By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” —Will Durant (attributed to Aristotle)
Policy on Covid in the West is being locked down around a few bullet points, as you can see from what was discussed at the recent meeting of the FDA Advisory Panel on Covid Vaccines, and what was not discussed (see additional material in today’s links). These bullet points (here numbered for reference) form a program:
(1) Mass infection without mitigation
(2) Intramuscular injection of vaccines
(3) Hospitalization and death as only metrics that matter
And a corollary:
(4) PMC who support this program are hegemonic, hence amplified; the exceptional others are at best ignored and at worst ostracized or attacked. (This applies to the media, academe, medical professionals, the political class, and agencies like CDC; NIH; HHS, etc.)
“The Ultimate Lockdown,” we might call this program. (Or perhaps “The Big Cheese Model”, as opposed to the “Swiss Cheese” model.) This program is serves the interests of many powerful actors, all of whom make bank on mass infection.
The Ultimate Lockdown is, of course, eugenic in character, and not merely stochastically. Continous mass infection by Covid is a recipe for falling life expectancy, already achieved in the United States, whether the cases are “mild” or not. As with deaths of despair, eugenics is what our rulers “repeatedly do.” It is what they are “excellent” at.
The Ultimate Lockdown is therefore opposed — implicitly, and sometimes even consciously — by many scattered forces. The most important force should be not unscattered but ubiquitous: hundreds of millions of those who are conscious that their lives — and the lives of their families, friends, and co-workers — will most likely be sicker and shorter (albeit marked by rental extraction even more intense than today’s). Perhaps that will happen. However, if you sort by the bullet points above, you will see other pockets of opposition, and those not without force. For example, people opposing the Ultimate Lockdown are:
(1) Developing or supporting vaccines that do not require muscular injection;
(2) Fighting (sorry; I don’t mean “‘fighting'”) on behalf of those suffering from Long Covid, or from the neurological or vascular damage that comes even from mild cases (in other words, for metrics other than death or hospitalization);
(3) Pursuing mitigation strategies (for example, masks and Corsi Boxes);
(4) Incorporating non-vax prophylaxis and treatments into their Covid prevention protocols, and sharing their protocols with others (as we shall see);
(5) Overturning outdated paradigms of Covid transmission (where would we be without the efforts of those exceptional aerosol scientists? Still washing our hands behind Plexiglass barriers);
(6) Amplifying the above five points and correcting or rebuking the hegemonic PMC.
In this post, I will focus on (1) vaccines that do not require intramuscular injection (briefly), and then on (4) non-vax prophylaxis and treatments. By so doing, I will be (6) amplifying the good guys. But first, I will briefly review — from the previous post, “The Latest Anti-Covid Nasal Spray Vaccine Science,” which was an assault on point (2) of the Ultimate Lockdown — how Covid enters the body, because understanding this mechanism undergirds every other measure we could take (that is, (1) – (5)).
SARS-CoV-2’s First Hours in the Body
As my companion piece explains, SARS-CoV-2 enters the body through the nose, and initially multiplies there. During this period, SARS-CoV-2 is asymptomatic, but can still spread, as the infected individual breathes shared air in and out. (Asymptomatic spread is one characteristic that makes SARS-CoV-2 so hard to stop.) Later, SARS-CoV-2 infects other parts of the body, including the mouth (see below). Therefore, if we really want to stop SARS-CoV-2 — remember, our current ruling elites are in favor of transmission — we have to stop it in this early period, while it is still multiplying in the nose. It follows that any sterilizing vaccine — the unfortunate term for a vaccine that prevents community transmission — must activate mucosal immunity — the nose has its own separate immune system (!) — which intra-muscular injections do not do. It also follows that non-vax treatments, that also may kill SARS-CoV-2 in its initial phase, can be very, very useful. From The Mail in the UK:
T-cells and B-cells in the mucosal layer can prompt a lightning-fast attack ‘pretty much the instant the virus comes in’, attacking it before it has a chance to infect cells, [Muhammad Munir, a professor in virology and viral zoonoses at Lancaster University] says. ‘These nasal immune cells get to work in a couple of minutes — whereas the immune cells made by intramuscular vaccines get to work six to eight hours after entry of the virus.’
This time difference, he says, is vital. ‘If just one virus particle successfully sticks to one cell it takes over that cell and replicates to produce a million more viruses in an eight-hour cycle,’ says Professor Munir, who has been leading the research into Lancaster University’s nasal vaccine.
‘That’s why the nasal vaccine will have the advantage — the immune cells it produces in the nasopharyngeal region can act immediately. It’s a bit like having the police sitting and waiting for a crime to be committed.
‘With the intramuscular vaccine approach, the police only come once the problem is there, and by that time damage could be done.’
I want to underline that non-vax nasal prophylactics leverage the time difference as well. If a nasal vaccine is the cops, perhaps non-vax nasal prophylactics are the neighborhood watch. Let me now quickly turn to Bharat’s just-introduced nasal vaccine, after which I will move on to prophylactics.
Bharat’s Nasal Vaccine
Hilda Bastian tracks nasal vaccines; her latest update was back in September, and presumably there will be an update coming soon. As she shows, nasal vaccines have already been introduced in Iran, Russia, and China. However, Bharat’s release is — or should be — really big news; it’s an enormous vaccine company that does a lot of contract work for other brands. From the Economic Times of India, “Bharat Biotech’s nasal Covid vaccine iNCOVACC launched“:
The shot will be on the Covid-19 list of vaccines and be accessible in private institutions. According to Bharat Biotech, the intranasal vaccine will cost Rs 325 per injection for government purchases and Rs 800 per shot for private immunisation facilities.
A primary 2-dose regimen for people aged 18 and older in an emergency situation had previously been authorised under limited use. Phase III trials of the vaccine were conducted on 3,100 participants at 14 trial sites across India to evaluate immunogenicity and safety. Hyderabad-based companies also intend to export iNCOVACC overseas once it gets licensed.
Bharat Biotech is currently in discussions with overseas “potential partners”, who have contacted the company about producing and distributing the intranasal vaccine internationally, according to corporate sources. The vaccine was partnered with Washington University in St. Louis, who created the recombinant adenoviral vectored construct and tested its efficacy in pre-clinical investigations.
(Perhaps some kind reader familiar with Indian sources can supply a link to the 3,100 participant-study.) From the BBC:
Dr Krishna Ella, chairman of Bharat Biotech, told ANI news agency that the vaccine was “easy to deliver” as it didn’t need a syringe or needle, and that it produced a broader immune response as compared to injectable Covid vaccines.
