It’s clear to me social isolation is key to avoiding COVID-19 and “flattening the curve.”
Sadly, many people – including those in authority – are not using common sense.
Social isolation does not have to mean staying inside 24 hours a day.
In fact, it shouldn’t – unless you live in a large city, especially downtown, where the sidewalk would be crowded if just a few people took a walk.
So, you must adjust what I’m advising here to your personal situation and your local emergency laws.
I’m lucky because I live in a suburban area where I was almost always the only pedestrian even BC (Before COVID). Everybody around me has cars and drives them everywhere. The few times I pass someone else on the sidewalk, we both just swing to opposite sides, so we stay safe from each other.
Study of the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship
We know the COVID-19 virus is spread through droplets hanging in the air. People who cough or sneeze can project it up to 13 feet.
However, it doesn’t stay there forever, just hanging around, waiting to infect you.
Many of the Princess Diamond staterooms had balcony doors that opened onto the open air.
All the staterooms also had central air conditioning, which connected the air supply. The air traveled at 8 litres per second, about the same as a typical office building.
Overall, staterooms had air 70% from the AC and 30% from the outside.
However, this did NOT spread the virus.
The passengers and crew were initially infected by a passenger who boarded. Until the quarantine was imposed, they all were close together while eating meals, attending the theater, hanging around the pool and gambling in the casino.
After the quarantine, the only new infections came from people sharing staterooms. Obviously, those people were in close proximity in their staterooms to their friends/family members.
Otherwise, the quarantine worked. The virus did NOT spread through the outside air or the central AC.
We know the danger of virus spread comes from recirculated air. That certainly includes riding in airplanes.
Conclusion: it’s safe to be outside as long as you remain at least six feet away from other people. And, even at that distance, don’t hang around talking to them.
Do not remain in close contact with other people. Avoid all crowds.
Get Out and Enjoy the Sun
You’ll feel better emotionally, and you’ll probably lower your risk of COVID-19 infection or complications if you are infected.
The medical community is focused on finding drugs to help people who are infected.
The rest of us want to strengthen our immune systems as much as possible – and that includes raising our levels of Vitamin D.
The Underappreciated Role of Vitamin D
It’s a hormone that affects 5% of your genome. That means a deficiency of Vitamin D cuts down your body’s functioning by 5%, and that includes your immune system.
We naturally get Vitamin D from exposing our skins to sunshine. Back in the day, workers got plenty of sunshine with most of the jobs consisting of some outside work.
That more and more people sit behind a desk, we need to schedule a time to get sunlight.
In general, people living in northern climates developed lighter skins so that it’s easier to get healthy Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D Deficiencies Could Explain Many of COVID-19’s Risk Factors
Recently people have been pointing out that African-Americans are far more likely than whites to get COVID-19 and to die from it.
This disparity is even more obvious in Sweden. There, a huge number of COVID-19 victims are refugees from Somalia even though those refugees are only a small percentage of Sweden’s overall population (which is otherwise almost all white).
The darker the skin, the more at risk one is for being deficient in Vitamin D. That is, the more one needs to expose their skin to sunlight for longer periods – WITHOUT sunscreen. (It’s important to avoid overexposure that burns the skin.)
If one cannot do that, they need to take even more Vitamin D supplements than white people do.
Other people at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency include the elderly and the obese.
And, if you’ve been paying attention, you know the elderly and the obese are also at higher risk of catching COVID-19 and dying from it.
Generally, because sunlight is so important, one is more at risk the farther north they live.
Fortunately, within a month or so, almost everybody in the United States should be able to get enough sunlight to optimize their Vitamin D levels.
And this should help fight the pandemic unless local authorities force everyone to remain indoors.
I’m in favor of getting Vitamin D first from the sun because too much Vitamin D can be toxic. And the skin automatically stops producing the hormone when one reaches their healthy limit.
If a person can not get outside enough, it can take up to 4,000 i.u. per day of a supplement. More than that may lead to toxicity.
We Also Need Exercise
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute and the National Council on Aging just announced the results of a study on the anti-aging effects of walking.
Their conclusion; the longer you walk, the longer you’ll live.
They don’t even care if you don’t walk “briskly,” (as many advise). The intensity did not affect the results.
Walking 8,000 steps per day made study participants 51% less likely to die.
Those who walked 12,000 steps per day were 65% less likely to die.
That study has nothing to do with COVID-19, but it does show sitting at home on your couch is also a health risk factor.
If you’re not allowed outside, walk around your home as much as you can. One guy in Europe ran a marathon on his balcony.