Written by Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht on .

Crucial information on COVID-19

Let me share with you what I know about COVID-19 at this point. The main thing you want to do, of course, is to avoid getting COVID-19. That sounds obvious, but let me give you more information on why that is so crucial.

New to this update: hand sanitizers that may pose health risks (use the search button to see if your hand sanitizer is a risk)


Why you want to avoid getting COVID-19

20% of people with a positive test develops a mental illness

Almost 1 in 5 people diagnosed with COVID-19 are diagnosed with a mental illness within 3 months of their positive test; the new data back up anecdotal reports of a link between surviving COVID-19 and declining mental health. MIT Technology Review [1]Bidirectional associations between COVID-19 and psychiatric disorder: retrospective cohort studies of 62 354 COVID-19 cases in the USA (Taquet et al., 2020)

It causes substantial brain damage

Coronavirus infection is linked to substantial cognitive deficits, a recent study shows.[2]Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19 relative to controls: An N=84,285 online study (Hampsire et al., 2020)

  • 15% of people between 20 to 70+ years old irrespective of the severity of their symptoms.

The researchers wrote in a report of their findings:

Our analyses […] align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having COVID-19. People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits.[3]COVID’s cognitive costs? Some patients’ brains may age 10 years | National Post

Death

COVID-19 exceeds average annual flu deaths by more than 5×. Take a look at the interactive graphic.[4]Covid-19 has killed 250,000 people in the US. That’s 10 times the deaths from car crashes in a year | CNN Health

Enemy antibodies

The lasting lung scarring of ‘long COVID-19

In some people, the lung scarring never goes away, according to a recent study.[6]Long-term Pulmonary Consequences of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Salehi et al., 2020)

  • 30% of people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 get lung scarring.
  • 10% of people who were never hospitalized with COVID-19 get lung scarring.

Dr. Gholamrezanezhad, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and his team started tracking patients in January using computed tomography (CT) scanning to study their lungs. They followed up on 33 of them more than a month later, and their as-yet-unpublished data suggest that more than one-third had tissue death that has led to visible scars. The team plans to follow the group for several years.[7]The lasting misery of coronavirus long-haulers | Nature

The life-threatening lung damage found in some COVID-19 patients may be caused by the virus infecting macrophages — immune cells in the lungs — setting off a chain reaction of inflammation, Northwestern University researchers found. Nature

It causes neurological damage

Neurologic disorders arise after having COVID-19 in 45.5% of people who get hospitalized, and 36.4% of people with the less severe disease according to a recent study, including:[8]Neurologic Manifestations of Hospitalized Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Wuhan, China (Mao & Jin et al., 2020)

Crushing fatigue

A subgroup of remitted patients is likely to experience long-term adverse effects of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) with symptomatology such as persistent fatigue, diffuse myalgia, depressive symptoms, and non-restorative sleep according to a recent study.[9]Into the looking glass: Post-viral syndrome post COVID-19 (Perrin, Riste & Hann, 2020) [10]Persistent fatigue following SARS-CoV‑2 infection is common and independent of severity of initial infection (Townsend et al., 2020)

10% to 15% of people — including some
“mild” cases — don’t quickly recover


Research on avoiding COVID-19

A man sits in a room, a bar, and a classroom

A very compelling visual article that shows how time, distance, ventilation affect the spread of Covid-19.

  • It sounds like the beginning of a joke…
  • However, the article below with that very name is the best visual article I have seen on how the coronavirus is spread through the air.
A room, a bar and a classroom:
how the coronavirus is spread through the air

 

Low viral load

  • The minimum infectious dose (ak.a. viral load) of SARS-CoV‑2—the virus that causes COVID-19 — is unknown so far, but researchers suspect it is low. “The virus is spread through very, very casual interpersonal contact” according to David Hardy, a professor of infectious disease at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • A high infectious dose may lead to a higher viral load, which causes a more severe case of COVID-19.

Mask! mask! mask!

  • Masks like the copper-infused mask decrease the viral load. We offer these masks, so if you would like one, contact Lisa, my assistant.
  • Masks could prevent the transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals, as evidenced by a recent study.[11]Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks (Leung et al., 2020)

Social distance

  • 8 of the 10 studies in a recent systematic review showed the respiratory droplets move beyond 2 meters.
  • Sneezing moves the virus 78 meters.
  • 70% of studies find the virus of infected people at more than 4 meters.[12]Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19? (Jones et al., 2020)

Driving in a car

Research: Driving home for Christmas

A study has found that opening the window opposite may be better than opening the window next to you, to reduce risk of Covid-19 transmission within a car.[13]Airflows inside passenger cars and implications for airborne disease transmission (Mathai et al., 2021) Researchers from Brown University used computer models to simulate airflow within a car in various scenarios, with a passenger and driver sitting diagonally opposite each other. They found that using the car’s ventilation system was not as effective as opening all the windows. The most counter-intuitive finding, however, was that because air usually enters the car through the back windows and exits through the front, due to air pressure, it was most effective to open windows opposite to individuals in the car, so an air flow would be created from one window to the other, minimising the transfer of particles between passenger and driver.

