a pic of the padded restraint.

Updated April 23, 2020, Australia

One image that will stay with me forever is that of a patient, a large man in his fifties perhaps, trying to take the plastic hood thing off his head. The staff had to tie down his hands. They did it to try and save his life, but I know what he was doing. The hood thing wasn’t enough. He felt like he was suffocating, and in his desperation he thought that he would breathe better if it came off…

I almost drowned when I was 21. How and why doesn’t matter. What matters is that I still remember what it felt like not to be able to breathe out. I remember the desperation. There is no logic at that point. It’s all animal instinct.

I hope that man survived, but I fear he didn’t. One of the scary statistics I’ve read since this pandemic began was that of all the people sick enough to be intubated [put on a ventilator], only about 50% survive.

50% – toss a coin. Heads or tails. Life or death.

Financial interests in Australia, the UK and the US are calling for the lockdowns to be eased. They think the danger is over because the curve is starting to flatten. But the people pushing for a return to ‘normal’ see human lives only as a statistic. I hope that at least some of them watch this video and realise that this thing can still get away from us. And if it does, we could all end up like Bergamo in Lombardy.

Meeks


Breathing exercises that may help

I’ve found two videos that demonstrate:

  1. specific breathing exercises recommended for those with Covid-19 infection,
  2. posture exercises that coincidentally ‘open’ the chest area and may help with breathing.
Doctor learns from nursing staff

I keep using the word ‘may’ because there is no definitive evidence that any of this stuff will help with Covid-19. But…if something does no harm but may do some good, I believe it’s worth a try.

Stay well.

Meeks


Innerscape Omnibus for Kobo

As I explained in the post ‘The Omnibus hits a pot hole‘, I can’t make Innerscape directly available on the Kobo ereader because Rakuten won’t allow me to use ‘acflory’ as my name. -rolls eyes- But where there’s a will, and a lot of help from a friend… ta dah, a workaround!

The friend in question is Dawn from DawnGillDesigns. You may also know her as the Silversmith. Anyway, I knew Dawn used the Kobo ereader so I contacted her and asked her to see if she could download the epub version of the Omnibus from sync.com, and read it on her Kobo. These are the pics she sent me:

This was straight out of the box, so to speak. The next one is after she adjusted both the font and the margins:

Proof positive that the epub can be sideloaded onto the Kobo! But how did Dawn do it? And was it hard to do?

When I quizzed Dawn about her method, this is what she wrote back:

‘It was super basic. I clicked on the link you sent me. My virus scanner scanned it, and then I plugged in my kobo. This automatically brought up a pane within file explorer, so I was able to drag the download icon at the footer of my browser window across. Then I ejected my kobo, by right clicking on the USB icon, and let it do it’s thing. Even easier than a library book, because all I had to do was drag and drop.’

So me lovelies, you too can download the Innerscape Omnibus onto your Kobo ereaders, and here’s the link to do it:

https://ln2.sync.com/dl/0dcbc6560/gbe6mitp-g88uxh6b-mxu4rt4g-6yuib2je

The ‘for Kobo’ link on the sidebar to the right will also take you to the same download link.

The Omnibus is free for everyone stuck at home during this global lockdown, and you won’t need to sign up or register or do anything at all. As with the PDF version, simply click the link and follow the onscreen instructions. Then follow Dawn’s instructions to sideload the epub file onto your Kobo ereader.

All I ask is that you don’t try to get some kind of commercial gain out of it. This is my gift to you. Read, share, enjoy, and #StayHome .

-hugs-

Meeks


Covid-19 – if the worst should happen…

I found this video of Dr John Campbell’s incredibly informative and just had to share:

The info. is focused on how a partner or relative should care for someone with Covid-19, but some of the info. could easily apply to someone at home alone. If you know what to look for and when to call for help, the life you save could be your own.

cheers

Meeks

p.s. I recently found out why it’s recommended that you wash your hands for 20 seconds. Apparently the Covid-19 virus is protected by an outer fatty? membrane, and 20 is how long it takes the soap to destroy that membrane and thus, kill the virus.


Virus Buster Heroes (March 22, 2020)

We all need good news, and we all need heroes, especially in these times of fear, so here are my first candidates for Virus Buster Heroes:

The Formula 1 racing teams that have turned their expertise, manufacturing and knowledge to the production of ventilators!

You can find more details here: https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/51963897

The actions of the Formula 1 teams stand in stark contrast to the self-centred morons who :

  • packed pubs and clubs in the UK before Boris shut them down,
  • flocked to the beaches in Florida
  • flocked to Bondi beach in Sydney despite the new law restricting public gatherings to 500.

I’m sure there are heaps more examples worldwide, and it’s time we called them out for what they are – potential killers. They are not heroes, and history will not remember them kindly.

But this post is about individuals and companies who really are heroes in the fight to save lives. If you know of one of these heroes in your part of the world, please post it under the tag of #VirusBusterHeroes. Then we can all use the tag to spread a little good cheer over Twitter and other social media channels.

And remember, heroes can be quiet people, selflessly performing a small act of kindness to help someone else. For me, that quiet person is Amie, the girl who works in Leo’s bakery in Warrandyte. When Amie realised why I was wearing a mask, she offered to deliver fresh bread to my door. And she did.

Amie is my local #VirusBusterHero. Thank you, Amie.

I wish you all a safe and happy Sunday!

Meeks


Covid-19 & help for your Immune System

Covid-19 is a brand new virus, and as such, 99.999999% of us have no immunity to it. Because this virus is so completely new, we don’t have vaccines or medications against it either. That means the only weapon we have is the immune system all of us are born with.

