Getting the panic out of COVID fears

Yes, we need to fear Covid-19. It’s no joke or conspiracy but we need to keep to basic facts to keep sane.

Humanity has survived viral attacks and pandemics for centuries. Viruses will always be with us. So, why are we not all attacked?

There are a few principles about viruses. When they attack the body there is a set of symptoms presented by the body which tells us that we are under viral attack. The set of symptoms will present differently for each viral attack. This is how we can label the virus.

Viruses don’t do anything, they’re effectively inert until they come into contact with a host cell. Then they switch on and come to life and start the replication process.

The first thing the cell will do when a virus is detected, it will release a protein to interfere with the virus’ replication. This is called the Immune Response. The cell can also try to shut down the compromised cell. In other words, turn off the life support of the cell and therefore the virus’ too.

The immune response happens all the time and we are not aware of how we are continually protected from viral attacks. Most times this is the end of the battle.

If the immune response is not successful and the virus has successfully locked onto a cell the virus starts to replicate. Then the cells call for reinforcements to try to defeat the viral infection. It’s at this point that a person may come down with a fever.

This step, the fever, is another attempt to kill the virus. High heat kills viruses.

All these responses can cause a lot of damage to the body, especially the lungs. This is the stage when we feel ill.

So what can we do?

Prevention is key. Prevention is better than cure. The three principles to keep viral attacks at bay are:

A strong immune system. This can be achieved by healthy eating – plenty of vitamin-packed vegetables and minerals, boosting Vit C. Cut out foods that drain the body with hard work like sugar, alcohol, high salt, and oil content. Exercises strengthen the heart muscle and lung capacity and help rid the body of toxins.

High heat is not practical daily but UV rays kill viruses. Sit out in the sun for at least 10 minutes a day. Hang your washing up outside and on hot days your pillows, mattresses, loose mats, etc. too.

Washing hands at the changeover of activity. For instance, after the bathroom, after cooking, after touching people, after driving, after shopping. If you have been out for the day have a shower to wash the day off.

Mask up. Masks reduce inhaling germs and exhaling yours. Masks must be changed at least every hour. Have a few with you if you are at work or in public for the day. The Chinese have been wearing masks in public for decades and it's something we should have done when we just had the flu virus to contend with.

Get vaccinated. This helps with the immune response and reduces viral load if you get infected. Still, keep to good hygiene principles and be considerate to people who have co-morbidities.

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