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Epidemiologist At Yale Provides Testimony On Hydroxychloroquine For Treating COVID-19

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Harvey Risch, MD, PhD, Yale Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health provides evidence-based testimony at a US Senate hearing on early outpatient HCQ treatment for high-risk Covid-19 patients.

  • Reflect On:

    Why have such treatments been ridiculed when so many papers, doctors, and experts stand behind them? Why have low cost treatments that show more effectiveness than the vaccine, according to Risch, never seen the light of day?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are living in a day in age where social media “fact-checkers” are patrolling the internet calling into question information, science, opinion and testimony from countless amounts of doctors and scientists, as well as independent media outlets who source this information, simply because it opposes the information that we are getting from the World Health Organization(WHO) for example, or other government health authorities. One great example to illustrate this point is Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a drug, according to many, that can help treat COVID-19 patients.

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This idea has been a common theme throughout the pandemic, which begs the question, if it’s true, why wasn’t the drug administered and made available for doctors to use and treat COVID patients during this pandemic? Why was it ridiculed by mainstream media and why did Facebook fact-checkers claim that Hydroxychloroquine was not useful, and possibly dangerous? Facebook fact checker Health Feedback, for example, states that there is no evidence that hydroxychloroquine can cure or prevent COVID-19.

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Testimony from Dr. Harvey Risch, MD, PhD, Yale Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health is one of many, who in my opinion seem to represent a large majority, says otherwise. He provided an evidence based presentation for safe early outpatient HCQ treatment for high-risk Covid-19 patients to reduce hospitalizations and mortality.

Risch’s thoughts and publications about this have, been subjected to criticism. For example, a paper published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, where Risch is on the editorial board, does just that. It also outlines how many papers have agreed with Risch.

His recent testimony to the Senate can be found below.

Senators and colleagues: thank you for convening this hearing. We all understand the endemic disease that we are facing, that we have to face it head-on and not hide from it hoping that it will go away. I want to give you my perspective.

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In May of this year I observed that results of studies of a drug suggested to treat Covid, hydroxychloroquine, were being misrepresented by what I thought at the time was sloppy reporting. We have heard from Dr. McCullough how Covid disease progresses in phases, from viral replication, to florid pneumonia to multi-organ attack. Viral replication is an outpatient condition, but the pneumonia that fills the lungs with immune-system debris is hospitalizable and potentially life-threatening. We have also heard how each phase, each pathologic aspect of the disease, has to have its own specific treatments that apply to its own biologic mechanisms. Thus, I was frankly astounded that studies of hospital treatments were being represented as applying to outpatients, in violation of what I learned in medical school about how to treat patients.

We are now finally coming to address why over the last six months, our government research institutions have invested billions of dollars in expensive patent medication and vaccine development but almost nothing in early outpatient treatment, the first line of response to managing the pandemic. It is not that we lacked candidate medications to study, we have had a number of promising agents. But I believe that the early-on conflation of hospital with outpatient disease served to imply that treatment of outpatient disease had been studied and found ineffective. This illogical premise motivated me to look at the evidence for outpatient treatment.

We are now finally coming to address why over the last six months, our government research institutions have invested billions of dollars in expensive patent medication and vaccine development but almost nothing in early outpatient treatment, the first line of response to managing the pandemic. It is not that we lacked candidate medications to study, we have had a number of promising agents. But I believe that the early-on conflation of hospital with outpatient disease served to imply that treatment of outpatient disease had been studied and found ineffective. This illogical premise motivated me to look at the evidence for outpatient treatment.

I reiterate: we are considering the evidence for early treatment of high-risk outpatients to prevent hospitalization and mortality. That is it. Treatment starting in the first five days or so after the onset of symptoms. Treatment of older patients or patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, lung diseases, kidney diseases, immune-system diseases, survivors of cancer etc. These are the people most likely to die from Covid, and they are the people most needing protection. I have sought to obtain reports of every study of every medication pertaining to early treatment of high-risk outpatients. I monitor the literature daily. And what I have found is actually quite remarkable. What I have observed is that while there have been positive reports about a number of drugs, every study of outpatient use of one drug, hydroxychloroquine, with or without accompanying agents, has shown substantial benefit in reducing risks of hospitalization and mortality.

