The Anonymous Widower

‘Natural’ Nasal Spray Could Stop Virus Before It Enters The Body

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the two introductory paragraphs.

A Canadian nasal spray that has been shown to stop the coronavirus from spreading through the body will begin its first UK clinical trial tomorrow.

The SaNOtize nitric oxide spray is designed to prevent the virus from passing through the nose to the respiratory system. The trial will be run by Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.

I shall be watching SaNOtize‘s development with interest, as something that could be similar got my life on track!

I am 73 and I was a very sickly child, despite the persistence of the GP, who delivered me, who was the superbly-named Dr. Egerton White, to try and sort out my problems.

I was always, having terms off school with respiratory problems, probably caused by the London smogs of the 1950s. We lived in Southgate and they had as bad smogs as anyone.

In the end, with the connivance of a pharmacist called Halliday, they formulated a nasal spray, that worked. I can still smell it!

My health improved with the Clean Air Act and during University in the seaside city of Liverpool.

Later, I worked for ICI on chemical plants and there was an unfounded story, that the pensions were good, as working on ammonia plants and the like kept you clear of all the viruses going around. But on retirement in all that clear air, you got everything that was going and died soon after leaving work. Hence the pension scheme had more money than it needed.

My health also improved, when at fifty I was diagnosed as a coeliac and went gluten-free.

Now after returning to London after the death of my wife and son to cancer, and suffering a serious stroke, my head is all choked up by the pollution. The Covid-19 lockdown makes it difficult to take the cure, which is a couple of days by the sea. Biarritz, Gdansk and Liverpool work a treat.

Trump Got It Wrong!

Trump was advocating injecting bleach to cure the Covids.

  • Note that bleach is a strong alkali
  • This spray is based on nitric oxide, which when mixed with water forms nitrous acid.
  • Wikipedia says not to mix-up the weak nitrous acid with nitric acid.

So Trumkopf couldn’t tell his alkali from his acid, which surely is a recipe for disaster.

Nitric Oxide

This is part of the introduction in the Wikipedia entry for nitric oxide.

An important intermediate in industrial chemistry, nitric oxide forms in combustion systems and can be generated by lightning in thunderstorms. In mammals, including humans, nitric oxide is a signaling molecule in many physiological and pathological processes. It was proclaimed the “Molecule of the Year” in 1992. The 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for discovering nitric oxide’s role as a cardiovascular signalling molecule.

I remember a fascinating BBC Horizon program about nitric oxide’s role as a signalling molecule.

  • It started with research done by a veterinary professor at Glasgow University, who believed that after experimenting with penises from dead bulls, concluded that nitrous oxide had something to do with it.
  • But his ideas were so out-of-kilter with established thought, that his research was sidelined at conferences in journals.
  • Reasons like it was a poison and such a simple molecule were given.
  • Then in London, someone who knew of his research, had a patient dying of toxic shock syndrome.
  • He suggested injecting the lady, with large amounts of nitrous oxide, in the hope they could save her life.
  • Her partner agreed.

And as it worked, there was a very happy ending.

 

I

January 10, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lockdown Scepticism Is Part Of The Brexit Divide

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article on the London School of Economics web site.

It is a must-read article about the views of the British on lock-down.

This is a paragraph.

Additionally, there are indications that lockdown scepticism is becoming increasingly entwined with the Leave/Remain divide that dominates most aspects of British politics. Many pro-Brexit Tory MPs are increasingly critical of the high costs of lockdown on individual freedoms and the economy and have been pushing, both publicly and privately, for easing of the restrictions.

If this view is reflected in the general population, will it increase your chance of Brexiteers getting the Covids, simply because they may be more tempted to break the rules?

January 6, 2021 Posted by | Health, World | , , , , | 4 Comments

Second Time Around For A Lockdown

What is different this time around, is that I’ve had three months practice and I believed it would come, so I stocked up with essentials.

My Dalstonista grandmother regretted in the Great  War, she didn’t stock up, so wasn’t caught out in the Second, with a hundredweight of both jam and sugar in the cellar.

My essentials are a bit different.

  • Adnams Beer – 0.5 % alcohol.
  • Tins of sardines in tomato.
  • Gluten-free pasta
  • Muesli
  • Pots of porridge.
  • Pots of M & S luxury honey & ginger yoghurt. For adding to fruit, muesli and as a pasta sauce.
  • Ready meals in the freezer.

