Q&A of the Day – Are our beaches a key to fighting COVID-19?

Q&A of the Day – Are our beaches a key to fighting COVID-19?

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: Wait a minute! We've been told for years by the experts that vitamin supplements were basically useless, not worth the money, of little benefit, a waste of time and just plain unnecessary...So now the laugh is on them, not only is vitamin D coming to the rescue but what's the human body's best source of vitamin D ? The Sun! So,closing the beaches is actually a very bad idea and could be causing people to die because they're not getting their vitamin D!

Bottom Line: By now we know the beaches have become the bogyman of the reopening efforts. Across our state, most counties and municipalities have been reluctant to allow for the use of Florida’s most desirable resource. This has included phase one reopening's without open beaches – including in Palm Beach County this week and Broward and Miami-Dade next. But is that policy justified? Moreover, to the point of your note, it is actually counter-productive? 

Interestingly, there are five counties which reopened their beaches nearly a month ago, long before phase one reopening for businesses in north east Florida. This includes Jacksonville’s Duval County – the sixth most populous in Florida. The result? A month later there is no evidence of any increase in COVID cases in those counties attributed to the reopening of the beaches. In fact, those counties have experienced consistent declines in cases through out the entire reopening process. Could it have something to do with the sun? Is it possible that the policy of keeping South Florida’s beaches closed could actually be hurting South Floridians? 

There have been multiple studies conducted on the impact of Vitamin D and COVID-19. They strongly suggest there’s a significant benefit with vitamin D in combating the virus. In a study conducted by LSU’s Health Sciences Center, Tulane’s School of Medicine& the Texas A&M College of Medicine they found the following: 

  • 84.6% of ICU patients with COVID-19 had VDI (vitamin D insufficiency)
  • Those with VDI were 48% more likely to end up in ICU
  • 100% of studied ICU patients under the age of 75 had VDI

That’s objectively conclusive information. It’s clear having the recommended amount of vitamin D has a significant impact on one’s vulnerability to COVID-19. In fact, there’s another huge takeaway from the study which address racial disparities. Here’s a statement from the study pertaining to...

Emerging health disparities data regarding African American and homeless populations suggest that vitamin D insufficiency (VDI) may be an underlying driver of COVID-19 severity.

So yes, it appears evident that proper levels of vitamin D are important to our health should we come across COVID-19. And yes, it’s possible that the policies inhibiting ways in which people obtain vitamin D most effectively – like closing beaches – could be counter productive. #FactsNotFear.

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