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Articles proclaiming “The future of” are bullshit.

“The new normal” and “the future of” are two phrases being overused to the max, lately.

The plain fact is, at some point we are going to have to go back to the way things have always been done — not wearing masks, acknowledging that about three feet is plenty of personal space (and if you’ve ever been to any kind of “show” — gun show, flea market, state fair exhibit, national museum of whatever — you know it’s even less than that, though it makes us standoffish Americans kind of nervous), eating in restaurants, going to lodge meetings, going to school…and not being afraid.

There is nothing about this current “gonna kill us all” pandemic that we haven’t faced in past history.  But nobody’s come up with the idea that we have to shut down our economy and force people to wear masks and close or cancel all public functions for months on end, before.

Not until Democrats, desperate to get rid of a Republican president (and don’t kid yourself — it could have been any Republican, not just Donald Trump) who was actually succeeding where their Sun God Barack Obama had failed.  The economy was roaring, unemployment was at historic lows across the spectrum, we were dumping two (or more) stupid regulations for every new one approved, China was getting its ass stomped over trade.

The Democrats went fucking nuts over a nothingburger virus.

And, I won’t argue that it didn’t kill a lot of people, because it did kill a lot of people.  Mostly elderly people with pre-existing conditions that were exacerbated by what the virus did to the adult immune system.  But it was figured out pretty quickly, mostly because of the research that had already been done on SARS and MERS, that there were certain drug cocktails that would solve that problem for most people, if they were administered early enough.

Of course, because President Trump said they worked and should be fast-tracked and used under special FDA contingency programs, the Democrats went fucking nuts and their pet medical “experts” said these things couldn’t work.  Didn’t work.  Would never work.  Despite years of post-SARS research and doctors overseas saying, in fact, we’ve been using these cocktails (e.g., hydrochloroquine + azithromycin + zinc), and in fact, they ARE alleviating these problems for many, many people.

Comes now an article written by a doctor in Finland, a cabinet officer in that country’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, regarding an in-depth Israeli study done on the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19.  He also notes, in passing, the following tidbit that (among other foibles) ought to have Anthony Fauci run out of the NIH on a rail:

I have never taken any vitamin supplements in my life and have always overlooked modern snake oil entrepreneurs’ promotions. But after reading the current evidence of how vitamin D levels protect people from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, I have started two weeks ago to take 100 micrograms of vitamin D daily.

I also take note that the US COVID-19 tsar Dr Anthony Fauci finally admitted – after being silent for eight months since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic – that he takes 150 micrograms of vitamin D daily! The World owes a lot to a British doctor named John Campbell, who has been active in disseminating in his popular YouTube podcasts the good news related to vitamin D and COVID-19 for months. He also recently revealed to the world Dr Fauci’s daily dose of vitamin D.

Huh.  For reference, 150 micrograms is 6,000 international units (i.u.).  I’ve been taking an over-the-counter D3 supplement for several years (for other reasons) that’s 125 micrograms (5000 i.u.).  The dose the Finnish doctor is taking is 100 micrograms, or 4000 i.u.  Recommendations for a minimum daily requirement are all over the map, but here’s a table from the NIH that sort of sums it all up:

 

Vitamin D, Average daily recommended amounts
Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 12 months 10 mcg (400 IU)
Children 1–13 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
Teens 14–18 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
Adults 19–70 years 15 mcg (600 IU)
Adults 71 years and older 20 mcg (800 IU)
Pregnant and breastfeeding women 15 mcg (600 IU)

But these are the recommended amounts.  Other research seems to indicate that to get to a healthy serum level of vitamin D, and then maintain it, you need to take more.  One web page I saw says

All things considered, a daily vitamin D intake of 1000–4000 IU, or 25–100 micrograms, should be enough to ensure optimal blood levels in most people.

4000 IU is the safe upper limit according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Make sure not to take more than that without consulting with a health professional.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-vitamin-d-to-take#How-Much-Vitamin-D-Should-You-Take?

Clearly, people like Dr. Fauci are taking considerably more than 4000 i.u. daily, so I feel fairly safe in taking 5000, especially since the article I read about vitamin D deficiency and migraine was suggesting 5000 i.u. daily.  (I wish I could find the specific article, but my references to it seem to be lost in time.)  Plus, my doctor didn’t have a problem with it when I told him.

Dr. Paunio (the Finnish doctor) points out:

It is notable now that e.g. in Iran the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the country hard for over seven months without any sign of relief and after seven months and now things are getting even worse there. Opposition forces in the country have recently claimed that the true number of COVID-19 deaths is four times greater than the official government statistics, health care workers are losing their peers in large numbers and patient load has been and will be overwhelming in the foreseeable future in hospitals. In the Iranian population, vitamin D levels are low both in men and women but lower among women than among men and almost all elderly people suffer from very low D vitamin levels. The reason for this is the same as in Israel, namely individuals with low vitamin D levels tend to wear a traditional (gender-specific) attire, with more body surface covered than the general population. This affects the ability of the body to absorb sunlight and produce vitamin D.

