I’ve decided to update you on a more timely basis with new information about treatments and prevention and cutting edge research on Covid-19, and also to give you a recorded option, in case you’d rather listen than read. I hope you don’t mind more mailings from me than usual, there is just so much happening so quickly. But I promise: unlike the monster opus I unleashed on you last time, I will keep these short and sweet.
First a Disclaimer
Although I am a research-crazy science geek, and a healer, and I have often proven doctors wrong, I am not a doctor. I am not prescribing anything, I am just giving suggestions, largely gleaned from the published material of others, and, also, from conversations with healers, herbalists, homeopaths, researchers, and MDs.
One more disclaimer
I will neither be a cheerleader nor a doomsayer. I will report on this with as much accuracy and objectivity as possible, while acknowledging that this is an impossibly fast-moving situation, replete with rumor mongering, distortions, wishful thinking, and just plain denial of reality among some. I will try my best to separate the wheat from the chaff for you so that these digests are accurate, useful, and short.
Medical research news
So, what about those ‘miracle’ drugs any way?
I very much like to be encouraging, but it’s a little too early to jump for joy. There are two drug protocols the world is currently abuzz about, and there will be more.
The research about Remdesivir is anecdotal. We just don't know yet. And now the manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, has suspended open-ended distribution of the drug. They want to run more controlled studies first. They are correct in doing so, as there just is not enough evidence out in the field to support giving it willy nilly to patients.
The famous drug cocktail that our president has touted, Hydroxychlorquine combined with Azithromycin, is also still, really, an unknown.
Certainly the very first, very small study from France turned heads with some very encouraging results, but a closer examination of the study is more sobering.
And you need to always, always question your source! There has been much misinformation and misrepresentation about this drug combination from the beginning, especially from the right wing media, which first spent weeks irresponsibly minimizing the threat of this virus, and is now making overblown claims about miracle cures.
Our president is using these wild and unproven claims as an argument to re-open the country to “business as usual”, which almost every public health professional believes to be the single worst thing he could do, a policy change that could well cause tens or even hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. The Chinese lockdown method has been the only method shown to radically slow down the infection, and hence, death rate, of this disease.
So, what have the right-wing media done to misrepresent this supposed “miracle drug”?
The story was originally reported on the Gateway Pundit site on March 19, 2020. Its headline headline went much further than the article does, and the article has problems of its own.
The article reported on an interview Fox News talk show host Laura Ingraham did three days earlier with Gregory Rigano about a hydroxychloroquine study.
The article said a study Rigano co-authored found that "COVID-19 patients who took hydroxy-chloroquine were found free of the disease in six days," and that the drug also "could act as a preventative." None of these statements are scientifically valid, based on the size, duration, or results of the study, or regartding the credentials of Gregory Rigano.
First of all, the article identified Rigano as a doctor, but he is not. Rigano is a lawyer from Melville, N.Y. His website states that his "experience includes advancing various pharmaceutical assets through laboratory, animal, formulation, manufacturing, clinical trials (Phase I - III) as well as commercialization."
His website also says he is an adviser to a drug program at the Stanford University School of Medicine. A Stanford university spokesman denied this in an interview with Wired magazine.
And, unlike the headline of the original article, and what you’ve been hearing, the study does not state there is a 100% cure for coronavirus.
Let’s take a closer look:
The study had only 26 patients.
It followed them for only 6 days.
Did it cure them? After 6 days, that’s impossible to tell. It may only have reduced viral shedding. Many people have tested positive, then negative, then positive again for the virus. We’re not sure if this is because the virus can hide in the body, as other pathogens like the bacterium that causes Lyme disease can, or because the tests were just too inaccurate, as many of the early ones were.
Because the study was too short – there is no way to know if the drug combination had a beneficial long-term clinical impact. The patients’ eventual outcomes were neither followed nor reported.
Actual study results are:
There were 26 patients
20 completed it.
One left the hospital before the study was completed.
1 couldn’t tolerate the drug combination.
3, that’s 11%, went to the ICU
1, or almost 4%, died
Those numbers are actually higher than the general critical care and death rates, not lower.
So, in my opinion, this does not appear to be the magic bullet that people are touting.
