My Personal Thoughts on Covid-19 …
By Satish Dasari, MD …
Our world as we know it has been upended by this pandemic like nothing before, at least for our generation.
The work of many amazing scientists both in the private sector and in the federal government have made a remarkable achievement of getting a vaccine available in just one year. This is an unheard-of achievement in the annals of vaccine discovery. What in the past would take decades was done in this short time frame. Despite the speed of discovery, the trials were done in large populations of 30,000 individuals for each vaccine. Scientific rigor of placebo controlled blinded study gives credence to the results. The efficacy of greater than 90% is nothing short of amazing.
As Physicians we have been at the frontlines in providing care to our patients in these trying times. In our group, all of our Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and allied health personnel were the first to sign up for the vaccine and have received both the doses without any major side effects. It pains me to see the hesitation among many of our patients (for those who qualify) in availing themselves of this amazing treatment. Yes, there is still a shortage of available doses and our Governor has put in place a mechanism to start vaccinating the most at-risk population first and opening it to the rest of Hoosiers as the vaccine becomes available.
What science has taught us so far is that we can tamp down the disease with some commonsense guidelines. Wearing a good mask, covering the nose and mouth, frequent hand washing for 20 seconds and trying our best to keep our social distancing going. If we have to be in close situations then minimizing the time to less than 15 minutes is helpful. Many countries who have denser populations than us have kept the infectivity rate to a very manageable level and this reflects on lower hospitalizations and more importantly lower deaths. As I write this we have lost over 400,000 Americans to this disease.
There are other valuable tools that good science has shown to be helpful. Personally, I am not one to take supplements but the science behind adding Vitamin C and Vitamin D to our daily intake has shown in multiple studies, (especially Vitamin D) to reduce morbidity and mortality, should one get Covid-19, by boosting our immune system. My recommendation is to take 500 mg of Vitamin C and 4000 units of Vitamin D3 daily. Most of us are deficient in Vitamin D as we don’t have enough exposure to sunlight. Exposure to 20 minutes of sunlight between 10 AM to 2 PM is recommended for us to get natural Vitamin D. Including Vitamin D levels, in your bloodwork, can help you and your physician to determine what is the appropriate dose for you.
My fervent hope is that as we get more vaccines available the supply side will improve and when the FDA approves the new vaccines from Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax that all of us will get vaccinated. Getting herd immunity with large portions of our population having antibodies is critical to our returning to a more normal life. Our economy will then recover putting more Americans back to work. We will be able to travel and visit our elderly family members once again. Who wouldn’t want that?
We keep hearing the mutating new variants from South America, South Africa, and from the UK may not be neutralized by the available vaccine but there is good news even on that front. Most who have been vaccinated and had exposure to the new variants still did not develop the severe form of the disease. The quicker immunization of people will help with tamping down the transmission and this in turn will severely limit further mutations. So, I cannot emphasize any more vigorously the reason for each individual to get vaccinated as quickly as it is made available to you. Don’t let the fear mongers stop you from doing the right thing for you, your family, and our country.
Until then, please remember to continue wearing a good 3-ply mask, frequent hand washing, and social distancing. Take Vitamin D and C supplements to bolster your immune system.
Until next time,
Midwest Interventional Spine Specialists (M.I.S.S.) is committed to patient education. We hope article provides you with some foundational information to help you determine what questions you need to ask your medical providers and to select the best treatment option for you. To schedule an appointment with one of our spine and pain management specialists, please call 219-836-7246. To see the full list of all of our educational videos, CLICK HERE. Click above to see all of our Health Blog posts.