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FitTips for One and All - Vol. XVIII, No. 5b
FitTips for One and All
Volume XVIII, Number 5b
Fitness for One and All
Director: Gary F. Zeolla
In This Issue
Does a Mask
Protect the Wearer from the Coronavirus?
(Three-Pronged Path to Ending this Crisis) Part Two
New on my Fitness and Christian Websites
Creationist Diet: Second Edition; A Comprehensive Guide to Bible and Science Based Nutrition -This Second Edition is 2-1/2 times as long and presents a different perspective on diet than the First Edition. The First Edition mostly advocated a vegan diet, while this Second Edition also advocates for a diet that includes animal foods. But, and this is very important, those animal foods are to be what are called “old-fashioned” meats, dairy, and eggs, not the “factory farm” products that most people eat. What is meant by these two terms and the incredible difference between them is explained in this book. In addition, this book covers a wide range of diet related topics to help the reader to understand how to live a healthier lifestyle according to God’s design.
This “special edition” of this FitTips for One and All newsletter concludes the two-part article begun in the regular issue that was sent out a week ago. If you missed it, that issue is available at: FitTips for One and All - Vol. XVIII, No. 5.
Does a Mask Protect the Wearer from the Coronavirus?
(Three-Pronged Path to Ending this Crisis)
By Gary F. Zeolla
This two-part article is continued from Does a Mask Protect the Wearer from the Coronavirus? (Three-Pronged Path to Ending this Crisis) Part One. That part demonstrated that masks do indeed work at protecting the wearing from the Coronavirus (CV), but in a rather unique way. A mask reduces the “viral load” that the mask-wearing is infected with, so that the person is likely to have a less severe case of the CV, having only mild or no symptoms. That makes masks tantamount to a vaccine, just like Dr. Redfield, the director of the CDC, indicated in his Senate testimony, as quoted at the beginning of Part One. This Part Two will continue this discussion with a look at other aspects of mask-wearing and explain what is meant by the subtitle to this two-part article.
Incorrect Mask Wearing
This whole scenario assumes the person is wearing his mask correctly. But sadly, that is often not the case. If you watch your local TV news, pay attention when an on-site reporter is interviewing someone wearing a mask. More often than not, the interviewee will touch his mask multiple times in the course of a 20 second interview. The reason he does so is because his mask is not fitting correctly, so, as he talks, it slides down off of his nose. Therefore, he keeps touching it, pushing it back up. And every time he touches his face, his is potentially infecting himself.
That includes Democrat presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden. During his “whistle stop” tour after the first debate, he stopped here in western Pennsylvania on September 30, 2020. He was interviewed by Shannon Perrine, a local news reporter from WTAE (ABC affiliate). The interview lasted seven minutes and 30 seconds. Biden was wearing a black cloth mask that obviously was not fitting correctly, as throughout that short time, the mask kept sliding down completely off of his nose, and he had to push it back up over his nose two dozen times.
His constantly fiddling with his mask was very distracting and made it difficult to pay attention to what he was saying. He might as well have just taken it off. In fact, he finally did that with 30 seconds left in the interview. But when he did, he just slid it down under his chin. That was not a good move, as, if in fact he had been exposed, then his chin and neck could have the virus on it. Then when he pulled the mask back up, the virus would be on the inside of the mask and he would breathe it in.
Meanwhile, Shannon was over six feet away and wearing a mask herself, which she had no problems with, and no one else was in the scene, so Joe didn’t even need the mask in the first place. More on that shortly.
But here, to explain why fiddling with a mask over and over again is problematic, I need to go back to my illustration in Part One. As Luke sits, having the conversation with Robert, his hands will be on his lap. As Robert without a mask talks, some of his exhaled CV particles will fall onto the hands of Luke. Then if Luke touches his face with those hands, he will bring the CV particles directly in contact with his mask. That could enable even more CV particles to penetrate his mask, giving him a greater CV load. If Luke reaches under his mask to pull it up, he will directly insert CV particles under his mask, and those will easily be inhaled. He could also touch his eyes in the process of fixing his mask, further infecting himself.
On that latter, point, the eyes are a potential source of infection, but the health authorities rarely mention that point. That is apparently because the eyes are not a major gateway into the body for the CV, at least as it travels through the air. But if your touch infected hands to your eyes, then it can easily be seen that they would be a gateway for infection.
Note also, like his hands, Luke’s chin and neck could also be infected even with wearing a mask. Thus, again, pulling a mask down under the chin then back up again is an incorrect way of momentarily removing it. I will explain the correct way shortly.
But here, incorrect mask-wearing relates to one reason President Trump has downplayed the wearing of masks. At one of his rallies, he gave the illustration of a waiter touching his mask, then lifting up a plate off of a server tray and putting it on a customer’s table. Such an action could theoretically lead to the virus being transmitted from the waiter to the customer.
But even more likely to lead it infections are “half-masking” (having the mouth covered but not the nose). That is just plain useless. You might as well not wear a mask. But you see it all of the time.
