Roy Exum: The Daily COVID Count

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

What is believed to have been the first case of the coronavirus in Hamilton County was on March 16, 2020, according to Hamilton County’s Heath Department. I distinctly remember laughing it off, firmly believing that our nation’s vast and mighty medical community was impenetrable. “No Frankenstein lab has a chance against us,” was my stance, and I have never been as wrong in my life.

I’ve had to eat so many helpings of crow in my lifetime I prefer some A-1 sauce with mine but COVID is in a league of its own. None of us knew then what we know today and it is my belief that the better we are informed about the pandemic the easier it is to face it.

Last night I studied the Johns Hopkins “dashboard,” a new word for a new way to present facts, and while the Johns Hopkins report lags a little from the up-to-the-minute reports by local and state officials, let’s look at these numbers from what I believe is the best source:

* * *

GLOBAL CASES: 90,758,95 -- The top five countries: U.S. 22,589,424; India 10,466,595; Brazil 8,105,790; Russia 3,389,733; and United Kingdom 3,127,636.

GLOBAL DEATHS: 1,942,206 (NOTE: By an overwhelming percentage those who have died had pre-existing conditions and the definition of ‘primary cause’ varies from country to country.

USA CASES: 22,589,424 – The top five states: California 2,738,088; Texas 1,988,619; Florida 1,488,586; New York 1,149,771; and Illinois 1,033,526. (Tennessee is ninth with 657,396.)

USA DEATHS: 375,892 – The top five states: New York: 39,834 deaths, 110,600 recovered; Texas 30,585 deaths, 1,568,710 recovered; California 30,114 deaths, recovered unknown; Florida 19,854 deaths, 60,052 recovered; and New Jersey 30,585 deaths, 1,568,710 recovered. (Tennessee is No. 14 with 7,865 deaths, 568,910 recovered.)

TENNESSEE CASES: 657,396 – The top five counties are:

* -- Davidson (Nashville) -- 76,733 cases, 628 deaths, 59,794 recovered.

* – Shelby (Memphis) -- 74,508 cases. 1,039 deaths, 64,875 recovered.

* -- Knox (Knoxville) -- 38,226 cases, 373 deaths, 31,629 recovered.

* -- Hamilton (Chattanooga) -- 33,829 cases, 311 dead, 27,973 recovered.

* -- Rutherford (Murfreesboro) -- 31,744 cases, 268 deaths, 27,809 recovered.

* * *

No, not only did we have no inkling of what was about to befall us, our lack of knowledge and our inability to understand the magnitude of this catastrophe was almost as big as ourselves. But in just nine months – what it took our ‘best of the best” to produce a miracle – we have learned a great deal about an admittedly unknown.

Here are two newsletters, the first in layman’s language from the famed Mayo Clinic, and the second from a lifetime educator in Canada who begs we stay strong:

* * *


* -- This virus is not a living organism. It is a protein molecule (RNA or DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular (eyes), nasal (nose) or buccal mucosa (mouth), changes their genetic code (mutates) and converts into aggressor and multiplier cells.

* -- Since the virus is not a living organism, but is a protein molecule, it cannot be killed.  It has to decay on its own.

* -- The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.

* --  The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat, and that is the reason why soap or detergent is the best weapon. The foam is what CUTS THE FAT (that is why you have to scrub for 20 seconds or more, to create lots of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down.

* -- HEAT melts fat; this is why it is necessary to use water above 77 degrees for hand washing, laundry and cleaning surfaces. In addition, hot water makes more foam, making it more effective.

* -- Alcohol, or any mixture with alcohol over 65 percent, will dissolve all fat, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.

* -- Any solution with 1 part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaking it down from the inside.

* -- Oxygenated water increases the effectiveness of soap, alcohol, and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein. However, because you have to use it in its pure form, it can damage your skin.

* -- No bactericide or antibiotic will work because the virus is not a living organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.

* -- The virus molecules remain very stable at colder temperatures, including air conditioning in houses and cars. They also need moisture and darkness to stay stable. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade the virus faster.

* -- Ultraviolet light on any object that may contain the virus breaks down the protein. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.

* -- The virus CAN NOT go through healthy skin.

* -- Vinegar is not useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.

* -- No whiskey, gin, vodka, or consumable alcohol will work against the coronavirus. For instance, the strongest vodka is only 40% alcohol, and you need a minimum of 65%. (NOTE “Proof” is defined as twice the alcohol (ethanol) content by volume. For example, a whiskey with 50% alcohol is 100-proof whiskey. Anything 120-proof would contain 60% alcohol, and – when a bottle of Absolut vodka clearly reads 80-proof on the label, that means 40% of the liquid is alcohol.)

* -- LISTERINE mouth wash is 65% alcohol.

* -- The more confined the space, the higher the concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.

 * -- You have to wash your hands before and after touching any commonly used surfaces such as: mucosa (mouth area), food, locks, knobs, switches, remotes, cell phones, watches, computers, desks etc… and don’t forget when you use the bathroom.

 * -- You have to MOISTURIZE YOUR HANDS due to frequent washing. Dry hands have cracks and the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.

* -- Also, keep your FINGER NAILS SHORT AND CLEANED so that the virus does not hide there.

* * *


(NOTE: Dr. Bonnie Henry is the Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia. She is the first woman in this position She is also an associate professor at the University of British Columbia. She has a background in epidemiology and is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine.)

She offers these commonsense facts:

1. We may have to live with COVID-19 for months or years. Let's not deny it or panic. Let's not make our lives useless. Let's learn to live with this fact.

2. You can't destroy COVID-19 viruses that have penetrated cell walls, by drinking gallons of hot water … you'll just go to the bathroom more often.

3. Washing hands and maintaining a (six foot) physical distance is the best method for your protection.

4. If you don't have a COVID-19 patient at home, there's no need to disinfect the surfaces at your house.

5. Packaged cargo, gas pumps, shopping carts and ATMs do not cause infection. If you wash your hands, live your life as usual.

6. COVID-19 is not a food infection. It is associated with drops of infection like the 'flu’. There is no demonstrated risk that COVID-19 is transmitted by food.

7. You can lose your sense of smell with a lot of allergies and viral infections. This is only a non-specific symptom of COVID-19.

8. Once at home, you don't need to change your clothes urgently and go shower! Purity is a virtue, paranoia is not!

9. The COVID-19 virus doesn't hang in the air for long. This is a respiratory droplet infection that requires close contact.

10. The air is clean; you can walk through the gardens and through parks (just keeping your physical protection distance).

11. It is sufficient to use normal soap against COVID-19, not antibacterial soap. This is a virus, not a bacterium.

12. You don't have to worry about your food orders. But you can heat it all up in the microwave if you wish.

13. The chances of bringing COVID-19 home with your shoes is like being struck by lightning twice in a day. I've been working against viruses for 20 years — drop infections don't spread like that!

14. You can't be protected from the virus by taking vinegar, sugarcane juice and ginger! These are for immunity -- not a cure.

15. Wearing a mask for long periods interferes with your breathing and oxygen levels. Wear it only in crowds.

16. Wearing gloves is also a bad idea; the virus can accumulate into the glove and be easily transmitted if you touch your face. Better just to wash your hands regularly.   

17. Immunity is weakened by always staying in a sterile environment. Even if you eat immune boosting foods, please go out of your house regularly to any park/beach. Immunity is increased by exposure to pathogens … not by sitting at home and consuming fried/spicy/sugary food and aerated drinks.

* * *

Be smart and stay informed! Live life sensibly and to the fullest.

Be Kind, Be Calm and Be Safe.

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