Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the madness on the news about COVID-19 (a.k.a. Coronavirus). The media would have everyone believe that we are living in the end times and that we are all going to die from this terrible, horrible virus. People are panicking and stockpiling like a Catagory 5 hurricane is bearing down on us. The fear of people is palpable, and the media is eating it up.
What the media is NOT doing is giving any practical or rational information. So while they’re over there screaming about the sky falling, I’ve been doing a lot of research trying to gather the most factual information so that I can better prepare myself for what is to come. Because, no matter what side of this insanity you agree with (Team We’re All Gonna Die vs. Team It’s Far Less Scary Than the Flu), some things are certain: the Coronavirus will spread, people will get sick, some (but I am confident that not many compared to other illnesses) will die, and life as we know it will be shut down or drastically altered for at least a few months.
While I am not overly concerned about actually catching the Coronavirus, I am concerned about the effect the panic will have on our economy and the sanity of people in general. So I am doing a few things to prepare myself and my family for both a possible illness that may need to be treated, or a possible quarantine (whether self-induced or mandated) to keep us away from the crazies. Here are the steps my family is taking:
Rational and Practical Ways to Prepare for Coronavirus
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I honestly shouldn’t have to add this disclaimer, but, you know…lawyers. So, in case you were wondering, no, I am not a doctor. I am merely a really well-educated, research-obsessed, health freak with a lot of awesome opinions. Do not take any of this as medical advice, because that would be silly. If you are sick, see an actual doctor and get off the internet.
Boost Your Immunity
There is a great deal of evidence that shows high doses of Vitamin C kills viruses. There are also many studies that support the theory that high doses of Vitamin C are especially effective at preventing, or drastically reducing, incidents of viruses that cause upper respiratory distress (pneumonia). So we will all be taking high doses of Vitamin C from now on. The best type that I have found, that is the most bioavailable and better absorbed by your body is Liposomal-C. If you kids won’t drink that, this product is a good alternative for young children.
Elderberry syrup is a powerhouse for fighting colds and the flu. I think it’s safe to assume that anything that keeps the flu away will help to prevent another, less scary bug (like the Coronavirus, in my opinion). I find it’s easier to make my own using local honey (helps with allergies) and my Instant Pot (try this recipe). But if you’d prefer to buy some, it can be found in most grocery stores or online these days. I highly suggest making your own, though. It will be more potent and less expensive.
Seasonal Allergy Control
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, make sure you’re taking care of that now. What you don’t want is to have inflamed sinuses when a respiratory infection is going around. I can’t use over-the-counter allergy meds and, honestly, I don’t think they work as well as the natural stuff anyway. For adults, I recommend this natural antihistamine, and this one for kids. Also, elderberry syrup, if made with local honey, is fantastic for seasonal allergy relief.
When any of my family is feeling sick, or we’ve been exposed to illness, I always diffuse Young Living’s Thieves in my home. Essential oils are powerful at killing viruses in the air and on surfaces. Thieves is one of the best oils you can use for this. Not only do I diffuse it, I make my own cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer from it. If you buy no other oil for the rest of your life, I suggest you at least keep this one (or the concentrated cleaner) on hand. Even when there’s not a potential pandemic looming.
Your gut houses 70% of your immune system, so if it is out of whack, your immune system will not be at its best to fight off any infections you may be exposed to. Taking a good probiotic, eating gut healthy foods, eliminating processed foods and sugar from your diet, and reducing inflammation in your body are primary ways to heal your gut. Personally, I’ve been taking the “pink drink,” as well as a few other immune-boosting, gut-repairing supplements for almost a month now and my body has never felt better. You can look into these products here (or message me!) and I’ll be happy to tell you more about them (they also have amazing supplements for kiddos!).
Practice Good Hygiene
Wash your damn hands.
Seriously. You should have been doing this already, but I hope to Pete you’re doing it now. Wash them obsessively. And get your kids in on the action!
Stay home if you feel sick.
This should also be a common-sense given, but you know. People still go to work and send their kids to school when they’re sick, so it’s worth repeating. If you have any sort of fever, at all, whatsoever, STAY HOME. Cancel your ball game. Don’t go to the meeting. Work from home and keep your kids out of the classroom and away from other people. Don’t be a jerk.
Stock Up on What Matters
Listen, buying 40 tons of toilet paper isn’t going to stop this Coronavirus from coming. And yes, I understand that people are trying to prepare for a quarantine. But even if you are stuck in your house for a month, the amount of toilet paper people are buying is ludicrous. It’s getting to the point now where even when you legitamately need toilet paper, you can’t find any (as I discovered this morning so I ordered some from this awesome company with a really great charitable mission).
What you should really buy to prepare for a possible Coronavirus quarantine are these essentials (and you don’t need buy more than two-weeks’ worth of supplies):
- canned goods
- frozen foods (maybe meal prep a few casseroles or chili dishes to keep on hand)
- cleaning supplies (I highly recommend making your own with Thieves)
- household supplies (laundry detergent, diapers, tissues, toothpaste)
- water (only if you are unable to drink from the tap)
- any medications you take regularly
- any medications you’ll need to treat illness (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, neti pot, epsom salt for baths, etc.)
- pet food (if you have pets)
- essential immune-boosting foods (bone broth, fermented foods, kombucha, greek yogurt, healthy fats)
- vitamins and supplements you take regularly or for boosting your immunity
Avoid Large Crowds
Typically, I will avoid large crowds even if there’s not a scary overblown virus going around. But trying to avoid crowds when a bug is on the rampage is always a good idea. Especially if you are more at-risk, or live or are in close contact with someone more at-risk for catching COVID-19 (elderly, immunocompromised, those with lung issues, smokers).
Stop Stressing Out
Do you know that stress is one of the best ways to lower your body’s ability to fight off infection? When we are stressed, the body’s ability to fight off infections is reduced. The stress hormone corticosteroid lowers the number of lymphocytes (good white blood cells), thereby suppressing the effectiveness of the immune system. Stress can also have an indirect effect on the immune system when people use unhealthy coping mechanisms, like smoking and drinking, to deal with their anxiety.
One of the best things you can do in a situation like this is relax. I know, I know. Easier said than done, right? But let me assure you that this Coronavirus is not armageddon. This virus very well may affect our lives for a relatively short period of time. There will likely be a lot of sick people and probably some deaths. These are all things we know are likely to happen. Your worrying yourself sick about it is not going to serve you or anyone else, nor will it change anything.
Instead of stressing yourself out about COVID-19, try practicing calming yourself and reassuring yourself that, no matter what happens, you will more than likely come out of this okay. If you take the steps I’ve discussed here to boost your immune system, practice good hygiene, avoid crowds and practice lowering your stress levels, you will be doing everything you possibly can to prepare. There is nothing left to do but pray or meditate, trust God and your good sense, stop watching the bloody news, and wait with hopeful and rational hearts that this too shall pass.