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Best Practices for Recovering from Novel Virus Infections

If researchers quantify risks and individuals use existing therapies, feared pandemics will be non-events.

James Anthony
March 19, 2021 published
May 30, 2021 reference 12 updated

A novel infection poses an elevated risk of death in the elderly, in the weak, and possibly in others.

Everyone is helped best when

  • individual risks are quantified well, and individuals at risk are isolated for protection [1]
  • healthy people contract the infection and build immunity [2]
  • everyone seeks and follows best practices for recovering from suspected or confirmed infections.

Individual Risks

The pandemics in living memory have all been respiratory influenza viruses [3].

In a given pandemic, certain people are at highest risk for death from the infection. Typically, as in 1957-1958, 1968-1969 [4], and 2020, these people include the most elderly [5]. Sometimes, as in 2009-2010, these people may include others such as those aged 45-54 [6]. And these people always include those who are least healthy.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of dying from catching the SARS-CoV-2 virus is significantly higher for people who have specific risk factors.

The biggest risk factor increases the risk of dying by 180 times: 

  • age (180x) (for people 80 or more, compared with for people 18 to 40).

Four risk factors increase the risk of dying by 2 to ~4 times:

  • organ transplant (4.3x)
  • cancer (3.5x)
  • neurological disease (2.5x)
  • high body-mass index (2.3x).

Eight risk factors increase the risk of dying by 1.5 to 2 times:

  • male sex (2.0x)
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1.8x)
  • poverty (1.8x)
  • kidney disease (1.7x)
  • nonwhite ethnicity (1.7x)
  • immunosuppressive condition (1.7x)
  • liver disease (1.6x)
  • diabetes that’s under control (1.5x) [7].

Before individual risks are quantified well, individuals need to consider likely risks and consider using every best practice.

Once individual risks are quantified well, individuals at lower risk should consider using fewer best practices, which could build stronger, broader immunity now that saves lives later.

Existing Therapies


Antivirals taken as soon as possible are the best therapy. There are several antivirals, and they can all be taken at once except 1 and 3 both at once, or 4 and 5 both at once:

  1. Hydroxychloroquine plus zinc supplement
    • very-strong antiviral
    • strong evidence when used early enough [8]
    • some doctors won’t prescribe
      (it’s a generic without a sponsor, so it was tested without required normal zinc levels [9], and it was tested late in disease course; also, normal off-label prescribing [10] has been restricted for the first time for any drug by the FDA [11] and many states [12])
    • available here [13].
  1. Ivermectin
    • very-strong antiviral
    • strong evidence when used early enough [14]
    • some doctors won’t prescribe
      (it’s a generic without a sponsor, so it was not tested on SARS-CoV-2 in the USA)
    • also available here [13].
  1. Quercetin plus zinc supplement
    • same action as hydroxychloroquine [15]
    • available over-the-counter.
  1. Azithromycin
    • included in recommended outpatient treatment algorithm [16].
  1. Doxycycline
    • included in same recommended outpatient treatment algorithm [16].

Immunity Boosting

Strengthening the immune system as soon as possible is also very helpful. There are several ways to do this, and they can all be done at once:

  1. Sleep 8 hours or more each night
    • reduces chance of developing rhinovirus symptoms by 66%
      (compared to sleeping 7 hours or less each night) [17]
  1. Vitamin D at 5,000 IU daily [18]
    • reduces chance of developing acute respiratory-tract infection by 63% [19]
    • builds up slowly
    • can be built up faster by substituting calcifediol [20].
  1. Raise body temperature (and optionally then lower body temperature)
    • allow fever [21]
    • hot/cold contrast showers
      (hot for 5 min, cold for 1 min,
      hot for 3 min, cold for 1 min,
      hot for 3 min, cold for 1 min) [22]
  1. BCG vaccine for tuberculosis
    • boosts innate immunity [23].
  1. Vitamin C
    • reduces colds in physically-stressed people [24].
  1. Forest aroma
    • boosts natural killer cells [25]
    • demonstrated by vaporizing Chamaecyparis obtusa (hinoki cypress) stem oil [26]
    • oil and humidifiers commercially available [27].

