Whatever you want to call Covid -19 – the coronavirus, the Wuhan flu, the wuflu, the kungflu, china virus.. whatever, the virus is a bitch. Here is my story and how I got through it.
It started probably about 20 days ago with small chills and unusual weakness, coughing, aches and runny nose. At this time I was thinking it’s probably just a seasonal flu. It wasn’t until my chest started to get tight that I knew it was something else altogether. This virus goes from tightness in chest to damn hard to breath very quickly. Usually within a day to just hours. If you’ve ever had an asthma attack, then you will get a sense of what the corona virus feels like. Only instead of a quick attack that will last at most an hour or so, this will continue for a week or more.
In my youth I had asthma, and asthma attacks with a combination of pneumonia wasn’t completely unusual for me. Luckily I grew out of this around the time I turn 10 or so. But I did have a more recent asthma attack a few years ago that convinced me to go buy some asthma spray. Which, I haven’t had a need for since that one attack. However, I did have some asthma spray left, old and expired but gets the job done.
The three phases of COvid19 – The mental
1. Denial – It took me about 3-4 days to break down my mental barriers and accept the fact that I have the virus. My social distancing didn’t work, I was infected
2. Realization and panic – Once I realized i had the virus, it didn’t take me too long to realize that I was going to die. All I had to do was turn on the news, watch my facebook feed, read the papers, listen to the pundits so on and so forth. Once I realized my death was imminent I made a video for my wife and kids – which I have to say was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I then made a document for my wife with instructions on what to do when I die as well as a document with all my passwords and so on for my business and bank accounts.
The only thing I didn’t do unfortunately was book a spot for my grave and headstone. Something I will have to do soon I suppose. I figure it’s best to do all this while I was still relatively functional. Because if I read the papers and stories they are all telling me that once the virus gets in my lungs I’m dead within minutes and death is quick but horrible.
3. Acceptance and fight – I accepted the fact that I had gotten the virus and while I was angry that I would probably die, I decided that I wasn’t going to let this virus kill me. So I made a plan to beat the fucking thing.
The mental game:
Here in Sweden they are not really doing testing until you are basically near death. This was something I realized in all of the kaos, we don’t actually know too much. What is the death rate, really? We can’t trust anything China says, my guess is millions of people in China have been infected and probably 100 000 or more have died. So that leads us to countries that are giving us reasonable data that can at least give us some clarity. But looking closer, no country is giving us any real data – Italy and Spain are complete chaos – for different reasons and they are basically counting everybody that dies as dead because of Coronavirus.
Sweden is only testing the people near death, which means the death rate is very high, Germany is doing more testing and giving us a little more clarity – their death rate is around ,4%. The USA is the only country that is doing nationwide testing – and they still have only tested a very small portion of the population. Giving us a death rate of around 1-2%. I think this will turn out to be much much lower. I started to think that because there is so little data, and so few countries actually testing in any meaningful manner, the death rate is in all probability ,04%-,3%. If that much. My guess is that for example in Sweden around 1-2 million people are or have been infected with the virus. That means that 500 people of 1-2million have died from the virus. Giving us a death rate of something like ,0005 – ,001. I’m guessing the amount of people infected in the USA is probably in the 20-50 000 000 range (20mil – 50 mil). Why do I think this? Different reasons:
1. China. I think China probably knew about the virus as early as September or October. If not earlier. But China is not exactly a country in sorrow if a few million older people die. In fact, history has shown that China’s value of human life is relatively low if in fact non-existent. It wasn’t until the virus got so widespread that it started creating headlines worldwide (and they started jailing and silencing whistleblowers) – that they decided to start acting and actually reporting numbers. SO that is probably a few millions infections that spread not only throughout China, but as a result, throughout the world.
2. Most countries didn’t even start testing for the virus until around mid- February. My dad claims he was probably infected with the virus around late February in southern Alabama. (In a town that just now started testing and has 3 confirmed cases) I think this is plausible. It’s not exactly rocket science to do the math here: The more people we test on a wide ranging basis, the more positives (test) we are going to get.
3. I believe there are two moments when I was probably infected – both are highly questionable, but because we know so little, are actually probable. And if possible, then there is no reason to assume that half the world’s population is not already infected. I believe I got the virus either 42 days ago (minus 14 days of active infection) – 28 days before the virus symptoms were known to me. This happened on a ski trip and made itself known by a massive pink-eye attack. Something I have never had in my life. Since then I have had weekly coughs and chills, but nothing that didn’t go over after a few minutes or so. That is one possibility, the other is late January 2020 in Munich. At this time I made my way to Munich for an annual outdoor convention. The city was packed with people from all over the world – but especially from China where most outdoor gear production takes place. The first case of tested Covid came to Germany at that time. But there is no reason to believe that the virus wasn’t already widespread. Put that in perspective: let’s assume I have been carrying the virus for 28days before it was known to me. Now multiply that with thousands upon thousands of people before any government or personal action was actually taken.
So that is my numbers part – which plays an important role in the mental game.
