Currently viewing the tag: "SARS-CoV-2"

West Hollywood ChiropractorHow afraid are you still of Covid? Not much? Never were? Somewhat? Or terrified? I am going to try give some perspective on this matter, but I realize there is a spectrum when it comes to understanding viruses and the immune systems in general. And much of it we can throw out the window when it comes to understanding, or perhaps better to say, rationalizing, Covid; as you shall see the public has been run through the wringer with regard to “official” information (much of it turning out to be wrong), which was meant to control behavior, and foolishly, the virus itself.

I ran into an old acquaintance a few weeks ago at the grocery store. I was with my daughter and saw a masked Jamie walking by with her dog (it’s L.A. you know). As we passed one another, we made eye contact. It was one of those “I think I know you, but I am not quite sure yet who the fuh…hi Nick!” She recognized me. But then she did something strange: she backed several feet away from me. She must have seen that I was without a mask. Stranger yet, she said, “I haven’t been feeling very well, so I am going to stand over here.” I get that it’s proper Covid etiquette, but it seemed so unnecessary, and I really didn’t believe her anyway; I mean, why was she out at all then? But ok, whatever, that’s my trip.

We started talking. I introduced my daughter who was actually standing a few feet away from me (which made it unapparent that we were together), and I think it caught Jamie by surprise. She looked over at the kid, gave a friendly hello, and then stepped in closer. Jamie started to talk to my daughter about how she and I knew one another. The conversation was pleasant and I was genuinely delighted to have run into Jamie…but I’ll admit, I found the initial strict Covid protocol somewhat peculiar – mask, standing at a distance, announcing health status, and then dropping all protocol when seeing a young lady with her dad, both unmasked and, frankly, looking vibrant.

Los Angeles ChiropractorI still see people sometimes walking in the street instead of walking on the sidewalks, I presume to avoid crossing paths with potential carriers. I still see people abstain from shaking hands. It’s cool – I can elbow bump (been doing it for years). Folks at the gym carry around spray bottles and clean the machines they are about to use…but interestingly not afterwards! Amazing how pre-Covid selfishness sometimes mixes with the new “contain it” protocol. And that is what I imagine the public is attempting to do: contain the virus. I guess that’s understandable, as the public is simply following the lead set out by authorities. “We can contain this virus and stop the spread; save lives”…hasn’t that been the goal from the start?

Well have I got an ice-cold splash of wake-up call for you: The SARS-CoV 2 (Covid virus) is not going away. I have been saying this from the get-go, like so many experts, but too many wanted to NOT hear it early on. It was too important to avoid getting sick – at least in the beginning of the pandemic. Ok, but here we are now. Is it time to get real yet? Good, then listen up: viruses do not just go away. Herpes – forever. HIV – forever. Chickenpox – forever (as shingles potentiate). The flu comes around every year, and so do colds. Covid will be exactly the same – an every-year thing.

I have been telling clients this for over two years. Some have nodded in agreement; some have said they got it but then still acted scared, but many with confused looks on their faces went right to the ol’, “But, but, but…” They had erroneously believed that the vaccine was going to end it all. And to their defense I will say: that is what they were told. Even though NOW I see “experts” and media puppets saying the vaccine was meant only to decrease illness and hospitalization…well that certainly was not how it was sold to the public from the start.

Los Angeles ChiropracticAnd what did I say to my clients when the vaccine began to roll out? “Well just understand that SARS-CoV 2 is a rapid mutator like the flu. You’ll have to get a vaccination every year. Just like with flu.” Same thing happened – some nods of understanding, others confused, “Well I am glad we can get back to normal now…I just wish everybody would vaccinate.” Ohhhh kayyyyyyyyyy!!!!

It was the way in which Covid was handled from the start that has damaged so many people psychologically. I made a prediction early on: They (authorities) will have to push the vaccine hard because it will be the only way to neutralize the psychological damage they caused, through the relentless media coverage, scaring people to death, literally. Unfortunately, however, the vaccine has not appeared to be enough to ease the fear in a large number of people. I wish I had the answer for these folks. “Listen,” I might say, “what do you imagine that you are preserving? Is life-at-all-costs really what you desire? I mean, does not quality of life matter as well?” Seriously, if you really have the option to live like we did in that first year of the pandemic – lockdowns, masks, zero social events – is that what you would choose? Not me. I would much rather live like a person of nature, in nature – viruses, illnesses, and all.

