If you do not measure something properly, or lack the imagination to consider what might be possible, declaring the science settled is the worst kind of anti-science.
Yet this is precisely what the WHO and CDC did at the outset, and the WHO still sticks to its absurd position to this day.
...a large proportion of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be occurring through airborne transmission of aerosols produced by asymptomatic individuals during breathing and speaking (1–3). Aerosols can accumulate, remain infectious in indoor air for hours, and be easily inhaled deep into the lungs...
...In the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), it is possible that submicron virus-containing aerosols are being transferred deep into the alveolar region of the lungs, where immune responses seem to be temporarily bypassed. SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to replicate three times faster than SARS-CoV-1 and thus can rapidly spread to the pharynx from which it can be shed before the innate immune response becomes activated and produces symptoms (6). By the time symptoms occur, the patient has transmitted the virus without knowing.
... In Wuhan, China, it has been estimated that undiagnosed cases of COVID-19 infection, who were presumably asymptomatic, were responsible for up to 79% of viral infections (3).
...The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for social distancing of 6 ft and hand washing to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 are based on studies of respiratory droplets carried out in the 1930s. These studies showed that large, ~100 μm droplets produced in coughs and sneezes quickly underwent gravitational settling (1). However, when these studies were conducted, the technology did not exist for detecting submicron aerosols. As a comparison, calculations predict that in still air, a 100-μm droplet will settle to the ground from 8 ft in 4.6 s whereas a 1-μm aerosol particle will take 12.4 hours (4). Measurements now show that intense coughs and sneezes that propel larger droplets more than 20 ft can also create thousands of aerosols that can travel even further (1). Increasing evidence for SARS-CoV-2 suggests the 6 ft WHO recommendation is likely not enough under many indoor conditions where aerosols can remain airborne for hours, accumulate over time, and follow air flows over distances further than 6 ft (5, 10).
...Given how little is known about the production and airborne behavior of infectious respiratory droplets, it is difficult to define a safe distance for social distancing... Ultimately, the amount of ventilation, number of people, how long one visits an indoor facility, and activities that affect air flow will all modulate viral transmission pathways and exposure (10). For these reasons, it is important to wear properly fitted masks indoors even when 6 ft apart. Airborne transmission could account, in part, for the high secondary transmission rates to medical staff, as well as major outbreaks in nursing facilities
...Masks also protect uninfected individuals from SARS-CoV-2 aerosols...
...From epidemiological data, countries that have been most effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 have implemented universal masking...
WIND: the WHO and CDC and Surgeon General in effect caused the suffering and death of tens of thousands of people, based on the primitive mask science of 90 years ago. Not unlike the practice of modern medicine in every other area—dogmatic and unreceptive to contrary evidence.
What were these “experts” doing to understand droplet transmission in all the years since SARS/MERS broke out? It looks like cognitive bias including confirmation bias, cognitive commitments and rationalizations apply at least as much in the medical field as any other.
Wrecking ball policies have achieved little
So far we have destroyed the livelihood of 30 million or so people in the USA so that COVID-19 can remain a viable deadly threat to high-risk individuals. We now know that the death rate is a tiny fraction of what was assumed.
My prediction is that within a year or two more people will die because of misguided policies on COVID-19 than those infected by it. Lack of medical care for other things, lack of early detection, delays in surgery, spikes in suicide, deaths from mass economic woes, etc. And that is ignoring other needless suffering spawned by bad policy that does not result in death.
So we are kicking the can down the road on national and world policy when what we need to start doing is encouraging low risk people to get infected, while implementing considerably more efforts to protect high-risk people. COVID-19 will remain a serious hazard so long as most of the population can be infected semi-randomly according to risk. Leaders who are adults realize that risk assessment can call for tough decisions across multiple disciplines (far more than medical), which is why these medical organizations have no business declaring policy.
