Three healthcare providers discuss the virus and effective treatments to deal with COVID-19
As the Delta variant continues to wreak havoc on area residents and the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic, people are naturally seeking information on how to stay healthy. What can they do to fight off the virus if they encounter it and avoid being a burden on the healthcare system?
Three area healthcare providers gathered Saturday afternoon at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Vancouver to provide information and answer questions to an estimated 100-125 people in attendance. Scott Miller, of Miller Family Pediatrics, Ana Jackson of Healthy Roots Clinic in Amboy, and Dani Lockwood of Terrain Wellness, all shared perspectives on the virus and ways for people to boost their immune system for greater overall health. The video can be viewed here.
“Right now, the biggest difference that you could make is to be healthy,” said Lockwood, in her opening remarks. “Two weeks to flatten the curve and it’s been 56 weeks.”
“We don’t want to overburden the hospitals,” was a common theme of all three. The best way to do that is to stay healthy. “We want to support the body and its ability to heal itself,” said Jackson.
“We want to do everything we can to take care of ourselves and our immune systems before things get that bad,” said Palmer Davis, event organizer.
Lockwood is a naturopathic doctor. She shared that the U.S. used to have homeopathic and naturopathic hospitals. You don’t see them anymore. Yet for hundreds, if not thousands of years, women acted as caregivers for their family and had home remedies that were learned and passed down from generation to generation.
In discussing the Wuhan virus, she shared that it appears to be a splicing of multiple different viruses. ”We do know that it is made up of multiple different viruses,” she said. “It kind of looks like a hybrid between a bacterial infection, a viral infection, and an inflammatory reaction. So we have to treat it on all fronts. You can’t just use one thing. We’ve got to use all the things we’ll talk about.”
All three spoke about the power of vitamin D and vitamin C and zinc. “Zinc is incredibly helpful for any type of viral illness,” Jackson said. “It’s helpful because it actually inhibits viral replication.” She suggested you take quercetin as a supplement with the zinc. It helps to get more zinc into your cells. “You want to take those two things together,” she said.
Get rid of sugar and soda, Lockwood emphasized. Exercise, be active, and getting fresh air was another common theme. The physical activity makes you feel better and reduces stress.
Miller told tales of dealing with patients whose oxygen level was below 90, including one patient who called and had 78 percent oxygen level. One of his assistants immediately took an oxygen tank to the woman, to give her body and her lungs a chance to heal.
He’s seen too many people with “Covid-brain” — low oxygen levels can cause you to not think clearly. That’s where family members come in, and understanding what is healthy and what isn’t, is so important.
Jackson shared that there are two phases to COVID-19 sickness. The normal viral stage lasts about the first nine days. “You’re coughing, fever, chills, you don’t feel good, and you don’t have a lot of energy,” she said. “Days 10 through 16 are where you can go into a very hyper inflammatory state.” The second phase is where your antioxidants like NAC and glutathione help.
They spoke about one of many early COVID symptoms is loss of smell. The virus attacks through your nose and mouth and often your body generates a lot of mucus as it battles the virus. Cleaning out the mucus is very important.
Inhaling steam can help break up the mucus, and then using a neti pot to flush your nose and sinus area to get rid of the mucus.
That helps the lungs deliver oxygen to blood cells, which is vital in helping the body fight the infection. Having a pulse oximeter available is a good idea, so that if you begin feeling sick, you can measure and report your oxygen level to your healthcare provider.
The FDA reports that if an FDA-cleared pulse oximeter reads 90 percent, then the true oxygen saturation in the blood is generally between 86-94 percent. Pulse oximeter accuracy is highest at saturations of 90-100 percent, intermediate at 80-90 percent, and lowest below 80 percent.
Miller shared that he is constantly trying to respond to people’s requests for help. The pandemic has calls and texts and emails coming in to him at all hours of the day and night.
This past week he was referred to someone diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia who had been sent home from a hospital. “We have some amazing people that decided to go over to their house on Wednesday or Thursday night and stayed with her for six hours, until two in the morning,” he said.
At 6:15 a.m. Saturday, another doctor called Miller. Her oxygen level was 88. She was on day nine, fighting the virus. She had held off on taking three of the prescribed treatments because she had been feeling better.
The implied message — don’t get lulled into a false sense of wellness, just because you are feeling better. Take the full course of proscribed treatments. “You don’t want the cytokine storm,” said one local citizen.
Miller shared the insight that “your first symptom is not when you’re feeling bad. Your first symptom is when you’re wondering what’s that?” It might be a backache; or you woke up a little fatigued. Loss of taste and smell are big ones.
