Whether it was engineered at a clandestine lab or it naturally emerged from interactions between animals and humans, the coronavirus will be with us for some time. While it might spread more akin to a drip-feed than surge, caution (not panic) is recommended, especially for those who are elderly or health-compromised.
The official name of the 2019 novel coronavirus is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The associated disease is known as COVID-19. Hundreds of scientists have confirmed that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. As of this writing, there is no vaccine or cure for the coronavirus.
A Few Facts About COVID-19
There are many conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, most of which are based on irrational thinking, political propaganda, fear, and racism. These theories cover a broad range of ideas, from “Bill Gates is using his man-made disease to reduce world population and to gain profit” to “it was created by Democrats to bring down Donald Trump.” Spreading this type of misinformation during a health crisis can be extremely dangerous, not to mention a waste of time. It might even prevent the weak and infected from seeking the help they need to live.
If you’re lost in the insanity weeds and would like to return to a noble and defensible reality, consider these facts:
COVID-19 is pneumonia of unknown cause, first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec 31, 2019, and is now reported to be in over 100 countries. Dozens of research scientists, labs, and companies have identified the genetic sequence of the coronavirus and are working on a vaccine.
Symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle pain, and feeling unusually tired with an incubation period between two and 14 days. Some cases include vomiting and diarrhea. The more extreme cases result in severe pneumonia and renal (kidney) failure, which can lead to death.
The virus can live and thrive for up to a full day on your kitchen counter, door handles, and other objects. It (so far) cannot sustain itself in the air for long. This means that unless someone spits, coughs, or sneezes in your direction, you might not be at risk. To some, the verdict is still out on this idea.
The coronavirus is an intense and deadly flu, far more dangerous than viruses from recent history, and nothing like the common cold. While preliminary reports state that COVID-19 results in five to 20 deaths per 1000 (depending on the source), the common cold does not have a mortality rate. Even if the virus ranges from one to five deaths per 1000, it’s a pandemic, which means the disease could spread to millions of people within a relatively short period.
A few weeks ago, China’s CDC reported that 2.3% of confirmed cases died, but this number could be misleading, as not all cases are reported. To date, of people age 80 and over, 14.8% have died. The fatality rate for people in their 50s is 1.3%, 0.4% for folks in their 40s, and 0.2% in people aged 10 to 39. As more data is reported and analyzed throughout the world, we will likely see a shift in these numbers.
Children tend not to die from the disease, but the elderly, and those with medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, and those who are societally disenfranchised, are far more vulnerable than other segments.
University of Nebraska’s Dr. Kevin Lawler, who’s received a bit of flack for his leaked presentation to hospitals, estimates there will be over 4.8 million total hospitalizations from the coronavirus, 96 million US cases, 480,000 deaths, and a flu season that’s 10X more severe than usual. While it’s important to understand the varying levels of potential risk, only time will tell.
Comparable flu statistics: For this flu season, which began in the fall of 2019, there have been 34 million flu diagnoses, 350,000 hospitalizations, and 20,000 deaths. Given the current trend of COVID-19, we can expect the coronavirus to exceed the flu by a factor of at least 3. Some say, when compared to the flu, COVID-19 could net 10-20X the results.
While holy roller Jim Bakker promotes the unproven idea that the consumption of silver or praying to Jesus will eradicate the coronavirus, keep your eyes glued on the data and scientific facts. There is a wealth of information available on the CDC and WHO websites.
Protecting Your Health
At some point, COVID-19 might become a slight or moderate threat to you and your family. Keep in mind that only you know what is best in terms of precaution and preparedness. As such, some of these ideas could be helpful to you and those you love:
- If you’re sick, stay home for the week. If you’re feeling a little “under the weather,” consider staying home for at least one day to see if your symptoms are escalating.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap for 20+ seconds.
- Wipe your phone with a disinfectant wipe at least twice per day.
- Regularly use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. You might consider researching how to make your own with aloe vera.
- Keep a personal towel (that only you use) to dry your hands, or dry them with a paper towel or air dryer.
- Do not directly touch or rub your eyes with your hands. Do not rub your lips, wipe your mouth with your hands, pick your teeth, or pick your nose. Keep your fingers away from your face.
- Limit your time in crowded places. Consider canceling group events and parties.