Beverly Hills ChiropractorIt is neither realistic nor necessary to live like we did in the beginning of Covid-19. Viruses are forever because they adapt to us and we to them. It would not benefit a virus to kill off its host, so most viruses become less pathogenic as they mutate, less lethal; and SARS-CoV 2 is no different. However, viruses will evolve in such a way as to further their reproductive potentiality – this is a fundamental biological property – the will, not only to survive, but to pass on its genes through its progeny. Thus, SARS-CoV 2 appears to be getting even more transmissible – becoming a stronger contagion. And that’s why the newest Covid variant, omicron BA.5, is driving up cases today. Additionally, it is of great benefit for a virus to evolve an evasion strategy from its natural predator – our immune system. And so that is exactly what SARS-CoV 2 has done and will continue to do – forever. Check out this recent article explaining just that:

Not only is [omicron BA.5] more infectious, but your prior immunity doesn’t count for as much as it used to…And that means that the old saw that, ‘I just had COVID a month ago, and so I have COVID immunity superpowers, I’m not going to get it again’ — that no longer holds.”

Yeah derrrrr…..

And from the same article:

“So far there is no evidence that this variant causes more serious illness. And infectious disease experts say that even though new infections are on the rise, the impact of BA.5 is unlikely to be on the scale of the surge we saw last winter…the U.S. is averaging about 300 deaths a day, compared to 3,000 last winter.”

Los Angeles ChiropracticAnd yet the powers that be are still pushing the panic. Just Google “ba.5 variant” and see which articles come up. Ok, panic if you want to – although I advise against it for your overall health and wellbeing, including your mental health – but if you find you are too afraid to be near people for fear of catching the virus, then you are doing quite a number on yourself. So just let me repeat: YOU WILL CATCH COVID! Not maybe. Not “only if that person who stood next to me had been wearing a mask…” And definitely not “if I am boosted, I won’t.” You will. And more than likely you will also survive. I know, I know…what about immunocompromised people? If you are immunocompromised, then, yes, stay home. But you will probably catch it too. That’s the nature of viruses.

So what’s the answer? Is there an answer? Yes, in my opinion there is: Stop watching/reading mainstream media pushed government propaganda. All it is doing is scaring the life out of you. Go about your days as normally as you can. Get back to living. It is tragic that so many people have been damaged from the multi-year psyop that has been perpetrated on them by the authorities, experts, and message carriers. Asking why is certainly a useful question, but it isn’t necessary to find the answer to move forward and take back your life.

The vaccine, I believe, was meant to help ease the public back to normality, psychologically – an antidote if you will. But the fear campaign, which was needed to control public behavior, never allowed for the difficulty that would be faced to de-terrify the population. In this endeavor, you have been simply been left on your own. Only you can empower yourself to look beyond the fear and get back to seeing the world as it truly is. Just take a look around you: do you see how many people are NOT wearing masks? Look at them. They are still alive. Trust your eyes and turn away from the fear porn pushed by the government-controlled media. You are going to be fine, Covid or not. In the event you do get sick. Don’t panic! I have heard far too many horror stories of hospital-induced comas to put panicked people on ventilators during the early phase the pandemic (this will be for another article altogether). Just stay calm and treat yourself the way you would during any other illness. Call your doctor if you need to.

SARS-CoV 2 is here to stay. It isn’t going anywhere. You will see it every year. You will likely catch it every year. Are you going to let the fear porn run your life for the next decade, until you finally get tired of it, or until the next pandemic is released on you? Well I hope not. I actually hope you stop being afraid and get back to living your beautiful life. But if you do choose to take the path of fear – limiting human interaction and closeness, suffocating yourself and your children with debatably-effective masks, and getting angry at your neighbors for NOT choosing that life, but instead choosing freedom – and you do so simply because the “experts” tell you that’s what you should do, then you might want to consider finding different experts.

Beverly Hills ChiropractorI encourage you again to look around. The hundreds of thousands of people you see walking around unmasked, going to crowded live events, and touching, hugging, and kissing one another are not merely risk-taking idiots that you might be led to believe. No, they are people who have chosen to step away from the 24/7 news cycle of fear that has been perpetrated on them for far too long, and they have chosen to live their lives, like brave, certain, and optimistic human beings. Come join this world. Refocus on what is important in life and come join the living. I am pulling for you to return to a normal life with your fellow human beings. We look forward to your arrival.

