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Immune Suppression — The Grow Network Community
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Immune Suppression

annflancanannflancan Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

Is any one else worried that with all of the mask wearing, hand washing, sanitizer, and sterilization that we are suppressing our immune systems and are making it much more difficult for our bodies to fight off basic illnesses, bacteria, and viruses?


  • Granny MarieGranny Marie Posts: 37 ✭✭✭

    I have thought that but I've managed to avoid a lot of that, with the exception of hand washing. But I usually try not to use soap. I'm also getting pretty good at getting through a lot of doors without using my hands. I also keep a small bottle of diluted white vinegar to use when people get pushy.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,082 admin
    edited October 8

    What I find interesting is that not too long ago, the mantra pushed was to use less hand sanitizer, that it was bad and made our immune systems weaker. Now, if don't use it (even when there are alternatives like simple soap & water present), we will die or indirectly kill someone. It's quite the about face.

    I will request soap & water in lieu of hand sanitizer if I can. If I can't and I know that there is a washroom, I will head immediately there to wash off what I can. There have been so many recalls of the stuff that it is not good anyway...and soap cleans better...and it washes the dead stuff off instead of leaving it on your hands. It is much like pasteurized milk. Do you want live and natural that will eventually sour the milk, or dead floaties in there that make milk rancid?

    Soap & water is still important to use. I fear that most people never washed their hands before (or never did it correctly) and I think that was often not wise. Soap should not be an enemy. Soap is, in its basic form, a wise choice.

    Keeping that in mind, it is the antibacterial soap that is bad. Unfortunately most of the store soap is that along with synthetic colors. Even the white looking handsoap has those FD&C blues, reds & yellows. My hands still feel cleaner though & they smell better after using soap & water.

    I agree that some dirt is good. Raw foods can have merits. Unprocessed foods are important. Outdoor animals are important to interact with...the outdoors is too, for that matter.

    There is so much needed to build & maintain a good immune system.

    It starts from the sterilization of a birthing room & hospital with first contact not being family germs...or a homebirth with family germs present. Many opt for a C-section (I am talking unnecessary here) that skips the introduction of a healthy & balanced chance at the start of a healthy microbiome from mom, given naturally upon entry. Maybe even antibiotics & meds given before & through birth (lessened chances of this at home). It keeps going downhill from there for most folks. If you are going down that "society is not letting us have good germs" @judsoncarroll4, you didn't go back far enough...

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,430 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning I was probably a little too brief last night. I agree. There is a reason why Amish kids in the US have few instances of asthma and allergies - natural birth, breast milk, raw cow's milk, natural diet, natural lifestyle.

  • TaveTave Posts: 229 ✭✭✭

    Many hand sanitizers are downright toxic. There are articles about methanol toxicity and how easily the skin absorbs it. Good old soap (not the antibacterial stuff) and water still seem to be best. Decades ago, the bacteria we dealt with weren’t the superbugs they are today. When we were kids, we could eat the dirt, but who knows what toxic waste, chemicals, and poisons are in it now. I do believe we harm our immune system by being paranoid and not allowing ourselves to be exposed to normal environmental viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, the world has become so toxic that it’s hard to be balanced.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    edited October 9

    I have @annflancan

    My throat is always scratchy after a couple hours of wearing the mask while I am working.

  • annflancanannflancan Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Although you are not a doctor or a scientist, you are sarcastic and totally on point! Thank you for your thoughts on the chaos, I mean the matter.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,430 admin

    Well, I try not to be sarcastic... tat is a quality I have that I don't really like. But, I can be. Regardless, TGN is one of the few places people who think like us can voice our opinions and find like minded folks, and that is really nice!

  • annflancanannflancan Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    What? Really? You don't like it? It's great! It seems like we grew up during a similar time. We ate candy after it was dropped on the floor, drank out of the hose all summer long, share a bottle of pop between friends, didn't even know what sanitizer was. When we cut our finger we just stuck it in our mouth. Rarely got sick. These be crazy times.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,430 admin
  • Melissa SwartzMelissa Swartz Posts: 227 ✭✭✭

    It's amazing to me how many people simply accept things like "must use hand sanitizer" without thought, question or skepticism. I guess it's easier, or takes less time to go on without questioning. I just can't do it. I probably was one of those kids who drove my parents crazy always saying "why?"

  • annflancanannflancan Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    I'll take a side-o-lard with that order of bacon, please!

