The New Coronavirus outbreak in China and its subsequent spread worldwide has caused many of us to feel worried and anxious. Some of us might have gotten in a panic mode. All of these feelings are normal in the face of a brand new virus whose behavior seems highly unpredictable.
As world governments started implementing lockdowns and other forms of social distancing measures, cities and towns are becoming like ghost towns. It almost feels surreal that the majority of the world’s population are now faced with a common “enemy” — an insidious enemy that latches on hosts and replicates itself quickly, even if the host doesn’t develop symptoms. In fact, scientists have started to notice that people who don’t have any symptoms or have mild ones could be responsible for more transmission than previously thought. The latest research study found that as many as 86% of infections were undocumented and that, per person, these undocumented infections were 55% as contagious as documented infections.
When it comes to the incubation period, it takes anywhere from 9.1 to 12.5 days from the onset of illness to hospitalization, according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Anecdotal evidence from China, however, has shown the incubation period can be as long as 27 days. The fact that people without symptoms can pass on the virus makes containment almost impossible.
To prevent the spread of the virus, all of us must observe social distancing measures, wear a mask indoors (except at home) and isolate ourselves as much as possible. Stay home, avoid domestic or international travels, and avoid crowded places. Different countries have issued different protocols. Here in the United States, the latest warning is to avoid events and gatherings of more than 10 people.
Evidence has shown that early actions taken to screen, test and isolate helped flatten the curve and turned the tide of exponential increase in cases (as in South Korea).
Depending on where you live, you may have the option to test for the virus. You may also want to implement stringent protocols in personal hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and properly (check out this article on how). I have learned that medical doctors routinely rub their hands in a circular fashion while washing their hands with soap, and singing “Happy Birthday to Me!” twice (that’s the length of time to ensure a good cleansing).
If you sneeze or cough, remember to cover your mouth with the hollow of your elbow. If someone sneezes or coughs, walk away to a distance of at least 1 meter, or 3 feet. This is how far the virus can travel in droplets before it falls on the ground. Remember to wipe your hands and objects that have touched the floor or any surfaces outside your home with 70% alcohol wipes.
Masks are universally accepted in Asia where people have had lots of experience dealing with epidemics (such as SARS). But elsewhere, such as in the United States, people generally have a stigma against those who wear masks. They believe the latter are sick and contagious, rather than just trying to avoid getting sick. Indeed, masks do more to keep your bugs away from others than vice versa. But, during the 1918 influenza pandemic, despite the medical profession’s insistence that they were useless, the epidemic began its decline in the U.S. as soon as people started wearing masks. The N95 mask, which is normally used as a dust mask (known as a respirator), can ward off smaller-sized particles than regular surgical masks. But the regular surgical mask will do the trick if worn properly. Check out this video on how to wear a surgical mask properly. Also, please read the logical reasons behind wearing masks in this very well-informed article. In addition, check out this scientific study on the usefulness of wearing masks.
Note that the conventional warning from doctors and public health officials against warning masks while you are healthy, was issued more for the sake of saving the stockpile for healthcare professionals, which is legitimate. I’m not saying that you should stockpile them, but in case you have some and want to wear them while conducting essential business in public, I want you to know that you should not feel ashamed of doing so. As an Asian, I have received discriminatory looks and slurs while wearing a mask to protect myself. In case you have an issue with people wearing masks, I urge you to watch this video.
All the measures recommended here are not only for ourselves and the family members we live with, but should be taken for the sake of those in our community who have compromised immune systems or have chronic illnesses. We don’t want to unknowingly pass the virus to others, and we don’t want our hospitals to be overwhelmed, leaving the vulnerable with no chance to be treated.
The subject of health has never been felt as acutely as now. Having a robust immune system has proven to be extremely important. Keep eating right and exercising according to your blood type/GenoType. Manage your stress level by having adequate rest, sleep and quiet time.
Below are a few natural ways to boost your anti-viral capacity (credit to Dr. Peter D’Adamo and Dr. Ginger Nash for sharing these tips):
Astragalus is the first choice for strengthening the body’s ability to fight the virus. Avoid echinacea.