No cold chain. No medical personnel, trained in injection, needed. No hospital setting. Ideal for a country like India, and entirely opposed to The Ultimate Lockdown. (In theory at least. One sour note: The Indian government may not be procuring it; private hospitals may. Perhaps the views of India’s elites are much like our own?)
We now turn to what every really wants to read about.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are too many products! However, I hope users will share their own experiences in comments.
Let me underline that prophylactic advocacy should be based firmly on a mechanism — exactly in the way that we assess a room to see if the ventilation is in order. That’s why understanding SARS-CoV-2’s first hours in the body is so important (ditto mucus transport). Modulo a “miracle cure” that really does cure, if one of these methods turns out to be unsupported by a mechanism, it does no good to cling to it as part of our protocol; we should either find the mechanism, or replace it with something that has a reason to work (if only to prevent others from imitating us).
Let me also underline that we can’t be waiting around for the RCTs (which are always in danger of being gamed by those who can fund them in any case). The Don’t Believe the Hype blog writes of prophylaxis:
Whilst I generally like to end blogs saying ‘don’t believe the hype,’ in this case it is unknown whether this is hype or not. As above, ; it is at worst a harmless intervention, and at best something that could reduce COVID severity (and therefore, potentially COVID complications).
Finally, let underline that I view all this as a form of “citizen science.” Hence, my concern for a mechanism. If something works for you personally, that’s great, but it’s even better if we know why it works, so others have reason to adopt the protocol you have adopted. With that, I’ll take a look at four products; then I’ll look at a product ingredient (carrageenan), and a method (nasal irrigation). In no particular order:
Vaill CoviTRAP. Sadly available (so far) only in Thailand (and Cambodia)– though the Hong Kong-based Watson’s pharmacy chain may end up carrying it — CoviTRAP is a true “morning after” nasal spray. From a medRvix preprint, “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of a nasal spray solution containing broadly potent neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants in healthy volunteers“:
Successful COVID-19 prevention requires additional measures beyond vaccination, social distancing, and masking. A nasal spray solution containing human IgG1 antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (COVITRAP™) was developed to strengthen other COVID-19 preventive arsenals…. Collectively, COVITRAP™ can safely and effectively support mucosal immunity at thepoint of entry of the virus, making it an essential and complementary tool in our preexistingCOVID-19 prevention arsenals. Nevertheless, a large-scale efficacy trial measuring COVID-19incidence will be required to demonstrate the efficacy of COVID-19 prevention by COVITRAP™.
I like the non-vax use case: After possible exposure, a spritz of antibodies (clearly useful in a tourist-heavy economy like Thailand’s). Yes, a large-scale trial would be great, but personal risk assessment: the cost is low, the risk and low, and the benefits are huge. So I wish this product had a commercial rival in the West!
Enovid Sanotize/Virx (two brands, same formulation). A Nitric Oxide technology, described in “Clinical efficacy of nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS) for the treatment of mild COVID-19 infection“:
Treatment with NONS in this trial was found to be effective and safe in reducing the viral load in patients with mild, symptomatic COVID-19 infection. … Accelerated SARS-CoV-2 clearance with NONS may reduce symptom duration, decrease infectivity period, reduce hospital admissions, and lower disease severity. Consequently, this study could be used as supporting evidence for emergency use of NONS for patients with mild COVID-19 infection.
Same risk assessment as above. A traveller’s review:
I won’t pretend that it’s very pleasant using the product, as there’s a slight stinging sensation when using as directed (slightly inhaling when spraying each nostril). The stinging is temporary, just for a few seconds. Our son doesn’t like it, although he tolerates it.
While it could be luck, we’ve remained negative for Covid while using the product, even while in Denmark, where we did have some meals indoors and were in relatively crowded areas such as Tivoli. No one in Denmark, apart from a few foreigners, was wearing face masks during our visit. We were especially focused on not becoming infected with Covid because our son had to test negative before attending a summer camp, which he did. We can’t prove it, but we suspect our family’s use of Enovid helped his odds.
I use the product regularly, and pleasant is not the word. Not too bad though! Not even “this may sting a little”-level.
Algovir. From “Recommendation of the German Society of Hospital Hygiene (DGKH): Prevention of COVID-19 by virucidal gargling and virucidal nasal spray – updated version April 2022“:
In the absence of a PVP-iodine based nasal spray, use a Carragelose®-based nasal spray (e.g. Algovir® cold spray) in the morning and evening; probably more effective is 0.23% PVP-iodine solution (self-production see above).
(More on Carragelose below.)
There is also the old standby, Betadine Povidone (iodine for throat, carrageenan for nose). See NC here and here.
Now to the ingredient: Carrageenan. From “Efficacy of a Nasal Spray Containing Iota-Carrageenan in the Postexposure Prophylaxis of COVID-19 in Hospital Personnel Dedicated to Patients Care with COVID-19 Disease“:
A total of 394 individuals were randomly assigned to receive I-C or placebo. Both treatment groups had similar baseline characteristics. The incidence of COVID-19 differs significantly between subjects receiving the nasal spray with I-C (2 of 196 [1.0%]) and those receiving placebo (10 of 198 [5.0%]). Relative risk reduction: 79.8% (95% CI 5.3 to 95.4; p=0.03). Absolute risk reduction: 4% (95% CI 0.6 to 7.4).
In this pilot study a nasal spray with I-C showed significant efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in health care workers managing patients with COVID-19 disease.
So check the label! Finally, nasal irrigation. From “Rapid initiation of nasal saline irrigation to reduce severity in high-risk COVID+ outpatients: a randomized clinical trial compared to a national dataset observational arm.” n=79:
SARS-CoV-2 enters the nasopharynx to replicate; nasal irrigation soon after diagnosis could reduce viral load and inhibit furin cleavage necessary for cell entry, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality…. A consecutive sample of 79 high-risk adults (mean age 64, BMI 30.3) were randomized toinitiate one of two nasal irrigation protocols within 24 hours of a positive COVID-19 test. Compared to aCDC COVID-19 National Dataset observational arm, 1.27% of participants initiating twice daily nasalirrigation were hospitalized or died, compared to 11%, a significant difference.
And from Augusta University:
Starting twice daily flushing of the mucus-lined nasal cavity with a mild saline solution soon after testing positive for COVID-19 can significantly reduce hospitalization and death, investigators report.
They say the technique that can be used at home by mixing a half teaspoon each of salt and baking soda in a cup of boiled or distilled water then putting it into a sinus rinse bottle is a safe, effective and inexpensive way to reduce the risk of severe illness and death from coronavirus infection that could have a vital public health impact.
