Pandemic Reveals – Update

A definite level of uncertainty surrounds this pandemic, will there be a new normal? a second wave? Sorry, I do not have the answers for you at this posting. but I will continue to share responsibly what is known.

Update:

  • recall a virus is RNA protein needs host DNA to be activated, the protein takes on two different conformations—one before it infects a host cell, and another during infection

  • Its genome is made up of about 30,000 base pairs. Humans, by comparison, have more than 3 billion

  • SARS-CoV-2 is the  virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019  (COVID-19)

  • the virus is 30 Kbytes of info, size is .1 microns

  • severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by a coronavirus -SARS-CoV

  • patients with confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have COMMONLY reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath

  • however, some individuals only get gastrointestinal symptoms other heart symptoms even heart attacks. Neurologic symptoms as well which may include central nervous system (CNS) manifestations such as dizziness, headache, impaired consciousness, acute cerebrovascular disease, ataxia, or seizure; vision impairment, or nerve pain; and skeletal muscle injury manifestations.

  • peripheral nervous system manifestations such as taste and smell impairment, loss of smell were noted in up to 30% of cases in China, South Korea, Italy and Germany

  • Many people who get COVID-19 experience only mild illness. That is why antibody testing is so important on many fronts

I have published in The Journal of EMS with colleagues on the response to the pandemic, if you have a chance please read and let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance.

Lockdown Stress

By now even if you do not watch news programs your friends have shared information they have gleaned from their reading and watching. Yes, it is time to recognize you are stressed, your sanity is being tested. Have I stepped into a Stephen King movie? It is real, after all, it is not just our government talking. Could all the numbers and pictures be manipulated images? Is the tail wagging the dog? Wag the Dog‘, a great movie by the way!

Virus anxieties understandable will arise in dealing with the worst pandemic in 100 years (fear of getting sick/dying/job loss, etc).  Serious inter-personal conflict is sure to follow.

It is especially hard for those in lockdown by themselves. Already in Germany, the Minister of Finance is believed to have committed suicide over his perceived failure to protect his country.

You need to prepare for dealing with the inevitable stress that is here.

Call To Action

 -make a plan

  • start by taking stock, where am I in all of this. Remember glass can be half full not half empty.
  • Resources, safety, job security, finances
  • have a backyard – plant!

-set area to improve during this time with good behaviors

-ID your stress dissect it talk it out. De-stressing Aids are numerous a few include:

  • Yes, an App exists -actually many do ex. “Shine’
  • plenty of meditation and well-being Apps ( check them out).

-stay socially connected -not just text at least once a day have at least a 15 min phone or better face to face (Facetime, Skype, Zoom) tete a tete. I let friends know the best time periods to see my face!

 

We are Social Beings

Everyone Wear A Mask

WHY?

To stop infected people (some don’t even know) from expelling virus. Even if not sneezing or coughing simply talking sends droplets out.

To help remind you not to touch your face – the SARS-COVID-19 virus can enter your body through nose and mouth (yes and thru eyes). Once in ….

If you are going to get infected better to get it in a small dose – ‘start small’ a low inoculum. This gets your immune system going to stop the intruder-the virus. A small inoculum allows your body to mount a defense and start making antibodies to the virus.

Learn as COVID-19 Spread Continues – New Information

As I read the COVID-19 medical literature, print and online, I am learning bits of info I think you all need to know. Remember all viruses including COVID-19 are RNA that degrade over varying time unless they get into a ‘live’ – DNA organism. I will continue to share what I learn to help you avoid being a statistic. It is not far fetched to believe this pandemic will last 18 months (mentioned in the previous blog), yes the time it usually takes to make an effective vaccine or a recurrence – the ‘second wave’.