In addition, a mask should only be worn once, then washed or in some way disinfected or discarded. If it is worn more than once, it is not being worn correctly. The buildup of the CV would render the mask useless. It would be like using a water filter past its usage volume. With the filter being filled, it begins to work in reverse, leaking the trapped particles back into the water. In fact, in reusing a mask, you could infect yourself just putting it on. Instead, when you take it off, you should discard or disinfect the mask then wash your hands immediately.
Note also, the common light blue medical masks have a metal strip in them. More on that in a moment. But here, that means, they cannot be put in the microwave to be disinfected. But they and cloth masks can be put in the washer and dryer, and that will kill the virus, if warm or preferably hot water is used. But disposable medical masks are so inexpensive now, you really do not need to wash them. Just use it once and pitch it. I just bought 50 such masks for $5.19 from Amazon. At a dime each, they are truly disposable.
This all relates back to why the health authorities told us back in March to not wear masks, but they are now telling us to do so. Back then, masks were in short supply, so the authorities wanted to be sure healthcare workers had access to them. Healthcare workers are trained in proper mask wearing, so it would make a big difference for them to wear masks. However, the average person is not so trained. As such, the authorities knew it would be a waste of masks for the general public to wear them.
But now, masks are plentiful, so the general public purchasing them does not detract from healthcare workers attaining them. Thus, even though many in the general public will not wear them correctly, enough will do so to make it worthwhile to issue a general recommendation for everyone to wear masks.
A Facebook Meme, Types of Masks, and More on Correct Mask Wearing
I mentioned about a Facebook meme in Part One. The main one I had in mind pictures a woman on the left wearing a mask. A man on the right is putting up a chain link fence. The woman is saying she is wearing a mask to protect herself from the CV. The man is saying he is putting up the chain link fence to protect his yard from mosquitoes.
The point of the meme is that a chain link fence is useless to stop mosquitoes, as mosquitoes are far smaller than the holes in a chain link fence, so they easily fly through the fence. In the same way, CV particles are so much smaller than the holes in a mask that they can easily pass through the mask. This then gives the person posting the meme an excuse for not wearing a mask, claiming doing so is useless. Click here for a similar meme with an appropriate caption. The reason for that caption is there are numerous problems with this kind of meme and the conclusion being drawn.
First off, I cited in Part One numerous studies that show masks in fact do work at reducing the transmission of the virus. I focused on studies about the mask wearer being protected, but far more studies have been done that show wearing masks protects others from a CV-infected mask wearer. “Recent studies suggest that wearing face masks reduces the spread of COVID-19 on a population level and consequently blunts the growth of the epidemic curve” (Science Advances).
Let me stop and say, studies that you might see posted on social media claiming mask do not work are generally not conducted by bona fide medical institutions and published in peer-reviewed journals, like the studies I quoted in Part One from the New English Journal of Medicine, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and The Lancet. And most likely, those posted studies did not consider incorrect mask wearing.
As for the mask itself, studies find that they do indeed stop most CV particles, though not all of them. But that is exactly as predicated and even as desired in the scenarios I have outlined.
Masks can filter particles as small as 0.007 microns – 10 times smaller than viruses, and much, much smaller than the PM2.5 cutoff. What’s more, they work surprisingly well, even while people are wearing them. Surgical masks don’t work as well as N95 masks, but they are cheaper and more readily available. This makes them useful alternatives when other masks aren’t available (Smart Air).
This study was done with N95 and surgical masks, and it found they stopped 90-95% of the particles. And note, by “surgical masks” is meant the common light blue masks I am sure you have seen. It was in fact such a mask that Dr. Redfield held up when he uttered the quote at the beginning of Part One. That is because the light blue surgical masks have a metal strip in the seam at the top of the mask. That enables the wearer to mold the mask around the nose, reducing the gap in that area. But that assumes the wearer even knows about that feature, puts the mask on right side up, and utilizes it. But sadly, many do not, and that takes us back to incorrect mask wearing.
That metal strip also keeps the mask from sliding down off of the nose. That was seen when Joe Biden gave a speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the afternoon of the day President Trump tested positive for the CV (10/2/20). This time, Joe was wearing a light blue surgical mask with the metal strip. You could see him press the strip in at the beginning and during the speech. Then during the 22-minute speech, the mask slid down some, but it never came completely off of his nose, and he “only” had to push it back up 16 times.
But still, you would think as a presidential candidate and as someone who is promoting the wearing of masks, he would have been taught how to properly wear a mask. In fact, we could use a nationwide lesson on the subject. It starts with getting a mask that fits properly.
But even when you are not wearing a mask, the recommendation to not touch your face still applies. An example of this is again Joe Biden. After the problems with his masks in the preceding two situations, he began to take off his mask before speaking at a podium. That is good, as there is no one near him, so there is no reason for him to keep a mask on as he talks. However, in just the short clips I have seen, he always touches his nose at least a couple of times.
The reason that is a problem is just before he takes to the microphone, he is probably near people. It is possible his hands could get infected while he is near those other people. Thus, unless he washes his hands in-between, they will still be infected when he touches his nose at the podium, enabling the virus to enter his system.