A funny thing happened on the way to the 2020s. Our TV-filled minds and soda-soaked bodies got spun in a real life episode of Black Mirror. I have been writing this blog since 2007, and the primary theme for most of those years has been “mind your health.” I approached this mission from a number of angles. I stressed:

  • Be mindful of your self-care: watch what you eat, move regularly, balance your activities with rest, balance your perceptions to minimize volatilities, address your pain, and minimize toxins
  • Be hygienic and do not be petrified of pathogens. Focus more on your immune function than on any germ
  • See symptoms as your body doing its job, and think of “illness” as an opportunity
  • Keep challenging yourself physically and mentally for continuous conditioning and adaptation

My way, especially in the early years, was to pound that message into my audience, over and over again, perhaps changing the scenario or details of the story, but keeping the main points the same, always. I am big on universals.

It’s also important to be rational – that is, not have expectations that fall outside of reality. Unfortunately, it seems to be the folly of the human mind to place hope in the irrational. While the trait is widespread among us all, it generally operates beneath our awareness. A common expression of this trait is we want to save or eradicate one thing or another – many of which are simply a reality of this world and are neither savable nor eradicatable.

Take death for example. Everyone will tell you that they accept death, and they do, in the long run, without exception. However, when one takes the time to actually think about and assess our underlying views: collectively, people believe we should save life and prevent death at all costs. Our medical system runs with this as its fundamental purpose, and public opinion is often aligned with this sentiment: Nobody should die.

HealthyPreventCovidDeath3I do not believe this is a bad view. We should want to prevent death in others, particularly our loved ones, because it is a distinctively human trait. We do not need to change the things that make us beautiful as humans. But it does help in keeping bigger events in perspective when we are frank with ourselves. For instance, in accepting that all dynamical events (events moving through time) involving a life form come with an inherent probability of death. In other words, death is a part of life. There is death everywhere, and in everything there is a way to die. We might die from something we enjoy and we might die from something we don’t. There is no predicting it at all, not if you allow nature to be the director.

And, of course, that means the world will have death. We tend to perceive large scale, high probability death events as horrific: War, natural disaster, disease – all tragic, all unnecessary, all regretful. Naturally, as humans we wish to eradicate them all. It would seem absurd, of course, to most of us for the hope of the abolition of natural disasters. There isn’t a soul who fails to get that we have no control over the elements of nature. Yet, surely, the other two are controllable. War and illness are large-scale dynamic events similar to those we consider “natural” phenomena. Human developments are no less natural in how they flow through time, with decision-making and action leading to unfolding events not under individual control. While collaborative efforts can, and certainly do, affect outcomes, they mostly contribute to the flow and unfolding of events more than they “alter” history, as we often perceive, and report on, our heroic efforts.

Understanding these “realities,” as I have already said, gives clarity to our ability to assess larger-scale phenomena. Take Covid-19, for instance: We have had nine-months, maybe longer, to observe and analyze the virus responsible, SARS-CoV-2. We have solid numbers now. Why are we acting irrationally in the face of the facts?

For nine months, I have read, listened, watched Congressional hearings on, discussed and cross-referenced this pandemic. I have heard many arguments on a few different sides, and the conclusions always depend on who is doing the talking. Some people believe we are under-reacting; others believe we are going too far. Animosity is simmering and beginning to roll to a boil. Some have been willing to unleash their aggressions on those they think are either selfish or sheep, depending on their overall perspective. But is it warranted?

I think I have laid the groundwork for an argument which I believe stems from the human propensity to not want others to die. Most of us feel that way on one level or another; it’s understandable, and in my perspective, desirable and beautiful to want others to live. But on the other hand, it seems irrational to continue strict quarantine measures, when the numbers do not justify the reaction.

The two most fundamental characteristics of a pathogen are its contagiousness and its pathogenicity. A pathogen’s contagiousness is how quickly and readily it will spread among people. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a rapid spreader. This to me is the most relevant attribute of this virus. The pathogenicity of a microorganism is its ability to cause disease. A highly pathogenic organism can cause serious damage – to individuals, yes, but also to populations as a whole. If a pathogen is both highly contagious and highly virulent, there will be enormous death. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the bubonic plague, the Black Death, is contagious and highly virulent. If left untreated, the death rate for this pathogen is 70-100%. As a result, it led to the death of over a third of the population of Europe.

