“Our search for functional immunity to Sars-Cov-2 is less a biological quandary than a psychological one,” Angela Rasmussen wrote in the Guardian in November 2020. “[I]t is tempting to think that this virus is an ultra-virulent pathogen unlike others we have seen,” Rasmussen wrote, but in fact “it is our inadequate policies and lack of evidence-based public health strategy that has gotten us to where we are today in the US, the UK and most of the rest of Europe.”
Several studies suggest that natural immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection is far more widespread than anyone imagined. Most of the evidence in both Covid-19 patients and animal models shows that the immune response to COVID is quite typical for an acute viral infection. “Most people who recover from Covid-19 have detectable neutralizing antibodies months after infection,” Rasmussen observed. “This suggests that Sars-Cov-2 infection does produce an immune response that is protective, at least for several months,” she wrote. Rasmussen also noted that some people who have never tested positive for Covid-19 have “memory T-cells from prior common-cold coronavirus infections that cross-react with Sars-Cov-2, suggesting that there may be some existing protection in the population.”
Largely missing from the daily media drumbeat of fear-driven public health mandates is the common-sense health guidance to improve our immune function and naturally lower our risk to COVID-19, by supplementing our diets with vitamins C, D, zinc and other supportive behavior. This is especially important for high-risk groups, such as the elderly and sub-groups with comorbidities such diabetes, dementia, cancer and obesity. A major contributing factor for the elderly is the high incidence of malnutrition, which is estimated at up to eighty percent among elderly hospital patients.
Multiple studies show a relationship between nutrient defeciences and COVID-19. As reported in Science Daily, a study conducted at Anglia Ruskin University found an association between low levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across twenty European countries. Studies also show that vitamin D supplementation promotes viral clearance in asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals. Vitamin D has multiple anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory effects. Along with the mineral selenium, it provides a protective role against immune hyper-reaction (cytokine storm) in patients with severe COVID-19. Both play a role in T cell-dependent antibody production. Another study revealed that COVID-19 patients who were zinc-deficient had more complications, prolonged hospital stays and increased mortality. Water-soluble Vitamin C offers protection against free radicals, helping to protect the body against immune system deficiencies.
In March 2021, the Independent, US News & World Report, CNN, and other major news outlets reported on a study that found that deaths from COVID-19 are ten times higher in countries where more than half the population is overweight; but the establishment press has provided much less coverage on how significant nutrient deficiencies may be putting many people at greater risk to the coronavirus.
Angela Rasmussen, “Our Immune Systems Can Cope With COVID-19–It’s Our Politicians Who Can’t,” The Guardian, November 15, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/15/immune-systems-covid-19-politicians-virus.
Hannah C., “Some Forms of Common Cold May Give COVID-19 Immunity Lasting up to 17 Years, New Research Suggests,” Science Times, June 12, 2020, www.sciencetimes.com/articles/26038/20200612/common-cold-give-covid-19-immunity-lasting-up-17-years.htm.
Anglia Ruskin University, “Vitamin D Linked to Low Virus Death Rate,” Science Daily, May 7, 2020, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200507131012.htm.
Henry Ealy, Michael McEvoy, John Nowicki, Monica Sava, and Neil Ruggles, “COVID-19: Restoring Public Trust During A Global Health Crisis,” Organic Consumers Association, February 22, 2021, www.organicconsumers.org/blog/covid-19-restoring-public-trust-during-global-health-crisis.
Student Researcher: Christina Balantac (San Francisco State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)