You also need to be careful when taking off of a mask and putting it back on. This was seen when the President’s doctor gave a press conference. He and the rest of his team were all wearing masks. But when Dr. Sean Conley went to the microphone, he took it off. When he did, he carefully folded it inside in without touching the inside and put it into his pocket. They didn’t show it, but I would bet when he put it back on, he was careful to again not touch the inside, to only touch the outside and the ear loops. That is important, as again, if your hands are infected and you touch the inside of your mask, you will get the virus inside the mask and breath it in when you put the mask back on.
I know this all sounds obsessive. But again, this is why the authorities were telling the general public back in March not to wear masks. They knew the public would not take care for all of these steps, but again, healthcare workers are trained to do so. But to end this crisis, we need the general public to wear masks and to wear them correctly.
In any case, the difference in the slippage of Biden’s two different masks demonstrates why cloth and other types of masks are not as effective as surgical and M95 masks. The former does not have the metal strip, and they tend not to fit as well as surgical masks, so they are not as effective. Although multiple lawyers will increase the effectiveness. Note also, bandanas and “neck gaiters” are the least effective type of masks, with the latter possibly being worse than no mask.
We noticed that speaking through some masks (particularly the neck gaiter) seemed to disperse the largest droplets into a multitude of smaller droplets (see fig. S5), which explains the apparent increase in droplet count relative to no mask in that case. Considering that smaller particles are airborne longer than large droplets (larger droplets sink faster), the use of such a mask might be counterproductive….
In proof-of-principle studies, we compared a variety of commonly available mask types and observed that some mask types approach the performance of standard surgical masks, while some mask alternatives, such as neck gaiters or bandanas, offer very little protection (Science Advances).
But for cloth masks other than neck gaiters and bandanas, the effectiveness percentage cited previously was 65%. That is all the more effective a mask needs to reduce the CV load so that the wearer does not experience serious CV symptoms. Again, the ideal is that the wearer gets a low dose CV infection, enough to generate an immune response, but not enough to cause serious symptoms. As such, a mask does not need to be 100% effective. In fact, it would be counterproductive if it were.
Back to the Facebook Meme
Another reason that Facebook meme makes no sense is there is no comparison between a mosquito and a CV particle. A mosquito is a living creature with some degree of intelligence or at least instinct. As such, as it flies toward the chain link fence, it can see the bars of the fence, knows to not fly towards them, but instead flies through a hole. It also can fly in a straight line or veer one way or the other as need be.
However, a virus is not at all intelligent. It has no instinct. It is not even fully alive. It floats at the mercy of the air currents; with no control whatsoever over what direction it goes. In my illustration, as it is released as Robert exhales, the CV particle is pushed by his breath towards Luke. But it does not go in a straight line. It flutters around like a leaf falling from a tree. If you could watch a magnified, slow motion video of the scene, you could see this happening.
As it approaches Luke, it randomly hits his face, with no directionality whatsoever. But with the large number of CV particles being released by Robert, and with the very large holes of Luke’s nostrils and mouth (comparatively to the size of the CV particles), if Luke is not wearing a mask, many of them, even with moving randomly, will enter his nose and mouth, giving him a large dose CV infection.
However, if Luke is wearing a mask, then, as those particles float towards it, fluttering around, most of them will hit the threads of the mask and get stuck to them. Only a small percentage will randomly make it thought the microscopic holes, giving Luke a low dose CV infection, which is what we want.
The point is, a mask does not need to be, nor do we want it to be 100% effective. A 65% effective rate is exactly what is needed to reduce the CV load, leading to that low dose infection, leading to an immune response but without serious CV symptoms. As such, the message this meme sends is wrong on all levels. That is why you should not get your medical information from memes.
A Healthy Lifestyle
To explain the subtitle to this two-part article, the first two-prongs to ending this CV crisis are proper mask wearing and a vaccine. Together, they could lead to a large percentage of Americans being immune to the CV but without having to first experience serious consequences from a CV infection. That will bring us close to herd immunity, which is the only way to end this crisis.
The third prong to ending this crisis would be a healthy population. When someone who is young and healthy is infected, he or she is less likely to have serious CV consequences than someone who is unhealthy. Thus, if we had a healthy population, we would have few CV hospitalizations and deaths among the younger population. It is only among the elderly that there would still be a significant number of hospitalizations and deaths. But even then, an elderly healthy person is less likely to have serious consequences than an elderly unhealthy person.
But sadly, American does not have a healthy population. We in fact have a very unhealthy population. That is why 94% of Americans who have died from the CV have had at least one comorbidity, with the average being 2.6 comorbidities. Only 6% of CV deaths have been among Americans who had no comorbidities. I document these statistics and discuss their implications in my article 12,000 not 200,000 (Comorbidities Are Killing Far More Americans Than the Coronavirus).
As the subtitle to that article indicates, it is these comorbidities that are killing Americans, more so than the CV itself. It is mainly when the CV infects people who are unhealthy that hospitalizations and deaths results. There are of course exceptions, as indicated by the 6% of deaths among those without comorbidities. But the 94% figure tells you where the real killer lies.
