Billions of dollars are being spent in the race to find a vaccine or even a cure for the Corona virus. Apparently over 70 possible vaccines are being worked on as I write. The consensus seems to be that it will be well over a year before we have a reliable vaccine, and even then it may be longer until it can be produced in quantity and deemed safe to use. It may also prove difficult to create an effective vaccine as there are several different strains of the virus. The opinion of many scientists is that we are going to experience more pandemics of this nature in the future. With all this in mind it would seem that we are going to have to find a way to live with this virus, and any others that come along, in the best way we can.
Countries are now starting to think how and when they can bring their populations out of ‘lockdown’. I live in France and this is the first day of our ‘release’ into the wider world! Many people are understandably fearful about venturing out in case they come into contact with Corona virus and this lead me to look at what we can do to look after ourselves while we wait for a vaccine to be developed.
Although there is much we don’t know about the Covid 19 virus, there are several things that we do know. Firstly, we know that several factors put people at increased risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from it. These are older age, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, lung disease, cancer and having darker skin.
The reason age is such is factor is possibly because older people tend to have one or more of the above conditions and that we are all ‘in a process’ of dying so it would make sense that older bodies would potentially be less able to cope with the additional stress of a viral infection.
High blood pressure, obesity, maturity onset diabetes (Type 2 diabetes), lung disease and cancer are diseases that are often the result of our lifestyles and/or our environments. I am not saying that they are exclusively the result of lifestyle and environment, but these are recognised to be major factors in these illnesses.
There is some good news in this because it means that it is in our power to do something to reduce our chances of contracting viral infections. There are actions that we can take without having to wait for drug companies and scientists to come up with possible solutions. If ever there was a time to take our health seriously this is it! The healthier we are, the stronger our immune systems will be, and the less likely we will be to contract a virus, or if we do contract one, then the more likely we will be to fight it off without becoming seriously ill.
Before continuing, I want to come back to the risk factor of having a darker skin. People with darker skin, living in northern Europe and the UK particularly, have a higher risk of dying from Corona virus. Although not widely discussed in the mainstream media, it looks as if this could be due to a lack of vitamin D. Darker skin is unable to absorb as much vitamin D as light skin and so many people with dark skin who live in northern Europe have a vitamin D deficiency that they are unaware of. Vitamin D is vital for a strong, balanced immune system.
‘In 2009, the National Institute of Health warned that low vitamin D levels are associated with frequent colds and influenza. (CDC. Influenza (flu): the flu season. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm. Accessed May 13, 2019.)
With all this in mind here are some suggestions of actions we can decide to take to reduce our chances of contracting viruses.
1. Get to know our true nature: Go outside! We are nature and yet for years the trend has been to think that we are in some way above, and even in control of nature. One thing Corona virus has taught us is that we are not in control of everything! With the knowledge that we are part of nature maybe it’s time for us to get closer to ‘ourselves’ and to get to know nature better. There are so many health benefits to spending time outside. We could create a garden, go for a walk, sit, meditate, eat, drink, even sleep outside and most important of all observe and see what we can learn from nature.
2. Go outside again and uncover! We all need to ensure that we have healthy levels of vitamin D. This is made by the action of sunlight on our skin. We can therefore protect our immune systems by ensuring that we regularly expose our skin to the sun. The message of the last 20 years has been to cover up and to apply sun cream. Of course we don’t want to burn and damage the skin, but we do need some sun on it. (Have your vitamin D level checked if possible as many people are not making enough.) It is possible to take supplements of Vitamin D and these are not expensive. Vitamin D supplements need to be taken with Vitamin K so that the body can utilize it properly. It is recommended that a supplement of Vitamin K2 is beneficial regardless of whether our Vitamin D levels are low as many of us are low in Potassium. (K2)
3. Meditation: Stop! We need to take some time every day to do nothing, to sit, to breathe, to be still. We can begin with as little as 5 minutes and build it up. This has been proven to be of great benefit to our health.
4. Exercise: Just do more! We need to move our bodies and get them to be stronger, more flexible and generally healthier overall!
5. Re-evaluate our diet. We need to eat more organic or locally grown food, with the bulk of our diet consisting of vegetables and fruit. We also need to reduce the amount of processed food, meat and dairy and particularly reduce the amount of refined sugar that we consume. (It would be advisable to remove sugar completely from our diet as it contributes to causing the conditions that increase our risk of becoming seriously ill – and many more illnesses too!)
6. Sleep: Get to bed early! Sleep is extremely important for our bodies and is often something that gets ‘squeezed’ in our bid to keep up with a busy schedule. This is the time when our bodies repair, remove dead cells and heal. Rest has been overlooked as an important aspect of caring for ourselves. We need to move rest up our agendas!
Nature, Outside, Meditation, Exercise, Diet & Sleep. (N.O.M.E.D.S.)
The above suggestions are not complicated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are simple! I know the challenges of trying to eat healthily and exercise regularly, but surely if we need a motivating factor this is the time? I feel there is far too little emphasis in the mainstream media about what we can do to help ourselves and it is almost ‘impolite’ to suggest that we cause much of our own illness, but there is nothing to gain by ignoring the obvious and everything to gain by rising to the challenge! Times are changing quickly and there may not always be someone there to ‘mend us’, but we are capable of amazing things when we put our minds to it!