As I write this, I’m on Day 12 of my COVID-19 infection, and although I still need to repeat my nasopharyngeal swab and other laboratory parameters by Day 14, I am healed already by practically all medical parameters.
I had severe initial symptoms but the fever lasted for only six hours, and all the other symptoms gradually dissipated until I was symptom-free in 48 hours. Truly a miraculous rate of recovery! And at age 67 with a few other comorbidities, I am certain God’s healing hand played a major role in my amazing recovery.
You can never be too careful with COVID-19. With all the precautions I’ve been taking, I was so confident that there was no way the virus could breach my defenses. But it did, which just shows how cunning and tricky this virus is. So, it’s back to the drawing board, trying to find the gaps it might have taken advantage of.
I have been a hand-washing freak, every chance I have, and I would bathe immediately each time I come home from outside. But I have been using those scented soaps which are supposed to be gentler on the skin. I guess they’re gentler on the virus, too.
So, I’ll be shifting to body soaps with stronger antibacterial activity. Dryness of the skin with frequent washing and bathing is a small price to pay to prevent catching COVID-19. We might have missed on regular disinfection of contact surfaces at home. Cleaning with soap and water may not be sufficient. Disinfecting the surfaces with environment-friendly disinfectants can add an extra layer of protection against the virus.
Disinfecting work surfaces
Speaking of surfaces, we must also regularly disinfect our work surfaces—our office table, computer keypads and, of course, our cell phones and gadgets which can be a magnet for all sorts of germs.
When likely to be in close contact with people, wearing double face masks and limiting all conversations to less than two minutes, without compromising your safe distance, is a must. We also must maintain the use of face shields at all times. The tendency is that when one is talking to someone, one removes the face shield so one could be heard better. This is courting danger. From here on, I’ll never allow anyone to remove his/her face shield when talking to me, even from a distance.
Ventilation in the room is important to prevent the virus from settling in. Using too much air-con with all windows closed may not be conducive to good room ventilation. In the last 12 days since I got infected, I didn’t use the air-con and opened all windows of our bedroom. I felt I could breathe better especially at night when the natural whiff of cool air from outside was very refreshing.
When there are two or more passengers in a vehicle and you’re not really stuck in traffic, keeping the windows open may be healthier. When stuck in a traffic jam, I guess you don’t have a choice but close the window and turn on the air-con. The air pollution may be a more serious threat. But we may have to make some vent adjustments.
Fist and elbow bumps to greet friends and family may not be totally safe. I support the recommended way of Pinoy/Asian greeting to just place the open palm on the center of the chest with a gentle bowing of the head. That’s definitely safer and looks more sincere.
When seeing patients, I guess I just need to rely on my good old-fashioned “clinical eye” rather than do the usual thorough physical examination.
I also recommend that everyone should have an ample stock at home of the loading dose of pure melatonin, which is 100 milligrams for moderate to severe cases. At the earliest suspicion that one might have COVID-19, I recommend that one should take it immediately. But it’s best to consult your family physician first about it. If he does not agree, you may decide for yourself.
So many mishaps and tragic outcomes have occurred in elderly and high-risk patients with COVID-19 due to delayed initiation of treatment and waiting for the results of the nasopharyngeal swab. Or the misguided projection that 80 percent of COVID-19 cases will only be mild.
If you’re elderly or high risk and show some symptoms already, don’t bank on this falsely reassuring stat that the majority will recover even without treatment. When the symptoms appear, it can progress so fast you won’t even know what hit you.
I suggest you take the loading dose of pure melatonin and consult your doctor. At least even if your doctor decides not to continue with it, you can still benefit from the head start protection of the loading dose.
In a previous communication, I suggested to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo that they should evaluate if the 10- and 20-mg melatonin products available in health food stores are safe to use. The FDA has only approved the 3-mg per capsule preparations, so for the 100-mg loading dose, one needs to take around 33 capsules.
When I had to take it within one hour after the onset of fever, chills and other severe symptoms, it was a huge challenge finishing the 33 capsules. It took me more than an hour to finish, and I would retch with every capsule I swallowed.
If the 20-mg preparations are FDA-approved and readily available, one only needs to take five capsules for the loading dose.
Even if it turns out not to be COVID-19 later on, high-dose melatonin can help modify the clinical course of any infection, especially viral infections. It can also help reduce the duration of dengue fever and other febrile illnesses.
I really strongly recommend you make it part of your emergency armamentarium versus COVID-19. But let me also clarify that high-dose melatonin for treatment of COVID-19 is not an approved indication. So, it’s an off-label indication and based only on our numerous clinical experiences showing dramatic turnaround with it, when given early enough.
A clinical trial is currently ongoing to confirm or invalidate its efficacy in COVID-19. But when an actual life hangs in the balance, you can’t simply tell that person we can’t give him or her the treatment yet, because we’ll have to wait for the results of the clinical trial.
That is sometimes the fallacy of modern medicine. And I personally think it’s scientific folly to stick to it with a problem like COVID-19. INQ