On average, it takes 17 years before research churns into policy. We cannot waste 17 seconds on debating these facts. It is our hope that this information will encourage readers to take every precaution to avoid infection from SARS2/COVID. The massive amounts of misinformation and lack of coverage on SARS2 is maddening. Even physicians have contributed to widespread falsehoods. It is excruciating for us to sit back and watch the disabling of our community. It starts with the beginning, and the labeling of the virus.
These are all essentially the same thing. SARS2 is the virus that causes Covid. We will use both interchangeably, intentionally, so readers become used to the terms.
We wholeheartedly believe humans would act differently if they were fully informed of what was actually happening to the human body and brain upon infection and reinfection. This post is intended to shed some light on this topic. As exercise researchers and health professionals, we are also concerned about the broad implications for chronic disease and persistent effects on everyone’s ability to enjoy physical activity and to utilize “exercise as medicine” to fight disease. This is because one of the hallmarks of SARS2 is fatigue and post-exertional malaise (PEM). The CDC defines PEM as:
…the worsening of symptoms following even minor physical or mental exertion, with symptoms typically worsening 12 to 48 hours after activity and lasting for days or even weeks.
In other words, encouraging people to get more physical activity post-COVID is contraindicated. Lack of positive affective experience during exercise was already a huge barrier for a large portion of the population. After SARS2-infection, physical activity is simply not something most people are going to feel like doing, and it may worsen their symptoms. This is a serious problem that is only going to amplify as more children and adults become infected with this virus.
As of June 13th, we know that the BA4, BA5 and BA5.1 variants are taking shape around the world, as the battle between reality vs. denial continues, and they will dominate in the coming weeks and months. These variants are more capable of escaping immunity and more severe than other omicron variants (more like delta in the “not mild” damage department).
The SARS2 virus was novel when it arrived on the scene in 2020 in the United States (arguably late 2019), and yet the scientific community has learned a lot in the past few years–particularly about the most effective mitigation strategies we have access to, such as high quality masks when indoors (and not relying solely on vaccinations that do not prevent infection). Beyond these public health measures, there are critically important facts that aren’t well understood by the majority of the world’s population. We have assembled what we feel are the most pertinent findings that need to be understood and shared widely. Every ounce of this blog is sourced with the most updated evidence available. We will continually update this page as new information comes in.
1. Reinfection after infection & vaccination is HIGHLY likely if you’re walking around in public un-masked, especially entering indoors where the virus can linger in stagnant air for 3+ hours.
2. SARS2 turns your T cells against you causing your immune system to become more like the people who have always been more vulnerable to SARS2, i.e., acquired autoimmune disease (if you recall, individuals with autoimmune diseases were provided earlier access to vaccines and boosters because of the vulnerability caused by this condition). If you have had SARS2, you now have an underlying disease. You are now more vulnerable. Evidence shows re-infection increases the likelihood of hospitalization, irrespective of vaccination status.
3. SARS2 reactivates dormant viruses in your body, like the “kissing disease” (Epstein-Barr Virus; EBV) you may have had back in high school, as well as herpes simplex (HSV) (see studies 1 and 2). These viruses have been shown to lead to multiple sclerosis (1,2) and more severe rheumatoid arthritis, respectively. The cognitive deficits from damage to the brain (1,2; e.g., myelin dysregulation), particularly among those with “mild symptoms,” can cause deficits in attention & episodic memory. It’s also causing liver damage (hepatitis) in children and appears to setup the kidneys for renal failure. It also impacts the fetus and causes twice the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders at 1 year and causes other abnormalities, particularly among expectant moms with asymptomatic and “mild” infections.
4. Once you have it, it also appears to replicate for AT LEAST 6 MONTHS throughout your body and brain (RNA found in cadavers, leaving no part untouched), while you can become reinfected in AS LITTLE AS 30 DAYS with the same or different variant.
It typically takes ~17 years from scientific discovery to policy changes. If things do not change drastically, it will guarantee everyone will get persistent infection and this will leave our population with a horrendous quality of life.
