By HOMER LIM, MD
[OMNS October 2, 2020] The Philippines has the world record for the longest Covid lockdown: 6 months and still going on. We are also the only country in the world that has been ordered by the government to wear face shields.
Sadly, even with the lockdowns, our cases haven't really been coming down, except for the last month or so. This might be a combination of factors not really specifically due to lockdowns: people avoid being tested, for fear of being under forced isolation; many people have inherent immunity; and the virus infection cycle itself.
Due to the lockdowns, there has been a limited mobility of many poor people to go to work, as public transport is almost non-existent. Hence people have to either walk, bike, or pay for commercial companies to provide it. This has severely depressed our economy. Our GDP is down by 9.5%, the worst hit in Asia. As of June 2020, 23 million Filipinos are unemployed. Hunger has inevitably followed. According to an independent survey, over the last 3 months, 7.6 million Filipinos suffered hunger.  Compare that to 304,000 Covid-19 infections, of which 95% are mild or asymptomatic.
At present, our hospitals accept only Covid patients or emergency cases; most patients have avoided being hospitalized. The reason is, once hospitalized, visitors are not allowed, and doctors and nurses are their only contact. This preference might be strange to most readers, but in the Philippines, when patients are hospitalized we have always had a family or friend present at all times. So this is a culture shock to say the least, to be alone in a hospital bed, much more if it is during this horrible Covid pandemic.
I have done teleconsults for at-home patients with mild symptoms or none, as well as some moderately severe cases. I think it is important to treat the entire household, not just the person diagnosed with Covid. I have generally prescribed Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ, 200mg BID for 5 days), Azithromycin (500mg OD for 5-7days), 3000mg vitamin C, 5000 IU vitamin D3, and 50mg zinc, together with dilute oral hydrogen peroxide.
And I've found that patients, especially those who are over 60, typically with cough, pneumonia, and low oxygen saturation, improve within 24 hours. I have directly treated over 100 patients with this protocol. How many hospitalized? One, because she started treatment too late. I also know that this protocol has been used by other MDs here to treat over 300 patients.
One month ago, I was approached by Dr. J. Lopez, a colleague who has also been prescribing HCQ, about telling our colleagues our experiences treating patients as outpatients. Of course, I said "Yes." Then 2 weeks ago, a group of people from all walks of life— mothers, naturopaths, doctors, businessmen, media and economists— came together to try to tell to the government that there might be a better way to handle the pandemic, not just the customary lockdown. We called ourselves Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines or (CDCph).
We are held together by a common goal, to ease the lockdowns and improve patients' outcomes with prophylaxis and early treatment.
Our statement: 
—Prevent Covid-19 infection and treat early in order to avoid patients congesting the hospitals, decrease morbidity and mortality. [3-7]
—Provide prophylaxis for high risk people (not just HCQ but with vitamin C (1000 mg 3x daily), vitamin D3 (5000 IU/day), zinc (40 mg/day), and quercetin (500 mg/day) (similar to HCQ in mechanism of action). [3-7]
—Ease the lockdown to surgically targeted isolation. This means we don't employ nationwide, province-wide or city-wide lockdowns but only certain streets, compounds or homes are to be isolated.
The night before the press conference, we already felt some of the doctors would back out due to peer pressure or fear of reaction from the government. I said to Dr. J, "It might be just you and me tomorrow!" But at the press conference, even the Secretary of Trade and Industry was there to speak to end the lockdowns, because prophylaxis and early treatment is available and inexpensive.
Sadly, the next day the headline was only that CDCph was asking the government to end the lockdown. Our announcement was met with much anger from the government officials running the lockdowns as well as the "medical experts" who want to continue the lockdowns.
Our group was then threatened with criminal lawsuits for not wearing masks during the press conference and for illegal prescription of HCQ.  If you ask me, these are petty violations. However, this caused some of our member doctors to distance themselves from us.
Sadly, only I, another MD, and a naturopath remain to be available to talk to the media, as other MDs have been prohibited, coaxed and likely reprimanded, from publicly discussing these issues. Apparently I am now the public face of our CDCph, which was not my wish because I cherish my privacy. However, the ground support we garnered was just overwhelming. Our Facebook page has been shared many times, even though we always get flagged by FB's "police."
Our only goal is to allow Filipinos to go back to work again, feed their families, and give them a sense of dignity. We see people on the streets with desperation in their eyes, many shops closed with for rent/lease signs, and companies staying closed because the employees can't even get to the work place. It is just heartbreaking to see these things happening.
I vow to continue this public information campaign until it reaches the President of the Philippines, as well as communicate to the masses that they must not lose hope, which others around the world are also doing.  We are simply telling people to take these inexpensive vitamins and minerals, and if they are not able to buy them, at least eat the foods rich in them. Then I can sleep better and one day when I meet St. Peter at the gates, I can proudly say I fought for a good cause.
(Dr. Homer Lim is a geriatrician who is also a specialist in integrative medicine. He is president of the International Anti Aging and Integrative Medicine Society and medical director at Akesis Holistic Health, Quezon City, Philippines. He has been in practice for over 20 years.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: (Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Editor-In-Chief, OMNS, in his own words) "When I posted Dr. Lim's protocol on Facebook, I was immediately banned by Facebook from further posting of any kind for 30 days."
TO LEARN MORE:
1. Social Weather Stations (2020) "7.6 million Filipino households went hungry in past 3 months." https://bit.ly/2G3i4Zc
2. Flatten the Fear (2020) https://flattenthefear.ph
3. Holford P. (2020) Vitamin C for the Prevention and Treatment of Coronavirus. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n36.shtml
4. Rasmussen MPF (2020) Vitamin C Evidence for Treating Complications of Covid-19 and other Viral Infections. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n25.shtml
5. Downing D. (2020) How we can fix this pandemic in a month. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n34.shtml
6. Grant WB (2020) The role of vitamin D in reducing risk of Covid-19: a brief survey of the literature. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n33.shtml
7. Gonzalez MJ. (2020) Personalize Your Covid-19 Prevention: An Orthomolecular Protocol. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, https://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n31.shtml
8. CIDG probes 'Flatten the Fear' event. Tempo, https://tempo.com.ph/2020/09/23/cidg-probes-flatten-the-fear-event
9. Open Letter from Medical Doctors and Health Professionals to All Belgian Authorities and All Belgian Media. https://docs4opendebate.be/en/open-letter