COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a viral disease you can get from contracting SARS-CoV-2. It is very different from influenza. The flu tends to come on fast, coupled with fever and body aches. Whereas the coronavirus comes on much slower, produces mild symptoms and may not include any body aches or fever. In fact, coronavirus is a respiratory disease, meaning it affects the chest and lungs.
The good news is it’s easy to recognize once it is onset. The bad news is, it takes a while to take hold, if at all. This means we can pass it to others without even knowing we have it. This is why it is spreading as fast as it is.
We are finding out more and more about the virus every day. Since it only showed up last year in 2019 for the first time ever, there is a lot still to learn. There is no vaccine yet, but scientists are working on it.
So, what can we do in the meantime? We can follow the same practices we always do around flu season. Even though it behaves differently than influenza, we know that it is spread in the same fashion. The way these viruses are spread is through water droplets. If you sneeze on someone and it gets into their eyes, nose, or mouth, or if you sneeze into your hand and then touch something, it can be on the surface and then transfer to another if it gets into their nose or mouth. Basically, it can only go from moisture to moisture, but it can also dry on a surface and then, when the surface gets wet again, be transferable.
Ugh, so how are we supposed to stay away from it if it could be anywhere?!
Well, washing your hands and practicing good hygiene, for starters. When you wash your hands, make sure you completely dry your hands before leaving the restroom. That way you are not picking up fresh germs with your wet hands. Because we all know how hard it is to keep our hands away from our face! I mean, I do it instinctively, and almost every human does, too. So, practice good hygiene!
Okay, so what about when multiple people are exposed, but only some of them get sick?
That’s easy. It is all based on the health of our immune systems. Some people have bangin’ immune systems. They eat fantastically well, they’ve built a solid exercise routine into their schedule, and they live happy lives. And then there’s the rest of us.
The rest of us, eat the standard American diet, otherwise known as the SAD diet. We eat heavily processed food that has all the nutrients ripped out, with synthesized nutrients added back in that we may or may not absorb because the food item is a shell of what it used to be.
This can weaken the immune system tremendously. It can also have an effect on our stress levels and our sleep, both of which also heavily affect our immune systems.
We need sleep to heal on a daily basis. Without a good night’s rest, our bodies don’t have enough time to do a proper cleansing and flush all the toxins out that we accumulated throughout the day.
And when we’re stressed, our bodies don’t do any healing or flushing. When we are in a state of stress (which is like every day for the typical American) our bodies are in fight or flight syndrome. This is more than a mental state, but a physical state. When faced with danger, such as a lion or tiger, the brain triggers the body to shut down all non-essential functions, including digestion, cellular growth and repair, and even reproduction (which is why pregnant ladies have to avoid stress at all costs).
Okay, so after all non-essential functions get shut down our body is then flooded with hormones to prepare for fighting or fleeing. Your blood pumps faster and your heartbeat increases as you prepare to save your life.
Everyday stressors act as if there is a tiger about to attack. It’s such a primitive and automatic response, we have to consciously work at avoiding the trigger.
As if daily stressors weren’t enough (like our boss or paying our bills), add to this an international crisis and we are setting ourselves up for instant failure. If we contract anything, even the common cold, we’re getting sick.
I mentioned before that this is a respiratory disease. Unlike the flu where the most at risk are the elderly, pregnant women and children, COVID-19 seems to be affecting a different set of the population. The people getting hit the hardest are those that already have lung or heart problems. According to the CDC, people with heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are being hit the hardest, despite what some reports are saying - that’s it’s rich people getting hit the hardest. Because it’s a disease of the heart, this means it’s more imperative than ever to remain stress-free and calm as this all plays out.
How do we avoid the stress of the situation? We need to eat well - lots of fruits and vegetables and dark leafy greens, and beans and legumes and nuts and seeds full of good fats so our bodies can heal faster.
If it’s fake, keep it out, if it’s real, love it up. This can be used for more than just food. ;-)
Okay, so how do we protect ourselves from contracting the coronavirus and keep the symptoms mild if we do contract it?
Happy thoughts, nutrient-rich foods, lots of really good sleep, activity for your body and your brain. I cannot stress to you how important it is to get outside and walk around. Even if every store and restaurant and bar around you is closed - because let’s be honest, large gatherings of people are probably not the best thing in infected areas - even if everything is closed around you, make it a point to get outside and walk around. The air and the sunlight are purifying keys to good health, and if you can get amongst the trees and the dirt, even better. Not only will it keep you healthy, it will keep you sane.
Peace and love to everyone out there freaking out.