I am finding it fascinating to see the levels of hysteria going on around us regarding this virus.
I sent my husband out to get some random groceries the other day and he sent me back pictures of empty shelves at Trader Joe’s. They said that the previous 4 days had been their highest sales EVER! That’s crazy!
I know there are people being quarantined but there are support services available…I don’t predict scenes from the Walking Dead, do you? Really?
I think some may find it to be escapism fantasy to plan for a world collapsing rather than confront the issues they/we really DO have.
Now, I may find myself eating my words in days, weeks or months and I have nothing against being prepared, but some of the stuff people are doing are:
#1) not helpful and #2) potentially harmful to themselves and others.
Let’s break it down.
Masks and isolated vitamin supplements.
Coronavirus is a respiratory virus, mainly spread through coughing. There are two types of masks you can get, and neither of them will help, says Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals who works with the UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine & Global Health.
The standard surgical mask you would get at a drug store will keep you from spreading germs to others because it will “prevent spray from coming out,” Edwards says. However, it won’t keep you from breathing in germs. “Those very fine germ particles can still make it through those little holes in your mask, so it doesn’t prevent the spread of viruses,” she says.
The second kind of mask is called an N95 respirator mask. These are the ones used by medical professionals. However, N95 masks must be fitted properly at a hospital, Edwards says. If they are not, they are not effective. “If you go buy some random one, it’s going to have gaps in it,” she explains, “and you’re looking at the exact same problem” as presented by drugstore surgical masks.
Edwards wouldn’t recommend buying a fitted one, either, though. “N95 masks are expensive and uncomfortable, so I wouldn’t waste your money.”
Ultimately, she says, masks should only be worn by those who are already sick. They are not an effective precaution. “It’s not going to help you not get sick, but if all the companies are bought out and there are none left, the people who need them are not going to be able to get them,” she says.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams echoed that sentiment on Twitter Saturday. “Seriously people,” Adams wrote, “STOP BUYING MASKS!” (that’s the potentially harmful part!)
Let’s talk about isolated supplements.
Lots of folks are buying up isolated zinc, Vitamin C and other supplements, hoping to bolster their immune systems to protect themselves and their families against the coronavirus.
Problem is, the National Institute of Health spent $2.4 billion studying vitamins and supplements only to find out they really don’t work. As Pieter A. Cohen writes in JAMA:
“During the past 2 decades, a steady stream of high-quality studies evaluating dietary supplements has yielded predominantly disappointing results about potential health benefits, whereas evidence of harm has continued to accumulate.” (the potentially harmful to us part)
Since multivitamins have predominantly been marketed as healthy or, at the furthest end of the spectrum, benign, we’ve overlooked the fact that many are, in the long run, damaging. No vitamin or mineral is without effect. Because we don’t exactly understand how these pills operate should not mean we want to pop as many of them as possible.
Cohen points out that while vitamin and supplement bottles must include the standard “not evaluated by the FDA” jargon, most eyes pass right over the small print, instead focusing on unproven health claims scripted in bold, bright letters.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables have all the vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients in them in the exact proportion that we need them! For example:
Half of an apple has the antioxidant activity of 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C, even though it contains only 5.7 milligrams of the vitamin. That’s because the phytochemicals that surround vitamin C in apples enhance its effect.
And we could go through the 25,000+ known phytonutrients (plant nutrients: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.) contained in fruits and vegetables and demonstrate similar facts…I don’t have time to do that, today!
Now, that’s not to say that some people don’t have a particular vitamin deficiency but it’s rare and something that should be tested by your doctor.
We do have a fruit and vegetable deficiency. Most people struggle to get the number of servings/day that we should for optimum health needed to resist something like the coronavirus or to not be gravely affected if they do contract it.
Having a strong immune system, healthy lungs and a healthy heart is so important at times like these and it’s why my family strives to consume fruits and veggies at every meal AND supplement with plant concentrates that have been clinically proven to support our lungs, hearts and immune system (along with a bunch of other benefits!)
So, do yourself and your community a favor: wash your hands and often used surfaces frequently with soap and water. Try to avoid using hand sanitizers frequently as the ones that are alcohol based can crack your skin, making it more permeable to germs and chemicals and kill off beneficial bacteria that live on our skin. The ones with triclosan (TCS) actually encourage the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria!
Take care of yourself! Sleep, move your body, eat more plants, avoid stress and consider the benefits of adding a clinically proven plant concentrate to your diet.