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 334 ✭✭✭
    edited October 16

    You pretty much summed up what I was about to say. It seems we think very much alike on this issue. I personally think that most "healthcare" is an expensive, destructive joke. We are one of the sickest nations in the world. Our medical system runs on dangerous pharmaceuticals that line their pockets and strip our health away. Your immune system needs interactions with germs. Sterilizing isn't natural or normal nor something that should be done except in surgical wards or extreme situations. We are a culture obsessed with living longer but at what cost to the quality of life? So many people myself included have suffered serious stomach issues. There are ties to the dirt and gut health. The microbes in bacteria are often beneficial to us and we used to get that in the food we grew. Now we buy from stores where everything is triple washed of dirt but covered in toxic pesticides. Some tradeoff. I believe in handwashing. But I absolutely believe God gave me an immune system that works and working with creation instead of against it leads to better health. Btw I have no idea why it copied your comment twice😣

    EDIT: Double quote eliminated! - Mod Squad

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,430 admin

    I agree. Honestly, nearly every member of my family who has passed away in the last 10-15 years did so due (at least in part) to medical error, malpractice and/or purposeful abuse by nurses and doctors. So, it is pretty hard for me to have a high opinion of healthcare.

  • Granny MarieGranny Marie Posts: 37 ✭✭✭

    To me, healthcare seems to treat the symptoms, not cure the issue.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 334 ✭✭✭

    I understand. I have an extremely low opinion of "health care". Americas HC actually rates extremely low compared to other first world countries. I worked on a presentation a few years ago on the corruption and dangers we see here in our system. I have seen many doctors. Dozens probably. I have only had 3 that ever were worth the visit. I began doing research on herbal and naturopathic medicine a few years ago. Since then I try to treat almost everything at home. I'm to the point I'm convinced God has given us everything we need for health in His creation. It doesn't come from a lab and those in starched white coats. I was telling my husband just last night about how hospitals are set up to harm not heal. Being sick then stuck in crowded hospital with other ill people and recirculated air, stuck in a room with a view of a brick wall, no real light, no fresh air, no ability to really sleep which is essential for cellular repair because someone comes in every half hour to poke and prode you for no reason, garbage sugary carby food....none of these things are conducive to healing or wellness. The system is rotten to the core. I honestly think everyone should take care of their health and well-being as much as possible through healing gifts of herbs, vitamins, fresh air, clean water, sunlight, exercise and a good diet.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 334 ✭✭✭

    That's my personal belief. They have no incentive to cure anyone. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease- these are trillion dollar industries lining their pockets. What incentive do they have to put themselves out of business. They don't want cures. They want customers for life.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,430 admin

    "The Lord did not let herbs grow without a purpose. He wanted us to learn to use them in order to impede, alleviate and heal the ills and diseases that are rampant during our existence." - Fr. Sebastian Kneipp

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 313 ✭✭✭

    I have to go back to work in two weeks and was worried. Not because of the virus, but because they told us we had to constantly wash our hands and use hand sanitizer. Ugh! I work at a school so I'm supposed to make kids do it too. Nope, not going to do it.

    I've only used hand sanitizer once since March and that was because they demanded visitors to the local farmers market use it. I looked at the ingredients and was pleasantly surprised when it listed only herbs and alcohol which was made by our local distillery. It felt so good on my hands (like being in the crisp, cool, fresh air above the tree line) that I would have bought a bottle just for that.

    I don't wear a mask more than I wear one so I still get exposed to a ton of "the good stuff" and don't worry about it.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,082 admin
    edited October 22

    Note from Admin: This post contains references to an offensive post that has been removed from this discussion.

    @frogvalley What gets to me is sanitizer=handwashing to most. Nope...not even close to the same thing.

    What got to me is some places shutting down washrooms in favor of sanitizer. But those rooms are where you wash hands...

    @Happy Camper I have to disagree on your point about the masks being as hijabs. They can't truly be compared to hijabs. The mask purpose is different because it is not related to modesty nor religious belief & it applies to every gender.

    As a moderator considering this comment, I need to ask that all members refrain from making negative comments of particular ethnic groups, especially how it may relate to their belief system.

    As per the reference to Fauci, I understand that Americans have strong views with regard to this particular politician, but the flip flopping of (and in some cases, disdain of) politicians is worldwide in this situation & is in pretty much every country.