A government-created split of “haves” and “have nots”: those who have maintained their income and those who have been reduced to poverty. This is not a “shared sacrifice”, but an immolation of an entire class of citizens while another class is either not affected financially or might even gain from it. Worst of all, minimally or entirely untouched salaries and benefits in the public sector are paid for by taxes taken from victims forbidden to work at the implicit point of a gun. That has been unspeakably regressively vicious. How will these people ever be fairly compensated?
The good news is that most lockdowns have now been lifted, and the recent riots might do us some good by telling us just how ridiculous or wise the lockdowns were, starting about a week from now in the areas with the riots.
So far we have destroyed the livelihood of 30 million or so people in the USA. Yet COVID-19 remains a viable deadly threat to high-risk groups. We have gained the knowledge that the death rate is a tiny fraction of what was assumed—we knew that a month ago and yet the policies of economic and medical carnage continued.
It is likely that within a year or two more people will die because of misguided policies on COVID-19 than those infected by it.
You heard that right: it is possible that more people may die without ever getting COVID-19 because of public policy: lack of early detection, delays in surgery, spikes in suicide, deaths from mass economic distress, etc. COVID-19 was and is a tiny fraction of total deaths in the population—a statistical blip in California.
We are kicking the can down the road on national and world policy when what we need to start doing is encouraging low risk people to get infected, while implementing considerably more efforts to protect high-risk people. COVID-19 will remain a serious hazard so long as most of the population can be infected semi-randomly according to risk.
Risk assessment calls for tough decisions across multiple disciplines. Medical “experts” are not qualified to decide public policy because they do risk assessment only within their own silo. Total risk includes medical issues and also economic and social issues.
A government-created split of “haves” and “have nots” was created and will be the legacy of public policy on COVID-19: those who have maintained their income (and many have increased their savings!) and those who have been reduced to poverty, with their savings drained and businesses shuttered, with some still facing legal repercussions for daring to want to earn a living.
This is not a “shared sacrifice”, but an immolation of an entire class of citizens while another class is either not affected financially or might even gain from it. Adding insult to injury, the minimally or entirely untouched salaries and benefits in the public sector are paid for by taxes taken from victims forbidden to work at the implicit point of a gun. it is unspeakably regressively vicious.
Some readers might think my prior posts on health have been a bit too critical of doctors, to put it mildly. But the more I learn and prove to myself the reality that I was ill served by modern medicine, I am now thinking I was too kind.
So I am now doubling down: I assert that most doctors are grossly ignorant of nutrition and therefore incompetent because they fail to consider nutrient deficiency. No organism can enjoy health when deprived of critical nutrients, yet this is precisely how modern medicine operates. I speak especially of magnesium deficiency, but also of Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 and a few others.
Shame on every doctor who fails to consider*, for example, magnesium for hypertension, blood sugar, migraines, neurological protection and repair, coronary artery calcification, and dozens of other conditions before resorting to dangerous drugs. It is medical malpractice when the substantial odds in favor of an underlying nutritional cause are simply ignored.
Not trained in nutrition and apparently uninterested in the health robustness that comes from proper nutrition, doctors as a group wallow in their ignorance and have become dispensers of poisons of many types (eg statins), with unjustified cognitive commitments and confirmation biases instilled in medical schools where “knowledge” is regularly debunked and studies are conflicting, weak with statistical manipulation to suit sponsors, and fraught with financial and ethical conflicts—but taken as gospel. Doctors now apply epidemiological pseuedo-science to individuals in so many areas even while ignoring critical nutritional requirements: “here are your drugs, you will never be cured, take them the rest of your life”.
Were I a doctor, I don’t know how I could look myself in the mirror until I thoroughly expanded my knowledge of nutrition, since everything in health rests upon it. If only 10% of my patients could be helped and perhaps cured by simple nutritional means, wouldn’t I have the strongest moral and ethical obligation to do so? So WTF is going on with most doctors that they can rationalize such things away?
It is a very sad state of affairs for anyone with a health problem.
Recent experiences with magnesium supplementation
Here I detail several health issues in my own life and how doctors failed me.
