Feb 12, 2021
The good news..... There really is none. It is difficult for covid to be called a pandemic anymore. It has met the definition, began 15 mos ago, spread around the world, present everywhere and a large number of humans have encountered it successfully, and fewer have not or could manage to resolve the encounter given their other health conditions. Lets be clear. "Variants" are not new virus, but simply a normal change in one protien, no more so than new tires change your car model. What gets minimized and not talked about is how our health has suffered due to our collective behaviour as a society and by our leaders. One of my patients summarized all the underlying messages into one statement. "I spent a year hiding, masking, washing my hands and hoping for a sore arm soon, so that I dont kill anyone else." I hope that history judges us correctly, but have some doubts. The advice worked for a few weeks, but as the months went on, much more refinement was needed. Patients required explanations, nutritional support, advocation for anti-viral supplements, excercise, and alternate socialization. In dealing with covid, we have paid an enourmous cost in terms of our health; heart disease, mental health, cancer, addictions, relationship breakdown, social isolation, unemployment and so on. There is a tsunami of worstening health issues about to hit once restrictions are lifted and sensible measures continue. I hope I am wrong, but the a bigger crisis looms. Media, politicians and health docs, may see dropping numbers as a "win", but there is no win in the big picture.
However, there is some good news in other countries, that probably due to economic pressures, discovered effective strategies.
Several months ago, I brought attention the Nobel Prize winning drug Ivermectin, that is cheap, generic and has been used in over a billion humans. Originally used for river blindness, it turns out to inhibit a protien needed to allow covid to invade the cell. Great evidence exists that it can reduce transmission and certainly improve the disease form of disease. Peru, India, and now the EU, (Slovakia and Bulgaria) are endorsing use with amazing results. Most of our dogs with heart worm, and cattle take it regularly, but in Canada we only use it for the scarce scabies infection in humans. Cheap and no side effects, it can reduce deaths while waiting for expensive vaccines. Some US centers are using it, and families have successfully gone to court to endorse use in the their ventilated loved ones with positive results. Merck the original developer, astonishingly has not endorsed its own drug. Interestingly, they were given $380 million US last april to develope covid treatments. They abandoned the vaccine race, and recently invested half a billion to buy a European company and its drug, MK7110 that can modify another protien in the immune cycle. The end result may be similiar to invermectin but at a vastly profitable margin.
Another promising drug comes from a slug and researched at the Icahn School of Medicine in the US. Aplidin is a cancer drug used in Australia. It inhibits eEF1A a protien in our cells that is essential for covid to survive.
Cochicine which is used for gout, has also been shown promise from a Quebec study.
Another inhaled drug from Israel called, EXO-CD24 being developed for ovarian cancer was found to reverse the deadly cytokine storm when covid infection turns into covid disease. All 30 patients on ventilators recovered with 5 days of inhalation.
The rest of the world is getting a handle on how to handle the covid part of our lives. I can only we can catch up on the collateral damage that accumulates while we wait. There is a lot of hope beyond vaccines, and for those that can think outside of the box in the face of adversity.