Covid protection under your mask

Let's set aside the question of whether masks really protect us from Covid and ask what what else we might do for more protection. 

Following are three suggestions. I wouldn't argue that any alone is a panacea. Each is part of a layered defense. They aren't bullet proof, even taken together. Then again, neither is a mask. Masks, too, are always linked to other layers like keeping your distance from other people.

The rule with all of this is: First do no harm. For example, some mouthwashes will hurt the skin cells in your mouth, according to some research. And you can get too much zinc. Etc.

Writers of this kind of stuff will always cover themselves by saying: Check with your doctor. Well, I can imagine calling my doctor and asking his opinion on mouthwash. What I'll say instead is: Follow the links here and make up your own mind on the research.

1.  Mouthwash. Certain mouthwashes can kill the virus. These contain either ethyl lauroyl arginate or cetylpyridinium chloride. I found two on Amazon. (I don't get a commission on this.) Listerine Advanced contains ethyl lauroyl arginate. TheraBreath Healthy Gums contains the other compound. I'm sure there are others. Just check the label. Some varieties of Listerine, for example, don't have the magic ingredient.

You'll read that the experts dismiss mouthwashes. What they're saying is don't expect a mouthwash to save you completely. It won't. I know that. It's just one layer of defense. And some of the studies are in the lab not humans. Well, if you're going to use a mouthwash anyway, why not use those with a compound that kills the virus in a lab?

2. Throat losenges. Studies have demonstrated that zinc may reduce viral replication and increase immune responses. However, you can get too much zinc. First check if there's zinc in a multivitamin you might be taking. Then check the amount in any losenge you like. I use this losenge. It's like sucking on chalk, but that's not the point. I often take one before going into a crowded place, which means I don't take them every day. My multivatamin has all the zinc my body needs. 

For zinc to be useful you need an ionophore, a compound that helps zinc get into the cells. My losenge has elderberry, which contains quercetin, an ionophore. Other compounds in this losenge are useful: Echinacea purpureaVitamin C, and slippery elm bark

3. Nasal spray. Breathing salty water is good for you. It's one of the benefits of going to the beach. Many people use a saline solution to irrigate their sinuses, and this may be effective against covid. However, one person described the process as like waterboarding, and I tend to agree.

I've found a nasal spray that I like. FEND was created by a Harvard biomedical engineer, who has studied the inhalation of medicine for many years. (FEND stands for Fast Emergency Nasal Defence.) FEND is a liquid of salt and calcium. A device that comes with it turns it into a mist, which you breathe. Painless. The company's research shows that it effectively cleans the airways of aerosol products that can carry the virus. So you're protecting others as well as yourself.

Absorb all of this and then we'll talk about sitting in the sunshine and fresh air and drinking green tea and eating dark chocolate.

"We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known."
~ Malcolm Muggeridge

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