Reflecting on many past health problems, I assert that magnesium deficiency was the likely cause in whole or at least in part. Everything I detail here is known by scientific study to be strongly correlated with magnesium deficiency yet not one doctor in 35 years ever has even mentioned magnesium to me.
I have been using magnesium supplementation with magnesium citrate and magnesium L-Threonate for 2+ weeks now, building up to 1000 to 1500 mg per day. The results are stunning.
Since I acquired asthma and allergies from a very bad viral infection at the age of ~21, I have had asthma that for the first 10 years or so after was quite bad. For the past 20 years, it has largely been a “treat as needed” thing with a prescription inhaler, set off by dust or allergies or cold.
Personal experience: magnesium supplementation has calmed my lungs down without any doubt. Stopping the inhaler and switching to magnesium, I observe the bronchospasms go away within 30 minutes of taking 4 capsules of magnesium citrate. This is at least as effective as the prescription inhaler, with no side effects I have noted.
Anecdotal coincidence unsupported by science? That’s what your doctor might say but there is considerable support for it in science.
Brain and memory
After a horrible time last year (lingering issues from concussion ), I resorted to a prescription stimulant, lest I be financially devastated by an inability to focus or concentrate (which is depressing to say the least).
Personal experience: a year of that stimulant was very successful, but about 2 weeks after considerable magnesium supplementation, I not only feel better brain function (attention span, alertness, concentration, etc), I feel no desire for the allegedly additive stimulate and I just don’t need it any more. My memory also seems stronger, a known benefit of magnesium.
Anecdotal coincidence unsupported by science? That’s what your doctor might say but there is considerable support for it in science for magnesium being neuroprotective and neuro-repairative. Yet my ignorant doctors never mentioned magnesium before or after my concussion which I assert damaged me more and longer than was necessary.
Muscle spasms (sometimes extremely painful) have been an ongoing problem for some years now, so much so that a prescription muscle relaxant was my only recourse.
Personal experience: muscle spasms GONE and muscles more limber and flexible.
Anecdotal coincidence unsupported by science? No... there is considerable science support the effectiveness of magnesium for muscle relaxation.
When highly trained in past years, I suffered an irregular heart beat (skipped beat, then extra powerful beat), so annoying that it would keep me from sleeping. I now believe it was caused by magnesium deficiency. To test that theory, I have to attain a comparable level of fitness
I’ve been suffering sleep quality issues ever since my concussion.
Personal experience: waking up far less often.
Getting up to pee 5 to 10 times a night blows. That has been going on for years.
Personal experience: frequency is down to 2 to 3 times per night. Maybe it might improve further. It is known that calcium can be deposited in the bladder (and elsewhere) due to inadequate magnesium, and in the bladder it results in the need for frequent urination.
Coronary artery calcification / atherosclerosis / cholesterol
This one will take longer to assess and requires therapeutic doses of magnesium via ReMag. At the least, I expect to see a halt to my coronary artery calcification — I was tested and saw a troubling substantial year-over-year worsening vs last year. I hope for reversal and will know in one year when I get retested.
This has been a problem for me in recent years, and getting worse.
Personal experience: I was able to see adequately last night using the light of only (roughly) half the moon while hiking back on an 18 mile hike.
Left chest wall pain/tightness
This issue is not cardiac in nature. It has been bad enough to disable me for part of a day with fatigue/pain.
Personal experience: diminishing, have hardly noticed in recent 10 days, no attacks.
Has been generally good but variable from 116/68 to 130/84. I want to see a consistent 116/68 or so. I don’t have my blood pressure monitor along this trip, so this one is a TBD.
Only time will tell. But last year’s nasty prostate infection which resulted in horrible malaise from the nasty antibiotics are not something I care to repeat
Love that iPhone or iPad or other phone or tablet or computer display? Long term, the blue light from cell phones and tablets and computer displays might have serious implications, and that’s no laughing matter, even if it takes 50 years for it to happen. It is particularly concerning since children from a very young age stare at cell phone or tablet screens for many hours. Excessive blue light is also linked to eyestrain and various health problems.
