Dr. Neela Sandal, founder of the Atma Clinic in Lawrence, discussed the COVID virus and the public health response. Dr. Sandel says it is important to distinguish between facts and anecdotes when trying to understand COVID. While the public health response to COVID maximizes safety, he believes a more nuanced approach is sometimes needed.
For example, it is understood that advanced age is a significant risk factor for a serious reaction to COVID. However, there are many people over age seventy who have contracted COVID who have experienced relatively mild symptoms. The elderly who do experience serious or life-threatening symptoms exhibit one or more of the following: compromised exercise tolerance, metabolic fitness issues, vitamin D deficiency, cellular nutrition problems, or compromised immune function.
We have learned that COVID behaves like other viruses in its class and is spread primarily by aerosol transmission rather than by touching hard surfaces. Ninety-nine per cent of cases are asymptomatic. Children who contract COVID are largely asymptomatic and are not big spreaders. Mask use, social distancing, and vaccination continue to be important tools in fighting viral spread.
It is very hard to prove immunity at present. Evidence suggests that antibodies persist after infection from six months to five years. Therapies and treatments continue to develop to assist the medical community.
In conclusion, Dr. Sandal says age is too general an indicator of vulnerability. He emphasizes that asymptomatic spread is rare and that natural infection provides robust immunity.
Dr. Sandal received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Kansas and did his Family Medicine Residency at the University of Arizona. He took additional training in Interactive Medicine. The Atma Clinic provides a personalized and holistic approach to medicine.