There have been more developments in COVID-19. This week, I talked about the concept of variolation. This is taking from hundreds of years ago where practitioners in the East either powdered dried smallpox scabs and blew powder with a pipe into people’s noses, or took fluid from smallpox vesicles and rubbed it into the skin of patients, so that they developed a few small lesions on their skin. In both cases, patients would experience mild illness and then immunity. This is before the process of vaccination was discovered. This process is called “variolation” because smallpox is caused by the variola virus. Well, two physicians, Monica Gandhi, M.D., and George Rutherford, M.D., wrote a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine describing this process, and assert that mask-wearing contributes to variolation. They describe several settings, including factories and cruise ships, in which there was mandatory masking and the vast majority of people got asymptomatic or mild cases of COVID-19. This is very promising, because if there is finally universal mask wearing, more of society can be reopened.

I also talked about a UConn study in which it was found that if people gargle with a 0.5% solution of povidone-iodine for 15 seconds, any COVID-19 is inactivated. This makes it possible that gargling and nasal rinsing with this low concentration of povidone-iodine could significantly slow down rates and severity of infection. This was studied intentionally to help people in the dental industry, where aerosolization of oral fluids is a feature of that work. 

I also talked about some high fiber foods that are good for you!