Coronavirus Local

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Election Will Likely Be Postponed

The RSF Association’s upcoming board election will likely be postponed. That’s on the agenda for the upcoming board meeting to be telecast via zoom Thursday morning (check your email for the zoom link from the Association or on the Association web site for the link). Tune into the zoom telecast Thursday to hear the Association’s rationale.

Local Construction Impacted

Today’s Art Jury meeting was cancelled. I haven’t been able to find out when the Art Jury will meet again, but it would be a good bet that submittals will be held up for a while. The County probably isn’t fairing much better. So new construction projects are in a holding pattern.

Current housing construction seems to be continuing. CA Governor Newsom issued a directive for residents to stay home, while also exempting essential businesses. In this memo put out by the CA State Public Health Officer, it lists “Construction Workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction)” as essential. But this is a fluid situation, and directives can change by the hour.

Hard To Find Items

Due to panic buying, there are several items that are hard to find in local stores. Frankly, this is all quite annoying since all these items are locally produced and there is almost no chance these items will truly be unavailable once the hoarding stops. I mean, at some point even the people who bought a year’s worth of toilet paper will stop buying. 

Anyways, I’ve found that if you go to local grocery stores when they open (usually 7 am), you can find toilet paper, which is still the hardest thing to find. The Vons in Encinitas will have toilet paper in the early morning. They also are now well stocked with eggs. Harvest Ranch on Encinitas Blvd has a well stocked selection of meat. 

It would be nice to use a respirator mask when venturing out into the world, but those are really hard to find. Hopefully domestic manufacturing of masks will eventually meet the demand. 

Therapies and Supplements

There are various clinical trials ongoing to find effective therapies to combat COVID-19. Most focus on prescription drugs. However, there are some promising non-prescription supplements that might be effective against COVID-19. 

First, the easy stuff. Most people are vitamin D deficient. If you aren’t taking vitamin D supplements, and you are over the age of 40, then you are likely deficient. You hear that people make vitamin D through exposure to the sun. First, that isn’t true once you age. And second, that’s counter productive to not getting skin cancer! There’s a reason why vitamin D is added to milk. Anyways, vitamin D helps your immune system, so it is always a good idea to take supplements every day. I take a 5,000 IU pill every day, many people can have healthy levels of vitamin D with 2,000 or 3,000 IUs. 

My now retired GP doctor advised squirting saline solution (salt water) up my nose a couple of times a day to ward off cold viruses. I haven’t found much online research to bolster this as a therapy, but anecdotally in my case, it does seem to work. Nasal saline spray is marketed under the name of Ayr and other names.

Now the more interesting COVID-19 specific stuff. As you probably know, chloroquine (and hydroxychloroqine) is being investigated as a possible prophylactic and as a therapy for COVID-19. COVID-19 uses the ACE-2 receptor to attach itself to cells and chloroquine inhibits this. Chloroquine is also a zinc ionophore that allows zinc ions to enter cells and potentially disrupt COVID-19 replication. While this is interesting, chloroquine is only available by prescription for a reason. People with certain types of heart conditions shouldn’t be using it for example. 

However, there is another readily available substance that works in similar way. Quercetin is a naturally occurring flavonoid that is prevalent in berries, leafy vegetables and onions among many other sources. It has long been sold in supplement form as an anti-oxidant, inflammation reducer, and to mitigate allergies. It turns out that quercetin is also an ACE-2 inhibitor and thus should help in combating COVID-19. And it is also a zinc ionophore, which should also help it defeat COVID-19 replication.

I say “should” above because none of this has been proven or even clinically tested. Nonetheless, it probably can’t hurt to supplement with vitamin D, saline spray and quercetin, and it might help. By the way, be careful with zinc supplementation. If you eat meat and dairy you probably don’t need it. Click here to read about zinc.

Well, I’ve probably gotten myself in enough trouble now dispensing quack remedies. As usual with the Internet, you can find articles arguing both sides of every topic, especially medical advice.

Stay well, and maybe I’ll see you online at the RSFA board meeting.