Part 1

photo: spark post

There are a lot of things happening in the world today. People are afraid of losing the most precious of things, their lives. This makes plenty of sense with the barrage of nightmarish storytelling on television news and social media outlets. 

I have had a lot of people come to me in a panic in regards to viruses over the years and I have done my best to inform them with what I know based upon my education and 25 years of Experience as a Registered Nurse in New York City. The COVID-19 virus is causing demand for my perspective to rise once again. I have had the honor to work with and through HIV/AIDS at its peak in the 90s, SARS, EBOLA, MERS, H1N1, resurgence of the Smallpox, West Nile and many other “unsavory” pathogens. I have watched panic ensue over and over again. When the dust settles two things remain: viruses and everything else.

Viruses aren’t going away. How we relate to them and how our bodies, environments and scientific advancements shift in relation to them changes. We adapt, they adapt. They adapt, we adapt.  It is a cycle of our existence. 

Ater I shifted my relationship to how I view viruses and how I view myself and my environment I have only had a common cold maybe 5 times. The last time I had influenza like symptoms was in the Summer of the year 2000. As of this writing it is March 2020. That is 20 years. I have worked in Emergency Rooms all over New York City and been exposed to thousands of people with all sorts of viruses and other diseases. I believe that the thing that kept me out of the storm’s danger’s was to know, not only when to carry my umbrella, but when to open it and what the best quality umbrella was to have on deck. I also learned when to stay out of the storm completely. This included my nutrition, my hydration, my exercise, my stress levels, my emotional wellbeing and my mindset. The times when I did get colds was in spaces of heavy emotional upheaval and huge stress. I am not here to tell you that, eating gluten free, lifting weights, meditating and making positive affirmations will prevent you from contracting a virus that may make you ill, but they definitely can’t hurt to add to your tool belt. 

I have decided to do a series of articles to inform people who may be uniformed and to remind those who may have forgotten what they have been previously informed of. I am going to do my best to explain things without getting into too much scientific jargon or getting too esoteric and woo woo. I want as many people to understand this as possible.

I am an expert on one thing and one thing only… my perspective. So please take this information with an open mind. I ask that you utilize this writing as a source of personal empowerment, not as an outside law for you to slave yourself to. There are many “experts” out there. YOU are the expert on you. I encourage you to trust your intuition. 

Things change and shift. Our individual and collective knowledge changes based upon our experiences, studies and advancements. I encourage you to move with the idea that YOU are the captain of your body. Knowledge is indeed power. The more perspective you have, the more you can guide your body. The key thing to remember is that the knowledge you have is not as important as what you do with it. 

So please do not just leave your knowledge sitting there. Educate yourself about yourself.


Viruses are intriguing!

Years and years of scientific study on viruses have taken place and are still taking place. And even with all that studying… we still really don’t know what viruses are and exactly how they do what they do. However, we do have somewhat of a grasp on some of what they do and what they are capable of. 

Viruses, from what I have studied in my 25 plus years in nursing, are what I loosely describe as biochemical entities. They are not technically “alive”. They are like very efficient machines. They are particles that introduce themselves inside the cells of living organisms. When a virus is inside of an organism, many call this an “infection”. I prefer to call it habitation. The inhabited organism is what we call a “host”. Once inside the host cell, a virus utilizes the inner workings of the cells to produce more virus particles at a rapid rate. Those particles then transfer themselves to other cells in the host organism. They then inhabit and replicate in cells all over at an alarming rate. Viruses utilize the host organism’s vital resources of amino acids and production tools to create more virus protein particles. The virus particles utilize the host’s resources to multiply at rates that can exhaust the host’s ability to function normally. When the body detects this, it launches the immune system. Depending upon the type of virus and the condition of the host, the host’s resources can become overwhelmed and it can lead to death of the host. 

Specific viruses affect very specific types of cells, organ systems or bodily functions. There are viruses that affect humans, animals, plants, bacteria and so on. 

