Updated: May 10
Public health policy requires less exposure AND greater immunity
There are two steps to every viral infection: 1) exposure, and 2) reaction. Current public health policy is counting on isolation and quarantine to reduce exposures, because the only way officials can imagine reducing reaction is by rationing intensive medical care resources.
The problem with this approach is that the more successful quarantine is, the fewer people will develop immunity. And without immunity in the general population, a Second Deadly Wave of infection could wipe out millions more once the days get shorter in the Fall of 2020.
The statistics from a recent Imperial College study make clear that the vulnerable portion of the population is almost exclusively more than 40 years old.
The study points out that isolation strategies are not likely to work in the long term.
"The major challenge of (isolation) is that intensive intervention will need to be maintained until a vaccine becomes available given that we predict that transmission will quickly rebound if interventions are relaxed." - Ferguson et al. 2020.
That's because reintroduction of the virus is inevitable, and successful isolation strategies will leave massive portions of the population vulnerable to exposure from asymptomatic carriers. For example, data from S. Korea, which has employed much more comprehensive testing than Italy or the United States, shows that the principal vectors of COVID-19 are young adults between the ages of 20-29. What this data suggests is that isolation is a prudent strategy only for those older than 60. For young adults and children in good health, boosting the immune system with cold exposure, Vitamin D, and COVID-19 exposure is the best policy.
COVID-19: Strengths and weaknesses
The exceptional thing about COVID-19 is the rate at which is spreads. Because most infected individuals, and especially young adults and children, remain asymptomatic and contagious for weeks, detection and isolation of the virus is problematic. Moreover, COVID-19 is persistent in the environment, and rates of infection are very high when the virus reaches a vulnerable host. Strategies of personal protection, isolation, and quarantine are all attempts to slow the rate of inevitable exposure and infection. The problem is that these attempts to reduce exposures are all attacking COVID-19 at its greatest strength: rate of transmission.
By contrast, COVID-19's greatest weakness is the fact that it is not fatal to children and young adults. Moreover, reports from Emergency Room doctors indicate that those young adults who do need intensive treatment exhibit a characteristic pattern of high-dose use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, e.g., Ibuprofen) to treat fever. That's consistent with findings from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that discovered misuse of aspirin made patients worse, and another study that reports NSAIDs inhibit antibody production. Although these doctors are recommending acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol), they are ignoring the fact that acetaminophen for aggressive treatment of fever is also dangerous. Our view is that acetaminophen is toxic to the liver, and NSAIDs are toxic to the gastrointestinal tract, therefore young adults would do better to treat fevers exceeding 104F with an ice bath, rather than these toxic drugs.
The Moral Politics of COVID-19 Response The country of New Zealand, after claiming 102 straight days with no new cases of COVID, recently discovered 4 in one family. So they've returned to lockdowns, largely because this is exactly the approach that saved Shanghai and Beijing from the epidemic that engulfed Wuhan. It was also the Italian strategy, and it might work in Eastern Europe and the European Union countries that have historical experiences with fascist enforcement of socialism.
Now we are seeing public shaming tactics in social media attempting to enforce self isolation. These are the same tactics that have been used to advance progressive causes like climate action and veganism, and they are now resulting in a similar political and ideological polarization of discourse. For example, those who voice a moral intuition that objects to government controlled lock-down policies have been accused of COVID-19 denialism. Nonetheless, it is possible to both acknowledge COVID-19 as an impending health catastrophe and contribute alternative, constructive responses that mitigate the consequences. Of course, shame is an impediment to co-creation and sharing of the new knowledge that is desperately needed in response to crisis. Nonetheless, the scientific arguments for alternatives to the isolation/quarantine/lock-down alternative are slowly coming to the forefront, and they are going to be especially important in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, because in these countries centralized, top-down, government control may be unworkable. The public health officials seeking to slow the velocity of COVID-19 contagion will, by their own admission, only delay the inevitable. The virus is so communicable that the UK estimates 80% of the population will eventually become infected. Germany estimates 60%. Yet, progressives laud the Chinese response that has limited infection rates to 1% of the population. What that means is that 99% of the Chinese population has zero exposure to COVID-19, and in the absence of a vaccine, has zero COVID-19 antibodies.
The Second Deadly Wave The prognosis for this policy is revealed in the history of deadly pandemics, including the 1918 Spanish flu and the more recent H1N1 outbreak. Both pandemics exhibited what is called the Second Deadly Wave. In each case, the first wave began in the depths of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, when solar insolation is at its nadir, the population is deficient in Vitamin D and immune systems are compromised. Both pandemics expanded into spring and subsided as the days grew longer. The longer days bring a triple benefit: 1) more Vitamin D strengthens immune systems, 2) sunshine kills airborne pathogens, and 3) people are more likely to be outside, increasing access to fresh air, reducing crowding, allowing some mild cold exposure, and increasing distance. However, summertime failed to eradicate the virus. In fact, the extended incubation period gave time for the virus to mutate into more virulent forms. Then, the return of shorter days in the Fall was accompanied by an exponential growth in the pandemic that exceeded the scope of the prior catastrophe. The Second Deadly Wave infected those who hadn't been exposed -- i.e., had no immunity -- after the first wave.
Building immunity is an essential complement to reducing transmission rates.
For those under 65 in good health and without co-morbidities, the best thing you can do for your own health and others might be to:
- Get some sunshine (or Vitamin D supplements, or both). - Get some cold exposure. - Get infected with COVID-19. The last step is the most controversial of the three, but it is also consistent with the current public health approach in the United Kingdom. There, officials recognize the inevitability of widespread infection, but also the benefits that infection might incur in the form of immunity. Therefore, they've kept schools open in an attempt to regulate the rate of transmission. In their view, it is not yet high enough. This approach has successful precedent. Prior to the chicken pox vaccine, parents were encouraged to expose their children, to spare them having the viral infection later in life, when it could be more dangerous. Childhood experience with chicken pox had the double benefit of re-exposing parents, boosting their immunity, and thereby reducing the risk of shingles infection decades later. While it is essential to isolate elderly and at-risk populations from exposure to COVID-19, the more effective strategy for the young and healthy is to build immunity by seeking exposure. Moreover, if we could impart the qualities of youth to older populations, we could lower the risk of COVID-19 infection for people over 50 to something closer to the minuscule rates experienced by people two decades their junior.
The Morozko Method COVID-19 Project Because the immunity strategy has been neglected by public health authorities in the United States, we are retooling Morozko Forge to accelerate development of The Morozko Method as a set of lifestyle practices designed to lower biological (compared with chronological) age, thereby imparting the protective characteristics of youth to older adults, and build inside-out immunity to COVID-19 and secondary infections. We believe that attacking the pandemic at its greatest weakness is an essential component of a comprehensive public health strategy, even though the inside-out approach has yet to become part of official policy. To advance our strategy of building immunity in our community, we're compiling research on deliberate cold exposure, a ketogenic diet, fasting, sunlight, brown fat, and Vitamin D so that we can help keep our community healthy, strong, and able to serve others. This requires a dedicated research and development effort, in addition to continuing to manufacture the world's best ice baths. As such, we're making the following commitments:
- We will provide a Forge to any hospital or medical service provider seeking an alternative to Tylenol or NSAIDs for treating high fevers. - We will share the resulting knowledge free-of-charge through multiple channels that maximize dissemination, including Twitter, Instagram, and our Journal of the Morozko Method.
Thomas P Seager, PhD
CEO, Morozko Forge PS - Did you receive this email forwarded from a friend? Subscribe for journal updates on the science and experience of deliberate cold exposure at this link http://eepurl.com/gvrY1H.