Macular degeneration (retinal cell death) has been linked to blue light (380nm to 500nm). The term HEV (high energy visible) might also be heard. A sampler:
There is minimal scientific evidence yet that exposure to blue LED light will cause macular degeneration (leading to loss of vision) the same way sunlight does, short of artificially high exposure levels. It is a matter of intensity, duration of exposure, and almost certainly a complex interplay of personal factors (overall health, diet, genetics, etc).
White LEDs may actually emit more blue light than traditional light sources, even though the blue light might not be perceived by the user. This blue light is unlikely to pose a physical hazard to the retina. But it may stimulate the circadian clock (your internal biological clock) more than traditional light sources, keeping you awake, disrupting sleep, or having other effects on your circadian rhythm.
...consumer electronics are not harmful to the retina because of the amount of light emitted. For example, recent iPhones have a maximum brightness of around 625 candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Brighter still, many retail stores have an ambient illumination twice as great. However, these sources pale in comparison to the sun, which yields an ambient illumination more than 10 times greater!
High-intensity blue light from any source is potentially hazardous to the eye. Industry sources of blue light are purposely filtered or shielded to protect users. However, it may be harmful to look directly at many high-power consumer LEDs simply because they are very bright. These include “military grade” flashlights and other handheld lights. Furthermore, although an LED bulb and an incandescent lamp might both be rated at the same brightness, the light energy from the LED might come from a source the size of the head of a pin compared to the significantly larger surface of the incandescent source. Looking directly at the point of the LED is dangerous for the very same reason it is unwise to look directly at the sun in the sky. Compared to the risk from aging, smoking, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and being overweight, exposure to typical levels of blue light from consumer electronics is negligible in terms of increased risk of macular degeneration or blindness. Furthermore, the current evidence does not support the use of blue light-blocking lenses to protect the health of the retina, and advertisers have even been fined for misleading claims about these types of lenses.
WIND: Science and especially medical science (pseudo science most of the time) have been wrong on so many things so often that “don’t worry” claims are best seen as a sucker’s bet. Scientific data to back up the claims about brightness of consumer devices not being harmful does not yet exist given the relatively short existence of modern displays. When used for long periods of time, particularly at night and for year after year starting at a young age, what then? With reasearch hardly begun, it is irresponsible to categorically reject any blue light hypothesis here in 2020.
Speculation about comparative risks and emphatic claims like “Blue light from electronic devices is not going to increase the risk of macular degeneration or harm any other part of the eye” without even mentioning nutritional deficiences and their role in health makes such claims dubious at best. Remember “masks don’t work” from both the CDC and WHO vs COVID-19? Categorically rejecting a hypothesis is anti-science.
The Effect of Blue-Light Blocking Spectacle Lenses on Visual Performance, Macular Health and the Sleep-Wake Cycle: A Systematic Review of the Literature
In summary, the findings of this systematic review indicate that there is a lack of high quality clinical evidence for a beneficial effect of blue‐blocking spectacle lenses in the general population to improve visual performance or sleep quality, alleviate eye fatigue or conserve macular health...
There is a need for high quality studies to address the effects of blue blocking spectacle lenses on visual performance, and the potential alleviation of symptoms of eyestrain and/or visual fatigue
WIND: small short-term studies vs macular degneration are not very persuasive.
... short-wave blue light with wavelength between 415 nm and 455 nm is closely related to eye light damage. This high energy blue light passes through the cornea and lens to the retina causing diseases such as dry eye, cataract, age-related macular degeneration, even stimulating the brain, inhibiting melatonin secretion, and enhancing adrenocortical hormone production, which will destroy the hormonal balance and directly affect sleep quality. Therefore, the effect of Blu-rays on ocular is becoming an important concern for the future. We describe blue light's effects on eye tissues, summarize the research on eye injury and its physical prevention and medical treatment.