- Consider traveling by car or air, instead of by train. It’s best to prioritize your transportation modalities in this order: walk/bike, car, plane, then train.
- It might be best to avoid carpools during this time.
- Working from home during time is preferable. Consider replacing some of your regular business meetings with videoconferences.
- For a time, consider refraining from using holy water and other sacred ritual items at churches, temples, ashrams, mosques, ceremonies, and religious events.
- If you begin to display symptoms, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or paper towel so that you can protect others from also becoming sick. Consider wearing a mask.
- If someone is coughing or sneezing, and you’re not clear on what’s happening for them, to be safe, leave the room.
- Sleep at least 8 hours per night, exercise, eat healthy meals, meditate and pray.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Thoroughly wash vegetables before cooking or consuming.
- To give your health and immune system a boost, reduce your sugar intake.
- Frequently wipe down surfaces with disinfectant wipes.
- Avoid sharing personal items with others.
- Consider taking immune system boosters like Elderberry, Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Barley grass, and other superfoods to improve your immune system and energy, and give yourself a fighting chance.
- If you’re on any regular medication, try to source a few extra week’s supplies of prescriptions and antibiotics.
- For a time, replace handshakes, hugs, and kisses with waving, saluting, bowing, applauding, nodding the head, and winking. In general, avoid close contact with others. The safest bet is to keep a distance of at least 3 feet during this time.
- In crowded areas, consider temporarily wearing a simple N95 or N99 mask. For the sake of ensuring that hospitals have ample supply, refrain from hoarding masks.
- Create a separate, protected space for potentially sick household members.
- Keep apprised of your city’s plan to counteract the challenges surrounding the spread of disease and related emergencies.
- Don’t obsess over risks and fears; instead, focus on preparedness, preventive care, loving yourself and others, and staying healthy.
- To counterbalance potential drama and stress, find time to laugh, play, and pray with loved ones.
Prepping Your Home
When large populations become physically ill, there can be changes in local, state, and national operations. While it’s never helpful to panic, it can be advantageous to prepare (with limits). If some of these ideas are interesting to you, be thoughtful, methodical, and careful in your planning. While parts of this list might not be required at this time, if you live alone, a few of these ideas could save your life.
- Store an additional 1-month supply of food, including lots of vegetables, dried or frozen meats, meat alternatives, canned goods, and pickled eggs. Consider canning and jarring your favorite vegetables so that you never run out of nutrient-rich food.
- Consider storing 2 weeks’ worth of water, just in case something happens to your plumbing while you’re sick or in case there’s a temporary change in how local utilities function.
- In light of a possible power outage, have a collection of candles, flashlights, and batteries on hand.
- Stock 1-2 months of nonprescription drugs and other healing supplies, including vitamins (especially vitamin C), soothing herbs and lotions, cotton swabs, rubbing/disinfectant alcohol, herbal pain relievers, essential oils, stomach remedies, and cold medicines.
- Buy an advanced first aid kit.
- Source your health records from hospitals, doctors, chiropractors, dentists, and other health professionals. If possible, keep them handy and in printable formats.
- Have a backup plan for your video, streaming, and internet services. For example, you can have a Zoom account with a backup Skype account. Add a mobile hotspot to your phone line to remedy any temporary internet outages.
In all things, seek the best for yourself and your loved ones. Care for your friends and neighbors when you are able. While there are challenges ahead, this is a great time to pray, spend time alone, work on creative projects, start a home business, love-up your family, and curl up with a favorite book. As always, it’s best to refrain from fear and panic, while ever reaching toward peacefulness, forgiveness, and love.
From all the media hype and misinformation, and all the streams of helpful insights pouring into your social media feeds, you might simply choose to use the coronavirus as a provocation to improve one aspect of your life: your diet, your exercise regimen, your relationships, or your meditation and prayer practices. When we focus on happiness and personal improvement, we increase our vibrations and thereby improve our states of mind and health.
As humankind continues to massacre the earth and haunt its many creatures, we will see more challenges and viruses in the years ahead. Stay healthy, positive, and informed. Try to be prepared, while also loving, thriving, and living in the moment.
On a lighter note, you might enjoy this COVID-19 safety video from the Vietnam government, promoted by The World Health Organization.
For the latest and most accurate information, please visit the WHO and CDC websites. Always root for science – it’s our ally! Wishing you health and happiness, always!