I hope this start of June finds each of you in health and safety and in community, whether immediate or remote.
This newsletter is organized in several parts:
• Updates on antibody testing.
• Copper mesh.
• Reopening the office.
• Vitamin D. Here comes the sun!
• Fame the musical – now streaming!
• Personal reflections and exhortations.
• Updates on antibody testing.
o A number of you have had antibody testing and many of you who were sure you had been infected by COVID-19 tested negative. Two of you who had symptomatic illness with positive nasal swabs weeks before did show antibodies now. One of you had a positive nasal swab and a negative antibody test. Which is the true result? Based on the published numbers, the accuracy is higher for the antibody test than for many of the RNA nasal swab tests. Quest and Labcorp continue to use the Abbott lab antibody test which has very high sensitivity and specificity. A colleague told me this morning that the accuracy of the Abbott lab had been called in to question in recent days but had no reference. I’ve searched all over for it and the FDA listing of antibody assays with EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) was updated on May 22, link given below. Based on numbers given to FDA, the likelihood of either a true negative or true positive is 99% and 100%, respectively. The figures for the Roche antibody test, now done by Bioreference Lab, are 100% and 99.8%, respectively. If you are convinced you had the infection but tested negative, and want to retest with the Roche assay, just let us know or have your PCP order them.
o Maybe decorative linen with a vacuum bag filter for summer? Wait, no! Better a tightly woven high thread count cotton pillow case sample. It looks like we’ll be wearing our masks for the foreseeable future. Following the initial mixed messages from WHO and CDC and other authorities in the first weeks of March, the consensus is that masks do more than almost anything to stem the spread of the virus. Have a look at this website, designed by a data scientist out of Australia, but with a focus on the experience in the Czech Republic which managed successfully relative to much of Europe. https://masks4all.co/ The keys points summarized here:
• Countries with higher mask compliance had lower per capita death rates.
• The wearer is protecting others from possible viral transmission through droplets, but gaining some protection from others.
• The wearers’ risk of infection drops between 50 and 80% depending upon the type of mask.
• N95 masks block 95% of particles greater than 0.3 microns or larger, but too uncomfortable to wear for long, too hot, and they make the most sense for health care workers at increased risk.
• The most infective time may be just before symptoms manifest.
• Copper mesh: A mask of a different color.
o I had the pleasure of meeting Phyllis Kuhn, PhD, on a phone call in recent weeks. Dr. Kuhn is the founder and President of www.KuhnCopperSolutions.org This copper mesh mask comes in several designs, each with distinct purposes, is self-cleaning, light weight, quite comfortable, and is not only protective but therapeutic. The copper mesh cleans and filters the air, and the minute amounts of copper deposited in the nostrils were demonstrated in research to kill bacteria on contact. More importantly, lab studies demonstrated inactivation of most corona virus, flu, and other respiratory virus.
• Reopening of the office.
o Yes, it’s true. However, where possible, appointments are still being scheduled for remote or telephone consultation. IV therapy is recommencing, as are acupuncture, and Ondamed PEMF. If you feel that you must be seen in person for consultation, please let us know and we will attempt to accommodate you within reason. Meanwhile, the doctor and staff are attending to every reasonable measure to make your visit a safe one, both for you and for us.
• Vitamin D.
o Here comes the sun! But it’s not enough by itself for many people to get the levels in to that optimal Australian surfer range of 42-65 mg/dl. Refer back to dosage recommendations in Newsletter #4 dates March 24. More evidence accumulates with respect to the vitamin D story. (Thank you, Charlotte, for your reference!) Findings include that of vitamin D insufficiency correlating with COVID-19 severity. Get your level checked if you don’t know where it is and supplement! https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.24.20075838v1
o Ayurvedic medicine continues to unfurl its gems. Researchers out of India have demonstrated in vitro that components of Ashwagandha have the ability to block cellular uptake of SARS-CoV-2. This is not a reason to start taking it just like that. Consult with your doctor, herbalist, or Ayurvedic practitioner to find out if it is appropriate for your dosha and how and when and if to take it. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07391102.2020.1775704
o Also out of India, interesting research on Arsenicum album 30 C as a preventive immune boosting agent. The first use of homeopathy during an epidemic was in Germany in 1801 by Samuel Hahneman himself, the father of homeopathy. The article linked below provides a good review of past and present experience with homeopathy in epidemics. Rigorous research is lacking but anecdotal reports are substantial. No harm, inexpensive, may increase prevention and mitigate severity in mild cases of viral respiratory infection. http://www.ijrh.org/article.asp?issn=0974-7168;year=2020;volume=14;issue=2;spage=100;epage=109;aulast=Chaudhary
• Fame the musical – now streaming!
o This is the 2019 London production at Sadler’s Wells that was taped live and is now streaming on Broadway HD. Father Fame David De Silva says it was the best production he’s ever seen. I don’t know about you, but it’s in my weekend plans. Thank you, David! https://www.broadwayhd.com/movies/AXEOPBJCXohZH4dIgHA4
• Opera, anyone?
o For the opera lovers among you, you’ll get a special kick from this 3 minute No Corona Opera rendition of Nessun Dorma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL52AuF4QzY
• Personal reflections and exhortations:
While fires burn and our country and our city go in to rising levels of conflict, control, and confusion, my wish for you is that you find the still point within yourself to find your orientation amidst the mayhem, to identify what matters most, and to act on your intuition.
You are the brave in this new world that is yet to take shape. I don’t believe in foregone conclusions. We can each take steps toward forming the world that we want to live in, as each of you with whom I’ve spoken are doing, from the smallest ways to the big stages in life. And those small gestures are the foundation that hold up everything else. It is Sharabo who felt called to return to the US in January, working IT remotely, then furloughed, and creating magnificent artworks while sheltering alone at home. It is Jan reading World War 2 histories to bolster her resilience and hope while she awaits the visit of her little granddaughter. It is Arianna continuing her work through these challenging months with kids in the criminal justice system. It is Sherry bouncing back from COVID in fighting form, back in her building superintendent’s job, and to illustration in time at home. It is Gillian taking a time-out in the country, long overdue, connecting with nature. It is Stephen in his PT practice and doing video conferences for his clients and friends. It is Asma caring for her parents while attending to her dental patients. It is Ed caring for his family, and his mom, and changing his diet. It is Pam and Monica, each connecting deeply to their church communities.
Some of you are huddled in couples and in families and some of you are alone during this time, and I am inspired by what I know of each of you who have communicated with me in this time, your courage to carry on, to create, to learn, to grow, to persist, and to prevail. Yes!
It has been said many times before that miracles are the natural order of life. Believe it! Hold an image of what you want to see for yourself and for your world, feel it, and let the Higher Order work out the details. Just keep the image before you. Sure, we have to know what’s going on, to keep up with the news, and to go out in to the world as it is. Just spend equal time in the day in the company of your inner guru, in the company of beauty – in song, in art, in nature – and focus on the positive in those hours.
Until next time,
Yours in health,
June 1, 2020
• FDA EUA Authorized Serology test performance: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/eua-authorized-serology-test-performance
• Abbott Lab fact sheet on antibody test: https://www.fda.gov/media/137381/download
• https://www.massdevice.com/abbott-touts-study-showing-nearly-100-accuracy-of-its-covid-19-antibody-test/ Abbott (NYSE:ABT) today highlighted University of Washington research showing that its COVID-19 blood antibody test had 99.9% specificity and 100% sensitivity among people tested 17 days after the start of symptoms.
• Roche Diagnostics: https://www.fda.gov/media/137603/download