Yesterday I sat down to write about maintaining a healthy immune system in the face of a new and unknown (to your immune system) virus. Instead I wandered off into a screed about how you’re being lied to, there’s nothing you can do about it, so control what you can.
That actually happens a lot, when I sit down to write. I have a plan to cover this topic or that, and before I can get to the topic to hand, something more fundamental interferes, and I wander down a different path.
Well, having covered:
- You’re being lied to
- There is nothing you can do to control this
- Stay inside your control
- Don’t let your fears about what’s outside your control take over.
Now, on to your immune system, and preparing it for the coronavirus.
First, there’s no immunization. Governments, pharmaceutical companies, research facilities, universities, everyone is going balls to the wall to develop one. In fact, a team of Israeli scientists have announced they’re very close to producing one. The problem is, it’s another 3 months before they can get through the regulatory process and bring it to market.
Second, what about antivirals?
Well, the story is similar to vaccines; for example Pfizer:
… has identified some antiviral compounds, already in development, with potential to block coronaviruses…
Still have to go through regulatory approval and clinical trials, but there’s promise there.
Furthermore, there are existing antivirals being tested for efficacy against coronavirus. F’rinstance the drug remdesivir is in clinical trials, along with others being tested in China.
Except clinical trials take time. Napoleon had a take on that:
Picture taken from azquotes.com
Do you have anywhere from 3 months to a year to wait for a vaccine?
Do you have several months to wait for an antiviral drug?
Well, I don’t. I live within an hour’s drive of one of the main coronavirus loci in North America. If this thing is as transmissible as the common cold or the flu, it’s not a question of if I’m going to be exposed, it’s a question of when.
So what to do?
First, don’t panic.
Without knowing, well, pretty much anything, the first thing is to not panic. Back to the poem “If”
If you can keep your head, when all about you
Are losing theirs…
Panic clouds the mind and ruins the thought process. Keep a clear head. Don’t panic.
Second, concentrate on what you can control. I can’t control my exposure. Someday soon, if it hasn’t happened already, I’ll be in close contact with a carrier. So what can I control?
I know the late night comics are having a rip snortingly funny time dunking on VP Pence. Oh, those terribly funny jokes about “Wash your hands and repent.” Well, guess what fuckwits, learning to wash your hands was one of the greatest leap forwards in human health and well being in history. Don’t believe me? Go read up on Ignaz Semmelweis.
You want to dunk on the VP because you don’t like his politics? Fine, go ahead, but you’ve got an audience of millions who for reasons unbeknownst to me, take you, stand up comedians, seriously. So, seriously, pull your heads out of your asses and WASH YOUR FUCKING HANDS. And don’t make light of one of the single most powerful things we can do for our health, you fucking simpletons.
Don’t believe me? Don’t believe Semmelweis? Then ask your doctor. Who washes his hands after every patient. And wash. Your. Hands.
As to your health, I summarized this yesterday:
- Eat healthy.
- Get the best sleep you can.
- Control your stress to the best level you can.
Bad food, poor sleep, high stress and a lack of exercise all contribute to lowered immune response. If your body is encountering a new virus for the first time, you want your immune system working at its highest possible level.
And finally, vitamin D.
I have a bunch of stuff semi-written on the topic of vitamin D. The stuff, simply put, is amazing, and you’re not getting enough. Well, it turns out “…that vitamin D really does protect against respiratory infections.” So up your vitamin D intake.
Anything you can do to keep calm and not panic? Do it.
Anything you can do to improve your health? Do it.
Anything you can do to lower your risk of exposure? Do it.
We still don’t really know what we’re dealing with here. That’s out of our control. So work to control that which you can control.