The world is going through a health crisis, novel Corona Virus Disease (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2) widely known as COVID-19 which World Health Organisation (WHO) has characterized as a pandemic (a pandemic is a disease that has spread in multiple countries around the world, usually affecting a large number of people) currently affecting 166 countries and areas, with a total confirmed cases of 207855 today. However, there are many positive news as well, in China, the cases are significantly reduced, no local cases are reported today compared to 15152 new cases on 12/2/2020. Around 96% of affected people in China are recovered including a 103 years old woman. All this news from China confirm that this is possible to control, but we need to break the chain (of spreading).
Know the virus to no the virus:
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans including the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the most recent coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
It is the disease caused by Novel Corona Virus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Most patients have mild symptoms, however, 1 in 6 patients can become seriously ill, develop breathing problems, result in organ failure and can become fatal.
How long it will take to show the symptoms since I got the virus?
A scientific study suggests that average incubation (time between you got the virus and you develop the symptoms) is 5 days, however it can take up to 12 days to develop the disease after the initial exposure to the virus.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads from infected people via the droplets from their mouths or nose when coughing or sneezing. You can also be infected by touching the surfaces where these drops landed and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes. You may also get infected by breathing in those droplets. The risk of catching the virus from someone who doesn’t have any symptoms or through the air is very low.
What is the Risk of COVID-19?
A small study conducted in Wuhan suggests that the risk of death increases with age and is also higher for those who have diabetes disease, blood clotting problems, or have shown signs of sepsis.
Then do I need to panic about this virus?
Yes, there is no need to panic, and panicking is not going to help either. As COVID-19 is a new infection for mankind, we don’t have any immunity against it. That means almost anyone coming in contact with the virus is getting -although minor- infection. It becomes a problem when the majority of the community is infected together as the society freezes affecting social functioning and economy. Above that, definitely a portion of any community will fall under the risk group for COVID-19 requiring hospital care and for some it may become fatal. So, there is no doubt that we need to stop the spread of the virus.
How can I stop the spread of the Virus?
1. Personal hygiene
- As the virus spreads by touching the eyes, nose and mouth by hands contaminated by droplets from infected persons, frequent washing of hands and using hand sanitizers are crucial.
- Also, prevent the entry of virus by using a mask if you are taking care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Ensure other personal hygiene practices like washing hands before and after eating food, after using the toilet and so on.
- Ensure to cover your mouth with the bend of elbow or tissue.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, eyes and shared surfaces unnecessarily. Do not touch your face without handwashing.
2. Social distancing
As Coronavirus can enter the body by inhaling droplets from infected cases, it is important to maintain a distance of 1 meter from a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. As a protective measure, it is wise to avoid all unnecessary trips and gathering for the time being for the same purpose.
3. Improve immunity
Better your immunity, more you fight any diseases and infections including COVID-19. That means even if you get exposed to the virus, you will get only minimal symptoms and you recover quickly. Your immunity will be better if you follow a healthy lifestyle and diet. Ayurveda recommends adjusting your diet and lifestyle according to your body type and season. As this is Autumn in Australia, prefer warm health foods and drinks, gentle exercise, meditation, good night sleep can support your immunity. On top of that, you may boost your immunity by taking turmeric, ginger, Vitamin C and basil. There are Ayurvedic herbal combinations like Chyavanprash that are traditionally used for thousands of years to improve immunity. (Read more about improving your immunity and preventing flu here)
4. Address imbalances and existing conditions
Your immunity will be compromised if you are already suffering from an imbalance or disease. So, address your imbalances especially sinus problems, hay fever, postnasal drip, asthma to prevent the severity of COVID-19. Ayurveda says that sluggish metabolism supports the accumulation of phlegm making us vulnerable for respiratory and sinus diseases and infection. In the case of Corona, the risk is higher if you are suffering from diabetes and cardiac problems.
It is always wise to address any imbalances or your symptoms timely for better recovery and maintaining your health and immunity. Ayurveda recommends Seasonal detox to support well to maintain health and improve immunity.
5. Community health practices
Any infectious disease can only be controlled by adequate community health practices. AS Coronavirus is a community health crisis now, it is impossible to control it if the society didn’t act together.
- Follow the timely instructions and guidelines of health officials.
- If you are traveling listen and follow the instructions and guidelines of airport authorities.
- Avoid unnecessary panicking, but be vigilant.
- Maintain social isolation and quarantine if required (you will be guided by health officials if required).
- Maintain a safe distance (1 meter) from someone coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid unnecessary gathering.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces at home and work frequently.
What should I do if I have the symptoms of COVID-19?
- If you think you have symptoms of Coronavirus/ COVID-19 contact Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 for advice.
- If you didn’t come into contact with an infected person, the chances that your cold is from COVID-19 very low. However, if you suspect so, please seek medical help by informing them regarding your symptoms before so that they can make necessary arrangements to stop the exposure to others.
- Remember to wear a mask if you have symptoms of cold. Engage in self-isolation for 14 days and seek expert help immediately if you have breathing problems.
- You may take Ayurvedic and/ or herbal products to support mild to moderate symptoms as per the advice of your health practitioner.
I am feeling anxious about this virus, what to do?
Coronavirus is a comparatively gentle virus causing mild to moderate symptoms to 80% of the people affected without any need for hospital care. It is possible to stop the spread of the virus by practicing personal hygiene and community health practices. Also, when we think holistically, there are many blessings in this disguise. The world was going in an unsustainable speed consuming all the resources in an unstainable way. NASA already confirms that carbon emissions are better since the outbreak of Coronavirus. We are slowing down, taking a pause.
There is an increase in anxiety since the outbreak. Ayurveda recommends healthy routines, good night sleep, self-massage, and meditation to reduce anxiety. Seek help if needed. Take this time as an opportunity to practice slowing down and adding a healthy lifestyle of exercise, meditation, and quality me time. Practice daily so that it becomes your habit and you can continue even after the virus. Take this time to connect to your inner self, your close family and nature. May learn the skill you wanted to learn for so long, read that book you wanted to read for a while! Or simply sleep in until you wake up yourself without an alarm! (If you have an option to do so!!)
To conclude, there is no need to panic, together we will survive and come out of this crisis better.