The lectin in Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) root can help ward off coronavirus (Read reference paper here). Genoma EQ contains this and other synergistic herbs that can help boost your defense against the Coronavirus.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of developing of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Perhaps this is a reason why the severe cases drop in warmer weather. In any case, it can’t hurt to get outside when it’s sunny or, lacking that, pop a vitamin D pill or take some cod liver oil.
Selenium feeds into the process that produces glutathione, a molecule essential for a proper immune defense. High dietary selenium areas in Africa have much less HIV, HCV and Ebola infection rates. A selenomethionine supplement the provides 150-200mcg selenium might be a simple way to increase overall resistance. This supplement is what I will be taking to boost my immune defense.
Fresh garlic and onion
Eat plenty of them as they are antiviral.
Green Tea & Broccoli Sprouts
Green tea and broccoli sprouts can help enhance our antioxidant defense ability and protect us from the virus. Dr. Peter D’Adamo has explained that the reason why older people are more prone to getting infected by the virus is that their antioxidant defenses have dropped as they aged. The very young, by contrast, “have premium antioxidant defenses. Not only are their antioxidant levels higher, but they also work much better.” Studies have shown that green tea EGCG and sulforaphane-containing broccoli sprouts “significantly decreased IL-6 and markers of viral replication… in subjects inoculated with the live attenuated influenza virus vaccine.”
Avoid Ultra Processed Foods
Lastly, avoid refined sugar, alcohol and highly processed foods. Sugar suppresses immunity significantly.
In case you are infected with the virus and are having symptoms, do not take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, cortisone, etc. This is a warning from France’s health minister, Olivier Véran, who is a qualified doctor and neurologist. He said that In case of fever, take paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen, or the brand Tylenol). “If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor’s advice,” he said.
Manage Your Stress
Stress can negatively affect our ability to fight diseases. So, as much as you can, take time every day for relaxation and self-care, to recenter yourself from the dizzying and chaotic world out there. If you have access to an open area in Nature, take a walk, get some sunshine and fresh air every day, away from the crowds.
If you are curious about using Traditional Chinese Medicine to prevent and treat COVID-19, you may want to head over to this site to read all about it.
Dr. D’Adamo has been testing various drugs, food lectins and natural antiviral products to check their ability to inhibit Coronavirus activity. If you are interested, head over to this page.
Lastly, if you are searching for herbal supplements you can trust to boost your immune system, Dr. D’Adamo recommends this Resistance Pack, which he takes every day now during this pandemic.
I’d like to think of this crisis as an opportunity. Life as we knew it is changing rapidly, and it may change permanently for some of us — for good or for bad. Some of the changes may be positive. While at home, try to take this time to refocus your priorities in life. With the extra time we have, we can turn inwards and reflect on what is most important in life. Will health become your No. 1 priority going forward? How about your relationship with family members?
We can spend more time with our family, and if face-to-face visits aren’t feasible, set up video chats instead. Besides home entertainment, perhaps we can take up some activities that we did not have a chance to do before, or even learn a few new things, such as how to cook for your optimal health.
In solidarity, we shall walk through this challenging time, and hopefully, we will come out of it stronger, with a renewed perspective and sense of purpose.
Stay healthy and safe!
This article was originally published on March 17, 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. A lot of what we know about Coronavirus has been updated, but the fundamental good practices suggested in this article still hold true, with the exception that transmission of the virus through fomite, or droplets on surfaces, is much less significant than initially thought. Scientists have found out that COVID19 is mainly transmitted through aerosols. In addition, numerous variants have popped up since the beginning of the pandemic, some of which are extremely contagious. Vaccines have proven to be very effectively in reducing the risks of severe infection and death. Personally, I received two doses of the Moderna vaccines and feel a lot safer going about my daily life. However, I still wear a mask anywhere people congregate. It’s my belief that public health measures like these are non-negotiable in a deadly pandemic such as the current one. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate the virus, and it’s very likely it will be endemic like the influenza, I still believe that we should do the best we can to preserve our health and life, as well as that of others in our family and community.