Turning off the news:
If there is one truth in the world it’s that the News, any news, makes money off of sensationalism. What sells more papers: “Corona virus kills on levels never before seen” or “Corona virus is probably worldwide already which means it’s death rate is minimal”.. bad example here, but you get the jist. News agencies have nothing to gain by selling a non-hysteria agenda. It’s why Trump has been called fascists, Nazi, Despot and all the sensationalism around him. It’s because they make money doing that. It’s the same with the Virus. I recently got an offer to advertise my business on one of Swedens largest print papers. They were giddy about the Coronavirus, overly excited about the fact that sales and viewership is up by almost 70% nationwide since the virus came. I thought the guy was going to wet himself with all the excitement. He claimed that him and his staff at the paper are hoping and expecting the virus to continue through summer so my ad will get maximum exposure.
What we have to come to grips with is that the traditional news agencies are on their last dying breath. They are on life support at this moment and sensationalism and Click bait is the name of the game. So: Turn it off. If you are infected the last thing you want to read or hear about is how the virus is killing everyone off. How leaders are incompetent, how they are making the crisis worse and so on and so forth. The truth is, most leaders of the world (exceptions being China and other despotic nations – no I’m not talking about Trump here. I think he is doing a good job) are actually doing a fairly good job with the minimal information they have and know. Sensationalism isn’t helping anybody but the News agencies.
Look for good news:
Because sensationalism is the name of the game, you need to specifically look for the good news. You will be surprised to find that there is actually good news out there. You just have to actively search for it. This will help calm your nerves.
As an asthmatic there is one thing I know about asthma – it loves panic. The more you panic, the harder it is to breath. The harder it gets to breath, the more you panic. So my strategy here has been to lie down on my side, arms raised above my head, and just breath. Deep slow breaths to fill my lungs and relax my body. This could at times be 10 minutes, other times hours. Once I got my full breathing back I would take a nice hot shower. I found the steam really helped with my breathing. I also had my old asthma spray that relaxes muscles in my chest and so on. This I didn’t use much, I tried to keep it at a minimum as I was afraid the Virus would find some way to attack my body with that.
IF you’re having a hard time breathing – going into panic mode is the absolute worst strategy you can have. Instead, lay down on your side, breathe, relax and remind yourself that the virus only kills about ,0005% of the population. Don’t make yourself a part of that stat.
Thin your mucus:
One of the ways covid kills is by making your lungs and body susceptible to Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. Pneumonia is basically a lot of fluid (mucus) getting into your lungs and slowly drowning you. So reduce your body’s ability to create mucus. My strategy for this has been reducing my dairy intake (milk and cheese gives me access mucus), taking antihistamines, spraying nose spray in my nose, gargling warm salt water every couple of hours, lying on my stomach or side – never on my back and taking hot showers. In the USA you can even complement your anti-mucus regime with a pill called Mucinex. I haven’t used it myself, but apparently it works great at reducing mucus. The covid could and did attack my lungs, but I’ll be damned if mucus is going to drown me. Fuck that.
Covid 19 compresses the lungs – it does this in different ways, none of which I fully understand, but I do know that when your body is telling you to stop breathing, that is exactly when you should breathe a little more. Someone had mentioned an Oxygen pulsometer, which measures the amount of oxygen your body is taking in. I found this to be if nothing else, a placebo that calmed me down. In all honesty, you will know when you are not getting enough oxygen. But as it was my phone (samsung s10) had a pulsometer on the back, so I used it like crazy in the moments I was mentally struggling. A better measure is to count how many breaths you are taking per minute. A normal healthy adult will take about 12-16 breaths per minute. With Covid19 at its worst that could get to something like 25-30 breaths per minute. That is when you should already be at the hospital.
But the point of this post is to help you get through the Covid without letting it progress so badly that you need a ventilator. 50-70 percent of patients that get so bad that they need a ventilator, die. So, don’t let your symptoms progress so much that you need a hospital or ventilator. With that said, I forced air into my lungs, waiting until my breathing was back to normal I would then proceed to do the Wim Hof breathing technique. Sucking in as much air as I could and releasing than holding my breath. I would do about 40 deep breaths, release and hold for a couple of minutes and repeat. If you don’t know what the Wim Hof method is, I suggest you look it up! I did complement this with the cold therapy (cold bath) but noticed I would get worse with the cold bath. I think this is because my immune system was already stressed out, so the cold bath only exasperated this. Now, I don’t have proof of course, maybe I would have been better off continuing with the cold therapy as well. I don’t know. I can say that cold baths are great for your organs and blood stream in normal instances as it increases blood flow to your organs.
About every 3-4 hours I would complement the Wim Hof method with another breathing technique used for pneumonia patients. Deep breath – hold 5-10 seconds – release. Repeat 5 times on the last repetition cough on exhale. Repeat 3-4 times.
Basically I forced oxygen into my lungs when I didn’t need it, in the hope that my lungs wouldn’t get so bad that I would need oxygen and wouldn’t be able to get it.
I read a report that most of the patients coming into the ER for covid 19 have two similarities: lungs are nearly collapsed and they are completely dehydrated. The breathing exercises take care of the lungs and drinking lots and lots of water and other fluids helps with the dehydration. That was something I noticed early on, in usual times, I have to get up and go pee during the night. With covid I would wake up, not because I had to pee, but because my body was craving water. It was the strangest thing, because I drink far more water now when I go to bed than when I am healthy, and I’m waking up completely dried out. So I kept a liter of water by my bed and would just drink it up when I woke up dehydrated.
