The coronavirus is all over the news and these days, who knows what’s real vs. fake news? I’m a subscriber to the Franklin Institute of Integrative Health Sciences and on Friday, January 31, 2020, I attended their webinar regarding the facts we know (today) about the coronavirus.
It was a two hour webinar and my head was spinning with all the information the moderator gave. To say the least, it was interesting and enlightening.
One of my biggest takeaways about this epidemic is that the moderator said several times to stop watching mainstream news. She said that they don’t have all the information and they’re main goal is to get eyeballs. Not necessarily give you the facts.
She recommended visiting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website and the World Health Organization website. They’re the only ones (right now) who have access to the information you need. Both of these links will take you directly to the page on their respective websites with information on the coronavirus.
The second takeaway was that if you hear of anyone who says they have a “cure”, RUN. There are cruel people out there who choose to feed panic. There’s no known vaccine or cure as the coronavirus is novel – or brand new. Any type of vaccine is months if not years away and nothing has been approved by the FDA.
The third takeaway is huge: stop panicking. Illnesses like this have happened many times before in human history and we’re still here. Not every single human being on earth is susceptible to the coronavirus.
There’s already gossip and myths being spread which causes more panic. Here’s a link to the “Myth-Busters” page on the WHO website:
Here is the daily situation update page from WHO:
How Did It Start?
The coronavirus is a respiratory infection that is easily spread just like the flu. Here’s what the CDC says about the origins:
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China.
What I learned from the webinar is that it may not hit the United States (or other countries) as hard as it’s hit China for several reasons:
- Population factors. China has billions of people – we don’t.
- Sanitation. The US has fairly stable sanitation. Who knows what goes on in China?
- Air pollution. China is one of the worst places in the world for horrible air pollution which is a major factor in lung health.
- Healthcare. We really have no idea what the healthcare situation is in China because everything is a secret there.
An interesting factoid is that Europe will most likely fare much better than the United States because everyone there has access to healthcare. That’s not the case for the US.
Other factors include current state of health, age, race, occupation and similar demographics. Environmental, physical and social demographics play a huge role in health.
What Else Do We Know About The Coronavirus?
Early indications are that the virus is spread during the pre-symptom stage. Meaning that you may not realize you’re sick and if you cough or sneeze, the droplets are infected and spread it. Just like the flu.
Just like the flu, the coronavirus needs to reproduce inside a living host. That virus gets into your cells and forces itself to reproduce in your cells. If you’re healthy enough to fight off a virus, this isn’t a huge deal. If you are an infant, elderly, already sick or your immune system is compromised, you may be more susceptible.
As of January 26, 2020, China’s Director of Health is reporting an incubation period of 10 – 14 days. It may be a shorter time for some and a longer time for others.
The next few weeks will be critical for keeping track of how it spreads. That’s where The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control come in.
During the webinar, the moderator got word that the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a public health emergency.
Reports from China are saying that 20 – 25% of the cases are severe. That means that 75 – 80% of the cases fall into the same range as the flu. You and I both know the flu is miserable at best and can be deadly at its’ worst. The coronavirus is the exact same in that respect.
Here’s the thing about that statistic. The 75 – 80% of people who just feel lousy will still go to work, go to the grocery store, to the movies or whatever you do in your daily life. Because you don’t feel completely horrible and stay in bed, you go out and spread germs.
If you feel sick, stay home!
The strength of your personal immune system plays a huge part in if or when you get sick. The other thing to remember is that this is a brand new virus and there’s no herd immunity.
Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.
We’re in the middle of one of the worst flu seasons in a long time. You know what to do to help prevent the flu, but this is what the CDC says is practical:
- Wash your hands with plain soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.
- Don’t touch your face or any food with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately throw it away.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas such as doorknobs and light switches. While you’re at it, clean toys, ink pens and computer keyboards.
Let’s add getting enough water and rest along with managing your stress. I’m a huge believer in Elderberry extract for keeping your immune system in optimal health. I take it year round.
Pay attention and be aware, okay? Live your life. Just don’t fall for the “create fear and sell hope” marketing – go to the sources listed above for the information you need. I’ve already been notified that there most likely will be another webinar in the next few days with updated information – I’ll keep you posted.
I wish the best of health for each of you. I have tons of notes from the coronavirus webinar, so if you have any questions, please reach out through email or use this short contact form.