“Don’t wait to start your treatments. Don’t wait to call him or your healthcare provider,” he emphasized. Miller wants to avoid the situation where you “tough it out” and then have to call 9-1-1 on day 8 or 9.
“This is not last year’s COVID,” Miller said. “That was easy.” The Delta variant spreads more easily and accounts for the overwhelming majority of cases in our state. It’s also causing breakthrough cases where vaccinated people still get sick with the virus.
The protocols referenced by the Frontline COVID Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) and Dr. Pierre Kory were mentioned. They suggest that taking Ivermectin works as a prophylactic and as a treatment. They have separate I-MASK + protocols for prophylactic and post-exposure treatment. Miller has thoroughly studied their recommendations and agrees.
FLCCC touts Ivermectin plus five supplements — vitamins D, C, zinc, quercetin, and melatonin. They note Ivermectin is not yet FDA-approved for the treatment of COVID-19, but on Jan. 14, 2021, the NIH changed their recommendation for the use of Ivermectin in COVID-19 from “against” to “neutral.”
Miller has had COVID-19. He tested positive on a Friday and felt good enough to take calls from patients on Monday. He quickly rattled off the various treatments he took, including the Ivermectin. He strongly recommends the time-release melatonin, in addition to the vitamins, minerals and supplements mentioned earlier.
“Google glutathione and COVID,” Miller strongly emphasized. “Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients”, read one of the National Institutes of Health article’s headline.
“Patients with moderate and severe COVID-19 illness had lower levels of glutathione and higher ROS and ROS/GSH ratio in plasma than patients with mild disease, clearly indicating glutathione deficiency and oxidative stress signs in patients with serious disease manifestations,” states the report.
Jackson spoke positively about the impact of NAC. Yet she said it may be harder to find because the FDA issued a warning about it. The FDA asserted in 2020 warning letters that NAC cannot be lawfully marketed in a dietary supplement because it was first approved as a drug in 1963. Industry representatives have urged FDA to reverse its position.
“NAC is incredibly helpful for any sort of lung infection,” Jackson said. “It’s a natural mucolytic that helps any sort of mucus or any buildup come out of your lungs.” Miller agreed, reporting he took it during his bout with COVID.
They all emphasized the importance of vitamin D. Miller came across one paper that reported the death rate of people with vitamin D levels of 60,000 or above is zero. “It’s an innate immune system issue,” he said. “We’re trying to avoid the cytokine storm.”
“Accumulating evidence suggests that the severity of COVID-19 is associated with an increased level of inflammatory mediators including cytokines and chemokines,” reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Miller mentioned budesonide inhalers for people who get the virus. It’s a corticosteroid and improves lung function and shortens recovery time. It works by decreasing inflammation.
For those patients who encounter the cytokine storm, he mentioned colchicine, an anti-inflammatory medication.
There was discussion about the success of what Florida is doing by treating people immediately with monoclonal antibodies. Governor Ron DeSantis has touted the treatment as being effective for patients with COVID-19 symptoms and set up 25 sites around the state to administer them. The state had given well over 30,000 doses in early September and that didn’t include any of the hospitals.
Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that act like human antibodies in the immune system. The treatment provides a temporary, but immediate boost to the immune system which can help reduce chances that a patient will develop serious complications.
Miller is used to dealing with children and their unique needs and ailments. Because of his passionate desire to serve any sick person during the pandemic, it has brought significant challenges and stress to his life.
“I have an unbelievably high level of respect for the damage the virus can do,” he said. “I mean it’s one of the most helpless things I’ve seen,” as he has fought the system to try and get dying patients certain treatments. “I treat kids, I don’t normally talk to people when they’re dying,” he said.
“We need to educate everybody and make sure everybody has the opportunity to get the vitamins and supplements and medications that they need,” he said. “It’s critical.”
During the question and answer period, several citizens asked what they could contribute to the cause of helping their community. The providers all agreed that oxygen concentrators are needed so they can loan them out to patients.
They’re looking for access to an X-ray machine, to be able to evaluate the condition of patients’ lungs.
A group spoke afterwards about trying to find a location where the community can step forward and provide the resources so these healthcare providers getting the calls in the middle of the night or on the weekend, can get the equipment needed to the patient.
Palmer Davis, who hosted the event, has created Well Washington to provide a source of information and resources to the Clark County community in the midst of the pandemic. It has links to healthcare providers, to pharmacies and sources of treatments, as well as videos for informative purposes.
It was shared that Miller has been under attack by some in the establishment regarding the care he is giving. A GoFundMe account has been established to help him with legal fees in defending his medical license and ability to continue caring for his patients.