What do I need to know about COVID-19 and what can I do?
The Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is caused by a respiratory virus called SARS CoV-2. It is easily transmitted to others by an infected person through the droplets from coughing or sneezing and also from contaminated surfaces.
Typical symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, though some may have digestive involvement (diarrhoea). Complications from the virus can develop especially with the elderly (considered anyone over 60 years old) and in particular anyone with co-existing conditions (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc) as well as anyone who is immune-compromised. These people have a greater risk of contracting the disease and having severe consequences – in other words, there has been a greater incidence of death in these groups.
Current statistics indicate that the incidence of death from the Coronavirus is higher compared to the common flu. The Coronavirus is transmitted a little faster by affecting more people and can cause more damage especially with those who are more at risk.
The tricky thing is that not everyone will have any symptoms or get obviously sick from this virus, and so they can be spreading it unknowingly, hence why the current mandated physical isolation that is required.
If you want to know more about the Coronavirus and how it works, please check our article: ‘The intricacies of the Corona Virus and What Recent Research has Revealed’.
What you can do:
We have put together some simple and practical suggestions you can do to take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Many of these are hygiene and lifestyle recommendations as well as nutritional and supplemental suggestions that can boost your immunity and support you to stay healthy or to recover with greater ease if you do get sick. And though it is too early to offer suggestions with evidence of direct effects against the Coronavirus, they certainly have the potential to support your general health as well as your immunity.
What do I need to know about COVID-19 for personal hygiene and social distancing?
- Ensure proper hand washing and disinfection of surfaces around you
- Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth) as it is a common entry point for viruses.
Physical distancing (as mandated by the government):
- Avoid travelling to outbreak areas and crowded areas
- Stay at home if you are unwell or if you get the Coronavirus and always seek medical advice as appropriate
- If you are well, make sure you reach out to responsibly support those who are in isolation and are needing the help.
Lifestyle and Nutrition suggestions:
- Quality sleep allows for the immune system to regenerate and is a time for the body to do its repair and maintenance. Getting adequate restful sleep is also important for anyone who is unwell so that recovery is speeded up.
- Exercise is also important in staying healthy and balanced both physically and mentally. Moderate gentle exercise supports in boosting the immune system and both restful sleep and exercise allow us to handle stress levels better.
- Heading into winter which is relatively mild in Northern New South Wales, it still remains important to keep the body warm, especially having covered feet and lower back and chest and if needed the head too. We can lose a lot of warmth from these areas and if we get a chill the body must work that much harder to recover its normal body temperature, which can set the immune system back.
Eat a well-balanced diet with quality vegetables, protein and healthy fats:
- Ensure your diet is full of fresh vegetables as natural sources of vitamins, antioxidants and fibre as required by the immune system and the digestive tract. Aim for a rainbow colour of vegetables and have a mix of raw and cooked vegetables to get the different types of fibre that are needed.
- Ensure you consume adequate quality protein (eg. meat, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu…) to supply your immune system and the rest of the body with plenty of building blocks for immune cells and their products, and for general repair and maintenance of the body.
- Fat consumption is also important from quality fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds and their butter. These contain fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K and are required by the immune system and for heart health.
A note on immune-boosting foods:
Some foods are known to have immune-boosting properties, and garlic is one of those! Other herbs that can help too because of their heat-producing or anti-inflammatory effects include chilli, turmeric, rosemary, oregano, basil and sage.
Avoid binge drinking and recreational drugs:
Alcohol destroys your digestive tract flora (good bacteria) which can then reduce digestive capacity as well as immunity and can actually increase the severity of respiratory tract infections. Recreational drugs also impact on the body by putting an extra detoxification load on the liver and hence also reducing the body’s immune response.
Vitamins and other supplement and herb suggestions:
This one is an all-round winner! It’s a strong anti-oxidant and supports with so many conditions and symptoms including the common cold, allergies, hayfever, sinus congestion, regenerating the adrenals and of course immune support… A good quality vitamin C is one that is non-acidic and usually these are a little more expensive but well worth the difference to your body. Therapeutic dosage is important but because vitamin C can cause digestive upsets for some, it is important to dose correctly and build to gut tolerance or to use a different form. Come and ask about the different types of vitamin C (powders, tablets and liposomal C) and which one would suit you best.
Zinc is another key nutrient required for the optimal performance of the immune system and also for the recovery from any damage to body tissues. Zinc can also act as an anti-oxidant and stabilize cell membranes. There are various forms of zinc, some of which are absorbed more easily, and a key factor of zinc is to take correct amounts to support in the right way. Come and discuss this with us so we can work out which one and what dosage suits you best.
This one is yet another key nutrient to support immunity. It is also required in about 200 different pathways in the body for maintenance and repair so its value cannot be underestimated.
A powerful supplement that is made from an amino acid. It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and mucolytic activity as well as being an effective enhancer of T-cell function (cells of our immune system).
Herbal tonics can be used as a prophylactic (preventative) or for the condition itself. They can be used for various qualities and properties such as anti-viral/bacterial/fungal, immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, soothing or regenerating. Some wonderful herbs to work with include: Olive leaf, Astragalus, Echinacea, Golden Seal, Elderberry, Cats Claw, Thyme, licorice – though it is important to get proper advice in this as some herbs are contraindicated if other conditions such as auto-immunity are present.
That’s it (for now) folks!
We will have more supportive updates to release soon again, but for now, this will get you started. And don’t forget to be in touch with us as needed – we are open for visits and are happy to take phone orders too! This is the time to look after the body and make it our foundation from here forwards. Just let us know how we can support you.