The shots are coming.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Lockdown and Shots..

    Happy New Year!  The pandemic is a year old.  The message from government and politico-docs continue to be confusing and difficult to understand.  Although primary care doctors are on the front line, we have no pipeline, meetings or coordination with other parts of the system such as health departments and political sources.  This makes answering your questions difficult at times.  I have been active attending meetings and updates on the number of inroads and progress in treating this years virus, particularly by a group of non-biased science based doctors who deal with covid daily. Browse for FLCCC on the internet'.  Good advice on what vitamins help, how important excercise and fresh diet devoid of sugars are. 

    There has been a race by large companies to provide vaccines. Great profits are the golden goose to the winner.  Canada ordered early, and have had vaccine supplies for about a month now, but have barely vaccinated a 100,000 people.  With the help of primary care docs, pharmacists and some others, we distribute large amounts of flu vaccine yearly, and have capabilities of giving over a million shots a week if focally tasked with it.  From the onset storage was a problem.  Lets hope that better co-operation, communication and co-ordination will be able to solve this quickly.

   We have no idea of how and when you will be able to get a vaccine, and will update this feed when it happens.   Both the Moderna and Pfizzer vaccines are new products to the human race. They are expensive and privately produced for profit. They are mRNA vaccines that can replicate protiens carried by the virus using our own machinery and allow the body's immune system to react.  A second dose is required to  get the long lasting effect.    IMPORTANT.. This means that from the time of first injection to considering some degree of immunity it takes 6 WEEKS.  Technically your risk continues during those 6 weeks.  Both vaccines underwent large scale testing and seem quite safe, but longer term data is yet to come.  Most respiratory viruses including covid naturally mutate, and there are variants.  These vaccines can protect against some variants,  but the technology allows for a new vaccines to be developed rapidly, exciting but expensive. We may be in for a very expensive annual vaccination program.  Vaccines will put a dent in the numbers, and no indications that will erradicate the virus.  In the last months, there's been lots of chatter in front line trenches of ways to prevent and soften the disease using combinations of existing, cheap, safe medications such as invermectin, vit d, vit c, zinc and steroids.  I sincerely hope that those in charge of policy, at least look at prevention as a complement to vaccination.  I fall in the high risk group and will take the vaccine with my patients.

   I agree with the shelter in place order, except the part about closing ski hills while keeping LCBO's open??  I hope it was a typo. Complete erradication is doubtful.  We all worry about the hospitals being overrun. Some already are.  Hospitals are always full to the brink in January.  This year it will be much worse.  You cant provide good care in that environment and patients suffer when resources are lacking, backed up and overwhelmed.  The working idea is to SLOW the spread of virus in our population.  I applaud the vast majority of people who exert common sense in their daily decision making.  The term  "lockdown" is misleading.  Some Chinese cities are truly locked down and citizen rights dont exist.  We hope that common sense trumps dictorial rule.  Evidence is weak that is works, but options are scarce.  

   I also need to clarify the announcement about medical care.  When the premier stated that doctors visits are fine, I didnt expect a deluge of calls for regular monitoring items such as normal physicals, requests for screening tests etc, as a way to fill the lockdown days.  The system is overwhelmed and backed up.  Clinics, labs and hospitals are full of covid and rarely discussed, but contribute significantly to the spread of disease.  We are faced with deciding, wether to coax a patient out of safe lockdown and send them to a place where the risk of exposure is high to deal with a deferrable problem.   I am watching my medical colleagues burn out one by one.  We are providing phone advice, virtual consults and  do personal visits as a last resort. Our support systems are broken. Covid is overwhelming our ability to do diagnostic testing, elective surgery, education and prevention.  Please use common sense or stay in your bubble for the next month.


All I want for Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

 

   All I want for Christmas...

The stragedy, that we have adopted during this chaotic period has resulted in a belief that we can spend our way out of a pandemic.  No cost should be spared!  In a system where regular elections occurr every few years, it seems that we have adopted a strategy of passing on debt, clean ups and mistakes to the next group. While I applaud and welcome the newest genetic technology in vaccination against covid. I often get bewildered why we dont have more open discussion about treatments and alternatives that hold promise in other world nations.   It is arragant to conclude that third world experience cannot teach and make inroads. 

