2019 Novel Coronavirus (CoVID-19): Part
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV (first named); COVID-2019 (later named disease); SARS-CoV-2 (final name of the virus causing COVID-2019), COVID-2019 Pandemic:
December 22, 2021
update Part 29
Paul Herscu ND, MPH
Entering the last phase of the COVID-2019 Pandemic:
It Has Begun
Hello and welcome. Here’s another short piece to answer all the emails and phone calls from colleagues and patients. This one is primarily from the perspective of classical homeopathy and summarizes the in-depth presentation I made on December 5th 2021 to our current NESH 2 Year Course students. I discussed the most likely pathway for this pandemic to take and the changes in homeopathic presentations that are occurring. You may have already seen some of the videos of this over the past three weeks.
Change is Expected
Aside from the unfortunate, odd social media misinformation which purports that the Delta variant is not dangerous, that there are no emergencies, that there are no increased hospitalizations or deaths, and that the pandemic is blown out of proportion, my personal experience of treating more pneumonia and more ICU patients this past 18 months than in all my years put together, speaks to the opposite reality. There is other extensive evidence that proves this point. The main point I want to highlight is that the Delta variant of the SARS-Cov-2 virus still carries with it a high level of mortality and morbidity. As an example, when I gave this talk on December 5th 2021, the German medical system was crumbling, and our medical colleagues were so overwhelmed, that one of the German medical doctors taking the NESH class was seeing COVID patients every 3 minutes for days on end. A really horrific situation. Another colleague just survived COVID double pneumonia, and still trying to recover. That was with the Delta variant.
With that in mind...
If the Omicron variant is truly more transmissible than Delta, then this could be a very good thing for us. VERY GOOD THING FOR US!!! Let me explain.
I draw directly from the clear and basic theory of homeopathy, the foundation of homeopathic principles here which states: two similar diseases cannot exist in the same person at the same time. I know many folks when thinking about homeopathy consider the dose as the most important feature, but that has little to do with homeopathy. Really, it is about the Law of Similars, i.e., that a substance which causes a certain set of symptoms in a healthy person, will have a curative effect when given to a sick person who is displaying similar symptoms. Hahnemann gives different examples of this in the Organon of Medicine, the book that codifies homeopathic and medical theory, of how one disease overwhelms the other disease and displaces it.
This forms the very underpinnings of homeopathy. A patient is given a substance that in a “proving” was shown to cause a certain set of symptoms, which match the same set of symptoms they already have. The homeopathic remedy ‘displaces,’ temporarily, the disease, if you will. The very definition of homeopathic practice. Hahnemann gives many examples of this principle, from the use of smallpox vaccination, to rashes displacing each other, to other illnesses in nature displacing each other in the individual. There is a lot to say here, but the basic point he made is that there is an evolution or succession of symptom complexes, and that two similar ones will not exist in the same person at the same time.
I have simplified all this for the sake of discussion, but it is important to introduce here for us to build upon. We explore this in depth during our classes, perhaps another time we can delve further into these philosophical tenets here. The main point to keep in mind is that this back-and-forth change of symptom complexes, this exchanging presentation of illness, is constantly seen in nature.
Omicron and a Huge Change
If the Omicron variant is more transmissible, it should outcompete the Delta variant. In other words, very soon, there will be little to no Delta variant as it is supplanted and outpaced by Omicron. (I had summarized these thoughts back in my December 5th, 2021 class. Seems old news now!) What is interesting is that we are all witnessing evolutionary change. (Let’s leave people, our own species, out of the story of evolution, since so do not believe in evolution.) What we can say is that we are watching this virus species change form over time. It is changing its genetic morphology, and as a result, changing how it impacts our health as well. This is evolution.
On a small scale, and without getting too far into evolutionary biology, it is phenomenal that we are all globally discussing genetic changes to a species as it morphs. (As an aside, I think few people know that when Darwin was very, very ill and it was not clear whether he would survive or ever write again, . I believe there is a great deal of core science that is better explained when we add a homeopathic perspective, but again that’s a topic for another time. I just wanted to highlight why I have been deeply drawn to evolutionary biology at the same time I have studied and practiced homeopathy.)
And here, specifically, what I am seeing is that the remedy presentation from a global perspective is different, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE PANDEMIC there is a monumental change from prior variants, and I believe it is for the better, as I’ll describe below.
In December 2019, I described in this blog a virus in China that corresponded well to the homeopathic remedies Gelsemium and Bryonia as well as a few other remedies. Once SARS-CoV-2 was identified and later described, I highlighted quickly, based on the patients I was treating, that the vast majority of patients (80%-90%) stayed in their constitutional state and simply needed their constitutional remedy.
A small number of patients clearly did not remain in their constitutional state, and required a true acute remedy. Of those Bryonia was the main one I prescribed, and in a minority of folks, I used other remedies, such as Gelsemium and Eupatorium-perfoliatum. In early 2020, I created a remedy assessment questionnaire, developed from my experience with these patients, to support physicians through the presentation process. It was, and still is, used widely by many homeopaths worldwide.
