This special edition of the Create Vibrant Health (CVH) blog is in response to many requests from concerned clients and CVH community members. I’ve received emails and calls from folks asking me for the low-down on the coronavirus strain COVID-19 from a Wild World, Joyful Heart perspective—as the world feels pretty wild right now to most of us. I wrote about this in the February 4th blog, when we were only a few weeks into COVID-19’s spread. Now that we are further in, let’s explore a bit more in-depth together.
So here we go. I’ve committed to providing you with deep and wide information in a condensed format, so grab a mug o’ tea and get ready for a longer read than usual. Ready?
Most importantly: Don’t Panic.
The most important thing right now is boosting your immune system, and stress is absolutely terrible for your immunity. Further, there’s no need to panic.
Why is there no need to panic? COVID-19 has just been officially named a pandemic!
Because panic almost always makes situations worse, and it doesn’t solve problems.
Yes, statistically it is indeed a pandemic, which simply means that an epidemic (a localized spread of germs) is now affecting a wide area of the globe. The downside of the 21st century’s ease-of-travel means that viruses and bacteria have an easy route to find more humans to live in.
Okay, okay. So let’s say I’m not panicking, but I’m concerned. Should I be concerned?
Concerned, aware and playing a good offense are normal and healthy responses to this type of situation. And, the statistics from China and South Korea clearly show that this particular virus is very hard on the older segments of the population (60-69 seems to be where the mortality statistics bump up, with 70+ being the red zone). Older folks tend to have less robust immune systems.
So if you’re in those age groups, or are immune-compromised, be particularly mindful about frequent hand-washing and avoid groups of people if possible. Particularly in the areas where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. And follow the recommendations coming up below.
But wait. How come some states have declared a state of emergency? Isn’t that kindof a big deal?
Again: concerned, aware and playing a good offense—for states too. The states of California, Washington, New York and Massachusetts (my home state) are where most of the infection action has been thus far, which makes sense as they are main hubs for international flights. Other states have declared a state of emergency, too.
Declaring a state of emergency sounds alarming, and is indeed reserved for serious situations. However, the main push here is tactical: it allows states to get federal aid and it allows governors to skirt around certain federal and state laws, allowing decisions to be made in the best interest of their population without going through federal bureaucracy. It’s a good offense. It doesn’t mean that everyone is dying or is going to die.
But lots of people are going to die, right?
We don’t have enough data right now to speak with confidence about that. Some will die, but statistically a small number. Calculating mortality rates during a disease epidemic is fraught with inaccuracies; the data is a moving target and many cases won’t be reported and/or detected. This tends to inflate mortality rates. Again, the older population, and immune-challenged folks, are definitely at risk if they come into contact with COVID-19. Right now, it’s clear that lots of people will get sick, for sure. And then the vast majority of them will get better, like with the flu or the cold.
They will get better because this is a virus that a healthy immune system can take care of. No, this is not like the Bubonic Plague in the 1300’s that killed 75-200 million people. That was a bacteria, not a virus, and we didn’t have antibiotics yet and we didn’t understand how germs spread and the whole thing was a big mess. This isn’t like that. Let’s look at some stats, and get clear on what’s possible with stats, to get some perspective.
At the time of this writing, there are cases in 125 countries, with Africa being the least hard hit thus far. (But they’re having a whole ‘nother issue with hundreds of billions of locusts. Which is a very big deal for our human family in Africa.) Back to COVID-19. The run-of-the-mill flu kills 650,000 people annually, worldwide, with a death rate of about 0.1%. COVID-19 has 130,324 confirmed cases worldwide and 4,757 deaths in just under two months, which seemingly puts the death rate at roughly 3.65%. But as I mentioned earlier, this is not accurate and an accurate number cannot be ascertained. So it’s best to look at that as the very outside maximum of what’s likely.
It definitely seems to be more lethal for older people, while many folks who contract it have no symptoms at all or only mild symptoms. Which is tricky, of course, because they may not realize they have it and be out and about with their germs.
How can that be? How can some people walk around feeling nothing, while others die?
One phrase: Their Immune System.
And shortly we’re going to talk a lot about our immune system, because it’s really THE only thing we can/should focus on right now, as individuals.
Why do you say, “As individuals?”
Like I talk about in Wild World, Joyful Heart, we are interrelated. Right now, we have individual concerns like, “Am I going to get sick? Will I get better? I don’t like working from home. What can I do for myself and my family?” Then there are the national/global concerns like, “How long will the stock market take to recover? How will this affect the global economy? How can we manage the number of people that will be out of work while we try to contain this? Will there be scores of bankruptcies? How can we slow the spread of this bugger so it doesn’t overwhelm our already-struggling healthcare system?”
All good questions. And I have some thoughts on some of them. Not the economic ones, as I’m most certainly not an expert in those areas. But I do think they’re worth pointing out. Because most of us are going to come out of this fine, from a health perspective. So getting wrapped up in life-or-death fear around our imminent mortality in conjunction with COVID-19 is a waste of our precious mental energy.
Okay. So do I just move on with “life as usual?”
That will be challenging. First off, a lot of businesses are being affected and, as you’ve likely noticed, large gatherings are being cancelled or postponed—conferences, cruises, NBA games. Disneyland is closing. Broadway is quiet. Also, a lot of folks are self-quarantining. Not full-out, but drastically minimizing their contact with others…working from home, eating at home, skipping the gym for a while, etc. And, believe it or not, this isn’t ridiculous.
