Monday Sept. 21, 2020
Sars2 Coronovirus Pandemic Informational Update with Dr. Peter, Jyotish and Devi, from Ananda Village, in Nevada County, CA
Our schedule will now continue on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month, we’ll see if this is enough to keep us updated, 8am on Mondays. If something urgent comes up, we can have an extra broadcast.
Outline of Intended Topics for 9/21/2020
Local, Regional, and International Statistics
Update on the weekly meeting w/Public Health Director – relevant to local and nationwide issues.
Data showing inflammation and possible testicular damage in men
The importance of Vitamin D levels
Comparing Covid with 1918 flu pandemic and the annual flu
Increase in Behavior health issues in US – Depression
Early appearance of a second wave in Spain*?
What Cycle Threshold means, and meaning of positive tests
Myocarditis in young college athletes
Restaurant dining is a high risk factor.*
For future broadcasts, Peter wants to cover: Vaccines, status of the economy, some problems occurring within China
Statistics as of Friday September 17th
Nevada County – Population based per 100K Nev. County – Population about 100K. NC is at 506 total cases, up from 482 last week ago. Rate of increase has been slowing.
Western Co. 310, up 20 from a week ago;
Eastern Co increased by 4. Case Positive Rate (CPR) is stable at 2.7 % Good news that it’s stable. If CPR rises it usually means more cases are on the way. NC has had a total of 6 deaths so far. We still have 41 total cases from Ananda Village’s zip code (95959).
Counties surrounding Nevada County
Sierra County – 3100 population. Still 6 cases total. Case positive rate is stable at 1%. No new cases in 3 wks.
Yuba County – 80,000 population – Over 1100 cases now, up from 1057. Slowing of new cases week to week. 7 deaths total.
*Placer Co. 400,000 population, includes the town of Auburn – at 3466, up from 3300 last week. 39 total deaths. Case positive rate is at 3.2% down from 4.5%. Auburn specifically – 269 cases, up only 3 cases from last week.
Looking at Population based cases – in last 2 weeks, Nev. Co. 506 per 100K, Sierra Co. 593 per 100K, Yuba Co. <1400 per 100K , Placer Co. 866 per 100K.
*California – Population 40 million – 780K total cases up from 762K cases. Total Deaths are at 14,500. Case positivity rate in CA is down to 5.8%, from 6.0%.
Central Valley is still having the greatest number of new cases. Case fatality rate stays stable at 1.9 % . Almost 2000 cases per 100K population.
*USA as whole – 330,000,000 pop. Cases at 7 million, up from 6.7million. The daily case gain has been about 32K – 42K per day. deaths 204K. Average about 500 deaths per day. Case positivity rate is 2100 per 100K population.
Mexico – Population of 129 million (less than 1/2 US) 700K cases from 670K last week, 74K deaths, Case Positivity Rate is at 46%, up from 44% last week. Case Fatality Rate – stable and high at 10.5%
India 5.4 million from 4.8 million total cases one week ago. Having 90K to 95K new cases per day. Recorded deaths is 88K but it’s hard to know. CPR is stable at 8.5%, recording about 1000 deaths per day.
More South American countries besides Brazil are having significant #’s.
Public Health Director and Community Health and Primary Care Physicians Update:
Locally, as of Friday there were 3 people in hospital. Contract tracing is showing the largest source of new cases – getting exposed in small group gatherings that include individuals from multiple households.
More new cases in care facilities – staff feel well, but are bringing virus from home. More frequent rapid testing is being done on staff. (mentioned at end – Our care homes in Vrindavan have now had some cases)
Upcoming Flu season – It starts November/December and peaks in January or February. The measures we are taking to prevent Covid 19 will probably help prevent influenza as well. Symptoms of “Flu” can look similar to Covid. People being vaccinated against Flu will help with diagnostics as well as health.
