Good Byte 2: Coronavirus – we are all connected

COVID19 or the coronavirus has been a wake-up call to us all? It's put the globe on full alert. If we ever needed reminding that we lived in a global world, this is it, and borders don't really know any boundaries when it comes to the spread of disease.

Coronavirus – we are all connected

Dr Ron Ehrlich: Hello, and welcome to Good Bytes, this is Dr Ron Ehrlich. The coronavirus, boy, has it been a wake-up call to us all? It’s put the globe on full alert. If we ever needed reminding that we lived in a global world, this is it, and borders don’t really know any boundaries when it comes to the spread of disease. It’s interesting to consider that influenza globally results in the deaths of between 250,000 to 600,000 people a year.

The difference with influenza is that it has a re-infection rate of about 1.3 which basically means if three people got the flu, four people could then be infected after from contact from that. The difference with the coronavirus is that the reinfection rate is three, which means for every three people that have it, nine people could end up being infected from it, so there’s a significant difference, and it’s far more virulent in terms of its infection.

Apparently, you don’t have to be as close as you do with the flu to catch the virus, but influenza is something that has affected us and affects us every single year, and there are literally tens if not hundreds of thousands of people each year that die from it.

The interesting and perhaps the good news there is that in this period of economic inactivity, and far less travel, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have come down, so one could argue if you’re really religious that maybe it is the higher powers putting us on notice for our carelessness for the environment, but be that as it may. When people live in an urban environment disease often follows.

And, while there is a lot of, sort, of suggestions that vaccines are just around the corners, and maybe we could use antivirals although I don’t think that’s particularly effective, ultimately, being in good health is our best defence, and it’s interesting also that we’ve come back to the washing of hands, the humble washing of hands being our best defence. Well, hygiene, obviously very important, particularly in the high touch areas when you’re coming back from public spaces, or supermarkets, or public transports regularly, and frequently washing your hands thoroughly is the best defence against the spread of disease in the 21st century.

The other thing that I think is interesting, there are studies in China going on at the moment with the use of intravenous vitamin C, and that’s something that has been available, and being used in integrated medical practices, holistic medical practices for 30, 40, 50 or even longer years, so the use of IVC, intravenous vitamin C in very high doses have been shown to be effective in supporting the immune system through this difficult time, and one could also say that this is an important time to get your immune system as healthy as you can. When we look at global threats, one of my favourite authors, and I might even review his latest book, Yuval Noah Harari, makes the point that globalization has three basic challenges, three big challenges, which again, no borders.

One of those is a nuclear attack. The second one is climate change, and the third one is AI, the influence of artificial intelligence and technology on all our lives. Well, I think we could add a fourth one, and that is disease because disease is another one that does not know any boundaries. It doesn’t know any nation in particular.

It’s fairly in discriminant, so if we ever needed reminding that it’s an important time to be healthy, to boost your immune system. If we ever needed a reminder that washing our hands is still the most important thing, and if we ever needed a reminder that globalization means borders do not make a difference, well then this is it.

We are all connected so we are all affected, and what is good for the person is generally good for the planet, and that’s a message that I am very keen to champion. I hope it hasn’t affected you directly. It is affecting us all indirectly. Of course, it’s quite an anxious time, but we do have some control, so, until next time, this is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Be well.


This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.