The spread of the Coronavirus disease of 2019 – COVID19– may have some of you feeling scared, anxious or stressed. Please know that how you are feeling is valid. Whilst still on par with the flu virus in its pathological impact, its high rate of communicability, and potential mutation into a worse presentation, has created panic and fear globally. While some may feel fear due to their own compromised immune systems – and the statistics associated – we may also find that this fear is borne from a lack of understanding about the disease. These gaps in knowledge create a void that is often filled with misinterpretation and fiction. I believe there is power in knowledge and would like to share what I know about COVID19 in an effort to empower you during this time.
So, here’s what we know so far:
- It is highly transferable and can appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- It is spread via airborne transfer and can survive on surfaces for up to 3 days.
- It enters via the mouth, nose and eyes, most commonly after rubbing these areas with an infected hand.
- It initially presents as a sore throat and then develops into respiratory symptoms which can vary from a cough to shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more serious cases, it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and even death.
- Although it presents similarly to influenza, it seems to have a greater impact on the elderly, immune compromised and those with pre-existing respiratory weakness than influenza.
- It is encouraging to note that at this stage children seem to present with less severe symptoms than adults.
Basic tips to help avoid exposure or transference:
- Avoid large crowds and places with poor ventilation.
- Prioritize regular handwashing with soap and warm water, especially before eating.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when handwashing is not possible.
- Avoid people who are unwell.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or do so into your bent elbow.
- Isolate yourself at home if you are sick.
Given that the virus still presents more questions than answers, the most obvious focus should be to maintain good immune health. This is best achieved by reducing stresses on your system via:
- Healthy eating – (Fresh, colourful unprocessed food)
- Keep hydrated – (Regularly check in on your thirst and quench it with water)
- Adequate rest – (Follow the light and dark cycle and aim for 8 hours sleep per night)
- Activity in fresh air and sunlight – (Get out in nature and move!)
- Friendly social connection (Via phone or computer)
It also requires an effort to specifically enhance your resistance via three-pronged approach:-
- Improving barrier health (Nourishing mucous membranes so that infection can’t get in)
- Enhancing anti-viral immune response (Stimulating Natural Killer Cells, Cytotoxic T lymphocytes and promoting antibody production so that you’re primed for the attack)
- Tonifying the respiratory system (Using system specific amphoteric herbs to strengthen target areas)
These three strategies can be achieved with safe evidence-based natural remedies and could involve something as simple as a general broad acting formula or alternatively incorporate a powerful 3-tiered approach. The important thing to note is that you are not helpless when it comes to enhancing your immunity against viruses.
In summary, our key advice is to stay connected to the Australian Government Department of Health Website which is constantly being updated with COVID-19 information, (see the link below); maintain good hygiene and lifestyle habits; and specifically enhance your immune system. Furthermore, understanding that if you are unwell, self-quarantining is more about those at higher risk than yourself. In a nutshell, making such a decision could save someone else’s life.
Rob Claridge and the team at Claridge Naturopathics.