Virginia’s new governor is rescinding mask mandates in the commonwealth, allowing schools to continue to make recommendations but giving parents the choice of what’s best for their child, Andrea Swalec reported for NBC Washington Friday.
The Governor’s new approach to the coronavirus pandemic and public school policy is a breath of fresh air for Virginians everywhere. It will probably increase the state’s overall Vitamin D levels, so that’s another plus for not covering up children’s faces all day.
According to an article medically reviewed by Sade Meeks, MS, RD, Nutrition, and written by Shahzadi Devje for Healthline, one of the benefits of Vitamin D is:
“Decreasing the chance of heart disease. Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to increased risk of heart diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, and stroke.”
That’s good news for more ammunition in the fight against infectious diseases that put people with heart disease at greater risk of severe illness or death-like COVID-19.
According to Wendy Susan Post, M.D., M.S., writing for John Hopkins Medicine, “For people who have had COVID-19, lingering COVID-19 heart problems can complicate their recovery. COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, can damage the heart muscle and affect heart function.”
Vitamin D hasn’t only been linked to increased heart health. Devje and Meeks say, “Although studies are mixed, Vitamin D may make severe flu and COVID-19 infections less likely. A recent review found that low Vitamin D levels contribute to acute respiratory distress syndrome.”
Vitamin D hasn’t only been linked to increased lung health. Anthropologists say Vitamin D, or more specifically, the lack of it, is what made some Caucasians “white.”
As the people groups who would become lighter-skinned than their African cousins moved into more northern latitudes, the decrease in sunlight led to higher mortality rates among people with darker skin that could not make do without more sun. The lighter-skinned fared better up north, and their descendants would inherit the north.
What about the Eskimos, you ask?
That’s racist. We say Inuit. But good observation, that the Inuit people are darker-skinned. Also, racist. It is a good, non-racist observation that they and their ancestors have inhabited an extreme northern latitude on the anthropological timescale.
The Eskimos kept their melanin, the pigment in the skin that gives it its color, and that filters how much solar radiation gets in because they were getting their D from nature’s pharmacy, on a diet of fresh-caught fish. You can get yours from the pharmacy if you don’t care for seafood.
But if you’re short on time and need a quick fix for low melanin levels, the outgoing Virginia governor is rumored to have got his out of a tin of shoe polish. But he can be excused for his youthful inexperience, back when he was putting the stuff on his face, too new to know how this works. First, you get the polish out of the tin and put it on the boot.