Coronavirus: Survival, Laughter, and Lessons
Mother Earth is spring-cleaning again. And since most of us have never seen it in our life-time, there's almost feral anxiety. Covid-19 is here - and it's a clever little virus hell-bent on exactly the same things as the human race: reproduction and survival. Let's see what we're up against - and how we can help mitigate the rabid fear that's created a new superhero: toilet paper.
We know there are people who fall into the old-age-is-doomed category. Yet they've already had the virus - and have gotten over it.
What is Coronavirus?
Here's the word direct from the World Health Organisation (WHO):
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow). Like any other illness, it's taking its fair share of life.
Source: World Health Organisation (WHO)
There is a need for... toilet paper.
Panic in Aisle 12
Where this strain differs is that were all living in the global panic its created. There is a need for toilet paper. It's madness. There is an air of fatalism that people will die. And of course some people have died; those who have underlying problems are at higher risk. But it doesn't mean that every single person with diabetes or who has high blood pressure - or who has no toilet paper - is going to pass over. We are a resilient species - half of us have tried to wipe out the other half and in most cases, we've bounced back from extinction.
Against this particular enemy, the world is united and fighting. Compassion for our fellow human is at the highest peak. And that's a mighty weapon. In the meantime we have a number of practical measures we can used personally to help us understand how to fight the virus better.
Of course we've heard some home remedies which are off-the-scale; and which we would recommend strongly against following.
What's in Your Cupboard?
At Platinum Friends, we know there are people who fall into the old-age-is-doomed category. They've already had the virus and have gotten over it. Some have their various remedies, and others (not knowing they were supposed to be dead) have just applied the everyday salves of their cold and flu cupboard. These are just some of the ones we've heard recently:
Gargling with salt water throughout the night.
Taking cough suppressants to let the lungs heal.
Sleeping in an upright position.
Peppermint tea and lemon
Slathered in Vicks vapour rub
Good old brandy and honey.
Bringing down the body with cool wet flannels.
Of course we've heard some home remedies which are off-the-scale; and which we would recommend strongly against following. But in the main these above have been recommended and even applied by the medical and homeopathic industries to get us through.
What's in Your Mind?
Others have dealt with the virus through song, and humour and finding innovative ways of being together. Other ways that might help us:
Meditation and breathing exercises.
Laughing and telling jokes.
Remembering the times of old - when we conquered unimaginable hardships.
Sending out positive energy to the world.
What's in Your Body?
At the time of writing, there is no known cure or vaccine for the coronavirus. However we have an immune system that, like the virus, is always adapting. Like an eagle, our body seeks to soar above any rival. It quietly deals with many things that we never even know about; pulling together certain cells that will form an attack-shield-protect barrier for our bodies against invaders. These are known as T-cells, the study and defense cells, and B cells, which work in our adaptive immune system by storing antibodies.
When we're ill, we feel icky, but all the snot we produce during a cold is a reaction to expel unwanted germs. Sneezing removes several particles of dust and grime that could impact on our lungs. Our T-cells are the white cells that tailor our body's response to pathogens - those dangerous invaders. T-cells are also known as our soldier cells. Our lymphocytes, which are also T-cells and B-cells, can remember the structure of an invader germ the second time it is introduced to the body. These memory cells are one of the most powerful weapons in our body which can marshals an indomitable cache to protect us.
So let's not roll over and die just yet. Yes, Mother Earth is giving us another hiding; but it's so we can learn the lesson she's trying to teach us. Learning to value what is truly important at a time like this. It isn't trite to say, Love your fellow man and show compassion. Understanding that money really isn't everything and that society has changed in ways that are yet to be comprehended. Pay attention, class.