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COLUMN: A simple way to Protect Your Family from COVID-19

COLUMN: A simple way to Protect Your Family from COVID-19

  • Updated
Francis Koster

Francis Koster

Scientists have discovered that you can cut the risk of harm from COVID-19 to you and your loved ones almost in half by increasing your vitamin D3 levels.

On March 15 in North Carolina, there were 32 reported cases of the COVID-19 virus and no deaths. That was only about four months ago. You can see this online at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard.

According to that dashboard, and one published by Johns Hopkins University, North Carolina now has over 80,000 infected, and the number infected has been doubling about every 20 days since early April.

Take a moment and digest that.

About three weeks ago, we had 40,000 infected neighbors, now we have 80,000. Around July 29 or so, it will be 160,000. By the third week in August, it will be around 320,000. At this rate, by Labor Day weekend, 640,000 will be infected.

Unless we take action, somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas of this year, our entire state population of 10½ million citizens stand a good chance of being infected.

This is so overwhelming that it is hard to think about.

In the past four months, doctors have learned a lot, and have begun to discover new reasons some people are more likely to catch the virus. They have also uncovered new ways to treat it, which is lowering the death rate.

One of the things that they have learned is that if you do not have enough vitamin D3 in your body, your chances of becoming sick or dying increases quite a bit — in part because low vitamin D3 makes your other illnesses like heart disease or lung issues worse.

There is a growing body of research on this topic. For example, The University of Cincinnati Health System studied 689 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 13 and May 31, and found to their surprise that low vitamin D3 was an additional risk factor, adding to previously known things like heart disease and diabetes, and actually made many other diseases people already had worse.

A second study was done in Israel. It reviewed 7,807 people who had been tested for COVID-19 from Feb. 1 to April 30. One in 10 tested had the disease. The infected people had vitamin D3 levels significantly lower than the non-infected people.

Between now and Thanksgiving, this disease is going to challenge both the health and economy of our community, our state and our country. We have to take individual action for our collective good.

In addition to wearing face masks, keeping social distance of 6 feet from others you do not live with, and washing your hands frequently, here are two things you can do to help slow down this catastrophe until we get a vaccination:

» Go outside at least half an hour every day so you get sunlight on your skin. Take your family members with you. This raises everyone’s vitamin D level quite a bit. Failure to spend time outside is one of the reasons that older folks get the virus more than younger folks.

» Take vitamin D3 pills — about 1,000 IU daily is the recommended dose. Your doctor can order a blood test to see if you need more, and depending on your other health conditions may suggest higher levels — but do not take higher levels without doctor’s guidance, because too much can do more harm than good, and really high levels can make you quite sick.

The bottom line is that our state is headed for an unimaginable health care and economic crisis that will require everyone to come together to take care of each other. We are not powerless — but we do need to take personal responsibility for our health and the health of others. It is once again time to “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

Every fact stated in this article comes from a reliable primary source. You can see all sources by going to the website,, where you will find this article with the sources of the facts.

Francis Koster Ed.D. did his graduate work with a focus on threats to the basic life support systems of air, water, food and fuel. He spent the majority of his career in one of the nations largest pediatric health care systems.

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