These practical pointers may be of interests:
Masks: These are in short supply and of limited use. The best use for a surgical mask is to put on a sick person to reduce spraying of droplets. To protect a healthy person you need a well-fitting N95 mask to filter out tiny particles, including those that sneak around the edges of a surgical mask. Masks used in construction and other industries might serve. Eye protection is also needed. One function of a mask is to remind you not to touch your face.
How can you disinfect the mask, including the disposable ones? These ideas have not been tested but are based on general principles: viruses are destroyed by heat and ultraviolet light.
- Sweep the mask slowly with a heat gun or hair dryer.
- Put it in an already hot clothes dryer for 5 minutes.
- Spritz it with water on the inside and outside and put it in the microwave until it’s too hot to touch.
- If you don’t have an ultraviolet (UV) light, put items out in the sun.
Many ideas are proposed, but you probably don’t have time to wait.
Bolstering Your Immune System: Of the many ideas circulating, vitamin D and vitamin C are the best supported.
A 2017 review published in the BMJ concluded that vitamin D supplementation is safe and protects against upper respiratory infections. Some physicians take and recommend 5,000 IU or more per day, much in excess of the official daily recommended amount. If you can’t find this in the stores, you can make your own: Go outside in the sun for 10 to 20 minutes a day with as much skin exposed as comfortable. Do not stay long enough to get a sunburn. Sunscreen screens out UV light, defeating the whole purpose. (Yes, prolonged sun exposure increases your risk of skin cancer, but we’re having a pandemic.
Vitamin C doesn’t just prevent scurvy. It is necessary to defend against infection, and is rapidly depleted when you are ill. It has been used in high doses intravenously for decades by some practitioners in many serious diseases, but for some reason FDA and organized medicine oppose this, and information has been removed from Facebook. Some 50 tons was shipped to Wuhan, and studies are underway in China. Virtually all Vitamin C is now made in China.
Ibuprofen: On Mar 18, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended against taking ibuprofen for COVID-19, but now “doesn’t recommend avoiding it.” But some evidence suggests it can make the disease worse.
Packages and Surfaces: Virus is detectable for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Unsanitary conditions in warehouses, and workers coming in even when sick, have been reported in the New York Times. One physician “quarantines” cardboard boxes for one to two days. (Goods from China have been in transit much longer than that.)
Is There a Cure? Antimalarial drugs in wide use for decades, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, have been studied for their activity against viruses since 2003. As used in France, China, and South Korea, these drugs are showing very favorable effects on the illness and the length of infectivity, especially in combination with the common antibiotic azithromycin. Their use is now standard protocol in some non-U.S. hospitals, according to reports from physicians. Production of these now-scarce but once cheap and abundant drugs urgently needs to be ramped up.
Perspective: Is this the deadliest pandemic in human history? By no means. See:
For further information, see our compendium of Corona Virus Articles.