I like to follow science, but this year politicians, the MSM, and social media giants discredited that slogan by narrowing the national conversation, cherry picking theories, and only mentioning science-based reports that support their unified narrative.1
We can’t just take one scientific fact in isolation and go with it. That’s true for our personal health as well as for the COVID-19 pandemic. The nutritional chemistry our bodies require is so incredibly complex the best we can do to match our nutritional needs is to eat the foods mankind mostly ate before inventing agriculture. The science involving the many aspects of dealing with COVID-19 is also complex and can be similar to randomly throwing a thousand darts. Standing alone each factual scientific dart may make sense. But taken in the context of all of our society’s many variables, many of the “darts” become cumbersome, useless, wrong, ridiculous, and even destructive.
Chinese author Wan Quan made the first reference to a smallpox inoculation in his “Douzhen xinfa” published in 1549. The first modern smallpox vaccine was developed in 1796. These developments were really big advancements because smallpox had about a 30% fatality rate. Because of vaccinations, smallpox was eventually eradicated and the vaccine is no longer administered. Interestingly, the World Health Organization has posted a report by John Ioannidis that projects the COVID-19 fatality rate to be 0.23%.1 2
During the twentieth century a wide variety of vaccines for viruses were developed and improved upon. To this day advancements are proceeding, but the special urgency caused by COVID-19 has ramped up development significantly. The urgent need for vaccines prompted an international response that had more than 120 candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in development by June of 2020. The first ones to gain the most attention rounding the bend for the homestretch were the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Their success has caused considerable excitement and a little controversy at the same time.
Sometime back I ran across the “Meat Myth Crushers” website. It has numerous short videos and essays that address many of the myths swirling around meat. The site is well worth a visit and I’m sure you’ll find some topics of interest.1
They have about 60 myth crushing presentations. For instance:● Meat Rots in Your Digestive System● Processed Meat is Unhealthy and Should Be Avoided● Meat Is the Only Product from Animals Raised for Food● 'Glue' is Used to Hold Some Meat Together● Livestock Have a Greater Negative Environmental Impact than Cars● Hormone Use In Poultry Production Poses a Health Risk to Consumers
The vast majority of Americans couldn’t care less about nutrition. They ignore the best solution for addressing how overweight they are, how many aches and pains they have, or if they have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia or any one or more of the 100-plus primary chronic diseases. It’s as if they believe their afflictions are normal. (I guess they’ve never seen hundred-year-old pictures of their ancestors.)
On the other hand I find it amazing how many people are terrified of COVID-19. Yet, in spite of their overwhelming fear of the virus, they still haven’t been inspired to seek better ways to protect themselves. They hear the standard recommendations (masks, social distancing, shutdowns, and vaccine) and figure that’s all they need to do or even can do. In that case, since the virus continues to spread like viruses always do, they are just hoping to hang on until there is a vaccine which will make it all good . . . but it won’t.
While health “scientists” are focusing on shutdowns, masks, social distancing, and waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine, let’s look at the best approach which they’re not emphasizing. Many nutrition, biology, and medical scientists tell us we can bolster our immunity and improve our resistance to bacteria, viruses, and autoimmune diseases. So let’s do it.
In this day and age it’s “normal” for immunity to weaken as people get older. That’s why youngsters under the age of 20 generally have the best immune systems. It’s also why scientists say kids are nearly bulletproof when it comes to a COVID-19 infection. Folks over 70 have the weakest immune systems which is why so many have multiple chronic diseases. So, it makes sense that if old folks improve the health of their immune systems a COVID-19 infection is less likely to be a death sentence.
What do they have in common? Collateral damage from government decrees can eventually frustrate citizens—to the point where warnings are ignored. Many of us lived through the 1973 oil embargo. During the worst days of the embargo I’d drive to a gas station at night, when it was closed, and leave my car next to a pump. I’d show up in the morning before the station opened to be first in line for a fill up. It took two cars of course to pull that off.
Back in the day when the 1973 Arab oil embargo resulted in gasoline shortages, politicians got the bright idea to lower the speed limit to reduce gas consumption per mile. So, in 1974 Congress passed the National Maximum Speed Law. The bill mandated states to lower maximum highway speeds to 55 miles per hour (mph) in order to receive federal highway funds. Up to that time most states had speed limits ranging from 60 mph to 80 mph. Some roads in Nevada had no limits.1
Linda and I have known Reverend Paul Stetler since our earliest days in Stuart, Florida. We’ve always admired him and his family. So, when we were invited to hear him give the message at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Port Saint Lucie, we headed that way.
His message was partially based on Psalm 85:10 which, in one passage, has the line: “Righteousness and Peace Have Kissed.” It’s a complex message that seems to apply to many of our modern-day situations. As with many Bible verses the interpretations can be very complex. Basically, my take on the message is that if we are too righteous, and there is no room or respect for anyone who expresses a different opinion, there will be no peace. Therefore, forgiveness and mutual respect (a kiss) have its virtues.1 2
The people with the highest risk of a severe infection or death from COVID-19 are elderly males with underlying medical conditions. Yet some elderly males don’t even experience serious symptoms. That’s because several factors influence severity, including pre-existing levels of inflammation, natural immunity levels, variations in genetic makeups, and the amount and strain of virus that starts the infection.
As Dr. Fauci has explained, the reason many patients suffer the worst COVID-19 symptoms is because they have an immune system overreaction called a “cytokine storm.” In other words too much immunity can be worse than too little immunity. A “cytokine storm” is a sudden acute increase in circulating levels of different pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-6, IL-1, TNF- a, and interferon. This increase in cytokines results in too many of them converging on the site of infection with destructive effects on human tissue. The damage to cellular interactions, vascular barriers, and capillaries can lead to multiorgan failure and ultimately death.
On September 10, 2020, the CDC updated its COVID-19 fatality rates for various age groups. Did you hear about it? The CDC is now estimating that COVID-19 fatality rates, for everyone less than 70, are the same or less than they are for the annual influenza virus. I see that as astonishingly good news because it means America can open up all the wayway—right now.
What the CDC reported was a significant reduction of its former estimates regarding the risks of dying from COVID-19. For many people the change is unbelievable which is why this column will examine the CDC’s numbers in detail. For instance, when it comes to school age children, COVID-19's fatality rate is lower than the fatality rate for the annual influenza bug that sweeps the country every year! Yes, that’s exactly what the CDC has reported. If true, that’s why children belong in school and college students should attend in-person college and stay on campus. Their lives should return to normal.
When the COVID-19 shutdown occurred about 6% of our population went into shock. They were the ones who always ate out and never cooked at home. One fellow groaned and said he hadn’t cooked in ten years.
The dining-out-only folks are much relieved these days because, in most localities, they can go back to their favorite haunts (those that survived being out of business). Unfortunately, we all know that restaurant food, even though it may follow the government’s “nutritional” guidelines, is not the best when it comes to nutrition. Oh, it usually tastes good for sure, but nutrition is not a restaurant’s primary goal because most patrons are seeking a certain flavor coupled with convenience and atmosphere rather than “cutting edge nutrition.”