The word crisis (危機) in Japanese uses the same character as used in the words danger and opportunity. Japanese people are pretty good at finding ways to find opportunities when things turn bad. I am thinking about opportunities as in our ability to make major positive changes in the way we live, the way we approach life in material and spiritual ways.
It may certainly feel like we are fighting an invisible deadly enemy, told to stay home and be afraid for our health and of others who may have already contracted this influenza virus. Some are struggling to put food on the table, experiencing layoffs from work, student loan debt, navigating the prospect of homeschooling on top of an already busy life up to now. We need to acknowledge these feelings and recognize we have much in common together.
My intention with this article is to give some thoughts around what we can do now and in the future, a competing perspective, one that could hopefully benefit you and your family and give back some power to you over the feelings of fear, worry, and despair.
Virology is a really complicated topic of which I am convinced no-one truly understands. A science (like all sciences) that is always changing, especially as we learn about new advances in the human microbiome. Like health, medicine and diet there is no one size fits all solution for anything.
This Covid-19 influenza virus seems particularly virulent and quite contagious however less contagious than SARS, mumps, and measles (in that order). It has some unusual characteristics not seen before in other SARS or Corona virus related influenza-like way Covid-19 attacks the lung cells and how it can quietly infect people with little to no symptoms for days or weeks. The other concerning issue with Covid-19 is the number of cases of cardiomyopathy (hardening of the heart muscle) that is showing up in some of the related deaths. Older people and some with underlying health conditions may not be able to regenerate lung cells fast enough as the disease continues to inflame and damage the lungs and heart cells tissue. Still much is unknown about this virus and researchers are working hard to learn more.
Corona (crown-shaped) type viruses (Covid-19 and SARS) are numerous, I understand they have identified around one hundred coronaviruses and that there are many more still unsequenced.
There is some speculation on whether Covid-19 was born of zoonosis (bacteria, viruses, or parasites that spread from animals to humans) or if it was an intentional accident.
Either way, I believe we may see more of this type of virus and it may be time to develop some strategies that can help us overcome this and the next outbreak.
While I understand physical distancing is a possible yet unproven strategy, I question why others just as important measures are not being openly discussed.
On the topic of physical distancing, authorities are asking people not to leave their homes, some individuals are begging the government to impose medical martial law which I would highly discourage against. I am concerned that a well-published fact that Vitamin D deficiency will create an immunodeficiency that leads to a greater susceptibility to influenza.
If you are not getting full-spectrum sunlight at least supplement with Vitamin D. Please continue to get fresh air and sunlight when safe to do so.
The request for individuals to stay inside can be also a further concern with the use of toxic industrial petrochemical-based cleaners, it is estimated that many toxic cleaners are equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes based on the VOC (Volatile Organic Chemicals) measured in the air. Be mindful of powerful disinfectants and cleaners in your home.
Be sure to learn from my new friend Emma Rohman with Green at Home - check out her article on this topic. https://greenathome.ca/how-to-prevent-covid-19-naturally/
With the mention of Vitamin D, There is certainly a nutritional piece to the preparedness that I have not heard being discussed much. Eat as healthy as possible, keep moving - exercise, get good sleep and try your best to reduce stress.
It comes down to a mindset of finding positive in every situation. Cherish each moment and try to live in the moment fully, try to avoid repetitive or looping thoughts or worry about future perceived happenings (learning from Eckhart Tolle can really pay off now).
Vitamin C is huge in fighting off influenza infection and has been used in China very successfully via high dose intravenous for critically ill coronavirus patients. Even showing a remarkable recovery in a few hours. Generally consume more foods that contain Vit C - food that you enjoy, oranges, kiwi fruit, green tea etc. Where we live I can see rhubarb starting to come up, what else can you find locally that is full of Vitamin C? Some recommend liposomal vitamin C supplementation as you can take higher dosages without having bowel issues. For my family, we usually just stick with the vitamin powders from EnerC they contain 1g of Vitamin C per pack.
Quercetin is a natural health product, a flavonoid antioxidant found in deeply colored, nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables like broccoli, elderberry.
The potential for Quercetin to be effective against influenza strains was brought to my attention by Dr. Andrew Tait @taitlab a Ph.D. Chemist with an extensive virus-related studies background.
Quercetin is used for seasonal allergies, inflammatory health conditions, skin problems, heart health, prostatitis, pain reduction and it may also improve energy and endurance.
Quercetin being a broad-spectrum anti-viral medicine has already proven successful at treating Ebola and Zika viruses. Studies on quercetin's antiviral activity show it is successful because it can Inhibit the virus’ ability to infect cells and to Inhibit replication of already infected cells. More research is underway by some amazing Canadian scientists in Monreal - https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/a-made-in-canada-solution-to-the-coronavirus-outbreak/
Other nutritional considerations - try to get as a food source where possible.
Green Tea or particularly matcha (contains the highest quantity antioxidant EGCG, potent antiviral catechin).
Black tea - pu'-er (inhibits SARS-CoV 3C like Protease Activity with Theaflvin 3,3-digallate (TF3)
Curcumin is an active component of turmeric root, that can inhibit several viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), influenza A virus, noroviruses, herpesviruses and hepatitis viruses . Although curcumin has not been directly tested on COVID-19 curcumin could prevent COVID-19 and alleviate its symptoms, including "cytokine storm". The major target of curcumin is an enzyme called glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3).
Elderberry extract — Known to shorten influenza duration by two to four days and reduce the severity of the flu.
Spirulina — Reduces the severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. In a human trial, spirulina significantly lowered the viral load in patients with HIV infection
Beta-glucan (found in mushrooms, oats, and barley) — Reduces the severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies
Selenium (one of the best sources is Brazil nuts) - deficiency increases the rate at which viruses can mutate.
Zinc — (nuts and seed, dark chocolate, mushrooms, legumes)Zinc has been shown to inhibit coronavirus in vitro and block coronavirus replication in cell culture.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) — Encourages glutathione production, thins mucus, lowers your chances of influenza infection and reduces your risk of developing severe bronchitis
Traditional Chinese Medicine - not often mentioned here in the West, TCM herbal medicine has been part of a complementary strategy for the treatment of coronavirus (and other infectious outbreaks) in China. 85% of all coronavirus patients in China (about 60,000 people) had received herbal remedies alongside mainstream antiviral drugs, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The main formulas are listed below and are based on patient symptoms.
The first two were used successfully during the SARS epidemic in 2004
- Jade Windscreen Formula (Astragalus, White Atratylotus Rhizome and Ledebouriella Root)
- Honeysuckle and Forsythia formula
- Mulberry leaf and Chrysanthemum Flower formula
- Minor Bupleurum Formula
- Bupleurum and Cinnamon Formula
- Astragalus and Ligustrum Formula
Avoid the flu shot - This topic is especially worrisome as many health care workers are mandated to get the flu shot every year. The flu shot increases coronavirus risk by 36%. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31607599
This is apparently due to something I had no idea about called original antigenic sin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_antigenic_sin
It also seems like any discussion about Covid-19 would be incomplete without the mention of toilet paper. If you have money to burn, buy one of the fancy bidets from Japan that will wash and dry your best bits while heating the seat.
If you are like me, a small business owner, consider one of these, no electricity needed - usually, they are $40-$60 CAD - seems to have jumped up in price or unavailable at the moment. You will need some toilet paper with these but a fraction of what you have used before. A bidet is much cleaner and hygienic. I would highly recommend putting this item on your list.
Disclaimer: I am not a Western Doctor and not an Institutional Researcher. Please question everything and form your own opinions.
In health -Warren