.... as a result of my reading several hundred medical papers during the time of Covid.
I learned things that I've never heard from a single physician -- not even the ones I used to trust and generally were trustworthy like the old family doc I had when I was growing up.
But those things did change how I looked at some pretty basic stuff, and also changed (in very low-cost and minor ways) what I did personally. More than a decade ago I got rid of a bunch of excess weight by getting the carbs out of my diet. I can't talk about that on the "ad" side of the blog anymore because Google decided that this was "misinformation" to report on my personal experience and what I did to obtain it more than ten years later. They had no quarrel with it at the time, but as soon as the covid crazy started, oh boy, he's talking about people getting rid of excess weight and by the way being obese was a known risk factor for getting a $500,000 medical bill from the hospital just before they killed you when you got a virus.
Anyway, post getting Covid myself I changed a couple of things on a forward basis.
They're pretty basic and an effective zero on the risk scale.
The one that really "lit up the board" if you will, now with two+ years of experience under my belt with it, is very simple and inexpensive: 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 daily.
Why the Vitamin D? Because the data early on showed a crazy association between being deficient and severe or fatal outcomes if you got The Coof. Now association isn't causation; lots of people were home or nursing-home bound and thus that might mean that its insignificant as their Vitamin D deficiency is due to being essentially locked inside 24x7 but the question had to be asked and of course although it could have been very, very easily tested prospectively at no risk it was not during the pandemic: If those people in said nursing homes had not been deficient would the virus have hammered them? Nobody knows, but it is ridiculously cheap to use a supplement as a prophylaxis and we know factually that not being deficient has no downside adverse effects. Just don't go overboard; excessive Vitamin D levels are dangerous.
Why add the K2? Because it is protective against potentiating calcium drop-out into the circulation and directs said calcium into the bone structure which, of course, is where you want calcium to go since that's what bones are made of.
Were I younger (e.g. under 40) I probably would be intermittent with the Vitamin D given my level of outdoor activity but even though I'm outdoors a lot where I can get sun exposure Vitamin D synthesis decreases with age and I'm past the halfway point of my "use by" date. Never mind that a study out of Central America during the pandemic, which of course has much higher UV and thus Vitamin D synthesis levels from the sun than the United States, found that most of the health care workers there were also deficient and the correlation between said health care workers who were deficient and getting hammered held in that instance too, even though one has to assume that a health-care worker likely has better access to health care and is healthier themselves than the general population. Still correlation and not proof of causation but that study raised my eyebrows.
One further addition -- any time I feel even a tiny bit "off" I gobble about 4g of liposomal Vitamin C. One time, not "keep doing it until you crap your brains out", which is the usual "where is bowel tolerance?" game if you're really sick. Nope -- one and done as soon as I notice it, whether in the evening or when I wake up. Several of these, I'm sure, were nothing more than seasonal allergies but since I'm not sure and there is zero risk of a Vit-C overdose (and its cheap to keep around and use this way) that one's easy.
So having made this "study of one" change for the last two and a half years here's the punchline:
I haven't been noticeably ill at all -- that is, not even a low-grade fever -- since the summer of 2021.
Not even once.
Seasonal allergies and when I deliberately provoke something (like dethatching the yard which I did about a month ago, which is guaranteed to throw up a huge amount of grass pollen and such)? Sure; nasal congestion and watery eyes are nothing new to me when it comes to said allergies. Quercetin works for that and I use it intermittently. Its as effective as Claritin for me (not 100% but definitely an improvement) but unlike Claritin has no side effects I can determine nor do I build a tolerance to it, and I do with all OTC antihistamines. Gotta like that, which is why I use it.
But here's the thing -- while I've never been "sickly" in general in my adult life getting a couple of colds or a modest flu once a year or so and feeling like crap for a few days or a week is not uncommon. It isn't uncommon for most people and it hasn't been for me. Thus like most I have some aspirin in my medicine cabinet for such an occurrence (I refuse to use Tylenol.)
After 2-1/2 years I'd say there's some statistical significance to this considering I haven't reached for that bottle once.
I might be wrong -- perhaps despite all but licking doorknobs I simply haven't been exposed to anything. Well, ok, that I know is bullshit because I've been around plenty of people who were hacking up lungs here and there over the last two winters and none of them got me with whatever they had. So while again correlation is not proof of causation here's a trial of one where I've gone 2-1/2 years without so much as a common cold.
Have I had times that my Garmin tells me (through HRV) that I'm fighting something off? Yep. But all have been fought off successfully. If I didn't have said Garmin I wouldn't have known at all, except perhaps being a bit more-tired than usual on any given day.
Here we go into Winter #3. Who knows if I'll get through this one without getting anything interesting. (And of course, having written this, perhaps I'll get hammered for my hubris!)
For under a dime a day I think I'll keep doing what I've been doing, just like I've kept up with being low-carb; neither has hurt me thus far.
Now think about what sort of change in outcomes we might have had if we had told people after the first few months, and we knew the correlation was there in the early summer of 2020, to take a Vitamin D and K2 supplement daily through the winter and next year. No risk, almost-no cost, and we would have developed a huge database of people and outcomes over time because some people would have done it and others not -- from which we would gained a very large observational and "intent to treat" data set.
Would there have been any "pandemic" of note beyond the summer of 2020 at all?
Good question -- and one we can't answer since we can't wind the clock back and try it.
But I'm going to keep doing what I have been, since for me, a trial of one, it has worked and feeling sick, even if that's all it is, sucks.