The point is, another way to fight this pandemic would be to encourage Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles. But strangely, I have yet to hear a single health authority talk at any length in this regard. The closest was when Dr. Nicole Saphier, author of the book Make America Healthy Again, was on FNC. She was interviewed by Neil Cavuto for about five minutes about the forthcoming vaccine, with copies of her book displayed behind her. Then she began to say something like, “Another important step would be for Americans to adopt a healthy …” But Neil cut her off, saying they were out of time.
But like Dr. Saphier, I have been trying to encourage Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle since long before this pandemic began, and I have ramped up that encouragement since it began. You will see that throughout my CV writings. For aid in adopting a healthy lifestyle, along with Dr. Sapphire’s book, see the books I mentioned in Part One, God-given Foods Eating Plan and Creationist Diet: Second Edition.
Before continuing this two-part article, let me make a couple of qualifiers. First, I am speaking in large scale terms in regard to masks. By that I mean, if most everyone wore a mask, then we would have many people who would experience low dose, asymptomatic or mild CV infections. Again, that is a good thing, as it would contribute towards herd immunity. It is also a good thing on a personal level, as each individual who has experienced an asymptomatic or mild CV infection will now be immune.
However, that does not mean the reader should put on mask and purposely expose yourself to someone with the CV, thinking you will get this low dose infection and acquire immunity. That would not be wise at all, and I am in no way recommending it. In fact, I am warning against it. The reason is, there is no way to control the actual dose of CV you will be infected with. You just might get a large dose and end up with serious CV symptoms.
To get a measured low dose “infection” is in essence what vaccines are for. Though I do not purport to fully understand the science behind vaccines, my best understanding is recipients are given a denatured version of the virus, which is in essence a low dose infection, enough to illicit an immune response in the recipient but not large enough to cause significant symptoms.
The point is, wear a mask when out and about just in case you end up around someone who is infected, but do not purposely expose yourself in such a way. To ensure you acquire immunity in a safe many, get the vaccine when it is available.
The second qualifier is, you only need to wear a mask if you cannot practice social distancing. You do not need to wear one if you out on a walk alone or only with those from your own household, away from others. You do not need to wear one if you are in your car alone or again only with those from your own household.
However, if you are potentially going to be near those from other households then yes, you need to wear a mask. Family, friends, coworkers, strangers, it does not matter. The virus does not understand personal relationships. All it takes is just one person to be infected in a gathering of any sort, and others in that group could get infected. That is specially the case in a crowded indoor setting. Outdoors is far safer, but there is still a risk of transmission.
The occasion also does not matter. A wedding, a funeral, a holiday celebration, a workplace, a protest, a political rally, a church service, the virus understands none of this. All gatherings of people from more than one household are potential sources of infections if social distancing or mask wearing are not being practiced.
Having just mentioned “a holiday celebration,” it would be good to elaborate on that point. After each of the summer holidays of Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, the USA saw a spike in CV cases then in deaths. And most of the celebrations for those holidays were outside, where the virus is less likely to spread than it is inside. But now, with this article being published in early October 2020, we are fast approaching our major autumn and winter holidays.
Next up is Halloween. The CDC has already issued recommendations that just about all Halloween/ autumn activities be curtailed. That includes treat or treat, hayrides, corn field mazes, Halloween parties, and haunted houses.
“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the agency wrote in the advisory posted Monday.
“High-risk activities” entailed “crowded costume parties held indoors,” haunted houses, hayrides and tractor rides with people from outside of one’s household and, sadly, door-to-door trick-or-treating, per the notice. This includes “trunk-or-treat, where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.”
“Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19,” should be avoided as well, per the guidelines (New York Post).
However, some of these are outside, so, like the summer celebrations, they would not be near as unsafe as indoor activities. The indoors activities could be more problematic.
Then again, as mentioned in Part One, several governmental officials were most likely infected at the nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barret, including possibly the President himself. That event was held outdoors, but there was a rather large audience of over 100 people in attendance, with no social distancing and little mask wearing. That shows that even with outdoor events, if you are not socially distanced, then you still need to wear a mask. “More than two dozen people linked to the White House have contracted covid-19 since the president’s Sept. 26 event announcing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court” (Trib. Trump restarting).
That also is why cases spiked many times in places that have seen the protests raging across the country. Though you might see some wearing masks, many are not wearing them correctly, and many are wearing bandanas, which, as discussed earlier, are not effective. Fore further details in this regard, see Coronavirus Surges Across the South.
Back to Halloween. By its very nature, it is perfect for the wearing of masks. Many costumes already incorporate masks, and it would be quite easy to incorporate them into others. And I would bet we see a lot of children dressing up as doctors and nurses, which include masks by their very nature. With such mask wearing, the risks of all of these activities could be significantly reduced.
To be clear, standard Halloween masks do not protect against the CV, as they have holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth. But surgical or clothes masks can easily be altered to fit with a costume. And I am sure retailers are hard at work at producing such masks, with Halloween themed CV protective masks being plentiful come Halloween.
