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Mon, 30 Mar 2020
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Coronavirus - COVID-19 - some facts & figures

empty shelves supermarket
I've been writing a Monday note since 2009. The topic has usually been inspired by what's in the news from a diet or health perspective. Whether the EAT Lancet diet being launched on the world, or the latest epidemiological paper to come out of Harvard - the topic that has made the headlines has been the one most likely to be featured.

This week there is only one health news story and it's the same story worldwide - Coronavirus. I've been reticent to write about it, as the situation is uncertain and continuous, and this note will date faster than any I have written. (Hence why it's coming out early - to be as current as possible). But it is the topic of most interest and so l will approach this topic as I would any other - What are the facts? What does the data tell us? Where best to find more information? I found the note very interesting to research and I hope you find it interesting to read...

Comment: See also:


Rose

Bitters and wild American herbalism: Celebrating the diversity of plants, people, and traditions

Dandelions
We live in a connected world. Not connected by the threads of modern human-to-human telecommunication (though these links have catalyzed big changes), but by our interactions with the plants, animals, mushrooms, microbes, soil and stone, water, air, fire and light with whom we share the biosphere. We became human, and continue to grow, fully embedded in this living, breathing system. The history of our species is written in our genetic code, where we find stories of ancient infections but also keys unlocked by the chemistry of the wild world. Our bodies and spirits remember how to walk on uneven ground, how to stay awake for hours waiting in the woods, how to find some food most days (though some days, none at all), how to handle the bracing chill of the river. And our physiology knows well how to work with bitter iridoids, polyphenols, pungent sulfur compounds, aromatic terpenes: we've known since before becoming human.

We are remembering that it's important to engage with this range of human experience. It started with exercise: best to move once in a while, rather than rest, if you want to maintain good health. Now folks are talking more about putting the body through short bursts of high-intensity exercise, followed by rest and interspersed with gentle aerobic activity. This puts the heart, lungs, muscles, joints and connective tissue through their full ranges of motion and capacity: just the lungs, for example, have the ability to take in more than ten times the air per breath than is needed during rest. Let them, once in a while! If you can, stretch out your stride. Put the body through its operating ranges. The result seems to be greater fitness1.

But this phenomenon isn't limited to exercise. Modulating our sleep schedules and including occasional bouts of sleep deprivation is a new area of research for mental health support2. Periodic fasting or reduced caloric consumption, either on a daily or weekly schedule, may help our digestion and metabolism3. Cold-water therapy, even if it's just part of your shower, puts the body through an experience of temperature range, shifting blood flow and circulation, helping athletes bounce back from tough workouts 4. In all these cases, as with high-intensity physical activity, we see the same features: first, they all expose us to a diversity of signals, situations, and inputs (all of which had relevance in our ancestral past). Second, this diversity of exposure is part of what makes "wellness".

The declining diversity in our diet, when seen through this lens, may be cause for concern. Production has centralized and consolidated into larger facilities focused on a few key botanical species5. Our modern diet also has a homogenous flavor profile based on sweetness and salt -- a "bliss point" identified as most able to keep us coming back for more6. What's missing? Bitterness, of course, but also microbial diversity and secondary plant metabolites (or "phytonutrients"--compounds like polyphenols, polysaccharides, phytosterols, and more). While all these elements are abundant in wild plants7, our palates today seem to prefer the blandly-sweet flavors of what Michael Pollan calls "edible food-like substances"8. With this stuff, digestion never gets to stretch out its stride. That's part of why I am grateful that bitter herbs are easy to find and prepare: they're like the gym for your digestion. Or rather, they're like a trail run on a frosty morning.

Yoda

Return of the fungi

Paul Stamets
© Andy Isaacson
Paul Stamets is on a quest to find an endangered mushroom that could cure smallpox, TB, and even bird flu. Can he unlock its secrets before deforestation and climate change wipe it out?