“What we say in the emergency room and surgery is the solution to pollution is dilution,” says Dr. Amy Baxter, emergency medicine physician at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and corresponding author of the study in Ear, Nose & Throat Journal.
“By giving extra hydration to your sinuses, it makes them function better. If you have a contaminant, the more you flush it out, the better you are able to get rid of dirt, viruses and anything else,” says Baxter.
“We found an 8.5-fold reduction in hospitalizations and no fatalities compared to our controls,” says senior author Dr. Richard Schwartz, chair of the MCG Department of Emergency Medicine. “Both of those are pretty significant endpoints.”
Now let’s turn to the next line of defense after the nose: The mouth. (Note that I don’t know whether mouthwashes leverage the time difference between infection and viral shedding, the way nasal sprays and vaccines can. Still, it seems like a good idea to kill the virus where found.) From BDJ Team (the online adjunct to British Dental Journal), “How a radiologist became an evangelist for dental hygienists“:
Dr Lloyd-Jones says: ‘It’s a simple concept – in those with poor oral health the mouth is like an open wound. The absorption pathway for pathogens passing across damaged oral mucosa is the same as for the skin – pathogens can pass into the blood but do not pass through the liver, as is the case for absorption via the gut. Oral pathogens have direct access to the systemic circulation, which explains why they end up all over the body and are directly implicated in the development of multiple important systemic diseases’.
He rang up two of his friends, one a dentist and the other an oral surgeon, asking whether damaged mucosa of the gums could be the anatomical pathway to the lungs via the blood. They both confirmed his ideas made sense, explaining that the gingival epithelium is easily breached by bacteria in plaque biofilm, so why not a virus? The missing link between the blood and the lungs, they agreed, could well be gum disease. Dr Lloyd-Jones set to work, developing a scientific hypothesis, first published on his own educational website in February 2021
(In my view, this is exactly how exceptional PMC should behave.) Here is a guide to mouth care from Lloyd-Jone’s hospital. And a preprint from medRxiv, “Brief Report: The Virucidal Efficacy of Oral Rinse Components Against SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro“:
The ability of widely-available mouthwashes to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in vitro was tested using aprotocol capable of detecting a 5-log10 reduction in infectivity, under conditions mimicking thenaso/oropharynx. During a 30 second exposure, two rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride and a third with ethanol/ethyl lauroyl arginate eliminated live virus to EN14476 standards (>4-log10reduction), while others with ethanol/essential oils and povidone-iodine (PVP-I) eliminated virus by 2-3-log10. Chlorhexidine or ethanol alone had little or no ability to inactivate virus in this assay. Studiesare warranted to determine whether these formulations can inactivate virus in the human oropharynxin vivo, and whether this might impact transmission.
So “cetylpyridinium chloride” and “ethanol/ethyl lauroyl” are the ingredients to look for on the label. Perhaps readers can suggest from brands?
I should have a peroration, but I feel like I’ve said what I’ve had to say. Let’s all contest The Ultimate Lockdown, especially by, as citizen scientists, developing protocols and sharing them. We can save some lives! Let us become excellent by saving lives, repeatedly.
Thank you! This is the ONLY source I rely on for Covid information, and for good reason. And I have to endorse as well your thoughts on the PMC’s response as the evidence to date of official malfeasance is solid, sordid and overwhelming. What seems odd to me is that the dissenters against the official line who commonly get traction in social media are even more eugenicist than our officially appointed and credentialed federal ghouls.
What about viraleze? I believe I learned of that one from this site and it does have studies to support it (albeit in vitro, not in the wild).
> I believe that viraleze and Enovid are the same formulation under different brands. Readers?
I bought enovid, only occasionally used it. Did use it before son’s wedding/reception last Aug, and this was the one time I got Covid, to be fair so did 29 others (150 attendees, supposedly everybody tested before arriving.) Had a week of flue symptoms, took paxlovid fairly early. Anyway, so far as I know, nothing long-term.
I had bought it a few months earlier, as I recall it did say use for 30 days, which I continue to ignore.
Not sure if you did this or not, but you’re supposed to use this kind of prophylaxis both before and after exposure. The idea is to both create an inhospitable environment for viruses and also to kill any that manage to make it through. That is how PrEP for HIV works.
I use Enovid at least 3 times a day, and more often if needed (when I expect to be in a high-risk situation, and/or immediately after returning from one). I also mask in public places, never dine indoors in restaurants, and don’t host or attend parties of more than 6 people total when eating and/or drinking are part of the event. And we do have a large Hepa filter machine in our dining room, which adjoins (with large openings) a living room and a “family room.” Oh, and I have no plans to fly in the foreseeable future.
I think I introduced Enovid here…. I Buy it from Israel
expensive ish nominally but will be happy to pay for it for health.
It’s cheaper than a copay for a doctors visit…
Lambert, thanks for all the great info.
I only use it for indoor gatherings maybe once a month.
Spray before I go, then rinse when I get home and spray again.
So far I have never tested positive (although my wife had “original flavor “ COVID in March 2020 and I suspect I was infected then, when no testing was available )
I’m often the only person with an n95 .
We will have our first indoor dining experience in 3 years on Valentine’s Day, at a place that’s well ventilated, but it’s a risk
Have had first two shots in spring 2021 and the bivalent booster last October. I don’t expect to get any more “vaccines “ of the current ilk but am open to the nasal vaccine.
We have elastomeric masks but have not got into the habit of wearing them
And nutrition & exercise are very good.
Vegan for four years. Fresh produce not impossible burgers.
Tennis three or four days a week. Afterwards we have a socially distanced beer and everyone talks about what hurts. Except me. Almost 70 and nothing hurts, and I play hard…
I am not a scientist and what I describe below as my preventative approach has worked for me. It may not for any one else. I have done a light study of herbals and essential oils.
Frankincense is one of the original antibacterial, antiviral herbs, used initially, I understand, in the censers swung to and fro in Catholic churches. So it made sense to me to try it this way. In a one ounce bottle I pour about 7/8 way to the top a carrier oil: olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, something similar. To that I drop in about 20-30 drops of frankincense essential oil. Cap bottle and mix it up. When I am ready to venture forth from my home, I shake the bottle and dip a cotton swab in and swab the insides of both nostrils. It does smell lovely. When I return home, I use a neti pot, with salt, to rinse out my sinuses. And I gargle several times with any remaining liquid. So far, so good. That’s my approach–along with a good fitting mask when in a store.
