Protecting Yourself from The Coronavirus (COVID-19) – and Other Viruses
I’ll explain some key principles here for helping to avoid infection of viruses in general, but the focus of this post is on the Coronavirus particularly.
As of today whilst writing on 11th March 2020:
94% (1) of all Coronavirus infected people have recovered or been discharged, meaning they have overcome the virus or are at worst in the last stages of good recovery.
The highest risk group for severity and further complications so far, seems to be the elderly and people with other chronic health issues.
There is presently no known cure for this virus, so the best we can do is to take sensible precautions to reduce our exposure to it.
How it spreads:
1) As with many viruses the Coronavirus spreads through the air via moisture droplets that are expelled, or released by an infected person. This usually happens through coughing, sneezing and possibly also exaggerated exhaling (sighing etc – where someone pushes the air out of their body by force, which release moisture droplets).
2) It seems that the coronavirus can travel greater distances through the air than other viruses, and the current estimated range is 2-3 metres. If you are within this distance of an infected person, there is a potential risk for infection.
3) Physical contact with people and inanimate objects also enables it to spread. If someone has released the virus from their body and onto a surface (their hands, door-handles, and other physical objects), and you touch this and then put your hands near your mouth or nose there is a risk of infection. The coronavirus may live as long as 9 hours outside the body (2) – depending on temperature and conditions.
4) The virus has also been found in faeces and this is another risk for contamination.
If you suspect that you may have the virus, or that you may have been exposed to it, please follow the medical guidelines for your country. Ideally avoid public places, and please call your Dr for advice rather than going to see them.
Many clinics are being shut down worldwide as Drs are also becoming infected and so can’t run their surgeries/practices.
As we are in the ‘Flu season’ it can be hard to distinguish the flu from the Coronavirus as they present with some similar symptoms.
Key symptoms noted so far are:
For patients with chronic health issues, or the elderly, there is a risk of developing pneumonia, with chest tightness, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
The virus commonly starts with a fever, followed by a dry cough.
After around a week it can lead to shortness of breath, with about 20% of patients requiring hospital treatment (1).
The coronavirus infection seems to rarely cause a runny nose, sneezing, or sore throat. These symptoms have been observed in only 5% of patients approximately.
Sore throat, sneezing, and stuffy nose are most often signs of a cold.
If you have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, or are in doubt please call your Dr, but do not go to the clinic unless advised to do so.
How to reduce chances of getting the virus:
1. Reduce Exposure:
Isolate yourself a little more than usual by staying at home more.
You can still go out, ideally into nature, but avoid areas with lots of people such as: cafes, restaurants, group gatherings, friends houses for dinner etc, buses, trains, aeroplanes and any other shared transport.
The key is to have as little exposure to other people as you possibly can, as this is always the most effective means of avoiding an infection.
If you have been outside or around other people, make sure to properly wash your hands. Soap and water suffice, but an alcohol-based product is also okay – but not necessary.
If in contact with people, keep your distance and don’t get too close.
If you see people that are unwell (coughing, sneezing etc) keep your distance.
2. Support Your Health:
Being strong and healthy helps us to resist many infections.
When our Qi (energy) is strong it has the ability to support our daily body functions, whilst also properly defending our body from infections – by increasing our immunity. The stronger it is, the better it can perform these functions.
In the case where we do become infected by something, a strong reserve of Qi will help us to fight it more quickly and usually with fewer complications.
Whether it’s possible to avoid getting this virus after exposure to it is unclear, but having strong reserves of Qi will still help hugely if you do become infected.
Key things to follow to stay well and strengthen your Qi:
a) Do: Sleep well, and enough. Go to bed early and sleep at least 8 hours a day, as sleep has a huge impact on your immunity.
b) Do: Eat a balanced diet: dense protein (animal ideally) is vital for strengthening the Qi, along with lots of fresh green vegetables and some plant based starches at no more than 30% per day.
c) Avoid: processed foods, raw foods (raw veggies, smoothies, juices, fruit etc), too many refined starches (pasta, bread, noodles etc), sugar and alcohol. All of these severely compromise and reduce the Qi and this weakens your immunity.
d) Avoid: extra nutritional supplements. Increasing supplement intake usually does not help increase the Qi – and may for some people do the opposite – as your body has to use Qi to process these concentrated and often unnatural products.
The exception is if you are taking a food-based supplement that is solely made from whole foods (100% pure vegetables or meat etc). This doesn’t consume the Qi any more than eating normal foods.
Many people think that Vitamin C should be increased when a virus is present, but there is little clinical confirmation to support it’s positive effects.
Vitamin C supplements are also usually made of ‘ascorbic acid’, which is not the complete Vitamin C nutrient – as it’s an isolate that is extracted from natural Vitamin C. This is not the same as getting it naturally in food.
Taking Vitamin C at levels over 200mg each time seems to interfere with absorption of the nutrient. The higher the dose the more interference there is, as your body saturates at a level of approximately 200mg of Vitamin C.
This is a huge topic on it’s own and needs more discussion some other time.
e) Avoid: over using your Qi. Keep: stress, overthinking, worrying, over busyness, over-activity to a low level to conserve energy.
f) Do: Get regular movement/exercise. Make sure you get some fresh air every day and do some exercise. Make sure the exercise is balanced and does not hugely consume the Qi.
Again we want to protect energy and not overuse it. Walking a good distance, up hills, and at a pace that gets your heart rate increased is sufficient exercise for most people.
g) Do: Keep warm. This also conserves Qi and helps you avoid wasting energy.
Reducing exposure to potential infection and keeping yourself healthy are the two main activities in preventing the Coronavirus or any other viral infection.
If you can find it you can consume a small glass of cooked Elderberry Juice every day, as this has shown in-vitro to render the flu virus (H1N1) inactive. This is only to be used before infection and not during an infection.
1. Elderberry juice is not safe for use during a viral infection, unless administered by an experienced herbalist.
2. The Elder plant is toxic. Never make a raw elderberry juice, as the berries must be cooked to neutralise toxicity. Ideally buy a good quality juice.
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