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Corona Virus: O2 Deprivation?

Corona Virus: O2 Deprivation?

While there has been a lot of speculation about COVID-19’s cause and cure, there is one discovery we haven’t heard much about that’s intriguing and worth exploring. It could be a hopeful development that gives us more direction as we seek to control or lessen the effects of the virus.

It was first suggested by a NY City emergency room MD who was setting up a hospital unit to treat COVID-19 patients. When looking over the limited data that they have he saw that many patients were showing symptoms consistent with oxygen deprivation.

One reason that is an important distinction is when someone is put on a ventilator for O2 deprivation, the settings are different from those used for COVID-19 patients.

Cameron Kyle-Sidell, the Brooklyn MD who noticed this, said that for O2 deprivation the ventilator settings are lower and using higher settings could be damaging patient’s lungs. His unit used the lower settings and they had more successful outcomes and fewer fatalities.

Recently the NY Times published a letter from him. Search for him online and you will find several interviews with him. Does O2 deprivation also relate to the flu’s cause, control or cure? Has he given us a place to explore and research?

Dr. Kyle-Sidell’s speaking out was important too because it points out that there is so much we don’t know yet. There are no experts on this. Should we honestly call people experts when they admit this is a whole new and different game for them? Aren’t experts people who have knowledge and experience in specific field?  The expression “a whole new game” tells us it’s a little early to get too fixed and think we know.

It shows we need to be open to new ideas and approaches. Out of necessity, they will  need to experiment and learn.

We owe a lot to the efforts of these leaders and those courageously leading us in the fight against this virus by showing up at the hospitals every day. I hope they know their courage inspires others to do more. Their anguish at having to choose who gets care when they want to treat everyone equally well—their desire to serve us all—is how leaders act when they want to bring people together, isn’t it?  This flu has shown us the importance of working together. Thanks to all who are there for us and giving us hope.

I hope Dr. Kyle-Sidell’s observations on O2 deprivation are applied more broadly. We know already O2 kills viruses. Is there something about our air that keeps this one alive longer? How? Some have suggested it travels by attaching to polluting particles in the air.

The WHO told us years ago that melting ice and permafrost will release ancient viruses capable of this. Looking at some of the areas that have been hit hard we can see this flu thrives in highly polluted and highly populated areas. If that is the cause pandemics will continue unless we make major environmental changes. The lock-down is showing us that.

People are seeing the Himalayas now in India. They haven’t been visible for years. They have discovered that there’s fish in the canals in Venice—in Venice California! Who would have guessed? Again, they haven’t been seen for years.

What’s most clear is that it takes a lot of us working together to figure this out—for us and Mother Earth-—and also the cost of ignore-ance. I hope we can move beyond this stage of “I’m okay. I’m safe” because I believe it or because I have no symptoms. No one can know that yet without testing and while our knowledge base is growing, it is sure to evolve and change and learn.

It’s clear this has changed us/US already. What in the world comes next? Do we simply adjust? Get band aids? Or look at how we want to change, adjust and cope. Ultimately it’s a great opportunity to look at how we live and not take it for granted that we can’t.

This can make us stronger—and know/remember that when we wash our hands we aren’t just doing it for ourselves.  It’s the same when we wear a mask, isn’t it? We show respect for others while caring for ourselves. Be well.

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