> herbals and essential oils
See this study on essential oils.
I have been using the FEND spray since it first came out in 2020. It was written up in Time Magazine. I notice they don’t make any claims about Covid on their site anymore. Probably because there are no studies, but it was touted for Covid in the press at the beginning of the pandemic. Haven’t gotten COVID yet despite being exposed multiple times.
Interesting … FEND seems to be a variant of the chlorinated water vapor solution that diluted HOCl provides. Would be nice to have a study, as exists for HOCl, but assuming the chemistry is similar – as in the presence of Chlorine at the molecular level is virucidal to COVID – I suspect it works in likewise fashion. Looks like they provide a manual mister device (via YouTube). and they even mention that if you do it right, “the tip of your nose should be wet”, which is the exact moisturizer/nebulizer effect I called out here (via NC).
One study might be with swim teams. They spend a lot of time in water with strong CL most days.
I had read about Japanese using HOCL in humidifiers in hospitals early in pandemic. I did this in my house when people came over, along with corsi box. My buddy has mini humidifier in his car. runs on cigarette lighter. Uses it when has to drive with others in car.
I remember reading here on NC about using one oz of whisky and one oz of boiling water and taking twelve deep breaths.
I woke up one morning with that itchy throat and knew something was wrong. I did the twelve deep breaths and did it again that evening. I didn’t get anything and not really sure if I cured myself but felt good about being able to ‘cure’ myself with common drug at hand. I don’t drink but have it for guests. I have tried to find that original post here at NC but haven’t found it. Any help in finding that would be welcome.
Yep! My original comment on the study is here (via NC), and Lambert was kind enough to include it in the #COVID19 section of NC’s July 18, 2022 Links (via NC).
> one oz of whisky and one oz of boiling water
I find the concept highly attractive — partly because it’s so funny — but Ignacio is dubious; see comment below.
When I first heard that listerine might be effective against covid, I used it to similar effect. After use, when there was still a small bit in my mouth I’d inhale deeply ( head down and mouth open so as not to inhale any liquid) and could immediately feel the “menthol” effect. It produces a viscous phlegm and really clears out the pipes!
note of caution – don’t overdo the steam.
Here are the ingredients:
I would want to see a mechanism. Here is the study your link (below) is based on. From Pathogens, “Differential Effects of Antiseptic Mouth Rinses on SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity In Vitro“:
My first guess on Listerine is that it was the alcohol, but from this study I’m betting it’s the essential oils, including Eucalyptol. (The alcohol makes me dubious about daily use; see Ignatius’s comment below.)
How [family blog] is the Infection Control community ignoring all this? This is their bailiwick!
I don’t know how to figure the dilutions; perhaps somebody who does benchwork in a lab can help.
This may be of help. 5% = 5/100 or 1/20th 50% is 1/2 and so on.
Here’s the link:
Why does the Listerine need to be diluted? Because it is just so painful to use?
I have no problem with enovid, then again I’ve been snorting cayenne pepper spray for migraines since before the pandemic and by comparison enovid is a cinch.
And perhaps a pertinent fact about Nitric oxide: humming!
Humming greatly increases nasal nitric oxide
products with cetylpyridinium chloride:
Scope Classic (and only the Classic brand, the other Scope products do not have c.c.)
Publix “Mint Mouthwash and Gargle”
A study out of Rutgers found that Listerine was effective against covid too: https://studyfinds.org/listerine-mouthwash-deactivate-covid/
I’ve been gargling mouthwash and spreading that good word to friends and family. I use: Crest Pro-Health Advanced Multiprotection. It’s blue. Got it at CVS but it’s probably available at most drug and grocery stores.
A coworker tested positive last week and I told him to use it. He did and it never went past his snooter and was “mild”. Maybe he had just gotten a low does of ag, who knows.
Another friend/coworker/PI went to a conference in Nov and got a bad case of covid. Neuro and vision problems, would’ve been put in ICU but no beds available, paxlovid rebound, the works. Still gets winded walking short distances.
This morning on the bus, this round of MCB(molecular and cell bio) candidates for the phd program were on the bus. Were they masked? No, of course not. A guy was going to sit next to me unmasked and I told him he better not dare sit next to me without a mask. He ended up moving away and standing instead. There was a box of surgical masks at the bus door. Later on, a current grad student and a candidate were in my group’s lab area unmasked and I told them in no uncertain terms they better put a mask on if they are going to be in our lab area. My tolerance for stupid and selfish is long gone.
> Crest Pro-Health Advanced Multiprotection
You too read the label! Ingredients:
For cetylpyridinium chloride, see study below.
> candidates for the phd program were on the bus
I’m sure we’ve all learned by this point that whatever form of intelligence credentials optimize for, it’s prevalent only among a minority of the population. This is a good thing, a sign of hope we can get out of this mess.
I carry a pair of reading glasses in my backpack to read labels these days.
Much appreciation to Lambert for covering these topics with such rigor and excellence. After two decades in IT, I returned to school to get a BSN (more grist for the mill, alas). I should note that I’m required to get the bivalent booster as a condition of entering the program — mandatory mRNA. Anyway, my strategy is to avoid as many infections as possible and as much virus as possible. At this point (knock on wood) I have no known SARS2 infections. I mask everywhere. When I go out, I use nasal spray before and after. And if I get “twingy”, I pay extra attention to prophylactic measures.
Those include masks (upgraded continuously, now on 3M Auras), nasal spray (Betadine), mouthwash (CPC), vax (J&J twice), and social distancing (no restaurant dining, minimal social gatherings, WFH when possible). I haven’t had a cold since 2019, but I’ve had “twinges” where maybe a virus was trying to get a foothold.
Since the pandemic began I’ve flown 5 times. It’s a risk, but family circumstances make it very difficult to avoid. After masks became “optional” almost a year ago I’ve only flown once. Given family history and personal demographics I figure it’s a matter of time until the virus takes me out. But that doesn’t mean I’ll go down without a fight.
> Much appreciation to Lambert for covering these topics with such rigor and excellence.
[lambert blushes modestly].
> doesn’t mean I’ll go down without a fight
One of the most baffling things about “The Ultimate Lockdown” to me is that it involves so many people just… giving up. This is not the America I thought I knew. I think the word for this would be “fey,” if it weren’t combined with so much denial.
Learned helplessness? We have been gaslit for a long time
This is it. It’s a fundamemtal secondary problem of the pandemic, and extremely socially unhealthy. What’s worse is that there were a handful of countries that didn’t surrender to learned helplessness in the first two years, and they were gradually crushed, in large part thanks to US hegemony.
