Archive for May, 2020

Correlation of COVID-19 Mortality and Obesity

In response to those who feel that the U.S. lagged behind or that our political leadership is the determining factor in regard to U.S. deaths from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

It’s important to recognize that this has affected nearly every nation regardless of nation-state, government, political leadership, etc.

Likewise, regardless of who was in the Oval office, America would of been hit fairly hard. I doubt there would be more than a +/-10% deviation between a Trump, Hillary, or Biden presidency.

The most significant correlation that I see in regards the larger populated nations is “obesity”. COVID-19 appears to hit those with obesity especially hard.

Regarding testing, a few have cited the U.S. for being deficient in testing. However,…

The US has administered more tests than any other nation. Of the TOP 10 most populous nations, USA is #2 in tests per capita, following Russia. #3 of the TOP 25, following Russia & Italy.

Please remember that the U.S. has one of the most scattered population densities in the world.  Most nations with large populations have the majority of their populations in central locations.  Half the US population is distributed rurally. For example, nearly the entire population of Canada lives within a 100 miles of the southern border. Where as the US population density is actually more scattered than most nations of a comparable size – and that’s with factoring in Alaska.

Deaths per Capita
The true metric, deaths per capita.  Of the TOP 25 most populous nations, the US is sadly, #5. Following UK, Italy, & France.

Obesity Rate
Of the TOP 25 populous nations, 8 out of 10 nations for highest per capita death rate are also in the TOP 10 for obesity.  France & Italy being exceptions – they come in at 11th & 12th respectively for obesity.

The correlation between obesity and COVID-19 mortality is extremely strong. (see chart)


The Proper Way to Resolve the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today I was thinking about how to solve the COVID-19 pandemic.

And I believe the solution may in fact be akin to “chicken pox parties”….please hear me out before you jump to react.

Firstly, it is “indisputable” that COVID-19 hits certain particular demographics with significantly greater lethality. Namely, elderly, immune-compromised, smokers and those with damaged lungs, diabetics, obese, and those with heart and arterial damage.  Remove these particulars, and the lethality of SARS-CoV-2 plummets.  That is not to say it is without risk nor is it to say that younger seemingly healthy individuals can’t die, they can. However, the likelihood of such is extremely low.

We’re a society were to categorize everyone into a risk category. We could potentially accelerate our reaching her immunity. 

First, we identify the lowest risk category. Healthy individuals not in the above risk factors between the age of 19-29.   We then have “Chicken Pox Parties”.  The intention is to have EVERYONE in this category  (who does not reside in a household with a high risk individual) to be exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Verify thru testing that all individuals have been exposed, and recovered.

Prior to moving to Phase 2, assess all individuals in Phase 1 to determine mortality rate within the demographic.  If low, and if hospital ICU facilities are not strained. Move to next Phase.

The next phase we seek to have the demographics with the second lowest risk factors be exposed to SARS-CoV-2. This would be 28-38 year old healthy adults and 8-18 year old children and youth. We repeat processes similar to the above.  

Being honest, I expect that as we move upward in age, the percentage of that age group that will meet the “healthy” metric will decline, as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, increased per capita.


Hopefully, at this point, the vast majority of the younger population has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and recovered.  Ceasing to be potential carriers, and ceasing to be at risk.

However, in total demographics, we are still not at herd immunity levels quite yet.

We repeat the above with 38-48 year olds. This is where we start to see a large teetering off in way of meeting the designation “healthy”, as such those that are borderline are advised that before participating it is advised that they engage in cardiovascular exercise, and an improved diet, so as to strengthen their health prior to exposure.

Once again, analysis is undertaken to determine the demographics mortality rate, the ICU capacity of hospitals, etc.  As such some regions might progress thru phases faster than others dependent on available medical facility capacities.

The next phase is challenging.  By this time, we hopefully have a bit more scientific and clinical insight, and hopefully have identified medical treatments that provide a prophylactic effect, reducing the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 developing into COVID-19.

These individuals (younger persons but who have one or two of the listed risk factors, older individuals in the 49-68 age range, etc.) are slowly exposed while in medical care and under observation.

This is extended over a longer period of time and continuously assessed in relation to availible capacity of medical treatment facilities. 

At this point we will hopefully have [A] achieved a level of herd immunity minimizing the spread of SAR-CoV-2, OR [B] developed a vaccine. Otherwise, we will be at [C] reached a point in which the vast majority of the population is no longer at risk, a return to normalcy ensues, majority of population are no longer at risk not remain potential carriers.  However, scattered pockets, and flare ups (e.g. like the with the Measles) continue to occur, placing at risk any of those in the HIGHEST risk category who were exposed.

This to me, is truly the best way to address the COVID-19 situation, and to minimize the loss of life.  It’s a planned attempt to progressively utilize the healthiest and least likely to be symptomatic portion of the populace to move toward establishing herd immunity.

The big key here that differentiates from say, Sweden or elsewhere, is that this plan actively calls for a controlled progressive exposure of the lowest risk groups first, with the hope that if we can achieve herd immunity, we can stop the transmission of the virus, maximizing keeping the oldest and most at risk members of our society safe from exposure.

CARES Act allows HSA holders to buy over-the-counter medications and tampons

Just learned that the passage of the CARES Act has restored the option to buy OTC drugs with your HSA fund, and has added menstruation products to the list of approved purchases. This is huge, and I definitely plans to stock up on a few regularly used medications that I have been cautious to ration my purchases of.


Summary from
“The CARES Act restores the ability to use HSAs, FSAs and HRAs to purchase certain OTC drugs and medications, like aspirin and other pain medications, allergy medication, etc., without a doctor’s prescription. For the first time, menstrual care products are considered qualified medical expenses for payment or reimbursement with an HSA, FSA or HRA. Both provisions for OTC and menstrual products apply to amounts paid or expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020 and are ongoing without an expiration date*.”
Presently, IRS has not published a guidance article at this time. Shame on them!

May 2020

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