We have known for a long time that our own immune system is the most effective way to fight pathogens (i.e. immunization), and even the most promising studies to beat cancer are based on harnessing this power.

To limit the damage of this pandemic, and the next one, we need to look after our immune systems, and that of our loved ones and communities

Our primary focus now should be to safeguard your long-term immunity, and looking after our financial, social, spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing are all part of this.

Hoogland's COVID-19 Protocol

What we can all do to safeguard ourselves, our loved ones and communities?

Stay rational & support your immune system:

During a time of world-wide heightened emotions, we need to take special care to support our immune systems so that when the virus become more widespread, our bodies are better prepared to beat it and the next one.

Keep feeding your pre-frontal cortex, the decision-making, self-control part of your brain. This will help you make rational, informed decisions and help gain perspective from information rather than be swept up in emotion.

Some quick tips for all:


1. Ensure you have a low-GI diet, plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.
2. Exercise enough. Every function in your body is dependent on movement. Support it!
3. Your pre-frontal cortex is like a muscle. Practice it and feed it. Learn something novel, new, out of your comfort zone. Read non-fiction, try a musical instrument, practice will-power in little ways every day.
4. Practice some slow, deep breathing. A couple of times a day, slow your breath to between 4 – 6 breaths a minute and use your diaphragm.
5. Do regular heat treatments. A hot bath is a great idea and exercising until your body’s core temperature is up can be highly beneficial.
6. Get enough sleep. If anxiety is preventing sleep, try the deep breathing exercises
7. Spend time in nature. Nature feeds our brain and has shown to improve immune responses. If you cannot spend time in nature, look at pictures of nature.
8. Physical touch boosts our immune system and is so important to our overall health. While touching can be a source of potential transmission and guidelines are limit this, if you are lucky enough to have close friends and family to hug regularly, or treasured pets to cuddle, embrace that!
9. Get fresh air! Open your windows and keep fresh air circulating.
10. Do something creative: paint, colour in, draw, knit, garden
11. Make contact with friends and loved ones and re-assure them. Everyone is taking strain right now on so many levels. Support those around you.
12. Meet friends in well-ventilated outdoor areas once lock-down is over. Perfect way to combine nature with friendship and exercise.


1. Do not buy mega-doses of Vitamin-C or supplements. People will try to sell you anything now, and the supplement industry is profiteering based on our fears and misinformation. Fresh fruit and veggies are 1000s of times better for you than supplements, which can do more harm than good. Remember; your body uses an oxidative response to kill pathogens.
2. Do not spend money on expensive sterilizers. The lipid-structure in this Corona Virus falls apart when in contact with any old soap.
3. Do not comfort-eat too much, and when you do, do it mindfully.

Some figures and facts to help get perspective on the pandemic:

Pre-existing illnesses :

All these lifestyle diseases make the outcome worse, and for many the stress around the pandemic will increase the prevalence of lifestyle diseases in all its forms. Still, as you can see, even those with Cardiovascular disease are much more likely to survive than die.

When it comes to age:

Even those 80+ the survival is almost 80%. As I write this, the oldest person to have survived this is a happy 104 year old, Mr Bill Lampschies, from Oregon. There is already whispers of someone even older.


To survive this pandemic, and the next one, look after your immune system:


Cytokine Storms

Did you know that during times of stress, our bodies release cytokines? These are inflammatory agents which is part of our body’s first defense. The higher the stress levels, the higher our cytokine levels as well.

Deaths caused by corona are due to what is called "cytokine storms", and excessive stress makes us more prone to this.

Stress is mostly good for us; it drives so much of what we do and pretty much all of us are totally addicted. Stress is a caring response, if we didn’t care about something, it couldn’t stress us. Excessive stress, however, contributes significantly to an inflammatory process, which in turn can cause significant physical and mental harm.

The powerlessness and overwhelming stress of the way we are handling this latest corona pandemic will make us more susceptible to getting a bad case.


Fresh air and sunshine

It has been known for a long time that fresh air kills most pathogens. Even this novel corona needs to be protected from fresh air to thrive.