But the learned helplessness is unmistakable from person to person. More and more I notice when I say something general like “we’ve made a huge and terrible mistake” there’s little to no pushback, just total shoulder-shrugging resignation and perhaps a realisation that the Merchants of Doubt playbook (eg Herd Immunity/pandemic of the unvaccinated, children can’t get sick or infect others, “mild” etc) pandemic they were subjected to the last few years was indeed bullshit all along. When considering this effect at the scale of whole human populations, as people gradually understand that the 2019 standard of living has been thrown away for nothing, it’s extremely disconcerting.
It was made possible in large part by the absolutely cursed reduction of C19 into yet another battleground for inane and trivial culture war disputes, and covid remedy identity politics: pro- and anti- ivermectin hysteria, pro- and anti- vaccine hysteria, anti-NPI hysteria etc.
If one searches “ethanol inhalation in covid prophylaxis” there a several articles about using ethyl alcohol in the treatment of early symptomatic covid. The use of nebulized ethyl alcohol as a prophylactic has not received a lot of study. It has been shown in the aforementioned articles to reduce symptoms in the treatment of an active covid infections and to decrease the thick secretions that accompany respiratory failure in severe covid. The use of nebulized ethyl alcohol in treatment of covid appears to reduce disease severity and is safe. Ethanol was used for many years to treat pulmonary edema in patients who present with pink foamy secretions resulting from left heart failure with little side effect from the alcohol. The use of ethyl alcohol with concentrations of 60%-90% in in vitro studies has been shown to denature the protein coating of the virus and prevent its replication. The article in NC describing the path of infection shows the covid virus to be most susceptible in the early stages when it is attaching to the nasal cilia. Inhalation of 60-90% ethanol during this period could be detrimental to the virus and prevent further infection of the nasopharynx. Ethyl alcohol of the appropriate strength is available at Bevmo and is called Everclear. It is 190 proof and can be diluted with distilled water or saline. Hand held nebulizers are readily available on Amazon for minimal cost and are easy to use. My family and I nebulize this solution whenever we suspect exposure or have been in a situation that was potentially infectious. So far so good. Do not use isopropyl, methyl or any other kind of alcohol except ethanol…the alcohol you can drink. The others are poisonous and will make you ill.
> ethanol inhalation
I’m not sure about this. In an earlier discussion of nebulized whiskey, Ignacio commented:
I think, in all this experimentation, a general rule should be: Do nothing to impede or dry out the flow of mucus. And I, at least, use sprays repeatedly (the “morning after”) concept.
I gargle with the Scope cetylpyridium mouthwash and I mist electrolyzed water in my nose:
I make the e-water with this:
“Freely available chlorine” is the mechanism. I don’t know exactly how much FC the bottle makes but it does claim to kill 99% of microorganisms. Exposure time is also a factor so I mist several times in each nostril and tilt my head back to flush out the passageway.
E-water doesn’t stay viable for long, I’ve read anywhere from three hours to a day. I just make it fresh each time I use it. Just costs a little bit of iodine-free salt each time.
> I gargle with the Scope cetylpyridium mouthwash
You looked at the label. I had to leave this on the cutting room floor. From Nature, “Antiviral effect of cetylpyridinium chloride in mouthwash on SARS-CoV-2“:
Again, low cost, no risk, enormous benefit = no-brainer.
One benefit of the initial fomite concerns is that the EPA created a list of compounds that kill covid:
(click on the box for “Active Ingredients”)
Hypochlorous acid is created by our white blood cells and has been shown to be effective against every pathogen it’s been tested against. It’s actually the only substance that’s been found to de-activate prions.
My family has been using it as a nasal spray and mouthwash/gargle since 2020, and none of us have gotten covid yet. The brand we use is Briotech.
@Captain Planet — I searched the Briotech web site and could find nothing about nasal spray. Do you use the topical skin spray as a nasal spray?
Hi Carla, I bought empty nasal spray bottles and filled them:
(obviously you can fill them with whatever compound you choose)
We use the Briotech Pure Hypochlorous, which is one of their strongest products (their different products have different concentrations of hypochlorous acid), but it does sting in the nose. The skin spray is their least-concentrated product and is gentle enough to spray in the eyes.
P.S. When using any nasal spray, make sure to spray it at a slight angle so it hits the nostril walls. If you spray straight up, most of it will go past your nose into your throat.
Thank you so much!
Am I reading the studies cited by Lambert correctly, that there is now a large amount of evidence that a povidone iodine-saline solution is highly effective in reducing covid viruses in the nose? Perhaps even as effective as the bootles of Sanotize that I am about to run out of here in Mexico?
I think there’s a large body of evidence for all of these. I don’t think we have evidence that any single remedy is perfect; Yves and I both settled on Povidone Iodine early because there were good studies, and it was proven to be viricidal in dentistry, where it has been used for years. (IIRC, she bottles her own and uses it for a nasal spray. Her mother used the same spray and, amazingly, did not get Covid. Bottling anything is too close to work for me, so I use Povidone as a throat spray, and VirX as a nasal spray.)
I think any of these listed is certainly better than nothing, so I think it’s OK to let availability be the driver.
It’s super simple and cheap to make your own povidone nasal spray: add 4 ml povidone iodine (approx $5 for 8 oz.) to a $2 40ml bottle of saline nasal spray. We give it to friends as a gift (with gentle warning against hyperthyroidism – thanks for the German paper, Lambert!). Similarly simple to make a mouthwash.
Whoops. I should have specified that this presumes a 10% povidone iodine solution, which seems standard.
How do you get the saline nasal spray bottle open? Everyone I’ve seen was sealed completely.
The ones I’ve bought (el cheapo brands) allow the plastic spray nozzle to be easily pried off with a knife or even a fingernail.
The tragedy of the Clinton Era merger of corporations and government (the revolving door and fees for service) is that the health of Americans is absolutely of no concern. This is shown by the sharp drop in life expectancy. The only goal is increasing one’s wealth.
These posts are hugely important. They are verification that my gargling with Scope and twice daily Neil-Med nasal rinses for hay fever are also COVID prophylactics. I also take Cold-EZZE Zinc lozenges, Quercetin and Bromelain which are reported to aid the immune system. HEPA filters in each room.
I’m still here, no thanks to the CDC. The whole world now runs on making money, no matter the costs to society or the environment. Privatizing profits and socializing costs — even in communist China and Vietnam. The emergency authorization of the mRNA “vaccines” in the USA did not require comprehensive monitoring studies to see if they are safe or effective. They simply said they were rather than lowering corporate profits to pay for them. There is no planning or funding for coronavirus elimination.