Are viruses “bad guys”?

At some point during my nursing career, I started to see viruses like the earth’s way of changing things dramatically. This includes population shifts, power shifts, technology shifts, financial shifts and so on. Viruses are like devices, they serve a purpose. When I learned to remove the idea that viruses are bad or “evil”, things started to make more sense to me.

Viruses serve a purpose just as all other parts of existence do. “Good” or “bad” is of no concern to a virus.

It is serving a purpose. What is that purpose? That question remains unable to be clearly answered. Perhaps if we analyzed things differently we could figure that out. I think it starts with the removal of the “evil” tag. 

One day thoughts came up for me as I spoke to someone about cold sores. Cold sores are known to be caused by a type of herpes virus. This person was severely stressed and only knew of cold sores during times of stress, fatigue, illness or overwhelm. In my career as a nurse I never saw anyone die from cold sores. I did see a lot of people learn how to manage stress as a result of repeated cold sores popping up. Perhaps that particular virus serves as a signal to slow down and realign. Maybe it is there as a signal that there are threats happening to the organism that need to be addressed and if they aren’t addressed, this cold sore is a mere harbinger of what is to come. Who knows? I entertain all sorts of possibilities without being attached to one hard answer. That flexibility has allowed me to navigate a lot of spaces with people and diseases. I thought to myself… what if this virus is actually an ally of some sort? I danced with that idea for a while and it helped me to let down my judgement and see things from a different vantage point. With all of the viruses that we have replicating in the gut alone, can they all be “bad guys”? Are they helping to regulate the bacteria and other things in our guts? Are they helping to regulate the human organism? Are they helping to guide and regulate humanity and life on earth as a whole? Again who knows? I think it is worth consideration. Again, this is my perspective. Something to ponder.

Regardless of my perspective and my musings, what we hear about viruses at large is that they are a threat and we should fear them and eradicate them. That can be pretty scary to think about. Scary things can cause stress and overwhelm, so be careful not to trigger any cold sores while reading this. Breathe. In the next article I will go over some ways that I utilize to keep myself in an optimal immune system state and out of the pool of viral, bacterial, fungal or any other illness as much as I possibly can. 

When you look at viruses structurally, they are absolutely perfectly designed to disrupt things or make things happen in VERY particular ways and in particular places with particular genetic expressions. 

Like bacteria, fungi, yeast and other microorganisms, there are ALWAYS viruses present inside the human body, inside the gastrointestinal tract and on the skin. Many viruses are embedded in the structures of our cells. Many remain dormant until conditions are right for them to copy themselves and cause situations that may be far from pleasant.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we are factories for virus production and the production of many other microorganisms. So the knowledge that this is actually a human dynamic is important for self-empowerment.

The Human Immune System

The human immune system is a very complex network of awesomeness. 

From the time of conception the immune system is in perpetual development as it learns to keep threats in order and then works to actively keep them in order, ALL THE TIME. The more the immune system is exposed to, the more it can develop responses and mechanisms to effectively protect the body. This functions with less drama if the exposure is mild. This is why vaccines work the way they do.

Vaccines are weakened or “attenuated” viruses that are introduced to the organism so that the body can develop defenses without becoming overwhelmed.

Vaccines can be awesome and they can also be NOT awesome.

When multiple vaccines are introduced too closely together, it can cause overwhelm in certain people and this can be detrimental to the organism. I invite you to keep this in mind when considering the utilization of vaccines. Always ask when you are concerned. Simply taking a boatload of vaccines at once without questioning things can lead to issues; especially in immune systems that are in early development. So please make sure that you are deeply informed when you are immunizing yourself and children. Standard immunization scheduling does NOT work for everyone. Some of the most heart wrenching things I have witnessed in my career as a nurse are from situations around mishandled immunizations, improper dosing of vaccines, over exposure to vaccines, and complete avoidance of vaccines. I am not an advocate of the “all or none” mentality. I advocate that you go in to your practitioner knowing what the appropriate doses are, what the suggested time frames are and what additives are in the vaccine that is being administered. Get the exact name of the vaccine, the manufacturer, the lot number and the expiration date on the bottle. Ask to see the bottle and witness the vaccine being drawn up from that bottle. If your practitioner will not give you that consideration, I highly recommend walking out the door and finding someone else who will. This is especially important with the advent of retail store pharmacy vaccination stations. Do not worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or egos. Their feelings won’t really matter if something goes awry after the fact. Asking for these things encourages accountability. Be safe. Be empowered.