I would assume, I can get gluten-free bread, bananas, milk and eggs, when I need them.

Gloria Gaynor’s song is in my brain.

November 5, 2020 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Becomes First Nation To Announce A Second Coronavirus Lockdown

This title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

Israil had done well to control the first lockdown, but now they have over 4,000 new infections per day.

This paragraph gives some details.

About two thirds of the infections are in the Arab-Israeli and ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, which together account for almost a third of the 8.8 million-strong population. Experts attribute the levels of infection to both groups’ insistence, despite restrictions, on holding weddings with as many as 1,000 guests, and the resumption of study three weeks ago in the ultra-Orthodox seminaries.

With 4,000 new infections in a population of just under nine million, their rate is much higher than in the UK.

September 12, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

All Quiet On The Oxford Street Front!

These pictures were taken at about 16:00 on Friday this week.

There we’re many people about.

June 13, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Piers Corbyn Among Those Held In Coronavirus Lockdown Protests

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Guardian.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The brother of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was one of several protesters arrested on Saturday, as small demonstrations against the coronavirus lockdown took place across the country.

And this paragraph describes what he was saying and doing.

Corbyn’s brother, Piers, was taken away after using a megaphone to declare that 5G and the coronavirus pandemic were linked and branding the pandemic as a “pack of lies to brainwash you and keep you in order”. He also disputed the need for a vaccination.

According to his Wikipedia entry, he denies the existence of climate change. He must have interesting discussions with his brother, if this report on the BBC is to be believed.

 

May 16, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Equilibrium INR Has Risen Under Lockdown

For something like four years my Warfarin regime has been to take 4 mg.  every day and to self test every Monday and Friday. It has been a simple regime that has worked well and my INR has stayed between two and three, with 2.4-2.6 being the common readings.

In other words what I would call as a Control Engineer, my equilibrium INR is spot on.

In the past, I have noticed that in times of hot weather my INR  has tended to rise and in times of cold weather, it has occasionally dropped. A change of dose to three or five mg. has generally kicked it back towards 2.5 mg.

Doctors and this Control Engineer would say that you shouldn’t chase the INR by constantly changing the dose.

Warfarin also seems to have a cumulative property. A couple of years, I had to have a small operation. I dropped the INR to 2.1 for the operation over three days, by cutting back to 3 mg. After the operation three days at 5 mg. brought it back to 2.5.

Under lockdown, my equilibrium INR rose initially to 3 on a dose of 4 mg. every day.

In a telephone conversation with my GP, we agreed to alternate the dose between 3 and 4 mg. every day. My INR now seems to be stabilising between 2.5 and 2.8.

Why has my equilibrium INR risen under lockdown?

My house can get hot, as it wasn’t designed and built correctly and because of that I am drinking a lot of fluids. When I prick my finger for the self-test, the blood seems more watery than usual, so are all those fluids diluting my blood and causing my INR to rise?

Bodies can’t disobey the laws of physics!

Oh! For a walk by the sea in the sun!

 

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts On The COVID-19 Testing

I must first congratulate all those involved in organising and carrying-out the tests.

As someone, who has analysed many large databases for patterns of perhaps marketing information, product recalls or criminal activity, 100,000 tests per day or million in ten days, is a very large amount of hopefully reliable data, that I believe can be used to answer a lot of relevant questions about the progress of this pandemic and our very boring (For me, at least!) lockdown.

I hope, that the tests collect all the right data to go along with the physical data.

But I suspect that some important scientifically-correct questions won’t be asked. For instance.

  • What is your place of birth?
  • What is your BMI?
  • How much exercise do you do every day?
  • What is your religion?
  • How often do you attend a religious service?
  • How many in your household?
  • How many generations in your household?
  • Do you have a pet that needs exercise?
  • Do you have any drug habits?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you smoke?
  • How much alcohol do you drink?
  • Are you vegetarian?

Only by collecting a full database alongside the testing process, will we get maximum value out of the testing.

May 2, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , | 4 Comments

Health Lessons From Lockdown

Are some of us learning things about ourselves during lockdown?

For myself!

Mental Health

I certainly think, that I’m handling the mental side well, as I’ve had several lockdowns in the past, usually when I want to get some software written.

Another programmer has told me, that he has used lockdowns to get software written in the past.

I am certainly getting bored though! You can only do so many serious puzzles from The Times.

