This page includes: More effective Medical treatment ideas for COVID-19, More dietary and lifestyle ways to Optimize your immune system, a critical look at the Benefits and Hazards of Mask wearing, technical links explaining emerging SARS immunity and how our immune cells respond to stop infections. Please note the dates to identify the most recent posts.
My apologies that I have been busy at the office and preparing to support patients with going back to school, etc. and have gotten behind writing summaries. Here are links that seem important to understanding the COVID-19 virus and its complications and addressing the wearing of masks.
>>Best Treatment So Far? by Dr. John Campbell- July 2020 Man made interferons to boost immune function that COVID-19 has down regulated. See also the effective MATH+ hospital & home care protocol from our June 2020 Update page.
>>Ideas to Fix the COVID-19 Crisis in 30 Days by Mercola.com - July 2020 Why don't we openly discuss this?
Shouldn't we be teaching people how to strengthen their immune system to resist disease? (see below and August update and elsewhere)
Lifestyle Choices We Make, Food & Vitamins We Consume Can Help to Support Our Bodies and Strengthen our Immune Systems.
>>A Food Plate for a Strong Immune System by Dr.Been.com - July 2020
MASKS - Some Benefits and Harms of Mask Wearing: After all these months of telling people to wait until there is a vaccine - after the affects on so many businesses and personal lives - now some officials are saying that a vaccine may only be 50% effective - and with flu season coming, we may likely need to continue wearing masks indefinitely!! - - Are we considering the data suggesting that some regions are progressing towards herd immunity levels (more quickly than expected) and those people who (have recovered and seem no longer contagious and who seem to have natural antibodies and cell memory that appear effective into the future - see below & August update page) may soon not need masks or even a vaccine?!
Yes, when you look at laser dispersion tests, it is clear that particle/droplet spread is reduced by wearing a mask - most masks that is. The Duke University study showed that some mask styles, especially single layer gators and the like may actually promote extra fine particles that can travel farther. Typically, a more effective mask is multi-layer, possibly enhanced with anti-microbial copper, silver or salt. (Yes, it may be good to know how to make and fit your own effective masks for use during various outbreaks.) Remember though that while basic masks may help you not spread germs (mostly bacteria which are 20x larger than viruses) via oral particles to others, unless one is wearing a properly fitted N-95 mask or better respirator, standard masks seem to do little to protect the wearer from viral particles circulating in the air. Perhaps, that is where physical distancing can be helpful... In addition, being truly shielded from an air or even droplet borne infection includes wearing a gown, face shield or goggles and gloves, and cleaning or disposing of them all properly. (Sep 2020 - standard masks may reduce viral load to wearer leading to milder symptoms.)
In the real world, how much do basic masks alone really cut down on the spread of a virus? Of consideration is how long active germ particles linger in the air (up to a few hours in some circumstances) and on surfaces (up to several days in some circumstances) and how likely is one to contact those particles and infect themselves by breathing them in or touching them to their face in a quantity sufficient to become infected? Many experts are now suggesting that surfaces (fomites) are unlikely to be major disease spreaders (for COVID-19). Still, what role does good hygiene play? Remember the early Rutger's study showing that even simple soap and water or hydrogen peroxide were effective cleaning agents? What other health problems (long-term) are we causing by using strong cleaning chemicals? We have included studies and discussions about cleaning surfaces on prior pages. As a side note, how long do COVID-19 particles last outdoors in the daytime? Remember NPR reports suggesting that a few minutes (7 to 14 or less) of ultraviolet light (sun) and a light breeze largely eliminate viral exposure outdoors? And since good ventilation generally improves indoor air quality, why are some fearing on social media that their neighbors will infect them by having their windows open? How can we educate people about these things? The old adage applies here "The Solution to Pollution is Dilution". Here are a few virus stability links.