Where the greater problem comes in is with Thanksgiving. That holiday is almost exclusively an indoor holiday. With being indoors, the risk of transmission of the virus is much greater. Moreover, most Thanksgiving celebrations involved extended family gatherings. And many people seem to think that is if is “just family” they do not need to give concern about the virus. But that is why I emphasized in the previous section that the virus knows nothing about personal relationships. It will infect family members that gather together just as well as strangers.
But given that attitude, what I am sure will happen across the country is extended families, consisting of members of multiple households, will gather together. There will be no mask wearing and no social distancing. In fact, in many families, there will be hugs and kisses and handshakes all around, and they will be crowded together inside grandma’s house or wherever the gathering is held.
That is a perfect environment for spreading the virus. All it will take is just one family member to be unknowingly infected, and just about everyone else at the gathering will be infected. Sadly, that will probably include elderly family members and those with comorbidities, and they could have serious consequences.
Now admittedly, if there is no one in the entire extended family who is infected, then nothing will come of the gathering. And that will probably be the case in more families than not. But with millions of such gatherings across the country, sadly, I predict we will see a major spike in cases in early December, then in deaths shortly after that. Then the whole scenario will repeat for Christmas, with more cases and deaths in early January.
Of course, there are other winter holidays, parties, and celebrations, culminating in New Years’ Eve. And a similar scenario will be repeated for each one of them, except with some of them involving friends and coworkers rather than just family. But the same attitude will be expressed at them all, “It’s just family (or friends, or coworkers), so mitigation efforts are not needed.” And many will be infected as a result.
Going back to Thanksgiving,
“Traveling long distances, big family gatherings, watching parades and sports
in person – these are all traditional Thanksgiving activities. However, this
year, the CDC says they are all among the highest risk activities for spreading
However, most extended families will ignore this guidance and meet anyways. Very few will cancel their multi-household Thanksgiving dinners because of the CV. And when they meet, I just do not see any let alone all of the family members wearing masks and making any attempt at social distancing. And even if they did when first entering the host’s home, when it comes time for the dinner itself, the masks would need to come off and people will sit close together. As a result, at the very least, anyone sitting near that one person who is infected will probably be infected. Then after dinner, it is hard to for me to see people putting their masks back on. As a result, those infected during dinner will infect others after dinner.
Adding to the risk at Thanksgiving is there will be many families with college students returning home for the holiday. Many of them will not have been practicing social distancing and mask-wearing when they were away at college.
The CDC says to consider the following in these regards:
The behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering – Gatherings with attendees who are not adhering to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask wearing, hand washing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than gatherings with attendees who are engaging in these preventative behaviors.
The behaviors of attendees during the gathering – Gatherings with more preventive measures, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing, in place pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented (CDC Holiday, bolding in original).
Maybe if the virus did not get so politicized, more people would take it seriously, and it would seem perfectly natural to utilize such mitigation efforts at family gatherings and other holiday events. That attitude could be fostered by the host family.
If they make it clear to guests beforehand that mask wearing will be expected, they are wearing masks when their guests enter their home, and they greet their guests with a hand wave rather than hugs and kisses and handshakes, then their guests are likely to follow suit. It would also help if a window or door is open if at all possible, and they space out the seating at the dinner table as much as possible. In this way, a multi-household extended family could gather in a safer manner, though a single household gathering would still be far safer.
But sadly, I just don’t see all of that happening en masse across the USA. Most families will ignore all of this and gather as if there is no pandemic. Again, the odds are that most will probably get away with it, as there are far more people at any given time who are not infected than who are infected. But there will be enough gatherings with that one infected person that we will see a spike in cases in early December, then in deaths later in the month, just in time for Christmas, when it will all repeat again, then again after New Year’s Eve and Day.
Update on the Trumps and Others in Washington
The end of Part One included a late-breaking update about President Trump, his lovely wife Melania, and his close advisor Hope Hicks and others in Washington DC being infected with the CV. Before ending this two-part article, it would be good to provide an update on their conditions.
Several other member of Trump’s inner circle later tested positive, such as White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. At last count, at least 24 members of Trump’s inner circle have tested positive, though none have died or even have been hospitalized, as far as I know, with one exception besides Trump himself.
That could because people in the administration have been wearing masks more than the media would have us believe. Take Kayleigh, for example. In an interview with Martha McCallum on FNC, she said she almost always wears a mask. And she said she has no symptoms. The same has been said of Hope, who by last report, has experienced only mild symptoms.
Again, that is exactly what is to be expected with consistent mask wearing. A person can still get infected, but due to receiving a lower load of the virus, they have mild or no symptoms.
The exception here is former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who helped the President prep for the first debate. During that prep, he says he and the President were not wearing masks. Thus, if that is where he got infected, it was probably a large viral dose. That situation would be exactly what I described in my illustration, when both Luke and Robert were not wearing masks.
Now, it is true Kaleigh and Hope are much younger and apparently healthier than Christie. That could also be why they have milder cases than him. But there really is no way of knowing. But we do know that if you follow a healthy lifestyle and wear a mask, you are much more likely to have a mild case than if neither of those are true, as was the case with Christie.
