Dr Thomas Lodi is a wellness expert who has been practicing medicine for over 30 years. He now heads The LifeCo wellness centre located between Nai Thon and Nai Yang beaches, just south of Phuket International Airport.
For the first 10 years of his medical career, Dr Lodi worked in conventional settings as an internal medicine specialist, urgent care physician and as an intensivist in ICU and CCU departments of various hospitals throughout the US.
Subsequently, Dr Lodi continued his search for more effective and less toxic therapies by training with alternative health experts in Japan, Europe, Mexico and the US. He is licensed as a Homeopathic Medical Doctor MD (H) in Arizona and as an Allopathic Medical Doctor in the State of New York.
In 2018, Dr Lodi was featured in the acclaimed docu-series “The Truth about Cancer” and recently hosted seminars at the H.E.A.T Anti-Aging conference in Bangkok. He is the Founder and Medical Director of Integrative Oncology and Internal Medicine at An Oasis of Healing Center in Arizona. He is also the Founder and Chief Medical Consultant for the Institute of Integrative Oncology, Singapore and Director of Integrative Oncology and Integrative Medicine at The Lifeco Wellness Center, Phuket.
Here we ask Dr Lodi the simple, but most pressing, questions about living with the threat of COVID-19 in Phuket.
What are the real dangers of COVID-19, the best we know right now?
Respiratory failure and cytokine storm (excessive immune responses that damage lungs). The two cell types to which this virus attaches are mucus cells and cilia cells in the lungs. These cells together keep the lungs clean… mucus is secreted to “trap” particulate matter and the cilia beat rhythmically outward towards the mouth… like a conveyor belt. With these cells non-functional, the lungs will accumulate everything from microorganisms, waste products, toxins from the environment and so on. Also, the immune system gets turned on “full blast” and causes system wide inflammation.
Who is primarily at risk?
The elderly over 65 and those with chronic illnesses and compromised immune systems.
What are the symptoms and how bad are they for most people?
The symptoms are a dry cough, shortness of breath, aches and pains, weakness, no appetite and, of course, fever.
Most people will not know they have it: 81% of cases symptoms are mild (lungs); 14% become severely ill; 4.7% become critically ill; and the fatality rate is 3.4 %. Of course these figures may change as we learn more about the virus.
How is COVID-19 contracted?
Fifty percent of infections are hand to face (mouth, nose, eyes). Also, the virus can be airborne in droplets from sneezing and coughing.
Phuket seems to be the only place where people who come into frequent contact with strangers are the only ones wearing face masks. Everyday people going about their daily lives do not. Should people wear face masks? Who should? Why?
If you are not sick or around people, there is no need to wear a mask. Here are the WHO recommendations:
If you are being self-isolated due to one of the following circumstances:
• You have travelled from high risk areas within the past 14 days; or
• You have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus;
then, you should use a surgical mask in the following circumstances:
• You need to leave your home for any reason and be in public areas;
• You are visiting a medical facility; or
• You have symptoms and other people are present in the same room as you.
• N95 masks filter out about 95% of all liquid or airborne particles.
People have expressed sincere concern about the fingerprint-scanning device at Immigration at the airport. Should people be concerned about this? What should people do about this, if anything?
They have hand sanitiser bottles next to the fingerprinting device. Use it twice: once before and once after.
People have also expressed their opinion that the normal everyday temperature in Phuket – and elsewhere in Thailand – has helped to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. One senior health official has even said he expects COVID-19 to disappear as Thailand enters its annual hot season. Is there any merit in this understanding?
Not enough is known about this variant of coronavirus because it is new. The standard coronavirus that causes upper respiratory illnesses remains intact in cold weather and dies quickly at 58°C.
Are the precautions the Thai government is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 reasonable? Or is it lacking? Or even an overreaction? Or a bit of both? Any there any examples that highlight your opinion on this?
The Thai government will do what all governments are doing… Each government has had an initial different response, but now that the pandemic is without doubt, all governments will be requiring the same regarding social distancing and quarantines.
Now that COVID-19 has already reached around the world, do you believe travel bans should still be in place? Should people still travel?
Traveling makes no sense now since most countries are locked down, and it is safer not to travel at this point to keep the virus contained.
What can people do to help protect themselves against being infected with COVID-19?
Viruses are not really alive so they cannot be “killed”. Ultimately, it is our immune systems that develop an adaptive response to recognise any cell infected with the virus and eliminate it. Everything we that we need to do to avoid becoming ill must be geared towards strengthening our immune systems.
• Sleep early and at least seven hours.
• Eat no more than two healthy meals per day with 18 hours between your last and first meals. During the window of time when the body is not digesting food, it has time to focus much more energy to the immune system.
• Eat plant-based, whole foods rather than processed foods.
• Eat at least 70% of your food uncooked and organic.
• Meditate at least twice per day.
• Vitamin C not only can treat active infection but can protect from getting infected. Vitamin C actually prevents viruses from entering cells. Take from eight to 15 grammes per day orally, depending on bowel tolerance, body size and stress levels
• Vitamin A: 30,000-50,000 units per day with food until vitamin A levels in the blood are over 300 iu/dL
• Vitamin D: 30,000 iu/day to keep levels in blood above 70, which contributes to enhancing immune response.
• Zinc: 90mg per day
• Selenium: 400ug per day.
• Magnesium: 1,000mg per day. Best used as a transdermal spray applied directly to the body
• Green tea: drink several cups of fresh-brewed green tea per day.
• Keep your bowels clean with probiotic enemas and colon hydrotherapy and healthy food. Up to 60% of the immune system exists in the gut.
What else should people know about COVID-19 that has not been given enough attention in the media?
If it is not covered in the media, we probably should not discuss it.
In summary, how should people go about their daily lives now that COVID-19 has spread around the world and is now part of our daily lives?
For now, hang out with friends and family and avoid crowds and follow the rules above. Most will not get sick from this virus but you do not want to be the one who spreads it to someone who does not have the health you have and may become critically ill or die.
Dr Lodi and the team at The LifeCo Wellness Center located near Phuket International Airport have created basic and comprehensive immune boosting packages which are certainly appreciated at this time. Learn more at www.thelifeco.com/en/viral-infection-prevention-program/