Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note, where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week I want to talk about COVID-19, as we are right around the one year anniversary of it at the time of this writing. This is going to be an important Note.
I want to say up front that this may be controversial.
As a doctor, please know that I am not giving out medical advice through this blog post. I do that when a patient is in my office in front of me, or through a telemedicine consult where it’s one on one.
With that said, I do want to give you my general opinion in a way that can help you come up with your own conclusion as to what you want to do with your own health.
Obviously, it’s been a really hard year. We’ve had 500,000 people die in the United States, which is worse than any other country.
COVID-19 is a real thing. It’s not a hoax. In my opinion, this past year has been like a terrible terrible Flu season. COVID-19 is more contagious than the Flu, and it’s more lethal in certain age groups.
In this Note, I want to share some of my thoughts on the past year and what I think we should do moving forward. Hopefully, this will help you make decisions on your future healthcare.
I also want to share some information and thoughts on the vaccines. I wanted the vaccines to be out for a while before I really spoke much about them. I wanted to make sure I was informed and had done my research.
It seems that the media is pushing everyone to get vaccinated, and it might not be the best thing for everyone.
When the pandemic first started there were a lot of mistakes made. We didn’t know what it would do to us. The CDC didn’t know what to tell us, and I felt like their guidance was poor. And then politics got in the way.
The government shut things down in an effort to slow the virus. Maybe it did for a while. To me, this was a mistake. Honestly, they didn’t know any better at the time so it’s hard to blame them.
Take Sweden for example. They decided to not shut down. They protected the vulnerable, but that was about it. Turns out that the mortality rate in Sweden was the same as their neighboring countries who shut down completely.
They need to keep at risk people as isolated as possible. This is common sense just like with any flu like illness. And if you’re sick, you need to quarantine yourself.
There has been a lot of controversy over asymptomatic spread. There have been studies that claimed that there is no asymptomatic spread. It makes sense to me that if you don’t have symptoms, use good personal hygiene, and don’t get in people’s faces you’re not going to spread this virus.
I’m not against masks at all. There is no doubt that this is a respiratory virus. But common sense tells me that you don’t need a mask on for every situation.
If you have COVID-19 and you’re wearing a mask all the time, you’re actually breathing the virus into your lungs. COVID-19 is a lung disease.
Half of all the deaths have occurred in nursing home patients. It’s also been really bad in obese patients. In fact, most of the deaths were with people who were morbidly obese or elderly. That and Type 2 Diabetics, many of which are obese.
Deaths also happened more frequently with people who had low Vitamin D levels. This is why African Americans and Latin Americans had more problems with Covid. Dark skinned people do not absorb Vitamin D well.
We have to realize that our country is in very poor health. Mostly because of obesity and poor nutrition. Shame on us. Let’s concentrate our efforts on getting in shape. We need to learn something from this tragic year.
I’m not an anti vaccine person. But it’s important to understand that there are different types of vaccines. Some work well to immunize you for life with one dose like polio or smallpox. Others may require boosters every few years like measles and tetanus. Then there are other diseases that mutate so quickly it’s hard to keep up with a virus with a vaccine. This is the case with viruses like the Flu and probably Covid. The Flu virus mutates every year, and half of the time they don’t get it right anyway. I used to get the Flu shot every year.
If you don’t want to get the Flu shot, don’t get the Flu shot. But if you’re at risk, you should probably get the Flu shot.
The key is to keep your immune system strong. Take your vitamins.
Right now, we’re still having some spikes of Covid cases. Rates are definitely plummeting though, and we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
We’re hopefully going to get herd immunity soon. This will be due to the vaccines being rolled out, plus the fact that there are a lot of people who’ve already had it. We will get herd immunity.
Natural immunity happens when you have already had Covid. Lots of people have already had it. Half of which don’t even know it.
The best scenario is if you have already had it and did well. This group doesn’t need to get the vaccine in my opinion. It is important to note that there will be some long haulers (who will have problems from Covid for months or longer).
mRNA (Messenger RNA) – This is a new kind of technology. They developed this with warp speed, which is a good thing because the government had to do something. They did rush the mRNA vaccines. They only did 10 months of studies on them, when it usually takes up to 20 years to get a vaccine approved.
It’s hard to say how effective they will be in the long run, but in the short run they seem very effective.
When you have natural immunity you have natural killer cells, t-cell immunity and b-cell immunity. This codes against the whole Covid virus, not just the spike. The vaccine just codes for the spike protein. So you’re truly not getting to the whole thing.
How long will immunity last? We don’t know. We think the vaccine will be shorter lasting than the immunity that comes from having the virus.
The first two vaccines will be like the Flu shot because of mutations. It may be something you have to do like the Flu shot and get every 6 months to a year. We don’t know how well it will cover against these variants.