    Again, as a moderator, I would appreciate all specific country's political figures left out of the accusatory realm on here so as to respect the no politics rule on the forum. This keeps our forum from getting too fired up and keeps our discussions from getting heated. This subject can destroy any community all too quickly. So, just a reminder to be mindful of what/how posts are posted as we are all under stresses that are unnatural and difficult and we need to be mindful of that.

    Considering, I needed to remove the link as well due to this reason.

    I thank you for your understanding in this matter, as we have a responsibility as mods to keep this forum on an even keel.

    My comments are not meant to offend, but to help remind all of our members that we need to be respectful of others & respect the rules that are in place for the good of all members of the TGN forum. We need to keep our forum a welcoming place for everyone.

    I will also remind all members that moderators will be watching potentially controversial discussion threads. If we feel that a discussion is heading in a downward spiral, we have the right, and a responsibility to our members, to close that discussion thread.

    Here is an easy to follow link to the rules so that all members can review it once again.

    Thank you.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 288 ✭✭✭

    I think the crux of the matter comes down to personal responsibility. You are the only one who can truly be responsible for your own health and to some degree the health of your family. Health is the result of an entire lifestyle, not anything a doctor or a hospital can give you.

    Soil, sunlight, wholesome food choices, loving relationships- these are the kinds of things we need more of, but hospitals and doctors aren’t selling those things.

    But I see that some people don’t want to take this kind of responsibility and would rather hand that off to the “experts”. I get it. It’s a tough choice to make. But that’s also how you end up hiding from daylight and bathing in hand sanitizer like it’s going to give your immune system that boost. To each their own. I highly doubt that anyone in this thread falls into that category because if you’re already interested in growing your own food, you’re clearly someone who accepts responsibility for their own life and health.

    What makes it tough for me are the mandates. I’m fine with a recommendation, I’m fine with other people making their own decisions. But living in an area where I was not allowed to make my own decisions but instead scolded like a child if my mask didn’t cover my nose all the way... It certainly did feel like a muzzle.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 313 ✭✭✭
    edited October 22

    Note from Admin: This post was in response to an offensive post that has been removed from this discussion.

    Wow! That took a dark turn. I'm sorry if it was something I wrote. I said that I didn't wear a mask more than I wore one because I live on 10 acres and we stay home, but I still breath the dirt so my immune system does benefit. I was addressing what I thought was concern for our immune system. Guess I was wrong.

    I don't pretend to believe that I know all the details of this virus, but I'm not so arrogant as to believe that I am more important than any other person, so I wear a mask JUST IN CASE. If I by some chance hurt someone because I was having an oppositional defiant moment, I'd be guilty of a sin that didn't end in this lifetime if I didn't come to the realization that it was my fault and I repented. So many times, people create a bad situation and then say "I didn't think x,y,z would happen" instead of just sucking it up, being a loving human and either doing what you can to reduce the risks and abiding by the rules or staying home. Some people just don't like to be told what to do no matter what it is and make a big deal out of the situation. I've done it too. It doesn't make it right and I repent. I look at some people who create one rule for them and another rule for others where nothing is tolerated. I used to get so angry when my kids couldn't do what I wanted them to do, but then I tried to do it and I laughed it off as an "opps". I was so wrong. So arrogant. So egotistical. Like I wrote the rules of life and everybody else had to live by them, but I couldn't/didn't want to live up to them. Thank God I woke up. I'm not alone, the one in charge of everything or perfect. I'm just doing the best I can. I try to stay open minded to learn how to be a better human, not how to be a better curmudgeon (I'm already good at that).

    Two of my grandkids got CoVid last week. The first thought in my head was "who wasn't wearing a mask?" The first thought should have been a prayer. They are on the mend and I'm trying to be better at holding my thoughts captive. A friend of our's baby got CoVid and died. All the adults will have to live with whatever they did or didn't do because it's darn sure that the baby didn't bring it on itself.

    Where's the love folks? I think we are all in this forum to learn from one another, to enlighten each other, to engage in encouraging dialogue. Can we get back on that path?

    @LaurieLovesLearning and @judsoncarroll4 Thank you for your ever ready and steady guidance plus all the wonderful suggestions, input and support.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,082 admin
    edited October 16

    @frogvalley Thank you for the encouragement.

    I don't think it was something that you wrote. No need to worry.

    I am so sorry that your grandkids got sick. That must have been stressful for all. How are they doing? I will be waiting to hear.