In addition, both of these are powerful drugs that can cause heart arrhythmias, and other serious side effects. They need to be administered by medical staff, with access to EKG machines and other monitoring and diagnostic tools.
One thing to note: Hydroxychlorquine is not Chlorquine, a much more dangerous drug with many more side effects. In fact, Hydroxychlorquine was developed to replace Chlorquine. Today, there was news of overdoses of Chlorquine in Nigeria. People are self-administering very potent drugs out of panic. Please do not do this!
Whatever happens, this combination will not be a panacea. The MDs and researchers I’ve consulted with predict that, at best, it may cut fatalities in half, which would still, in the absolute best of circumstances, lead to 2-3 times as many deaths as the flu. At worst, it will prove to be a flash in the pan.
It is just too early to reach conclusions about its efficacy.
With these drugs at least, we’re not all going to start popping them and running out of our houses hugging and kissing any time soon. However, supercomputers the world over, using artificial intelligence, are searching at high speed among existing drugs for possible research candidates.
What about a Vaccine?
A vaccine is probably more than a year away, and there are distinct health risks in rushing the process. Moreover, there is no definitive proof that we can develop a vaccine for this virus. The odds are good, but some viruses, like the common cold, seem to defy all attempts at developing vaccines. Others, like influenza, mutate so rapidly that we must create newly-formulated quasi-vaccines every year, with varying yearly results: this year’s influenza vaccine being only about 40% effective.
I know everyone’s looking for a silver bullet that will magically return life to normal. Personally, I think it’s going to be a long time before that happens. In fact, I predict that we’re going to have at least two very difficult months, with shockingly-high mortality rates, and then, as the weather gets warmer, a slowdown, though probably not a total cessation in new cases, and then in the fall, a second, possibly even more virulent wave. It may not be until next summer before things start to return to normal. They may never, to some extent: the virus could prove to be a new yearly scourge. If so, it will probably become less virulent over time, as most viruses that have jumped from animals to humans eventually do, because they want to keep us alive longer, so that they can reproduce and spread more easily. Some clever ones, like Herpes I & II and Epstein Barr, even learn to take up a semi-peaceable permanent residence inside us, co-existing with us rather than killing us.
Updates on prevention, supplements, foods and herbs
My previous newsletter has plenty of totally valid info. I’ve kept it below, reorganized and less wordy, with some additions.
Prevention and treatment (of mild cases of course, and always consult your doctor if you are concerned, have a high fever or if breathing becomes difficult).
Antiseptic measures and personal protection
I wash my hands right away after carrying a package that’s been delivered to me, without touching anything else. If I were not in quarantine and had to go out, I’d take all of my clothes off when I got home and wash them too, and then take a shower. And don’t forget: leave your shoes outside or thoroughly wash them too, or wipe them down with one of the antiseptic solutions specified below.
Personally I try to do all my touching with my dominant hand, which in my case is my left hand, since it’s the one I’ll use unconsciously anyway, and leave the other hand pristine so I can safely turn on the sink and squeeze out soap without contaminating either.
Of course, it’s easy to wash your hands improperly, potentially putting virus particles on the counter, sink, taps, and elsewhere, so a gifted herbalist, Jen Costa, has posted a fantastic video on the simple process of doing it right (and she ought to know – she’s also a nurse).
This virus appears to be very durable on inanimate surfaces, perhaps surviving for several days on surfaces like stainless steel and plastic. Some studies indicate that in an environment that’s not exposed to direct sunlight and not too dry, they may last as long as 9 days. Dryness is one of their enemies, so the live virus may live only one day on something porous like cardboard, but to be sure, either spray boxes down or give them 24 hours. Always err on the side of caution.
Your mail delivery person, or Amazon delivery person (or takeout food delivery person, for that matter) could have coughed in their vehicle, covering your delivery in a fine aerosol containing virus particles. In addition, the person packing your item at your nearest Amazon fulfillment center may have the virus (at least one has tested positive, and I promise there are many more who are asymptomatic).
Spray your deliveries. Use diluted bleach (I do 1/2 cup bleach, added to enough water to produce a gallon of solution), or a minimum 70% alcohol solution. Bleach is bad for the environment, but it’s cheap and readily available. Alcohol is getting hard to get.
