Full Lockdown?

Monday, April 19, 2021

Full Lockdown? 

    Check the traffic cameras and you will certainly wonder what it all means.  You should avoid your isolated work out at the gym but drop into the LCBO next door?

Golfing spreads covid far more, than having a 1000 workers in a plant at minimum wage and no sick benefit?  Children playing in the park is a crime? 

You should not work when you are sick, even though you have bills to pay and are in debt because there are no sick benefits?

Where did this concept come from?   Would you believe, it was a high school science project of a 14 y.o. girl around 2006, that played with numbers in a theoretically perfect world. Eg it assumed that cancelling school would result in "home jail" for children, when in reality children and adolescents are programmed for social contact to allow growth and maturity.  Check the hiding spots around your neighbourhood and see what a warm sunny day of virtual school really looks like.   Children do get covid but none have died yet in Ontario, unlike the more serious consequences seen in older people.  There is nothing special about children being spreaders other than they attract and receive a lot of attention, as they should.  Her poject soon became a political tool, even though it was meant to make a simple prediction during the first few weeks and not be used for years.   I provide a link that explains it far better than I can. 

https://www.aier.org/article/the-2006-origins-of-the-lockdown-idea/?fbclid=IwAR23uASkXm6qVxJW8DPjowD7cIN10W5kqYKjyPvDr6EIAWvschpvvqIIlqI

It is based on mathematical principles and made up of assumptions, with very little science going in to this and which is why a lot of us on the front lines are bewildered and have difficulty explaining it to others.   Measuring the success of this endeavour by test numbers alone, and ignoring the numerous other sensible  and measurable variables, probably contributes to the dubious success claim.

The one thing certain about this endpoint is that the numbers always go down.  It is the rule of how viruses and humans co-exist.  If the numbers dont support  the original concept, a simple adjustment by creating unsubstantiated claims of "incredible invisible spread" bring results to more desirable end points.

At the end of the day the only speculation that remains would also come down to your best guess.  Would we be further ahead, less disease etc if we simply concentrated on simple measures, such as stay at home when mildly sick, wash your hands and wear a mask in crowded conditions?

We have all lost a great deal, some more tragic than others, in the last 15 mos.  Vaccination will help, but even with "re-opening" it will takes years to rebuild  and recover, and I sadly doubt that we or our basic values will be the same again.

 

 

 

 


Stay at home order April 8, 2021

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Stay at home order  April 8, 2021

The province and some public health units have announced a stay at home order for 4 weeks. The GTA is the most populated region in the province, and makes sense that test numbers are up, and disease numbers are up.  Shelter in place applies to everyone including ESSENTIAL workers outside of regular work hours.  We will attempt to deal with your urgent problems in a remote fashion.   We hope to resume regular services in a few weeks and after our immunizations are complete.  Please keep the essence of this order in mind when you make a request.

It would be useful to recognize some of the costs that these measures bear on our health as a whole.  Wether it is the pandemic or measures to control covid there are no winners in this difficult situation.  We have seen suicides, overdoses, heart attacks, psychiatric illness, obesity, diabetes, addictions and other conditions increase significantly. 

All deaths are sad and many are tragic.  Perspective in really required.  In Ontario, the death rate has hovered with a slow increase over the years.

On average about 2300 persons die in Ontario each and every week.  About 900 are from cancer, heart disease and stroke.  About another 900 are from "other" causes which include suicide, accidents, overdoses, etc.  Lower respiratory diseases  account for about 150, and the average numbers dying from Covid or dying with a positive covid test varies from 60-100, the majority over age 60.  If we need to dwell on death numbers, than please also remember all those that are dying from all causes and the families they leave behind.

Of interest, I was surprised that I could not find a single case of a child or infant dying of covid in Ontario since the pandemic onset.  I hope this provides some assurance.  It certainly should provide us plenty of time to reflect and review the science before requiring any sort of mandatory vaccination in that group.

Another point of good news, is that we have learned more effective treatment algorithms with better outcomes in those few who progress to covid disease.

We still seem to be resistant to discuss solutions out of the box, and rely on cut and pasting policies from other parts of the world. 

