The new coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading like a wildfire throughout the globe as cities fail to contain the outbreak. Live global maps are lighting up like Christmas trees, in a way that we've only ever seen in movies. People are panicking, grocery store shelves are empty, small businesses are shutting, millions are losing jobs, events are being canceled and schools all over the globe are closing down until further notice. World wide the coronavirus death toll rises at alarming rates with approximately 23,000 deaths and already over 500,000 confirmed cases and thousands more being confirmed every few hours. Italy has the worst of it, with 80,003 where the police and military parole the streets keeping everyone indoors in a nationwide quarantine, in an attempt to control the outbreak. The Italian national anthem being sung from the balconies in solidarity, supporting each other even from afar and boosting morale.
People are dying, and let me just extend my condolences if you have lost someone, or know someone who has, but it's imperative that we don't panic. Yes, this is very scary and it's most likely going to get worst before it gets better, but over 110,000 people have already successfully recovered and that number is rising faster and faster every day as we flatten the curve. If you panic you create stress in your body and that lowers your immune system and makes you more susceptible to contracting the virus, which is not good for you or your family.
Below I'm going to give you some easy action steps you can take right now to boost your immune system and keep you and your family safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus (meaning that it has not yet been seen amongst humans) which affects the upper respiratory tract giving symptoms from mild cough to severe pneumonia needing ventilation and ICU care. It is a new disease that originates from Wuhan, China starting from the 31st of December, and despite rumors and assumptions flying around the main cause of this virus is still unknown.
During times of crisis like this one it's more important than ever to understand how to take care of ourselves and the people we love on every level: physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our health stands on the foundations of these 3 pillars and if one of them is off balance, our whole body and its regulatory systems are thrown off balance, making us more susceptible to catching viral diseases, infections and so on.
*Disclaimer* I am in no way suggesting that any of these tips are ''miracle cures'' or can stop you from catching the virus, the only thing that can truly protect you from catching COVID-19 are:
Self-quarantine and social distancing
Not touching your face
Washing your hands throroughly
Disinfecting objects and surfaces daily.
However, these tips will offer some added protection against contracting the virus and make your body and immune system strong enough to fight it off if you do catch it, helping you recover at a quicker rate.
Stock up on fresh immune-boosting whole foods
We're all rushing out to buy canned and dry goods such as beans, white rice, and pasta, however, I noticed that most people didn't even bother to pick up any fresh produce. We live in a wonderful age where we have the luxury of refrigerators and freezers to keep our food fresh for longer. Our body needs fresh nutrients and vitamins from live plants to stay healthy and keep the immune system functioning as it should to protect you from nasty bugs and world invading viruses. Buy some greens and freeze them, buy some fruit like pineapple (see here how pineapple can boost your immune system and help you fight upper respiratory infections) chop it up and freeze it so you have some ready to make fresh smoothies in the morning for a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants! Plan your meals for 2 weeks ahead, precook food and pop in in your freezer.
Vitamin D and Fresh Air
If you have a balcony or a garden, then take some time every day to sit out in the sun and get some fresh air. Even if you don't have a garden or a balcony, open a window and sit in the sunlight. As many as 47% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient, and vitamin D deficiency significantly lowers your immune system. Now more than ever we have all the time in the world to get some sunshine.
This is not a time to be going out anywhere, but a time to self-quarantine, however, if you have to go out to work or buy some groceries then you will need to take some precautions to avoid catching the virus. Limit outings to a maximum of once every 10 days, if you can push it to once every 14 days even better!
Go during non-peak hours and the least busy grocery store you know.
Gloves and a mask and hand sanitizer - Depending on how many people are infected in your city you may need to wear gloves and a mask. However if there aren't that many infected keep a hand sanitizer in your pocket.
Roll up your sleeves halfway - the virus sticks to your clothes so it's best if you don't lean on anything or keep your sleeves over your hand.
Throw clothes in wash as soon you get home.
Wear one pair of shoes during this pandemic and leave them by the door. - You may have seen pictures of officials in China and Italy spraying down their streets, this is because the coronavirus survives in concrete for up to 10 days.
Take a shower if you can, if not then wash your hands, face, and arms.
Clean surfaces sanitize your car door handles, steering wheel, radio, etc.
How long Coronavirus survives on surfaces
COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for up to 9 days, here's how long the virus survives on different materials and surfaces.
Air - 3 hours
Copper - 4 hours
Cardboard - 24 hours
Plastic - 3 days
Stainless steel - 4- 6 days
Fabric - 9-12 days
"What if I have the Coronavirus?"
If you suspect you might be sick with COVID-19 and want to get tested, DO NOT go directly to your nearest hospital or clinic, without calling your health care provider first. There is no point to go into a high-risk environment such as a busy hospital without first assessing your symptoms and getting advice from a licensed health care professional. Your health care provider will be able to asses your symptoms with your age and medical background and help you determine whether it is safe for you to stay at home and self-quarantine or if you need to be isolated and monitored in the hospital. Also, if they need you to come in and get tested or get medical care, the doctor will be able to quickly direct you to your nearest COVID-19 care facility and let them know that you will be on your way. Some of the more severe symptoms that indicate that you may have contracted the virus and will need medical care are trouble breathing, chest pains, high fever, or severe flu-like symptoms. If you have any of those symptoms seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Although it is important to know that most people with mild symptoms (such as dry cough and lethargy) under the age of 60 and without underlying medical conditions, recover at home without needing medical care. If you think you or a family member is sick, set up a room or area of the house where they can be in isolation, disinfect the rest of the house and then call immediately for medical advice
Stay Safe everyone!