Consider:

– 8 different COVID -19 strains worldwide some less aggressive then original

– Spreads when individuals are not sick for 4-14 days before they become sick

– Definitely the young can die –  documented deaths include that of a 1-year-old or 16 y.o. and not all elderly die -a 101 y.o. was discharged from hospital in Italy

– medical supplies are in shortage phase, SO stay in.  Always wear a mask if you ABSOLUTELY have to go out, sanitize everything entering the home

  • masks DO help – please wear one protect yourself and others from you
  • make a mask with a vacuum bag filter, perfect blockage place in a sleeve and wear
  • no microwaving masks to resterilize

– virus present in stool after a negative swab test

–  8 days is the average turning point of the illness either recovery or rapid worsening breathing

– mail can wait a few days in the garage

– this virus lasts 3 hours in the air, 24 hours on cardboard, 4 hours on copper since it is naturally antiseptic! 42 on metal steel, and on plastic 72 hours

– UV LIGHT on any object can break the virus protein

– viral molecules remain very stable in the external or artificial cold like air conditioners in homes and cars and live longer with darkness and humidity.

– according to CDC hand sanitizer has to be over 60% alcohol-so get the Vodka out of the freezer or Everclear (need 180 proof spirit which has 90% alcohol) MAKE YOUR OWN-add essential oil aloe vera gel -2 part alcohol (2/3 cup) 1 part(1/3 cup) aloe vera gel in a small bowl -as you like add 2-10 drops thyme, or cinnamon clove or tea tree oil. Bottle!

– at this posting are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or OTC (over-the-counter) preparations to treat or cure COVID-19

– the Discovery Study (multiple countries in the EU) of 3,200 patients with the virus is underway with 4 different treatments being studied

COVID-19 Advise to Empower

What is known today re: COVID-19

– highly contagious, not like the ‘flu’ those with other medical conditions as expected are more vulnerable

– contagious before becoming ill -prob. 4-5 days.

– this virus doesn’t discriminate – young and old succumb

– the virus is growing in your lungs well before dry cough and fever develop

– the virus is ‘killed’ at 145C  and with >70% alcohol (WHO recommendations)

– your whole body feels fatigued, GI symptoms (sx) like diarrhea (seen in 1/3 of patients berry cough can occur. Those with GI sx appear to have the worst outcome.

– 1/3 US population will contract by July

– the death rate is approx. 3% 

– duration of ‘outbreak’ likely 18 months 

– vaccine development takes time approx. 18 months from onset

– decreasing exposure effects spread dramatically

– healthcare resources can’t treat everyone

– virus size is .1 micron N95 masks block .3 microns 

– human coronavirus survives various times on inanimate surfaces for up to 5 days on metal, 1 day on paper. Recent info on COVID-19 revealed it was able to infect contact after 2 weeks on the Diamond Princess cruise ship

– there are not limitless health care resources for the expected number of seriously ill persons expected -yes healthcare rationing may occur

 

What you MUST do:

– stay well away from anyone, suspect everyone of being infected

– the virus has a different appearance in each person, some have extreme fatigue others who test positive yet feel fine

– wash hands frequently soap for at least 20 seconds, if you use hand sanitizer let them air dry *

– a mask is best but wearing a mask does have ‘some’ benefit, don’t forget your eye exposure -do not touch your face

  stay home – social distancing is critical

– wear a mask in public when going out – but only if you have do stay put!

– use known antiseptics for hands and surfaces, let air dry

– ask your healthcare provider if you should take Vitamin C and D3

 

 

 

*G.Kamp et al. Journal of Hospital Injection 104 (2020) 246-251

Website Mission Statement

DocHandal shares symptoms, diagnosis and treatment essentials. The what if, what to do descriptions can save you from a preventable disease chronic disease 

Health is always on our minds and having learned from my patients I continue to be a physician sharing knowledge and experiences. Some are rules that will make you realize that our bodies speak to us – we must listen! There are lessons you should not learn the hard way. There are rules that unless followed your body will revolt. The information in this compendium builds while respecting the individual’s intelligence to pay attention and recognize their bodies’ needs.

Supplements- Too Much of Some Can Be Dangerous

Many including myself take daily supplements more specifically Vitamins & minerals. Remember ‘vitamins’ by definition are substances our bodies need but do not produce. This blog briefly touches on vitamin A & D and the minerals Calcium & Potassium.