Asimanshu Das, co-lead author of the study, said:[14]Research reveals how airflow inside a car may affect COVID-19 transmission risk | ScienceDaily

The best scenario we found was having all four windows open, but even having one or two open was far better than having them all closed.

The study will have implications for long car journeys over Christmas, or indeed those who use taxis or Ubers.


Research on supplements

Vitamin C & quercetin

Vitamin D

Green tea


Research on supplements

Remdesivir for the Treatment of COVID-19 — Final Report

The research reported on November 5, 2020, in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and had evidence of lower respiratory tract infection.[18]Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Final Report (Beigel et al., 2020)


What does not work

Mouthwash does not kill COVID-19

The Great Barrington Declaration

The Great Barrington Declaration says that COVID-19 is not problematic, and promotes herd immunity. There is NO herd immunity when it comes to COVID-19, as the virus mutates, so those who survive the virus can get reinfected within a year.[20]The time course of the immune response to experimental coronavirus infection of man (Callow et al., 2020) Additionally, research shows that levels of antibodies that kill coronavirus declined over time.[21]Longitudinal evaluation and decline of antibody responses in SARS-CoV‑2 infection (Seow et al., 2020)

WHO chief scientist warns against
‘herd immunity’ COVID strategy

The Great Barrington Declaration was created by the American Institute for Economic Research. They are funded by:

The Charles Koch Foundation in turn has been funding various anti-climate change research.[22]Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine | Greenpeace They are known for propagating false research in order to protect their assets and optimize profits; they are an oil, gas conglomerate, and are the US’s 2nd biggest privately owned company.

Stella Immanuel

I also recommend you avoid information presented by Dr. Stella Immanuel. She is the doctor behind various unfounded claims on the coronavirus, including a way to cure it.[23]Stella Immanuel – the doctor behind unproven coronavirus cure claim | BBC [24]Trump’s New Favorite COVID Doctor Believes in Alien DNA, Demon Sperm, and Hydroxychloroquine | Daily Beast


This post will be updated as new research comes in.
Please check back here for updated research.

Last update: January 72021

References

References
1 Bidirectional associations between COVID-19 and psychiatric disorder: retrospective cohort studies of 62 354 COVID-19 cases in the USA (Taquet et al., 2020)
2 Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19 relative to controls: An N=84,285 online study (Hampsire et al., 2020)
3 COVID’s cognitive costs? Some patients’ brains may age 10 years | National Post
4 Covid-19 has killed 250,000 people in the US. That’s 10 times the deaths from car crashes in a year | CNN Health
5 Clinically identifiable autoreactivity is common in severe SARS-CoV‑2 Infection (Woodruff et al., 2020)
6 Long-term Pulmonary Consequences of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (Salehi et al., 2020)
7 The lasting misery of coronavirus long-haulers | Nature
8 Neurologic Manifestations of Hospitalized Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Wuhan, China (Mao & Jin et al., 2020)
9 Into the looking glass: Post-viral syndrome post COVID-19 (Perrin, Riste & Hann, 2020)
10 Persistent fatigue following SARS-CoV‑2 infection is common and independent of severity of initial infection (Townsend et al., 2020)
11 Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks (Leung et al., 2020)
12 Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19? (Jones et al., 2020)
13 Airflows inside passenger cars and implications for airborne disease transmission (Mathai et al., 2021)
14 Research reveals how airflow inside a car may affect COVID-19 transmission risk | ScienceDaily
15 Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental, Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV‑2 Related Disease (COVID-19) (2020)
16 Vitamin D for COVID-19: a case to answer? (Martineau & Forouhi, 2020)
17 Antiviral activity of green tea and black tea polyphenols in prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19: A review (Mhatre et al., 2020)
18 Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Final Report (Beigel et al., 2020)
19 The Use of Povidone Iodine Nasal Spray and Mouthwash During the Current COVID-19 Pandemic May Reduce Cross Infection and Protect Healthcare Workers (Kirk-Bayley, Sunkaraneni & Challacombe, 2020)
20 The time course of the immune response to experimental coronavirus infection of man (Callow et al., 2020)
21 Longitudinal evaluation and decline of antibody responses in SARS-CoV‑2 infection (Seow et al., 2020)
22 Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine | Greenpeace
23 Stella Immanuel – the doctor behind unproven coronavirus cure claim | BBC
24 Trump’s New Favorite COVID Doctor Believes in Alien DNA, Demon Sperm, and Hydroxychloroquine | Daily Beast

Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht RP ND

I am a Canadian leader in PTSD, and have provided patient-centred care with passion, empathy, and respect for over 25 years.
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