The other thing about the vaccines is that they aren’t FDA approved. They are only approved for emergency use. Note that the rates were already plummeting before the vaccines had any effect. So I think the natural immunity is out there for a lot of people.
The first two vaccines are mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Gene therapy is what it is. This is different from typical “killed virus” vaccines.
We’ve all been reading about them I’m sure. I’ve known lots of people who have gotten the vaccines. Some get sick. Some get a sore arm. I’ve had a couple who said they can’t lift their arm for a few days. I’ve heard people say they got lymph nodes underneath their armpit. Lots have had severe chilling and fever. And there’s also been people who had no reaction, and then two days later have full blown Covid. I’ve treated several of these. Whether the vaccine gave it to them or it was coincidental, who knows.
In the first 30 million mRNA vaccines, there have been 929 deaths reported to the CDC as an adverse reaction.
With the Flu vaccines there are usually 190 million given out, and around 24 died from it last year. This is way less. The first two Covid-19 vaccines are 80 times more risky than the Flu vaccine.
There’s also risk of anaphylaxis, a severe immediate reaction that will cause death unless you get a dose of an EpiPen. Remember, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US.
Turns out that there is something called polyethylene glycol in it. This is something you find in antifreeze. Vaccines have to have carriers to get it in.
If you do decide to get the vaccines, please don’t get the shot and leave. Hang around for a while. Be wary of this.
I’m not against these two vaccines for a lot of people.
One of the reasons we had to rush the vaccines out is because our hospitals were being overwhelmed. As it turns out, it was a mistake to put so many people on ventilators.
With outpatient and inpatient care we have learned a lot that’s going to help us deal with COVID-19 better. The vast majority of folks with Covid can be treated outpatient if treated early. I know because I’ve treated hundreds and hundreds this way.
Viral Vector Vaccines – This is what the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is. This is the one I’m most interested in.
It’s somewhat of a genetic thing in that it uses DNA, but more traditional in the way it acts. Also, there is no polyethylene glycol in it.
It’s probably safer. Plus it’s just a one shot deal that doesn’t need to be frozen. Note that most of these patients with reactions to the mRNA had the reaction on the second dose not the first. Which makes you think it may be overly potent and more likely to ramp up your immune system too much. Besides, the first dose is 92% effective, the second just brings it up to 94%.
They say the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is not as effective, but it’s really comparing apples to oranges. It was tested when most of the variants were already out there.
It’s probably more effective against these variants in my opinion.
This shot is just as effective as the others in preventing deaths and hospitalizations from Covid, which is what you want.
I’m more in favor of taking this one.
You have a choice. Know which one you’re getting and be able to choose for it. And if you don’t feel right about the vaccine, don’t get it.
They’ve also seen some problems with the mRNA vaccine and autoimmune diseases like Arthritis and Lupus. It sets your immune system on high alert. It can give recurrences and activations, so talk to your doctor about this if you have autoimmune diseases or severe allergies.
Also with the mRNA vaccine, it can cause swelling of the lymph nodes underneath the armpit so don’t get a mammogram for a few months after getting this vaccine. Don’t get facial fillers for two months after getting the vaccine, as it can activate a reaction in these.
Even the vaccinated can still transmit the virus to others. So it’s not 100% on that.
Should you get the shot?
If you’ve recently had Covid I don’t think so. It’s more likely to reactivate something.
If you’re younger than 50 and healthy, consider not getting the vaccine.
If you’re 50-75 and a healthcare worker or have a lot of chronic medical problems, you should consider getting the vaccine.
If you are over 75 and have chronic conditions, you should get the vaccine.
If you are under the age of 40, the risk of dying from Covid is .01%. If you’re healthy and have a strong immune system your risk is much lower than that. There are of course some outliers.
If you’re under the age of 60, Covid is less lethal than the Flu.
The only problem I have is that the media is pushing all the vaccines. They aren’t telling you there are great treatments available like Monoclonal Antibodies, for example. And there’s also early treatment with Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Zithromax, Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Quercetin. There’s also steroids.
You need to get treated within the first 5 days. Some people do fine the first 5 days, and then days 5-10 they crash with this cytokine storm.
We’ve seen this because we monitor patients through telemedicine.
This is a serious thing.
I haven’t talked a ton about the vaccines because I wanted to discuss when I had more information.
I’m not against taking the vaccine. I can’t emphasize that enough. There are a lot of people who should have it.
I hope we have learned a huge lesson this past year for our future health. We have to realize that the US is in poor health. We’re obese and on too many drugs. We’re generally too stressed out. Our immune systems are shot because we don’t sleep well or exercise enough.
We need to take vitamins, and learn more about nutrition so we can get more nutrients from our food.
This information is available to those who have some interest in it. You can get the knowledge you need.
Take your vitamins. Get leaner. Take care of your immune system. Take care of your gut, which is where most of your immune system is located.
I hope this is helpful. Again, this is an evolving situation. I’m constantly on this and will update every chance I get.