At my level, 2023 is much worse (isolation, high inflation, more fear, and lots more uncertainty) than 2008-09 plus the proxy world war in Ukraine that keeps escalating. Yet the western political/economic system stays the same, no change. Just like WWI, no one is learning anything. Millions more will die until one side or the other falls apart or human civilization ends amid war, pestilence, famine and pollution.
> These posts are hugely important
Thank you. I’ve been waiting for a comment like yours.
Readers may wish to go back and reread the first paragraphs in the post, which sketch, with some care, the outline of a political coalition* to change “the western political/economic system.” Neither party will would have relevance to such a coalition which is fine, because by now even both parties combined are heading toward minority status.
I would summarize that most of the commenters on this post are “honey badgers” (“honey badger don’t care,” and especially don’t care about the flood of propaganda emitted by advocates of “The Ultimate Lockdown.” I think any organizer worth their salt — i.e., not part of any NGO — would be overjoyed to connect with such a cohort of persistent, highly motivated, evidence-driven, pro-social individuals. I am quite sure we are not alone in this; the mass construction of Corsi boxes proves it.
This is the real point of the post, though of course prophylaxis is very important as well.
NOTE * “Coalition of the willing,” not “coalition of the shilling.”
I recently started using Nasomin nasal iodine and have been using food grade hydrogen peroxide via an inhaler as a prophylactic about a year ago. The one time I didn’t bother to use my H2O2 inhaler I had a mild case of Covid last August after I performed two weddings in one day. Now I make a point to use both and have not come down with anything since August. Thanks for the tip on mouthwash. I will definitely buy some and start using right away.
I’ve been using H2O2 as a nightly mouth rinse for years. Helps with plaque build up etc. and really cuts down on the coffee stains. So if you’re already using it with an inhaler, perhaps also add to your mouth care routine.
Also, quick search just now got me this from March 2020 by some dentists:
Not a study, just notice to begin since H2O2 already widely used in dentistry. They highlight transmission path:
And that H2O2 is an effective mouthwash generally.
And a recommendation that WHO add a twice daily rinse and gargle with H2O2 to their Covid prevention protocols.
Again, not an actual study, etc., but it’s good enough for me, especially since I was using it pre-Covid. But YMMV.
Lambert, thanks for your efforts on this, which at least help me feel less nuts by seeing others talk about it.
I’ve been using Enovid nasal spray and Betadine mouthwash, and recently switched to Crest pro-health mouthwash as it contains CPC, which as other comments here have mentioned, has studies showing that it also works against covid. It also tastes a lot better than the iodine mouthwash. As for Enovid, it is expensive, but the studies on it looked promising so I took the plunge and I’ve been using it any time I go someplace where I might have been exposed. As far as I know, I have yet to contract covid. I also mask regularly with an N95 and avoid crowds.
I did have to fly internationally last fall shortly after receiving the bivalent booster, and somehow avoided it then too despite seemingly being surrounded everywhere by maskless people coughing and hacking. Due to a cancelled flight I ended up being routed through Heathrow (which I had hoped to avoid as Big Saint James Island seems to be covid central, and furthermore all the news footage of Heathrow made it look like an absolute nightmare, which it was). I was seemingly the only person masking yet somehow emerged unscathed. Whether this is due to Enovid, the mouthwash, the N95, the recent booster, or pure luck, is impossible to tell.
The Swiss cheese model triumphs again!
I would gladly take any nasal vaccine should one ever come to Canada. I’m not holding my breath …
Cepacol. cetylpyridinium chloride. Keep some in the car and take a swig and also dab some Purell in your nostrils plus some clean Montana air.
Thanks for the conversation and good health to all. rudi.
Ethanol inhalation does not dry out the nasopharynx. It does just the opposite because it is slightly irritating. Inhalation of ethanol causes nasal secretions to increase and does not dehydrate the nose. After using a hand held nebulizer with ethanol you will get the sniffles but you do not want to blow your nose. None of the studies in my reading of ethanol caution against using it because of the risk of drying out the nose. Its efficaciousness in the treatment of pulmonary edema also agitates against this “drying out” where it is used to break down the associated bubbles by denaturing the protein in the sputum and mobilizing secretions. I did not mention that our family inhaled nebulized ethanol prior to being in risky environments, using the nebulizer for approximately one minute. I did not cite a study, a Japanese publication, because I couldn’t find the citation. This study indicates a protective effect of hours that is dose dependent. I will forward the article to your email when I can find it. I was a licensed respiratory practitioner for 46 years and treated patients back in the ‘60s for pulmonary edema. My family is very careful, we mask and try to avoid risky situations. But my son in law has to travel for work, flying, going to meetings, and engaging with colleagues at meetings. He wears an N-95 and comments that generally most people don’t. He and my daughter took four flights to Hawaii and back, masked and nebulizing ethanol before and after the flights and risky encounters. So far, so good. Granted, this is anecdotal, but I think to dismiss further investigating nebulized ethanol while promoting other prophylactic methods like inhaling Betadine is contrary to the object of your article. Nebulizing ethanol is safe and simple and should receive more consideration in the prevention of Covid.
Thank you for this information, I just ordered some Enovid. I have CPC mouthwash already. I have mast cell activation disorder (MCAS) and can’t afford to get this virus. I am surprised no one has mentioned CBDa and CBGa as described a year ago in research done in Oregon:
I already take CBD four times a day for its anti-inflammatory effects, so I added CBDa to the oil and take them both at the same time. CBDa and CBGa isolates are expensive but available. Both are an off-white powder that dissolves in oil. CBDa is a very potent anti-inflammatory. Both CBDa and CBGa bind to the ACE2 receptors and stay there, not allowing the virus to enter.
PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) also binds to the ACE2 sites. It is a pain reliever with no side effects. I find it to be better than Tylenol for pain and I take two 400mg capsules three times a day with meals for my MCAS.
Finally, if no one else is going to mention it, ivermectin has a lot of research behind it and is used in other countries with success, but ridiculed in the U.S. and here in Canada in an orchestrated fashion by vaccine makers. Real time updated study summary is here:
and the prevention protocol is here: https://covid19criticalcare.com/treatment-protocols/i-prevent-protect/
I have ivermectin on hand so that if I feel any symptoms at all, I will begin the early treatment protocol:
There are good alternative treatments discussed in these protocols. Since I have MCAS I am using almost all of these already. Plus I live in a rural area of British Columbia and can’t go out much at all due to pain, brain fog, and the accompanying almost-surreal fatigue.
