Metallic weapons against Covid-19

Three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse have reached our shores.  Pestilence is in the vanguard, cutting a swath through our cities and villages and byways. In his wake rides War and Death

Malaria kills nearly a half a million people every year. Over 90 percent of these deaths are in Africa and two out of every three deaths are children under five years old. Chloroquine has been used to treat malaria since its discovery by Hans Andersag at Bayer in 1934. I took Chloroquine when I first went to West Africa in 1990. Luckily I only once got malaria and that was in Obuasi in Ghana in April of that year.

It turns out that Covid-19 really does not like zinc. When the virus invades our cells it takes up  residence in membrane-bound vesicles. in the cytoplasm. These vesicles are called endosomes. Without endosomes the virus is homeless and ceases to thrive and divide. Now the link to Chloroquine. It is a zinc ionophore. This means that it is able to transport zinc ions across a lipid membrane in a cell. and into an endosome. So Chloroquine disrupts endosomes if it has a source of zinc in the body. It is not enough just to have boost zinc in your body with supplements. You also need Chloroquine to boost zinc within  the endosome. The endosome is the house; Covid-19 is the squatter. Combining Chloroquine with zinc to suppress Covid-19 has a sound microbiological rationale but more testing is required to prove that all this works. This is a key research goal. We have also to get the dose right. A dose that is good for malaria may not be the right dose to make Covid-19 homeless.

Copper is another metallic weapon. Copper’s antimicrobial properties have been known for centuries. In China, it was called  “qi,” the symbol for health. In Egypt the name was “ankh,” the symbol for eternal life


When coronaviruses like Covid-19 land on most hard surfaces like glass or nearly all metals they can live in some cases for four or five days.  

 But when they land on copper they blow apart within minutes. Microbes cannot survive for very long on copper . That includes the superbug MRSA which can be deadly for those with an impaired immune system. The microbes died within 90 minutes of coming into contact with copper. For this reason some hospitals have resorted to replacing metal fittings such as door handles, bath taps, toilet handles, rails with copper versions in an effort to reduce deaths from MRSA infection.

The Spanish flu lasted from January 1918 until December 1920.  We have to cut the transmission.  Recent numbers coming out of China give us hope we can telescope the battle-time. The power is in our hands.  Act as if you carry the virus. Stay in your homes while we have no natural immunity or vaccines.  Maybe time now for you to read the classics, I am reading Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and James Joyce, a biography by Richard Ellmann. Let the knights clad in zinc and copper metal ride out to meet the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Stay safe and keep your distance like the local residents in Malpas Place in the Dublin Liberties.

……In the distance, from my brooding perch, the shoreline is cloaked in a dull haze where I can discern an unremitting penance that has been heading this way for a long, long while.  And yet amongst the cracked cloudline of an evening’s cast I focus on a single strain of light, calling me forth to believe in a better tomorrow. – Scott Fitzgerald, South of France, 1920.  A letter written to Rosemary. 

8 thoughts on “Metallic weapons against Covid-19”

  1. Nice piece John. The photo is only a few days old but it is already attracting huge interest. Malpas Place has been home to many iconic residents over the years. In this time of zero traffic and lazy evenings, it has resurrected its soul. Dublin’s Liberties free at last – Zozimus the Gleeman – free at last.

    • Thanks for the photo Gerry, the “Blind Bard of the Liberties”, it is iconic and captures the soul of a time-past community that is showing green shoots.

  2. Hi John

    Pertinent subject for the times that’s in it.

    Perhaps with all the empty shelves in the Supermarkets here we will get back to getting by with “the essentials”.Times have been very good for a very long time here among other places…

    Good you have some Human Bio as well in your article… I am afraid I got rid of my ‘travel tablet kits’ maybe they don’t have a best before date !!!

    I am hoping that my 5 or so really bad flus I have had over the years will give me some sort of a “Resistance” to this particular Viral flu !!!

    One of them I got in Asia too ???

    Kind regards

    Michael Sullivan

    • Hi Michael,
      Don’t take any chloroquine! It is too early to gauge its efficacy and then what dose might be safe. Apparently there has been a small run on it in the US after Trump’s completely irresponsible remarks at a Press Conference this week. My understanding is that flu viruses are more complex and mutate and that this corona beast is simpler and self-corrects and is much less likely to mutate. So having had a bunch of different flus does nothing to help with your immunity. Another comparison with malaria is that when I worked in Africa every expat was an expert. It is the same with corona now. Stay safe and at a distance.
      John

  3. John,
    I hope we all survive but I suspect we won’t. There is a very well known economic geologist and former CEO of the PDAC, lying in a coma in a London hospital.
    I was in Kirkcudbright town centre this morning. It was like a sad Sunday, almost deserted but not completely. Tradesmen going about. Here on the farm I see the farmer manic to keep up with lambing and calving. He can only isolate in his fields.
    I have dug out my spare Chloroquine though it is decades since i last needed it.
    The spectre of Lord Buckethead at our last [GB] Election was not so far-fetched.
    Good luck all,
    Chris Cooper

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