In the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest grows a bulbous, prehistoric-looking mushroom called agarikon. It prefers to colonize century-old Douglas fir trees, growing out of their trunks like an ugly mole on a finger. When I first met Paul Stamets, a mycologist who has spent more than three decades hunting, studying, and tripping on mushrooms, he had found only two of these unusual fungi, each time by accident — or, as he might put it, divine intervention.

Stamets believes that unlocking agar­i­kon's secrets may be as important to the future of human health as Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillium mold's antibiotic properties more than 80 years ago. And so on a sunny July day, Stamets is setting off on a voyage along the coastal islands of southern British Columbia in hopes of bagging more of the endangered fungus before deforestation or climate change irreparably alters the ecosystems where it makes its home. Agarikon may be ready to save us — but we may have to save it first.

Joining Stamets on the 43-foot schooner Misty Isles are his wife, Dusty, a few close friends, and four research assistants from Fungi Perfecti, his Olympia, Washington-based company, which sells medicinal mushroom extracts, edible mushroom kits, mushroom doggie treats, and Stamets' most recent treatise, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. "What we're doing here could save millions of lives," he tells me on the first morning of the three-day, 120-mile voyage. "It's fun, it's bizarre, and very much borders on something spiritual."

Comment: See also:


Sun

New study says 'high temperature and high relative humidity significantly reduce' spread of COVID-19

chinese passengers
© AP Photo/Michael Probst
A team of researchers unveiled the results of a new study last week that looked at how temperature and humidity may affect the transmission of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

According to the researchers' findings, "High temperature and high relative humidity significantly reduce the transmission of COVID-19." An increase of just one degree Celsius and 1% relative humidity increase substantially lower the virus's transmission, according to the data analyzed by the researchers.

The study is the latest in a limited but growing body of research, not all of which has been peer-reviewed, that examines the effect of weather on the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 illness.

Chart Bar

US CDC statistics seem to suggest seasonal flu twice as deadly as Coronavirus. So why the hell has civilization ground to a halt?

flu coronavirus statistics
I've been warning for the past few weeks so just take a look at the numbers from the W.H.O. and in an "apples to apples" comparison, the Coronavirus has HALF the mortality rate of the seasonal flu when it comes to "death to confirmed cases" ratio.


Comment: We also came across this like-for-like comparison of 'confirmed' vs 'estimated' flu stats, as per US CDC figures.

But it's actually more complex than this. Article on it coming soon!

But the basic point is correct; it's clear by now that this virus is nowhere near as 'deadly' as the media - and govts - are making it out to be.


Syringe

Swine flu was as elusive as WMD. The real threat is mad scientist syndrome

Remember the warnings of 65,000 dead? Health chiefs should admit they were wrong - yet again - about a global pandemic
swine flu h1n1 hysteria

The media always hypes these things way out of proportion to their actual threat
Let me recap. Six months ago I reviewed the latest bit of terrorism to emerge from the government's Cobra bunker, courtesy of Alan Johnson, home secretary. Swine flu was allegedly ravaging the nation. The BBC was intoning nightly statistics on what "could" happen as "the deadly virus" took hold. The chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, bandied about any figure that came into his head, settling on "65,000 could die", peaking at 350 corpses a day.

Donaldson knew exactly what would happen. The media went berserk. The World Health Organisation declared a "six-level alert" so as to "prepare the world for an imminent attack". The happy-go-lucky virologist, John Oxford, said half the population could be infected, and that his lowest estimate was 6,000 dead.

The "Andromeda strain" was stalking the earth, and its first victims were clearly scientists. Drugs were frantically stockpiled and key workers identified as vital to be saved for humanity's future. Cobra alerted the army. Morgues were told to stand ready. The Green party blamed intensive pig farming. The Guardian listed "the top 10 plague books".

Propaganda

UK govt predicts 65,000 will die from Swine Flu in UK, purchases 132 million doses of undeveloped vaccine

swine flu headline h1n1 2009

Fake News
Up to 65,000 people could die from swine flu in the UK in a worst case scenario set out by the chief medical officer as the government launched a national service for patients to obtain antiviral drugs over the internet and telephone.

With 29 deaths now linked to the pandemic and a further 53 patients in intensive care, the cabinet's emergency planning committee, Cobra, is meeting three times a week to prepare for the impact of the rapidly spreading pandemic.

On a day of dramatic revelations, the Department of Health revealed:
  • The launch of the National Pandemic Flu Service helpline for England.
  • 55,000 new infections last week.
  • More than 650 people in hospital.
  • Half of the UK's children might fall ill.
  • 132 million doses of a vaccine - still in development - have been ordered, enough for two injections for every UK citizen.
The internet service and helpline will initially involve 2,000 people in call centres giving out advice and prescribing antiviral drugs such a Tamiflu and Relenza. The number has not yet been given out, but the helpline should open by the end of next week. It is intended to relieve intense pressure on GPs and hospitals.

Comment: "65,000 dead" last time, "65 MILLION" this time (globally).

It's as if the elites are being beamed with the same 'facts' with which to gaslight people every time there's a 'pandemic'.


Light Saber

Interview with Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg: H1N1 'Swine Flu pandemic' was one of the greatest medical scandals of the century

Image
© Unknown
Wolfgang Wodarg
Here is my interview for the Danish 'Information' on the swine-flu pandemic:

"We have had a mild flu - and a false pandemic," says Wolfgang Wodarg, the chair of the Health Committee in The European Council. The German parliamentarian is also an epidemiologist and former health director in Flensburg. For that reason he has followed the H1N1 pandemic closely since June 11 and up to the present. He calls the pandemic "one of the greatest medical scandals of the century", and for that reason he has decided to take the case to the European Council:

"In January, we will arrange an emergency debate about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on the WHO, and 47 parliaments all over Europe are going to be informed. Following this, we will initiate an investigation and hearings involving those responsible for the pandemic emergency," says Wolfgang Wodarg.

"The aim is that none of the pharmaceutical companies under any circumstances must be allowed to make their influence felt on pandemic emergencies," he says and adds that rules for patenting also will be checked:
"Vaccines are also an ethical issue. The pharmaceutical industry should not be allowed to get a patent to develop a preparation which is so important for our society."

Bulb

The Achilles Heel of viruses: They are generally pH-sensitive

Virus
There are certain important subjects that doctors and world health officials do not want you to know about. The fact that most viruses and all physiological processes in the body are pH sensitive is one of them. Despite the fact that pH medicine offers us a key to treating viral infections that is easy, safe and inexpensive, they and even alternative health care providers just cannot wrap their heads around baking soda as one of the most important medicines we can use to fight the coronavirus.

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the US have uncovered the 'Achilles' heel' of most viruses which plague mankind are on target, there are vulnerabilities that can be exploited but what they are looking at is not practical or helpful in our fight against viral infections. The so-called 'Achilles heel' (or vulnerable point) of most viruses can be exploited by pulling the pH rug out from under them.

The ability of influenza virus to release its genome under different acidic conditions is linked to the transmission of influenza virus. The threshold pH at which fusion is first observed can vary among different serotypes of membrane protein hemagglutinin (HA) and may correlate with virulence. The acid stability of HA has been linked to the successful transmission of virus between avian and human hosts.

Comment: See also: Navigating viral storms and avoiding death


Health

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick - Some measures you can take against the Covid-19

COvid-19

Is this worth a lockdown?
I thought I should say something about the coronavirus for readers of this blog. I need to state that the situation is fast moving, facts are changing, and I am not asking anyone to go against any current medical advice.

Here, I am simply providing advice that I believe, currently, may be of benefit to people out there. I am acutely aware that there is controversy swirling about, but I will not promote anything that can cause any significant harm - but may cause significant good.

I have tended to look back a few years in time for some evidence, because current, emerging evidence is subject to massive bias and controversy, with various vested interests getting involved. The 'older' evidence has not been done in a rush and is therefore more measured.