A few suggestions for our patients, friends and relatives regarding Coronavirus called Covid19, and also for other viral and bacterial threats. Most bacteria are visible with a laboratory microscope. Viruses, however, are submicroscopic and therefore only visible with an electron microscope. This means that face masks have very little value since they cannot prevent bacteria and viruses from passing through except when a microbe is attached to a water droplet or dust particle. Face masks, however, can limit the size of the plume during coughing and sneezing. Therefore, people with any respiratory-related illness should wear masks. Up to age 19 individuals are likely less vulnerable while those above 60 are more vulnerable.
Masks can also help in training us to stop touching our faces – especially the mouth and nose but do not help us to stop touching other facial areas like eyes and ears. Wearing gloves of any kind is more effective in this training. Most thin leather or fabric will work – for example golf gloves (Only 1 glove is needed). Clinical gloves are not durable and tear easily, but more effective than no gloves. They can make you more aware of face-touching as well as becoming a training device and a barrier as you move about in the community.
Fortunately, viruses have a limited life span on most inanimate objects which may be 72 hours or more.
Devote time and energy to enhancing your immune system which constantly works to protect your body from invasive microbes. This is by itself an extensive study including but not limited to:
- Eat a proper diet, including a wide variety of fruits (especially blueberries) and vegetables, as well as sources for protein and carbohydrates.
- Get adequate physical exercise daily.
- Take a daily multivitamin as insurance against a deficiency.
- Supplement with 1000 mg of vitamin C and 20 mg of zinc. Both are basic to health and the healing process.
- Get adequate sleep.
- If you don’t have a tattoo, then don’t get one. Researchers found titanium dioxide and other metals in the lymph nodes of tattooed cadavers. For further details and a complete list of metals, see the Tattoo blog on this site. Lymph nodes are the filtering devices which are important in the workings of the centerpiece of your immune system.
- Get the flu vaccine and, if your physician approves, the pneumococcal vaccine. Neither will protect you from Covid19 but should increase your chances of surviving Covid19 infection by increasing your overall well-being while avoiding another respiratory threat.
- Drink adequate water preferably tap water. Do not drink from drinking fountains because many people make contact with several parts of the fountain system. If at the end of the day your urine is colorless, your water intake will probably have been adequate.
- Quit smoking now. It’s likely that a healthy respiratory system increases your survival chances if infected.
While out and about avoid shaking hands, and avoid large crowds but also small crowds in limited areas like elevators. If you need to use an elevator, wait for an uncrowded one and stand close to and facing the door. If the elevator becomes crowded or someone behind is coughing or sneezing, hold your breath, push the button, and exit at the next floor. Don’t stand in any lines. The minimum safe distance is likely 35 – 40 inches. Protect yourself when fueling your vehicle, not only from the handle of the fueling hose, but also the fuel selection button – gloves again. Beware of escalators with a moving handrail since you may grip it for more than a few seconds. The same applies for stairwell handrails especially since you could be cleaning it with your hand – wear gloves for protection.
Suggestions for opening doors:
- Cover door knobs with a glove, or some paper or cloth barrier.
- Allow someone ahead of you to open and follow through.
- If there is a pair of pull bars – choose the left – most people use the right one.
- Push to open – reach as high as you can well above the metal push plate which most people use – or push with arm, hip or better yet – foot, anything but bare hand.
Use public restrooms only on rare occasions. It’s best if they have paper towels, in which case wash hands thoroughly and dry with a paper towel, then turn the water off with the paper towel and use the same paper towel to open the exit door. Turning the water off with a bare hand may negate your washing efforts. Then back to gloves.
Wash your hands whenever possible and wear gloves – don’t depend on gel hand sanitizers to clean your hands. I’m unable to find any evidence that they kill 99% of anything!
Lastly for now, be selfish about attending to your own health. If you’re well you can assist and educate others in self-protection. Be attentive and aware of your surroundings and the risks they may generate. Pay attention to new findings and recommendations from the CDC, Canadian Health Agency and the World Health Organization.
Notice – I am not a bacteriologist, microbiologist or virologist. However, I have spent 2.5 academic years studying bacteria, spore formers, viruses, rickettsiae, protozoa, and fungi. This in large part is the basis of my second degree.
Pay attention to ongoing scientific news and contact me with your information and ideas. The above will be revised as more reliable self-protection techniques become available.
Take a long walk in the beautiful fresh air (less exhaust gasses) on a sunny spring day. Wave to your friends and neighbors. They will be happy to see you.
Music can have a calming affect on most of us, especially during times of elevated stress and anxiety.
Critiques are encouraged.
Good luck to all of us,
Gordon V. Doering, BA, BS, DDS