There’s no cure for COVID-19 (Novel Coronovirus).
So we’ll discuss who are most at risk and how to protect yourself and your family from this global health threat.
We’ll cover the following preventative measures:
- Washing hands.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Coughing and sneezing.
- Changing social etiquette.
- Getting tested for COVID-19.
But First – Boost Your Immune System
Persons who are at great risk of serious illness or even death due to COVID-19, are elderly persons and those with underlying health conditions which weaken the body’s immune system.
So besides elderly persons, younger people with a compromised immune system need to minimize exposure to contracting COVID-19.
Boosting the immune system in general starts with a healthy lifestyle. That means paying attention to your diet, exercise, getting adequate rest and practicing personal hygiene (washing hands, etc as covered later). A healthy lifestyle also includes avoiding behaviour and practices that put your health at risk (smoking, excessive drinking etc).
So let’s look at some specific ways to boost your immune system, please note this has nothing to do with treating or curing COVID-19, as stated in the first sentence “There’s no cure for COVID-19 (Novel Coronovirus).” :
The purpose of our recommendations here is to boost your immune system. It is about healthy living and strengthening your body defenses against infections
- Eat more fruits and vegetables – here I want to recommend getting more information from the eBook “Plant Based EATING” – Click Here. Also check out our blog post on Phytonutrients – Click Here.
- Include Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) supplements in your diet particularly to increase resistance to a wide range of diseases, infections and cancer. Vitamin C also improves the ability to handle stress – for more information Click Here for “Vitamin C – Extended Release, A Plant-Based Nutritional Supplement”.
- Along with Vitamin C; Echinacea can also be taken as a supplement. Research has shown that echinacea increases the number of white blood cells which fights infection – Click Here for more information on how to support your body’s defense system.
For more information on Vitamin C; Functions and Uses, including Optimum Daily Intake (ODI) for general health and various health conditions, See pages 170 to 181 (FOURTH EDITION) of “The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book”, by Shari Lieberman and Nancy Bruning. Click the image below:
Persons Most At Risk
Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a press briefing on March 10, 2020, that risk can be looked at in two ways. “There is risk of being exposed and getting sick from this virus and there is risk of getting very sick or dying from illness with this virus.”
The risk of being exposed and getting sick is based on being in contact with persons who are sick with COVID-19. That risk varies based on travel restrictions and protective measures we’ll discuss later.
Dr Messonnier, noted that based on data coming out of China, most people will not develop serious illness. However she said “The highest risk of serious illness and death is in people older than 80 years. People with serious underlying health conditions also are more likely to develop serious outcomes including death.
The underlying health conditions include diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease, said Dr Messonnier. In general, diseases which weaken the body’s immune system increase the risk of serious effects from COVID-19.
As you go about your daily activities, you use your hands to open doors, push elevator buttons, greet persons (shaking hands), touch hard surfaces, pick up or handle a variety of things. All or any one of those surfaces you touch may be contaminated with germs including the COVID-19 virus. Therefore you need to thoroughly wash your hands to get rid of possible hazards to your health.
Washing Hands – Steps to take:
- Wet your hands with water.
- Apply soap.
- Rub the palm of your hands in a circular motion thoroughly.
- Rub the back of your hands thoroughly.
- Interlock your fingers and rub your fingers thoroughly.
- Hold one of your thumbs and rub thoroughly in a circular motion. Repeat with the other thumb.
- Place the tips of your fingers (including thumb) in the palm the other hand and rub the tips of your fingers thoroughly. Repeat with the fingers of the other hand.
- Rinse off completely with water.
- Dry hands thoroughly with a paper towel and throw away the used paper towel in a bin.
If you do not have soap and water readily available, apply a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol for steps 2 to 7 above.
Avoid Touching Your Face
Medical experts state that COVID-19 enters the human body through the mouth, nose and eyes. The virus which can be on contaminated hands can be introduced to your nose, mouth and eyes by your hands, in touching your face. Hence the advice “avoid touching your face.”
That however, is easier said than done, because touching the face have become second nature for most of us.
The challenge therefore, is to become conscious of our habit of touching our face and in that way take control, to change that habit.
Coughing And Sneezing
If you need to cough or sneeze, it’s best to use a tissue to cover the cough or sneeze and discard the tissue immediately into a covered bin.
If you do not have a tissue at hand, cover your mouth with your upper arm, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
The important point to note here is, to prevent spreading contamination from your cough or sneeze into the open air. Block your cough or sneeze to protect others.
Changing Social Etiquette
In Western cultures greeting others normally means shaking hands or hugging and kissing on the cheek. All those will have to stop, so no more shaking hands, hugging or kissing.
In fact practice ‘social distancing’ or keeping six to 10 feet away from other persons (a CDC recommendation). Avoid crowds, airports,sea ports and non-essential travelling, that means postponing or cancelling vacation plans.
Yes, a drastic change in lifestyle and the way people normally interact socially. But it’s all for the greater good – stopping the community spread of COVID-19!
Getting Tested For COVID-19
COVID-19 is a flu virus (respiratory illness) like the common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
COVID-19 symptoms include:
- shortness of breath
- acute diarrhoea
If you or a family member experience at least three of the above symptoms; get tested for COVID-19. Please note, if those symptoms are not present and the COVID-19 test is given, it can produce a “false negative” result. That means if the virus is truly present but not showing symptoms, a negative result may be produced and only when the symptoms become obvious would a “positive” result be produced.
It is best to avoid contamination of others, by notifying health care professionals of symptoms by phone and request a test. The Trinidad and Tobago Government arranged for health care professionals to visit persons at home to conduct the tests and if necessary take the patient by ambulance to quarantine at hospital.
Originally published: March 20, 2020
Updated: April 1, 2020
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