Tag Archives: Spanish Flu

Covid-19, worrying developments

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably reached a point where you’d like to forget about Covid-19 altogether, so sorry, but these developments could be important.

As always, my source is Dr John Campbell. You can find his latest Youtube video here. The three things that worry me from this video concern:

  • the implications of skin colour
  • the new inflammatory syndrome in children
  • the results of Germany’s cautious re-opening

Skin Colour

If you’ve watched Dr John’s videos before there’s a good chance that you’ve already heard his views on the role of vitamin D in possibly easing the severity of Covid-19. As people with darker skin produce vitamin D more slowly, he has been advocating that they be tested for vitamin D deficiency and prescribed supplements if necessary.

As someone with olive skin who was tested for vitamin D some years ago – and found to be deficient – I’ve made it a point to get out into the sunshine more. The connection to race though, that has made me feel a little uncomfortable. I hate racism in all its forms because I had a tiny taste of it as a kid in ‘White Australia’.

But…this statistical data from the UK is too stark to ignore:

The graph shows data that has been adjusted for socio economic factors and other risk factors that could skew the results. Despite this, the stats show that there is a continuum of increased risk based on skin colour. Basically, people of mixed race are just as likely to die of Covid-19 as the control group, which is white people.

From there, however, the likelihood of dying increases as skin colour darkens. People with black skin colour are shown to be twice as likely to die of Covid-19 as white people. And this is the graph that has been adjusted for other, known risk factors.

There may be some other, unknown risk factor at work, but if there is the slightest chance that skin colour, and hence vitamin D production is involved, then taking vitamin D could save lives.

There has been well documented research done on vitamin D and the effect it may have on protecting cells from viruses:

‘Vitamin D has long been recognized as essential to the skeletal system. Newer evidence suggests that it also plays a major role regulating the immune system, perhaps including immune responses to viral infection. Interventional and observational epidemiological studies provide evidence that vitamin D deficiency may confer increased risk of influenza and respiratory tract infection.’

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308600/

There is also a lot of research that shows the health impacts that result from a lack of various other vitamins. The following are just a few of the best known ones:

Vitamin K

‘Vitamin K deficiency in adults is rare but does occur in infants. The main symptom of a vitamin K deficiency is excessive bleeding caused by an inability to form blood clots.’

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320394

Vitamin C

Scurvy is a disease resulting from a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid).’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy

Vitamin A

‘The major cause of blindness in children worldwide is xerophthalmia caused by vitamin A deficiency.’

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10643184/

I’m no expert on nutrition and vitamins, but it seems clear to me that vitamin D may save the lives of those most at risk. If that’s true, it must be acknowledged and used.

Inflammatory syndrome in children

So far, this new syndrome is quite rare – about 20 cases in the UK and 64 in the US – but it has been associated with Covid-19 so parents should be aware of it. The screenshot below was taken from Dr John’s video:

No one knows exactly what connection this new syndrome has to Covid-19, but any connection is worrying.

The syndrome has been named: Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.

Re-opening in Germany

As Australia is also looking to cautiously ease the lockdown that’s protected us so well, I found the results from Germany less heartening than Dr John. The statistics shown are for only the first ten days since the lockdown in Germany was officially eased:

Even if every German citizen immediately raced out and kissed everyone they met, the incubation period for Covid-19 is between 2 and 9 days, give or take. As such, the numbers of new cases are not likely to rise exponentially for a week or two yet. In other words, I don’t think we’ve seen the true effect of the easing in Germany. Not yet.

I may be overly pessimistic, but I’m seriously scared that money, and human impatience, will give rise to a second wave of the virus, a second wave that will be significantly worse than the first.

During the Spanish Flu pandemic, the second wave was caused by a mutation in the original virus that made it much more virulent:

‘Reported cases of Spanish flu dropped off over the summer of 1918, and there was hope at the beginning of August that the virus had run its course. In retrospect, it was only the calm before the storm. Somewhere in Europe, a mutated strain of the Spanish flu virus had emerged that had the power to kill a perfectly healthy young man or woman within 24 hours of showing the first signs of infection.’

https://www.history.com/news/spanish-flu-second-wave-resurgence

The Covid-19 virus does not appear to be mutating yet, but the more people that are infected, the greater the likelihood that one of them will host a mutated version of the virus.

Scientists all over the world are trying to develop a vaccine that will stop the spread of Covid-19, but they’re not there yet. They need more time.

I believe it’s up to us, and our governments, to do everything in our power to slow the spread of this virus. Not just to reduce the number of people dying from it, but also to reduce the chance that it will mutate. If the Spanish Flu is anything to go by, that mutation will not be benign.

I truly hate to be a Cassandra, but I’m really scared that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Stay well,
Meeks


Covid-19 & why fever is good

I’m linking to Dr John Campbell’s excellent video at the end of this post, but this information is so important, I want to provide a quick summary first.

When the immune system detects an invader – i.e. a virus or bacteria – it starts a cascade of important steps to fight that invader.

  1. It sends a signal to the brain to turn up the body’s thermostat. The reason for this is that all of the immune system’s ‘weapons’ work better and faster when the body temperature is higher. So we get a fever.
  2. At the same time, the immune system sends out all sorts of white blood cells to detect the invader, to warn other body cells that an invader is coming, to surround the invader and to ‘eat’ it.
  3. If we take drugs to reduce the fever, we’re hobbling our own immune systems and making them less efficient.
  4. So a temperature of about 39 degrees C or 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit is good. It will not do an adult any harm. [Children and fever will be covered in a later video].

What does all this mean in a practical sense?

First, it means we have to change our expectations. We will not be able to ‘soldier on’ because a good fever will probably make us feel lousy.

I say ‘probably’ because it’s been so long since I’ve had a fever, I can’t really remember what it feels like. And that brings me to the second point, the reason I can’t remember what a fever feels like is because I always took something to bring it down. That. Must. Change.

We must allow the fever to run its course because it’s actually helping us fight off the virus.

And this brings me to my final point. Modern technology will help us eventually. There will be a vaccine, eventually. There will be new anti-viral treatments, eventually. But for now we’re on our own.

The only weapon we have in the fight against Covid-19 is the immune system we were all born with. We have to help it help us. So if you’re an adult, and you get a fever, whether you think it’s Covid-19 or not, be brave and let the fever come. If you have access to things that help support the immune system, by all means, take them! But leave the fever reducing drugs in the cupboard.

“So suffer in silence, huh?”

No, drinking lots of fluids will help you feel better. Weak tea with lots of lemon and honey is delicious and good for you because the honey contains a mild antibiotic which may help stop secondary bacterial infections, and lemon juice contains vitamin C which is one of the things that help support the immune system.

Soup is good too. It’s easy to swallow, gentle on the stomach and contains nutrients that provide the energy the immune system needs to keep fighting.

Rest is also vital. While you’re sitting or lying in one place, your body isn’t wasting any precious energy that could be used by your immune system. Feel sick and exhausted? Don’t fight it. Your body actually knows what it’s doing.

And finally fresh air and sunshine. Just because you’re sick it doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up in a stuffy room with all the windows shut. Back in 1918, during the Spanish Flu pandemic, health workers discovered that patients in well ventilated wards, or outside on cots in the sunshine, recovered better than patients in stuffy wards.

Bundle up, sit outside if you can, and let the sun shine on your face. That’s vitamin D you’re soaking up.

I know these are all old fashioned remedies. Some of you will think they’re rubbish, but right now, old fashioned is all we’ve got. Stay healthy.

Much love
Meeks


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