I borrowed the title from my friend Jean-Yves Dionne, a pharmacist and contributor to the Vitoli blog, who makes very interesting video clips and articles (Franchement santé – French Only) on various topics including the use of supplements and natural products. Why do we say we’re all going to catch it? Because, for the majority of people, that may be true, but more importantly, because we think more about the possibilities of catching it. We must put all the odds in our favor to be part of the 80% of people who will have the mild form.
I invite you to learn more about Covid-19 and its virus by reading the texts written by a doctor in microbiology on the Vitoli blog:
- What are viruses and SARS-CoV-2 : – My Mother and SARS-CoV-2
- Why is this virus different? : An Excellent Virus
- What happens if we catch it : The Empire strikes back
- Potential drugs : I have a Dream…
- The development of a vaccine : From Aristotle to COVID-19
- The origin of the virus : The Chimera and the Virus … Or the Origin of SARS-CoV-2
I will talk to you today about “We’re all going to catch it!”. It’s the same title as a video I made recently that has been viewed over 90,000 times on Facebook. You can now view all videos on the Vitoli YouTube channel.
I will treat the subject in 4 facets:
- Collective immunity and the risk of catching it twice,
- Deconfinement without a vaccine,
- The pharmacist’s text: “Virus and Supplements: The Opinion of a Pharmacist” and
- What to do to protect yourself?
1. Collective immunity and the risk of catching it twice
There are a lot of uncertainties right now. Know that it is in the very nature of a scientist to doubt, and that of a journalist to find a way to exploit it. Therefore, a reporter will find an angle to make the scientist say that he cannot be certain of something and he will report the news highlighting that uncertainty ….
When it comes to collective immunity, I’ve always been very positive that we are going to be able to develop it for two reasons:
- If herd immunity was not possible, why would there be so many asymptomatic cases?
- If it is believed that herd immunity was not possible, why are there hundreds of companies developing vaccines? Vaccines are man-made herd immunity. However, there are viruses for which a vaccine cannot be developed, not yet, such as HIV.
A study has shown that a robust antiviral immune response is developed towards the SARS-CoV-2. The results show that the body’s immune system is able to recognize the virus in a number of ways. In addition, it is even possible that exposure to other coronaviruses could allow the development of immunity, so-called cross-immunity, which may be imperfect, but which explains the large number of asymptomatic cases. There are 7 coronaviruses known to infect humans: SARS, MERS, SARS-Cov2 and 4 that create colds.
So, yes, one should be able to develop herd immunity and no, it would not be possible to catch it twice (it would be very, very unlikely).
2. Deconfinement without a vaccine
Here are five things to consider, and note, that this is my personal opinion with regard to all of the information that I have read (references cited at the end):
- The observed mortality rate is about 10 times lower than what the W.H.O. proposed (CDC 0.3%).
- However, the mortality rate observed for people at risk is still very high: the elderly, but especially those affected by diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer and those immunosuppressed.
- There are several types of possible sequelae for acute cases and prolonged confinement.
- The production of a vaccine may take time and the quantities needed ensure that almost only those at risk can expect to benefit from it.
- Collective immunity to save those at risk?
The 5th point seems to me, the most important. It must be realized that the virus is highly contagious, much more than initial estimates and current estimates, because the number of asymptomatic or mild cases is unknown. So, every day that passes, we risk infecting people who are at risk, infecting other CHSLDs, and killing other elderly people. One possible solution: develop herd immunity in people at very low risk because, once a large part of the population has been in contact, we will no longer be able to infect people at risk, or the risk will be very low. Therefore, it’s using collective immunity to save lives. Is it a good idea? We have to gradually deconfine. Be careful, this does not mean to do just anything. However, public health guidelines must still be respected to ensure that the increase in cases to be treated, respects the capacity of the health system. We’re not out of the woods yet.
The recent event of June 28 in Saint-Chrysostome, Montérégie, remains unacceptable. Forcing the closure of at least 5 businesses, in addition to infecting several families. What would have happened if one of the members of these families had worked in a CHSLD? We would have blamed the management of CHSLDs? We must act responsibly and understand the issues.
Given the risks of catching it, we should ask ourselves: “What can we do to put the odds in our favor to have the mild form?” It is of course a question of the health of our immune system, but also, our health in general. This is what brings me to the Pharmacist’s article.
