As you probably know, my immune system is compromised. And I recently survived a severe case of pneumonia so no, this title is not an exaggeration. I am observing this global pandemic from a unique vantage point and here’s what I think:
1. The virus itself isn’t our biggest problem.
It’s running out of hospital beds, doctors, and medical supplies if too many of us get sick at the same time. Because we’re not testing fast enough the people who have it and don’t know it are stacking up and spreading it. We can help people beat it until the influx of cases exceeds our resources; then we’re in big trouble.
2. Bet on your immune system.
Treating your body kindly will help you fight coronavirus if you need to. Take your supplements. Take extra vitamin C- you can take as much as you want until your stool gets runny, then decrease the dose. Stay hydrated. Get enough sleep.
3. Check your microbiome.
It’s an elusive universe of good and bad bacteria that live in your gut. If the bad guys start to outweigh the good it will stress your immune system out. If you can afford it I highly recommend doing the Viome analysis. Just send in a stool sample and answer their questionnaires. One month later they send you a personalized dataset of what specific foods your gut loves, which ones fuel bad bugs, and how well your microbiome performs twenty different gut functions. It takes a while but why not stack the deck? This isn’t going away anytime soon.
4. Extreme reactions from civilians aren’t helpful.
This goes for denial on one side of the spectrum and hoarding a two year supply of toilet paper on the other. The virus is here. People are dead. It’s more contagious than the flu. Is it a terrible idea to have more cans of beans in your pantry until we get a grip on this? Probably not. But you don’t need to fill a shed with stuff.
5. Being hostile to fellow humans for being worried is not fair.
Without consistent, uncensored messaging from pandemic experts and scientists it’s very difficult to discern how bad this really is or will be. I’ve seen a lot of people- some that I know personally, some that I don’t- rage ranting about how we’re disgusting for not washing our hands before the virus hit or scolding us for checking multiple sources for information. We don’t have a clear, rational, national, plan, and your Facebook friends aren’t at fault for that.
6. We’re in this together.
By taking the basic precautions you’ve read about over and over again elsewhere you’re protecting vulnerable people like me just as much as you are looking out for yourself. I greatly appreciate your efforts.