Column #255

The human species has no choice. It can’t hide. Worldwide there are 7.8 billion people that require basic needs which go beyond food, water, clothing and shelter. In the modern era basic needs include sanitation, education, healthcare, power generation, first responders, the military, manufacturing, transportation systems, income, and more. So, until there’s an effective vaccine, the virus will simply run its course because we can’t all hide. No government agency can protect us from COVID-19. Consequently, until there is an effective vaccine or herd immunity is established, COVID-19 survivability is an individual responsibility.

Every able-bodied person has an equal opportunity to take care of themselves. But it takes desire, commitment, and knowledge. Unfortunately, nearly everyone has some desire but the majority lacks commitment and knowledge. The knowledge issue is a major problem because what people generally know is too basic or it’s based on myths. It’s made worse because most people are not willing students. Therefore, in this COVID-19 era life is far more challenging than maybe ever before.

Some of the big roadblocks for understanding nutritional chemistry include MSM propaganda, traditional medical practices, pseudo health marketers, and common knowledge. It’s a rare person who independently digs up the actual peer-reviewed facts and knows how to analyze them. Since most folks won’t work that hard, the masses are reacting hysterically and the political “leaders” are reacting to, or playing to, their hysteria. That’s not a good combination.

Viruses tend to spread until “herd immunity” is established. That occurs when between 70% and 90% of a “herd” has been infected (or vaccinated) and the two outcomes (death or recovery) are realized. Usually the survivors of a virus infection develop some degree of immunity to future infections. The degree of immunity that develops depends on the fundamental health of their immune system and the virus itself.

My guess is that in the United States about 25% of the population has been or is currently infected. Most of the new cases are asymptomatic so there’s no way to stop the spread for now. The best that we can hope for is a manageable spread. As for preventing deaths, many of the new cases do not get sick or they only get glancing blows. For those who show more aggressive symptoms hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin or doxycycline and zinc is gaining traction. The game changer is to aggressively treat people with it as soon as possible, before they are hospitalized. That is keeping them from becoming hospitalized in the first place. Maybe this is one reason why deaths are not ramping up near as fast as new cases like they did earlier this year.1 2

Unfortunately, people who are overweight, have diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, dementia, cancer, and other chronic diseases (especially autoimmune diseases) are still the most vulnerable. Their immune systems are already compromised. Since they have not been diligent in addressing their chronic issues, they must lay low. What most of them do not understand is that their diet is far and away the best tool for addressing their chronic diseases and surviving infections. Establishing a proper diet requires them to learn which foods to eat.

The only way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid close contact with infected individuals. Unfortunately, other than isolating completely we all end up in contact, or in close proximity, to others nearly every day. When that happens the best advice is to practice “social distancing” and wear a mask. But those steps are far from foolproof.

Studies have found that COVID-19 viral loads peak several days before symptoms begin and these carriers are very contagious. Making matters worse is that simply speaking expels virus-carrying droplets. Masks are definitely helpful in these cases except you can still catch the virus through the membranes in your eyes, a risk that masking does not eliminate.3

Confusion continues to reign regarding masks because there is so much conflicting “science” and poorly structured “studies.” For instance there is a June 16, 2020, report by Health Affairs that stated: “Mandating face mask use in public is associated with a decline in the daily COVID-19 growth rate by 0.9, 1.1, 1.4, 1.7, and 2.0 percentage points in 1–5, 6–10, 11–15, 16–20, and 21+ days after signing, respectively.”4

Does this mean that if the daily positive rate is 10,000, wearing masks for three weeks can lower the daily positive rate by 200? They seemed to think their data indicates 230,000–450,000 cases were delayed during their six-week study. Whatever the claim is, the study has some flaws. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear a mask because they do help for sure. If not, why would surgeons wear them? Unfortunately, with the current high percentage of positives showing up these days the odds of eventual exposure are extremely high.

Nothing can guarantee absolute safety even after herd immunity is achieved. And humanity can’t postpone its needs for food, water, clothing, shelter, sanitation, education, first responders, the military, healthcare, power generation, manufacturing, transportation systems, and income. Because all these needs must be met, total isolation is impossible. Therefore, either quickly or slowly, the virus will continue to spread, but spread it will. This is why it’s so important for everyone to take whatever steps possible to strengthen their own immunity.

Trying to “boost” immunity with quick fixes is rather futile. It’s a process not a pill. Our bodies, which include our immune systems, function best when bolstered by broad-based healthy-living strategies such as:
    Don’t Smoke
    Exercise Regularly
    Maintain a Healthy Weight
    Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation
    Get Adequate Sleep
    Minimize Stress and Anxiety
    Continue Social Connections
    Eat Nutrient High Foods Emphasizing a 1:1 Balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3

All of these steps are important. But when the food component suffers, the other steps are relatively ineffective in preventing autoimmune issues. That’s why I continue to recommend grass-fed meats, Omega-3 meats, wild-caught seafood, green leafy vegetables, and other low carb vegetables with balanced essential fatty acids.

These whole foods are:
●    Low Glycemic
●    Nutrient Dense and Diverse
●    Have 1:1 balances of Omega-6 to Omega-3 EFAs5

Food selections that do not meet all three criteria introduce deficiencies and often inflammation. Yes, for optimizing our immune system many of today’s favorite foods are excluded. But I say that living a vigorous, healthy life is more important than eating pleasurable food that will shorten our lives.6

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

Don’t miss these links for additional reading:

1. Using Hydroxychloroquine and Other Drugs to Fight Pandemic from Yale School of Medicine

2. Tracking COVID-19 from Worldometers

3. Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus by Nina Bai from The University of California

4. Community Use Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US by Wei Lyu and George L. Wehby from Health Affairs

5. The Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Attenuation of Immune-Mediated Diseases

6. New Food Analysis Tables by Ted Slanker