I hope to have about a dozen posts here, each with this same introductory statement of a few paragraphs before I get to an idea presentation. My position is that each side of the reopening issue has valid points. On the one hand, the more in which close, interpersonal contact takes place in a reopening (even with masks, which are flawed), the greater is the prospect of a resurgence of Covid-19 and an increase in deaths. And such a resurgence would lead to another drive for shutdowns. On the other hand, the country will simply fall apart if we do not begin to reopen or, if upon reopening, we were to again be forced to comply with a drive for new shutdowns as a result of a resurgence. Many lives have already been ruined and there is only so much that the economy can take.
Of course, we would not be facing such a dilemma if we had a vaccine or a cure. In such a situation, a reopening would be rapid and there would be no turning back. But we don’t have a cure or vaccine, leaving us back with our uncomfortable choices.
Despite the flaws that can be seen in both paths, I believe a new path should be aggressively pursued, one which would actually take into account the concerns of both sides. This path would have two prongs: (1) greatly reduce the prospect of the contact transmission and airborne transmission of Covid-19 by exploring some existing technologies from a new angle; and (2) exploring ways in which people could be made less susceptible in having a severe outcome if they got infected. In other words, I believe there are far more effective ways in which to protect people from Covid-19 (and future pandemic organisms) than the standard ones of hand washing, standing six feet apart, setting up acrylic barriers and wearing masks (tactics which should be maintained). In fact, I believe there are ways in which substantial protection can be provided concurrent with the closer contact between people which will inevitably come with a reopening, even in restaurants and on airplanes.
I will admit that some of my ideas would cost a tidy sum to implement. There is no way around it. However, in a world where trillions of dollars have already been allocated, I think these concepts, in totality, would be among the few that would directly apply to Covid-19 and would have the greatest impact on it.
Please not that in the following idea I have simply made an observation and expanded upon it. I hope you will find that I have presented a concept which is rational and logical. Of course, there may be flaws of which I am not aware, but we should work on overcoming them and not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
The idea follows.
It is common knowledge by now that a large proportion of the people who have contracted Covid-19 and were severely incapacitated, or died, often had concurrent medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, a history of smoking and so forth. It is wise counsel for people currently with such conditions to take great caution when venturing out, encountering other people or entering new environments so that they may avoid getting infected.
Most people with such conditions are under a physician’s care and receive appropriate treatment, from the perspective of traditional medicine as practiced in the U.S. In this concept, I propose that physicians venture out a little bit more, into the domain of nutrition (and related fields), and explore whether or not the constituents of what people consume, or fail to consume, might have a bearing on if a person shrugs off Covid-19 or comes down with a full blown illness. Some of these “fail to consume” components may not actually be commonplace in the average diet, at least at the levels that would be of benefit. It could also be possible that a person actually consumes what would be deemed an adequate level of something, but a medication, some other consumed component or a medical condition may cause its depletion. I will be proposing that the consumption of certain researched “natural” constituents (i.e., minerals vitamins, amino acids, flavonols, phytochemicals, fatty acids, etc.), in supplement form, be promoted for long time and/or acute use, particularly among those at high risk. This will be elaborated on below.
As an enticement to this approach, I will be presenting some randomly discovered examples of components which might help in our fight. They specifically relate to viruses, influenza or Covid-19 itself. Please note that as to non-processed herbal candidates, even if they come across as appealing, I am excluding them from the list. If they were to be distributed in their least-processed form on a massive scale, it would be exceedingly difficult for their quality could be monitored for any adulteration. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the supply could meet the demand. But herbal extracts might be subject to easier testing and greater trustworthiness.
If this listing and the assertions made in the links concerning component benefits is found to be of interest, we would need a specific Federal agency or department to ensure that all available options will be considered for eventual public promotion. One that comes to mind (there may be others) is the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, at NIH.
I suggest this endeavor be accomplished through the following: (1) The involved agency or department would conduct an extensive internet article search, with a high reliance on medical, nutritional and other life science journals regarding potential candidates that could inhibit or actively fight viral infections, with a focus on influenza and, of course, Covid-19. Such a search should involve human studies, animal studies, historical incidents/occurrences and theoretical assertions. It should involve all nations and languages. (2) In pursuing this research, the involved agency or department should post all of the citations and sources it has discovered and will review. It should also post a list of components that are under consideration and cross reference them with the articles as mentioned. (3) Concurrent with #1 and #2, the involved agency or department should put out a global call to alternative / complimentary medicine providers, colleges and publications for any input or guidance they may have. Even anecdotal sources would be considered. The list as discussed in #2, above, should assist potential contributors in determining whether they have anything to add. (4) While the preceding steps are taking place, efforts should be made to somehow acquire special blood work from patients with different levels of Covid-19 infections, such as: infected but no symptoms; infected with symptoms but no hospitalization; infected with hospitalization (but a good prognosis); and infected with hospitalization and a poor prognosis (death likely). Such blood work should be designed to detect specific deficiencies and possibly other factors, such as genetic elements. (5) Once a list is in hand, as derived through #1 and #3, above, it is hoped that a consensus might arise within the medical community, including governmental entities with a medical orientation, that supplementing with all or some of the components which research suggests as being helpful would be worthy of consideration by individual physicians when consulting their patients. (6) It is hoped that the Federal government could develop a list of the preferred components and put out bids for companies to manufacture them, in various formulations and dosages, for public distribution. In doing so, information should be provided concerning any known risks in taking any of the components concurrently with various medications or medical conditions. (7) Should distribution be effected, the blood work as described in #5 should continue, to see if the supplementation had any effect on those who participated. This should be of tremendous benefit in addressing any other viral pandemics which should arise.
Now for my list. It is not exhaustive; view it as a mere sampling.
Vitamin B-9 (Folate / Folic Acid)