Meanwhile, the President’s condition was apparently worse than we originally were led to believe. That is why he was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center. While there, he received a number of therapeutics, some still not approved by the FDA. But they seemed to work, as he was released back to the White House Monday evening (10/5/20), about 6:30 pm, just 72 hours after being admitted.
Shortly before being released, he tweeted:
I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago! 2:37 PM Oct 5, 2020
This tweet brings out a possible fourth prong to my three-prong approach to ending this crisis, that of improved therapeutics. But it does not quite fit with the other three. Those three (a healthy lifestyle, the wearing of masks, and a vaccine) will all reduce the risk of someone being infected with the CV or at least of someone having serious symptoms from a CV infection. But therapeutics are generally only given after someone develops more serious symptoms. And not everyone has access to the expensive and experimental drugs the President did and have a dozen doctors doting over them.
However, even less expensive and standard drugs can prevent people from getting even worse symptoms and shorten the recovery time, such as hydroxychloroquine. Some studies show hydroxychloroquine, if given with zinc and azithromycin as soon as someone tests positive for the CV, could significantly reduce the risk of serious symptoms. But due to hydroxychloroquine being politicized, its widespread use never materialized. If not for that politicization, widespread use of this combo could have significantly reduced our hospitalization and death rate.
Otherwise on President Trump, on Friday, October 9, 2020, he was interviewed by Rush Limbaugh on Rush’s radio show. The interview lasted two hours, with no commercial breaks. There was only a short break at the top and bottom of each hour for the news. The President’s voice sounded just as strong at the end of the two-hour interview as at the beginning, so I would say he is doing just fine. In fact, the next day, Trump’s doctor, the following was reported:
In a memo, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley says Trump meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he is no longer considered a transmission risk (Fox News. Doctor).
On the same day, Chris Christie was released from the hospital, and by all reports, is doing just fine. I have not been able to find updates on the rest of those who were infected in Trump’s inner circle, including the First Lady. But I would assume if any of them had been hospitalized other than Christie and especially if anyone had died, we would have heard about it. As such, it sounds like everyone is doing just fine. That could be because most of them are young and healthy, being the age of Trump’s older children (30s-40s), with the exception of Christie and Trump himself. But Trump has an unique health situation, being very healthy, despite doing everything “wrong” health-wise. I discuss his unique health situation in my article President Trump’s First Annual Physical.
I think the biggest takeaway from the experience of the President and of those around him is that if you engage in one unsafe behavior after another, eventually you will get caught. The only question is, when you do, will it be a mild or severe case of the CV? If you are young and healthy, the odds are you will experience the former. If you are elderly and/ or have comorbidities, then you are at high risk of the latter. But there are steps you can take to improve your odds either way. That leads to the next section.
Steps That Work/
Steps That Don’t Work
The steps that work at reducing the risk of being infected with the CV or reducing the probability of having serious symptoms from a CV infection are: a healthy lifestyle, correct mask-wearing, social distancing, capacity limits, avoiding closely packed maskless crowds, handwashing, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, being outdoors, good ventilation indoors, therapeutics, and a vaccine (when it is available), along with self-isolating for those who are sick or who test positive for the CV.
People can protect themselves by staying at least 6 feet away from others, wearing a mask, washing their hands, cleaning touched surfaces and staying home when sick…
Masks and good ventilation are crucial indoors. But they can be important outdoors too, (Trib. CDC).
Indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation, such as those with open windows or doors (CDC).
These steps are more important for the elderly and those with comorbidities than those who are young and healthy. The main reason for the latter to follow these steps is to protect the former.
Steps that do not work are: lockdowns, business closures, stay at home orders, gathering bans, and other such draconian measures. These do not work, as they can cause more suffering than they prevent.
The World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 urged world leaders this week to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method.”
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Dr. David Nabarro said to The Spectator’s Andrew Neil. “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”…
Nabarro went on to point out several of the negative consequences lockdowns have caused across the world, including devastating tourism industries and increased hunger and poverty….
In the United States, lockdowns have been tied to increased thoughts of suicide from children, a surge in drug overdoses, an uptick in domestic violence, and a study conducted in May concluded that stress and anxiety from lockdowns could destroy seven times the years of life that lockdowns potentially save (Washington Examiner. WHO).
Moreover, Dr. Deborah Birx has made it clear that all of these measures are just means to the end of social distancing. In other words, it does not matter where you are at and how many people are in a given area; all that matters is people are keeping six feet apart, or, if that is not possible, they are wearing masks. The afore-listed draconian measures simply are not necessary, if people practice personal responsibility in these regards when out and about.
I discuss all of these mitigation efforts in detail on my CV pages. But one measure I do not discuss in detail is testing. I only state on those pages that I did not think widespread testing was necessary for reopening the country, despite the howls for it back in the spring.
The reason testing does not work is, well, it does not work, meaning it is not foolproof. There is always the possibility of false positives and false negatives. The former will have people self-isolating unnecessarily, with its accompanying problems. But the latter is worse, as it is possibly deadly. It is also possibly how the CV infected so many in the White House. Everyone is tested before going into the White House, but someone probably tested negative who was really positive, and that enabled the virus to enter the building.