So my daily regime for fluids is as follows:
Wake up drink about a liter of water before, during and after breakfast.(in total) Combined with about 500ml of water and apple cider vinegar. 1 liter of water mixed with multivitamins. (Little tablets that dissolve in water). Throughout the day I would drink about 2-4 liters of water. (Too much water is also bad) and I would have about a liter of water during the night.
On top of all of this I complimented my daily regime with some pills. I read an article that the reason a lot of people who get Covid 19 lose their sense of smell and taste is because the virus destroys the body’s ability to take in zinc. So my strategy was simple: do what the virus doesn’t. The virus doesn’t want me to have Zink. So I overate the zinc. Both my multivitamin pills have zinc in them and I took a separate zinc pill on top of that. I’m not a doctor here, and honestly, at the moment, no doctor can help, because no doctor has or knows of a cure. So I overate vitamins and zinc, added vitamin D on top of that and took some Garlicin and antihistamines. Did it work? Do I have scientific proof of it’s efficiency in curing me? No. But I’m healthy, and that’s enough proof for me, and if you find this regime helpful, then that’s great.
I remember reading older books, pre- 1900’s. A very popular way to kill off viruses as was believed at that time, was to ”sweat” it out. Basically in bed, shitload of blankets and just sweat. I have no idea if this works, but I figure that people of the 1800’s had to deal with this shit more than I have and probably have something useful to say about non-curable diseases. So the first few days when the symptoms started to show, I spent some time in my Sauna. About 20-30 minutes at 80 Celcius. My breathing would be better for a few hours, and after my initial sauna legs, (rubber legs) I would feel stronger all over. Once the disease got a little stronger, I couldn’t go to my office and use my sauna anymore for about a week or so. So I don’t know if it would have helped or not. Just seemed like a good idea at the time. And I have started using the sauna again now that I am back at my office.
There has been a lot of chatter about Hydroxychloroquine. Many crazed pundits are acting like Trump just pulled the pill out of his ass and recommending it to everyone regardless of consequences – and if you take the pill you will die because Trump is a moron.
The truth is the pill is and has been tested now all over the world and so far the results are promising – some doctors even claiming a 100% success rate on over 1000 patients if applied early enough in the treatment. Though as more testing is coming in, we will get a better understanding of the drugs effectiveness towards treating Covid-19.
Hydroxychroloquine is a non-patented malaria drug that has been available relatively cheap for decades. Side effects are in most patients minimal and death because of the drug itself is virtually non-existent. This again is a case of the News Virus trying to do anything they can to keep and make the crises hysterical. While I have not taken the drug myself because in Sweden it’s very difficult to get anything over the counter – I have ordered from a european retailer and will keep in my shelf just in case I need it. Though I am not willingly going to take drugs – I rarely take any drugs prescibed to me unless it is absolutely vital. I am terrified of drugs.
My takeaway here is this: don’t listen to the News Virus, listen and read the medical reports on the effectiveness of the drug and make your own decision. If you hate Trump that is fine, but when your infected with the virus, disregarding science and hope because you hate the orange man is beyond all reason. For me it’s something I am willing to add to my arsenal if (the science supports it’s effectiveness – still in limbo). to beat the Coronavirus If my infection worsens.
My strategy in its entirety:
The virus wanted me to lie down, so I stood up. The virus wanted my fever and aching body to break me, so I took Alvedon (tylenol) to keep the fever and aches in check. The virus wanted me to panic and lose my breath, so I calmed down, laid down, slowed down my breathing and got my mind in check. The News Virus wanted me to panic, so I turned off the news. The virus wanted me to breathe as little as possible, so I took as much air as I could and forced my lungs to expand. The virus wanted to dehydrate my body, so I drank so much water my organs started to float. The virus wanted my body to stop taking in Zinc and other vitamins, so I overflowed my body with zinc and vitamins.
In otherwords the Virus wanted me to lie down and die and I said fuck off.
When to see a doctor:
There is a lot of talk about hospitals and cities needed x amount of ventilators. I say fuck that, if you let your symtoms progress so much that you need a ventilator, your chances of survival are minimal. (50-70%) I want each city to only need 10 ventilators and everyone else beating this horrible virus on their own and only going to the hospital if absolutely necessary. I can’t think of a more horrible death than drowning slowly in your own mucus while being completely alone in a hospital bed. And I hope none of you have to, and I hope we can beat this virus as soon as possible and get back to a meaningful life and existence.
With that said, there are some factors to really keep in mind here and when you really should go see a doctor. Just because this strategy seems to work for me, does not mean it will work for you.
So here are some underlying factors that you should keep in mind:
If you have a constant fever say over 38 celcius, your cough is getting progressively worse to where you can’t catch your breath for longer and longer periods, no pill is helping your fever or aches, your breathing is say 20 or more breaths per minute, even when you try to lay down and stay calm your breathing is maximally strained – go see a doctor. now.