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CoVid-19. What do we need to do next?

COVid-19.  What do we need to do now?   Way back in the year 1918, the world was struck with a very serious flu virus.  This virus quickly turned into a pandemic and killed thousands and thousands of people worldwide. A century later we are in a similar situation, albeit not quite the same.  After 102 years of advancements in medicine, healthcare and technology I was curious to see how much different the approach to treating a serious virus would be.  I was fascinated to learn that in 1918 the recommendations to the general public for not contracting the virus were to stay at home, avoid public gatherings, wash your hands and if out in public, cover your face with cloth.  Wow.  102 years of advancements in health care and the recommendations remain the same.  Obviously there must be something to this plan of action. 
 
As a holistic healthcare provider who has been in private practice for 32 years, I can honestly say to you that even with the modern acceptance of my field of chiropractic as a legitimate, scientifically proven and well researched branch of health care, I am personally not a mainstream doctor in how I practice and care for my patients.  My emphasis has always been on nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and proper care of the nervous system by correcting and maintaining the human skeletal frame, mainly the spinal column.  That being said, some of my view points are considered controversial.  For instance, I am a proponent of vaccine safety.  I also feel that diseases and health condition treatments could be improved by the addition of certain vitamins and supplements.  I am really big into supporting immune system health as a way of preventing diseases.  Some of my thoughts over 32 years are becoming more accepted, but are far from mainstream. What does this have to do with the coronavirus, CoVid-19?  I have distinct viewpoints on this virus that may not be considered mainstream.  I have differing viewpoints, as I am sure most everyone does.  There are lots of thoughts out there.  Conspiracy theories and the politicizing of the virus are two such topics.  Others could include that the virus is “made-up,” that “It won’t get me,” or “ the statistics are wrong and made up.”  As I said, lots of people have different opinions.  
 
How did we get here?  In our country, we are told so many different things by so many different people, most of society may not know what to believe.  What I would like to do with this week’s column is to take everything off the table so that we can discuss what I consider to be two facts that I hope we can all agree on.  To begin, let’s take politics off the table.  Let’s take conspiracy theories off the table. Let’s take media propaganda off the table.  Let’s take any of our other opinions on CoVid-19 off the table and leave only two things on our table.  The two things that I consider to be non-debatable are the viral spread factor and that this pandemic stinks. We cannot ignore that this virus spreads.  It’s spread factor is 3x worse than the flu. Whether people are symptomatic with mild, moderate or severe symptoms or asymptomatic with no symptoms, the virus spreads and it spreads fast.  In the short amount of time that the virus has been with us (4 months), the spread rate has been nothing short of extraordinary.  Next fact, number two.  This pandemic stinks.  We are all sick of it and want our lives to go back to normal.  We want our jobs to come back, we want the economy to flourish again.  We want our normalcy. 
 
So, if we take in account that this virus spreads and that we are sick of it, we are left with one question.  What do we need to do to stop it and get our lives back?  The answer is controversial but simple.  We need to wear our masks in public settings.  Renown cancer doctor and researcher Dr. David Augus says that if the general public would wear masks whenever we enter a store or  amongst a crowd of people and that we social distance in those crowds we could drop the spread rate of this disease to 18% or less.  18% or less spread rate and the virus goes away. Done.  Away.  Dr. Augus is no slouch. A graduate of Princeton University and University of Penn Medicine, Augus has spent his life researching new treatments for cancer.  Many of which are successfully used today with more treatments on the horizon.  Augus says that knocking the virus spread rate down to 18% could be done in a matter of months if everyone were to stick to that one rule.  Wear a mask.
 
Masks are controversial.  People say masks take away their personal rights and freedoms.  Others say they cannot breathe or they are two hot. Science reports on wearing the masks have been inconsistent and has sent mixed messages to the public.  Until now.  Research conducted in various countries and recently reported on has now shown that wearing masks in public places not only protects others from the spread of the virus, but also protects you.  Turn back time 102 years and that same message that helped defeat the 1918 flu virus is what is needed today with CoVid-19.  Do I enjoy wearing masks? Definitely not.  Am I that afraid of the virus that I feel that the mask is needed to protect myself?  Maybe I should be, but I am not.  But I wear the mask when I am out and about and in my office to help do my part to stop and contain the spread.  Is it annoying?  Yes.  As I am sure it was annoying in the 1970’s when stores put up signs that said “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.” Or for the legion of smokers who were all told they could no longer smoke in public.  Dr. Augus says that if we all suck it up and wear our masks, this virus can be contained and stopped.  Despite all of my personal feelings on this virus and some of my other healthcare stances, I agree with him.  If we all do it together, we can get back to normal.
 
In South Korea, a country that has the 12th largest economy in the world, never shut down for this virus. No aggressive stay at home orders.  What they did was wear masks and perform tests and quarantine infected.  And with great results, as their death rate was only 300 people.  Not that 300 dead is good, but it could have been much worse.  In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel told her country that the only way to overcome this crisis was for every German to accept it as their own responsibility to reduce the spread of the virus.  Germany has significantly brought down the coronavirus spread rate with that approach and has less and less cases every week.  One last example is New Zealand.  The country and its citizens took the virus very seriously from the beginning and everyone did their part to stop the spread.  After 3 months of the virus, New Zealand now reports that they are down to zero new cases and have an open economy and have live sporting events with crowds attending.
 
               My point is that we all agree that we are miserable with this viral pandemic, we all want it to be over. ASAP.   It can happen.  We can lower the spread rate and stop this virus, but we have to be willing participants in the fight to win against CoVid-19.  Once again, my thoughts take us back to 1918.  Wear a mask in public. Social distance and wash your hands frequently.  The question that remains is that can we get everyone to do that?

 

Pregnancy and Chiropractic:  Chiropractic is an important part of the pregnancy team.  Midwives, dulas, OB and chiropractors make up the pregnancy team and can ensure a healthy, more comfortable pregnancy. 
 

Author
Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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