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Anti-vaxxers starting again

It is amazing, with no actual vaccine even in sight for Covid-19, how the anti-vaccination forces are already starting.  There have been a lot of people over the years who have tried to discredit vaccinations and complain that they lead to autism and all sorts of other things when there is absolutely no scientific proof at all.  Unfortunately we are living in a world now where people believe that they are entitled to their opinions, regardless of the facts. 

Amongst the latest conspiracy theories is that Bill Gates and others planned for this virus and other ridiculous stories led to people in the UK burning down 5G cell phone towers believing that they cause coronavirus!  It is sad that we live in a world like that and that some people, for  whatever reasons, are going to make sure that by the time we do have a vaccine for Covid-19 that some people will not want to take it, because they would have been told some stories.  Lets all remember – at that time – that the stories against “it” started now - long before there was a vaccine – so people are already opposed to something that does not exist and whose ingredients or formula we do not even know!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 28-May-20   |  Permalink   |  35 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Safer outside

I enjoyed an article on the New York Times website on 15 May that set out precisely how much safer it is to be outside.  We already know that sun kills the virus, but the kind of statistics we have not been told before is that for example out of a study done in China out of 7,300 cases only 1 infection was connected to an outdoor transmission.  As they say, your risks of catching it outdoors are not zero, but they are way lower than inside.  I think when they say they are lower they should actually tell the truth - which is that they are miniscule. 

We all hear about how it spreads in the air and you can catch the virus through the wind, but that too is somewhat of an exaggeration.  To quote a physicist that they quoted in the article, Eugene Chudnovsky, "a single virus will not make anyone sick;  it will be immediately destroyed by the immune system.  The belief is that one needs a few hundred to a few thousand of SARS-CoV-2 viruses to overwhelm the immune response."  In short, just catching a small bit of the virus from somebody who runs past you is unlikely to infect you, but if you are in a closed space, such as a hospital surgery, then yes, there is every chance that by breathing in continuous parts of the virus, as many nurses and doctors do, will make you ill.  We must all appreciate how much risk those Doctors and nurses put themselves through compared to the rest of us. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 25-May-20   |  Permalink   |  41 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
A time for losing weight

I don’t think that there has ever been as much of a wake-up call for losing weight as there is now.  The statistics and the reports, even if the media does not always want to go fully into the details, clearly indicate that the overwhelming majority of people who die from Covid-19 are overweight or elderly or both. 

Of course, like with everything, there are always exceptions – a well-muscled, running fanatic who falls ill from the disease and dies - and that could be me or you.  I am not dismissing that at all, but statistics don’t lie and the vast majority of young people who are dying from this disease are not healthy.  It is really a message to all of us about watching our diets and trying to make sure that we stay in a reasonable shape.  That does not mean you have to be a gym fanatic, but it certainly does not mean being 20 or more kilograms overweight!  It takes a bit of effort to stay in a decent shape, but not so much that the alternative – living a shorter life, suffering from a variety of conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and being more vulnerable to diseases like this – don’t make it worthwhile. 

It is true, as they often write in international media, that obesity is a disease of poverty.  In other words, that poorer people often go for cheaper diets which invariably are much worse foods, but in some cases it is just a weak mother at home who indulges her children with sugar and allows them to drink Coca Cola and soft drinks and feeds them junk foods.  That sort of thing is almost criminal to my mind and it is really unfair when parents bring you up in that way – that you enter the adult world obese, because your parents did not educate you properly on exercise and allowed or even worse, encouraged you to eat bad food at home.  It is really not an excuse to say, “I cannot help it, but my child loves ...”. 

It is tough when you have trained yourself to overeat and to like sugar too much to cut back on those things, but it can be done with a lot of pain and a lot of effort.  Now is certainly the time and there is no point in pretending that it is just about walking a few extra steps a day – you really need to do something even harder  - and that is to go through the hunger pains at a restriction in your diet and removing sugar from your diet. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 18-May-20   |  Permalink   |  47 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Testing for food allergies

I recently did one of the most advanced blood tests that you can get to test for inflammatory responses to food and food chemicals.  The rest is known as the Mediator Release Test which is patented by Oxford Biomedical Technologies.  The white blood cells release cytokines, histamine and the tests that they do measure the changes in circulating white cells and diets based on the results of an MRT test dramatically reduce inflammation and symptoms.

