Once the social, economic and medical implications of COVID-19 had a hold on society, all eyes turned from nearly every other environmental and health-related concern to focus solely on the controversies and debates about how to treat and contain the virus and what to do about a vaccine. These are just some of the economic, political and social challenges people are facing:
• The initial panic resulted in the purchase of $3 billion worth of ventilators, 79,295 of which The Washington Post reports are sitting unused.1
• The question of whether or not to wear a mask has become one of the most hotly contested debates, despite research over the past decade demonstrating cloth masks are ineffective against viruses.2
• Hiding under the guise of “biodefense” and “biomedicine,” a network of virologists, military scientists and biotech entrepreneurs are weaponizing microorganisms and growing an arsenal of Frankenstein pathogens.
But as investigative reporter and bioweapons expert Sam Husseini writes, gain-of-function/biowarfare scientists in labs such as Wuhan, China, and Fort Detrick, Maryland, have been accused of deliberately and recklessly conducting nefarious types of research.3
• As part of Operation Warp Speed, Pfizer struck a $1.95 billion deal to provide the U.S. with 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to give the U.S. public for “free,” with an option for 500 million more.4
• As some people are considering whether they will submit to yet another vaccine, Yale University is conducting trials to determine the type of message that will maximize the number of people who will accept and use the vaccine.5
In other words, they are testing messages that will trigger an emotional response to raise the potential that you will say yes. This is a blatant and highly sophisticated form of salesmanship. The types of messages under investigation include those that address your personal freedom, self-interest, economic benefit and guilt.
The core message throughout this pandemic should have been how to protect your health and reduce the risk of severe disease. But, it hasn’t been. Instead, minor wars are being waged over financial decisions that may have little to do with you.
Sunlight Negatively Correlated With Positive Testing
Human coronaviruses are named for the appearance of spikes on the surface. There are four main subgroups, the first of which was identified in the mid-1960s. To date, the CDC has identified seven types of coronavirus that can infect humans, including MERS, SARS and SARS-CoV-2.6
Without the fanfare that has accompanied the proposed release of remdesivir, an antiviral medication costing $3,120 per dose to treat COVID-19,7 recently published data again revealed the simple and cost-free act of sensible sun exposure for fighting SARS-CoV-2 and four other human coronaviruses.8
The research team began with the knowledge that RNA viruses, such as human coronaviruses, are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and that the “incidence and mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are considered to be correlated with vitamin D levels.”
Using these two points as a foundation, they sought to analyze the correlation between five types of human coronavirus and how much sunlight was needed for a negative test. Measurements were taken from April 17, 2020, to July 10, 2020, during which time the researchers found there was a significant negative correlation in four viruses with the amount of sunlight and a percent positive test.
The U.S. has four census regions, which the researchers used to categorize the findings. Census region No.1 includes the Northeast states bordered in the south by Pennsylvania. Census region No. 2 includes North Central states bordered on the south by Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Kansas.
Census No. 3 includes the Southern states bordered on the west by Texas and on the east by Florida’s Atlantic coast. Census region No. 4 is the West Coast, boarded on the east by Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.
Data indicate census regions 1 and 2 had a significant negative correlation with sunlight exposure (meaning sunlight reduced coronavirus infection), while regions 3 and 4 had a minimal positive correlation that was not statistically significant. The difference in these two areas may be explained by the significant heat during those months, driving people indoors to air conditioning.
Vitamin D Deficiency at Pandemic Levels
Deficiencies have been found in countries in the Southern Hemisphere where it was assumed there was enough exposure to UV radiation to prevent a vitamin D deficiency.9 However, a variety of factors likely influence this difference. For instance, the authors of one literature review found that women from the Middle East were particularly low in vitamin D.10
However, since many people in Middle Eastern countries practice Islam and the women do not go outside unless they are fully covered, the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D with exposure to the sun is inhibited.11
Another study involved the use of an international Vitamin D Standardization Program led by the National Institutes of Health to evaluate 14 population studies.12 The data showed that regardless of age, ethnicity or latitude, 13% of the 55,844 Europeans who were tested had serum vitamin D levels less than 12 ng/mL (30 nmol/L).
When an alternate level of deficiency was used, less than 20ng/mL (50 nmol/L), the prevalence was even higher at 40.4%. Additionally, when the group was subdivided by ethnicity, the data showed people with dark skin had a much higher level of deficiency than white populations, at rates of up to 71 times higher.
Sunscreen Advice Counter to Lifesaving Vitamin D
Remarkably, as the importance of vitamin D becomes more widely recognized, some doctors are continuing to advise against sensible sun exposure, vitamin D supplementation or both. For example, Dr. Pieter Cohen is an internal medicine physician at Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts who has not recognized the importance of vitamin D at this time.
In an interview with Today, Cohen told the reporter he strongly discourages people from even getting a vitamin D test, and went on to say:13
“We don’t recommend vitamin D to our patients and I see no credible evidence that vitamin D has a role in either preventing or treating COVID-19. We might have evidence in the future that evolves and would change our opinion, but that’s the status here.
I would discourage anyone from thinking that any pill is going to resolve this problem. It’s going to be the meticulous social distancing, hand washing [and] wearing a mask that [are] going to be the key.”
As sensible sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation are relatively innocuous with little to no side effects when done appropriately, it seems rather peculiar to recommend people should not even be tested or take a supplement for the potential benefit they may receive.
The advice to use sunscreen while getting “incidental” exposure is also medically incorrect, since sunscreen filters out the ultraviolet rays that stimulate vitamin D production in your skin.
In order for sensible sun exposure to work, your skin must be unprotected, and you should be sure you don’t get sunburned. Stay out until your skin turns the lightest shade of pink and then cover with long sleeves and pants.
Positive Tests and Deaths Declined Over the Summer
Many respiratory illnesses decline over the summer. While it’s still possible to get a cold or flu, it’s less likely during the summer months. Since mid-July, indicators from the CDC show COVID-like illnesses and positive tests have declined in the U.S.14
The CDC also gathers data to tally the number of deaths from COVID-19 and pneumonia while excluding flu. The first death in this category was recorded February 22, 2020.15
The number peaked the week of April 18, 2020, at 7,292 deaths. By end of June the number had dropped significantly to 1,530. However, as a new report from the CDC reveals, 94% of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 happened in people who had other significant health conditions and contributing causes.16
For only 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the single cause on the death certificate. To make this comparison, it’s the difference between an individual dying FROM COVID-19 versus WITH COVID-19, since for many with a positive test they are asymptomatic and therefore do not qualify as a “case” of COVID-19 but, rather, as a positive test.
Some of the top contributing conditions were cardiac arrest, heart or renal failure, vascular or unspecified dementia, and influenza and pneumonia.17 In addition to rising vitamin D levels during the summer months, there are other factors that influence the transmission of infectious diseases and slow the spread. For instance, influenza is affected by both temperature and humidity.18
In one study conducted in New South Wales, Australia, researchers found a similar connection between humidity and COVID-19. A 1% decrease in humidity was predicted to increase the number of cases by 6.11%.19 In a separate study, the addition of a humidifier in the bedroom demonstrated a decrease in the survival of influenza virus, by 17.5% to 31.6%.20
During the cold winter months, people also spend more time indoors, in enclosed spaces with less ventilation. The same can be said during the heat of the summer when people seek relief indoors with air conditioning. During the fall and winter months, school is usually in session, which has been associated with a higher transmission of respiratory viruses.
Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health also notes:21
“It is possible that the condition of the average person’s immune system is systematically worse in winter than summer. One hypothesis has focused on melatonin which has some immune effects and is modulated by the photoperiod, which varies seasonally. Another with more evidence is that vitamin D levels, which depend in part on ultraviolet light exposure (higher in summer) modulate our immune system in a positive way.”
Combine These Strategies With Raising Your Vitamin D Level
Vitamin D optimization is a powerful and beneficial strategy to protect your health. In my free report on vitamin D I’ve developed a resource you can use to share and help educate others. The only way you’ll know your vitamin D level is to test it. GrassrootsHealth has a home test kit that is simple to use and provides you with results at home.22
You’ll find a calculator at GrassrootsHealth.net that uses your current weight, serum level and daily supplement intake to estimate how much vitamin D3 you need to reach your desired vitamin D level.23 Yet, while crucial, it’s not the only thing available to help protect your health.
It’s particularly important to become metabolically flexible to help reduce the severity of a COVID-19 infection. The single most important step to attaining and maintaining metabolic flexibility is to reduce the number of hours during the day in which you eat.
The use of molecular hydrogen is another strategy, as it’s a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. Using quercetin with zinc can further lower your risk. Quercetin acts as a zinc ionophore24 and has its own antiviral effects.25
One of the best treatments today is the MATH+ Protocol, first developed by the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance.26 It’s designed to be used when someone is hospitalized and needs supplemental oxygen. You’ll find further information about each of these strategies in “How to Fix the COVID-19 Crisis in 30 Days.”