I’m not saying testing has no value. It can be useful as a general screening tool. But just because everyone in a group has tested negative, that does not mean the other mitigation efforts can be abandoned in that group. But that appears to be what happened with the White House personal and why so many got infected. That is another lesson we can learn from the President’s experience, a lesson his campaign seems to have learned:
Trump will address the Saturday group [on 10/10/20], expected to be at least several hundred supporters, from the White House balcony. All attendees are required to bring masks or will be provided with them, and also will be given temperature checks and asked to fill out a brief questionnaire. Attendees will be strongly encouraged to follow CDC guidelines, which include mask-wearing and social distancing (Trib. Trump restarting).
Note also, there is a difference between capacity limits and gathering bans. The former takes into account the posted fire safety capacity limit for a particular facility, while the latter just gives a ban on any gathering over an arbitrary number of people, regardless of building capacity. The former makes sense, as it enables social distancing, while the latter is just plain silly.
For example, a church with a seating capacity of 1,000 people can safely hold services with far more people than one with a capacity of 100 people. “Religious groups say large churches and temples built to accommodate hundreds of people can surely safety handle more than 10 or 25 people at a time, with the proper social distancing in place” (Trib. Court). For more in this regard, see Churches Are Essential, posted on my Christian website.
One last practice that does not work is incorrect mask-wearing, as discussed in this part of this two-part article. Again, do not miss the incredible difference between correct and incorrect mask-wearing. The former works, while the latter is worse than useless, as it gives people a false sense of security.
Summary and No Mandates
In my two-part article Revised Coronavirus Numbers (Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense), I predicted that when all was said and done, there would be 1,000,000 deaths from the CV in the USA. But I hoped and prayed that horrendous number would not come to fruition.
That number was based on there being a vaccine around the time we reached 200,000 deaths. But that grim milestone has been reached, and we are still waiting for the vaccine. However, I also based that number on only 50% of the American public receiving the vaccine. If the vast majority of Americans would get it, then that death number could be greatly reduced.
That article was written before I did research on the importance of mask-wearing, so I did not consider such in my calculations. But now that I have, I can say that similarly, if the vast majority of Americans would just wear masks, and wear them correctly, that death number would be greatly reduced. Add to that a large majority of Americans adopting a healthy lifestyle, and we could quickly see an end to this crisis.
However, and very sadly, the wearing of masks and the forthcoming CV vaccine have been politicized, and millions of Americans refuse to do the former or will refuse to get the latter. And millions of Americans continue to follow an unhealthy lifestyle, without any encouragement from the authorities for them to change their unhealthy ways. All of this could lead to my grim prediction coming true.
But my plea to the reader is, do not let yourself become a statistic. Wear a mask. They work, both for protecting you, the wearer, from the CV and at protecting others from you if you have an asymptomatic infection. That is what the real science demonstrates. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise, no matter how dogmatically they assert it. And get vaccinated when it is available. And adopt a healthy lifestyle if you have not already.
If enough Americans did all three, we could end this crisis and get back to our normal lives. If not, then we will be dealing with it for years to come and my morbid prediction of one million American CV deaths will come to pass. But it does not have to be that way if American just did what needs to be done.
But for one last qualifier, I am in no way calling for a nationwide mask mandate, nor for government mandated vaccinations, and at not at all for the government to somehow mandate people follow a healthy lifestyle. All such mandates would be draconian and unconstitutional. However, I am encouraging people as strongly as I can to do all three, and I am encouraging the authorities to do the same. Personal responsibility not government mandates is what I would like to see.
But sadly, you have one political side downplaying the importance of mask-wearing, the other political side and anti-vaxxers trying to scare people away from the vaccine, and no one in authority talking about the importance of a healthy lifestyle in ending this pandemic. As such, personal responsibility is sorely lacking in this pandemic, with far too few taking it seriously. Consequently, I fear this crisis will be with us for a long time to come, with many more needlessly deaths to come.
I know this has been a lengthy two-part article. But I hope, if you read through it all, you have learned something worthwhile. But since this has been all serious tuff, I wanted to end on a light note. Click here for clips from the classic TV show M*A*S*H that portrays many of the issues that have been mentioned, but in a much more lighthearted manner. Trust me. The laughs will be worth the five minutes. But be patient. It takes several seconds for the video to begin.
The links to Dr. Saphire’s book Make America Healthy Again and to the 50 disposable masks are affiliate advertising links to Amazon’s website.
Emphases added to all quotes, unless otherwise indicated.
Business Insider. The best and worst face masks, ranked by their level of protection.
BuzzFeed News. White House Officials Flouted Coronavirus Guidance At Their Supreme Court Celebration. It Was Likely A Superspreader Event.
BuzzFeed News. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Is The 12th Member Of Trump's Circle To Have COVID-19.
CBS Pittsburgh. CDC Offers Thanksgiving Guidelines, Calls Travel And Big Gatherings ‘High Risk’ Activities That Can Spread Coronavirus.
