Covid-19 and sunlight, in our hearts and minds, by Marc Sorenson, EdD
Covid-19 (coronavirus) is a topic that is inescapable in our times. The media discusses it relentlessly and it is in the hearts and minds of nearly every citizen. And why not? We all know of friends or acquaintances who have had the disease, and it has become a political football. So what can we do about it? There are certain geographical and population differences in Covid 19 incidence and death that may provide some insight. Thus, New York and Florida provide interesting contrasts for the difference in incidence.
Shawn Hannity’s interview with Florida’s Governor DeSantis provides thought-provoking insight and fascinating facts regarding Covid-19.
First of all, Florida and New York are heavily populated states. Yet, as you can see from this graph, death risk is minuscule in Florida compared to New York. The graph shows the comparison of death rates.
Because of New York’s high population density, with people living nearly on top of each other, epidemic diseases spread easily. Thomas Jefferson, third president of United States, once made this clairvoyant statement. “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” Perhaps he should have used the word “ill” rather than corrupt.
Here are more reasons for the stark contrast in Covid-19 deaths between New York and Florida.
Here are New York’s responses to the Covid-19 epidemic.
- New York shut down nearly all social gathering places. Yet, their leaders in the beginning told people to congregate and have a good time.
- New York made homes a breeding ground for Covid-19 infection with “shelter in place” orders.
- New York forced many elderly patients and others, whom they had no room for in regular hospitals, to live in nursing homes. Thus, they produced a hotbed for infection. Twenty-five percent of all deaths from Covid-19 in New York occurred in nursing homes.
- New York has resisted the demand to return people to work and to use outdoor areas with social distancing.
- Furthermore, New York City was appallingly unprepared to provide masks, ventilators and other medical equipment.
The reaction to Covid-19 in Florida.
- Florida allowed access to its beaches and provided guidelines for social distancing.
- Florida also continued to allow golfing, with guidelines.
- In addition, Florida acted quickly against Covid-19. A research study shows that Florida is entering a safe area of declining contagion.
- Florida immediately concentrated on the elderly and other at-high-risk populations, in spite of an exceptionally large elderly population. Thus, they had a remarkably low death rate among the elderly.
- Florida showed far better preparation than New York. Thus, it moved quickly to impede the epidemic. Consequently, one of the charts on the interview with Hannity showed that fatalities per 100,000 were 1.8 in Florida. Yet, there were to 101.2 fatalities per 100,000 in New York.
- Florida has much more sunshine simply because it is in the South. I showed a plethora of healthful effects offered by regular, non-burning sun exposure in my last blog. I will list them once more here to refresh your memory:
The power of sunlight for health beyond Covid-19
- Influenza diminishes almost to nothing during late spring, summer, and early fall, times of greatest sun exposure and vitamin D production.
- Seventy-five percent of melanomas occurs on areas of the body seldom or never exposed to sun.
- Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of deathduring a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
- A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture riskas sun avoiders.
- Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanomaas those who work indoors.
- Women who avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast canceras those who embrace the sun.
More benefits of sunlight exposure
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is highest in areas of little sunlight, andvirtually disappears in areas of year-round direct sunlight.
- Sun exposure decreases heart disease risk through nitric oxide production.
- Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through production of serotonin.
- Those persons who spend many hours daily outdoors have only 1/50 the risk of Parkinson’s disease!
- For each death caused by diseases associated with sun exposure, there are 328 deaths caused by diseases associated with sun deprivation.
- Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF, essential to nerve function.
- Sun exposure can produce as much as 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes of full-body sun exposure.
- In the U.S., vitamin D deficiency in children has increased by 83 times during a 14-year period. That is likely due to indoor living and sunscreen use.
Conclusions regarding New York, Florida and Covid-19
Florida made better choices and earlier choices regarding the Covid-19 epidemic. They also opened their beaches in a reasonable manner. This allowed more sun exposure.
When the disease diminishes this summer, it will be due to sun exposure that produces vitamin D and many other healthful photoproducts. In addition, remember, that sun exposure effects positive changes well beyond stopping the coronavirus.
Non-burning sun exposure is essential, and best around midday. Do not overexpose. My previous blog presented guidelines for sun exposure. Also, be sure to read my book, Embrace the Sun. In addition, visit my previous blog for more information.