But even doctors and nurses died!

The medical staff who are dying from this make their own worst cocktail of:
1. Exposure to high viral loads for long periods of time
2. Not enough fresh air (especially in hospitals – we have known this for a long time!)
3. Lack of sleep
4. Excessive stress
They are medical personnel, so should know better, but world-wide doctors are trained in disease, not health.


Why exercise is important.

Exercise and fresh air is essential for us to see a better outcome of any pandemic in any country.
Exercise is essential for a healthy mind and body. It is essential for a working immune system. I can feel my exasperation growing again as I type this.
Exercise and sunshine have the potential to reduce mortality by a lot more than what corona can increase it by.

Feelings of desperation:

I wrote to a friend, relatively connected but equally overwhelmed:
Is there any feasible way you can see that we can distribute information and care packages to the townships during lock-down?
1. Seeds, compost and instructions for a small garden (fresh air, working with your hands and fresh produce will improve our immune response)
2. Creative packages – sometime to knit or draw or make anything (reduces stress significantly)
3. Instructions on exercise you can do at home and how to safely get fresh air
4. Maybe some fresh produce
5. Information on what the actual symptoms and death rate is
6. Instructions on deep breathing exercises that will help reduce stress

As humans, we need purpose.

People without purpose are more susceptible to lifestyle diseases and mental disorders, more prone to violence and suicide. Let me know if you need research on this?

Social distancing

Social distancing is one thing, but we need to encourage physical touch of our loved ones!


So how deadly is this thing really?

Figures without context have no meaning.

To help you understand the figures, I put together a simple pie-chart.


It is worth it to make your own pie-charts: see what percentage of the world's population is infected, start playing around with comparative corona figures from various areas to help you gain perspective

About this pie-chart: Please note that the number of cured and infected with mild or no symptoms is an probably grossly underestimate as asymptomatic people will often not be tested, or testing is delayed or simply not available. Also, being officially cured is a longer process than being diagnosed.

What is the normal mortality rate and how much worse is COVID-19 making it?

I think it is worth noting that people die every single day. About 150 000 people at the moment on average. Every. Single. Day. Even before Corona.

Now please may I ask you to look up something. Have a look at https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/ITA/italy/death-rate to get an idea of the usual mortality rate of Italy, and then also consider that WHO expected a sharp increase shortly due to an aging population. Then maybe google the typical mortality rate in the worst affected area, Lombardy and compare it with the corona figures for Lombardy.

How many more people died in Lombardy from COVID-19 than would have died in any case? Just give it some thought, maybe make a spreadsheet and do a graph for yourself if you need to. It is quite possible that the overall mortality rate will drop sharply after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, but this is pure conjecture on my part.

There is a big difference between dying with COVID-19 and from COVID-19

At the moment no distinction is made, which I think should be a crime. Every death where the person tested positive for this novel corona virus is deemed to be from the corona virus.

Case in point our very first fatality in RSA which was from an embolism. I have no idea what the pathology was or how the novel corona virus complicated things, but it is worth noting that the corona virus does not cause embolisms. Inactivity does.

I will not be surprised if it turns out people who committed suicide while positive for this particular corona will be counted as a point scored for COVID-19.

So why a lock-down?

“Flattening the curve” is a slogan driving much of what we are doing. But what does this really mean? It doesn’t mean preventing the spread, it means slowing it down so that health services are not overwhelmed, which may in fact prevent some untimely deaths.

It is very probable that more people will die from COVID-19 due to lack of medical facilities if we have a fast spread rather than a slow one.

This reasoning behind lock-down in South Africa is only valid for those who have medical aid and access to private hospitals. And yes, many of those who have medical aid will die from COVID-19 or its complication because they are unable to access the limited medical resources. Many of these would have been valuable contributors to society and it is really awful.

Still, all of us are now more likely to die or get seriously ill due to a compromised immune system directly caused by the regulations and side-effects of lock-down.

Is there a better way?

We should be planting ‘victory gardens’, learn how to make night soil have the military guide us all in exercise classes, help to improve hygiene and spread messages of hope and love.