 

  What a wonderful Christmas it could be if we had a simple pill that would significantly eliminate covid transmission, enhance treatment and reduce deaths?  What if there was such a substance. What if it has been around for decades, but poorer nations discovered its effectiveness before we did.  What if it has already been awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine, and has saved millions of children in third world countries from dying of parasitic infections. What if it had potential to work on the AIDS virus, flu virus and others as well.  What if I mentioned that it has been available around the world including Canada for at least two decades, is relatively cheap and can be effective with one dose.  For the last two months, I have been following the internet medical scuttlebutt  about IVERMECTIN.  Remember that name.   Dr.Pierre Kory is President of the Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, a group of ICU,   lung doctors and others who work with covid patients on a daily basis.   This is a large group, non funded whose task early was to work on protocols of treating severe Covid cases, due to feeling helpless. When the standard was simply go home and wait, they were advocating for things like Vitamin D, and C, lifestyle, excercise, etc.  Collectively they have 1000's of peer reviewed articles published.  This group has diligently, collected and analyzed literally hundreds of INVERMECTIN related studies, news items, research manuscipts.  It was quite clear that repeatedly, the effects were reproducible and appeared quickly.  Other studies, became unblinded, since the positive effect was so great that it would not be ethical to not offer the drug to placebo groups.  Most of the studies so far were in South America, Sub tropical Aftrica and India where the drug is routinely used in massive amounts.  This group went to Congress last week and begged them to simply look at the data that they had compiled. No cost, no financing, no profits, simply look and decide.   I took up that offer and looked at the data and was very impressed with the potential and low side effect profile.  But in Canada we seem to claim victory in washing our hands, hiding and rolling up our sleeves eventually.  We could do more. 

   One sign of a good thing, is when fake news starts demoting it on the internet. I think we have learned our lesson from the Putin propaganda machine of how effective fake news can be used to achieve an altenative goal.  There is little reason to not start large scale Canadian Studies immediately,which could compliment the vaccine effort, but at a fraction of the cost and time.  Most times, it takes months and huge patient numbers for studies to uncover some sort of small positive effect.  Three common themes end study trials prematurely.  Obvious emerging harmful side effects,  no effect what so ever, and thirdly, an effect so obvious that  everyone can tell who got the real medicine.

  I would love to ethically offer every one of my worried patients a dose of medication. We could potentially celebrate holidays, hug one another, reduce lockdowns, and augment social distancing regiments.   It may be early, but not too late.  I urge everyone to at least look at the evidence.


Covid Vaccine

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Covid 19 Vaccine update.Dec2020

      We have been fielding a lot of inquiries about covid vaccine and vaccination.  Concepts surrounding it are often misunderstood and misrepresented.  The Pfizzer product selected in Canada is a new technology which has been rushed to market for numerous reasons.  This will be our first experience with this technology.  It essentially takes a small particle of messenger RNA which codes for the Coronavirus spike protein, and presents it to our cells,  which in turn  trigger a lasting immune response to be produced.  It is extremely fragile, and gets destroyed easily, so researchers put it into a fatty nano bubble to allow entry into our cells.  This is also why it has to stay frozen at -70C until ready to use. The minute it comes out of the freezer, assuming anyone has one these very expensive things, and gets fluid added for injection, it starts to fall apart and becomes denatured and non effective within 6 hours.  Doctors offices and even our health departments dont have these special freezers.   A second injection is also needed 3-4 weeks later to boost any response.  The rush to market did not include children so that data is absent.  There is no advantage or role for costly testing  before any injections. It just adds to our financial disaster.  Previous infection does not seem to matter either.  Other  vaccines with different ways of approaching the problem are about to emerg as well.  