Without going into it in much detail, when we are sensitive to food it causes inflammation within our bodies and Covid-19 has been a very good example of how bad inflammation can be because it is a disease that largely kills by inflammation.  What surprised me were the things that I was most allergic to – if I singled out the worst food that I should avoid at all costs one of them is something I drank my entire life, namely cow’s milk and the other three are spinach, soybean and corn.  So those are four things I am never meant to have at all and luckily I phased milk out of my life over recent years and have been using almond milk, although the test now indicates that I am sensitive to almond milk as well.  The thing I am the most sensitive to is soybean and of course there is milk alternatives made out of soya as well.  I have a mild sensitivity to green peas, eggplant, kale, cashews, oranges, melon and even carrot, but across all the tests the thing I was least sensitive to appears to be crab! 

Black pepper, which I love, also has a very low sensitivity for me, but I am just naming some of those so that you understand how detailed the tests are.  They even test whether you are sensitive to the egg yolk or the egg white and from a South African point of view, whether you are sensitive to tea or rooibos tea.  Neither of them affects me really, but rooibos tea affects me less. They recommend though that you completely avoid any foods that you test reactive to.  None of them are going to kill me, but you don’t need inflammation, excess mucus and gut issues by eating foods that you are not suited to.  They help aggravate things like depression, migraine, asthma, arthritis and even epilepsy.  I guess I will have to pay more attention in future, when shopping, to certainly make sure I don’t get anything that involves soybean or cow’s milk.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 15-May-20   |  Permalink   |  46 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Huge demand for web cameras

As you can imagine, with Zoom video, Microsoft teams and a variety of other products, web cameras are suddenly incredibly popular. So much so that if for example you want to get the Logitech 4K Pro you can order it from Apple for $199 and it will be shipped to you in 8 to 10 weeks’ time! 

Second hand they are going on E-bay for $322 – approximately 60% more than a brand new one, but of course you cannot get hold of a brand new one right now!  When I bought them for all of the staff in my office and had them all put on their computers a few years ago, there was never any difficulty in buying a web camera, but it is definitely one of the hot products of 2020!  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 13-May-20   |  Permalink   |  48 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Why did South Africa shut down in April?

I am still puzzled as to why we have the shutdown.  I understand that lots of other countries have all been shut down at the same time, but the circumstances were different in those countries – notably they had much higher numbers of cases than South Africa.

In short, countries around the world shut down, one might argue, to stop the hospitals overflowing due to the high volume of case numbers they had at the time they introduced the shutdown.  Italy did not shut itself down when it had only 1,000 cases.  South Africa did.  When other countries have come out of the shutdown they have not had 10 times more cases than they had going into the shutdown – with South Africa now at over 11,000 cases.  

Some people have told me that they think this was so that we could prepare for the epidemic.  If preparation involves ordering personal protective gear for doctors and nurses or the army setting up hospital beds at Nasrec, I cannot see why the whole population had to be locked in their houses for those types of things to be done?  Our government suggests that, according to its data, which at the moment it will not reveal to us - for the fear of a panic - which makes one wonder how bad it is, and if one will not panic even more when you are not allowed to see the data because it is so bad, that our peak will be in September. 

Are we going to shut down the country again in September?  The videos I have seen of people waiting for food parcels clearly show that no social distancing is going on between them and things are so bad that people have to queue just to get food.  I just don’t believe that South Africa can afford a shutdown and I am still puzzled as to why we had to have such a dramatic shutdown for the whole month of April and even now only one-third of staff can go back to the offices.  I don’t for one second underestimate the severity of this disease and the dangers that it holds for the South African population, but I don’t understand why we shut down when we had 1,000 cases and we are reopening, slowly, once we got to 11,000 case and are presumably heading on to much higher numbers.  One thing is for sure, we cannot afford to stay closed much longer.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 12-May-20   |  Permalink   |  44 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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