The refractive medium of the human eye's different tissue characteristics have different permeation effects on light when the wavelength is <300 nm. A wavelength between 300 and 400 nm can penetrate the cornea and be absorbed by the iris or the pupil. High energy short wave blue light between 415 and 455 nm is the most harmful. Direct penetration of crystals into the retina causes irreversible photochemical retinal damage. As the harmful effects of blue light are gradually realized by the public, eye discomfort related to blue light is becoming a more prevalent concern. Because of blue light's short wavelength, the focus is not located in the center of the retina but rather in the front of the retina, so that the long exposure time to blue light causes a worsening of visual fatigue and nearsightedness. Symptoms such as diplopia (double vision) and inability to concentrate can affect people's learning and working efficiency...
...screen reading can lead to the occurrence and development of poor eyesight in schoolchildren, and the higher incidence of nearsightedness correlates with the increase in the length of the screen reading time...
It seems likely that nutrition including magnesium deficiency would influence damage to and repair of retinal cells (and everything else in the body). Magnesium is an anti-oxidant and therefore a deficiency speaks directly to the statement in one of the studies: “oxidative damage caused by blue light was shown to be reduced by effective antioxidant extract associated-free radical elimination”.
Light causes damage to the retina (phototoxicity) and decreases photoreceptor responses to light. The most harmful component of visible light is the blue wavelength (400–500 nm). Different filters have been tested, but so far all of them allow passing a lot of this wavelength (70%). The aim of this work has been to prove that a filter that removes 94% of the blue component may protect the function and morphology of the retina significantly...
In conclusion, this blue-blocking filter decreases significantly photoreceptor damage after exposure to high intensity light. Actually, our eyes are exposed for a very long time to high levels of blue light (screens, artificial light LED, neons…). The potential damage caused by blue light can be palliated.
LED (or solid-state) lighting sources are designed to emit all energy within the wavelength range of human vision, making LEDs the most energy-efficient commercially manufactured light. However, many current “white-light” LED designs emit much more blue light than conventional lamps, which has a number of health implications, including disruption of circadian rhythms (Holzman 2010).
The most popular LED lighting product, a phosphor-conversion (PC) LED, is an LED chip that emits blue light, which passes through a yellow phosphor-coating layer to generate the ultimate white light (Spivey 2011). Although the white light generated from LEDs appears normal to human vision, a strong peak of blue light ranging from 460 to 500 nm is also emitted within the white light spectrum; this blue light corresponds to a known spectrum for retinal hazards (Behar-Cohen et al. 2011). Some epidemiological studies have suggested that short-wavelength light exposure is a predisposing cause for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) (Wu et al. 2006). Animal models have also been used to determine that excessive exposure to blue light is a critical factor in photochemical retinal injury targeting photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) (Hafezi et al. 1997).
Things are often more complicated; tangled up in all this is the age factor: too little blue light can also be a problem, and age can be a mitigating factor of sorts because the lens of the eye yellows with age (yellow filters out blue). But if the damage accrues from youth to middle age, the yellowing lens is not of much help:
With age, the lens becomes more yellowish, and thus, the spectrum of blue light transmission dramatically decreases through the years. It is suspected that one reason older individuals experience sleep problems is the lack of blue light during the daytime.
Spectral transmission graphs
The closer the light wavelength is to ultraviolet (UV), the more damaging it becomes in general. This is true in general for skin cancer or killing viruses in water or degradation of plastics or paint or anything over time (just find any can or bottle that has been sitting in the sun for a long time). That’s because shorter wavelengths contain much higher energy levels (go beyond UV to X-Rays and killer gamma rays).
To assess UV/violet/blue exposure with a sunglass or contact lens, one would need a spectral transmission chart. Yet when I request spectral transmission charts no vendor has them, even first-class sunglass vendors like REVO. Statements like “blocks blue light” are presumably true, but ought to be backed up by hard 3rd-party evidence, that is, a spectral transmission chart showing just what is blocked—and this varies by the tint and coating of the lens used. Accordingly, I hope to actually measure the spectral transmission of sunglasses that I actually wear sometime soon.