   One worrisome concept is that politicians, some doctors and most news media mistake the concept of efficay with effectiveness.  They are far from being the same.  There is no basis in the claim that it is 97 % effective.  You need to understand some of the science behind it.  In developing a covid vaccine, any given company will run a  "clinical trial".  The details of the Pfizzer trial are not released until an application for liscencing occurrs.  That process involves a group of scientists looking at and tearing the data apart.  So how does testing occurr?  You basically find one or more groups of people around the globe, choose 30,000 candidates and give half your test vaccine and placebo to the rest. In an ideal situation, you would expose everyone to covid, but that is unethical.  Instead, you then wait and test for natural  infection to occurr.  In the Pfizzer trial, less than 1% of volunteers eventually tested positive.  So these 200 people become your study group. Immense work for small numbers.  It turns out both vaccine and placebo groups developed covid infections, but much less so in the vaccinated group.  You then apply statistical magic and come up with an "efficacy" value, which reflects the results in that group.  How similar are your vaccine and placebo groups is always a burning question.  This is vastly simplified and things are much different in the real world.   Based on these findings, it was determined that there is benefit to the 1st generation of liscened vaccine.  It is a bit of a stretch to claim it will fully protect anyone or cure the pandemic.  The notion of issuing cards to vaccinated people and somehow implying that they are free of any worry, is rather misguided in my view.    Longer term side effects will emerge and require evalution.  Because vaccine manufacturers take large financial risks and hope to attain enormous financial gains. there are other pressures at stake.  Pfizzer and others started large scale production before final studies were completed, so that they could have the millions of doses available for sale upon successful liscencing.  Its a business strategy.  Countries which first approve use, get to buy it sooner and receive delivery.  As with other vaccines, refinements will be made and newer vaccines will probably emerg.  There is a great deal of speculation of how to get this product successfully into arms of masses.  I too await a practical solution.  So stay tuned as the first sleeve roll up begin somewhere. It will take over a year or more to determine if this strategy was highly effective or marginally so. Historicly, mankind seems predisposed to often claim credit for mother natures work.  If it is like the influenza data, it will be a maze of numbers with inferences and exceptions.  Lets try to stay positive!  


Dec 2020 Lockdown

Monday, November 23, 2020

Dec 2020 Lockdown. 

    It looks like the star of this years FLU SEASON   goes to coronavirus.   For the last 25 years, this is the time of year that our local hospitals would call a "code gridlock".  All beds would be occupied and hallways jammed with make shift stretchers to accomodate the annual influx of sick souls.  According to last weeks update there were about 19 influenza cases of various types spotted across the nation with about 8000 patients tested.  That compares to thousands of cases this time last year.   FLU SEASON refers to a constellation of respiratory illness with similar symptoms,  and predominately viruses  on which antibiotics don't make a difference.  Most of our influenza viruses traditionally originate in the Asian sub continent and China.   Probably because most of the planets human population is concentrated there, and statistically more mutations can occurr in larger populations.  Predictions about Australia being the source have not materialized. Regular flushots are still available.  

    Please observe common sense rules of hygiene.  We have been in this for almost a year, and the term pandemic will soon have to undergo refinement.  It is safe to estimate that the number of Canadians that have had a successfull encounter with this virus numbers in the millions, similar to what  a bad flu season has done numerous times in the past.  There is no good means to identify this group, so the default is that we assume almost everyone is susceptible.  Ideally, the symbiotic relationship between humans and respiratory viruses  leaves a great deal to yet be learned.  Most encounters are mild, and the viruses technically don't invade the body, but travel down the airways to the lung surfaces. There is exchange of genetic material which is intriguing.  Most symptoms that we feel are the result of our own immune system responding.  We can spend  an entire year discussing the minute and rare exceptions and have been doing just that, and have changed our lives permanently along the way.   We will not eradicate this.  It will most likely subside in the same manner that all respiratory viruses have in the past.  

    Our anxiety, depression and ongoing health conditions have taken a beating during this time.  Please respect the lockdown.  Our directives mandate that we provide urgent care using virtual and electronic means, and in person as a last resort.  Living outside the lockdown areas does not make one immune to the directives.   Last week in Peel alone,  five large Shoppers Drug Marts  were identified as hot spots of spread.    The color coded scheme is confusing to everyone including us.  It seems like every household has at least one essential worker, a situation that requires common sense to address.  The lockdown efforts are simply aimed to try and not cause a grid lock in hospitals, and protect the frail elderly.    If you are worried about getting infection, avoid places with sick people.   The good solid data is difficult to find.  But it seems that children and young people are much less affected and serious infections are rare.  Influenza exerts a greater toll in this group. 