These studies break down into two major types. The first is double-blinded, randomized controlled trials, and the second is non-randomized but still controlled trials. You have heard from various government and scientific personalities that randomized controlled trials provide the strongest form of evidence. Many of these people have also claimed that randomized trials provide the only trustworthy form of evidence. There is some truth in these assertions, but there is also lots of falsehood. We know for example that the great majority of drugs used to treat heart diseases were established with non-randomized trials. Cholesterol-lowering drugs were in widespread use before randomized trials were ever done. Azithromycin, the most commonly used antibiotic in children, was not established by randomized trials. The idea that only randomized trials provide trustworthy evidence is a simplistic notion that may sound good in theory, but the comparison between randomized and non-randomized trials is something that has actually been extensively studied in the medical literature. I am an epidemiologist because even though I love biological theories, I develop them all the time to study how nature works, but it is from the human empirical data that we learn how indeed nature works.

And we have huge amounts of empirical data to show that randomized trials and their corresponding non-randomized trials give the same answers. Dr. Tom Frieden, previously Director of the CDC, in 2017 wrote an extensive essay in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that non-randomized trials can provide fully compelling evidence, especially when they are done carefully to account for reasons why patients received the drugs, and importantly, when circumstances are such that the cost of waiting for randomized trials involves major sickness and mortality as we have been experiencing this year. But Dr. Frieden’s essay, as authoritative as it is, provides only snapshots of the empirical evidence for his observations. The real evidence comes from a meta-analysis of meta-analyses done by the Cochrane Library Consortium, a British international organization formed to organize medical research findings to facilitate evidence-based choices about health interventions. The Cochrane investigators examined what involve tens of thousands of comparisons between randomized trials and their non-randomized counterparts and found that the two types of studies arrived at virtually identical conclusions. This is the real evidence about why good non-randomized trials comprise evidence every bit as important as randomized trials. Large amounts of consistent empirical data are the evidence, not plausible but simplistic assumptions, no matter who says them.

So what did I find about hydroxychloroquine in early use among high-risk outpatients? The first thing is that hydroxychloroquine is exceedingly safe. Common sense tells us this, that a medication safely used for 65 years by hundreds of millions of people in tens of billions of doses worldwide, prescribed without routine screening EKGs, given to adults, children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, must be safe when used in the initial viral-replication phase of an illness that is similar at that point to colds or flu. In fact, a study by researchers at the University of Oxford showed that in 14 large international medical-records databases of older rheumatoid arthritis patients, no significant differences were seen in all-cause mortality for patients who did or did not use hydroxychloroquine. The Oxford investigators also looked at cardiac arrhythmias and found no increase for hydroxychloroquine users. This was in more than 900,000 hydroxychloroquine users. This is examined at length in my paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology in May. Now, the FDA posted a warning on July 1 on its website about hydroxychloroquine used in outpatients, but we can discuss this later; the FDA has had no systematic evidence in outpatients and erroneously extrapolated from hospital inpatients to outpatients, what I said earlier was invalid.

About studies of hydroxychloroquine early use in high-risk outpatients, every one of them, and there are now seven studies, has shown significant benefit: 636 outpatients in São Paulo, Brazil; 199 clinic patients in Marseille, France; 717 patients across a large HMO network in Brazil; 226 nursing-home patients in Marseille; 1,247 outpatients in New Jersey; 100 long-term care institution patients in Andorra (between France and Spain); and 7,892 patients across Saudi Arabia. All these studies pertain to the early treatment of high-risk outpatients—and all showed about 50 percent or greater reductions in hospitalization or death. The Saudi study was a national study and showed 5-fold reduction in mortality for hydroxychloroquine plus zinc vs zinc alone. Not a single fatal cardiac arrhythmia was reported among these thousands of patients attributable to the hydroxychloroquine. These are the non-randomized but controlled trials that have been published.

Now we also know that all of the outpatient randomized controlled trials this year also together show statistically significant benefit. These six studies comprised generally much younger patients, only a fraction of whom were at high risk, so they individually had too few hospitalizations or deaths to be statistically significant. But they all suggested lower risks with hydroxychloroquine use, and when they were analyzed together in meta-analysis as my colleagues and I found, this lower risk was statistically significant across the studies.

