It is now March 15, 2020 and the grocery store shelves have been stripped of inventory by worried consumers. Our way of life has come to a screeching halt. The stock market experienced its worst day since 1987. Professional basketball and baseball have been suspended. Major conventions are postponed. Here are some tips on the Coronavirus and staying healthy.
The travel industry has been put into suspended animation. Reduced airfares have been converted to cancelled or consolidated flights. Schools are closed. Parents need to stay home with their children. The federal government instantly passed an $8.3 billion emergency spending bill to confront this virus. Are there reasons for this panic? Let’s see.
How It Got Started
The Wuhan Coronavirus, or Covid 19, started in China about a year ago. Because there are “wet markets” in China where live and dead animals, birds, etc. are sold; there is great possibilities for viruses to jump from animals to humans. That’s how this whole thing got started.
Since the beginning, there have been a total of 149,000 infected people diagnosed worldwide with 5500 deaths. Nearly 75% of those infected or deceased are in China. About 20% of those infected develop severe symptoms, including fever, dry cough (as opposed to the wet cough from the normal flu), and a sense of unwell. Yet, the Chinese government recently shut down their last Coronavirus hospital. Not enough business.
Meanwhile, the routine garden variety flu continues to kill about 37,000 Americans every year. And no one blinks. Nothing is shut down. Around 2400 Americans have been diagnosed with Corona virus with 50 deaths total.
Is the pandemonium warranted? It is illegal to yell “fire” in a crowded theatre, because you might cause the audience to stampede and kill people. It should be illegal for the media to create this panic among the public. We need to keep our fears and priorities in perspective.
Your Lungs: Miracles of Tiny Air Sacs
Your lungs are composed of tiny air sacs, which together have the surface area of a tennis court. You breathe in about 11,000 liters of air each day. In that air there are millions or possibly billions of microbes that can infect your lungs. If a person with the flu or Coronavirus sneezes in your face, you might inhale billions of viruses, which can overwhelm even the most intact immune system.
Most of the time, our immune system protects us from infections by creating a barrier of mucus, which is composed of 99% water and the balance are immune cells to kill invaders. About 250,000 Americans seek medical help each year for pneumonia, an infection in the lungs, with about 50,000 deaths resulting. Nearly all of those deaths are seniors with severely compromised immune systems.
Coronavirus and Staying Healthy
Sleep, relaxation, and meditation are wonderful supporters of your immune system. Exhaustion causes an immediate decline in immune support.
99% of the mucus in your lungs that provides a crucial barrier against infections is water. Drink plenty of water. Your urine should be a light yellow color and not stink. Otherwise, you are dehydrated.
Good food provides the precursors, or raw materials, to build and repair your immune warriors. Feed your immune army the right nutrients and it will do its job faithfully. Eat a plant based diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, seaweed, mushrooms, and medicinal spices (like ginger and turmeric). Some animal food is acceptable, including free range chicken, beef, eggs, and organically raised butter, yogurt, and cheese. Avoid white flour, sugar, potatoes, and rice. Since most Americans do not get even the Recommended Dietary Allowance for many vitamins and minerals, it is a good idea to take a broad spectrum nutrition supplement.
The media relies on panic to sell their advertising. “If it bleeds, then it leads.” Is their mantra on promoting disaster stories. I don’t watch TV. I get my news by selectively filtering through internet sites. You are getting more fiction than fact in many TV stations these days.
Grow Your Own Food
It is always a good idea to have a garden. It may be particularly wise now to have some food in your back yard. Why water or tend a lawn when you can’t eat it? Have a few months supply of food on hand. I consider a couple sacks of beans and rice and some canned goods to be a “roof over my stomach”.
Wash your hands often. Do not touch your face with your hands. We essentially infect ourselves when taking a virus from the grocery cart handle then rubbing our nose and inoculating ourselves. Stay out of extreme crowded situations for the next month.
There are many rational therapies that can help if you do feel sick. Zinc lozenges are useful. Zinc kills viruses on contact. One gram of vitamin C each hour can reduce the severity of viral infections. Heat therapy works. Use a far infra red sauna or the sauna at your health club.
We have seen this movie before. In the 1950s there was the polio epidemic, which was already declining when the polio vaccine was introduced. In the 1980s there was the AIDS pandemic that was going to wipe out the planet. Seems like we don’t hear anything about AIDS/HIV anymore. Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1992 and is still here. Then came the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic of 2003 which killed 774 worldwide. Then came the Avian flu of 2013 which infected 1500 and killed 600 people. Every day in America 1600 people die from cancer. And no one blinks.
Coronavirus will burn itself out soon. Stay calm. Life goes on.