Hm. It surprises me you’d say that. Tell me more.
We do need to slow the spread of COVID-19 or it will completely overwhelm our hospitals. Experts are saying that 40-70% of the world population will be infected with COVID-19 over the next year or so. (No, this isn’t likely going to “all be over” in the next few weeks…or months.) If we pick the conservative end of that range (40%), that means 130 million folks in the U.S. are statistically expected to get sick.
The experiences of other countries with this virus has shown that about 10-15% of people that get sick with COVID-19 end up needing to go to the hospital. That would mean 13-20 million U.S. folks would need a hospital bed. Of which we (in the U.S.) have 924,000. And most of them already have people in them.
SO, it’s important that we slow down how quickly COVID-19 spreads, so that supporting folks who are in need of short-term COVID-19 urgent care (think: ventilator, IV, etc.) is more do-able. It’s not just about us, individually. It rarely is. We are best served by thinking more en masse.
The truth is, we have no idea what’s going to happen. We never do. We postulate and do statistical analysis and consult with experts to do an educated guess. And, worrying about it certainly won’t change anything, other than changing your immune strength for the worse, so this may be a great time to take up meditation. I’m not kidding.
Are there specific things I can do to boost my immunity?
I thought you’d never ask! You bet there is. I’m going to list the main hitters that are great for everyone and are front-line offense.
Before I get into that, two things:
- A beautiful thing about my work with people on their health and well-being is that my business model is virtual—I “meet” with people on the phone, nationwide. So, if you’d like more than is listed below, or maybe something more individual, for the near future I’m offering 45-minute COVID-19 phone appointments for $147. EMAIL ME and we’ll get it scheduled.
- Now is a REALLY good time to do a 21-day cleanse. Reducing your toxic load, cleaning up your food lifestyle, and allowing your biology to strengthen and re-set is great offense against getting sick. And if you DO get sick, your body will be stronger with amped up immunity as a result of your 21-day Body Sass® Cleanse. You can register HERE.
Got it. I’m ready for some Body Sass® Immune Mojo now!
Me too. Again, avoiding contagious disease is all about healthy, strong immunity; avoiding COVID-19—and healing from it more quickly—is no exception.
Top 8 Ways to Boost Immunity
and Kick COVID-19’s Ass
- Get 7.5+ hours of quality, restful sleep each night. More on that HERE and HERE.
- Manage stress. Deep breathing, meditation (like THIS or THIS) and focusing on what’s right instead of what’s wrong.
- Exercise! Not necessarily in a gym. Walking, hiking or any outdoor activity gives us movement, fresh air, and sunlight.
- Drink 80+ oz. of water per day. Herbal tea counts. Soda doesn’t.
- Limit caffeine, and don’t have it after 10am. (Find out why HERE.)
- Refrain from alcohol, and if you decide to have a cocktail, have it 4+ hours before bed.
- Restrict sugar and empty carb intake. No more than 32 grams of added sugar per day.
- Adopt a Food Sass® Lifestyle. Rich in veggies, including plenty of dark, leafy greens, herbs like fresh parsley, onions and garlic. Mushrooms. Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, pastured butter and avocado oil. Clean protein like wild-caught fish, organic chicken, legumes, nuts and seeds. The old 80/20 rule says eat 80% Food Sass® and 20% non-health-building foods.
You can also consider supplements that boost immunity, such as a mushroom complex, astragalus (an herb), echinacea (an herb), probiotics, vitamin D (6,000+ IUs/day), and vitamin C (in it’s whole state).
And, finally, this isn’t an immune-booster, it’s an offensive strategy all its own:
Wash your hands, with plain ole soap and water, a lot. Anytime you come into contact with areas that may be germy. Like the supermarket or the cardio equipment at the gym. Wash for 20 seconds. I like to do the “hum the happy birthday song” routine to keep me honest. I have to hum it twice through to get to 20 seconds.
So that’s it? I don’t need to dig out a hole in the ground to live in?
No. Remember: concerned, aware and playing a good offense. Know that things are going to be different in everyday life, likely for a while. There will be a significant ripple effect as this all plays out, as we’ve seen in our stock market, for instance. You may get sick, but unless you are immune-compromised, you may not get very sick and you will very likely get better. Which is always true.
Breathe. Keep abreast of the news, but don’t over-indulge. Hearing about this 24/7 will get most anyone freaked out! World fear is a contagion that spreads far faster than any virus. And it distorts things and we act irrationally, and often not in our best interest.
Take care of your body and mind, and find ways to live joyfully amidst the seeming chaos. Remember from Wild World, Joyful Heart: resisting what IS will almost always lead to stress and unhappiness. And if you haven’t read that book yet, this is a GREAT time to do it. This kind of Wild-World feeling is exactly why I wrote this book. Reportedly, the audiobook version is especially delightful. When the world feels wild, that is the exact perfect time to cultivate your joyful heart. COVID-19 or no COVID-19.
Please feel free to comment or chime in, in the comment section below. And if this resonated with you, please share the link with others. A lot of folks are scared and reacting to misinformation right now—let’s send them some sanity!
I remain, as always, in service of your BodyMindSpirit.
With love, sanity and Body Sass®,