Ann PhD, RN
I’m reading all the helpful comments and confirming what we do as well as learning a few tricks. I’m sure someone will mention, but if not, one of the best tried and true places to find Contra Covid treatment protocols is the FLCCC. Here’s their site: https://covid19criticalcare.com/treatment-protocols/
They also have a weekly podcast, Thursdays, that discusses treatments, has Q&A with nurses, and delves into the politics of repression and elimination (not of the virus, but of the humans who are not “in the club”, AKA you and I).
Personally, my husband and I use the nasal Povidone Iodine nasal rinse in conjunction with mouthwashes – after any suspect events (crowds, shopping, etc.).
We use the simple Corsi box system (our house is not big) if a person visits as well as open windows. I’ve never knowingly contracted Covid, hubby once (directly after Moderna shot). Thanks so much to all at NC. This is where we find most of our info/discussions regarding Covid. Oh, and of course Ivermectin. If we feel anything slightly “funky”, to the tube we turn. “Durvect Duravectin” is the tube I have used off/on for 3 years without problems (15 years on our small animals). Getting the pill form is still difficult. For a while, the feds pulled all Ivermectin based treatments for animals (yes, humans are animals, though one of the most stupid) but they have slowly returned to the feed store shelves – because the other shit doesn’t work and our farming friends were pissed.
Ann and Bsn, thanks for your posts. I posted something similar yesterday, must have gotten caught in some mod trip wire. The signal is very strong that this product might be helpful. Strongest if used as a prophylactic.
I’ve given up on mechanism stories, since so many times I thought I understood a mechanism but then got an extra bit of info and the first story turned out to be totally wrong. That happened a lot with the mRNA shots; I was regaled with a lot of stories which turned out to be incomplete. I believe there are mechanisms, but I don’t think I’m going to get enough info about the human body to really know much about what is going on in a particular situation. So I go by study outcomes (the studies themselves do include mechanism stories, but I take them with a grain of salt), and anecdotes.
Very early on there was a study of Xlear nasal spray (purified water, xylitol, USP sodium chloride, grapefruit seed extract), and since it was cheap and readily available my household started using it right away. But then suddenly the federal government put pressure on the company and they did no more studies and they became very quiet. But we kept using it, and I have three anecdotes:
me: I use Xlear (plus a claritin) before going out to shop or have dental work done (in an office where no-one masks well); I also wear an N95. Sometimes I also use some Xlear when I get home. I also take natto serra (against clots), grape leaf extract (antiviral), fermented turmeric (endothelium) and hawthorn (cardiac), and ivermectin once a month (this is NOT medical advice). So far no covid, and I have to test once a week to volunteer. I am not vaccinated.
husband: Xlear (plus a Claritin) before lecturing, including to large classes at times. Wears a mask walking to the lecture hall, but takes off his mask to lecture. Has eaten out, outside, a few times, and has had a lot of dental work done (in an office where no-one masks well). So far no covid. Vaccinated three times, and I give him ivermectin once every three weeks.
98 y.o. father in law who lives with us: xlear three times a day, every day. Never goes anywhere except medical appointments, but walks half an our outside every day, without a mask, and people regularly come up to him (unmasked) to talk and they stand close and enunciate since he is nearly deaf. Two shots plus two boosters. No covid yet.
I find it very strange that so few people want to know how covid-free people have managed to remain covid-free. Really no-one I know offline is curious. I am really happy that Lambert is curious.
kareninca says: “I find it very strange that so few people want to know how covid-free people have managed to remain covid-free. Really no-one I know offline is curious. I am really happy that Lambert is curious.”
This is my experience exactly, and like you, I am very grateful that Lambert is curious!
It seems neoliberalism has killed an awful lot of brain cells over the last 50 years. It’s really depressing what incurious automatons Americans have become. Whichever version of the Republicrat Kool-Aid they have drunk, or even if totally apolitical, 99 percent of the population are just sheep being blindly led to the slaughter. Is it quite as bad as this in other countries?
I’ve been using Xlear for about a year to help with allergies. The company’s website has a lengthy list of studies on the efficacy of nasal sprays, the bottom third of which appear to be about the efficacy of xylitol (the active ingredient in Xlear) and covid: https://xlear.com/science/. The company’s confrontation with the Federal Trade Commission is evidenced at the bottom of the page. The FAQ page gives more info on xylitol, including this statement on what xylitol is: “Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from natural sources. It is also produced in the human body as a by-product of a normal metabolism. Our xylitol is of the highest quality possible. It is a pharmaceutical grade, meaning it must be more than 99.95% pure, and is made from non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) corn fibers. It does not contain any of the corn grain and it is tested to ensure that no corn allergens, mycotoxins, or corn proteins of any type are in the product.” https://xlear.com/faqs/. I can’t speak to Xlear’s covid efficacy, but it has helped ease the effects of allergies.
Xylitol is a very good sugar substitute and also works to reduce tooth decay. That’s why it’s in sugar free gum recommended by your dentist.
With one caveat! ***XYLITOL IS MASSIVELY TOXIC TO DOGS.***
Look it up if you question that statement. Even a small amount will kill your dog. Even a very small amount in a sauce or jam will kill your dog.
It causes a low blood sugar crisis in dogs, but not in humans, by causing a large, sudden release of insulin, which reduces the blood sugar to almost nothing and can cause liver damage. Symptoms in dogs include:
Vomiting will not rid the dog of the xylitol, because it is absorbed instantly. If you suspect your dog has eaten xylitol, take it to the vet immediately, because the dog will have to be hospitalized and given an IV of glucose continuously for a few days. If the dog has eaten a lot of xylitol, it will also require medication to protect the liver.
Remember this and be careful out there, folks.
Forgot to mention food:
The high schooler requested some green tea with honey during the first couple of days (had sore throat, fever, joint and muscle pain, fatigue at that point). I made myself drink green tea once a day most days.
I used a lot of red onion, thyme, oregano, garlic, and turmeric in the meals I cooked.
Again, obviously NOT medical advice.
Weird…my original detailed comment seemed to post fine, but apparently the internet ate it. Without it the comment above–which was a brief addendum posted in reply to the original–isn’t very useful. I’ll give it a bit of time to see if the internet spits back the original; if not, I’ll try again.
I am re-reading this… seems like a very important graphic on transmission path has disappeared and gone Poof?
I may be mis-remembering… happens a fair bit, but I recall a graphic showing nasal paths, sinuses, receptors, etc…
Thank you for this superb roundup of the state of play at this moment in the pandemic.