Reduced Viral Load

Reducing net inbreathing of virus is the first therapeutic step in the same recommended outpatient treatment algorithm that was mentioned earlier [16]:

  1. Fresh air
    • maximize immediately
    • don’t wear face coverings.

Reversal of Oxidative Clotting

Interrupting and reversing oxidative stress [28], which causes blood-vessel damage [29] and clotting in lungs [30] and throughout the body [31], may be the best therapy later in the disease course. And this can be used as a preventive and as an early mitigation from the start:

  1. NAC
    • very-helpful antioxidant [32]
    • available over-the-counter.


Corticosteroid is standard therapy if breathing problems emerge later in the disease course:

  1. Dexamethasone
    • reduces lung inflammation [33].


  1. Anthony, James. “The Use of Knowledge in Pandemics.” rConstitution.us, 19 Feb. 2021, rconstitution.us/the-use-of-knowledge-in-pandemics/. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.
  2. Great Barrington Declaration. 2020, gbdeclaration.org/. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.
  3. Felman, Adam. “What to Know about Pandemics.” MedicalNewsToday, 30 Mar. 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/148945. Accessed 19 Feb. 2021.
  4. Simonsen, Lone, et al. “Pandemic versus Epidemic Influenza Mortality: A Pattern of Changing Age Distribution.” The Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 178, 1998, pp. 53-60.
  5. Anthony, James. “Living through Coronavirus, Living with CoronavirusrConstitution.us, 11 Aug. 2020, rconstitution.us/living-through-coronavirus-living-with-coronavirus/. Accessed 19 Feb. 2021.
  6. Nguyen, Ann M., and Andrew Noymer. “Influenza Mortality in the United States, 2009 Pandemic: Burden, Timing and Age Distribution.” PLoS ONE. vol. 8, no. 5, 2013, e64198.
  7. Williamson, Elizabeth, et al. “OpenSAFELY: Factors Associated with COVID-19-Related Hospital Death in the Linked Electronic Health Records of 17 Million Adult NHS Patients.” medRxiv, 7 May 2020, www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.06.20092999v1.full.pdf. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.
  8. Anthony, James. “Hydroxychloroquine, Used Early, Is the Most-Effective COVID-19 Treatment, and Is Likely Much Better Given Supplemental Zinc.” rConstitution.us, 30 July 2020, rconstitution.us/living-through-coronavirus-living-with-coronavirus/. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.
  9. Briefel, Ronette R., et al. “Zinc Intake of the U.S. Population: Findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994.” The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 130, no. 5, 2000, pp. 1367S-73S.
  10. Tabarrok, Alexander T. “Assessing the FDA via the Anomaly of Off-Label Drug Prescribing.” The Independent Review, vol. 5, no. 1, Summer 2000, pp. 25-53.
  11. “AAPS Sues the FDA to End Its Arbitrary Restrictions on Hydroxychloroquine.” American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, 17 Dec. 2020, aapsonline.org/hcqsuit/. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.
  12. “HCQ Map.” America’s Frontline Doctors, www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com/hcq/map. Accessed 30 May 2021.
  13. “America’s Frontline Doctors.” Speak with an MD, speakwithanmd.com/americasfrontlinedoctors/. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.
  14. Kory, Pierre, et al. “Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19.” OSF Preprints, 15 Jan. 2021, osf.io/wx3zn/?fbclid=IwAR1D8zI_SzOtaFAOG840QYFfdtvjcNxtd38-ej-hG_uj_RBIbkKYwCHnUbQ. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.
  15. Anwar, E., et al. “Mechanistic Similarity of Immuno-Modulatory and Anti-Viral Effects of Chloroquine and Quercetin (the Naturally Occurring Flavonoid).” Clinical Immunology & Research, vol. 4, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-6.
  16. McCullough, Peter A., et al. “Pathophysiological Basis and Rationale for Early Outpatient Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection.” The American Journal of Medicine, vol. 134, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 16-22.