Certain vitamins are water-soluble. – that is why you can’t OD on it.  Vit. C is an example, although you might get diarrhea. Other vitamins are fat-soluble thus too much can accumulate in the body and cause issues.

Excessive intake of vitamin D, or hypervitaminosis D, can result in weight loss, anorexia, polyuria, and arrhythmias. This derangement can also cause blood calcium levels to heighten, resulting in vascular and tissue calcification and heart, kidney, and blood vessel damage. Natural sources include sardines, salmon, mushrooms, eggs, and fortified milk for you to consider.

Too much Vitamin A results in headaches, nausea, and dizziness, but can also cause coma and death. High levels in pregnant women can lead to birth defects. Natural sources of vitamin A carrots raw or juiced, yams pumpkins, cantaloupe, mangos, turnips, and spinach to name a few.

Other supplements – minerals.

Calcium generally not toxic but can cause kidney stones and be harmful to those with kidney disease.

Potassium, a trace mineral (at times prescribed) in excess can heart irregularities.

As with all supplements it is best to not take a pill but a natural source.

A good source for calcium is skim milk, kale, non-fat yogurt, collard/mustard green,s salmon, sardines to name a few.

The best place to get potassium is from fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, and avocado.

Eye Health and Electronic Displays

There are a few well worth habits to heed if you spend any time at a monitor. Your eyes can be saved so much by realizing why the following recommendations are endorsed by Ophthalmologists.

 

 

Eyes work hard looking and interpreting images displayed –  

characters on electronic devices, which are made up of pixels, which have blurred edges, that make it a challenge for eyes to maintain focus.

 

Distance is important –

Eyes are comfortable at a specific focusing range, the screen distance – 20 to 26 inches away. The closer the eyes are to the monitor, the harder they have to work to accommodate to it. <-use a ruler and leave it out for another measurement.

The University of Pennsylvania’s ophthalmology department advises that the center of the monitor should be about four to eight inches lower than the eyes to minimize dryness and itching by lessening the exposed surface of the eyes because they are not opened wide. This distance also allows the neck to remain in a more relaxed position.” <-get the ruler out

 

Lighting –

Overly bright overhead light and streaming daylight force the eyes to strain to see what is on the screen. A bright monitor also causes your pupils to constrict, giving the eyes a greater range of focus. Feng Shui your home office, one source a video is worth a look.

 

The glare that is blue light emission –

Emitted from screens necessitate wearing – blue light filtering lenses or screen protectors. Minimize glare.”Switching device to nite mode helps avoid sleep disturbances. The medical community has warned that  new ultra-bright light-emitting diode (LED) lamps that many cities are now using in their streetlights could “contribute to the risk of chronic disease.” Serious effects on decreasing melatonin levels occur even just after one hour of exposure. <-I do this with an orange lens, especially at night.

 

Screen Timing is critical –

Ophthalmologists suggest adhering to the ’20-20-20′ rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.” <-I use an app for this to remind me otherwise glasses with prism lens, as you loose ‘accommodation’ -ability to focus when viewing distances.

IN Medical News

In the young:

Kids who wet the bed had a higher risk for psychiatric disorders — especially ADHD and intelligence disability. (Clinical Epidemiology)

Antisocial tendencies, such as lack of empathy, were linked to unique brain structural patterns in an MRI analysis involving more than 1,000 participants. (The Lancet Psychiatry)News

An increase in U.S. youth suicide rates has surprised many after a decline from 1999 to 2007.  Sadly a steady – a doubling of emergency departments (EDs) for suicide attempts (SA) or suicide ideation (SI)increases is currently present in ages 5-18. (JAMA Pediatrics)

In the rest of us:

In related news, taller-than-average men — above 5’10” or so — saw a lower risk for dementia later in life than shorter men. (eLife)

Your odds of losing brain memory is less after recent research found those who speak at least two languages might help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s. (ScienceDaily)