Should you prepare to die? At this time, the likelihood that you will die from Coronavirus (CONVID-19) increasingly diminishes depending on the cumulative positive factors you have regarding your age, pre-existing conditions, where you live (country/state/city/suburbia/rural), where you travel, the amount of social contact you have, and what precautions you take.
Ever since CONVID-19 became widely known outside of china in December 2019, people around the world have become increasingly worried and, in some cases, have resorted to panicking. Although it is difficult not to panic when everyone around you is panicking, we need to look at the facts of where we were, where we are, and where we will be.
As important as the factors above are for you personally, science can help us look at the bigger picture. Two main considerations science is studying, are the basic reproduction number (R0), and the mortality rates. These two things will help guide the political decisions regarding testing, quarantines, and the suspension of guidelines that affect vaccine development etc.…
The R0 for CONVID-19 has been reported to be between 1.4- 6.4 with a mortality rate between 2.3 – 17.3. The differences are due to many factors which include but are not limited to; stage and time the calculations were made, the location they were taken from, and other factors such as whether people were quarantined or not.
What is a basic reproduction number (R0);
According to the CDC, “the basic reproduction number (R0…is intended to be an indicator of the contagiousness or transmissibility of infectious and parasitic agent)”. While the R0 can be a valuable indicator in determining how bad an epidemic/pandemic can be, “counting the number of cases of infection during an epidemic can be extremely difficult, even when public health officials use active surveillance and contact tracing to attempt to locate all infected persons.” (CDC)
What is a mortality rate;
According to Science Direct, the mortality rate is “the incidence of death in a certain time window, often given as an annual rate per 100,000” (Probability of Death).
“Mortality rate due to a given cause [CONVID-19, SARS, EBOLA] is a common and dramatic way of describing the impact of a disease in the population. In cohort studies where participants are followed for considerable lengths of time, disease-specific death rates could be calculated. Clinical trials may use survival/mortality as their primary outcome and compare mortality rates between the intervention and control populations.” (SCIENCE DIRECT)
What does this mean for you?
It is still too early to accurately segment out subsets of the population for either the R0 or the mortality rate except to say; it appears at this point the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are the most at risk. If you live inside the US or another first world country, you will fare better than if you live in a third world country. Other than that, you will need to take personal responsibility for your own health. As long as the R0 is above 1, the virus will continue to spread and the chances of you dying go up with each negative factor you have.
What should you do?
Although you do not have a great deal of influence on a macro level you can do some things at the micro level to help you and your family stay safe. It may seem very basic but you should boost your immunity before you come into contact with someone that is a carrier or presents for CONVID-19, you should limit your travel on mass transit, you should limit your social interaction with others, you should limit using communal restrooms, and you should use good hygiene practices.
If you or someone you are close to is presenting symptoms for CONVID-19, call you primary care provider or your local hospital for further direction.
How can you boost your immunity?
According to Harvard Medical School, “the idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response.” (HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL)
Furthermore, according to Harvard Medical School, there are some good-health guidelines you can take that can assist in improving your immune system such as: (HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL)
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Stay up to date with recommended immunizations.
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Restrict saturated fats and sugars to 10% of total calories. Minimize consumption of red and processed meats.
- Exercise regularly. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control your blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
Boosting your immune system with alternative medicine
According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating right is a critical step to ward off illness and you would do well to incorporate the following three vitamins into your diet: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E. (CLEVELAND CLINIC)
Medical News Today further states, “a strong immune system helps to keep a person healthy…the immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, these carry out bodily processes that fight off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease.” “When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them.” By eating foods such as; Blueberries, Dark Chocolate, Turmeric, Oily Fish, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Ginger, Garlic, Green Tea, Kefir, Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Oranges, and Red Peppers, you may be able to strengthen you immune response. (MEDICAL NEWS TODAY)
What am I doing personally to protect myself and my family?
I am personally taking echinacea supplements, using ginger root in my coffee and tea, using chaga tincture in my coffee and water, increasing my water intake, increasing my vitamin intake (multi-vitamin and vitamin e supplement), attempting to eat less processed foods and increasing my fruit, nut, and vegetable intake, moving more (being less sedentary even with sub-zero temperatures), trying to get at least eight hours of sleep, staying on a routine, minimizing my physical contact with others in social and work settings, limiting my travel (flights) to only what is absolutely necessary, stocking up with easy to make foods and staples such as soap, bleach, paper goods, water, alcohol, peroxide etc…, and mentally preparing for the possibility of a quarantine. There are other steps I may be currently taking or taking in the future regarding food, security, vehicles, relocation, etc… but that is for a different article.
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