Spectral transmission graph
The link between blue light and macular degeneration
In Macular Degeneration Linked to Sunlight and Low Antioxidants:
Some cases of age-related macular degeneration may arise from a combination of low plasma levels of antioxidants and exposure to blue light from the sun, a multinational European study suggested.
The combination more than tripled the risk of the eye disease among individuals with the lowest combined levels of antioxidants, Astrid E. Fletcher, Ph.D., of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues reported in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.
I’ve also spoken to an optometrist who regularly snapshots the retinas as part of eye exams, and he states (for my eyes and in general) that he has not observed any change in retina health in recent years. Thus theoretical lab tests are no subsitute for real-world scientific evidence as per retinal cells in human eyes, particularly given outdoor light exposure. That said, many of us spend many hours staring at bluish LED displays (cell phones, tablets, computer displays) and/or under LED or CFL lighting in the home or office.
The blue light from LEDs is now associated with retinal cell death. How much is too much is as yet unknown, but the evidence leaves little doubt that blue light kills retinal cells:
The relation between macular degeneration-retinal damage and exposure to light has been known since the middle of the 20th century. Nevertheless, in the last 5 years, the advent of new technology LED along with its massive use in screens of electronic devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops…) has made phototoxicity the main field of our research.
The studies conducted by the Complutense University of Madrid have shown that LED devices emit 5 times more toxic light than light reflected by paper or emitted by the older-style CRT monitors.
In-vitro experiments in which human donated retinal pigmentary epithelium cells were exposed to 36-hour circadian cycles of direct LED light of different intensities have been forceful: without protection, cell death amounted to 93%. However, when a protective element was placed between the cells and LED light, the survival rate of cells increased by 90%... Dr Sánchez-Ramos acknowledges that it may take another 10-15 years for research to demonstrate conclusively that LED light causes macular degeneration in the same way that sunlight does.
See also The Lowdown on Blue Light: Good vs. Bad, and Its Connection to AMD.
Nowadays, there's an increase in the use of digital devices and modern lighting—such as LED lights and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)—most of which emit a high level of blue light. CFLs contain about 25% of harmful blue light and LEDs contain about 35% of harmful blue light. Interestingly, the cooler the white LED, the higher the blue proportion. And by 2020, 90% of all of our light sources are estimated to be LED lighting. So, our exposure to blue light is everywhere and only increasing... Who's going to need the most protection? Those who have high exposure to white LED or fluorescent light bulbs in offices and homes, frequent users of LED computer monitors, tablets, or smart phones, and those at risk for AMD, particularly those at high risk, (those with family history, smokers, etc.).
UV-blocking contact lens
Assessing the risks, protection
Given the lack of nailed-down scientific evidence, one has to make a personal assessment weighing the factors. But there are reasonable precautions to take, even ignoring the macular degeneration theory—sunglasses and blue-light-cut eyeglasses in particular.
Many companies are pushing solutions such as eyeglasses with blue-light-cut coatings, so the vested interests involved need to be considered. That said, blue light filtering eyeglasses might reduce eyestrain and this is easy enough to assess for anyone working at a computer for hours every day. Such solutions are thus appropriate to try, particularly if there is any evaluation period offered.
In my personal case, 10-12 hours daily computer usage seems to put me at high risk, which concerns me greatly. However, I don’t know how much blue light my LED computer displays emit, and I have no basis for knowing whether the risk is zero or something very significant.
Nor do I understand if configuring my NEC professional displays to run slightly warm (yellow) would reduce the risk (I would expect it would).
While I wear UV-blocking contact lenses* as well as sunglasses when outdoors, it’s not clear to me that my contact lenses block blue/violet light at all as when using a computer display. If they did so effectively, it would interfere with my assessment of color balance for photographs. So I suspect that I have no protection for computer work using just contact lenses.
Revo Guide S polarized sunglasses, Open Road lens
Change the display
Professional displays offer the option of custom calibration, so that a display can be set to, say, 5000°K instead of the typical 6500°K. This is one solution that should greatly reduce the amount of blue light.