We have become more obese as a society, more prone to turning to alcohol and drugs, enduring financial hardships and suffering from anxiety, depression and other illness. We have family units that have become estranged and numerous potential bonds broken and vital support networks lost.  Reach out remotely to someone.  It does not seem that things will ever be same as they were, but  a new balance of some sort will most likely emerg.

 

 


Covid vaccination April 5th,2021

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Covid vaccination April 5th,2021.   The lines are moving faster, and some confusion has been averted.  There are a lot more people who now qualify.

As of April 7, 2021, those 50 yo and above living in certain postal codes are able to get vaccinated. See the peel health website.

 

 Individuals 55 or older are eligible to receive their AstraZeneca Vaccine at the following pharmacies:

    Heritage Glen Pharmacy (Glen Erin/Battleford) - 6515 Glen Erin Dr
    Real Canadian Superstore Pharmacy (Argentia/Tenth Line) - 3050 Argentia Rd
    Shoppers Drug Mart (Thomas/Tenth Line) - 5602 Tenth Line W
    Shoppers Drug Mart (Creditview/Bristol) - 5425 Creditview Rd
    Shoppers Drug Mart (McLaughlin/Derry) - 7070 McLaughlin Rd
    Walmart (Erin Mills Town Centre) - 5100 Erin Mills Pkwy

For a full list of locations please visit ontario.ca/vaccinelocation.

A few primary care clinics have also been given Astra-Zeneca vaccine by the health department. Their names and locations have been withheld for some reason.

NEW: Starting April 2nd 60+ are now eligible to book appointments and receive their vaccine in Peel. To book, https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/These sites are using Pfeizzer or Moderna Vaccines.

Many frontline workers are eligible, see this link to see the vast list of who is included.
   front line workers.https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/vaccine/getting-the-vaccine/#priority.

You will require an attestation form signed by your employer. 
https://peelregion.ca/health-professionals/covid-19/pdf/covid19-attestation-immunization-form.pdf

If you are 18 years or older and have high risk factors listed below, Dr Kujtan now will be able to refer you to the Trillium Health Partners to receive your vaccine. Trillium health partner  will contact you to arrange for an appointment to get vaccinated.

Highest-Risk Individuals:
• Organ transplant recipients; Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients; People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g. motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis); Haematological malignancy diagnosed less than 1 year ago; Kidney disease eGFR< 30.

High-Risk Individuals:
• Obesity (Body Mass index greater than 40); other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications); intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g. Down Syndrome).


 


covid alert- vaccinations

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Covid vaccine confusion. Mar25,2021.

    There are many on the market and more coming.  Here is a link that compares them and takes out all the misinformation and misuse of various terms.  Please take 5 minutes to watch it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3odScka55A

We do recommend  taking any available vaccine at this time.  There is a lot of confusion  and terms used.  Please keep in mind that for large companies this is a business of immense profit, so there is a lot of leaked information to both support and demote each others studies.  Unfortunately, in todays world due to time constraints, we have to take the data provided by the "car salesman"(working for vaccine company) as the only one available and therefore requires  scrutiny.

Here are some certainties.  1. Any vaccine will prevent the severe form of covid, the disease, that can put people in the ICU.

2.  All vaccines will reduce the burden of covid in the world. Doubtful that it will eliminate it. 

3.  You can still acquire mild covid illness even though you have had vaccination.  You will recover.

4.  Highly unlikely that invisible carriers are a problem and even exist to any significant degree.

5.  Not recommended for infants and children at this time.

6.  Mild side effects are common,  temperature, site soreness, fatigue.

7.  Covid is capable of causing serious  blood clots.  Vaccines probably not, the scientific evidence is poor at this time. The Astra-Zeneca vaccine may rarely be associated with a clot at the back of the nose and base of the brain, but this is being monitored currently.  Headlines often originate from competitors indirectly pointing to low value information as clinical fact, to gain a better market share. 

8.  There are numerous people who are immune, or whose system can recognize and address it like any other virus and not create problems. We just dont have a good way of identifing them.

9.  We are lobbying government and health departments to involve us, and allow us to vaccinate you, but no indication that it will happen.  It took 4 mos, for our own staff to start  immunization, despite being both high risk front line workers and working in the Canada's covid hotspot.   We will have to remain mostly virtual until the process is completed in a few months, and we obtain a suitable color designation that allows normal care to become more personal. We regret that we could not convince the gate keepers otherwise.  Please work with us in this very difficult time.  