It is now highly likely that sustained high SARS-CoV-2 transmission and fairly high death rates in Iran owe a lot to low population vitamin D levels.

Again, huh.

The Israeli paper states (and Dr. Paunio says that the information above should be adduced to the paragraph containing this line for broader context)

Conversely, individuals living in communities with a low rate of severe vitamin D deficiency seem to benefit from a herd immunity effect, probably because their neighbours are less likely to spread the virus to them.

How about that.

And Dr. Fauci has not said a word about the benefits of vitamin D for months, until he was caught out by another doctor.

So, read the article; it’s a good one, makes a lot of sense, and for those who bitch that there are too many self-taught Google experts out there, this guy is actually a doctor, and not only is he a doctor, he works for the ministry of health in Finland.  If that’s not good enough for you, well, you’re unreachable.

The point of this post, though, is not to argue about vitamin D, unless it is.  But there are two things that have to be said, right off.

“The new normal” is not normal.  It needs to be discarded as quickly as possible, as quickly as the stupid ineffective masks people are wearing that hundreds of medical doctors and other actual experts have already made clear do nothing to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The future of” just about everything in this country actually depends on whether or not we, as a people, are willing to do a few things that we should have been doing all along.

Because we’re a fat, lazy, bunch of couch potatoes.  Myself included.

Obesity is at the root of our problems.  Obesity makes so many other problems worse, particularly hypertension and type 2 diabetes, but also anything else that a runaway immune reaction can grab onto and make worse.  Here’s a list from the CDC of comorbidities that are known to increase risk from a COVID-19 infection:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

And they add that the following might also increase risk, but I think most of them have been found to definitely increase risk:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Note that both lists include obesity (at different levels).  How many Americans are obese?  CDC says 42.4% in 2017-2018.

I’m going to go out on a limb and theorize that most Americans who really ought to be worried about COVID-19 are a) fat and b) vitamin D deficient.  Say what you will, I may be a) but I’m not b) and I haven’t been for quite some time.

So — WHAT’S OBVIOUS, DOC?

If, in “the future of”, we want to go back to the way things were, we need to get our asses back into shape.

Lose weight.  Doesn’t matter how.  Keto, vegan (good way not only to lose weight but to kill yourself, but eh, never mind). Atkins, Weight Watchers (though they call themselves WW now), South Beach, I don’t give a shit.  Try phentermine.  It’s at least got my weight stable.

Exercise.  Not only will this help you lose weight, it will do your body systems good.  Your muscles will become stronger, your endurance will rise, your mental faculties will benefit.  Your body was built to run across the African savannah with lions chasing you.  And while that may have been half a million years ago, your body hasn’t changed that much.  And to tell the truth, I’m tired of getting out of breath walking to the mailbox and pulling a muscle petting the cat.

Eat right.  Not the crap you’re probably eating now.  Cook a meal once in a while.  Don’t follow the USDA food pyramid, it’s upside down.  Concentrate on proteins and minimize the processed shit.  If you eat bread, eat whole grains.  Take a multivitamin, especially if you’re over 50 (look for the “over 50″ multivitamins).  If you don’t spend much time in the sun, take a D3 supplement.  (The multivitamin will probably take care of your zinc needs.)

Look at what the average American adult looked like back in the 1960’s.  He or she may not have been massively athletic, but they were, by and large, trim and healthy.  I have a picture of my Dad in the 1980s, at around 55, when he puffed up a little bit and got chunky.  He stopped eating so much and ended up working as a tradesman again around that time, and lost the 20 pounds or so he’d gained sitting in an office in nothing flat.  Before he got sick in 2001, he weighed around 160-165 pounds at 5’8” in height, very little of it being fat.  I’d be happy if I could get back to 180, which is about what I weighed the summer I graduated from high school.

And I’ll be frank with you (even though my name is not Frank):  Right now, I need to lose about a hundred pounds to get back to 180.  Closest I’ve been is 213 when I was still in my 40’s, but I lost 41 pounds to get to that.

But that’s how we get to “the future of”.  Every citizen should accept as a duty of citizenship to get in shape, live a healthy lifestyle, and stay that way.  If we were healthy and resistant to China viruses in the first place, then future China viruses (and you know there will be future China viruses) wouldn’t give the Democrats an excuse to close down the country and then dither around about whether or not it should be opened back up.

If you’re a fat slob lounging around on your davenport watching TV and snacking high on the food chain, maybe you ought to get off your ass and act like a lion’s chasing you.  Because the next lion might get you.  Just sayin’.