Reprinted with permission by Restoration Healthcare.
Worried about the coronavirus? You are not alone. It is hard not to be worried about it if you follow the news or posts on social media. But one statistic alone should be enough to alleviate any fears and panic — 81 percent of people infected with the recent coronavirus, which as of today is 164 people in 19 states, have mild symptoms.
Certainly, you don’t want to catch any infectious illness or take the risk of passing it to your loved ones or coworkers, so in this post we at Restoration Healthcare present 10 practical precautions to prevent infection and the spread of infection, and reduce the severity and duration of symptoms if you become infected.
1. Optimize your health.
The best defense against illness is optimal health. Eat healthy; drink plenty of fresh, filtered water; rest when needed; and remain physically active without overexerting yourself. Eat healthy means:
- Maintain a balanced diet, including eating organic, green leafy plants.
- Limit consumption of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods.
2. Don’t stress, destress.
High stress levels may weaken your immune response. Consider the following steps to destress:
- Unplug from the media. Fear sells, and it also flips your nervous system into stress mode, disables your body’s self-healing mechanisms, and actually makes you more susceptible to pathogens such as viruses.
- Deal with any panic you might feel in an emotionally healthy way, allowing yourself to move through the emotion without getting stuck in it.
- Induce relaxation responses. Meditate. Pray. Dance. Chant. Make art. Have great sex. Do yoga. Spend some time in nature. Calming your nervous system and helping it reset to relaxation response will give your immune system a boost and optimize your body’s ability to fight off any infection, should you be exposed to it.
- Connect with loved ones. Love heals. Spend quality time with people you love and trust, and enjoy the boost of endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, and other healing hormones that can help you fend off viruses naturally.
- If you are feeling overworked, take a sick day or personal day to recharge your batteries. Sometimes, even just a short 10-minute walk outside can help. Bottom line — be proactive in taking care of yourself.
3. Give your immune system a boost.
For certain patients, we might recommend high dose vitamin C (more than 10 grams), delivered via intravenous (IV) drip to optimize absorption and assimilation. (Note that vitamin C may not be effective in treating an existing infection.) Keep in mind that you will need to see a medical practitioner to obtain a prescription prior to scheduling an appointment to receive the IV immune booster.
Vitamin D and other immune boosting supplements, such as Mushroom formula, may also be beneficial.
4. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and discard it properly.
According to a test performed by MythBusters in 2010, coughing or sneezing into the bend in your arm, as opposed to your hand or a tissue or handkerchief, is more effective in containing viruses. However, a virus can live for a week or longer on that sleeve you coughed or sneezed into and remain a source for spreading the infection. Sneeze into a tissue, discard it in the trash, and then wash your hands with soap and water or spray them with the essential oils mentioned in a later tip.
5. Breathe deeply and often.
All the cells in your body need oxygen for peak performance, so breathe deeply and often. Routine deep breathing may also be helpful for alleviating any physical or emotional stress.
6. Minimize close contact with people who are sick.
Keep your distance from anyone who tells you they’re sick or is exhibiting symptoms. Don’t kiss, hug, or shake hands until the person has fully recovered.
7. If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, stay home and avoid contact as much as possible with others.
Be courteous to others by keeping your potentially viral, bacterial, and fungal infections to yourself. Remember that even if you may be taking medication to alleviate symptoms or help your body combat an infectious agent, you are contagious for as long as your body needs to eradicate the virus.
8. Keep your hands away from your face and wash your hands frequently.
Specifically, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth to avoid transferring a virus from your hands to an orifice in your body through which the virus can enter or leave. Wash your hands frequently, especially if you are out and about or share a space with others and are frequently touching surfaces that are likely to be covered with germs.
Between hand-washings, spray your hands with lavender, citrus, or peppermint essential oil. These essential oils are effective hand sanitizers and mood boosters.
What about wearing a face mask?: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) do not recommend face masks for anyone other than medical personnel caring for those with known infection. If a face mask will help to alleviate concern, the N95 respirator mask is the one to wear.
The biggest benefit of wearing a face mask is that it discourages you from touching your face. Keep your hands away from your face, keep your distance from sick people, and have everyone sneeze into tissues and discard them properly, and you will probably be as safe as if you were all wearing face masks.
9. Clean and disinfect surfaces that may contain germs.
Use an environmentally friendly cleaning solution that cleans and disinfects to reduce or eliminate viruses, bacteria, and germs that may have been transferred from infected individuals. Wear rubber gloves and wash them with soap and water when you’re done.
Getting enough restful sleep enables your body to detox and restore optimal function. If daylight saving time (coming this Sunday!) throws your sleep routine off kilter, prepare in advance:
- Avoid coffee and alcohol four to six hours before bedtime.
- Don’t take long naps.
- Maintain a schedule for eating, socializing, exercising, and sleeping, or at least try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake the same time each morning.
- Go to bed 15 to 30 minutes early in the days leading up to daylight saving time, and one hour early the night before, to give your body time to adjust to the hour you are about to lose.
Keep in mind that your body has an incredibly effective immune system for attacking, destroying, and eliminating all sorts of pathogens — viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. We are constantly exposed to these pathogens and rarely become seriously ill from them thanks mostly to our immune system. Maintain your health, follow a few simple precautions, and don’t buy into the fear the media is selling.
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Disclaimer: The information in this blog post about Coronavirus is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect current medical thinking or practices. No information contained in this post should be construed as medical advice from the medical staff at Restoration Healthcare, Inc., nor is this post intended to be a substitute for medical counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate medical advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed medical professional in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.