Military and Health Care Workers will probably be the first to receive any Covid 19 Vaccines, because of their risk factors, and to keep the military well.
Potential of Increase in Cases, in Next Couple of Weeks – from exposures during the Labor Day Holiday. Hospitalizations would follow 2 weeks after, deaths would be 2 weeks after this, so first week of November may show what happened.
Bad air quality might have mitigating affect because people have stayed indoors.
Placer County made a political decision to ignore state’s mandates about wearing PPE’s and is not enforcing precautions. Caused Placer Co. Public Health Director to quit. 10 counties have lost their PHD’s through quitting or other reasons since Covid 19 started. Good news is that no other counties followed suit.
Masks – good evidence that wearing them lowers the amount of viral load that is spread around, thus transmission rates. Lower viral load keeps others safe from those who are sick, and lower viral load will more likely create asymptomatic cases by those who get infected.
Companies Working on Vaccines – are reassuring “us” that they are not trying to rush testing. They are ramping up manufacturing capability to ensure they will be able to produce what is needed. Likely FDA will do an emergency approval, which gives it special status to release when appropriate.
If we don’t try to control the spread of Covid cases, and the virus spreads further, the risk of mutations in the virus showing up is more likely. This could undermine the vaccine process as the virus will change from the form the vaccine is being made for.
Getting closer to having the rapid testing capability at SFMC, our clinic near Ananda Village They will have the Abbott ID which gives results in about 20 minutes, from a nasal swab, and has a high rate of accuracy. Just weeks away.
Tiers of “Opening Up” – Nevada County is currently in Tier 2, in the 4 Tier system. Tier 1 is the most serious with greatest number of limitations for areas with high infection rate, whereas Tier 4 is more cautionary with more fewer limitations considered necessary to keep everyone save from infection.
On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Nevada County will be looked at for moving down to Tier 3, which includes more indoor flexibility.
Southwest Airlines – has policy of no more than 2 people in a row, separated by a seat. Other airlines are filling their planes.
Scientific Studies – what we know about Covid 19 and Sars2 Corona virus.
Study of how virus is affecting inflammation in testicles in men, or Orchitis. As an example, Mumps creates painful inflammation in men. Covid 19 is attacking the cells that create sperm, so we may find in the future that it will have an affect on fertility.
Also on the cells that create Testosterone, causing a decrease in the hormone. It poses the questions: Will this affect fertility, or sudden onset of low hormone levels, which is miserable and may require hormone supplementation. When testosterone is lost at a young age there is risk developing Osteoporosis, later in life. This is another aspect of Covid 19 that we will want to track.
Role of Vitamin D levels – Low levels, lower than 30 or even 20 = higher incidence of death and more severe cases of the virus. Those with chronic kidney disease are likely to have lower Vitamin D levels, as are dark skinned Hispanic, and Black people.
A study in Israel showed Muslim women are presenting with lower Vitamin D levels. Why? They are commonly covered more in daily dress so they get less sun exposure. With low Vitamin D levels, you are more likely to contract the illness, and more likely to do poorly with the virus. (He gives more very interesting information about how Vitamin D works with the virus when the system is “hijacked” by Sars2 Coronavirus)
Study done in Spain – hospitalized Covid patients are being given the equivalent of 30,000 units of Vitamin D for one week, then after discharge keeping them on 10,000 units, with very good outcomes. These patients were less likely to end up in ICU and less likely to die. Everyone ought to get 15 to 20 minutes of bright sun exposure each day. If you are having blood work done, ask for a Vitamin D level to be done to have the information about your own levels to see if you might want to take a supplement.
Second Wave of Covid 19 in Spain – It’s unusual because there is an increase of cases, but not in #’s of deaths. We know how to care for it better.
Comparison of seasonal Influenza and Covid 19 – Season flu peaks in Jan & Feb.
Usually Influenza Case Fatality Rate is 0.1%. Covid 19 CFR is 3%
Children tolerate Covid 19 better, and the outcomes in children is more at the level of the seasonal Flu.
