You’ve probably heard alarm that our US life expectancy has gone down during the pandemic (and actually a bit before that as well), but I would suggest that one reason we were hit so hard by the pandemic is that we’ve paid little attention to our “health span”. If people were a bit more seriously devoted to achieving good health, our immune systems would have stood up better to the virus and we would enjoy the long years many of us elders can look forward to. Leading spokesperson for lengthening our “Health Span, not Just our Lifespan” is David Sinclair. Nice interview with him in the linked article.
Lots of talk and now some evidence: Vitamin D levels seem protective against the severity of coronavirus, interacting in a highly beneficial way with vaccines for COVID. Unless you’re a real science geek, I suggest cutting to paragraphs #8 and #9 in the linked article to get the most important take-away information. Bottom line, in part: “The use of vitamin D supplements may improve immune responses from different COVID-19 vaccine.” Important to recognize, this is not conclusive, but should inspire! It's what amounts to a great first step for someone proposing observational or interventional research.
More vitamin D in video form from nutritional expert extraordinaire, Chris Masterjohn talking about vitamin D and COVID at the recent almost-annual symposium of the Ancestral Health Society. Much easier to listen to than the above article is to read and more practical. Check it out here. Great vitamin D levels do not prevent hospitalization or even death, though does seem to be associated with reduced severity of the disease.
So you know what I’m going to say: yes, optimize your vitamin D level (40-70 seems good) and please get vaccinated (if you’re already vaccinated, pay attention to your vaccine date’s time for a booster).
Along those lines, we at the office have realized that although we are indeed all vaccinated, we respect strongly that in some way each of us is high risk (DrDeborah for her own age, and Sadie and Maggie because of nearby elders and/or unvaccinated little ones), that we are keeping high safety standards at the office. We also know and respect your right to make your own decision about being vaccinated (we hope you are!), and know that some of you have chosen not to be vaccinated at this time. If that applies to you, we would like to continue your care on a telemedicine platform (telephone or video) and put off in-person appointments until the pandemic is a little less full-blown in Southern Oregon. We are seeing vaccinated folks in person, masks still required for everyone.
Thanks, and stay well.
If you have not been vaccinated, consider this: For yourself: this virus is brutal and highly infectious: if you get it, you will likely give it to 6-8 additional people. Please consider the vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones.
But, you ask, is the vaccine safe? There has never been any vaccine given to so many millions of people with such minimal incidence of side effects. Side effects are not unheard of, even severe ones, but the numbers are tiny compared to the deaths from COVID. (If you are particularly worried about side effects in your health condition, please contact me for some help preparing for the vaccine.)