   During this time, try to enjoy the spirit of the season.   We know that excercise is crucial to help our systems cope with illness, even a brisk walk helps.  A healthy diet, avoiding sugar containing foods,  Vitamin  C and Vitamin D  supplements in recommended doses are helpful.   Finally, if you go for a test and the result is positive, don't panic.  Leave us a message and we will get through it together.  There exists a great deal of grief and suffering in our world that we now sadly ignore if we can't link it to the latest virus.  Ensure you have a Merry Christmas!


2020 Flushots

Thursday, October 01, 2020

2020 Flushots. Recalls & Covid Update. Nov 18,2020.  Seasonal flushot vaccine still available during special clinic. High Dose are depleted and province is not purchasing any more.  However, most people do fine with the regular shot, since it contains one extra strain.

THE CURRENT RECALL of FLULAVAL tetra Lot #KX9F7, and Lot#J442P does NOT involve ANYONE WHO RECEIVED VACCINE IN OUR CLINIC. Rest assurred.

Please call the office and book yourself and your immediate social bubble (up to 5 people) at one time.  Family members will be eligible to also recieve a shot, but need to produce a valid ontario health card.   Vaccine is fully funded by the province.   You will need to arrive at the building at least  5 min before your time.  If you come early, please wait in your car.   If you come late,  DO NOT come into the office with other social bubbles. call and get a new time.

Please wear a mask,  follow the directional arrows in the clinic and return to your vehicle afterwards.  We recommend you wait in your car 10-20 minutes to ensure no allergic reactions emerg. 

 We will have 2 different types available. Several different manufacturers are involved in the product and produce similar but slightly different products.   The strains contained in the vaccine  are A(H1N1)  and A(H3N2)  along with 2 B strains.   Influenza A produces more serious disease.  As always, it is largely a guess with a dash of hopefull science thrown in that predict which strains are manufactured, so that how effective  this years shot will be remains to be seen.  We recommend that if you are over 65, or are afflicted with numerous medicals conditions,  smoke or have lung problems, then please get a free shot.  There is no charge.   Those over 65 will recieve high dose flushots. 

IF YOU RECIEVED A FLUSHOT IN OUR CLINIC BETWEEN OCT 9-31, 2020.

THIS IS WHICH PRODUCT WAS PROVIDED FOR YOU:

FluLaval TETRA 2020-2021 (GSK) lot 20620214069576  exp 2021 Jun,  3YP93 ,   0.5 ml was injected intramuscularly

 for those whose are elderly and with immunocompromised systems received.

FLUZONE -HIGH DOSE trivalent split virion.  (Sanofi-Pasteur) 2020-2021  lot UJ449AB  exp 28 Mar 2021.

 

 As many know I have a Ph.D. in medical science and come from a research background. I have been following the progress of the virus closely. I am partly ashamed of how it has been handled in the scientific community and media.  Censorship, sensationalization, overt threats make for very poor science. I believe as a medical community, I hold a responsibility to put things in context in relationship to your entire health, future and other factors, whether economic or impacting the entire world.  One of the most balanced and refreshing sources, that I have been referring to can now be found on youtube.  It is long, but can be watched in sections.  Please consider watching as it may shed some sensible light on the state of the world as a whole.    LINK:      

https://youtu.be/T_COvdCujaA


Dr. Bonnie Henry's Notes to all of us.BC Public Health.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

1.  We may have to live with C19 for months or years.  Let's not deny it or panic.  Let's not make our lives useless.  Let's learn to live with this fact. 

2.  You can't destroy C19 viruses that have  penetrated cell walls, by drinking gallons of hot water -  you'll just go to the bathroom more often. 

