As Oregon and other states begin to open up, with herd immunity now the goal, and flattening the curve rightfully heading to background, we are continually monitoring, and staying updated with the latest Covid-19 data. This is what we’ve learned in the past 2.5 months:
A surprise to most of us was infection rates, which we call virulence level, was higher than initially projected.
So, as it turns out there were a lot of people for whom social distancing didn’t work to prevent them from exposure and infection (see reports out of NY) and they got infected regardless of their isolation. Before you think, they must have been less committed to distancing, the facts are that they were following the recommendations to the letter and that its just very challenging to stop exposure.
The truth is that to stop exposure to a virus is not accomplishable without each of us wearing spacesuits for life. This is the reality of contagion. We can reduce the rapidity of transmission, which is what we did, but we can’t stop transmission in the means available to members of our society.
If we’re still gonna breathe, shop, eat, get gas, and basically interface with our environment, then the virus is gonna get around.
Due to testing unavailability and inaccuracy,
we don’t know the herd/immunity-infection rates, but its likely that developing herd immunity which is the step after flatten the curve, is happening faster than was expected and whats being reported.
We need a lot more testing to establish antibody levels which is the essence of herd immunity. Unfortunately now, the testing is unreliable and inaccurate. Improving these does not lead to an event that aligns with profit strategies, so I don’t hold your breath (except to avoid contagion of course) that its coming, or count on this situation changing too rapidly unless we rise up and demand it.
Another factor that is not getting press but you should know about, that aligns with what we’ve recommended all along, is the importance of overall health considerations. If you look at air pollution, as a sole predictor of disease effects, you can see that those most hard hit, had high levels of air pollutant with cyanide as a particularly noticeable pollutant. Cyanide’s effects on oxygen carrying capacity is well documented and connects many of the dots of why hypoxia was such an important consideration and why intubation harmed people. Intubation, on a forced ventilator just damaged the lungs but couldn’t force oxygen into a hemoglobin as cyanide has a histotoxic effect particularly on mitochondrial function. There is a lot more to this rabbit hole, but for now, the take home is environment is as important to our overall health as are nutrition, mindset and lifestyle.
Herbalism and Holistic Health Updates:
Not surprisingly, there is no magic bullet to any infection. The key to health is always the same: To prevent significant infection progress, that leads to injury and death, we need to consider all aspects that contribute to a persons health.
The mainstream germ theory approach, to focus on the pathogen as if it exists in a vacuum, was adopted by some natural health promoters as well. But the germ theory, aka kill the bad bug with a magic bullet, has never worked and won’t this time or ever. There is no herb, supplement, or medication that can do that.
Health and Disease are always multifactorial, and we holistic humans are not an excepted from nature’s rules. There are multiple factors contributing to how exposure to a pathogen manifests which is why we know that Covid-19 affected everyone differently. Those with preexisting health issues, and challenges were and are the ones at risk.
So our strategy is and was and will ever be, to consider and help the entire person.
If you need a refresher on how we optimize the immune system you can see that in a prior blog post with downloadable PDF here:
Our holistic approach which includes the entire person, is still the approach we recommend. Holism which includes considering food and nutrients, lifestyle, and environment is what will both lead to a quick and effective immune response to an infection, and promote overall health.
Holistic Herbalism, and the Vital Ways Institute Approach:
As the disease progressed through our country, Vitamin D and C still were the natural health all-stars, with numerous well-founded reports and some studies showing how effective each was. Propolis came in 3rd for us as our favorite remedy for reduction of infection progression.
Meet Propolis, the bee medicine spit, that bees create from tree resins of some of our favorite tree allies including Poplars, that are right now giving off their fluffy snow like seeds along the river valleys, and from our beloved pine and cypress families. A resin is a pharmacologically diverse and powerful liquid bandaid, produced by trees, and given off when the tree is injured. Resin is different than sap, for which its often confused. Sap can also leak from a wound, but that’s more like blood from a cut. Sap is the food of the tree and serves to nourish and support its functioning much like food does for us. Resin is transported in different vessels, and serves as the tree first aid kit.
The bees love these trees, and the Doug Firs that line Portland are covered in bees gathering the resin so they can alchemize Propolis.
Data continually amasses in support of propolis as an anti-infective and immune system modulator. Propolis alchemized by bees and assembled into a strong alcohol soluble agent can be use to positively impact many tissues and functions. One of the main uses by bees is as an antimicrobial plaster that they put around invaders to the hive that are too heavy to transport out, like a mouse, or large insect. The same constituents that allow it to be great for beehive mummification make it great for human oral, pharyngeal anti-microbial usage for gum, tonsillar and throat infections.
So, its always going to be challenging to gauge effectiveness of prevention without some fancy analytics and research money, but our clinical results, and that of our peer’s was supportive by practical evidence.