It’s been hypthesized that COVID is to a significant extent a disease of the endothelium.
Since nitric oxide (previously alluded to in the comments ) is critical in the proper functioning of the endothelium and arginine is, in turn, critical in the production of nitric oxide the question naturally arises of whether arginine supplementation may be useful in the treatment of COVID/post-COVID, for which there does indeed appear to be some evidence. Arginine is readily available, known to be non-toxic in relatively large doses, inexpensive and has other known or suspected health benefits for cardio and (bonus) sexual health.
One of the other supplements identified as a potential COVID treatment is nigella sativa, aka black seed oil, for which there is some supporting data. Also readily available and relatively inexpensive. Whatever else it may or may not do, as someone who has long had some chronic sinus congestion especially in the winter, I can say anecdotally from personal experience black seed oil has been very helpful in opening my sinuses for easier breathing. Since the body naturally produces NO when inhaling through the nose, apart from the increased comfort of clear nasal passages, perhaps an increase in natural NO and its effect on the endothelium is another mechanism of action too.
This is really interesting stuff – many thanks NC and all who commented!!! Husband and I have never had Covid – he’s flown twice, we go out to eat regularly, masked and now mostly unmasked and I take the Metro here and there to DC (masked). Hubby has sinus problems and uses Xlear several times a day. I have a nasal drip – have had it for 50 years – and carry several hankys around with me everywhere I go (some people think this is gross but I am super fastidious about always having fresh ones – tissues are rough on the nose when you have this condition). Now methinks our nose problems may have saved us from Covid. I have not had any respiratory issues – no colds, nothing since June 2019 and same for hub who had a cold spring 2019. Also the bit about dental – he’s genetically blessed with great teeth and I’m a zealot for teeth maintenance. It all makes sense now.
I use ACT “zero-alcohol” (no ethanol) flouride mouthwash in the morning because sleeping with a CPAP machine dries out the mouth, and I started getting front-of-mouth cavities for the first time after starting on the CPAP. The mouthwash has cetylpyridinium chloride, so thanks for the tip!
Thank you very much for your work on this.
This month, my high schooler and I got covid for the first time. Our family has been very careful to always wear N95s, to use good HEPA filters at home, to avoid risky situations as much as possible…with the exception of the needlessly awful risk factors inherent in attending a school where no one cares about covid–it’s painful that we allow(ed) the risks inherent in attending, though attending was/is very much my teen’s desire. All school year, I’ve also provided Enovid for my high schooler to use after school every day.
Both of our acute illnesses were very mild. I was adamant about rest (thanks to CDC minimizers, school said 5 days at home even if still symptomatic; I insisted on a minimum 10-day stretch resting at home, despite my high schooler’s much faster feeling of physical recovery). Calling the first day of felt symptoms “Day Zero,” my high schooler’s symptoms were gone entirely by Day 8, but the RAT was still positive. Day 11 resulted in a negative RAT; Day 12 was back at school.
My high schooler and I isolated in separate rooms, each with a good HEPA filter, and wore N95s when we needed to be in common areas (except for brief showering). We also continuously ran all exhaust fans in the house and kept the air exchanger on. Other family members wore N95s most of the time while home (they did need to eat, which weather didn’t permit outdoors). No other families members felt any symptoms; no other family members tested positive.
What follows is NOT medical advice, merely a description of our experience.
Throughout that week+, I used the following for all my children (all aged teens+) and myself, regardless of covid status:
-10 mg cetirizine/24 hrs
-20 mg famotidine/12 hrs
-4000 IU vit D/day (following an initial loading dose of 50,000 IU)
-2000 mg vit C/day
-Enovid nasal spray 2x/day
-10 mg zinc lozenge 1-2x/day
-cetylpyridinium chloride mouthwash (Colgate Gum Health Alcohol-Free Mouthwash)*STORY BELOW*
(Basically either zinc or mouthwash every several hours during the day.)
This regime was a hard sell to my kids, and they weren’t 100% compliant after the first few days.
I generally avoid supplements, but am glad we took these during the covid isolation period.
I’ve continued to be emphatic with my high schooler about the importance of avoiding exertion for the next weeks, explaining why. I hope our health is ok in the end–I can’t be there to supervise during the school day, and it’s hard to think long-term at that age, especially when surrounded by people who think it’s crazy and weird to be careful about covid.
So far, my high schooler–who was initially noticeably more symptomatic than me, though still mild relative to how others have described covid–seems to be almost entirely recovered. My symptoms were milder but seem to have lingered more. My high schooler has sometimes napped after school, but that fatigue was also the case during last semester; I don’t know if it’s been worsened by covid. However, I am definitely still more tired and weaker. I also sometimes feel like my brain isn’t quite up to speed. I am concerned about this, and actively resting as much as possible.
One very unexpected oddity: about 3 days after starting the cetylpyridinium chloride mouthwash, I was eating and suddenly became very aware of the food texture, then realized that I couldn’t taste it. I especially couldn’t taste saltiness or sweetness. I could still smell absolutely fine–oregano and coffee were fully fragrant, for example. But I couldn’t taste them! Then the next day I still couldn’t taste saltiness or sweetness, except at the very back and sides of my tongue. (I could still taste bitterness and some sourness.) It was incredibly unnerving and rather depressing.
So I started looking up side effects of each of the supplemental tools I was using; turns out that in a small percentage of people, mouthwash with cetylpyridinium chloride changes their ability to taste (documentation isn’t great, but it’s mentioned (in excusing tones) on a manufacturer website: https://crest.com/en-us/oral-care-tips/mouthwash/does-crest-pro-health-rinse-cause-taste-loss. There’s also a bunch of anecdotes in places like Reddit and Quora.) This cetylpyridinium chloride info predates covid by a good decade plus, so it’s not conflating covid as the cause of temporary loss of taste.
So I stopped using the cetylpyridinium chloride mouthwash, and my ability to taste gradually normalized over the next few days. (What relief! especially since the manufacturer’s website tepidly said this problem “typically goes away shortly after product use is stopped”–I was flat-out terrified it would be a lasting harm.)
Their statement that an unquantified “small percentage of people” experience this is likely true; I was the only family member to experience this loss of taste from using the mouthwash. Because evidence indicates it’s effective, and the kids weren’t experiencing any adverse effects from it, I had them continue to rinse/gargle with it for a few more days. However, having experienced this, I would never use it as a routine mouthwash (though I do think it was worthwhile even for myself while ill, and likely a positive factor in keeping my acute symptoms so mild).