Immune system

The immune system is mostly centred around the thyroid which produces cells that seek out viruses and bacteria, chop them up and teach other cells how to fight them. This is more or less how we become immune to new viruses and bacteria.

That explanation is at about kindergarten level, but it’s enough to explain why having the immune system working at peak efficiency is so important. It is always our first line of defence, and with the Covid-19 virus, it is also our only line of defence.

So what affects the efficiency of our immune system?

For people with no underlying diseases, the immune system gets most of what it needs from good food, adequate rest and a bit of healthy exercise. This is why about 80% of those who catch Covid-19 will experience very little in terms of ‘disease’.

Nevertheless, even young, healthy people can reduce the length and severity of their infection by supporting their immune systems while they are sick. This involves eating healthy food instead of junk food, getting lots of rest, drinking lots of fluids [NOT alcoholic fluids!], and taking some of the natural boosters you’ll find here.

I’m no nutritionist so I’m only going to talk about two things that I know something about – Vitamin D and Iodine.

Iodine

The following quotes are all taken from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/

  • ‘Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid hormones regulate many important biochemical reactions,’
  • ‘They [thyroid hormones] are also required for proper skeletal and central nervous system development in fetuses and infants [1].’
  • ‘Iodine may have other physiological functions in the body as well. For example, it appears to play a role in immune response’.

In Australia, our old, mineral depleted soils do not contain much iodine which is why we are encouraged to used iodised table salt – i.e. salt that has had iodine added to it. It is also why our bread now has added iodine.

This lack of naturally occurring iodine means that many of us could be slightly deficient in iodine. If that’s the case, then our immune systems are not going to be performing at peak efficiency during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Where do you find Iodine?

As I mentioned before, in Australia, iodine is added to iodised table salt and bread. It also occurs naturally in fish, seafood and seaweed. So in theory, if you use iodised table salt, eat lots of bread and also eat fish, seafood and seaweed, your iodine levels should be fine.

But…

Unused iodine is peed out:

‘Iodine in food and iodized salt is present in several chemical forms including sodium and potassium salts, inorganic iodine (I2), iodate, and iodide, the reduced form of iodine [4]. Iodine rarely occurs as the element, but rather as a salt; for this reason, it is referred to as iodide and not iodine. Iodide is quickly and almost completely absorbed in the stomach and duodenum. Iodate is reduced in the gastrointestinal tract and absorbed as iodide [2,5]. When iodide enters the circulation, the thyroid gland concentrates it in appropriate amounts for thyroid hormone synthesis and most of the remaining amount is excreted in the urine [2].’

Quote taken from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/

Now ask yourself, do you eat fish, seafood and seaweed every day? If the answer is no, then you may be a little or a lot deficient in iodine.

So how do you make sure you’re getting enough iodine every day, especially when you’re sick?

There are iodine supplements that you swallow but I don’t recommend them because too much iodine can actually do you harm.

Instead, I recommend painting iodine onto your skin.

The skin absorbs the iodine and releases it into the blood stream from which it is carried to the thyroid. You do not need to ingest iodine.

In Australia, BETADINE is a well known, family antiseptic. It comes in a small bottle and you paint it onto cuts and abrasions with a cotton bud:

Image sourced from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Povidone-iodine

The following quote is taken from the same Wikipedia article:

Povidone-iodine (PVP-I), also known as iodopovidone, is an antiseptic used for skin disinfection before and after surgery.[1][2] It may be used both to disinfect the hands of healthcare providers and the skin of the person they are caring for.[2] It may also be used for minor wounds.[2] It may be applied to the skin as a liquid or a powder.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Povidone-iodine

You can also buy pure iodine online under the brand name of ‘Lugols’. I have no idea whether one is better than the other, but I’ve used Lugols for almost ten years.

How much iodine do you need?

The amount of iodine is going to be different for each person because we don’t come in a standard size. I’m 5’3″ and 65 kgs. As a rule of thumb, I paint about a fifty cent coin size area of skin when I’m feeling fine. When I’m coming down with a cold, or trying to prevent one, I increase that to about 3 inches by 3 inches. That’s quite a bit of skin.

How much you use will depend upon your body size and how quickly the distinctive iodine stain is absorbed by your body. If the stain takes 24 hours to disappear from your skin, your thyroid is using a ‘normal’ amount of iodine for you. If the stain disappears in 8 hours or less, however, it means your thyroid is working harder than usual and using more iodine than usual. In that case, you may want to apply a bit more to your skin.

If you’ve never used either pure iodine or Betadine before, be careful because it will stain your clothing while it’s wet.

Vitamin D

Both the Offspring and I were found to be vitamin D deficient some years ago when we were tested. I was truly surprised at my result because I spend a lot of time out in the garden. Surely I had absorbed enough vitamin D just from the sunshine on my skin?

Apparently not. So what does vitamin D actually do, and why should you care?

According to Dr John Campbell, vitamin D reduces the ‘probabilty of contracting respiratory tract infections’. Covid-19 causes fever and a dry cough – i.e. a respiratory tract infection.

I strongly recommend that you watch this video in its entirety:

Other important nutrients for your immune system

I stumbled across this post by accident whilst researching iodine and vitamin D:

10 simple nutrients to boost your immune system for maximum protection and immunity.’

The ten nutrients include:

  • Elderberry syrup
  • Echinacea
  • Oil of Oregano
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Monolaurin
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Iodine
  • Magnesium
  • Sellenium

You can find a detailed description of each of these nutrients by following the link above. I don’t know enough about magnesium and sellenium etc to comment on their efficacy, but I’m definitely going to explore them further myself, and I recommend that you do too.

Stay healthy
Meeks


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