For infections that enter by mouth, propolis may be an effective agent to reduce the possibility of the pathogen gaining a foothold. Propolis has been used preventatively for respiratory and other orally acquired infections for quite some time.
Propolis: Best taken orally as an alcohol extract, 1-3 mls, or dropperfuls per day.
The censors at various media and social media outlets banned conversations on both C and D and attempted to control the narrative as they do with all natural products including dominating internet search engine algorithms.
As Vitamin D importance is well-established with over 80,000 citations on pub med, the scientific literature across conditions, including cardiovascular disease and cancer is not only robust, but extensive.
In one notable recently published Indonesian study, with over 780 subjects regarding Covid 19 death rates and Vit D status, the death rate of those who sought hospital attention with serum vitamin D below 20ng/ml, there was a 99% death rate, and above 30ng/ml was a 4% death rate.
There have been other less clinically robust analysis in this condition, but each demonstrates the same thing. We’ve been preaching vitamin D since our first mentioning of holistic approaches to respiratory viruses, as the data are clear of the usefulness of it as an overall health aid for inflammatory and immune issues.
A one-time weekly dose of 40,000 IU will generally lift levels above serum 30ng/ml in about 3-4 weeks for most people. Others prefer daily 5-10,000 IU which will have the same effect. Blood levels are easy to establish with an inexpensive blood test. We routinely target 60ng/ml for most conditions.
Sun exposure, and in particular the Ultraviolet B spectrum (290-315nm for those keeping score at home), the photo-chemical magic creates a chain of physiological events where dehydrocholesterol converts to 25-hydroxyvitamin D which is the main circulating form of the active 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D. Sun exposure leads to numerous other evolutionarily derived beneficial effects, beyond just raising Vit D for this condition and health in general that its going to lead to us posting a complete blog on sun, light spectrum and physical/biological response soon.
For now, getting sunlight exposure for 30 mins with 90% of skin, 2-4 days per week between 11AM-1PM can create between 10-20000 IU Vit D in light complected individuals. The suns zenith angle, clouds and pollution and skin melanin, with darker complexions absorbing less, an age may reduce this effect. Full sun between early April and late September is the only time that we Portlanders can obtain UVB.
Want to use an app to find out more detail-http://dminder.ontometrics.com/
If not able to get sun exposure, then supplementing is effective at raising at least just the D.
Best created by the sun in your own body, but can be supplemented up to 10,000IU per day.
The early reports from China, and later from around the health world, including in some NYC hospitals demonstrate the likely benefits of IV Vitamin C. We still use 5g liposomal C per day or higher, to ensure adequate levels and effects. The impacts of Vit C and infection are well established and don’t need to be rehashed. Getting it from food in preventative and treatment levels, will be challenging.
Liposomal Vit C that can be home prepared or purchased are the only ones that we use. They are commonly taken at 5g day
Herbal Approach at Early Stages
Since this condition manifested as lung irritation at some point along the trajectory, the remedies that had the most usefulness at time of this stage of infection were not surprisingly lung remedies:
Althea, marshmallow root, Chondrus, Irish sea moss, and Ulmus slippery elm were the 3 most commonly used for reducing lung irritation and inflammation and providing relief and benefit for the sufferer.
Onion tea, and poultices were reported by an herbalist from Olympia, who had tried most other things from the herbal world and were most effective for her with a suspected C-19 infection.
It appears that this disease has had its apex and by immunological accounts should be rapidly on its way out of our experience. This is why we’re not hearing of any significant issues nationally, even from a media that is hellbent on getting your attention.
So, the questions that remain are will we have a second wave? Will the fall usher in a new challenge?
If so, shall we all just line up for a fast-tracked, relatively untested, undisclosed profit driven intervention with a very well established atrocious safety profile?
Or will we take our health into our own hands, and choose medical sovereignty, agency, autonomy and self-care?
If it is the latter, then we’ll need to think beyond a virus and consider ourselves entirely. When we think larger than a nasty bug, to consider our immune system health and then even larger to ourselves as entire organisms, we recognize that we are a dynamic vital organism that has for 6000 generations withstood infections, particularly viral respiratory as long as we are healthy.
Resistance and Resilience
are the keys to not only surviving this ‘pandemic’ but are the keys to thriving on this earth. By aligning with natural ways of living, we ensure that we have resistance to not only this infections but to the other thousands that surround us each day. And by being resilient, that is, having nutrient status that is sufficient, lifestyle habits that promote health, a relatively less toxic environment, and a balanced mind is the only way to achieve vibrant health. This is the message that Vital Ways Institute has always used as its core ideology.
You have all that you need to thrive when you can align with these evolutionarily matched conditions to develop not just resistance to disease but also resilience in the face of all stressors.
These things don’t come from labs, they come from the earth. And in most instances, they’re free. And aligning with them in not just a way to avoid disease, its a way to be fulfilled and promoted on our path to achieving what we value most.