If you’re anything like me, you can quickly feel overwhelmed (and slightly fearful) about all the breaking new reports, featuring the coronavirus. Lately, every news station, Instagram feed, and dinner table conversation is focused on this booming sickness. And honestly, it seems to be causing shear panic over most of the world.
So, what’s the deal with the coronavirus? Is it really as bad as they say it is? Is it worth fretting over? How can we best protect ourselves?
In my opinion, no, the coronavirus is not worth losing sleep over. Why? Because stress actually weakens our immune system. At the end of the day, stress will only hurt, not benefit, us. And in the face of any sickness, we need our immune systems to be in tip-top shape. Trust me when I say: I’m speaking to myself as much as I say this to you. With that being said, there are practices we can put in place to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We can take preventive measures to stay healthy and minimize our exposure to this virus.
Before we dive into exactly how to protect ourselves, I first want to share some statistics about the coronavirus:
- As of February 27, 2020, there were 82,294 confirmed cases worldwide. Only 3,364 cases were in countries outside of China.
- Of the 3,365 cases in other countries, there were 57 deaths. That’s a 0.017 death rate.
- The majority, if not all, of the deaths have been in people who are elderly or immune-compromised.
- The virus is mostly spread through coughing and sneezing particles. However, infected surfaces (door knobs, counters, etc) may also contribute to the spread of the virus.
- The virus can only infect you if it enters through your eyes, nose, or mouth. More on this below.
- Face masks are only helpful if you are the sick one. Masks prevent the spreading of germs from an infected person to other people or surfaces. Wearing a mask as a method of prevention has not been shown to be effective.
- Any virus, including the coronavirus, cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Given these facts, what can we do to best protect ourselves and prevent contamination?
Wash Your Hands
You’ve heard it a million times before, but I’ll say it again because it’s that important. Washing your hands is the #1 way to prevent any sickness, including the coronavirus. However, hand washing it only effective if you wash and scrub for 20+ seconds. Considering singing the ABC’s or reciting the Lord’s prayer while hand washing to ensure you’re scrubbing long enough. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and dry your hands, too.
Don’t Touch Your Face
Growing up, I always remember my mom telling me to not touch me face. Now, I’m thankful I have this lesson engrained in my brain. Viruses and other pathogens can only enter our bodies through our eyes, nose, and mouth. Meaning, we transport germs from other people or surfaces directly into our bodies when we touch our face. Do yourself a favor and keep those hands away from your pretty face!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but canceling that upcoming vacay might be the smartest decision right now. Unfortunately, airplanes are breeding grounds for all kinds of germs, like the coronavirus and more. So, postponing any travel plans is wise. But, if you can’t delay your travel, I recommend washing your hands as often as possible and using hand sanitizer. Better yet, you can limit your exposure to toxic chemicals, protect your gut, and prevent over-sanitization by making your own homemade hand sanitizer.
Catch Some ZZZ’s
In a world that is constantly on-the-go, sleep is highly underrated. There is something to be said for pressing pause, taking a break, catching some zzz’s, and actually letting your body rest. If you’re constantly feeling tired and overwhelmed, it’s time to listen to your body and get some much-needed rest. Even if you feel wired and energized all the time, this could be your body’s way of coping with the high-demands of your day-to-day life. No matter who you are, you need sleep. There’s a good reason God designed us to sleep about 1/3 of our lives. In fact, during sleep your memories solidify, muscles and tissues repair, immune cells increase, neural connections are formed, gut flora improves, and organs fully detox. I don’t care who you are- no one can claim that sleep isn’t important.
Being outside in the sunlight is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Unfortunately, the majority of us are deficient in this essential vitamin, yet it’s essential for immune health. So, it’s critical that we spend at least 20 minutes per day outside to boost our vitamin D levels. Additionally, being outside in the fresh air is known to improve mood and reduce stress. As we discussed earlier, stress doesn’t do our health any favors, so minimizing stress is critical- especially during cold and flu season.. or coronavirus season.
Boost Your Immune System
Our society, as a whole, is severely deficient in many essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the most common deficiencies include: B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium. To best support your immune system, you might want to consider supplementing with these vitamins, minerals, and other immune-boosting herbs.
- Vitamin A
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Oregano Oil
*Before trying any new supplements, I recommend consulting your health practitioner. These supplement recommendations are based on my education as an FNTP and personal experience.
**Another note on supplements: Be careful to only buy high quality supplements. If you can’t buy professional-grade supplements from your health practitioner, I recommend looking for brands that are certified by USP or GMP. This guarantees the supplement’s quality, purity, and safety.
By adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, you’re giving your immune system it’s best fighting chance. This means saying good-bye to alcohol, excess caffeine, sugar, and processed/refined foods. When you consume these foods, your immune system actually takes a hit for a solid 24 hours. As a result, you’re more likely to fall victim to the coronavirus or other illnesses. Alternatively, you can eat fresh, whole foods, like organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed/pasture-raised meats, wild-caught seafood, sprouted nuts and seeds, healthy oils, dark chocolate, and more to help your immune system thrive.
I don’t know where you are on your spiritual journey, or if it’s even existent. But, I can confidently tell you that God is faithful. He is good, kind, and loving. And He works all things for His good (which is our good, too). In the Bible, God tells us “not to fear” 365 times. I firmly believe that’s once for every day of the year. Because God wants us to let go of all fear, every day. There is no day or season that God calls us to fear, even amidst the chaos of the coronavirus. So, let God’s perfect love cast out all fear. Have faith, friend. It’s well worth it.
While we can’t necessarily control the outcome of the coronavirus chaos, we can take steps to protect ourselves and loved ones to the best of our abilities. You bet I will and I hope you do, too! How will you be protecting yourself this season?