How to Escape from our COVID-19 Prison: The Plan
Updated: Jan 27
How to open up our borders and return our country back to business and usual.
How to learn to live with this and other viruses.
How to improve the health of all, especially the elderly, the immune-compromised and those living in poverty.
How to get out of this mess without costing a single extra life.
This plan is about how to save lives and how to save our economy.
You will gather from this article here, that my job used to be taking "heady" information that goes round and round at closed talk-fests (conferences for health professionals) and turning it into intelligible packages that became national campaigns for change. I reckon I was pretty good at it. The record speaks for itself.
The first lockdown had my support despite the enormous disruption and cost of doing so. We needed a little time out to gather our thoughts and to figure out just what we were dealing with and to devise a plan. Despite all that we now know, the plan that we are being told to keep to is deeply flawed: quarantine New Zealand from the rest of the world, more lockdowns and wait for the "Magic Bullet". It is a plan with no end date. It is a plan that will destroy our economy and forever alter our way of life, plunging many of us into poverty and removing freedoms that we have always taken for granted. It's a bad plan. It is what it is, but does that mean we must accept it? Aren't there better alternatives?
Like most of us, I've been closely following the research as it flows in, as well as taking careful note of what is said by doctors and other experts who are working at the coal-face of the pandemic. I feel particularly privileged because I get to speak and correspond with a wide range of health professionals as part of my daily work. We now know more than enough to be able to introduce a workable escape plan.
There is no need to delay making our escape. More delays will cost us on a scale that is almost incomprehensible. Our free and open society is being replaced by repression and fear and swathes of our people face financial doom. Yes - seriously! We'll have a better idea once the election is over. That is when the really bad news will begin to be carefully filtered our way.
There are those who argue that we need more and better studies. They are arguing for perfection which is never possible. Perfectionists are people who never achieve much in life. They are the people who dither. They are the people who are too afraid to hit the "Send Button". They are the people I will not give a job to because they will take forever and a day, by which time it is too late. Yes, we do need more studies so we can keep refining and adjusting our Escape Plan, but that does not mean that we do not act now with what we know.
At least 80% of deaths associated with COVID19 are avoidable, if we were to put into place what is now known.
Our Escape Plan has numerous benefits for individuals and the country as a whole, such as fewer heart attacks, less obesity, less tooth decay, less diabetes, fewer cancers, less dementia, less arthritis and less anxiety and depression. It has no downsides for health - only upsides. It is dirt cheap, just a few dollars a day per person, if that, compared to the current plan which is costing us billions and billions. Is it not a no-brainer to get it in place without delay?
This plan relies on our politicians and bureaucrats showing confidence in our health professionals. They have to step back and get out of the clinic where they don't belong and they have to stop telling clinicians how to do their jobs. They need to give health professionals permission to do what they consider is best for their patients and their job is to provide the resources and coordinate their efforts.
Please read my previous posts on this topic before proceeding:
and Part two:
Here's our COVID19 Escape Plan for New Zealand
Step One: Boost our Population's Health and Viral Resistance
Note: Expert medical and nutrition assistance for putting this plan into action can be sought from independent, expert medical organisations such as the Australasian Integrative Medical Association (AIMA) and the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine ACNEM).
1. Address Widespread nutrient deficiencies by a variation of the free "Milk in Schools" Programme of the 1950s
Put the challenge to our dairy industry and berry growers to develop a delicious full-fat milk drink (vitamins A, D, E & K, colostrum etc) that is fortified with extra vitamin D, zinc and other immune-supporting nutrients of which there are many. Flavour it with New Zealand blackcurrant which has many health benefits including being an antiviral. This plan may include a variation on the "$1 Loaf", which was launched by the supermarket chain, Countdown in July 2018. How about a loaf of bread that is fortified with the appropriate vitamins and minerals and sold for $1?
Make these nutrient-fortifiers available to every NZ woman, man and child, either free or with a generous subsidy.
Make this free, or very affordable, to low-income families and individuals, including the over-65s. In other words, anyone with a Community Services Card and old-age pensioners.
Reach out to Maori and Pacific communities and their leaders, recognising that many of the people within these communities are at higher risk of complications and death if infected with COVID19. Make sure they are actively involved and provide what assistance is needed to ensure they are kept healthy and protected.
2. Remove GST from fresh meat, fish, eggs, fruit and vegetables while introducing a "Sugar Tax". Run a "Healthy Foods" campaign that promotes the consumption of food that is prepared from fresh, raw ingredients while discouraging sugary foods, beverages and "Fast Foods".
Say no more. This is an obvious course of action that is many years overdue and now more urgently needed than ever. Pandemic or no pandemic, this is a good thing.
We need to change the narrative as to what is considered to be "healthy" in terms of the foods being consumed, how it is consumed and even what people think is healthy for individuals at any stage of life. What is an acceptable norm for health and fitness today? What is a healthy child today? What is a healthy man or woman? What is a healthy pensioner? Let's stop looking down and start looking up!
3. Run an all-encompassing education campaign that helps to reset attitudes and understanding of what healthy food and healthy lifestyles are and to encourage active participation in all manner of sports and recreation by all.
This could be inspired by the "Give it a Go" campaign run by the Council for Recreation and Sport during the early 1980s.
Step Two: Prepare to open our borders
1. Begin immediate prophylactic treatment of all frontline workers at our borders and all people entering New Zealand
We must do this during the Summer months when the transmission of viruses is seasonally low and weak. We want "safe spread" to happen during the Summer months.
This is a combination therapy of at least three treatments, including zinc and a low-dose medication that helps pull zinc and other nutrients quickly into the cells. It may include anything that clinicians decide is the most effective and safest way to prevent a person from becoming infected in the first place and to reduce the consequences of any infection when it occurs.
What COVID testing has taught us is that most people who get the infection have barely any symptoms. We want to shift everyone into this mildly symptomatic, or asymptomatic group.
Make prophylactic treatment a requirement for all people entering New Zealand upon embarking and for at least two weeks after arrival.
Continue quarantining for two-weeks in secure facilities for now.
2. Extend (1) to include the elderly, especially those in care and anyone who is immune-compromised, regardless of age
This is additional to their inclusion in the general population measures to improve health and viral resistance. It is intended to give an extra layer of protection for our most vulnerable people.
Prophylactic treatment such as zinc, vitamin D and the medication hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is proving to be very safe because of the low doses required, but still effective. HCQ, as an example, has been in widespread use for decades and has an excellent safety record. When used as an antiviral prophylactic, the dose used is very small - well below any toxicity levels and it costs just a few cents per dose.
3. Ensure extra measures are kept at the ready to protect the elderly and the immune-compromised
These are basically what is in place now, such as the use of masks, protective clothing, social distancing, "bubbles" and restricting access to facilities such as rest homes for the elderly.
4. Give medical professionals permission to treat and prescribe whatever they determine is best for their patients, guided by the latest and the best evidence
If a patient requires medical treatment for COVID19, and the attending physician decides that the best treatment for that patient includes intravenous vitamin C, or vitamin D, or zinc, or Ivermectin, or HCQ - or any combination of these, or any other medicine or treatment that comes along, then let them get on with the job. Your doctor knows best!
If bureaucrats or politicians, or both, are to intervene in a clinician's work, it should only be for two reasons: Where patient safety and welfare is clearly and demonstrably at risk and where the cost of the treatment is prohibitive. It should be very rare.
5. Introduce a voluntary identification system that enables people to quickly distinguish who are comfortable with being infected and those who are not
An example that is simple, easy and affordable to introduce and not an impingement on civil rights is the GreenBand/RedBand scheme.
Step Three: Cautiously and gradually begin to open our borders
This can begin as soon as one month after Steps One and Two have been in place and executed.
The intention is to gently waft COVID19 into and through New Zealand, especially among the fit and healthy, so as to build increasing viral resistance within the population (herd immunity).
As with all viral pandemics, the virus will weaken over time, it will eventually burn out and become yet another background disease that we will learn to live with. This plan assists the process in a way that minimises harm and death.
Current treatments, let alone those in development, will reduce deaths from COVID19 by 80% if not a lot more. Nobody needs to die from this virus if our doctors are allowed to get on with doing their jobs without outside interference.
While this gradual process of opening up of our borders happens, maintain extra protections for the elderly and the immune-compromised, including prophylactic treatment, if required.
We want the virus to gently make its way through the population so that it is perfectly manageable by our health services.
The best way and time for a person to be exposed is via a small viral dose and not a large one and at a time when a person is rested and in robust health.
One key factor is to have ample cellular zinc and other nutrients in circulation such as vitamin C, the fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin D and various potent immune-fortifying plant substances such as those found in abundance in NZ blackcurrant.
We do not want anyone to be exposed to a large and potentially overwhelming viral load.
Prophylactic doses of medication, such as HCQ may also be used to control the spread. It is safe and cheap. https://www.palmerfoundation.com.au/hydroxychloroquine-is-effective-and-safe-for-the-treatment-of-covid-19-and-may-be-universally-effective-when-used-early-before-hospitalization-a-systematic-review
A small initial exposure to the virus that does not go deep into the airways appears to be key. A small, shallow dose of the virus means the body's immune system has time to identify the invader and begin to muster its defences.
The wearing of masks, social distancing, hand hygiene and restricting mass gatherings may be necessary to ensure the "Curve" is kept flat-as.
This is where the prophylactic treatment of people coming into New Zealand is so important, as is the early detection and treatment of anyone who is anything other than mildly affected.
We do not want heavily infected Super Spreaders who spread massive and overwhelming viral loads wide and far. We want people who spread small and weakened viral loads and not to large numbers of people all at once, so it may be necessary to restrict the size of gatherings, initially, then gradually ease off.
Form the Pandemic Authority (PandA)
Our pandemic response has become highly politicized, emotionalised, costly beyond comprehension and there are no end-points. In addition, it looks like the experts who are advising our Government are too invested in their own viewpoints to the extent that new ideas and alternatives are being ignored. Swathes of health professionals are putting their hands up to assist but all to no avail.
This virus is the most intensely studied in history. The greatest minds and technologies of the world have been brought to bear upon it. What we know now is light years ahead of where we were even six months ago. Who is examining and filtering this mass of information? Who decides how our national pandemic response is to be adjusted as this knowledge and understanding advances?
Where are the conferences? Where are the workshops? Where are the think tanks? Where are the town hall meetings? We are supposed to be a "Team of Five Million". Are we being consulted or are we being dictated to?
The idea behind PandA is to have an independent authority which has the responsibility of developing and coordinating New Zealand's response to this and future pandemics. It must be an independent voice with its own powers to act in the best interests of the people of New Zealand. It must be independent of governments and commercial interests which have far too much say in what happens these days with how medicine and health are packaged and delivered.
A suitable model for independence and transparency may be an agency such as the Office of the Children's Commissioner, headed by a retired judge.
This agency needs to be formed with urgency but this is not going to be an overnight exercise, it will take some time to set up, and we have an election in a month from now. In the meantime, we need to get on with escaping from the COVID19 prison that we have made for ourselves.
Other than for the people coming into New Zealand and frontline workers, there is no need for compulsory medication, while immunity is gradually built and the puff is taken out of the pandemic.
The risk profile for measures such as supplementing the population with, say, 2,000 IU of vitamin D or 15 mg of zinc is as good as zero-ridiculous. Everyone will just be healthier!
The health benefits that accrue from improving the nutritional status of the population are immeasurable in terms of reduction in just about all diseases and improvements in quality of life, productivity (such as less time off work from illness) and longevity. The savings will amount to billions of dollars.
Even if the Government decided to continue the current testing-isolation-lockdown policy, while waiting for the "miracle drug" that may never come, most of the measures detailed here can still be implemented with huge benefits to the country.
So let's make the call to action - NOW! It is time to put our escape plan into action. If we moan, dither and delay any longer, the chance to escape may be lost and there may only be ruins left for our children to inherit by the time we are released.
What you can do to help us all escape:
Pass this plan around, share it with your family and friends. Share it on social media. Share it with your business, medical and health associates. Share it with politicians. Share it wide and far! Make it go viral!
Share your thoughts in the "comments" section below this article. Share your ideas with us. Tell me how I can make this plan better than ever. Please be constructive with your comments. If you don't think it will work, tell me why and offer solutions. Make it evolve. This is an organic project.