It’s good for you

From the comments in my last post, I have been doing a little research. You know Summer 2020 when people were being castigated for scarpering down to Devon and Cornwall and other coastal nadirs? If you believed the mainstream, everyone was going to have their froats slit in their beds and all sorts of gharsley happenings because people needed a time out in relative warmth and fresh sea air. If for nothing else but their sanity.

Oddly enough, nothing like the media prognostications of doom happened. Despite the lack of masks and social distancing there was no observable ‘spike’ in ‘cases’ during or after the 13.5 day median SARS/COV-2 incubation period following the rush to the coast, and I have yet to hear anything in the mainstream or from the politicians as to why this should be. Surely, if you believe the various health authorities, there should have been a massive rise in deaths, lung rot and all sorts of awfulness. Instead the excess respiratory mortalities did what they normally do in Summer, bumped along the bottom.

“But-but-but.” cry the true believers in Sceance. “We’re doomed because we are told we are by our beloved governments and news media. If you don’t believe them you’re just a no-good Science Denier.” Well chums, have you ever thought that there may be some pretty good reasons why they (and you) might be wrong?

Let me digress for a moment and introduce an olde worlde anti-viral treatment once used by many before the nascence of new fangled pharmaceuticals. I’ve used it a few times when the old tubes were extra snotty and whilst it’s not as convenient as Night Nurse or similar medications, it does work.

What you will need:
A heat resistant bowl.
An old towel.
A couple of pints of hot water.
A dessert spoon of salt.
A touch of menthol. A couple of crystals, no more.

Method:
Put hot water in bowl.
Stir in salt and menthol.
Bend head over bowl.
Drape towel over head so it forms a steam tent.
Slowly at first, a few shallow breaths at a time, breathe in the vapour from the hot mixture. This will start the process of clearing the catarrh from your nose, sinuses and throat. After five breaths, straighten up and cough up any loosened snot and catarrh. Wait thirty seconds, breathing slowly. Rinse / repeat for about five minutes or so. The congestion should start to clear after the first five breaths, but if it doesn’t, repeat as necessary.

Okay, you might say, that’s fine for a cold or man flu, but does it work for worse? Actually yes. The Menthol helps open up your sinuses and nasal passages and the salt water vapour makes life difficult for viruses whilst helping liquefy any congestion and letting the cilia in your airways shift the loosened sputum (a.k.a. snot and catarrh) from your airways. Spit any detritus thus dislodged into the bowl. If it’s a horrible pastel green, repeat for a day or so until the dislodged crap turns a cloudy white and then clears. Takes a few sessions, and the heat from the water can feel a bit uncomfortable, but it does work.

Caveat: If you see bright red and you haven’t a split lip or a nosebleed, call your Doctor, now. Tiny flecks aren’t too bad, but big red gobs more than two mm across spell real trouble. Seek help.

However, if you aren’t coughing blood the likelihood is that you’ll survive, so no panic. Carry on breathing in the vapour. By the way, for those of you still not convinced, have a read of what the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute has to say on the matter. For the hypochondriacs amongst you, you can even sign up as a volunteer for the ELVIS study. Yes, their study really is called ELVIS.

Now, returning by this circuitous route to the original panic, and I can’t find any maps showing where SARS/COV-2 deaths have been highest, but I’m pretty sure that the saline element in sea breezes provide a less than hospitable environment for the SARS/COV-2 virus and variants. Hence the lower rate of infections and deaths reported from seaside towns and villages. Now I hear rumours that fishermen out on the briny are less afflicted by this pandemic, and only seem to be at risk of infection when onshore. Personal anecdote here; used to do a lot of deep sea fishing and ‘wrecking’, and if I was feeling snotty and hungover or had a cold when we shipped out on the tide, I always felt better after an hour or so out on the water. Could this have something to do with the salt content of sea air?

No idea, but it sounds like it’s got legs doesn’t it? Otherwise why does sea air have so many claimed beneficial health effects? The link is there, both in folk medicine and scientific study. The two tend to agree. Will the ELVIS study confirm the hypothesis of salt as a protecting factor against nasty bugs like SARS/COV-2? Is the old GP’s treatment for respiratory illness like sunshine, fresh sea air a little fresh fruit and moderate exercise, take two aspirin and call me in the morning, a better preventative than all the masks and lockdowns on the planet? Could it be true that;

By jingo, if it is, we’re all saved! Huzzah! Instead of drugs you should be prescribed a weekend by the sea. Although I think some deeply unpleasant people are actually enjoying the drama of the dreaded lurgi and being able to grass on their neighbours to the Stasi. They don’t really want to get out of this unhappy pandemic situation. Miserable arsehead bastards.

11 thoughts on “It’s good for you”

  1. “salt water vapour”??

    Sorry but I cry bullshit on this one. Salt will not be in the vapour; it doesn’t even melt till umpty-hundred degrees, it certainly won’t evaporate with the water.

    The rest of your folk remedy might well work, but not this.

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  2. As a child, I suffered from Croup and the remedy our Doctor advised was Friars Balsam in boiling water. As I remember, sitting at the table ,tea towel over my head breathing in the hot, moist fumes. Cured it and I am still here at 83 years old.

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  3. I still use a ‘Virotherm’ inhaler for cold symptoms. Had it for years, and it still works in most cases cor me. The literature says that the air should be at 43 deg C, fully humidified and the air flow should be 40 litres/min. Very precise.

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      1. I know. Which is why I don’t buy it all that often. I just get a bit pissed off with being bunged up from time to time. And it does work, even if only briefly.

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