July 23, 2020

Chocolate elixir

The big change for me in Seattle from COVID-19 is the commute. Drive time is cut in half, so I no longer take the bus. When the weather is good, I ride my bike. I upgraded to an electric bike to help me get up the hills in Seattle which has made a huge difference. Now instead of the men in lycra blasting past me, I can keep up with them. Or at least I used to. Since the shutdown, the numbers of all commuters has dropped and now there are just a handful that I see when I am riding. I essentially ride alone. It so much calmer.

Today I was riding my bike to work, approaching the Fremont bridge, when I smelled it. The wafting aroma of chocolate from the Theo factory. It smelled like liquid brownies. A wonderful start to my long day. I was reminded of this article about chocolate being good for the heart. We need some good news.

Debate and concern is ongoing if a person can get infected with SARS-CoV-2 a second time. There have been anecdotal cases, which are just that: individual stories that are not necessarily confirmed. Some are worried because antibody levels can fall over a few months, but others point out that the immune system works in other ways than just antibodies. T-cells, which are one type of lymphocyte, have important roles to play, as do other types of cells.

My ID docs reminded me last night that our immune systems do have an effect on COVID-19. Most people recover, the virus does goes away, and we don’t understand the mechanism completely yet. We know this from experience, which means a vaccine should be attainable. Many scientists are not surprised the level of antibodies drop after recovery, because their job is done, since the virus is gone. This article in the New York Times is worth reading because it explains these finer points of the immune system better than I can. This evidence gives me hope that one or more effective vaccines may be found because the vaccines being developed are approaching immunity in a more complex way.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and eat more chocolate, especially good dark chocolate.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

A housekeeping note: the Blog posts have been behaving a little strange lately- not being sent right away when I post them, being sent twice, dropping people from the list. Please let me know if you are having issues. Thanks. Reply to this post and it magically comes to me.

https://www.mdlinx.com/news/chocolate-is-good-for-the-heart/ntwHTnOesL5yM7JHVjs05

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_Chocolate

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/22/health/covid-antibodies-herd-immunity.html