    My condolences for the family of the baby. Losing a baby at any time is beyond difficult. It can be very devastating. I can only imagine everything being compounded with this craziness we are living in/with now. I wish that I could support them in some way. PM me, please.

    My view on mask wearing should be pretty clear here. I have no issue with the practice. It is a piece of (sometimes interesting or beautiful) cloth. Whether it works or not, to me, is irrelevant. At the very least, it makes most people feel like they have some control in a crazy world.

    I also believe in kindness and minding our tongue/words especially in difficult situations. I have been trying to be more mindful of being kind to others in this time. People are in need of kindness more than ever. We don't know what their struggles are. We may be the only kindness they receive. That alone could save a life.

    Also, because of who knows what happened in my past (I think it is a PTSD response), I am not able to wear a mask as I will instantly panic and rip it off it it even gets that close! It is a horrible, super overwhelming feeling!

    I do wear a face shield where masks are required...if it is okayed. I have asked before entering. It is the best that I can manage, but even that can even be difficult at times. I just hope that others understand that when I am out. I know some won't like that it is not a face mask. I will gently & respectfully let them know why I can't wear one if they ask. I do try to smile when talking with others as people don't see those much anymore in public. I also treat others with respect when I am out...and going into public is now a rarity for us. We shop very rarely now & thankfully we live very rurally.

    If, after a week or so, there are no more responses here, I will close this thread, just as I have done with others in the past.

    But for now, please continue on with respectful discussion and let's bring this back to the subject of immunity suppression, which is the original theme of this discussion.

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 706 admin
    edited October 20

    Thank you for writing this, @frogvalley. This is a topic I usually stay quiet about, simply because I'm not a fan of jumping into potentially divisive conversations. But my reason for wearing a mask is similar to yours -- I have people in my life that are considered high-risk, and I would just be heartsick if anything I did ever contributed to their illness or death, and to their families losing them.

    I am not in a high-risk category -- I am in my 40s and healthy -- but I wear a mask in enclosed public spaces for two reasons: One, I don't want to be a vector for this illness and be instrumental in it causing harm to others; two, there are things about COVID that are still unpredictable, and I don't want to be one of those people who are still dealing with mental fog or tremendous fatigue or organ impairment months after coming down with it (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.14.20212555v1).

    There are plenty of studies (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext#%20) and anecdotal evidence that show that when someone who has COVID wears a mask, it can reduce transmissions rates enough to make it worth it. (I am thinking specifically of the masked Missouri hairdressers who cut the hair of 139 clients and did not infect a single one: https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2020/07/15/No-COVID-infections-at-hair-salon-shows-masks-work-study-says/4861594765697/) There is also at least some protection provided to the mask-wearer, as well, and of course adding in social distancing helps a lot.

    The original question was whether I am concerned that my immunity will falter due to mask-wearing, handwashing, sanitizer, and sterilization. No. I have a strong immune system, I play in the dirt, I have chickens and dogs and little kids, and if my body needs to fight something off, the mechanism for doing so can still be triggered.

    @frogvalley, I also know people who have died of COVID -- three of them, all a little older. For me, as for many others, wearing a mask is much less about protecting my own health than it is about protecting the health of those around me. I feel I have a responsibility to my own conscience and to the people around me to do what I can to protect others, and there is enough evidence that my wearing a mask could help protect others if I happened to have COVID and be asymptomatic or presymptomatic that the minor inconvenience is completely worth it to me. All I can do is the best I can do, and for me, that includes being kind and trying to protect those who are at higher risk. I do not view wearing a mask as an infringement of my personal liberty, but rather as "the least I can do" to honor the struggles of those around me who are already dealing with much more serious health issues on a daily basis.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,082 admin

    Thank you for being willing to voice your views @Merin Porter. I think it is important for everyone to consider everyone else's circumstances. Your post & @frogvalley's are reminders that we don't always know what others are going through. Respect should be given to all.

    I think that considering that this thread has seemingly run its course, I will go ahead and close it. I don't know that there really is any more that any of us can actually add to the topic. I believe it has been covered from all perspectives.

    As I keep saying, I would like to encourage everyone to be mindful of others and respect the other person...even if you don't agree. You do not know their circumstances (as we have learned here), and I think that instead of causing larger issues with our ignorance (yes, we can all be that way sometimes), we are better off assuming that others might be going through unusual and difficult personal challenges & tragedies throughout this time. Let's choose to encourage & support each other. We all need that right now.

    Thank you all for being a part of the TGN forum.

This discussion has been closed.