3.  Washing hands and maintaining a two-metre physical distance is the best method for your protection.  

4.  If you dont have a C19 patient at home, there's no need to disinfect the surfaces at your home.  

5.  Packaged cargo, gas pumps, shopping carts and ATMs do not cause infection.  If you wash your hands, live your life as usual.

6.  C19 is not a food infection.  It is associated with drops of infection like the flu.  There is no demonstrated risk that C19 is transmitted by food.  

7.  You can lose your sense of smell with a lot of allergies and viral infections.  This is only a non-specific symptom of C19.

8.  Once at home, you don't need to change your clothes urgently and go shower!  Purity is a virtue, Paranoia is not!

9.  The C19 virus doesn't hang in the air for long.  This is a respiratory droplet infection that requires close contact.

10. The air is clean, you can walk through the gardens and through parks (just keeping your physical protection distance).

11.  It is sufficient to use normal soap against C19, not antibacterial soap.  This is a virus, not a bacteria.

12.  You don't have to worry about your food orders.  But you can heat it all up in the microwave, if you wish.  

13.  The chances of bringing C19 home with your shoes is like being struck by lightning twice in a day.  I've been working against viruses for 20 years, drop infections don't                 spread like that!

14.  You can't be protected from the virus by taking vinegar, sugarcane juice and ginger!  These are for immunity, not a cure!

15.  Wearing a mask for long periods can interfere with breathing and oxygen levels in some people.  Wear it only in crowds. 

16.  Wearing gloves continuously is also a bad idea; the virus can accumulate into the glove and be easily transmitted if you touch your face.

17.  Better just to wash your hands regularly.  Immunity is greatly weakened by always staying in a sterile environment.  

18.  Even if you eat immune boosting foods, please go out of your house regularly to any park/beach.  

19.  Immunity is increased by EXPOSURE TO PATHOGENS, not by sitting at home and consuming fried/spicy/sugary food and aerated drinks.

Be smart and stay informed!

Live life sensibly and to the fullest.

Be Kind Be Calm and Be Safe

Dr. Bonnie Henry

  


Important Update

Monday, September 21, 2020

An Important Update    Sept 21, 2020

The COVID-19 situation is evolving. We are situated next to one of the Provinces largest COVID testing sites with long wait times, and little monitoring  which have had an impact on our operations (washrooms) .  Unfortunately, some individuals awaiting testing have been wandering through the medical building for various reasons.

Today we were notified that a staff member who works in the building has been confirmed with having the COVID-19 virus. This employee last worked on 15th September 2020.

Please continue to follow covid-19 precautions and observe our evolving directives of how to best handle patient care.

 


COVID19 update Oct,2020

Monday, September 14, 2020

Our medical center is still inundated on a daily basis with dozens of cars full of potential covid patients awaiting testing, which can take hours.  Our local hospital continues to operate their drive thru testing center out their back door, which happens to be our front door.  If you happen to find yourself waiting in this line, please do not park and roam the property or enter the building for whatever reason.  It is making stage 3 difficult to manage for the dozens of practitioners in our building.  We continue to use virtual and remote resources to help manage your health, but at times it is necessary to do in person examinations or procedures that cannot be deferred indefinitely.

Numbers broadcast with regards to covid can cause some concern, because they are often reported without context.  A happy child with sniffles seems to make National News with the same enthusiasm as does an elderly patient suffering dementia, diabetes  who test positive for Covid.  Severity or outcome dont seem to matter to news outlets.  Our ICU occupancy rate in the province remains little different than other years and has the built in buffer room to accomodate a lot more if needed at this time.   It would be so nice to know how many patients in a daily report are actually hospitalized or intubated, which would lend much ability for various agencies to plan instead of panic.  As long as I have been in practice, we have always taught residents, that the third week of september seems to produce a deluge of pediatric infections for numerous reasons.  

Here is some perspective. 

In 2016  the World Health Organization has statistics on 56.9 million people who died. 

The top cause of death for 15 million people was stroke and heart disease.

The top infectious cause of death on our planet is TUBERCULOSIS, followed by other infectious lung diseases, totalling about 3.5 million

Coronavirus has allegedly claimed just over 920K, but there has been confusion in classification and reporting. 

