As you are probably aware, there is a health crisis spreading the globe at record speed. There is a lot information out there, and quite a bit of it is misleading at best. As someone who tends to geek out on tthe actual science behind these types of events, I thought it might be helpful to offer some simple precautions to help protect yourself and support your immune system.
I am extremely fortunate to have a physicist in my life who has studied the potential of pandemics and virus’ throughout his extensive career. Thankfully, he shares his reliable scientific resources with me, rather than either of us relying on the media or the White House to present actual facts. He has helped me to understand the science, the numbers, and the false stories as they move at record speed across the internet and into our devices.
Much of the misunderstanding around this virus is that it is no worse than, or is equivalent to, the seasonal flu. This just is not true. The flu has the potential to be a serious virus, especially to those with weakened immunity and/or underlying health conditions, but it does not have the potential death rate anywhere near the current Coronavirus. The speed in which this new virus can move into the lungs (30 hours from symptoms to death in some cases) has doctors everywhere, especially in Seattle and northern Italy, stunned and scrambling for medical equipment, isolated hospital beds, and containment.
Nobody likes the idea of an imposed quarantine, and for the majority of the population, if (or when) they contract the virus, it will be no more serious than a cold or upper respiratory infection. However, because people can carry the virus without showing symptoms, it has the very real potential of spreading to those who do not have the ability to recover. The numbers speak for themselves: people over 60 (especially men) are at a greater risk of having a serious reaction to the virus. The potential for the virus to quickly become fatal increases at 70 years, and those 80 and above are at the greatest risk. People with a history of pulmonary difficulties or diseases, cardiac issues, diabetes, or weak immune systems due to medications, cancer, or prolonged illness have even higher risks.
This is an uncomfortable situation of governments asking entire regions to isolate or quarantine for the greater good of the weaker among us in society. Keep in mind, there is still so much about this virus that we still do not understand. This will change most people’s way of life for a while, potentially for the next year. As a survivor of severe Crohn’s disease, which kept my immune system weak and dangerously susceptible to infection for 15 years, this situation really hits home for me. I have so many clients whom I deeply care about with weakened immunity do to cancer, auto-immune disease, and stress. The added fear of a secondary infection can have deep and long-lasting effects of the person struggling, their care-givers, and their family.
So what to do? Fortunately Mother Nature, and science, has many incredible offerings to help protect us from pathogens that weaken us and create imbalances to our body (and mind…). Here are a few simple things you can do, especially within the first 24 – 72 hours of feeling any symptoms: