5 facts about COVID-19 that unplug the crazy
As flu hysteria transforms into coronavirus hysteria you’re probably asking how worried you should really be. I know I have. I mean there’s so much we still don’t know about this virus. Was it man made or naturally occuring? How far will it spread before we decode it? Is this something we can figure out with some knowledge of the immune system and a little intuition, or will this be the apocalyptic end of earth life as we know it?
Whenever I’m staring down the choice to panic or stay calm, I choose to save the panic for later and instead, dig into the facts. Here are 5 facts about COVID-19 that give me peace I can stand on. What follows is evidence-based research to help me (and you!) navigate these times with as much knowledge as possible.
FACT #1 – The annual flu takes 6 times more lives in the US each year than corona virus has taken worldwide.
So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 89,000 illnesses and 3,000 deaths worldwide. But that’s nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 32 million illnesses, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That just puts it into perspective. The part that gets people antsy is that among people who do get infected, the death rate appears to be 4 times higher with COVID-19 than influenza. But again, 95% of the deaths so far have come from rural China where emergency services are lacking and perhaps so are basic nutrients that keep the immune system running more optimally. When this is all over, the death rate (percentage of those infected who die) will likely be much lower outside of third world countries where education and services are more readily available.
Fact #2 – We’ve seen how the bell curves
As of March 13, 2020 the numbers of affected individuals in China have slowed way down, only 11 new cases in the last 24 hrs for a country with 5 times as many people as the US (same size of landmass). In another 2 months (the same amount of time it’s been spreading) Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan and US will also be exhaling, especially because we’ve taken more extreme measures to stop transmission of the virus. The response had more lag time in China, so we might hope to be far less affected. For daily Coronavirus situation reports from World Health Organization click here.
As of March 13, 2020, there are a little over 1300 cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the US. These include 3 people from Wuhan, China before the travel ban, and 45 people were repatriated to the US from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship. And now 1200 others not connected with travel. The swell is upon us folks. But with the super precautionary measures our government is taking we can anticipate cutting off the top of the wave of affected people by limiting exposure. And maybe even stop the spread sooner.
FACT #3 – We know the target demographic
The highest risk group are people over 80 years and those who have pre-existing medical conditions. These are people whose immune systems are beginning to wane, and they are the same people who are most susceptable to seasonal flu. And with this particular virus babies and pregnant moms are not at special risk as they are with influenza. For our aging loved ones we can take supportive measures to boost their immunity, not just against COVID-19, but any infection or illness and to feel their level best in their golden stage of life.
FACT #4 – Children, Mom’s and babies are not at higher risk.
There have been ZERO reported deaths in children 0-9 yrs old although thousands have been infected. Pregnant women also do not appear to be at greater risk for complications, though over a hundred pregnant women in Wuhan were infected and have successfully birthed their babies. These were all delivered C Section to avoid spread and no virus was found in the cord blood or breastmilk of infected mothers.
FACT #5 – We can learn from the past.
Sepsis is the condition that everyone who’s died of COVID-19 infection reaches before they succumb. Sepsis is a serious condition resulting from the virus (or other harmful microorganisms) permeating the bloodstream and spreading systemically to interfere with various organ systems shutting them down. And medically there are no traditional medical protocols that tackle it.
If someone I love contracts COVID-19 and develops sepsis I’d go full court press with Vitamin C IV treatments. These are possible to do in hospital with a doctor’s approval, but before my loved one reached that point I’d be strongly encouraging Vitamin C therapy at the first sign of illness. This intervention was found to significantly decrease mortality rates and prevent progressive organ failure in patients with sepsis in a 2016 study. In fact, patients treated with the vitamin C protocol had an 8.5% death rate compared with 40.4% in the control group. Vitamin C is a no brainer for fighting infection of any kind, but especially for sepsis.
BONUS FACT #6 – Knowledge Is Power, Experience Is Teaching Us
While we don’t know everything about Corona Virus 19, we do have 8 weeks of observation about how it moves and is transmitted, and how mildly those whose immune systems are strong are affected. There’s comfort knowing it has a gestation (2-19 days) and a lifespan we can sort of predict in the individual who’s affected. COVID-19 runs its course in about 2 weeks.
BONUS FACT #7 – We Know Our Front Line Of Defense
What brings me the most peace is the knowledge that 80% of the body’s defense against invading microbes occurs in the gut, an organ of the body with which we have a lot of sway. And I’ve had the incredible fortune of witnessing hundreds of people come back from debilitating infection, pain and sickness by hyper focusing on their gut health. You see, because of the guts power to fight against invaders in the air, food and water we take in, it’s really our best defense against any invasive species we’re exposed to. That knowledge brings me the most Peace of all. Watching for the signs that the gut microbiome is out of balance and then responding by giving the body what it needs to get back in integrity with it’s design is the BEST prevention I can imagine against COVID-19 or any other super-bug or mega-virus nature or man can create.
For an exhaustive review of every good thing to know about this epidemic of Corona Virus, I’m watching the status updates from World Health Organization and also recommend this exhaustive compilation of information from female MD and holistic Mom at HealthyKidsHappyKids.com.
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