The freedoms we once knew have been severely restricted during COVID19. Even our sense of safety vanished overnight. Who would have thought that going to the grocery store or a gym would be a safety hazard?
Times have drastically changed and there are many unknowns right now. So what is known about how we can control and protect ourselves from the virus?
I listened to Dr. Rajesh Grover this week, professor of immunology and virology, discuss what we know about viruses and how to protect ourselves from COVID19. Viruses come from animals and plants alike and the first one was discovered by Edward Jenner in England. He observed that cows had “cow pox” and the milkmaids were protected from what we know as “smallpox.” He was able to inject the virus in a small boy in 1796 who did not get smallpox and the foundation of vaccines was born.
He went on to say that viruses have always been around and although their lifetime is short, we have to learn as much as we can about them for future pandemics. He went on to give many details about COVID and how it replicates and gets into our system but here’s the summary:
COVID19 is an airborne virus that lives on surfaces for 72 hours (normal flu 48 hours) and can get into your system in 30 seconds. The most vulnerable are babies less than 1 and those over 70 with who have additional medical problems (respiratory, diabetes, cardiovascular, etc.). The average adult can defend themselves well IF they have a healthy immune system.
His take home messages were as follows:
- Shut down your movement – stay at least 6 feet away from others and wear a protective mask. If you don’t have an N95 ones made of cotton/nylon cut back on at least 50% of aerosol particles.
- Psychologically manage your fear – fear dampens your immune system and you don’t want it in heightened form. This virus is not the black plague and therefore not a death sentence if you take good precautions.
- Eat the healthiest diet you can – lower all forms of sugars which depress immunity, and eat plenty of green veggies (since immunity begins with gut health)
- Move and exercise every day – the immune system lives in the lymph nodes. For the immune cells to be the most effective they need to talk to each other and if you don’t move they stagnate. Movement increases lymphatic flow which boosts immunity.
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night – sleep deprivation lowers immunity which makes you more susceptible to any virus, including COVID.
- Take your supplements regularly – don’t miss on the ones we know are helpful during COVID – vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, quercetin, etc.
It’s important to have knowledge of how to take care of yourself and train your immune system. The more knowledge you have the less fear. The virus became smart by accident, but humans are smart by choice.
Make smart choices to encounter this virus – no storm lasts forever! Yes, our freedoms have been modified but our freedom of choosing precautions and health is a powerful immune booster – and that is something that cannot be taken away!