We have spent the last six months with formal government policies and warnings against early outpatient treatment, with large government investments in vaccines and expensive new treatments yet to be proven and almost no support of inexpensive but useful medications, and a quarter of a million Americans have died from this mismanaged approach. Even with newly promising vaccines, we have almost no information about how they will perform in older and high-risk patients, in whom respiratory virus vaccines are known to have weak efficacy; it will be a number of months before they become widely available; and we don’t know how long vaccine immunity will last, or even if the vaccines will work for the newly increasing mutant strains of the virus. As I have said on many occasions, the evidence for benefit of hydroxychloroquine used early in high-risk outpatients is extremely strong, and the evidence against harm is also equally strong. This body of evidence dramatically outweighs the risk/benefit evidence for remdesivir, monoclonal antibodies or the difficult to use bamlanivimab that the FDA has approved for emergency use authorizations while denying the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine. This egregious double standard for hydroxychloroquine needs to be overturned immediately and its emergency use authorization application approved. This is how we will get on the road to early outpatient treatment and the major curtailment of mortality. Thank you.

Why This Is Important: The thoughts shared above have been a common theme throughout this pandemic. For example, Dr. Anthony Cardillo, an ER specialist and the CEO of Mend Urgent Care, has been prescribing the zinc and hydroxychloroquine combination on patients experiencing severe symptoms associated with COVID-19. In an interview with KABC-TV, Cardillo stated:

Every patients I’ve prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free…So, clinically I am seeing a resolution…We have to be cautious and mindful that we don’t prescribe it for patients who have COVID who are well, he said. “It should be reserved for people who are really sick, in hospital or at home very sick, who need that medication. Otherwise we’re going to blow through our supply for patients that take it regularly for other disease processes.”

According to Cardillo, it’s the combination of zinc and hydroxychloroquine that does the job. “[Hydroxychloroquine] opens the zinc channel” allowing the zinc to enter the cell, which then “blocks the replication of cellular machinery.”

This was also hinted to by the testimony from the Yale professor.

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, said in a video interview that a cocktail of Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc Sulfate and Azithromycin are showing phenomenal results with 900 coronavirus patients treated.(source)

These are just a few examples out of many. The issue is that these opinions and this type of evidence and testimony was blocked and censored by various social media outlets, and deemed “fake news.”

Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. –  Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH

This has also recently been emphasized by Dr. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open. He recently published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.”

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.

The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science—another form of misuse—and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.

The stakes are high for politicians, scientific advisers, and government appointees. Their careers and bank balances may hinge on the decisions that they make. But they have a higher responsibility and duty to the public. Science is a public good. It doesn’t need to be followed blindly, but it does need to be fairly considered. Importantly, suppressing science, whether by delaying publication, cherry picking favourable research, or gagging scientists, is a danger to public health, causing deaths by exposing people to unsafe or ineffective interventions and preventing them from benefiting from better ones. When entangled with commercial decisions it is also maladministration of taxpayers’ money.

Politicisation of science was enthusiastically deployed by some of history’s worst autocrats and dictators, and it is now regrettably commonplace in democracies. The medical-political complex tends towards suppression of science to aggrandise and enrich those in power. And, as the powerful become more successful, richer, and further intoxicated with power, the inconvenient truths of science are suppressed. When good science is suppressed, people die.

Concluding Remarks: We are at a point in time where decisions made by the government, which are supposedly done in our best interests, are completely influenced by powerful corporations that seem to dictate government policy in some sort of way. This has been a problem for quite some time, and combined with big tech this ‘medical industrial complex’ is able to influence the thoughts, minds, perception and overall consciousness of the masses when it comes to COVID and various other topics.

Do governments really execute the will of the people? When will we draw the line? Is it really justifiable for people who don’t get vaccinated to lose their rights and freedoms they were accustomed to prior to the pandemic? Why are so many doctors and scientists who oppose these measures being censored and unacknowledged?

COVID-19, just like 9/11, is forcing more people to ask questions about how our world really operates and whether or not governments actually execute the will of the people.

At the end of the day we have to ask, why are controversial topics so poorly covered and ridiculed by mainstream media? Why do so many of us have so much trouble looking at new information, especially information that contradicts what we believe and have been made to believe? Why do polarizing sides trigger us so deeply? Why do we accept the invitation to fight? Will our sense-making be much easier and effective if we are clam, centered within self, clearer of our own bias’ and more open to communicating with empathy? Perhaps it’s time we do that?

Dive Deeper

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

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