How virulent is SARS-CoV-2? As a novel virus – meaning, it is relatively new to us – we could only estimate early on the virus’ pathogenicity, to which we then attributed a death rate. Now, understandably, in the first few months of the pandemic, we estimated high. The numbers were not large enough to approach the mean, and without a doubt, it was wise to be safe over sorry. Death rate [or infection fatality rate more accurately (IFR)] is simply calculated:

# of deaths/# of cases

As we are now nine or more months into things, the numbers are large enough that we can assume we are approximating the mean (or average). The U.S. death rate, then, using the most current numbers (as of December 17, 2020):

311,000/17,300,000 = 0.018 or 1.8% (approximately 1 in 50)

Studies like this one estimate that the actual SARS-CoV-2 infections is anywhere from 3-20 times higher than current confirmed cases. At the low end that would make the death rate

311,000/51,900,000 = .0059 or .59% (approximately 1 in 200)

At the high end

311,000/346,000,000 = .00089 or .09% (less than 1 in 1000)

Deaths-by-Age-Group-ChartFurther, approximately 40% of all U.S. deaths have been in nursing homes. If we were to remove the 100,000 nursing home deaths from the numbers above, the death rate would look like this:

211,000/17,200,000 = 0.012 or 1.2% (approximately 1 in 100)
211,000/51,800,000 = .0040 or .40% (approximately 1 in 250)

211,000/345,900,000 = .00061 or .06% (approximately 1 in 2000)

Seen from another angle, the number of people who have been infected and who have survived is as high as 1,999 of every 2,000.

This study from September 2020, estimates the infection fatality rate as .28-.31%, or roughly 3 deaths in every 1,000 infections, and according to some experts the actual death rate [case fatality ratio (CFR)] is closer to 0.02% (that’s 1 in every 5,000).

More importantly, and the real point I wish to make, is that 94% of deaths reported have had associated comorbidities, in other words, underlying health issues. Does this mean that only 6% actually died of Covid-19? No but what it does mean, though, is that people who have underlying illnesses are at a greater risk of dying from Covid-19. Well I’ve got news for you: People who have underlying illnesses are at a greater risk of dying, period. I have been trying to get this point across for going on two decades now. When will people get it? And the vast majority of underlying illnesses today are lifestyle related – that means they are PREVENTABLE! Some of the most common comorbidities associated with Covid-19 deaths are influenza and pneumonia, respiratory failure, hypertensive disease, diabetes, cardiac arrest, heart or renal failure, and obesity.

HealthyPreventCovidDeathBelieve it or not, every one of these Covid-19 death associated illnesses can be minimized by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. It’s amazing how many people get angry at me for stating this fact, that they could actually improve their health, improve their lives, and minimize illness and suffering by practicing simple healthy habits. Eating well, exercising, stretching, sleeping well, addressing emotional stresses, addressing physical pains and injuries wisely, and keeping the drugs, alcohol, and other medications to moderate levels will significantly impact your life for the better. These are simple actions that everyone can adopt, but the reality is that only a small percentage of the population actually does so. People, in general, want easy fixes, which just do not exist in the realm of health and wellness. Fixes which appear to be quick and easy (and that includes many surgeries) almost always come with unwanted consequences (aka side effects). Dying of Covid-19 is one of them.

Listen, the numbers do not lie. What makes things uncertain for the masses is the volume of different interpretations. Granted most people wish to be safe over sorry – I both get that and agree with it. However, you cannot leave your health to chance and then expect a different outcome. It is not too late for the vast majority of people. I have come to understand that only a small portion of the population will heed my words. This article is for YOU – the person who recognizes the wisdom in what I say. Do highly virulent pathogens exist? Yes. Is SARS-CoV-2 that pathogen? Not by the numbers, it isn’t. Despite hearing for months that the death rate would climb to its more accurate number, it hasn’t gone up at all – it has gone down, and in my opinion it will prove to be even lower. Does this mean we should take it lightly? NO! Do the right things for yourself and your family (what you teach them today becomes habit tomorrow). That has always been my message and it will continue to be so – it is universal.

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