Influenza claims between 250-500k lives on an annual basis, despite everything we do.

Road injuries claim about 1.4 million people annually.

Chronic lung disease mostly with smoking, claims about 3.7 million people

You may be surprised to find that diarrheal illness claims 2.4 million people yearly.

 

Coronavirus and its other respiratory cousins are definitely a problem. No one is claiming that it can be erradicated.  The current strains, like dozens before them, will be incorporated into the fabric of human existence on our planet. The main reason for changing our entire way of life, is a fear that the slow creep can turn into a deluge, but it seems that in Canada,  we have been able to step up and control at every juncture.  Current models suggest that each infected person can infect one to two others during the course of their 3-14 day illness.  There is no scientific basis to assume that a supposedly invisible asymptomatic pupil will take down an entire classroom or school.  I urge everyone to demand better, more contextual reporting.  Covid or other virus, the one thing we know for sure is that every year, our hospitals get overwhelmed with respiratory illness around Christmas with patients taking up space everywhere.  I think a lot more people may finally notice this in the coming months.

Finally, flushots.  Health department is not accepting orders for a few weeks, and then we tend to be the last to get them so we hope by end of october to start vaccinating. Please remember, they do not provide any protection against covid.   Blood antibody testing is being made available to a small group of high risk patients.  It is of value only in severe clinical situations.  Private testing runs about $300 and is supposedly available.

We have uploaded a comparison tool for you to use under the latest editorial section.

 

 


covid19 update

Friday, September 04, 2020

In a hope to add some balance and comparison of viewpoints.  I have added an article by a canadian physician with 50 years experience.  His views on the current situation and how it evolved to this fear, mass bankrupcy and escalation of mental health problems is interesting. It can be found under ARTICLES on our website.  It originally appeared in the Medical Post on Sept 4, 2020.


covid19 update

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Covid 19 Update

  It seems that new stages of reopening are emerging every day. We have no idea how many there will be in total. There are numerous requirements which must be met in order to provide personal care. For the time being and into the future, until full opening is achieved,  most urgent problems will be dealt with virtually and in person as a last resort. At this time we still do not have enough personal protective  equipment to allow full reopening.  Our waiting room is closed.  Under current guidelines  we would have to work anywhere from 12 to 18 hour days in order to meet the same level of service as was in place prior to Covid lockdown. We are attempting to provide urgent care in a minimal contact fashion. This may involve  attending in person to have specific testing along with a follow-up virtual visit. Our virtual counselling services are currently taxed to the limit and extensive wait times can be encountered. Different clinics and specialists are also handling things differently due to the confusion. We will all have to be patient and attempt to adapt.

Please do not call and ask for a referral that is non-urgent. There is no advantage to be placed on a waiting list since they do not exist. Each request is  handled on a case-by-case  basis with urgent  request taking precedent.  If you are looking for results from another physician or clinic, then it is best to call the practitioner who ordered the results or is monitoring that aspect of your care.  We will contact you  for any abnormalities ordered through our clinic.

It is mandatory to wear a mask in all public areas of our medical building.  This also includes inside of clinics. We asked that you do not  come to the medical centre without  a confirmed appointment. There are times specifically set aside  to follow-up  those that have  recovered from Covid and we would appreciate  that this be accomplished in isolation with minimal exposure to other patients.

We highly encourage you to keep track of things like blood pressure, weight, blood sugar  etc. at home and  either email or call in results to us if you have any concerns.

We  will continue to attempt to keep immunization and prenatal appointments on schedule.

It is important that you show up at the time given to you. Maintaining social distancing depends on this.  If you are late, please call ahead  so that we can rebook you into a better more appropriate  appointment time.

Some patients are panicking  with paperwork that  demands medical deadlines.. These cannot be met or accomplished during a coronavirus lockdown. We suggest you contact the  institution or company which issued the paperwork or demand.  Accommodations are being made in most cases.

it is our hope that by early fall we may be in a position to tackle the large volume of  normal and preventative testing that has accumulated. We encourage everyone to follow the current provincial guidelines.