By Phillip Wade B.Pharm ND DBotMed DNutr DRM MATMS
Herd immunity is a phrase that has been largely misunderstood by many people – not only whether by the public, but also by many bureaucratic-medical, political, or the major or media types.
Pen-pushing perpetrators panic politicians into punishing public
(News editors are nonetheless unabashed in giving often forceful opinions, sometimes "herding" politicians into positions that are more extreme than they would like).
So what is it and how do we get it?
When sufficient people have been immunised from a disease then the remainder will naturally acquire immunity because that is what your immune cells have evolved to do. That’s how Rotary has almost succeeded in eliminating the dreaded scourge of polio from the world stage – from hundreds of thousands to only two individuals as I write in this financial year (2001-2)!
So how does herd immunity work in the case of a pandemic, where thousands of people have either been immunised, part immunised, immunised for a different form of the current virus or are acquiring a virus for the first time without immunisation?
Live virus or dead virus?
Live virus – how does it live?
Firstly, let’see how we are acquiring immunity from a live virus from an already infected person.
Virus dies in air
Unvaccinated or vaccinated, when passing someone in the street who is infected with an original or a new version of the virus, we know that some portion of the air that we inhale will contain some breath that they exhale, hopefully from a respectful distance.
Incidentally Queensland and WA as well as possibly Victoria might have a problem – their impossible attempt to “sterilise” their states from the virus has meant that they might well be hit with quite a few strains of the virus all at once having finally re-opened their borders. This might possibly mean that their citizens may well “go down” with strain after strain until they catch up.
The vaccinations and the recent pharmaceutical drug release may help reduce serious cases however.
The saviour may be the findings of scientists – plus numerous case studies from our Wellness Chemist – that vitamin C complex preparations may help boost immunity. Our pharmacy has been using Winter Mix to great effect.
Virus only survives in human cells
So, that air will obviously contain both live and dead virus – and at varying concentrations, depending how near or far the person is, whether there is still air or movement, if they moisten their nostrils, if the sun is out, f there is heavy moisture.
Why does virus die over about a metre of being exposed in the air? SAee below.
Immune system – healthy or otherwise?
Our immune system then engages both of these new proteins in their breath, in this case both live and dead virus, and may ultimately develop its permanent immunity via antibody production. This link may help to explain how this all works.
Meanwhile, as part of this process you may experience the initial “scratchy” feeling in the first few days, as the initial and subsequent “wave” of viruses are replicating themselves in your upper airway cells and come bursting out.
Healthy NK cells squirt first then ask questions later
At this point you might be surprised to know that if your “natural killer” “NK” (first responder) immune cells are healthy and activated, then you will develop less disease than if they are unhealthy.
Kids have abundance of Thymus gland immune cells
The young have a particular abundance of natural killer cells.* See case study in footnotes. That’s why it was deemed unnecessary for children to avoid schooling. Later there was so much panic press that even this method was – in my opinion, wrongly – recanted.
But keep home the unhealthy kids – and elderly.
Still after all this time, very few if any healthy children have ever died directly from corona virus. Naturally, it is a wise move to heep unhealthy children at home during an active surge of a new variant, and the same obviously applies to the unwell elderly.
The symptoms of Covid disease from the SARS Covid 19 corona virus and its varying forms can vary from mild to fatal historically, varying with the health, and age of the infected person – and especially if institutionalised withour access to fresh air.
Even this may not have happened to the extent that it has, had the elderly been well nourished. ** See case study in footnotes.
Then after about 10-14 days, fever and coughing may happen that is caused by the activity of white blood cells going through their “manufacturing” stages, when cloned antibodies will suddenly burst out of those immune cells where they have been slowly developing, accompanied by possibly catastrophic bursts of inflammatory cytokines such as histamine and perforin. Meanwhile, these waves of “viraemias” may keep recurring unless steps are taken to prevent them.
Several pharmaceutical drugs are now available also for this purpose.
In the case of dead virus particles that you inhale, your mast cells may also treat these new proteins as a foreign body and may develop antibodies against them, in much the same manner as they would from a vaccination. See the link for more information on this process.
Dead virus – how has it died?
An exhaled virus dies rapidly in the air in the Australian climate after you have breathed out, or someone sneezes or coughs.
Why? Because a virus that is toxic to humans, by definition, can only live in a human cell, and so the fewer cells that are contained in the air via sputum or micro-droplets then the lower the concentration of live viruses.
The proportion of free live viruses in this exhaled lifeline may also increase in higher moisture and cooler conditions.
Well, what’s different about the Australian climate?
Firstly, in most parts of our country there exists a hotter, drier climate than for example in Europe.
Secondly, we are bathed in abundant ultraviolet rays that may also actively kill microbes, including the virus.
Author’s note: There is plenty of speculation that vitamin D is associated with killing the virus. However, we do know that UV light in high concentration is an effective industrial sterilising methos (kills microbes). So it stands to reason that in lower concentrations it may also do that, albeit to a lesser effect.
And the counter to this is that in the winter westerly breezes substantial electrostatic activity builds up causing the virus to suspend in the air longer than normal.
So, the bottom line is that by circulating in public you may acquire herd immunity safely by following the recommended precautions of wearing a mask in crowds, keeping a respectful distance from others, mposten your nose and throat regularly, cough/sneeze into your sleeve, and create an extra metre of space between you and any person who does that.
Incidentally, circulating a fortnight in the above manner (including maximising your health) after you have received either stage of your vaccination is just a logical thing to do, as you are teaching your immune cells how to protect you more permanently.
That is because the genetic vaccines have a much shorter immune span than the protein vaccines because they act differently. And the highlighted link may help to explain how to use them safely.
Serious virus disease – how does it happen?
Serious consequences from SARS Covid 19 happen if the initial “contact” by NK cells is so weak that the live virus may penetrate deeply into your circulation. So the viraemias are happening in mucous membrane, blood vessel cells and potentially deep organ cells.
This attracts the B cell activity that produces antibodies.
So the massive antibody clone release may then occur in these other parts of the body – and may cause inflammation, porosity of vessels (“scratchy feeling in lungs”), lung perfusion of fluid (“feeling of drowning”), and potentially organ and even multi-organ failure.
So keep healthy your immune system so that this is all “nipped in the bud”.
Countering serious disease
See this link for a fulsome explanation on prevention and see* and ** below, but the short story is take a vitamin C complex preparation such as Winter Mix aka Leucostat and complementary health-supporting nutritional input that may support immune health.
*Two brothers, one 6 YO and the other 8 YO acquired Omicron, one after the other. One took Winter Mix and the other wasn’t so keen. The “control” brother developed only mild symptoms, and the younger brother had quite substantial bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea that seems to be a common feature of the latest virus. Both tested positive to the corona virus on PCR testing.
** A 78 YO male, having taken Winter Mix regularly and prior vaccination availability, was exposed to the original version of the virus in early 2020 as a prolonged close contact. He showed only very mild symptoms.
Later the same male, by then vaccinated with Astra Zenica and still taking Winter Mix was again subjected to prolonged exposure at a function, some 18 months later. He did not register on the RAT test at any stage. His vaccinated 75YO wife, taking a commercial vitamin C complex of much lower dosage, experienced relatively mild symptoms and showed positive on the RAT.
Their colleagues, some significantly younger, with whom they were close contacts at the same function, and also vaccinated and taking various small doses of a commercial vitamon C preparation, experienced quite severe symptoms.
The bottom line is to follow the rules of how to avoid serious infection and mingle as freely and safely as rules allow.
Particularly as soon as it is possible to do so from 14 days onwards following booster jabs.