To highlight here, the virus has been mutating from the very beginning and those mutations corresponded to minor shifts in symptomatology. That is, until Omicron. Most folks have done well with their chronic remedy, AND the majority of the acute presentations appeared “Bryonia like”. I cannot go into detail here as it takes a full class to explore this topic in depth, but many of the folks that look like they need Bryonia, still only needed their constitutional remedy. And for those people, if they took Bryonia instead, it offered very little help. The questionnaire was a useful and quick tool to help navigate those remedy choices. Whether people needed Bryonia or not, they presented in a Bryonia kind of state. And anyone in a ‘Bryonia-like’ state, carries certain predispositions, one of which is severe lung inflammations, pneumonia, and ARDS.
What is interesting now, with Omicron, is that the percentage of remedy presentations has shifted. Still, the most common remedy corresponding to most folks is their constitutional remedy. That part has not changed. What’s different is that Omicron, with its many genetic changes, has led to a symptom presentation of the remedy Gelsemium as the primary true acute. While still being seen, other remedies such as Bryonia and Eupatorium-perfoliatum are less common. In other words, we are now more commonly dealing with a ‘Gelsemium-like’ presentation, with its particular set of predispositions.
The point I made on Dec 5th is that this is a huge sea change in symptomatology. For example, while Bryonia has a predilection towards acute lung injuries, Gelsemium does not. This is why I predict that the overall rate and percent of pneumonia and acute lung injury is going to drop drastically. Meaning less intubation, less severe pneumonia, and ultimately less mortality.
On the other hand, the symptomatology of Gelsemium impacts the nervous system, so we are likely to see more fatigue and nervous system/brain symptoms. I have already seen brain inflammations. There will be more muscle aches in general. One interesting feature is that there will be a shift away from the overall ‘dry’ states to more of a ‘wet’ state, more saliva, more perspiration, more fluid in the body that has to discharge. (That said, in the short term, I care most about losing the lung inflammation that was so devastating.)
To be clear, we are NOT out of the woods. Some people are still going to get pneumonia, ARDS, and need to be in the ICU, or to be intubated, etc. But the rates are going to be drastically less with Omicron than with Delta. Those with COVID will be suffering with a different set of symptoms, as an overall population. Even those who do not die, or do not have severe lung injuries, may still feel miserable, are going to go the hospitals, and are still going to flood the health care system.
But we spoke about that already. I know when I mentioned this earlier in the month it seemed sort of crazy to say, since the world was shutting down again, but this is how it will play out in the general population. I am not underplaying that there will still be a lot of misery ahead. I think we are just days away from this being clearly seen as a true change. And with this, given the nature of Gelsemium versus Bryonia, the actual shape of the wave will look very different than the prior ones as well.
The remedy prediction questionnaire developed in 2020 is still valid and unchanged. Although the frequency each remedy shows up will change, the overall list of remedies to choose from has been remarkably stable, as have the symptoms to collect. Why they have been stable, how to best understand it all, and wrapping up the year I will address in my next post.
Mind you I am leaving out of this discussion all the things we have already spoken about in other posts, which are as valid as ever. Here I am just elucidating the homeopathic point of view.
Omicron versus Delta
If we are right about the above, perhaps we should be encouraging the displacement of Omicron over Delta, which we discuss in the next post. Of course, this is a very important thing to work on. Remember that while Omicron may not lead to as many deaths, deaths still occur, and most importantly, the Delta variant is still prevalent in different areas, with the same level of misery and morbidity. I will discuss this next time.
The Homeopathic Community and Opportunities Lost
I was heartened to see how many pockets within the homeopathic community followed the lead here, understanding the main point around chronic disease, and that while something looked like Bryonia, often folks just needed their chronic remedy and not Bryonia. Sadly, many did not understand, which led to missed opportunities and patients losing lives, or having chronic residual complaints. I worry that the same thing is about to unfold. If many people who actually need their chronic remedy start taking Gelsemium, it will either not work or only work superficially, and folks will be settled with chronic complaints. That would be a tragic missed opportunity.
Understanding basic homeopathic principles has a predictive and diagnostic benefit. From the public health perspective, why did this guy from the very start say testing is the main key to society opening up again, and now 2 years later we agree? Why did this guy highlight the air purification 18 months before we did? Or that a primary driver to the story is clotting issues months ahead of discovery. Or now, (as of December 5, 2021) that pneumonia rates will plummet in January, or oddly that while the predictions are currently that the pandemic will change to be endemic in 2023-2025, that the pandemic/restrictions/mandates/closed society will be called off in April, 2022. I would think at some point someone would ask why is it that homeopaths say these things weeks or months in advance. It could be a different world. Missed opportunities.
I want to end on a more upbeat note. Prediction. We are still on track to have the pandemic end in April. The bug will still be here as we’ve discussed, which will sadly flood the system, but this wave will pass in a shorter timeframe than prior ones. As that occurs, we will see fewer deaths in comparison. Along with the drastic drop in the case fatalities, the pandemic restrictions will be modified greatly to be strong suggestions only. Remember one natural path of evolution for viruses is that over time they develop to become less lethal to their hosts. If what I believe to be true of Omicron plays out, this is not just some random event and is exactly the direction in which we'd hope to be moving. Let me end here on that optimistic note.
Until next time,
Paul Herscu ND, MPH