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I’m not worried about them out there, I’m worried about you

With absolute faith in our natural medicine “technology” and in our relative healthiness and resilience, we’ve faced COVID-19 full on and are getting through it – albeit with varying degrees of misery.

I’ve got to admit I’ve been stunned by my own encounter with COVID – it hit me in a period of severe overtraining – and it was only thanks to the team effort at Target that we got a magazine out last month at all. It was sudden onset, and I went from a hard-training athlete to life as I imagine it is like for a frail, weak 90-year-old with half a brain operating. It did shake my supreme self-confidence.

Tracking it with Oura ring data, my temp went sky high and stayed there, resting heart rate soared, heartrate variability was horrible…

Before my run in with COVID, I was a skinny-fit 150lb (at 6ft) at 9% bodyfat. I am currently minus 17lb! Down to 133lb, but 6% bodyfat. The other numbers have gone back to baseline. So I’m now almost fully recovered. Or am I? I’ve been talking to other practitioners who’ve been through it. They’re back at work and superficially “normal”, but telling tales of EBV reactivation, shingles flare-ups, differing amounts of brain fog and random episodes of fatigue and fibromyalgia.

So have we got this all wrong? 

I’m not THAT into conspiracies, but even conventional opinion is acknowledging that SARS-Cov-2 probably leaked from a Chinese lab during gain-of-function experiments. The implication is that this is not a “natural” virus, and we may well have gaps in our trusted, strong natural immunity that this thing is actually designed to circumvent.

For us, acute infection is not the problem: we urgently need to shift to focusing on treatment and prevention of long COVID.

With multiple new variants, SARS-Cov-2 isn’t going anywhere. And even if it disappeared overnight, we are already heading for an epidemic of what they are calling Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC).

We need to drastically modify our approach to one in which we are working an anti-PASC protocol all the time, with everything we’ve got.

We are going to see a ton of “sequelae”. And the real burden is going to show up way down the line. In the general population, who are barely switched on to vitamin D, let alone the rest of the support armoury we have, we are likely to see a stupendous increase in chronic disease and death when their renal, cardiac or pulmonary function starts to decline from their now-reduced baseline: they’ll be crossing the threshold into dysfunction earlier and earlier in life. 

I’ve gone into this in depth in the opening pages of the magazine this month (starting on page 6). But the message I want to get across is: don’t let this happen to you!

You may think you’ve avoided infection completely, or easily shrugged it off; maybe you suffered and got through it and now you’re out the other side. Ask yourself, how quickly did you push back into work? Have you had time to put aside to focus exclusively on recovery? Of course not. Have you eased off the supplement support now you are back to “normal”?

Proudly asymptomatic?

And not to worry you, but even if you have remained proudly asymptomatic or just had a mild “cold” while all around you were dropping, you are still at risk of unsuspected long-term damage. 

A comprehensive review published in June last year put it this way: “Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 is being diagnosed in patients who developed severe acute COVID-19, but also in patients who experienced only mild or asymptomatic cases”. 

The researchers say: “Women were more likely to
report persistent symptoms, and
32% of subjects reporting symptoms at 61+ days after infection were asymptomatic at the time of initial SARS-CoV-2
testing”. (Emphasis added.)

They also make this important point: “Overall, it is important to consider that SARS-CoV-2 does not infect a sterile body. The microbiome/virome communities and persistent pathogens a patient harbours at the time of infection (including those inhabiting ecosystems in the gut, mouth, and lungs) may partly impact the viruses’ ability to successfully proliferate. Conversely, immune dysregulation driven by SARS-CoV-2 may disrupt microbiome/virome ecosystem balance or promote the reactivation of already acquired neurotrophic pathogens such as herpesviruses in a manner that can drive a wide range of persistent symptoms. Any ongoing infectious or inflammatory insult that drives afferent vagus nerve neuroimmune signalling can activate a mirror response of glial activation in the dorsal brainstem, with an associated sickness behaviour response and changes in autonomic signalling””.

Over the next few months we’ll be talking to experts and our functional medicine deep thinkers to develop a full-on recovery protocol. Do let me have your thoughts and experiences!

And meanwhile, well… Happy New Year! 




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