Transmission Rates (RO = “R naught”) for Influenza = 1.3 people will catch it from someone with active case of Flu. RO = for Covid 19 has been 3 – 6, but with our mitigations (masks, etc) we are driving that RO number down.
Serious complications in flu – 1% of those infected. Complications for those infected with Covid is around 20% (1 out of 5).
Comparison of 1918 Pandemic and Covid 19
Looking at NY – They thought it was a bacteria. that caused the illness. They knew what a virus was, but didn’t know influenza was a virus. We too, have had to work with Covid 19 for some time to figure out how to work with it.
We looked at:
March thru May 2020 – the death rate was 202 per 100K in NY.
Similar Time Frame for 1918 Influenza in NY, the death rate was 287 per 100K
In both cases hospitals were overwhelmed. They were large urban areas, not enough staff, not enough information on how to work with the illness.
What would the baseline normal death rate look like. In 1918 they noted that simply more people died.
During a Flu pandemic we would multiply base (normal) death rate by 3.
During Covid-19, the numbers meant we would multiply the base death rate by 4, so it’s more serious in view of excess deaths over what would be happening anyway.
Behavioral Health Problems are Increasing – In January there were 9% of all patients were reporting behavioral health problems, in August we are seeing 30% reporting the same – things such as depression, anxiety, substance use, and more.
Study at U. of Pittsburg – looking at new treatment – Neutralizing Antibody – which blocks function of Sars2 Coronavirus. This could be a potential treatment, which, if able to be offered humans, can be administered by inhalation or typical IM injection rather than infusion. You ,ay read about this, it’s called AB8.
Peter gave a really good explanation of the Concept of Cycle Threshold and what having a positive Covid 19 test can mean in relation to how much of the virus they identify in your test. It can help you know if you are contagious or not. Worth listening to.
Myocarditis – heart inflammation risk – 26 healthy young college athletes evaluated – 60% male, average age about 19. None got seriously ill. 1/3 had mild symptoms, 2/3 had no symptoms. After infection passed, they studied their hearts. 4 out of 26 showed inflammation of heart muscle, even though it functioned normally. Another 12 of the 26 showed more mild inflammation of the heart muscle. What will be their long term health be like? Long term inflammation has effects on health. Will they begin to have cardiac issues later in life. Another good reason to protect yourself and others from Covid 19.
Lifestyle Behaviors that put people at risk for getting Covid 19 –
During contact tracing all activities were looked at, over the previous 2 weeks – where did they go, what did they do.
It was found that those who reported dining inside a restaurant in the previous 2 weeks were 2 times more likely to get sick. Indoor dining is a high risk activity.
Outdoor dining is much better. Eat outside if you possibly can. Better is to pick up food and take it with you. You can’t wear mask while eating.
Interesting to look at Spain where the culture enjoys lengthy meals at restaurants with friends.
Jyotish and Devi – Dhyana reported that the first few cases of Covid 19 have shown up in the care homes for the widows in Vrindavan. The feeling is that the staff are bringing it in.
2 questions from Devi
Q: what was the good news about Placer Co. not following the state protective mandate?
A: Other counties did not follow suit, the CA Medical Association made a public statement against their decision and confirmed this is a bad idea.
Q: Mental health – We are noticing that people are talking more about being depressed, having nightmares, feeling anxious.
A: Peter commented, first keep your sadhana strong. If your usual mode of service has evaporated, find different ways to serve, and keep serving. Exercise regularly, If you are feeling that it’s becoming more significant consider seeing a traditional counselor. Most people come for 3 or 4 visits and it’s enough. Counselors can help you with a plan, and help identify the things that aren’t helping you. There is medication that can help people stay functional. Peter mentioned to Swami once, that someone in the community was resisting taking medication that could help them. Swami said, in response, “it’s better to take a pill than be a pill.”