The immune system does a lot more than clean out viruses. It works to ward off and rid the body of anything that is a threat to an optimal state of functioning.

Things that disrupt the human body can be microorganisms, biochemical entities like viruses and toxins. Toxins are substances that disrupt, overwhelm or injure the body or are perceived as a threat. Toxins can be things that are inhaled by breathing, ingested by eating or drinking and absorbed through the skin, eyes or mucous membranes. Toxins can also be waste products that are in excess from the body’s functions or the waste products of microorganisms that reside inside the body or on its surfaces. 

If the immune system is not heavily burdened and is able to focus on a threat, most threats are manageable. However, when it is managing multiple threats or challenging threats, the immune system can get overwhelmed. 

Just imagine if a person is:

  • Eating substances with dyes, stabilizers and pesticides
  • Breathing in toxic fumes from factories and traffic
  • Absorbing toxins through the skin from bedding and pillows that are emitting fumes
  • Drinking water with toxins and loads of fluoride 
  • Eating foods that the body is sensitive to

The immune system is already working hard to keep all of these things at bay. Plus it is keeping antibodies circulating to make sure that the threats that it already knows how to manage are taken care of.

Imagine all of that plus day to day stress of family dynamics, work dynamics, relationship dynamics, societal pressure and so on. 

What if the body is managing all of that and then a NEW virus is introduced? What happens when all of the body’s resources are taxed and a new threat enters the picture? Overwhelm happens as the body makes its attempts to remedy things.This can make the body’s ability to ward off new “threats” less than adequate. This can lead to a dragged out illness or even death.

The human immune system normally does an awesome job of keeping viruses and other “threats” at bay. Once it detects that a virus is overwhelming things, the immune system launches its resources to get the viral inhabitants under control. Once under control, the immune system leaves it’s resources (antibodies) heavily on guard for a while to assure that the threat does not resurface. After about 3 months the army gets reduced to a few circulating guards just in case the threat decides to resurface.

When considering all of this, we see that the people most susceptible to viral threats and viral overwhelm are very young immune systems, taxed immune systems, sedentary elderly people, people with poor diets, people who are obese and people who are stressed out. There are a great many factors that contribute to being susceptible to virus overwhelm. There are things within your ability to control that you can do to make sure that you are optimized at all times.

Waiting until there is an outbreak to do last minute precautions can help, but it is not your safest bet. Being aware of how your immune system and your ENTIRE body works is empowerment. I encourage empowerment at all times.

We groom ourselves to serve the workforce, countries, religions, family structures and other people. What is stopping us from grooming ourselves to serve our own longevity? It is well past time for us to serve our own individual potentials for longevity and awesome lives. When we are empowered individuals, our societal structures will be stabilized and fortified as a result. Putting our bodies as last place citizens is not the best way to go.

Viruses are here to stay. When we are optimized human beings we have the best chance of living optimally with viruses not being a major life threat. That optimal situation is not simply about washing your hands when there is a threat announced. It is about washing them all the time. It is not about eating optimally when there is a threat, it is about doing it ALL the time. It is not about educating yourself when there is a problem to figure out. It is about educating yourself all the time. 

Life is ongoing. Optimization can be an ongoing thing too. Please empower yourself daily. There is so much more to you than meets the eye. Learn about you and have the upper hand when it comes to any disease process.

Make sure you check out Part 2 of this Manifesto 

-Tah Whitty