Normally, if I feel bored, I get on a train or a bus and go somewhere interesting.

Exercise

I’m taking exercise regularly and go for a regular walk most days. I’d probably walk more, if I felt like taking public transport more. But, I do feel, buses and trains could be a place to catch COVID-19.

Drinking

My house tends to get a bit warm, so I’m drinking a lot.

Not strong alcohol, although there is quite a bit of 0.5% Adnams beer going down my throat, but mainly, still lemonade, tea and water.

The amount of fluid seems to have cured my periodic constipation.

On the other hand it does seem to have increased my INR, so I have reduced my Warfarin dosage from 4 to 3.5 mg. per day.

Sleep

I seem to be sleeping well! But then I always do!

Conclusion

Except for the boredom, I think, that I’m doing OK.

April 27, 2020 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Surviving Lockdown

People ask if I am surviving lockdown.

I am lucky in several ways.

Housing

I live in a spacious house, which is comfortable.

Although, it does have problems.

  • It was built by a Turkish Jerrybuilder, who bought fixtures and fittings at the cheapest price possible.
  • It gets too hot.
  • The plumbing is suspect.
  • The air-conditioner is broken and the service company, have had my money to fix it, but won’t come.
  • The smoke detector above my bed is just hanging there, as I wrote in A Design Crime – The Average Smoke Detector

Hopefully, when we beat COVID-19, I’ll be able to move.

Finances

My investments give me enough to live comfortably. If you call, living in two rooms, never talking face-to-face with anybody living comfortably.

Exercise

I am still fit and can exercise as much as I need and is recommended.

I have a workout that I do twice a day, which includes movements like press-ups, stretches and single-leg stands.

I can do two dozen press-ups straight off or walk three miles, if I need to.

Health

My health is good, despite being a coeliac and suffering a serious stroke ten years ago.

  • I test my own INR.
  • I seem to have survived my fall of a month ago.
  • I only go to the surgery for B12 injections, drug reviews and the odd problem.

Other than that I just suffer from the problems of a healthy man of 72, like arthritis and hay fever.

I do have a strange skin, that leaks a lot of water and doesn’t bleed, when I have an injection or a doctor or nurse takes blood. I never have a plaster after either procedure.

Food

I am a reasonable and very practical cook, or so my son and various friends tell me. These are some meals, I’ve been cooking under lockdown.

Sardines And Baked Eggs

Pasta With Yogurt Sauce For One

Goat’s Cheese, Strawberry And Basil Salad

Cod And Tomato With Basil

Lemon And Spinach Cod Gratin

Smoked Haddock And Curried Rice

I shall add more here.

I won’t starve!

Shopping

A Marks and Spencer food store is fifteen minutes walk away, so I can get all the food I need.

I also got plenty of Adnams 0.5% alcohol Ghost Ship beers direct from the brewers delivered last week.

Their beers have been a lifeline, as they are gluten-free, thirst-quenching and don’t get me drunk. Even in quantity!

I also have safe delivery without any contact, as the couriers just ring my bell, we chat through the window about three metres away and they leave the goods on the step.

I didn’t think about lockdown, when I bought this house, but it is ideal for safe COVID-19-free deliveries.

Lockdown Practice

There can’t be many people, now going through the COVID-19 lockdown, wo have locked themselves away so many times in their life as I have.

  • At the age of about six, I spent three months or more, in isolation because I caught scarlet fever.
  • For the summer before A-Levels, my parents went to their house in Felixstowe. For part of the time, I locked myself in my bedroom and read up on my A level Physics.
  • A couple of times at ICI, I self-isolated with a computer to get important jobs done. How many have used an IBM-360 as a PC?
  • I self-isolated to write Speed, my first piece of independent software.
  • Pert7 and other software for Time Sharing Ltd was written overnight sitting in the window of their offices on Great Portland Street.
  • Artemis was written in an attic in Suffolk, with no-one else around for most of the time.
  • The special PC version of Artemis, that was a combined project management, database and spreadsheet program, was also written under lockdown.
  • After Celia died, I wrote Travels With My Celia(c) under lockdown. You can download the pdf file here.

Lockdown has almost been a way of life for me.

But on past form, I certainly have the mental strength to get through lockdown unscathed.

Conclusion

There must be a lot of others in much worse situations than myself.

 

April 18, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Food, Health, World | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments