Although there is currently a vaccination programme for Covid-19 being rolled out in the UK and USA, it is important to remember that we do all have a degree of control over our health if and when we understand what is going on! I’m writing this because so many people have been disempowered by the narrative that ‘there is no cure’ and that we are totally dependent upon a vaccine being produced. I believe this to be a dangerous premise, firstly because if the vaccinations are not as effective as hoped, then there will be utter panic and fear. Secondly because Covid-19 is one of many viruses and will probably not be the last to form a pandemic, so we MUST ALL give our body a chance to defend itself. In this article, I hope to offer some insight and advice as to how we can all do that.
Firstly, let’s get Covid-19 into perspective.
Coronavirus is a kind of ‘family name’ for different strains of one virus. Most of these stains are relatively harmless, but there are 3 which are much more serious. The first SARS-Cov stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and it was first recognized in 2002 but there have been no further cases since 2004. SARS spread over 24 countries and infected 8098 people with 774 deaths which is a mortality rate of 9.6%. It seems to have originated in bats then on to civet cats and thence to humans.
The second, MERS-Cov is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and originated in Jordan in April 2012 (although did not come to light until September 2012 in Saudi Arabia). This extremely severe strain was mainly limited to countries around the Arabian Peninsula and although ony 2494 cases were reported, there were a staggering 858 fatalities meaning a mortality rate of 34%. The disease seems to have been transmitted to humans from dromedaries.
The third strain is SARS-Cov-2 which has become known as Coronavirus 2019 or Covid-19. This strain shares 80% of the SARS-Cov genome, but has spread around the world to such an extent that the World Health Organization had to declare it a pandemic in April 2019. As of December 2020 there have been 72,736,872 reported cases, but this is still increasing daily and 0.5% are classified as ‘serious or critically ill’. There are currently 1,620,664 reported deaths, which is also sadly still increasing at the time of writing.
External Protection against Covid-19.
- Wearing a face mask to reduce the number of virus droplets in the air.
- Regular hand-washing
- Avoid touching the face, mouth and nose.
- Limit contact with other people in confined spaces.
Your Internal Protection against Covid-19
Mucosal Immune System
Because the virus is airborne, it will enter our body primarily through the nose and mouth, so our front line of defence is the layer of mucus that lines our airways. Anyone who gets hay fever each sprint is familiar with this natural response wen the body recognizes pollen as a ‘pathogen’. The mucus is formed as a barrier that prevents the virus from entering our system and the particles are trapped then sneezed out of the body.
Seretory IgA – ‘Homeland Security’
The next layer of defence is called Secretory IgA (SIgA) which is an immunoglobulin antigen that looks like a Y-shape with its hands extended like a catchers mit to catch the virus, hold onto it and physically escort it out of the body.
Levels of SigA can be measured using a very simple saliva test or stool sample that can be done at home. If levels are elevated, we know that the front line of your defence has been activated to fight something off.
The health of these two ‘early warning systems’ is governed by your diet and lifestyle. If you eat a poor diet that is full of preservatives and chemicals such as MSG, then your body is already fighting harmful substances. Likewise, if you are in an area that has high pollution levels, then your front line of defence is already working at a consistently strained level every day to protect your respiratory system, so coming into contact with any other airborne pathogen, especially one as virulent as Covid-19 is going to put tremendous strain on an already taxed immune system, which is why so many people are experiencing more serious symptoms than the common cold.
People with a healthy mucosal layer coupled with high levels of SIgA are far less likely to develop symptoms of Coronavirus.
If the Coronavirus is able to penetrate these layers, then it reaches the epithelial cells, infects them and uses the nutrients from that cell to replicate itself and spread around the whole body. If this process continues, symptoms will begin to develop after a few days, particularly if the virus is in the lungs because as the lung cells are destroyed, breathing becomes difficult.
Third Layer of Defence – Killer Cells
Even if the virus gets past the mucus layer, past the SIgA and begins to destroy the cells, not everyone will show symptoms of the virus because there is a third layer of defence: Killer Cells. These cells prevent the virus from replicating by destroying the virally infected cells thereby depriving the virus of the nutrients it feeds upon.
What you can do to strengthen the mucus layer, increase SIgA levels and Increase Natural Killer Cells.
- Eat a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet
- Find ways to reduce your stress levels – Stress is definitely an ally of Covid-19.
- Moderate exercise and daily walking will enhance your immune system and help to flush out toxins.
- Home-made chicken soup with added shitake and miatake mushrooms (which have been proven to increase natural killer cells).
- Drink green tea
- Steam inhallations
- Herbal remedies including astragalus and various mushrooms to enhance natural killer cells.
Finally, and the main reason for me writing this article, try not to allow yourself to be consumed by fear! Fear does not only stress you on the outside, but it also causes internal stress and has a negative impact on your immune system. Avoid being drawn into the TV and News items – good news does not make the headlines, so you can get a one-sided view of reality. There IS a lot you can do to protect your physical and mental health as well as your immunity from the current pandemic and any future viruses that get out of control. When treated right, your body has its own natural pharmacy and that should always be your front line of defence.