3. Covid-19 and Supplements: The Opinion of a Pharmacist
I invite you to read the full article on the Vitoli blog, it is very interesting. One of the 4 pharmacists collaborating on the Vitoli blog offers the thought that we should have had from the start: “What can be useful in supplements?”. So, he looked at the scientific literature and he retained certain vitamins and minerals, in addition to certain plant extracts from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Why specifically Traditional Chinese Medicine? Because there are scientific papers published on what has been used in China for Covid-19. I invite you to read the article. I will not go over all the points in detail, but I will discuss its recommendations in the next point.
4. What to do to protect yourself
I made a video on the immune system, viewed over 130,000 times on Facebook, in which I explained the main facets of healthy lifestyles to consider and why (The immune system: What to do? – French Only):
- Fatigue/lack of sleep;
- Negative thoughts and depression;
- Lack of physical activity;
- Poor diet.
To fully understand the risks, it is possible to group them into three facets:
- What reduces the effectiveness of the immune system (such as fatigue and stress),
- What causes inflammation (poor diet, overweight, etc.), and
- Risk situations. (I will discuss this subject in a video soon under the title “The Mask and the Risks”. I will use the European recommendations that were shared on social media by a Belgian doctor I know.)
There are pro-inflammatory foods and anti-inflammatory foods. I won’t go through them all, but it’s relatively simple: healthy eating cuts off pro-inflammatories and promotes anti-inflammatories. So, make sure you eat well. Physical activity also reduces inflammation.
The pharmacist’s recommendations, mentioned earlier, are available online. It should be noted that these recommendations are the same as those of Dr. Gaétan Brouillard on social networks: vitamin D, zinc and selenium. On the side of plants that might have non-specific antiviral effects, I consider the two best documented to be echinacea and astragalus. As mentioned many times, natural products are not all equivalent and especially for plant extracts, there is great variability in the quality of the products marketed.
We have developed Vitoli Immunity to deliver both zinc, vitamin D3, echinacea, astragalus and powerful antioxidants (olive extracts exclusive to the Provitol Complex) in one product. Can Vitoli Immunity help fight Covid-19? No such demonstration, but this product is approved by Health Canada to maintain a healthy immune system, relieve and reduce the duration of upper respiratory tract infections. So, I recommend that you have the best possible lifestyle habits, use Vitoli Immunity as needed, and supplement it with Brazil nuts on occasion for your selenium intake.
- Argyropoulos, et al, 2020. ASSOCIATION OF INITIAL VIRAL LOAD IN SARS-CoV-2 PATIENTS WITHOUTCOME AND SYMPTOMS. The American Journal of Pathology. 2020.
- Calder PC, Carr AC, Gombart AF, Eggersdorfer M. 2020. Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections. 2020;12(4):E1181. Published 2020 Apr 23.
- Communiqué de l’Académie nationale de Médecine : Vitamine D et Covid-19. Publié le 22 mai 2020. http://www.academie-medecine.fr/communique-de-lacademie-nationale-de-medecine-vitamine-d-et-covid-19/
- Communiqué de l’Académie nationale de médecine : Les séquelles de la Covid-19. Publié le 17 juillet 2020. http://www.academie-medecine.fr/avis-de-lacademie-les-sequelles-de-la-covid-19/
- Ellul, et al, 2020. Neurological associations of COVID-19. Thelancet.com/neurology. Published online July 2, 2020.
- Grifoni et al, 2020. Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals. Cell. 2020 May 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.015 [Epub ahead of print]
- Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, et al. 2020. Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):E988. Published 2020 Apr 2.
- Ilie PC, Stefanescu S, Smith L. 2020. The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 6]. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2020;1‐4.
- Jayawardena R, Sooriyaarachchi P, Chourdakis M, Jeewandara C, Ranasinghe P. 2020. Enhancing immunity in viral infections, with special emphasis on COVID-19: A review [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 16]. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2020;14(4):367‐382.
- Jinsong Zhang, Ethan Will Taylor, Kate Bennett, Ramy Saad, Margaret P Rayman. 2020. Association between regional selenium status and reported outcome of COVID-19 cases in China. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 28 Apr, 2020.
- Marik PE, Kory P, Varon J. 2020. Does vitamin D status impact mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection? [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 29]. Med Drug Discov.