CDC. Holiday Celebrations.
CNBC. Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two deputies test positive for coronavirus.
CNN. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was diagnosed with coronavirus this summer.
CNN. Everything you need to properly clean your face mask.
COVID-19 Misinformation video (about the benefits of hydroxychloroquine).
Science Advances. Low-cost measurement of face mask efficacy for filtering expelled droplets during speech.
Science Alert. The Best And Worst Face Masks For COVID-19, Ranked by Their Level of Protection.
Slash Gear. Study finds wearing glasses may drastically cut COVID-19 infection risk.
Smart Air Filters. Can Masks Capture Coronavirus Particles?
New York Post. CDC Halloween 2020 guidelines: Trick-or-treating, costume masks not advised.
New York Post. Medical experts: Lockdowns do more harm than good.
Trib Live. CDC says coronavirus can spread indoors in updated guidance.
Trib Live. Court allows NY virus restrictions ahead of Jewish holidays.
Trib Live. Editorial: Halloween tricks and treats in pandemic.
Trib Live. How to survive ‘twindemic’ of flu and coronavirus.
Trib Live. Virus cases rise in U.S. heartland, home to anti-mask feelings.
Trib Live. West Deer to allow trick-or-treating despite coronavirus pandemic.
Trib Live/ AP. WHO: 10% of world’s people may have been infected with coronavirus.
Washington Examiner. WHO official urges world leaders to stop using lockdowns as primary virus control method.
Washington Examiner. Yale epidemiologist says hydroxychloroquine could save up to 100K lives if used for coronavirus.
WTAE. Joe Biden speaks with Pittsburgh's Action News 4 in one-on-one interview during train tour. Note: Shannon’s position and mask were seen in clips of this interview as shown on WTAE’s noon news on October 1, 2020, but she is not seen in this video.
Update on the Trumps and Others in Washington:
CNN. Chris Christie checks into hospital as a precaution after positive Covid-19 test.
Fox News. COVID-19 cases mount in Trump’s orbit as president remains hospitalized.
Fox News. Doctor says Trump no longer at risk of transmitting virus.
Fox News. Former NJ Gov. Chris Christie leaves hospital after treatment for COVID-19.
Fox News. Trump discharged from Walter Reed, returns to White House.
Penn Live. Ex-N.J. Gov. Chris Christie remains hospitalized for COVID-19.
Sean Hannity. Chris Christie Tests Positive for CoVID-19.
Trib Live. Doctors: Trump’s blood oxygen level dropped twice recently.
Trib Live/ Los Angeles Times. Now a covid-19 hot spot, White House struggles to work.
Trib Live. Report: White House senior advisor Stephen Miller tests positive for covid-19.
Trib Live. Trump leaves hospital briefly to greet supporters outside.
Trib Live. Trump leaves hospital, declares ‘I feel good.’
Trib Live. Trump restarting campaign with White House, Florida events.
Trib Live. Trump’s condition spurs new chapter as campaign enters final month.
Trib Live/ AP. White House staff, Secret Service eye virus with fear, anger.
A Comprehensive Guide to Bible and Science Based Nutrition
New on Fitness for One and All Website
Below are new articles on my fitness website that have been posted since the previous issue of this newsletter was published.
The following are new pages. All are related to my plans for my next Powerlifting Training Plan.
Two Stage/ Two-a-Day, Tetra-Trinity x 2 Powerlifting Training Strategy Overview and Summaries is a new article overviewing my next Training Plan.
2020-21 Tetra-Trinity #1 Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations I & II of VI will record my first workouts post-contest when I start training again next week.
Workout Videos: 2020 - Present - Links to eight new pages for posting my
workout videos by type of workout.
The following pages have been updated with my lifts from my most recent powerlifting contest. The most important point is, I have now set or broken over 100 federation records since I started to compete again in 2003.
Summary of Powerlifting Contests, USA Ranking, and Records
My Powerlifting Accomplishments
APF/ AAPF Ohio State Powerlifting Championships - 2020 is the contest report
for my latest contest.
2020 Tetra-Trinity #2 Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations V and VI of VI has
been completed with all of my workouts leading up to my upcoming contest. It
also has added to the end an update on my placement on Powerlifting Watch
My Social Media
Pages is a new page on my personal website, but it is relevant here, as I
posted about new fitness items on this website on my social media pages.
New on Darkness to Light Website
Below are new articles on my Christian website that have been posted since the previous issue of this newsletter was published.
Vol. XVIII, No. 5 is a new issue of Darkness to Light Newsletter.
Churches are Essential is a new article.
Christianity Today, The Christian Post, and President Trump has a “Second Update” added to it.
My Social Media
Pages is a new page on my personal website, but it is relevant here, as I
posted about new Christian items on this website on my social media pages.
Channel Update” has
been added to the end of the discussion on Viable
Alternatives to Watching Sin for Entertainment.
God-given Foods Eating Plan:
For Lifelong Health,
Optimization of Hormones,
Improved Athletic Performance
Paperback and eBook by Gary F. Zeolla
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