VACCINES & HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COVID-19 | Michael Osterholm on Joe Rogan Experience #1439

Key Takeaways

  • “In terms of what hurt, pain, suffering, death, has happened so far,[it] is really just beginning. This is going to unfold for months to come.”Michael Osterholm
  • The number of deaths will be 10-15X that of the seasonal flu
    • Conservative estimates are that over the next 3-7 months, there will be:
      • 96 million cases
      • 48 million hospitalizations
      • 480,000 deaths
  • Is wearing of gloves and masks to protect yourself unhelpful?
    • “Largely, yes…the primary mechanism for transmission…is just breathing.” – Michael Osterholm
      • People can have incredibly high-levels of the coronavirus, “sometimes 10,000 times that we saw with SARS in their throats, meaning they were infectious at that point already and they hadn’t even had symptoms yet…they weren’t coughing yet”
  • The best thing we can do is:
    • Limit public gatherings
    • Limit contact with infected individuals
    • Stay in shape (being obese isn’t good)
    • If you’re on medications for high blood pressure, take your meds
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Eat a healthy diet
  • “We’re not going to have a vaccine anytime soon, that’s happy talk” – Michael Osterholm
    • We can make a vaccine for the virus overnight, but the problem is we don’t know how safe and effective it will be
    • We’re years out from a safe and effective vaccine–We still don’t have a vaccine for the Zika virus and this is 5 years later

Intro   

Books Mentioned

Coronavirus Update

  • “In terms of what hurt, pain, suffering, death, has happened so far, is really just beginning. This is going to unfold for months to come.”Michael Osterholm
  • The Coronavirus is acting like the influenza virus, something that transmits very easily through the air
    • You’re infectious before you have symptoms
  • The number of deaths will be 10-15X that of the seasonal flu
    • Conservative estimates believe that over the next 3-7 months, there will be:
      • 96 million cases
      • 48 million hospitalizations
      • 480,000 deaths

Coronavirus In Milan 

  • Two weeks ago Italy had no cases. Now, much of the country is on shutdown
    • One hospital in Milan stopped screening its medical staff because they needed all hands on deck
      • They also reported an alarming number of cases of people in their 40s getting the virus

Risk of Infection & Death 

  • The primary risk factor for dying is being old and having underlying health problems (smoking, obesity, etc.)
    • Since 45% of the American population over 45 are obese, we’re going to see more serious and life-threatening cases occur in the US
  • This isn’t a Corona blizzard (a few days then back to normal): “This is a Coronavirus winter and we’re going to have the next 3 months or more, 6 months or more, that are going to be like this” Michael Osterholm
  • Is wearing of gloves and masks to protect yourself unhelpful?
    • “Largely, yes…the primary mechanism for transmission…is just breathing.” – Michael Osterholm
      • People can have incredibly high-levels of the coronavirus, “sometimes 10,000 times that we saw with SARS in their throats, meaning they were infectious at that point already and they hadn’t even had symptoms yet…they weren’t coughing yet”
        • For this reason, it’s important to avoid large public spaces
  • Closing schools doesn’t help because it looks like kids can get infected with the coronavirus, but they don’t necessarily get sick
    • The best thing we can do is:
      • Limit public gatherings
      • Limit contact with infected individuals
      • Stay in shape (being obese isn’t good)
      • If you’re on medications for high blood pressure, take your meds
      • Get plenty of sleep
      • Eat a healthy diet
  • About 0.1% of people who get seasonal flu die
    • With coronavirus, about 2-3% who get it will die (Michael estimates about 480K deaths will occur in the US over the next 6-12 months)
    • With the Spanish flu, about 3.2-3.5% of people who got it died
  • Using hand sanitizer is a great way to stop infectious diseases, but it’s not going to have a huge impact since the coronavirus is spread mostly through the air
    • So why are governments telling people to use it and wash their hands? People want to feel like they’re helping and doing something
      • “I feel like we’re not really being honest with the people that the data…really is about just breathing air and that’s a hard thing to stop”Michael Osterholm

Coronavirus Myths

  • If you stay inside a sauna for 20-30 minutes, the heat will kill the virus: FALSE
    • If you could breathe in 110+ degree air, it would burn your lungs
  • The coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon: FALSE
    • “There is no evidence whatsoever that this is a bioweapon or that it was accidentally released from the Wuhan lab” – Michael Osterholm
      • “This thing clearly jumped from an animal species, probably in the third week of November to humans”
  • Wearing a face mask will prevent you from getting the coronavirus: FALSE
    • The coronavirus is an airborne virus and face masks have air pockets on the side so it can still get inside and infect you
      • The facemask that actually works are n95 respirators, unfortunately, there’s currently a huge shortage of them
        • Lots of supply-chains run a Just-In-Time system which is cost-effective because they don’t need to store goods, but the downfall of that is that there isn’t a surplus of masks and they can’t produce enough to meet the current demand

SARs & MERs

  • SARs came out of China in February of 2003: It jumped from palm civets to humans
    • People with the virus had to be put in isolation rooms so that they wouldn’t infect anyone else
      • It took until June of 2003 to get SARs under control
  • MERs came out of the Middle East and the virus jumped from camels to humans
    • Since there are over a million camels in the Middle East, this virus will continue to spread to humans but we’ve gotten really good at controlling and helping those infected

Why Did The Coronavirus Come From China?

  • China has a food supply that is largely wildlife and is sold in markets where with China’s crowded population, contact between people and animals happens often
    • There are 15 million people living in Wuhan (for comparison, NYC has 8.5 million)
      • “You have people crowded so closely together. . . . the potential for this kind of contact where it spreads quickly, China has been a bacterial and viral soup vessel for a long time” Michael Osterholm
  • China has a ton of wet-markets (markets with live animals which are often stacked on top of each other, that are killed on the spot). Theseare the ideal breeding ground for viruses
    • In fact, the coronavirus came from a wet-market in Wuhan

Vaccines

  • Vaccines are not a hoax or conspiracy, with everything there will be side effects, but all-in-all vaccines are an incredible health tool
    • We should be funding vaccines like we fund a fire department: ”Imagine if we had to go out and buy a fire truck when the 911 call came in. We need to do it now”Michael Osterholm
  • Older people need higher-doses of vaccines because the immune system wanes with age
  • When it comes to the coronavirus: “We’re not going to have a vaccine anytime soon, that’s happy talk” – Michael Osterholm
    • We can make a vaccine for the virus overnight, but the problem is we don’t know how safe and effective it will be
    • Realistically, we’re years out from a safe and effective vaccine. We still don’t have a vaccine for the Zika virus and this is 5 years later
      • Vaccines are first tested on animals and then humans that volunteer for it

Additional Notes

  • If you’re eating Cervus, make sure it’s been tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
    • It’s possible the disease jumps to mice and then eventually to humans
      • “The idea that that could make that jump to human beings and people pouring saliva out of their mouths and their whole body wasting away…that’s what we’re looking at” – Joe Rogan
  • The US needs to stockpile key supplies (n95 masks, vaccines, etc.) and have a legitimate plan to prevent and fight health pandemics
    • “We can’t wait until the crisis to fix these things” – Michael Osterholm
  • Michael loved Joe’s podcast with Peter Hotez

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Notes By Alex Wiec

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