Isn’t There A Better Way?

Dennis Perman_Message of the Week

Dear Doctor:

To say I am concerned is an understatement. It’s alarming to think of the aggressive push to inoculate 300,000,000 people against a disease that only proves fatal in, by my latest calculations, under 1.7% of those afflicted (440,000 deaths out of 26,000,000 cases, that’s terrifying, but still 98.3%+ survive.)

Even if the vaccines were safe, wouldn’t it make more sense, from both a public health strategy and an economic perspective, to find out which five or six million people in the US are most vulnerable, and do something powerful to identify and safeguard them?

We all know people who tested positive and had various reactions, from a nasty flu with labored breathing to no symptoms at all. We all know or know of someone who died from COVID-19. I am not suggesting we do nothing – we must do something big. But is mass immunization the best answer?

Even top scientists like Peter Doshi, associate editor of the British Medical Journal and professor of Pharmaceutical Health Services at University of Maryland, question if this is the right course of action. Not near enough is known about the long term effects of mRNA vaccines like the Pfizer and Moderna products — yes, they have been studied for a while, but there are too many unanswerable questions. How long do antibodies last? How does taking Tylenol, painkillers or other meds or vitamins change the results? Does blood type matter? (Type O seems hardier.) What about other strains?

The point is, while it seems gallant and heroic to rush on in and save the day by giving everyone shots, we simply don’t know and cannot possibly predict what the ultimate consequences may be.

We are nearing a time of reckoning. It’s obvious that healthier people are less likely to die, and this is being proven out by the data on coronavirus – the majority of those who succumb have comorbidities like obesity, diabetes, or heart and breathing disorders. Some of these people cannot control their condition, but many can, and difficult as it may seem, inspiring those people to change their lifestyles, this time for the greater good as well as for their own well-being, is just as viable a plan as blasting everyone’s physiology with mRNA, which could distort the body’s innate responses, perhaps interfering with the production of the virus, but at a currently indefinable expense.

If we could target the approximately six million people who most need to reduce their risk, that would dramatically diminish the mortality rate, disrupt community spread, and then, it matters less which mutations occur. Host resistance has always been and will always be the determining factor in our culture-wide resilience or susceptibility to infection. It’s a pipe dream to think the virus isn’t producing genetic variants that could elude our contemporary science, and no one knows if and how much the vaccines or treatments will guard against those mutants – plus, it’s hard and tricky to try to outrun the replication cycle of this virus. And there may well be other pandemics – will we have to do this again?

What if the media and the government made a plea, not just to follow CDC guidelines, but to lose weight, adjust our intake of sugar and processed foods, and take steps to make the brain, spine, nerve and immune systems function better? This would not only protect us from this plague and future scourges, it would also cut the societal cost of dealing with other preventable illnesses.

Let’s do our part to encourage and guide those in our sphere of influence to take responsibility, to limit their jeopardy from obesity, diabetes and cardio-respiratory issues with better lifestyle decisions. We’re in a race to heal from the inside out, or else risk a mandate to inject as-of-yet incompletely tested substances into our kids, our elderly, and our sickest patients. Isn’t there a better way?

Dennis Perman DC, for The Masters Circle Global

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