Understanding Virus Infections To Overcome Fear
Ignorance creates fear, which is further fuelled by the madness circulating in social media. One can see this happening with the recent Corona Virus. We must have the proper information to comprehend the situation enabling one to respond to it proactively and safeguard ourselves adequately.
So lets first understand what exactly is a virus. It is made up of a core of genetic material, either DNA or RNA, surrounded by a protective coat of protein. They are so small that 500 million of the common cold viruses could fit on the head of a pin. Viruses exist wherever there is life. At this very moment, your mobile phone or laptop keyboard is full of all kinds of viruses. But they can only become active or alive inside a living cell of any organism. If they happen to make way into our bodies, they enter into our cells. Once inside the cell, they hijack our cell’s machinery (genetic code) and start replicating itself with the help of our cell’s machinery. Once replication is completed, they burst out of the cell and repeat the replication in other cells of our cells.
By now, our immune defense system has sensed the presence of a foreign invader and gone into action. The symptoms of colds and flu of which we all are aware of are the physical manifestations of the immune response to infection. That is the fever, pain, decrease in appetite, motivation, fatigue, sleepiness, poor concentration. These symptoms in the body are all the result of our immune system’s response to overcome the infection to heal us! At high temperatures (fever), the virus cannot replicate itself easily. Sleep and lack of appetite help the body conserve energy to use it entirely on the immune defense activity to eliminate the invading virus. Viruses spread in many ways. Influenza viruses spread by coughing and sneezing. Norovirus and rotavirus, common causes of viral gastroenteritis, are transmitted by the fecal-oral route, passed by contact, and entering the body in food or water.
Recently we have seen the emergence of the novel coronavirus. The name “coronavirus” is derived from the Latin corona, meaning crown or halo, which refers to the characteristic appearance of the virus particles (virions): they have a fringe reminiscent of a royal crown or of the solar corona. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the viruses cause respiratory infections – including the common cold – which are typically mild. Rarer forms such as SARS, MERS, and the novel coronavirus causing the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak can be lethal. There are no vaccines or antiviral drugs that are approved for prevention or treatment. (*) I am sure by now you have a clearer picture of what we have to do to safeguard ourselves.
Common Sense Hygiene
The common entry routes for the virus being respiratory and oral route, hence ensure your hands are cleaned properly as unaware we can contaminate ourselves when we dig our nose, rub our eyes, put fingers in our mouths. Objects that are touched often by the public get contaminated easily like handles or knobs etc. Vapor in toilets can be a contamination source too. We are anyway cautious when anyone is coughing or sneezing right into our faces. The basic masks are perhaps more helpful in keeping our fingers at bay from our nostrils and mouth, as air anyway passes in through them. If one is not directly involved with treating sick persons, masks may generate unnecessary fear and panic, however, one must follow the latest guidleines issued by the government authorities Eating clean food and drinking clean water is essential.
Consume Foods Rich In Antioxidants
Fresh vegetables and fruits are a rich source of phytonutrients that provide support in the genesis of immune cells. They provide the necessary raw material for the production of ATP energy in all our trillions of cells. They have an active role in the modulation of our immune cells by effecting pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory signaling molecules as and when required. Cruciferous vegetables are a must for liver support to assist it in the process of detoxification and removal of all the debris from the immune response. Avoid all high glycemic refined junk foods, including sugar, which are highly inflammatory, putting an unnecessary burden on our immunity. Drink lots of water or herbal teas to help flush out the toxins residue. If constipated, we must address that first.
Gargling And Nasal Irrigation
Gargling and nasal irrigation, also known as neti done correctly, can help rinse debris or mucus from our nasal cavity. Humidifies and diffusers can assist in taking in phytonutrients via the nasal route. We must use only 100% pure essential oils of therapeutic grade. Adulterated oils can seriously affect our health negatively.
Regular Outdoor Walks and Yoga
Outdoor fresh air provides abundant oxygen without which our cells (immune cells too) cannot make energy needed to fight off or prevent the infections.
Adequate Quality Sleep
When we are in a deep sleep, our body’s energy is freed up to do the maintenance work of our immune system. Every day we wake up with our immune mechanism all primed up. No wonder when we have a few sleepless nights, we fall sick. For more on sleep, click here.
Quality Herbal Supplements And Bio-Active Vitamins
No supplements can replace our foods. But when we are unable to eat an optimally healthy diet or are overstressed, it becomes essential to supplement ourselves with pure and potent phytonutrient available via botanical extracts. They help prime up our body’s biochemical processes to keep our system functioning optimally including our immune defense system
I have mentioned this last as it is the most important factor affecting our immunity. Please address stress first before any other precautions. The body perceives any stress as life-threatening. So the fight or flight hormones adrenalin or epinephrine are released, which is followed by the hormone cortisol to counter stress. Now, as the body perceives stress as difficult times, which could mean famine, starvation, or a bullet chasing you, etc. This results in shutting off energy to your immunity and redirecting to your organs concerned with survival. Suboptimal immune protection is not going to help you stay safe from infections! I hope I was able to help you understand basic viral infections enabling you to take a proactive stance in warding them off. Meditation is a great tool to counter stress. Family and friends play an essential role in destressing ourselves.
However, please follow the necessary guidelines and instructions of your local governments and consult your health practitioner immediately if you are unwell and need medical attention.