Health and Survival Tips: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Most scientists and experts aligned to governments and policy making institutions lean towards the view of a focus on COVID-19 old-age related infectivity and underlying-disease related infectivity , as being most likely responsible for the variations in manifestations of the disease in people and/or populations, drive their interventions measures to focus on finding drugs and vaccines to fight the enemy (COVID-19). I however tend to be in agreement with Warner Greene’s view that what brings about the variations in COVID-19 disease manifestations in populations is determined mainly by the immune status of the host (in this case especially the individual person’s innate immune defense system). In this scenario, interventions will therefore focus on strengthening the innate immune status of the individual person (including prevention or avoiding of any immunosuppressive factors) . These are intervention measures at individual level which can, in essence be achieved by the individual persons, especially with regards to lifestyle changes which include optimum nutrition, quality air and clean water, as boosters of the innate immune system as well as the acquired humoral immunity.
As for the view on focusing on the causing agent, targeted at the elderly and those with specific underlying disease conditions, as the main factors of interest on the disease manifestations, I find it interestingly astonishing, as it does not seem to lead mapping of effective and efficient intervention approaches to protect individual persons and the public at large. Beside the emergence intervention approaches, which include worldwide lock-downs and social distancing, with hard to establishment of their effectiveness (in view of being considered an uncharted territory), the facts about underlying chronic health problems as risk factors as portrayed by most policy advisory experts are in all fairness misleading. For example, there is no documentation of any mechanism that indicates that asthma as a disease entity is a risk factor to coronavirus infectivity, but rather the risk factors related to asthma, and not talked about by the so-called policy advisory experts, are the treatment/therapeutic drugs used in the management of asthma affected persons. The most common of these are corticosteroids drugs which are immunosuppressive. For more information on effects of corticosteroids on immune system, visit: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1939-1676.1991.tb00939.x. The second example is that of diabetes, and again this disease, in the same manner as the asthma scenario, cannot be considered a direct risk factor for coronavirus infection, as in actual fact, it is the medications used to manage diabetes such as glyburide or metformin (sulfonylureas drugs) which inhibit inflammasome activation, thereby impairing the host’s innate immunity against viral infections. For more on inflammasone control of viral infection visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4470791/pdf/nihms669190.pdf. To be clear, its not diabetes which is the risk factor in COVID-19 infection or other forms of viral infections, but rather the drugs used for management of the underlying disease condition, which are the real risk factors. Again, the public is not well informed on the real challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, which makes it a more mysterious disease.
The importance of disseminating appropriate information to the public lies in that, it has to be of true value to the public, should be relied upon on solving the existing problem, in a people-centred manner, with regards to their health and well-being.
Are we getting this kind of messaging from our public health experts and our governments? Food for thought!!!