 


Covid vaccine update

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Covid vaccine. Needles before bullets!  March 15,2021

We know you are hoping to get your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and are seeking the latest information. Here is what we know now (March 12, 2021).

AstraZeneca Vaccine
We (have/have not) received the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine in our clinic.  The Astra Zeneca vaccine is being offered only to people ages 60-64 (if you are 60-64 as of the day of vaccination, or if you will be or have been 60-64 in 2021). It is available in pharmacies and some family doctors’ offices in certain health regions. We will let you know as soon as possible when the vaccine becomes available to us. Please do not call us to try to book an appointment. We need to keep our phone lines free for patients with immediate medical needs.

Vaccines for patients over 80 (born in 1941 or earlier):
If you are 80 or older and do not live in a care home, your local public health unit will have details about vaccinations in your area.  Also see local links in next artilcles.

Provincial online system
Eligible residents can now register for appointments starting on March 17.

For more information about COVID vaccines visit the Ministry of Health website: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario

Please be assured that we will let you know if we have any vaccine and if you are eligible to receive it from us. Please take the first vaccine offered to you.


COVID19

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Covid19 shots, Needles before bullets! March10,2021

         It is hard to believe that a year and half later, Covid19 still dominates conversation.  Once again, our phone lines lit up when some well-intentioned  government employee announced that doctors offices are giving out covid vaccine.   The frontline doctors in Peel have heard nothing about it.  It would be a good idea, but there hasn't been a shred of meeting or communication to pitch it to the local docs.  In fact several of my peers pitched the idea to politicians and health departments almost one year ago.  Nothing has happened to evolve this plan.  It would take quite some time to solve logistics, of supplies, storage, transportation, etc.   The front lines are quite overwhelmed and tired looking after all the non-covid sick that have emerged during the pandemic.  We will post updates here.

     To those caught up in current vaccine chaos, we apologize for the numbers and links provided, and turned out almost impossible to access.  Lets all take some refuge, and be glad that we are fighting this "war" with needles and not bullets. 

  Which Vaccine?   Take anyone available.  There will be at least 4 diff ones.  Drug companies spend a lot  of funds promoting the best statistics that their own studies show.  There have been no head to head trials to truly say which one is better, if any.  We are conducting the trial in real time, so that data will eventually emerg, and few will care, just as the various yearly flu vaccines arrive from multiple makers.

   Things for certain, are that all the vaccines have been shown to reduce or prevent the serious covid disease.  If you get covid illnes, you will recover, but disease sends you to hospital.

   If you have had the covid cold, dont panic about vaccination.  You are ahead of the pack and have proven that your system handles this virus normally.

  You can still take a vaccine if you wish.  Better science data will emerg.

   Pregnant women should not take the vaccine currently.

   Children were not part of any studies, so even the manufacturers suggest cut off at 16-18 year olds.   More, proper science will replace fake news.

   Problem with the older population is that these vaccines were developed and tested very fast.  Companies do this often, because a group of young, healthy 30-60 yo leads to favourable results in trials.   Despite that, the roll-out has decided that our eldest and sickest should get vaccine first.  Consider it a trial.  So far, the rumour has it that most did just fine.  I image, we will soon be giving vaccines to everyone.

   The point of vaccination is to prevent spread and lessen disease.  Our administrative elite on this planet have read the messages from front line commanders and agree, that vaccinated people should be considered as unlikely suspects to spread disease.  Consider your self a non spreader of any "hidden" or secret covid virus lerking in your body about two weeks after vaccination. 

   I do not believe or endorse a vaccine passport.

You could still get covid illnes,  (mild cold type), but this would not necessarily imply vaccine failure.

 

      


Covid vaccination March 8, 2021

Monday, March 01, 2021

 Covid Update Mar 8, 2021.  Fake news or simply unprepared once again.  If anyone can locate some reasonable accountability in our system, please forward to those around you.  We are in need of positive true news in the worst way. Despite  media announcements, we have found out first hand that a great deal of misinformation and misleading information has come forward with it.  Website and links, that never seem to be open or available, phone numbers given to patients that are never answered. I visited one immunization site while on hospital duty, and was surprised to see that most who had made appointments did not seem to fit into the first phase criteria?  Difficult to say why, perhaps embelishment  of information or inefficient screenig.  It seems to make the roll out appear quite chaotic.  What is worse is that physicians also have no ability to contact anyone of substance to obtain information and clarification.    Dr.Kujtan and staff, were bounced out of the January slots and still await word of immunization.  It will then take at least 5 weeks to be in a position to resume some form of face to face visits above that currently being done.  We think  June would be a likely time. 

Our  public health department announced last week, resumption and stepping up of vaccine priorities. Unfortunately, once again, their web site does not work and they dont seem to answer their phones.  Recorded messages give little information.    It has been difficult to contact other resources for help as well.      Anyway, there may be some guarded news for those patients OVER 80 years of age.

Another avenue to pursue is to follow this link.

https://trilliumhealthpartners.ca/covid-19/A/index.html

this link will take you to a place where you can pre-register at the trillium health center.  In our area, we are hoping to get vaccines into those over 80 starting March 8, 2021. 

Alexander Graham Bell, would be rolling in his grave, if he lived to see that his wonderful invention has become  a source of frustration and not the miracle it began to become.   We seem to spend hours of our lives on a regular basis, simple holding a communication device in limbo.  For this reason, we will not insult you with providing a phone number.  


covid alert- vaccinations

Monday, February 22, 2021

COVID-19 ALERT VACCINE  Feb 22,2021

The provincial government announced last week that those aged 80 and above should contact their doctor to be vaccinated. We were unaware of this announcement before it occurred, and we do not have any further details regarding what information should be collected from your patients, to whom this information should be provided, how patients will be notified and where they will be vaccinated.

We have repeatedly emphasized with the government  and public health that doctors have a key role to play in prioritizing and advising their elderly patients. We will let you know when further reliable information is available.

 

 


The Good News.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Feb 12, 2021

   The good news..... There really is none.   It is difficult for covid to be called a pandemic anymore. It has met the definition, began 15 mos ago, spread around the world, present everywhere and a large number of humans have encountered it successfully, and fewer have not or could manage to resolve the encounter given their other health conditions.  Lets be clear. "Variants" are not new virus, but simply a normal change in one protien, no more so than new tires change your car model.  What gets minimized and not talked about is how our health has suffered due to our collective behaviour as a society and by our leaders. One of my patients summarized all the underlying messages into one statement.  "I spent a year hiding, masking, washing my hands and hoping for a sore arm soon, so that I dont kill anyone else."  I hope that history judges us correctly, but have some doubts. The advice worked for a few weeks, but as the months went on, much more refinement was needed.  Patients required explanations, nutritional support, advocation for anti-viral supplements, excercise, and alternate socialization.  In dealing with covid, we have paid an enourmous cost in terms of our health; heart disease, mental health, cancer, addictions, relationship breakdown, social isolation, unemployment and so on. There is a tsunami of worstening health issues about to hit once restrictions are lifted and sensible measures continue. I hope I am wrong, but the a bigger crisis looms. Media, politicians and health docs, may see dropping  numbers as a "win", but there is no win in the big picture.

   However, there is some good news in other countries, that probably due to economic pressures, discovered effective strategies.

   Several months ago, I brought attention the Nobel Prize winning drug Ivermectin, that is cheap, generic and has been used in over a billion humans. Originally used for river blindness, it turns out to inhibit a protien needed to allow covid to invade the cell. Great evidence exists that it can reduce transmission and certainly improve the disease form of disease. Peru, India, and now the EU, (Slovakia and Bulgaria) are endorsing use with amazing results. Most of our dogs with heart worm, and cattle take it regularly, but in Canada we only use it for the scarce scabies infection in humans. Cheap and no side effects, it can reduce deaths while waiting for expensive vaccines. Some US centers are using it, and families have successfully gone to court to endorse use in the their ventilated loved ones with positive results.  Merck the original developer, astonishingly has not endorsed its own drug.  Interestingly, they were given $380 million US last april to develope covid treatments. They abandoned the vaccine race, and recently invested half a billion to buy a European company and its drug, MK7110 that can modify another protien in the immune cycle. The end result may be similiar to invermectin but at a vastly profitable margin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IQrcVuNEAU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb5LYysNQGI

    Another promising drug comes from a slug and researched at the Icahn School of Medicine in the US. Aplidin is a cancer drug used in Australia. It inhibits eEF1A a protien in our cells that is essential for covid to survive.

    Cochicine which is used for gout, has also been shown promise from a Quebec study.

     Another inhaled drug from Israel called, EXO-CD24 being developed for ovarian cancer was found to reverse the deadly cytokine storm when covid infection turns into covid disease.  All 30 patients on ventilators recovered with 5 days of inhalation. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DKDei0Istw

The rest of the world is getting a handle on how to handle the covid part of our lives. I can only we can catch up on the collateral damage that accumulates while we wait.   There is a lot of hope beyond vaccines, and for those that can think outside of the box in the face of adversity.

   

 

  

 


The Covid Test

Monday, February 01, 2021

The covid test. Feb 1,2121. As much as I support Public Health Measures, I also understand how the oversimplified explanations have caused confusion. 

Covid is a respiratory virus, behaving similiarly to numerous others.  The human race has never exerted so much expense and trouble tracking an invisible entity, only to find that a year after emerging it is everywhere, like the others.  Case numbers mean little if not properly disclosed and explained.  The commonest test we use is called the RT-PCR employed on swabs. It is not conclusive for INFECTION.  It looks for practically invisible pieces of RNA that are similar to that found on one viral protien, reproduces it and multiplies it by billions of times and concludes at best that the test swab encountered some RNA resembling the virus.  If there is a great deal of viral RNA present, then the test will not require as much magnification known as "cycling".  It cannot distinguish between functional virus and digested RNA.  If the test cycle is set for too high a magnification, the test will be positive more often.  In Ontario, the test cycles are set "high" so it tends to be positive more often. False positives occurr, if a similar RNA piece is encountered from another virus, or poor handling, etc.  Someone on whom this test is run, and meets the parameters arbitrarity set is considered  POSITIVE.  These people are commonly referred to as CASES.   It does not necessarily mean you have an infection, but most of the time implies it.  This is very important to understand and tease out the data.  As humans, we carry numerous microbes and viruses that intereact with us and cause us no harm.

A "CARRIER" is someone who tests positive and harbours virus capable of transmitting to another human.  It is almost impossible to determine who is who, and most health departments oversimplify it, and consider all positives as carriers or sick.   COVID ILLNESS can be defined as having a positive test, along with at least 3 clinical symptoms such as fever, sore throat, fatigue, cough, muscle aches. The majority of this group survives.   COVID DISEASE is quite rare and implies an unusual response to the illness.  It invlovles severe shortness of breath, pneumonia, drop in blood oxygen, and a metabolic overexcitation of our immune system called cytokine storm.  This small group is the ones that need hospitalization, possible ICU care, intubation and do poorly if burdened with other medical conditions.    Ideally, if you could find a highly effective vaccine or protective medications that work in this group, it would be all you need.  However, the problem is that we cannot identify who is who.  Around 95% of people who go for testing are negative, despite the test being set at high sensitivity levels, which increase false positives.   You may appreciate why simply reporting a positive number of tests each day, without stratifying the results can lead to false assumptions.  This in turn can lead to well intentioned policies that may not meet their goals, yet burden society financially and obscure a storm of other health problems.

Covid deaths seem to be another daily news item.  Without a good analysis, it is assummed that a certain number of positive cases simply go on to randomly  expire everyday. This is highly inaccurate.   Someone who has had a positive covid test and succumbs is attributed as a covid virus death.  What is worse, the reporting differs widely around the world and even in North America.  To measure the true burden of an illness, you need to examine and tease out the death data.  Someone who has an incidental POSITIVE covid test, and dies of cancer, heart diesease, diabetes etc,, seems to be lumped into the covid statistics. I tried to find valid data on how many deaths are due to COVID DISEASE and failed. This type of reporting has obscured a concept know as the DEATH GAP.  Many scholars are now looking at the "death gap". In basic terms it states that deaths from other causes are rising rapidly as compared to other years, and suggests that it is not due to this one virus, but due to the health effect consequences of the how the pandemic is being handled.  In military jargon, it is referrred to as "collateral damage".  The death rate in Canada, has slowly increased since 2010, largely due to our aging population.  I was surprised to see that in 2020 there was no large spike, as you might expect.