I spray my bleach solution on my mail. I spray it on my Amazon packages, and then I spray any bubble wrap or packaging that’s inside the package, and then, unless the product inside is made of paper or cardboard, I spray the products I’ve ordered when I pull them out of the package, or wash them (and my hands!) in hot soapy water. If they are made of paper or cardboard, I put them somewhere dry for 24 hours… and then go wash my hands again.
As to gloves, I have mixed feelings: yes, it’s another layer of protection, but it also means more potentially contaminated stuff to deal with. I also think gloves can engender a false sense of security, because you’re not in direct contact, so you then yank open your door, potentially spreading the virus to your doorknob, etc. Others will disagree and say that gloves are a must (I do think they are a must if you have an open wound on your hand).
Other Personal Protection
As we know, this virus primarily enters the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth. And we touch our faces all the time, so often we’re rarely aware of it. So, if you must interact with others I advise wearing a mask and goggles, preferably goggles without air vents, so that if someone sneezes or coughs near you, the droplets do not get into your eyes. We can argue the efficacy of masks all day: there are varying qualities of masks, and varying filtering capacities, but one thing’s for sure: if you’re wearing a mask (or even a scarf), you not going to be touching your mouth or nose easily.
I understand that N95 type masks are best reserved for medical personnel, and are in incredibly short supply. I do not think it’s ethical to buy them at this time unless you yourself are showing respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 (or the flu, for that matter). Guys, shave your beards OFF, and then shave often – it makes for a much better fit!
I use a Respro Cinchro mask, which uses replaceable filters. And I believe that these filters, because they’re fabric-based, and are therefore are physically much more robust than N95 filters, can abe hand-washed after baking or microwaving to kill pathogens, and re-used. There filtering capacity is at about .3 microns, although they also have an activated charcoal layer, that N95 masks don’t have, that they claim makes their effective filtering rate down to 1 micron.
Eating only during an 8 hour period per day is good – less time and energy spent digesting means more energy for healing if you’re sick, and building up your defenses if you’re not.
Mindfulness – meditation
Again in the ‘I need to practice what I preach’ department, I need to meditate! I’ve committed to 20 minutes in front of my altar every day.
Here’s one of my free meditations that I thionk you may really like. Pick the second meditation, the one called “Grounding and Connecting to the Cosmic Flow.” There’s an explanation sound file on the left, and the actual meditation sound file on the right. You can listen on the site, or download them to your own computer or device.
The Insight Timer meditation app has really good guided meditations and a host of other features:
Vitamins and Minerals
I do not want to add much, as you’re hopefully already taking the protocol I recommended before (see below) -- just these:
Glutathione: 500 mg daily.
The rest of the protocol: Vitamin C: 3000 mg daily in divided dosages (I might go to 4000 mg, and all should be in doses of 500 milligrams, each spaced an hour or two apart – if you get diarrhea, back off a bit until your stools firm up – this is called ‘bowel tolerance dosing’. In fact, if I’m feeling sick, I’ll put up with little diarrhea and go up to a gram (1000 mg) an hour.)
Vitamin D3: 2000 IUs daily (Start with 5000 daily for 2 weeks, then reduce to 2000). (non-GMO, and unless you’re outdoors a lot you may, or may not need more than 2000). You will need to eventually get blood testing to make sure tht you are not overdosed or underdosed. Vitamind D is a fat-based vitamin, which means it is possible to overdose on it.
Selenium: 400 mcg (micrograms) daily (I think one type (not brand, but type) of Selenium stands out too, SelenoExcell. Several companies sell this, Here’s one reputable brand).
There are so many herbs it’s impossible to go through them all. People sending me emails about Japanese Knotweed, about Comfrey, about Elecompane, about many, many herbs. I am not an herbalist. You probably aren’t either. But there’s an herbalist I trust: herbalist Jen Costa and her ElderMoon School of Herbs and Earth Medicine in Woodstock, NY. Besides the school, Jennifer has a large on-line apothecary, and also does consultations. Her Vital Resistance formula has saved me from more than one oncoming cold. She has a lot of solid advice on when to use herbs like Elecompane, Elderberry, Comfrey root, Boneset, and many more, as well as culinary herbs like Thyme, Cinnamon, Turmeric, and Garlic.
And remember, eat onions, garlic, curries, turmeric!
I have had a product personally recommended to me by people who (like me) have gotten colds and flus their entire lives, and now say they no longer do. I’ve also read reviews from verified purchasers on Amazon that are rapturous about it. The product is called MYCOmmunity, a clever portmanteau of ’myco,’ a word (or prefix) referring to fungi, and “immunity”.
The rapturous reviews could indicate that this product can have a truly salutatory effect on the immune system. In addition, an MD I know, who is connected to some top medical researchers, said that Paul Stamets, the founder of the company, who also formulates all of their products, does “very good work,” though he did not vouch for this particular product.
Old Time Remedies
There are a gazillion, but I’ll only mention five that have really helped.
For any infection: stuffy nose, sore throat, congestion, dry or productive cough HYDRATE!!!!!!!!! Hydration helps the lungs clear out the crap, it helps your nose and your sinuses clear out the crap. It’s far more important than you could ever believe. Warm or hot drinks are best. Iced ones, not so great. When coupled with the percussion of the rib cage (next suggestion), you get a one-two punch: break up the thick mucus (which, if one is sick enough, can literally asphyxiate someone) with percussion, and then thin it and carry it away with the fluids.
If you feel even the slightest congestion or tightness or heaviness in your chest, get on these:
Mechanical loosening of crap in the lungs: have someone beat your back, on either side of your spine, briskly, from the bottom of the rib cage to the top of the shoulder blades. Do it hard, but not so hard as to really hurt, repetitively, boom boom boom boom boom, 20 or 30 times. You, or they, can also do the sides of your ribcage, again, from bottom to top, and the front of your ribcage, from the bottom to just below the collar bones. This simple technique can really, really make a huge difference in breaking up congestion so that liquids (remember to hydrate!) can get in and start clearing things out. When nurses treat patients on ventilators, they perform this mechanical percussive activity on them all the time; it really works.
The bowl of steaming goodness tent: get a large bowl, put one drop of eucalyptus (or, in a pinch, tea tree) essential oil in it, add a few cups of boiling water. Put your head over it, and pull a tent of bath towel over your head so that you’re completely covered; then breathe slowly and deeply, through both nostrils and mouth. Breathe so deeply that you feel your lower abdomen, your love handles, and your back below your rib cage expand fully. Do it as long as you can stand it, and, if you feel like it, do it twice a day. These oils are highly antiseptic, good for killing bacteria and viruses (bacterial pneumonia is a common, and often deadly secondary or opportunistic infection after you come down with a respiratory virus).
Gargle with very warm, almost hot salty water, every morning. Get it as far down your throat as you can without swallowing or gagging.
Consider using a neti pot or nasal irrigator squeeze bottle with a saline solution. Always boil any water (and then let it cool to lukewarm, of course), that you use for any kind of nasal irrigation.
Social Distancing and Quarantine
Forget about social distancing, it’s really time to quarantine.
I really can’t explain it better than this Washington Post article, which includes simulations of just what quarantining does, but I’ll try. Quarantining will have a striking effect on ‘flattening the curve’ – that is, slowing the outbreak so that it doesn’t overwhelm the medical system, or at least, shortening that period of overwhelm, replete with its desperation and cruel triage.
ALL of us who possibly can, NEED TO QUARANTINE NOW, and probably for an extended time.
DO NOT share a car ride, or even get into an interior space with someone whom you are not already living with, if you can avoid it at all, even if you are wearing gloves and a mask!
When you must interact with another human outside of your household, whether that’s the UPS man or the pharmacist, stay a minimum of 6 feet away, and preferably wear a mask and goggles.
Keep hand sanitizer on you, and sanitize those hands often, and then wash them when you get back home.
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If you are unfamiliar with me, my work, my story, and are curious, this might be a good place to start. It's an interview from a documentary about people who live with chronic pain, and it describes a lot of my journey, my relationship with pain, and how I went from someone with no hope and a desire for death to a place of service in the lovely dance I call co-creative healing.
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Medical Intuitive and Co-Creative Healer
Creator of the AuraLuminance Technique
and Shamanic Psychology
Associate in Ortho-Bionomy 917-453-3786 Tao.Shamanics@hvhealing.com
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