We already have data that it imposes a 59% increased risk in developing diabetes. The cardiovascular outcomes include cerebrovascular disorders, dysrhythmias, ischemic and non-ischemic heart disease, pericarditis, myocarditis, heart failure and thromboembolic disease. It also shrinks the brain.
Not surprisingly, there’s also a strong connection between infection and mental health issues. The first SARS virus showed similar associations (see 2009 study).
Folks, these data are grim. Once you’re infected with SARS2, your life will change. It may be permanent. You’ll understand this more if you read about the pathology of viral RNA.
Sadly, the 1 in 5 number from CDC about those who will get Long Covid is inaccurate, as is a recent meta-analysis which placed children’s risk at 1 in 4 (see Preprint). Other systematic reviews and meta-analyses have estimated Long Covid to be 51%, 53%, 54%, 56%, 59%, 62%, 73%, and 80%. These are all likely underestimations. Our lab is particularly concerned about the persistent microclotting which may play a role in cognitive deficits. In short, everyone will get long Covid sooner or later, IF ‘we’ as a society, do not actively prevent transmission. SARS2/Covid doesn’t stop infecting cells in your body. Symptoms can emerge 6-12 months later, even among those who were asymptomatic and among individuals with “mild symptoms.”
Please also understand that people are still dying and it’s only going to get worse, from SARS2-related complications, reinfection and more severe variants headed straight for us (e.g., BA4, BA5).
Celebrities are also beginning to fall victim (again) to infection, and more will drop like flies, perhaps because they take extra risks to be in the spotlight. On May 20th, 2022, Stephen Colbert discussed his second infection (on air) that caused him to experience “brain fog.” Then his lead guitarist stated that he was asymptomatic and then had emergent symptoms 2 months later.
Most recently you may have seen news about Justin Bieber and his 25-year-old wife. They had Covid. He now has facial paralysis and she had a stroke. Justin already had Lyme’s Disease. His Covid infection most likely aggravated his disease, just as it does with other viruses. Covid has also caused facial paralysis in other cases (1,2,3,4). Its not just the Mick Jaggers (just tested positive 6/13/22) of the world who are going to die or incur permanent disability, but it will be all of us, even the youngest. Doctors in Japan are now reporting repeat infection in kids is leading to encephalopathy and has been fatal in a few cases. New findings could explain the neurological dysfunction.
Regular people have been suffering and celebrities are just people & just as susceptible. This is going to happen on a daily basis, in our community, if we don’t do a better job to stop infection & reinfection.
- SARS2/Covid doesn’t stop replicating and it invades your entire body.
- SARS2/Covid reactivates existing viruses you’re already “living with” and this will likely exacerbate symptoms and accelerate the development of chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, chronic kidney disease, neurological diseases)
- SARS2/Covid eventually causes chronic disease that it induces or reintroduces to your body at which point your body calls it quits (other studies have found mechanisms for this including killing naive T cells from chronic immune system activation; see Superantigen Theory).
What can we do to prevent infection and restore quality of life?
Step 1: Begin wearing high quality masks (i.e.,”respirators” rated N-95 for adults or better and KN-95 for kids) everywhere indoors. Masks reduce viral load, and guess what, they’re even well-tolerated when worn while exercising, but efficacy varies according to type of mask.
Step 2: Improve infrastructure, i.e., by improving air flow and filtration (DIY steps here)! This Italian study showed reduced school infection by 82% with a simple ventilation intervention. Until this can happen, remote education may be the best solution available, particularly for primary and secondary schools. We will have to rely on these preventative measures until governments and school systems invest in other technologies like far-UVC light.
Step 3: Stay up-to-date with the latest vaccinations. Be aware that a protein-based vaccine (Novavax) is on its way and will likely aid the fight (just as nasal sprays, also in the pipeline), but until we’re able to inoculate, we should not rely on vaccine-only strategies. We must use all available mitigation strategies.
Step 4: Testing at the door (possibility is on its way)
A quick optimistic note on Novavax, this NEJM study provides evidence that its:
1) Highly effective against circulating variants (including Omicron)
2) More durable than mRNA vaccines with 83% efficacy after 6 months
3) Far safer than mRNA vaccines
4) Less expensive
5) Easier to store, transport & administer
WE HAVE NO DISCLOSURES TO REPORT