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT TRULY HELPFUL TO WEAR A MASK? Does one have access to a clean, multi-layer, quality mask? How severe (virility) is the pathogen that one is trying to protect against? Should masks be mandatory or optional? How can we identify, sequester & protect the most vulnerable people? What about educating people to optimize their immune system to resist disease and lessen illness severity?
Here are some lesser discussed concerns or possible risks to wearing a mask that I have observed or learned about: 1) Masks can create a fungal event for the wearer 2) Touching (or repositioning) and reusing a mask with trapped microbes can create a contaminating event 3) Studies show that N-95 use (even 1 hour) does increase CO2 and decrease oxygen outside of OSHA levels (and from wearing a mask during much of the day, even in an air conditioned environment, I can tell you that it increases my stress and worsens fatigue and sometimes causes a feeling of air hunger) 4) Masks can be very difficult for young children and for people with asthma (or other lung issues), anxiety, claustrophobia, autism and allergies (it increases my allergic runny nose and what to do when I have to sneeze) and those with disabilities, etc. 5) Masks reduce social queues and voices cannot be heard as clearly (possibly affecting childhood speech development), hearing impaired cannot read lips, teachers cannot see students' expressions, smiles cannot be exchanged, etc. 6) Wearing a mask changes the way we talk and can put a strain on one's jaw (I feel it daily) 7) Wearing a mask may cause an infected person to re-breathe their own air and increase their viral load (a known cause of more severe symptoms) 8) Masks affect breathing during physically demanding work, exercise and playing sports and contribute to the risk of overheating 9) Masks of poor quality expose the wearer to unhealthy chemicals and particulates (I have unwittingly bought masks that have chemical odors and give the sense of breathing in micro particles - how does one know which masks on the market are clean and "safe"?) 10) The mask issue creates significant social tension and arguments 11) Masks are being used (with duck tape) as a means to help traffic children 12) Masks help conceal criminal identity in public places 13) Wearing a mask reduces one's (especially young) exposure to regular circulating pathogens that help to condition their immune system... Also consider issues like proper fitting, mask integrity (dirt, moisture and repeated cleaning reported to reduce mask effectiveness), compliance and availability. BELOW are a few additional perspectives on the generalized wearing of masks and their effectiveness.
>>A Doctor's Plea for Mask Empathy & Common Sense by Scott Jensen, M.D. - August 2020 a few patient exceptions
>>Wearing Face Masks May Allow Reduced Viral Load and Lessen COVID Severity by Dr. John Campbell - Sep 2020 Variolation or mild inoculation assisted by mask wearing may lead to less severe symptoms (asymptomatic people may be up to 80%) and still produce immunity.
>>Masks - The Pros & The Cons by Mercola.com - July 2020 How much do they actually help?
>>Are Masks Reducing SARS-CoV2 Spread? by Mercola.com- July 2020 Several ideas for your consideration.
>>More Discussion About Ineffectiveness of Masks by Mercola.com - Sep 2020 How much do these measures really improve outcomes?
>>Kerri Walsh - One Citizen's Concerns with Universal Mask Wearing by Washington Post - Sep 2020 Can we just talk about it?
>>N95 Masks Reduce O2 and Increase CO2 Beyond OSHA Standards - 2010 Pubmed. Is long term N95 use healthy?
>>NIH Study Validates Decontamination Methods for Reuse of N95 Respirators - April 2020 technical review of cleaning masks
>>Picking the Right Emergency Respirator by NIH - June 2019 Protective gear must be appropriate to the situation
IMMUNITY & HOW WE NATURALLY RESPOND - More support showing that antibodies from other virus exposures help with SARS-CoV2.
>>Long Term Immunity More Likely COVID-19 by Dr. John Campbell - July 2020 Good News: SARS T-cell memory still appears active after 17 years. CoV2 memory cells will likely recognize and be active against COVID-19 if it comes around again. Cross-reactivity from 2003 SARS seems robust against COVID-19. Animal beta coronavirus seems to have cross reactivity to COVID-19 protecting some people.
>>Viral Mutations by Dr. John Campbell - July 2020 SARS-CoV2 has a low mutation rate. Mutations may be more contagious but not necessarily more severe. Viral mutations can make it harder to develop an effective vaccine. Naturally developed cross reactive immunity seems 93% effective against both viral forms. Explains how viral epitope locations can affect vaccines effectiveness and how our body attacks multiple epitope locations with custom antibodies simultaneously during an infection.
>>Immune System Response Types biochemistry by Dr.Been.com- July 2020 Technical ways our immune system responds. Macrophages signal T cells. T helper 1 become cytotoxic to directly attack infected cells and T helper 2 cause B cells to make antibodies that attack. How children have less ACE2 receptors, more NK cells and better trained immunity. Types of responses. Some recovered patients may not show antibodies, some may be more likely to have cytokine storms and some may better show memory. What path will vaccines stimulate and is natural infection more effective? How can long haulers be predicted? Are there better ways to biologically limit COVID-19?
>>What Determines the Helper T1 vs. T2 Response? biochemistry by Dr.Been.com- July 2020 Technical ways our immune system responds. Macrophages use cytokines to signal T cells. Helper T1 cells become cytotoxic to directly attack infected cells while helper T2 cause B cells to make specific antibodies that differently attack invaders. Helper T2 cells driving B cells to make antibodies seems to be the dominant pathway so far against SARS-CoV2. Dr. Been discusses theories how one path is activated more than another and how paths can be influenced and how path imbalances may cause an immune storm.
>>Escape from the Antibodies by SARS CoV2 biochemistry by Dr. Been.com - July 2020 How is this disease challenging? Although, the SARS-CoV2 virus is mutating, possibly making it evasive to a monoclonal vaccine antibody, only those with a viable spike protein can interact with the ACE2 receptor. Escaping mutations will be those that survive when changes to their epitopes evade vaccine stimulated antibodies. However, our B cells create many different types of antibodies when responding to a pathogen making it unlikely that simple mutations will evade our natural immune response. SARS-CoV2 also has a proof reading enzyme that limits its mutations variety. Using convalescent plasma to model a vaccine antibody response scientists say the virus was able to escape monoclonal antibodies making them ineffective. But a manufacturer may adapt new antibodies to the latest mutation and our bodies will also adapt its immune response to the new viral variation. (Of course, there still is one's innate natural killer cell response and their cytotoxic T cell response which will go after the virus.)
>>COVID-19 Severity - Study Reveals Cellular Behavior by Dr.Been.com - July 2020 Technical study showing that severe COVID-19 patients have increase macrophage activity leading to increase interferon gamma promoting more ACE2 receptors and worsening symptoms. (Numbers showing that of symptomatic patients 81% are moderate or less, 14% severe and 5% critical.) Keep in mind that upper respiratory illness has milder symptoms and when the virus moves into the lower respiratory tract, the macrophages become very active, release many cytokines and cause symptoms to worsen. It is during the roughly 6 hours of this transition that the drugs (steroids, etc.) from the MATH protocol become particularly helpful for stabilizing severe (ICU) patients.
>>Coronavirus Update 93: Antibodies, Immunity & Prevalence of COVID-19 by MedCram - July 2020 Spanish study found antibodies in 90% of patients after 14 days, 1/3 of infections were "asymptomatic", JAMA say might confer at least temporary immunity, will vaccines do better?
>>COVID-19 Update 101: T Cell Immunity vs. Antibodies & Prior Exposure to Other Coronaviruses by MedCram - Aug 2020 CDC estimates 40% asymptomatic (maybe viral genetics or viral load vs. host genetics, age or health/immune status). Studies show pre COVID-19 blood with T-cells that recognize and react against SARS-CoV2. B-cell generated antibodies don't last as long as T memory cells. What can we naturally do to support our T-cells? Also, mask wearing may reduce viral load in newly infected people giving their body time to respond without over reacting.
COMING IN AUGUST - Good News, Back To School Issues, Hydroxychloroquine effectiveness and media censorship.