  17. Cohen, Sheldon, et al. “Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold.” Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 169, no. 1, 2009, pp. 62-7.
  18. Charoenngam, Nipith, and Michael F. Holick. “Immunologic Effects of Vitamin D on Human Health and Disease.” Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 7, 2020, 2097.
  19. Sabetta, James R., et al. “Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and the Incidence of Acute Viral Respiratory Tract Infections in Healthy Adults.” PLoS ONE, vol. 5, no. 6, 2010, e11088.
  20. Jetter, Alexander, et al. “Pharmacokinetics of Oral Vitamin D3 and Calcifediol.” Bone, vol. 59, Feb. 2014, pp. 14-9.
  21. Evans, Sharon S., et al. “Fever and the Thermal Regulation of Immunity: The Immune System Feels the Heat.” Nature Reviews | Immunology, vol. 15, no. 6, 2015, pp. 335-49.
  22. Seheult, Roger. “Update 59: Dr. Seheult’s Daily Regimen (Vitamin D, C, Zinc, Quercetin, Sleep, NAC, Etc.).” MedCram, 21 Apr. 2020, www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/12140535-update-59-dr-seheult-s-daily-regimen-vitamin-d-c-zinc-quercetin-sleep-nac-etc. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.
  23. Seheult, Roger. “Update 43: Shortages, Immunity, & Can a TB Vaccine (BCG) Help Prevent COVID-19?” MedCram, 24 Mar. 2020, www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/11281415-update-43-shortages-immunity-can-a-tb-vaccine-bcg-help-prevent-covid-19. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.
  24. Hemilä, Harri, and Elizabeth Chalker. “Vitamin C Can Shorten the Length of Stay in the ICU: A Meta-Analysis.” Nutrients, vol. 11, no. 4, 2019, 708.
  25. Seheult, Roger. “Update 56: What is “Forest Bathing” & Can It Boost Immunity Against Viruses?” MedCram, 15 Apr. 2020, www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/11957921-update-56-what-is-forest-bathing-can-it-boost-immunity-against-viruses. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.
  26. Li, Qing, et al. “Effect of Phytoncide From Trees on Human Natural Killer Cell Function.” International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, vol. 22, no.4, 2009, pp. 951-9.
  27. “Search for Chamaecyparis Obtusa (Hinoki Cypress) Stem Oil.” Amazon, smile.amazon.com/s?k=Chamaecyparis+Obtusa+%28Hinoki+Cypress%29+Stem+Oil&ref=nb_sb_noss. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.
  28. Seheult, Roger. “Update 65: COVID-19 and Oxidative Stress (Prevention & Risk Factors).” MedCram, 1 May 2020, www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/12463438-update-65-covid-19-and-oxidative-stress-prevention-risk-factors. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.
  29. Seheult, Roger. “Update 61: Blood Clots & Strokes in COVID-19; ACE-2 Receptor; Oxidative Stress.” MedCram, 27 Apr. 2020, www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/12326851-update-61-blood-clots-strokes-in-covid-19-ace-2-receptor-oxidative-stress. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.
  30. Seheult, Roger. “Update 75: COVID-19 Lung Autopsies – New Data.” MedCram, 25 May 2020, www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/13157197-update-75-covid-19-lung-autopsies-new-data. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.
  31. Seheult, Roger. “Update 95: Widespread Thrombosis on Autopsy; Prognostic Factors.” MedCram, 13 July 2020, www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/14516266-update-95-widespread-thrombosis-on-autopsy-prognostic-factors. Accessed 19 Mar. 2021.
  32. Seheult, Roger. “Update 69: ‘NAC’ Supplementation and COVID-19 (N-Acetylcysteine).” MedCram, 11 May 2020, www.medcram.com/courses/take/coronavirus-outbreak-symptoms-treatment/lessons/12741441-update-69-nac-supplementation-and-covid-19-n-acetylcysteine. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.
  33. Horby, Peter, et al. “Effect of Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 – Preliminary Report.” MedRxiv, 22 June 2020, www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.22.20137273v1.full.pdf. Accessed 19 Feb. 2021.

James Anthony is a chemical engineer and the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers.


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