No question – this has been a year from…
However, with every miserable thing that happens in life – is an opportunity to learn.
I will always ask (gently and diplomatically!) someone with a chronic illness, “how did you know?” Looking back, were there any signs, that maybe we sloughed off as stress, age, or something else?
How do these covid variants happen?
Let’s first have a crash course on virology. Viruses are probably the best example of our concept of ” to infinity and beyond”. They are the most abundant form of “life” on earth, and probably elsewhere! Exponential growth is an understatement. Literally, trillions to the power of another few trillion.
A virus has a shell, capsid, which protects its viral material, or genome, safe. Some particularly resilient viruses such as Hep C, coronavirus, herpes, HIV have an extra protective coating referred to as envelopes.
Viral envelopes hate soap, soap is their kryptonite, which is why washing with soap is paramount to destroy the virus.
Every time the coronavirus transmits between people, it picks up microscopic changes to its genetic code. The result is coronavirus variants, Researchers are observing patterns as to how the virus is mutating. Covid-19 seems to be the lead track star of viruses – redefining how fast a virus can mutate. The bottom line is, we do not know how many variants exist now, or, potentially how many there could be in the future.
Remaining vigilant about preventing transmission is no less vital now – it is even more important now to help halt the potential for mutations.
Hand washing with soap, masks, distancing, covid-19 testing, abiding by lockdowns… are all vital to harnessing this virus from further mutations. The vaccine is NOT a get out of jail for free card!!!
Hopefully, our vaccines will be able to keep up with these mutations. We know that every year (less actually) our flu vaccines need to be updated. The coronavirus vaccines will demand constant updates – more than any software we have ever complained about updating!
Evolution in action… survival of the fittest: In most viruses and disease-causing bacteria, the use of treatments and vaccines challenges them to evolve ways of escaping them so they can continue to thrive… These viruses certainly appear to have an evolutionary advantage.
What can we do to proactively strengthen us against these multiple coronaviruses?
Yes, we ALL must abide by the rules to prevent transmission. But how can we strengthen ourselves, that if we come into contact with these viruses, we minimize our risk of a deadly reaction?
I have many articles on here about the role of chronic inflammation in every one of our chronic illnesses from heart disease, diabetes, vascular disease, arthritis, depression, cancers… Chronic inflammation is the ultimate underlying cause of a compromised ability for our body to shake off any nasties that hit us. AKA – defences are down.
In patients with a severe reaction to the virus, the lungs are damaged, and patients need supplemental oxygen. The risk of mortality these cases is over 40%.
March 2021 Journal of Immunity: Donna Farber, PhD, professor of microbiology & immunology, Chief of Surgical Sciences Columbia University: “Even though individuals are getting vaccinated, severe COVID-19 remains a significant risk for certain individuals and we need to find ways to treat people who develop severe disease.”
“People refer to patients experiencing a cytokine storm in the blood, but what we’re seeing in the lungs is on another level. The immune cells in the lung went into overdrive releasing these cytokines.”
Very complicated science. Bottom line is – lowering our levels of chronic inflammation, is probably our best defense against a drastic reaction to the virus. This explains why, people who already have underlying chronic conditions are more vulnerable.
Please read the many articles I have here on chronic inflammation, and how we can reduce our risk, to not just covid, but all of our chronic diseases. The research continues to support this necessity. My goal in chronic care management, is to bring reducing chronic inflammation, to the very top of our health “to-do” list. All of our other “healthy lifestyle” habits, fall under the umbrella of reducing inflammation. However, please be careful you are not “paving the road to hell with good intentions”. In other words, get the true science on lowering inflammation, and not the pop science.